Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merciful Heavens

So, I am pregnant for the second time and they say you get bigger than the first time. I am definitely bigger. I look like I have a soccer ball in my stomach. Not a basketball yet, but definitely on the verge. I didn't really mind being bigger because the baby is healthy and I am feeling good so I wasn't too worried about the size. But lately everyone has an opinion on my belly. This bothers me because last pregnancy a lot of strangers told me I was too small and was I eating enough? They touched my stomach and gave me their opinion on the gender. This time it is even worse. In one day I had one woman tell me I was carrying a boy because I was just all baby and in the same hour another woman told me it was a girl because I had put on weight everywhere. Excuse me? Do I know you? Do you know how much I have gained or what I looked like before? No. Please keep your opinions to yourself. Yesterday in the mall I was Christmas shopping, tired and sore. A woman at the cash says when is your baby due? I said in the middle of February. "Merciful Heavens!!" she cries, "I thought you must be having a Christmas baby". Thanks, that is nice. What am I supposed to say? I didn't say much. What is it about women who have had babies and should remember how big you feel when you are pregnant. They are the ones who make comments, not men or boys, women just like you who should know better.
Enough venting about that. We are doing well here in Nova Scotia and enjoying extremely unseasonal cold weather. We picked our Christmas tree from the woods and got a little too excited. We got home and realized it won't fit in the door or in the stand. It might need some trimming or it might need to stay out on the deck. Here are some photos of Maetia and of the house Michael just put up.





Wednesday, November 14, 2007

photos


Laura and Maetia on the beach

nice glasses

Michael and Maetia wrestling

Kiss the baby

Our home

training pants

Lately Maetia has been telling us when she is peeing or pooping so we got a used potty and have it available if she wants to sit on it. At first she just wanted to sit on it with her clothes on but now she seems to want to pull down her pants and take off her diaper and 'pee'. She has actually peed in the potty a few times but she can't poop sitting down so even though it is obvious we just tell her good job and let her stand up and go in her diaper. We had thought she might be getting ready for this but we didn't want to push it because with a new baby coming we didn't want her to be trained and then revert. The truth is I don't know if we are ready. It seems like she can't be old enough already to be telling us when she has to go and actually have the control to hold it in. I remember her first few poops after the meconium and it just poured out of her with no control or realization... and now we are looking for training pants. Well if anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them. We are of course sticking with cloth and it looks like some of the middle of the road brands have enough snugness as well as being easy to pull up and down. It is almost as overwhelming as shopping for cloth diapers was but not nearly such a big investment.
Speaking of investments, we are in the process of buying a house. I know we were lamenting over what type of home to build only a month ago. This house came up for sale in Woodville (where our farm is) and it is a small, cheap, fixer upper. We felt we just weren't ready for the decisions involved with designing a house and giving up some of our dreams for an environmentally sustainable home. We are hoping to get this house and sell it in a few years, hopefully making a small profit. It has a great backyard with trees, a field, and lots of raspberries, blackberries and a small barn. Michael will have lots of room for a studio and it still has some of that 'old' house charm. Our closing date is set for November 30. Please keep us in your prayers that this works out and that Tum Tum continues to grow well. We will try to attach some pictures we took with our new camera. Finally something with more than 2 megapixels!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tum Tum

Well we certainly didn't mean to sound like we were not excited about the new baby (Tum Tum) in our last post, we just thought that it would have spread through the grapevine by now. We didn't exactly get the 'bug' to keep the family going, just another surprise like Maetia. But we are really enjoying our first surprise baby so we figure we don't always know what timing is the best. If I could have waited, I might have enjoyed a few more weeks of sleeping through the night and drinking good red wine, but there will always be time in the future for that. Our midwife says that your body knows when you are ready again and I guess I was. We are happy to have a midwife this time and already find a big difference in our visits. We talk for an hour instead of 20 minutes and besides being more thorough, it just feels like she is supporting us and we are leading the way. Last time it felt a bit like we didn't know what we were doing so the doctor was in the lead. We have told Maetia that there is a baby in Mummy's tummy and she will look under my shirt and say belly? baby? Then she looks at her belly and laughs and says BELLY!!! She is talking up a storm and really interacting with us on a different level. She will get us things if we ask her to and she answers us when we ask her a question. It is wonderful to think that of all the joys and celebrations we have had in the past 18 months, we are going to experience them all over again.
On another note, we have chickens!! I was going to order 30 Barred Rock Chickens through the mail but then the local zoo called (my cousins work there) and said they were going to feed them to the lions so did I want them? Yes!! and I named them all Daniel (or Danielle). I have 14 red ones and 5 white ones. Well I have 13 red ones now because our dog chased one out of the pen and although we see traces of it, it is still on the loose. Speaking of our dog, we left him at my parent place last week. We were driving home and I was talking about him and then Michael and I looked at each other, opps. Did we forget our dog? Is this any indication of what we will be like with 2 children? I hope not.
The garden is full of new manure, plowed and the cover crop is in. The last and final thing to do is plant the garlic and it is getting cold here so we have to do it soon. Michael is planning to put up a new home next week that he is excited about. We just found some plans from his boss for a Timber Framed home but framed especially for straw bales!! We still don't know what is happening as far as a home for us goes, but like April said, yes it is hard to grow up. So many decisions that seemed like they would be so easy to make when we were young and naive.
Here are some photos, thanks for reading our blog and staying in touch with us!




Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Camping for Thanksgiving


Drake and Maetia

Helping with the dishes

Michael and Maetia in the tent

Hiking the marshland trail

Well we had our first camping trip with Maetia. We had always planned to go sooner but with her colic we were afraid she would scream all night and then this summer she slept better but we had no time. So we decided to go now while we have time and to a place we hadn't been. We went to the Highlands of Prince Edward Island and saw Acadian forest, sand dunes, and remains of 300 year settlements. The autumn leaves are changing and even with the crisp wind we were able to do a lot of hiking and enjoy nature. We also brought our dog who loved the exercise but not his new 'gentle leader'. We highly recommend this for dogs that pull. It worked so well and our walk was much more pleasant.
Maetia slept pretty well considering our tent size. Putting up the tent brought back a flood of memories of travelling in Australia and New Zealand beyond just living in a tiny space. What a great experience.
The second night at 6 degrees Celcius we bundled Maetia up so tight she couldn't move (and she moves alot when sleeping) so we had to strip her down and let her use our body heat to keep her warm instead. It was cozy. After camping we went to my sister's home for Thankgiving dinner and a warm night in a house. Maetia played with her 4 cousins and we caught up as sisters need to do.
As farming goes we are trying to get organized for next year; finishing up in the fields, putting on manure, ordering chickens, revamping the cold storage and wash shed, and preserving all the veggies we have left for winter.
We are finishing projects around the cottage like insulation, landscaping, putting in the wood and installing gutters. All good to have done before the snow flies!

We are currently struggling with the decision of how to get closer to our land that we are farming. It is a 20 minute drive every day each way. We are saving money by living in the cottage and we do love it here. To be closer and save time and gas, we would like to build a home on our land but the home we want is made of straw and is run by solar and wind power. It would have recycled timber and doors. It is 1.5 km down the lane has a beautiful southern exposure with a gentle slope of the land and two streams. All of these things we want cost more money that we have or else are not up to code (illegal). We could do some of the illegal things if we lived far enough away from the road but the expensive things would have to wait and long drive ways are expensive when they don't already exist. We have looked at buying a mini home to put on our land for the time being but we would loose too much money from what we have invested. We have tried to buy the houses that are existing and near our land but no one wants to sell. We are currently trying to design a small cheap home in the front of our property that could be converted into something else later (possibly) but we know that we would probably end up staying there for the next 15 years or so at least. So do we build a home for us and our teenagers that we don't have yet? Do we make it small and add on later? Do we put in the foundation but not finish it all right away? We have laid out floor plans and by cutting out 6 feet we would save almost $15,000. But we are told that we will need this space and we will regret it. We will have a hard time paying for our mortgage even with Michael doing most of the work and making it a very basic simple home. All of these things are exciting, scary, difficult choices that we are just thinking about a lot so we thought we would share it (our life) with you.
Oh and if you didn't hear it yet, we are having another baby. We are due in the middle of February and feeling great!! Just another thing to keep in prayer!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

even more photos



Meeting her cousins for the second time.



Michael at work explaining his job.

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Eating together at a great Chinese Restaurant'Cheelin'



Our dog, Drake happy in the water.



Michael, John and Dad dragging rocks from the neighbor for a landscaping project.

more photos


Pig tails on the beach.

Contant family on the beach.

Grandma and Grandpa reading Maetia her new book.

The dirty bum that makes us glad she is walking.

