Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Almost the Weekend!!!



Not that it matters, since when you live on a farm, every day is a work day. Oh, and holidays? Days off? Vacations? What are those?

Anyway, cheers for Friday! I was going to try to post something on the blog yesterday, but this is what my Thursday looked like:

The cattle are loose. Those bad girls went through the fence...again.
Hubby happens to be away when the cattle misbehave. Go figure.
Unbelievable how my doggy won't help me push the cattle back to where they're supposed to be! The dog prefers to play with rocks. *sigh*
Really happy that Little One has been sleeping in the BabyBjorn (snuggling inside my jacket) as I work outside cleaning up the raspberry canes and try to salvage the garden that the tractor ripped up in the midst of house renovations.
Surprised that it's already May! Time seems to just fly by!
Don't know how I'm going to get the cattle back where they're supposed to be.
Amazed that I was able to move some heavy furniture in the kitchen on my own to give the kitchen a facelift.
Yes, life on the farm is not always easy...but it's a healthy and good life :) I'm curious to see how things go when I start teaching ESL again. Having some minor anxiety attacks just thinking of incorporating teaching and students into life with baby and life on the farm. Oh, well. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Daddy's little farm girl, sporting her John Deere onesie. Oh, I should say her 3-6 month onesie!!! She outgrew her preemie and newborn outfits and is now wearing 3 month outfits! Technically, she is supposed to be almost 3 months old, so I guess she's right on track for a preemie who was born almost three months early! Little One now weighs 8 lbs, 5 oz :)

*Update: I did manage to keep the cattle from going onto the highway! They stayed in the field behind our house (still where they weren't supposed to be!), but kept them out of trouble until Hubby finally came home from a sawmill job.*
Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm a Hooker!!!


This June will mark my fifth year living on the Island. What happens when you pluck a city girl out of the city and drop her in the rural North? All sorts of interesting things can happen!

Every now and then, I'll start laughing to myself when I think of all the unusual (unusual for me!) things that I have experienced. For example:

* Going to teas and bazaars...and enjoying said teas and bazaars!

I remember my very first tea and bazaar clearly. I went with a few friends, and we sat at a table that had a few available seats. The lady I sat next to was eighty-nine years old and the loveliest, chattiest, friendliest person ever! She leaned over and immediately started to talk to me. This threw me aback, because in the city I often spoke to strangers and got strange glances from people. This adorable octogenarian looked at me and in between nibbles at her sandwich and squares, she said, "I'm a hooker!"
Me: (in shock) Oh! Ummm...Okay.
Adorable Lady: Yes! I'm a hooker! Been hookin' since I was twelve! And I'm eighty-nine now! That's a lot of years hookin'!
Me: Oh, yes! It certainly is a lot of years! (still in shock that she divulged such intimate details with me and she didn't even know me!)
AL: (smiles) I'm one of the best!
Me: (laughing) I'm sure you are! I...ummm...didn't know that people around here did that kind of stuff!
AL: Oh, sure! In my generation, we all did it! We learned as little girls! Our mothers and grandmothers taught us!
Me: WOW!
(Laughter ensued)
My friend: C, don't you have any hobbies?
Me: Ummm...yes! Of course! I like painting, taking photographs...and I can crochet. But...what do hobbies have to do with being a hooker!?!?
Friend: It's a type of craft! You know, latch hooking?
AL: (laughing) Oh, dear! You thought...(more laughter) No, it's closer to knitting that it is to the thing you were thinking! Well, it's not actually close to knitting at all, but...
Me: Yes, I get it. (laughing from embarrassment)


In my first year on the Island, no one knew me and I didn't know anyone. I remember going to the store and the cashier asked, "Can I have your band number?"
Me: Ummm...Sorry?
Cashier: What band do you belong to?
Me: Band? As in rock band? (puzzled)
Cashier: Do you have a band number?
Me: What's a band number?
Cashier: Oh! You're not Native?
Me: No (didn't go into the whole "My mother's Filipina with Spanish ancestry and my dad's Chinese but was born and raised in the Caribbean" bit).

