Thursday, May 20, 2010


Disclaimer: Please read no further if you would rather not hear about breast feeding. :)


It has been a troublesome week for me and Heidi. She is still the adorable, fun-loving, chilled lil' booger we all know and love, but the poor thing welcomed four teeth at once and had a whole day (that's a lot for her) of crankiness and fatigue because of it. All four across the top. Ouch. That's gotta sting.

And that "ouch" is not only for her...but for me. She has been nursing only in the mornings, as her attempts at nursing in public and during the day have been a little...dramatic. She flails all over the place and our "hooter hider" is just a challenge to her. She has better things to do and look at than my armpit, it seems. (Don't we all?)

So she was nursing once in the morning, then drinking formula the rest of the day, in addition to her solids. But in the quiet of the morning, we would snuggle and she would suckle mama milk - my only link to the newness and preciousness of those early newborn days.

But with teeth comes biting. And with biting comes yelping/screaming. In Heidi's ear. Which is pretty traumatizing, I would imagine. It has happened more than a few times in the past few weeks, but more frequently lately. And the other morning, before even getting out of bed, I actually, solemnly prayed to God and "told" Him that if and when Heidi bites me again, that would be it for breast feeding.

I guess God got up early that day to take prayer requests because the first thing Heidi did when we sat down on the couch was latch on, look me in the eye, and CHOMP!

This normally hurts with one row of teeth (the bottom). But now that she has the top row to use as a little vice, the pain was EXCRUCIATING. I mean, so painful that I screamed, "Aaagghhh! No biting!!!!" in her ear, then lost it in a fit of tears. And the tears came not only from being used as a human chew toy (no blood, thankfully), but also because of the look on her face when I yelled at her (so hurt), and the knowledge that our last nursing experience together came to such a screeching, and unpleasant, halt.

I know she's at the age where some babies do wean themselves, but it really is a grieving process to endure. My little girl is getting so big. She's definitely not an infant anymore. She's becoming a toddler. Time is now closer to her first birthday than it is to her actual BIRTH day, which makes me shake my head and wonder where the past 8 months have gone.

It has been a wild, eye-opening, life-changing ride. I have never known such elation and LOVE as I know in my daughter. But even through all the pain, lack of sleep, confusion, frustration and uncertainty that babies bring to our lives, now I get it. I understand why women still can't get enough of these darlings and have baby after baby. They are addictive little creatures and the baby stage really doesn't last long enough.

NO, I'M NOT PREGNANT. (Just clearing that up.) But for someone who wanted to wait for specific times to procreate (type A, much?), I have to admit, I'm much more open to welcoming #2 into our family if and when the good Lord deems appropriate.

Heidi has done well with the formula/solids diet and doesn't seem to miss nursing at all. It took me a couple of days to get over it, but she is healthy and happy - what more could a mother ask for?

:: dirty lil' secret::

I have a confession. I hate cleaning.

Well, that's not the confession - that's a well-known fact. I despise it. But I despise dirt and dust more. So I HAVE to clean. But I do love shortcuts. And this is my newest one:

I rarely vacuum my stairs.

There's not much carpet in our house but the stuff in the foyer and up the stairs is indoor/outdoor icky blue. It hides dirt well but not THAT well. And it's almost ALWAYS in need of a vacuum. But the stairs? No one spends time on the stairs - they are purely functional. The only one of us who sits on them is Dora...and she's the one who makes them dirty.

So I don't bother most of the time. And I'm certain she doesn't mind.

Got any cleaning shortcuts or confessions of your own?

Monday, May 17, 2010

::Photo collages::

I just discovered Smilebox. This could become a problem...

Click to play this Smilebox collage: May 2010
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Make a free digital collage

Sunday, May 16, 2010


meghanbaxter is back on Twitter

meghanbaxter is up too late on her mac and getting ideas

meghanbaxter thinks, "Maybe I should buy my own domain..."

meghanbaxter is not sure what she will sell or provide on said domain

meghanbaxter thinks it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it

meghanbaxter doesn't want to be stuck with as a domain name, and so will jump on the web wagon now

meghanbaxter is probably kidding herself and will never really have a fun home-based business because it would be too good to be true

meghanbaxter needs to get used to 140-character status updates again

Saturday, May 15, 2010


EDIT: I am entering this post as part of a blog hop. I hope I've done this right!

Delicious Ambiguity: Yummy Mummy Blog Hop

This post by VDOprincess has made me think. It should make you think, too.

I was always a stringbean in my teens and early 20s. I didn't know it at the time, but looking back, I was thin as a rail, tall and lanky. Lots of angles. No boobs. (Oh, how I longed for boobs!)

