August 27, 2014

Evolution of The Bump

Yesterday, while putting gas in my car, there was a very pregnant woman on the other side of the pump, and for a short moment, I longed for my bump. It's hard to believe that it's already been six months since I was pregnant with Sully. Only six short months since it was just the two of us and the bump, a time when our lives were so different. Evenings to do what we pleased with, sleeping in on the weekends, a day spent running errands, anything on a whim. Life was sweet, but it's sweeter now.

I remember saying to my husband on the night before Sully was born, how weird it would be to not be pregnant anymore. To have spent 10 months growing and nurturing this little being inside of me, already so in love with him despite never having met him yet. How is that even possible, I wondered, still wonder, some days? From that moment you find out your pregnant, to watching your belly expand at sometimes alarming rates, worried that your skin cannot possibly stretch any further, to all the little elbow and knee jabs, punches and kicks that would take my breath away, not from pain, but from complete awe that a tiny little person was not only growing inside of me, but making sure I knew it! How can you love someone so unconditionally when you haven't even met them yet?

My pregnancy wasn't a total walk in the park. There was a lot of hip and joint pain, especially near the end. And the shortness of breath that never let up, was difficult at the best of times, to say the least, but overall, I really enjoyed being pregnant. And not just for the reasons I mentioned above. I loved that for once, I wasn't self-conscious about wearing tight clothing because flaunting a belly bump is way more fun than flaunting a cheeseburger induced one. I loved how, at my job, when I would visit elderly clients, they would delight in the fact that I was pregnant, regardless of how well they knew me. Perfect strangers seemed friendlier, smiling at me, nodding hello, silently acknowledging that my being pregnant brought a sense of happiness to them and that the promise of new life was an exciting time. I engaged people when they wanted to know how far along I was, did I know if it was a boy or a girl, was it my first child. It was my pregnancy, my aches and pains, my joyful journey, but I let other people be a part of it which only enriched the entire experience for me.

When we first found out I was pregnant, we set out to take a picture once a week to document my ever-expanding belly, and while that seems like an easy task, it wasn't. We missed a few weeks here and there, for one reason or another. Usually because my hair wasn't done that day, but mostly because we would get lazy. It wasn't as easy as just snapping one picture. My poor husband had to put up with my numerous requests to re-take the same photo over and over until I was happy with it. The lighting was never the same and the camera we used often did wonky things, but I'm glad we captured the bump regardless of the imperfect pictures we have. Photographers we are not, but it's the memories, in the end, that matter.

pregnancy journey

August 21, 2014



Reading:  A whole mishmash of books. I can't seem to finish a book, so I have several on the go: The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Baby-led Weaning, and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. (This doesn't include past books I'm still working on finishing…The Happiest Baby on the Block, Listen to the Squawking Chicken and The Kind Diet). I was really hoping that An Abundance of Katherines would a quick, fun read, but it's not grabbing me at all. John Green fans out there, does it get better? I'm about 100 pages in and struggling to bring myself to pick it up to read anymore.

On Repeat: When Love Breaks Down by Snow Patrol. Had we not recently watched the film, I Give it a Year (so good by the way - highly recommend it if you like British comedy), I wouldn't even know it existed.

Watching: We FINALLY finished Lost. Like I mentioned before, we lost momentum in the last season, but it was nice to finish it off. My mind is still running through the whole series, trying to make sense of everything that happened. I felt so emotionally drained the few days following the very last episode - so much to process! And it's always sad to say goodbye to characters you've invested so much time into. (Sawyer - you're the best character ever and we miss you!). We aren't starting a new series until we finish up some ongoing projects around the house, but in the meantime, we have How I Met Your Mother to keep us entertained.

Obsessed with: Do you ever intentionally keep things on your Facebook or Twitter feed just for the drama it provides? I don't know why I do this, but it's like a car wreck - it's hard to look away (or block in this case). I joined the Baby-led Weaning Facebook group and my word, I have never seen such a mean-spirited, unsupportive group of women before in my life! People are constantly being attacked for asking simple questions and most of the threads are spent with people spewing passive-aggressive and negative comments back and forth at each other. A lot of it is due to people not knowing how to incite tone into their comments, but still! I'll give myself the rest of the week to enjoy the drama, and then I'll leave the group. Promise.

