Friday, 30 July 2010

Boy, girl...

At 22 weeks, I've been thinking a lot about whether we'll be welcoming a little boy or a little girl to our family in December.  I've said from the start that I think it's a boy, and I've been hoping for a boy.  I've always pictured myself having a boy first, probably since I always wanted an older brother growing up (instead I ended up with two younger brothers who are just much, much bigger than me).  I wouldn't be upset if we had a girl, but the more I think about it, the more I'm a bit intimidated about having a girl.

I've probably just been reading too much about gender roles and parenting on Offbeat Mama, but it's been making me concerned about if we have a girl, what kind of choices we should make in parenting.

I want my kids to know that it's okay if they want to dress up as a boy or a girl, despite what others might say.  I don't necessarily want to dress a little girl up in pink and frills all the time, nor do I want a little boy to think he has to be masculine and macho.  Puppies and trucks are just as much fun for little girls as they are for little boys, and rainbows and kittens are just fine for little boys.

I've never considered myself a feminist, but I find myself restricted by how gender-defined everything is for babies.  Why does everything have to be in either blue or pink?  And who decided that green and yellow were somehow gender neutral, and only okay for the very beginning until you know what you end up with?  I'm finding myself much more drawn to the gender neutral clothes, the ones in fun oranges with circles or a cool green with rocket ships but find it difficult to find them in larger sizes than 3-6 months.  What happens after then?  You have to either stick to the boys or girls side of the store?

I figure I wear boys clothes most of the times (at least I used to, when I could still fit into little boys T-shirts) and there's nothing wrong with me.  I hope my kids can grow up to learn that you don't have to fit into a box to fit in.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

So that's why they drink so much on Mad Men...

Remember this clock I bought from Talize a while back?  My super awesome $1.99 retro clock - so retro that it has to be plugged into the wall to use it?

Well, I've finally gotten around to hanging things on the walls in here (more on that to come) and I think I figured out why someone would have gotten rid of such an awesome clock.

Can you hear that?  Seriously - this clock is insano-loud.  You can hear it all over the house.  It kills me, but I have to unplug it all the time because it just drives me nuts.  I think I finally understand why they did so much drinking on Mad Men, I would have to be half in the bag constantly too if all the clocks made noise like this!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Blair at 6 weeks

Just a quick update, I just had to share this picture!  Blair is 6 weeks old now and is as sweet as ever.  She and Courtney are both doing so well, it's hard to imagine what things were like before she got here.

Here she is in her jammies, but wide awake at bedtime.

I love her crazy hair.

Two Kinds of People: DVD bonus features v. Film only

I've come to realize that there are many different kinds of people in this world.  Two such sorts - the kind who enjoy DVD bonus features and the kind that are only interested in the movie.

Over the weekend, we randomly watched "Tron" at a friend's place.  Once it was over, we mulled over viewing the bonus features.  I would have been all over it, except that it was past midnight - way past my usual bedtime!  But, on the whole, I am one of those people who loves special features.  What's that?  A 90 minute behind the scenes making of documentary?  Yes, please.  Thirty minutes of bloopers and out takes?  Don't mind if I do.  It's definitely one of the reasons why I was so easily won over in the BluRay argument - you get better bonus features!  The fact that a BluRay is capable of holding five times the information of a DVD makes for all kinds of fun and interactive features.  I loved playing the Lost University game with the Season 5 BluRays, and can't wait for all the special bonuses on the Season 6 set (hello 12 minutes of Ben and Hurley as island guardians!)  They really do enhance the viewing experience for me.

My favourite bonus features are probably the ones on the animated features from DC and Marvel.  We've collected them all, (the newest one - Batman Under the Red Hood comes out July 27th) and they all have the best bonus features.  Lots and lots of special featurettes about the history of the characters and comic books in general.  The perfect way to laze away an afternoon.

Commentary tracks are a difficult thing to buy into, but they can be so, so enjoyable.  My favourites are on the Seinfeld DVD's when Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld try to do one, but end up watching the episode instead and make hardly any comments.

On the other hand, there are the other kind of people.  The ones who are content to just watch a movie or TV series and shut off the TV after.  They don't need to delve into what inspired the director when they were plotting out a certain scene, they don't need to see how a stunt sequence was filmed.  They're happy to just enjoy the movie at face value, and then be done with it.

So, what kind of person are you?

Friday, 16 July 2010

Painting progress...

Well, we've finally put some personal touches on our house!  The living room and baby's room have been painted - thanks to my mom and grandma for hiring the painter!  The difference is amazing, I'm so happy with the results!  Of course, the rest of the house now looks blah and craptacular in comparison.  Oh well, the rest will come with time!

Here was our living room before, in all its yellow glory...

The yellow wasn't all that bad, but I just was never crazy about it.

Here it is after, in "Coconut Leaves" by Para Paint.

Ooh, ahh.

