Emilia, 7.5 months

Gosh, I am so sorry Emilia. I have really been sucking on the monthly updates! I think the brightside to all of this is that the quieter it is on the blog, the more fun we are having in real life!!

Anyways, I think the most exciting thing to share of all is that you are now CRAWLING, as of December 20! Your version of first crawls are the same as your sister’s was – reaching ahead with your arms and pulling up your body to meet. You can scooter around pretty quick using this method but you are pretty close to mastering all out crawling, on all fours. Not only that, you have now tried to pull yourself up into a friggin STANDING position when you are in the laundry basket in the tub or onto the bathtub itself. You apparently did not get the memo that this behaviour is not allowed, as you are supposed to stay my baby forever (and ever and ever and ever).

You can also sit for extended periods by yourself. We of course still prop pillows around you but I would say you do okay for upwards of ten minutes on your own! Strong girl.

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You make a variety of noises, and love to babble, but mostly when we are at home. Occasionally you will make conversation when you are out of the house or around people other than McKenna, Dad and I but this is a rarity.

You love anything you can chew because YOU STILL HAVE NO TEETH. We have had some brutal days of teething as a result and as much as I adore your gummy smiles, I cannot wait till those bottom teeth finally arrive so you can catch a break!

YOU LOVE FOOD. I would say you have food envy in fact. I generally prepare supper in the kitchen while you sit in your bumbo and munch on fresh veggies or cheese strings, but should I be in the midst of preparing something for you that isn’t ready or HEAVEN FORBID forget to give you food while anyone else is eating, you tell me off with very, very angry baby babble. It’s pretty funny how upset you get.

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You are also still exclusively breast fed. I keep saying I will start weaning at a year, but we will see what happens.

You are sleeping like shit lately, likely as a result of your never ending teething. We have actually started sleep training you, today being day 1, and don’t even get me started on how much it sucks. I hate hearing you cry but that being said we never sleep trained your sister and still pay for it because she barely goes to sleep without someone snuggling next to her. So, we are giving this sleep training thing a shot but I PROMISE if it doesn’t seem to be working I will cut it and fast. That being said, I think you crave more independence than your sister ever did so I THINK (and hope, and pray) that we will have an easy go at this!

Your sister is still the funniest person alive and you loooove to encourage her ridiculous antics. Thanks for that :).

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We love you, Baby E.

Our Shiloh

Anybody who has been a part of my life over the last 9 years, knows my puppy Shiloh.

Shiloh has been more than a puppy to me – she has been my best friend; my first baby. My confidant and my number one fan. She’s been around for my darkest of days and been my shoulder to cry on; and been around for my happiest of days, to see me fall in love.

She became Matt’s baby the day he met her. One of my favorite memories of when we started dating was when, after date night, we returned to my apartment on the 11th floor and he offered to take her downstairs to go to the bathroom. They were gone for over half an hour. I always joked that in the beginning he was only with me because of his adoration for Shy.

She’s lived with me in three very different homes and come with me on trips across provinces. She’s shared her home with other dogs, cats and birds, and seen those pets subsequently leave for various reasons and taken it all stride. Lastly, and most importantly, she has welcomed Matt and I’s babies with paws open wide, and become a true family dog.

This past week, our family has been dealing with the nightmare of discovering that our dear, sweet Shiloh, has cancer. It has been a week of vet appointments and various tests to determine the best way to approach this diagnosis. Yesterday, a decision was made that will best prolong Shiloh’s life and prevent her from ever having to suffer a minute from cancer, because it was luckily caught soon enough that she has yet to feel pain.

Next Friday, my sweet girl will undergo surgery and lose her front right leg. The emotions that come with this reality are all over the place. I am so happy for this second chance with Shiloh and look at this surgery as a way to prolong an otherwise happy healthy life. I am also sad that she has to suffer a single second of pain to get there. But it is, of course better than the alternative.

I ask you all today for prayers for our best friend. She is a strong pup and we all have no doubt that she will make it through this just fine and be the cutest little “tripawd” (yes, that is a thing) we ever did see. But we pray for a quick and successful surgery, and an easy recovery. She is our baby and a part of our family and I know that if any of you have had the pleasure of meeting my Shybum, Shybear, Shybaby, or Fluffmuffin, you too, have a place in your heart for her also.

