I was blind, but now I see

November 13, 2009 at 10:08 am (before and after, Makes me Smile)

october 235

There's a little boy under there somewhere!

I know that my second born is not Samson, but he has such beautiful hair that I hate to cut it. I take him to the salon because I don’t want Doug going anywhere near him with the clippers. His hair is a thing of beauty, and every day I am jealous! But, it was getting to be too much. He had a permanent kink in his neck because he was always trying to see by looking up from under his bangs.

october 243

That's right, I curled it!

We had never given him a short hair cut before, but it was time. I hate haircuts. I hate being reminded that my boys aren’t babies anymore. We convinced him that he wanted a haircut by saying that he would look just like his older brother. That was working great until we were all done and he realized that his hair was still black! I wanted to cry for him. He isn’t Samson though, cutting his hair did not remove his monster strength, it just let everyone see his eyes … oh and that bruise on his forehead! I wonder how long that’s been there?!

october 236

Ignore the grapes

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Before and After: the Car Seat

August 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm (before and after, Dougisms, Makes me Smile)

A seat fit for three boys!

A seat fit for three boys!


To Whom it May Concern,

                                                      Apparently you didn’t appreciate my husband’s sense of reduce, re-use, recycle. Or maybe you just knew that I had asked my husband for a new car seat because I thought 3 kids per car seat was enough. You knew my husband’s response was something along the lines of, “Plastic doesn’t go bad.” Or maybe you thought that the blue circus theme wasn’t appropriate for our new little girl.

                                                       Whatever your reasons, I was very pleasantly surprised to arrive home from a date with my husband to see this on the front step:


                                                        We asked the babysitter if she saw who dropped it off, but she said whoever it was ran really, really fast. Doug wondered what was inside (appearances can be deceiving!). Then he wondered who would do such a thing. Who thought our car seat wasn’t good enough?! His first thought was my dad, but I told him that my dad hadn’t commented on the car seat, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t him. I asked around on Facebook, and someone suggested that it might have been Greg, but that didn’t ring true either! I thought it was a particular friend. Doug decided to do some detective work the next day at church. Who would look at us funny for not bringing the new car seat with us (it was very late, and church starts very early)?!

                                       When we got to church Doug agreed with my original hypothesis. All I can say is, thank you so much for being so thoughtful. We love the new seat, and even though I know plastic doesn’t go bad, I think the baby is all the safer for being in the new seat.



Afton's new ride!

Afton's new ride!

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Before and After: The Back Surgery

July 22, 2009 at 11:41 am (before and after, Miracles)

doug 004

I don’t know how many of you have had to deal with neurosurgeons, but I don’t think they’re the most optimistic people. We have dealt with two, one for Ben’s head, and one for Doug’s back. Both times the doctors were very guarded. In Ben’s case everything turned out very well, but we didn’t know with Doug.

It’s hard to know what to say when the expert in his field tells you if you had waited a couple of days your husband could have been paralyzed. The worst part was the not knowing… how long it would take, how much better it would get…

For his part, Doug was not going to let this thing stop him. He never complained at the rehab center because he was, by far, the healthiest one there. When he came home from rehab I struggled with letting him do things like walking to the pantry because he wasn’t so good on his feet, and I thought the worst thing for his morale would be to fall.

Well, no worries here. He has successfully gone from wheelchair, to walker (oh how I wish I had photos of him with the walker), to cane (very sexy, a la Dr. House!), to brace, to this:

Back injury,what back injury?

Back injury,what back injury?


That’s right, there’s my husband swinging off the side of a sail boat in the Halifax Harbour, with a smile on his face! Miracles still happen.

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Before and After: The Forehead

March 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm (before and after)

I’ve marvelled the last few years how our children have managed to escape, relatively unscathed,  from their various wrestling matches, tumbles down the stairs, and running with all kinds of sharp objects. Little did I know that our first trip to the Emergency Room would be the result of Samuel tripping on his way to pick up his brother’s shoes!

