Family Days

21 Jul

Working shift work, I am never guaranteed to have a weekend off.  Now that I am casual, I try to schedule the majority of my shifts on evenings or weekends to save on childcare.  Ty normally works Monday to Friday, but recently had some weekend overtime too.

We usually try to have a family day where we do a purposeful activity when we have a shared day off.  Yesterday after a very lazy start to the morning, we tossed around a few ideas.  I was working at 7pm, so we couldn’t go too far and decided on Waterton National Park, about an hour and half away.

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We packed up the girls and hit the road.  I commented to Tyler how lucky we are to have such good car travellers.  Abby is happy to sit and watch the scenery go by and Gracelyn almost always falls asleep. Although I am sure the day will come, I am grateful we don’t need to pack toys and ipads and distractions for shorter rides like this.  I am so happy they are willing to entertain themselves or each other!

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I took this one on the ride home

When we got there, Abrielle was so excited to see the waterfall. We made it our first stop and took the obligatory picture that neither girl posed for!

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We then went for a little climb, or ” ‘benture walk” as Abby calls it.  This is by far her fave thing to do anywhere we go, and Gracie kept up despite the steep incline!  It was a good way to stretch the legs after a car ride.

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We walked around the town for a bit and decided to grab a late lunch.  The girls were starving and so were we!  We forgot how pricey tourist towns are, but it was still delicious.

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I have poor Gracie that ugly scratch on her face with my nail accidentally that morning! Poor babes.

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After lunch we walked around a bit more and stopped at the candy store for an ice cream.  Gracelyn shared with Ty and Abby and got a sucker instead, and I opted for a fresh popped bag of popcorn.

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Too soon it was time to leave, but we drove up the mountain to see Cameron Lake quickly.  It is gorgeous, and we already have a trip planned to do a picnic and spend the day there soon! 

The girls fell asleep not two minutes into the ride home and didn’t wake up until we hit Lethbridge again.  It was a short day, but well worth the trip.  I hope our ladies remember these little impromptu road trips and times we share as a family, and I hope even more they want to keep doing it as they get older!.

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Gracelyn at 21 Months,

8 Jul

My baby,

I can barely call you a baby anymore, because you truly are a big girl. As I type this, you are passed out on my lap, fast asleep as we fly home from Ottawa. I had a great little vacation with just you, showing you off to all of my extended family.

Sweet girl, you are such a pistol. You have just blossomed into such a little toddler, primarily with your vocabulary. Much like your sister, you talk and talk and talk all day long. Your words per sentence are getting quite extensive, such as when you told me “be right back Mama, I go get pickle”. Other favourites are:
-Bless you (regardless of there is a cough or sneeze)
-I love you too (that word, “too”, melts my heart because you aren’t just repeating it)
-Crazy (when I say “you…are…”you proudly fill in the word crazy).
- Where are you? I miss you!
-Dora (this is apparently grandma’s nickname now?)

I love that you refer to yourself as either “me” or “Gaycie”. You are a real trickster too and like to make jokes, such as putting your bunny (or “Hop” as you now call it) on your head and saying “nooooooooo….not hat!”. You like to hide things and reveal them dramatically also.

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You actually stayed awake for the fireworks on Canada Day this year and it was such a joy watching the absolute wonder on your face. You stared with a sweet smile on your face as your sister exclaimed and chattered non stop and loved every minute of it.

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You are teething, and although you were less than good for your auntie when she took you camping, you were and absolute angel for me on our trip. Lots of our passengers commented on how well behaved you were, and you slept through all of our flights.

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You are a smarty pants and can count to twenty and sing most of your ABCs. You know almost all animals by name or sound, and can identify books by name. Your current favourite is My Body and it is adorable to hear you pronounce it. You continue to love to sing and dance as well.

You are joined to your sister at the hip and you two missed each other while we were away. You kept picking up my phone and asking me to call sissy. (edited to add) Now that we are home, you two have been inseparable and it melts my heart seeing you two conspire, giggle and play together. At the spray park the other day you girls grabbed hands and toddler off together, melting my heart completely.

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You haven’t changed much in clothing size, but your feet are now a size 4, still in size 3 diapers, and your soft blond hair is growing and actually getting a tiny bit of curl when wet. Your blue eyes stop traffic and sometimes I swear they were made by a chemical reaction.

Sweet girl, you are pure delight. I am totally and utterly in love with you and your spirit, and am so proud to call you mine.

Love,

Mama

7 Year Itch

23 Jun

Monday (June 16) marked our seventh wedding anniversary.  Both of us remarked how fast time seems to go by, I feel like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle and partying into the wee hours of the night!

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On our first wedding anniversary we planned and took a mini vacation weekend away to celebrate.  This year, I worked and because Tyler had his upcoming team camping trip the following Thursday, we didn’t have the time to celebrate until tonight.  How things change!

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So young!

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We left the girls with my in-laws and went out for dinner.  We enjoyed some drinks and an appy on the patio, and then our main course.  It was especially nice having some time to reconnect after Ty was away all weekend.

