Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mega-play date

This morning after my young charge E arrived, I got the laundry on the line, fixed D some breakfast and then the three of us headed to my friend Sarah's for a mega-playdate. It'll be too convoluted with just initials, so here's who was there:
-Sarah with her girls Eva (2) and Adelaide (almost 4 months)
-Ellen with her girls Kirsten (3 1/2) and Annika (almost 2)
-Victoria with her kids Carsten (2) and Brynn (about 6 months)
-Vanessa with Zoe (2 1/2) and baby #2 (due the day before Cashew!)
-Mary with Lucas (2 1/2)
-Bethany with Owen (2) and baby #2 (due in January)
-me with the two girls and Cashew

Altogether 7 grown-ups and 11 kids, with three others in utero! It was the best kind of chaos. The weather was gorgeous, so we were outside the whole time. Sarah has a bouncy castle which she inflated for the kids to play with, and it was a big hit! Every now and then, a couple of kids would bump heads or get stuck in a corner, and we'd go pull them out and have a cuddle.

Everyone had come with some kind of snack to share, like muffins, fruit, brownies, pita and hummus. Sarah brought out some juice boxes at the end for a special wind-down treat. By the time we got home for lunch, I barely had to get the girls anything; we just had corn on the cob, cheese and crackers, and mini muffins for dessert. I'm so thankful for my mommy friends; it was great to chat with other adults, to see our kids interact, and to hold babies. We'd been talking about getting together on a Wednesday (since we all usually go to the women's Bible study at church on Wednesdays) before the summer, and this is maybe the second time it actually worked out. Now I'm even more excited to get back into the swing of seeing these ladies and their littles every Wednesday!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

More wedding news!

I will likely be posting A LOT about my sister's wedding on here, since there's so much planning going on at the moment. For instance, today we went to look at wedding dresses, and she found her perfect gown, right on budget! No pictures for the moment, obviously. The shop was With Love, not too far from here, and not only do they allow you to take pictures, which was wonderful because we could show parents and grandparents almost right away, but they also have a consignment section with beautiful discounted designer gowns! And then afterwards, if you are so inclined, you can sell your dress on consignment with them and split the proceeds 50-50.

Before Sis arrived at my house to pick me up, I had a couple of errands to run, notably purchasing the yarn for the wedding blanket I'm making for her and the Fiancé. They had a look at colours online, picked one they liked, and gave me the go-ahead on a pattern they enjoyed. The colour they chose was a new one, so I figured Michael's would be most likely to carry it. In person, it was a little gawdy, but I picked it up anyway, along with a more subdued version. I can return the one I don't use, as long as it's within a certain time frame. Sis liked the subdued colour, so I cast on in the car on the way to her dress appointment. One of the great things about this yarn is that it's machine washable and dryable, and there's no dye lot, so I can buy one ball at a time using the 40% off coupons Michael's sends out every week in their flyer. I only need three, and I drive by there often enough that I can combine stopping in with other errands.

So now the cast-on's done, and the first few rows. Interestingly enough, I calculated how many rows there are (350) and then divided that by the number of rows I did today (4), and if I knit that many rows every day, I would finish... on their wedding day! Probably not feasible, seeing as I have a baby to knit for as well, not to mention my dad's Aran sweater to finish up, preferably before his birthday in October, plus D's monkey hat (currently stalled). But it was neat the way the math worked out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A lesson in bridesmaids' dresses

When I look back on my wedding, I only have one regret: that my bridesmaids' dresses were so expensive! I was among the first of my friends to get married, and I didn't really know that there were alternatives to the 200$+ dresses that you buy in the most ridiculous way possible. I mean, trying on a dress in the wrong size and colour, looking at a tiny scrap of fabric as a sample, getting measured and not even getting into the proper dress until it arrives, months later? My best friend got married the summer after me, and being a very easygoing bride, she just asked us to pick out a black dress that we liked. As it turned out, there were two lovely styles of black dresses at Winners, so three of us wore one style and three of us wore the other. I've re-worn it several times since then, and definitely got my 40 dollars' worth!

My sister is proving to be a savvy bride already, and she texted us bridesmaids today with a dress she found on Dynamite's website; she even put the dresses in our respective sizes on hold at locations convenient to us! I'm a bit of question mark, size-wise; I don't usually shop there, so I have no idea what size I'd be normally, never mind a month (or so) after giving birth. So we just got the biggest size (an 11), and we'll hope for the best. Not only is the dress beautiful (strapless, cobalt, fairly structured, which will be very helpful for me!) but it came to 50$ with tax. And it's got ample re-wear potential. I'm thinking of getting some kind of crazy girdlLinke device and getting the dress altered as close to the wedding as possible. I should also look into strapless nursing bras, if there is such a thing, or maybe just tucking in the straps of a regular one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What a beautiful morning!

I love cool mornings in August, the ones where you really need to throw on a cardigan, and you can sense fall just around the corner. I don't mind summer wrapping up, as it means Cashew will be here soon! I felt the same way when I was pregnant with D, and I actually went back to teach the first week of school before peacing out.

