lavender fields forever

The lavender and peonies are blooming. Mmmmm. This afternoon, on our way back from the beach, we drove by a couple of houses for sale that are intriguing. After seeing them in person, though, I love our house even more. And especially the garden! (Although you might not know it judging from the jungly status most of it is in right now. Ah, well - babies and toddlers trump everything else.)

Adam's new camera arrived today. This means that I get to spend more time with his old one. Yipee! You should check out some of the sessions he's done lately on his blog - there are some great shots. And I'm sure he'll be posting some new stuff as he uses his new one.
Speaking of Adam, he's the sweetest husband, ever. This was waiting for me in the shower this morning.
My new glasses also arrived today.

Happy Wednesday!


home notes

I still can't help buying soap from Olivier when I'm in NB. Adam thought that Thomas should do a little Vanna shot for you. Yes, he's sleeping. It's bath time - his favourite part of the day!
The new Nature Clean dishwasher detergent (the 'new and improved formula') is terrible. The old formula was fine, so when I saw this on sale, I bought two. I'm returning the second one, it's so bad. It just doesn't get things clean, leaves glasses cloudy, and I am just not a fan. Thought you might like to know.

I just ordered a new crib mattress for Thomas. The old one is a conventional sketchy one, and is is cracking. Which, frankly, scares me, since he spends so much time sleeping there. The one that is on its way isn't the most natural or the best of the best, but it's better than a cheapie one, and it's on sale this week. It has no phthalates or PVC, and has a removable waterproof cotton cover. It's made in Canada (of domestic and imported bits and pieces) and will make me feel much better. I'm excited.

I think we're done having kids, but in case you're not, they now have ovulation test kits with the pregnancy ones at Dollarama. Good luck!

Smartfood popcorn clusters are gross. Really gross - they were a sample that we got, and they are disgusting. Phillip won't even eat them.

PC Modena glaze is good. Really good. On vanilla ice cream, it's amazing. Mmmm.

Thomas is drooling up a storm over the past week or so. I hope there aren't teeth on the way already - I'm not looking forward to bites during feeding! And I am loving the Applecheeks diaper covers - they're lovely.


she sells seashells

Adam and Phillip brought this home from the beach for me. I think it's one of the most beautiful shells I've ever seen.


before and after

One of the projects that "we" (we hired someone to do the awful wallpaper scraping and painting while we were in NB) tackled lately was the stairway. The before pictures don't really capture how dingy and hideous it was before, and the after pictures don't capture how much brighter and lovelier it is. And I haven't finished everything yet (i.e. runner and hanging things on the stair walls) but you get the idea. I picked up that poppy painting for half price the other day, and looove it. Adam says "Klimt!" every time he goes by, since it reminds him of Gustav Klimt's paintings. Above is an after shot - notice the bare stairs?

The awful stripes before:

And the ugly runner.And after! (That's Thomas' downstairs diaper changing station in the corner.)


I used my in-house random number generators this morning and asked Phillip for his favourite number, and Adam for a number. So congratulations to #5 Stamper Nancy, who wins the unscented balm, and #9 Vickie L who wins the lavender! E-mail me your mailing address (grahamsherrie at yahoo dot ca), and I'll get those in the mail for you!

I'm off to choose some new glasses this morning - exciting! Have a great weekend!


last chance!

The winner of the balms will be announced tomorrow, so tonight's your last chance to enter! Just leave a comment on the original post.

Someday, I'll have a coherent set of thoughts to write about... but that's not today. Have a good night!


savary park

Savary Park is a lovely little provincial picnic park in Plympton, near Digby, NS. Adam and I had a picnic there once, before we were married. 9 years and two little ones later, we went back and had a beautiful time there this afternoon.
See how hard Thomas is working on getting those hand to cooperate? Tonight he finally got it! He wiggled that chubby little thumb in there and sucked on it until he fell asleep. My pinky is thankful for the respite.
Speaking of Thomas, he was cozy and snug in the Moby Wrap on the beach. (Sorry for the very tispy horizon - I took this one myself. Try not to get seasick! Just focus on that sweet face. Thomas', not mine.)
There was lots of playing with rocks and shells, and exploring a tidepool. One little guy got his shorts very wet, so this was the state in which we left the park:
I did manage to get one picture of myself and the boys!
Definitely stop if you're on your way by the park to rest, let kids run around, or just to be on the beach - it's well worth it.

