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11 Dec 2013

Et Voila - Pippa's nursery reveal

Only took us 7.5 months to put together the nursery.  hahahhaha.  Well, at least we got there in the end!  :)

Ta da!

Now let's break it down.

  • You can read the saga of the baby change table if you're forgotten.  Now the potty lives there (you can see the hint of red), extra diapers are also in that basket below.
  • The boxes on the wall above the change table are wine crates that Adrian stained.  In the lower one lives diapers (prefolds on the right, fancy pocket diapers on the left), in the upper lives cute stuffed animals that are a little too old for Pippa right now.  We recently moved these two crates higher, the lower one was close enough for Pippa to easily bang her head on if we weren't careful, so Adrian moved them and patched and painted the wall there.
  • You'll see my fancy Ubbi diaper pail next to the change table.  I loves it.  It is strictly for cloth diapers.  I use fancy blueberry diaper pail liners, but of course you can't see them.  Know they're there in their cuteness.
  • Next to the diaper pail is the wicker laundry hamper for Pips.  I swear bits of wicker keep breaking off, so I'm not sure how long it will live there, but for now it's pretty.
  • Next to that is the leather ottoman, which right now we're using to store baby blankets.  I like having a flat surface there to put laundry baskets down on.
  • Window covering - just a roller blind for now.  We're not that put together to have actual fancy curtains yet.  When she's older!

Pippa's dresser was a gift from my Aunt Jeanne.  I love it!  All her little clothes live here (and a bit in the change table).  You can't see it well in the picture, but the blocks on top of the dresser say "PIPPA".  There is a little girl porcelain figurine as well on top.

Above is the west wall of the room.  You can see my rocker (baby shower present from Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Ted!) - I added a few pillows for comfort and a pop of colour.  I really love the turquoise pillow, it's hard to see but there are pretty ribbons woven in it.  Her bookshelf right now has some books, but is also a lot of storage.  Extra diaper wipes (I make own now, so we don't go through disposable ones very fast anymore), extra diaper inserts, Pippa's shoes and Pippa's towels all live here.  On top of it we have some baby knick-knacks, Pippa photos, and yes, a LOUNGE sign. is nice ambient light in the night if we're checking on her?

Despite how it looks with the odd lighting above, the walls are "Heavy Cream".  I wanted something neutral and classic for our babe.  (It is more true-to-life in the tall dresser photo)

On the south wall you're see the Pippa peacock.  Adrian designed this for Pippa (you see it on the birth announcements).  This peacock is really what held the room up for so many months, it took like 4 months to print it!  Above the bookshelf you'll see ABCs that Adrian also designed for the Pipster.  Both of these I thought would be much bigger when we ordered them, Adrian and I aren't really happy with the scale of things.

The photo above shows the north wall.  On it hangs the beautiful quilt the Eastminster Choir gave us.  This really sets the tone for the whole room.  We have some elephants from Vietnam hanging on the edge of the railing there for a little pizzazz.  You can see Pippa's crib - WHERE SHE ACTUALLY SLEEPS NOW!  This was a great hand-me-down from Mark and Debbie - thanks again!  You can sort-of see the mobile Adrian made for Pippa, after being inspired by the cool mobiles we saw at the Guggenheim this summer.

In every photo you are seeing the light fixture Matthew bought for Pippa in Vietnam, with the bird from Sarah hanging from it.  The bird kinda hits you in the head when you walk under it, but I love it so it doesn't bother me a bit.

And, last but not least....

Pippa's new rug!  Handmade in Iran.  Of wool.  We bought it down the street.  Perhaps future Corrie will look back at this rug as folly, but I'm willing to take the risk.  It is soft and beautiful, and has no chemicals on it, something we were concerned about since Pips spends her days crawling around.  The rug really completes the room and softens it up quite a bit.

Rug action shot!

17 Sep 2013

Updated Baby Change Table

How's a girl to know she's a stay-at-home-Mom?  She gives furniture refinishing a try!

Pippa's nursery has like 5000 different types of wood in it, so I thought I'd paint over her change table to remove one shade of wood.  Nothing was wrong with it (other than some scratches I'd inflicted), it is a great hand-me-down from Rick & Amanda - thanks guys! 

I don't really have a great 'before' photo, but here we are after Adrian had just started to take it apart.

