Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stuff for sale

Today was day one of many "spring cleaning" days I'm sure I'll be randomly inspired to have in the coming weeks (I think they call it "nesting," in my case).

There are two things taking up space (well, five, technically) in what will be our nursery that I NEED to ditch! Both (or all) are in mint condition. Please leave a comment if you are interested.

1. IKEA Billy Bookcase in Beech Veneer - $40

Here's the link to the exact product at for all your measurements; click through the colours to view "beech (not "birch") veneer." I still have the allan key to dismantle this so you can get it out of our place and into yours.

2. Set of four distressed black solid oak dining chairs - $175 for the set.

Wayne bought these from a restauranteur when he was with Vitality. He happened to be setting up the bar system in this new restaurant and when the owner discovered he had over-ordered this furniture, Wayne bought them from him. Heavy and solid, barely used at home. Perfect to keep on hand for extra dinner guests or to furnish your basement suite/coach house.

First baby gift!

This week, I found a package in our mailbox from the wife of Wayne's good friend from basic training, Jade. She and I have become email buddies, chatting a lot especially during the first few weeks of our husbands' training. It sure helped knowing someone else was going through the same separation as me. She and Jason live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - hopefully we can drop by for a visit during our mini vacation in April/May. Jason, who is in the Air Force, is now training in Greenwood, NS, only an hour away from his beloved, with whom he is able to spend his weekends. So lucky...

Isn't this the most thoughtful gift???

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good news

Well, my midwife, a lovely Australian named Anne, has no problem with me having the UC Baby ultrasound so it's a go. I'm very excited and I'm sure Wayne will be SO appreciative of the opportunity. I also found out today that a week or two before I see Wayne will be the approximate time when we'll start to feel Beano's movement, another plus for the Wayner! So I hope s/he gets excited (or annoyed) enough with me during that week to give a swift kick for Wayne to feel, too. I'm so happy to be able to involve him this much, even from a distance - God's timing sure is perfect.

On that note, I thought I'd let you peeps know I'm doing an amazing program through my church right now called Freedom Session. As you can see from the link, it "was developed to help those struggling with chemical and sexual addictions in a way that typical counseling and even biblical teaching didn’t seem to help. Since then, we have used this material with people from every walk of life, every economic level and virtually, every possible area of woundedness (chemical and sexual addiction, sexual and physical abuse victims, codependency issues, divorce, spouses of the chemically or sexually addicted, abortion, anger issues, homosexuality, gambling, and just plain old brokenness)."

While explaining what it is can be challenging, explaining why I'm there is not. It really is for anyone and everyone. Let's not pretend we haven't all experienced some form of pain or hurt or made bad choices in our lives. We may move along in life thinking it's in the past or that we've dealt with the deep spiritual repercussions of these events/decisions, but the truth is the Enemy will use it against you. And we are not invincible people - "addiction" (or the abuse of your "drug of choice," which may be something as non-tangible as control, selfishness or your temper) is not usually something we want to fall into. Having a bad attitude about life or being a generally pessimistic person comes from something, somewhere in the timeline in your life, and this program is here to help you figure out where it came from and how to stop using that drug of choice. In the eight weeks I have attended FS, I have learned so much about myself and, although some of the crap you end up having to sort through is tough, the point is to invite Christ into your pain and let Him deal with it, His way. (And that's never a bad option.) So I'm headed there tonight for another dose of God's good Truth, to learn about hope and freedom from the chains the keep us bound to the burdens we insist on carrying, even when we may not know it.

Check it out for yourself! There are a few other churches in this area offering this program and I would encourage you to investigate how it could change your life, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

UC risks?

Because Wayne really won't be around to experience much of this pregnancy, I thought it'd be a cool idea to go get one of those 4D (real-time) DVD ultrasounds of the little kiddo and while I'm there, find out the gender, so I can take the DVD to New Brunswick with me when I visit and share it with the "Baby Daddy." I booked an appointment with a local company called UC Baby who does this, but now am second-guessing the risk factor. I've already had one extra ultrasound than normal (dating ultrasound) and don't want to put him/her under any unnecessary stress in utero. I plan to ask my naturopath and midwife about this later this week but wondered if any of you have done this or have friends who have done it? If so, how was the experience for them? Or do you know of solid research that proves this is a bad thing?