Happy Tuesday!


farmers' market

Yee-haw! Our Farmers' Market now has a Facebook page! I'm hoping that it will get more and more people out on Saturday mornings. Contagious like the plague - that's my wish.
The peas above were some wee ones from our garden last year; we bought two perfect bags at the market on Saturday and they were gone by 1:00. Almost entirely my doing. Absolutely delicious. We also had a fabulous chicken, which I cooked as per Jamie Oliver's chicken in milk recipe.
Holy yum! And we're working away on some delicious bread, too. Yum!

If you're local, I'll see you there on Saturday - in front of Canadian Tire at 120 Starrs Road here in Yarmouth, officially open from 9am-1pm.


who put the balm in the balm-de-balm-de-balm giveaway

Today, folks, I have a super-simple and effective cocoa-butter balm recipe (which I made up myself!) that's great on lips, elbows, feet, flaky baby faces, knees, baby 'tocks, and anywhere else that needs a little moisturizing. Phillip wanted to make sure that you got a good look.
Super-simple Cocoa Butter Balm

2 ounces olive oil
1.1 ounces sweet almond oil
2.1 ounces cocoa butter
1 oz beeswax pastilles
a few drops essential oil if desired

Melt the beeswax and solid oils in a double boiler (I use a Pyrex measuring cup sitting in a small pot). Add the liquid oils and heat until uniform. Add essential oils if using, and pour into containers. Let it cool, and you're done!

I made two big batches of this a few weeks ago, one lavender and one unscented. I happen to have a few extras hanging around, and I would love to give them away! I'll be choosing two winners, one for a lavender balm, and one unscented. Leave a comment mentioning what you would use it for and whether you would prefer lavender or unscented, and I will choose two winners on Friday, June 25. *The ones I will be sending are in small glass jars rather than the tube as pictured. We've been using that one, so I don't think you're really keen on having it.*

Good luck, and I hope that you're enjoying a beautiful weekend!


diapering and mothering

One thing I've meant to write more about lately is diapering this time around, since it's what Adam and I spend a good part of every day doing. Like Phillip, for the first few weeks after Thomas was born, we used disposables; mostly PC Green or Seventh Generation. (A side note on PC Green diapers - I hate that they slag cloth diapers on the package and try to convince the reader that hundreds of packages of disposables is somehow better for the planet than cloth. Aside from being completely ridiculous, it conveys their assumption that the person buying them uses exclusively disposables, and is trying to make them feel happy about purchasing their product. It makes me ooze wrath. But I bought a package the other day because they're on sale, they're a decent option, we do use disposables at night, and such is life.)
Once we got our system sorted out, we started using cloth at home and disposables out and at night. Now we're one step further, using cloth at home during the day and when we're out, but still the disposables at night. We used several really cheap covers with P, and they were no longer usable after being a) used so much and b) in storage for a couple of years. So I picked up a couple of new covers for T at Stylin Mama when we were in Saint John, including a couple of Applecheeks, which I love. That's what T is wearing in these pictures. They are so soft and well-fitted, not to mention adorable. They're fleece-lined, and the elastic has the ideal amount of stretch. And they're made in Canada! T is still a wee bit under the weight for this size, but I didn't want to buy covers that he might only wear for a couple of weeks. A couple more Bummis Super Whisper wraps, too, (also made in Canada) and we're all set. (I love the new celery dot print!)
One thing that I've found works really well that I didn't do when P was in diapers is to use a scoop of oxy stain remover in each load of diapers I wash. They come out much cleaner and fresher than without. And we have had no trouble whatsoever with washing them in our front-loader. I have a custom wash programmed in with an extra rinse, and it's been working like a charm. We've also been using cloth wipes, of course, simply wetted with a bit of water, but I wanted to try something a little more moisturizing on that adorable bum. My first plan, naturally, was to make my own wipe liquid, but after reading rave reviews about this Baby Wipe Juice from Lusa Organics, I had to order some. It arrived yesterday, and I mixed some up today and used it for the first time. It smells amazing (slightly hippie-fied, but pleasantly so, with low levels of the patchouli factor - just nice and natural) and feels lovely on his sweet skin. I'm a fan! Oh, and the bottle is super concentrated, so it will last forever. So far, I love it!

