Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

Well, it certainly has been an interesting year! It's always a little bittersweet to look back over the year and see it come to an end. While I am so happy and proud of everything we have accomplished this year, it's also sad to see the years flying by so fast. 

So, in the spirit of the new year, here's a little reminiscing, a couple resolutions, and a year in photos.

2011: It was a very good year! 

2011 began
for me in a pub surrounded by good friends. I was a couple months pregnant and trying my hardest to stay awake and make it to midnight. 

It will end with Hubby and I at home, probably trying our hardest to stay awake and make it to midnight. Hopefully Peanut will be fast asleep though...

In 2011: 

I had a baby. Officially the craziest thing I have ever done. 
I did not travel farther than 3 hours from my home. :( So strange. 
I turned 30. 
I witnessed the marriages of my good friends and of my sister-in-law. So much love! 
For the first time since I was 16 years old I do not have an official "job".
We bought a new car. 
I learned how to use a sewing machine and created a retro masterpiece. Well, masterpiece might be a little inaccurate. 
I celebrated a year of marriage with the love of my life. 
I started this little ol' blog.
I lost my heart to the cutest little man around. 

My Top 3 Posts of 2011 (according to how many times they've been viewed)

#1: The Best Pregnancy Books (According to Me...)
#2: Our DIY Maternity Photos
#3: How to Get A Good Night's Sleep While Pregnant

2012: Some "Resolutions"

I hesitate to use the word "resolutions". I do not have a very good history with making resolutions. In fact, I can't think of one I've ever kept. So, I would rather call it "Things I would like to accomplish in 2012" but it's less catchy...

Blog related:

1. I would like to learn how to use our DSLR and start taking better photos (already enrolled in a photo class in January...yesssss...). This one is also a personal goal. 
2. I would like to try and attend a blog event. 
3. Reach 100 followers and 100 Facebook "likes". Definitely really close on this one, so hopefully it's attainable! 
4. Continue to see some growth with this little space of mine in the vast internetland. 
5. Make some more meaningful bloggy friendships with the awesome people out there in the blogosphere. 


1. I would like to get back into doing yoga on a regular basis. 
2. I would like both Hubby and I to "get healthy". Basically, lose some weight and eat healthier. I have a bad track record with this though.
3. I would like to actually go on some adventures again! On my list of "must-dos" this year? Camping, and a trip to Mexico to see one of my favourite people get married. 
4. I would like to try and find a way to avoid putting Peanut into daycare so that I can work. That, or find a job that I love so that it will be worth it. 
5. Possibly try and tackle painting the house so it's more our style. 

Wishing you all a happy, peaceful, prosperous and joyful New Year!!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

5 Months!

At 5 months Peanut:

~ weighs about 17 lbs
~ is 28 inches long

~Can roll over both ways! (Although he usually forgets how to roll back once he gets on his tummy)
~ Has started to figure out how to get to sleep on his own with just a bit of fussing! And is now sleeping through most of the night! Woo hoo! 
~ Grabs just about everything in his reach
~ Loves to talk with something in his mouth
~ Has his first tooth! It's not all the way out yet, but it's about 1/3 of the way there! 
~ Loved the wrapping paper at Christmas: smashing and ripping and eating it, oh my!
~ Loves to squeal. Very loudly. It's really quite versatile for every emotion: boredom, delight, hunger, frustration...
~Went to his first hockey game and loved it! 

~Is seriously the most adorable baby in the whole wide world...not that I'm biased or anything...ahem.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy: Christmas Edition

I want to take this time to wish you all a joyful and Merry Christmas! May you enjoy all the gifts this season has to offer, especially the ones you cannot buy. 

Here are the Things That Make Me Happy Today: Christmas Edition

Finn's first look at the Christmas tree 

This festive necklace I purchased from The {Posh} Daisy Etsy shop. Love it!!

Our little family's first Christmas!

