A Secret Room

I have always dreamed of having a secret room in my house. Maybe a secret wine cellar or a hidden reading nook or a really high-tech panic room. Okay, maybe not the panic room but you get the picture. The idea of sliding a bookcase away and uncovering a bonus room feels just like a storybook!

When Corey started work on Baby M's room, we already knew there were knee walls on both sides. A knee wall is common in older houses with sloped ceilings. Think of it almost like an attic space only it's beside the wall instead of above the ceiling. At first we didn't give them much thought. I assumed there was nothing but insulation and spiders on the other side.

But soon after he started, Corey realized that one of the knee walls was accessible through the closet and actually provided quite a large space. Here's a view of the wall from the room:

And here's what it looks like on the other side! Okay, I know it looks a little like a cold war bunker but we saw HUGE potential for a really cool space!

First, Corey removed all the yucky old insulation and bagged it for disposal.

Next, he bought new insulation and added a proper vapour barrier.

He's already added lighting to the knee wall and soon, he'll be ready to add ventilation, lay drywall and finally flooring!  We can't wait to finish this room!


Celebrating the 15 Things I Like About Pregnancy (From Someone Who Hates Being Pregnant)

Note: All photos in this post were taken by Lindsay Lou Photography

As many of my close friends know, for me, pregnancy is no picnic. While I'm very grateful to be having another baby, I do seem to get all the worst pregnancy symptoms including vomiting, diabetes, my pelvis separating, heartburn and depression... just to name a few. Because my depression was so severe last time, I began seeing my psychiatrist (same one as last time) very early on in this pregnancy to try to get ahead of the worst of my emotional dips. She has been tremendously helpful and reminds me that for me, it's entirely hormonal and will vanish as soon as the baby comes. I also have a good support system and Corey, who is my rock.

Still, there have been hard days... maybe weeks and I do think that I tend to be less excited about pregnancy than most women. At my last appointment, my psychiatrist suggested that I make an effort to enjoy the rest of this pregnancy. At first, I nearly laughed: How could I enjoy something I hate? Then I thought more and saw the wisdom in her words. Corey and I knew early on that this would be my last pregnancy and I've been busy at work and pushing so hard to get through it that I haven't really celebrated it. We worked hard to get here and I will never do this again. Maybe it is time to forget about the discomfort and all the awful symptoms and try to enjoy my last time ever as an expectant mom.

We had already booked photos for after the arrival of Baby M but we decided to book a shoot for right now- so she can see one day that we were already a family while she was growing in my tummy. The day of the shoot, Rudy was acting like a nightmare! It was all tears and squirming or running away from us. We felt like the worst parents. We later found out she had been cutting a molar but at the time, I wanted to cry! Luckily, our photographer still managed to take some great shots of us, which just shows how misleading social media can be. An accurate portrayal of the day would show us all in tears but I'm going to choose to remember the day by the sweet moments instead. Here are some favourites along with a list of things I do not hate about being pregnant!

1. Maternity Clothes! Pregnancy is a good reason to buy a few new clothes that make you feel great! Don't even get me started on the elastic waisted jeans, which I may never get rid of but even picking up a couple of inexpensive dresses is such a treat! The dress I wore for the photoshoot is super stretchy... which is good because my belly gave it quite a workout!

2. People are so nice! Everyone smiles at you when you're pregnant and everyone always wants to know all about the baby. If I'm walking slowly or panting while climbing stairs, people are so sweet and will offer you water or a place to sit down. Sure, one lady stroked my belly in line at Homesense but I didn't even mind. Before I was pregnant, I may have slapped someone who randomly touched me but when it actually happened, I could tell she was just trying to share in my joy.

