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

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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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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 :).

Fourteen Months

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It feels like these months are really starting to fly by. I ask again – weren’t you just born, like, yesterday? Anyways…

Sleep-wise, nothing much to report that wasn’t already covered this week. But now that you are sleeping like a rockstar, your nap schedule has become a little wonky. I think you are slowly transitioning to one nap and it’s kinda got you all messed up. You are exhausted by the time you take your usual morning nap but have SUCH a hard time falling asleep, so you stay awake until you are about ready to fall over at 1pm. I am letting you take the lead on this one because I feel with our upcoming vacation any routine that I may TRY and put in place will end in epic failure. So for now, you run the show.142

Food-wise, you eat anything we do and love MOST things. Things you won’t touch (a much shorter list than the stuff you will) include red peppers, strawberries, peas, and green beans.

We are down to nursing TWICE A DAY. You did this all on your own. You wake once at 5:30 AM(ish) and I nurse you then too.

The biggest news of this month is definitely that you are now WALKING. You can take upwards of 15 steps between rooms before settling down on your bum and crawling the rest of the way. I keep telling everyone that will listen that I’m sure you will take off running when you see the ocean next week (aka – give me a heart attack).

You know where your hair, nose, and bellybutton are. Three very random things, I know. But you are obsessed with the hair on my head (as in you love to pull it) and always reach up to yours when I ask where it is. Nose is a new development; until yesterday you were certain it was located on your ear. Bellybuttons are somewhat of an obsession around here.

You are still a little dancing machine, and love any upbeat songs that you can wiggle your bum too. You prefer when I have the radio on the pop station, but I can only listen to it for so long. You can handle alternative for a little bit, but my personal favorite, dubstep, does not seem to be a hit. Yet.

You LOVE dressup. If we leave ANY article of clothing on the floor you are trying to put it on your head, then you parade around as if you are doing a fashion show. You love to wear your Dad’s hat and my sunglasses most of all. Yesterday I witnessed you *trying* to put my boot on your foot. I look forward to many days spent playing dressup with you.144141

Your glockenspiel is still your favorite toy by far, and you bang on the keys until they fall off.

Still attached to your green fuzzy blankie, but thankfully any fuzzy blankie seems to do, as you quite often throw it on the floor outside causing it to be washed weekly. You also love pillows, and love being on your father and I’s bed and throwing yourself into them, laughing hysterically, until you are absolutely exhausted.

You are currently working on SIX TEETH at the moment, and who knows maybe more. You don’t let me get my fingers in far enough to feel if you are working on your molars yet, but we have definitely had a few difficult nights this month. Poor little bug.

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I’ll eat you up, I love you so. xo

Your First Birthday PARTY

On Sunday, December 15, 2013 our family and friends alike gathered at a small hall in Fort Saskatchewan to celebrate your first birthday!

Even though there had been freezing rain the night before, and some people chose not to brave the highways (it was outside of the city), we still had a great turn out and a fabulous time celebrating you, little one. About 30 people showed up, and we had a wonderful time!

We stuck with a simple theme – pink and green polka dots – and laid out a simple spread of snackin’ foods. There was a guestbook – one of my (many) favourite pictures of you blown up and surrounded by a frame for all to sign. There was a time capsule, filled with blank cards, for all your family and friends to fill out with wishes, advice, and kind words for you to read on your 18th birthday. Your Dad and I will keep this box safe for you.. but I cannot wait for you to read them!

There was a poem on each card (part that I wrote myself, part I found on.. you guessed it – Pinterest!) that read like so:

Please leave a note before you leave this place,

A note for our sweet McKenna Beryl Grace,

Into a time capsule we’ll slip them to hide,

Till she’s 10 & 8 years they’ll be locked up inside;

On her 18th birthday to her we will show,

All these great wishes for the places she’ll go!

