The Sweetest Things…

…come from the most innocent of us all: children. I mean…look at them.

IMG_3425He’s so serious about being a Jedi.
IMG_3433Most of the night she preferred to hold the gun towards herself…
2014-10-30 15.37.33Luke Skywalker, alias Spencer.
2014-10-30 15.09.58Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.
2014-10-30 15.42.40Rebellion for the win!
2014-10-26 15.48.22Corn mazing
IMG_3423So this happened.
2014-10-24 16.50.52And this, within a month of each other. For the record, our children are not usually the type who fall asleep in any place at any time.

The sweetest things.

We have been living life fully since my last post, which feels like eons ago. Felicity was diagnosed with tongue-tie and has had it clipped. So she now takes a bottle and we have finished (forever) syringe-feeding her milk. She is still having some issues gaining weight, but she is being followed by the hospital pediatrician now, whom we’re waiting to hear back from on our next move currently. Felicity has definitely proven how much we can still learn as parents, even by the third child.

The other two are doing great. Spencer has been listening non-stop to Cat.Chat, which has influenced his prayer life significantly. Just tonight Andy was saying that after regular prayer time, he wanted to say his own little prayer. It went like this,

“God, I ask you (blah blah blah) Syria (blah blah blah)…and I ask the Virgin Mary to go and stop the fighting [in Syria]”

Crazy, eh? This boy just inspires me (when I take the time to reflect).

Cassia is in her independent ‘I DO IT’ streak, which is cute. She ends up with a lot of shirts half-on and socks thrown away randomly in frustration. Such is life, eh?

Andy and I are managing this household…I can’t say we keep it clean (and quite far away from immaculate), but everyone is fed, clothed, and loved. Cassia discovered in late September that she can climb out of her crib, and since then, we haven’t had much sleep at night anymore (she used to go to sleep like an angel). Since then, we have been more sleep deprived than normal, but we are enjoying this life and everything in it.

I’m looking forward to a couple things coming up: I’m going to re-start some homeschool stuff with Spencer come Advent. I think we just didn’t have a way of scheduling things that worked well, so I’m reworking it to see if something else might work. And also, in January, we are going to attempt to potty train Cassia. I found a mom’s method for doing it in 3 days. Here’s hoping it works for us. If not, it’ll be another couple months before trying again.

And I’m looking forward to updating a little more frequently too!

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7 Quick Takes Friday #7qt


Are you having a bad day? Quick, take a look at these photos:

2014-08-28 21.39.41mess on defunct dishwasher, and those are weeks-old eggshells in that bowl, in case you need to know
2014-08-28 21.39.48our counter space
2014-08-28 21.39.58cleanest area

Does your kitchen look like this? No? Then feel better about yourself, my friend. You’re not that bad. Let these pictures serve you to think, ‘well, at least my kitchen isn’t as bad as this one lady’s I saw on the internets today. I’m actually doing pretty good’ I will be that lady for you. Am I proud of it? Nope. Am I stressed about it? Nope. In fact, I just finished a bag of chipotle ranch chips and am going to head to bed after this post. It’s just one of those days.


Ever feel like things are going a little too swimmingly? Then you get a missed bill slapped in your face and all you can think is ‘craaaaaaaaaapppppppppps’. Hypothetically? Thankfully they don’t disconnect my internets after just 1 missed. I would cry.


I successfully left the house with three kidlets by myself on foot. We ventured to the new subdivision beside us (used to be a field) that has show homes open for viewing. I was curious enough to risk it with three kids.

Time was my friend, friends. We went when most normal people are still working, so there was no one else around looking. This made my time there much less stressful. And it was by blessed coincidence that it occurred this way. On our way out of the second last house a van pulled up and a party of people jumped out and rushed in the doors as we slid out of them. Near miss.

My favourite was this layout:

2014-08-28 21.40.35and it’s not because there was free keurig coffee with real cream for the freebs in this house2014-08-28 21.40.42The house has no garage on the front like it’s mooning the street. It’s a keeper!


