We had some very scary dinosaurs visit our house this morning. Ben's been obsessed with the prehistoric giants for months and Max is basically thrilled to participate alongside his big brother in any capacity.



We'll just pretend the whole experience wasn't like this most of the time, haha.

Happy Halloween!


Twelve Months: Our Birthday Boy!

Our littlest baby boy is one year old!

What a delight it was to capture this little series for Max's first year; just as we did for big brother Ben's first year. I'll admit that it wasn't always 'easy' (read: photo shoots became more 'dynamic' each progressing month) but I enjoyed it all the same.

Mr. Max is officially one year old. These past twelve months have gone by lightning fast (although I can't say the same about the night shifts). Just as Ben shaped and transformed our hearts so has Max made a wonderful impression on our lives. We are so fortunate to have two healthy, beautiful, and happy boys.

When I reflect on the past year I feel like we have been really blessed. Max was generally a pretty chill baby who didn't feel the need to throw us too many curveballs or yank our chains too hard. Max, being our second child, meant more confident and laid back parents, an older brother to provide extra loving, and a general understanding that 'everything is a phase so either enjoy or endure as need be'. We certainly were busier and more exhausted but I feel like I was able to savour this go around a bit more than the first time.

Max's personality is really starting to shine. He is a really sweet, energetic Mama's boy who loves to be included in anything and everything we are doing. He's constantly taking note of what Ben is doing and often mimics him too. It's wonderful to see the boys play together, usually 'nicely', and their fits of giggles are very infectious. He loves story time at breakfast with Ben & Mom and bath time in the evening with Ben & Dad. Max is good at exploring on his own too. He will crawl up the staircase to the train table and make a royal mess of the place. Then he'll make his way to the couch where he'll grab every cushion and throw it onto the floor. But I will give him credit when it comes to cleaning up; the kid is almost as good at putting things back as he is destroying them, haha.

Right from birth Max was a big boy and he has remained that way ever since. He's definitely leaner but certainly still mighty solid, giving my arms a good workout every day. He's been wearing size 5 diapers for months and dons mostly 12-18Month clothes. That being said, I popped a few of Ben's size 2Yr sweaters in his closet and Max can fill those out pretty well too. He's a fast crawler but prefers to climb and walk along furniture whenever possible. He's starting to walk while holding on to just one hand but isn't stable enough to stand on his own for more than a few seconds yet. He's got nearly 7 teeth (top four incisors and bottom 2, almost 3).

One thing that surprised us about Max this month is that his hair, which has been very minimal up to this point, is actually curly! Who would have thought? He's got a couple little wings behind each ear and the rest is rather suggestible when tousled. I don't know if it will stick around or not but it sure was a delight we didn't expect!

Max is still a great eater and a horrible sleeper. I guess we can't have it all, right? Positives first - it is a real relief to know that our boy will eat basically everything we do and that (knock-on-wood) we haven't encountered any allergies yet. His favourite food is definitely yogurt; he kicks and squeals every time I bring out a cup for him. Rice, protein of any sort, fruit, and cheerios are also a hit. Bananas took a back seat this month but perhaps will return to our regular rotation again soon. We still have the occasional nursing session, but mostly just for comfort at this point. I'm so thankful I don't have to stress too much about the food department and hope it remains this way for some time! Now for our big challenge, sleep. We still have multiple wake ups at night and these can last from 2 minutes to 2 hours in length. Danny and I take turns getting up but I'm starting to notice slightly longer stretches developing and pray these are the steps to progress. It's been a year and we have yet to sleep through the night (yes, we) but we'll get there, eventually.

Poor nights aside, we've had a great month as a family. We attended birthday parties, visited a petting zoo and pumpkin patch, went to Heritage Park, visited with both sets of Grandparents, celebrated Thanksgiving, and had a few playdates. We watched the leaves fall off the trees and enjoyed some new recipes (maybe I'll finally take to cooking?) Max's first birthday party was a real highlight with a little woodland picnic theme surrounded by family and friends. The month has been cozy and settled and comfortable, just like our little family of four has become.

What a privilege it has been to have you join our family and watch you grow these past twelve months, little Max. We love you fiercely and are so looking forward to many more years to come!

Love you so much Max! Happy Birthday!


