Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The 31 Day Challenge

My Problem:
I don't know about you but I find myself so busy with kids, laundry, and everyday life that I have a  difficult time setting aside a piece of my day for reading my bible and praying. For years I've always read my bible before going to bed at night but now a days by 9pm I'm wiped and if I even attempt to read at that time I will definitely fall asleep. So, needless to say, there are quite a few days when I don't get a chance to read my bible at all. Not. Good.

My Plan:
I've decided that for the month of March I'm going to start setting my alarm to go off an extra 40 minutes earlier to give me uninterrupted time to read my bible and pray. I want my relationship with God to grow and to do that I need to be spending time with Him through reading the bible and praying.

My Challenge to You:
I'd love for you to join me with this challenge!

 It's up to you when you choose to take the time to read your bible because let's face it, we all have different schedules. But, just make sure that you're doing your best to make it uninterrupted time. It could be while your kids are napping, after the kids go to bed, listening to the bible while driving (my husband has this awesome app called Bible.is that reads the bible to you..check it out!),  or on your daily commute on public transit.

When and where you decide to do it is up to you. The point of it is to get into a routine of reading God's Word and getting to know him on a more personal level. I'm sure we'll all be amazed at how much a little challenge will actually change our spiritual life. 

If you're going to do the challenge just post a comment below or send me an email to let me know! :)

I'll be posting extra blog posts through out the month of March to let you know how I'm doing and to see how you're doing! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kallie is TWO!

Kallie turned TWO this weekend and I still can't believe it!
I love reminiscing and I thought that I'd share Kallie's birth story with you... since it is her birthday and all.

February 25, 2012 - Kallie's 2nd Birthday!
My pregnancy with Kallie was very uneventful. Well, other than selling and buying a new house and moving to a new town all when I was 33 weeks along but, medically wise - very uneventful.

February 24, 2010
I thought that I was going to be pregnant forever. I was 7 days overdue and was scheduled to be induced the following morning at 6am but, I really wanted to try and go into labour by myself.

I drank umpteen cups of red raspberry leaf tea (I don't know if that actually works but I was ready to try anything..except for the whole castor oil thing), went for a few walks, did some squats, and finally by mid afternoon I noticed the contractions becoming more regular.

February 2010 - Kallie's 1st week
By 4:30pm Jon and I were headed into the hospital and I was hoping and praying that it was true labour. I really didn't want to be sent home.

5:30pm rolled around and the nurse was ready to send me home because she thought that I had tons of time before a baby was making it's out. But, no sooner did she tell us that and the really painfully intense contractions started coming every 2 minutes. So, they admitted me and a couple of hours later I received my wonderful epidural!

The epidural only worked on my left side and I could still feel all of the contractions on the right side. Not exactly the results I was hoping for. So, after about 1.5hrs and trying different positions to try and get the med to disperse properly, the nurse gave me a little bit of an epidural med boost and, by 12am I wasn't able to feel a thing and was as happy as could be!

All photos: 2 months old
February 25, 2010
12:30am I started to feel really nauseous. I told the nurse that I thought I was ready to start pushing but, because I was only 7cm an hour prior to that, she said that there was no way I was at 10cm already.
I kept nagging her and telling her to check again and finally she gave in. 
And, guess what? I was 10cm!  

I pushed for 30 minutes and then was abruptly told to stop and to not even think of sneezing or coughing because Kallie right there and was ready to pop out... but my doctor hadn't arrived yet! So, we waited 30 minutes until he arrived (thank goodness for that epidural otherwise I would not have been waiting for him to get there!) and with a barely a push she was out! 

Jon and I welcomed Kallie into our family at 2:03am on February 25, 2010, weighing 8lbs 10 oz and 21.5 inches long.

Top: 4 mths old,
Bottom Left to right: 16 months old, 8 months old, 3 months old.

I will never forget that day. It was one of the best days of my life! 
(Getting married to Jon and welcoming Bronson into the world are the other best days of my life)

Now, looking back at all of the wonderful memories, I can't believe that two years have already passed by.

