Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Challenge

I am so excited to be participating in my very first book challenge.  I read about it on Kaity's blog, Beeautiful Blessings, and couldn't resist after reading all the categories.  This is so my thing.  And, since our new home is located *right* across from the library, I should make good use of it. (I'm already making good use of it regularly with playgroups I attend with Kaid.)   

You wouldn't believe the amount of time it took me to choose the books for the challenge.  Hours.  I guess I'm a bit a lot perfectionist when it comes to the books I choose to read.  I no longer have loads of free time on my hands with a young baby at home and managing my home translation business, so I try to make my readings worth it.  That said, I'm quite excited to start (I have to wait until January though!)

 (p/c)

You can expect all of these scrupulously chosen books to be reviewed by moi, here on the blog starting in January.

5 points: A book that is at least 200 pages long. – La Vie Intelligente, livre 1 : le Projet Renaissance, by Martin Jackal Neisil (French only)

10 points: A book that begins with the “A”, “An”, or “The”. – The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Reiki: One Source, One Spirit, by Ruth Mayeux Allen Ph. D.

10 points: Read a book with a two word title. – Pas pleurer, by Lydie Salvayre (the English version is: “Don’t Cry”.)

15 points: Read a book with an animal in the title. – Les yeux jaunes des crocodiles, Katherine Pancol (the English version is: “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles”)

20 points: The first letter of your first name – Sulak, by Philippe Jaenada (French only)

20 points: Read a book set in any country in Europe – Celle qui a tous les dons, M. R. Carey (English version is: “The Girl With All The Gifts”)

25 points: Read a book from the NPR’s guide of great books from 2014. – Lila, by Marilynne Robinson

30 points: Read a book by a favourite author that is not a re-read. – Charlotte, by David Foenkinos

30 points: Read a book by a comedian or comedic actor. – Yes Please, by Amy Poehler

35 points: Read a book about science, discovery, or a scientific process. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, by Eben Alexander

Here's the link to the Facebook book challenge.  This temporarily public FB group will become private once the challenge starts in January.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kaid's 5-6-7-month updates

Some days Most days, I still ask myself if this is for real.  I have a baby.  A cute and healthy baby boy.  And that makes me a mom of two.  I seriously never thought I'd have more children.  It feels like a miracle.  And let it be known that I am immensely grateful for this beautiful family that God has given me!  I should probably stop planning my life right now because Life has better plans for me.  What I foresaw as my future, never happened.  What I thought would never happen, happened.  Lesson learned. 

5 months on October 4
Sleep: Kaid is finally sleeping through the night.  Ok, let me clarify; when I say "through the night", I mean we're not waking up every 2-3 hours to feed.  He mostly wakes up to be comforted or to get bundled in his blankets then goes right back to sleep!  I'm sure the fact that we co-sleeping helps a lot with that.

Food: He's not crazy about baby cereal but he does love the veggies and fruits that we've introduced so far.  I love preparing dinner for the fam and having everyone sitting together at the table.  I love being a family of four :)  Kaid just seems fascinated by his big brother (my teenager) eating.  And the teenager, Alex, thinks his baby brother is the funniest thing.  Kaid wants to "be part of the gang" and imitates us, it's just precious to see him "chew" (still no teeth). 

Activities:  Another big, and fun, step is that Kaid also started enjoying his exersaucer. We have two (that were given to us) and he loves them both.   It's another perspective of the world for him to be sitting upright.


6 months on November 4
This was a busy month!  We packed and moved (to a new house and a new town).  Also, Kaid was baptized on October 26.  It was a beautiful and simple ceremony.  We felt honored and grateful for everyone that attended to share this special event with us.

New skills: Kaid is now learning the art of the sippy cup.  And what a great job he's doing! #proudmama #noshame

We also introduced the Nuby food nibbler and he loves it.  He even shares his treats with Lila the pug.

At this point, we're introducing solids but most of his nutrition he gets from breastfeeding.  Initially, my goal was to breastfeed 3 months, but if all keeps going this well, I'd like to keep breastfeeding until he's 1.  Or maybe 2.
 

7 months on December 4
Kaid started crawling at around 6 and half months.  Cutest thing ever.

He also experienced his first snow.  And the jolly jumper.  And has discovered the dog bed, which he finds quite comfy. 

Since he's so mobile now, we set up a play area on the main floor for him.  Every morning, after I get him dressed, he plays in his "playroom" for a bit before breakfast.
 
