Sunday, October 31, 2010


We attended a costume party last night and as self-declared costume-phobes, this is the best we could do. I think the make-up showed an A+ for effort - I mean, we could've just cut a few eye-holes and called it a day.

Katie got in on the action with a superflous themed-onesie.

Boo! We're ghosts! Be scared!


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Not entirely certain what I've put her into...

Giving me a bit of shout...

Oh! Haha - I get it. This is supposed to be fun!


Friday, October 29, 2010

4 month shots

Is there anything worse than this parenthood ritual? Having to watch their faces screw up and the silence before the massive earsplitting cry. Katie of course was a trooper (just like her sister always was) and I suspect (hope?) she'll sleep more than usual over the next couple of days.

Our doctor was just as horrible as usual - advising me that now she was four months, I was free to start trying solids any day now. I didn't even bother to try and argue that actually, no - conventional advice is to hold off until 6 months. Seriously, our doctor is a jackass (and yes, I'm trying to find a new one).

But in happy news, Katie is a happy healthy growing bebe - 12 lbs 4 oz and 25 inches in length. Longer than her sister was, but about 5 ounces lighter. Do we ever stop the comparison?


A spider and a bat walked into a bar...

More Halloween crafts courtesy of daycare - the bat is especially cute hanging over our kitchen table. Gotta love what you can do with egg cartons!




Thursday, October 28, 2010

You know you talk a lot when...

...your baby invariably falls asleep whenever you're on the phone. Driving into the city to meet a work colleague for coffee yesterday morning, I did what I always do when I'm in the car and have a chance - I call friends to catch up. Chatting away makes the time go by faster and is easier (for me) to keep caught up with all the goss. Love me some goss!

And fussy as she was as traffic started to slow down (damn you Kingston Road!), Katie was asleep within 5 minutes of me chatting away. And this is not just related to the car - at home, if walking around carrying her (or she's riding in the sling) - she will fall asleep twice as fast if I happen to be on the phone (or talking to someone in person) vs me just walking around. Twice as fast. I've timed it. Not really.

Maddie was like this too - to a T. Makes me wonder just how much I talk on an everyday basis if that is their "content, womb-like sound"...


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

She's got his number

Maddie: I think it's almost Halloween time Mommy!!! And we'll go to people's houses and say trick or treat and they will give us CANDY! And then we say thank you. And then we go home and eat it all up! Yum!

Me: Yup - mostly. Definitely the thank you part. I'm not sure about the eating it ALL up....

Maddie: [totally interrupting me because really, she doesn't want a reality check right now] Mmmmm - I like candy! Daddy likes candy too, doesn't he?

Me: Mmmm hmmmm [as much as he likes to deny his sweet tooth, he totally has one]

Maddie: Daddy's gonna try and steal my candy, isn't he?

Me: [laughing] Yup - probably!

I love that my three year old totally has the Hubs number - last year he ate all of her candy with exception of the Smarties and really that was okay, because what did she know. I think he's got more of a fight on his hands this year.



Maddie's footprint as a ghost. Damn this daycare provider is going to cost me another Rubbermaid bin just to store all the adorable crafts she keeps bringing home...


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Four Months

Dear Katie,

Just a few days ago your Daddy came home from work and commented on how much you seem to have changed overnight and it's so true.

You're not a little helpless baby anymore! You hold your head up so well - getting all kinds of practice sitting in your Bumbo chair, you seem to love this new vantage point and are spending more and more meals with us sitting on my lap vs sitting on the ground in the bouncy chair looking up at everyone.

Your patience with being strapped into the stroller has gotten a lot better - you're a much better shopping partner these days, and sometimes you'll even catch a nap while I browse through the grocery store. And your patience at just being on your playmat or bouncy chair means that I've started to get more and more projects done around the house - you are such an easy baby (now, don't go changing just because I said that!) - you're content as long as you can see someone, to just sit and play with your "guys" (as Maddie would say) - or to just watch what I'm doing. And later in the day (usually the afternoon when Maddie wants my attention and I need to make dinner) just being held or put in the sling keeps you happy and quiet.

