Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sprout is Fourteen Months Old!

Today Sprout is fourteen months old!

Doing  the last monthly update so late really makes it seem like this month has flown by. :)

-Sprout is really and truly walking now.  She's been out to walk around the mall and one mild day did a walk down our street.  She mostly wants to do it on her own, but every once in a while will reach out to hold on to our hands.  She has a bit of a cowboy walk --her legs are quite bowed.  We're pretty sure it's just because she's a little more stable on her feet this way.  

-A new favourite game is "big hugs."  If Sprout is across the room we hold out our arms and say, "Big hug?" and she'll run across the room as fast as her little legs can carry her to give us big hugs around our neck.  I don't know who loves this game the most.  

-She's been more into playing with dolls lately.  The Bean has a baby doll that she's taken to pushing around in the stroller.  She has her lovey doll and will hug and give her kisses.  She'll also bounce and shush dolls.  I wonder where she learned that. ;)

-She also loves playing with balls, especially the big ball we have, which comes up to about her waist.  She'll happily chase, toss and kick it around for quite a while.  

-Her absolute favourite gross motor activity is probably still climbing though.  She has figured out how to get up onto our dining room chairs.  She can also climb up onto the big stool.  She's surprisingly quick and fortunately nimble.  No big falls yet.  (Though I know that by saying that I am asking for trouble.)

-Fine motor wise she's really taken an interest in a toy we have with switches, buttons, etc. that makes little bugs pop up.  She loves the actual light switches on the walls to, and she has to flick them on and off at least a dozen times before we can leave a room.  She's also started using crayons to colour (scribble).  Like with other things, she can get quite demanding when she sees the crayons and decides it's time to colour.  

-She keeps picking up new words.  Jen noted that they can be easy to miss if you're not really paying attention, which is true.  She often tries to repeat words I've said/read. This list will be far from complete, but some of the words that come to mind are banana, shoes, apple, woof, meow (when she sees a cat), bubble noises (when she sees a fish), light, off, hot ("haa!"), dip, hop, banana, hello, hi, Ma, her brother's name and his nickname, and others I am sure...

-She understands quite a lot too.  The Bean loves that he can give her instructions and that she will do what he asks.  Admittedly, it can be rather entertaining.    

-She's still enjoying lift-the-flap books.  We read a lot of Peek-a-Boo Kisses this month.  

-She loves being sung to.  She's really been enjoying action songs like Skidamarink and Head and Shoulders.  She also loves Round and Round the Garden... especially when I tickle her!

-Eating is going well.  She really seems to be taking an interest in what we're eating and often refuses her baby food in favour of what is on our plates.  She'll nod or shake her head to indicate what she wants.  She loves dipping into humus, dips, maple syrup (as a treat), etc.  She also loves drinking water from a glass.  She constantly asks for bananas and often only eats about 1/4 of them.  She LOVES cheese.  And crackers.  And Cheerios.  And all those typical "baby" foods.

-We've turned a bit of a corner with sleep.  For the past few weeks she has been settling herself back down when she wakes in the night, and overall it seem like her night-waking has decreased.  She is usually up between 4:30-5:30am and Jen will move out to the couch so and I will nurse her and put her back in the pack'n'play for an hour or so.  After that if I want her to stay "asleep" I pretty much have to keep her in bed with me.  Once she's decided she's up, it's very hard to convince her to settle back down.  She's still doing two naps, but if necessary we can get away with giving her just one.  

-The past week or so she's been chomping on her fingers even more than usual.  We're pretty sure that her two bottom lateral incisors are on their way.  The one on her right seems particularly close to popping through, but our past experience with her teething lead me to believe I may be saying the same thing in the next monthly update.  

-She went to daycare for the first time on her fourteen month "birthday."  I got called in for a job, so she went in with The Bean.  He was SO happy.  I was kind of emotional.  The report home was that she made it through the day with only a few tears when they woke her from her (only) nap.  Why they woke her from her nap, I don't really understand, but whatever.  She look pretty red-eyed when I picked her up, but she wasn't crying and she hung in there until bedtime, which was only slightly earlier than usual.  She'll go in again at the end of this week, so we'll see how she does for round two.  

-The daycare provider was saying how ready she is to be with other children, etc.  I know she would enjoy being with kids and the different activities, but if I'm home she'll be staying with me.  

She's definitely enjoying more "big kid" things and it's really amazing to watch her and help her navigate all that.  She is a loving, silly, willful, delightful little girl.  We love her to bits.  


Some outtakes from her monthly photos, because I just couldn't resist. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.