 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gratitude

It's been a month since we moved in our new home. I'm just so happy to be here. No, really. I'm very, very happy to finally feel that I'm home. There hasn't been a day since October 19 that I haven't thanked God. And my husband too. I try to let him know every day how grateful I am that he did everything in his power to allow us to move sooner rather than later. It wasn't easy (we're still on one income) but he made it work. This man never ceases to inspire me with his courage and generosity. He truly has the biggest heart ever.

In the past month we've done a lot of unpacking, obviously, but we're almost done minus a few boxes. I still need to set up my work space, which I'll probably do tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm meeting with a graphic designer this week who's looking for freelance translators for her business. Now that Kaid is six months old I feel I can probably take on the occasional contract to help my husband with our finances. It's kind of exciting actually!

I've been keeping up with all your blogs.  I try to comment when I can but it's harder now with baby.

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful season.

(a gratitude shrine in our new home)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How we prepared for this move

There comes a moment, during a move, when everything is packed, the house is empty, and a feeling of chaos sets in. A feeling of being "in between" homes: out of one house, not yet in the other, when all belongings are crammed in a moving truck.

I experienced this feeling twice this year.  To be honest, the first time was much worse. And it's not just because we moved during a full week of January snow storms.

However, thanks to that awful January move, I learned a lot.  This time, I was prepared! 

So what worked better this move around?
 
1. Movers: the first time we move, we assumed a couple of good reviews and a good rating at the Better Business Bureau was enough to guarantee good service.  It wasn't.  It cost us $400 more the first time and they ended up sending too small of truck (even though the manager came in person to assess how much stuff we had).  Legally, this put us in an uncomfortable situation because someone had bought our house and we were handing over the keys.... however, some of our stuff was left!  Anyway, long story but we had to make a bunch of calls to our lawyer to contact the buyer's lawyer to make sure it was ok to leave some our stuff because the company was running late and had to get the rest the next day.   It was awful.  They also went way over the estimate they gave us.  The movers worked hard, and I don't blame them individually, but I do blame management for sending 3 new workers and only one experienced mover for such a big move.  It was chaos.

What I learned and applied in our recent move this past weekend? A good rating at the BBB does not guarantee anything.  Shop around.  Ask questions.  Make sure at least half of the team they send have years of experience with moving full houses.  We had 2 experienced movers and one beginner for our move last weekend.  Like I said, it ended up costing us $400 less than the first time.  They came under their estimate and their service was impeccable.

2.  Identifying boxes with a system: This might be very obvious to some.  We had no idea how important this was until we experienced chaos in our first move.

What I learned and applied in our recent move this past weekend?  Identify where each box is to go once at the new house.  Our system was:
M for main floor.
B for basement.
U-K for upper level Kaid's room.
U-A for upper level Alex's room.
U-Master for master bedroom.
G for garage.

3.  We moved our family a day before the movers brought all our stuff.  We prepared lists of necessities and made a few trips ourselves.  We had blowup mattresses, blankets and pillows, toiletries and a few meals worth that include all our fridge stuff.  It was so worth it. It made everything go so much smoother.  And we even had fun as a family "camping" in our new house, having dinner and watching Teletubbies with the little one!

It's been two days and everything is going flawlessly.  I'm loving this new home and being closer to the city.   

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 living in boxes: Part 2

We're doing well.

The house is almost all packed up.  There's boxes everywhere. This move so far is going a lot better than the first one.  We have a lot less stuff (thank goodness for keeping up with decluttering).  We've gotten rid of so much during our first move this year and we're even sorting through more stuff as we pack.  It's truly incredible the amount of stuff we carry around that does not serve us.  I'm glad Sean is on board with me on this.  He's really seeing and feeling the positive impact decluttering is having on our lives.  If anything at all, moving twice this year was cleansing.  We have less than half of the stuff we used to have.  If you're wondering where it all went/goes... well some of it, garbage unfortunately, some we give away and the rest, we sell.

I find clearing space brings so much peace and clarity.

Even my teenager at some point was like "what did you do in here Mom, it's different" after I had decluttered the dining room.  He wasn't sure what I did but he felt the change in energy.  It's hard to explain with words, but it feels lighter.  Inspiring.  Joyful.

Now I (try to) bring in and keep only things that inspire us and bring us joy.  It's an ongoing project, but moving, twice in one year, certainly helps.