A Birth Day

In a few hours, our baby boy turns one. Right now though, he's curled up (almost) sleeping in my arms while I type. His legs are bent at the knees, half resting on my lap half draped over the arm of the rocking chair. I used to be able to cradle him in the crook of one arm but that didn't last for long. He has grown into such a wonderful little boy, our beloved Max.

I remember the days leading up to his birth quite vividly. The leaves were falling, the air was crisp, the seasons were changing, and we were awaiting the change in our own family. What would this new baby be like? Would he look like his big brother, Ben? Would he be loud and demanding or quiet and relaxed? Would he be a good eater, a good sleeper? Would I be able to juggle the demands of raising two little boys? Like many mothers in the final states of pregnancy I was both excited and nervous.

Max's actual birth was a bit more dramatic than anticipated. I haven't written about his birth story yet (probably because I haven't actually fully processed it all, and probably because I haven't made the time!) but all to say he arrived in this world healthy and screaming and squishy and pink. The nurses kept commenting on how big and long he was (8lbs5oz and 21in long). We were positively delighted!

I'm so glad to have experienced this past year getting to know the newest member of our family. He is such a sweet little guy who slid right into our family and made a cozy spot for himself. I've enjoyed watching him grow and learn and develop, leaving a mark on each of our hearts. I've watched Ben turn into the caring and compassionate big brother we hoped he'd become. I've watched my husband's love and pride for his two boys flourish and multiply. I've been pushed and challenged and rewarded in so many ways. It's remarkable to think that all of this was accomplished in just 365 short (and sometimes very long) days.

Mr. Max, the day you were born I grew another heart, one that has filled up and overflowed with love for you. We are so grateful to have you in our lives.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful son, Max.



Eleven Months: Everything is Fair Game

Here we are at the eleven-months-old mark. In a matter of weeks I'll be counting Max's age in years! Although I generally feel like he is still my baby I can see the toddler phase emerging too. Here's a little recap of the past month.

Height, weight, head circumference? No clue. All I can say is that this boy is big! He's still rocking his size five diapers, wearing 12-18m clothes (sometimes 18-24m) and finding shoes that fit his very thick feet properly is nearly impossible. I no longer go down to the storage room to unpack Ben's old boxed up clothes to hang in Max's closet but rather just transfer them straight from one closet to the other. I imagine I'll be asked if the boys are twins soon! Dude. Way to grow!

Max is also very much emerged in the environment around him - everything is fair game. He still army crawls but usually he prefers to pull up to stand. His favourite ledge to walk around is the train table (much to Big Brother's dismay) but the highchair is a close second. Max climbs stairs multiple times a day, swings doors back and forth, plays with door stoppers, pulls the covers off the vents and likes to stand against the window sills and look at the world around him. He hasn't started opening cupboard doors yet but I'll probably write something about that in next month's post. Oy. No rest for this mama, as anyone with kids this age knows.

Max is also pretty fun and interactive. He likes to mimic sounds and motions, waves 'hi', blows spit bubbles, claps his hands along with nursery rhymes and will howl like a wolf whenever we read a favourite breakfast storybook. He thinks Ben is hilarious, especially when Ben pretends to feed him. The car isn't as horrible as it once was, especially now that the boys can almost reach each other's hands and pass various travel activities back and forth.

Not too many complaints apart from the never-ending horrible sleeps. Seriously, I think newborns wake less often than this kid. He's a very light sleeper, fights naps for hours and is generally quite restless most of the night. He's also got at least six teeth that are 'almost' poking through so I can't exclude the discomfort that must be contributing to his poor sleep as well. Experience tells me we'll get through this phase, it just feels very, very far away at this point.

We had a fun, busy month, filling up our schedule with playdates, birthday parties, baby showers and backyard picnics, (yes, that's right, our backyard is done!). We also had a freak snow storm that gave us a taste of the winter months ahead (Max hated it, by the way, haha). Trying our best to enjoy the warm weather as much as possible while we still have it!

This month was the first time I spent a night away from Mr. Max. A good friend and I took a little girls' trip to Vegas one weekend to change up our daily routine and, more importantly, get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Seems kind of ironic that I went to Vegas to sleep through the night for the first time in years but hey, I'll take whatever I can get. I'd like to think Max missed me horribly but I think he did just fine.

