Monday, March 24, 2014


So I may have totally jumped the gun on this whole spring thing. Jinxed it. As I mentioned, we Calgarians are all guilty of this. it really so bad to be hopeful, even blindly optimistic that Mother Nature might do us a solid and give in to the inevitable shift to warmer temperatures? I don't think so. I'd rather play the fool in flip flops before all of the piles of snow have melted than play the pessimist.
Thankfully, we have a beautiful inner-city oasis in Calgary where spring blooms year round. The Devonian Gardens is a nearby gem that to my regret, I have only recently discovered. Located inside our downtown shopping mall, the gardens offer a warm and naturally lit environment where everyone is welcome. You can follow meandering pathways to koi ponds, fountains, living walls of plants and hundreds of tropical trees and flowers. There is also an indoor playground! It felt so good to let Everett run free, a little taste of what we have to look forward to once the warm weather decides to stick around. Last summer, Ty and I were living in a haze of sleep deprivation and the myriad of worries brought on by new parenthood that we were barely able to enjoy the beautiful days and long evenings. We are so excited to actually experience summer this year - especially since we'll have the joy of experiencing it through Ev's eyes. Hopefully in a couple more weeks? Fingers crossed!

Friday, March 21, 2014


This dog. She was our first baby. To say we love her is an understatement. We adore her. She's made it clear that although our family has grown, she is still the queen bee. We're quite happy to indulge her in this. Who are we kidding? We really have no choice.
Junior turned 6 years old yesterday. She celebrated with a raw lamb dinner and tons of her favourite salmon treats. It's hard to believe that 6 years have passed since we brought Junior home. As some of you may know, a few months after we moved to Calgary, Juney was diagnosed with epilepsy. Along with seizures, Juney experiences heightened sensitivity to stressful situations and feels quite insecure outside of our home and in the presence of new people and dogs. It makes me sad when I compare California Juney to Calgary Juney. We still see the sweet, affectionate and quirky companion that she's always been...unfortunately our friends here haven't had the pleasure. She becomes afraid when strangers are near and will bark incessantly. We often have to move Juney upstairs when we have guests and refrain from taking her on the walks and adventures she used to love. We can't risk bringing on a disruptive and traumatic seizure.
Our loved ones worried about how Juney might react to the arrival of Everett. Ty and I didn't worry. We knew that as long as we loved him, Juney would quickly learn to love him as well. Our hearts shine when we see Juney and Everett lovingly interact. I know, I know, it sounds a bit dramatic to speak of a dog so sentimentally - but she is a fiercely devoted member of our clan and in our eyes deserves as much love and reverence as any of us.
Happy Birthday, Junior. We love you!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


This is what spring looks like in Calgary. We all hold our breath during these warm days in the months of March, April, May and even June. Is this it? Are we free to welcome spring with open arms? Or do we steel ourselves, ever pessimistic, with fear that we'll still have to endure at least one more frigid spell or record-breaking snowstorm? I prefer to dive into the weather head first. It was gorgeous this week. Everett and I went for 1, 2 sometimes even 3 walks a day! My friend Amanda and her precious twins, Ruby and Miles, joined us on Tuesday. Isn't Amanda ridiculously photogenic? She wasn't even wearing make up. And the cute!!! Coffee's in hand, we trekked through massive puddles, ice berms and mud slicks - nothing could stop us! Jackets were quickly shed and sunglasses a necessity. If it weren't for nap times and impending crankiness, we could've walked for hours. The sun is staying out later these days, filling the afternoons with a renewed energy. We can't wait to get used to this.
Stay, spring! We'll be real good to you, we promise!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Ode To Baby Led Weaning