 

Other than that, it was your usual birthday party – with a kids play area, treat bags, food, drinks, conversation, then of course, gifts (you were completely spoiled) and your second ever cupcake! You loved it as much if not more than the first, but once again you were such a lady! I was certain I would need to throw out your birthday outfit afterwards (sad face) but that was not the case. It is still in tact and hanging up in your closet, special memories kept (happy face)!

It was a great day filled with so much love. You are a special little girl, McKenna, and you are growing up surrounded by an amazing group of people that truly love you. We are such a blessed little family of three, and we were really feeling the love that day!

So without further ado, here are the (many) pictures from your very first birthday party! I have to thank your Auntie Lareina for once again capturing these wonderful memories on film! We are so lucky to have such a talented photographer in the family!! xoxo thank you Lareina!

McKenna's cousin, Marrah enjoying her treat bag!

McKenna’s cousin, Marrah enjoying her treat bag!


McKenna's cousin, Declan, enjoying the food!

McKenna’s cousin, Declan, enjoying the food!


McKenna's cousin Colton, enjoying a balloon :).

McKenna’s cousin Colton, enjoying a balloon :).


McKenna & her Nanny telling stories.

McKenna & her Nanny telling stories.


Family shot (starting far right) my cousin Daegan, my Auntie & Uncle, and cousins  Collin & Jenny, & McKenna's Papa.

Family shot (starting far right) my cousin Daegan, my Auntie & Uncle, and cousins Collin & Jenny, & McKenna’s Papa.


Enjoying her birthday balloons!

Enjoying her birthday balloons!


McKenna & cousin ZZ!

McKenna & cousin ZZ!


Present time! (McKenna with her Mum & Dad, of course)

Present time! (McKenna with her Mum & Dad, of course)


All images are © Unforgettable Images.Photographer: Lareina Di
All images are © Unforgettable Images.Photographer: Lareina Di
Love this shot!

Love this shot!


Cousin Marrah showing off her custom made wrapping paper :)

Cousin Marrah showing off her custom made wrapping paper 🙂


Helping hands :).

Helping hands :).


<3


Cupacake time! You were a little unsure about the sparkler...

Cupacake time! You were a little unsure about the sparkler…


But definitely not unsure about the cupcake!

But definitely not unsure about the cupcake!

All images are © Unforgettable Images. Photographer: Lareina DiAll images are © Unforgettable Images. Photographer: Lareina Di
All gone!

All gone!


With your cousins Daegan, Collin and Jenny.. reading them a story :)

With your cousins Daegan, Collin and Jenny.. reading them a story 🙂


All images are © Unforgettable Images.Photographer: Lareina Di

Your First Birthday (a recap)

Even though your birthday was nearly a month and a half ago, your Mum is waaay behind the times and has yet to post a recap from the fabulous day. This is just a recap of your birthDAY, not the wonderful party that followed on December 15th. I am hoping to get to that post this week too .. but to be honest, I just haven’t been in the writing mood! With our upcoming trip to Jamaica and the wedding 5 MONTHS TO THE DAY away, my mind has definitely been distracted. But these are important events that must be recorded for you to read in the future, so here I am, just for you :).

On December 1, 2013, I woke up at 7 AM so I could be sure to be awake before you (I never purposely do this .. it seems like cruel torture!). I started blowing balloons, and filled the hallway. You Dad and I had assembled your birthday present – an AWESOME play kitchen! – the night before. I wanted you to wake up, find the balloons in the hallway and make your way down to see your birthday surprise.

You woke up at 8:30, and that’s just what you did. Crawled out into the hallway and played with the many balloons. You were so enamoured with the balloons that you stayed in the hallway for close to half an hour before I grew impatient and moved them into the kitchen, so you would come that way. You finally did, and alas! There was your kitchen! You immediately crawled up to it and started playing with it, particularly fascinated with the buttons and all the different sounds they made.

I decided we would stay home that day. On most days, I bundle you up and we head out of the house to run errands or take part in an activity, but I thought you would like a home day to enjoy your presents. I was right, you played with them for the entire morning, had a special breakfast of smashed banana pancakes and then laid down for your late morning nap as usual.