And one of my all-time favourite Christmas quotes:


Monday, December 19, 2011

SuperParent Adventures: Having a baby is hard on the relationship

Having a baby causes your relationship with your husband/partner/significant other to change in ways you don't really expect. At least, I never expected it. I read about some of them, but thought that it would never happen to us. We are really good at talking things out and we never argue. But you know what? There are going to be those times when you are just angry because they just. don't. get. it. And they are probably feeling the exact same way about you. Here's how it's been at our place: 

Baby is not sleeping well, and wakes up every 2 hours or so. 

Here's my perspective:

I am lying there resenting Hubby because I am the one that has to get up every 2 hours with the baby. Peanut HATES the bottle, and so I have to feed him. Also, Hubby has to work in the morning, so needs sleep. So it's my "job" to get up with Peanut and attempt to put him back to sleep every. single. time. Then, after having a night of no sleep, I have to get up and spend the day with Peanut. Which is awesome, but is also exhausting; changing diapers, keeping him occupied and happy, attempting to get him to nap (which is a challenge). And since he only seems to nap in about 45 minute intervals, there's not much I can do while he does nap. I definitely can't nap myself. Sometimes I get to shower. Most days I don't. Some days I can make a nice dinner. Others, it's frozen pizza. I rarely have time to do more than tidy up a room, or do some laundry. And this makes me feel guilty. Then, Hubby comes home and wants to have some time to himself, but all I want is a break. Then it's bedtime and we start the cycle all over again. And I know he wants to help me in any way he can, and that he loves us more than anything, and that he thinks this is hard too. But sometimes I feel so alone in this. 

Here's Hubby's perspective:

He is lying there frustrated and exhausted. He knows he can't feed the baby, and feels badly that I have to get up and do it, but he's got to go and put in 9 hours at the office 5 days of the week. He has to get up at 5am and usually doesn't get home until 5pm. His job is stressful and he has a lot of responsibility. He is exhausted from interrupted sleep, and from his job. He finally gets home and wants to spend time with us, but he needs some time to unwind from the day at the office. Also, the house is getting out of control and he'd rather have something tastier than frozen pizza. Again. He doesn't get why simple things like this can't be done when I am home all day. The last thing he feels like doing after a full work day is doing the dishes. Then it's bedtime and we start the cycle all over again. And he knows that taking care of Peanut is hard work, and that it's exhausting, and that I don't get very much sleep at all, and that I'm doing the best I can. But sometimes he feels so alone in this. 

We both have tough jobs. And unfortunately it's so incredibly difficult to see it from the other side while you are sleep deprived and stressed out. And sometimes it's too easy to just get annoyed with each other and frustrated and resentful. So that's why when Hubby made a delicious pasta dinner tonight, and we poured a glass of wine and ate at the dinner table at a leisurely pace (rather than trying to eat as fast as possible before the baby starts crying, or eating in shifts and tag-teaming it) it was such a breath of fresh air. It's so easy to get caught up in the baby, that we often forget to give each other much-needed love and support. It helps when one of us turns to the other and says "This is hard", or "Thank you so much for..." or just simply "I love you". 

I am one lucky woman to have such an amazing husband. And I think he's pretty lucky to have me too. 

 What a gentleman!
Photo by Images by Frost

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DIY Christmas Wall Art: Part 2

So, as previously mentioned in my first post, I have another tutorial for you. This one was even cheaper than the first one, and is so incredibly easy. It really only took about 10 minutes to do. I found the inspiration for it on Pinterest. It came from an Etsy Shop which you can find here. Hers are obviously much nicer than mine, and she put a lot of time into making the gorgeous wreath. 


My version is much lower-class and also much smaller. I found some wooden letters from Michael's and painted them white. 

I then found this cheap red garland with Christmas bulb doodads attached. I bent a coat hanger into a circle, and then clipped off the extra wire. I used that as a frame and just wrapped the garland around the wire to make a "wreath" for the "O". 

