One Month: Lots of Firsts

Our little Ben is one month old and changing every day right before our eyes. It has been lots of fun getting to know his personality and figuring out how to do this parenting thing. I'm pleased to say it has been better than I had expected in many ways. We've still got lots to learn but overall I think we've got a good grasp on what to do... at least for now.

Ben's happy spending his day alternating between eating, sleeping, digesting and taking in this new world. He's awake more often than he was in the first few days and makes lots of loud groaning and grunting sounds even when sound asleep. Speaking of which, sleep has been okay with Danny and I alternating shifts at night. I wasn't expecting it to be a breeze but it hasn't been horrible either. We even had a couple nights, recently, where we've gone four hour stretches between feedings. Ben has already grown out of his newborn sleepers and is filling out the 3-month variety. According to our lactation consultant, he is now over 9 lbs and has a good latch. Way to go! I was finding it really painful to nurse but we're slowly making progress. Apart from a few fussy periods each day, Ben's a pretty content little guy and is happy to come along on whatever adventure we have planned for the day. 

Being that he is only one month old, there were a lot of firsts. Our first visitors were Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Kelly but we also enjoyed a visit from our good friend, Gina, for a few days. We rang in a new year not once but twice. We saw our first snowfall, rainfall, and a few sunny days in between. First gummy smiles appeared in the early days and are continuing to pop up here and there. We've gone out to a few restaurants (the first being a noisy one in Chinatown where Ben slept through it all like a champ) and had our first 'playdate' with a 2-year old friend from Australia.

I love our little man so much. His noisy grunts, his drawn out groans, his gummy smiles, and all the little expressions in-between have provided endless entertainment for these new parents. Can't wait to see what month two will bring!


Gung Hay Fat Choy - 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Welcome the year of the Dragon! According to my extensive research (cough cough) the dragon is the fifth sign in the Chinese Horoscope and signifies luck. 

Now I'm not one to give much attention to horoscopes or zodiacs but I thought it would be fun to look at the supposed characteristics each of us have according to the year we were born on the Chinese calendar.

Danny: The Rooster
Characteristics - Roosters are very loyal individuals. They do not like dishonesty or mockery of any sort. They are blunt, up front and honest people and expect those around them to be the same. Roosters are happiest when they are surrounded by others, at a party or just a social gathering. They even enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charisma and wit in a minute (hmmm, that's a bit of a stretch!). Roosters are more motivated than most other animal signs, making their careers a priority in their lives. They are hard working, flexible individuals able to stick to the given tasks. They are generally successful individuals who reach the top of their chosen professions.

Rooster Parents - Roosters are quite protective of their children, always nurturing them and caring for them. Sometimes they can be a bit overprotective in trying to keep them safe. They are known to be very strict with their children demanding respect not only for others, but for their environments and surroundings. Rooster parents will absolutely not tolerate bad manners and are caught up in the way their children represent them when they're not there.

Laurel: The Ox
Characteristics - Pragmatic and down-to-earth, Ox people are motivated to work hard and have no respect for lazy or careless people. Although they can be easily trusted and find it easy to put trust in others, they are not dependent on friends and family and would rather find an answer or a solution themselves than to ask these people for help or guidance. However, others can, without a doubt rely on Oxen, who are always honest and meticulous about their responsibilities. Although they do not feel the need for many distant or acquaintance-oriented friendships, they value the strong bonds they share with their partners and families, and make close friends that last a lifetime. The Ox is a lover of stability, a great traditionalist and a homemaker. Rarely would you expect an Ox to be an extrovert pleasure seeker. They are happiest in the peace of their own home territory.

Ox Parents - Oxen make very protective parents. They'll unselfishly work their fingers to the bone to provide a thriving, happy and secure home where their children feel safe. In return, however, the Oxen mother and father demand that their youngsters be courteous, respectful and polite. A good education is extremely important and showing rebellion is the fastest way to be punished in the Oxen household.

Benjamin: The Rabbit
Characteristics - Rabbits, like their animal counterparts, are quite calm people who do not exhibit aggressive behaviour and will avoid confrontation at all costs. When angry about something, a Rabbit will approach it calmly and considerately, hardly ever raising his voice or becoming visibly annoyed. He is intelligent, quick and can talk himself in or out of most situations with no problem. The Chinese Rabbit is one of the most stylish creatures and finds interest in different cultures. He is classy and sophisticated and loves to express himself. A Rabbit's determination can affect their work as they are known to immerse themselves in projects, business and personal. Rabbits thrive on promotions and raises at work. They work to see their efforts rewarded and take pride in their statuses and titles. They are loyal, hard-workers, although not showy in their endeavours.

Rabbit Children - Young Rabbits are very sensitive children. They are especially close to their mothers and maintain a wonderfully close relationship with them throughout their lives (haha, score!). They are desperate for stability and routine and require a sort of scheduling to do their best work. Like the adult Rabbit, Rabbit children are likely to be quite interested in the arts, particularly music, a subject in which most thrive.


Interesting! I can't really say any of us are an archetype of our Chinese Horoscope but there are a few fun similarities. Of course we can't say much about Ben as a Rabbit right now as his personality hasn't really emerged too much yet, but it is fun to read up about it.

Do you like reading your horoscope or zodiac? Serious follower or just for fun?

* summarized content from here.



Holiday Recap (and photo dump)

Whoa - it has been a while. I could use the new baby as an excuse for my lack of posting but that would only be partially accurate. Truth of the matter is we've been pretty busy lately. 2012 has proven to be a great year so far. But before we get too much into those events I want to do a quick recap of our holiday season. Better late then never I guess.

Because we were anticipating an extra special arrival this season we hosted close to home this year. It was just a small gathering (my parents and sister) and they arrived in time for Christmas Eve. I didn't worry about doing too much cooking or baking before hand because I knew I'd have plenty of help.

My mom made some pies using an old family recipe. This year's vote was for the lemon meringue and strawberry rhubarb variety. Baba's red and white pie plate was brought out for the occasion.

We ate a large meal of roast ham and scalloped potatoes with all the fixings. For dessert we indulged in the freshly baked pies. They were so delicious that we had partially eaten them before I remembered to take an 'after' shot. Whoops! After tidying up the kitchen we tucked ourselves into bed.

Christmas morning was bright and sunny. We ate a nice wife-saver breakfast together and then retired to the living room to open gifts. I made some makeshift stockings which proved to be a success and fortunately Santa didn't seem to mind either.

After another afternoon of cooking and lavish turkey dinner to boot (do you detect a theme here?) we cracked open the Scrabble board which I bought for Danny and played the inaugural game. It was fun to see the competitive sides come out in full force!

The next day I had a baby! (separate post to come).

Before we knew it New Year's Eve had arrived. Things were pretty low key for fairly obvious reasons but we still did ring in 2012 with a bit of festivity. Having our newest little family member to celebrate made it a NYE we will always remember!

Hope the first few weeks of 2012 have been treating you well too!



90 Years Young!

Just a quick post to wish my dear Grandmother a very Happy 90th Birthday. You have been such an inspiration to us all and I'm so grateful to be part of your family. I hope to live my life with the same grace and dignity that you have with yours.

We can't wait to visit you again soon.

Sending so much love your way,
Laurel, Danny and Ben.