Thursday, December 16, 2010

Picasso






Poor neglected Blog

Poor poor neglected blog. Life is so busy that our life has become organized to a Tee. It makes getting things done easier with our perpetually growing checklist on the fridge and our down times much much more enjoyable.

Going back to work has been both hard and easy.

Easy:
-reconnecting with old friends
-using my brain again and feeling incredibly productive.
-our childcare situation: Stella is happy with Sandy and it's great going to work everyday being secure that not only is she safe, but she's thriving.

Hard:
-waking up early and getting my butt out the door.
-Not seeing Stella for 2 days sometimes
-night shifts. (The F in night shift is silent)

One of the hardest things has been dealing with people asking (over and over) how I'm doing back at work with a sad, head tilt. And then the resultant guilt because I don't feel the need to tell people it sucks. So far, me being a working mom works for our family. I'm happy being back at a job that I really do love, AND contributing to our family income again. Stella does really well with a fresh person with fun ideas. In the 3 weeks I've been back at work, her pre-walking actions have taken off, she climbs the stairs with missing a beat, and yesterday afternoon she blew me a kiss. Sandy teaches her new things all day because she doesn't have the distractions of cooking and cleaning. Last Friday we were all in the attic playing and Stella just stood up from the floor. Like she'd been doing it her whole life. I love Thursday mornings waking up with her though. And her bright smile when we've been apart for a bit.

So life marches on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What a gorgeous bunch!





I got our family photo's in the mail today. Don't we look b-e-a-utiful?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wonder


Oh poor neglected blog....

The last few weeks have been a whirl wind of teeth, snotty noses, stomach bugs, birthday fun, the new nanny starting and getting ready to go back to work. The Blueberry has been more grumpy than not, but those two teeth are finally through and the colds seems to be clearing up (except mine, how did I get sick first and I'm the last to get better?).

The last two days have been nice and quiet. Stella and I have had some time to play together in the new attic space with some of her new birthday toys. She's getting to be so big, and plays in new fun ways every day. Some of her new tricks.....



* Stella loves putting a block into her little bucket and shaking it to make noise until it falls out. Hmmmmm putting things into other things, how far are we from cleaning up toys?

* She's discovered the springy door stops and high tails it into the guest room to sprung sprung sprung the door stop by the closet.

* She's climbing stairs now, well really just two stairs. She loves kneeling there and playing on the bottem step.

* Two nights ago, we taught Stella how to press a button her new boat that she got from Nanna and Poppy. It makes a bunch of sounds and then sings a song (which we know by heart). Today the batteries wore out from her using it so much. Well loved. It's fun to see her learn new tricks after just a few demonstrations, and remember the fun

* We have a new game of playing serious face. She looks at me very seriously and I have to match her face to see who can be serious the longest. Poor kid loses everytime.

* And my favourite thing, Stella loves showing me her toys. If she sees something she likes, she holds it out to me with a look that says "Oh man, have you seen how cool this is?". She's so proud of herself when she makes them do something new.

Miss Blueberry gets more independant everyday. Last weekend we finished breastfeeding and Stella has been a trooper (better than mom), she's warming up to Sandy, the woman who's going to take care of her when I go back to work in a couple more weeks and started pointed to the laptop and saying "Bay-bee?" when she wants to pictures of herself or her friends. You might notice I'm taking a lot less pictures than I used to, mainly cause she will. not. sit. still. anymore!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas Lists


I'm spending my coffee break/Stella's afternoon nap making lists for gift giving this holiday season and started thinking about the things that I really would want this year......

* someone to take care of Stella while I'm at work who loves her nearly as much as we do and makes her laugh all day

* a vacation somewhere warm and preferably on a beach

* enough time in the week to train for a marathon

* a new kitchen

* not to have my hands covered in eczema so I can actually wear my beautiful wedding rings.

* more time to see all the people that we don't get to spend enough time with.

