Saturday, December 29, 2012

Menu (10)

Now that we're back from our Christmas vacation, I'm all set to start cooking again. I have leftover turkey from my mother-in-law to use up this week.

I'm also planning to make two slow-cooker meals to freeze. We've only got a few meals left in the freezer.

So here's what we're eating this week:

Seafood fettuccine (We are visiting my parents and they are making my favourite meal for my birthday.)
Birthday cake

Slow Cooker Chicken and Spinach Lasagna (from the freezer)

Turkey Club Pie (I'm going to make my own Bisquick using this recipe.)
Steamed broccoli and carrots

Slow Cooker Beef Stew (making extra to freeze)
Cooked peas and carrots

Stuffed Peppers 

One Pot Chicken Dinner (I only have a hard-copy of the recipe)

Slow Cooker Chili (making extra to freeze)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Three Months

 Mary is now three months old. She is such a big girl!

Here are the things that Mary loves:

• Bath time with Daddy
• Dancing
• Being swaddled
• Toys, especially her doll Wendy
• Sucking on her hand
• White noise
• Going for walks in her Baby Bjorn
• Her Winnipeg Jets soother (she now refuses all other soothers)

Here are the things that Mary hates:

• Getting out of the bath
• Being bored

Milestones this month:

• Learning to laugh
• Learning to bear weight on her legs
• Learning to hold her head steady
• Meeting Uncle Paul and Uncle Mike
• Flying on a plane
• Travelling to Winnipeg

Mary now weighs almost 14 pounds.

We love you Mary!

Watch Mary grow:
One month
Two months

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (27)

1. Here is a conversation Mary and I had at mass today:
Mary (very loudly): Goo! Ga! Goo! Ga! (Translation: More singing! Less listening! More dancing! Less sitting!)
Carolynne (very quietly): No, Mary. It is Fr. Tom's turn to talk. I will tell you when it is your turn.
Mary (even more loudly): Goo! Ga! Goo! Ga!

2. Today, I accidentally locked Mango in the food cupboard. I could hear her meowing, but I didn't realize she was meowing for a reason because she often meows for no reason. When I finalized realized what had happened, I freed her and told her the story of the Cat Who Meowed Wolf. Hopefully she learned her lesson!

3. In unrelated Mango news, the most-orange-of-cats has a new hobby: stealing Mary's toys. Every morning I wake up to toys scattered around our bedroom. She is just so proud of herself. I guess this is better than bringing us mice!

4. Yesterday, Mary had her fourth professional photoshoot. Her first was her newborn photoshoot that our friends from Ottawa gave us as a gift. Her second was the photoshoot with two other babies for the front cover of the Prince George Citizen's Babies of 2012 special edition. (The babies of employees get to appear on the cover.) Her third was her Santa photoshoot. And the fourth, yesterday, was a gift to my parents from me and my siblings.

5. In breaking Mary news: Our little daughter has put herself on an eating schedule. She now eats every four hours, except at night when she only gets up once to eat between 8:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. I am so thrilled with this new routine!

6. Mary got an early Christmas gift earlier this month: a Bumbo. Doesn't she look very grown-up?

7. Yesterday, my sister asked me and Peter what was the most surprising thing about becoming parents. Peter said he was most surprised by how natural it was and how normal it felt to be Mary's Dad. I said I was surprised at how much I enjoy dressing Mary up and also how much I love staying home to take care of her. I love having this time off work and school, but I know I'll be ready to go back next September.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu (9)

 Last week I stuck very close to our menu. We ran out of carrots and broccoli, so I had to switch up some of our side dishes.

I made six new recipes this week, beginning with the One Pot Chicken Dinner, which was amazing. We also both loved the Spinach Pesto and Pasta. I'll definitely make that again.

I think I messed up the Garlic Chicken recipe somehow. It was good, but not as good as when my friend made it. I think I'll try it again and maybe use a slightly different recipe.

I also made Green Bean Caesar, which I loved and Peter thought was mediocre, and Spinach and Rice Casserole, which Peter loved and I thought was mediocre.

We don't have much to use up this week. We only did a small grocery shop last week so our fridge was almost empty by Friday. We do have a lot of food in the freezer that we will be eating up this week.

