Thursday, 28 March 2013

Abigail: 6 months

     I said I wouldn't be this mom. The one who dressed her daughter up like a princess and takes pictures. Oops. Someone tell me again why I said that? Abby will officially be six months old tomorrow. SIX MONTHS, that's half a year guys. Crazy. We got this dress as a gift from my great friend Jess. She and I have been friends forever, and have tons in common! The headband is one I made for Abigail for Easter. We are meeting Mark's family for brunch on Sunday. I can't wait to take pictures of everyone with her. Yep, I am that mom. Oh well.

Happy/Hoppy long Easter weekend guys, save some chocolate for me!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Nursery

          The statement wall is coming along guys, I know you were dying to see it. Here's a peek at the small things we've been adding to the nursery lately. 

      I made that rabbit stuffy for Abigail before she was born. I used to make felt animals all the time, but hadn't in about two years. It was very special to be creating something for my daughter. I love it. It has a little floral tail too. I hope she carries it around one day. If she doesn't, that's okay too, I still like it. The button piece is one I drew years ago after being inspired by a piece done by Elsie of A Beautiful Mess. It's decorated three apartments and I think it works really well in this space. I made the tissue pom poms using this tutorial I found on Pinterest. The two buntings were also made by moi, and I just recently covered the bumper pads with  a vintage sheet I found at a 50% sale at Value Village. 
  I love the mix of textures and contrast that's starting to happen in her room. I'm so glad that we decided to go with a gender neutral colour on the walls, it's meant that I can add girly touches but still use more mature, darker shades. 
      There is a third print that goes with the set we purchased at Ikea a while back (Paris), the humidifier keeps loosening the tape I used to hang them and it is the only one of the three that keeps falling. I'm giving it a rest for a while. I think I might put it beneath the hearts instead, but I also may want to put a mirror there for when she starts standing. I think it would be adorable to watch her look at herself all the time. I would too if I was as cute as she is.
   Here are some other little peeks at the rest of the nursery from my iPhone: 
    Once I finally buy some chalk, I'm going to stop using the mini wooden chalkboard I saved from the garbage truck as a blanket display. The steamer trunk under there is pretty wicked too. It needs some elbow grease, but it has really good bones, and an even greater history. I can't wait to work on it this summer.

     These two beautiful ladies are no longer with us, but we keep them close to our hearts and in Abigail's room. Mark's sister, Jane, and my Grandmother, Elizabeth. Abby's middle names come from these two incredible women. We miss them everyday, and want to make sure Abby knows them.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Abby Eats

        This is my messy little girl. Though she looks sad, she just gets pretty tired after breakfast in the morning, and goes down for her nap after we get cleaned up and read a story or two in the rocking chair. She loves to eat, it's just a lot of work because she does a lot on her own! She usually eats better for Daddy (or at least did when we first started solids) I think she was frustrated that I didn't just nurse her when I was the one offering the spoon.

         Abigail started eating solids this month, and though we had a reasonably rough start, she is doing really well now. Before it was all "spoon in spit out" and now it's all "lean in and whine with my mouth open when I see the spoon coming." Her favourite breakfast right now is oatmeal starter cereal, milk or formula and pureed apples and bananas. She usually has a fruit or veg and cereal mixed with milk, formula or water (depending on the cereal or how much I've been able to pump). She also loves using those little net feeders. We got quite a few as gifts, and have been using them a lot. Abby loves frozen mixed berries. It's messy, but it's helping to improve her hand-eye coordination and gives me more time to get her food ready. I know that we're not following the usual pattern for feeding, but Abigail is healthy, and happy and we haven't had an allergy scare yet. :)

