Is it Christmas yet?

Christmas Minis with Bob the Boler this weekend meant I could sneak in my own family shots and I am SO excited for Christmas now!

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a busy month

we’ve been BUSY!

chris is back to work in just a couple of weeks and we are making the most of the end of his parental leave.

we have been so fortunate to be off and taking care of Maeve together for the past 5 and half months.  there have been ups and downs.  couples aren’t supposed to spend that much time together sometimes haha but at the end of the day it has been wonderful.  we have been able to live like we’re retired and do whatever we feel like at the drop of a hat and wow, how freeing that has been!

we’re almost finished the second bathroom.  chris tiled and grouted over the past few days.  i painted today and he is working on the flooring as i am typing.  update photos to come 🙂

we did fall camping for the first time in Algonquin Park last week.  we had a micro furnace in the boler and it was amazing.  i was too hot at times!  the temperature and weather was perfect for hiking. the day we left the park the sun came out and we got some awesome photos of the fall colours.

Maeve just broke her second tooth two days ago.  teething is kind of crazy in that she can only make it through the night by suckling on me.  those nights are looooong.  thank goodness it only took 3 nights this time.

We went to the apple orchard and took some photos.  fuck this kid is cute.

i won an ipad mini! our town had a photo scavenger hunt contest this summer. i downloaded the app in june and the contest ended on the monday of the labour day weekend.  i did all of my photos, 30 of them, on the last day haha my name was put in a draw with the other people that participated and lucky me, my name was drawn.  i got a gold ipad mini 4 16 GB.  so so sweet.

i am currently surrounded by piles and piles of 6-12 month clothing.  my SIL has given all of the clothes she had saved from her 3 girls.  as we reached each new age bracket a bucket gets handed over.  it’s absolutely amazing. being the last to have a baby has actually paid off LOL

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our potato

i’m behind quite a bit now with posts and updates.

i can easily see now how it can happen.

maeve is up a lot more in the day and is currently in “cat nap” mode so not too much gets done around here haha.  her favourite thing currently is to always be held.  gone are the days of laying peacefully on the play mat or holding her in cradle position.  she wants to see it all and she wants to see it NOW!  she found her legs a few weeks ago and always wants to be “standing”.  when being held it’s sitting up, facing outwards or else!  she is “talking” up a storm and loves to smile at us.  she is generally a happy baby (if she’s getting what she wants and doesn’t have gas).  life is getting pretty fun with her now that she is interacting and communicating with us.  one of my favourite times of the day is my bath time.  she still loves the water.  she no longer needs the sling in her tub and now happily reclines in the basin and kicks and splashes away.  she’s smiling and babbling the whole time.  i like taking the tub out to the deck under the umbrella and she can splash away and make all the wet mess she’d like.

this phase is posing a challenge for me as she literally is only happy sitting up in my arms.  well, that’s a little dramatic. i do get some time where she’s happy to lay down on her play mat or in her crib but it’s not as long as it used to be.  only a few minutes here and there before she starts yelling to be picked up.  ya, she can yell now. my arms are getting stronger!  my back is getting more sore 😉  i tried putting her in the baby einstein exersaucer but she’s still so small.  i have to wedge blankets all around her and even though she’s “standing” she’s not too happy about it.  she’s almost 3 months and almost 13 pounds so she’s just in the awkward in between stage.  we’ll get through it.  i’m sure in a few weeks when we’re on to the next phase i’ll be missing this one!

i am still having way too much fun photographing her.  my husband has actually gotten on board with it too and thinks up ideas of how to “style” her.  it’s our thing hahaha.  we are currently taking part in a community photo scavenger hunt.  we have to take photos around our community and submit them for points. this is part of our town’s goal to improve our public living spaces. of course maeve will be a part of this adventure. we already have a bunch of plans for her photo shoots hahaha.

i am feeling okay.  i have feeling very happy. no signs of baby blues or postpartum depression.  i am very happy about this as my past put me at high risk for this.  i am still at 140 lbs.  this is no surprise as i have not tried to work out or lose my baby weight in the slightest.  i talked about it previously, wanting to get the post surgery go ahead from my OB so i could get back to working out.  ya, that’s not happening haha.  yes, i am a little self conscious about my added weight but now the problem is that i am literally too sore to work out.  i feel as though i have arthritis.  my knees are KILLING me.  i can barely bend down and if i get on the floor i have to get on all fours before i can get up.  it’s insane!  my feet, ankles and shins are so sore ALL THE TIME. i have read a few threads about women having this same postpartum issue.  they all said their doctor’s tested them for rheumatoid arthritis and all the tests for it can back negative.  they said their doc’s told them “it’s just a postpartum thing” and it would be cleared up in up to 18 months.  18 MONTHS ?!  you’ve got to be effing kidding me. i do think i need to see a chiropodist.  i have had sore feet for years.  even before i was pregnant.  i spent 3 years at work on concrete floors in steal toed boots and my feet have always been sore, like since i was a little kid.

