1.19.2015

THIS BABE: A LESSON IN BIRTHORDER

 Vye is our third born.  Our third of four girls.  She has always made parenting easy.  Her labour, although my most painful, was like a work day.  My contractions got really heavy around 8 in the morning at she was born at 3:26 in the afternoon in the beautiful sunshine.  A smile graced her face at 2 days old.  She was born happy.  There were never inconsolable cries.  Our evenings were routine and simple.  I could knit and watch a show while she sat contentedly bobbing in her bouncy chair.

 Readers may think I'm biased, maybe even delusional, but ask anyone of my friends or librarian folk (I am a frequent flyer of the library), she is a doll, has always had an electric personality and happiness in life is her thang.  A little light that never stops beaming.

 Until the birth of Ivy, she was our littlest.  Subconsciously, I feel she knew.  Maybe from inside the womb she could hear her the tests put forth by her sensitive, spirited Eldest sister and the dramatic creativity of her other sister on me.  Maybe when she was welcomed to the world by these loud sisters who had pretty established roles, she thought, "Hey!  They've paved the way.  I've got this."  Maybe there is this innate thing that says I am the youngest and I'm born to be chill and go with the flow.  Whatever it is, she fits birth order theories to a tee.

 Having a "Vye" makes the days where Ivy is slung to me all day, crying like I haven't nursed her in days, bearable.  It makes the moments where Charlotte is defiant, head strong and on the verge of tears, not so bad.  And when Harriet is loud and fearlessly taking on those strange experiments and ideas in her head, it seems more like child's play than intentional annoyance.  All because we have a Vye.

 The nights have been sleepless.  The days long although the daylight short.  But in the darkness there are these bright, quirky eyes.  There is a daughter who is always happiest when others are happy.  Offering hugs when she senses I need them.  Retelling stories of bats flying in my room or Ivy smiling at her.  She knows her catch phrases make me giggle and will always put on a show when it is needed to lighten the mood.


Although no one said parenting is easy, it is in those moments when I feel like I am failing, when I can't hear my thoughts over the drumming of spoons on pots, when I feel utterly drained of energy, that I am thankful for a Vye.

 Our children are all amazing blessings.  But they are all inherently different.  I love my strong, passionate, go by the rules Eldest babe.  I love my loud, fearless, determined middle babe, whom thinks the rules need not apply and withholds her feelings.  I love my 8 week hold who desires my touch throughout the day and cries in terror when she can no longer feel my heartbeat.  I love my third born Violet for making all her sisters lovable throughout the days of confusion and being pulled in different directions because they all have different physical and emotional needs.  I love my Violet because she makes my life easy.
(DISCLAIMER:  Vye seems to fit the birth order theories about third borns and their tendency to be awesome, easy going and delightful.  Please don't use this post as a reason to go for that third.  Results may vary based on genetics, gender and the fact that it is just a theory and I'm just a mama blogging.  But hey!  You may get lucky - read into the double entendre)

1.11.2015

WHAT THE MAMA WANTS: URBAN OUTFITTERS














(All images were borrowed from urban outfitters.com Why shop in real life when you can dream?)

1.05.2015

BABY SHOWER.

Thanks to all the lovely ladies who made my one and only baby shower awesome.  I wanted to celebrate with all the strong, amazing women in my life.  It was my last hoorah before being thrust into motherhood with 4 babes.

I decided to hold my shower at Back Beat.  It is a local record and book boutique that I adore.  The owners are knowledgeable and friendly (well friends).  They have turned this small little store into such a cozy loved spot.  Thanks Christine and Dan!




In lieu of preparing a massive meal or hiring a caterer, I asked each guest to bring a small item to share.  These are the kinds of ladies that are all amazing cooks, foodies.  My friend Nicole made an amazing cake inspired by Alice in Wonderland.  Abs made cupcakes and adorable shortbread cookies in the same theme.  Krista prepped amazing wontons.  Sarah-Jane a magnificent dip.  Erin brought a delish punch.  Kate an apple dip goodie.  Miriam delicious tarts.  There was more but I was too busy enjoying to keep track.   



The theme of the party was literary.  I prepared a little quiz where the guests had to match up famous children's book quotes with their author.  I think I stressed everyone out a little.  But it was all in good fun.

On Sundays, I volunteer at the library and I happened to find a beautiful book in the used book section written and illustrated by a naturalist (I believe).  I thought, considering we were naming the babe IVY that the book would serve as a great place to write notes to the babe.  I hope she cherishes the notes from those who knew me best.  Their advice and thoughts were beautiful and will always be remembered by me.
Just me and the girls hanging out.

