Raising Babies

Babies Grow Up

When I started this blog it was mainly because I found out I was having a baby. I wanted to document the growth of my adorable bump. Which eventually lead me into the not so adorable 9th month of just being huge and desperately uncomfortable. My intentions then switched gears into survival mode and learning how to be a first time mom. Learning how to keep a human alive, how to work WITH my newlywed husband at keeping a tiny human alive while focusing on our marriage and helping it flourish in it’s infant stage. The blog was comical, raw and loving all in it’s own unique way. Slip in a massive move to a new city where we knew no one, as well as the news of a sibling on the way, the blog began to encompass many things.: Family, parenting, chaos,a new business, cooking, crafting. . . Really whatever I decided to write about. Fast forward to the present. The blog has taken the back burner big time. I have taken time off of writing but keep feeling the heartstrings pulling to find more time for it. Yet again, I feel the direction shifting. It’s no longer going to be about surviving babies, but more so the children they are growing into. My kids are still young. Nearing four and two. Yet they seem to be these growing forces of energy, personality, and increasingly strong abilities to outsmart their mother. They take me to the brink of losing my mind and patience, and reel me right back in with their snuggles and giggles. How do they have the power to do this? And how are they so bad at doing things sometimes? I try to hand them the open goldfish package in the gentlest way, yet as soon as it reaches their hands it seems to be on fire and explode into the air. I will be picking up goldfish until they go off to high school, I promise. Even as I sit here writing this, I am quietly hiding behind my coffee and laptop, as I know Paw Patrol will end in ten minutes, and so will the peaceful silence. Rider and his pups will happily rejoice about their latest savior and as that theme song blares, my darling children will automatically turn to me, zombie-like stagger their way over, climb ALL over me demanding snacks, strawberry milk, more paw patrol, ice cream, and anything else they can think of. (This actually DID happen too, as soon as the show was over. It’s like a weird magnetic mom-pull.) Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT a complainer nor do I ever want it to seem like I am ungrateful for my children. I love them to absolute bits and pieces. I am just in complete amazement about how they shifted from my tiny babies into these crazy little humans: Tiny toddler explosions that keep going off in weird ways that you don’t expect. And this ride is just beginning. Babies, I fear were the easy part. Children, for now you win! I have seen your special powers over the last few weeks! Unfortunately I can only blame your dad, and myself as you had to get it somewhere. So I am excited to see what direction this blog will take next. Excited and scared for what parenthood holds. Hopefully I can find time amidst the craziness to keep documenting a few of our stories here, and the lessons I am learning along the way. Thank you for joining me and reading along!

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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!

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!

Nine Month Favourites For Baby

Nine months was such a fun time with my baby. There is so much happening in a baby’s development at this age. We were still enjoying the fruits of a hot summer when Hallie was nine months old so fortunately, we spent most of this age outdoors. So much time outdoors helped in two ways. Hallie was motoring around crawling, and also trying to walk so being outside doing both of these things allowed her to explore and feel things like grass and dirt, pretty exciting stuff for a kid! All of this time in the fresh air also helped with tiring my energetic babe out. Nine months old was actually a great time for sleep (now enter 11 months where she has no idea what the heck sleep is, nor does she wish to try it out). Below are my favourite items that I found most valuable at this age.
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Little Tykes Swing – This swing is awesome! It was the first thing I did in our new home when we arrived. Located the perfect tree in the backyard and hung this bad boy up. Pro: We can swing whenever we want. My favourite time is after dinner/before bed, while the weather is still nice. Con: It really takes away from the excitement of going to the baby swings at the park. I guess when Hallie is walking we will be able to do more at the local playgrounds and that excitement will return.
Footless Sleepers – I have an exceptionally long baby and even if I buy two sizes too big, sleepers seem to run a little short on her long legs. Footless I have quickly learned it the way to go. I am obsessed with Hanna Anderson sleepers, especially the festive ones for Halloween. Cannot wait to get my hands on some Christmas themed ones!
V-Tech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker – Like I said, my sweet girl is trying her hardest to get going on the whole walking thing. This walker allows her to do just that, she loves it. She surprises herself quite a bit when she really gets moving on it too!
Baby Oragel – This one speaks for it self. We cut two teeth in the nine month period and this baby was a life saver, for everyone involved.
Babies R Us Snack Cups – These are reusable and are actually great quality! I am still using them. Perfect for some goldfish on the go or when we head out to the park to have lunch. Also perfect for today’s current eating habit: When Hallie refuses to finish her food and I need to pop it into the fridge in hopes of serving it for the next meal!
Baby Bjourn Potty – I know. It’s too early. But there is nothing wrong with getting her used to it. We ‘use’ the potty after meals and she has christened it four times now. I know that the road of potty training is a long one but maybe we can get a head start.
Coleman Cooler – Like I said before, we were spending a lot of time outside at this age. I bought a larger cooler to take on our park adventures because I still had to keep milk and lunch cool from the heat. This one in particular was a favourite – Go Steelers!
Vichy Sunscreen for Infants – There are a lot of opinions about sunscreen for babies. I found Vichy to not only be great for her but also for me.
Sun Shade – I bought this sun shade and it is perfect for the beach and park. It is even relatively simple for one person to set up on their own. Saved us on many hot and sunny days!