* a really big comfy chair in the attic with an ottoman

* my husband to have a job that he LOVES. (ie chef in our own breakfast joint)

* to be put out of a job due to lack of children needing cancer care.

* peace on earth.

Is that too much to ask? :)

PS. Our family photos can be seen here on Alyson of Tame Images' blog

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stella's First Birthday Party


Today we celebrated our little girl with our family and friends.
























It was a little overwhelming for Stella, by little, I mean she wailed along with everyone while they sang Happy Birthday. She loved her chocolate cake though as long as Momma was sitting right next to her. She loved all her presents, Thank you so much to everyone.

Ps. It's hard to take a lot of pictures with a clingy toddler on your hip, so if you've got some good ones, please share!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Long day....

It's been a long day where a whole lot of stuff just didn't seem to go right. So sometimes you just need something to make you smile. j
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stella's first birthday

Dear Stella, It's your birthday! A year ago today we met for the first time and our family became a threesome. We all started on the adventure of a lifetime. Our start was a bit bumpy, but things have gotten better and better every month. It was the first challenges that helped us turn into the parents we needed to be. We hit the ground running and never slowed down. But through the hard stuff, we've had countless victories and experiences.









You are a joyful sweet child. You love other babies and get so excited when you see a stroller coming towards us. You try to catch the attention of people in the grocery store so you can flash them one of your beautiful smiles. Being your parents has made our life a million times better.

We love you so much,

Momma and Daddy

Something about today feels like a victory. We've made it through the first year, that's definitely something to celebrate. We've learned the in's and out's of a complicated person. Stella sleeps through the night, loves food and enjoys life. I don't think we could ask for more than that out of a one year old. And something I have to brag about, I breastfed Stella for an entire year. We love everyday and the future just keeps looking better and better. What a great celebration we had today, swimming lessons with Dad, lunch at Stockyards where they treated you to a buttermilk biscuit, fun afternoon playing at home, butternut squash mac and cheese, and delicious cupcakes. We're so excited to celebrate with your whole family on Sunday.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWE'EN!!!!

What's more fun than your first Hallowe'en? Being a cupcake on your first Hallowe'en. Stella tried to make scary growling noises at us, not convincing when you're dressed like delicious dessert.



Pre "trick or treat" snack. (Taking a 1 year old trick or treating is a good way to scam free chocolate from your friends)



Take what you want Stella, but the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are MINE.



We might wear this everyday in November too.



Happy Spooky Birthday to Nanna too!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reflections on Motherhood

A friend shared this clip with me: Reflections on Motherhood.
It was very poignant as we're closing in on Stella's birthday.

If you're a Momma, bust out a kleenex.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Get thee out teeth!!!

It's been a long run.

2 weeks of drool, snot on the shoulders of everything I own, coughs that wake everyone in the middle of the night, painful bedtimes, and more poo than any one woman should have to deal with. And lots of last resort, strapping the baby on and just walking.

I'd like to thank the inventor of baby tylenol. Those people are all alright in my books.

Those two front b@stards are right there. Right. There.

Relief is in sight. It might still be distantly on the horizon, but it's there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Do's And Don'ts

Advice I would take:

Sleep when the baby sleeps. Amen.

Capture every moment, cause it goes by so fast. (It does. So so so so fast.)

You'll never wish you hugged them less.



Advice to forget:

Sleep training. I'm going to forget it, all of it.

If you don't teach your baby to sleep, it's like giving them junkfood. (Yes, a sleep doula actually said those very words).

Don't pick them up every time they cry.





There will be a finite number of days where their little heads fit in the crook of your arm, when they're the perfect height that their faces can be smooshed against your should when their standing on your lap. The joy of learning new things, like clapping hands or making ET fingers will fade. Soon there will be new faces that fill their days and you won't know every second of their history.

Kiss and cuddles don't spoil a child, loving so much can only make things better. I remind myself this every time there's a tough day, or a drawn out bedtime. Time goes to fast.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In days ago....