But wait!  "PAINT OVER LAMINATE?", you say in a crazed voice.  "Yes", I say, not quite sure of myself. 

We got ourselves to a fancy (read: $$$) paint store, and we bought us some super fancy primer. 

The clerk still said we'd have to sand, but we didn't believe him. Look, the paint is called "Stix" - as in it "Sticks" to everything, right?  Um, no.  Not right.  I had to lightly sand.  See below on the left with no sanding - yowsers!  But, like - lightly sanding things isn't the end of the world.  I don't know why I was so shy to sand things.  I decided to put two coats of primer on...well, just in case.  It dries fast.  And I didn't use that much of the expensive little can, so I gave it another go.  

Yaddah yaddah...two coats of black later, and TA DA!

Let us not forget the fancy new knobs.  Which I LOVE.  They are glass with some gold.  Very hot right now on DIY blogs.

A word about "black".  We told the man at the store we wanted shiny black.  He said, "I have lots of different blacks, just like you can choose different whites, pick a colour for me."  I went to the paint colour selection area and LAUGHED because all the blacks were the same.  I chose 'Jet Black' on a whim.

Joke's on me.  It is totally very dark gray, not actually black.  Drives me a little insane every time I see it.  Gray does not work in this room.  I wanted BLACK.  We even have another can of paint (different kinda fancy paint, I have a project in mind to justify it, stay tuned) of DARK GRAY which I deemed entirely unsuitable for this project.  True, this is much darker, but still.... #firstworldproblems.

2 May 2013

What's in a name?

Our little baby girl's name is now final!

First name:  Patricia-Rose

My paternal grandmother's name was Patricia.  She was very important to me, I was shocked and saddened by her sudden death in 2006.  She loved her grandchildren more than anything!  I spent a lot of time with her growing up, I think she was a good influence on me.  I hope she would have liked her little namesake!

We added the -Rose because... well, we like it.  :)  Grandma loved roses - she always had some planted in the yard, I inherited what I think of as her most beautiful painting of - wait for it....roses!  We now have this hanging in the hallway, I looove looking at it.  In fact, I could see it while birthing the baby girl!  And as my Dad pointed out - we are from the City of Roses. 

I know Rose is the most overdone middle name ever right now, but I care not.  And anyway, it isn't her middle name, it is part of her first name.  I've always loved double names.  :)

Nickname:  Pippa

While Grandma went by Pat, we wanted a more modern short form for Patricia.  I liked Patsy but Adrian didn't, both of us are a bit soft of Tricia (seems too 80s, right?)...and I finally happened upon the fact that Pippa is a legitimate short form for Patricia!  Excellent!  In fact, I even remember remarking to my Auntie Jan that Pippa was a cool name, but with Pippa Middleton's bum and all it would be too popular.  This is what all the name bloggers were saying at the time.  BUT - they were wrong.  Pippa/Phillipa/Patricia have not really moved very much in the top 1000 names for the last few years.  So we felt safe going with it - we didn't want an overly popular name. And it is hella cute.  :)

Middle name:  Gwaiji

Chinese names are complicated.  There are five Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, water, gold).  Depending on when you're born (right down to the minute), you are lacking in an element, and your name should make up this element.  Pippa was lacking in wood. 

Gwaiji is really two names - Gwai Ji.  Gwai is her Chinese middle name - all of our future children will share this.  Ji is her Chinese first name.  You could pronounce this Gee or Chi or Tze - it doesn't really translate well into English.

Gwai is the osmanthus bush - which is a lovely floral bush with fantastic scent.  I really like the smell of osmanthus, so this seemed a nice choice from my perspective, although Adrian and his family had the final say on the Chinese name.

Also complicating the Chinese name is that the number of strokes (including the last name) has to be a certain number (like, 56 is good) - due to the time and date of her birth.  Confusing, yes!  Her Chinese birthday is March 14th - see if that doesn't make your head spin.  :)  In fact, because she's born at 11:18pm, that's actually the next day.  Also confusing.

Anyhoo, the name Gwai Ji should confer much success on our little Pippa, and perhaps even soften our Taurus up a bit.  :)

18 Apr 2013

BEAUTIFUL quilt from the EUC Choir!

My super awesome choir family at Eastminster United Church made the baby girl a quilt!  It is SO amazing!  It was dreamed up and coordinated by Marie - a big ideas lady!  Rumour has it she was up late for a few nights before it was done, pulling it all together.

