We had a baby, and…


We had a baby, and named her…

Daisy Li-Lin Kunau

On Wednesday March 5th, our daughter Daisy Li-Lin Kunau was born at home. Words cannot describe how enamored we are with our little girl. We’ve been taking these couple of weeks slowly, barely taking our eyes off our new addition and breathing in that sweet new baby smell that I can’t get enough of.

Taking Stock/ 40 Weeks

40 weeksThe adorable Abby, from Little City Adventures (who is also a mum-to-be) did a post called, Taking Stock – reflecting on the present through a list of short questions. She invited her readers to play along and answer the same questions. I thought this would be a fun way to do my last (hopefully) pregnancy update.

Making: the most of now. We’ve gone out for nice dinners and movie dates, savoring these fleeting moments of it being just us two.
Cooking: freezer meals. I’ve been stocking up our freezer with pre-cooked dinners for when baby arrives. I know we’ll be thankful I did this in the first month of becoming new parents, or should I say sleep deprived zombies?
Drinking: water. All day. Even though it seems like I’m constantly guzzling it down, I’ve never felt so thirsty in my life!
Reading: ‘What to Expect the First Year’, a month-by-month handbook on everything you need to know about the first year with a baby. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed with all the information, but I know every baby is different and we’ll  see what works for us.
Wanting: a pair of Frye boots.
Looking: at the calender, counting down the days!
Playing: the special ukulele my husband gave to me on my 21st birthday. I’ve been learning songs to sing to our little one.
Wasting: time on Facebook. I desperately need better ways to kill time these days.
Sewing: a bow. I hand-sewed a little felt bow for our baby, incase we’re having a girl.
Wishing: I could move around nimbly. I seriously feel like a beached whale right now.
Enjoying: these rare sunny winter days.
Waiting: for the arrival of our baby. It’s all I can think about! I even have dreams about being in labor!
Liking: yoga. I feel totally rejuvenated after all the meditative breathing and stretching.
Wondering: if we’ll have a son or daughter.
Loving: hot showers in the evening.
Hoping: I get the smooth natural birth I’ve been preparing and planning for.
Marveling: at the blessings God has given me!
Smelling: lavender. I love how my lavender face mist instantly mellows me out.
Needing: a back rub.
Wearing: see picture above.
Following: instructions from my midwife to spend time each day on my hands and knees to encourage the baby to stay in the optimal birthing position. This is where doing yoga comes in handy.
Noticing: how chubby my face has gotten. I usually don’t take pictures showing my face on the blog but I thought that since this is my last pregnancy update, why not get my mug out there, even if it just ended up being half of it!
Knowing: I will be a mother soon. Wow.
Thinking: of my family in New Zealand. I wish my mum and sister could be with me at this time.
Bookmarking: things I should remember in ‘What to Expect in the First Year’.
Opening: tubes of Pringles Tortillas Original and dipping them in homemade hummus.
Giggling: at old Seinfeld episodes.
Feeling: ready to get this show on the road! Come on baby! Your mum and dad are waiting to meet you!

Nursery Project – Part 2

Nursery Project - Part 2 CO_Feb_07bI’ve always loved the nostalgic look of paint-by-numbers. Despite it being a some-what retro art style, it has a modern quality to it, don’t you think? I’m so pleased how the squirrel mobile I made matches these paintings! I guess I see a “forest” theme happening?

I want to make it clear that these designs are not my own. I found images of a tapestry (the deer) and an old paint by numbers painting (the cabin) on Google that I liked the look of, I traced them onto art boards and then numbered the colors myself. These took me forever to finish, seeing as I used cheap acrylic paint. This meant painting 3 layers of each color to get it to look nice and solid without any streaks! I would’ve like to do a couple more but, you know, time.

We won’t really be using the nursery that much until our baby is a bit older, since we intend to have the baby sleep in our room. So I think I’ll have a few more nursery projects to share as time goes by.

Pregnancy Must Haves

Pregnancy SaversWith just 1 more week until our baby is predicted to arrive, I’ve begun to grow more impatient (and enormous). The days are moving in slow motion, but I’ve been trying to find things to keep busy in an attempt to make time move faster. So without further ado, here is a short list of the things I felt were necessities during my winter pregnancy.