But usually you love getting in the thick of it - you love love love your sister - you quiet down as soon as she comes into view and you give her the biggest smiles whether she's looking or not. She's definitely your favourite person, and she doesn't even have to work at it.

This month you discovered the joy that is Sophie the Giraffe - you chew on her and seem to delight in the fact that you can finally manipulate something with your hands and have the coordination to bring something (other than your actual hands) to your mouth.

You also started making hilarious faces this month and showing the beginnings of a sense of humour - the more I laugh at the funny faces you make, the more you make them - only pausing to smile at me in between. You totally know you're being funny and love getting a reaction ... between you and Maddie we're going to have two clowns competing for our attention in a few years I think...

Your fourth month also brought us your first roll from belly to back - you did it three times in a row last Thursday (October 14th) but haven't done it since. You also started laughing this month (September 27th) - we haven't caught your giggle on video just yet because you're a tough audience and not so consistent in what will make you laugh - but it makes our day when you do give us a small giggle here and there!

Those are some pretty major milestones - you're also still sleeping very well at night (although not so much during the day anymore) - just the other night you slept from 8:30 through to 7am - that? Was awesome. And you still love the bath - in fact we've started plunking you down in the tub with Maddie every once in a while and you both love this experience. She splashes you and acts crazy and you smile and laugh the entire time!

And last but not least - you're turning into a little chatterbox. Just in the past few days you've started to coo and ga and goo and ba at us in all earnestness. I love the sing-songy noises you're making now, and of course, when you get our attention making those noises you practically squirm with pleasure.

I can't wait to see what this month brings - you are such a happy, contented little patient baby - where did my little Grump go? I'm not sure, but I'm loving this new you too. My little Katiebear...


Thursday, October 21, 2010

D is for Dog



Watching me paint the trim around my bedroom door:
"Good job Mommy! [claps hands] I'm so proud of you! You paint just like a big girl!"

After trying to get into some cookies in a tupperware container on the kitchen counter:
"I tried to sneak some cookies Mommy - but I can't open them! You open them? So I can be a sneak?"

While pulling her latest craft from daycare out of her backpack:
"Look what I made for you Mommy! [awkward pause] I mean Daddy. I make this for Daddy. You have enough crafts Mommy."

Calling to me from the bathroom:
"I did it Mommy! I went poop on the big potty and didn't fall in! I did it all by myself! But.. you wipe my bum?"

While sitting at the dinner table:
"Katie can't eat dinner Mommy. [I agreed - she's only 4 months old] Yeah, she's just a little baby. She can't do anything."

While in the car driving:
"See the leaves falling from the trees Mommy? It's FALLLLLL out. What does Fall start with? [I responded, "F"] No Mommy, not F....... S. Fall starts with S - like SNAKE."

Also in the car while driving:
"Stop singing Mommy. Turn on the radio. You don't sing right." [thanks]


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This face?

This face makes me smile.

Laugh. Everyday.


PS - apparently this face runs in the family. I mistakenly thought it was teething the first time 'round - now I get it - it's just a funny face, y'know?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Identity crisis

I was walking through the grocery store today (gotta love the quarter-to-five-missing-ingredient-rush) and I had what one could call an out-of-body experience. As I tried to keep the frustration out of my voice to the pubescent  stock boy about the lack of plain ol' breadcrumbs (no, the Italian kind aren't the same thing thankyouverymuch), I saw me as he (likely) saw me...

Without an ounce of makeup - blotchy skin that hasn't seen the hint of a care regime in months years.

Unwashed (since??? I can't even remember to be honest) hair pulled back into a messy bun - but not the fun, messy kind that walks red carpets at teen choice award shows - I'm talking hair sticking straight out in all directions and the bun part falling lopsided off my head.

