Raising babies

Put Your Big Girl Pants On

I will be the first to admit, I am rather slow at certain things when it comes to parenting. Potty training – still ain’t happening. Not my fault now though, she has chosen to embrace the diaper. The battle shall be hers and hers alone. For now. . . Drinking milk from a bottle – the effort is there I promise you. I have tried every sip cup on the planet and girlfriend still wants her milk out of a bottle. It’s not like she is dependant on it to go to sleep or anything, she plain ol’ likes it. But yes I know, it’s gotta go. Lastly, the crib. Hallie was in her crib up until quite recently. She never attempted to climb out of it and slept quite well in it, so why on earth would I let the lion out of her cage. Or lioness I suppose. After a few road trips though where we had no choice but to set her up in a ‘big bed’, we decided to take the plunge and stick her in a toddler bed. Well that didn’t really last long at all. She LOVED it. I however did not love trying to be a contortionist when trying to comfort her in a nightmare. I would be lying half on the floor with my back twisted and my arms attempting to stroke her hair. Two nights of this and a new decision was reached. Toddler bed OUT, bigger bed IN. Since my kids share a room and there is really no room whatsoever, we went with a twin. After a month of just a mattress on the floor (yes I know, parental neglect) I ordered a lovely bed on Wayfair. I am so excited to share a few snippets of the big girl ‘side of the room’. There a moments every day that I see this baby girl turning into a big girl. It’s so hard as a mom to watch this happening but at the end of the day, that is what we are here to do. Raise these little people into bigger people and send them off into the world. Oh ya and hope that we did a thing or two right along the way. Perhaps that why mommas keep having babies. One gets growing up and the baby fever sets in again. I always tell myself Jackson is here because I wanted 2 (or 3?) kids and wanted to give Hallie a sibling close in age. But lets be real folks, it was baby fever! Lord help me when I see too many preggos in one day. For now though these two troublemakers are keeping me rather busy so lets keep the baby makin’ at bay.  In the meantime though, we can pick out super cute bedding and throw pillows for their big girl room.

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Toddler Happenings

I swear there will come a day, very soon, when I can’t stop talking about the good the bad and the ugly of BOTH kids, but for now my darling toddler hands me enough laughs to keep me busy for days. She literally does too. Jackson is in a super cute stage. He is still an infant so to speak, and cannot do anything on his own. We are close to rolling over, holding his own bottle, and finding his feet. For now though, he is just full of giggles and smiles and loves to be snuggled. Sleeps like total shit but you can’t look good AND be good at things as well right? The kid can jump hard in his Jolly Jumper though, I will give him that.

Little Miss Hallie, well that is entirely different breed. She is so fun right now, that is for sure. On the verge of her full sentences almost making some sense, full of hugs and kisses, and such a Mama Drama. There are at least 14,000 reasons as to why she breaks down crying each day, not all of them warranted by any means. Takes after her momma though, slightly emotional. With all of this awesomeness comes some huge development milestones. Lets start with the big one. The big, messy, brown one. POTTY TRAINING. I can’t do it. I am lacking serious faith on this. I start out with amazing confidence and an hour later she is in the bath tub and I am day drinking. But if it’s white wine it doesn’t really count right? I mean it’s almost a clear liquid, like water. Everyone needs water.

Since today was one of those days where clearly Hallie’s clothes were made of lava and she had to have them completely off or she would be burnt to death, I thought it was a great opportunity to do some potty training. I can already hear the sanctimommies task-tisking that I should be all ready to go ‘all in’ or not at all. But whatever, thought we would roll with it. Hallie spent a full hour running around naked before it was all I could do to get some ‘training panties’ on her. Following that I found four puddles throughout the house and one very happy-to-be-almost-naked toddler sitting in her own poop. Into the bath we go (after of course hitting up the kitchen for before mentioned glass of ‘water’). For the sake of everyone involved here I probably won’t go into further detail but lets just say it involved me scooping things out of the tub. The results of the afternoon…. probably going to delay potty training a little bit longer. I know she is ready. Just ain’t so sure momma is.

Another dragon that appears to have reared it’s ugly head is the picky toddler tummy dragon. She was choosy before but Hallie’s eating habits have quickly become… well quite frustrating to say the least. If I made it or put ANY effort in whatsoever, you can bet your boots it’s on the floor. Or the wall. Or on me. I just thank my lucky stars that she is obsessed with store bought squeeze pouches. I can take a bit of comfort in the fact that she is eating something. It also helps that the child safety lock on her ‘snack drawer’ is busted and I will often walk into the kitchen stepping all over fruit snacks and goldfish crackers. At least she is eating.