I remember wondering when the sleepless nights from being up with a colicky baby would end.
I remember anxiously waiting for Kallie to be big enough to use the bumbo.
I remember how cute and messy she was while eating her first baby cookie.
I remember how excited Jon and I were for her first jump in her Jolly Jumper.
I remember celebrating her 1st birthday like it was yesterday.
I remember watching her learn to walk.

I don't want to take any moment I have with any of my kids for granted. Kallie is the most loving, caring, funny, adventurous, and adorable little girl, and we are blessed beyond measure to have her as our daughter.

Happy Birthday my dear Kallie! Daddy and I love you very very much and I don't want you to ever forget that!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Just like every other Friday, I'm linking up with Jeannett!

I didn't get a lot of pictures this week but, here's three for you.

I think someone stole all of my snack containers. I have no idea where they've all gone to! I found out that in a fix, Tetley Tea containers are perfect for holding dry snacks. The lid is nice and secure and the container is the perfect size for toddler hands! :)

This is what 9am usually looks like at my house. After getting Kallie and Bronson up, dressed, and fed, and also after getting myself ready, I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch Live with Kelly and let the kids play. 
The ottoman you see fits perfectly between my sideboard and couch and prevents Bronson from crawling around and getting into things. :)

Last weekend I was waiting in the car with the kid while Jon ran in to a store quickly. The movie I had playing wasn't keeping Kallie occupied so I had to get creative in finding her things to do. When Bronson had his PICC line in I had emergency kits in my van, diaper bag, and house just in case it broke. Since he doesn't have his PICC line anymore I gave Kallie a few of the supplies to play with. 
Please note - those aren't scissors in her hand, they're just pressure clip thingys (I can't think of what they're called lol)... no sharp edges!

What have you been up to this week?

life rearranged

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crayon Juice Boxes, Pink Nail Polish, and a Bouncy Chair

Crayon Juice Box Anyone? Kallie has been using her Crayola Beginnings Stampers and her crayons as pretend juice boxes. I thought that this was pretty inventive! She's been handing out her crayon drinks to me and Jon all week and once we have it in our hands she raises hers up in the air and yells, "Cheers". Haha... oh toddlers!

Apparently 4 stampers weren't enough so she resorted to using mini kaleidoscopes instead. Yesterday she sat at the table for 30 minutes making up juice boxes! It's funny what activities can keep a toddlers attention for so long.

Last Sunday Kallie and I had a girls afternoon and I painted all of our fingers and toes. Every time we go out in public now she holds her hands out (like in the picture) and says, "See". She's so proud of her pink nails! :)

This week I've been going through baby gear and putting it up for sale on Kijiji. I'm ready to have more space in my house! As I was taking pictures of each item Kallie made herself comfortable in the bouncy chair! Not such a little baby anymore. 

I've been trying to be strict with Kallie's soother and only allow her to have it if she's in her bed but, sometimes she ends up finding one hidden somewhere. I'm afraid to make her go cold turkey and just take it away but, maybe that's the best way? 

How did you get rid of your child's soother habit? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Everyone has a Purpose

At church on Sunday the sermon was about Esther. Unfortunately, I can't say that I know much more about the sermon other than the subject because I was in the hallway or nursery 90% of the time with Bronson. 
But, I love the book of Esther and was reading a little bit of it tonight. 

Before Esther was brought into the king's palace nobody had heard of her. After a careful selection of beautiful women, Esther was was chosen to be the new queen. (Esther 2:17)

Haman, one of the kings men, had the king agree to a plan to wipe out all of the Jews in the kingdom. Mordecai (Esther's only living relative) sent a message to Esther in the palace and asked her to go before the king and request the he save all of the Jews (at this point nobody knew that Esther was also a Jew). 

Whenever anyone went in front of the king the king could allow or deny them access to him. If they were denied it meant death. So, it wasn't exactly just another thing to check off on Esther's to-do list.

The king allowed Esther to speak to him and invited him to two banquets. At the second banquet she told the king that she was a Jew and asked for the man (Haman) who was behind this plan out to be stopped. The King had Haman killed and then had the decree to annihilate the Jews reversed. 

If Esther hadn't have been chosen as queen then the Jews would have had a different end. They would have been wiped out. (Go HERE to read the whole story)

Esther was placed in the position as queen for a purpose.

