Sunday, November 01, 2009

Aww,,, isn't that cute??

These are not words commonly uttered by my husband's manly mouth. I glance down to the sleeping baby in my arms - who is very cute - but not unusually so. I glance over to Emily in the playroom who is happily pushing her doll in the swing. Again, this is cute, but completely normal.
"No, no, look," Justin says and points to his feet. Sitting there is a newly unpacked purchase from Canadian Tire.
"It's a baby air compressor. It's so cute.".
Right. Like I said, he's a manly man!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jacob Hendrik

I'm a little past due for a birth announcement via blogger, so I'll skip ahead to a one month update instead!
Jacob is doing very well. He's up to 12lb 8oz from his original birth weight of 9lb 15oz and is already 23.5 inches long. He is a very happy baby and although he does have a bit of a temper we very rarely see it.
Emily is adjusting fairly well to having a brother. Although she can be a bit more defiant towards me, she has also become much more independent in the last month which is nice. So it's a good balance.
So far we've had two ultrasounds to keep an eye on an under developed left kidney. Today's ultrasound showed the same amount (a small amount) of urine backing up from the kidney but in almost all cases the kidneys will heal themselves in time. But we will keep going back for ultrasounds to keep an eye on it.
We are thoroughly enjoying having a new baby in the house - especially one as sweet as Jacob.

(pictures taken by Julianna Pennings)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm looking forward to....

  • Not having to eat a million TUMS a day
  • Sleeping on my stomach
  • Shopping at stores that don't end with "maternity"
  • Seeing my ankle bones again
  • Having a normal body temperature
  • A week without a doctor's appointment
  • Being able to paint my toenails by sight and not touch
  • Having a lap Emily can sit on
  • Not waddling anymore

And of course.....

Holding my newborn son in my arms for the very first time. And it's all going to happen....

soon ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I am ready....

You are all going to laugh at me, but I must confess that shortly after posting my last entry, our baby became nameless, once again. I'm so incredibly torn between the two "finalists". I like and dislike them both for different reasons. So as of right now my poor baby boy is still known as "Justin Jr." Wouldn't we shock everyone by actually naming him that???
But on a better note, I've used the last few days to complete even more tasks that will make life easier once 'JJ' is born.
-cut up a bunch of different veggies, vac-packed them, and put them in the freezer
-painted my toenails
-made up several little goodie bags for Emily to open while staying at my mom and dad's for a few days
-pre-purchased shower gifts, birthday gifts, and baby gifts so that I won't have to it with a newborn
-remembered that Justin probably wouldn't mind some toiletries and a change of clothes for the hospital and have packed them
-put everything by the front door that we need to take with us when this little guy decides it's time to show up.

Now all that's left to do is wait...

Original Post:
I have:
-my hospital bag packed
-extra batteries in the camera case
-the car seat installed in the back of the buick
-the baby bedding washed
-all the baby clothes washed
-the bassinet set up
-a new bathtub sling
-the "to-call" list with names and phone numbers
-all the towels washed, dried, and put away
- the house obsessively clean
- extra meat, bread, and cheese in the freezer
- extra dried good/canned goods in the cupboards
- the soothers sterilized
-my 'postpartum' clothes washed
-a NAME for this baby (finally!)
... now all I need is a little baby boy.

One week and counting.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Life in the Country