I was a little stumped as to how to hang them above my mantle. I wanted them to sit flush to the wall, and I didn't want to add any more nail holes. There was already a small nail in the centre, so I used that to hang the "O".  I then had a great idea. I had already purchased some of those 3M adhesive hooks to hang the stockings. I just used the adhesive strips without the hooks on the back of the letters, and stuck them straight to the wall. That way when Christmas is over, the wall goes back to normal! Woo hoo! 

I am really happy with how it turned out. The project cost me about $5 in total. Pretty good! 


Monday, December 12, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Shortbread Meltaways and Holiday Wrapping with Lish from Imprintalish!

Today I have a special treat for you guys: a delicious guest post from one of my awesome sponsors, Lish! She blogs over at Imprintalish, which is one of my very favourite blogs to read. Gorgeous photography and awesome crafty ideas. She's got some great holiday ideas, so head on over and show her some love! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe Lish. Skor bars are my absolute favourite. I can't imagine that these are going to last long in my house...

Hello all you Up Mommy Creek readers!! I'm so happy to be here today hanging out with my fellow Canadian, Amy, and all of you!!! My name is Lish and I blog over at Imprintalish. I blog about everything from my two handsome little guys to crafts to pretty finds on the web, recipes and tales of balancing life, my etsy shop and being a SAHM.

Today I am going to be sharing a recipe with you that I put into my Christmas goodies line up a couple years ago. It's pretty simple and will be sure to help you pack on the pounds..LOL...I think I have ate a whole batch already, and if you add up those little calories (look at the bottom of the recipe down below), I think that equals out to two days worth of calories!! If you can keep your hands off them though, they are the perfect treat to share with neighbours, friends, coworkers and family!

Shortbread Meltaways
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
 2 teaspoons vanilla
 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup cornstarch
 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 cup Skor toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla until creamy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt;stir half into butter mixture. Stir in toffee bits and remaining flour mixture. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool on pan for about 5 minutes and dust with more icing sugar, if desired. Store in airtight container for up to two weeks. These also freeze well! 1 cookie= 80 calories-bet you didn't want to know that!

So once you've finished baking and let them cool, it's time to wrap them up!

What I used: 
Jar with air tight lid 
Kraft Paper Doily
Elastic Band
String of faux pearls

1. Loosely trace the lid onto some Kraft paper, I left about two inches of space around it. Next, center the doily on top of the lid with the Kraft paper on top of that. Secure in place with an elastic band.

2. To decorate the top of the jar, I cut a long skinny strip of Kraft paper and started twisting and rolling it to make it resemble a ribbon, almost like a piece of raffia. Then I started rolling it around into a shape of a flower.

3. Secure the flowers to the top of the lid with some glue.

4. Cover the elastic by wrapping a string of beads, ribbon, yarn around the jar.

Voila! A jar perfect for gift giving. Not only for Christmas but for any time of the year too!

Thanks so much for having my over to visit Amy, I had so much fun! I hope to see all of you over at my blog too...don't be shy either, I love meeting new people!

Friday, December 9, 2011

From the Man Files: Top 10 Gift Ideas for the Men in Your Life

So, today I have a very special guest blogger. Well, he's very special to me. Awww. The Hubby has decided to offer his insight into one of the things I find most difficult around this time of year: trying to buy gifts for the men in my life. Enjoy!!

I'm pleased introduce one of the world's foremost minds on insights into men; what they want, what they need and what they really think about. Without further ado: Adam. 

And the crowd roars (ahhhhhhhhhhhhh)

Standing ovation!!!

Every once in a while I will be giving some man perspective on Up Mommy Creek. This week I will be talking about gifts. Now I didn't want to write about the obvious things, like the big ticket items: sports cars, yachts, trips to Bora Bora and ridiculously huge big screen televisions. What I wanted to write about were the little things for those who are short on gift ideas. Here is my

Top Ten Gift Ideas for Any Occasion 
(in no particular order)

1. Booze - You can never go wrong giving your man a good stiff drink for Christmas, whether it's his favourite bottle of liquor, a 6 pack of some local micro brew, a nice bottle of wine (or a case). Whatever you give him should be something he wouldn't normally splurge for himself. 

