Dear Zoë at 20 months

Dear Zoë,

Time marches on…and now it is 4 months until you are TWO…(and Mama commences her panic attack over here.) This month has brought many changes for you. Your vocabulary has really started exploding, and you are talking a lot, most times we have no idea what you are saying, but you are adamant about getting your point across.  We cannot tell the difference between “Brooklyn” and “Bunny” so we often guess and hope we know who you mean.  Daddy and I are so excited for the months ahead as you start to be able to communicate more about your needs.  You have started saying: Sticky (wanting your hands washed after eating), Bug, Ew, Watch, Soap, water, and you can now list all the kids names from daycare.  Your  favourite friends are Mannie (Maddy)  AYA (Aria…for some reason you always yell her name. Very enthusiastic of you!) and Paul.

First hair cut

First hair cut

Nana and I took you for your first hair cut a few weeks ago.  That mullet you were sporting needed to be taken care of.  Much to our surprise you sat in the Nemo chair and loved it.  The hair dresser was very impressed as you sat there for your trim, ponytail and glitter hair spray.  (Clearly it is my superior parenting skills that kept you from freaking out) Your Dad wasn’t too impressed that I let her give you bangs, but dang it you look adorable!

LOVING the baby

LOVING the baby

Auntie Meg and Uncle Reg came for dinner with baby Kaelyn and you loved her.  I wish I had got a better photo, but you kept saying baby, and giggling at her little toes.  You were less than thrilled about me holding her, so I just looked from a distance.  I love seeing you start to notice and take an interest in those around you.  Maybe this means you wouldn’t object to a sibling at some point?!

Face washing

Face washing

We recently bought you a stool so you can stand up at the sink in the bathroom and you love brushing your teeth and would happily wash your hands for hours at a time.  I cannot comprehend your love of water in that way when you still detest a bath.

Dressing yourself

Dressing yourself

You enjoy dressing yourself to some extent. Thank goodness Boston Terrier Rainboots go with every outfit these days.

First time face painting

First time face painting

I'm sorry sweetie, I promise no more toilet pics on the internet

I’m sorry sweetie, I promise no more toilet pics on the internet

Much to our surprise you have been a huge fan of using the potty at school. They had us send in big girl undies for you (Nana bought you some adorable Minnie Mouse ones) and they are going to be working on that with you there.  You have NO interest when we ask you at home, but we are not going to force it and just let this happen naturally.  But my darling, should you choose to potty train early and easily? Well,  Mummy will be eternally grateful and might get you a car for your 16th birthday. (Might!!!!!)

Mornings are still a crazy shuffle around the house, and when I look back on this time I want to remember how much you LOVE smoothies for breakfast, but just looking at the blender totally freaks you out.  We have to be in the other room when Daddy starts blending and even then you cling to me like a spider monkey until it is over.  You have started taking on some responsibilities in the home which you take very seriously.  You feed Brooklyn, and if we would let you you would keep that bowl filled to the brim.  You wipe down your high chair when you finish eating, and enjoy wiping down all surfaces (definitely take after Grand-maman and Nana in the cleaning department)

Great time killers for you right now are moving magnets from the fridge to the dishwasher, playing with bowls of water and measuring cups on the floor, looking at pictures, playing with stickers and going through wallets.

You constantly amaze us, exhaust us, and delight us. Never change sweet girl.

Love Always

Mumma

UFOs and getting ’em done!

I have a somewhat endearing (at least in my eyes) habit. I collect crafts.  I love ALL things crafty and really do not have enough free time to complete all the projects I would like to.  I am trying to be a more financially responsible crafter in 2015 so I have committed to not starting any new projects and actually finishing the ones I have begun. (this has sort of worked…I cannot tell a lie–I have bought some more scrapbooking items, but really, they are for ALL ongoing scrapbook projects so that doesn’t count!)