I love you my girl. We will face the next adventure ahead as we have all of our adventures – together.

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McKenna is Three!

Our little family is about to embark on our first vacation as a foursome this Tuesday (along with some or our favorite people). Since we will be on a plane when McKenna celebrates her THIRD birthday (seriously?!?) I prepared her third year video early… and cried the whole time.

I love you my sweet, wild haired, stubborn, blue eyed girl. It is an absolute honor to be your Mama.

The Best Big Sister Ever

It’s Monday morning. Okay –  well I at least know it’s Monday, because your Dad just returned to work after a nice quiet weekend, but I’m not entirely sure it’s morning anymore.

Emilia has been fussing for going on 30 minutes because she is tired, but she is refusing to nap. She’s drooling up a storm and flat out miserable because that tooth on the bottom left just won’t break through. I sing her lullabies, and walk a slow pace around the house with her in the carrier pressed against my chest. The only place she is somewhat calm.

I see you, McKenna, sitting on the living room floor, on your fourth episode of Paw Patrol, and notice the bag of goldfish crackers at your feet. “McKenna!” I say, “where did you get those? You know you are supposed to ask Mama.” You look at me with your big blue eyes and shrug your shoulders. “Sorry Mama”, and hand them to me. I then look at the clock on the oven and realize it’s not morning time at all, it’s 12:45 PM. It’s been hours since breakfast, and I haven’t even started preparing your lunch. I immediately hand back the crackers and give you a hug, that familiar feeling of mama guilt washing over me. I start preparing you your favorite – tomato soup and grilled cheese. You go back to your puppies, unphased by the whole thing.

These days are in the minority, McKenna, but they definitely exist. And I need you to know, that on these days… I see you. I see you sitting quietly on the floor while I nurse your sister, preoccuping yourself with whatever knick knack you can find because mama left the playroom (basement) door shut. I see you, sneaking in the pantry for snacks because your sister is crying and mama hasn’t made you breakfast just yet. I see you, playing quietly with your blocks while your sister is sleeping, even though we both know how much you hate being quiet.

You, my girl, have made me so proud these past 5.5 months. When I think about how much your life has changed and just how well you are adjusting to all of these changes, my mama heart swells to three times its size. Not only have you risen to the occasion of being an excellent big sister, providing endless cuddles and kisses, retrieving diapers and soothers when needed, and sharing your toys with E when she is crying, you have also managed to potty train, self wean, almost dress yourself, and navigate your way through Netflix. And even though you of course have your difficult days (and a span of about 10 days where you were just plain rotten), they too are in the minority.

I promise you, my wild haired, beautiful little girl, that I see you. I see you and I love you and am thankful and in awe of you every single day, even though I may not have the time to say it. Thank you for being the best big sister ever and a pretty damn great daughter as well.

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xo,

Mama

Little E, 5 Months Old

Okay Emilia, MONTHLY UPDATE TIME … and your first of many to come, hopefully!! I have to say if I thought the first 5 months of McKenna’s life went fast, I was seriously mistaken. I feel like everytime I blink you are a week older. I know that this is because I am twice as busy this time around, what with chasing a toddler around and all, but.. holy cow. How did this happen!??

Eating – I have been nursing you since Day 1 and it has been going splendidly. I had some issues with nursing your sister in the beginning, and let me tell you, that is most definitely not the case with you. You took to nursing like a champ in the delivery room and haven’t looked back since. I have intentions of nursing you for a full year and see no reason why we will not reach this goal. The one thing we do need to work on is bottles!!! You pretty much refuse them but its my fault for not giving you them more often. Your Dad and I are determined to get you used to taking one to give me a bit of freedom, and I am sure if we are persistent, you will grasp it in no time :).

Sleep – You are a great sleeper!! You take 4 or 5 naps during the day that aren’t particularly long but when it comes to nighttime, you are a boss. Around 7 you start to get super fussy in anticipation of your big rest. You then sleep until 3 – 5 in the morning. We do have bad nights sometimes however, just as all babies do, but overall I can mostly count on you for a great sleep each night (thank goodness!).

Looks – You look almost exactly like your sister. Same great big blue eyes, same wispy blonde hair, same widows peak. You differ in a few slight ways – whereas your sister has adorable little dimples in her cheeks, you have a solo dimple right near your nose which may be the cutest little thing I ever did see. Your cheeks are slightly less chubby, and your skin is a little bit darker, but other than that the two of you would pass for identical twins by looking at pictures.