Of all the parenting decisions we've made in the last 12 months, our decision to do BLW is one of the best. Both Ty and I agree that the 'baby led weaning' approach to feeding first foods has been a great choice for our family. Baby Led Weaning is an approach developed in the UK, but essentially is the way babies have been fed for centuries. Note: the term "wean" in the UK refers to the introduction of solid food, not the transition off of the breast. The general idea is that you offer solid finger foods in lieu of purees. I could bore you with the laundry list of amazing benefits that you and your child will experience if you choose BLW, but I'll just cut to the chase and share the most important tidbit - it's easy. Everett eats whatever we're having for dinner. Sometimes we modify it, but mostly he just gets a smaller serving of our meal. Everett gets to experience dinner with us, he witnesses exchanges in conversation, nonverbal communication and the closeness that sharing a meal can bring. We also love that we can bring Everett out to eat with us and not worry about packing separate food for him. We order specific things off of the menu for him, or he shares with us. We've never had an issue finding something appropriate for him to eat at a restaurant. Everett LOVES to eat. Anything and everything. Seriously. In his first week of BLW he ate avocados, cucumbers, chicken, waffles, salmon and spaghetti and he hasn't stopped since. Everett will try any food we offer, and the majority of the time he will clear his plate. I was such a fussy eater - for the first 18 years of my life I only ate white, orange and brown foods. I swear. Ask my mom! It's so important to us that Everett enjoys food and has an adventurous spirit when it comes to trying new things. So far so good.
If you're interested in learning more about BLW check out this site:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Our New Normal

The last few days have been a whirlwind. Life has a way of making you feel as though you're living in one of those crazy-busy-rushing-to-get-out-the-door family scenes in a movie. You know what I mean? Between my return to work, Ty's new schedule, Everett resisting his morning nap, a leaky (new) dishwasher and errands to run, I have barely had time to process my transition to 'semi stay-at-home mom'. My new work schedule allows me to stay home with Everett all day and go to work part time in the evening. This requires Ty to come home early to be with Ev. I love that they get their own time together. It's also kind of cool to be in my office and receive pictures of Everett from Ty, I like being on the other end. Ty had great success doing the bedtime routine solo and sent me a text at 7:30 letting me know that 'baby boy is fast asleep'. Adorable. He also let me know that Everett loved the enchiladas that I made for them ahead of time. Made me feel like mom/wife of the year!
Now that I have actual obligations in the evening I am trying to be a bit more on top of things like meals, dinner and housework and making myself look presentable. At the same time I'm trying to remind myself to enjoy my day and to slow down. I took advantage of a very early morning today and got some pictures of Everett being a goofball. One of my favourite things to do is to hang out on the floor and watch as Everett finds new ways to enjoy our home and his toys. His new preferred activity is climbing inside of anything and everything. He also loves anything that is not a toy, hence the bag of coffee beans. Every day is something new and it's awesome.
Note: black and white makes my kitchen linoleum a bit less heinous.
Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Year Is Up.

Everett's 1st birthday signifies another event in our lives: the end of my maternity leave. When I moved to Calgary almost 5 years ago, I had no clue that mothers in Canada were given 1 full year of maternity leave in which their job would be held for them and they would receive bi-weekly monetary benefits. This amazing perk of 'being Canadian' was the last thing on my radar as a 26 year old fresh out of graduate school. I can honestly say now that not a day goes by when I am not thankful to the Canadian government for honouring what I consider to be the greatest and most important time in my life. I feel lucky to live in a country that not only encourages healthy family bonding and breastfeeding, but has the sense to back it up and set families up for success by granting a year maternity, paternity or split leaves. I've already shared with you my sentiments on becoming a mother and the massive change I've experienced in the undertaking of this new role. I truly believe that a year was necessary in order for me to become the strong and confident mother that I consider myself to be today.
I have worked hard to become a counsellor, and I am looking forward to returning to my professional life and to continue helping families in  Calgary. I also love being a mom and having the ability to spend my days with Everett, being witness to his ever-changing curiosities and growing abilities. I echo many of my fellow mothers when I say that as much I love my job, I would choose staying home with Everett over anything else. For so many of us this is not an option. I am lucky to be part of an agency that is flexible and accommodating to families and has made space for me to return in a capacity that allows me to continue to spend most of my days with Everett. For this reason alone I will return to work today feeling optimistic, refreshed, fulfilled and motivated. I look forward to sharing with my clients my new perspective on life, the bit of wisdom I've gained through the tough months of early parenthood and some reflections on relationship communication. I do wonder how Ty and I will juggle mealtimes and nighttime solo-parenting, but we have a strong foundation to fall back on - one that took a year to build.