Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now!

Hello to all of my *Lovely* readers! Last week, I promised that if you stayed tuned I would post a it is!

As some of you know, I've been trying to find simple ways to make a bit of money on the side - as much as I LOVE being a stay-at-home Mommy, the job doesn't pay very well. I love to sew, paint, and other crafty ventures so I decided to open an online shop on Etsy to sell my wares. My shop is called"Babylove By Jackie" - I make nursery artwork/decor, hair bows, diaper bags, my new "Cozy Capes", and other accessories for babies and toddlers. I'll soon be adding a "Coffee Cozy" assortment, and other things for Mommies, too. I'm just getting started, and don't have a lot of things listed just yet. I'll be adding more as time allows, and will hopefully do a lot of custom orders as well - I'm always open to suggestions! If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to visit:

Now it's time for you to help me - in both my blog, and my store! Here's what you need to do - there are 3 parts to this little challenge, and you must answer all 3:

1. What has been your favourite post of mine so far?

2. What would you like to see more of? Would you like to read more about the kids, the farm, the animals...suggest something for me to write about! The more original the better - I promise to write about EVERY topic that is suggested!

3. What is a product that you would like to see listed in my Etsy store? I know that most of you are Moms, and I really value your opinion! If you aren't a Mom, that's okay too - ANY suggestion is welcome!

This isn't technically a "contest"- all thoughts and opinions are appreciated equally, and the winner will be chosen at random.

Ready to hear what you could win?

One of you will recieve...your choice of ANY item from my Etsy store, custom made for you!!! Based on the things that are listed, that's up to a $40 value! You don't have to necessarily choose something directly from the store - the item will be custom made in the colours/fabric etc. that you prefer. Again, I know that not all of you are Mommies - this is where your product suggestions are important! You could choose one of the listed items to give as a gift, or we can work together to create something for yourself. Your choice.

I'm really trying to draw traffic to my online store, and I know that word-of-mouth is the best way to get attention! Please help me out by directing all of your Mommy friends to see me!

You have until the end of the weekend to respond - I'll announce a winner on Moday (May 4th).

Good luck - I can't wait to read all of your comments and suggestions!!!

The Potty Dance

I swear, this potty training business is gonna be the death of me. This is the time that I've been both anticipating and dreading since Abigayle was born. I know it's not going to happen overnight, but it feels like a losing battle, and I may just rip out my hair in frustration. But not just because of the fact that most of our "emissions" don't make it into the potty...also because of the SWARMS of unsolicited advice from everyone and their mother. Does this never end? I've heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child", but I think that too many people are taking this to heart...apparently they think that everyone in the village deserves a say in how to raise my child. They also say that "every village has an idiot", and I swear I've met my fair share. Even complete strangers, usually ask the typical "How old is she?" followed by, "oh, you must be having fun potty training, then! Well, you know the best way to do it is...". How about...

"Oh, well my little Johnny was potty trained by 18mos..."
Come on Lady, what 18month old is *truly* potty trained? I'm pretty sure that I don't believe you.

"The only way to do it is to let her run around naked..."
Okay, so are you going to come to my house and clean up the trail of pee? I already have a dog who pees in the house, I don't need to steam-clean my floors and furniture because of my daughter, too.

"Sit her on the potty every five or ten minutes, and she's bound to go some of the time...she'll get the hang of it and figure out what to do"
Seriously?! So I'm going to be cooking dinner/feeding the baby/living my life in 5 minute intervals? I know that potty training isn't necessarily convenient, but come on...

"Use/don't use Pull-Up's"
"Use/don't use training pants"
"Reward with stickers, jelly beans, toys, treats, privileges...."
"Put a dolly on the potty to show her what to do"
"create a routine"
"buy her pretty panties"
"Use/don't use the regular toilet/children's potty"

Not all of this advice is bad, and if you were the bearer of this insight please don't be offended - in fact I AM doing some of these things. I'm just saying that I've gotten so much advice that my head is spinning, like the swirl of the water in the toilet bowl. This is just another example of figuring things out for yourself...a trial-and-error. Other moms will always tell you what worked best for them, and it's up to us to wade through their advice and piece together what will work for us. Nothing is ever simple.

Time for a funny story!
The other day, Abigayle told me she had to poop. I was in such a rush that I sat her on the toilet, instead of on her potty (which had been taken apart for cleaning). Our visit was uneventful, and she needed a clean Pull-Up which was right behind me. I told her to "hold on tight!" and showed her how to hang on to the seat so she was sturdy. I did my best basketball-style pivot to reach for a clean diaper, but as soon as my back was turned I heard *splish*, followed by "HELP! HELP! I STUCK!!!" I turned back around, and all I could see was feet and hands sticking out of the toilet bowl. I couldn't stop laughing as I pulled her out and dried her off...People have asked why I didn't get a picture - apparently they know I'm a bit "camera happy"...but for once my camera was out of reach and I would have felt pretty bad if I left her there to wait while I went to find it! Maybe next time ;) In hind sight, I should have flushed - maybe I wouldn't have had to wipe! Sort of like a bidet? No?

Ohhh well. We'll get this potty training thing mastered sooner or later. I keep trying to remind myself that she's still so young, and nobody goes to college still wearing diapers. We're not behind "schedule", and it wont last forever - it'll happen when she's ready, no sooner. Just in time for me to start all over again, with Austin! Oh brother.


I've seen this circulating, and thought it was cute! Here's my attempt...