Yesterday, Friday, I was driving through our old neighbourhood and I had a bit of homesickness. Not just for our old house, but our old life. Fridays were different, and special. Fridays used to be full of potential. If I didn't have to work, I would have worked the night before so I would spend the day sleeping. Even if you had to work, or go school, there was always the pleasant thought all day that it was Fri-day-night. There would be fun, and mischief, and possibly some mayhem. In high school and university I remembered that we would all start gathering in the evening planning to do something, or absolutely nothing at all. Before Jeff and I lived together, whatever we were doing, we would meet up at the end of the day at one of our houses to sleep in the next morning. There would be late night junkfood; McDonald's or 'Za in high school, Sun-Sun's in university or Shanghai cowgirl in our "grown up" days.

Fridays are different now. This friday I spent the day taking my poo-exploding baby to the doctor, doing laundry, and supervising the carpet dudes putting in the new carpet in the attic. Different. Different good or different bad? Both.

This friday I had a dinner date of noodles and apples slices, I spent my evening throwing toys back in a box because it made my date laugh. I hid under a blanket to have it pulled off my head and washed her hair. I said good night with cuddles and did yet another load of laundry. And I curled up on the couch with my book and had a beer. Not a bad night at all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10km Zoo run and Stella's first time at the zoo!


Today I ran the 10km run at the Toronto Zoo. It was my first time and an amazing course. Hilly, but nice and gentle, but the time you were tired of the uphill, you were on your way back down again! It felt awesome, I guess that's what happens when you normally run pushing an extra 40 pounds. I got to jog with some zebras and run a 55:12. I kicked some ass.

We took Stella for a spin around the zoo, she was more interested in checking out other kids than the animals! We saw the orangatans, gorillas, zebras, one lonely giraffe, hippos, rhinos, lions and tigers! We had a great stroll around with the family, and Stella took a wee nap as well.

We got stuck in horrible traffic on the way home and took a detour to pick up a new jacket for Jeff. And when we took Stella out of the carseat..... phhhhffffeeeeetttt (that's the noise of a giant poo explosion). Luckily we were near a Babies 'R us and Jeff ran in to grab her some new clothes. (I've become lax, I used to never leave home without extra clothes, but we haven't needed them in 5 months!) No harm done, Jeff got a new jacket and we got home for a nap.

And the best treat? Chocolate dipped potato chips. Enough said.

Monday, October 11, 2010

24 days


24 days will feel like 24 hours, will feel like 24 minutes. It will fly by in home reno projects and trips to the park and dates with friends. 24 days will be gone with a 10 km run and a first trip to the zoo and a Fakes-giving in Guelph. 24 days rush by with brunch with friends, piano pick ups and photo shoots. 24 days will seem like a second with first halloween costumes and jumping in piles of leaves and parks filled with pumpkins. In the last days of the those 24 we'll remember exciting moments and anticipation.

And in 24 days our baby will be one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving

Just some pictures from our awesome holiday weekend, and it's not even half over yet!


my blueberries


Breakfast jammie party


Daddy pushes way higher than Mom.


Beep Beep


Shoulder rides are awesome.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jeff's got the turkey on the smoker with hickory and apple smoke, buttermilk biscuits in the oven and the cake is frosted. We have so much to be thankful for this year; our little and big family, amazing friends, our house that becomes more like a home everyday and of course the little blueberry. I can't even remember what life was like last thanksgiving.

Have a wonderful holiday!

ps. Long live global warming. It's amazing to be hanging out in the backyard in a tshirt on Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Milestone machine

Stella's 11 month birthday kind of flew by. It was on Monday and I was busy worrying about Tuesday. (Don't worry, I still had a double chocolate dried cranberry cookie from Cherry Bomb). Tuesday Stella had her tests at Sick kids as follow up to the UTI she had this summer. She had an ultrasound of her kidneys, which she didn't like only because we had to hold her on her back and she wanted to play with the cords. Then she had a VCUG which involved putting in a catheter, filling her bladder with a contrast dye and watching her pee on a camera. It went much better than the ultrasound (which was good cause only one parent was allowed in and I'm not strong enough to lasso this calf.).