I really wanted to take something to Wayne to make him feel included, but risking Beano's health is not worth that.

Got any advice?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby bargain 1.0

I happened to be in the mall on Saturday and found these awesome jeans at Reitmans. They are called comfort fit – they look like normal jeans (even come in tall length!) with pockets and a “fly,” but they are actually slightly stretchy pull-ons! The girl there told me to go a size smaller than normal because they stretch out over time and I told her I’m pregnant – I want them to stretch out! They are so great because they are high-waisted (comparatively) so they really hug my belly and stay in place. As my belly grows, the waistband will expand, then once I’m too big for them, it’ll be too hot out for jeans anyway. In the fall, after I’ve given birth, I can throw them on and have jeans that fit even with my post-baby belly. All for $46!

If you are pre- or post-baby and don't necessarily want jeans with a huge panel on the waist...RUN! RUN TO REITMANS, I say!

Baby journey #1: underway

Yes, the truth is out: we are expecting Baby Baxter #1. Blogging about it feels a little redundant because it's all on Facebook, but at least I can now use this as an outlet to seek advice, share fun bargain finds, and document this crazy journey we're on.

For those of you who aren't aware, my husband Wayne is away in New Brunswick for most of the year training in the Armed Forces. After much deliberation, we decided it was best for me to stay here and not move out there at this point for a number of reasons. The main one was to make sure I have a full support system of family and friends here who can usher me through this life-changing experience of becoming a mother. I will visit him in April/May, then he may be home for a couple of weeks in July/August, then hopefully will make it home for the birth (no guarantees), and then again for Christmas. At this point, we will (hopefully) receive our official posting message and move to one of the five predetermined destination bases in Canada where Artillery Officers work. Yes, we'll be moving across the country (or at least half of it) with a 4-month-old in the dead of winter. FUN!!!

Some of you will inevitably think we (or more specifically, I) are crazy. Maybe we are. Maybe I am. But I also know that couples who have gone before us, your grandparents and mine, have endured much more difficult, heartbreaking family separations, some for years. Their relationships depended on letters that may never have reached their destinations, on information in the newspaper, and muffled radio reports heard through the filter of air raid sirens. A girlfriend called me "brave" and "strong" last night, for agreeing to follow Wayne as he pursues this dream and aims for excellence for this little family of ours. I consider myself blessed to have a man who would even want to put himself in this position for me and our child, who puts our well-being above his heart's cry to cuddle with me as we fall asleep every night. Short-term sacrifice for long-term gain has been our motto since this adventure began. I haven't thought twice about it since he left the first time on August 30 last year.

Wayne is so excited to be a dad and I know he will be one of the best. Those of you who know him know I am not just saying that because I am biased. He is the real deal - he has already taught me a lot about what's important in life, and what is not. He continues to lead me down a path of love, commitment and dedication to our family and our home. I am so grateful for him.

Let the journey begin!

xo M

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm just not that into this crap

So, I saw this movie yesterday afternoon. I went in having read a dependable review and knowing that I'd need to "check my morals at the door." That said, this movie really served no purpose. It glorifies the "what's-in-it-for-me" attitude toward relationships that so many people think of as normal these days and obliterates any sense of commitment that should come with the idea of a serious relationship. Granted, when Neil finally proposes to Beth, it's a "wonderful" moment of relief for the audience...and Beth. But this comes only after Beth tells him that after seven years of a relationship in which she has endured Neil's lack of "belief" in marriage, he has been more of a husband to her than any of her sisters' selfish, beer-drinking, sports-crazed husbands ever could be. (Because of course, once men become husbands, they all transform into sloppy cavemen, right...?) It takes her finally being okay with living in the realm of unknown commitment for him to want to make her happy by putting a ring on her bloody finger. There's something backward about that, don't you think? Why should a woman come down to a man's level of fear and confusion before he figures out he's got a good thing and should hold on to it? Shouldn't that be a red flag, that she would compromise herself that way? Isn't this what causes the infidelity and ultimate break-up of Ben and Janine? She gave him an ultimatum - get married or leave - which resulted in a relationship full of resentment and regret. Why are we watching one couple play this out, yet cheering for another couple who is starting their marriage the exact same way? Sound confusing? It was! Who thought this script was good?