After lunch, we had a visit from your Auntie Ethel & Uncle Emlyn, and your cousins Gillian, Collin and Jenny. Gifts were exchanged (a fancy new cash register to go along with your play kitchen!) and then we all sat and visited. We watched your One Year video together (and I cried) and shortly afterwards, they left.

The afternoon was spent once again playing with your toys while I baked cupcakes, and then I ordered pizza for our special dinner. Your Dad, your Papa, and your Auntie Vanessa all came over for your birthday dinner and you ate your first piece of pizza like it was nobodies business. We sang happy birthday (I cried again) and I presented you with your first ever cupcake, vanilla with chocolate frosting. You started eating the cupcake like such a lady, picking at the icing with your fingers. But that didn’t last long! Not a crumb was spared.

You went to bed (after a much needed bath) with a full belly and a smile on your face.

It was a relaxed, calm quiet kind of day.. just the kind of day I wanted to spend with you on your very first birthday. Even though December the first will always be a day celebrating your birth, and giving you presents, believe me when I say you are the best gift I have and will ever receive. December 1 will always be my favorite day, a day of reflection, celebration, happiness, and undoubtedly, more tears (the happy ones, of course).

13 Months

Well here we are.. another New Year, with a toddler!

I had anticipated I would feel like taking some time off from blogging for the Christmas season.. I did not however, plan to go an entire month without writing a thing! And so much happened that I need to recap, including your first birthday party with your family, your first birthday party with friends, our preparations for the Christmas season, followed by Christmas itself (which I have renamed “Pukemas 2013” – as we all were hit by a tummy bug sometime before, during and after Christmas). I hope I can recap all these events for you soon!

But first, your 13 month update must be done!

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I need to write a bit of a disclaimer here.. and that is, December was actually a pretty difficult month for you. You fell sick on the 21st.. it started with two days of a really high fever that I managed with Motrin. On day 3, your fever had disappeared but you woke up in the middle of the night and threw up multiple times. This BROKE your Mama’s heart.. you did not cry, you simply cuddled your Dad looking white as a sheet and so, so sad as I called the nurse on duty and made sure we could continue to care for you at home. The next day, you seemed much better, but alas, that only lasted Christmas Eve and by Christmas Day you had a dry cough, runny nose, and were just so rundown. Of course, during these days our routine fell completely by the wayside. You ate barely any solid foods and slept whenever you felt like – usually taking 6 or so 30 minute naps a day, sometimes more. The rest of the time you spent cuddled on your father or I’s chest, watching far more TV than usual. You are now JUST on the mend and getting back to your cheerful self, with 4 more teeth than you had before this awful cycle started.

Sleeping has changed considerably this month. We are almost finished co-sleeping entirely. This is amazing because I had a little seed of doubt planted in my mind that it would never happen. It is also very, very bittersweet because I absolutely loved our days of bedsharing. However, as you were approaching your first birthday I made a promise to myself to allow you to become more independent. And independent sleeping is  a HUGE step towards this goal. Granted, we are still working out some kinks from our new sleeping arrangements – some nights you wake up multiple times just needing to be comforted, and others I fall asleep beside you rather then head back to our room across the hall. But generally, our night generally starts with you going to bed at 7:30. You wake up around 12:30 to nurse, and then sleep till about 6:30 or so where I nurse you again. Our day starts shortly before 9 most days.

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You still either take one big nap from 11:30 till about 2:30, or two naps of about 1.5 hours each.

Now that you have gained back your appetite for solid foods, you are eating 3 solid meals a day, and 2 snacks. You like a great variety of foods but don’t eat anything you do not like – that usually goes on the floor for the puppy. I think you consider puffs to be a food group because you would happily snack on them all day if we would let you (we don’t).

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You only nurse before naps and bedtime, and the rest of the time you are offered whole milk in your sippy cup. I am very happy we were able to skip bottles all together! Just one less thing I need to think about taking away from you in the future (because it feels there is always *SOMETHING* I am supposed to be taking away from you).