So here's our menu:


African Peanut Soup (I'm using my mother-in-law's recipe but the one I linked to is similar)
Sourdough bread (made by my dad)

Chicken Caesar Salad
Garlic Bread

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches (from the freezer)

Sole with Lemon Spinach
Broccoli and Carrot Casserole 

Slower-Cooker Lasagna (from the freezer)
Cooked spinach

Italian Parmesan Baked Chicken
Steamed Carrots and Broccoli

Friday, December 7, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (26)

1. I took Mary to meet Santa at the mall today. I wasn't too optimistic about the photos because she wouldn't sit still or smile during the photoshoot but I was absolutely thrilled with the result. Peter convinced me that we needed Santa photos and he was right as usual. I'm so glad I listened to him. Here is my favourite:

2. I found the best gift for Mary today. I was planning to get two board books for her stocking — one about cats because her mother loves cats and the other about football because her father loves football. The football book I ordered from Chapters was sold out so when I was at the mall I went to the bookstore to see if they had any there. They didn't have any about football, but they did have NASCAR ABC. I was so happy! Peter loves NASCAR almost as much as he loves football!

3. Mary and I are going to see the latest Twilight movie at Stars and Strollers next week with our mom and baby friends. But don't worry, I'll give it a good feminist critique for her afterwards.

4. Our house is all decorated for Christmas. This is the first year in a long time I've been in a festive mood. While I was in law school, I was completely worn out by Christmas and felt more like sleeping than celebrating. This year I am definitely in the Christmas spirit. Plus, I only have one more present to buy!

5. Tonight Peter is doing the colour commentary for the Spruce Kings radio broadcast. He brought our iPad to the game with him to look up the out-of-town scores and other information. Unfortunately, we have a little girl who always falls asleep listening to the white noise we play off the iPad. She has a Sleep Sheep but the noise is slightly different and she doesn't like it as much. What a demanding baby!

6. My sister's sister-in-law/sister-in-law's sister had a baby boy yesterday! I am so excited to meet little Max. Laura and Andrea are so lucky to have both a niece and a nephew.

7. Here is a glorious editorial about Peter. Read the fifth and sixth paragraphs!

More quick takes here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Menu (8)

Last week I made two new recipes: Chicken and Broccoli Casserole and Stuffed Peppers. The first one was not good at all, but the second one was delicious. I think Peter liked it better than anything I've ever made for him before. I will definitely make that again!

This week my main goal is to make smaller portions. Most recipes are for four people and so I end up with double the amount of food I need. Then we end up constantly eating leftovers for lunch and it gets boring. This week I'm only going to make enough food for two people for each meal!

The only thing I have to use up this week is carrots.

I make my menus starting on Saturday because that's the day we grocery shop. So here's what we're going to eat this week:

One Pot Chicken Dinner (I got the recipe from one of my mother-in-law's friends at my bridal shower.)

Spinach Pesto and Pasta (I got the recipe from a magazine, but the one I linked to is very similar.)

Perogies and Sausages
Spinach Salad

Garlic Chicken
Steamed Carrots

Broiled Sole Parmesan

Spinach and Rice Casserole
Steamed Carrots

Slow Cooker Spaghetti  (from the freezer)

More menus here and here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (25)

 1. Sad news: Peter and I are sick. We both have terrible colds. Peter even took two days off of work, which is unheard of for him. Thankfully Mary seems to have escaped our illness. Apparently breastfeeding can prevent babies from catching colds from their mothers. How wonderful is that?

2. I've been feeling so rotten the past few days that I haven't had the motivation to dress Mary in anything other than sleepers. That is unusual because dressing Mary up is one of my biggest sources of entertainment these days. I'm not particularly into fashion, but I absolutely love Mary's clothes. I'm sad she's starting to grow out of some of her cutest outfits but fortunately she's growing into some of her other ones. (Also, Mary doesn't seem one bit bothered about wearing sleepers all day.)

3. My brother finishes his last set of classes for his bachelor's degree next week. I am very proud and extremely excited to see him in nine days. Mary hasn't met either of her uncles yet. She'll be meeting Peter's brother Mike on Dec. 21 when we arrive in Winnipeg for Christmas.

4. On the topic of Winnipeg and Christmas, I read Mary a book called A Prairie Boy's Winter and it was so traumatizing! That poor boy had a very rough life! I told my parents about how the book showed how hard life was on the Prairies on a farm during the Depression and my Dad reminded me that his Dad lived on the Prairies on a farm during the Depression. Then my Grandpa hopped on a train to Vancouver as a teenager and never went back.