I am just so thankful and impressed by all this.  It really is so special and wonderful.  I can't use enough words to describe it.  We will treasure this always.  I had a quilt made for me as a baby until I was five ("Greenie"), and I LOVED it.  I hope the Appleseed will love this one just as much.

I will apologise for the photography - I did it, not Adrian.  :)
Here is the entire quilt.  You can see Marie co-ordinate all the fabrics BEAUTIFULLY!  She must have remembered somewhere along the line me saying that I think Appleseed likes RED, not pink.  So red and yellow fit in perfectly with our nursery decor (although here shown in our room because the light was better).

And now for the long winded version!  :)
In no particular order (mostly because I can't seem to control the upload on blogger)

The square below was done by Ann!  Marie said the black satin ribbons were the inspiration for the black borders throughout the whole quilt - which is just beautiful!  Thank you Ann!

The square below was done by Maya and Kevin and Marie.  Maya and Kevin wanted to add some African fabric, and Marie added the kimonos.  What turns out to be really cool is that Maya lived in Japan for 3+ years!  Maya has given me lots of appreciated baby tips, and has super cute children herself.  :)  Thanks Maya, Kevin and Marie!

The square below is made by Joy, who also gave us Ugly Dolls (which we love and are super cute, despite the name!).  Love the two little quilted fishies!  Joy is our alto section lead, and has always been so happy for us ever since our announcement way back a long time ago that we were expecting.  Thanks Joy!

The square below was done by Julia.  You can see it has 'tea for two' on it, and ROSES.  Loves!  Julia is a younger choir member, who sings a beautiful Soprano 1.  She is apparently a well educated babysitter - we might be making use of her skills in the next years!  Thanks Julia!

The cool square below is done by Alanna, who is one of my Alto 2 buddies!  She sewed the teether right onto the square - cool, right?  And I have it on very good advice that those are excellent teethers, particularly if baby's teeth come early.  :)  Alanna also gave us some SUPER cute baby hats!  Alanna knows latin, so is helpful to have around to translate the odd latin phrase in choir music here and there.  She is also a famous environmental author, often jet setting on trips around the world doing research.  Thanks Alanna!

 The square below was done by Susan.  Susan is another one of my alto 2 buddies, and the choir president.  What better to put on her square than New York, where our choir recently went to sing at Carnegie Hall?  Susan did a lot of the trip organisation, and I must say, it was the most well-planned trip I've ever been on!  :)  Thanks Susan!

The square below was done by Laura.  How appropriate, a singing lady - I think that's me, singing to the baby girl!  Laura's last name is my first name, it can get very confusing!  :)  We visited Laura's cottage last summer, when I was like 1 week pregnant - she totally guessed!  We hope we can go again, and this time bring the Appleseed with us on the outside!  Thanks Laura! 

 The square below was done by Bev, and it's a beauty!  I got to know Bev and Gord a lot more on our New York trip, they are super fun.  She is a home ec teacher, so of course you expect big things from a quilt square - thanks Bev!

The square below was done by Cathy.  It has LOVE written in the middle - a beautiful square, I LOVE it - just like we already love Appleseed to bits.  Thanks Cathy!

The square below was done by Kit.  Kit is a super talented younger member of our choir, who won our choir scholarship two years ago - and we are so lucky she stayed!  You can see embroidered below twinkle twinkle little star on the piano - awwwww.  How cute.  And ROSES again, eh?  Love it!  Thanks Kit!

The square below was done by Joan and Brianne.  Joan said she can't sew, but she can knit, so she knit the pretty turquoise squares for this quilt square.  Brianne is another highly talented choir member, and you can see she embroidered some gold stars - how fitting, she's a star herself!  Thanks Joan and Brianne!

The square below was done by Diana.  She is another of my alto 2 buddies!  She and I roomed together in New York, so how appropriate for another New York City square!?  Awesome!  And you can see some more of Joan's cute little knit squares - probably very good for the Appleseed to touch all these different textures.  Thanks Diana and Joan!

The square below was done by my midwife, Marlene.  We laughed at my last midwife appointment - she said hers was the only square without special adornment - because she had to rush out to a birth!  :)  Fair enough, catching babies is a very honourable job, I would say!  :)   Thanks Marlene!

