Backyard Shenanigans.

We are adjusting to life with a newborn as well as any normal person can. Despite this being our third round in the newborn phase and we know what to expect, pros at diaper changes, sshh-ing, and masters of the bounce-and-pat….sleep deprivation is always going to be that takes you out behind the knees.

We’ve been a bit slow on the draw with keeping this blog alive— but I guess a new life takes precedence ūüėČ

Speaking of that new life, Grace (almost named Porcelain Princess, I’ll let you figure it out…) is now 6 weeks old and fitting into our family like a well oiled glove. She’s teeny tiny, ever so cute, and her siblings just want to hold her and love on her (as do we!…except for that 4th wakeup in the middle of the night, then we aren’t so keen on holding her.. we are keen on sleeping…)

She’s the true baby (5lbs, 14 oz!) of the family and we are thrilled to have our arms full of Grace as we go on as a new family of 5.¬† I won’t hold back …it’s been an emotional time for me, as I continue to figure out and adjust to a life without my Dad ….but his memories and our bond keep me going.


NOW. Backyard shenanigans! Recently,¬† Rob was the highest bidder at a hardware auction for a whole boat load of pine boards. So…he came home with a truckload of it and started creating projects with it. The boards were bought/bid with a playhouse in mind, but we also got a raised vegetable garden out of it and a couple other completely random wood-related projects.

The playhouse is not our design…we totally copied it. Seriously– go onto pinterest and search “DIY Kids playhouse” and it’s probably one of the first images. We took that image as our guide and adjusted it to fit our space.

We have always wanted a vegetable garden and since we had all the materials to put it together we (…Rob…) put together the raised beds. We are clearly novice gardeners…we way way way over planted. Our pumpkins are out of control— apparently you need a big space like a patch to grow pumpkins….



Nursery #3

We are in the home stretch before Baby 3 graces¬†us with her presence. We’ve been tinkering on this room for months and months.

We’ve had quite a rocky start to 2018, but trying hard to persevere.

We lost my dad to a short (but incredibly fierce) battle with Cancer. He was one of my very best friends, and transitioning to a new life without him a phone call or short walk away is proving itself to be quite difficult. But — we are trying hard to persevere.

While waiting in between doctor visits, hospital visits, and long days at home by his side we’d talk about what to name this new Baby of ours. We knew his prognosis wasn’t good, and we knew he wouldn’t be able to meet his newest grandchild, so it was very important to me that while he was still with us and cognitive, that he was part of naming her.

It’s no surprise the importance that whatever name we decided on weighed heavily on the idea on honouring him.¬† He was a man full of faith, full of love and spirit — so come June we will be welcoming Grace into this family. Grace really encompasses a lot of the feelings towards my Dad, and most of important of all, it means to Honour.

I miss this man more than I can ever explain, but the memories and impressions he left will last forever and ever.


There was debate about what we were going to do when we found out we were expecting No.3. Do we get bunkbeds for the other 2? Do we share room A or room B? Do we put the newborn in with one of the “big” kids? Do we finish the basement bedroom? Do we put the baby in our closet?

Yep– we put the baby’s room in our closet. Seems logical.

We had been using the closet, as well, our closet. So we needed to do SOMETHING to put all of our clothes…

IKEA to the rescue! We changed around the orientation of our bedroom to accommodate IKEA’s PAX wardrobe system. OMG. It’s the best thing ever.

If you’re still hung up that we are putting our baby in a closet…let’s get one thing straight. Our closet is not your typical closet. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.



Oh, Canada

Ellie loves Canada. She asked in the summer if her Birthday (which is in January) could be Canada Day themed.

We put a little shin dig together with her preschool buds & cousins.

We did a scavenger hunt, though admittedly my expectations were too high for preschoolers and kindergarteners, BUT they still had fun. I had set out clues around the house, then within each clue icon along with the next set of wordplay was a Canadian icon they were to take and keep and once they collected all the icons, they got the prize. BUT…they just kind of ran in a herd from one clue to the next.

I DEFINITELY stole the scavenger hunt clues from:

We also had a craft where they were to make their own flag for the land they all think they rule. We did a Canada flag pinata which although was a hit, definitely looked extremely un patriotic.

