August 06, 2016

minutes with mila |

a new post! a new post! also, dare i say, a revival of LAAV? fingers crossed for yes.this spot of the internet i call my own has always been a nice outlet for me, but more than anything, it's been the best to reflect on. pre baby, post baby, it's just good times.

with m, i did so well at documenting her infant moments but really fell silent during her toddler years. there have been so many stages where i confidently feel like "this one. this is the best one yet." don't get me wrong, it's not without challenges but man can those good times mask those challenging times in a second. 

lately, m's vocabulary has expanded and her imagination has taken off. the two together is like a fun factory cocktail. i feel like i hang on her every word sometimes because who knows where it will go next. sometimes it's totally normal and then other times her favourite animal is "batman". this kid, seriously, this kid. 

miss mila, i adore you.

January 09, 2015

let's catch up!

hi there!
 where have you been? 

okay but really, where have i been is more like it? absent...vacant...yes. i've been pretty MIA for no particular reason and when i looked back at my last post i couldn't believe it was in september! have i seriously not blogged since then? eek! before i get back on the blogging trail i thought i would take this post to catch up. a lot has happened since little mila turned one. she basically went from baby to toddler in one sleep. i swear she noticeably grows in a blink.

i went back to work at the end of august! i found the process to be somewhat of an emotional roller coaster where some days i couldn't wait to jump in and share my creativity again; and then there were days when i couldn't even get in the mindset, was so nervous, felt displaced and really timid about knowing anything outside of feeding and nap schedules. eventually i settled on not settling on any emotion and to just ride it out because there was no accurate way to feel about any of it. i plan to have a more official blog post on the matter but after a few months in the "new normal" this life feels pretty standard now. not only do i like being back but i love seeing mila in her school setting. her little individual is budding more and more every day and it's fun to see how she forms relationships with other kids and teachers on her own.

we celebrated a lot! the end of the year is always my favourite time because it's when the importance of family and friends is heightened a bit more then usual and i have always get reflective on the past year while feeling excited about the year to come. there is also jay's birthday and my favourite holidays in the mix. i'll admit i feel like i failed on this year's costumes for halloween. we went as three blind mice but everyone thought we were mickey mouse. must rectify for 2015!

this handsome guys and i snuck out for an anniversary date night to a movie theatre in our 'kind of new' hood. it was the sweetest two screen theatre that reminded me so much of northern california. it was really great to spend time with just the two of us too. those days come at a premium now so even if we are sitting silent next to each other in the theatre the post movie synopsis' we talk about always makes for a perfect date.

m and i flew out to colorado to surprise my mom before christmas. it was a really special trip because it was also the first time i got to meet my new baby niece and mila got to meet her new cousin- plus my mom's reaction when she saw us was priceless. i grew up with this side of our family and to reconnect with everyone, meet new babies and hug my grandma is just about the most wonderful way to end a year if you ask me. it's amazing how even after being removed for so long i can still come back and feel right at home there.

we experienced our first 'real' baby fever which ended us in the ER and a diagnosis of a double ear infection and upper respiratory viral infection. everything has worked itself out just fine, another three ear infections have come gone and we are currently battling a double ear infection now upping our count to five. i recently recovered from bronchitis so our house has been no stranger to antibiotics, rest and disney movies.

last but not least, in case any of you remember, i gave up chocolate for a year last valentines day and have stuck with it! more on that to come as well but for now, it's just a little update and i'm pretty proud for sticking to it!

hope you all had an amazing holiday season and happy 2015!