3. I feel unapologetic about my body. After last time, I've accepted that it's just going to grow and there's not much I can do. Did I look 30 weeks pregnant when I was closer to 20 weeks? Yep... but who cares? Did I ever get rid of the c-section pooch from last time? Nope, but that's why they invented spanx! I am no longer shy about the fact that I'm huge or sweating in a t-shirt when everyone around me is in a coat. It is what it is! There's time to get in shape after I'm done GROWING A HUMAN. Often people ask if I'm having twins or if I'm due any day now. It would have bothered me last time but now, I just don't give a F and I sweetly smile and say "Nope. Just one baby and two months to go. I'm just HUGE!" nobody knows how to respond to that. ;)

4. I eat what I want. Within reason, of course. Yes, I get diabetes while pregnant but I also don't let myself worry about dieting or not satisfying my cravings. For me, I'm usually so sick and have so many food aversions that if I'm craving a particular food... I eat it... ALL! (Imagine me saying that in a cookie monster voice.)

5. Rudy's excited! I love that she seemed to know before we ever told her and I love the way her face lights up when we talk about how she's going to be a big sister. She loves reading her big sister book and she loves acting out a scene from Bubble Guppies where one of the main characters gets a phone call from her dad telling her she's a big sister. It melts my heart every time!

6. Baby clothes! I can't even tell you how excited we were to pull out all our favourite outfits from when Rudy was a baby! We had so many favourites and now we'll get to see them on a new baby! Oh, and don't even get me started on the couple of matching outfits we splurged on for Rudy and M!

7. A trip down memory lane. I love looking at old photos and videos of Rudy as a baby and realizing that once again, there will be a super tiny person that we get to cuddle as much as we want! There's something so special about the second time around because I already know how much I'll love her!

8. Wondering what she'll be like. It's going to be such a fun surprise! Will she be outgoing or shy? Adventurous? Thoughtful? Who will she look like? Will she have a crazy mop of curls like her big sis? Corey and I secretly hope there will be a strong sister resemblance because... CUTE! Who wouldn't want another one of these little monsters?

9. Feeling those kicks. I'll admit that I didn't care much for the kicking at first. After all, I've been through this before and it was just uncomfortable. Then, when I realized that this would be my last time experiencing it, something clicked. Now, I smile when I feel her kicks and pat her on the bum. There really is something special about the last.

10. Putting my feet up! When I'm not working, I feel no guilt in putting my feet up and relaxing. Corey reminds me often to keep my stress in check during my off-time from work and he treats me to lots of foot massages and breakfasts in bed! It's for the baby, right?

11. Watching Corey prepare to become a dad again. This has brought us so much closer as a couple and has been a highlight of the past couple of years. I have loved getting to know him as a parent to Rudy and now that there's going to be another messy little girl running around the house, I get to watch it all over again. He's the biggest feminist and the girls are so lucky to have him as a dad.

12. Planning the nursery. You know I love another room to decorate and M's nursery happens to be FILLED with DIYs and fresh ideas. We loved doing Rudy's nursery and her big girl room but get ready to see what we have in store for M! It's definitely going to be a space where both girls are excited to spend time!

13. Planning our "do over". The first time around, we were just pushing our way through. This time, we have a much better idea of what to expect. Now we know what to bring to the hospital and that we won't damage the baby when we put her in her crib. We also get to try things we didn't try last time.

14. I feel confident. This is no longer my first rodeo. I feel like a real mom this time and it makes me feel great not to be so worried about what to expect. Bring it on!

15. I am looking forward to unplugging. Corey always makes fun of me because while I was in pre-op before my c-section with Rudy, I was sending some last emails to active clients before handing their files over to my colleagues. What I always remind him of though is that once Rudy was born, I didn't look at my phone for days! I literally didn't look at a single message. My best friends in the world were actually contacting Corey to make sure I was okay because I was just not responding to messages. Once the baby comes, I will have at least a few days where my entire focus gets to be on my family... and that is a treat!

There's my list of 15. I'm sure I could think of a few others but it's late and I want to get some rest as per #10. Instead, here are a few more cute photos!


Aberfoyle Treats

It's finally summer and one of my favourite summer activities is a visit to the Aberfoyle Antique Market. We usually go early (they open at 8) and spend about an hour before driving home. Perusing stalls of antiques is a lovely way to spend the early morning (before it gets too hot) and we're still home with a full day ahead of us!

As always, I admired the pretty teacups. Now that I'm going to be the mom of two girls I wonder if there will be tea parties in our future. You know, considering Corey enjoys high tea as much as I do, I suspect we'd be having just as many tea parties with two boys... Any excuse to add to my teacup collection?