Finally, we did a spin on pin the tale on the donkey but instead, was pin the maple leaf on the flag.

Although Justin Trudeau & Sophie Gregoire Trudeau didn’t make an appearance, they were present in true cardboard cutout form.

We love this girl so darn much, and if she ever questions my love of her, I have pictures of me glueing tissue paper to an empty box to make her her coveted canada flag pinata and showing up to Staples asking for 3.5′ high printouts of our Prime Minister and his wife.


In Da Club.

Our latest project is done (well, at least 90% done, which as you know is our MO).

Off of Charlie’s bedroom is a small bonus room. It used to have a door which lead to a small platform. When we had our roof redone, the platform was interfering with the integrity of part of the roof we, we had it removed. SO now, we had a door that actually lead to nothing but some broken bones.

So, we when we had the windows replaced in the house, we had them convert the door to another window.

With the many issues of the roofers we used, this room also had lots of water damage done to the ceiling. SO, that needed to be replaced. There used to be a small closet in this bonus room, too, but we opted to take it down to get some more space.

We thought this room was going to be a quick fix (rookie mistake), but all in all it worked out as the extra work lead us to some wires that were rubbed bare and a fire waiting to happen. SO that was remedied in a hurry.

Once we got all the major headaches out of the way it was just some paint, some laminate flooring, and some cute kid accents to make this room transformed into a super fun kid hang out.

I wish it were my office!



Sod Off.

Or, rather, rip of 52, 301 layers of concrete, lay down oodles of top soil, then gently lay ON the sod….

We have a very long driveway. And are fortunate to have a set back double car garage. BUT, we never use it for our cars. So the big debate started. Do we…

  1. keep the concrete slab at the back and have a mix of grassy area to play around in, and hard? Or….
  2. Tear up the concrete (little did we know what exactly that meant…)¬† and lay down sod to increase the grassy area.

I’m sure by now you guessed what we chose….

Like any project we start, we naively think it will be a “quick weekend project…”. I think it was a Friday night when Rob decided to start digging up the concrete. Then that lead to twenty thousand more nights of digging up the concrete. I helped. My father in law helped. My brother in law helped. Our neighbours helped. Rob barely did anything…. *wink*



Finally, all the dust settled (aka, many loads of a big truck taking away all the rubble. All. The. Rubble.), we laid in lots of top soil and triple mix, then a nice new plush layer of sod.

Sod on, I say. Sod on.



Who’s Side are You on?

Wow– it’s been some time. Maybe you thought we got stuck into some huge DIY mess where we were locked up and couldn’t get out. Orrrr maybe we just lost track of time and now need to play catch up with the goings on in this OldNewHouse of ours.

Let’s start off with the siding,¬† I think that’s where we just about left off from the last post.

The original wooden siding of the house was nice and full of cute & clever details, BUT it was starting to rot, and Rob nor myself enjoy heights, so didn’t want to volunteer to get up there and scrape/sand then paint. And because of the beginning stages of rot, we decided to go with aluminium. SO happy with it. What’s even better is we also had them add a layer of insulation, so hopefully that will help keep the upstairs a bit more warm in the cold months that lay ahead.

The original siding was dark brown, but after some humming and hawing, went with a cream colour that balanced with the new window trim. SO happy with the results!

I present to you; The Mudroom.

This has been a long work in progress. The plans will that this mudroom will serve as the main entrance for the house for the family (read: school years). For a couple of reasons…

1. we put on a code padlock, so no need for keys and lost keys and forgotten keys and i accidentally ate my key keys (I can see it happening..)

2. Our main entrance, though equipped with a front hall closet, doesn’t lend itself for a lot of drop-your-stuff-space. If we¬†fast forward life a bit, I wanted a designated area and easy access for school bags, muddy rain boots, running shoes, dog leash and accessories (read: poop bags. All the poop bags), ALL THE HATS AND MITTS (oh my gosh.), etc. So you know….by very definition, A Mudroom.