I have made a list so hopefully by December I can cross off some more completed projects (leaving time for me to start various new projects)

  1. T-Shirt quilt–this was started when I was pregnant, recently brought out again at my Mum’s house. Status: needs backing, and binding
  2. My bridal shower quilt. Guests all brought purple fabric and I am going to make a lap quilt out of this.  Status: pattern bought,  squares have been cut out, need to assemble the top, then purchase fabric for the back and binding
  3. Garret’s hat…I started knitting this after finishing one in February. Currently the ribbing and half of the hat has been knit.  Need to get back at this…current status: on needles in a bag at work
  4. Cross stitch for a friend. Found an adorable pattern several years ago that I started making on a whim for a friend.  Got put away in cupboard and forgotten about. Status: needs outline stitching then is complete….could do in a night!
  5. 2014 Project Life album. Status: nearly complete.  Have sticky notes in it currently re what photos and notes need to be added to be completed.  Again, could do this in an evening
  6. 2015 Project Life album. This will be ongoing as it is every year. Currently 3 months behind. Recently had some photos printed so I just need to spend some time playing with it.
  7. Zoë’s baby book….ok ok, this might be a little behind. This is to highlight her first year and milestones and yeah she may be turning two in 4 months but I still have time to finish this in a timely manner….preferably before I have another baby…so lots of time! Status: have notes on what pics to print and where things are that must be included…again just need to spend some time on it
  8. Wedding album…well we are coming up to our third anniversary this fall, might be a good time to start and or dream of finishing something like that.
  9. I haven’t started my 2015 Week in the Life project (taking place this year in August) but that will have to be tacked on once that starts!

I think that there are likely 5-7 other ones I am forgetting…this list seems doable! ish.

“The J”

Once upon a time, years before I was born, my Dad bought a boat.  A 1973 J-Craft and it was a thing of beauty. His first baby if you will.  My brothers and I grew up revering the magnitude of this boat.  Our family was blessed to have a cottage which housed several toys, but the one to never mess with was the J Craft.  In the days before needing a boat license it was a very special important day when our Dad trusted us enough to drive this boat alone.  My younger brother Elliott was the first one to be granted this privilege and as he cruised the river, the phone in the cottage rang off the hook as people noticed that Gord’s boat was out and about with what looked like a “peanut in a life jacket” behind the wheel.  Come to think of it, I am the oldest and was the last one allowed to drive the boat alone….hmmmm…..

And just so I don’t make this story longer than it needs to be I will attempt to squash in important details here.  My Dad fell on hard times (self inflicted unfortunately) and that boat of his that had been so cherished for so long sat outside uncovered in a friends backyard.  After he passed away that friend reached out through my uncle and asked what we wanted him to do with it.  Garret and I jumped at the chance to reclaim the boat.  It had always been promised to my brothers, but we thought we could fix it up and then would all share it.  We neglected to realize how much money and time was needed to bring the boat back to what it once was.  So it has sat untouched and still uncovered in our backyard for the past four years.  It is so hard to explain, but this  LARGE junky shell of a boat represents to me all that is left of my Dad.  Fixing this boat will not fix the relationship I had with him, nor will it bring him back. Keeping it is only managing to keep my back yard looking like a scrap yard.  2015 is the year for so many things in my life and one of those things is letting go.  Being organized, living with less (emotional baggage and oversized items)  Last night G listed it on Kijiji so that we can get it out of our yard, and this morning I had my Mum send me some pictures of it back in the day.  I posted to Facebook to try to help sell, and I can’t stop looking at the pictures of what once was.  That is how I want to remember it. With my brothers and I goofing around inside it, likely moments away from begging for a ride or a waterski. Not like the redneck lawn decor it currently appears to be.20150601_12035420150601_121923

Weekend Report The May 2-4

This was one of those amazing long weekends where there was a great combination of productivity and fun.  When I started thinking about what all was done this weekend I thought “yeah family HIGH 5″!  We had family time, gardening, date night and  as per usual 500 Zo pictures.  Sounds about right for us.

Friday: I some how miraculously made it home in great time….400 long weekend traffic is no match for this gal!  My Mum and Charlene were home with G and Zo, and we had perhaps the most amazing meal ever.  Mum treated us to some fantastic marinated steaks that Garret BBQed to perfection.  Michele joined us for dinner and some wine and once the Grannies left and Z was in bed she and I made ice cream cakes for a party she was hosting Saturday.  Granted she didn’t let me eat any of the cakes, but it was fun to do some super duper easy baking. Plus she helped clean up the kitchen after so  that was awesome.