This made me think. Even though I'm at home everyday with my kids I still have a purpose. Sometimes it might feel like I'm not important and wonder how I could possibly make a difference but, I still have a purpose.

Maybe the purpose is getting to know a new neighbour and showing them kindness. 
Maybe the purpose is to get to know other stay at home mom's through play groups.
Maybe the purpose is to learn more patience. (I could use a lot more of that!)
Maybe the purpose is to get to know the mail delivery person and make their day brighter by saying "hi".

Regardless of where you are, or what you do, everyone has a purpose. It might not be moving to another country and becoming the next Mother Teresa but, everyone's purpose is just as important as the next.

Crafty Tuesday: This & That

This past week wasn't an especially crafty week. But, I'll share with you two projects I did and took cell phone pictures of. 

Last Friday night I helped my sister make a diaper cake for a baby shower she was going to. I've received diaper cakes but never made one before so this was a first! First of all, I want to mention that my iPhone didn't capture the colours very well because the flowers are hot pink (not red) and purple and the ribbon is a very vibrant purple (it's not as blue as the picture looks!)

 Through the middle of the cake there are 4 snack containers and a baby bottle piled on top of each other to give the cake more stability, and also as a little added gift. For every layer I took 5" wide pink organza ribbon, hot glued the edges, and folded it in half to made it 2.5" wide instead. It would have been easier to buy ribbon in that width from the get go, oh well! Then we added smaller piece of ribbon over top of the organza ribbon, hot glued jewels onto the ribbon, and finally added flowers and butterflies.  

For our first try we thought it turned out pretty good! :)

Yesterday we graduated Bronson out of the carrying infant carseat and into a big carseat (still rear facing though!). Someone was very kind to give us a brand new carseat for Bronson, you know who you are and Thank you once again! :)
The cardboard box was laying around the house and this morning before 9am (and before I had even drank my coffee) I got out the scissors and a knife and made Kallie a house. She loves it! I even added a window sill. :) I was thinking about painting it but then I quickly changed my mind once I really thought about it!  lol 

What have you been up to this week?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Things That Changed When I Became a Mom

I never drank coffee before I had my babies but, now I can't get enough of the stuff.

Re-heating my coffee (or tea) for the 5th time in one morning is normal.

I never ever think about leaving the house without a stash of diapers, wipes, toys, bottles, formula, snacks, juice, and an extra set of clothes for each child. 

Words such as delicious or tasty have turned into words such as yummy, yum yum, or mmm.

The Handicapped bathroom is my favourite (and only) stall that I use in public because I can fit my double stroller in it.

 I don't think twice about getting snot or boogers wiped me. (although I would prefer not to have a certain almost 2 year old try and stick her boogers into my nose when I'm not looking)

I used to find change in the bottom of my purse or the cup holders of my car but, now I get rich by finding change in diapers or bodily crevices. (I found 0.11 cents stuck into a leg hole of a diaper the other day!)

I am that mom who uses spit to tame my daughters hair. (only when I don't have access to a sink, ok?)

At the check out I always end up pulling soothers, hair clips, random Little People toys, a single (unused) diaper, snacks, and/or baby Tylenol out of my purse before finding my wallet to pay the cashier. 

If I'm driving by myself I would much rather drive in silence than listen to the radio. 
Finding Cherios stuck to my pants (more specifically stuck to my buttocks) is almost a daily occurrence.

I know the show line up of The Disney Jr. Channel like the back of my hand. (I don't always have the tv on but, I sometimes need a back up plan so I can get things done!)

I get really excited when one of my favourite celebrities makes an appearance on Sesame Street.

Listening to the Top 20 Hit List on the radio has changed to listening to myself sing (I can't sing for the life of me!) songs such as "Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog". (Do you watch Mickey Mouse Club House too?)

When someone asks me how my sleep is I now have the same answer as Buddy the Elf (you know, the movie.. Elf) which is, "Great! I got a full 40 minutes!".

In the mornings when I wake up from my full 40 minutes of sleep (ok, I know that I get more sleep than that but it sometimes it only feels like 40 minutes!) I need a coffee to start the day but, I wouldn't trade my life of being a mom for anything because I am blessed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

InstaFriday - Saturday Edition (because I forgot!)