Friday, 22 March 2013

Choosing Godparents: Abigail's Godmother

     This is part one of a two part series. Can I even call it a series if there are only two posts? Probably not. For lack of a more appropriate term we'll just stick with it though. Choosing godparents was not something I knew much about before I met Mark. I mean I've seen it in popular culture and knew about it in general, but never really considered it something I would be a part of one day.  My family is Protestant, and very loosely Protestant at that. That's not to say we're immoral scoundrels, just that we are not a regularly seen bunch at church, is all. I've been to a baptism ceremony, attended a Mass here or there but had never been a participating member of such a celebration or occasion. I've had a very unique path to faith, and my beliefs are far from traditional in that sense. 
      Mark comes from a large Irish Catholic family. I had a lot to learn about all of the above. Choosing godparents for Abigail came soon after we decided whether or not she would be baptised. I'm all for letting a child choose and discover their own faith, but I also respect tradition; so baptised she will be. Mark's mother and I shopped for a baptism gown and bonnet and set a date for the ceremony. I am going to make her a special Spring inspired headband to match. My family will come into town, and so will Abigail's godmother, which brings me back to my story...
    When Mark and I discussed how we would choose godparents our ideas were very similar. Mark and I may have been brought up differently in terms of religion, but our morals and values are very much the same. When we talked about who Abigail's ideal godparents would be, it wasn't about who would raise her if something happened, we'll save that for the will. Instead we decided that her godparents would be people we admired and loved and respected. People who had the moral fibre of great leaders, who were loyal friends, trustworthy confidants and those who we would love for her to look up to. We also decided right away that those people would not be family. Family will already be in her life, to us that went without saying. Family is extremely important to us, and Abigail will see them as often as possible. She will love and respect them already. We wanted two people who were our age who could serve as the pseudo Aunt and Uncle. People she could call if she had a question she didn't want to ask her lame mom or dad. 
      We also decided that each of us would choose one. I would choose the godmother, and Mark would choose the godfather. He liked that, choosing the godfather. It's funny to say. So I could tell you that I sat and thought about it for hours, that I prayed on it or even just slept on it, but I knew in my heart right away. I knew who I would want Abigail to look up to. I knew who I would want to include in her life. My best and most fiercely loyal friend, Sheila. 
      Sheila and I met in grade school. If you want a more detailed account of the moment we met (ie. what we were both wearing, the weather or what my first words to her were) I'm sure Sheila could tell you. That woman has an INCREDIBLE memory. I'm honestly not even exaggerating. Apart from her elephant memory, Sheila also has an amazing imagination. She will be the one who inspires Abigail to play, to explore, to imagine a world beyond this one. Her creativity has always inspired me so much, I fail to find the words for how awe inspiring this woman's ability to create magic is. She is also brave. She is one of the most intelligent people I know. She is strong. She is nurturing and loving. She loves to learn. She always strives to better herself. She never settles for less than she deserves. She is SO much more rational than I am. She is the kind of friend whom you can not communicate with for a month, and then run back to as soon as your heart begins to ache with missing her, and things will fall into the exact place they were when you last spoke. She is absolutely everything I want for Abigail's future. She is so inspiring, I cannot imagine Abigail's life without her in it. It was a no-brainer, and so Sheila will become Abigail's godmother, and we are so honoured that she accepted the role. 

   I can't wait to see Sheila again. I can't wait for Abby to see her again. We haven't seen each other since Christmas, and since her visit shortly after Abigail was born before then. Toronto is too far from Ottawa (as is Windsor) and we dream of a future where we find ourselves closer together. We Skype, though probably not often enough, Abigail loves hearing Aunty Sheila's voice. She gives her the biggest smiles. It really is true love.

    Here are some photos I took just weeks after we brought Abigail home from the hospital. Sheila came in, dropped her bags and took such great care of us during her visit. She made sure I got to shower, drove us to pick up take out, and rocked a crying Abigail to sleep while feeding her a bottle. For a few days after Sheila left, Abby looked to the spot in the bathroom where Sheila sat during bath time. Little Abigail knew already how much Sheila was going to mean in her life. Our girl is so smart already. 