Eating: We're starting to seriously rethink our eating habits as we get ready to introduce solids into Sully's diet. I don't want to turn into a parent that eats food that is good enough for me, but not for baby. We should all eat healthful, nutritious foods, not just Sully. And I truly believe that being a good role model when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle starts at home. Monkey see, monkey do.

Looking forward to: Sully's first tooth cutting through! Teething is a bitch, I tell ya.

Your turn! Tell me two things you're currently up to in the comments below! 
Or feel free to do your own Currently post and leave me the link so I can check it out!

August 20, 2014

Crib Notes Vol I

It's true when they say that motherhood (parenthood) is a journey, and I've found that you really don't know what kind of parent you are going to be until you are one. At least that was the case for me. I've talked a bit about my feelings on co-sleeping and how I ended up finding myself as a co-sleeping parent, and for the record, I still feel 100% strongly for co-sleeping, if that's the route one wants to go (but also pass no judgement on those who don't co-sleep). So some of you might be surprised to hear that for the past month, Sully has slept in his crib every single night. No, this wasn't planned and I really did nothing to prepare for this change, it just kind of happened. And to be honest, I have mixed feelings about it. He still comes into bed with us in the mornings (and the odd night if no one is getting any sleep), but it seems he really loves sleeping in his crib.

Shortly before Sully started sleeping in his crib at night, I read this beautiful blog post reflecting on the intimate moments of nighttime feedings and I actually felt a little sad that I wasn't in a position to write such a post as we were co-sleeping. But then, when Sully started sleeping in his crib, I was inspired by Whitney to journal about the transition and the emotions I was going through during this time.

I'm choosing to share this with all of you because it marked a big milestone in my journey as a mother and I don't ever want to forget it. And maybe it will resonate with one of you out there, just like the above post did for me. And sometimes, that's what blogging is all about.


These journal entries haven't been edited in efforts to maintain their genuineness at the time of writing them.

crib notes 

[July 21]. Tonight I put you down in your crib at night for the first time ever. You were getting fussy while nursing and I just needed a moment to myself. It was around 10:30 p.m. and I didn't really think you were going to stay asleep when I laid you down, but you did. It was a weird moment for me. I felt liberated to do anything I wanted, but also sad that you accepted being in your crib so easily. I watched the video baby monitor like a hawk, waiting for any sign of you waking up. I eventually fell asleep sometime after midnight. At 1:45 a.m. you let out a bit of a cry and I jumped out of bed faster than I ever have before. You were on your stomach and your head was against the side of the crib, so I think you may have woken yourself up. I scooped you right up and brought you into bed with me, your little hands clutching at my neck. Enough of your crib for now, little one.


[July 22]. I rocked you in my arms until you were almost asleep tonight. I love watching as your eyelids get heavy and your breathing slows as your little body succumbs to sleep. Around 9:30 p.m. I laid you in your crib, not entirely convinced that you were going to let me as your eyes were still slightly open. The minute your limp body touched the mattress, you let out a little sigh and spat your soother out. Again, I kept my eyes on the video monitor like a hawk. I was quite surprised by how much you moved around in your crib, but you never woke up. I ended up going in around 11:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. to pop your soother back in your mouth. You slept in your crib until 4 a.m. When I went in to get you, you were again on your stomach. I brought you back to bed with me and you fell asleep after a quick feed.


[July 23]. You spent the evening with your daddy so I could go play soccer. When I came home, we nursed and rocked in your chair upstairs and I laid you down in your crib at 10 p.m. I had to go in an hour later and re-rock you, but then you slept till almost 4 a.m. Part of me is so proud of you for taking to your crib so easily (like I knew you would!), but I also miss you.