Once upon a time, a young engaged couple decided to buy a red brick house in the city with the intention of "one day" moving to the country. The boy fervently believed this to be true. The girl? Not so much....
In case you haven't guessed, this is the story of how I - the city raised girl - became a country lovin' mama.
When we first purchased our house on Gladstone we both agreed it wasn't our 'forever' house. It was a starter house that we would raise our first child in. Justin had future plans to move to the country. I, on the other hand, had future plans to move to a cute little subdivision with a trendy name like 'Orchard Park', 'Shaw Valley', or 'Southgate Village'.
Well, after 4 years of happily living on Gladstone Ave our house began to shrink. Little did I know, as a newly married woman, that one little baby would need a swing, a bouncy chair, an exersaucer, a jolly jumper, and a bassinet. Or that one little toddler girl would require a play desk, a 'Little People' village, a rubbermaid tote of blocks, a princess tent, and enough books to fill a library. It was time to move. But where? I started looking on MLS at all the cute houses in my favourite little subdivisions. Instantly I compiled a list of 20 or more houses that I would be thrilled to live in. You know the type - half siding and half brick, a few miniature spruce and dwarf lilacs in the front yard, and an LED house number above the garage. You know - the type of house my husband hates. After wiring these houses for over 3 years at Pro Electric, Justin developed a severe dislike for these houses. I am still a fan of these perfect, no work required, family homes. And if you're reading this and currently live in one of these? I may still be a teeny weeny bit jealous.
So it was time to compromise. A house that was still in the city, all brick, a decent sized lot, and maybe needed a bit of work. After a few months of searching we found a house we both agreed on, made and offer, and put our own house up for sale. At the time I was sure this plan would work and started picking out room colours, window treatments, and bathroom fixtures. But alas, this was not to be. Our house did not sell in the allotted time and once we realized how drastically we would have to drop the price of our house in order to sell it in the dreadful market, we decided to take it off the market and build an addition. Perfect. A living room (playroom) and bathroom off of the kitchen. Exactly what I wanted.
But wait - this addition was going to cost somewhere in the area of $50,000. And our house value to jump approximately $20,000. Maybe this was not the best idea after all. So? We'd keep looking.
Then one fateful afternoon in April we decided to take Fingal Line out to Jusitn's mom and dad's house instead of our usual Hwy 3 route. As we are discussing the sad fact that finding a country lot is nearly impossible these days we see a "For Sale" sign in the distance. WAY in the distance. In FINGAL. Ugh. Justin slows the car as we drive by. A yellow brick house in the country. Of course. I sent up a prayer - 'please let this house be ridiculously expensive. Or already sold, that would be great'. As soon as we arrived at mom and dad's Justin logged onto MLS and found the house.
"It's only $189,000" he exclaimed.
"Great...." I said as I silently said goodbye to Shaw Valley in my head.
"It has 5 bedrooms!"he cried
"Perfect....." goodbye Lake Margaret Trail
"3.4 acres!!!!" he gleamed
"Wow......." and there goes Southgate Village.
In my head I thought 'it's gotta be sold'. If it was as good of a deal as my husband thought it was than it wouldn't be on the market anymore. Who knows how long it had been for sale. Maybe there were a few conditional offers on it. 'Should have gone to Myrtle Beach' I muttered to myself.
The next day we were off to look at the house. It lived up to my expectations - TOTAL renovation. Lots and lots of lathe and plaster. An outdated kitchen. Shag carpet. The works.
The drive home was very quiet.
"I know you hate the house" Justin said to me. "But it's perfect, and you'll love it. Please agree to buy it."
How could I resist? In the 4 years that I've been married to Justin there have been very few times (maybe none) that he hasn't known what is best for our family. I had to follow him. So we made an UN-conditional offer (a very scary thing to do), put our house back on the market and prayed. Of course, God being perfect in His timing, allowed our house to sell quickly and made all things well. Kinda.
As the closing dates approached I would lie awake at night worrying about how I would adjust to country life. What if I needed to run out the store at 7:30 at night? Where would Justin take Emily for her nightly walk? How will I live through all that plaster dust? And oh yes, lets not forget the baby boy due to arrive a month after we move in. After worrying each night I said a long prayer and went to sleep.
Well, it's been 3 weeks since we moved. I LOVE IT HERE! Although this house may be slightly uglier than our Gladstone house, I wouldn't move back. I may have shag carpet in the playroom, but I have a playroom! The office may be mint green, but we have an office! Justin may not be able to take Emily on her nightly walk, so instead she just plays on the 3.4 acres of land and with the dairy cows in our backyard. I have a huge pantry that I can stock with extra diapers, lunch supplies, and laundry detergent. (And Foodland is only a 7 minute drive away!) In the country, a fresh pot of coffee smells better, the stars shine brighter, and breeze blows cooler. I've even come to find the sound of the coyotes howling at the moon oddly soothing. We have a long way to go with renovations, and maybe once the plaster dust starts to fly I may be a bit grumpier. But if it means having the house of our dreams and the opportunity to raise our kids in this great setting then I'll learn to live with it.
I'll let you know when the dust settles.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Home sweet Home

So of course, after I ramble on and on about renovations and painting the nursery we decide to forgo the entire plan and buy a new house. Well, new to us. Technically it's about 100 years old. The house has to be remodelled, top to bottom, but once we're through it will be our dream home. It's on Fingal Line, just past middlemarch - in the country. Somewhere I never thought I would live. The prospect has always appealed to me - summer evening at Justin's parent's house just can't be beat. But now that it's staring me in the face I'm slightly concerned that my city girl roots can't be broken. So I'm taking a leap of faith and letting my husband and my God lead the way.
The house sits on 3.4 acres with lots of big, mature trees. It's connected to city water which the owners paid in full at the time of connection so our taxes will be cheaper than what we are paying right now. It has replacement windows and the roof is in fairly decent shape. Once we get possession we'll be tearing down a few walls and putting some new ones up. All the flooring needs to be replaced as well. But it will be worth it. Now we just have to sell our current house in the next 90 days. Any takers????

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Decisions, Decisions.