Once I hit college, though, I noticed my body changing, settling, like an aging house. I've always struggled with my body image, just like every woman who is not Claudia Schiffer or Cindy Crawford (actually, I bet they struggle a lot!). I may have been thin my whole life, but I've never felt exceptionally feminine. Even though I finally got some boobs, my waist stayed too straight, my growth spurts left icky stretch marks on my butt and thighs, my pregnancy left my tummy with dough-like consistency, I have a huge (and sometimes painful) spider vein on my thigh that prevents me from wearing shorts or dresses above my knee, and I'm so pale that I'm virtually transparent. And these are the things I see when I look in the mirror.

But now in my late 20s, having gained that extra 15 lbs post-wedding, and still "working on" (which actually means "ignoring but secretly worrying about") the last 10 baby pounds from my six-month-old, I am realizing that NOBODY CARES. Because they are too busy obssessing over their own body issues.

Like VDOprincess (whose real name is Laura Dye), we only see the negative about ourselves...when all everyone else sees is the image we portray. While I'm busy coveting someone else's womanly curves, dynamite eyelashes, perfectly tanned skin, luxuriously thick hair, or full, symmetrical lips, they are likely pining for my small ankles, high cheekbones, long legs, or toned arms. Because those are the attributes I play up to take focus off the aforementioned attributes that I despise. And those other women play up their gorgeous hair, eyelashes, curves and lips to hide theirs.

So why do we sit around moping about the things we don't have? Or the things we wish we didn't have?

Truth be told, I have never had the dedication, or patience, to count calories, time my runs, or maximize my strength training by implementing chair exercises at work. I take the stairs when I can, sure. I park far away from the mall doors, yes. I eat sprouted grain bread instead of the white stuff, and prefer spinach (or at least romaine) to iceberg lettuce. I try to use whole wheat flour in my baking, and substitute honey for sugar and applesauce for oil. I buy free-run, organic eggs instead of cheap, mass-produced ones.

But I love me some chocolate. And wine. And CHEESE! And my new obsession with coffee includes International Delight - yes,a guilty pleasure. And my rationale is that because I eat such healthy meals, I am more than entitiled to satisfy my sweet tooth. Every day.

The trick, I'll admit, when I am conscious of how much sweet/fatty stuff I put in my mouth, is that I try my best to make it count. I'd rather have a few squares of good quality dark chocolate than a Twix candy bar, and I'd much rather eat five homemade cookies than a donut at Timmy's.

This mentality usually trumps my self-consciousness. The temporary pleasure derived from enjoying food and drink, I'd say, is worth it. But I set myself up with a double standard, constantly living with guilt for this "lifestyle," a choice I make and live with. But guilt is a lie. And women almost ALWAYS believe it.

Don't get me wrong. Being unhealthy as a rule is definitely guilt-worthy. You should want to be your healthiest for the benefit of your spouse, children and employers. (And also out of consideration for taxpayers!) Having to take a break after climbing the stairs is a wake-up call. But living a life of obsession over small pleasures makes no sense to me.

So this is my conclusion:

Make healthy choices about 90% of the time.

Exercise when you can, and don't beat yourself up when you can't (although that would be good exercise in itself).

Use your baby carrier more often than your stroller. Babies get heavier with age!

Walk the dog regularly (or your neighbour's if you don't have one).

Stop fooling yourself by buying "low fat" or "sugar free" products and ask yourself if you need those products at all: low fat Cheeze Whiz (slice some real cheese), "heart healthy" margarine (use butter! It's a real food, not man made), low fat Cool Whip (use plain yogurt, with a drop of vanilla extract, instead), flavoured water (really? Is water that unappetizing?), diet soda (just, no).

Decide what's worth splurging on, and keep it around so you don't resort to a Mars bar (like Purdy's!)

Carry fruit, or fruit cups, and nuts in your vehicle so you're not tempted to stop at Wendy's for lunch (at the very least, hit up Subway so you can tailor your sandwich). Note to self: buy fruit cups and nuts

Vaccuum (ha!)

And relax when you can. I know many moms will laugh at this one, but even if it's for 10 extra minutes on the toilet, reading the novel you've wanted to finish, or the weekend it. You'll be a better mom and wife for it!


What small efforts do you make to stay active and make healthy choices?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

::Mama's Day gift::

Heidi bought me this one-of-a-kind, handmade bracelet from Village Boutique on for Mother's Day.

This lady really makes her jewelry from vintage silverware. She also makes pendants and keychains - so unique. Mine is an unknown pattern from the 1920s. But the best part is the charm:

I wonder who owned these spoons? Some wealthy socialites? Politicians? Royalty? Who knows? But I am wearing history on my wrist. And I am creating a new history for this lovely piece.

