Two Months: Too Cute!

We've hit the two month mark and things have been great! I really didn't know what it would be like to have two kids to care for, especially with one being a newborn, but I'm pleased to say it has been better than I had anticipated. Of course there are bumps and challenges (oh, the dual meltdowns!) but I feel like we've really hit our stride and this is our new normal.

On to the Little Man!

Sometimes I feel like Max is a lot older than he really is (and not just because I think he's way bigger than Ben was at the same age) but then there are also times when I wonder how eight weeks have already gone by since he arrived. He's still so new and yet the three month sleepers are going into storage bins now too! I love that he still has the milky newborn smell and fuzzy little ears. His silky fine hair is thickening up a bit in the back but is still super soft. He holds his head up, turns it from side to side with ease and supports his whole weight on his legs. Max loves to cuddle (yay!) and often finds himself snoozing on my chest. In fact, he's doing just that right now as I type. His little hands love to grab on tight to a shirt or a shoulder whenever we hold him and that's how he prefers to be too,...right in the action with the rest of us.

My favourite part of this phase right now is how smiley he is. I really enjoy our little cooing conversations in the morning even if they include some loud rumblings from below too, haha. Temperament wise Max is pretty chill and only really gets fussy when he's hungry or is in his car seat. He's a great eater but still has to master the suck, swallow, breathe routine when drinking from a bottle. Pretty sure he'd spend the majority of his day snacking if it were completely up to him, ha!

Big Brother Ben likes to give lots of kisses to Max and will happily dispose dirty diapers. Ben willl often say, 'Hi Dee Dee" (slang for Little Brother in Cantonese) whenever he sees Max in the room and is starting show/share some of his favourite dinosaurs as well. I sure look forward to seeing how their relationship develops over time. Always good to have a sibling to stir up trouble and create life-long memories with.

We had another busy month with holiday preparations and the sort. Danny got to show off his boys at a coworker's Christmas Party, we feasted on Indian food at a neighbourhood get-together, attended an Elmo-themed birthday party and spread some cheer at a cousin's annual holiday part. We spent an afternoon at the Banff Springs hotel 'just because', battled some intense snowstorms and basically just enjoyed time with friends and extended family. Feeling really good about the weeks ahead.

And with that, it's time to put this guy down to bed as he's fallen asleep.

Sweet dreams little one!


Gingerbread House

A mid-week trip to our favourite castle in the Rockies afforded us the opportunity to snap some photos in front of this beauty. I could barely believe it was real but it certainly was. So impressed.

Hope you're having fun getting festive too!



Despite the fact that Halloween was over nearly a month ago, Ben keeps saying 'Halloween' (with special emphasis on the WEEN) every time he sees any sort of outdoor house lights or decorations. As you can imagine, most decorations in the neighbourhood at this point are of the Christmas and holiday variety so we're working on the word 'Christmas' now. It has yet to take.

Ho! Ho! Ho! is rather easy to master, however.

Anyway, here's a little picture of our Sushi Chef and his little Sashimi creation from last month's festivities. So before we officially retire the word for 2013, Happy HalloWEEN!


One Month: That was Fast!

Mr Max is one month old and what a wonderful month it has been. As any parent can attest, the time just flies by like crazy. I can't believe I'm already writing up the monthly posts again so let's get started!

First of all let me say that I love the newborn stage. It's as though the babies know that mom needs time to recover and figure things out so they are usually pretty chill and 'easy' at the beginning. Max has been such a joy. He had his days and nights a bit backwards at first but seems to have settled into a pretty good schedule now. He's got a voracious appetite and would probably nurse during all of his waking hours if it was up to him. As you can see, he's not a small boy! I haven't officially weighed him in a while but I would guess somewhere between 10-11lbs. We have already packed away at least ten sleepers and outfits as he's grown well the 3 month variety now. He loves to be right in the action with everyone so prefers to be held and cuddled rather than be in his bassinet. That's okay with me (for now) because I love snuggling with my sweet little boy! They certainly don't stay little for long.

We were fortunate to have my folks here to help out during the first few days which was very nice for the adjustment period. Big Brother Ben loved the extra attention and kept them very busy. We made sure to venture out to the mountains (I missed them!) and get outside for walks through the woods as much as possible before the snow hit... and it sure did! We celebrated Halloween, visited with Danny's family before they jetted off to Asia, had a few playdates with friends, hosted my sister for a weekend and are basically back in the swing of things. Max is more than happy to come along for the ride and we're obviously thrilled to have him with us!