Here's our week through iPhone pictures!
As usual, I'm linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged.
I love grabbing a coffee or tea and going down to the harbour in town. In the winter I don't usually get out of my car because it's too cold, but in the summer it's gorgeous! On Monday it was super windy and the waves kept crashing up onto the pier. I was nervous sitting where our car was parked, let along where this truck was! It looked like the waves were hitting it but I think they were parked a little further back. Still too close for my liking! By the way, I didn't edit these two pictures at all - this is exactly how the sky looked!

I made some yummy vanilla cupcakes with Red icing for Valentine's Day. I didn't realize that I had ran out of icing bags until I was ready to ice the cupcakes. For the main icing I used a Playtex bottle liner with a hole cut in the middle (not the greatest because as soon as you use pressure to squeeze the icing a good amount of icing also comes out of the top of the liner - but it did the job!) and then I wanted to use red icing to write on them and draw hearts. I went through Bronson's medical supplies and came up with a 10cc syringe! My writing looked like a 10 year olds but, once again it did the job! LOL

We went over to my parents for dinner on Thursday Night. On the left is my sister, Sarah Beth, and Bronson, and on the right is my Dad and Kallie. My parents had just got back from Florida and gave Kallie and Bronson a few presents they brought back from Disney. Kallie got a cute Minnie Mouse doll (she's obsessed with Minnie!) as well as a Minnie Mouse purse. They got Bronson the CUTEST Buzz Light Year Pajamas... look at the next picture!

Here are his Buzz Light Year pj's! Aren't they adorable!! (Excuse the very tired looking Mama!)
The next morning when Bronson and I went to get Kallie up the first thing she said was, "Hi Buzz". LOL She makes me laugh!

On Friday I let Bronson have a pj day because I liked them so much! 
He's getting into everything these days. He loves pulling himself up on the patio door and looking outside.   I've also figured out a way to block off all of the wires, stairs and bathroom on our back level and Bronson just crawls back and forth down the hallway and has a great time exploring.

Look what I found growing in my front garden! The first time I saw them was actually 2 weeks ago (the same day I posted pics of our snowman we made.. remember?). I just forgot to take a picture of them, until this morning that is!

I hope your week was as good as mine! :)
life rearranged

Friday, February 17, 2012

Childhood Cancer: Words of Hope Campaign

As you all know, my son , Bronson, was born with Stage 4 cancer and in the first two weeks of his life he underwent chemotherapy and radiation. After beating cancer, and a liver transplant he is now cancer free and a very healthy and active 9 month old baby.

Bronson after losing most of his hair after chemotherapy.
After our experience with him, I think that promoting Childhood Cancer, as well as Organ Donation, is very important! Last night I came across an awesome campaign and I had to share it with you! 

I originally came across it through an article I saw HERE and found out that Childhood Cancer Canada (even if you don't live in Canada please keep reading!) has launched a campaign called:

By going to their website you can submit your own Words of Hope for anyone who has, is, or will go through Childhood Cancer. All of the submitted words of hope will be compiled into a unique piece of art designed by Michael Martchenko who is an illustrator for children's author Robert Munsch (I love his books!) and will be unveiled at a launch in May. 

I added my own words of hope which were, "Love is stronger than Cancer". 

In a perfect world there shouldn't have to be such a campaign for children but, we don't live in a perfect world. So, please contribute your Words of Hope by going HERE and help brighten a families day with your Words of Hope.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Importance of becoming an Organ Donor

Today on The Ellen DeGeneres Show there was a segment about organ donation. There was a young lady that Ellen was talking with through skype who was only 20 years old and waiting for a double lung transplant. It reminded me of our wait for a liver for Bronson.

The day we found out that Bronson needed a liver transplant (read that post here) now feels surreal. Is anyone really ready to hear that their 8 week old son is in liver failure? Without my sister, Sarah Beth, being a live liver donor (liver and kidney transplants are the only organ donations where they can use a live donor) Bronson might not have made it. Bronson was only 8 weeks only when his name was placed on the waiting list for a liver. By the time he received the liver transplant we were told by the surgeon that his liver might not have lasted much longer.