My concern was that the colour would be too dark - I was stressing about it all day at work until I saw the finished product.  I am in love with how it turned out though.  I love the sharp contrast of the dark walls and the bright white trim and crown moulding.  I'll put up more pictures later when things are on the walls and I've repainted some of the furniture white to keep with that sharp contrast.

And the baby's room.  You may remember it before...

That lime green colour is still haunting us in our bedroom, another task to complete.

Here it is after, in "Fort Garry Grey" by Para Paint.

Not the most impressive pictures since there isn't anything put back in there yet, but I love the soothing grey colour, and again, I'm in love with the white contrast on the ceiling and trim.  I'll also post more pictures when the room gets assembled for baby!

So there you go - progress!  Unfortunately, the side effect of having this painted is that my kitchen now looks awful.  Like, beyond blah.  I can't wait to paint might remember it looking like this...

Well, something like that.  It's not usually this messy.  Anyway, I'm hoping to paint it in "Cedar Green" by Benjamin Moore.  I'm completely obsessed with the colour.

You get the idea.  I couldn't figure out the feature to insert the colour into my own picture...anyway...

More to come soon - I have about 9 or 10 pieces of furniture that I'm planning on painting next weekend (fingers crossed) if I can!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Uncuttable Corners

My friend Lisa mentioned on the last post how it's necessary to splurge on toilet paper.  I completely agree with this.  There are some things that you just can't cheap out on.  I'm generally a pretty cheap person.  I certainly don't have a problem with No-Name stuff and I rarely buy things at full price.  Clearance rack - here I come!  But I must admit, there are some items that cannot be substituted under any circumstances. 

Here's my list of uncuttable corners...
  • Toilet paper.  When Jagger and I were talking about moving in together, I warned him that any toilet paper we bought would be the expensive.  Toilet paper in my house has to have some combination of kittens, puppies, bears or some other variety of cute and cuddly animal on it, or contain the words "luxury", "deluxe" or "cashmere".
  • Peanut butter.  I'm sorry, but it has to be Kraft peanut butter.  I've tried to go cheap, and it's just not worth it.  It's not even worth it for me to buy the light peanut butter - it ends up all grainy and gross.  Brand name all the way.
  • Garbage bags.  I have to go with Glad garbage bags, without compromise.  Once again, I've tried the cheap-o brands, and they just fall apart and you need two to get the job done anyway.  Argh.
I'm sure there's other examples, but those are my top ones.

Conversely, I've always found that "Kraft Dinner" gets better the cheaper version you get.  I don't know why that is, but I've always enjoyed the cheap no-name brands just as well as the "pricey" version.

What about you?  What do you have to have as a brand name?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Week 19-20ish

So because I've been a terrible blogger lately (I've been sick and not doing too much, it doesn't make for interesting blogging material) I thought I would just throw up a quick post about belly progress for anyone who is interested.  This isn't an entirely new picture - it's about a week and a half old, I'm 20 weeks now and in the picture I was just about 19 weeks, but you get the idea.  It hasn't changed all that much in a week.

Status so far - I hate anything with a waistband and desperately need to get new clothes.  I've been living in dresses, which is pretty much my plan for the whole summer.  The baby has been moving around lots, and when we had our ultrasound done last week, it preferred to be balled up, face down, touching its toes.  Makes for awesome pictures, let me tell you.  Other than the brutal summer cold/allergies that had me down and out for most of last week, I've been feeling good.  Still not really craving anything specific, but I am noticing I'm super sensitive to the sun.  We tried to go to lunch in the park on Saturday for Sunfest and I ended up running for a bench or some shade every 10 minutes because I was constantly on the verge of fainting.  Yeah, I'm pretty fun right now.

Also - so far my least favourite thing about being pregnant is the amount of toilet paper we're going through.  Sounds stupid, but I never really realized that more peeing = way more toilet paper consumption.  I hate buying toilet paper.  Maybe I'll write a blog post about it one day - you lucky readers, you!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Mmm...mashed potatoes...

We had mashed potatoes for dinner tonight, which may seem to be a weird thing to eat in the summer, but I enjoy mashed potatoes any old time.  The problem with mashed potatoes is that I usually start them, then realize I'm missing a vital ingredient - usually butter.  This challenge, however, leads to lots of fun improvisation, like tonight.

Normally, I'm all over the buttery mashed potatoes - delicious, buttery goodness.  But it is nice to mix it up sometimes.  One of my favourite butter substitutes is throwing in some cream cheese.  Tonight we had no cream cheese though, so I had to reach for something else.

Today's butter substitute - hummus.  It turned out really nicely and added that yummy garlicky flavour that I always enjoy in my mashed potatoes.  I think it would be better if you had butter and hummus though...they were still a little bit dry, but still yummy.

So there you go, my quick public service announcement about potatoes.  What do you like to add to your mashed potatoes?  I love that everyone has their own particular way of making them.

There should be more blog posts to come this week - the living room and baby's room are getting painted on Wednesday!