Tuesday, December 8, 2015


November was filled with home renovations, family gatherings, and busyness.

We had a late Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family in Wasaga Beach. I finished my Christmas shopping and we celebrated the first of our family Christmas' at our house with my family before my mom left for Florida for the winter. We finally did a ton of work in our kitchen and have all new appliances, new flooring, a new faucet, refaced cabinets, and new track lighting over the preparation area. We also switched our dining room to our family room and are now using our combined living room/dining room as a larger family room space. The house is finally starting to feel more like home after 4.5 years!

Volunteer activities took up a lot of my time in November. For one of my activities, I took the afternoon off work and attended an alumni/student networking event at the university where I did my undergraduate degree. I loved being back on campus (so nostalgic!) and speaking with all the students who are in the same program I took. The very next week I attended another alumni event held in Toronto geared toward women and leadership in careers. I had the opportunity to meet many astounding women at the event and left feeling so inspired. Until recently, I had never really engaged much with the Alumni community, but I'm very happy I did. I'm actually a graduate of two universities but preferred my undergraduate experience to my graduate experience and feel far more of a connection there. If you went to college or university, are you at all involved with the alumni association?

We attended parent-teacher interviews for both boys and were delighted to hear that they are doing very well academically. We were especially proud of our biggest guy who up until this year was quite behind in reading and has made such significant strides, he is at the appropriate level now! We've really been trying at home to find reading materials that interest him by letting him choose materials from the Scholastic book order at school and getting a variety of books from the second hand store to try out different series.

Noah also learned to scooter (in the house) and it has been the cutest thing ever! We had our first little bit of snow too but so far none has stuck around which is a bummer because this year we bought passes to the ski hill!

A few from November.. though I didn't take many since my phone camera is so terrible now:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Days spent on the lake in the boat with warm weather seem so far behind us now. We closed the trailer and boat up at the beginning of October for the year.

Toward the end of October we lost my mother-in-law to Alzheimers. She was only 64 and it progressed quickly. I knew her a few years before the disease really took hold and was fortunate to have had that time. Unfortunately, the boys didn't really have a chance to get to know her well. I hope we will find opportunities to be able to talk to them more about her as time goes on. This year was their first real exposure to death. They lost a great-grandfather and a grandmother. B&N sat quietly and were very respectful during the service. I was a proud mama. Quiet and respectful aren't often words I use to describe them but it is nice to know they understand when it is important that they try to be on their best behaviour.

Consequently, I was solo parenting a lot in October. Weekends were spent - apple picking (there happened to be pumpkins there too!), having backyard adventures, and making many trips to the playground. We also had a couple of special outings with just the big boys. I took them skating one afternoon and the four of us went to a local hockey game another evening. For the latter, we had a girl in our neighbourhood baby sit for the first time while Noah was sleeping. It is something we plan on doing more often now that the boys are getting older.

Halloween was a hit this year, we had an Iron Man, Batman, and Dragon. Two of which were hand-me-down costumes from previous years.  Noah even learned to say trick-or-treat, visited a couple of houses, and helped me hand out candy in his dragon costume. He was the sweetest little dragon there ever was.

My camera on my iPhone is getting so terrible. It may be time for a new one soon... 

Monday, October 12, 2015


September was a big month for us around here:

We spent a totally relaxing Labour Day weekend up at the trailer in amazingly warm weather. Otherwise we didn't get up there much this month.

Two not so little boys went to school. One for the first time and totally loves it.

I took my first trip away from Noah and the longest I've been away from the others. One of my best girlfriends and I went to Chicago for five glorious days. Some highlights were: the Art Institute, a wine boat cruise, Cubs game at Wrigley Field, Blues Bar, Second City Comedy Show, 18km gangster history bike tour, and a free greeter tour with a local gal which was so fun. There wasn't a meal I ate that wasn't delicious. Such a beautiful city!

Skating started back up and I wasn't nearly as sore as after the first practice last year.

I took the boys to Doors Open, an annual free event where places that aren't normally open to the public open their doors. The site we visited was our local airport and military museum.


Happy October and Fall to all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I can't believe September has arrived already and I'm posting this as I sit at home on my vacation day while Noah is napping and the two big boys are at school(!).

Here's my re-cap from August:

- August long weekend I took the Friday off work and we drove up to Temagami to my in-laws cottage with some friends and their two sons. The boys had a blast paddling around the bay on the paddle boat, going for rides on the sea-doo that was up there, and jumping off the tower that my father-in-law built on the dock when my husband was B's age.

- We spent some really hot weekends up at the trailer out on the lake most of the day doing water sports, sea-dooing, and swimming at the shallow sand bar and deep spots in our lake. We even had family up to visit one weekend which was fun. I'm feeling much more comfortable driving the boat now and ripping around on the waterskis.

- We visited my mom at her new house in Wasaga Beach (twice!) and the boys had a blast on the beach (especially Noah) and visiting the skate park with their scooters.