Mis-matched "cozies" - no Lulu's for me - these are trackpants (burgandy) and an XL grey sweatshirt from Uni days. Joggers unceremoniously tucked into Uggs - but not for the fashion statement - more for the "OMG I get to wear shoes that feel like slippers OUTSIDE? Ummm, okay."

And the accessories of all accessories? Two whiny, hungry, annoyed children. One talking through a binkie about how she MUST watch Ariel when she gets home because I PROMISED and holymotherofgod meltdown about an 'effing SHOW. And the other? Hungrily slurping away on Sophie the Giraffe - eyeing me like "I'm totally going to meltdown if you don't get me home and feed me in the next 10 minutes lady. I don't care WHERE we are or WHO hears me."

In reality, I'm sure this stockboy didn't even register one of these observations about me - I likely just looked like any other "mom" out there - maybe more unkempt and a bit crazier than normal because, ohsweetjeezus why is she so obsessed about breadcrumbs??

Except I used to (still do?) care what I looked like out in public. I groomed. I didn't leave the house without mascara and some kind of lip gloss. I got pedicures and highlights and waxed on a regular basis. I used to wear heels everyday.


I get it now, why my mom used to have the best shoes to play dress up in, but I never saw her wear them - you can't chase down an unruly child in heels. You certainly can't straighten your hair daily when you've got a squawking 3 month old looking for her next meal. And my lipgloss? Has either been lost at the bottom of my purse or been confiscated by my 3 year old.

Fall used to be my favourite shopping season because boots! and booties! and closed-toe pumps! and more boots! Oh I still lust after these fall lovelies. I look at the thigh-highs (that would make me look like stripper-mom) or the peep-toe booties (mid-life crisis mom) or even the lower more utilitarian boot (cowboy-mom) - and then take that $150 and mentally spend it elsewhere - matching Christmas dresses for the kids perhaps?

I guess what I'm trying to say (I know - I did have a point, just trying to meander back to it) - it's weird remembering who you used to be. And realizing how much things have changed. How it's hard to reconcile what you look like when you actually look in the mirror to what you remember looking like not that long ago. And I'm not asking for permission to go out and spend $$ on highlights or new boots or fancy skin cream. I know I can. I could do it tomorrow (if I could muster up the energy). And I do hope to start looking nicer / a bit more presentable / a bit more like the old me soon ... but most of the prep-work just seems like that - work. Time I don't have anymore.

Priorities change. Expectations lower. And I just rummage in my shoe closet for a pair of comfortable flats to get me through this stage until I can fathom wearing heels on a regular basis again.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Three is hard

Wow - we're only a week into having and three year old and I'm EXHAUSTED. I feel like she's gotten older overnight, and yet, also so much younger.

She needs me a lot - as in, going potty, helping with her food, just holding my hand while I'm driving. It's endearing. It's frustrating. And it's kind of odd. It could be a bit of jealousy / acting out about Katie - and yet, I don't really feel like it is.

If I could play psychoanalyst for a second, I'd say it's almost like she's resisting growing up. Maybe so many changes and so many things are going on in her head that she's needing these more baby moments to feel grounded?

For now I've decided to have patience with her (mostly) and let her work through it on her own. But I am looking forward to the day where I can eat dinner without having to "help" someone else with theirs. That will be ... oh... six years from now I suppose?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Dress Up

I think I started planning Maddie's 3rd birthday this year sometime in the summer. Like I mentioned back in August, I totally ripped off the idea from my craftalicious friend, Vone. Invitations went out sometime in the middle of September, and even though I know it's totally gauche to mention gifts on an invite, I did anyways (because I'm classy like that) and suggested that dress up items would be a fabulous gift idea...

And so the Princess Party was taking shape (because let's face it - 90% of dress up clothes seem to involve princess items of some kind - and since Disney makes it so easy with all their branded crap everywhere, who am I to buck the trend?)... and again, like I mentioned earlier - I was OBSESSED with making an adorable little catchall where Maddie could store all her dress up clothes.