I think my favourite part of our ‘challenges’ right now though are the conversations. Though they are muddled and completely confusing to me, they are sweet as pie. Just like that little devil of mine. It is total gibberish but I know exactly what she is trying to say. The expressions that come along with it are priceless too and always put a smile on my face. Usually fits of laughter too.

Cheers Mommas. Another Monday down, and this one for me, was for the books.

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And Another Baby Makes Four!

Well the day finally came! A little bit early but on Monday, July 4th I started having contractions while marathon watching Season 5 of SUITS on Netflix. On Tuesday, July 5th at 1:35am, my baby boy came into the world! Very quickly and furiously might I add.

Full disclosure: I started writing this post on July 7th…. It is now the middle of AUGUST! The absence is a perfect way to show the chaos that ensued having two babies in the house. Sure, have another baby they said. It will be a piece of cake, your second time round, you will be full of confidence and life will be bliss. SAID NO ONE EVER THAT HAS TWO BABIES. I have to stress the baby factor too. Two kids, I am positive, is a complete shit show of it’s own. Babies are in their own realm of insanity. Especially when one is a newborn and cannot ANYTHING and relies on you for everything in this world, down to their breathing. The other is not even two, has entered the tantrum phase early, communicates in her own language, and is what I can only politely call a ‘very free spirit’. Bless that girl and I love her more than anything but she cannot be trusted. Turn your back for one second and she is dancing on cold cuts of salami in the kitchen, covered in chalk and filling up the garbage can with items out of your purse. It’s raining VISA and gift cards in my house whenever she gets her hands on it. One look at that devilish grin though and my heart melts. It’s a good thing I don’t care too much about my sanity because it went out the window long ago.

So the new guy… Old man Jackson! Jackson Leo Hayward is his full name and my oh my, does it suit him. I don’t think he could have pulled off any of the modern and hip names that made the cut on our list. Jackson is modern but the ability to shorten it down to Jack, really depicts his traditional style. He is the oldest little baby I have ever seen and I just love that old man to pieces. He likes really warm baths, warm feet, being cuddled ALL THE TIME, and making strange noises all night long. Boy does his big sister love him too! There are kisses on the forehead every morning, and mama drama tries to help me all day long. Whether it’s getting a diaper (which translates to dumping a bin of diapers all over her room) or taking his dirty diaper to the diaper genie (I am really hoping they all go in there, and I don’t start finding soiled nappies in awkward places in my house!). I know she just means so well so it gets her off the hook of even the worst mishaps. Blame it on that smile! Honestly, it’s all new and every day a new tornado strikes itself right down in the middle of all that is calm. Till I know what the heck I am doing, there is always coffee and wine!

So to keep things fun and simple while I jump back in the blogging game, I felt it would be appropriate to do a little:

NINE TRUTHS AND A LIE!

1.) Every night that I go to bed I am completely terrified that THAT will be the night my sweet baby boy stops his ‘newborn sleeping’ (which is shitty already might I add) and then I will forever be awake. Deprived of precious sleep that I worked so hard to get back (which I never really got back).

2.) Every day with my darling daughter has been testing my patience. No one warns you about how understanding and patient a mother needs to be. Even when it seems that all you can do is lose your shit, you need to come down to that level and try and figure out what the hell they are trying to do/are freaking out about/screaming and crying about. It’s an even bigger mystery when they cannot talk and communicate to you yet and you end up playing charades with your bawling toddler in the meat department at Superstore, trying to identify what on earth she is trying to say or do.

3.) I know for certain the cashier at that same grocery overheard me call my toddler an asshole under my breathe as I picked up all of items off the floor that she had thrown out of the cart upon checking out.

4.) I may have hid from everyone in my house the other day with a glass  of wine in my closet.

5.) I worry non-stop about everyone, even the dog, that they may be feeling left out or not loved enough.

6.) I have heated more food in the oven than I have cooked, but passed off the credit as my own of course.

7.) I am certain the word ‘NO’ has become a permanent part of my vocabulary and it’s actually bumming me out. I need to really think about WHY I am saying it in the first place and how I can redirect this crazy behaviour. Perhaps I need a good parenting book, but who the heck has time to read these days anyways?!