You have a TON of new toys from your birthday and Christmas last month, which has enabled us to start *toy shuffling*. This means we have toys, brand new and boxed in the basement that you haven’t even played with which we intend to switch in when you start getting bored of the toys you have in your play area. Right now, your favorite toys include the glockenspiel you received for Christmas, your walker, and your play kitchen that Mum, Dad, Nanny and Papa gave to you for your first birthday. I love watching you play with all your toys, but your kitchen in particular – just yesterday I watched you intentionally put food in a pot, close the lid, place it on the stove (which makes bubbling noises) then take it off the stove once finished and empty the pot. I am patiently awaiting to be served three course suppers and watch you wash and put away the dishes afterwards (great practice for the future, too)!

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With us being in the middle of the cold of winter, we have been spending MUCH more time at home than we did in the summer. As such, it has now become a part of our routine to start off the day with a quiet cartoon (while Mama wakes up and feeds/lets out the dog). You love Cat in the Hat and Curious George most of all – when the theme song comes on you break into a huge smile and wiggle your little bum to the beat. It is aaaadorable!

Not walking yet, although you have taken one or two steps several times on your own to transfer between furniture or your Dad and I. I was told walking qualifies as 5 unassisted steps so we are patiently awaiting for you to take the leap, but at the same time allowing you the time you need to figure it out for yourself at a time that is most comfortable to you.

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You say many words – but NEVER on demand. Only when you feel like it – another sign of your streak of stubbornness. Words you have said include – mama, dada, hi, bye, book, and bubble. You still think puppy is said by popping your lips together … but no sound is yet to come out.

Speaking of the puppy, if it’s possible you are even more in love with her than before. Half of the time (maybe a little less) the love is reciprocated as she runs in circles around you and attacks you with kisses, the other half of the time she goes into another room to get away.

You have an obsession with soft blankets. You have a green fuzzy one that is still hands down your favorite, but if you are in a room with blankets or even soft articles of clothing you will gather them all to surround you and bring them with you everywhere.

You also still love your books and sit quietly flipping their pages and looking at the pictures as if you are memorizing them by heart.

You also now have a new little quirk where you like to take objects such as blankets or clothing and put them over your head so you can barely see in front of you. You then crawl furiously around the room laughing. You do this with your Dad’s hat too. You especially like chasing the dog when you do this and you think that you are absolutely hilarious. It is the funniest thing to watch but I have to run interference quite often to be sure you don’t run into any walls.

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 Here’s to another month and a brand new year!

xo

12 Months

Now that all the birthday excitement is starting to wear off (mind you, the party is not till the 15th so the celebrating is not over!), I have had some time to think about the fact that I now have a ONE YEAR OLD. And… I’m so excited! I spent so much time dreading this one year mark because it creeped up on me so fast, and was such an amazing year. But now that it is behind us, I am anticipating all that is to come. There are so many things you can do with a one year old that you just can’t with a 6 month old, and I look ahead to all these wonderful things.

So without further ado, here is a recap of the twelfth month:

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Things have been really good in the sleep department. Last month I mentioned that you had been sleeping poorly, inconsistently, and as a result we would be starting to transition away from bed sharing. Well, you must have been teething, or going through a growth spurt, because things have sorted themselves out again, meaning we are back to our 1 maximum 2 wakeups per night. Regardless, we started the transition into your toddler bed (yes, TODDLER bed. A post as to why I chose this strategy will come once the transition is complete) and it is going well, so we see no reason to move backwards.

The transition has been going rather smoothly, although slowly. This is as much for my benefit as yours – I love the cuddles. Currently, you start the night in your toddler bed, anytime between 7 & 8 PM. You wake up between 1:30 & 2 AM for a nursing session, and at this time I join you on the floor bed. You then wake up once more between 5:30 & 7, and after that we sleep until around 9 AM.

You take all of your naps in the toddler bed also, and you are still napping very well – except on the days that your Dad is home. For whatever reason, on those days our routine seems to go out the window, and you fight your naps until you are so exhausted you are crying. I guess you just love when he is home SO MUCH that you do not want to miss a single second!

