blogging about babies

Feeling The February Love

Somehow we are already well on our way into February and I do not even know where January went. It felt like winter was ending and we were starting to get excited for spring. I even unpacked all our spring clothes to launder and freshen up. Florals were definitely in the air! Then BAM! A massive dump of snow and back down to minus twenty. I almost felt like I should be digging all of the Christmas decorations out and setting up again for festive fun. Don’t worry – that did not happen! For now we are just weathering ‘the storm’ and trying to embrace the pretty white snow that has covered my yard yet again. So much for seeing grass last week. We do however have a sunny and beautiful weekend on our hands though and with any luck, it will melt away in a hurry. Though it may be pretty we are VERY over winter. Ready for sun-kissed noses and hardened summer feet from running around bare foot all day. Yes we still have to wait a bit for that but one can dream of warmer temps.

So where have the last few weeks gone exactly. Well we started sleep training our little guy so there was ten days of my life there where it all seemed to blend into one stressful mess. The sleep training wasn’t even the hard part. It was more the fact that we were simultaneously trying to get both kids into one room. A two-year old and a six month old don’t exactly make the best roommates right off the bat. Luckily my mom was headed out-of-town for ten days and we were able to use her suite. So one parent would sleep downstairs with Hallie while the other would sleep up with Jackson. This worked great for the kids but I for one was really missing sharing a bed with my husband! Bigger picture though, it was worth it. While Hallie was getting by sleeping in a playpen (my poor TALL girl), Jackson went from five wake ups and three weddings to one wake up and feeding. ONE! After tackling that, it was time to transition the roommate situation. Our first attempt was one big fail. It was like a symphony between the two of them who could cry the loudest and longest. We maybe last twenty minutes before giving up and splitting them up again. The next night though, we had no choice. Grandma had returned home and we needed to give her space back. Surprisingly, it didn’t go TOO bad. Each night gets better too. There are definitely challenges to sharing a room at these ages. If one cries the other one seems to wake. Hallie has also reverted to waking up a bit more. I have faith we will eventually get there though and they will not mind sharing a room at all. Hopefully everyone will sleep better too. It may not be perfect right now but its manageable. Next house though, separate rooms are a must!

On top of sleep training we have had a couple of colds, one more potty training attempt, six month immunizations for the little one, lots of giggles and snuggles, a handful of play dates, and everything in between. Jackson is now on solids and eats three meals a day. The kid likes to eat, should be no surprise there. Other than her getting into constant mischief and him trying to crawl, the days seem to just be flying by and with each day, those two team up on me a little more. Feeling outnumbered and loving almost every minute of it.

Valentines Day is on Tuesday and usually I am much more prepared! There are heart garlands hung and heart-shaped cookies everywhere. Oh and glitter. Lots of glitter. This year I seem to have dropped the ball a bit. I will see if I can get something done in time but you can bet your boots we will have heart-shaped pancakes morning of. We also are attending a Valentines Day lunch at a friends. Three or four mommas with double the amount of babies….perhaps it should be a liquid lunch! I am sure there will be plenty of photo ops among the chaos. Even if I am not ready for the holiday of love, Pinterest is and I would love to share some favourites with you. These Strawberry Funfetti Pancakes would be so much fun for the kiddos, not to mention tasty. I also LOVE these Heart Shaped Pizzas for a toddler snack idea. If you are into making homemade cards for your loved ones, like we are, there are some super cute and corny ideas in this link for Cards. I think this garland is the SWEETEST and would make a cute surprise to wake up to on Valentines morning. Nothing says Valentines Day like flowers; I love getting away from your standard roses and doing something a little outside the box. These wild flowers in mason jars would be perfect scattered around the house, kitchen or part of a tablescape. Don’t forget kid’s themed pjs are an absolute MUST for all holidays, like these heart ones from Carters. When it comes to Valentines Day, I could go on forever. Thank you Pinterest for sucking up two hours of my life today.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and enjoying whatever crazy weather you might be having!

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Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things…. Sort Of..

