Lilly’s first haircut!

Today was a big day for our little lady. No matter how many milestones we reach, they always feel major. Today Lilly got her first official haircut!

I say official because we have had some minor ones. I have trimmed up her bangs to keep them out of her eyes. And of course, there was that time she cut her own hair…resulting in a worse mullet than she already had…

Heading to the salon, she said she was a bit scared. We mentioned that she wasn’t scared when she cut her own hair, which she agreed was a good point. Dad was getting his hair cut today too, so that helped ease the nerves.

Getting started!

Getting started!

Her and I spent some time looking at pictures on Pinterest and agreed some straight across bangs would look good. Although this was definitely a listen to the stylist kind of cut. Lilly’s hair has grown in pretty funky up until now, so getting some direction on how to train it was key.

In progress...

In progress…

The end result looks great. She still has a ways to go in terms of getting her hair to come in a bit more, but now we finally know what to do with it ;)

All done. She has properly defined bangs!

All done. She has properly defined bangs!

I will add that it’s pretty ideal that she doesn’t have the hair I did at her age. I remember what it was like to deal with this mess…

So thick. So long. So many curls.

So thick. So long. So many curls.

#WordlessWednesday: 5 Months & 4 Years

We have had a very busy month to end off our summer. My little lady turned 4, which hardly seems possible. Right after her birthday party, we headed on a 5 hour road trip to spend some vacation time with my sister-in-law’s family. Hence, my need to play a little blogging catch up.

So here goes it, a ton of photos to capture the month of August.

We started off the month with Lilly’s 4th birthday. My pony obsessed monster asked for a My Little Pony party and Mama delivered. Between decorations and games, we had a very busy party. Then to add to it, we had a REAL PONY. That hadn’t originally been planned, but when the offer came up, there was no way I could say no. Lilly was thrilled!

Our My Little Pony birthday party.

Our My Little Pony birthday party.

Next, we headed up north to visit family. My nephew Owen and niece Madi are no strangers to this blog. To this day, Owen is pretty much Lilly’s best friend, even if they only see each other once every few months.

By some miracle, we got them all looking at the camera.

By some miracle, we got them all looking at the camera.

August 16th, we had another baby milestone with Cole. A few days shy of his 5 month mark, we introduced solids! We’ve started him off with baby cereal and it was a huge hit.

He has his father's appetite. #EatLikeAWiltshire

He has his father’s appetite. #EatLikeAWiltshire

On August 20th, Lilly had her very last day of preschool. Next week she starts kindergarten. She’s ready. I’m not…

She's so proud to be starting "big kid school"

She’s so proud to be starting “big kid school”

On August 22nd, my baby hit the 5 month mark. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 months already! He’s still very much on the path of long and lanky. He’s already stretching to the end of his 6 month size clothes & will be moving into the 9-12 by fall, I’m sure.

As always, Lilly had to get in on the monthly stats photo action.

As always, Lilly had to get in on the monthly stats photo action.

Cole-5-Month-Stats

5 Month Stats!

 

Baby Bath Tips with #DisneyBabyCA

First bath in the big tub with Dad. Also the first bath without tears...

First bath in the big tub with Dad. Also the first bath without tears…

If I’ve said it before (which I have, here) I’ve said it a million times; bathing a new baby can be my least favourite thing to have to do. Lilly hated her baths for the first 6 weeks, and Cole didn’t fare much better with his.

Once Cole was a little bit bigger, we started bathing him in the full bath tub, with one of us in the tub holding him. This is the same style we used with Lilly and it took baths from being an all out scream fest, to a relaxing and playful time with both kids. It’s a little unconventional, but it is what has always worked for us.

When it comes to bathing babies, I think that is the main key ingredient. You need to be prepared and find the set up with works best for both you and your little one. Disney Baby has some excellent points to help you get started.

 

FROM BUBBLES TO BATHROBES:

TIPS FOR BATHING YOUR BABY

Learning to bathe your baby can be a little scary – there’s a lot to juggle and of course you want to keep your little one safe. But as long you’re properly prepared, bath time can be a great bonding experience and a whole lot of fun! Disney Baby has some great tips on how to protect and pamper your little one in the tub, and some adorable products to help you to do it! From towels and toys to cleansers and creams, Disney Baby has you covered.

Tip #1: Start small
Your baby is little, so his bathtub should be too! When you start bathing a baby, it’s easier to do it in the sink, or using a small plastic tub. That way, you won’t have to kneel or lean awkwardly over the side of a big bath while keeping your baby upright. Some baby tubs, like this adorable Winnie the Pooh one, feature built-in toys, ensuring that bath time is fun for everyone!