September 06, 2014


we are counting years instead of months now and every day i wish i could just slow down all the time we have with her. like how is she one guys? i still remember so clearly when we were driving to the hospital in the weeeeeeee hours of the morning and i kept telling myself not to get my hopes up because the nurses where probably going to send us home. and then when we got admitted i asked the nurse about a thousand times if she was really sure our baby was coming that day because i was beyond myself with excitement and i couldn't bare the thought of not meeting her that day. then that first announcement when we knew our mila was here; that first time i held her and never wanted to let her go; that time a high strung nurse chased jay down the hall because he wanted to show her off to his folks; that time the night nurse sang to her and rocked her forever so i could eat; those first few days when i when i was overwhelmed with love and terror; those nights i stayed up reading and reading and reading because i was sure i would eff something up; those nights i made myself not read for fear of being paranoid; those walks where i took her in her sling, just the two of us with her fast asleep and me afraid of walking too far away in case she woke up and started crying; those times i felt like i had everything under control and then realized i actually didn't; and that time i finally realized control just had a different definition now.

from day one ms. mila, you stole our hearts. but from that day we first met you, you melted us completely. we often reflect back on the day we found out we had a daughter and the first few weeks we tried to figure it all out. i can't begin to express what an honor it is to be your mama and to watch you grow daily. you are the biggest blessing we have ever known and it's hard to imagine the days before you were here, because it feels like you have always been here, right with us. 

your smile. ugh! your smile. i would try every trick in the book to make you smile kiddo- lucky for me, you kind of smile a lot. really, it's not that hard to make you happy. you are the most beautiful, genuine little creature and we seriously can't get enough of you. to our baby girl, we love you a million times over.


on mamahood :: month 11

this is it! the conclusion of the mamahood series. we officially have a toddler in our house and i have been back to work for two weeks now. this past year just flew by and i terribly miss my full days at home with her every single day. i even have this crazy amount of anxiety for every minute that stalls me from getting to her after 5pm. seriously guys, it's something i'm really trying to control. you have no idea how many times i've dreamed of having a go go gadget car after work. i plan to do a post on her first birthday in a bit so i'll save the sap for that (because there is a lot!) but for any new parent about to start their journey with a babe, or for any parent currently in the throws of the first year i leave you with this: document as much as you can. when you can. every parent young and old told us it goes by so fast and in just one short year, i fully agree. 

LAAV on mamahood, month 11:
  • tooth count: six
  • she said "dadda"!!!! (and can't stop)
  • she stands on her own for a few seconds
  • if there is a snuggle to steal i'll do it
  • she finally took to formula after jay tricked her by putting strawberries in her sippy nozzle- i couldn't be more grateful it worked and more bummed i didn't think of it first. 
  • she still hates grass
  • i felt so confident about her going to daycare and me going to work until one afternoon i just started crying making her a peanut butter sandwich. jay had to take over lunch at that point. 
  • i cried a few times after that peanut butter moment too
  • she plays "sleeps" anywhere, anytime. just ask her to play sleep and she'll tuck her hands under her belly and lay down stiff as a board
  • book winners of the month: hand, hand, fingers, thumb, the going to sleep book,christmas touch and feel book, and goodnight colorado
  • she loves pulling all my makeup out of my makeup bag
  • baths are her favourite thing (thanks to everyone for the tips on washing her hair without getting water on her face!)
  • when she first wakes up in the morning, she'll hand me her teddy bear right away. i hug it and give it back to her.
  • at nap time i ask if she wants to take a snooze and she'll nod her head yes
  • it hit me while clothes shopping for her that at 1 year she is no longer a baby, she is a toddler (i may have cried here too)
  • she likes to do walking laps around her crib before falling asleep
  • she practices standing on anything she can simultaneously stopping my heart every time she does
  • the only kisses she gives out are to herself in the mirror

and fin!

hope you had as much fun reading as i did sharing. 
for the full mamahood series click here!

August 08, 2014

beautiful things. beautiful people. beautiful world. the happiness collective.

every morning when i get a little quiet time i like to catch up online with friends and current affairs. i get lost in instagram and my rss feeds that are a mixture of blogs and news syndicates. i basically see it as my time to catch up.

one of the reasons why i started this blog was because at the time, i always seemed to land on a negative piece of news. "this war here..." "this explosion here..." "this arrest made..." you get it right? by no means am i saying these articles aren't newsworthy, the absolutely are and i am happy they are shared so proper awareness can be given. i just felt personally that i commonly gravitated towards news that was heartbreaking or devastating not heartfelt and uplifting. today after reading about the newest airstrike order i thought now might be a good time to search the web for reminders that the world we live in isn't all bad. that not all news is upsetting, and really beautiful things happen all the time should our eyes just be open to them.