Since we're about to have another mouth to feed, we're not really in the market for much. Certainly not big ticket items... although I was DROOLING over some of these gorgeous rugs. I wanted the pink one below for my home office so badly but I just couldn't justify the price so soon after tax time. I've been looking at this photo every few days and sighing. Haha

There were SO. MANY. GORGEOUS. RUGS. I wanted them all!

I always tell Corey that if he sees milk glass in a colour other than white for a good price, to pick it up for me. I love colourful milk glass and it is so hard to find. I happened to come across a piece in the prettiest yellow and I couldn't resist. I finished my last trip with these sunny little treasures! Perfect to kick off summer!


Mother's Day

An old friend told me I should be getting back to blogging (Thanks, Nat!) and she's right. I hope it's been a Happy Mother's Day for all and I'm sending best wishes to all the amazing mothers, mothers-in-law, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, mothers-to-be, those trying to become mothers and most especially mothers who have lost a child.

Each year, Mother's Day seems to creep up during my busy time at work but this year we still managed a family trip to a local farm over the weekend. Rudy loved her pony ride and we were amazed at how well she holds on for herself this year! At home, we're juggling toilet training, my work schedule, renovations and my third trimester so things can get pretty busy but Corey still managed to make Mother's Day special for me.

I've been wanting a 5 year (one line a day) journal for years but kept forgetting to pick one up. I first heard of them when one of my clients used one to propose to his (now) wife. Corey (knowing that I hate waiting) gave me my Mother's Day gift earlier this week and I've been enjoying reflecting on the day each night and jotting down a couple of notes. It's really neat because each page has room to write a few lines on that same date for the next five years so I'll get to look back and see how our lives have changed over time.

Rudy gave me a gorgeous bouquet of hand prints. Am I the only one who adores these cutesy school crafts? I was actually really excited to see what she'd made me for mother's day, although I sort of miss the 80's when we gave our moms handprint ashtrays. Ha!

Noticing that we have hardly any photos of me and Rudy during my pregnancy, Corey made a point of taking some while we cuddled and read together in bed.

It was a simple, perfect day. We're enjoying the peace and quiet before Baby M comes to shake things up!

House Progress (Before and After)

First of all, thank you all for the kind comments and private messages after my last post. Reading many of your messages brought tears to my eyes and I was so touched by those of you who shared your own struggles and experiences. It reaffirmed my belief that we're never really alone and that there is always someone out there who truly understands!

Right now, we're eagerly awaiting Baby M's arrival and Corey and I are determined to be more prepared than we were for Rudy. I don't have easy or enjoyable pregnancies and I'm trying to make an effort to try to have some special moments in, what will be, my last pregnancy. Before the chaos of a new baby sweeps through our house, I'd like to have the nursery ready so that I can spend a couple of evenings unpacking baby clothes and marvelling at how tiny Rudy's old onesies are.

Enter Corey. My dedicated partner who is working tirelessly on the nursery each night once Rudy is in bed. I cannot wait to share some nursery before and after photos but we still have a few days before I'm really ready for that.

For now, I'll show you some of the changes we've made to other areas of the house.  Of course, when possible, I'll post our progress in the form of before and after shots because they're more fun to look at.

I know I've already posted about our living room updates but here are the before and after shots again:



... Along with a couple of other angles that I don't have "before" shots for.

Here's a look at our dining room when we first moved in:


And here it is now:

One thing we never did in our old house (although it had always been in our plans) was hang family photos up the stairs. Despite the fact that the house isn't even close to being finished, we decided to start hanging our family photos anyway. We're determined to make this house feel like home right away!

We're still working on making it perfect but Rudy's room is already starting to feel fit for a princess. It's certainly come a long way from when we moved in!


Our own room is almost a mirror image of Rudy's room only with a larger closet. For our room, a King size bed was a priority. We've also installed bedside lamps, ordered new closet doors and installed new (cordless) blinds throughout the house. I don't have any great photos of our master bedroom yet but here are a couple where you can get a sense of how light and airy it feels now.


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