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E on the left, M on the right.

You are in size 2 diapers and weigh probably around 14.5 pounds. Your sister was 15.5 at this age :).

Milestones – You can roll both ways (for some time now) and when you are on your tummy, you have already started inching forward by pushing back with your feet. I am SO NOT READY for you to crawl (once again, that whole selfish wanting you to stay a baby for life thing) but it is about to happen. You also love your excersaucer and I plan to buy you a jolly jumper because you prefer standing to laying or sitting.

Personality -You love being outside and either fall asleep immediately or blabber my ear off as your sister and I hold hands walking around our favorite lake. You never ever cry when we are outside walking so it is always my fallback should you be having a fussy day.

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You are a super smiley baby which we love cause once again, that nose dimple of yours is oh so cute. You are mild tempered, and take a lot of cuddling and overcrowding from your older sister, who just adores you SO MUCH she has an issue giving you any personal space most days!! I love seeing the two of you together and hope that this bond that you are building so fast and so young will last the both of you a lifetime.

We love you so, our little E. Here’s to another month of true happiness!!!!

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xo,

Mama

10 Things We Love About E

Here are a few things I know about you already, Emilia:

1. You love life. You make that perfectly clear when you smile 100 times a day.

2. You love your family. This is clear because the sweetest of your smiles are saved for McKenna, your Dad, and I.

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3. You are a mama’s girl, and I absolutely love it. I know it won’t last – soon you’ll be in on the big family secret – Daddy is waaay more fun – so I am soaking every second of it in.

4. You have a voice all of your own. You have no problems letting us know what it is you want, and you are bound and determined to get it. I used to think you’d be my  quiet child (because your sister can be VERY LOUD); but these wishful thoughts seem to be vanishing with every passing screech and loud babble. Your poor, poor father. Not only will he be surrounded by women for his entire life, but they will also be LOUD women.

5. You are strong. You are already rolling both ways and can hold your head up for super long periods. You have even attempted at CRAWLING and moved ahead a few inches (seriously – stop. Growing that is)!! You watch your sister with such fascination at all she does so I am pretty confident you’ll be an early mover and shaker.

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6. You are an old soul. Nothing calms you like when I play the Frank Sinatra channel on Pandora.

7. You like books. Just like your sister. We read at the very least 5 during the day and you sit in on one at your sister’s bedtime – only one because McKenna has a hard time focusing on anything when you are around. She would much rather play with your toes or squeeze your cheeks or scream happily in your ears than listen to any storybook. You on the other hand, listen closely and stare curiously at the pictures.

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8. You like to be snuggled. We have created another cuddle monster. During the day you will focus on an activity such as playing with a rattle or grabbing at a toy for a short period, and then demand to be held for a longer period. You would be happy if I could just hold and interact with you all day, but unfortunately it isnt quite possible, my love. I promise I do what I can :).

9. You love to sleep. Can I get a hallelujah? You are already miles ahead of your sister in the sleep department, and we have had more use of our crib in the past 4.5 months since you’ve came along than we ever did with McKenna. Thank you for that!!! :)

10. You are adored. I worried when I was pregnant that I wouldn’t attach as easily to you because I am so in love with your sister. I doubted that my heart could possibly love anymore. But you my dear, make all things possible, and I am quite positive that I could not love you anymore without my heart friggin’ exploding. Just ask your Dad about the bazillion texts I send him talking about how much I love you and your sister and how often it moves me to tears. You are so, so, deeply loved.

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A Beautiful Life

I’ve talked on here about our miscarriage before – not ever in detail, because let’s be honest – it’s not something I like to talk about. But it is a story of grief all of it’s own, and that grief, the one of losing a child whom you never knew but imagined and dreamed and thought of and LOVED is as real as losing anyone else.

That’s why when yesterday, when a dear friend told me of a close family member losing her own baby, it was brought to the surface with that same rush of intense emotions. And then on top of that, social media was flooded with the classic “I’m pregnant!” April Fools jokes and all of a sudden, they really didn’t seem that funny.