this could be a whole post on it’s own but i’ll just briefly touch on it here.  PUPPP.  my worst nightmare.  i had it for several weeks at the end my pregnancy.  it started to go away at 3 weeks postpartum.  it came back, in a nightmareishly worse form at about 7 weeks and now at 11 weeks it seems to be almost gone.  the shingles-like red, raised rash part is gone.  i got through that hell with tea tree oil based gels (active naturals and after bite gel).  i also took a homeopathic antihistamine. i am still very scaly and bumpy in places and am smoothing that out with galaxal base cream.  i am a little concerned as i have been very, very itchy the past few days….no sign of a fresh rash starting up again though so that’s good.  the skin where the rash was it not back to normal.  it’s very smooth and shiny.  almost like a burn that is healing.  it’s hard to describe.  also, when i scratch it now it burns afterwards for quite awhile.

well the little potato is waking up now i’ll just leave you with some recent photos 🙂

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up at nana’s house

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oma’s birthday

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play mat and tummy time – awesome garage sale find $7!! (normally $65)

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camping at Pinery – Grand Bend, ON

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baby stimulation.  maeve loves looking at her shapes!

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more camping at Pinery.  first family camping trip – great success! xoxox

a day early

well actually it’s about 5-8 days late but I’m a glass half full kinda gal (these days) so celebrate the good right? !

we’re leaving for camping up at oastler this morning so having aunt flo come with us isn’t ideal but hey,  it’s one day closer 🙂 

I’ll call in my day 1 before we leave and take my estrace pills with me just in case. all i remember at this stage from my last FET is that i get to take this medication orally until my period is finished  yyyaaayyy!

back on the grid.. for at least a couple of weeks

we’ve been so busy camping and getting ready to camp when we’re home that i’ve fallen super behind in posting. it’s not like anything exciting has been happening though.

we’re still not doing anything in regards to TTC. i am pretty sure i JUST OVULATED this weekend… UGH. that means that it happened on like day 27!?!?! i knew this would end up being a long cycle. always when i want my period more than anything the world that’s when it ends up being one of my longer cycles.

bon echo was great and challenging and a post about that trip iscoming soon 🙂

we were supposed to have this weekend off but my girlfriend, who is a police officer, didn’t get approved for the 12/13th weekend so we ended up going up north to her cabin this weekend. it’s a little cabin in the middle of nowhere. very quaint. very primitive. we had a great time.

my friend’s mother lives on bernard lake. just a little fun fact for you – lake bernard is the largest lake in the WORLD without an island 🙂 we chilled out on the beach. got to go to the washroom and sit on a nice toilet seat hahaha and had electricity and running water for cooking woo hoo!

we headed back to the cabin for dinner and after dinner we ate magic mushrooms. i know – GASP!!! there were nine of us and i think the last time any of had done them was like 10 years ago at one of their old cottage parties. i had kind of forgotten what they were like. i did remember that i get a tummy ache when they are kicking in and i stay pretty queasy the whole time while on them. we ate just a little bit and played cards against humanity. best game ever for shrooms. we laughed until we cried, couldn’t breathe and wanted to throw up. talk about a great time! bahahaha

i am sure a lot of you are thinking – you’re trying to become a mother and you’re doing drugs?! and the answer to that is yes, yes i am.  i also drank booze and smoked cigarettes. have done a lot for my health and my body while TTC. i’ve put so many aspects of my life on hold.  i’m not currently stimming for IVF, i’m not doing a FET and i’m not pregnant. i have 4 wonderful embryos frozen so i’m going to live my life while i’m in TTC limbo and i don’t feel badly about any of it.

the only bummer from the weekend was that chris and i were a little off balance.  he was being grumpy and that made me grumpy.  oh well, you can’t win them all!  i bruised up my leg pretty good.  the deck at the cabin was a mish-mash of boards with lots of holes where you could fall through.  we set up the chairs and made a “no moving the chairs” rule.  obviously not everyone was following that rule because i went to sit outside and my chair totally gave way and i almost fell right through the deck!  then we were playing a frisbee game where you throw a frisbee and try to knock a beer bottle off a platform but instead of a frisbee we were using a small, hard plastic garbage can lid.  of course with my eye on the beer bottle i didn’t notice the lid going right for my leg and of course it hit the exact same spot as my bruise! FML bahahaha

on the way home on sunday we stopped in to see my brother the girls at my parent’s house. good gracious those little girls are the effing sweetest little things. emily is walking. she’s got the speed wobbles still but she’s so good at balancing herself.  it’s pretty hilarious watching her. norah is just the biggest ham. she’s sweet and funny and dramatic. that kid could be an actress someday and we’d all be able to say we called it from the age of 2!

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BON ECHO PROVINCIAL PARK

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we’re headed to Bon Echo Provincial Park this weekend for a 4 day camping trip.

we’ve planned a few camping trips this summer since it’s the first time in a few years that i don’t work on weekends  -YIPEE!

bon echo is a 4 hour drive from our place  – a little bit southwest of bancroft ontario.  the park is known for the 1.5 km long sheer rock face that rises 100 metres above Mazinaw Lake and features over 260 Aboriginal pictographs – one of the largest visible collections in Canada.