So I did...

I cannot explain just how happy I am with the result - I just love love love this little storage/dress up chest/wardrobe thingy. The inspiration came from this post on the blog, Craftiness is not optional.


How I built my version:
I used pine boards that I bought in 72-inch lengths in 12-inch widths. I had two of the boards sawed in half (you can do this right at the Home Depot store) so I had four 36-inch lengths. The third board I had sawed down to give me two boards at 34-inches and a bit left over. Add a one-inch dowel and I think the total came to under $20 for all the wood.

For the two ends I used a large tupperware bowl as my "curve guide" (yep, I'm all kinds of professional in my carpentry skills) - and then used a jigsaw to make the cuts and a belt sander to even everything up (because my jigsaw skills are jittery at best). The two sides of the bottom box were the 34-inch pieces, the other 2 inches are allowance for the 1-inch thickness of the end panels. Bottom of the box is 36-inches long. I then drilled 1-inch holes in both end panels for the dowel, glued the inside and fitted the dowel in (this part was tricky as one end was a bit loose, while the other was very tight - why? I have no flippin' idea). Screw it all together, sand and paint. Voila - you are done.

For the letters, I used a stencil package I found at Michaels - letters are 3-inches high. I wanted something a bit larger, but selection was not really what I was looking for and to be honest, I was too lazy to make my own. To paint the entire piece, I used the same paint I used for Maddie's furniture in her "big girl" room makeover (Benjamin Moore Aura Satin finish in Cloud White) - even on plain pine I only needed to do two coats - have I mentioned how much I love BM paints? The letters were done with plain ol' craft paint from the Dollar store I had on hand.

I will be adding hooks to either side for hats/scarves/boas etc - definitely a good option for adding more storage abilities.

Things I Would Do Differently Next Time (a.k.a. Learn From My Mistakes!):
The pine boards I used were rough cuts - there were more expensive "project" boards available, but I'm cheap and didn't want to spend the money. Next time, I'd probably just use MDF and have it cut down in the store. At least it'd be straight, and not have a million rough parts that needed heavy sanding or knotty holes in it.

Using MDF would also allow a bit more flexiblity on the measurements. Length-wise the piece is pretty perfect (it will fit her closet well) and height-wise I don't think you need it any taller for a 3-year-old. However the bottom box sides could probably be shorter (say 8-10 inches instead of 12) without losing much capacity, and I'd make the box/sides wider - like 14 inches at minimum.

The sides could use a bit more interest - like adding another curve (like an S-curve instead of the C-curve I used) - without losing actual integrity in the strength of the piece. This was my original plan, but my jigsaw skills were beginner at best so I wasn't risking it.

Lastly - next time I will NOT be stenciling my letters. I hated this part - it was such a pain in the ass. Because of the size of the stencil pages, I had to wait for letters to dry before doing the next one - or did the letters out of order (which was risky on spacing, but ended up working okay). And since the edges looked quite rough, I ended up free-handing the entire letter all over again to smooth everything out and fill in - so yeah, next time I would just free hand or trace with a pencil and then free hand. Something different from what I did anyways.


So that's that. I'm not sure Maddie really understands how magnificently cool this thing really is (don't you totally wish you had one as a kid??) - but the parents at the birthday party were impressed enough with it that I was able to satisfy my ridiculous ego. ;-)

And Maddie? Well, she just keeps going up to it and marveling at all the amazing dress-up clothes she now has - thank you again to all our wonderful friends and family!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dear Maddie,

Your actual birthday was yesterday - but the Princess Party we put on was such a smashing success I crashed into bed shortly after you finally went to sleep - and so, your birthday wish is one day late.