The cashier apologized for mistaking me for someone "Native", but I had to smile. I don't know why she'd apologize. I have always been interested in the history and storytelling of the First Nations people. I remember taking a course in Creation Myths when I was in college. Anything with the words Ojibwa, Cree, Iroquois and Algonquin in the title was something I was interested in. Plus, there aren't tooooooooooo many Asian people on the Island. I guess the cashier figured that if I wasn't Caucasian, then I was "Native". Certainly an eye opening experience, since I came from a very multicultural and diverse city (Toronto). Now that I think of that exchange, it makes me think of how clueless and naive I was when I first moved here.

Other Island experiences that make me smile:
* Watching the new calves and their moms in the Spring. Calves are so adorable! I love watching them run and play in the fields.
* Watching the deer graze in the same field as the cattle. Amazing how they seem to not be paying attention and not be bothered at all, but you know how aware they really are.


* Having to stop my vehicle to let a family of ducks cross the road.

* Driving down the winding country roads...with no other vehicle in sight! It truly amazes me! I'm used to being in the city where it's bumper to bumper traffic and very rarely was I the only one on the road.

*Driving down the winding country roads and seeing the most beautiful sights. There's a certain spot you reach when driving on Rockville Road, where as soon as you reach the top of the hill, if you look straight ahead you'll see Treasure Island. The view is especially gorgeous on a misty day.

There are lots of experiences I can recant in my nearly five years on the Island. I'll have to think of more when I'm not so tired :) 9 PM and the baby's sleeping! That means I ought to get to bed too!
Saturday, April 25, 2009

So, She Made A Liar Out Of Me!


Remember how I've been saying that for the past two weeks Little One has been super cranky and I've been going bonkers? Well, you wouldn't believe me if you saw this! This is what she was like first thing in the morning (see photo below):Yes, Little One was all smiles. She was very happy and has been like that for the past two days. I guess babies are like all people and have their good days and not so good days. I mean, we all get crabby every once in a while too, right?
Hmmm...Maybe if I act super cute, Daddy won't go to work right away and he might play with me!

One thing is certain...The girl loves her Daddy.I've taken the advice of many of you moms out there. THANK YOU, by the way! By going out for walks and car rides, Little One gets tuckered out pretty much as soon as we get out the door. It's so funny. Must be all of that fresh, country air. We do more walking than we go on car rides. Our car rides are always for groceries, errands, doctors' appointments, etc. If we can walk to wherever we're going, it's better. It's better for us and the environment. Little One likes anything that involves movement. Stick her in the car for a 6+ hr drive to Toronto for a Neonatal Follow-Up, and she's a happy camper! Strange kid.
We've been walking pretty much every day or every other day. I haven't used her stroller on the highway because we walk on gravel (on the shoulder of the highway). I'm going to buy one of those all-terrain strollers so we can go "off-roading". Hahaha! Living in the countryside, we need something really durable.
I thought I'd leave Little One with Hubby the other night because I had a meeting in town. Hubby didn't get home early enough, so I took Little One to my meeting with me. I was thinking of my meetings and maybe leaving Hubby and the baby alone together isn't such a good idea. If Hubby gets a First Response Call or a fire call, he usually bolts out the door without thinking. What would he do with the baby if he had to answer an emergency call? No, he wouldn't forget about the baby, but maybe it's better if she comes to my meetings with me.
I'm vice-chairperson for our township's library and our meetings don't last too long. I decided to get there a bit early the other evening, put Little One in her stroller and walk around the village a few times. I figured if I walked around for a while, she would fall asleep and stay sleeping throughout the meeting. Worked like a charm!


Yes, I'm still learning. Learning what works and what doesn't. Trying to figure out Little One's patterns, quirks, likes, and dislikes. I'm also learning that despite how annoyed I get when the house is in disarray, I don't think it will ever look as pristine as the homes in magazines do. I used to get upset when there were things on the dining room table (newspapers, magazines, letters, etc). I used to tell Hubby that everything has its place and the dining table should always be uncluttered. It just drives me crazy when there are things on the table that should not be there. However, I am learning to let go a bit.
See my messy living room?

Like many of you have told me, all that matters is that Hubby, Little One and I are healthy and happy. Everything else is secondary. *sigh* It's still tough for me to let that sink in. There are baby things everywhere! I've got four loads of laundry done, but haven't had a chance to fold or put the clothes away yet. Oh, well. Like my MIL said, "the chores will always be there for you to do later".

video
Thursday, April 23, 2009

A New Kind of Lullaby


Alternate title for this post: "This is What Happens When Moms Don't Get Enough Sleep" or "I Think I've Finally Gone Bonkers!"*sigh* I don't want you to think that life is all rosy and happy here on the farm all the time. No, I'll be honest. As much as I love Little One and as much as she is my entire world right now, she does exhaust me.


