Boo Boo’s Halloween Costume

Halloween has come and gone. And though Boo Boo doesn’t eat candy – at all – I still somehow ate too many Halloween goodies…cause, you know. I couldn’t let them go to waste.

Because he doesn’t partake in candy or really care about dressing up, I was originally going to skip the fuss, and make it easy on myself. Until I remembered Boo is in daycare now. Of course he needed to get dressed up, because all of the other kids would be dressing up. And there was no way my little guy was going to be left out.

So I devised a plan for a super simple costume. A duck. Though my guy doesn’t talk yet, he does like to quack, so it seemed the obvious choice. I was going to sew a felt beak and eyes to a hoodie and that’d be that…Until I got carried away and decided that the hoodie needed feathers. Lots of feathers. Like, feathers covering the ENTIRE THING so that it really looked like a duck, and not just a hoodie with a beak. So I ended up cutting out hundreds of felt feathers and stitching each one on individually (I’d originally planned on using fabric glue but my test didn’t turn out).

Duck costume

Duck costume face

In doing so, I found myself in a mad dash to complete Boo’s costume in time. I worked on it every spare second I had, and stayed up late every night. All other chores and activities were ignored (the house became an absolute disaster)….but I managed to finish in time.

Duck face

Boo Boo in his duck costume

But Boo’s costume isn’t really the point of this post (though it turned out awesome).

The point is that I got to craft something. And it felt GREAT.

It made me realize that even though my free time is extremely rare these days, I still need to try and carve out a little time to make. And by “make” I mean to actually produce something tangible – editing pictures or writing a blog post just isn’t enough. I need to work with my hands. I need to use my creative imagination which tunes out all of the random noise and garbage that can creep into my head.

When I’m making something, I have a goal. I feel like I have a purpose (I mean, other than keeping my children alive of course). I think about how I can improve upon my initial idea, and strategize how I’m going to execute it. During the actual “making” I’m focused and calm. And when I finish whatever it is I’m making…I feel a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Just for me.

And I need a little more of that these days.

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Somewhat Lately No. 14 – Wandering around the neighbourhood

I am very much a home body. I love being at home amidst my stuff. I love working on my various projects when I can – which is almost never these days. Even so, if I can squeeze in a few minutes here and there, I’m happy. In fact I am perfectly content to spend my day nursing Hiccup, rocking her, watching a little TV (while nursing or rocking her), and making a little (even a very little) progress on some creative endeavour while she naps (which truth be told isn’t very often).

Unfortunately this means I can easily forget to leave the house…sometimes for days at a time.

So I’ve been making an effort to get out more often. Specifically, I’ve been trying to walk. Whether it’s wandering aimlessly around the neighbourhood, or with a very specific purpose – say, going to the post office – I’ve been trying to get around on foot, rather than defaulting to the car, or not going out at all.

I’ve been moderately successful.

Following are a few photos I snapped before the weather turned cold – mostly taken on days without any specific purpose, as I wandered around the neighbourhood alleyways. When wandering with the hubby, he pushes Boo on his trike and I wear Hiccup in a wrap – I’m a fan of the Baby K’Tan, which is kinda like a cheater wrap…no actual wrapping is involved, which is perfect for uncoordinated people like me:

Hubby and Boo on his trike

Bringing up the rear

Baby wearing

When I’m on my own I take the stroller. My folks got us the Mountain Buggy Duet (which I LOVE) so that I can bring both kiddos on such excursions. If I’ve only got one little with me, I remove a seat and insert the optional tote bag (perfect for running errands).