Tip #2: Get some tub toys
For older babies, the bath can be a great place to learn and explore. Once your little one has graduated to a big tub, introduce them to some squirt toys, fun floaties or sponges. Disney Baby has a great selection of these, featuring characters like Nemo and Friends. Toys can keep your baby distracted and happy, helping make bath time a breeze.

Tip #3: Ditch the daily dips
Babies don’t need to bathe everyday – in fact, daily baths can dry out or damage your little one’s skin. It only takes two or three baths a week to ensure that baby stays squeaky-clean, as long as you stay vigilant about keeping face, hands and diaper area clean between washes. These Finding Nemo washcloths are the perfect way to keep baby fresh between bath times.

Tip #4: Lock in that moisture
If your baby does have dry skin, rub on a little moisturizing lotion, cream or oil post bath. There are plenty of products out there that both you and your baby can use!

Tip #5: Keep baby warm
Wet babies can become easily chilled, so throughout bath time it’s important to keep your little one warm. Ensure that bath water is around 37 degrees and that the air in the bathroom is comfortably warm as well. After the bath, wrap baby up in a soft, clean towel and give him a little snuggle! A Winnie the Pooh Bathtime Wrap keeps baby feeling cozy and looking cute.

 

Surviving colic and regaining my sanity.

Baby Smiles, Surviving Colic

One little boy, so many big smiles.

To say that I headed into my second maternity leave with my wildly idealistic hat on, would be a massive understatement. While I understand that every baby is different, I very much had the memories of my daughter in mind. She was very easy baby. As such, I made great plans for myself to do things like building my blog, working a few hours for the office, finishing up areas of the house I’ve been neglecting for nearly 2 years and overall enjoy my summer off with the kids. One word tossed a major wrench into my best laid plans.

Colic.

Let me preface this entire post by saying that I have a very happy baby. Colton has an incredible smile. Just see the photo above for evidence. When he’s having a good day, I get a lot of these smiles. Thank God for that. Thinking about his smiles is what has gotten me through some of the worst colic fits we’ve faced.

Baby smiles equal sanity.

I remember when I was pregnant with Lilly, so many people had warned with stories of their colicky babies. I was terrified. During our birth classes, when they asked what scared us most about becoming parents, the top of my list was having a colicky baby. With Lilly turning out to be such as easy baby, I was very ill prepared for Cole.

The first 3-4 weeks were ok. We had what felt like the typical new baby. He was definitely a fussier newborn than Lilly, but hey, every baby is different. I do recall my mom saying that she thought he had a “touch of colic” but I completely didn’t see it…yet.

By 5-6 weeks, we were living in a very different household. The crying fits completely outweighed the content or sleeping times. He would scream for hours at a time, no matter what we did. We would have to trade off as much as possible to keep calm. On days when Lilly was home from preschool, she watched much more TV than we normally allow, so I could focus on keeping Cole as happy as possible.

Eventually, Cole and I seemed to come to an agreement to establish some peace. All he asked for was that I didn’t dare sit down. Or stop moving. Or stop singing. Or stop bouncing as I walked. I had days where I literally walked around my living room for 6-7 hours over the course of the day. It was exhausting.

I actually remember forming an ad in my head:

Free to lend to a good home, one baby treadmill/trainer. This trainer is sure to whip you into shape with undeniable motivation. Better than any personal trainer, you will find yourself walking further than you ever thought before. Rather than motivational cheering, this baby trainer uses a high pitched screeching sound to make you move. At times, simple walking will no longer cut it and you will have to add a bounce to every step, to make your workout more challenging!

Between Cole’s mood swings and my rigorous exclusive pumping schedule, I basically felt like a shut-in. I even had close friends comment when they saw me that I didn’t seem like myself. I wasn’t. I felt like a worn out prisoner of my own home. I became an even more terrible friend – because lets face it, all parents are – and a non-existent blogger. My laundry fell behind, my house was a bigger disaster than usual and I honestly don’t even remember how food got on the table most days.

I wanted to go out more, but felt guilty. I wanted to go running, but couldn’t find the strength. I wanted to drink, but…oh wait, I did pour a sanity-saving weak bourbon once in a while.