Saturday: There was coffee and pancakes at Nana’s, a surprise visit with coffee for G and I and timbits for Z from Papa, a trip to Cookstown KOA for a visit with friends, some garden prep, a dinner date.  Mum came to babysit at 7:30 and G and I walked along the water to Pie one of our fave local restaurants.  We had one of those unscripted relationship building chats that had been building for a while, felt nice to check in, get on the same page and feel even better.  We met up with Jeremy and Ashley for dinner then walked home again after drinking two giant beers. Laughing together the whole way home…perfect way to end the night.  Every now and then I am in awe of the beautiful city we live in….and Sat night was one of those nights.

Working for her breakfast at Nana's!

Working for her breakfast at Nana’s!

Papa brought his own wagon

Papa brought his own wagon

Pizza and beer...one of my happy places

Pizza and beer…one of my happy places

Sunday: Up early with Z surprise surprise.  Mum had got me a gift certificate for a local garden centre for mother’s day so we thought we would go spend it and do some gardening.  Randomly decided to hit up Walmart first and see what their prices were like. We ended up grabbing some plants there and heading home for some intensive gardening.  Mum came over to watch Z so I could help and we managed to get an awful lot done.  We wrote quite the large to do list to tackle this summer…busy months ahead!

G dug us a new garden

G dug us a new garden

Pretty labour intensive to do list

Pretty labour intensive to do list

Someone found something other than garden goodies at Walmart

Someone found something other than garden goodies at Walmart

Planting cedars together

Planting cedars together

Brooklyn's new hangout while I snuggle Z and get her ready for naps/bedtime

Brooklyn’s new hangout while I snuggle Z and get her ready for naps/bedtime

We had a surprise visit from our friends Harrison, Ron and Amanda and it was lovely to see them and catch up–it’s been AGES!  Amanda is like a toddler whisper, not taking no for an answer and getting Z to warm up to her.  Once they left Garret headed back outside and finished digging out the garden along the side of the house.  I can’t believe the difference already.  Our neighbours drove by asking if we were selling since we were clearly uping the curb appeal…just wait til we get around to painting woohoo–curb appeal out the wazoo…then we will never want to move!

Monday: Early morning coffee again at Mum’s place. We were hosting a BBQ mid afternoon and she offered to dogsit to make things slightly less crazy so the Walsh fam wandered over to her place with a stop over at the park. It was much hotter out than we originally thought and so  there was a layover at Nana’a so Z could cool herself down.  The BBQ was a roaring success (we are the hosts with the most(s?) after all)  Every time I want to move I need to remember how amazing our backyard is in the summer. We had a playhouse, sprinkler, kids picnic table and a kiddie pool on the go with room to spare.  Bedtime for Z was a total failure, with her up til 9ish, but all in all the weekend was one of the best.  Couldnt get over the weather…last year we were camping and had Zo in 35 layers as it was just above zero.  Fickle Canadian springs

Walking to Nana's

Walking to Nana’s

The walk seemed like such an amazing idea but it took FOREVER. Z didn’t want to stay in her wagon, didn’t want to be carried, and was getting distracted by every ant, flower, dog, and sidewalk crack we passed

the duck face

the duck face

cooling down

cooling down

BBQ gang

BBQ gang

Selfies!

Selfies! She said “cheese”…I died

20150518_151219Zo and Joan working on sharing crayons while Maddie inspects the playhouse

now she slides by herself...growing up waaaa

now she slides by herself…growing up waaaa

The only one brave enough to hit the pool

The only one brave enough to hit the pool

Zo and her cousin Jacob do some Yoga together

Zo and her cousin Jacob do some Yoga together

The stragglers were my brother, sister in law and nephew. Z and Jacob started doing yoga together and Ashley and I were dying laughing at them.  They were playing with the tea set and somehow we missed the lead up to this but Jacob spit in one of the cups.  This lead to the greatest exchange of the weekend

Ashley “Jacob why did you do that?”

Jacob “I don’t know”

Ashley “say sorry”

Jacob walks over to Z, looks her in the eyes “Zoë I am sorry I spit in your tea set”

Ashley and I were trying to stifle laughter, but oh man these two kids!  Cousin trouble for sure!