When we moved in, the porch off the kitchen was a touch worse-for-wear. The wooden¬†beams everything was rotting, not insulated, was sinking, and was basically a mouse hotel. While we did the kitchen reno, I mistakenly loaded up the back porch -which then had lots of build in shelves and storage – with dry goods. Well, a day later when I opened up the pantry to grab some crackers EVERYTHING was shredded. And eaten. And pooped on. So that was nice. Enter mouse traps— exit an entire family history of mice. Sorry guys, but, you asked for it.

So from then on that room until we could give it some attention became a bit of a drop-zone for stuff. But once the weather warmed up…

  • down came the walls
  • new window
  • new door
  • new walls
  • insulation
  • new floor supports
  • new floor
  • new light fixture
  • upper shelving/”cubbies”
  • Bench w/ storage
  • Magnetic display

Keep in mind, this was about a 2 year project. Because it wasn’t something like a kitchen reno where it NEEDED to be done to have your day-to-day life function, we just picked away at it as both money and time allowed.

Initially we had some contractors quote out to do the cubbies/bench/storage solution. But….it came with a hefty price tag. We were willing to pay for the work to be done, but also had a budget. Those quotes…well, they blew up our budget. Like…exploded. So…what else to do but turn to Ikea…and make it so.

We got all the shelving from ikea. We spaced out the upper shelves and then put in fake face plates to make it look super custom. Still need to do that on the bottom unit, but…time. Added a strip of Crown Moulding to the top and bam. Custom cubbies at a fraction (f.r.a.c.t.i.o.n.) of the cost.

For the bench, we had a long strip of foam custom made and cut for us. Then I got some outdoor fabric (60% off ….woop!) and covered the foam cushion. THIS WAS EASY. Seriously– no sewing skill at all needed. Barely any skill needed, really. ¬†So we had the wooden base for the bench, the cushion, and fabric. Lay down the fabric good side down, put the cushion down and centred, topped with the wood. Pull the fabric up one side at a time and staple. Boom. Done.

The Magnet Wall, is quite simply a metal sheet with moulding attached to frame it. What’s better about this is the metal was left here in the house, AND the trim was leftover from another project. So this cost us virtually $0.

For the baskets up top…ugh. Don’t get me started. You’d think for an Ikea shelf that ikea boxes/bins would exist. Well, sure, they DO, but not the size I wanted. They needed to be big enough to hold a fair amount of hats/mitts/etc but I didn’t want them to overhang the shelf. I was very picky about the boxes. One night I went to 5 different stores but couldn’t find anything that I was happy with. So, you’ll be surprised to discover the end result were diaper boxes covered in raw canvas….







Huzzah! Lumberjack Charlie is 1! But let’s be real, first birthdays are more for the parents than the babes. Huzzah! We made it! We powered through night time feedings, nap schedules that changed every 3 months, deciphering ¬†hungry cries/poo cries/IM JUST CRYING BECAUSE cries, and more.

We got to see our baby boy’s personality come alive in a different way this time, too. We got to see Ellie interact, grow with, teach,….fight……, ¬†and adjust to life with an addition.

Charlie is our chill boy. He’s easy to please, super smiley, a deep belly laughing, brute force power house, eager, every-ready-battery-when-it-comes-to-climbing, face hugging, sweet, sweet Charlie. He -so far- idolizes Ellie. For a long time, she was the only one who could get him belly laughing. Love watching them together — that is, when Ellie isn’t freaking out over Charlie touching one of her toys that she was playing with last week and was about to touch again. She likes to take his hands and help him walk, jump up and down when he cries (because it was the first thing that ever made him laugh), and help feed him breakfast (…that and giving him the pieces of her meal that aren’t her favourite…sharing is caring?).

Wouldn’t trade a day without our Charlie Boy in it.

We did a Lumberjack themed party for year one. Made some bunting banners, food tags, water labels etc, as well as a some burlap, plaid banners, and wood decor from a friend and neighbour who is also doing a lumberjack party in a couple of weeks. Perfect!

Rob got a burst of energy last night and made mini-axes for parting gifts. You’re welcome, parents! Axes are appropriate for a 1 year old party, right? Thought so.

