Saturday, 28 December 2013

Photo Challenge: Joy

Happy holidays to everyone!  This has been an incredibly joyful year for me and for our family, so for this photo challenge, I share a year in review:

January: Skiing with my friend Dagne
February: Celebrating Jaring's 104th birthday
March: brunch party with friends
April: Celebrating Grandma's 90th birthday
May: Welcome Finley!
June: 3 week old Finley meets lots of family, including Great-Grandpa Brian in this pic
July: We celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary with take-out pizza and lots of Finley smiles
August: Every morning is a good morning
September:  Lots of smiles as the fog of sleep deprivation starts to lighten up
October: OK, we are still sleep-deprived, but cuddly cat naps like this make up for lots
November: Finley's first plane ride, off to Winnipeg to meet Great-Grandpa Jaring and lots of family
December: A wonderful, joyful first Christmas for our lovely little boy

Thursday, 26 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like baby's first Christmas!

After a busy month back at work (more on the working mom transition in another post!), I was glad to pack up the car and start our journey to Victoria.  When life is busy (and boy is it busy now!), the holidays can sneak up on you.  I was a little amazed at how quickly Christmas got here!

This being Finley's first Christmas, we wanted it to be special.  Of course, he won't be able to remember the holiday per se, but we will always remember it as his first.  Even though he won't specifically remember it, we wanted to start the Christmas traditions that we hope will always be special to Finley and to us as family.

We are so lucky to be able to provide our family with luxuries such as toys and a delicious Christmas dinner feast.  We want Finley to appreciate what we have, and remember that not all families can afford such luxuries. Like most communities, we have a annual toy & food drive in our community to help provide a better Christmas for families in need.  Finley and I went to the toy store together to choose a toy to donate to the toy drive.  I was hoping he would lead me toward a toy, but he was totally spaced out, entranced by row upon row of toys… so I chose the Fisher Price phone, a favourite toy of my childhood.  Next year, and every year after he will get to chose a toy to donate.

So many toys to chose from!

A classic - the Fisher Price phone.
Never  mind that most kids probably do not recognize that this is what a phone used to look like!

I'll have a green Christmas:
We've had a living Christmas tree for the past 6 years.  I decided to get a living tree originally to help reduce our holiday carbon footprint, but I found I also got attached to our tree!  Our first living tree served us well for 4 Christmases, but then it became pot-bound and so sad looking that it made Charlie Brown's tree look full and robust.  Our new tree is a happier tree that lives on the front porch for the rest of the year.  Before he gets pot-bound, we will release him back into the forest with his family!

Gift count: Meg & Derek 2, Finley 8

Bringing some Christmas cheer into our home:
I love decorating the tree! We have a great collection of ornaments which we bought on our travels or which were gifted to us.  I am usually the lone decorator though, and I hope this will change when Finley is old enough to help me.  This year he observed from the comfort of his jolly jumper.

Spending time with family:
Our little family is in Squamish, but we have family in Victoria, Alberta, Manitoba & Ontario.  This year we travelled to Victoria to my parents' house.  My grandparents, Jeremy, Bronwyn and Mikey were also there.  Briana & Ted could not make it this year, but we had a Christmas day FaceTime - thank goodness for technology!  We also had a great FaceTime with everyone else out East: Grandpa Bruce, Grandma Sharon, Aunty Erica, Aunty Kari & Uncle Ron.  It's so great that we are able to connect with people so easily - it really makes it feel like you are spending some of the holidays together with family and friends who are far away. 

On the ferry, having a nap-on-the-go.. kind of!
Almost at Yoyo & Grandpa's house!  Finley's starting to get excited!

Santa photos:
I was determined to get a photo with Santa.  It was such a saga, I need a separate post to really do it justice.  For now, let's just enjoy the end result of my trials and tribulations:

Space-boy meets Santa.

The Christmas Eve Box:
For Christmas eve we wanted to start a tradition for Finley where he gets to open his Christmas Eve Box.  It will have a new pair of PJs for the night and a book, movie or board game that we can enjoy together before bed.   Every year I want to get greener for Christmas and use reusable bags… but I thought part of Finley's fun (or probably most of it) would be in ripping open the presents he got.  Here he is diving into his Christmas Eve box.  As you might expect, he enjoyed the wrapping more that the gift!  But he was pretty cozy when we put him to bed in his new fleecy pyjamas! 

Eating good food: 
What else did we do?  Well, what do you normally do at the holidays: eat & drink!  We ate, visited, ate, did some walks, ate, opened some gifts, ate, ate and ate. My mom's cooking is SO YUMMY!!!  Finley got a special treat for Christmas breakfast: we added blueberries to his normal rice cereal a la vegetable.  It wasn't quite the pancakes, frittata & sausage that we enjoyed, but I think he liked it!