What are your favourite products to use at this age? I will be adding this post to the full list of favourites located here and continuing with ten, eleven and twelve months very soon. I can’t believe it has almost been a full year!

Eight Month Favourites For Baby

Okay, finally we have favourites for eight months of age! I will also add this one to the previous monthly favourites post located here.
Eight months, to me anyways, was all about cleaning up haha! Hallie was crawling everywhere, getting into everything, and pretty much always a hot mess. I quickly realized my sweet and precious baby girl was turning into a kid. I think this really starts to come into effect when food is introduced. For a while there, she as hiding animal crackers in her diaper. Have fun finding a soggy, sucked on mess of a cracker down there after a long hot sweaty afternoon. Delicious I know! Al this mess leads me to my favourite items for eight months.
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Boon Frog – This froggy is too cute for words, and serves a functional purpose. He hides all of those bath toys that seem to take over the tub. When the whole family is using one tub, like we are now, his storage abilities are what momma’s dreams are made of. Thanks froggy!
Whale Bath Mat – I picked up this bath mat at West Coast Kids. I love the big whale! I kind of wish I had bought the Boon Whale storage instead of the frog now but that is okay. This mat is perfect for baby to sit on in the tub at this age, and keeps them from slip sliding all over the place. It is easy to scrub down too.
Honest Company Body Wash, Shampoo and Laundry Detergent – Jessica Alba created this company called The Honest Company and it is VERY well known to mommas. Check out all of the products here. I picked up these items at West Coast Kids as well, simply because I had heard so many great things about the products and decided it was time to try them out. So far, we are liking them! I am not sure I would order any online as I have heard it can get tricky and expensive. If I can find it locally in store though, I am more than happy to try out a new product. Plus the smell is delicious so that doesn’t hurt!
Boogie Wipes – There really is a wipe for everything. These wipes are for the boogers! I don’t think I need to go into any further detail on this one.
Floral Cap with Ears – I love this hat. I pick it up at Joe Fresh however with summer coming to an end, it is sold out. I loved the little ears though and was perfect for shade from the sun. For whatever reason as well, it was difficult for Hallie to rip off her head like most of the other hats we own. Mom win!
Minimocs – I think I have mentioned these shoes in just about every post since I have own a pair. That is because they are the BEST! They are the one and only’s for us haha. As a crawler, they were perfect for Hallie. I think they will be great for walking too. Most importantly, they are one of the few shoes I can get on her adorably chubby and wide little feet! Poor kid. Some shoes are just hopeless but I have no problem in blowing all of my money on Minimocs! Picking colors is the only part I have a tough time with… If you do not own a pair, get your sh!t together and go buy like seven of them.
Up next we have nine month favourites so be sure to check back soon!