Yesterday, I felt like the crappiest Mom and wife in the entire world. I know millions of women raise families, take on all the housework, cooking, errands, helping their husbands/partners and everything else...and manage to earn a living at the same time. HOW do you do it? I feel like I am struggling here. I feel like I sometimes can't do it all. When I talk to my friends, no one ever talks about how exhausted or drained they are or that they are feeling even the tiniest bit overwhelmed. Then I just feel like it's just me. I feel like I'm incompetent and can't juggle everything like every other mom can. I feel like so much is being put on my plate and that eventually things are going to start falling off my plate. If I do vent or talk about how I feel, I often feel like I'm complaining because no one else talks about how tired and overwhelmed they are. I feel like I should just shut up and suck it up.


I mentioned before that Little One has been super cranky because her gums are bothering her. Now, not only are her gums bothering her, but she's also learned that she can try to fight sleep. Yes, she is exceptionally cranky when she's tired now. Instead of falling asleep like she ought to, she has decided to fight sleep. Why, oh why would anyone do that? I have been known to embrace sleep these days! Heck! I've been known to fall asleep sitting in a chair or while nursing the baby!


Anyway, Little One loves music and when she's sleepy, cranky, happy, upset, or wide awake, I sing to her. If she's not exceptionally cranky, she either smiles and coos (she gets so excited that her arms and legs start flailing around like crazy) or she falls asleep.


In true C fashion, I often change the lyrics to songs. Here are a few I came up with:


At first I was afraid.
I was petrified...
That my darling Little One would not let me sleep.
She just keeps on wailing her head off
and doesn't seem to soothe.
She is cranky
and I'll never sleep again.
Oh no, not I!
I won't sleep.
My head is aching now and my back is gonna break.
A little 8 lb baby can get so darn heavy
when all I can seem to do
to get her to stop crying
is to hold her.


What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Would you be kind
and perhaps take a nap?
I would love it if you would do just that.
Oh, I'd get by if you nap for a while.
Yes, I'd get by if you nap for a while.
Do you need Mom or Dad
to hug and kiss you g'night?
Cuz I'll do anything
For you to sleeeeep tight.

(In her defense, Little One sleeps very well through the night. It's just during the day that she fights sleep and is Little Miss Fussy Pants)


You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are gray.
You never know dear, how much I love you-
Especially when you take at least one nap during the day.

I try to say sleep tight, but I can't.
I try to walk away, but I linger.
You just don't want me to leave you in your crib
all alone.


Hey, my Little One!
The days seem so long and slow.
Then when I look at you,
I see that all you do is grow.
It makes me sad to see
my baby is growing up.
Sha la la la la la la la la la la la la
My brown eyed girl.
(Actually, her eyes aren't brown. I don't know if her eyes are still in transition, but they're a a pretty shade of grayish-green right now)


All we are saying,
Is give sleep a chance.
All we are saying,
Is give sleep a chance.


Of course, the crankiness doesn't last all day. In the mornings she's active and playful. We have loads of wonderful, tender moments that make even all the crankiness in the world seem worthwhile. Why? Because she's ours...and we love her.

Oh, and another reason we love her? She puts up with is entertained by giggles and coos at my super silly songs.
If you can name the titles of the original songs (before I butchered them), you win something.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!


Perform an Act of Green
...today and every day :)


You can keep track of your green contributions @ One Million Acts of Green.

Today's Act of Green: Composting at home.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Does This Make My Butt Look Fat???


Little One was NOT a happy camper today.

1) Her gums are still really bothering her. Teething rings straight out of the freezer seem to work for a bit, and then she gets crabby again. My poor baby! :( I feel so sorry for her...but I feel even sorrier for myself. LOL! I'm exhausted!!!

2) I tried on the amazing cloth diapers our friends from Ottawa made for us. My Dad's best friend is a tailor and he's known me for 30+ years. When he asked what I needed for the baby, I said "cloth diapers"! He made me two dozen diapers. I was so excited!