Even though we were stressed, (we=me, Jeff is the rational one when it comes to this stuff), Stella manages to lighten the mood. This week she has pulled up on the stairs, clapped her hands (while floating on her back in the pool), and climbed a step (which she then fell off of). Our little sack of potatos is on the move.


video

Pick Pocket

We have a thief in this house. Good thing we caught her on video surveillance.

video

Notice she doesn't bother with cash and goes straight for the credit cards

Monday, October 4, 2010

My favourite part of the day

I love the morning. That's not to say I'm a morning person, cause it takes a good strong coffee to get me going in the morning. But I like the quiet peacefulness of it. One of my favourite moments of the day is when Stella wakes up just a little bit early (not too early), before Jeff's alarm goes off to start our day. If it's just that few last minutes, I scoop her up and we lie in bed together. There's just the soft sound of her breathing, the gentle kaka sound of her swallowing while she nurses, the warmth of over night sleep and it's peace. The three of us are warm and snug together while we shake off the last sleepy dreams and get ready to start our day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pull up your socks...


Our milestone explosion continues. Stella is trying to pull up on everything, she even sits and play on her knees now. Unfortunately, she's usually playing with the cable box. Naptime has been challenging, but we've got a new plan to start tomorrow.

This weekend was quite busy, Jeff and I primed the walls in the attic. Our attic project hit a big road bump with our busy summer, but we're back on track now. Just seeing that first step was awesome, it's starting too look like a real room instead of a construction site. Later that afternoon we went and met some friends at the Ceili Cottage for a beer. They had home made kettle chips!

Today Jeff put the colour on the walls while Stella and I were at a baby shower for our awesome friend Nat. It looks awesome. We have so many great plans for the room. Tonight while Stella was in the bath and laughing I spied Tooth #4 breaking through!

I can see you!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy October



I loves loves loves me some pumpkin. Luckily last week our veggie box gave us a Pie Pumpkin. I couldn't bring myself to bake a pie this week, and I'm trying really hard not to bake anything too rediculous since the salty chocolate caramel cookies fiasco (howsweeteats.com),but I couldn't bring myself to let the pumpkin go to waste. I mean look at that tastiness, sweating away in the steamer. I think he (she?) knew I was going to devour it (her/him). Almost every single recipe I could find called for canned pumpkin so I had to make a puree first. Good thing I have a left over eating machine (aka Stella), cause one pumpkin makes way more than 1/2 a cup of puree.

This pumpkin turned into 16 delicious pumpkin scones (joyofbaking.com). Joy of Baking has the best scone recipes in the whole world. These are almost like the amazing pumpkin scones I devoured when I was pregant with Stella from Starbucks, those were the only thing that helped my nausea. They needed a little something so I cheated and used the leftover cream cheese icing I had in the freezer from when I made oreo truffles for Erin's bachelorette weekend (bakerella.com). I whipped in some milk to thin it out a bit (too much, so I had to add some icing sugar) and drizzled over the scones. Only drizzled so they don't contribute to the caloric intake. See, so much healthier than pie.

Jeff has been mocking my inability to waste anything, so the seeds had to be put to good use. And these I tried to keep vaguely healthy. They're seeds right? Look how trim birds are, practically vegetables. A little olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, sugar and garlic powder. Have I mentioned my obsession with cinnamon? More antioxidants than blueberries. So that totally cancels out the cream cheese icing right?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've got the joy joy joy....

to quote the Flanders....


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This was our post lunch conversation today. Then the little pick pocket snuck up on me and stole my home depot list out of my back pocket!

And time ticks on....