5. Here is a conversation Peter and I had last night while he was watching the Canada Cup:
Peter: Mary should become an elite level curler.
Carolynne: Well . . . She can certainly take lessons when she's old enough.
Peter: She could go to a special school where she spends half the day in class and the other half of the day curling.
Carolynne: Um . . . Do those even exist?
Peter: Not yet! We'll have to start one ourselves!

6. Here is another related conversation I had with my parents two weeks ago at the UNBC basketball game:
Mom: Maybe Mary will play basketball for UNBC one day.
Carolynne: Only if she doesn't inherit my athletic ability.
Dad: Yikes! That would be scary!
(That was a total burn, but also totally true.)

7. This weekend Peter and I are going to see a play called A Joyful Noise with my parents and sister and sister-in-law. I am very excited. I absolutely love live theatre. Fingers and cats paws are crossed we will be feeling well enough by then to go.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mary and Lola

Mary and Lola both like rattles. They both love Peter. They both enjoy eating.

But only one of them knows her name. I'll let you guess which one . . .

Menu (7)

I stuck to our menu completely last week. I only made one new recipe: Broccoli and Carrot Casserole. It was delicious and I'll definitely make it again.

This week we have extra peppers, broccoli and carrots to use up.

So here's what we're going to eat (or have already eaten) this week:

Penne Spinach Bake

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Stuffed Peppers

Tuna Pasta Salad
Steamed broccoli and carrots

Slow Cooker Chicken and Spinach Lasagna
(I'm out Wednesday evening and Peter is out Thursday evening so we'll alternately heat up this lasagna Peter made and froze a few weeks ago)


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (24)

1. My inlaws came all the way from Winnipeg for Mary's baptism. I love their visits and so does Mary!

Cuddling with Grandma and Grandpa Terry.

Hanging out with Daddy and Auntie Natalie.

2. Mary went to her first basketball game last weekend. She looks unhappy in the photo, but she did actually enjoy the game. She is such a Daddy's girl already!

3. Peter has lots of interests and talents, but dancing is not one of them. Unfortunately for him, Mary loves it when he dances. It is amazing what you will do to entertain your little daughter!

4. Mary continues to be a great sleeper. What a blessing! She has now cut back to one meal in the middle of the night — usually around 3 a.m. Soon she will be able to sleep for eight hours in a row. I haven't slept eight hours in a row since June!

5. I've started taking Mary to baby sign language classes at the public library. I am very bad at sign language and Mary is still too young to learn anything, but we're still having fun.

6. Peter was doing the play-by-play for the Spruce Kings broadcast last night so he had to tape the Notre Dame game. I was planning to avoid checking the score so I could make sure I wouldn't spoil the surprise for Peter. But then I turned on the television while I was feeding Mary before she went to sleep and saw the score in the last five minutes of the game. USC was down by 11 points and was within 10 yards of the goal line. I couldn't look away! Fortunately for me and sadly for Peter, he ended up getting an alert on the iPad when Notre Dame won so the surprise was spoiled. He was just so thankful they won, he wasn't one bit upset! They finished the season 12-0 and are going to the national championship.

7. And, in breaking baby news: Mary now has a double chin (possibly a triple chin) and a mullet (possibly a skullet.) But she's still adorable!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two Months

Today Mary is two months old. She has grown so much in the last month!

Here are the things that Mary loves:

• Bath time with Daddy
• Being bounced
• Sitting on someone's knee like a big girl
• Music, especially Nicki Minaj
• Walking around the living room with Daddy
• Sucking on her hand
• White noise
• The football hold
• Going for walks in her Baby Bjorn
• Her Winnipeg Jets soother
• Tummy time

Here are the things that Mary hates:

• Getting out of the bath
• Being hungry
• Feeling lonely

Milestones this month:

• Learning to smile
• Paying attention to rattles and toys
• Saying all sorts of words
• Meeting Grandpa Terry and Auntie Natalie
• Being baptized

Mary weighs 12 pounds and 1/3 of an ounce and still measures 23 inches. She has gained more than 3 1/2 pounds and two inches since she was born.

We love you Mary!