[July 24]. Longest stretch yet tonight! For you, not me. I kept waking up to check on you on the monitor and each time you were fast asleep. Then the huge storm outside woke me up at 5 a.m. and I peeked in your room to check on you. You were fast asleep so I let you be, despite my entire being wanting to scoop you up and snuggle.  You woke up 45 minutes later and I brought you into bed with me. I will never, ever tire of the look and huge grin you give me when I come into your room in the morning. 


[July 25]. It seems you like to sleep on your tummy. The first time you flipped over I worried that I should go in and flip you onto your back, but I didn't dare wake you. Eventually I took my chances and you never even stirred. Then you flipped again and I again flipped you back. This went on a few more times until I went to bed myself. You woke up around 3:15 a.m. and instead of bringing you into bed with me, I fed you and you went right back to sleep in your crib. You woke at 6:45 and again you were on your tummy.


[July 27]. Longest stretch yet. In bed by 8:45 p.m, quick feed at midnight as I could not get  you to settle back down and then I never heard from you again until 6:45 a.m.! Brought you into bed at that point and we nursed and slept for a few more hours.


[August 4]. One of our toughest days to date. Naps were not happening today, in my arms or anywhere else, despite many, many attempts. At one point I finally got you to fall asleep on the sheepskin rug in front of your crib, but you only slept for 20 short minutes. Come nightfall, while obviously cranky and sleepy, you weren't interested in going to sleep at all. I tried nursing you, rocking, singing, rubbing your back, but nada. Finally, after you fought even being held in my arms, I placed you upright against my chest and instantly I felt your little body relax and give in to the sleep you were so desperate for. I held you for a long time, burning to memory every little detail - the way your head fit so perfectly onto my shoulder, your deep sighs as you fell further into sleep, your one little hand grasping loosely at my cheek, the other arm hanging limp against my body. I hugged you tight, kissed you many times before finally laying you down in your crib and wishing "stay little, little one".

crib notes crib notes

August 18, 2014

That time we went to the zoo...

Let's go to the zoo!, she said.

Sure, whatever you want, he said.

We can show Sully all the different animals!, she said.

But, I don't want to see the reptiles or amphibians, she said. They give me the heebie-jeebies.

You have to see everything if we go, he said. Get our money's worth.

*eye roll* Fine, but I won't look closely, she said.

Don't be such a baby, he said.

Think of the photo opportunities!, she said. (No. Not so much, actually. Have you ever tried to get a wild animal (in captivity) to pose for a photo while also getting your almost 6 month old to look at the camera? It's an impossible task.)


On Friday, we went to the zoo. We said we were going for Sully, but really, I think we got more out of it than he did. First of all, it's hard to get a baby to look where you're pointing at. Secondly, it's hard for a baby to see much when they're still in a bucket seat in their stroller and if you take them out to hold them or wear them in a carrier, it's almost impossible to keep them shaded from the sun. It was a hot day, but we managed to see all the exhibits without any meltdowns or my needing to nurse (miracle!) in just under two hours. Yes, even the creepy reptiles, amphibians and nocturnal areas. *shudder*

Here's some photos we did manage to get:

edmonton valley zoo
edmonton valley zoo
edmonton valley zoo
edmonton valley zoo edmonton valley zoo selfie edmonton valley zoo

And the only photo I got of an actual animal at the zoo, Lucy the Elephant:

Lucy the Elephant

Two hours later, heading back to the car:

I don't think we got any good photos, she said.

This was just one expensive photo op gone bad, wasn't it?, he said.

It will be better next year, when Sully's older, she said.

And we can go to the Calgary Zoo next summer, too!, she said.

Sure, whatever you want, he said. 


See you next year, zoo. 

August 15, 2014

Let's Go Swimming!

This past week, Jim and I had a little stay-cation, which was pretty exciting as we've never done one before! Jim also hasn't had anytime off of work since Sully was born, so I was pretty excited to have him home with us everyday. We had nothing big planned other than a few things I wanted to do as a family. One of these things being swimming. Sometimes I feel guilty that Sully and I get to do fun things together during the day while Jim misses out. Taking Sully swimming was one thing I wanted to do together for the first time.