I always imagined myself being very cool in this type of situation. You know, the situation where your son runs screaming to you with his hand covering his forehead. Actually, I was fine for the running and screaming, it was when I pulled his hand away that I lost my composure a bit. Then, there was my husband requiring gauze, and me having to travel to the three different first aid locations around the house. I always thought I knew where everything was, but apparently my Cars Band-Aids were not suitable for the largest cut I had ever seen! Doug actually sat me down afterward and told me that I “needed to be calmer in these situations.” I’ll work on that for next time!

So, without further ado, here is my son with his beautiful forehead before:

My face is so beautiful!

My face is so beautiful!

Now, here he is after his 13 stitches. The only real trauma to him was that he couldn’t go to the gym that night. All was made better by the popsicle in the ER and the special trip to Krispy Kreme with his dad!

Krispy Kreme makes everything better!

Krispy Kreme makes everything better!


I have to give a special shout out to Ingrid who kept me distracted on the phone almost the whole time the boys were at the hospital. Doug believes she sensed a disturbance in the Force and responded accordingly! Whatever the reason, I’m just glad I had her to chat with!

You should stop reading here if you don’t want to see the fancy needlework!

You should see the other guy!

You should see the other guy!

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Before and after: the haircut

July 16, 2008 at 4:32 pm (before and after)

There comes a time in every boy’s life where he has to stop being told how “pretty she is.” This time has now officially come for Benjamin. We have a big party to attend this week-end, and if one more person tells me how pretty my little girl is, I might be forced to say something that some might construe as “impolite.”

I hate the first haircut. This is where the baby turns into an actual little boy who is now ready for Tonka trucks and swords. I know one day I’ll look back upon these moments with fondness, but not today. Today I’m just sad because I don’t know if my little boy’s curls are ever coming back.

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Before and After: The Pantry

March 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm (before and after)

I know you’ve all been waiting anxiously for the next installment of Before and After. Well, the wait is over! I present to you my pantry.


I love having a pantry, but when we moved in I was so focused on getting unpacked that I didn’t really spend a lot of time focusing my energy on finding logical spaces for things. Recently I’ve been feeling like we’re completely out of space in the kitchen. So I completely emptied the pantry. My goal was to store all of our food in the pantry plus a few often used appliances like the Bosch. So, as I was emptying out placemats and trays and straws and popsicles sticks I was once again overcome with thoughts of, “I can’t believed we moved this halfway across the country!” 


Once I got to organizing, I realized we weren’t out of space at all, I was just being really ineffective with how I utilized my space. So, it’s been almost a week, and the pantry is still going strong. Special thanks to Anna for hooking us up wth the Cansolidator. I’ve always wanted the gigantic shelf system, but I never had the room. Now, I’ve at least got a good start. We also have a great behind the the door spice rack from the Container Store. It’s from their Elfa collection.



As a special treat to you all, today I am including not just the before and after pictures, but also a during. I started thhis one night and it took me a coupe of days to get it just the way I wanted it, so were were living pretty cluttered for a while. Now though, there’s nothing stopping us. I’m ready to be like Jill all the time!


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Before and After: the crap magnet

March 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm (before and after)


Do you have a place like this in your house? Somewhere that everything magically congregates? A place where, no matter how hard you try, crap magically finds a home? This is my crap magnet. It is the desk area in our kitchen. It is the dropping point on the way into the house, on the way upstairs, on the way to the laundry. Apparently, this “work station” is on the way to everywhere.

When we first looked at this house I was in love with the idea of this desk. I was going to plan my meals there, and pay bills, and basically run my house … my very very clean house! This, of course, never happened! The desk has become a Where’s Waldo game. If someone is looking for something, I’ll usually tell them to look on the kitchen desk. I’m not saying that anyone can ever find anything there, but they have to look there first!

In the before picture there is a whole plethora of crap. I could make it like one of those memory games. Look at the picture for twenty seconds and see what you can remember. Here’s what I came up with:

– cell phone

– Anne’s baby present (still to be mailed)

– Bills to be paid

– random box of rick rack

– Box of Pop Tarts (maybe I’ll organize the pantry next week!)

– PhotoShop tutorial book

– Box of free Crayola stuff that came in the mail

Clearly there was more than just that, but that’s my short list. Of all that stuff, probably just the cell phone and the bills belonged there. So, here’s the after, and I’m pleased to say that it still looks this way a week later. I make no promises that it will still look this way tomorrow!


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