Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015

I'm not really ready for this year to be over.  And that's something that you don't usually hear at the end of the year.  But 2015 was a good year for us.  One of our best years yet.

This is the year that we became a family of 3.  That Ryan and I became parents and are now mommy and daddy.  That our hearts grew about a million times.  And so this is a year that I will never forget.

Before you have kids, you really don't understand what it's like.  And I'm saying that because before I had Parker I truly had no idea.  I was afraid that I wouldn't love him enough, what if I didn't even like him! What if I hated being a mom and resented all of the time that he required.  But none of that happened.  Instead he just brought me immense amounts of joy and love so strong that it physically pains me at times.

We had some great times this year.  

We had a great family wedding.  What's better than that!

We went camping a lot and bought a new trailer which actually fits our family of 3 comfortably (plus my sister).  We went to New York and saw a ton of waterfalls.  

We spent weekends at the cottage with family and friends.

I tried to make the most of my year off, and I think that I did.  I enjoyed watching Parker grow and develop, I went to play groups and met other moms and grew closer with some of my friends who have their own babies.  I feel lucky that I'm going through this journey with a few great girls and I look forward to our kids playing together for years to come.

I found a yoga studio that I absolutely love and I can't wait to keep attending classes and getting stronger and maybe someday being able to do that headstand.

We cheered for the Blue Jays which is something I never thought I would do or would have my kid doing.  And we have completely ignored the Leafs.  Parker was definitely born in a backwards year...

This has been a great year.  And in some ways I'm so sad to see it go.  But I know that we have so much to look forward to.  That's the great thing about having kids, every year is a new adventure.  Next year Parker will grow up before our eyes.  I look forward to watching him, making family memories and growing our family. (No I'm not pregnant, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to giving Parker a sibling, or 2...)

So happy New Year!  I hope that you all had a great year like we did and that your next year is just as great!

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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Parker @ 11 Months

Man photos were tricky this month.  Parker had zero interest in sitting still or smiling for me.  He was happy enough, just very busy.  

A lot has changed this month.  Parker is turning into a toddler before our very eyes.

Height and Weight: I don't really know because this is our first month in a long time without a Doctor's appointment or weight check.  He's probably slightly over 13.5lbs.

Feeding: We had a very helpful appointment with a dietitian this month who has really gotten us on track.  Parker rarely wants to eat purees, so unless it's yogurt or soup I basically let him feed himself.  He will eat pretty much anything.  He had meatballs a couple of times and loved that and also loved quiche.  He eats three meals a day and sometimes has a snack as well depending on timing.  

For breakfast he will eat 10% greek yogurt and banana, or toast with peanut butter and butter and banana.  Sometimes he has an egg and some fruit like banana or kiwi.  For lunch and supper he eats whatever we are eating or leftovers.  He has had tilapia and salmon this month, sweet potato fries and all sorts of veggies.

He is still a distracted nurser but we are trying to focus more on solids.  I'm trying to get him to take a sippy cup and am thinking about weaning since I go back to work in a month.

Sleeping:  In the past few days I finally have him sleeping through the night again.  I would like to take credit but it might be because he's not teething anymore.  The first two nights I got up with him to soothe him but didn't feed him and he slept through the night for about 5 nights since then.  Let's hope it sticks.

Teeth: Parker has been a teething machine.  Poor baby.  He has cut 4 teeth since November 17.  His smile is starting to look a little different!  

Milestones:
Parker is a busy boy!  He is crawling like a champ these days and crawls all over the house.  He is constantly standing up and will pull himself up on anything.  He stands up on the coffee table and walks in circles around it.  He had a few days where every time I put him in his crib he would stand up or sit up and cry and forget that he could lay back down.  He still does that on occasion but not every time he goes to bed.

He feeds himself pretty well.  Our biggest problem is that when he's excited about a new food he shoves it all in his mouth and doesn't chew and then he chokes on it.  He also just won't swallow.  So half an hour later you will find chunks of chicken still in his mouth.

This month he also went from laying down to sitting up by himself.  This gives him so much more mobility.  He used to try to crawl and then fall and start rolling.  He doesn't roll nearly as much anymore as crawling is finally faster.

We just can't believe that he's almost a year old!  I like the saying that says that when you're a mom the days go by slow but the years go by fast.  It's so true.  Some days it feels like groundhog day and like the day will never end and then we will get up and do the same thing tomorrow.  But overall the months are flying by.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve


For us Christmas starts tonight!  Because we spend Christmas Eve with Ryan's family, we go to a Christmas Eve service at church on the 23rd every year.  It might seem a bit unconventional, but once you're used to it, it's actually kind of awesome that Christmas starts a day early for us. 

The next 3 days will be filled with family, gifts and food.  And I'm so looking forward to it!