So yesterday afternoon, after Sully had a little nap (in his crib - praise the lord!) we packed up and headed out to the rec centre. I knew there was a reason I wanted Jim along for this particular outing - it's so much work getting ready to get in the pool and it's equally as much work getting ready to go home! Granted, the pool change rooms have these amazing little seats in the wall to strap your baby into, but still, the second set of hands was sure nice.

terwillegar rec centre

Sully's reaction to being in the pool was not what we expected. He didn't hate it, but I wouldn't say he loved it either. He was just so serious during the whole ordeal. There were no tears, but we also couldn't get him to crack a smile or laugh. We poured water on his head and he got splashed several times by other kids playing nearby and he didn't even react. Sully spent the hour we were in the pool looking around, taking in all the action. He was a little sweetheart and he had the young girls in the pool swooning over him.

sully swimming with daddy sully swimming with mommy sully swimming sully swimming sully swimming
sully swimming

We can't wait to take Sully swimming again! And next month, weather permitting, we plan to dip his toes in the ocean when we are vacationing in Nova Scotia! 

August 07, 2014



Reading: Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley.  The whole approach to baby led weaning makes so much sense to me. Before reading the book, I thought I was going to start Sully on rice cereal this month as he has been showing quite a bit of interest in food, but now that I'm almost through Baby-led Weaning, I've decided to hold off until Sully is 6 months (just a few short weeks away!) and do BLW from the get-go. It's not that I'm opposed to purees or spoon-feeding, but the principle of letting your baby learn to chew before swallowing, and to explore food of all tastes and textures just makes more sense. 

On another note, it'll be a miracle if I can get through half of the books on my summer reading list. Now that Sully doesn't take as long to nurse and rarely wakes in the night, I don't find myself with a lot of time left to read during the day. 

On Repeat: So Jim and I haven't been to a concert in a looooong time, and if you know us, we used to be huge concert junkies (and have vowed to never actually calculate how much we've spent on concert tickets in the past). But then I got pregnant (and there was no way I could stay up late enough to go to a concert), and then we had said baby (who takes away all of your evenings) and we pretty much accepted that our concert going days were in our past. Which, for the most part, we were ok with because we've honestly seen pretty much every band we could ever want to see. Except for one band: Godsmack. And that's because they've never came to Canada as far as we knew. So when we heard Godsmack is FINALLY coming to not just Canada, but Edmonton (!!!), we bought tickets faster than Sully wakes up from a nap in his crib (10 seconds if you must know). Which brings me to what I've been listening to this past week: Godsmack (well in between The Thong Song and anything by Pitbull when Sully is in his jolly jumper). This is my all time favourite song by them: Heavier than my normal fair around these parts, so I warn you in advance (it's not always puppy dogs and rainbows over here). 

Watching: Not a lot. Jim and I are on the last season of Lost but the momentum with which we were watching the earlier seasons has died down. We're anxious to finish the series though so we can start on something new! Sons of Anarchy? True Blood? Mad Men? How do we choose?! We're also watching How I Met Your Mother, which we are LOVING. The show and the characters definitely grow on you, and often I fight to watch an episode or two of it over Lost. I'm also 3 episodes in to Orange is the New Black, but I cannot get in to it! Not giving up yet…

Obsessed with: Eating up the freezer and pantry. I know, weird right? But every several months I challenge myself to buy as little groceries as possible and instead use up food that's been sitting in the freezer and pantry for way too long. Plus, we have one of those side by side fridge/freezer dealios and I don't know about you, but I find it impossible to keep tabs on what is hiding in the freezer. And I hate getting to the point where you have to throw out freezer burned food. So yes, this is what I'm obsessed with now. 

Eating: See above! 

Looking forward to: Our upcoming trip to Nova Scotia in less than a month! It will be our first time flying with Sully and we forwent our usual choice of flying red eye for a daytime flight because who wants to be that person on a red eye with a crying baby? Not us. 