I have to say that I'm much more relaxed the second time around. Of course there are ups and downs and we're still figuring out the balance of having two but I also know how quickly things change and how important it is to enjoy the imperfect moments (because perfection doesn't exist!) I continuously tell myself to savour, savour, savour so have been trying hard to do just that.

Gosh, we are so blessed!



Crossing things off the Summer Bucket List

With summertime almost wrapping up (tear) and school about to begin, it was no surprise that the highways were packed with people heading out for their last chance to enjoy the mountains. We were no exception. Despite the crowds and traffic we still took the opportunity to enjoy our little slice of the wilderness. Weather wise it couldn't have been more perfect, and hey, the scenery aint that bad either.

We headed out west to Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park. All of the picnic tables were long-since occupied so we made do with Mother Nature's assortment of fallen logs. You know what? I kind of liked it even better!

There were plenty of trails and paths to explore. Ben had so much fun romping around, picking up sticks, pointing out trees and spending time with his Grandma.

We stopped in Canmore on our way back home to eat at one of our favourite restaurants in the area, Crazy Weed. Would highly recommend the calamari. Never disappoints!

We were all pretty exhausted on the way home but were so grateful to have crossed another item off our summer bucket list.


Summer Days

Ben and I made a trip to my parents' house for a couple weeks in August. It was a great opportunity for our boy to get spoiled, me to get a bit of a break while baby #2 continues to bake and Danny to live the 'bachelor' life back at home.

Here are a few snapshots from our adventures.

Running along the dock and looking at muskrats swimming in the water.

Cooking on an open fire and enjoying some s'mores.

Swinging with his cousins and playing in the open fields.

A Mother-Daughter date at a local restaurant downtown.

Plenty of adventures to be had in the backyard complete with fresh raspberries right from the garden.

A day trip to Great Grandma's house and a chance to reminisce about my own childhood.

Not surprisingly, there aren't any photos of me as I'm pretty much behind the lens the whole time. But that's okay too. Let's be honest - this trip was mostly for Ben and his Grandparents anyway, haha! We had such an enjoyable time and although Danny missed us quite a bit we all agreed that it was a great way to spend some of our summer days.  Perhaps we'll make it a yearly trip!


Prairie Girl at Heart

I grew up on the prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan with many fond memories of big skies and open fields. As I grew older though, my heart lusted after the beautiful Rocky Mountain ranges and I knew that's where I was headed. Years later and I'm still mesmerized by the majestic beauty of those peaks.

That being said, when I saw this beautiful canola field on a recent road trip I just knew we would have to stop. Fortunately my dad was on hand to capture a few shots.

Nothing quite like the vibrant colours of a canola field in the peak of summer! Definitely a little prairie girl still in me.


Fort Edmonton Park

A few weeks ago we spent some time in Edmonton just hanging out as families do.  We were hoping to visit with some friends and cousins but it seemed that the sickness bug decided to visit them first. So, we had an opportunity to fill our time in other ways. A quick search on Trip Advisor directed us to Fort Edmonton Park for a little walk through history.

Choo Choo! First of all we boarded the train which took us back through time to the 1860's. We visited an old fort that used to be a major trading hub for the Natives and Europeans. Most of the log cabins were surprisingly cool despite the scorching temperatures outside. I tell you, these people knew what they were doing before a/c and electricity were even an option. Our own 'modern' home is definitely not as forgiving in the summer heat.

One of my favourite stops was the actual trading post. We learned about the different furs that were traded and what sort of goods they could be traded for. Although having never actually touched different pelts before, we sure felt like experts after this lesson.

As the day continued, we walked through models of different streets through various eras (1900's, 1920's etc.) Most of the stores and home structures were actually originals, re-built on site. The horses, barn animals and subsequent smells, however, were a little fresher.

I'm a sucker for vintage advertising, having studied it quite extensively through various forms in my University days. That and the plain fact that Danny likes his carbonated beverages from time to time.

The last stop was a 1920's midway. We didn't stay long as the clouds were threatening to open up and some people weren't quite tall enough for the ferris wheel anyway. Maybe next year buddy!


Centre Island: Beach Bums

Our day on Centre Island started with a picnic under the trees and a trip to Centreville's Far Away Farms and Amusement Park.

At this point of the day Ben had a great nap in the stroller while we walked along the boardwalk and through the various parks. People were walking their dogs, riding their bikes, having picnics and playing frisbee. To me, this is the stuff weekends should be made of... at least as often as is possible.