Watch Mary grow:
One month

Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Thanks

This November, I want to remember to give thanks for:

1. My wonderful husband. I am so lucky to be married to Peter!
2. Our little daughter. She is such a miracle!
3. Living so close to my parents and sister.
4. My inlaws. I wish everyone could have inlaws as great as mine.
5. The continued good health of everyone in our family.
6. Peter's job.
7. Cats, especially our three glorious kitties.
8. My education.
9. Being able to afford such a wonderful home.
10. My maternity leave benefits.
11. Our severance packages.
12. My girlfriends.
13. Making new mommy and baby friends.
14. New York Times crossword puzzles.
15. Notre Dame's 11-0 record. (If Peter is happy then I am happy.)
16. My book clubs in both Ottawa and Prince George.
17. Mary's ability to get to sleep and stay asleep.
18. Getting to spend 90 minutes each night with Peter after Mary goes to bed.
19. Not having any debt aside from our mortgage.
20. My freelancing gig.
21. Our minivan.
22. Hand-me-down baby furniture, clothes, and other paraphernalia.
23. Having a clean and organized home.
24. Our PVR. I love watching television without commercials.
25. My five favourite foods: feta cheese, peanut butter, calamari, rhubarb and corn on the cob.
26. Hot baths. (I had one this week while Peter cleaned the kitchen and took care of Mary and it was heavenly.)
27. Wearing my favourite jeans again. I missed them when I was pregnant.
28. Our iPad.
29. Living in the best country in the world.
30. You for reading this!

For more lists, click here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Babies Grow So Fast

Mary on Oct. 6, aged 12 days.

Mary on Nov. 21, aged 58 days.

I think her legs and cheeks have grown the most.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Menu (6)

I haven't done a weekly menu in ages. We spent the last eight weeks eating food from the freezer that we made before Mary was born, easy-to-prepare meals or dishes other people kindly cooked for us.

But now that she's eight weeks old we are going to start cooking again. So here is what is on the menu for this week:

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches (I made extra to freeze)
Spinach salad

Slow-Cooker Spaghetti (Peter made extra to freeze)
Steamed carrots and broccoli


Pan-Fried Sole
Broccoli and Carrot Casserole

Slow Cooker Chili (from the freezer)
Spinach salad


Monday, November 19, 2012

Random Things

• Mary is eight weeks old today and she celebrated by sleeping almost seven hours in a row. Unfortunately, I woke up twice during that time and went to check on her. I think I need to work at sleep training myself!

• When I weighed Mary last Thursday she was 11 pounds, 13 ounces. She's enormous! She is now bigger than three of her friends who are all older than her. My mother says I must be feeding her pure cream.

• Mary went to her first basketball games this weekend! She really is her Daddy's girl. She went to see the UNBC women play on Friday and Saturday. I took her home after the women's games so I could put her to bed at 8:30 p.m. and Peter stayed to see the men play.

• Everyone told me that I would be shocked at how quickly babies grow and changed, but I still wasn't prepared for how quickly Mary is growing and changing. She doesn't even look like the same baby anymore!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mary's Baptism

Yesterday our little daughter was baptized. It was so exciting!

 This was Deacon Rene's first baptism. He did an excellent job.

The family minus Uncle Paul and Uncle Mike who are in Ottawa finishing off the semester.

Welcome to the church, Mary.

Happiest of families.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (23)

1. This is the longest I've ever gone without blogging! Peter has been taking the computer to work with him for the Northern Gateway hearings so I have that as an excuse for the weekdays, but I have no excuse for yesterday! I did get Peter's scrapbook and Mary's baby book up to date, so it wasn't a complete waste of a day.

2. Our glorious daughter seemed to realize that the clocks fell back last night. She slept for an extra 90 minutes! She went to sleep at 9 p.m. and woke up at 7:30 a.m. with two snacks during the night. I was thrilled!

3. We are almost out of our frozen dinners that we made before Mary was born so Peter made 10 servings of lasagna to freeze yesterday and he's making another crockpot full of a different type of lasagna tonight. I love having a husband who is a wonderful cook!

4. Mary, also known as the cutest strawberry ever, slept through Halloween and missed almost all of the trick-or-treaters. (We only had about 12 kids come to the door.) I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I feel nervous when strange men come to our door at night when I'm home alone with the baby — even if they are accompanied by adorable children. Peter worked late that night and didn't get home until 7 p.m.

5. We have the best plan for my parents' Christmas gift this year! I'm going to have to work really hard for the next month and a half not to spill the beans. My sister came up with the idea. She's the best at coming up with glorious gifts because she is extremely thoughtful. I'm so excited for their reaction!