I need some help in the decorating department. I've never been good at choosing colours - hence my neutrally painted house. I can match a skirt to a shirt just fine, but wall colours are a different story.
I bought a crib bedding set off of Kijiji for Justin Jr. I just couldn't see re-using my set from Emily - poor guy would be sleeping amongst pink butterflies and daisies. I've been having incredible luck with Kijiji lately - this bedding set has never been used, (bought by a mom for her to-be-born granddaughter but rejected by the daughter since the bedding is quite boy-ish) but couldn't be returned due to being purchased in the States. So I swept in and bought some awesome bedding for a fraction of the price. Getting a good deal is so rewarding.
But I may not have thought this all the way through. I'm at a loss for decorating ideas. As you can see in the picture the bedding is sage green and has a French Toile design.
Here is the current nursery:
A bit girlie, I know! I'm hoping to leave the bottom half of the wall the same off-white that it is now. The picture shows the bedding with a tan wall, but I don't know how good that would look in real life, especially if I leave the chair rail up. So what do you think?
Oh, and I know - aren't we moving? The answer is probably not. We (Justin) have started drawing up plans for a family room and bathroom addition on the main floor off the kitchen. He used Chief Architect to put together the plans so that I can visually see how it would turn out - it looks awesome. As long as we get permission from the city then we'll probably be heading down that path. Part of the decision to take the house off the market is due to the total frustration of trying to sell . Each person who comes through LOVES our kitchen and HATES our 1 bathroom feature of the house. I'm okay with people not liking the one bathroom only thing - but come on. Read the MLS listing BEFORE you come. BEFORE I clean like a crazy woman. BEFORE I pack up my kid and get out of my house. The listing clearly states we have ONE bathroom. But enough ranting. We also really like our neighbourhood and our property. And an addition is cheaper. And I love my kitchen. And my central vacuum and new furnace & A/C, and my carpeted stairs, and my french doors. Man, why doesn't anyone want to buy this place? It's awesome ;)
So for now the plan is to stay put. But that's today's plan. Who knows what tomorrow's plan will be??

Monday, March 16, 2009

20 weeks.....

.....And getting a belly. Half way there!

And here are a few tidbits of information you may or may not know about our newest little guy:
- My official due date is Aug. 2 2009 DV
- I already have incredible heart burn - this kid better have lots of hair ;)
- I had a gut feeling this child was a boy and would have been shocked if I was told it was a girl, but then again I could have sworn Emily was a boy, and looked how that turned out!
- As of today this baby doesn't have a bedroom. The old nursery is home to our mammoth desk, Justin's guitars, and various HVAC computer components.
- This will grandchild number 12 for Justin's parents, and number 2 for my parents - just a small difference :)
- Our boy will be the first Pennings boy as Ryan, Jack, and Ethan are Slingerlands and VanDyks. But the girls will still out number the boys 2 to 1.
- Justin claims he would have been as excited to be having another girl, but I think there might be an tiny little part of him that jumps for joy when he thinks about having a son.
- When I was pregnant with Emily I used to pray "Lord,please keep this baby healthy and safe and make all things well for the rest of my pregnancy." For this baby I pray "Lord, please let this baby be a good sleeper and a happy, easy going baby." I of course pray for this baby's health, but it's funny how things change ;)
- We have already named this little boy, and if you ask Emily she'll tell you the baby's name is "Baby Rickie" after her much loved Uncle Rick. Although we also love Rick, I don't think we'll be naming our first born son after him!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh No! That's scawwey!

After an unusually troubling day for Emily I thought I would share with you the top 25 things Emily is afraid of in her life. She will tell me "Mommy, this scares me" or "Oh No! That's scary" but I sometimes wonder if she misuses the term when really she means 'I just don't like this.' Anyway, here are the top 25 - not necessarily in order but number one really is her number one fear!

1. Flies
2. Bees
3. Fuzz -- like from a sock. Very scary stuff.
4.Wind up toys
5. The theme song from Jaws
6. Uncle Matt -- I'm sure she will love you one day!
7. Babies, mostly infants
8. The dark
9. The church nursery
10. Any stranger
11. A crowded room
12. The bug portion of her Baby Einstein DVD
13. Being on my shoulders - Justin's shoulders is okay though!
14. Justin -first thing in the morning. She loves him the rest of the day.
15. Santa Claus
16. Dinosaur puppets
17. Being alone
18. Shoes - other than the only pair she wears everyday.
19. Her "Elefun" game that she loved for weeks but is now too scary to play
20. Cars coming towards us while I buckle her in her car seat
21. The bathtub drain
22. Dirty food
23. Snot
24.The shower head - when it drips in the tub while she's having a bath
25. French speaking women - when her Leap Frog Fridge toy is switched to the French side she is deathly afraid of it.

Some of these I think are normal two year old fears. But some of them are out of this world. I don't know where she gets it from but I'm hoping she'll grow out of it. I remember Caleb VD being afraid of chest hair, clouds, and growing up. And he turned out just fine (right, Taun!!). When she goes to bed each night I think she must be emotionally exhausted, poor monster.