Monday, 31 December 2012


Therapy and yoga helped me beat the postpartum bullshit that almost wrecked me.

I went back to a job that was so SO bad for me and when things went sideways I was strong enough to walk away.

I welcomed my first nephew.

I celebrated my kid's first birthday.

I decided I wanted to become a doula and started my training.

I made marmalade.

I ate too much chocolate, watched too much tv, and spent too much money on music. I regret none of it.

Happy New Year, lovelies. I can't wait to see what happens in 2013.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Christmas was lovely. Lovelier than I expected, actually. Christmas used to be an anxiety-inducing, dreary time of year for me. Grady has changed it for me. He is so full of light and joy; I can't help but get caught up in his energy. Someone please remind me of this time when he's a surly teenager.

December is a busy time for us. Shawn's brother and dad, as well as two of our close friends, have December birthdays (one being two days before Christmas and one being the day after Christmas.) Shawn's parents are divorced so we celebrate Christmas with them separately. My parents and his parents all live locally but far enough apart that the celebrations have to be on separate days or half the day would be spent driving.

Last year I was still crazy so I didn't feel comfortable putting my foot down but this year I was adamant that we have our own time to celebrate as a family. It was difficult. I was forced to be blunt (something I hate) and feelings were, not necessarily hurt, but definitely chafed, but in the end it worked out perfectly. From 4pm on Christmas Eve day until noon on Christmas Day, Shawn, Grady and I celebrated on our own. We had our annual Christmas Eve barbecue with all the fixings (and Grady tried his first hamburger! He was not impressed.) We opened presents (we gave Grady the Melissa & Doug band-in-a-box. Rookie parents, right here.) We relaxed and enjoyed each other. And then continued on with the family obligations / craziness / hoopla.

I love our families. I love that so many people love Grady. But I am so glad that Christmas is over. Grady was spoiled rotten (how do you deal with this? Seriously. He was lavished with gifts and I don't mean to sound ungrateful but this cannot happen next year when he's old enough to realize what's going on and develop expectations for future Christmases.) It was a lovely holiday but I'm ready for 2013. I'm ready to say goodbye to parties and cookies (so many cookies) and hello to January.

Best present ever.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

I Am Milk

Grady wakes up at 1am for a snack pretty consistently. Sometimes it's a little bit earlier, sometimes it's a little bit later, but the nights with no wakeup are few and far between.

Shawn has conditioned himself to sleep through this nightly occurrence. It didn't take him long to train his body to tune out Grady's hungry whine. I don't begrudge him this ability. It is what it is. He needs to get up early to go to work. He lacks the necessary equipment to satisfy Grady's need for milk. It's fine. It's logical.

I have a wonky thyroid. Every so often I have an ultrasound so my doctor can monitor what's happening. My last ultrasound was a few weeks ago. We've now moved from the monitor stage to the biopsy stage. I knew it was a possibility. It's not a surprise. It's not even scary in the light of day - it's just a nuisance. A stupid procedure that will require scheduling and childcare and deep breathing.

But at 1am? When Grady wakes up because he's hungry and Shawn is snoring away? My mind starts to wander and I worry about what would happen if my stupid wonky thyroid turns out to be more than just a nuisance. Will Grady scream for his 1am snack? Will he stop waking up because his cries go unanswered? I mean, probably Shawn would become more attuned to Grady's needs because he wouldn't have the luxury of tuning Grady out, but there would be an adjustment period and I worry that Grady would feel abandoned.

I know this is ridiculous. I know that my wonky thyroid is still just a wonky thyroid and there's no need for panic. But I can't help but go there at 1am when my sweet boy is looking for a little comfort.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Deck The Halls

It snowed yesterday, the first real snowfall of the season. Grady was not amused. His introduction to snow started well because he was allowed to wear his boots (he loves his boots. He would wear his boots all day if I let him. Whenever I walk by the closet he looks up at me hopefully. "Boot? Boot?" It's like he won the damn lottery whenever it actually is time to wear his boots. He has this silicone jug for rinsing his hair in the bath. It sits on the side of the bath and every time Grady walks into the bathroom he tries to wedge his foot into it. "Boot?" "No bud, no boot." You've never seen such disappointment.)