Day in the Life: May 12th Edition

I decided to partake in Ali Edward’s DITL challenge this past Tuesday.  I documented a day in our lives in February before I took her class, so this was not my first rodeo.  I must say however, it took a lot more intention this time as I was at work, and with all the insanity that is my end of day I seemed to really trail off.  I felt like now that I had done this a few times, I would be more on top of things, but I really wasn’t!  I am looking forward to her next week in the life play along, so I can see if I can capture more of our every day than I did this time around.20150512_061251 20150512_061306::: 4:37am–So this is how we are starting our day?  At least I have something adorable to take a photo of. ” Maaaamaaaaaa? Mummmmmyyyyyy?!  maaaaamaaaaaa!!!” I hear sounds startling me awake. Why does she never call Daddy in the middle of the night? She is just thirsty and wants a cuddle so we have a little snuggle and I bring her back to bed with me.  How does something so small take up so much room? Garret moves all the way over on his side, promptly falling back asleep, and I am sleeping on a sliver of bed as well.  I don’t think I fall back asleep? Maybe I do?

::: 6am– I shut my alarm off before it can beep, hop over babygate into closet where Brooklyn is sleeping. What to wear what to wear? Curse that I haven’t a) got around to organizing my clothes and b) didn’t put something out the night before.  I get dressed as quickly as possible so that I am ready to go. Run into Z’s room and grab her clothes for the day

:::6:10am–Garret’s alarm goes off, he grumbles and get’s going, where Zo pops right up “MAMA HIIIII!!!!”  Very perky toddler in the early hours.  She insists on opening the gate to let Brooklyn out, and the three ladies tumble downstairs together while G hops in the shower.

20150512_062010:::6:12am–Brooklyn is waiting at the kitchen door by the time Z and I make it to the kitchen. Throw a waffle in the toaster, put some yogurt in a bowl, Z in her highchair and I hightail it to the bathroom20150512_062051:::6:15am–The before shot.  I always wish I had about 20 more mins in the mornings so I could do my hair. Pony tail is my mom hair of choice.  Need some make up to hide these “I woke up at 4:30am bags”

20150512_063828:::6:20am—the after shot. Mama needs some lipstick…and holy crap the morning is flying by and someone is still in her jammies!

20150512_064154:::6:35am–G is out with the dog, Zo has her “moothie” and we are starting the daily “OMG KID LET ME CHANGE YOUR DIAPER AND GET YOU DRESSED” routine.  Lots of my daily anxiety seems to stem from these two  daily out of/into pajama exercises.  She is not too keen on getting into or out of clothes and when we are hustling to get out of the door it makes me insane. Also: tonight we must put that pile of clean laundry away!

20150512_064554   :::6:40am—I manage to get clean diapers and some socks on before she flees to the kitchen to play with her magnets. This is a great keep busy activity for Z lately. My mother in law bought her two sets of magnets and she loves finding the ones I ask for and bringing them to me.  Garret will be back shortly with B and he is going to have to finish getting her dressed.  I get our lunch bags and her daycare bag by the door and try to get at least a onesie on the kid before i leave20150512_065328:::6:52am–EVERY morning I am late these days.  I need to be in the van by 6:50 to get to carpool by 7am.  Doesn’t seem to matter how I swing it I am always late.  There are those organization tricks that I need to be better with from the night before, but some nights I am too lazy and then it bites me in the butt the next day. Clothes need to be out, lunches need to be organized so we can grab and GO.  I need to remind myself when I am tired at night how much those extra few minutes really will help me out in the morning.  No idea where the time goes. mornings are clearly set to time warp Monday to Friday these days.20150512_070927

:::7:08am–Others were late this morning as well so we pull out of carpool lot a bit late.  It always seems that 7am is our intention, but 7:10am seems to be when we can all get our ish together.  Not my week to drive so I doze and chill in the backseat while we fight traffic on the 400.