The square below was done by Barbara.  Barbara and I live in the same direction, and often walk home together, so we usually yatter on for quite a few minutes at the point were we have to walk our separate ways.  :)  There is LOTS of detail in this square, it must have taken her quite some time, and is so pretty!  Thanks Barbara!

The square below was done by Abby, Susan's daughter.  Isn't that lovely!?  She went over to Marie's house to learn how to ... sew/quilt/embroider.  Pretty cool, right?  I hope she had fun!  She did a lovely square, pretty darn good for a first timer!  Thanks Abby!

The square below has the special designation of the only one being done by male member of the choir - Dennis!  Dennis and I are co-chairs of the Property and Maintenance Committee at Church, which is more fun than it sounds (we do our best to keep the roof up!).  :)  Dennis learned how to do embroidery for this square, and there are two very cute sea horses and a little yellow fish there!  Dennis and Adrian have very similar hobbies, so it is no wonder we all get along.  Thanks Dennis!

This next square was done by Ester.  Ester is the wife of Dennis (see above), and another one of my alto 2 buddies.  Three hearts - me, Adrian and Appleseed!  Awww!  And piano and roses - very pretty!  Ester is another midwife in our choir - how cool, right?  Ester always has a calming word about birthing for me, and is fun to talk with on non-birthing conversations too!  Thanks Ester!

The square below was done by Judith.  Judith is another one of my alto 2 buddies.  Judith is super smart and organised, and always fun to talk to.  She's been in the choir a long time, so she has some interesting perspectives sometimes.  :)  Thanks Judith!

The square below was done by Catharine.  Catharine has a beautiful voice, and is an Alto 1 in our choir.  Three hearts, plus a green bow for Appleseed to play with - love it!  Thanks Catharine!

The square below was done by  Leslie.  It is just so pretty!  Elephants are very hot these days, and the piano/roses are my fav!  Leslie is a very cool lady of indeterminate age, and brings a lot of character to the choir!  Thanks Leslie!

Phew!  I don't think I missed any!  How beautiful!  I cried of course when the choir presented it to me, all wrapped up beautifully with lavender from Marie's garden.  Thank you so much to everyone, this quilt is so special to us.

23 Feb 2013

Bathroom done!

Done!  Not 100% finished - we still need towel racks and things.  And more grout on floor?

But I digress....

YAY!  Done!

Window is in!  Standing right next to it isn't even cold!  Imagine in summer all the air we can have in the room - woah!  That is some black engineered stone around it.

And our beautiful custom cabinets turned out faboo.  Soon we'll add decorative things there.  So much extra storage, we don't know what to do with ourselves!

And our new deep tub - it is still begging me to have a bubble bath in it - soon, soon, my friend.  (Hello, LABOURing in the tub!  Should be ideal for it!)

Above is a pic of the other side of the tub.  But really, I love staring at the wall tile, now you can too.

Our new vanity.  Matches the cabinets above.  That is an IKEA sink, actually.  Just the sink though.  We liked how it has the raised edge in the back, so no worry about grout eventually failing and needing to be redone.  Not shown but turned ON is the pot light we have installed over the sink, to provide a squidge of extra light to do one's makeup.  And you can see the conveniently located plug to power one's hairdryer as well.

Also, checkout the rad faucet!  Adrian picked it.  Very cool.  We just saw it lying around our contractor's shop, and we were like - "We want that one".

Man, are you seeing all this storage?  We don't know what to do with ourselves.  We have room for Appleseed's future bath toys x a million!  Wheeeeee!

The above can be titled "View from the commode".  That white slim line thing is our new electric heater.  "Electric heater?"  you ask in a crazed voice.  Yes.  It is fancy and uses less energy than it's other heating friends.  Fanless, so it is more like a radiator.  It has a thermostat so it keeps the room at a constant temp.  Remember, this room had no heating before.  And we tore down the duct that would have come to this neck of the woods by removing the wall downstairs.

An amazing thing - insulated walls, plus heat, plus stronger fan (not shown) - we can shower and the walls are DRY.  Yes, even my super steamy showers!  WOW.  Old bathroom had crying walls at every shower, even Adrian's not-super-steamy ones.  Not tested yet is a long luxurious hot bath (will probably have to wait until after Appleseed arrives, I worry about damaging her).