At the market, eating swiss chard.

luxuries


Maetia and Grandma

Maetia, Grandma and Grandpa

Michael and Drake at low tide

The three of us

Maetia helping us snap beans

We have been very blessed this summer to have a few of life's little luxuries come our way. The first was buying another car. Another Toyota Corolla, one that will pass inspection and cost less to maintain. Not only does this car have automatic windows but it actually has windows that open and close without great stress on the wrist and brain!! The door handles are all attached and they open and close. Finally, when we use the key on all the doors, it actually unlocks them instead of only sometimes, leaving you in a parking lot with a baby and groceries and no way to get into your car. Another luxury was getting a clothesline. We have been hanging our clothes up inside our house for 2 years and at times using the little inefficient dryer. Now we dry our clothes quickly and easily with the ocean breeze. Our best luxury this summer involved having our parents come all the way from British Columbia. We would both get home from a hard day's work and supper would be ready, there would be cookies and/or muffins made (still warm), Maetia was happy, and all our outside jobs (fixing, painting, landscaping) were all done. We loved having you both here so much and wish that you could come back!! Maetia still asks where is gggma and gggrrpapapa. We also loved to have John, Anne, Tristan, Ella, Nathan and Anne with us for a week. We had such a fun family vacation!
Michael's work continues to be busy and go well. He is enjoying learning this trade and we hope he will be able to use it for our home in the not so distant future. Our farm has continued to grow and keep us busy this summer. I ended up having 28 CSA members which was way more than I planned on. We have been able to feed this many families from less than one acre of land!! With this type of farming it is hard to believe that there is widespread hunger within our own towns and cities. Our land continues to give us more than we need and we are trying to put away things with freezing and canning. We have begun the process of subdividing our land from my father's land and getting it ready for a home. We were hoping for this winter but it might be next fall instead. We love where we live right now and are not anxious to move again, only to be closer to the land we are working and trying to understand. I have been finding I am busier than I hoped to be. I have Maetia with my mum or at my sister's daycare 3 days a week. Then I am busy on Saturday morning with the market. I hope with more organization and planning, next year I will be home with her more. She is growing and changing so much all the time. She copies everything we say and do. She talks and babbles all the time and we can usually understand what she wants by her talk and signing. She is finally walking which has seemed to increase her appetite and help her stomach move food along better. Her acid reflux is still there but seems better in an upright position. I am going to add photos to this post and then post 2 or 3 more to get all the photos on that we want to share. We are hoping that with fall approaching and the CSA winding down we are going to be able to go fall camping, biking and hiking; and spend some time together as a family before it gets too cold.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Deliveries

Walking into the bank has never felt so exciting or fulfilling. Last Thursday I delivered two boxes from my CSA to the Royal Bank of Canada. This is a bank which neither Michael or I were happy with so we switched to the Credit Union. Fortunately for us my friend's mother works there and she and a friend had signed up for a weekly box of veggies each. As I handed over the boxes and all the people in the bank stared at me, they also looked into the box and now I have three more subscribers. Nothing beats in person, fresh, honest, advertising.
This spring at the market, I meekly passed out a little paper about what a CSA is and what I was doing. I hoped to get 10 people and now I have almost 25!! I am feeling overwhelmed but very excited too. This summer we also decided to take on another market which is about one hour away. This market is small but has no vegetable vendors. We figured this would be a good way to compare markets and sell rid of all my extra produce. Now we are finding that some weeks, I have to buy stuff from other people just to meet the demand. The problem with this is that I am doing alot of running around and only making half the money because I am buying other farmer's products. It is something that we just might have to do for this season now that we have committed to the markets. So far the bugs and weeds are under control (barely). We have 2 very special people coming this Friday to visit and we hope they will be as excited about weeding as I am. I know we are excited to see them as it has been almost one year since they have been here. We show Maetia her Grandma and Grandpa every day on the fridge and though she can't say their names, she recognizes them. We can't wait to see you!!
Michael is really enjoying his work and just returned from Peace River, Alberta. They put up a home that was 2500 sq.feet and the owner called 'cozy'. We call it huge. Maetia is growing and is finally weighing in at 18 lbs. We still are not able to switch her seat around even though she is 15 months old. She is finally sleeping through the night and can point to her body parts and say many words. She is so funny and tries to tickle us and tease us. She is not walking yet but can scoot extremely fast. Her cloth diapers are working better now that she has some weight on her thighs and we can just let her go in the diaper without pants because it is so warm here. We are loving the cool ocean breeze and sounds of waves each night as we lay in bed. This is a blessed summer so far. If only we could fit in some camping. Here are some photos of our summer with Maetia.