1. Long cardigans. Obviously because they’re warm and good for layering but mainly because they hide your butt when you’re wearing leggings as pants ( a faux pas I’ve committed for the majority of my pregnancy).

2. Maternity Jeans and Leggings. Since I’ve been pregnant during winter I really couldn’t get away with wearing comfy maxi skirts and dresses so I’ve had to live in maternity jeans and leggings. You could get away with wearing low waisted leggings but I highly recommend investing in a pair of nice maternity jeans. If you’re planning on having more babies, you can save them for your next pregnancy!

3. BPA free water bottle. Take water with you wherever you go. Keeping hydrated is so important!

4. Herbal Tea. One thing I’ve really missed is coffee! Since I’ve had to cut out the caffeine and love the comfort of a hot drink in the morning and evening, I’ve substituted coffee for herbal tea. My particular favorite has been Red Raspberry Leaf tea for it’s health benefits for the pregnant ladies!

5. Doterra Essential Oil. There are a few go-to oils I’ve been using. Lavender – To help me relax and sleep easier. Peppermint – For upset stomach. Balance – To tame my mood swings. Citrus Bliss – To motivate me when I’m feeling lethargic.

6. Exfoliating Gloves. Dry winter weather tends to make my skin flaky which is something I’d rather avoid when I’m already feeling quite unattractive and huge. Exfoliating to maintain soft smooth skin when I take a shower makes me feel a little more like a woman.

7. Bio Oil. I rub this all over my belly after I shower. I don’t know if this is what has kept my bump stretch mark free or whether I’ve just been lucky. Either way, it makes your skin supple and smells lovely.

8. Flats. Imagine folding a bowling ball in half. Impossible, right? That’s what it feels like when I try to tie my shoelaces! It’s way easier to slip on a pair of flats. Preferably neutral ones in my opinion since they go with everything and you’ll be wearing them all the time!

If you’re pregnant or planning to be, I hope you find this list helpful :) What are some of your pregnancy savers?

Pregnancy Update – 38 Weeks

Pregnancy Update - 38 Weeks

How far along?
38 weeks. Only 2 weeks to go! Whaaat!?
Total weight gain?
26 pounds.
Maternity clothes?
Living in leggings. So tired of the same boring clothes that have been in rotation during the last 9 months. Hopefully by spring/ summer I will be back or close to my regular size and can get some new non-maternity clothes!
Stretch marks?
Still stretch mark free.
Sleep?
Waking up in the middle of the night has become routine. Good practice for when baby arrives! The fatigue I felt in my first trimester has come back so I’ll need to nap once or TWICE a day because I just get so tired!
Best moment this week?
Reaching full term! I guess I’d heard a lot of negative things about pregnancy so I’ve been surprised at how easy it has been. Apart from the early first trimester nausea, second trimester mood swings and third trimester insomnia, it’s been great!
Worst moment this week?
I can’t think of anything negative that happened this week. It was a good week.
Movement?
The little one has been stretching ALOT! It’s pretty uncomfortable but also sooo cool!
Food cravings?
Pineapple! Nothing better than fresh juicy fruit.
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
Nothing different from the usual strong perfume/cologne scents, melted cheese on Mexican food, and second hand cigarette smoke. 
Belly button in or out?
Well and truly an outie.
Happy or moody?
Happy, oh so happy.
Looking forward to?
The rest of the month. We have our 2 year wedding anniversary, my husbands birthday (on  Valentines day), and of course the long awaited due date! Eeeeee!

Essential Oils – Health and Beauty

Essential Oils - Health and BeautyWhen I use essential oils in my health and beauty products I feel like I’m pampering myself at a fancy spa or something. Even if it’s just using a really awesome smelling hand soap! The aroma from the oils are so uplifting and the added health benefits of using essential oils make me feel like I’m doing something right. Here are some of the ways I’ve utilized essential oils in homemade health and beauty products.Essential Oils - Health and BeautyIf you missed my last post, I mentioned that I use DoTerra oils. The “On Guard” oil I use in the hand soap is one of their oil blends. It makes your hand soap smell like truly fancy pants stuff! Let me know how you get on if you try any of these out? I’d love to hear how you’re using essential oils!