Obviously, organ donation is very important to me. There's nothing bigger than being able to give someone a second chance at life. By becoming an organ donor you can save up to 8 lives, and enhance the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation.

I really hope that everyone who reads this will put some serious thought into becoming an organ donor. On the side bar on the right side of my blog there's a link with more information about organ donation (as well as childhood cancer - check it out!) and statistics.

Organ donation is important so please consider becoming a donor!

For more information, or to become an organ donor:
In Ontario, Canada go HERE
Anywhere else in Canada go HERE 
In the United States go HERE

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

House Reno's - Kallie's Room and Closet

Before Bronson was born we renovated our (ugly) spare bedroom and made it into Kallie's room. I mentioned last week that I would share Kallie's room with you, so here it is! :)

A little before and after. Quite the difference!
This is what the room looked like when we bought our house. It needed a huge make over!
Sorry these pictures are so small...it wouldn't let me make them any bigger.

My husband, Jon, works alongside with his brother, Mike, designing and installing custom closets, office spaces, wall units, and pantries for their company called Dream Space (check out their website for more pictures of what they do!). So, since my hubby is skilled like that, he did Kallie's closet. 
Kallie's closet was done in antique white. We can move the shelves and hanging heights if needed but, for right now she only needs shorter hanging spaces. 
Closet - Dream Space
Closet Curtains - Bouclair Home
Wicker Baskets - Home Outfitters and Winners

Kallie's Auntie Kare and Uncle Mike brought her to a local art studio and made this with her for her 1st birthday last year. 
I love it! :)

Jon also did a chocolate pear built in wall unit in Kallie's room. 
The shelves are great for storing toys and books. The heights can also be adjusted, or more shelves can be added in. 
The rest of Kallie's room, plus two adorable kids! :)

Jon also did our closet.. but it needs a little more organization before I share it with you! One day I'll tackle that job! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crafty Tuesday - Coloured Ice Block Activity

 This winter has brought very mild weather and has given me a very muddy backyard. Obviously, I don't like sending kids outside to play in the mud so I've been trying to come up with activities to keep them busy on the deck (where there's no mud!). I first saw this idea on one of my favourite blogs, Meet the Dubiens, and thought that the kids would love playing with these.

I decided to give the kids a bit of variety and used a muffin tin and silicone flower muffin molds to make the ice. 

I filled each muffin tin with water and then individually added food colouring, mixed it with a small spoon, and let them freeze in the freezer. Easy.

Kallie loved it! She stacked the blocks, buried them in the snow, and then tried to eat them. It definitely was a huge hit! :)

What crafts or kids activities have you been working on? I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, February 13, 2012

To Do Today: Don't stress

I love to organize and plan. I love sitting down with my calendar and writing my to-do list, appointments, and any other lists I might come up with. I can't say that I always actually follow through with my plans (such as my plan to paint all of the trim in my house last week... I didn't even get as far as taking out the paint!) but, I try. I really do. With two kids under the age of two (until Feb. 25 anyways), and my daycare kids in the afternoon, things can be planned out all they want but, kids have a mind of their own. 

I'll admit (don't tell my husband that I'm admitting this) that I can be anal when it comes to cleaning the house. I have to continually remind myself that if something doesn't get done, or if someone leaves something out, I don't need to stress about it. 

I need to remember that sometimes stressing out isn't worth the effort.

I need to remember to tell myself to enjoy the time that I have with my kids while they're still little.

I need to remember that by taking the time to read a book with my daughter that it will make her smile. 

I need to remember that my kids won't remember if the house was a mess, they'll remember their mama playing dress up and having a tea party with them. 

So, today, I will make an effort to relax and not worry about how clean my house is.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bronson's Development Update

Bronson had a check up at Sick Kids in the Neonatal Follow up clinic this week and, prior to it, I thought that he was doing great. At the appointment I learned that there's actually a few concerns with his development. Nothing really serious (or that I'm aware of anyways) but, at his last appointment in September he was in the 25th percentile and now he's around the 20th percentile for development for his age. I know those are just numbers and I don't hold a lot of faith in numbers because, in reality, not all kids develop or hit milestones at the same age. I think that's true especially for Bronson because of all the health issues and set backs he had in the first 4 months of his life. 