Happy Friday! Except it really doesn’t feel like one. I guess after the holidays it’s normal for most people to go back to work and continue on with their routines. As a stay/work-at-home mom I may strive for the odd routine here and there but often my day to day is quite unpredictable. Did you see that meme that floated around social media over the holidays? Something about eating lots of cheese, not knowing what day it was, where you were in life, what you should be doing or what day it is? I guess parts of that still exist for this momma. The eating lots of cheese part and not knowing exactly what I should be doing. We have absolutely NOTHING on the go this weekend and I am also feeling awkward and fidgety without a go-go-go plan on our hands. But I guess this is one of those more quieter times of the year I should just appreciate. Speaking of appreciating things. I have a couple girlfriends back in Vancouver and we have an ongoing text chat about life, wine, babies… you know all the important things. Sleep, or should I say sleep deprivation often seems to be the most popular topic. Well that and daytime chardonnay. But at the moment, we are very tired mommies. With my first baby, I blocked out the nights where I would get up five times in a night. I forgot about the many mornings where I dumped a spoonful of formula into my coffee instead of sugar. I absolutely neglected the memory of heading out the door wearing my husbands pants instead of my own. Sleep deprivation, though can be very comical as previously stated can also be extremely dangerous. Luckily no babies have been harmed due to my lack of zzzzzzzz’s. While it is so easy to forget all of these painfully exhausting moments, I find myself right back in the middle of it with baby number two. This time, there is no ‘nap when the baby naps’. No, you need to spend that time chasing after the naked toddler making sure the Sharpie she is holding doesn’t make it’s way onto the white front door. Oh snap, it already did. In the odd moment one baby sleeps, the other one will be wired awake and demanding all of your attention, but in the most sweetest way so that all you can do is smile, sleepily and lovingly at them. By some crazy (probably never going to happen) miracle they BOTH sleep, you better count your god damn lucky stars, guzzle that bottle of cheeky afternoon wine and get those nine loads of laundry done that have been staring at you for the last three days. BUT! Here is the caveat…. these times are fleeting. They are exhausting and they are transitory into the next phase which will no doubt be more tiring than the last. And here is the real kicker. You miss it! I actually miss how small Hallie was and how she needed me to get through the night. She couldn’t go a few hours without my cuddles. Or maybe formula but whatever, I was the giver of formula! Now you couldn’t pay me to sleep with her. It’s like sleeping with a drunk octopus. But there you have it, that light at the end of your tunnel moms. It might seem like the end of the world now, and trust me some days it feels like it is. But soon they are two years old, CRAZY, and sleeping is the least of your worries. They’ve got it DOWN. Now it’s time to find out where they are stashing their baby brother’s dirty diapers…

Since it’s Friday I leave you with my playlist for the weekend. Have a good one!

Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott

You’re Not There – Lukas Graham

24K Magic – Bruno Mars

David Guetta Ft. Sia – Titanium

Pink – Just Like Fire

Hamilton Leithauser – I Had A Dream You Were Mine

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling

DNCE – Cake By The Ocean

Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better

Kaleo – Way Down We Go

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

I can still say that right? We are merely days into 2017 so you are still allowed to wish a Happy New Year & Happy Holidays, at least until the weekend that follows. At least that is my justification. As usual I intended to sit down and get a few thoughts typed out on New Years Day but life does it’s thing and ‘happens’, so that little moment of ME time didn’t happen. I actually spent the day playing in the snow, sipping white wine and overindulging in fondue…. a battle I was not prepared to fight so I simply gave in hah. I mean, we all know how good white french bread tastes dipped into bubbly cheese. These activities did not prevent me from thinking about the year that had passed and the year ahead. It’s a bit of a shocker when you reflect back at how much has changed, or hasn’t, in the year that is gone. I know ours was a busy one. It was filled with change, joy, adventure, stress, worry, excitement, frustration, essentially all sorts of emotion created the ride we call 2016. I am not really one for resolutions and rarely make them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have ambitions as to how I want the next year to play out. I am not sure why I don’t do ‘resolutions’ so to speak. I have never really wanted to give anything up. Usually if I do set a goal it’s like eat healthy or exercise more. I guess if I am vague about it I do not have to hold myself as accountable. Now that I write that down and read it back to myself, that sounds terrible but it is what it is. It’s probably why I did so poorly in a sales position back in my mid-twenties. But nonetheless, that is me and for now I am sticking to my non-resolution ways.

As far as the kids go, there are a couple things I do need to get done. It just so happens the timing falls within the New Year  and there is no better time than the present right? Potty training. Yayyyyyy shoot me now. I have tried a few times and failed miserably. I now have the tools (and shiny stickers) for a Potty Chart so we will try that. And we will succeed damnit. So stay tuned for the messy details there that shall commence next week. Sharing. What do ya know, another one for Miss Hallie. Apparently Jackson is not allowed ANY toys so that is another thing we will need to work on. I have included a very endearing photo below that showcases her toy hoarding abilities quite well. For both babes, we are going to get on the healthy eating train. For Hallie that actually means eating dinner that I cook and not rejecting it in disgust. Jackson seems to have a hungry eye and I have a feeling he will do just fine.

As for myself…. more adventures on the weekends and less hanging around the house. We live in a beautiful place and have explored only snippets of it. Can’t let the minus 20 hold us back! Actually wait, we can. Will let it warm up a bit and then get to some proper exploring! So often we get lost in obligation and forget to just go out and do what we really want to do. Or in my case, what my toddler wants to do. I would like to get our home more organized. It is such a small space and I CANNOT WAIT to move to a larger home. But until that happens you gotta work with what you’ve got. Any space can be functional and comfortable if it’s organized properly. This way I can create spaces that promote healthy and happy habits for these two little humans I am trying to raise. In saying that, I should probably try to be more present for them as well. It’s so easy to mentally check out and get lost on my phone in the world of Instagram or Facebook. I need to make more of an effort to put down the phone. One awesome trick I find is I bluetooth my phone and blast the times from it. That way I am less tempted to answer a text or call or go on it as I am enjoying the music playing. Usually Hallie is busting a move to it too and if I know anything, you do not interrupt a toddler’s dance moves.  The list could really go on and on. More cooking, less delivery. More intention, less worrying, more laughter, more fun, more memories. We can really only just put more effort into enjoying each day and making those moments count. Because at the end of one year, and the beginning of another, you really see how quickly it goes and you need to make the most of it. So Happy New Year, have a good one and make the most of it!