We just had some friends visiting last night whom are from Ottawa. My, how I miss spending quality time with friends. We stayed up wayyyyyyy too late talking with them about everything that could pop into our heads. It has been much too long since we last conversed with friends in a meaningful way for longer than 1 hour. I am definitely looking forward to one day doing this on more occasions than once every 4 years…(does it happen when the kids get older? I don’t know…)


Is it wrong to want to stay up all night because it’s so silent? Andy’s gone to bed early because we stayed up too late last night, so I’ve had blessed silence for about 2 hours now. I have this urge to just stay up late and do nothing. Or bake. If my kitchen didn’t look like above, I’d probably make myself something nice, big, and chocolate. silence is golden.


Felicity is growing. The breastfeeding issues have largely subsided, but it’s not because we started using the bottle for her, like I last posted. Cause she said to us, in no uncertain terms, ‘no-effing-way’ to that sucker.

2014-08-20 20.00.26our little Goo Baby (so named by Cassia)

We tried everything to get her to take to the bottle. I didn’t know refusal on this level was possible. But I will tell you, it is stressful when you think she’s going to end up being hospitalized for not growing because she’s not a) breastfeeding enough b) bottle feeding any c) nor finger feeding (thank-you-very-much-no-thanks, she said).

She’s got a very little bit of chubs on her now, which is becoming of a baby. She’s growing longer (which was never the issue). I think the domperidone (or however that stuff is spelled) is finally working its magic and the fenugreek and blessed thistle aren’t hurting either. I’m so thankful that she seems to be gaining her weight now. Our doctor said to come back in a month cause she thinks it’s going better too, so yay. Very yay.


5k run. This year, will be a walk. Cause that run occurs the first weekend in September, which is apparently 9 days away now.

2014-08-21 15.29.46

inevitably, when Spencer grabs my phone to play with the camera, he always takes a picture of his feet. these feet will not be running..

Have I done any training? Well, I went for that walk through the show homes…(read: nope). What was I thinking? I was thinking I could totally train with a newborn. Well, even if people told me it wouldn’t happen, I now have the experience to back up their claims. Granted, if I hadn’t had 2 other kids running around, but had the experience to know how awesome that would have been, I might have.

memeShame: none. I will walk that 5k with pride in my spit-upped shirt. Though I might run through the colour spraying portions so that I can breathe. We’ll see.


Be sure to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

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Answer Me This

This is to be the last one, so it would be unfortunate not to participate!!

Answer Me This31. What is your your favourite picture book?

Any of the books by Leslie Patricelli, but especially Potty:

pottyThey are short, to the point, and entertaining. My kids love this book.

We also love the majority of Tomie de Paola‘s books, too. Spencer especially likes The Song of Francis (though I admit the angels are a little creepy):

francisHe writes a lot of children’s Christian books in addition to non-Christian books.

2. Are you a boycotter?

Not really. When I was much younger, I used to be, but I don’t so much anymore. I do weigh my decisions and make ethical choices based on my beliefs, but I don’t so much boycott. The only thing I retain from my younger days is not shopping at Walmart. Generally speaking, I don’t like shopping at big industrial stores and this place seems to epitomize our materialistic tendencies in my mind, so I avoid it.

3. How do you feel about cheese?


Does that explain it? No? Well, I think I’m clever :). I love it so much that we make our own cheese at home, most recently venturing into mozzarella-making. And, believe you-me, it’s delicious.

2014-06-30 22.53.39Making the mozza balls :)
2014-07-13 22.18.07Fresh cheese and beer, no better combo (this may only hold true occasionally).

While visiting family in Cincinnati a few years ago, I apparently made a statement along the lines of, if I could do with only one type of food, it would be cheese. I went back there with the kids in January and, of course, one of the foods I bought was cheese (cause, yum). My aunt repeated what I had said on the previous visit about cheese and, though I had no recollection of saying it, I could easily verify that it’s something I would have said. Easily.

4. How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?

More than I need, that is certain. Maybe 4 or 5? My problem has always been that they get scratched. But I don’t thrown them out when they get scratched. They hang around. For no good reason. I should clarify that they aren’t expensive – they’re the cheap kind that are no pricier than $10 (usually). Except my prescription sunglasses, which broke and are likely fixable, but I need to check warranty information before I see if I can fix them myself.