      I can't get over how small Abigail looks in these photographs. I can't wait to take more this May. Sheila, we are so excited to see you again. Thank you for being such an important part of Abigail's life. Guys, how gorgeous is my best friend? 
      I am going to post a similar entry about how Mark chose Abigail's godfather, but first we need to do a little photo shoot with that dude. He's a highly sought after godfather, so it'll be hard to get him I'm sure. :)

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013

     We're lucky, and we know it. Wanna know how we know we're lucky? As parents of a five and a half month old, we don't hesitate to RSVP with a resounding "YES!" to a St. Patrick's day party without even thinking about getting a sitter. Abby came with us and dressed for the occasion. In all our green glory my family of three visited with friends, had a few "brown pops" as my dad would say, and really enjoyed seeing everyone react to the baby in the room. She even napped in our friends, Ryan and Danielle's, bed while the party went on around her. Such an adaptable cutie pie.
     Danielle was kind enough to capture some really great moments for us while we were busy trying to make Abigail laugh for her spectators. There's something so incredible about watching a room full of male twenty something's fixate on a baby. Honestly I didn't get to hold her much, but that's how it goes. Abby loved the novelty hat Ryan wore and kept reaching for it. She also chewed on novelty four leaf clover necklaces and took sips from green shot glasses (much to the delight of aforementioned twenty something's ). Watch out Octomom I might just beat you for world's best mom this year.
      We're back to work this week, Abigail and I, but I hope to keep the craft momentum going and have a huge pile of headbands ready for the craft fair. If you weren't planning on going, I hope you are now. I will share some exciting details about vendors and date/location type info soon.

     How was your St. Patrick's day?

Ryan and Mark looking mighty Irish.

Abby was bewildered by all the noise and different faces at first.

See how much she loves St. Patrick's Day?!

Ryan is wearing the mesmerizing hat, Abby is sporting a handmade St. Paddy's headband I whipped up the night before.

My hair never used to grow this fast. Root touch up here I come!

I know it's blurry, but look at the love happening here, folks!

A HUGE thank you to our hosts with the most! Ryan and Danielle, it was amazing to see you both again. Thank you for the rad time, and even more for letting our baby crash on your bed!

Just one of the kids

My leprechaun and I. 

Edited to include a few more photos by our friend Kristina, just because I can:

Friday, 15 March 2013

Abigail: 5 months, 2 weeks

     Abigail has been changing so much these past weeks. We've seen her adjust to coming to work with me, sit on her own, outgrow her beloved playmat and gain so much control over her hands. Everyday I feel like I'm looking at a new baby girl. She is so wonderful and amazing. She's cute too.
Abigail and I have had March break off from the nanny gig, so we've been spending all our time slowing things down. That is, until she takes a nap, then I cut and sew and craft the headbands I'm selling at a coming craft fair. We also visited a potential wedding venue, ate lunch at Union 613 with Mark and did some much needed Spring Cleaning. We also had a nice, albeit quick, visit with two friends! Alex came from Toronto and Eean FINALLY had enough time free to stop by. She loved them both. I love seeing people meet her for the first time, she makes people laugh so much. Makes me sure I'm not just weird to think she's so awesome, ya know?
      Abby is SO close to clapping her hands together, is making some new letter sounds (no "mama" or "dada" yet!) and moving more and more daily. She laughs at a lot too: us laughing, loud noises, belly and feet tickles, me singing and splashing in the tub. Her laugh is like a swift punch to my ovaries, if you know what I mean. Hold on there Abby, I'm not ready for you to have siblings just yet. Here is what we've been up to according to my iPhone:


This is also another way Abby melts my heart: first time side-saddle in the Ergo! 

Her bed head is incredible

Blurry, but yummy. Abby, Mark and I enjoyed lunch at Union 613

We spend a lot of time around the apartment in my bed, in our skivvies. 

Abby got a new toy...and she is MUCH stronger because of it. Thanks, Kinley bean 

See, I've been busy.

An early morning snap, post breakfast mess of course.

The girl loves to eat. She does not love when the food is gone however.