:::8:10am–I get dropped off at my building and text with my mum for our daily morning check in.  Get to my desk, check some personal emails, my to do list (personal and work) in my day planner and have a look at some blogs before I get down to business at 8:30am

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:::9am–Working away but first let me get a work selfie! I am listening to The Fighter and The kid podcast (G listens to this one a lot so I like listening so we can discuss)  Spend the morning catching up on emails, setting some meetings, and organizing my project files. Seems like I am working on a lot right now and am trying to stay on top of things20150512_124133

:::12:09pm–Lunch. My colleague drives me across campus to meet up with Ashley and we head to Ikea. Quick shop and $2 lunch. What a nice way to spend a lunch break.  Couldn’t find the garbage can that I am looking for so will have to go back again. I LOVE Ikea. Makes me feel like I can organize my whole life if I spend enough time and money there20150512_110831 20150512_113613  :::1:15pm–Back at it!  My colleague went to McDonald’s for lunch and brought me a coffee back. Apparently my lack of mojo this morning was noticed. Oh how I love coffee.  I have a chair fitting at 1:30

:::2pm—Head to the coffee room with Edwina for a break.  Get some water since I have had two coffee’s and should really work on my hydration. Day dreaming of home time…seems like a long day.  Think about what to take photos of  and think that I love DITL more when it is a weekend or I am at home…and then kind of forget don’t get another pic until20150512_172959:::5:30pm–making great time tonight on the commute home.  Think about taking a picture as we are close to getting back to carpool.  We made great time tonight. I head to the park near home to meet the fam….it is starting to spit out so Garret didn’t want to walk home with Zo and the pup.

::: I took no pics this evening…and I am thinking it is not a bad thing. The frantic frustrating after work hours are something I don’t want to totally document fully. It might be ok if years later I look back on this time with rose glasses about family togetherness from 5:30-7pm.

:::5:45pm–We feed Zoë.  She isn’t hungry and is saying noooooo at everything we offer her.  Finally settles on a banana and a bowl of goldfish crackers.  Whatever kid as long as you are eating something.

:::6:10pm–Zoë is screaming…for no apparent reason. She isn’t upset just likes to exercise her lungs. It seems to be at a decibel that makes Garret and I want to lose our minds.  G is making us dinner and I am reading the Elmo book to her.  Trying to get her into Jammies and a new diaper and she is HATING it. I have the least amount of patience at this time of night.  I want to be the Mum that always has calming words but at this point I too am hungry and tired and want to holler as well. I  manage to say “indoor voice please”.20150514_092720

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:::6:50pm–Things get quiet again.  Our nighttime ritual of saying “night night” to Daddy, and having a family hug are completed.. we grab bunny off the couch and head upstairs for bed. Brooklyn follows and hangs out in her new fave spot. Cuddled up on the rug at the base of the crib…waiting for me to deposit her sister so we can head downstairs together and hang out with Garret. I can hear Garret puttering in the kitchen..hurray he is doing the dishes! I love these nighttime snuggles with Zo right now.  She keeps getting bigger and bigger or else the glider keeps getting smaller….haven’t decided which it is yet.  In these moments as I feel her fall into sleep as we snuggle I hate myself for being impatient with her and promise myself that tomorrow I will dig deeper, breathe longer and tap that well of patience that exists somewhere deep inside me.                                       20150512_201102

:::7:10pm–Brooklyn beats me downstairs and takes up residence on Garret’s lap. G and I fart around on our phones for a while. Instagram for me and some scrapbooking blogs, and Garret is looking at a press conference about  Jon Jones getting the boot from the UFC.  G and I discuss if we want to do a quick workout or just relax…ooooh I want to relax.  He convinces me we should workout which I don’t get a picture of.  We did some sparring in the living room, and I realize that boxing DOES help take out some frustration

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:::8:10pm–realize with an annoyed sigh I didn’t take a pic of us so take a pic of the gloves instead.  We cuddle up on the couch with Brooklyn and watch an episode of The Blacklist Season 2.  Zo makes a peep around 8:45pm and we hold our breath, and she seems to settle…phew dodged a bullet there.20150512_214853

20150512_214902  :::9:51pm–Show is over and I catch us both dozing on the couch. I hit the bathroom, do my teeth and so on, trade off with Garret and I head upstairs to bed. Bringing a load of laundry that  we hadn’t got around to putting away like I had said this morning.            20150512_215136 :::9:52pm–Brooklyn has beaten me up the stairs and is quite comfortable snuggled up in the middle of our bed.  I don’t have the heart to banish her to the closet (where we keep her bed)  So I snuggle up