Life keeps ticking by! It's sometimes hard to keep up, and I keep thinking I have to write that in the blog so I don't forget! This weekend we blitzed the house with the baby proofing to keep up with Stella. The doors in the kitchen are now a pain in the ass to get open and we installed the baby gate. Just in time, she has taken off this week. She's even started "wandering", not just crawling to get something in particular, but just to go for a little stroll. All this crawling is playing a little bit of havec with our sleep and napping has been a challenge. Why sleep when there's so much more to do!

Jeff and I have kicked it into gear trying to finish up the attic before Stella's birthday. Jeff patched up the last spots on the walls and I started working on cleaning up the plaster and taking all the screws out of the stairs. Hopefully this weekend we'll get some primer on the walls, and maybe even a coat of paint! Next will be getting some carpet down, and I heard there's a sale at home depot!

The nanny hunt has begun as well, which is another reason why the baby proofing is in overdrive; Stella and Henry will be spending Tuesdays and Wednesdays here.

It all sounds so boring, but it's life and it's going too fast! Before we know it, Christmas will be here!


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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Babygate 2010

No, it's not newest political scandal.

Today, we are officially baby-gated. And strangely, it's the first day we really needed. This kid has taken off. Not only is she mobile, but she wants to get at so many things. For ages I kept saying: "She's a content baby, she's just not driven to move". No more. Maybe all this time she was just plotting her first moves.

As we were putting up the gate today we had her playing in our bedroom on the floor, if you turned your back for a second she was right at our elbows, trying to get the tools and eat the instructions. Ironically, she managed to pull the baby gate on to her head as we were figuring out how to bolt it to a portion of non-existant wall.

Installing this baby gate was a bit of a MacGyver operation. We tried various different solutions which didn't leave us feeling as comfortable with the safety. In the end, we have a Franken-gate, or maybe Mad Max Gate; two pieces of wood bolted with a piece of plastic in between to accomodate for the baseboard. It's sturdy and it takes me 30 seconds to get through it. I can see a lot of stuff getting piled at the bottom of the stairs.

To reinforce our baby-proofing, Jeff and I have a started a contest to help us a remember to do all the little things. There's a chart on the wipeboard on the fridge. Not sure yet what the prize is going to be.... thoughts?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So crafty.....

Yeah, I made that:



This is the first article of clothes that I've made myself since middle school


And this:



Remember that glorious packet of material squares? Well, I fell in love with this quilt from the blog www.honeybearlane.com. I still have to finish the edging. But don't you love it??

And We're Off!

Goodbye Summer.

Goodbye hot hot days and swimming in the afternoon.

Goodbye teeny tiny sundresses and barefeet all the time.

Goodbye watermelon parties and beach outings.

We'll miss you!


To celebrate the last day of summer, Stella decided to crawl. She's slow and a little timid and wobbly, but there's definite arm and leg forward movements. It started on Saturday when she got on to her bum once. Then she did it all day on Sunday. Then Monday morning we woke up to a big girl sitting in the corner of her crib. Yesterday afternoon it was warm and we were catching the last bits of afternoon sun in the backgarden. Slow and steady she made her way across her mats. This morning, she even made it across the kitchen floor to grab my pant leg. She's a woman on the move.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Milestone alert!

This weekend Stella rolled from her back to front and pushed herself up on to her bum FOUR TIMES! I think that officially means she's mastered it! The crawling is still coming along, but she's kind of got her own version...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good.

Erin got maw-ried this weekend. She was gorgeous, the day was gorgeous, we were all gorgeous. We had a blast doing a ton of photographs with their photographer and I can't wait to see the results. And maybe if I can save my pennies, get a session for Stella, Jeff and I. I'd love to have someone take pictures of us and make us look stunning. Stella had a fantastic time at her Grandparents. Which leads to something gooder..... the chance at 5 days away somewhere warm and sunny for us this winter.

The Bad....