I can barely believe the time has come to start planning the one year birthday party but I'm also so grateful that we've been blessed with eleven solid great months with our little man! Love you buddy!


Ten Months: Moving & Shaking

When Ben turned ten months old it was a hard milestone for me to accept - double digits seemed so old and I couldn't see much 'baby' left in him. Interestingly, I'm really embracing the ten months old milestone with Max. In fact, I've been saying that he's ten months old for a while now and so it rolls off the tongue pretty easily without pulling on the heartstrings too much.

I had a quick peek back at Ben's ten month post and started chuckling to myself. I normally don't look back at Ben's monthly posts before typing Max's monthly posts so as not to play the comparison game but I did read back this time and I couldn't help but laugh. The boys look nothing a like but act almost exactly the same. 

Max, like his brother, is constantly moving. The army crawl is his preferred motor method but he is always happy to accept two willing hands to take him for a toddle. Diaper changes are probably easier with cats at this point but I'm aware it is just a phase. We won't mention a mysterious 'nugget' Danny found one evening in the master bedroom a couple hours after I had changed Max into his pjs on our bed. Keeps us humble, haha.

All that action has our little man working up quite the appetite. He's pretty good at feeding himself little bits of food and still loves fruit pouches, bananas and cheese. I have also bestowed him with the nickname 'squirrel' (just as I did for his brother, apparently) as I'll often find some moist morsel of cheerios stashed in his clenched fists half an hour after snack time.

Our, cuddly, tall, mama's boy still has two teeth and I thought more were on the way but it turned out to be a nasty little fever. High temperatures kept returning every few hours followed by a post-fever rash. Sleep regressed to some of the worst levels I remember (and it's far from ideal on a 'good night') but fortunately he is pretty healthy most of the time and these episodes aren't the norm. 

This month was one filled with many fun summer activities. We went on a road trip to celebrate my sister's engagement and visited with Aunts, Uncles and Great Grandmothers. We've spent a lot of time outside on mountain picnic trips, eating ice-cream cones by the lake, enjoying park dates, running through spray parks and getting thrills at an amusement park. We celebrated my parents' 30th anniversary surrounded by close family and friends, hosted family dinners (both sides) and enjoyed a few days off together just to relax.

Max certainly has found his niche in our family. He's generally a pretty happy little guy who loves to be included in the action, mimics coughing and sneezing, and babbles 'ma-ma-ma and da-da-da' quite liberally. He's equal parts action and snuggle, loves going places but hates the car, is curious and mischievous and so much fun.

Love you to pieces, Max!


Carnival Fun

Doing our best to soak up as much fun and family time as we possibly can this summer. A last minute decision to hit up a local amusement park proved to be a thrilling time for all. 

I used to crave those butterflies I'd get at the top of a roller coaster right before a dramatic descent. I loved the feeling gravity pressing my back into the hard plastic seat when spinning round and round. Nothing quite compared to the sensation of flying through the air, feet dangling high above the hot and sticky pavement. But since having kids, those enticing rides have rendered me into a timid bystander who gets nauseas just watching. Go figure! 

Fortunately, I get almost the same kicks watching my boys light up as they take in the sights and sounds of the amusement park for themselves. I can still feel the butterflies as their wide eyes survey the next ride to conquer. I can feel the gravity pulling down on my own legs as they toddle along, slightly off-kilter, back to the ride's line up (again! again!). My still hair gets caught in the crosswind as the ride above me swoops overhead. 

Maybe I'm no longer a daredevil but it appears the gene has been passed down!


Love, Lace and Laughter

My little sister is getting married!

This past weekend I enjoyed a lovely afternoon with the girls doing all sorts of engagement and wedding related activities. I was so nice to catch up with my sister and peruse all the latest bridal fashions. Strapless or cap sleeves? Empire or sheath? Batiste or chiffon? Silk or shantung? The options were endless. We joked with our Grandma (92 years young) that she would get to try on the next round of dresses. I'm pretty sure she was up for it too!

Can you pick grapes in that one, Kelly?


Nine Months: Teeth, Trips and Summer Fun

Mr. Man you are nine months old! 