below are a few links i wanted to share. hopefully they will lift up your day the same way they did for me!

hummus selfies via deseret news national:
a new social media campaign taking a small stance on a bigger message. sure it is adding light to a very horrible conflict with israel and palestine but it's swaying the conversation every so slightly to find a common ground for equality, even if it starts with the silliest thing, it's a start nonetheless. there is even a facebook page for the hummus initiative.

i found it incredibly heartwarming that so many people worked together to help one person. no one left it up to the platform workers or seemed bothered to shove a super heavy train to help this man. look at the diversity of the people helping, it really is a wonderful group effort.

dr. mulualem gessesse is one incredible woman who deserves a lot of attention for her work with newborns. she has spread her education through multiple hospitals allowing for neonatal practice to be given on a regular basis. she started with very little and turned what little she had into a miracle network for families.

and then there is this kid...

happy friday all! 
hope you guys have a great weekend!

August 04, 2014

a few tips for museum going with baby

i try to get out with mila every day (with the exception of a few lazy days here and there of course). we typically go for longer walks during the day because it's free, we don't have to find parking or navigate the subway, and we can quickly come back home to cool off or nap or whatever. seeing as i have a few weeks of mat leave left and i sort of love museums of all varieties, i have been taking mila on a little tour of toronto museums. some i have been to before and others i have always wanted to go to so i decided to take full advantage of my time off with just her and myself.

my first museum trip with mila was a little awkward because even though i was with her, i sort of felt alone. i was also a little nervous of a meltdown, or poo explosion, or some moment that i knew i couldn't control. there is something about that sweet retired couple viewing historical artifacts when all of the sudden a toddler decides to scream their face off in the middle of the room that i didn't really want any part of. the more and more i have gone, the more comfortable i feel going though. it's actually some of my most favourite mat leave moments. so for other mama's who have a few public fears like i did. i put together a little list of tips that hopefully help you out and allow you to explore more of what your city has to offer!

go to a place you want to go to: the way i see it, one day, all of our outings and activities will have a strong 'kid' focus. which i'm really excited for truly, but i doubt i'll be able to say "let's go see japanese paintings from the floating world!" and they are going to say "totally!" so for now i'm taking the opportunity to see as many places and as many exhibits that currently interest me while mila is still small enough to tote around. besides it feels like a fun way to share my interests with her and one day i hope she shares hers with me!

check the museum's website in advance to see if there is stroller accessibility: most museums we've been to have some type of stroller/wheelchair accessibility option but check in advance just in case. the ago , rom and science centre in toronto are really good at helping people with babies/kids navigate their museum! however there was a historic place we visited last january that had an elevator for wheelchairs but wouldn't allow strollers and i found that out including their reasoning (which made perfect sense) from their site. needless to say i was happy i figured that out early. by checking ahead you can have a good heads up on baby carrying options.

know the best way to get there: when you live in the city like us, transportation can be tricky and can easy tack on more time to your trip. while there is a decent public transit system here and most all major museums are on a subway stop, there are very few stops with escalators let alone elevators. and there is no way i am lugging a twenty pound stroller with a twenty pound baby up city subway steps. unless i plan to carry mila (which is proving to be difficult the bigger she gets) i typically drive. there are parking lots all over the city but some closest to the museums can charge more per half hour then one say two blocks away. i have found finding these off the beaten path lots to be the best, the cheapest, and the emptiest allowing for a seamless park and unpack start to our trip.

pack "no mess" snacks and water (depending on babes age of course): this doesn't apply for littles who aren't on solids just yet, but for those who are, i found packing snacks like dry food, bits of cheese and water to be really helpful. rice rusks, puffs, and bread are easy to store, easy to eat, and won't leave a sticky smudge on picasso's sitting lady should it be flung from little hands. dont forget food and drink for you too!

