Trevor has been very busy learning all about cameras since last December, when we bought our first digital SLR, a Canon Rebel XS. We LOVE it. We've taken more than 10,000 pictures in under a year. Now that we are both getting better at taking pictures, we are venturing out to take pictures of someone other than Grant. We've done one family shoot and one maternity shoot, and since I've been busy honing my cake decorating skills at the same time, we introduce our latest blog, featuring the two things we hope to soon get actually paid to do. My cake prices will be basically the materials cost for the next little while, if you're interested, and we haven't yet started charging for a photo shoot - so if you'd like us, let us know! We're available weeknights and weekends, so get your name on the list!
Click here for the new blog: a sneak peek of our maternity shoot and a shot of my latest cake!
Edit [November 10, 2010]: This link doesn't work anymore - sorry! I don't make cakes, but I do take pictures. Come find me here instead.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
As my last post was a bit of a rant, I want to sum up the learning I am already doing. In reflecting on this, thanks to the wonderful Visiting Teaching message from the Church's magazine which caused me to do so, I realized how much continual learning I am immersing myself in from day to day:
1. Cake decorating classes: I took the first two Michael's cake decorating classes while in Vancouver, and since we have been back in Lethbridge I have made four different cakes to practice my skills. I also plan to take the third decorating class this fall.
2. I began (again) the Harry Potter series at the beginning of July while in California and have just finished the 6th book. Seventh book here I come! (Haha, is this learning?)
3. I read the book for the ward's Book Club each month and then meet with the other women at the end of the month to talk about the book and eat treats.
4. I also read two other books this month, both by James Patterson, just for fun.
5. I am currently working on my online bookkeeping course that I started in Vancouver and have a goal to work on it for at least three hours each week. At this rate, I should be done in just a week or two.
6. I practice photography with the tips and rules that Trevor has taught me and I'm sure I am getting better!
8. I am eagerly awaiting my mom's visit in September so she can bring with her the sewing machine she bought me (and because I love her) and have my name down to take sewing classes with my sister-in-law at Fabric Addict.
9. I read my scriptures each day, at least one chapter out of the Book of Mormon. I am currently here. I've read the Book of Mormon at least 10 times.
10. I look for cultural learning experiences. For example, Grant and I went to the International Festival in Lethbridge at the beginning of August and watched many kinds of dancing from around the world, including belly dancing and Phillipino.
There you have it - 10 ways I'm already following the Lord's counsel to seek learning. One of the Young Women's Program's value motto says: "I will continually seek opportunities for learning and growth" and I am working to expand my skills, enrich my knowledge, and develop my talents in order to receive the promises mentioned in the message this month:
“Lifelong learning is essential to the vitality of the human mind, body, and soul. It enhances self-worth and self-actuation. Lifelong learning is invigorating mentally and is a great defense against aging, depression, and self-doubt” (Elder Robert D. Hales, “The Journey of Lifelong Learning,” in Brigham Young University 2008–2009 Speeches , 2, 8–9).
All my life I've wanted to be a mom. I've planned for it and prayed for it and just plain yearned for it. Always, always, always. I practiced on countless dolls, beanie babies, barbies, stuffed animals, pet hamsters, mice, a cat, and about a billion different fish - and finally I have my little boy!!!
I love him so much! But this post isn't about him - it's about me (like most of my posts). The mystery now to me is, after all the planning and wishing and hoping, why do I feel like I should have some kind of answer for the question "What did you do for school?" other than "I started my nursing degree.... and never finished it."
Even before Grant was born, I had found that the old saying is true - a woman's work is never done. I have plenty to keep me busy from day to day, between laundry, baby messes, the running of a household, cooking, cleaning, blogging, church responsibilities, bill paying.... you get the idea. It's not that I don't have enough to do! But here is the dilemma: Should I go back to school part-time? Full-time? Before I tell you the answer that will most likely win out, let me highlight the two different scenarios that are possible:
1. I could return to school full-time starting next September, for three years, and complete my nursing degree. It would be a lot of work and money, and we'd have to put off buying a house and having another baby.
2. I could do a program that is newly offered at the college, Emergency Medical Responder (the lowest-on-the-totem-pole version of a paramedic).
This is something I've wanted to do since I was very small. My mom used to tape the old show with William Shatner, Rescue 9-1-1, for me, since 9pm was way past my bedtime, and I loved to watch it. I didn't dream of being a nurse or doctor, but a paramedic.
The big appeal for this is that it is now at the college, as I said, which means it won't be such a crash course in comparison to the one offered at St. John's, and it is offered starting in January 2010, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-10pm! That would be ideal, as Trevor could take care of Grant, and he would no longer be nursing as he turns one year old in January. Even if Trevor were late coming home from work, I could most likely take Grant to his Grandma Curtis' house, which is not far from the college.
SO... I'm sure you can guess where I'm going with this.
I would LOVE to finish my nursing degree, but I feel strongly that my work is here, in my home, with my baby, and I very much cannot justify putting him in daycare, delaying buying a house, and putting off having another baby for it.
The EMR course seems like a happy middle ground for me. I would be done in three months and get those fancy letters at the end of my name - and the fancy piece of paper on the wall. Perhaps this is more an issue of me being happy with where I am. I do love being at home with Grant, and it is SO much better than working - I simply can't stress that enough. And I want to have another baby - many more, if I can. And we obviously want to buy a house as soon as possible.
