An Afternoon Walk in Vincent Massey Park

A Hug from Grandma...A Gaze from Me


Thanksgiving Weekend...so much to be Thankful for

We plucked a strawberry from the fields

A Walk in Windsor Park
Mommy and Daddy kiss
Thanksgiving weekend was a busy one. We spent the day perusing an antique market and then looking at an apartment for rent in Downtown in an 19th century three storey unit. The particular unit we were interested in had a huge balcony that overlooked downtown...the perfect spot for rooftop gardenng. Saturday getting ready for an evening with friends. We met the most lovely couple at Prenatal class named Will and Erin. They welcomed their beautiful son Emil not soon after Charlotte came. Well, they were kind enough to invite us over to dinner and we could not decline. They are such lovely and interesting people and we connect with them on so many levels.

Although they took care of the majority of the feast preparations, Allen and I made a pumpkin pie and vegan quiche...two of our specialties. The babies got to meet each other - well kind of when they were not breastfeeding or sleeping - and we got to dine in their backyard that was lit by the yellow leaves of a sugar maple bush. There was warmed cranberries, vegan stuffing, candied yams, asparagus, Raspberry sparkly, chocolate pumpkins, squash soup, and the warmth of friends. It was great.

Our Sunday was a busy as well. We spent all morning in the kitchen. I baked a chocolate brownie cake, stuffed squash with vegan dressing and a tofu frosting, while Allen worked on a pumpkin pie masterpiece and delicious chive potatoes. By the time noon rolled around, we hadn't been outside. Itching to breathe fresh air we headed out into amazing weather. Windsor Park (the photos above) was majestic. Finally, we headed to the ISLAND (a family cottage in the 1000 islands) for a Grier family traditional get together. Charlotte not only got to meet her family but went on her first boat ride.


PERTH and the Beauty of Fall

Liquid Gold

Breastmilk is the best milk. When we first started breastfeeding, it was quite difficult, tiresome and challenging. I remember at 3 weeks she had a growth spurt and I spent pretty much the entire weekend at the cottage lying down in Allen's parents room because she was feeding so much. Before having a baby, I was positive that breastfeeding was not for me. I am quite shy and whipping my breasts out in public seemed so scary and an impossible feat. I was worried of the looks I would receive and selfishly the shape of my breasts afterwards. Would I still be considered autonomous?

Then the day came when I had to introduce Charlotte to a park full of bike messengers. It was the weekend of the NSPI (North Side Polo Invite) and Allen was competing - all day! We had to be there. So, with nowhere to hide, I breastfed her in the public eye...and it felt empowering and beautiful.

At first, I must admit that I was afraid that she was not getting enough milk. You can't really see what she is getting. But after our first visit to the pediatrician where we discovered she was above the ABOVE NORMAL line of weight and length, I was assured that she was doing spectacularly.

Knowing that I was the source of her nourishment engraved in my thoughts that my choice and perseverence paid off. I do know that there are a lot of pregnant women out there that are thinking about breastfeeding and whether it is the best option. North American women of this century have grown up in a climate where we are taught to draw our eyes from the mother who feeds her child from her breast. Sadly we have been conditioned to believe that this NATURAL way of nourishing our children is disgusting and hence the mother becomes so as well. Being a woman who went into pregnancy convinced that she was going to have a C-section and formula feed, shy to expose myself to such criticism, I can say that breast has been best. After experiencing the squeeze of a little hand, the pause for a smile, the wide eyed look from a babe who knows that you provide all the comfort and meets her every need, I could never give my child a substance from a can.

I know that circumstances beyond your control may prevent you from breastfeeding. You may have an ill child or premature baby. You may feel that because you have adopted you cannot. You may be in an abusive relationship where a partner tells you that it is disgusting. You may simply not have the support from family or confidence in yourself to believe that it is doable. You may be the sole provider and need to return to work and place your child with others. Know however that breastfeeding is beautiful and can be accomplished in almost every situation. Breast milk contains everything that your particular baby needs. Each mother creates a particular liquid gold that is specific to their child's needs. It protects them against disease by building antibodies. It is unique and has NEVER been replicated by formula companies whose main goal is to diminish your confidence in yourself, to make you feel inadequate in using your body and breast for what nature intended it to do. Our bodies are beautiful and we need to return to thinking that they are.

It is also inexpensive (unless purchasing from a milk bank -which still is better than formula - formula should always be a last resort!). It creates a warmth and bonding between mother and child that cannot be broken.

For anyone who may read this and is thinking of BREASTFEEDING, please:

1. Pick up Jack Newman's book The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers
2. Visit a local La Leche League meeting to learn how to get that proper latch. Other
mothers are also there for support.
3. Look into pumping or milk banks (there is presently only one milk bank in Canada in BC)
4. Realize that Breastfeeding is the most natural, beautiful thing you can do. It may be difficult at first but persevere. You are one woman making a difference.


Rock-A-Bye Baby

BIG Sister Alley snuggles beside Charlotte

Drunk on MILK (pronounced MEELK)
Remember that Dinosaur Baby from "DINOSAURS" - "NOT THE MAMA!"
Mama and Char Latte Asleep
Strollin' and Rollin'

Smiling baby...well Kind of

Squeezing into Clothes

So Nonna brought over some clothes that I used to wear when I was a baby. Being the fashionista I am, I really thought that I would be dressing Charlotte like a little Suri Cruise or Apple, or at least that I would actually care. You come to learn quickly that you really don't have the time to care, at least in the first little while, and they look adorable regardless. When I went to put on these outfits, she had already grown out of them...so I squeezed her in.

Daddy's Little Girl

6 lbs. 12 oz. of weight. Oh BOY!
After I had my time to hold Charlotte, Daddy had his.

Reading is fun...
Can you tell who Daddy's fave singer is?

Minutes after giving birth

This is one of Allen and my fave shots of Charlotte and me. It was taken a few minutes after I gave birth to her naturally in Allen's parents home with my midwife Sarah Doyle. It had been a long labor - 25 hours in total - quite exhausting. I had not slept for almost two days, had not eaten (I wanted to but my body wouldn't let me), and lost confidence near the end. By the time my second midwife, Rose arrived, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I really had no concept of what was going on around me...and believe me I looked it. But when she came out and was placed upon my chest, it seemed that all the depleted energy just transformed itself into a beautiful bliss. EUPHORIC. LIFE CHANGING.

First Photo Shoot

I have had such little time to be consistent with the blog. It is 3 o'clock in the morning right now and I couldn't sleep after her feeding (which is usually a little nibble at night now - great for me) so I headed to the computer. I plan to be more consistent from now on, especially since she changes so much from week to week. These particular photographs were taken on about the second week of life. She is wearing a cute little cherry onesie that Grandpa picked out. The third time she wore it she had already grown out of it, sorry I was happy to have taken these photographs.