Monthly Archives: May 2014

Another Wild (and disgusting) Encounter

Another Wild (and disgusting) Encounter

While working in the garden one day, my mom and I encountered a bug that literally made my skin crawl. This “thing” was waddling in circles around the top of my rain barrel and looked to be about 4″ long. The front legs looked like little shovels and it’s beady ears looked around for it’s next victim. I quickly took to Google to solve the mystery and came up with it’s name. “The Giant Water Bug is one of the largest insects in the U.S. and Canada. Giant water bugs are approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length. Some species grow as long as 4 inches (10 cm). Because it often turns up under street lights and porch lights, it is also one of the most asked about insects. It is commonly mistaken for a beetle or even a cockroach. Alternate names include toe biter because they can deliver a nasty bite, and electric light bug because they are attracted to lights.”….Toe biter? Are you kidding me? I will be tapping out my rain boots before sticking my feet inside from now on! Maybe the most disgusting thing about the whole ordeal was that once I had posted this picture to my Facebook page a friend of mine said her son pulled out a tin box he had, and inside was the body of one of these monsters. He had found one and kept it in his room.

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Headboard Bench

Headboard Bench

One of my Pinterest projects I’ve had my eye on for a while was the headboard bench… the headboard becomes the back of a bench and the footboard, once split in half become the sides. Well a while back, before we moved from our townhouse, a friend and I spotted a beautiful headboard in the garbage. Not one to be above such things as dumpster diving, we carried it back and it sat half hidden behind a couch for almost a ear (hubby was none too impressed). But I knew it was destined to become a bench, I just needed the time, money, space, tools… etc to make it happen. Well, the time finally came and with help from my moms partner we tossed on a seat, screwed in some supports and slapped on some Tungsten coloured paint to make this awesome masterpiece that now sits on my front porch. I’ll be in the market for a cushion for it, and maybe some outdoor pillows but for now, its perfect for sitting with a coffee, putting on boots, or for reading a book. The project was quite easy with the right tools, really you just need a drill, some screws and a saw to cut the footboard, I encourage everyone to give it a whirl!

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The Clothesline

The Clothesline

Out here in the country, one needs to be a few things. Crafty, hard working and thrifty are the main ones. And I’m pretty sure whoever invented clothesline had to have all three of those qualities. It’s bittersweet that I’ve inherited my moms old clothesline elevator (the part that you raise and lower the line with) because as a kid, it was another chore I disliked, the hanging of the clothes. But now, in our country house, with hydro bills that are nearly $200 a month, the clothesline will become our best friend. Not only does it dry our knickers, but hopefully it will save us money, not to mention my arms are getting a work out. It’s only the beginning of May and the warm weather today has dried two loads of laundry, this last one being a bin full of cloth diapers that I scored. The sun naturally bleaches any stains and soon Junior will be scooting about with a fashionable bum. Hubby won’t be too pleased to know that a few shirts and socks have flown off in the wind only to be trampled by the dogs in the mud, but one or two casualties are worth the economical savings that our clothesline will bring us.

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A front porch

A front porch

Today I had a friend and her baby come to visit. The house always seems to have a guest or two and it certainly keeps me busy. The extra hands are great to help out, or to simply enjoy some wine with. Today, my friend and I stuffed our babies in strollers and hiked down the country road. Our road is usually a very hard compacted gravel, almost as smooth as pavement, but today, of all days, they decided to re-grade the road leaving about 4 inches of soft mushy sand to walk in. Then truck after truck went by us spraying water on the new road to keep the dust down. I was stubborn and made my friend keep hiking, the wheels of the strollers wobbling in the muck. A good spirit and one up for adventure, she never complained. She asked me if I felt isolated out in the country (a question that seems to come up from every city friend we have) and I described getting to know our neighbours, getting phone calls from farmers down the street checking in, or how the lady across the street knows when we have visitors since she knows what cars come and go in our laneway. I described having a sore arm from waving at every passing car (something we were doing with each one that passed us) and at how we sometimes have 2-3 friends visiting on any given day. By the time we got back home, we decided to lounge in camp chairs on my front porch while our kids snoozed and not 20 minutes later a car pulled in our laneway. It was my neighbour from a few blocks away, stopping in to check on us. She stayed and chatted for a while before heading home. I’m looking forward to spending more time on our front porch, waving at cars, reading books, holding a snoozing Junior on my lap. In the city a front porch is used for a planter, maybe a welcome mat and that’s about it. A country porch on the other hand is the hub of a welcome committee. It’s the place to view the neighbourhood, to watch kids ride by on bicycles and to, of course, wave at every passing car. Tomorrow I’m bottling wine with some friends… which will of course be consumed while on the porch, and in our garage sits a half finished wooden bench which will become the future spot for flyer reading and coffee enjoying these coming summer months.