So that will most likely be what I do. Right now I am just finishing up my bookkeeping course, and once I finish that (in the next few weeks) I will allow myself to (most likely) apply to the EMR program at the college. Hopefully the January session won't be full by then.
Wish me luck!
Note: Sometime in the future I would still love to finish my nursing degree and I am determined to - but it will wait. Being a mother in the most important work in the world.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
No other success can compensate for failure in the home. ~President David O. McKay
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Grant was able to go to his first little birthday party at a friend's house on August 1st! His friend Troy turned 2 on July 30th. Happy Birthday Troy!
Grant also tried out his little car while we were there.
And on August 6th, we went to my friend Crystal's birthday party - it was a dessert potluck, so I naturally had to demonstrate my -ahem - cake making skills. No, I'm definitely nowhere near as good as Bakerella, but I'm working on it. This was my first attempt at making these fun little Happy Meals. I used a white cake mix for the cupcakes:
My very own recipe for the brownie burgers, white icing colored with food coloring, and a sugar cookie recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker for the sugar cookie french fries.
Bakerella graciously provided the template on her site for the boxes, as well as some blank fry holders, which I added text to in Photoshop (first time using it, too!). I also made my own paper for the lining of the boxes in Photoshop. I had it all printed at a local place - the fry holders on regular paper, the boxes on cardstock, and the lining paper on vellum, since they didn't have tissue or tracing paper. I think they came out great! Next time, I need to cut the cupcake buns smaller, and the brownie burgers shorter. Also, too much icing made the burger tops slide all over the place, but I was pretty happy overall!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Grant's checkup on July 20th revealed an interesting growth curve:
27" long = 75th percentile
16 lbs. 9.5 oz. = 37th percentile
44cm head circumference = 68th percentile
So while he has always been long and skinny, he is especially so now! He hasn't been below the 50th percentile for weight before, and now he is way below - the result being that cheap baby clothes (e.g. clothes from Walmart, the fat people store) that fit him in the length hang off of him since he's skinny. He's wearing 9 month sleepers now, 12 month Gerber onesies (since they fit small), and mostly 6 month other clothing. We sure love him!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Last Thursday Grant and I went out to Blairmore as friends of mine who live north of Calgary were there camping, the Johns family. It's been far too long since I've seen them - I saw them last summer briefly, when I was pregnant with Grant. I love this family - their names are Ryan and Dianne, and they have two very sweet boys named Karson and Braeden. I've lived with them for a few weeks of each summer during high school, babysitting their kids, camping with them, vacationing on Tie Lake. They are the sweetest family, and have always been so very generous towards me, especially when I was a goofy teenager (we all know how that feels!). They really are the best, and I was so happy for them to meet Grant!
My little guy is already six months! And since I'm behind on posting his six months update, he's already six and a HALF months. I know the time will just keep slipping by, but I'm busy enjoying every stage of his growth as it comes along. He went for his six month shots on the 28th and did very well. He was very sleepy the rest of the day and ate hardly anything, just wanted to breastfeed, but no other side effects.
On that note, did you know breast milk can cure pink eye (just squirt it in, lol!) and is like a portable Polysporin (who needs Poly To Go when you make milk, eh? EH?)
Back to the baby. He's able to sit up by himself now, for a longer period each day. He can roll all the way over to his tummy and get both hands out from underneath (did it for the first time on Trevor's birthday, the 21st), still LOVES his Jolly Jumper, and can drink perfectly well out of a little sippy cup now. So no bottle for him, and I can now leave him (not that I want to) for long stretches of time if I leave enough milk.
Our days are a nice routine now. Grant and I play, watch TV, read books, nap, snack, and clean, while Trevor works as an engineer. He's really working on learning how to talk, and makes the most hilarious faces all the time (Grant, not Trevor)! He's also learned how to squeal when he's happy, which is nearly all the time! If he's not hungry, then you have one happy baby on our hands!
I wanted to make these for Trevor's birthday, but as I planned to make them a month ahead of time, when it came time I completely forgot. Fortunately, I was able to stop by Crazy Cakes and am now furthering my personal mission of telling the world how wonderful they are. And I didn't have to mess up my kitchen to celebrate Trevor's birthday. I'm pretty sure he's officially old now (compared to people my age) at the ripe ol' age of 27.
Grant eats baby cereal just once a day usually, for breakfast, since he doesn't like it very much. He eats veggies or fruit with chicken or beef for lunch and dinner. A larger version of the Shoppers that was in the strip mall by our house just opened, and I found some organic baby food on sale this week there, so I stocked up. Trevor and I feel as though it's worth the money to get him all organic stuff, at least while he's this small, since the nasty stuff really builds up in babies - like the pesticides used on the crops. Bad for babies!
On that note, we ordered this high chair and then had to wait for six weeks for it to be made, and it was very expensive, but definitely worth it. We think it will pay off in the long run, since we'll only have to buy one highchair for all our kids - and the plastic ones they have now are huge, bulky, and a massive eyesore in your kitchen.
We hope to someday have a big, made-by-Trevor dining room table to match. And, don't forget, if Trevor makes it, it will certainly be built to last through the Second Coming. Thunderstorms? Tornadoes? Hail and brimstone? No match for Curtis Family Dining Table To Come. We've already outgrown the dining room table we have now, but can't upgrade yet. Soon. We're trying to do all we can to save for a house, then we'll have some breathing room.