This is Parker's first Christmas, but I'm sure he will have more fun with the bows than anything that he actually unwraps.  The weird thing for me this year is that although our days will be full of things we don't usually do, we have to keep some sort of routine for Parker.  The baby still needs to eat, and nurse and nap!  He won't care that it's Christmas.  So that aspect will definitely be interesting.


I'm looking forward to our first Christmas as a family of three though.  Christmas as a child is so magical and so it will be amazing to bring that part of Christmas back to our family. 

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope you make the most of this time with your families.  

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Just Sledding Around

Can you even believe that we are only a few days away from Christmas?  I can't!  I'm actually pretty much ready this year.  That's the benefit to not working, extra time to shop and wrap presents means that I'm not running around like a crazy person this week.

The last Sunday before Christmas is our local Santa Clause Parade.  I live in a very small town, and so the parade is more just a tradition that we take part in than it is exciting.  Most of our family has floats so it's usually just fun to see them.  This year though I thought that the parade was awesome!  Everyone did a great job on their floats and there were a bunch of horses in the parade as well.  



We got Parker's new sled out for the first time as there was a light dusting of snow and I figured he would be able to see better from the sled than from the stroller.  He absolutely loved it and had the biggest grin on his face while he was being pulled around.

His snow suit is a bit too big and makes him look much bigger than he is!  At least I know he won't outgrow it this winter...  It looks like he has the smallest head on a big body!



 The parade always means that Christmas is just around the corner! Today Parker is with Grams making mommy something for Christmas.  I'm trying to clean up from yesterday and get the last things ready for Christmas while I have the house to myself.  And of course blog while Parker isn't crawling around getting into everything!

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Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Great Santa Debate


Before I was a mother I didn't even know that this was an issue. 

Apparently, whether to tell your kids that Santa isn't real is actually something that parents are debating.  

The first reason why parents decide to tell their kids the truth is because they just can't stand the thought of lying to their child.  First of all, I'm sure that there will be many other lies that you tell your children throughout their life.  They are the child and you are the parent and kids can't know the truth about everything.  So if you decide that you can't lie to your kids then you shouldn't tell them one single lie throughout their childhood.  Ya right.

The next reason is one that I came across while at playgroup.  One mom wanted to know how other moms dealt with Santa without taking away from the fact that Christmas is celebrating Jesus' birth.  I was shocked by the number of moms who said that they didn't grow up believing in Santa and that they don't plan on telling their kids that Santa is real either.  Their kids won't get gifts from Santa at all.  They have a fear that the kids will glorify Santa and forget all about Jesus.

So here is my opinion.  I grew up believing in Santa.  I held onto that belief long after I really didn't believe anymore deep down.  I have never once been upset at my parents for lying to me, I actually appreciate the fact that my parents allowed me to have an imagination and to believe in a little bit of magic.  

I also grew up believing in Jesus.  Every Christmas we would go to the Christmas eve service at church.  We would often participate in the church Christmas production.  We would read the Christmas story and play with the nativity scene.  Although we knew that Santa would come to our house on Christmas eve, we also knew that the whole reason we were celebrating Christmas was because Jesus was born.  The two aren't mutually exclusive, there isn't one or the other. 

I can't wait to pretend that there's a Santa.  To leave out milk and cookies and fill Parker's stocking with gifts after he goes to bed.  To explain to him that Santa comes through our gas fireplace with magic and that yes he can in fact fly around the whole world in one night.  To watch The Santa Clause with him and have that explain how the whole thing works!  

And I can't wait to take him to church at Christmas time, to sing Christmas carols and tell him the Christmas story.  To teach him how to appreciate this very special holiday for what it is and to help him to understand that it's about more than gifts.  

Obviously each parent does what they feel is right for them and their children.  But I think that in a world where imagination is being squashed and children would rather play video games than play make believe, having something that they can believe in is important.  And they can believe in both Santa and Jesus.

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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Be Present

An old Christmas picture just because
Last night my sister and I went to another amazing yoga class at Shakti Power Studio in Fergus.  These classes make me think that the hot yoga I used to go to was a joke.  Nerine (the owner/instructor) is hardcore!  You come out of her classes feeling tired, energized (yes you can feel both at the same time), happy and strong.  

I don't like fluffy yoga.  Sure calming your mind is great, but I also want to feel like I worked out.  And in her classes, that's what you do!  Plus sometimes they do headstand or handstand prep (which you don't typically get at hot yoga).  I love feeling like I have something to strive towards.  Some day I will do a headstand or a handstand or both!

She also says some of the most insightful things that I have ever heard.  Last night after class we were talking about why as adults it feels that life is rushing past the older we get.  She said that it's because children are completely present.  They aren't looking forward to what is coming up tomorrow or next week or a year from now.  They don't worry about the test in 3 days or the vacation in a month, if they are playing on the playground, they just play.  
This is something that I had never thought of before.  I think I have blogged before about being present and enjoying the stage you are currently in, but I had never actually thought of the reason that life rushes by faster and faster the older we get.  As adults we are so concerned with what the future brings.  I am worried about going back to work in a month.  Or you look forward and think when I get married I will be happy, when I have a baby I will be happy, when my baby is older I will be happy (I don't think this one, I'm truly happy now).  We need to just enjoy life one day at a time.  Wouldn't it be nice to throw away our calendars?  When I figure out a way to actually do that I will let you know...