This week was the Toronto Film Festival, and Bruce Springsteen was screening his documentary "Darkness on the Edge of Town". On Sunday a rumour started that he might play a secret show at the Horseshoe Tavern and we scooped up tickets. So did my parents, who unfortunately wouldn't be able to make it in afterall. We scalped their tickets for $100 for a nice $70 profit. It was great to get a night out downtown in our old neighbourhood, eat some pulled pork, drink some PBR and hang out with friends, but the Boss broke our heart and was a no shoe. Some days you win, somedays you lose.

The Ugly....

This kid has got to be pushing out some teeth. Please, let it be teeth. Sleep has fallen apart the last 2 nights, she's mom-mom-mom-ing all day and the littlest thing sends the little Drama Queen over the top. Today her nose started running and she's a little snorting machine while she nurses. This is the same thing that happened with her bottem teeth so hopefully we're making some progress.

And this is where the Lewis' are this week.....

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Art of the Self Portrait

It's hard being beautiful. It's even harder being beautiful and trying to get a portrait of yourselves while you're #1 photographer and admirer isn't home from work yet. Yesterday we got all prettied up to go to the rehearsal dinner for Erin and Brad's wedding. I rehearsed walking and Stella ate beet greens and apple sauce with Jeff and cheered me on.



Not a bad shot... but what the heck does she have in her mouth?



Maybe let go of my face?



Um... where did Stella go?





Love Love


I definitely need to stop taking pictures with my phone, and use my big expensive camera more.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A perfect kind of day

This holiday weekend was a whirlwind! Saturday and Sunday were spent celebrating Erin's end of single like with her bachelorette festivities. The old woman in me enjoyed the limo ride to the wineries and picnic, while the party girl still hiding somewhere had a blast singing at the top of her lungs and shaking her booty to the band.

Luckily, this weekend came with an extra day. Phew. A well deserved, long awaited extra family day. Monday was our second wedding anniversary, our cotton anniversary. While we had hoped to do some geocaching (yes, big nerd over here, and I must admit, it's all me and very (very) little of Jeff's desire to Geocache), it was a bit too rainy looking outside. But somehow the stars were aligned and the Jays were playing an afternoon game. When we lived on Portland street we went to the games almost every week. Beer at the stadium just tastes better, especially when it's got a side of a hotdog. And popcorn. And maybe some nachos. And an icecream. This was our first time taking Stella and it was a success! She had such a good time checking out the field and all the people. She must have done a good job cheering, cause they won 7-2 against the Texas Rangers.


When we got home, Stella and I took a quick nap and Jeff started dinner. My husband spoiled me this year; diamond earrings and a delicious steak dinner. The man knows the way too my heart! He even made ceasar salad dressing from scratch. That, plus, the blue cheese twice baked potato, I might have to be rolled down the aisle next weekend at Erin and Brad's wedding!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We have a 10 month old people!


Yes, it's true. We have a crazy, almost crawling, jabbering, sleeping through the night 10 month old over here.

Stella, everyday you bring so much more joy into our lives. I can see it in your eyes and in that big giant two tooth smile. Your face lights up about ten thousand times a day; when you catch the other baby's eye in the reflection in the expresso machine at the coffee shop and wave hello, when you wave at a stranger and they notice you and stop to say hello, with every wake-up from naps and discovery of a new skill.

You have so many new talents this month, making kisses noises at Momma and Daddy, scootching across the floor on your tummy and getting stuck under everything, talking to yourself and laughing at all your jokes. You're the peekaboo champion at our house and are always up for an "extreme" game. Bathtime has become a splashfest and Momma gets soaked every night! You love all kinds of food, this month we started eating yogurt, cheese, eggs and meat!

You spend your days playing with your two buddies Rush and Lily, visiting the park and you love the grocery store. So many people to charm! I see can you becoming more of a social baby, you love engaging with people, but you're also so content to play by yourself and find so many ways to amuse yourself.

Stella, the other mommies in the neighbourhood have started calling you Zen baby with your relaxed and happy disposition. But you still keep Momma on her toes when you're tired!

We love you so much and like Daddy says, you get funner everyday!

Love, Momma and Daddy.