Wednesday, June 20, 2007

CSA

Well my garden is growing at a rate that I can't seem to keep up with. It is not just the veggies that are growing or the weeds, it is also the bugs. They are breeding and growing at a speed that is a bit out of control. I currently have Flea beetle on all my Brassicas (Kale, Brocolli, etc.) and the Cucumber beetle on all my Curbits (squash, cucumber etc.). After some time, I decided to spray the cucumber beetle with an oranic spray called Trounce. Basically it is the most mild and least harmful way I could control them. It makes them sick and hopefully die and stop breeding. I did not want to spray at all but years of other farmers in the area growing mass amounts of these plants has encouraged the bugs. Anyways, I am going to try and control it organically and then if this doesn't work, there are other options. These options are: basically loose my crop or spray synthetic pesticides. What is the better choice? For me it depends on my day. Right now, I am frustrated that companion planting, and collecting and monitoring the pests didn't work. I am realistic enough to know I need a crop. But if I spray, I have to tell all my customers, and that will slow down my market and make me frustrated in my growing inability. Well this is farming I guess and I am in it. Yes, I am and I have 8 members of my farm already!!! Michael and I are really excited. I spread the word that I would be doing a trial CSA for 10 weeks instead of 20 and that if it went well I would get a greenhouse and try it for 16-20 weeks next year. Word is spreading and people are looking for ways to get local produce so this seems to be good timing for us as a farm. Timing is everything isn't it?
Look how time is flying for this little girl.......



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Doctors visit

In the past month Maetia has gone to see her new pediatrician twice and the Asthma and Allergy specialist once. The pediatrician put her on Prevacid for Acid Reflux. We really don't want our child on such strong medication but within one day, she was eating better and sleeping better. Food is always hard with babies but she is exceptional. She previously always refused to eat after 2 spoonfuls of anything, even ice cream. No wonder she is so thin. She also always cried when we laid her down but we thought she just wanted to move around. One month after starting her medication, she has gained a pound and is starting moving up on her growth curve which she hasn't done in about 5 months. We are so happy that she seems happier and is enjoying her food. She is also having a longer daytime nap and has slept through the night a few times!! We are told that they usually grow out of acid reflux so we are praying that it will happen for her. Fortunately for us, our pediatrician recognizes our financial situation and has given us samples of the medication so we don't have to pay for it. Maetia was tested for allergies to dogs/cats, dust, milk and soy. She tested negatively to all of them, so the doctor has said that her symptoms of milk and soy allergies are also something she will probably grow out of. Lately we have been frustrated with doctors because they only rely on science for their diagnosis'. We completely understand that science has improved and saved the lives of millions of people, I am just venting. The Naturapath is great because they understand and believe you but you are still left with, okay so she can't eat all these things, what can she eat? It is frustrating when your child is extremely cranky, congested and constipated when she eats dairy products but you are told that it is only an old wives tale that they can have those symptoms from milk. Well, thousands of mothers who have experienced this may disagree. But we want to believe the doctor and pray that she will not have any food intolerances as I am all too familiar with how uncomfortable and annoying these can be. But we celebrate that she is growing and doing well and filling our lives with joy. She is turning into much more of a toddler lately. She moves quicker and with more confidence. She teases and tickles us and loves to play games. She will sit still for a few books at a time and loves to bounce up and down on the bed. With every new stage we have some sadness because she is growing and changing faster than we were ready for. We have a little girl, not a baby. It seems like parenting is full of joys and sorrows mixed together.
The pictures of the house framing are of a house that Michael put up with his work Arlington Timber Frames, on Cape Breton Island last week.
The photos of Maetia are at our first cook out on the beach on the weekend. We saw whales moving past (right in front of us) in the Bay of Fundy!! Maetia scoots around on the rocks like it is no big deal to drag her leg over all those rocks.





Tuesday, May 22, 2007

photos to go


Here is my land that I am planting on. It has floating row cover on the sensitive stuff.

My table at the market, the wave in the background


Maetia and I at the market


Maetia loves this toy, it plays music and blows air in her face and she gets to stand up all at once!


She choses cars and trucks over dolls every time.