5. How long has it been since you went to the dentist?

Goodness, this is a poke in the eye kind of question. Not in a long time. And it’s only due to laziness. There is no good reason. I can’t go into more detail because I find it embarrassing that I still haven’t done anything about it.

6. If you could visit any religious site in the world, where would you go?

I would love to take a tour of Paul’s journeys. I love the history of the new testament and it would be absolutely amazing to experience the places and communities he visited. paul

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7 Quick Takes Friday


Breastfeeding. It’s taken a hit, and I’m sad about it. For a few different reasons (that we can figure, at this point), Felicity isn’t gaining the weight she should be right now. Called either Failure to Thrive or Faltering growth/weight, it means she’s not getting the calories she needs to thrive. But believe you me – it’s not like she’s showing it in her personality at all. And I think that’s a part of the problem – she’s a really happy baby who rarely fusses at all, and she hardly wants seconds much of the time (though I try).

IMG_3381She’s a little unsure about my abilities to take pictures…

So we are now about to try the pumped-milk-in-the-bottle method to help make sure she is drinking the amount she should be (in addition to breastfeeding) and check back with our doctor next week. I am thankful that we are fortunate enough that a ‘failure to thrive’ doesn’t by any means mean a death sentence – we have options to make this better, even if it means needing to use formula eventually (which I hope won’t happen, but I can’t rule out either).

She is a really happy baby, though. A beautiful little girl that we all love tenderly.

2014-07-31 14.47.44So sweet!



At the Children’s Museum, playing dress-up and construction worker at the same time (she’s multitasking)

Word diarrhea. That’s what Cassia has in addition to a rash (more on that later). We think she is finally hitting the growth spurt that spurs on her vocabulary, cause she’s just coming up to us and using the oddest words. She pointed to a picture of a kid on a ladder, looked up at me and said, “guy? guy?” Yes, darling, that is a guy. “cake? cake? mommymommy! cake?” yes, honey, that is a picture of a cake. It’s like she’s looking for confirmation on whether she’s interpreting her world correctly. It’s pretty cute watching it unfold. She’s definitely repeating much of what we are currently saying (stuff Spencer says too), so we’ll have to be extra careful right now (hopefully).


IMG_3403So spotty :(

Rash. I have no idea what Cassia gets these rashes from; I can make neither hide nor hair out of it and they seem to happen relatively often. There does not seem to be any correlation between the rash and anything else that we can come up with. I’m considering that she might need to be allergy tested, cause if it’s something triggering it all the time, then we can work at eliminating it. I just hope it doesn’t turn into something worse. Blargh. I wish it would just permanently go away on its own.


2014-07-24 10.00.52

Gathering. It’s now been almost two weeks since Felicity and I flew to Vancouver for my Grandad’s funeral.

100_1863I’m so thankful that we were able to go, and I’m fortunate that most of my family was able to come and be together. Coincidentally, even with 10 people, a casket is still quite heavy to carry (or maybe my cousins and myself are all wusses…this could be true. Except for the Avilas. Apparently they play sports or something.)

Vacation2010 121Apart from a few liturgical hiccups, it was a good celebration. My aunts and uncles wrote a short ‘Words of Remembrance’ about him that was spoken at the funeral that aptly gave a picture into his adventurous life, including his recurring tragic relationship with rental cars and his love of Hawaiian shirts.



2014-07-30 21.13.01BNL (Barenaked Ladies). Andy and I went to their concert last Wednesday, and boy, was it darned awesome. They are sooo funny, and really talented (you really are losing out if you don’t check out these video links). There are some people who are of the opinion that they aren’t good without Steven Page, but Andy and I would beg to differ. We had an amazing evening sitting on a hill that was a little too steep (but had a good view) and sang along with the majority for the songs (like everyone else did).

2014-07-30 19.36.10


I have finally started the theory portion of my aromatherapy certification, and I can. not. wait for this part to be finished. While I enjoy reading about the properties, history, uses, and contraindications about essential oils and also Gr. 11 biology all over again (which I’ve mostly forgotten, it would seem), it’s a lot of memorization and apparently I’m a little out of practice in that area. And I have a few other distractions now (*ahem*kids*ahem*). In spite of my distractions, I am hopeful to complete my certification by the end of October, which would be grand in terms of getting things started here and being able to create a proper office for aromatherapy and be able to promote my business. Yay!