 

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Welcoming Winter

I don’t know about you but I felt a huge sense of relief when I was packing up all of our Halloween decorations. October was exhausting! It was tons of fun with all of the festivities going on and even though it is one of my favourite times of the year, I was happy to see the end of it. I am ready for November. Ready for Winter! That is one thing I love about where we live now. You actually get to experience full seasons. In Vancouver, it was a lot of rain, or non-rainy days. I don’t want to sound like a negative nelly but it’s true! They are in for a soggy winter too unfortunately. In Kamloops we get a really pretty transition in-between seasons. Though I might freeze my ass off more so than my Coastal friends, at least my toes will be dry. I am however a total wimp when it comes to being cold. I am cold majority of the time! But as long as you dress appropriately, getting out in the cooler weather (not to mention the snow!) can be exactly what everyone needs- especially kids. So I am welcoming November with open, bundled up arms and am super excited to get planning some fun activities for the babies and I. It has been a couple years but it just might be time to bring back the ‘Holiday Bucket List‘ too. Nothing like a giant chalkboard in your kitchen to remind you of all of the things you want to get done! There are quite a few things happening in Kamloops this time of year too. Last year I was pregnant and violently ill (thanks again for that Jackson) so I wasn’t exactly a jolly sport when it came to doing things. I managed to get away with it too as Hallie was younger and perfectly okay with being lazy and snuggling with me all day long. Now, not so much! I know that cheeky little girl is going to want to get her hands into all of the fun that the season brings. We will not be able to hide from the great outdoors either – if that girl doesn’t spend at least a couple of hours outside each day, the crazy really comes out in her. This momma might need some Baileys in her coffee this time round to keep up! Jackson is too little to know what is going on but we will string that adorable little smile along for the ride. So what is on your holiday to-do list? I already have a couple of things in mind.

Spirit Holiday Train Ride – hot cocoa included of course!

CP Holiday Train with Dallas Smith performing – whoop whoop!

Santa Parade downtown – even though last year we could barely get through the entire parade it was so darn cold. This year we shall better prepare ourselves!

Adults only getaway to Sun Peaks for a night – get our Christmas drinks on!

Family getaway to Sun Peaks – alright alright, they get some fun too!

The search for the perfect Christmas Tree – and cutting it down ourselves of course. ‘It’s not going in our living room Russ’.

Taking both kids in matching pjs to visit Santa Clause.

Introducing Elf on the Shelf to Hallie. She won’t understand the concept of behaving for the elf yet, but I do think she will get a kick out of searching for it every morning.

Arts & crafts for Hallie of the Christmas nature. We love getting messy lately in the kitchen with paints.

Seasonal baking – this one is for me! I love baking and this is the perfect time of year to overindulged and try out some fun new recipes.

Play the Christmas Vacation Drinking Game – mandatory this time of year, multiple times if you can.

Well clearly I could go on, and on, and on here….. Better get that chalkboard done up! Happy Wednesday and happy winter planning friends!

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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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Breakfast Lovers

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – we are major breakfast people in our home! There is just something about the smell of bacon in the morning. Or in the afternoon. Or for dinner. Let’s face it, all things that end with bacon end well. With my picky toddler tummy, it’s always a constant guessing game as to what Hallie will eat today. This week there is a mild obsession with mini mandarin oranges. Last week it was cheese. The minute you feel confident that she loves a certain type of food (for examples, bananas), she will change her mood so fast that you won’t even get home from the grocery store with it and she has decided it’s gross. Bananas are now a mushy form of lotion that she likes to massage into her own hands. Thank the lord I can still get her into a high chair or bananas would be my new living room rug. One consistency Hallie has always remained true to though is toast. Sometimes she just likes to suck the butter off and discard it but 7 times out of 10 she will eat it. Which is why I am a huge fan of French Toast! Bit of protein from the eggs and a dash of fun with cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice. What kid doesn’t love it?! I am a huge fan too so it’s a win for everyone. Not to mention the massive side of bacon we can easily pile up on the plate next to it! There is something about the cooler weather & Fall that makes me feel like cooking up a warm breakfast on the daily. No wonder everyone gets a little chubbier this time of year! I am currently on the hunt for some new breakfast recipes too so if you have any to share, please do. Pinterest is such a fantastic resource for such things but these days I don’t exactly have two hours to get lost in the pinning world. Hope you are all having a great Friday and that the weekend ahead is full of bacon and smiles!

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I have had people asking me lately about my dish & coffee mug obsession on Instagram! Majority of my dishes and items styled in photographs are from Anthropologie and my favourite mixing bowl shown above here is from Homesense.

Just because I can’t resist…. (‘Stop taking my picture mom!’)
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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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