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After dinner we drove around new subdivisions looking at houses (a favourite pass time of ours) and stopped for frozen yogurt.

7 years later, and I love my husband more than the day I married him.  I feel so blessed to have such a happy marriage with an amazing partner.  I love his sense of humor, love for life and a good party, his loyalty and commitment.  I am so lucky to be married to a man who kisses me goodbye in the morning, hello when he comes home and goodnight (not to mention the times in between).  Tyler tells me not only that he loves me, but that he appreciates me.  He helps me pursue my passions and makes me feel like the smartest person in the world.  He is a great communicator and I credit his persistence in face of my stubbornness as a reason why we don’t often fight.  Issues get laid out and dealt with in a timely manner, and it is because of him.

There is no one else in the world who has ever made me feel so physically comfortable in my own skin.  Before meeting Tyler, I did not like people in my space, but he was able to break my walls down.  We have been through the deepest grief and the highest joys together. 

Together, we created not only a marriage, but a family.  I am so thankful that Tyler is not only an amazing husband, but a top notch Dad.  I appreciate him being an equal when it comes to parenting, and nothing makes me happier than seeing he and the girls love on each other.  I have said it many times before, but it is such a juxtaposition watching a big man being so tender with tiny little girls, and it melts my heart every time.

So, no 7 year itch here.  I am happy to be celebrating anniversary #7, and hope to see #70 as well!

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Happy Father’s Day

15 Jun

Tyler,

Thank you for being such an amazing father to our girls.  I will never forget your excitement over finding out we were pregnant, tracking our little ones growth with a pregnancy app, and the moment Abrielle was placed in your arms.  She looked like she had always belonged right there, and you never once from that day forward faltered in your confidence or tenderness with our girls.

Thank you for teaching our girls how to camp, stack firewood, ride quads, play hockey and swing a golf club.  Thank you for also playing dolls, reading Barbie books, doing ponytails and twirling around in the kitchen.

Thank you for telling first time expectant Dads all the joy they have to look forward to, instead of telling them that their lives as they know it are over (as so many people told you).  Thank you for being so proud of your girls.

Thank you for establishing special traditions and routines.  I love that you have a special song for each of them, and hold them a certain way when they are tired. 

Thank you for being so tender with Abby and Gracie, and always considering their feelings.  Thank you for not trying to take away their girliness, and for supporting and encouraging them.

Thank you for showing our girls how they should be treated.  Our girls are growing up in an environment rich in love and respect. Thank you for helping to instill in them morals and values so that they will know who will be worthy of their heart.  I am confident that our children will not allow anyone to disrespect or mistreat them, because you have shown them what valueable people they are.

There isn’t a single man on this planet who could be a better father for our little gals.  We are so lucky to have you.

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Ladiesfest Recap and a Trip to the ER

10 Jun

This past weekend was interesting, to say the least!  Friday I worked a day shift, and ended up staying a little late because we were busy.  I was just hanging up my stethoscope when Tyler called to let me know they were heading into the ER because Gracelyn had been knocked unconscious.

She and Abby had been playing on the trampoline and Tyler was doing yard work.  When Gracie said she was done, Abby tried to help her off the steps and accidentally bear hugged/threw her on the cement where she smacked the back of her head.

She was out for about a minute, and very out of it and twitchy when she did come too so Tyler called 911.  Fire EMS came as there were no ambulances available and checked her out.  She looked ok, so they suggested Ty drive her in to be seen.  By the time she was seen, she was running around like a maniac and working on her next head injury by climbing on everything, so she was discharged home.  Thankful that all ended well!

Saturday morning was Ladies fest, so I woke up early, ate in the car and met the girls.  I had no goal for the race and was trying to just have fun.  We started at 8, and headed down the big hill.  I started at a good clip, and was having trouble pacing myself slower than I would have liked for the first 2 miles.  I was enjoying the beautiful day and the scenery, but quickly started getting numbness down my left leg. I was surprised when it started going down the right leg as well, but tried to push through a bit.  At this time I caught up to Tawnya, who due to health issues was having a bit of a tough time too.  We decided to say screw it and did intervals for the rest of the race, and walked the big hill at the end.  We ended up finishing together in just under an hour, and had a great time in the process!  It is a long and frustrating process of just letting go of what I use to be able to do, bur I feel like I am getting there slowly

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Repping pink for Ladiesfest!

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Walking up the miserable hill

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Chocolates and roses at the finish line

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Ty and the girls came to cheer me on

There was a complimentery brunch afterwards, but we decided to go out as a family with Tawnya and her family.  We walked over to Humpty’s and had a greasy and delicious meal before heading home!

Thoughts on Baby #3

5 Jun

I get asked all the time when Tyler and I are going to have baby #3.  Long story short, the answer is: probably never.

I loved being pregnant, even though I spent a large portion of my pregnancies  throwing my guts up.  I feel like children are a gift and pregnancy is a blessing and am beyond lucky I got to experience it multiple times. 

