Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D


Friday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

ETA: Again...for some reason Blogger doesn't want to display my pictures correctly. I'm not doing anything differently so I have no idea what its malfunction is. Sorry! *shrugs*

Felt (in 3 colors) - $2.52
Black t-shirt - $5
Hot glue and glue gun (inherited from mother) - $0
Leftover white paint - $0
Awesome costume that you didn't get to show off at the part because you were at the hospital - Infinitely frustrating.
Yes, that's right. I made my (very fun and, in my opinion, awesome) costume and was very
much looking forward to going to the Church Halloween shindig. However I ended up in labor and delivery with mysterious belly pains. By the time they determined that Lovey was doing absolutely wonderfully and they had no idea why I was hurting* the party was already being cleaned up. :(

We're not getting many trick-or-treaters tonight. That's fine. That just means I get to keep more of the fruit snacks we've got to hand out. And, just FYI, please teach your children that when
trick-or-treating it is generally considered bad manners to not actually say "trick-or-treat" and "thank you."

Anyway...here are pictures of my costume and Adam's, as well as a new belly picture taken at 32 weeks.

Here I am! A magic 8-ball! Go ahead, ask me a yes or no question.
Then scroll down for the answer.

(I also had a "Yes" answer but I prefer this one. After all, it was the answer that I seemed to get 90% of the time - which was infuriating.)

And here's an encore of Adam's scout trooper costume (a la "Return of the Jedi").

32 weeks 0 days. Ignore the hair.

*The pain went away on its own and remains a mystery.
Tuesday, October 28

A Plethora of Pinatas, er, I mean, Pictures

ETA: So, Blogger decided to get all wonky on me and isn't loading the pictures correctly. To see them in all their glory you'll have to click on them. Sorry.

A lot has been going on recently. So here's a random collection of mini-updates and pictures.


It's done! It's finally done! My application for permanent residency has been completed and mailed. Here's a shot of the fat stack of forms and one of Adam addressing the envelope at Canada Post (if you look closely you'll see the worst picture of me pretty much EVER).


Here's a shot of the "apple pear" I got at Safeway. I'm not exactly sure if I ate it "correctly" (am I supposed to wait for it to get soft like a pear?). The texture was OK but the flavor was pretty bland. I'd rather just have a regular apple or a regular pear. But at least now I can say I've tried one of these newfangled hybrid fruits.


This was our backyard on Saturday. Yup, we had snow. It didn't stay (in fact it was quite nice today) but it was exciting at the time. Christmas is coming (which means so is baby)! I can't wait to enjoy the holiday season; lights, carols, goodies, and that special spirit. Ah, Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year!


We got another room more or less finished up. Here are the before pictures. This is the room right across from our bedroom. It's the craft room/spare bedroom right now. Here's a shot from the doorway. This is currently our bed, but we're getting a used king sleigh bed this week that will be going in our room. I have since moved the plastic drawers to the right of the craft/sewing desk into the closet.

Here's a close-up shot of the craft area. The lump on the left is my semi-functional sewing machine with a pillowcase to keep it dust free. This window looks out on the front

To the left of the desk is the closet (the only walk in closet in the whole house...too bad it's not in the master bedroom).

It's still pretty messy in the closet but I figure it doesn't really matter at the moment. We keep our linens (towels, rags, sheets, etc.) and my fabric for sewing in the drawers.

And here's one more shot of the bed. I just wanted to make sure you got a good look at the beautiful quilt Adam's mom made and gave to us as a wedding present (she also made us an incredible pottery set). At some point well get a bed skirt for the bed and put some storage underneath it. But the room is done enough. We've been making progress throughout the house but more needs to be done before I post pictures of the basement, kitchen, master, bathrooms, and Lovey's room.


I finally got an appointment with Dr. Prince today. My friend Crystal was an angel and gave me a ride to the appointment because I didn't end up having the car as planned (long story short: had a bad night, couldn't safely drive Adam to work this morning). Dr. Prince had to deliver two babies so we waited for what seemed like an eternity. I'm constantly amazed at how mellow Sam (Crystal's cute little girl) is. Even though she was tired and the wait was long she hardly seemed bothered. I can only hope my little girl acts like that when she's two. (Thanks again Crystal!)

It's hard to tell for sure from an appointment that lasts all of 10 minutes ("Baby's fine. You're fine. Any questions?")...but the rave reviews of Dr. Prince seem justified. He actually asked permission to do things (like pulling up my shirt to measure my belly) instead of ordering me around. And he actually discussed a few things with me. I won't be seeing him next time (his day in the clinic wasn't convenient for me so I'm going to use it as a chance to meet another doc). But I'll certainly try to get in with him whenever I can. Seeing as I'm expected to go every two weeks from now on (until December when I go weekly-ugh) I should have plenty of chances.