6. Peter's mother, father and sister are coming to visit on Friday and my brother will be here exactly one month after that. I can't wait to introduce Mary to more of her relatives!

7. On Thursday Mary weighed 10 pounds, 10 ounces. She's enormous! Peter and I were looking back at old photos and we were amazed at how much she's grown. Since both Peter and I were enormous babies — Peter was known for having the fattest knees in Winnipeg — she certainly takes after her parents.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Snow Day

Today was a snow day. Mary had a very busy day.

First she tried to make a snow angel.

Then she helped Mommy shovel the driveway to surprise Daddy when he got home from work.

Later she cuddled with Daddy and watched Monday Night Football.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (22)

1. Unlike most people in Prince George, neither Peter nor I felt the earthquake last night. He was at the Spruce Kings game and I was at home with Mary at 8 p.m. I didn't even know there was an earthquake until I heard about it from Peter on the radio. He did the pre-game, post-game and both intermission shows.

2. Winter has come to Prince George. Peter even had to shovel the driveway this morning! Usually I hate winter because I'm freezing cold all the time but since I got pregnant I don't get freezing cold anymore. It's so strange!

3. I am so thrilled with Mary's new sleeping routine. She goes to bed when we go to bed, wakes up to eat twice and then sleeps until Peter's alarm goes off in the morning. Here is a photo of our adorable sleeping baby:

(She doesn't usually wear hats to sleep. Grandma put her hat on for the photo.)

4. In other important Mary news, she now has a baby mullet. The hair on the back of her head is growing quicker than the hair on the front of her head. But she is still so cute!

5. I entered a photo of Mary dressed as a strawberry in the Prince George Citizen Halloween contest. Unfortunately, she was disqualified because Peter is an employee. Here is the photo:

6. Yesterday began as a very bad football day for Peter when the Blue Bombers were eliminated from playoff contention. But yesterday ended as a very good football game for Peter when Notre Dame beat Oklahoma. They are now 8-0!

7. Peter taped Akeela and the Bee for me on the PVR. It is the cutest movie ever! I love nerdy sports.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Random Things

• Mary's baptism is set for Nov. 11. I am really looking forward to it! She is going to wear the baptismal gown that my mother made for me from her wedding dress and a sweater that her great-grandmother knit for her that is identical to the one she made for Peter for his baptism.

• My mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law are coming to visit in 15 days. I am so excited for Mary to meet her Auntie Natalie and Grandpa Terry and see her Grandma again!

• I've started reading Peter's newspaper articles to Mary each morning. She will know everything about the Northern Gateway pipeline by the time the review process is over.

• Mary and I went to a baby massage class earlier this week. She absolutely loves being massaged. I'm so glad I went!

• A couple of nights ago, Mary slept from 9:45 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. with two short snacks in between. It was glorious!

• Peter and I have uncovered two mysteries that I am hoping someone can help us solve. First, we just found a Boston Pizza gift certificate in our minivan from a mystery benefactor. We have two clues. It was wrapped in is a flyer for a Winnipeg company and the person has neat handwriting. (The latter disqualifies most people we know.) Second, Mary has a lovely Montreal Canadiens onesie and we don't know where it came from. I thought I found it with the gifts that Peter picked up in Winnipeg when he was driving to B.C., but my mother-in-law said she didn't buy it. Any help solving these mysteries would be appreciated!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Month

Today Mary is one month old. In some ways it's hard to believe 30 days have already gone by since we welcomed our little miracle into the world. But in other ways it feels like she's always been here.

Here are the things that Mary loves:

• Bath time with Daddy
• Cuddling with anyone and everyone
• Her swing
• White noise
• The football hold
• Swaddling
• Going for walks in her Baby Bjorn
• Staying up late
• Riding in the minivan
• Her Winnipeg Jets soother
• Dancing with Daddy
• Baby massage
• Tummy time

Here are the things that Mary hates:

• Getting out of the bath
• Getting her diaper changed
• Being hungry

Milestones this month:
• Being born
• Regaining her birth weight
• Meeting Grandpa Richard, Nana, Grandma, Auntie Laura and Auntie Andrea
• Taking her first road trip to Vanderhoof

Mary weighs exactly 10 pounds and measures 23 inches. She has gained almost two pounds and two inches since she was born.