Unfortunately, Little One is a tiny little thing. Being a preemie, it's hard to find diapers that fit her properly. Though she's almost 8 lbs, she's tiny. She's heavy, but small!

This is what she thought of her new cloth diapers! "Mom, do these diapers make my butt look big?!"
I'm going to have to try them on her when she's a bit bigger.
Monday, April 20, 2009

Something Sweet...and Something Long Overdue


Louann is one of the sweetest people I've never met (in person...yet!). I don't even remember how we found each other's blogs or how long we've been blog buddies. I'd say it's been a few years already since when we 'met', her second son was still teeny tiny and now she's got a third child! She's 'known' me even before I got pregnant and before I went through my rollercoaster of a pregnancy and through all the craziness of having Little One born 12 weeks early and in the NICU for the first 2 months of her life.

I know for certain that if Louann and I lived closer, we'd be really close friends. If/when I'm in the Philippines again visiting family, I will definitely meet up with her. Thanks again, Louann. Thank you for your friendship, e-mails, comments, support, thoughtfulness and kind words.

Louann passed this along to me:

Now, it's my turn to award this fab award to fabulous people I have met through blogging.

Here are the rules:1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link the person from whom you received your award.



Sharon @ Mom Generations



Jeanna @ The Dish





Sandy @ Momisodes
Now for something long overdue.
The lovely J @Thinking About... passed the Premio Dardos award to me a while ago. I've been meaning to pass it on to other bloggers, but have been too lazy too preoccupied with the baby and my house that seems to now be in a constant state of disarray putting a lot of thought into this award.

To quote, “Premio Dardos means ‘prize darts’ in Italian. It is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.”
The rules are to (1) accept the award by posting it on my blog with thanks to the person who gave it to me, and (2) pass it on to 15 other bloggers, along with a comment to let them know.

This award is to be passed on to 15 other bloggers. FIFTEEN!!! Can't I just pass it on to everyone on my blogroll then?? :) Anyway, I don't think I'll be passing it on to 15 bloggers. That's just too involved for me right now. Little One looks like she's going to wake up for a feeding any minute now.

Thank you, J for the award :) Now I am going to pass it on to:

Merinz

KarenMEG

Momisodes

Don Mills Diva

Trish @ My Little Drummer Boys

Veronica @ Someday We Will Sleep

Maria @ Notes from a Brown House

Rick @ Palm Springs Savant

Louann @ Calculated Spontaneity

I'd like to pass this on to so many more wonderful and creative writers out there, but...Little One is now screaming her head off.

Ciao for now! xo

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Room With A View



Little One's Wee Warmers are from WWW.WEEWARMERS.CA .


Little One woke up this morning with a huge smile on her face. She was cooing and smiling. She's been pretty cranky because her gums are bothering her. She still hasn't cut a tooth yet, but the nurse said she can see that it's coming. My friend (who is also a nurse) looked at Little One's gums last weekend, and confirmed what the other nurse said. Gah. I don't think I'm ready for a teething baby.

I took my smiling Little One over to our bedroom window, and this is the view we had:
In total, there were about 27 deer all over the field behind our house.

Since it was a gorgeous morning, I bundled Little One up and put her in the sling so we could go for a walk. I also wanted to check on the maple sap. Hubby tapped a few trees this year. This year, we're not making as much as we usually do because we don't really have much time for it. My hands have been pretty full these days.

Since we were already out, Little One and I decided to walk to my MIL's farm. If you're in our neck of the woods, you've probably seen Little One and me walking along the highway on our daily walks. We don't go too far. We usually walk 20 mins one way and then 20 mins back or we just walk to my MIL's, have a quick visit and then return home. 40 mins is enough for me since even though Little One is only almost 8 lbs, 8 lbs gets pretty heavy when you're walking and carrying. It's like a cardio and resistance training exercise all in one!

One the way to Grandma's (above) and on the way home (below).

That was fun!

Hubby said he should have taken a photo of me on Easter. In my efforts to live as "green" (to be grammatically correct, I guess I should say "as greenly") as possible, I don't take my vehicle to my MIL's. I try to walk to her house as much as I can. On Easter though, Hubby saw me walking down the highway with the diaper bag strapped onto my back, the baby in the sling in front of me, a freshly baked pie in my hands AND the dog walking at my side. *sigh* If only my city friends could see me now. What on earth has happened to me? I'm no longer a totally city girl, and I'm not quite country.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finally!!!