The loss of an unborn but well thought of child is such a touchy subject. But I am pretty sure all of us can say we know someone effected by that loss, because it’s far too damn common. Whenever I hear of miscarriages and stillbirths it shakes my core because it comes with such a heavy handed “whyyyy”. Why the babies, why the innocents. It is a very real and true loss and to all you ladies out there who experience it, from one mama to another.. I feel you. I hear you. I respect and acknowledge that loss just as I would any other.

It was all this feeling yesterday that caused me to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude all day then, and now today. These days come by every now and then, when I realize my blessings and the skies just seem a little bluer and the difficulties and personal struggles in my life are so diminished by the successes and gifts. I try to embrace these days for what they are worth because often times, the busyness of life and the to-dos overshadow the important things, and I don’t stop to take the time and admire my life for all it has given me.

I guess the whole point of this rambling is to save this for a later day – a post to remind me of this beautifully blessed, although imperfect life that I live. With the handsomest and most caring man, wonderful and solid family support, cozy and comfortable house, adorable fluffy pets, and of course – the cutest little bean that I get to spend the rest of my days loving, watching her grow and learn and thrive and flourish before my very eyes.

This; this life of mine, is a beautiful one.

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15/16 Months

Here it is – a 2 for 1 update on your 16 month birthday!

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The biggest milestone hit these past 2 months is definitely that you started walking. It’s funny – you spent so much time leading up to it, with months and months of standing independently, cruising, and using your walker to navigate the house – and then one day you pretty much just took off running and never looked back. It happened shortly after our return from Jamaica, but truth be told, you were almost walking prior to Jamaica but we hindered that progress by carrying you in our arms everywhere around the mostly cement resort.

You now spend your days at home toddling around, going through every open door and picking up any and every object along the way. It keeps you entertained for hours.

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You are happiest when you are naked, which happens about half an hour or so a day. You run around gleefully as if you are finally FREE, and evade capture when we try to come at you with a diaper in hand. I look forward to saving on laundry when summer finally comes around and we can allow you to roam freely a little bit longer without worry of you catching a chill.

You are still very comfortably in size 4 diapers. You wear mostly 12-18 month clothing but can still fit some 6-12 month outfits as well. You are 21.5 pounds, so on the smaller size for your age but still look cute and chubby for your height :).

You babble nonstop. You are constantly experimenting with your voice, in true McKenna form, by letting out a constant array of shrieks and squeals and testing out different tones with your voice. You say quite a few words – hi, puppy, bird, bath and book to name the more recognizable ones – and then a couple that I feel only your father and I really can translate. We do get a kick out of you walking into whatever room we are in an letting out a pleasant high pitched "hi!" as if you are just so happy to see us. We are always happy to see you too, little bug.. The feeling is more than mutual.

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Sign language is being used more frequently than before, because you are now seemingly starting to pick it up. It’s really exciting to see you sign when you’re tired, want more, or if you are all done with your meal. We are working towards mastering “milk” (which will be used as a general sign for all drinks) and “thank you”. You truly are learning things at such a rapid pace I’m sure we will have these signs mastered in no time!

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You blow about a thousand kisses a day. When people are coming and going, when you are saying goodnight, or when people wave or look in your general direction, really. You also like to give kisses, and they are now more like kisses than open mouthed drooly ones. You also like to kiss inanimate objects – such as my iPhone, your binky (blankie), the television, your books.. Etc.

You know where quite a few body parts are located, and know what sound a cow, chicken, cat and dog make. Old MacDonald is your favourite song of the moment.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but Curious George is still a giant hit and a nighttime staple around here. We watch it to help you wind down at the end of the day and it’s the only 20 minutes of the day you actually sit still. Put George on, and after dancing around like cray to the theme song, the rest of the world disappears for you. You have inherited your fathers knack for “zoning out” as it is impossible to get through to you at times like this. I call it karma for him :).
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^^that up there? that’s your Curious George face.

Still love the puppy, and our latest edition, our budgie Petrie! Every morning we say hi to the birdie together and you visit him at least 5 times a day to talk/yell at him.

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Still super attached to your binkie, but you have officially ditched the soother. Hurrah!

You still nurse about 2x a day – you had almost self weaned before we left on holiday and I panicked about not being able to confirm if the milk was pasteurized or not. Oh well, it will come soon I’m sure, as you drink milk from your sippy cup all day like a champ :).