The Bean:  This doll, "Juliette Croissant," was a birthday gift for Sprout.  The Bean loves her.  
Sprout:  These glasses were a part of a doctor's kit that The Bean got for his birthday.  Sprout loves them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

{this moment} a neighbourhood walk with a small and very eclectically dressed raccoon

A Friday ritual. A single photo  - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I know it's not just me who's feeling the relentlessness of this winter.  Generally speaking I like winter, but this year it seems like it's never going to end.  Sprout is just getting stable on her feet, and while I'd love to take her out and let her walk around our quiet neighbourhood streets, or find a park with a nice path, there's too much snow and ice and slush for that to be a possibility.  She also seems to have inherited my sensitive skin, so if there's even the slightest bit of wind or a chill in the air her cheeks are bright red and chapped within minutes.  I feel like The Bean has been feeling cooped up too.  He's been spending a lot of time indoors both at daycare and at home, which is not easy for him.  He likes to move far too much to be content in closed areas.  But again, the weather isn't making it easy to get him outside.  This weekend we did driveway bike riding in snowpants.

Spring cannot come soon enough.

I'm also feeling the busy monotony of being a SAHM.  There's always plenty to do, but it's not the most engaging.  I love, love, love spending time with kids, but really the only thing I do love about it.  I'm ready to be working again, but job postings seem few and far between with a lot of competition for the few positions that do come up.  I've started subbing at one school, but they don't call often.  In fact, it's been nearly a month since I was in.  I've tried to get on other school's sub lists, but they must be set for the year, as most of my calls have not even been returned.  I miss the classroom.  I miss teaching.  And I really, really miss the kids.  I feel the emptiness of not having these things as a part of my life more than I expected to, and I expected to, so that's saying something.

I feel like I do a lot of complaining, and I really hate that.  (I know, complaining about complaining, please humour me.)  I love so many things about my life and am bursting with gratitude for them.  Especially the three main ones.  I mean, how I ever got so fortunate to have these people in my life, I just don't know.  They're amazing.

Maybe I should just bundle that baby up and go outside when she gets up from her nap.  Chapped cheeks are not so horrible, right?

Sunday, February 16, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.

The Bean:  Did not want me taking his photo this week, but agreed to posing so I could take one of his tattoo.

Sprout: Starting to do so many things independently.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's the Love You Give Along the Way

You can talk a great philosophy
But if you can't be kind to people every day
It doesn't mean that much to me
It's the little things you do
The little things you say
It's the love you give along the way.
                                                                        -Ani DiFranco, Looking for the Holes

This week started off badly.  

I've been extremely stressed about our finances.  On Sunday I was checking our banking online and noticed that I'd bounced not one, but two cheques.  This NEVER happens to us.  And really it shouldn't have happened this time either.  I had been moving money around and somehow the cheques got processed in the short time between money being transferred into the correct account.  I called the bank and they agreed to reverse one of the NSF charges, but we still got stuck paying for the other one plus having to rewrite the cheques and pay their NSF charges.  Grr. 

Then on Monday I decided to keep the car for the day.  I offered to drive Jen into work so that she wouldn't be concerned about getting there on time and so I could get an extra 20 minutes of time with her.  Anyway, on the way back home after dropping her off at the office I smashed the side view mirror off of the car.  Again, it shouldn't have happened.  I was on a side street driving (well) below the speed limit, but there were trucks from a construction site parked along the right side of the road and a woman pulled out of her driveway on the oncoming lane as I was driving by, so I tried to pull over so she could get by (not that she was giving me much of a choice) and sideswiped one of the trucks.  I was SO mad.  I got out to check what had happened.  Fortunately the only damage was to our car.  Not worth reporting to insurance, but still going to cost a few hundred bucks to fix.  Then, as I was talking to the owner of the truck a woman in a car behind mine started blasting her horn and rolled down her window to yell at me to get out of the way.  I told her she was going to have to wait a minute.  Her mature response, "No!  YOU have to wait."  I took my sweet time walking back around to the driver's side and driving home.  Not my finest moment, but really, as if she couldn't see I was already having a shitty day.  

And that got me thinking.  Had she shown some semblance of compassion in that moment I probably would have left feeling at least a little less shitty.  It may have made her commute a few minutes longer (if that), but she probably would have felt better too.  We chose how we are going to react to a situation, and this choice can pretty significantly effect our emotional state and potentially the emotional state of others.  

There's been a "kindness initiative" going around on Facebook.  I signed up on my friend's wall.  The gist of it is that you sign up and your friend promises to do something kind for you at some point during the year if you promise to extend the offer on to five more people.  I think it's a really nice idea.  I've even already done something kind for one of the people who responded to me.  