I finally got my beads from my online bead swap. They're very nice. I'm just waiting on some more from my "real life" friends before I make my necklace.


There's plenty more going on this week but I figure I'll write about it after the fact.
Monday, October 27

October 27 or The Day I Completely Lost My Mind

Ive decided to give NaNoWriMo a shot. Why?

*It's an interesting challenge.
*It's the last year I'll have the opportunity to do it kid-free.
*I'm not working and already spend half my time on the computer anyway so why not?
*I've always wanted to write a book (and this is my chance to write one that's expected to be awful).
*God wants us to use our talents and I consider writing one of mine.
*It'll be cool to say I did it (if I actually succeed).

The real reason?

*I'm a total nutter.
Sunday, October 19

Horror Films

I don't watch scary movies. Mostly because I'm a big wuss. I don't understand the appeal of choosing to spend a couple of hours feeling absolutely tense and uncomfortable. About the scariest movie I can handle (on a good day) is Signs. Pathetic? Maybe.

But it gets more pathetic. Why? Pregnancy. Yes, those pesky hormones have caused my scary movie aversion to soar to levels well above the atmosphere.

A while back Adam and I picked up a copy of "The Spiderwick Chronicles" on DVD for 3 bucks. We had taken some nieces and nephews to see it earlier this year and both thought it was pretty good. If nothing else it was cute.

I have not been able to bring myself to watch it again.

We finally popped it in the other night and about 60 seconds in I flipped out and told Adam "I can't watch this!" That's right. I got too scared remembering the movie to even try watching it. I couldn't watch a children's movie, a movie rated PG ("for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements"), a movie my 4 year old* niece seemed to handle just fine (her only complaint was that it was too loud at times).

I once made fun of my dad for being scared of the flying monkeys (from "The Wizard of Oz") when he was a kid.

At least he was only frightened by kid's movies when he was a kid.

*I'm not actually positive she's 4 years old, but close enough.
Saturday, October 18

A Fun Friday and a "Super Saturday"

Friday (yesterday) night I attended a Girl's Night which consisted of chatting and chowing down on cupcakes. Oh, yum! It was a lot of fun. It was great to get out of the house and spend some time with other women (not that I don't LOVE spending time with Adam, I do). In fact, it was so fun I didn't get home until about 3 in the morning. *sheepish grin*

Of course...I would have just slept in this morning to make up for my late night cupcake caper but our ward Relief Society had "Super Saturday" this morning at 9:00! Plus I had to get up and go to Micheal's first to buy some paint. I've never been to a "Super Saturday" before but I'm a fan. It's basically a chance for us women to get together, do crafts, chat, eat, etc. What a blast!

Behold! My crafts!

This nifty thing-a-ma-jig is now hanging in our entryway (thank you Adam)! The knobs are magnets. We're going to use it as a place to stash in-going and out-going mail. I picked that particular shade of red I for two reasons:
1. My mom gave me her Kitchen-Aid mixer (which, incidentally, I gave her as a gift some time ago). The mixer is bright red. So I use red as the accent color in my kitchen. I have a paper towel holder, trivets, and utensil holder in the same shade (also gifts from my mom).
2. I didn't want to buy two separate paint colors and I thought I needed to bring my own paint for the craft below (which I wanted in this shade of red).


This isn't quite finished. I need to grab some ribbon so I can hang it. There were several spools of ribbon available but none of them matched. I'm also kind of bummed that I didn't get the vinyl letters/picture centered. But there's nothing to do about it now. At least it's not terribly off-kilter. [Just FYI: the box the plaque is sitting on is Lovey's car seat! One less item to worry about! Of course, we had to buy this particular item new because it's not safe to buy used ones. It's a convertible car seat though. So it'll get her from infant stage through child stage.]
When we signed up for which projects we wanted to do I got the impression (like I mentioned) that we needed to provide our own paint. Since I plan on focusing on red and white (and green) for my Christmas decorations I wanted to do this in a festive red. There were lots of different shades to choose from at Micheal's. Fortunately, in the midst of pondering which shade would be best, I noticed this one, called "Christmas Red." I'm going with a red/white/green theme for Christmas for several reasons:
1. It's classic. As much as I love the blue and white Christmas decorations, and even the purple ones, that are so in vogue right now those colors won't stay in style forever.
2. It's affordable (my ultimate priority, especially with how tight things are this year). I can easily make decorations in these colors using cheap materials (peppermints, ribbon, holly, etc.).
3. It's easy. The colors are already so prevalent at this time of year. After all...what color is snow? The Christmas tree? Yeah. Exactly.