I think I first saw the diaper juice featured in the most recent issue of Mothering, where there is also an excellent article, "The Diaper Dilemma" that has me seriously considering cloth diapering all of the time. Although I don't subscribe to everything that Mothering promotes (co-sleeping, for example, is just not going to happen in this house for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that Adam is 6'3" and we sleep in a double bed), I love reading the magazine. It's full of thoughtful reflections on parenthood, practical advice and recommendations, and plenty of opinions on controversial parenting issues. I really enjoy reading the letters to the editor and the varied readership they represent. If you're intrigued, you can get a digital subscription for $4.95 - I prefer the print copies, since I sometimes lend them out and often refer back to them. The online forums are an amazing source of information on natural living and parenting, too - be prepared to be in the rabbit hole for awhile.
Thomas has been working so hard to get his thumb in that little mouth of his. Any day now, he'll have it down pat.

Adam took all of these beautiful photos tonight of our beautiful boy.



I was outside in my bathrobe weeding the veg beds with Phillip at 8:15 this morning. Who have I become? I can still say that I don't wear pyjamas outside of my yard, though.

You wouldn't guess from reading most of my posts, but I have the most thoughtful, insightful, well-put posts in my head as I'm doing the daily tasks that demand my attention. Tonight, for example, I was carrying the 40-pounder like a monkey after he closed the door on his fingers, while I had my pinkie finger in the mouth of the 16-pounder who hasn't quite (but is soooooo close!) found his thumb yet and is not a fan of the pacifier. I thought of something clever and moving, and, of course, now it is long gone.

I do have most of a great post about diapering written, though, and once I snap an appropriately adorable picture to accompany it, I'll share with you. In the meantime, enjoy a bit more of the sunset from the other night. Magic.



Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company

If you're in Carleton County, New Brunswick, you definitely know about the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company. If you're in the rest of NB, you've probably seen some of their chips at the grocery store. If you're in Nova Scotia, like me, or anywhere else, you (gasp!) may have never enjoyed these chips. Or should I say, heavenly-morsels-of-absolutely-perfect-potato-chippiness. If we buy chips, which doesn't happen too often, we usually buy Kettle Chips, which are delicious, too. But Covered Bridge chips are a teeny bit thinner and lighter, but still significantly thicker than the cheapy ones. Which in my book, makes them perfect.
While we were in Carleton County, visiting some of Adam's family, we happened to be driving by the factory, where they have free tours. I have a thing for factories and finding out how things are made, so I was thrilled when we stopped. Unfortunately, there were no chips being made that day, but we still got to see where the magic happens. Very cool.
The bags! All rolled up on... roller things!
And some of the other equipment. I'm envisioning crispy, hot, greasy chips jostling happily along that chute. Mmmmmm.
They also have a little store with a huge selection of seasonings to choose from, and some locally made goodies completely unrelated to chips.

So. We're home again, and the lawn is mowed, and I have some new flowers planted. The veggies are coming along nicely, and we're looking forward to a nice sunny weekend.

Hope you're having a lovely week!


jones gallery

Yesterday afternoon, Adam and I went to meet Sarah Jones, of Jones Gallery. Adam has been a great admirer of her work, which depicts Saint John cityscapes in beautiful, very textured paintings and mixed media pieces. She also happens to be a lovely person, and her space is fantastic. I thoroughly appreciate her well thought out and designed signage, clean gallery / working space, and those gorgeous doors.

Sorry - you can't buy those three paintings hanging vertically next to Sarah; we bought them. I think we'll be buying more in the future, too. The giant one on the left in the photo below wants to live at our house, but we didn't quite have that much money hanging around yesterday. Maybe when we win the lottery.
Definitely check out the Jones Gallery site, and if you're in Saint John, pop by 122 Germain Street. Sarah's also on Twitter. Thanks for the lovely visit, Sarah, and for humouring my picture-taking.

Incidentally, these photos were taken on Adam's iPhone. Handy thing, that.


the birthday

The birthday boy on his third birthday. Thanks for the picture, Adam! I bought the same sweater and forgot it at home, so Adam and I were out picking up another one at 10pm the night before the big day. Definitely worth it.
And here's the cake that my mother-in-law worked on for a long time; inspired by this one. We picked the Prius to remind P of you, Auntie Marla! Phillip loved it, and had a lovely birthday.P.S. Dear Thomas,
Thank you so much for sleeping through the night for the first time on Wednesday. And thank you for eating so quickly that I thought that you slept through again last night and needed Dadoo to remind me that you woke up.



Happy 3rd birthday to my sweet, sweet Phillip. We celebrated (in part) by taking a nap together this afternoon. Phillip also rode on a city bus for the first time this morning (VERY exciting, as we don't have any in Yarmouth - that's he and Adam waiting for the bus to pick them up), and we had a delicious breakfast at Cora's. I'll have more pictures of the cake and such soon!