Yesterday, Colton turned 5 months old. While it has gotten significantly better, we are not out of the woods completely. He still has days where he fights sleep and acts like a bear. He has also started to put up a big fight at bedtime. But generally, we can make it through most days with very few tears. It very much feels like we have one toe into the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am far from an expert on colic. We are only JUST coming through the other side of it and I know our baby was mild compared to many cases. However, I thought I would share a few tips that helped us survive with (some) sanity intact.

Tips for Surviving Colic

  1. Let people know what’s going on. The first step is to let your supports know that it’s a bit tougher than expected. When you have a colicky baby, the phrase “it takes a village” has never been more true. Baby may not settle for anyone else, but it’s amazing what a little adult conversation can do for your mental well being when you are pacing for an hour with a fussy baby. Friends and family can do everything from bringing you coffee, to helping your 3 year old wash her hands while you deal with baby.
  2. Take turns with the baby. If possible, trade off with your partner or someone else every 15-20 minutes during a bad fit. There is only so much high pitched screaming you can take and a small breather can help recharge you for round two. I know as moms we can have a hard time delegating when it comes to a new baby, but don’t be afraid to tag a fellow team mate into the ring to fight the good fight. This is one I had to remind myself constantly and sometimes still do. It might seem easier to do it all myself, but if I get worked up more, so will the baby. Take a break, keep your cool and everyone will benefit.
  3. Find what works and keep doing it. Warning: what “works” might change. Every. Single. Day. Like much of parenting, it is complete trial and error. However, you just might strike gold and be rewarded with peace and quiet. For us, it was the above mentioned walking. Cole would remain pretty content, as long as I walked/bounced and sang. Sometimes all at once. For 2 hours straight. It was tiring at times, but it was manageable and it was much better than hours of screaming.
  4. Sleep, sleep and more sleep. This sounds nearly impossible when you have a newborn, and I will be honest that I don’t always heed my own words on this one. In the early weeks, I did nap or at least rest, a bit during the day. You have to turn off the guilt that reminds you of unfolded laundry and just take a break. A bit of extra rest or shut eye can help so much with your stress level, not to mention your breast milk production (another common new baby stress) and overall health.
  5. Take care of you, so you can take care of baby. This is true for all parents and goes hand in hand with #4. Hydrate, rest, eat well, snack often and when possible, soak in a hot tub for 15 minutes. These little things help you to feel human again at a time when nothing else does.
  6. Try to get out of the house. This one is one of the hardest tips on this list. When things were at their worst, the idea of leaving the house and being away from everything I might need was terrifying. However, you can’t live afraid to leave your home. Even if it is simply to run an errand to the grocery store, stepping out of the house can be a very relieving feeling. If you happen to have a baby that loves to sleep in the car, this can be a big win-win tactic.

Again, I am no expert, but we have managed to get through the worst of it with the lessons learned above. Have you survived a baby with colic? Currently living through it? Share what has worked/is working for you in the comments below.

Ideally speaking, babies would have evolved passed this crying nonsense and colic would be a thing of the past ;)

 

#WordlessWednesday: Cole’s 4 month stats & some me time!

Last week Colton hit the 4 month mark. It really doesn’t feel like it has been 4 months already. When we went in for his regular checkup, the developmental worker thought he was 6 months and asked me the milestone questions for that stage. We didn’t realize the error until after…and he passed the developmental milestones for 6 months! My little man is getting so big, so fast.

4 months already!

4 months already!

As always, Lilly wanted to have a few pictures of her during Cole’s monthly stats photo shoot.

Love these monkeys.

Love these monkeys.

I also found some rare “me time” and squeezed a #metimemanicure. I love the nude nail polish trend this summer. The bow is a stencil…I’m not that good ;)

Pretty nude nails with accent nail! The bow is adorable!

Love the little bow stencil I found.

Newborn Fun in the Sun! Staying cool with #DisneyBabyCA

With the craziness of newborn life, I haven’t even had a chance to tell you all the super exciting news: I am a Disney Mom! I am officially part of the Disney Baby Mom Ambassador program for Canada. Check out the super cute badge right over there ——>

Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I am a total Disney addict. I get just as excited to see a new movie as my daughter does. Maybe even more… As part of the Mom Ambassador program, Disney will provide me with some tips and information each month, that I can then share with all of you. I will occasionally get some goodies to review as well :) So here goes, my first official Disney post.

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When we first discovered we were pregnant with our son, a couple wonderful thoughts went through my mind. One of them was the fact that thanks to maternity leave, I would have my first full summer off since I was 15 years old. Although our daughter was born in early August, I really didn’t get out at all that summer. I was a first time mom with a brand new baby…I barely left the house until fall.