And my final craft? A "Reverence Book" or "Quiet Book" for Lovey to (someday) use during Church. There was no possible way to finish this one today. But I'm still excited about it. The front has a little "S" in the corner (for Shumate). The inside has lots of different scrap booking papers. I'll share several pictures so you get a feel for the pretty pages inside (sorry the photos aren't very good). And here's a link to the content I'll be using (though slightly changed). And this is where I found most of the clip art I'm going to use. Even after doing all the letters of the alphabet I'll have some extra pages. So I'll probably add in a "Who Loves You?" section and throw in some family pictures and such.


And now some photos unrelated to "Super Saturday."

This is the desk we got off Freecycle to use as my sewing table. Score!

And this is the wrapping paper that the baby book my mom gave me was wrapped in. Didn't I tell you it was adorable?
Thursday, October 16

Good News!*

I just found out (about 5 minutes ago) that starting April 2009 Alberta health care coverage will cover MIDWIVES!!!

*happy dance*

That's too late to be of use to me this time around. But it's still wonderful, exciting news! All the research I've done indicates that midwives are good for babies and moms! There are no midwives in Medicine Hat. But hopefully this change in policy will encourage more midwives to start practices here in Alberta.

To read more about the change and how it'll help Albertans see the official announcement.

*Did my post title make anyone else think of "Wicked?"
Tuesday, October 14

Behold the Bump!

I can't remember exactly which day this newest belly picture was taken (ETA: I checked the digital time stamp, it was 29 weeks and 0 days). But I was at 29 weeks and some number of days. Tomorrow I'll be 30 weeks along. Lovey is about 17 inches long from head to toe. My belly is certainly growing. But I still can't help but wonder "HOW DOES SHE FIT IN THERE!?" The stretch marks are multiplying. And my hair is frizzy because my pregnancy hormones are causing my hair to go curly.

Yesterday we were invited to Thanksgiving dinner by our neighbors/friends from Church. It was a wonderful meal! After the meal we let the two older children feel my belly. Their little girl was feeling too shy and didn't want to. But their son did, and as soon as he put his hand on my tummy Lovey kicked *right* where his hand was. His eyes lit up as if he had woken on Christmas morning to discover a real working space ship under the tree! It was very sweet. After the fact I realized besides Adam and I he is the only person who has felt Lovey move.

And in closing here are two other totally unrelated pictures for your enjoyment.

This is the current state of our entryway closet. The scale is all wonky. But you know what...it was free hand. I was tired. And I just didn't care enough to fix it. It's done by mixing 1 part dish detergent to one part acrylic paint (the soap is what makes it possible to clean up later).Saw this box at Wal-Mart. Do you notice anything funny? See the bit at the top about going online to vote for your favorite shape, diamond or square? Yeah...that's what Adam pointed out. They're the same. In fact...the two Shreddies (Canadian cereal) pictured are exactly the same. That's right. It's the same image just copied and turned on it's corner. How weird is that?
Thursday, October 9

Worldwide Audience

Add South America to my list! What am I talking about? This.

Sugar Cookies, Snoring Cats, & Such

Yesterday Adam was able to come home to eat his lunch before having to head to a different work site. It was clear he was having a stressful day. So after he left I decided it was about time I made "Cookie Monster's Famous Cookies." It's a recipe for sugar cookies from "The Shumate Family Cookbook." He'd been wanting sugar cookies for some time...but there are so many easier cookies to make so they had remained un-made. But I wanted to do something to cheer him up and sugar cookies seemed like just the thing.

Here's the thing you need to know about "The Shumate Family Cookbook:" the recipes are designed to feed a family with 8 kids. Adam and I do not have 8 kids. But did I halve the recipe? No.

By the time I finished the first 3 DOZEN sugar cookies (in Halloween shapes) I was completely wiped out (granted...that isn't just because sugar cookies can be hard work, there's the fact that I'm 7 months pregnant to take into consideration). So there's a bowl of sugar cookie dough in my fridge right now, waiting to be dealt with (we'll probably just freeze it for later); because I was just too tired, and too achy (back and feet) to finish making the cookies.

Adam was thrilled though. So it was worth it. Now I'm just trying to make sure the cookies don't disappear too quickly. "Good luck," Adam says.

Girla snores when she naps. She's such a small creature (though large compared to others of her species). But you can hear her snores from across the room. And it's funny. Really. Truly. Funny.

Adam and I managed to register to vote in the nick of time. The state in which our votes will be counted is so red as to render our votes moot. But darn it we're going to do it anyways!

Loree (my doula) came by for a visit last week. She brought a couple of books with her for me to borrow. I'm going to have to declare "Ina May's Guide To Childbirth" THE BEST pregnancy/labor book EVER. I mean it. There is no better book on the topic. If you are pregnant, think you may someday become pregnant, know someone who is pregnant, or just want some really fascinating material to read then go find a copy at your library, bookstore, paperback swap, or where-ever.

And now I'm too tired to remember what else I was going to write about.