- A couple of weekends ago the weather was cooler (20 degrees!). The boys did some fishing but we didn't go out otherwise on the lake. We went swimming in the heated pool instead and I went into town to the amusement park for a couple of hours with the big boys and friends of ours and their kids. R hung back with Noah while he napped. We had lots of fun doing go karts,  batting cages, and a coaster which the 4 year olds couldn't get enough of but the 7 year olds were too scared to do. We also had some relaxing nights by the campfire. The boys don't usually stay up long enough to see the fire. Trailer days are long and busy so they are often more than ready to crash by the time we're done dinner. There's nothing better than sitting by the fire with a glass of wine and adult company once the boys are in bed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Monthly posts seem to be about all I can handle right now.

We stopped breastfeeding. For the past few months, it was mostly just nursing at night. One night I decided I wouldn't go in and wake Noah. There was no transition. He wasn't fussy or upset. Nor has he given any indication he has wanted to nurse since. It is hard for me to believe that I'm officially done nursing for good. I'm so thankful I was able to nurse all three of my little guys with minimal difficulty and surprisingly no weaning transition issues with any. It feels weird but nice to have my body back to myself after nearly 5 years out of the last 7 and a half of either being pregnant or breastfeeding. Now a big focus for me is getting to a point where I feel healthy and strong again. Not only physically but emotionally too. Hormones can do crazy things and I'm only now feeling like I may be getting back to normal - whatever that is.

In July, Noah began to really talk. He says: love you, mama, dada, baba (bottle), nana (banana), dog, bye, hi, hot, more,  bus, and thank you. Oh.. and bum bum - one of the choice words his biggest brother has taught him which elicits all sorts of laughter to which he responds by, of course, saying bum bum again.

R went in for surgery and ended up having another follow up surgery later in the month. My sister in law offered to take B for a week at her place up north to help out. At 7, it was his first time away from us for more than a couple of days and he had so much fun with his two teenaged cousins that he didn't want to come home at the end of it all. Sleepover camp may be on the horizon for next summer for him. He thrives when he is kept busy and able to spend his days outside. The house was so quiet with just the two little boys and a recovering husband.

The big boys are enjoying spending most of their weekdays playing outside with neighbourhood friends and the weekends up at the lake with family, friends, and our trailer neighbours who have quickly become like a second family to us. I went waterskiing for the first time in nearly a decade and got up on my first try. I definitely surprised myself and the boys. I also got the itch and have been out waterskiing and trying to learn how to wakeboard every weekend since. It is so fun! More than ever I've been looking forward to our weekends on the lake.

Love these shots my sister-in-law took of B during his week away

Sunday, June 28, 2015


A little late but...

June was:

Enjoying great weather at the trailer. My favourite Friday night lately is dining al fresco, going for a boat ride, followed by tucking the boys into bed and relaxing in front of a campfire with a glass of wine.

Fishing, boating, tubing, biking.

Saying final goodbyes to a loved one as we buried my grandfather who passed away in January. Watching the boys try to process and understand.

Participating in a walk for Alzheimers in support of my mother-in-law.

Visiting Niagara Falls and watching the boys marvel at the sight.

Going for a sail on a friend's sailboat.

Cheering our sweetest four year old on as he plays soccer for the first time.

Finishing off Grade 1 with good marks and an achievement award for effort!

Celebrating one year of being at my new job and working on achieving another milestone toward getting my professional certification.

Trying to manage stress the best I can.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Wow, June already! We've been enjoying the few glimpses of warmer weather and spending plenty of time outdoors. I've been listening to the Arkells' album High Noon on repeat too. So. Good.


- We've been weekending at the trailer. Sometimes it feels stressful/overwhelming after working all week to switch gears and pack up the car with the kids and everything we need but as soon as we get out of the city, I immediately feel at ease. The route there is familiar and nostalgic. R and I met not too far from where our trailer is and we've travelled those country roads often. We've been making a bigger effort to get up there every weekend this summer no matter what. I've even managed two days solo with the boys up there while R went into work from there. Many of our great neighbours up there help out a lot with the kids. The sense of community is really nice.

- Victoria Day long weekend was perfect. The boys went fishing a lot, we went to the zoo (the most fun was had not seeing animals but rolling down a big grassy hill and playing on a tire swing), swimming in the outdoor pool, and boating into a nearby town with friends for dinner. The lake was still cold but the boys insisted on going tubing. After a rough first weekend in the sleeping department for Noah, he is sleeping like a champ up there now. All three boys are sharing a bedroom which has been less of an adventure than we thought since they are so tired at night!

- We've been cycling! We took the boys out this month to a local Ride of Silence to honour and raise awareness for cyclists that have been injured or killed on the roads. B actually participated in the ride (approx. 7 km and on some busy roads) while R towed the littles in the trailer and I rode. B liked riding with the police officers on bikes and understood a little bit more about the importance of bike and road safety. The big boys really love riding their bikes and I hope that doesn't change as they get older. I splurged on a new bike for myself recently so I've been trying to get out on my bike more myself. I actually rode nearly 15 kilometres to work last week but couldn't quite muster up the energy to ride home so I've got some work to do! I'd love to be able to ride once in a while.