It has been a fun month of changes and it has been really neat seeing Max continually grow and develop. The most noticeable (and probably most painful) change was on July 8th when Max's first two teeth decided to emerge within 90minutes of each other! It was not a fun day but I'm so glad they finally cut through. I don't know who was more relieved, Max or myself.  Seems like more are on the horizon, as they should be. All the better to chomp down on that variety food Max has been loving lately. Kid eats pretty much anything and everything now apart from that evil rice cereal, oatmeal or avocado which inevitably induces dramatic gags.

Our little mover seems to be slimming down a bit. Definitely have to watch him like a hawk now that he is so mobile. He likes to make his way across the room either with a reverse army crawl or a series of rolls to fetch whatever object has caught his interest. This object is more often than not whatever Ben is playing with. Fortunately the boys seem to be buddies more than enemies, but I suppose that depends on the hour of the day. He also still loves his bouncer and when we 'walk' with him around the house he usually bounces as often as he puts one foot in front of the other. He can pull himself up quite well and is pretty steady standing on his feet providing he has something to hold onto. Another adorable motor milestone is clapping his hands. Something about the sound of his little pudgy hands slapping together. So cute.

With all of these changes, it is nice to see some things remain the same. Max still has the little white hair at the back of his head that he's worn proudly pretty much ever since birth. He still has a little scrunchy nose whenever he smiles (yay!) and he still has a good death grip on your triceps whenever you hold him (ouch!). He's still a very happy-go-lucky, giggly little guy who hates sleeping more than two hours at a time, cries during car trips and loves to be included in everything. We love him so much!

This month has been a fun one chalk full of requisite summer activities. We've gone on a few day trips to visit our friend's cottage in the Rocky Mountains and enjoyed playing at Grandma B's house with family. My parents came to town and took the boys to a family BBQ while Danny and I attended a wedding. We waved at the marching horses and policemen as we watched a Stampede Parade.  Daily progress reports have been logged as we watch our yard transform from mud pit to backyard retreat (just a few more weeks!) We've gone on many walks and park adventures in our neighbourhood, hit up the zoo with Great Grandma Clara and enjoyed a pool date at our Recreation Centre with our cousins. Birthday parties have been attended, new babies welcomed and lots of cake has been eaten. Just recently, we took a little road trip and headed to the Royal Tyrell Museum to check out the dinosaurs and the badlands. Boys had a blast. 

So many wonderful memories and many more to be had in the weeks to come! What a great time to be nine months old.

* For some reason my images appear way different on the blog than they do on any other interface (too much contrast and the white balance is way off) but I don't have the time/energy to fix it right now so these will have to do for now.



Playing a bit of catch up here today but that's mostly because we're doing our best to enjoy the beautiful summer weather while we've got it! Last month, however, we escaped to Mexico (our first ever trip) for some relaxing family time. It was fantastic! Sun, surf, and sand - what more could we ask for?

Such a great kick off to a fun-filled summer.


Summer Citrus Salad

Preface Number One:  I'm not a vegetable lover. Apart from the occasional beet, carrot or cob of corn, I usually turn my nose up at the stuff. Now that I'm a parent I am especially aware that I must lead by example if I'm gonna get any veggies down my boys' gullets so I have to suck it up and pretend they're sooooo delicious!!!

Preface Number Two: I totally eat with my eyes. If something looks pretty I'm waaaaay more likely to try it. I also think that if a picture of food is beautiful that I'll magically become a domestic goddess and will create an exact replica of the dish, and it will be wonderful, and the dishes will magically clean themselves, and we'll all be doing a dance party in the kitchen whilst eating copious amounts of said delicious food.

So, with all that out of the way, feast your eyes on this!


Summer Citrus Salad
2 red beets
3 golden beets
2 grapefruit
2 lemons
1 fennel bulb
1/4 red onion
Walnut oil
Sea salt and pepper
1 bunch cilantro
1 head butter lettuce

Now lets pretend I actually made this salad instead of just salivating over the pictures and call it a day. I feel healthier already.

Okay, if you're really interested in making it, preparation instructions can be found here. 

Oh the cilantro!


Eight Months: Enjoying Life

Eight Months and in charge! This past month has flown by rather quickly as we've been keeping busy with our regular routine as well as shaking things up with a trip down south. Max has also been exploding with new skills and is keeping us on our toes. A month of milestones for sure!

Our little nugget is quite a mover now - he rolls around on the floor and does quite the impressive backwards army crawl. Gone are the days when I would set him down on the carpet and find him in the exact same spot a few minutes later. Not the case anymore; the baby gates are latched again. Max still loves to bounce and pick things up with his feet. He sits up really well and can stand up for a few seconds providing he's holding on to something.