Three years old. "I am fweeeee years old today!" you tell me. Already you are growing up more - no more binkies during the day. We talked about this leading up to your birthday for almost 2 weeks and you seem to be totally on board. Such a big girl now. (As for nighttime habit - we'll worry about that in another 6 months)

A headstrong little girl, you have a romantic, soft side that makes me teary. You love fairy tales, you love princesses, you love happily ever after... Daddy is your Prince (he'd like to keep it that way for a while, please), and I get to be Queen (of course I do...). "May I have this dance?" you ask us constantly - and we twirl and whirl in our tiny living room.

Your openness to try new foods and to eating in general really disappeared this year, but you seemed to replace it with an openness to making friends, trying new things - always.on.the.go. I can't believe you haven't had more owwwies considering your coordination abilities are clearly inherited from me. While you still love adventuring outside, you also have a crazy addiction to tv that we keep trying to dissuade - it's the princess movies that you love. Dora has been replaced. Elmo has been replaced. Mickey has been replaced. Disney princesses always, all the time - "Please mommy, you put Belle on?" you beg me daily.

I love how much you love your sister - all my worries about whether you'd be jealous vanished out the window quite quickly. You are already a considerate, protective, loving big sister. If Katie cries you don't stop telling me that "Quick Mommy! Katie's crying!" until I go to her. Apparently when you play "pretend" at daycare with your new friend, Avery, the baby in the game is always named Katie. And she loves you already so much, boo - never taking her eyes off you if you're around - I can't wait to see what kind of trouble you two get up to as soon as she gets mobile...

You are YOU my bugaloo. And this 3rd year has been filled with discovery and wonder and frustration and imagination and patience and love - for all of us. You make us better people Maddie - and for that, on this Thanksgiving weekend - I thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives. Thank you for giving us a massive reason to be thankful every day. Thank you for being YOU.


Mommy (and Daddy too)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bottle woes

When Maddie was young we were all about making sure the bottle was introduced at the right time (i.e. not too early to avoid nipple confusion and not to late to make sure she didn't turn it away) - I think we gave her a bottle when she was around 5-6 weeks old. She took to it well - didn't seem to have a problem with bottle vs. breast and switched back and forth very easily (until about 9 months when I thought it was time to start the weaning process and she immediately REFUSED any and all bottles - but that's another headache I'm sure we'll get to experience again).

Now this doesn't mean I actually left Maddie a whole lot - but when I did, I could do so, knowing she'd be fed and happy(ish).

Well... chalk up another parental mis-step to us being a) lazy, b) tired, and c) distracted... I haven't been watching the calendar/clock this time around - which in the most part has been great. It means I don't get all tied up in knots if she's not meeting all the specific developmental "milestones" on time. But it also means that she was about 9 weeks old before I realized, shit, we haven't given her a bottle yet.

So we've been trying here and there... and failing fairly miserably each time. My sister-in-law has been most successful - she got her to take about 2 ounces a few weekends ago. But it took forever and Katie was pretty lukewarm about the whole thing.

To be honest, I'm one of those silly moms who actually doesn't spend a whole lot of time away from her baby and I'm usually pretty okay with it. Except when I'm not. Or I want to have a few glasses of wine. Or I think about my impending birthday plan that will take me away for an overnight trip in about 3 months time... So yes, while I too prefer to breastfeed vs. trying to do a bottle on a regular basis, I do realize the necessity of having it as a viable backup plan.

Also? I'm not pumping a freezer full of milk for no good reason...

So last night, as Katie started to get hungry I heated up a fresh bottle, handed it to Daddy and quietly left the room.

She took to it quite quickly and readily (I was peeking around the corner). Doing really well actually until I decided to take a picture of the cuteness. And then she got distracted. Or saw that it was not actually me, or a boob, that she was with - and WTF? She was pissed.

I quickly left the room again - apparently she went back to the bottle for about 5.8 seconds and then tried to root around on Daddy looking for something better. Unsuccessful she started to wail. And wail. And WAIL.

Brought up to me within 2 minutes of me leaving the room, she settled in for a LOOOOONG meal. As in - I know you're trying to keep this from me so Imma gonna stock up.