Mornings like these go wonderfully with pumpkin waffles that I made on the weekend and promptly froze, and a hot cup of tea. Hubby and I just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on Saturday, hence the fancy breakfast, although it was actually lunch on Sunday. My parents looked after D, and Hubby and I had a lovely staycation! We mostly ran errands, but we did so together, with no worries about D needing food or a nap or time out of the car. We took a load of basement demo biz to the dump, did the grocery shopping, cleaned out the fridge, tidied the house, you know, all fun stuff. I also started a sweater for Cashew, finally, and by Sunday night I had the body and half a sleeve knit. More enjoyable activities included a brief stop at a family get-together before dinner out at the Cheshire Cat (which was fantastic, and merits another outing), and watching the King's Speech, which we rented for a dollar from a Zip kiosk. Interestingly, last time we saw that movie was in theatres over Christmas, and Hubby's parents looked after D!

Another reason I'm feeling very content this morning is that we got some great news last night about an upcoming family wedding: Dietitian sister is getting married! I'm so excited for her and her fiancé; they are so well-suited and fun together. Now we have all kinds of wedding plans to get into, the first of which involves dress shopping. And D has the tremendous honour of being in the wedding party, for the first time in her little life! (I'm in it, too!) She looks a lot like the bride-to-be, so this promises to be very cute. The wedding will likely be a few weeks after Cashew is born, which means I need to kick into high gear with my knitting. I have a few baby things to finish (Cashew's sweater, a blanket, and a hat for a friend's baby), as well as the never-ending aran sweater for my dad, and then I can move on to a wedding blanket for the happy couple! This is the best kind of busy to be, and the best season for it all to happen.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cheap(er) gas today only!

I should have posted this in advance of the day itself, but better late than never. The Canadian Tire gas stations on Terry Fox and Tenth Line, respectively, are offering 5 cents off per litre all day today until 7pm! Hubby and I have been waiting to fill up until now (and his gas light's been on for a couple of days, yikes), and he called me from the gas station to fill me in on the catch: they have all kinds of employees pushing the store's credit card as you wait and even while you're pumping gas, apparently. So if you'd rather pay 1.19$ than 1.24$ and you're good at saying no to high-interest credit cards, head on over! As for me, I'm home with the girls today, so Hubby graciously offered to fill up my car when he gets home from work. While I go to Starbucks and a yarn store. Oh yeah, I've got me a good man.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Keep the change

The old bank account is dwindling (though my TSFA is still slowly collecting interest-a cool 118.99$ since March 2010), and I feel like I've been picking up loose change everywhere in the house and the car lately. A few years ago, well before D was in the picture, I rolled a bunch of coins and decided to save them for a rainy day, or maybe a date night. Today, I decided, was that day, though it was a blistering 29 degrees when I walked to Dollarama and then the bank with the girls in tow. I searched through the bags of coin wrappers until I found the one with the most penny wrappers (I had 5 wrappers' worth, and this way I avoided spending more than 1.13$ of my hard-fought change). Then I sat down to transfer the coins I'd sorted the night before from their respective tiny Tupperware containers into the appropriate wrappers. I thought about asking the Dollarama clerk if she would trade me bills for my change, but decided against it and walked to the bank down the road. The girls were champs during all this, although they must have used up their daily quota of good behaviour, as the rest of the day was a write-off.

I should mention that I don't have an account with the bank I stopped at, but they still were happy to take my change. I had counted it up a few different times, and thought I had around 50$, so you can imagine my delight when the teller informed me I had 70$ worth of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters! It's not a tremendous amount, considering it's been collected over the past five years or so, but it's something, and it's all going into my bank account!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Long weekend in Toronto

Last night, we got back from spending the weekend in Toronto with my baby sister. We had such a great time, especially D, who is very fond of her aunt and aunt's dog Olly. All day Friday she was talking about seeing Auntie and Olly. As an added bonus, one of Auntie's roommates has a cat (Marshall, or Martian as D would call him). So here's some of what we got up to:
-lunch at the Friendly Greek on the Danforth with three of our cousins who now live in Toronto
-visiting Mabel's Fables, a beloved bookstore at Yonge & Davisville where Mom always found us great books for Christmas/birthday gifts; we bought D a book about becoming a big sister (and the new baby in it is gender neutral, which I loved!)
-ice cream at the Marble Slab down by the Eaton Centre; definitely a sometimes food, and definitely worth the drive.

-attending Leaside Bible Chapel, the first church my parents attended after they became Christians; the speaker that morning was actually a missionary from our home church!

-picnic and fun in the sun on Centre Island; parking was more than I would care to admit, but we had a wonderful time once we got there! D chased my sister around (Olly stayed home), splashed around Lake Ontario, and fell asleep in her stroller immediately before boarding the ferry
-dinner at Rob's favourite restaurant ever, Mongolian Grill; this one had a buffet as well, which is how we fed D
-a stop at Yorkdale, home of my favourite H&M (the ones in Montreal just don't cut it); Rob and I actually acquired some new clothing. A polo and a v-neck tee for him, and a plaid button-up shirt, floppy singlet, and maroon empire dress for me. All reasonably priced.
-we also had many a lovely breakfast with my sister, who is awesome at making bacon, eggs, crepes, and a host of other things.