2. A Good Book - if you have a good idea of your significant other's interest and he is someone who likes to read, then a good book is definitely an easy winner. Read some reviews first, check the top sellers list or ask the staff what they recommend.

3. A Magazine Subscription - with so many different topics you will be sure to find something he has an interest in, plus its a gift that the can be enjoyed year round. I recommend a subscription to Playboy - I kid I kid 

4. Gift Certificate - But they are so impersonal you say. Yes if you get him something like a Walmart gift certificate or one of those cash cards you can use anywhere. Instead, get him one for somewhere he really likes to shop; a bookstore, music shop, eBay or someplace where he can get something unique.

5. A Copy of his Favourite Movie - with the seeming slow death of DVDs it may be a good idea to get him a copy of his favorite movie on Blu-Ray. Or if he likes a particular trilogy or series of films then they would be a good idea too.

6. Concert DVD/Blu-Ray - If he has a favorite band or he is into music, a recorded concert would be something he can watch again and again. Selection is sometimes limited, so you may not have a choice between DVD or Blu Ray. I would say that Blu Ray would always be preferred, but sometimes you just can't make it happen. 

7. Music Box Set - same as number 6, but you need to know the band and or the genre to get this one right otherwise this one might just collect dust. Alternative? Same as #4: gift certificate to iTunes. 

8. Band/Sport Memorabilia - Band TV shirts, a ball cap of his favorite sports team; if he's got a fave team or band its not a bad idea to get him some memorabilia. Just don't do what Amy did and get a key chain of his team's chief rival. (it was a joke! Sheesh! ~Amy)

9. Collectibles - If he collects something, add to his collection. Note: only do this if you have a good idea of what he collects and how much they cost otherwise you could be over paying for whatever you get him. Generally eBay is the best place to go for collectibles as you can get a good idea of prices and there is enough variety that you generally won't over pay.

10. Tickets/Passes - Depending on his interests you can always get him tickets to a game, movie passes, concert tickets or passes to a ski hill, etc. Sometimes its not things that a guy wants but an experience. Plus these tend to be the most memorable if you go with him.

Hope these help you with coming up with gift ideas for the upcoming holidays. Generally get him something he wouldn't normally spend money on himself, and you should be good.

Talk to you soon

- Adam

Monday, December 5, 2011

Keeping Perspective; or Finding Joy in Sleepless Nights

Sometimes it's hard in all this Mommying to not get caught up in all the shoulds and shouldn'ts

"My baby should be sleeping through the night"
"My baby shouldn't be so fussy"
"I should be losing weight faster"

The list is really endless. Lately I've been really caught up in the sleeping thing. I haven't really slept longer than a 3 hour stretch in almost 2 months. Bedtime and naps are still a big struggle. Hubby says if he has to sing "3 Little Birds" one more time (I have NO idea why this song is the magic bullet...) he will go insane. 

I am surrounded by well-intentioned people in real life, in internet-land, and in books, who have plenty of good advice on how to remedy this situation. Things we are doing wrong, things we could do better, things Peanut should be doing (like not waking up to eat every 2 hours or so). It's so easy to become tangled up in all this advice and feel like we are not doing the best job as parents. If we would just give him solid food, he would sleep better. If we would just sleep train, he would learn. If we just worked on getting the naps sorted, the nighttime would be easier. If we just stuck to a routine, things would sort themselves out. There are a ton of things we can do differently, or we could try, or we are already doing, or are going to do in the future.

So when people ask the one question I guarantee will be asked in any conversation with a new parent: "So, you getting much sleep?" and I answer "No", I have to prepare myself. Sometimes people commiserate, sometimes they don't say anything, or sometimes there is some advice or tidbit about what will help. 