However, this time, with Colton being born in March, I had planned on making the most of summer 2014.

Enjoying the nice shade of the stroller while big sis Lilly plays at the park.

Enjoying the nice shade of the stroller while big sis Lilly plays at the park.

Our little guy turned out to be a pretty a colicky baby, so that has limited our outings a little bit. Let’s just say that my hopes haven’t been the reality, as is often the case with motherhood…we tend to dream big ;) That being said, we have a park around the corner and plenty of family friends also off. As Cole gets a little older, he’s having less frequent fussy days and we are starting to plan out the second half of our summer.

With plans for the zoo, the beach and picnics in the park, I was a little stumped on how to deal with a tiny baby in the summer sun. By the time we really enjoyed sunny outdoor time with Lilly, she was nearly a year old. She could wear baby sunscreen, sit up with a hat on, etc. The rules are different when you are headed outdoors with a little one under 6 months old.

Luckily for me, Disney Baby provided some great tips for how to enjoy the summer weather, while staying safe and cool.

EIGHT WAYS:

TO KEEP BABY COOL ON HOT SUMMER DAYS

Summer with a baby can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of outdoor activities you can enjoy together and lots of new spaces for baby to explore. But if you’re not properly prepared, it can also be hot, sticky and downright unpleasant. When you’re outside with your baby in the summer heat, comfort and safety are key. Here are some tips from Disney Baby on how to keep your little one cool, so you can get back to having fun in the sun.

  1. Embrace Layering – Make sure you don’t overdress your baby. Loose-fitting, lightweight clothes are best, and light layers mean you can add and remove clothes as necessary.
  2. Choose Cotton – Dress your baby in natural fibres. Cotton breathes and absorbs sweat more effectively than synthetic fabrics. Disney Baby offers lots of adorable summer options, like this Layette Set or this Minnie Mouse Skirted Creeper.
  3. Stick to the Shade – Stay in the shade when you can find it and create some when you can’t. Buying an umbrella stroller is a great way to ensure that your little one is always protected from the sun.
  4. Keep Baby Hydrated – If you’re spending a lot of time in the heat, you need to spend a lot of time nursing as well. Like you, your baby gets dehydrated and needs to replenish fluids. If your baby is older, make sure you always have Sippy Cups ready at hand.
  5. Find Some Air-Conditioning – Malls, movie theatres and libraries all have air conditioning, and offer a great place to take a break from the heat. Not to mention, they’re a great place for both you and your baby to find entertainment.
  6. Buy a Hat – Protect your baby’s head and neck with a cotton summer hat. This Winnie the Pooh Hat features a chin strap so it will stay firmly in place.
  7. Have a Splash – Letting your baby play in a paddling pool or on a splash pad is a fun and easy way to cool them down. If you don’t have access to one of these, try a cool bath, or simply sprinkle some water on your baby’s hair.
  8. Be Strategic – Avoid spending too much time outside in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. When you can, it’s better for you and your baby to go out in the morning or evening.

Disclosure: I am part of the Disney Baby Mom Ambassador program & as such I have received special perks as part of the campaign. As always, the thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

#WordlessWednesday with linky: Cole’s Official Baby Photos!

Last month we had up our friend and photographer, Jill from Jill Monique Photography in Barrie, to take Colton’s newborn photos. I know a lot of people prefer to do these right away when the baby is born, but I like the it closer to the 3 month mark. Typically it means you can snag some cute smiling pics that show the baby’s personality. Unfortunately, Cole was showcasing the colic side of his personality that day so we didn’t get too many smiles ;)

Jill was awesome and patient and managed to get some adorable ones, none the less.

newborn baby boy, barrie photography, newborn photography, family photography

My little man! One of the few smiles we got that day…

family photography, barrie photographer, newborn photography

Our family :)

family photography, barrie photographer, newborn photography, family photo ideas

Sibling Love.

Baby boy with Daddy, Family photo ideas, family photography, barrie photographer

He’s always so amazed with his Daddy!

Lilly-June2014

Our little camera ham.

newborn baby boy, barrie photographer, newborn photography, family photography,

Love his amazing blue eyes.

Mom and newborn, family photo ideas, family photography, newborn photography, barrie photographer

So in love with this photo.

family photography, barrie photographer, newborn photography, family photo ideas

Love my baby daddy ;)

Wordless Wednesday with linky: 3 month stats!