A seasonally coloured Christmas breakfast for Finley!

Taking ALOT of pictures:

Mr Baby gets a stocking this year!  All stockings courtesy of Yoyo (aka Grandma Janet)
Somebody had too many candy canes

Throckmorton dons his holiday garb & chats with a  new friend 

The whole street is lit up & our house is no exception
Enjoying a new book from Aunty Bronwyn
No more photos, please!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

BBFFs (baby best friends forever)

I knew that once Finley got older, my social calendar would basically shadow his: hanging with the other parents at the birthday parties, the pool, the park, the pump track at Alice Lake... but I didn't expect it to start so soon!  Don't get me wrong, I love that Finley has provided me with a social life, because I was starting to get cabin fever this summer.  In the early weeks as a new mom, I felt like I was in the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray: wake up, breast feed, change diaper, go for walk... repeat x several.  We still have to do all the above, but now we get out for lots more adventures.

Walking with the other moms & babies at HPOP
We live in a pretty small town, but there is a TON of stuff for new parents and babies to do.  Here is a sample of what we have available to us in Squamish on any given week:

10-11 Mom and Baby Yoga
11:30-12 Babes and Books Story-time at the Library
12-2 Cooking class for pregnant and new moms

9:30-10:30 Swim lessons

11:30-12 Babes and Books again
12-2: HPOP (Healthy Pregnancy Outreach Program) - for expectant and new parents

11-12 Parent & Infant Drop-in at the library

There is nothing official on Fridays, but we made a point of getting out of the house at least once every day.  We've made so many new friends from the activities above, that there is always someone who is up for hanging out or going for a walk.

HPOP was one of my best discoveries and a highlight in our week.  It's a group that meets every Wednesday and is open to all new and expectant parents (and grandparents, or any care-provider for that matter!)  We meet at noon, enjoy a free lunch and socializing and then we listen to a speaker and have a group discussion about a variety of parenting topics.  When Finley was really little I found it somewhat daunting to go out as I was worried that I'd have to go home if Finley started to cry or needed to be fed.  So I was pretty excited to discover HPOP - when I walked into the room and saw babies crying and moms breastfeeding, and everyone having a good time and eating free food, I thought: "These are my people!"  We've met some really great people at HPOP.

Finley as a few other new friends around town.  Here he is hanging out with our friend Miss K, who was quite keen to carry him.  She is three years old, but Finley is already about half her weight, so we thought she should probably just "carry" him on the couch!

Finley and Miss K

I'm not sure who is working at the hospital this summer, because at least 3 of my nursing friends and two other doctors were on mat leave with babies the same age as Finley.  This summer we attended a joint baby shower for myself, Dr. H, and the three nurses; we all delivered between May 13 and June 6.  Unfortunately Dr. H and her little guy could not come up, but here's a shot of the other four cuties:

These four babies were all born within 11 days of each other.  Finley is the oldest, but the not-so-little dude on the far left was born the very next day is a good 2 lbs heavier!  Big boy!
Two of my closest friends from university were also pregnant at the same time as me.  In our second year of school, we lived together in the same house, so it was pretty special to learn that we would have kids the same age.  T-mashi and her daughters live in Vancouver, and Mme J and her sons live in Victoria, so we don't get to see them all the time, but we make a point of visiting them as often as we can.

These babies were buddies when they were still bumps!
Proud papas with their kids
Finley with his BBFF in Victoria
"What the heck is Finley is excited about?"
Moms with their big boys!

Finley's BBFF in Kits
"Yes, you can have my chair, Finley.  I'll just lay here on the ground!"
It's been a real treat to meet so many awesome new people in town!  Thanks for facilitating the introductions, Finley!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Happy 6 month birthday little big boy!

Yesterday Finley turned 6 months old!  It is hard to believe how quickly the time has passed - the cliche is true!  It has been the craziest & most amazing 6 months of our lives.

Finley Day 1:

  • Weight: 9lbs10oz
  • Length: 55cm
  • Hair: lots of blond hair!
  • Eyes: blue
  • Eats: Colostrum (pre-cursor to breast milk… basically breast cream)
  • Sleep motto: "I wanna rock and roll all night… and part of every day!"
  • Mad skills: rooting reflex & sucking reflex (gotta get that colustrum!)


Finley at 6 months:
  • Weight: 18lbs14oz
  • Length: 70cm
  • Hair: a lot less (he rubs it off!), but still blond
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Eats: Mostly breast-milk, but also sweet potato, avocado & rice cereal
  • Sleep motto: Early to bed, early to rise!
  • Mad skills: Rolls from front to back, back to front, sitting up, grabbing things, holding things, putting things in his mouth, up onto all 4's, rocking back & forth on all 4s, the plank & downward dog

At this rate, it won't be long before he's shaving and asking for the keys to the car.  Oh wait, he already is…..