I encourage everyone to pray and write to their Members of Parliament over the persecution of Christians in Iraq by ISIS. As quoted by +Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, President of the Assembly of the Catholic Bishops in Iraq:

“They are facing a human catastrophe and risk a real genocide.”

Read his whole SOS appeal letter here

Please bring this message to the attention of all you can and pray for our beloved brothers and sisters who are fleeing death and persecution as we sit here at our computers. Let us not be idle in our thoughts, actions, and prayers in this!


For more Quick Takes, head to Jen’s website: Conversion Diary.

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Answer Me This

Answer Me This3A long break just to rev up for another session of Answer Me This!

1. When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs, or an iPod, or nothing at all?

I prefer the radio in most circumstances. I switch between CBC Radio 2 (classical, mostly) and The Others (which vary between ‘all the same new music, all the time’ to ‘never repeat’s). I try to keep it to classical in the car during the hours that there is classical playing, because I am not likely to play it at home, unless it’s Christmas. Then you can’t get me to turn the Nutcracker off. Just ask Andy.

Andy usually likes silence in the car. Unless Katy Perry is playing. Then he has to join her and belt out a song (or at least the portions he knows). "Smurfs 2" - Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

2. Do you prefer window or aisle?

Window. If it is a long-haul flight (which mine aren’t, if I fly at all) I’d likely prefer the aisle with the kids. Easier to access facilities and stuff. But I really only fly to Vancouver with any sense of regularity (we’ll say two times in 4 years) and from Saskatoon, that means a stop in Calgary. So my flights are only about an hour each way (Saskatoon-Calgary; Calgary-Vancouver), which doesn’t really require moving much.

2014-07-24 05.38.26Felicity and I airporting it back very early to Saskatoon from Abbotsford (super close to Vancouver)

And I really enjoy watching the take off and landing views. And occasionally the clouds and stuff.

2014-07-24 10.03.59(It’s like they knew they could do some advertising from the pictures taken from the window…)

And sometimes I’m super duper lucky and get a whole aisle to myself. Or myself and a baby. Comme ├ža:

2014-07-20 09.00.223. Do you fall asleep on your side, back, or stomach? What position are you in when you wake up?

I usually end up falling asleep on my stomach, though if I stay that way overnight, I’ll wake up with a pain in my neck (literally). I feed Felicity during the night, so I usually wake up on one of my sides if I’d been feeding her then had fallen asleep. Ideally I’d prefer to fall asleep on my back because it doesn’t make me wake up hurting (ah, the joys of getting older), but it’s not as comfortable, unfortunately.

4. Do you have a favourite quote or inspirational saying?

Why yes, I do.

tumblr_l2gb2m5MGE1qzn0jzo1_400This is a Galaxy Quest quote, which is one of the bestest, star-studded spoof movies out there. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on life. I doubt this not.

galaxy-quest-deluxe-edition-dvdAnd, while it’s not a true quote per se

funnyI really hope you get it. Because if you don’t, I just…there’s not…well, you’re not cool enough, I guess. It encompasses everything cool: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek. All in one smack-you-head meme. I need a poster of this. Or a t-shirt.

I suppose one day I might answer this question with something that isn’t funny and more serious, but alas – today is not that day.

5. When was the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair, or parade?

Well, we can definitely count the county fair out, as those don’t exist in Canada. Last summer Spencer and I went to the Exhibition, which makes me feel like I’m in a circus. Does that count? In Cincinnati in January the kids and I went to the aquarium, which is like a zoo…

6. What’s the best thing about summer?

IMG_3355Kicking the kids outside and watching them revel (and complain) about everything they should be reveling at and complaining about at their age. Like how hot it is. And fighting over who goes down the slide next. And spraying each other with water. And prancing through the sprinkler. And spraying everything they can with a hose (though I do get angry when it’s my tomatoes that the boy starts hosing down full blast). Basically, just being outside. We don’t get that freedom in winter, so enjoying it while it lasts, in whatever way that takes form (backyard adventures, splash pads and outdoor pools, biking, walking, etc, etc.)

IMG_3285Troublemakers. All of ‘em.

For more fun kicks, head over to Kendra’s blog!

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