Essential Oils – House Cleaning

Essential-Oils I’m close to the end of my pregnancy now and you could say I’ve begun “nesting”. My urge to clean and tidy the house in an attempt to prepare for our little one’s arrival is in full throttle! I thought it’d be fun to create an illustration to show you how I’ve been ultilizing essential oils, though I prefer to call them “magic potions” (they really do work like magic!) in my house cleaning.

Essential-Oils_2I must admit, the vinegar smell is a bit strong at first but it soon disappears and what you’re left with is the scent of fresh lemon or whichever essential oil you chose to use. I prefer using natural cleaning ingredients since harsh chemicals in many cleaning products tend to give me a headache, and a headache is the last thing I want to add to the dizzy spells that come with all the bending over and the getting up and down of house cleaning!

If you were wondering what Citrus Bliss and On Guard are, they’re essential oil blends from Doterra. Here’s what they’re made up of:

Citrus Bliss:
Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine, Clementine, and Vanilla Bean Extract. This stuff smells like happiness!

On Guard:
Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary. I used this to make a handwash, but details on that will be in my next essential oils post.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend with hopefully not too much house cleaning!

Fur Babies

IMG_2498

How far along?
34 weeks. We only have 6 weeks left, yet time feels like it’s moving too slowly! I just want to meet our baby already!
Total weight gain?
I’ll be having another weigh-in this week at my midwife appointment. Last time I checked I had gained a total of 20 pounds. I feel like I’ve gained a lot this week. Baby feels so heavy now, and I know he or she is just going to get bigger!
Maternity clothes?
None this week. With such a short time left, I don’t think I’ll be buying anything new for myself. Shopping for baby stuff is much more necessary and fun days!
Stretch marks?
Still none. Thanks for giving me super elastic skin, mum! :)
Sleep?
Waking up at least twice to pee and feeling like I desperately need a glass of water at the same time. I don’t know if it’s the winter dryness that’s dehydrating me or if it’s my pregnant body telling me to drink more water. Whatever it is, I’m drinking more water than I ever  have in my life!
Best moment this week?
We found our at my last appointment that the baby is no longer breech and has turned to the optimal fetal position! I was trying all kinds of exercises to encourage baby to turn and I guess they worked. Let’s just hope that at my appointment this week that baby has stayed in place.
Worst moment this week?
A little emotional this week. We moved into our new house 6 months ago and it’s been a long process of buying everything we need for a fully functioning home on a budget. It’s really hard starting from scratch! There are still bits and pieces we need (or I feel like we need) to make the house feel right and ready before baby arrives. It basically feels like there’s a giant ticking clock above my head, reminding me that I don’t have much time left! I’ve been writing up our home birth plan, and just in case, I’ve been working on our emergency hospital birth plan too, which has been a rather stressful exercise, imagining what I’d do in worse case scenarios.  With a lot on my mind these days, even the silliest things like a dirty yoga ball can turn the tears on. I was ugly crying last night because my husband got drywall mud on my yoga ball! It came right off with warm water though :)
Movement?
The movements are so strong now. They don’t hurt or anything, which makes me think there might actually be a girl in there, not a boy? Who’s to know though!
Food cravings?
Big bowls of cereal!
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
There’s this local independent newspaper that we get and half the content is probably ads for local restaurants, Mexican restaurants to be precise. I can’t even get through the first few pages without being put off by photos of smothered burritos and melted processed cheese abominations. Super-sized mexican food, I just can’t.
Belly button in or out?
It’s an outie now.
Happy or moody?
Feeling happy and excited apart from worrying too much about everything that we need to get done.
Looking forward to?
Introducing our fur babies to our little one. The clip below is from that adorable documentary called, Babies. I must watch it again soon!

Christmas Withdrawals

Dec_001_title-01Dec_002Dec_003I can’t believe how quick Christmas came and went this year. We were even “those people” who put up our house lights and tree before Thanksgiving and it still doesn’t feel like it was long enough! You’ll be able to find me sipping on eggnog until the new year though! Since we finally have our own place together, it was extra special this year because we got to put up our first tree! She’s still looking lovely isn’t she? We got to spend a little bit of Christmas on our own, which has never happened before and will probably never happen again since we’ll be parents next year! So, we savored the occasion with a romantic candlelit dinner at home. Then of course spent the rest of the holiday with Danny’s family and mine (via Skype). Even though my family are so far away, they made sure I felt loved and thought of this holiday.