But here's the thing of it, it's easy to be kind to friends.  I want my friends to be happy.  I'm happy when I can do something that brightens their day.  I don't have the same investment in some random stranger's happiness.  But that's not to say that they couldn't use something to brighten their day too.  An act as small as that woman asking if I was okay rather than yelling at me to get out of the way would have made a big difference to how I felt earlier this week.  

Later in the week I was corresponding with someone (also on Facebook) about a toy they were looking to buy used.  I didn't end up having what she wanted, but after we'd established that, she wrote one final message saying thanks again, and "Off topic but your cover pic is beautiful! Lovely fam." My cover photo is one of me and Jen with the two kids. It's not the best photo, but I love it because it's the four of us together. I never really thought about people other than my friends seeing it when I changed it, but her noticing it and then commenting on it meant so much to me. More than she would have ever thought, I'm sure.

So I have a new kindness initiative for myself: Try to do something kind for people that I don't know. Even if it's just something small, like commenting on how well behaved their child is in the check out line at the grocery store or holding a door open for someone.  

I think the world could use more kindness. Don't you?

Sunday, February 9, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.

The Bean:  Dino jammies.  Shades.  Air guitar.  (Rocking out to his new favourite song --Long Haul Driver, by Luke Doucet.)

Sprout: So beautiful when she sleeps.  It still takes a while to help her get there though.

Friday, February 7, 2014

{this moment} a real page turner

A Friday ritual. A single photo  - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sprout is Thirteen Months Old!

Today Sprout is Thirteen Months Old!

Okay, so she's not thirteen months old today, but going on ten days ago... I did actually take her photo on the 24th, but the writing, well it just didn't happen until a few days ago, and the posting, well that's just happening now.  It's been busy here, I suppose.

What an amazing difference a year makes!  Last year we were just getting to know our daughter.  Soaking in all her lovely newborn-ness.  Trying to figure out ourselves as a family of four and now... well now we cannot imagine our family any other way.  We have two increasingly-active children who are so wonderful and bring us so much joy, and who happily seem to adore one another.  That makes us happier than anything.

-This month Sprout decided it was time to start walking in earnest.  She took her first unassisted step, and then two, and then three... and now she's walking across the room.  Still a little unsteady, but fiercely determined!  This girl has places to go and has decided that walking is how she's going to get there!

-Next: talking.  She's quite a little chatterbox these days.  She added the phrase "ni ni" (night night) into her vocabulary.  I was floored one evening when I was nursing her, and she unlatched looked and me and said it --clearly meaning "I am done nursing now.  Rock me night night."  So I did.  I mean, that's what you do when your kid makes a request like that, right?  She now says night night pretty much every time she's going to sleep and when she's being silly and putting her head down pretending to sleep.  She says "bye bye".  And also "eyes" and "nose" and she even can point to them pretty accurately, along with her belly.  She sometimes finds her mouth, ears, hair/head, hands and feet.  She says her brother's name.  And I swear she has copied me saying some pretty amazing words like "alligator."  (Jen didn't believe me either, but then Sprout said it for her.)

-Along with walking she is climbing everything.  Totally dangerous in our not-so-baby-proof house.  She's fallen many times but never walked away with more than a bump, thank goodness.

-This month she has gotten really into books.  She will pick one she wants and bring it over to either me or Jen, often crawling her way into our laps while we read to her.  (Yes, we love it.)  Her favourites seem to be interactive books (touch and feel, lift the flap, and the like --Dear Zoo and Where Is Baby's Belly Button come to mind).  She likes to turn the pages really quickly.

-Her favourite toys are balls, the tunnel and ride on toys.  Nothing new there really.

-No big change on the eating front.  We're into a pretty regular breakfast routine now, where she eats her rice cereal while me and The Bean eat our breakfasts.  She often demands that we share cereal with her.  I don't love that she's eating Cheerios and Honeycombs, but it could be worse.  She's getting pretty good with finger foods now and will often have little bites of our meals --veggies, fish, etc.

-Unfortunately there hasn't been any big change on the sleep front either.  We had gotten her on a bit of a better overnight schedule, but then Jen went away and it went back to where it had been or worse maybe.  We're still working on it.

-We had her twelve month check up earlier in January.  She hardly gained any weight since her 9 month check (21.9lbs to 22.1lbs), but had grown two inches (now 30.9in).  I believe that puts her around 84th percentile for weight and 93rd for height.  I find it interesting that our two kids are on such opposite ends of the spectrum (though both seem to be averaging out ever so slightly).

And, I guess those are the big updates.  I love this age and look forward to the next few months as she continues to expand her ability to communicate and otherwise navigate her way through the world.  And of course, we just love her, no matter what age or stage she is at.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.

The Bean:  I could listen to him laugh all day.
Sprout:  Enjoying some water play on a too-cold-to-go-outside winter day.