Your turn! Tell me 2 things you're currently up to in the comments below! 
Or feel free to do your own Currently post and leave me the link so I can check it out!

August 04, 2014

Sullivan: 5 Months

5 months

Dear Sullivan,

How are you already 5 months old? It's true what they say - the days are long, but the years short. I'd have to say this has been one of my favourite months so far. Your little personality is really developing and I have moments where I can envision the little toddler that you are going to grow up to be. You are so much fun now, constantly demanding my attention to be entertained, ever curious about what I'm doing, touching, and saying. So much so that you rarely want to nap during the day!

sully 5 months sully 5 months bath time

While napping is your least favourite activity, you are sleeping well at night in bed with me, with the occasional nighttime feeding. I really can't complain as we both seem to be getting a good amount of sleep at night. I'm still enjoying these early days where you will sleep-in with me in the mornings. This is one of my favourite times of the day, taking in your sweet smells, your deep sighs and when you do awake, your huge grins when you see my face. We usually lounge in bed for awhile before facing the day.

sleeping 5 months 

You had your second set of immunizations this month and once again, you took them like a champ! And mommy didn't cry this time either! We popped back into the health clinic when you turned 5 months to check your weight and height and you're weighing in at a solid 15 pounds and 9.5 ounces and are 25 and 3/4 inches long. Your weight and size finally seem to be catching up with you, but you are not a big baby by any means. You're mostly in 3-6 month clothing now, except for some bottoms as you're still pretty tiny throughout the waist. You still nurse on demand, about every 3 hours during the day, but the feedings are short and sweet. Some times you just need a quick snack and you are back to your happy self within minutes. You'll still periodically take a bottle of expressed milk when needed, but you cry for your mommy if I'm not there to put you to bed (your poor Daddy).

sully 5 months 
sully 5 months

This past month you've really found your voice! You babble non stop, especially when you are playing on a blanket on the floor or in your crib. And when you're in the jolly jumper, look out! Sometimes you shriek and happy-scream the entire time you are in it. Speaking of the jolly jumper, you are a natural little jumper, Sully. You knew what to do in it from the very first time we put you in it. We like to play music for you while you are jumping, and the louder and more up-beat, the better! So far your favourite songs to jump to are The Thong Song and anything by Pitbull. And when you're ready to come out, it's one of the funniest things ever. You immediately start crying, complete with crocodile tears, but you won't stop bouncing.

jumperoo jumperoo jolly jumper jollyjumper 

We also started Mommy and Baby Salsa dance lessons this month. I wear you on me and we dance away for an hour. You never make a peep during the class, and while I thought you might fall asleep in your wrap like most of the other babies in the class, you prefer to stare at the colourful disco lights on the wall. The last few minutes of the class are spent on a yoga mat with mommy doing exercises overtop of you. You think this is the most hilarious thing ever and are sure to let the rest of the class know this by shrieking as loud as you can! 

You're still not rolling over much yet, although you have a few times, but mostly you just get onto your side and stop because those silly arms of yours get in the way. I blame lack of tummy time for this. But your neck is super strong and you're able to hold it in line with your torso when I pull you up into a sitting position by your arms. Also, you much prefer to "stand" than sit with support. I've put you in your bumbo chair a few times, but you haven't been that impressed with it.

bumbo chair 
sully 5 months 

I think you've started teething, although I can't see that any teeth are starting to poke through. But you drool a lot and you suck on your fingers constantly. Your dad and I have bought you countless things to suck and teethe on, but you still prefer your fingers. Sometimes even when we're nursing a finger of yours will sneak in.

Sully, despite the whole not napping thing, you truly are a happy baby. And when you aren't happy, it doesn't take much to make you smile again. Usually a change of scenery is all you need. Unless of course it's around bedtime, then it's just me you need. And while I wish you would let your daddy put you to sleep on occasion, I really don't mind being needed so much by you. I know one day you won't "need" me so much, and until then, I will savour every snuggle, every cuddle, every moment you let me hold you.

Love you to the moon and back,
Your Mommy xoxo