 


Thank you ladies for such an amazing time!  I felt so loved and was so honoured to have you celebrate my last pregnancy and this little babe.

PERSONAL THANK YOUS TO MY GUESTS

Alyssa:  You are the godmother to all of my precious babes and have followed me on my motherhood journey since day one.  I love you to bits and I will always remember your surprise.  Coming all the way from Ottawa to share this special day with me brought me to tears.  I love you so much.

Abs and Jax:  You are one amazing duo.  You both brighten my life and get me in ways that no other could.  Thank you for the cute little moustache tights and birdie tights.  You get me!

Chenoa:  Thank you for coming to the party and accepting my desire to get to know you more.  I look forward to our school journey with our babes.

Kate:  What can I say?  We are two peas in a pod.  Your generous gifts extend beyond the cuteness from the party.  I can't wait for her to sip from her Alice and Wonderland cup and wear the cute little onesies.

Anais:  You are a stellar mom and artist.  I am blessed to have you in my inner circle.  Your gift did wonders for soothing me while in labour.  Allen now uses it to calm the babes while reading stories by candlelight.

Amanda:  For a while there we were both part of the mom of three club.  You are doing an amazing job!  I appreciate you so much.  Thanks for gifting exactly what I asked for ;)

Nicole:  Uh!  Spending all day making me a shower cake while sick.  Stellar.  Love the baby milestone cards. I am using them as Ivy reaches these milestones, although sometimes I get a little behind.

Krista:  First of all...can you make me those wontons everyday of my life?  Thank you for not only making three amazing babes that my babes get to have the pleasure of playing with, but for being an awesome lady.  The girls went mad over the gifts and claimed some as their own.  Ivy frequently wears the tie at the end sleeper (why did I never use those?) and most nights, when we remember, we use the 365 question book.  The girls are eager for a question.

Miche:  You are such an amazing Mama!  I have watched you do your amazing job of raising two boys for 4 years now in awe.  You are a woman of grace, with no complaints.  Beautiful through and through.  I love you to bits and wish I had an ounce of your style and design ability.  Thank you so much for the handmade onesies (it was Ivy's first piece of clothing).  Lipstick is so sexy and the plant rests nicely on the mantle in a glass skull.

Miriam:  I adore you so much.  You welcomed me with open arms when I came to this lovely town.  Makers gonna make!  The first item of clothing I bought was a beautiful dress made by you for dear Charlotte at Christmas time.  I am so amazed at your talents and your unrelenting love for others.  You have not only gifted me with your presence in my life but you are beyond generous with clothes and items for my babes.  Thank you so much for your gift for Ivy.  Definitely well used.

Sarah-Jane:  You are a rock in my life!  I have shared so much of myself with you and it is nice to know that you accept me for all that I am.  You never ask for anything in return.  Love you.

Reyna:  Love you babe!  I am glad you are in my life and that my daughters have the opportunity to grow up with such a great role model.  Love you. (P.S. thanks both you and Sarah for the lovely gift card - plan to use it shortly).

Erin:  You are such a great addition to my life.  I love your spirit and your desire to help others.  You have amazing children and it is amazing to see your influence in their special lives.  Thank you for making it to the shower and showering me with love.  

Christine:  Thank you!  Thank you!  For letting us host the party in your store.  The handmade blanket and mobile and the thoughtful gifts for the babes were awesome.  I look forward to spending the New Year in Back Beat sipping tea and chatting with you.

1.04.2015

WHAT THE MAMA WORE: BLACK NAILS

I have a deep obsession with the colour black.  It stems from simplicity and I find it exceptionally chic.  Black hair, black clothes, black chalkboard walls.  I have become a little daring in the past year and have ventured into the realm of gold.  I think it is the deepest I will venture into colour.  Sometimes you will see me wearing red plaid, or even a hint of royal blue.   I thought today I would share my favourite nail routine.



 Basically, when I have time, I clean my nails.  I find it best not to apply polish right after a bath or shower.  With a file, I file straight across.  For this particular manicure, I used whatever black I had.  I am not sure which brand because I usually rip off the label because I am obsessive compulsive and I like a clean looking bottle.  To apply the polish, put a thin coat.  One dip of the brush should do one nail.  Once dry, I apply a second thin coat.