I haven’t had a chance to do a pregnancy update in a while so read on if you’re interested.

How far along?
31 and a half weeks! 8 and a half weeks to go! We’re into the single digits people!
Total weight gain?
So far I’ve gained like 20 pounds and think I’ve developed a nice waddle to go with my new round figure! ;)
Maternity clothes?
Just some skinny jeans and a few tops. 
Stretch marks?
Still no sign of any.
Sleep?
Tossing and turning constantly throughout the night and when 3 o’clock strikes I am wide awake.  My midwife says it’s because the baby is hungry so whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ve been told to eat something, which is the last thing I feel like doing at that time! But for the last week since I’ve started the midnight snacking I’ve been able to fall back asleep much faster and stay sound asleep until morning.
Best moment this week?
Receiving all the amazing gifts we were given for Christmas. I seriously felt so much love!
My favourite was this sweet gift that arrived on our door step, from my sister who lives in New Zealand. I cannot wait to set it up for our baby!
Worst moment this week?
None this week. But there was a worrying moment last week when I found out our baby has turned to the breech position. My midwife assures me there’s still plenty of time for baby to get into the correct position so I’ve been doing various exercises that I learnt in one of our birth classes to encourage baby to turn.
Movement?
Lots and lots! Always so happy to feel the little guy or gal dancing in there.
Food cravings?
None, actually.
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
I thought I’d give omelette another go since I’m supposed to eat 2 eggs a day and I’m getting tired of eating them fried or boiled. But yup, turns out omelette still makes me gag. I think I’ve been turned off omelette for life. 
Belly button in or out?
I’d say neutral. It lays pretty flat.
Happy or moody?
Feeling really happy. We started a 6 week natural birth class a few weeks ago and I feel more confident about giving birth after each class! We plan on having a home birth and I’m a lot more confident about it now that I have a positive mind set about labor. I know it’s going to hurt but I feel like it’s a right of passage for a woman to go through this and the gift at the end will be so worth it!
Looking forward to?
Maternity leave next month! I can finish preparing and gathering supplies I’ll need for the home birth and postpartum recovery, get all the last baby things, find a family friendly car, settle on a pediatrician, give the house a good scrub down, prepare meals to freeze so we won’t have to worry about cooking for that first week when baby arrives, etc…. I think my nesting instincts have kicked in already and I’m just so anxious to get everything sorted out so I can (try to) relax before little one arrives.

Things I Shouldn’t Eat

Nov_13When I’m craving something good to snack on (and by “good” I mean bad), those dried apricots and almonds in the pantry just ain’t gonna cut it man! We usually do pretty well at the supermarket, strictly hauling home only healthy snacks and fruit. But there’s that feeling of regret at the end of the day, when we curl up to watch Netflix, when I’m NEEDING  something sweet to eat! I exclaim to my husband, “why didn’t we just get a box of cookies? We have nothing to eat!”.  The snow has gotten pretty bad here so it’s not like we could just dash out to get some cookies on a whim, so I decided to bake some instead! Desperate times call for desperate measures! I was craving something sweet and citrusy so I whipped up these lemon melting moments. So bad for you, but sooooooo good!

Lemon Melting Moments:

1 cup butter
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup corn starch

Filling:
60g softened butter
1 cup icing sugar
5 drops DoTerra Lemon essential oil (other brands will work too)
1 Tbsp lemon juice or orange juice (if the mix is too dry)

1. Mix the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy then mix in the vanilla extract.
2. Sift the flour and corn starch together, then mix gradually into the butter mixture. Mix until all ingredients combine into a smooth ball.
3. Roll dough into balls (slightly larger than a gumball). Mixture should make enough for 30 balls. Arrange on cookie tray and with a fork (dipped in corn starch to prevent sticking), flatten the balls slightly.
4. Bake for 15-20 mins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When done, cookies should be a pale golden color.
5. Once cookies are cool, sandwich 2 together with a dollop of delicious lemon filling!