And what is a bathroom/washroom/restroom without a throne?  Shown above is our new one.  So pretty!  Does not rock!  (Found out part of labour will be on the toilet - we giggled to ourselves thinking of the old one!  That would NOT have been suitable!).  Two buttons for coolness.  No-slam lid.  One piece, for easy cleaning.

15 Feb 2013

Almost there!

But not quite.....
SORRY, am typing this from the airport on the tablet... I will be brief. 

You can see cupboards are up. Sneak preview of the floor.  New window and window sill.  Walls not grouped yet.

11 Feb 2013


Hello dear Internetz.  

Did I mention we're replacing the back door?  Old door is out, new door not in yet.  Despite our old door being lovely, we do this to keep the heat IN the house, not leaking out through the single pane window in the old door.  And, eventually we're going to knock off the weird little outdoor room thing attached to our back door, so we need a real exterior door - our old door is oddly not an exterior door (no lock).  Weird, right?  So we may rip off that room thing this summer, so having an exterior door ready is key.  This is just your basic WARM, SAFE, cost-effective door.

Bathroom is now mudded.  Tile starts tomorrow.  And new window is IN!  Well, ok, the window sill is not in yet, but the new window is.  So big and luxurious!  W00t!  Look, you can see the WHOLE thing opens!  Also featured is the nice man that is actually doing all the work by his lonesome:

Downstairs is also mudded.  Less exciting, but an important day nontheless.  Also, all our custom cabinets have been delivered.  The room is actually even messier than before, if possible.  MAN, we have a big cleaning job ahead of us.

Oh, and, um... our furnace is sorta broken-ish.  We need a service call, at any rate.  It hasn't been on for... oh, a week or so.  House is freezing.  Well, no, house is 54'F (yes, we roll in Fahrenheit).  Pipes won't freeze.  Just uncomfortable.

8 Feb 2013

Drywall partially up

Drywall is partially up for both the wall and the bathroom.  This guy is a one-man machine!
Do you need to put special drywall on the ceiling of the shower, or is regular ok??  Anyone??

Of course, we don't even really know if he came in or not today - SNOW DAY!  We're here at Ad's parents.  Ad will go over tomorrow though, fo' shizz.  I needs my special Chinese New Year clothes, obvi.  And my Chinese New Year jewellery (one of the few days a year I wear jewellery - my diamond ring and pearls).

Once the mudding is done and sanded - we can start CLEANING!  W00t!  And maybe move home again at some point!

6 Feb 2013


Progress!  This is at the end of day 3.

The new bathtub is in!  WOW!  You can see the shower pipe there too!  Still the old window.  Look, new toilet hole!

Barbara, you were right to be wary of the old rocking toilet.  Turns out the pipe was cracked!  AUGH.  Not leaking yet, thankfully.  But it was only a matter of time, no doubt.  Thank goodness we had the urge to remodel before the baby comes! 

Now the kitchen is looking super different!  Look how OPEN it looks!  Sort of exposed!  Great sight lines.  Tea cup cupboard no longer.

Here is the view from the kitchen of the dining room.

As you can see, the dining room is being used as a staging area.  Good thing it was all cleared out!

Look how OPEN it is!  That little bit of wall to the side there (you can see some pipes running) will be covered up with drywall.  That's the plumbing stack, it is staying where it is.  We're not made of money, yeah?

You can see the new framing above the counter - that will be the new little breakfast bar we are adding on.  It will match our ugly counters.  :)

4 Feb 2013

Demo day!

It begins!

I tell you, this guy is a hard worker!  One dude did all of this.  Our bathroom went from this to this:
You may have seen the above on FB.  At this point (like ~10:30am) the bath tub is still there you can see.

SHAZAM!  It's gone!  ALL gone!  Including the tub, which is now in our backyard, if anyone feels the need for a quick wash, help yourselves.  Holy Moley!  By himself!  We are lazy office workers - no way I could do this in 2/3 of a day!

(Ok, old window is still there.  Everything isn't totally gone.)

Well the day isn't over.... time to start downstairs!

Last dining room wall picture, ever:

Down it goes!  Mwhahahahha!  (View from the other side)

You can see the spice cupboard is old news, we've lost a few regular kitchen cupboards as well.  But the dishwasher (aka, Corrie Jr.) STAYS!  

Stay tuned for more updates!