8.) I did not find a dried up chicken tender at the bottom of my purse.

9.) I do not wish every day was Bachelor in Paradise Day.

Can you spot the lie?

First picture as a couple!
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My Old Man Jack! (Pants are from Target, Muslin Swaddle Blanket, Modern Burlap)
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Girlfriend is CRAZYYYYY!
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Just ‘Old Man-ing..’
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The two that steal my heart, day in and day out.
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(When did the toddler start to look like a GIANT!?)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Toddler Tummies

I remember when I used to think of being a mom and having babies, I had all sorts of hopes and dreams for the type of parent I would be. I like to pride myself in being a rather relaxed parent but there are things that I have always been strict about. Bedtimes. Lots of cuddles. Bath time and brushing teeth. After experiencing a newborn baby, an infant, a baby and now a toddler, I feel like I should send out a disclaimer that corrects many things I said PRE-parenting. The truth is, you just have no idea until you are in it. It’s survival of the fittest. If it works, you do it. My little girl was in total hysterics the other day because I took away the disgusting dirty Freezie that had been dropped in the grass seven times while she tried to eat it. She was so upset and it broke my heart so much that I handed it back to her. I have no idea if she played with it or simply ate it but that filthy blue popsicle was all that made her smile in that moment. Don’t even get me started with how happy she was ten minutes later when I am almost positive she ate a dragonfly! I am not saying she is the boss all the time and that the slightest tantrum will win her all battles. I am not saying that at all! I am fully admitting though that you need to pick your battles wisely. Some of them are not worth the tears. With all of that being said, I feel it is the perfect segway into the topic of food! Toddlers are picky as hell. If they like it today, tomorrow it will end up splattered across your face. Or all the way up your walls and all over your crisp, freshly washed white linen curtains. Toddlers also have the ‘chipmunk winter-food-storing-ability’ down to a science. This girl will chew up about fourteen baby carrots, hold them discreetly in her cheeks, and wait until about an hour later when you are cuddling on the sofa and spit them out all over you. What the logic behind this for her is I have absolutely no idea. She sure finds it funny though. As I fight my way through the darkness in identifying what foods will and will not work, I wanted to share a few tasty treat ideas that are a success in our home- this week anyways. I have probably jinxed it now!

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These mini pizzas were delicious and a hit with those big and small. I picked up what I can only compare to Naan Bread from our local bakery, infused with spinach and herbs. Drizzled with tomato sauce, topped with prosciutto and mozzarella (some grated and fresh), and baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. I even like to grill the top a little bit to brown and bubble the mozza. Slice them up small for baby and serve as is for mom and dad. Bon appetit!

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Hallie is slightly obsessed with Munchies Mix – the mix that has sun chips, cheetos, pretzels, etc. Not going to lie, I love them too. Instead of buying a bag of that though I bought a bag of each type of chip in it (more or less) and mixed it all together in a jumbo zip lock bag. I then divided up the mixture into these plastic mason jars. These plastic jars are the best! They store easily, stack, travel well to the park, I LOVE them!!! Very kid friendly too. Oh and husband friendly! Henry cannot open a bag of chips to save his life. We always end up with a long rip down the bag and stale chips, so this is a great solution for him too.

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Homemade Guacamole is possibly my favourite snack ever. It may as well be a meal. Today in fact I ate a bowl of guac which consisted of at least three avocados. Good fats right? (Don’t care..) I follow a very simple gauc recipe. Perfectly ripe avocados, lime juice and lemon juice, chopped cilantro, fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper. Sometimes I will add a few tablespoons of a really nice salsa just to excite things but trust me, it isn’t necessary! Nothing like fresh ingredients. It also helped that a certain little lady LOVED dipping her tortilla chips in it.

Until next week when she decides she hates all of the above mentioned snacks and we need to turn to Pinterest for new ideas. I don’t know if I have thick enough skin though. It slightly hurts my feelings when she hates my cooking or hard work & preparation haha!