We settled by the North shore for a while and watched the gulls and swans swimming in the water. Too cold for my taste but I did get my toes wet. 

An hour or so later, Ben woke up and decided it was time to get his feet sandy as well. Thankfully he wasn't nearly as interested in eating it (unlike our time in Hawaii where he literally devoured fist-fulls of the stuff).

I never did grow up by a large body of water but can definitely see the appeal. Here's hoping we can get in lots of beach time in the weeks to come!

What a great day with the family on Centre Island.


Centre Island: Far Away Farm & Centreville

Our adventures on Toronto's Centre Island continued after our morning picnic under the trees.

Another treat for us was Far Away Farms. We're not quite at the stage where animals are more interesting then say, a leaf, but we stopped to look anyway. I think Ben was really happy to be able to run around and explore.

We stopped to look at a donkey, a goat, some bunnies and a dairy cow. Some smelled better than others, haha.

Next we ventured off to the little amusement park in Centreville. I wasn't sure if Ben would be interested in any of the rides (or if he was even tall enough to ride any in the first place) but we soon discovered that he was in luck. Danny's not a big fan of rides, unlike myself who loves them, but because baby #2 is on the way I got to play the role of photographer while Danny 'took one for the team'. Really, how bad could the kiddy rides be though?

Obviously things turned out okay for the both of them.

After all that activity was time for lunch. At first we stopped for a couple pieces of pizza but while en route to a picnic table we were literally dive-bombed by a seagull and our lunch was no longer ours. I'm serious - feathers in the hair, trays knocked out of hands, pizza on the ground, feast for a dozen crazy seagulls. Totally took us by surprise but what could you do but laugh? I would have snapped a picture but all evidence was gone in a matter of seconds.

Here was lunch v2.0. Very well shielded when walking to another picnic table by the way.

Hotdogs and fries on a sunny day in June. Life is good.


Center Island: Picnic

This past week we flew back to Toronto to attend Danny's cousin's daughter's graduation. Got that? The ceremony itself was only a one-day event so we decided to make a trip of it and revisit some of the places that we used to frequent when we lived there just eleven months ago. Seems like so much time has passed since then.

We stayed in the downtown core, just a few blocks from where our old condo was, as it was most accessible for us. It didn't take me long to remember just how brutal traffic is during rush hour (I definitely don't miss that AT ALL). Ben was so much more aware of all the activity going on around him. At some points we had to peek into the stroller to make sure he was still there - he was so quiet and observant. But all that hustle and bustle had me craving some quiet time, something more relaxed and slow-paced. Centre Island would fit the bill.

It was warm (but not too hot) the bugs were virtually non-existent (what?) and the sun was shining. What a perfect day for some family time. Ben loved running around in the open green space and found lots of interesting things in the tree trunks. I can see these guys climbing trees in no time.

We had stopped at Starbucks on the way down and grabbed some drinks, sandwiches, and a protein bistro box. Did I mention how much our kid loves cheese? Perfect for a morning picnic.

I felt like we had the whole park to ourself. So many trees, lots of dry grass and plenty of open space. It was so nice to get in some family time. Loving summer!


Our 'Other' Latest Project

We're halfway there baby! 
Cannot wait to meet and cuddle with you this fall.

Mommy, Daddy and Big Brother Ben


Memorial Day Wedding

Danny and I headed down to Phoenix this past weekend to celebrate the wedding of our very good friends. They have been living in Arizona for the last two years while working on a Neuroradiology Fellowship and Post Grad Degree in Education. You may recall we visited them (with Ben in tow) a few months ago. But this time it was just the two of us; a quick little getaway for some sun and fun.

We stayed at a lovely golf resort which is sort of ironic in that neither of us actually golf. Even if we did, however, I thought it was too hot to hit the links anyway. So we sat on a patio and sipped on nice cold beverages instead, ha! Even after brunch I had to retreat to our air conditioned suite to cool off. This Canadian girl isn't used to 38'C weather (triple digits 'F).

The wedding itself was in the evening at a quaint restaurant surrounded by luscious gardens and beautifully lit trees. It was a small intimate gathering of family and close friends. Very relaxed and calm - full of love. There were so many thoughtful details to take in (which I apparently didn't photograph) but appreciated nonetheless. All around it was just so enjoyable. Hearts feeling full.

We were honoured to be able to celebrate with our good friends and are equally as excited to have them return home soon.

Happy Memorial Day to all our American friends!