- Gearing up for kindergarten. N had his Welcome to Kindergarten Night this month and totally rocked it! He is so ready to join his brother at school in September and it was so amazing to see him on his own interacting with the other kids and teachers.

- Making the best of a rainy weekend. Last weekend was RAINY. Until this year we've left the trailer when the forecast was calling for long periods of rain. Entertaining the littles in a trailer that is less than 400 square feet isn't the most fun. Especially when your kids don't love watching movies and aren't old enough to play board games or read independently. This past weekend we stayed and had a surprisingly good time. The older boys did some organized indoor kids activities, Noah napped well, and we went with friends into town nearby for bowling and afterward introduced the boys to our old favourite, Night Kitchen take-out pizza, which we brought back to the trailer to eat with a glass of wine.  It was perfect.

June is going to be a busy month for us. I can't wait for summer!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Carving out the life we want to live

I haven't been posting much to the blog a lot because life has been so exciting lately and I never seem to have the spare moment. We are in such a happy groove as a family O' five. A lot of the balance that has been lacking in our lives was restored this past year. The big boys are developing their own interests at almost 4 and almost 7 years old and we've been trying to nurture those as best we can. With them, we no longer have to focus so much attention on the basics like personal care since they take care of most of that on their own. In many ways it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and parenting has become much more enjoyable. We're appreciating each stage of babyhood and the last of the "firsts" with Noah and not wishing them away.

We've been looking at our finances and trying to better align them with our values, goals, and the things that make us happiest. Our family budget (which I just realized I need to write an update post on!) is split into several categories: housing, transportation, food, child care, vacation/sports, debt, investments, and entertainment/clothing. We're trying to consciously evaluate and maximize our happiness in each of the areas. More than ever before, we're at a really happy place.

A significant focus has been balancing each members interests and needs in terms of both time and money, particularly around vacations, sports, and entertainment. We've been trying to prioritize activities where we see potential for growing our own individual and shared interests into collective "family" interests. For us, some of these things are skiing/snowboarding, boating, fishing, skating, and travel. Having these collective interests will allow us to spend more time together as a family. For example, R loves to snowboard. I took ski lessons when I was younger and have decent ability. For the past few winters, we've taken the big boys out to the hill on a pair of second hand kid skis. This year, B took snowboarding lessons and loved it.  I'm planning on taking snowboarding lessons next year. If my attempt doesn't go well then the following year I'll go back to skiing and take lessons to improve my skills. We're really excited at the prospect of being able to go as a family to the hill and to go on awesome winter vacations to places like Blue Mountain, Mont Tremblant, or Banff (much later on).

We also just made a big family purchase this Spring ... a boat has been on our wish list for a really long time. Boating, fishing, and water sports were a significant part of R's upbringing and our summers together pre-kids. We're hoping to carry that on with our kids. We are so fortunate to live near so many lakes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Baby Noah turns ONE

I feel slightly broken record-ish because each month reflecting back I feel the same but I can't believe my baby is 1. I've never felt sad to see the boys get older or reach new milestones but my heart ached a bit on April 3rd when I nursed Noah for the last time at night as an 11 month old. We've affectionately called him "Baby Noah" since his arrival and I'm wondering how long that name will stick with him.

We had a very small Easter/Birthday celebration on his actual birthday with just R's side of the family. My mom spends the winter in Florida so we'll have a little celebration with my side later this month when they get back. Each 1st birthday celebration for our boys has gotten smaller and I thought Noah's was just right. My iPhone is full which has limited my picture taking abilities but I've been liking just being present and in the moment rather than worried about capturing every moment. Thankfully, my sister-in-law took a bunch of photos with her good camera. Last week Noah had a run-in with the rocking chair so he's sporting a bruise on his forehead in his birthday photos - the first signs of toddlerhood.

This boy liked his first taste of chocolate cake!

I'm so happy I kept up with monthly blog updates on Noah. I'm not sure if I'll maintain the monthly frequency from here on out but I'm hoping I can put them into a book for him as a keepsake.
At 12 months (1 year!):

- We made it to a year of nursing! He still happily nurses at night and sometimes in the morning. 
- My mobile toddler crawls at lightening speed, pulls up on anything and everything, walks behind push toys, stands on his own regularly, and on his birthday weekend climbed the entire staircase and took his first steps to me!! It was so awesome to be home to witness his very first steps. R was in the kitchen too when it happened.  
- We've been practicing having him wear his bike helmet he got for his birthday around the house to get used to wearing it. So excited to take him out in the bike trailer this summer for family bike rides. For now he has been enjoying going for hikes in the backpack carrier and just started swimming lessons during the week with my sister and seems to like the water. 
- Socially, he is pretty shy around other people and prefers to be held by mom or dad in new situations. He looks for his brothers when they aren't around and is always happy to see them. 
- Babbling is non-stop. He says "mama", "dada", "baba", and "ya" with conviction and makes many more sounds. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet sweet boy xoxo