Potty Training

I cannot believe I am saying these words…. Is it time for such a task already?! When you pick up your toddler only to discover they have removed their diaper and are now in the nude on the lower half, then yes, it may be time. We purchased a Baby Bjourn potty when Hallie was 9 months old. I didn’t intend on starting anything that early. I merely wanted to introduce her to it so that she wasn’t afraid of it or anything when it came time to learn. Over time since then, we have successfully used the potty a few times, only by chance  and getting her to it in record time. She had no idea what she was doing or why I was clapping and cheering like a maniac when something appeared in the bowl. She also tried to PLAY with the filled bowl directly after filling it which even traumatized me slightly. For the most part, the potty sat in our bathroom up until now and Hallie would sit her kitty stuffie in it while she had bath time. Fun for the whole family haha. However, I think now it is time to really start using the potty for it’s actual function and not just an uncomfortable portable chair. I have been combing the internet for different resources and even picked up Sesame Streets ‘Elmo Goes Potty’ on DVD from the local thrift store. There are so many opinions on this subject out there that I feel like I am in the whole breastfeeding versus formula battle all over again. Parenting choices are HARD my friends! Either way though, I need to pick a method and stick to it. I have decided that when it comes to Day 1 and starting this arduous task, I am going to set up our wall-length baby gate and barricade us in the kitchen for the day. We will have our potty, toys, and all emergency materials for ‘accidents’. I just feel that by being in the kitchen it will minimize our chances for messy mishaps on my rug or sofa. Not that they are in pristine condition anymore anyways – thank you toddler and dog! I have also been told that we should stay close to home for the week while undergoing this training. Who knew it could be such a mission to take on?! I thought babies and newborns were the hard part. Toddlers, you really are on a different playing field and mommy is the rookie up to bat! Toddler 10, mom usually zero. What are your go to methods for teaching the do’s and don’t’s on toilet 101? I would love to hear from you with any tips that might help this scared momma out! Our first casual lesson with the potty and Elmo went interesting to say the least. It involved kitty on the throne again and one very happy toddler! Think she missed Elmo’s concept.

Step 1: Watching Elmo

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Step 2: Trying out technique on Kitty

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Step 3: Well I am not sure what step is happening here BUT I am pretty sure the lesson is over

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Flashback to when we bought the potty and she ‘tested it out – don’t you love a good ‘poo face’?!

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Life With A One Year Old

We are now in the ‘life with a one year old’ stage. It’s an exciting time, that is also nerve racking and exhausting and though life is speeding by at a mile a minute,  I am loving every moment. We got over the chaos of a trip back to Vancouver for the birthday party and all of the unpacking that went with it. This week has been filled with busy ‘mommy and me’ dates to Mother Goose at the library, crisp Fall walks along the river, trying to get errands done, and a bit of housework here and there. Amidst all the usual day to day activities, I am in awe of how much baby development has occured. It really was just last week that Hallie was taking her very first steps in an uncoordinated fashion. Over the course of two days she has been cruisin all over the house. A bit wobbly here and there of course but man can that girl get around! Speech has really sped up as well. Before we were getting a lot of ma-ma-ma-ma and da-da-da-da and for a good week or so, everything was ‘baby’. Now she is spitting out long convoluted sentences that are jam-packed full of baby words. I know that it’s only a matter of time before her sounds make actual words! I pray to God that her first word isn’t f#ck! With the baseball playoffs on in our house full-time and a husband who gets very INTO the game, I would not be a bit surprised if it was her first word. I have gently been reminding him to curb his language so that we can prevent this. Two other areas where we seem to have leaped bounds are eating and sleeping. My girl is a picky eater. She takes after her father and seems to have this thing with texture. If it’s slimy then there is a good chance it’s taking a flying leap off of the highchair tray and into the dog’s mouth. How obliging of her. But the last few days she has been  quite the hungry hippo and taking down whatever comes her way. My doctor jokingly said that Hallie could be the kid at daycare who shares all of her snacks. Her size indicates she could miss a few meals! Bless her… and her thighs! Sleeping has been good as well; though I don’t like to say it too loudly or even think about it as I fear doing this will jinx everything. Lets just say I feel slightly rested and that is a win in any momma’s book.

So that was a recap about all of the good. With the good always comes the bad my friends!  TANTRUMS! WTF. I thought tantrums came when your child could communicate. Apparently they happen because they can’t. It could be closing a door so that she can’t get into the bathroom and play with the toilet bowl water. It could be trying to sneakily hide my brand new iPhone 6 so that she can’t slobber all over it like my last phone and destroy it. It could be time for stroller or her carseat, and god forbid a strap-in harness keep this girl down. She will let the whole world know vocally that she is not down with whatever I am doing.  I am learning, episode by loud episode, not to let it get to me and to carry on with the task at hand. But holy crap, girlfriend needs to settle down.  Oh and then there is the teeth. How many teeth can naturally be cut at once, I wonder. Even my doctor was like ‘whoa that is quite a few teeth at once for her age!’. Every baby teethes in their own way and every parent ‘parents’ in their own way. We are advocates of the amber necklace and occasional use of baby Advil and Oragel when things get very bad. Many parents, some that I know as friends or family even, are against medicine for babies and it is totally cool, for them. We are a bit wussy in this house with pain though so that is the solution that has been working for us. I also know these days are numbered so I am not too worried!