I’m a few weeks late for getting this photo up, but here are Colton’s 3 month stats from June 22nd.

My handsome little man is growing so fast!

My handsome little man is growing so fast!

This week, I have had my best friend in the whole wide world up to visit. Anyone who reads the blog regularly has met Colleen a few times :) She snapped some wonderful photos of the kids and I on her phone.

Me-Cole

Love his little smiles.

Me-Both-Kids

The loves of my life.

Last night Colleen and I made some gluten free scones. She plopped in front of the stove to watch them bake. I saw an adorable photo opp ;)

Watching delicious scones turn to golden brown. Yum.

Watching delicious scones turn to golden brown. Yum.

Colleen brought with her a pair of beautiful moccasin boots that her uncle had handmade for me. I am in love with them. To check out his amazing native arts and pieces, visit his Bear Den Native Art Etsy store.

handmade moccains, moccain boots,

Handmade moccasin boots. Love them!

 

Choose your own adventure.

10 years ago today, I got on a plane for the very first time, with 28 complete strangers and went to spend a month volunteering in Kenya. I had gone with Leaders Today (aka Me to We) and had the most rewarding and life changing adventure.

I remember coming back and falling very quickly into the rest of my life. I had one year of college left and then onto my career, marriage and a mortgage.

A little over 2 years after our trip, Facebook made it’s way into our world. Several members of our “Kenya Family” hopped online and we created a group just for us. It was a great way to really reconnect and see what everyone was up to.

My Kenya Family. July 2004.

My Kenya Family. July 2004.

I recall looking through the various pictures from other trip members who had gone on to do more trips and working for Free the Children, traveled for themselves, were doing empowered things at college, etc. For a brief moment, I felt a bit of jealousy. They were having so many great adventures. And me? Well I had just gotten married, bought a house and started my career. I was settled. I wasn’t having adventures.

As quickly as that feeling came, it passed again. I had simply chosen a different adventure. I had started the rest of my life committed to my best friend, invested in a home and we became real adults. It was a terrifying but exciting new chapter to start. I was also involved in local volunteer organizations, active in politics and was working towards creating my place in the world.

A few years after that, I started my next adventure. I became a mother.

My strong willed, opinionated mini-me.

My strong willed, opinionated mini-me.

In recent months, I have really started to see just how much she takes after me. Recently she took her first selfie. She asked for the camera to take a picture by herself. I thought she meant of me, so I stood there smiling. Then watched as she turned towards the mirror and took one of herself. I remember thinking, “that really just happened.” It’s was a small and silly thing, but it proved a point. She is learning more from me that I even realized.

This moment of truth hit me and woke me a bit more to something I have been thinking for a while. I want to be an even better example for her and for my newborn son.

My handsome mini man.

My handsome mini man.

This is my job. My adventure.

I may not be traveling the world volunteering my time, but I am raising someone who might. I am raising two pieces of the next empowered generation. I am responsible for two little humans who will enter society with the values they gain in our home.

They see what I do and Lilly is beginning to understand it. She knows Mama is involved with local events (political and volunteer) because I drag her to a good deal of them. She knows Mama runs a website and she loves to look through the pictures of her that I share on here. She is starting to understand that I have a voice and a line of communication to the world outside our home. I want to make sure that she sees me using that voice for good and true change.

This message of defining my role and my stance in the world, is one that I really came to terms with while at BlissDom last fall. Part of what I took away from the conference is a better idea of who I am and what I stand for. As my blog header reads, I am mild naïve and wildly idealistic.

From those words, was born my true tagline; I stand for the innocence of the world.

That is the message I want to pass on today. That even as we grow up and we might feel disconnected from our younger, more philanthropic selves, we can still stand for the things we believe in. We can still have an active role in our cause, even from our settled position in the real world.

That is my hope for the youth of today and my children’s generation coming up behind them. I hope that no matter what life puts in front of them, they can hold onto their innocence. I truly hope they can each remain mildly naïve to the evil in the world and wildly idealistic about the possibilities.

It is your life and your future. Ideally speaking, we can all choose our adventure. 

#WordlessWednesday with linky: Father’s Day 2014!

Happy Father’s Day!

Unfortunately Daddy had to work this year, but we did have some surprises waiting for him when he got home. We used fabric markers to make him a new shirt, appropriately giving him the title of Best. Dad. Ever. Lilly and I also worked on a Father’s Day card/booklet. She answered the same questionnaire that she did last year. Adorable.

Fathers-Day-2014