Mountain Buggy Duet

I love walking through the back alleys – or ruelles – in the neighbourhood. Besides the general lack of people and vehicle traffic, there are so many fantastic gardens and flowers to look at:



Yellow bloom

Morning glories

….though sometimes there are just fences and barking dogs:

Beware of dog

….or old brick walls (I think this one looks very Diagon Alley-ish):

Brick wall

I also love looking at all the graffiti and signage:

Overgrown graffiti

Corrugated steel with graffiti

Penguin graffiti

School yard

I haven’t been taking too many pictures on my latest outings. I think maybe because I’ve been going on more task-specific walks (to the mall, to Walmart, to the Dollar Store) rather than meandering ones, I don’t think to pull out my phone and snap any pictures. Which is too bad. I want to make a better effort photographing the every day.

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Boo and Hiccup

Throughout most of my pregnancy Boo seemed pretty much oblivious to my growing belly. Sure, I’d talk to him about the baby, and tell him all about how he was going to be a big brother. I’d point to my belly and tell him how his little sister was in there…

But it was only at the very end that he started poking my belly, and looking at it with some degree of curiosity. I can’t imagine he didn’t know there was something in there, poking and prodding him when he cuddled up to me.

So to be honest, we weren’t really sure how Boo was going to react to the baby.

And at the very start….well….he didn’t react much. When his Daddy brought him to the hospital to see Mama and meet the baby for the very first time, he barely looked at her long enough to poke her once or twice. He was far more interested in the hospital room, its cupboards, drawers, the bed, the chairs, everything but the baby.

Boo meeting Hiccup for the first time

Once we brought Hiccup home, I don’t think Hiccup’s presence really registered with him. Though he did, admittedly, give me space to nurse and care for her. But it was like he was completely oblivious of her, while still understanding that I had to sit and be still…for whatever reason. So he’d wander around me while I was nursing, and bring me books to read to him. He’d place them on the pillow behind Hiccup, or directly in my hand. Sometimes he’d listen and lean on the pillow, but never seemed to want to displace Hiccup in any way. It continued like this for the first few weeks.

Then suddenly things began to change. Boo began to notice Hiccup a little more. Initially he’d get down close to her while she was in her (formerly his) bouncer and pinch her hands and feet. We told him he was welcome to be curious and touch her, but that he had to do so gently. And you know what? After a few days the pinching stopped and gave way to his patting Hiccup on the back, on her head, her limbs. Gently. Very very gently.

Boo kissing Hiccup

Boo looking at Hiccup

So we told him (and keep telling him) that his gentle pats are very nice, and that he’s being a good big brother. And he keeps getting in close and patting Hiccup gently…he also seems to be developing an actual interest in her. When Hiccup cries he runs to her, often beating me to her side. Once there he wants to pat her (to soothe her?) or at least look at her if he can’t reach.

Boo watching Hiccup in the play yard

When Hiccup is fast asleep he’ll wander into her room to peer over the side of the play yard, or climb onto the bed to sit next to her (because of course she sleeps best EVERYWHERE but her designated sleeping space). Sure, he gets a mischievous little look on his face as he does so…but Boo almost ALWAYS has a mischievous look on his face.

Boo and Hiccup on the bed

…So proud of my little man, and the good big brother he’s being!

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Hiccup’s birth story

It’s been a few weeks now since the new baby arrived. We’re getting into the groove of things with her, adjusting to being a family of four, and (as of this week) introducing our little man to daycare (sniff, sniff). Which all means I’ve had a little time to reflect on Hiccup’s arrival.

Hiccup right after she was borm

To be completely honest I was pretty apprehensive about going into labour…even though it was my second child, I didn’t really know what to expect.

With Boo, my water broke long before I felt any contractions. At the hospital they determined I hadn’t dilated at all and put me on oxytocin to move things along. I responded a little too well to the drugs, and went from about 0-7cm dilation in less than 2 hours. I went from feeling virtually nothing to super can’t-even-talk-can-only-grunt painful. Once I received my epidural, labour slowed down dramatically. It was a long ordeal lasting about 18 hours from start to finish.

So on July 30, when I started feeling a bit crampy at about 4pm…I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I just thought I needed to use the toilet. And I eventually did. I called my husband (from the bathroom no less) and asked him to head home to help out with Boo. I told him I wasn’t feeling well. By then it was 4:45.