So let us all be more like children.  Let's enjoy each day of the Christmas season and not worry about what happens when it's over.  

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Monday, 7 December 2015

A Whole Lotta Santa

We had quite the busy weekend over here!  It all started on Saturday with the Santa Clause Parade.  I don't typically go to the Fergus Santa Clause parade, but we missed Elora this year and our good friends were going, so I figured it was a great opportunity for a baby meet up.
 




The parade was fun and it was awesome to spend some time with a friend for me and a friend for Parker.  Ok let's be honest, Parker was more into his mum mum than the parade.


In the past, Parker hasn't really been able to defend himself against Declan who is definitely large and in charge!  These two babies are on opposite ends of the spectrum.  Declan is very big for his age and Parker is clearly very tiny for his age.  But he is finally at a point where I don't feel like he's completely breakable and so there was a bit more interaction between them.  Declan did try to pick Parker up a few times though, which I found hilarious.  He's only 17 months old and he could get my 10 month old off the ground! (Don't worry, we shut that one down quickly.)

Then we sat Parker in a dump truck that shouldn't have fit him and Declan promptly dumped him out of it.  Oh I love these babies.

Saturday night was Ryan's work Christmas party which is always a good time.  The food was amazing and it was so nice to have a night out.  Parker hung out with my sister and went grocery shopping and had a bath.  So everyone had a great night!

Sunday was another busy day.  But the highlight was the Santa train.  The santa train is a train that kids go on to meet Santa, instead of going to the mall.  There were two cars, so while Santa was on the first car, we got hot chocolate, cookies and there were a couple singers who went through and sang Christmas carols.  It was a lot of fun and Parker loved looking out the window.


Then it was time for Santa!  Of course Parker doesn't really know what's going on yet, but it's always fun to take a Santa picture anyways.  He seemed pretty unsure of him and seemed to like the elf and Mrs. Clause better, but he didn't cry.  


I just love weekends in December!  They are busy and crazy and you have no time to just sit down and relax but I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Friday, 4 December 2015

I'm Old Fashioned

I have a feeling that my kids are going to think that I'm a huge loser.  Because while all of the other kids are out playing with their ipads, my kids are going to be getting things like this for Chistmas:


Which by the way they still do actually sell in stores.  Not only do kids today rarely know what a home phone is, but a rotary phone?  They must be so confused.... And yet at playgroup they have one and the kids do actually play with it...

Anyways, for Christmas or his birthday Parker is getting this:

Because I had one as a kid and I remember playing with it and get all nostalgic when I see it.  So I just had to buy it for him.  Remember how it moos when you open the barn doors?  Or is it just me who remembers that.

So I'm sorry Parker, while your other baby friends are playing with their new tablets, you have to deal with old fashioned farms that don't really do anything.  So I really hope you have a good imagination.

He's been playing with his stacking rings for a couple of months now and hasn't gotten bored so I'm thinking we will be ok.
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Little Fishy

This week was Parker's second week of swimming lessons.  So it was time for daddy to take him in the water!  

I loved watching my boys play in the pool.  They were both so happy.  I spend so much time with Parker and I feel like I get to have all of the experiences with him because Ryan is at work all day.  So it was important to me to be able to share this experience, to give Ryan the opportunity to watch Parker learn and grow.  

And yes I was that crazy mama taking pictures from the sidelines.  

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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"When you CHOOSE JOY you feel good & when you feel good, you do good & when you do good it reminds others of what joy feels like & it just might inspire them to do the same." | Homegrown Hospitality

Oh December, we meet again.  It seems like just yesterday that it was Christmas and I was all pregnant and thought that I had over 2 months until we would have a new baby in the house.  (We had about a month.  Good thing I didn't know that or I would of been way more stressed.)

The next few weeks are full.  Full of activities.  Full of family and friends.  Full of Santa Claus and Santa Claus movies.  Full of shopping.  Full of laughter and eating and drinking.  

I love traditions.  We do the same things every year and I look so forward to them.  And I'm looking forward to starting our own traditions with our little family of three.  Christmas is a magical time, and it's especially magical for kids, so looking at Christmas through Parker's eyes and teaching him the joys and the meaning behind this season is what I'm looking forward to the most.

It's a busy time of year, but it's so important to step back and look at what really matters.  Don't get caught up in the rush and the hustle and bustle (although that might be tough).  Look around, watch the kids light up and the families come together.  Before we know it, it will be January.  (And nobody likes January.)  So embrace this time of year and the happiness that it brings.  I know that's what I plan on doing! 

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