But you know what? I have started to realize that sometimes it seems like all we do is try and conform our little guy into our idea of what he should be doing. He is a baby, with baby needs. And sometimes we lose sight of that. Sure, it's tough living life with very little sleep, but as a friend told me: "Isn't that what you signed up for when you decided to have kids? It's like signing up for swimming lessons and expecting to not get wet". Touche sir! 

Hubby and I had a moment the other night that really brought this home. It was 2am, and Peanut was still up and happy as can be. We were exhausted, and all our attempts at putting him to sleep were being easily thwarted. We were just sort of strewn across our bed in defeat when Peanut started grabbing my face and pulling on my lip and giggling. Hubby and I looked at each other and just cracked up. What were we so stressed about? The baby is obviously happy and healthy. Sure, we are sleep-deprived zombies, but we are so lucky to have our little family, and we wouldn't change it for the world. 

It's hard to keep perspective as a parent sometimes. Sure, it's tough, but you know what? It's also awesome too. So incredibly awesome. And we won't have these little baby moments for long. Soon we will be longing for these times. The nights where we cuddle and sway and sing songs. The nights where we have bath-time, and read books and rock in the glider. The too-early mornings when I am greeted with the biggest smile in the world when I look into his crib. Like Hubby said, soon he will be off to college. 

So instead of stressing about it, I am trying to keep it in perspective. Sometimes it's tough, but I know that all too soon these tough moments will be gone, and I will miss them. I am sure no one has ever looked back upon their lives and said "Gee, I wish I would have slept more". I will have plenty of time to sleep in the coming years. So I will try and keep that much-needed perspective, and savour these moments rather than wishing them away. Next time someone asks the inevitable "Getting much sleep?" and I answer "No", I can say it with a smile. 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

DIY Christmas Wall Art

December 1st. The day I can officially start my Christmas-ing and not feel guilty about being too early. Yay! This year I got quite crafty and have made a few ornaments, a gift and a couple holiday decor items. I blame Pinterest, really. So much inspiration. Makes me feel like I need to craft to be cool. I also blame being on maternity leave: a lot of time and not a lot of money. 

I wanted to Christmas-up the main floor a little more this year. Usually we only have our fake tree in the window on that floor and the basement room gets all the Christmas cheer (and the real tree), since that's where the fireplace is. I wanted something to match the red and white theme of our main floor tree. Yes, we have 2 Christmas trees in our house. It's because Hubby always has had a real tree, and I have always had a fake one. So we compromise and have both. Excessive? Perhaps. Christmasy? Heck yes! 

So, I popped over to Michael's and found some canvas on a super-sale, grabbed a couple of bottles of $0.79 acrylic paint and a couple of packs of white sparkly letter stickers, and made myself some Christmas wall art. All in all it took about 30 mins to do, and I think it looks great. It's pretty much exactly what I was looking for: something Christmasy, but not overly so. 

Here's how I did it:

I started with the blank canvas (obviously). Mine were 16"x 20"

I painted it all over in a bright red acrylic paint. Tip I learned the hard way: make sure to paint around the side of the canvas before doing the main part. It's way easier than doing it after it's all pretty on the top. 

While the paint was still wet, I dipped the brush in a deeper wine colour and brushed it over the red. Then I just blended it in long streaks to give it a bit of depth. I think it makes it look a little more rustic and interesting. 

Then, when dry I peeled off the backing on the letters and stuck them on in the arrangement I wanted. Here's what I came up with:

I was a bit limited in the sayings I could create because I am cheap and didn't want to buy more than 2 packs of the letters. And there are an awful lot of "S"s in most Christmas sayings. 

Here's a close up to show the sparkly-ness
I love how they turned out. I paid a whopping total of about $25 for the supplies and spent about 30 minutes making them. Sah-weet! 

I have another super easy (and cheap!) Christmas decor project to show you next week. 

Also, you may have noticed a change in the blog address. I am now on my own domain at! Exciting! So please update your bookmarks if you have 'em. 



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