On the days he isn’t home, you take two 1.5 hour naps. One around 11-12:30, and the second at 4-5:30. Some days you skip your morning nap; this always ends up with you sleeping from 1:30:-4:30ish. But most of the time you are consistent with your two naps.

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You eat pretty well most days, however, when we went to your one year appointment on Friday, your pedi mentioned a food regression at the one-year mark. I’m pretty sure you heard him say this, and being your little defiant self you started to reject a lot of your fruits and vegetables and eating only your protein, dairy and grains these past few days. This is causing me to be a little more creative and hide veggies/fruits wherever I can. I sure hope this is just a phase and that it passes. Quickly!

As for nursing, WE MADE IT. We hit the 12 month mark without much difficulty and are still going steady. That being said, your nursing sessions have reduced dramatically to only about 4 times a day, due to your increase in solids. I have started to offer you milk more frequently in your sippy cup, and you do drink it, but not enough to substitute the nursing sessions just yet. I don’t know if this is the beginning of weaning, but I am kind of just letting you take the lead on this one.

You’ve had your bottom two teeth for months, but it seems your FOUR top are due to make an appearance any day. They don’t seem to be bothering you too bad this time around, thank goodness.

You have officially become attached to your green fuzzy blankie. Funny how it happened almost overnight, but now you take every nap with it and will not go to bed until it is grasped tightly between your two little hands. You also like to hold on to it for the first 20 minutes or so when you wake up and cuddle with Mum or Dad. Once you let go, it is game on and you are ready to take on the world.

You are still crawling, although you can stand unassisted for several minutes at a time, but ONLY when you don’t notice yourself doing it. I think at this point this walking thing, it’s all mental. You have the capability to do it but are still overcoming some obstacles in your mind, and your father & I are not pushing you in any way. We trust you will do it when your ready, and then it will be GAME ON for us.

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You are obsessed with Cat in the Hat. The theme song in particular. I could put it on repeat and you would be mesmorized and smiling, glued to the TV all day. You squeal with glee whenever it comes on and wiggle your bum to the beat if you are standing.

You have started to dance when an upbeat song that tickles your fancy comes on. You have a love for a song by the New Politics called “Harlem” and it really gets your bum a wiggling. It makes me laugh everytime! You’ve got some moves, baby girl. We also still dance around the living room together frequently, and when this happens you erupt into giggles. Some of my favorite times spent.

You give open mouthed, drooly kisses, when you want to. You still try every day to say puppy, moving your mouth but alas, no sound has yet to come out. You also try to say “book” in the same fashion. You understand the words “no” “bedtime” “bath” “water” “puppy” “kitty” (and many more) and you anticipate what is to come or look for said puppy or kitty when I say these words.

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You wave goodbye when we or someone is leaving, and every night you wave hello at the moon before bed as a result of the little rhyme I have been saying for months. This warms my heart.

You have an obsession with books. They are definitely your favorite toys. You will sit quietly on the floor and turn the pages, staring at the pictures. Sometimes you babble while you do it, as though reading out loud :). I love witnessing moments like these.

You notice almost immediately if things are different or if something is out of place. For you, out of place means tidied and put away. For an example, you were given a box set of books from both your Auntie Chrissy and Auntie Leah for your birthday, 24 little board books in total. If I go to put said books back in the box, you immediately crawl over and pull them all out again. Another example: anytime I have a towel, hat, or book (for fun) on my head, you give me an annoyed look, stand up, then knock it off. You seem to like things in their place (what you define as “their place” – often on the floor) and it really bothers you when things are different. It is an extremely endearing quirk.

Looking forward to all that lies ahead for you, little one.

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Love you forever,

xo

 

Breaking the Rules

My Darling McKenna,

Be it your excitement from today’s events or the long nap you took late this afternoon, you did not feel like sleeping when bedtime rolled around tonight.