Maybe it's the bottles? We're using the Avent bottles that Maddie took to so readily - but I know, different babies like different things... Any better bottle/nipple suggestions out there?

Before things went all pear-shaped...


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I'm in the midst of party-planning for Maddie's Princess birthday party (theme! love it!)... spent over $100 on party favours / decorations / loot bags... um - and it's all honestly shit. Shit that kids will like, but that I kind of roll my eyes at and think - crappa. Plastic "magic" wands, necklaces, gaudy rings, ridonkulously pricey Disney stickers etc etc etc. I've heard this only gets worse as they get older. As in, more $$, more over-the-top silliness, more Disney-filtration... yikes is all I have to say.


Halloween is also coming up and I'm going to admit something about myself right now - I'm. Not. A. Fan. I don't like dressing up. It's stressful - I'm not creative (yep - the least creative marketing girl you'd ever meet), I always leave the brainstorming to the last minute and then go to the shop looking for something that I can use to dress up. I think the last time I actually attempted a serious costume was Cruella DeVille.. I was 24. Maddie keeps asking me what I'm going to dress up as this year (she has changed her mind from Princess to Fairy Godmother to Tinkerbell and back to Princess again) and as of yet I've been unsuccessful in convincing her that Mommies don't dress up. Hmmm - I think I have a few white sheets that could be made into ghost costumes. Boo!


My project du jour is trying to update and organize all of our photos. As in - dating back to August 2008 to present. Seriously (and I know I've asked this before), but do y'all do photo albums still? I like to think if I can get us up to date now, I will just set a reminder in my calendar to print my photos on a monthly basis and then Everything. Will. Be. Perfect! Honestly? I have no idea how you scrapbook people do it - that is some serious commitment. I'll let you know how my photo project goes... after I get the album pictures squared away (and additional albums purchased) I also need to fill about 20 frames that are currently up on my walls and mantle - just waiting to be filled. (I may have a bit of a habit of buying picture frames - and then let them sit with the picture they come with in it for months on end. Friends constantly ask me who all these random people are on my mantle).


Last but not least... I think I have adult ADHD. In a not-kidding, no-seriously, where-did-my-ability-to-concentrate go? I see other women, other moms, out there - managing households, feeding, cleaning, getting their hair done and looking all respectable. Me? I live in a shambles of chaos and grungy floors with unwashed hair and am constantly doing the 5pm meltdown of "what the hell are we going to eat". I think I've used up the "I have a newborn" excuse now, because, well, Katie is over 3 months old. I have all these aspirations to plan meals and clean on a daily schedule... and yeah - it never stays on course. THIS? This is totes me...


Monday, October 4, 2010

Cute fall crafts

This past week Maddie came home from daycare with a couple of adorable crafts...

This is a fall tree using thumbprints of different colours of paint for the leaves.

And this is Maddie's arm / handprint as the tree with bits of different coloured torn up paper as the leaves. I think it would work well too on wax/translucent paper with bits of tissue paper as the leaves.

So yes - this daycare provider is FAR more into crafts than our previous - which is great, because I'm hoping it teaches Maddie better concentration and attention-span skills. She's so all over the place now it's hard to get her to sit down and finish any craft at all. 


Sunday, October 3, 2010


I bought these matching dresses before Katie was even born - daydreaming of my radiant post-pg self with my two gorgeous girls in their matching sundresses enjoying the sunny summertime loveliness - very stress-free, very idyllic.

Um, right.

So a few weeks ago, realizing that summer has left us for well and good this year and they still haven't worn these dresses I bought back in the flush of spring, I thought we'd take advantage of the mid-afternoon sun in my bedroom for a... (say it with me) Photoshoot!

I'm ready for my close-up now Mr. DeMille...

Sharing her *bling*

This is called mauling in our house... as in, "Maddie! Stop mauling your sister!"

My attempt to be an artistic photog -- FAIL

Okay, got one smiling...

And now the other is smiling...

Okay, they're both so OVER this...

My beauties...