go during off peak times: this is more a consideration for you and baby in regards to other museum patrons. i personally find it less stressful knowing i can push the stroller wherever i want without having to navigate large crowds of people. i typically try to be considerate that i take up more space so often i push the stroller to side or make it a point to get out of people's way. if you go during slower times you'll have more room to go where you please and see things head on versus cramming yourself in a corner somewhere. 

know you'll be a bit noisier than others and it's okay: this may seem obvious to most people with babes because this happens on a daily basis, but when you are naturally in a silent environment, chances are you mirror the same level of noise...but baby won't ever do that will they? mila chatted her way through the entire art gallery of ontario the other day, like seriously removed her pacifier just to chat and giggle. and seeing as i am her mama and her little personality kills me, i found it only necessary to chat and giggle along with her and it. was. awesome!

there you have it! hope these little tips help a bit and if there are any tips you have feel free to share them here, i would love to know them!

July 30, 2014

on mamahood :: month 10

it's funny how every month i think "this is my favourite month!" with mila. i guess it's just fair to say that i really enjoy having this little lady in our lives. month ten has been incredible though! she engages more and seems to be learning at a faster pace. she has these little personality traits that are all her own and every day it seems like she is growing more and more into her own little self. it really has been the best to spend every day seeing her grow and change. i swear it happens so fast!

on a personal note, i know i have openly talked about my mixed emotions about going back to work. selfishly, i am very excited to get back to it, really. but mom guilt always seemed to creep right in there making me think the worse about daycare and the worse about leaving her. over the past few weeks, my thoughts on it have really changed. we had family come and visit a few weeks back and i was pretty much non-existent, but i really needed that. it was good to see how she interacted with others and how much fun she had with new faces. for the first time, i'm really excited about taking her to daycare and giving her the opportunity to become more of an individual, to learn from other people and make new friends. it's a pretty great little feeling i tell you.

LAAV on mamahood, month ten:
  • tooth count: four
  • she is a crawling master!
  • she taught herself how to sit from a crawl in one morning and can't stop doing it.
  • my stomach is finally seeming more "normal".
  • weaning is the new thing i am fully freaked out about doing. especially when she strongly refused formula for over a week.
  • she scrunches her nose every time she smiles.
  • when she throws her head all the way back we say "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes.yes." and she nods with us.
  • she fake giggles in the nerdiest way and genuinely giggles in the cutest way.
  • climbing the stairs is her greatest victory.
  • she grabs books and holds them up for you to read. she'll still turn every page for you too.
  • yogurt is her most favourite food along with anything fruity. except mangos, she doesn't like those. (which is weird because mangos sums up my first trimester. all day. every day. couldn't get enough!)
  • she pulls things out of the carpet even though i swear we just vacuumed.
  • she fits in 12-18 month clothes now.
  • pulling cards from our wallets is her favourite morning activity and guarantees us at least 10 more minutes in bed. 
  • she cuddles in to my shoulder at every sleep while i sing to her till there was you.
  • she'll drink from her sippy just fine until she is done with it. then she puts the sippy to her mouth and spits water all down her shirt until she is soaked. she smiles the entire time she does it too.
  • brown bear brown bear what do you see, ten apples up on top, m is for maple, highlights hello magazine and wake up night are the book winners for the month.
  • she cuddles with her toys (fluffy or not) and my heart implodes.
  • her "dessert" (which is partially frozen fruit) comes out to the tune of star wars or the rocky theme song depending on if mom or dad is bringing it to her.
  • she hates grass.
  • she'll throw all of her soothers and her teddy bear out of her crib and call for us to come get them. she rarely does this more than once per sleep so we don't mind indulging her.
  • she refuses to sit in baths, only stands, making it a two man job again. please send reccos on how to best wash their hair without getting water all over their face.
  • she understands more and points to things when you ask her to find them. our noses/eyes/chins, pictures of her cousins, or sheep and trucks seem to be the most fun to find.
  • i love taking her to museums even though she can't fully grasp how great they are just yet.
  • i say to her "one day, dad and i will take you to rome, or prague, or the amalfi coast, wouldn't that be fun!?" one day.