For a couple of months I've noticed that Bronson's legs are very stiff but I didn't think that much about it. I knew it was a problem but I figured that he was just being stubborn and didn't want to bend his knees when I wanted him to because I know that he can bend them other times. The physiotherapist and occupational therapist noticed right away that the reflexes in both of his knees (his left knee is worse than the right one though) weren't reacting properly when hit with one of those mallet thingys (I have no idea what those things are actually called). They also noticed that when he's sitting on the floor he keeps his legs perfectly straight, almost like they're glued to the floor. If you've been around any babies you'll know that their knees are usually always bent - not straight. Also, by now he should be able to move from a laying down position to a sitting position, which he's not because of the stiffness in his legs.  

The PT and OT gave me some activities and exercises to do with him to help his legs loosen up. One thing they said was that putting him in the exersaucer or jolly jumper isn't the best. They really want him on the floor crawling around and bending his knees. Which makes perfect sense and I understand their reasoning for it but, in reality, if I want to get anything done or, when I'm doing activities with my daycare kids, such as crafts, he has to be in the exersaucer so he isn't getting into things. But, as I was just typing I thought of setting up a playpen on my main floor... it's worth a try!

The PT and OT were talking about getting us local physiotherapy services again (he was supposed to have physio when he came home from the hospital in august) but, because we live in a small area the local office is only open 3 days a week and the only 2 days that I could make work were the days they're closed. If I don't notice improvement I know that I can call and get a referral but, for now, I'm going to try what they suggested. 

The other thing they noticed at the appointment was that he tends to use his right hand a lot more than his left. Again, I have no idea what that could mean, but it's a problem. So, I have to make sure that when I give him toys to play with they're in his left hand. I don't think that this is a huge concern but, obviously it's important if they mentioned it to me. 

I think that's all they said about his development. I wish that I had asked what the long term problems could be if his reflexes don't get better but, I forgot. I wasn't expecting to hear bad things about his progress so I wasn't ready with questions. 

On a positive note, he's gained weight and is up 15.7 lbs and is 68cm long. Good job Bronson! :)

Bronson turned 9 months old on February 9 and I haven't had a chance to take pictures or do a 9 month update yet, mostly because I keep forgetting to charge my camera battery! It's charging right now though, so I'll post that update one day this week. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

InstaFriday - Feb. 10/12

Yesterday Bronson had an appointment at Sick Kids (check back Saturday for that update) and  I decided to be brave and bring Kallie along with us. Yes, that's right, me and two kids under the age of two (for 2 more weeks anyways) on the Go Train. Talk about being adventurous! 
It was Kallie's first time on a train and she loved it! She smiled and smiled. I loved watching her get so excited! 

On appointment days I always walk back and forth between Union Station and Sick Kids. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous and I had to stop and take a picture. 

Every time I pull out my iphone or camera to take a picture Kallie yells, "CHEESE". 
These pictures are two of my favourites. Her facial expressions are priceless. 

Last weekend my sister was watching Bronson and she said that at one point he woke up screaming. She found him with his soother in his mouth and his thumb stuck in the hole in the middle (we use these soothers if you don't know what I mean by the hole in the middle). I'd never seen him stick his thumb into the soother before.. until yesterday! I guess it's the best of both worlds: sucking his thumb and soother simultaneously. 

I HATE Barney. 
Barney isn't allowed in my house or on our tv but, at Bronson's appointment someone gave Kallie a Barney and she's fallen in love. Ugh. 
He sings. He dances. He's annoying. But, she loves him. 
But, I have to say that it is cute watching her do the hokey pokey alongside him. 

As always, I've linked up with Jeannett today.

P.S - I've been thinking about my blog and I've decided that I'm going to change my Blog name in order to match my domain name. Then everything matches and it's easier to remember. 
So, at some point over the weekend my blog name will be changing from 'The Anthony's' to 'The Anthony Crew'. My domain name will be the same and you'll still be able to find me at www.TheAnthonyCrew.com. 
It's not a big change but I want to keep you in the loop. :)

life rearranged
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