So we put on our boots and we trekked out into the snow. It wasn't so bad at first, shuffling our way through piles of fluffy, untouched snow.

And then Grady tripped. Was Grady wearing mittens? No, he was not. Boots are the greatest thing in the world but mittens are of the devil. Keep up.

The look of utter disgust was priceless. I cannot describe the confused, angry, mewling sounds that came from his mouth.

Our snow adventure was short but memorable. For both of us.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Past Your Marmalade Sky

The Vancouver Aquarium invited a group of bloggers to check out their new Luminescence feature on the weekend. (I was given free admission into the facility but am under no obligation to write this post.) Grady and I had such a good time checking out the displays. The aquarium provided an entertaining guide and even though Grady is too young to understand what's going on, the guide was engaging and fun enough to keep his attention. As an added bonus, Scuba Claus made an appearance.

Grady had no idea what was happening but the room full of squealing kids blew his mind. He doesn't know who Santa is yet but he definitely knows how to feed off the energy of excited littles.

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I've got mustache ornaments in my shop. They look adorable hanging on the tree (or orchid if you're lazy to put up a tree that your toddler is just going to rip right back down) and even make cute little gift tags.

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It's Monday and it's rainy and grey. A perfect day for housekeeping.

Tarator, you won the Milk Unleashed giveaway.

Margarita, you won the Blurb giveaway.

Congratulations! Have fun.

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I can't believe Christmas is in two weeks. I am so unprepared. We're trying to focus on handmade gifts this year which is nice (no malls!) and time-consuming (my child is refusing to nap! I'm making marmalade at midnight tonight!) 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Can It Be The Way It Was

A friend of mine (a very good friend) (a very generous and kind friend) works for a record label and occasionally has tickets to shows that she can't use for whatever reason.

Which is how I ended up in the third row, beside the stage, at the Killers show tonight.

The show was fantastic; the band seemed to genuinely be enjoying themselves and they performed enthusiastically with huge smiles on their faces.

Tonight's show definitely made it into my list of top 5 shows (rounded out by the following, in no particular order: Willie Nelson with my dad; floor at Muse; Wolfmother in a teensy club before they made it big in North America; and every David Usher show, ever.)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Well It's a Time Honoured Tradition

My favourite part of Christmas is our Christmas Eve BBQ. We started the tradition years ago as a way to connect with our friends during the busy holiday season. Taking a night to eat yummy burgers and drink a few beers with our friends rejuvenated and energized us enough to last through the following week of family obligations and stress.

The tradition has changed over the years. One year we had almost twenty people crammed into our tiny condo. Last year it was just us sneaking bites of cheeseburger while trying to soothe our wee Rage Baby.

I love that we have our own family tradition to share with Grady and I love that it's so us (says the lady who served cheeseburgers at her wedding.) I can't wait until he's old enough to stand out in the rain and flip burger patties with Shawn.

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I'm participating in the Twelve Days of Christmas Traditions with a group of fabulous Vancouver bloggers. Check out some of their posts here:

Julie Nowell On Being Together
Mama.Papa.Bubba.'s Handmade Ornaments
The Write Mama's Christmas Village
Amy's Experiental Advent Calendar
erin at large On the Giving Part of Christmas
north shore mama On Tree-selecting, Cooking-baking, and Beautiful Lights
Enchanted Chameleon's Gluten-free Xmas Dinner

Check out Lisa's post tomorrow on combining different cultural traditions!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Blurb Giveaway

I love taking photos. I do not love organizing or printing photos.

Blurb makes it easy to create beautiful photo books. I'd never used Blurb before but in exchange for writing this post I was given a credit to make my own photo book.

I was thoroughly impressed with how easy it was; once I downloaded the bookmaking software I was able to just drop my photos into a template. The hardest part of the whole process was deciding which photos to use.

Blurb has generally offered to give one of my (Canadian) readers a $35 credit to create your own book. Just leave me a comment below and I'll randomly choose a winner on December 6th.

Because Blurb are total rockstars, they're also giving you 25% off your total book order through December 12th with promo code GIFTIDEA.