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Things I wasn’t prepared for during childbirth and being a new mom…

The pain scale:  When you’re at the hospital you will get asked a lot what your pain level is at on a scale of 1-10.  Well, as a new mom, there is no way to know just how much pain to expect.  So of course, you think the first contractions are a 7 out of 10…. but then by the next day, when full contractions have started…. well now I KNOW that those first ones were really a 2 out of 10.  It’s a pretty useless system to ask on a scale level when you have nothing to compare it to.  I felt like saying to the nurses, that they would need to drag me out back, beat me with a baseball bat and then ask me how my contraction pain scaled.  
 
Poop: Be it pooping on the delivery table (apparently it pretty much always happens but no one admits it), baby poop (why does it look like mustard?!), or my own poop pains while home (stool softeners are key!), I now realize I now talk about poop more than most people talk about the newest Rob Ford scandal. 
 
Getting nothing done:  Don’t beat yourself up, if you manage to get a load of laundry done in a day during your first few weeks home you have had a fulfilling day.  Your time is broken up into 1.5 hour increments, which isn’t much time to shower, change, or make dinner.  You will fall into a routine, and you will get more stuff done each week, but it is hard.  Don’t let anyone judge you. I still think Hubby imagines me painting my toes and having luxurious bubble baths all day while the dishes pile up in the sink, but once he’s home and I hand over Junior so that I can have 5 minutes to pee in peace, he soon realizes it’s not easy. 
 
Opinions:  Everyone has them, and some are valid, but I’ve heard some really absurd comments come from peoples mouths.  Everyone has their opinion on breast feedings, types of formula, the need to wear a hat or the safety of baby swings.  Did you know you’re not supposed to use baby powder anymore?  Each year there is a new “study” that tells you that having baby sleep on his stomach is now bad, bumper pads aren’t safe, or that toy you remember having forever is no longer safe.  As a new mom, and a new family you will need to figure out which pieces of advice are relevant and which ones are just fluff.  Consult your doctor or local nurse to keep up with the newest studies. 
 
Breast feeding:  Hubby and I have officially pulled the plug on breast feeding.  With an industrial pumping machine loaned to me from the local nurse I still wasn’t getting more than 15 ml from a pumping session, and Junior is hauling back over 4 ounces of formula now a sitting.  My mental health was being sacrificed trying to get my girls working, and the lack of sleep was just stomping on my mental state.  Now with formula, feeding is a happy time for everyone, and doctor says that Junior is right on track for weight.  One good friend reassured me that breast feeding is the most unnatural natural thing you can do.  Meaning that it doesn’t come naturally to some, and grasping a 9lbs baby who is screaming to your breast can feel very unnatural, sure doesn’t help that the girls weren’t producing. We tried, we cried and now we are on formula. 
 
People asking if I’m going to have another child: Holy smokes people… please wait until my lady parts have had time to heal before asking me that!  Why would I even think about having another child right now?  Do you see the bags under my eyes? Do you see the formula caked onto my chest (you heat test it just about anywhere you have skin showing)?  Do you notice I’m still waddling to prevent my insides from escaping?  Don’t ask me yet please!