That about sums up where we are at these days in the life of ‘One’. I am quickly learning that every single day is full of new challenges, new defeats and of course, new accomplishments. This crazy world of parenting just keeps going and flipping each day sideways and all we can do is hope we are doing a decent enough job that keeps our babies happy (and alive!).  Time to enjoy a Saturday night because who knows what Sunday will bring. =)

First Birthday For My Baby Girl

It feels like forever since I have written a post; it has just been too busy lately! Between Thanksgiving, ongoing home renovations, a teething baby who doesn’t sleep anymore, and a trip back to Vancouver, free time has been non-existent. I keep waiting for things to quiet down but really that is just not this family’s style. We thrive on the chaos I suppose….
Like I said we just came back from visiting family in friends in Vancouver. The trip to the Coast was for two main reasons. First reason is that I refuse to let go of my relationship with my doctor and Hallie was due for her one year appointment. I know that one day soon I will need to find a doctor in Kamloops but really, my doctor in North Vancouver is just so awesome. I love her and Hallie loves her so we are having a difficult time moving on. With that being said, we had to get Hallie’s one year immunizations done and it made sense to tie it into the trip! I am such a mean mommy though; I scheduled them for her actual birthday! Needless to say it was a bit of an emotional day. Considering it was four needles, my kid took it like a champ! I probably cried more than her. She had been teething badly all week long too so Friday quickly turned into a bit of an Advil day for my sweet girl. The second reason for our trip was to celebrate her FIRST BIRTHDAY! How is it possible my baby is one already? The year went by so quickly. Now my little baby is a toddler! Even Hubs can’t believe it so it’s not just a mom-thing.

So the birthday party….. man did I get a shock on this one! I have had my share of parties and many of them a little overwhelming. I have planned parties and events through work for many years and usually have a steady head on my shoulders. (meaning I can handle all of the stress!) Even at nine months pregnant I threw my own baby shower which was very busy and long and energetic… still, I kept calm hah! I did remain calm yesterday but it was a challenge! My mom’s house is on the tiny side. Many people didn’t RSVP either so as people poured into her little living room, with ALL of their kids, things got squishy very quickly. Hyper children everywhere. Plus a couple round Hallie’s age who are not solid walkers yet still want to play with the big kids so basically they are just tripping hazards. Throw in a couple of newborns and maybe 20 adults – then we have a party! (Insert moment to chug white wine here!). Luckily, most of the adults were those that have kids and didn’t seem to be too concerned. I THINK everyone had a good time but they could just be polite and secretly avoid all calls, texts and future party invitations from me. I am sure most of them are cursing me for hosting such a zoo of a birthday party but oh well. That is what happens when you don’t live here and have to host the party at your mother’s! =) In  the end, it was all worth it to see my baby smile!

About that baby!…. Hallie skipped napping entirely before the party. She did sleep in until 10 AM so I figured it would be okay. I was very wrong. Really, the only thing she was content doing was crawling outside to the yard where the big kids were playing. Her highlight of the day was sitting in the dirt. MY CHILD WAS FILTHY!!!! I salvaged the tutu and cream fur vest but the gold and white leggings were disgusting. Every time I tried to redirect her attention inside to people or other shiny objects, she would scream bloody murder. So back out in the dirt she went. If you can’t get dirty on your birthday when can you?! We also decided quickly that cake would happen outside. That was the best damn idea of the day! From then on, things relaxed a bit, or at least I did (perhaps the wine?) and I finally got to catch up with some friends. All in all, despite the chaos and stress of entertaining, it was a great day.

Happy birthday my sweet Hallie Marie! You are a wild child and I would not have that any other way. We love you to the moon and back and can’t wait to see how you grow this year! Love Mom & Dad! XOXOXO

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Oh yes AFTER haha… The poor baby fells asleep when I was trying to feed her dinner. Out cold. I like the comparison of the two pictures!