My sister is a cake genius. She made a mini stump smash cake for charlie and a BIG stump cake that WAS PLAID ON THE INSIDE. And, on top of it all, she also made cupcakes. My goodness are we ever lucky to have her! For that and many reasons ‚̧

And, because I’m in the giving mood, here is a download file to some free lumberjack printables for any lumberjack party in your future. Pages are 11 x 17 FYI .




Putting the Arty in Party

We decided to give Ellie a party this year with just her wee-lil-friends.

We survived!

The theme was “arts-n-crafts” as per Ellie’s request.

After some pinteresting, I came across these two links as pin-spiration for the party.


For the game I cheated. It had nothing to do with arts or crafts. Just a presentation board with holes cut out, covered with tissue paper then a paper bag attached to it with a prize inside. Game? Well line up, go punch a hole, take your prize. Ta-da! Game over.

After discussing with my sister, kids seem to be totally content just being in another space with news toys and things to look at. But, I was nervous of not having enough to do and having 10 eyes stare at me like “what’s next?”.

I made a banner of Ellie’s favourite things (recited by her) so everyone helped paint the big poster. We bingo-dabbed the picture frames and then added in a square from the big giant poster for everyone to take home a part of Ellie’s favourite things “….awwwwwww.”

But now I must leave and go investigate the basement toy room….wish me luck.



Three years ago to this day I was still in newborn-glow-phase. Little did I know, I was about to enter into a handful of months where I felt inadequate more times to count, cried over things from neighbours shovelling my walk, to thinking about how I would ever manage to cut a watermelon again. I would be leaving those handful of months feeling some of the lowest lows I ever felt. It was tough– I was even tougher on myself. I would go through those months wondering “WHAT HAVE I DONE?! WHY DO PEOPLE EVEN HAVE BABIES?!?!”

As you can guess, those feelings very much diminished (…enter January 25th, 2016…haha kidding Charlie.)¬†On the flipside of the “little did I know” tale…. Little did I know, I would be entering to a new world like never before. A world with Eleanor. This is a wonderful place and a place I never want to not know. Eleanor is filled with such wonder and imagination that I sometimes turn up her monitor extra loud during her “quiet time” where I can listen to the stories she tells her stuffed animals and the worlds she creates. Just this afternoon our living room was a pirate ship. Pretty awesome world.

Little did I know my days would be filled with such laughter, sunny spirit, furious determination, fierce independence, and a love so deep that I can say with utmost certainty that part of my life was made for her. Made for her to meet her, know her, love her, teach her, and most importantly…learn from her.

This year, we witnessed her accept Charlie into our family with such certainty and embraced him from day one. Eager to help as we hit the floor running.

She sets the pace, and though it can be hard to keep up (i.e. the scene changes from our living room to a pirate ship to a canoe going to the cottage in seconds. Tiring!) She blazes through any and all trails, and I love to follow.

Now that I’m a blubbery mess as I reflect on the year and look through photos of the year, let’s switch gears ABOUT THESE SUPER CUTE DOLLS.

Santa was so kind to bring Ellie a dollhouse for Christmas. This dollhouse is gigantic…and in retrospect, maybe a touch of buyers remorse (but the people at the garage sale didn’t take returns…). It didn’t come with dolls, and would fit Barbie’s perfectly fine. But for some reason that I can’t really explain, I didn’t want to introduce barbies juuuust yet. But, all the other dolls readily available were just too small and looked out of place. I turned to etsy and found my inspiration to get little wooden dolls and paint them to be members of the family (!!!!!!). Enter next roadblock, the tallest I could find these little dolls was 4.75″. Not tall enough for this doll house. UGH. After ¬†lots and lots and lots of searching I finally found 8″ ones. And the angels rejoiced.

It was super fun, but more fun watching her open them for her birthday and realising they were us, in weirdo bendy doll form. So excited! so happy!


Thanks Eleanor for infusing imagination at play back into my life. Bringing me back to make-believe and story building (apparently a make believe world where I play the piano for the family’s entertainment…) Can’t imagine going back to January 3, 2014….because there that was when the world didn’t know you, the wonderful, crazy, energetic, dinosaur loving, book hoarding, crafting enthusiast, wonky wordsmith You.