:::10pm–Garret makes it upstairs, also can’t bring himself to kick B out of bed, so the three of us snuggle up chat about the day and fall asleep

Dear Zoë at 19 months

Dear Zoë,

     You are 19 months old.  I was thinking about this last week and then suddenly couldn’t catch my breath thinking that in 5 months you will turn two.  I feel as though your first year went by slowly enough, but TWO my dear is right around the corner. How is that even a thing?  I feel like we waited for ages for you to turn one and it was so crazy, but two is just TWO…..you are fully a big kid at 2 I think?  Sometimes I can’t wrap my head around how time marches on. (and on and on)

You somehow manage to concurrently be the most adorable and yet frustrating being in my whole universe.  Diaper changes have become Olympic style wrestling matches…and as long as it takes me in the morning to wrestle you out of jammies and into clothes, at night it takes me twice as long to get you out of clothes and back into PJs.  You seem to insist on wearing whatever you currently have on. Several mornings your Dad and I have debated sending you to daycare pajama clad, soggy bum and all.  I feel as though our threats about that fall on deaf ears as you never waver. I am trying to pretend that this is all a lesson in how to remain calm under pressure–and you are just an EXCELLENT teacher my sweet Zozo.

Your love for bubbles and the outdoors has grown as the weather has brightened up. You spent most of Saturday morning outside at Nana’s house wearing a onesie, hat and your rubber boots.  It was 30 degrees but you were hollering for your boots when I tried to put shoes on you. So boots it was.  You like going for walks, splashing in puddles, pointing out garden ornaments, bugs, birds and dogs.  Just this past week you learned how much fun swings can be and now you are hooked. Daddy and I might try to get you a swing set for the backyard…we have the room and saves us walking all the way to the park.  You still are not a fan of the bath.  I have resigned myself to being the mother of the worlds cutest smelly kid.  I can deal with that. You absolutely adore stickers, markers and have begun to take great joy in colouring all over yourself.  I left you colouring in your high chair for a few minutes yesterday, came back into the kitchen and your arm and face had you resembling a smurf more so than a Zoë.  You love Nana’s craft room and have proceeded to snap the tip off each of her pencil crayons.  After each break you look surprised, hand her the broken one, grab another and smash that into the paper until it breaks. You still love reading and your favourite at the moment is the series of chat books I have ordered from instagram pictures. You point at and name people in the photos but whenever we come to one of you you say “baby”. Not sure at what point you will realize that they are pictures of you….but in the meantime its a great distraction for you to go through all of the photos.

            As I complain about every month, you still aren’t all that snuggly, but sometimes you will come flying up to us for a huge hug and I just squeeze you back and sniff your neck.  I could completely crush you in those moments with the sheer weight of my love for you.
You are starting to chat up a storm and constantly surprise us with what you can say.  This past week you have said “Walsh, Elliott, ready (for when Daddy is pushing you in the swing) bug, dirt, splash, Elmo” and probably a few others I have already forgotten.  Your go-to words are still “nooo” (with the CUTEST intonation at the end that kills me) and “Uh-oh”  You call both Brooklyn and your bunny “Bud-eh”  Sometimes Brooklyn gets some form of “Brooky” but usually it is interchangeable.

Your appetite is hit or miss…we never know if you will eat a Mummy sized portion of lasagna or just a few bites of goldfish crackers. You have really enjoyed burgers, pancakes, the icing off the top of a cupcake and ice cream as of late.  You know what cupboard we keep the goldfish crackers in and you point to it and open and close your mouth when you want some.  We always fall for it…it’s beyond cute Your nighttime sleep is better but you are still quite the early riser and naps at home are all over the map.  When your Dad and I refuse to let you sleep in in 14 years please don’t think we are horrid…just remember you did this to yourself.

This summer Daddy and I are looking forward to our family adventures. Last year you were the cutest, but obviously didn’t do a lot–this year I see many a splash pad/park date/outdoor adventure to be had.  I just so look forward to the months ahead learning who you are becoming and laughing at the absurdity that is parenting.

Love you to infinity and beyond,

Mama