I finished up with my bathroom buddy making as much mischief as he could, but the cramping didn’t go away. I purposely stopped myself from being distracted by Boo and started thinking “Oh shit…this could be it!”. I timed my cramps, and quickly realized they were, in fact, contractions. And they were coming fast. Four or five minutes apart.

Last minute items were thrown into my hospital bag. I called my mom so she could start the 2+ hour drive to Montreal. I called my sister-in-law so she could come to care for Boo. I called my husband to find out where the hell he was, and to let him know it was time.

Once he got home, we didn’t wait around. My contractions were now coming 3-4 minutes apart, and we were painfully aware that it was rush hour. We threw Boo into the car and headed to the hospital, calling my sister-in-law en route to come meet us there.

I remember walking through the hospital hallways and elevator, pausing whenever I had a contraction, and seeing the look on peoples’ faces as they realized I was in labour. Priceless.

Standard procedure before being admitted required that I be put under observation for twenty minutes to measure my contractions, the baby’s heartbeat, and to check how dilated I was. I was already over 6cm dilated, and was immediately admitted. It was now going on 6:30pm.

From here on in, things started moving fast(er).

My contractions got worse. My mom arrived. I crushed my husband’s hands as I breathed through the pain. I got an epidural (because drugs….). Unfortunately the epidural didn’t do much – my contractions were increasing too quickly – and it only ever managed to kinda take the edge off the pain at the very end. I started to push and was miraculously in a good mood while doing so. I JOKED with my husband, mom, nurses and doctor. There was laughter in the delivery room. I was anxious and eager to push push push as my contractions seemed to come one after the other, breaking only to catch my breath. My little girl was born without complications (but with an extra push or two) at 8:39pm. I got to hold her immediately. I was tired, but happy to have my little girl stay with me, rather than being whisked off to the ICU as her brother had been. I offered her my breast, and she latched on like a pro.

Mama and Hiccup in the delivery room

It was a completely different – and better – labour than I’d experienced the first time around.

Sure, there was pain.

Sure, I was bruised, stitched up and sore afterward.

Sure, I bled. And bled. And bled (and continue to bleed 4 weeks later).

But none of that matters.

I have a beautiful and healthy baby girl.

Welcome little Hiccup!

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Lately, No. 13

During the two weeks preceding the new baby’s arrival, I stopped working altogether, we said a sad farewell to the nanny, and I did my best to waddle after and entertain my very active toddler. I tried to get him outside as much as possible, usually in the mornings before it got too hot. We paid LOTS of visits to the local park. Daddy tagged along on weekends.

Boo sliding by himself

Boo climbing the ladder to his favourite slide

Boo on the jungle gym bridge

Boo and Daddy climbing the slide

When it was too hot, humid or rainy to go outside, we did our best to entertain ourselves inside. We practiced sorting and stacking…

Boo playing at his table

We played with Play-Doh (I was quite proud of my Play-Doh elephant…Boo wasn’t so impressed)…

Mama's Play-Doh Elephant

We danced to Sesame Street songs…

Boo dancing with Mummy

And, I’ll be completely honest, we watched some TV…

Boo laughing at the TV

We also worked on getting the little man to eat table food (still not going so well…placing an item in his mouth, and then promptly spitting it out is about as far as we’ve gotten)…

Boo almost eating a cheesy

And on feeding himself with a spoon (also not going so well…note the lack of yogourt on his face)…

Boo playing with his yogourt

Two days before I popped, we roped Auntie Jenny into visiting the splash pad with us…

Boo and Auntie Jenny at Aquaciel

…Where, of course, the slides still proved the most popular attraction.

Boo on the slide while Mama watches

Boo on the slides at Aquaciel

Though it could be exhausting at times (some days all I wanted was to put my feet up and eat watermelon and cookies), we had great fun spending some quality time together before the arrival of the new baby.

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