Thank you, Heidi. Mommy loves you!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

::Baby quilt::

The title of this post is appropriate in more ways than one: not only did I decide to start with this simple, "baby quilt," but I feel like the pattern is for "baby" quilters. Like me.

Except, its not for a baby.

I took Heidi to Farbicland the other day to get some ideas for her quilt, wondering what kind of "nice" fabrics a store in Brandon could possibly carry. :oS I was pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of Michael Miller fabrics - cool ones, too! I can understand how women spend tons of money on fabrics and just keep them lying around. I was tempted to get a yard of each of about 30 fabrics! I didn't see any Amy Butler, per se, but many collections were close in style and palette, that's for sure. I was especially drawn to the yellow, grey and black group, as well as a blue, green and brown group, that would make a fantastic quilt. But I need to first find "the" pattern for my Heidi, which will determine the size of print I choose.

Until then, I wanted to whet my quilting appetite by starting simple. I came across a collection of fabrics that gave me an idea to make a quilt for someone who may or may not read this I can't (yet) describe it or give details about my motivation for making it. But I will tell you that I am making the "baby quilt" but calling it a "lap quilt." (She'll never know! Until she reads this...) So I scooped up the main fabric, chose two others to match, and had the lady at Fabricland give me a metre of each (plenty of  material to screw up with for this first-timer).

Here's a photo of the matching fabrics I chose (not including the main one, which includes pink). This is part of the pattern for the back face of the quilt. It is a large print, actually. That middle square is 18" squared.

So I swung over to Wal-Mart to pick up the tools I needed - rotary cutter, mat, pins, scissors, etc. - and once Heidi went to bed, started cutting. It was much easier than I anticipated, actually. Those rotary blades are SHARP. Eight layers of fabric? No problem! It took me about 45 minutes to cut all 64 - 4.5" squares and lay them out on the floor. I watched the instructional DVD on my sewing machine and now know how to thread bobbins and work the machine - it really does come back like riding a bike.

And I can proudly say I have finished the entire front face of the quilt! I must include that my measurements were not always spot on (and my hastiness probably didn't help the situation, either), so it is a little, well, "homemade" looking. But what can I expect for my first go?

Once the quilt is finished and delivered (hopefully in the next couple of weeks), I can post the progression. Until then, it will be kept secret (shhh!) so as not to spoil the surprise.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Ok relax, peeps. This isn't going to become a quilting blog. I am just a little lost and need some help. Well, a LOT of help.

I am now considering patterns for Heidi's aforementioned quilt. Most of the patterns I find are piece-y and muddy - a bit too spastic for this a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place gal. Because I want to showcase some chic and stylie fabrics, I need a pattern featuring large blocks of fabric.

So I have gone back to again (I tell ya, this site will rob me blind!). Here are some choices I have come across - oddly, all from the same designer. I can't seem to find any others I like.

The Rumba

The Amish Sampler

Times Square

The Manhattan


I'm leaning toward the Manhattan but I also think the Exclamation is pretty cool. Thoughts?

There's also this baby quilt pattern that's very DIY - maybe I could start with this and double or triple the size for the queen-sized one I want to make for Heidi. I do worry about it being "stipled." Isn't there an easy way to accomplish this myself? We don't have any quilt shops in Brandon. There are quite a few quilting bees, I'm told, though. Or maybe a local seamstress could give me a tutorial?

Have YOU got any leads for me?

PS - I also plan to make about a billion aprons. Like this adorable reversible and totally girly one, and this chic one. Oh yeah - and this fantastic one, too!

Yes, I will take orders. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


So I got a new sewing machine for Mother's Day - yip! This is because I decided I wanted to make Heidi a queen-sized quilt - by hand. When I started looking into it and realized this would take more than a year (and that's with a little time devoted to it EACH DAY!), I thought maybe I should find myself a machine. But good quality used sewing machines are hard to come by around here - I guess most people keep them around, "just in case." So Wayne promised to buy me a starter machine for Mother's Day.

Thank you, Wal-Mart! (And Wayne!)

I am now the proud owner of a Singer Prelude - it's nothing fancy, just your basic machine, but I found it fitting that I would receive it for this occasion because I REALLY feel like a mom now. What mom doesn't have a sewing machine? Not only do I plan to make a quilt (or a few quilts), but I'll be fixing a lot of Wayne's stuff for work, making him "kit-helpers" (boot bags, safety arm band for the field, etc.), aprons and baby clothes. And a few cute skirts and dresses for myself! They'll be custom made and in the fabric I want. Can't go wrong with that.

Now to choose the fabric for Heidi's quilt. I really want this piece to be something she will take with her when she moves out and keeps for the rest of her life, so it can't be baby-ish. But it definitely needs to be feminine and chic. Here's a collage of the swatches I have listed as favourites on I'd love your input!