ABCs Of Me
A - Age: 25
B - Bed size: double
C - Chore you hate: putting away laundry
D - Dog's name: Myah
E - Essential start your day item: M.O.M.M.Y needs C.O.F.F.E.E
F - Favorite color(s): pink
G - Gold or Silver: depends on the jewellry, but usually silver
H - Height: 5'2
I - Instruments you play: flute
J - Job title: Mommy
K - Kid(s): Abigayle and Austin
L - Living arrangements: the fam and I own our farmhouse
M - Mom's name: Kathy
N - Nicknames: Jacks, Jackie-Ray, Jackie-O, Jackers
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: when I was a toddler I had to stay for...not sure. Croup maybe? I'll have to ask my Mom.
P - Pet Peeve: too many! How about...when Ted doesn't turn his high-beams off when we're driving. I nag him about it and it drives him nuts ;)
Q - Quote from a movie: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner..." lol
R - Right or left handed: right
S - Siblings: two younger sisters
T - Time you wake up: about 9am
U- Underwear: usually comfy cotton
V - Vegetable you dislike: raw onions, and peppers
W - Workout style: it's gotta be fun, or it wont keep my attention
X - X-rays you've had: knee
Y - Yummy food you make: baked macaroni and cheese
Z - Zoo favorite: giraffes

Friday, April 24, 2009

Welcome to the Farm!

I know, I know, it's been way too long since I've written! I tried to write this morning, but would you believe that my own dear Blog had shunned me? "What, you think that you can go weeks without visiting, show up whenever you want and expect me to heed to your every whim?! I think not." ( I had material to write, and she refused to load any pages...). My poor, sweet blog...I promise I will no longer be so fickle, and you will nevermore be ignored.

As for my readers, I apologize to you, as well! If you'll forgive me, will you join me on a quick walking tour of the farm? Wear something to cover your ears - the wind is nasty out there today, I think it's blowing in a storm. I had planned to spend more time showing you around, but I'm afraid we might blow away, so we'll keep it quick. You might want to wear your rubber boots, too - the boys are spreading manure today and a few "chunks" have fallen over the side of the spreader, and all over the laneway. Mind your step. I'll forwarn you, nothing is looking very pretty right now - it's a pretty "blah" and yucky time of year. Soon everything will brighten up and be nice and green again. On the bright side, you'll be able to see a great contrast between "before" and "after"; we'll be doing a lot of cleaning up this spring/summer, because the farm is hosting a big event in July - I'll take you on a better tour when we've got it looking nicer.

This is our road! We're literally out in the middle of nowhere. No street lights, no traffic, not many neighbours. Just fields, and trees - that's the way I like it! Except for in the winter - we get quite a bit of snow, and the plow driver seems to "forget" to come out here might not want to come visit on one of those days.

We're finally here - this is my place, on the right. Our lane is pretty long, with fields on either side - can you see our house waaaay back in there? Let's walk up so you can get a closer look.

Hey, look over there! We get lots of visitors out here - but not many of them are of the human variety. Don't get too close, they're probably guarding a nest - and you do NOT want to meet up with an angry Mama Goose!

We're getting closer now - you can see the house a bit better, and this is the new barn that was built this past fall. This is where we keep the heiffers (ie. young cows that aren't milking age yet).

This is my house - as you can see, there's a lot to be done! The original house burned down, but was rebuilt on the old foundation about 60 years ago. It was in VERY bad shape inside when we moved in, and on two occasions in the past it has been left abandoned. We've put a lot of work into it, and there's still a lot more to do. We just had this new steel roof put on in the fall, we've had a lot of the windows replaced, and I've started to paint. It'll look much better when I show you again in the summer.

Now, stand right there and turn around to look behind you - that's the other half of the farm, across the road. This is where most of the action takes place, and is where my in-laws live. Ted grew up here, and is the third generation to live on the farm. It's the biggest farm on our road - there are 7 buildings if you include the house. If it wasn't so windy, I'd take you across to show you up close, but we'll do that another day when the weather is better.

When Ted's grandfather owned the farm, it was called "Echo Creek" - this is why. This is a part of the creek that runs through the property. If you yell out, you'll see where the "echo" part comes into play. We're in a bit of a hollow, and everything echoes from miles around - it's pretty eerie when you wake up to hear the coyotes howling (it sounds like they're right outside my window), and gets annoying when the poodle breeder down the road has a ruckus.

Another view of the creek...

You've gotta see this little girl - she's so cute, I couldn't have you visit and not meet her! I'm not sure what her name is, I'll have to ask Ted later. Hold out your hand - she'll suck on your finger!
Well, there was a quick tour - now you have a better idea of what it's like to live out here. Come back another day and I'll show you around in more detail - we'll have to plan a visit inside the barn/house one of these days too. But for now, how bout we go inside for a cup of coffee? That wind'll blow right through you...Brr!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Close Encounters of the "Turd" Kind

I've come to the sad realization that as a Mom, my life revolves around poop. I'm either cleaning it up, wishing one wouldn't go so much, or wishing the other would hurry up and do it. The day we are potty trained will be a *glorious* day, as Abigayle doesn't seem to have any problems with having a dirty diaper. She seems to enjoy wallowing in it, which makes me gag by the time I find the source of the repulsive odor wafting from her direction. And then there's Austin - We're supplementing him with formula right now, and this can...slow things up a bit. He's just gone a 3 day stretch with no "movement" so to speak...and then it happened. An almighty eruption...3 minutes before I was supposed to be walking out the door (and *almost* on time - a rare occurence). But instead of being upset that I was (once again) going to be late - I found myself quite excited, and cheering him on - I was cheering for poop, and I'm ashamed to say I think it was the highlight of my day; good grief, the things a mother will get excited about. And when it becomes perfectly normal dinner conversation between yourself and your husband - "So how was your day, honey?" "Well, as a matter of fact..." - you know that all table etiquette has gone down the proverbial crapper. The glamorous life of a Mom. What can I say, other than..."Shit Happens"! And if it doesn't, just mix a little squirt of corn syrup into a bottle of formula. Cheers!