 Pictured above is the other colour I eventually applied.  I personally didn't like the gold tips I applied so I redid everything from scratch.  But Sally Hansen is a go-to polish for us in this house.  Sally Hansen has never let me down:  cheap, good coverage, amazing colour selection.



Ta-Da!  The finished look.  Good for all types of events.  Especially covering up the fact that you have mega dirt under your nails from not showering consistently due to the caring of 4 little babes and still making you appear that you have things together.


 The Eldest Babe got in on the action.  Doing our nails is a ritual we share.  It is in those moments of choosing our colours and applying them to their little hands that we share thoughts in our minds and hearts.  I know it is mega-girly mama cliche but we love it.

 (This is the look I didn't go with.  What do you think?)  Also, I am really interested if anyone knows of any amazing vegan cosmetic brands (specifically nails).  I am looking to update my look and would love to be cruelty free.  Vegan Cuts is amazing in terms of sampling various beauty brands.  Limecrime looks awesome.  Any thoughts?

12.30.2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS





















This holiday was special for so many reasons.  Violet, our self-proclaimed big girl - each day, three times at least, she goes up to the Papa and I and asks "you know what? I two now." - was genuinely excited for the first time that Santa was coming.  There was excitement leading up to the morning of Christmas as always.  The babes count down from the morning advent begins (a tradition which we totally dropped the ball on this year).  The night before cookies are made, carrots and milk are put out and last thank you notes to Santa placed by the fire.  So magical to see the little eyes light up with excitement because their hearts are about to burst in anticipation.

Our Christmas traditions are simple and not related to the birth of Christ.  We are not religious, so I wish as a family we could call it something else that reflects our tradition of observing Santa's visit.  But we choose to call it Christmas to make our lives easier - I honestly get a little tired of explaining all our "alternative" choices all the time.

OUR TRADITIONS

1.  OUR ADVENT:  For weeks before December, I searched Pinterest in hopes of finding a cool advent calendar.  I found some really neat ones.  There were a lot of envelopes and hanging art pieces.  This year I was so not in the organized mode having been 38 weeks pregnant and about to deliver a baby.  I couldn't commit to putting together 24 days of activities and gifts.  So I purchased a silver box from the dollar store and superglued a circular piece of wood to the top.  Each night the Papa and I would write a countdown number on the wood and inside would place an activity (write letters to Santa, make cookies, sing carols).  We dropped the ball at 8 days in.  Next year I'll give it a better try.

2.  SANTA LETTERS:  Each year since Charlotte was a baby "we" have written a letter to Santa.  I have saved each response from the busy overweight jolly man.  My mama always did this with us when we were children and I always remembered the joy I felt in receiving one.

3.  TREE DECORATING:  We don't have an artificial one, although I had one as a child and white ones get me all giddy inside.  The first snowfall in December usually means tree getting day.  This year we stalled because we had little funds and went hunting in the forest for one.  We failed.  (The Papa ended up hauling 3 babes to the grocery store in the wagon and hauling a grocery store tree back).  Each year the girls decorate the tree.  Charlotte, our eldest, finger knit colourful yarn one year and that serves as our colourful wrapping.  The Papa is obsessed with tall trees and usually gets an 8 footer.  Regular Griswald Family Christmas.  Each year we also cut the bottom of the trunk and turn it into an ornament.

4.  CHRISTMAS EVE:  Music is played (usually Raffi and She & Him).  We eat a delicious vegan dinner consisting of faux tourtiere, stuffing, vegetables, homemade cranberry sauce and gravy.  Christmas stories are read, hot chocolate sipped by the fire and kisses.  Notes to Santa are put out with cookies and milk.  We never forget the reindeer.

5.  CHRISTMAS PRESENTS:  Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, Something to read.  Santa is also good about bringing the item each girl wants and a sharing gift.  Our babes are working really hard on their sharing.  That is it.  Well and stockings full of candy and fun.  

6.  CHRISTMAS MORNING:  The babes wake us up early morning.  Gifts are usually sorted and then ripped open feverishly.  The Mama takes photos.  The Papa puts on the Coffee and music.  We are full of joy and happiness.  

7.  CHRISTMAS DAY:  Spent eating, making food, lazing around.  There is copious amounts of candy and watching of "Home Alone".

I'd love to hear your traditions.  I love Christmas and the bringing together of family.  I always dreamed of having Babes to pass on the Santa tradition.  I hope you all had an amazing Christmas regardless of what you celebrate.