Call me old fashioned, but a real man knows what he wants and gets it! (This is the only solid, true tidbit in the movie, as told to Gigi by Alex: "If a man wants to take you out, he will make it happen, no matter what.") And don't even get me started on Gigi. Adorable girl, I'll give her that. But it was like watching a 14-year-old girl drool over the most popular guy at school, except the guys in the plot kept changing. Yes, we were ALL like that in high school. But this girl has got to be at least 27? Why is she so afraid to be a whole person, alone? Sorry, but if you're that obsessed with finding "the one," you've got more than relationship issues to deal with; you've got mental issues.

So, if you want a few good laughs and won't be brought down by the pathetic lives of people who just can't "get it right" in their relationships (although, the definition of "right" is all over the place in this flick), sure, go see this movie. But it left me wondering why women torture themselves for the sake of sissy men, and where guys get off thinking that manhood and masculinity lies in treating women like idiots.

"Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God's grace, you're equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don't run aground."
-1 Peter 3:7, The Message

"Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don't take advantage of them."
-Colossians 3:18-19, The Message

"Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance — the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes —but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands."
-1 Peter 3:1-5, The Message

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"B" is for...

It is most definitely the week of surveys (FB) and lists (blogosphere). I have seen this list on other blogs, but when Shari finally put one up, I left a comment for an assignment. She gave me the letter 'B.'

If you want to participate, leave a comment on this post and I will assign you a letter. You then write about 10 things you love that begin with the assigned letter and post them on your blog. When people comment on your posted list, you give them a letter and the chain continues on and on...

Ten things I love that start with the letter 'B':

1. Baxter: 2nd Lieutenant Baxter, that is. Yes, my hubby, now known mostly by his surname, is number one on my list. He makes my world go 'round, my heart do flip flops, and my eyes sparkle. I'm so proud of him. He would go to the ends of the earth for our little family, and I still can't believe it.

2. Babies: I'm not so keen on kids, but babies I could squish all day! I get to meet Julie's new little one, Piper, on Valentine's Day and I'm going to give my arms a good stretch before I go so I can cuddle, cuddle, cuddle all afternoon!

3. Backyard barbecues: Nothing makes summer better than an impromptu gathering of friends over fine cuts of meat, fresh corn on the cob, pasta salads, and cold beer and wine. I just LOVE summer entertaining and meeting new people at BBQs. Feeling the grass between your toes, playing volleyball or badminton, not putting on a sweater until 10 pm, lighting citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay, and eating ice cream from 4L tubs makes for a memorable night.

4. Berries: My favourite fruit. Another reason to love summer.

5. Beer: Since I've been with Wayne, the world of beer has been opened up to me. I can now appreciate beers for their different flavours and intentions, even when they don't follow the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. My favourites at the moment are: Black & Tan (Harp, layered with Guinness on top), Russell Cream Ale, and Granville Island Winter Ale. I'm a dark beer drinker in the winter and a light beer drinker in the summer, much like wine.

6. Bargains: I call my style "bargain-fab" for a reason. I rarely ever pay full price for my clothes, and when I do, it's at a place like Superstore or Old Navy. My mother instilled this in me and I'm thankful, but it also tricks me into buying things I don't need sometimes, just because they are on sale (like the cream pumps I got for $20 in Quebec - still haven't worn them).

7. Boutiques: I may be bargain-fab, but I didn't say I don't have a taste for fine things. While I can never afford items in the small shops on Granville Street or Robson, I can dream, can't I?

8. Beaches: If there's ever a place I can go to sit in awe of God's creation, it's a beach. Any beach will do. Even a beach on a great lake would suffice, I think. I like beaches so much, I was baptized at Crescent Beach instead of a baptismal tank. I didn't feel like that would be real enough. I wanted to be dunked in God's water, not the city's. One of my fears of moving later this year is ending up in a hick prairie town without a beach for me to visit and meditate at.

9. Blooms: That's another way of saying flowers. I don't care how they're acquired, I like to have them in my house. Plants or arrangements - whatever! I'm getting much better at keeping houseplants alive so I'm pretty proud of myself. Once my birthday flowers die, I will make a point of buying myself a bouquet every week to have on my table.

10. Bedtime: Ah, yes. While I am a night owl, once I'm in bed, I can barely keep my eyes open. I love sleeping - I just hate getting there. Too much to do, too much left undone. But the sweet release of dreamless sleep is a blessing all on its own. Thank God for sleep.