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there a number of hiking trails –

Abes and Essens Lake Trail – 3 interconnecting looped trails:  Clutes 3.5 km (1.5 hours); Essens Lake 9.6 km (4 hours) and Abes 17 km (7 hours) moderate to difficult.
Some sections offer panoramic views that are particularly spectacular in fall.  Hike for a day or camp at one of the five campsites along the trail (campsite reservations required).

Bon Echo Creek Trail: 1 km (40 minutes), linear, easy
Take a leisurely walk along the Bon Echo Creek.

Cliff Top Trail – 1.5 km (1 hour), linear, moderate to difficult
This trail is only accessible by water. A ferry service (fees apply), will take you to the start of the trail. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available. Stairs and a pathway take hikers to the top of Mazinaw Rock to three observation decks overlooking the lake.

High Pines Trail – 1.7 km (1 hour), loop, moderate
Hikers pass a variety of forest and wetland communities including tall pines, groves of hemlock and quiet forest ponds.

Shield Trail – 4.8 km (2 hours), loop, moderate 
Follow a section of the old Addington Road as it penetrates the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield where you will see hardwood forests, cedar lowlands and a beaver swamp.

Pet Exercise Trail – 1.4 km (1 hour), loop, easy
Let your furry friend off-leash on this designated pet exercise trail.

canoe routes –

Kishkebus Canoe Route – 21 km (6 hours), loop, moderate to difficult
This day paddle takes you past Aboriginal pictographs to the still waters of the nature reserve on the east side of the park.  Please note: there is a 1.5 km portage.

Joeperry and Pearson Lakes
Spend a relaxing day paddling in motorboat free lakes or reserve one of the 25 backcountry campsites. There is a 500m portage from the parking lot to the launch. Joeperry Lake also features a natural sandy beach.

Mazinaw Lake
Launch your canoe or rent one at the lagoon and you can paddle on Mazinaw Lake. Head over to Mazinaw Rock to view one of Canada’s largest visible collections of Aboriginal pictographs.

Mississippi River Canoe Route – 104 km (5 days), 17 portages, moderate
For more information on this route, contact the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

 

this is the first time our campsite will be on an island so we’ve had to pack light!  we’ve done a great job to pack tightly and efficiently. gear is gear and there are some things you just can’t get around – tent, sleeping bags, clothes.  food though, food is a big one.

thanks to pinterest i found good lists of foods to pack for camping light.  “instants” like potatoes and oatmeal.  “shake and pour” pancakes.

one trick i liked was “omelette in a bag”.  you add all your toppings and eggs to a steamable ziplock bag and boil in water for the campfire. great idea!

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campfire quesadillas.  make ahead and grill in foil.  perfect!

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just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you must eat junk.  yes it’s easy to pack and eat junk but it’s just as easy to eat healthy and well!

our camping menu is as follows –

Dinner Saturday  – Instant potatoes, steak, HP sauce, green beans (pre-steamed)

 

Sunday breakfast – omelette in a bag, pastries, instant coffee

 

Sunday lunch – grilled cheese and fruit

 

Sunday dinner – chicken quesadilla, sour cream, salsa

 

Monday breakfast – fruit, pancakes, instant coffee

 

Monday lunch – corn on the cob and mac and cheese

 

Monday dinner – roasted garlic and baguette, lipton noodle packs

Tuesday breakfast – oatmeal, fruit, instant coffee

Tuesday lunch – eat on the road

Snacks – trail mix, brie and jam, marshmallows, oatmeal cookies, rice cakes

 

as you can see, it’s pretty easy to eat well even when you have pack light and fresh.  we have two meals with meat (we will be bringing a small cold soft cooler).  every meal has fresh fruit or veggies.  we are taking bananas, apples, oranges and cherries as our fruit.  they all have a skin to protect them and clean and easy to eat.  i love to eat berries usually but they are soft, spoil fast and are staining if there is an “accident” in the food bag hahaha.  all the veggies can either be grilled or boiled.

BOX WINE AND FORTY CREEK

of course we can’t forget the beverages!!!!  tetra packs and plastic bottles are ideal for camping.

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wine choices are very limited, in 1L packs anyway, but i found a red and a white from Italy that i’m giving a try this weekend.

I also found some helpful compilations while i was searching for camping food ideas.  one is 22 essential diagrams for camping.  some very helpful information in this one.  the other is just fun tips and tricks for the campsite.

to all my Canadian friends – have a SAFE and FUN Canada Day long weekend!  to the rest of my friends have a safe and fun regular weekend hahaha

🙂

bass lake

bass lake

friday i had bleeding, so as instructed i made my way to the ER for yet another rhogam shot. my beta was 8800 and they assured me i should get the shot.

i thought it was the start of something happening… but nothing did…

saturday morning we decided to go camping. a peaceful place to let go. if we needed to, we were only half an hour away and, we could just go home.

now it’s monday and nothing has happened. not a spot. i didn’t take my prometrium all weekend… if everything has turned south it doesn’t matter but i just couldn’t help but feel strange about not using it.

tomorrow afternoon is an ultrasound at the hospital to confirm the blighted ovum.

i hope they just give me something to get this going.

i look at this picture and it’s the story of my life – “carry the burden and just keep smiling”.