Our tall boy has moved out of his bucket seat and into a 'big boy' carseat which seems to make traveling a bit more interesting and bearable for him. As mentioned earlier, we also flew down to south (to Mexico!) for a week and Max was a champ on the plane. They were long(ish) flights so I really can't complain about the odd fuss. As for the vacation itself, Max adapted really well to the heat and rocked his sunglasses like a boss. He wasn't old enough to sample the local cuisine quite yet but satisfied his big appetite with his usual solids. Still prefers fruit over veggies but we're introducing more variety by the day.

Sleep still is a major struggle. Don't really feel like divulging into that too much but let's just say there's lots and lots of room for improvement.

Ben and Max are really starting to 'play' with each other. I'll often catch them in fits of giggles and it is the sweetest music to my ears. Don't get me wrong they totally roughhouse too. I'm not sure who's in more trouble as Max is absolutely not intimidated by Ben whatsoever and will happily take whatever he wants. Oh my, starting to see glimpses of our future.

We've got a fun summer ahead and are so looking forward to enjoying it with our sweet boys!


Seven Months: Scrunchy Smiles & So Much Fun

Guess who forgot to click the 'Publish' button. Whoops?!? Little late getting this one up (you were all waiting on the edge of your seats, I know).

Seven Months is a hard one for me to accept. We're officially on the second half of the 'baby year' and Max is starting to look less like an infant and will soon be looking more like a toddler. I'm not ready for that! As much as we're in the trenches I'm also trying to really cherish these fleeting months. Don't grow up too fast buddy!

Max's wellness checkup last month measured him at nearly 23lbs and 28.5in long. Off the charts! He's certainly a solid, strong, bouncing boy. I relented and we got him a Jolly Jumper which he thoroughly enjoys (I didn't want more 'stuff' but he was exhausting our arms). Max would bounce up and down or hold his legs up suspended in mid air in a sitting position all day long if it were up to him. Purchase well worth it. He's certainly refining his dexterity and likes to grab things, especially his older brother's hair! Thankfully Ben usually just laughs it off and is very gentle with his little brother (usually). Max is in fact a good eater but is picky, picky, picky! He will let you know what is good (apples, carrot, mango, pear) and what is not (rice or oat cereal, sweet potato) within the first bite. Glad to know he'll share his opinions with us!

Sleep, oh, elusive sleep. Let's just say this is not a strong point in our house and in addition to multiple wake-ups at night Max has now added 'early bird' to his resume. 5am does not mix well with his night owl of a brother. Like I said, trenches, but this phase will eventually pass. At least he usually wakes up happy with spitting blats and plenty of scrunchy smiles. Almost (almost) makes up for the rough nights.

This past month we took a road trip to visit Baba, Grandpa and Great Grandma. Max enjoyed the visit but did NOT like the long car(s) trip one bit. Lets just say there were literally hours of endless screaming (he lost his voice at one point but still kept going), temper tantrums and an angry vomit 10km away from our final destination (from the big brother who also had 'enough'). It was not pretty. This kid does NOT like facing backwards in his car seat away from the rest of us and the mirror on the back of the seat does not make up for that. Toys, songs and stops on the side of the road to try to settle him down are a wasted effort as well. I may be traumatized for a very long time. But, to get back to the point of the trip, visiting our family - that part was lots of fun. We are so lucky to have plenty of people who love these boys something fierce. Hopefully they'll come visit us next time, ha!

Apart from our road trip we've been keeping to the routine of things. Danny has been logging a lot of hours and has been on call a little more frequently than we're used to so I'm getting a lot of solo time with the boys. Max still goes to childcare once a week for an hour or so while Ben attends his Counting Class. We try to schedule playdates a couple times a week, and we've been making lots of park appearances now that it is finally getting warmer outside. Yay for spring!

I'm so in love with this happy, giggly boy. Apart from sleep and car trips, he's a very easy-going little man. I love watching his personality emerge as the months pass and am so grateful that we have such a wonderful little family. Here's to the next month Maxim!


A Trip to Great Grandma's House

First meetings * baking cookies * Kentucky Derby * warm snuggles

this is how we make memories.