Thoughts on Conference: Sun PM/Overall

It's later than I meant to be doing my final conference post. The problem is I didn't really have much else to say (and still don't). Suffice it to say Adam and I thoroughly enjoyed conference. We felt the Spirit, and we are (trying to be) better people because of it. I'm grateful for modern-day revelation. And I'm grateful conference coincided so nicely with the happenings in our life right now. Things are kind of stressful (problems at work). It would be easy to be overwhelmed by worry. But conference gave us the faith boost we needed to just keep moving forward even when things are uncertain. But most of all I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives and loves me and through His grace I am redeemed.
Sunday, October 5

Thoughts on Conference: Sun AM

Well, we didn't make it to the meetinghouse. But we did indeed watch the Sunday session. Part of my feels like I should have gotten dressed in my Sunday best and gone out. But then I remember why I wanted to stay at home (besides being tired, my hips/pelvis are hurting again (as do my ribs off and on) and I really didn't want to spend the whole time fidgeting on the pews at Church and distracting other people).

I hate to say it, but I think I enjoyed yesterday's sessions more than this morning's. Though I did really enjoy President Monson's talk. I'm also having mixed feelings about the afternoon session. I'm looking forward to it, but also feeling a little disappointed that Conference will have ended so quickly.

The MoTab sounded perfect (as always). And here's a question for you Kamis (or anyone else as thoroughly geeky as us): did you notice the women in the choir were wearing "Deanna Troi dresses?"
Saturday, October 4

Thoughts on Conference: Sat PM

I enjoyed the Saturday afternoon session. It's good to hear things that *you* personally need to hear...like Elder Oaks' talk on proper Sunday worship. I need to get my butt in gear on Sundays and get to Church early (lately I've been getting there late). Pregnant or not I should be on time.

The Primary choir was adorable. They sounded quite nice (especially for an all-children choir). I have to admit I was a little distracted by the variety of dresses the girls were wearing. The boys were all wearing essentially the exact same outfit (white shirt and tie). But the girls dresses varied from quite casual to quite formal. Maybe it shouldn't have, but they distracted me nonetheless, especially the dresses made from shiny, formal fabrics. I mentioned something to Adam about it. He seemed like he could care less. Maybe it comes from all those years spent in chorus and glee club (which in the latter we were required to buy the exact same dresses, and jewelry). My ability to enjoy the music has been hindered by my indoctrination into the "everyone in the chorus must look exactly the same" mindset.

Speaking of clothing (because that's so important...and by "so" I mean "not"): in the activity booklet I mentioned in my last post they have a section to make notes on each member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve's talks. It has a picture of the General Authority as well as the outline of a tie. You're supposed to color in the tie to match the tie the speaker wore. I've never paid so close attention to ties before. Red seems to be the most popular color. But I gotta say, Elder Holland's blue and purple plaid tie was AWESOME! Best tie so far! And his talk was nothing to scoff at either!

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Thoughts on Conference: Sat AM

It's General Conference Weekend!

I first want to say that I love the Church's new media player! Even my slow internet and slow computer can handle the streaming live video with almost no hiccups!

The MoTab sounded wonderful this morning. It'll be interesting to see what choirs sing at the other sessions of conference (though I'd be quite content to have the MoTab do them all). Lovey seemed to like the music as well.

Did you catch the exciting news? One of the five (FIVE!) new temples is going to be built in Calgary, Alberta! Not that Calgary is any closer to Medicine Hat than Cardston* is...but it's still exciting for us! I was telling Adam, just before it was announced, that I'd like to go to a Temple dedication some day. Maybe now I'll get my chance! And how exciting is it that there is going to be a Temple in ROME? That's very cool.

I stumbled upon this General Conference activity packet last night. It's meant for children. But I went ahead and printed off a copy each for Adam and I. Even grown ups need help paying attention (especially the ADHD ones with pregnancy brain). It has places for notes, Conference bingo, word searches, etc. etc. Well, one of the activities is a "Follow the Prophet" maze. Cute idea. Too bad you cannot succesfully complete the maze. That's right...the paths from "Start" all dead end. Working backwards from the end all the paths also dead end. I can just imagine all the frustrated children...

And I just have to add: I love Elder Uchtdorf! I'm still mulling over the things he said in last weekend's General Relief Society Broadcast (a most excellent talk! - read it or watch it!). And I really enjoyed his remarks today as well. Plus I just LURVE listening to his German accent. And I love the stories he tells. I probably shouldn't have a "favorite" apostle. But *if* I did it would probably be Elder Uchtdorf.

The afternoon session will be starting in about 20 minutes. I'm sure I'll have more to share when it's over. Then tomorrow Adam and I plan on watching the broadcast of the morning and afternoon sessions via satellite at the Church meetinghouse. I hope those of you watching Conference are enjoying it!

*Cardston is the oldest Temple outside the USA. Neat, huh?
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