And, instead of me persisting with trying to get you to sleep, I rolled with the punches and opened your bedroom door. You crawled out, quite gleefully, and played with your toys happily for the next 2 hours.

You walked around with your walker, and played with your wooden bead toy. We played with Lego, you (as always) smashing any structure I would build with such satisfaction. We played peekaboo with your favorite blue scarf, and you laughed joyfully, contagiously. You didn’t show an ounce of grumpiness for staying up late, and I allowed you to play happily until you began to yawn, close to 10:00 PM.

After I tucked you in, cozy and warm, gripping your favourite green fuzzy blankie close to your chest, I felt compelled to write this post about our evening. It may sound so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s these moments, these tiny, tender, beautiful, bonding moments, that have all built up on top of each other to create the most memorable, most life changing year of my existence.

I also felt compelled to share the importance I feel in breaking our routine now and then. Some of my own fondest childhood memories come from times when my own mother strayed from the norm, be it allowing your Auntie and I to stay up past our bedtime, taking us on a special trip to the mall, or even just to allowing us to eat sweets that we normally would not (like cinnamon buns the size of our heads).

They say that babies thrive on routine, but I think it is safe to say that babies and children alike delight just as much on the occasional break from it. I want to never forget this insight, as you grow older and enter toddlerhood. Want to remember the expression of joy on your face when your mama sat on the kitchen floor and played with you and your toys, well past your bedtime. Because one day, you will no longer find joy in these moments. You will be a teenager with friends and a life completely your own that I as your mother will only be able to try to understand.

In a mere nine days you will be 1. I cannot even describe the intensity of emotions that comes with such an important milestone. But I can tell you that these moments, these small treasured moments, are the things I will hold onto from your first year of infancy. I promise to continue to surprise you, to break free from the norm, to allow us chances like this to bond. As we approach the day that marks one year passed, I look ahead to so many more of breaking the rules with you, my favourite, my own little love.

I love you forever.

Xoxo

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Our First Halloween

Last week, we celebrated your first Halloween!

It was a smashing success, as was the week or so leading up towards it. We visited Prairie Gardens, and got lost in a corn maze, watched people fire the pumpkin cannon, attended a petting zoo and a magic show, and all in all just had a great family day. We carved pumpkins, you my little assistant as I cleaned them in preparation for your father’s return from work. You only tried to eat the pumpkin guts once – once, and then it never happened again (yuck). We shopped for costumes for your father and I – the first time either of us had worn a Halloween costume (the last time being when we went to the Howler in 2009 with your Auntie Chrissy and Nikki; when your Dad dressed as Jack Skeleton and I as a ladybug.. but that is a story for another time, when you are much, much older :)).

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When the big day arrived, it started out like any other Thursday., until I dressed you to leave for your music class and placed your Tinkerbell dress over top of your normal outfit, and placed your wings on your back. We went to music class and had a fun time with Batman, a princess, a pumpkin and a sheep, and headed home to prepare dinner for your Dad’s arrival.

Once we had all had supper and were dressed (your father and I dressed as pirates to fit with the Tinkerbell theme) and ready to go, we headed out for some trick or treating. The temperatures were unseasonably warm this Halloween, but we opted to just visit friends and families who lived close by. We visited a total of 5 houses, and let me tell you, that was ENOUGH candy wise! You sure cleaned up! We have put your candy away somewhere for safekeeping (our tummies) for when you are old enough to enjoy it (hey! Isn’t that one of the major perks of parenting?).

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It was a fun day for all of us. The ones we visited truly loved seeing you in your costume and we had a great time showing you off. I’ll be honest – Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays (I am much more particular to Christmas and New Year’s) but having you around has definitely renewed the spirit of the holiday. I look forward to partaking in many more Halloween’s and continuing these traditions and creating new ones as you grow older.

I also feel it is important to mention that you slept 8 hours straight that night – reason enough for me to wish Halloween occurred several times a year, and not just once! 🙂

Love you forever, my little Tinkerbell.

xo

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