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I also love, love, love the newborn stage.  I was so fortunate to have babies who slept through the night at just over a week old, nursed like champions and a husband who is a very hands on and involved Dad.  I would probably keep having babies forever because I love newborns so much!

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I would never ever say never when it comes to baby #3, but I am 99% sure I am done.  Tyler is 100% sure we are done, lol!  The most common question we get is whether or not we want a boy.  Honestly, no offense to boys out there, but I have zero desire to have one.  It is no secret that I love having girls and if we were to have another baby, honestly, I would hope for another little lady! 

To have another baby would also mean buying new vehicles, a new house and so much more for changes.  My friend Jenn and I were talking about it, and she said that the further away you get from the baby stage, the easier it is to stay there, and I agree. Abby is so independent and she and Gracelyn are best buddies and play together all the time. 

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Also, knowing Gracelyn is my last, I am content to let her just be a baby.  I had some regrets that we sped along Abrielle’s exit from babyhood anticipating another’s arrival, such as moving her to a toddler bed, etc.  I feel no rush with any of this for Gracelyn and have been savoring every last bit of baby that she has.

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People tell us all the time that we should have more babies, and while I take that as a huge compliment, I dont think it is in our future.  I am going to be 31 at the end of the summer (ahhhhhh!) and I wanted to be done having my kids before I turned 30 (this is a personal decision, not a comment on when I think people should or shouldn’t have babies-not that that is any of my business anyway!). I also am excited to start focusing a little more on securing a permanent position and really growing in my career as a pediatric nurse as it is something I am so passionate about.

Despite all of our family support, Tyler and I would love more time together too.  We use a lot of our free babysitting for times when we have commitments or I work, and look forward to more dates!  We try to always prioritize our relationship, but don’t want to be constantly leaving our girls :-)

I look forward to my friends starting on their baby number twos soon so I can snuggle them, but for now, we are happy as a family of four.

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Gracelyn Ella at 20 Months

3 Jun

Gracer,

Holy smokes, you are 20 months old.  In 4 months, you will be 2!  I can’t believe how fast the time is going and how quickly you are developing and blossoming.

You continue to be a sweet and spicy little tornado of personality.  You are a cheeky little thing and spend your waking hours walking/running around, usually either doing a happy shriek or singing to yourself.  Your favourite right now is the Frozen soundtrack, and you do a mean version of Let it Go that never fails to elicit laughs from anyone listening.  You also love In Summer and Love is an Open Door.  Your voice is so high and sweet and I can’t help but laugh everytime you do your rendition!

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You are forcing my hand with potty training, little one.  Your Dad and I thought we would start closer to 2, but lately you have been more than clear that you want to use the potty.  After a few days of letting you sit on it (with your diaper on) after you would ask to go, I finally started taking your diaper off.  For the last few days, you have been very consistent in telling us “poo poo, potty” regardless of if it is poop or pee, and delivering the goods on the potty!  Our Easter candy stash is dwindling and you love washing your hands afterwards.   Looks like we will be spending a few days semi naked at home soon!

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You are such a smart little girl, and can count to 8, know three colours (pink, purple and “lellow”), and your vocabulary takes off more and more every day.  You have 3-6 word sentences (like “Mama, no want Apple. Want tic tac”, as you told me this morning!) and your comprehension is fantastic.  We communicate almost exclusively verbally back and forth now and I have noticed your whining has really gone down.  Your newest word happens to be Katie, and you address me by it often.  Little turkey :-)

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You continue to be happiest outdoors and love to play in the backyard, climb around a playground or go for a walk in your “wide” (stroller). You are a major dare devil and tend to only like the big kid slides that you rocket down.  You also love swings, the higher the better!  You climb on everything and have also discovered how to let yourself outside through the backdoor.  You have slipped out when both your Dad and I were with you in the kitchen even you little sneak!

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You have been off bottles for about 5 months now and we are transitioning you to a regular cup.  Your appetite is still enormous, but now you have days where you eat only a normal amount.  You are getting quite specific about what kind of snacks you like, and if you can’t say the name you will point and say “how about…..dis!”.  You are still on your crib, and Daddy needs to lower it because you can climb out onto the attached change table!  I hope to keep you in the crib for a bit longer, because you are so happy in there. You still use a soother for bedtime and the occasional cranky time (generally, when we are out and you should be in bed!). You continue to sleep 12+ hours a night, a 1-2 hour morning nap and a 3-4 hour afternoon nap.  You sleep hard, but baby, you play hard!

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You love accessories, particularly your fedora, sunglasses and necklaces.  You still tolerate getting your hair done, but I need to be quick or do it while you are brushing your teeth.  You insist on your “porpuhl sheeews” (purple candles) no matter what the occsssion. You are in size 3 diapers, size 3-4 shoes, 12-18 month sleepers and other clothes are anywhere from 6-12 months.  You have filled out tons and are stretching up quickly!

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Sweet girl, you light up my days and never fail to make me laugh with your crazy antics and wild personality.  I love being your Mama and have been beyond blessed that you chose to be mine. I love you so much sweet angel!

Love,

Mama

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