Embarrassingly, it has taken us forever to finish Little One's nursery. We found out I was pregnant last Spring and we started planning the baby's room then. The baby's room is now furnished with a beautiful crib I received at the baby shower (Mrs. Hollywood threw for me) that I wasn't able to attend because I was on hospital bed rest for my second trimester of the pregnancy. All of the ladies on my Mom's side of the family (aunts, cousins, cousins' girlfriends, cousins' wives, etc) pitched in and got us a beautiful crib that turns into a toddler bed and then later on, a single bed. I'm a frugal practical gal and like the idea of Little One being able to use the crib as a toddler bed later on.

Anyway, Little One is now five months old and her room has just been completed. In our defense, she was born almost three months early, I was on hospital bed rest for weeeeeeeeks before she was born, our house was undergoing renovations and Little One and I spent two months in Toronto while she was in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital.

My good friend, Gadget Girl spent a week on the Island last summer and painted the nursery for me. She is so sweet! She didn't want me anywhere near paint fumes while pregnant, as I was thinking of painting the room myself!

The "Baby's First Farm Quilt" was a present from some of my aunts. I also have two Melanie Bailey originals (a bunny from my SIL, Lele and a cow that I purchased even before I got pregnant) to mount on the wall. Why all the farm animals? Well, Little One's Daddy is a farmer and we do live on a farm.

There's built-in storage in Little One's room, which I'm not a fan of. Oh, well. I guess I just have to make the best of it. It's not the most attractive, but it's functional.The cute Mod Doggy (in the photo below) is from Ms.Mamma and Snowflake. For some reason, Hubby keeps thinking it's a horse! This is the actual shade of yellow on the walls (below photo). The above photos were taken when the sun was setting. Et voila! The carpet has been torn out and Hubby and my Dad have finished putting in the new floor. I like that there's a trundle drawer underneath so I can store Little One's blankets and quilts in there.
Little One seems pleased with her new room! :)Here's a peek inside the little house my SIL from Barrie got for Little One.
Speaking of my SIL, here's a funny story. My SIL and Hubby were moving out some of her furniture that was being stored in our house. Now that Little One is here, we need to make room for all her "stuff". I was nursing the baby in the living room when I heard my SIL and Hubby roaring with laughter. I seriously thought they were going to hurt themselves from laughing so hard!

This is why they were laughing.

It appears that our most recent ESL student had left behind some Korean medicine for the next students to come. My SIL found a whole whack of medicine in the guest room chest of drawers (which she was taking back to Barrie with her). She couldn't read the Korean writing, but flipped the boxes over and was surprised to see that my student had thoughtfully written the English translations on the boxes.

SENSELAC...for "having hard time on toilet".

ANTI-PAIN...You know, to avoid pain.


BUMOOLY...for "After bites". Note the hornet circled on the left? I really wish North American medicine was this entertaining. The Korean versions are so much fun.


DIAROPEN...for "DIARIA". It's the "Anti-diarrhea therapy".


Finally, my SIL's fave: HEADECA...for "once a woman month".
Funny, since the student who left these behind is MALE! What he's doing with "Once a Woman Month" medicine is beyond my comprehension! :) I'm thinking this is sort of like Advil and is meant for aches and pains too. Too funny! Gotta love the Engrish translations! :)
Monday, April 13, 2009

Baby's First Easter


All decked out in my Spring outfit from our wonderful friend, E!

Breaking bread with friends and family.
Easter eggs! Too bad I didn't get any chocolate this year!

Off to church with Mom and dad.


Cuddles with my uncle (who happens to be one of my godfathers). He drove all the way from Montreal to the Island for Easter Weekend!
Playing with my Auntie E! We had loads of fun!

More cuddles with my uncle and auntie! Or as we say in my grandma's language, "Tito and Tita"!
Since Mom didn't have a bunny costume for me, I was the Easter Bear!
May 11th was my 5 month monthaversary. Mom says she cannot believe I'm 5 months old already! Well, I'm actually almost 3 months corrected. Here I am with Moo. Do I look bigger than I did when we first started taking pics with Moo?
Here I am in February with Moo. I'm 3 months old (chronological age) in this photo. Technically, I was supposed to be a newborn when this photo was taken!


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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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