We love you Mary!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


 One of the strange benefits of having such hard things happen over the past year is that I'm so grateful for my life now.

I never feel sad or disappointed when Peter has to work long hours because I'm just so grateful he has a job. And I am so thrilled to have Mary that I never mind hanging out with her as she has a party in her crib until 1 a.m.

We are just so blessed!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Random Things

• Last week at the Breastfeeding Support Group, a 10-month-old tried to hit Mary with a block and steal her soother. Fortunately no babies were actually harmed and no soothers were stolen. That baby's mother felt horrible, but I thought the whole thing was pretty amusing.

• Some new moms invited me for coffee last week. Hurray for potential new friends!

• Yesterday we learned that it is overly ambitious to take a four-week-old baby to a two-hour-long ordination mass and then to a church potluck. Mary lasted about one hour and 45 minutes before waking up hungry and starting to cry. Poor girl! We didn't even make it to the potluck.

• The library is starting free baby sign language classes in November. We are very excited!

• Mary loves her bath and she hates getting out. Two nights ago, both Peter and I had to pry her out of the bath because she had an extra tight grip on the side. I was very impressed with how strong she is!

• Here is a family photo taken last week at my parents' house:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

White Noise

A few nights ago, Mary was very fussy.

Usually Mary only cries when she is hungry or getting her diaper changed (she hates being naked) so she had never cried for an hour straight before.

I fed her, changed her, rocked her, put her in her swing, sang to her, put her on her back, put her on her tummy, cuddled her and nothing seemed to work. So then I looked on the Internet for tips on how to soothe a fussy baby.

Two of the suggestions really work for Mary. The first is holding her like a football. She absolutely loves it. (Peter was pleased to hear that his little girl is already a football fan.)

The second suggestion was using white noise. As soon as I put on a YouTube video of a waterfall, she quieted down. And it helps her sleep longer too.

For the past three nights I've been putting YouTube videos of waterfalls by her crib and she's slept for at least seven hours and only waking up once or twice. What a miracle!

And, because I've been getting more sleep, I'm suddenly able to do all this:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Random Things

• Mary is 3 1/2 weeks old already! She is much more alert and she's getting bigger every day. I'm going to weigh her tomorrow at the breastfeeding support group and I suspect she'll be over nine pounds.

• My mother-in-law left today. I was extra sad to see her go. She was a huge help with Mary and did all the cooking, cleaning and laundry while she was here. I was so spoiled! Plus, it was so nice for me to have someone around during the day to talk to.

• Peter has been working crazy hours for the past two weeks covering the Northern Gateway hearings. He leaves for work just after 8 a.m. and doesn't get home until after 7 p.m. Today he filed four stories!

• Mary had her baby photoshoot last week and she was a star. The photographer brought over a hat that made Mary look like a little bear cub. I told her I was sad I didn't have a kitten hat and she said she had one at home but she didn't bring it because she didn't know I was cat lady. What an opportunity lost!

•  Peter and I went out for dinner on Monday and Mary stayed with her grandmother. It was wonderful to go on a date! We're going out again on Friday because Peter's boss gave him concert tickets to thank him for his hard work at the Northern Gateway hearings. My sister and sister-in-law are babysitting for little Mary.

• I didn't think it was possible to go for so long on so little sleep. The human body is amazing! Mary was awake most of the day today so I'm hoping she will sleep well tonight. Fingers and paws are crossed.

• I'm going to try to get back in the habit of blogging every day (or at least most days.) It's amazing how time-consuming a tiny baby can be — even a glorious baby like Mary!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

One Year Ago

This day last year was one of the hardest days of my life.

On Oct. 13, 2011, we went to the doctor for an ultrasound for our first baby. We found out that the baby didn't have a heartbeat. He or she had stopped growing after seven weeks.

We were absolutely devastated. I was worried that Peter and I would never be able to have a healthy baby. And I never would have imagined that one year later we would have our beautiful daughter Mary.

She is such a blessing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Random Things

• My mother-in-law is finally here and I never want her to leave. Mary just loves her grandma and she's doing all the cooking and cleaning so I can rest. I'm so happy!

• Mary had her baby photoshoot today. She was such a star! I'll post the photos as soon as they are ready. The photographer came to our house, which was such a bonus. The cats were very interested in the whole process and kept trying to crash the photoshoot. They ended up being banished to the bedroom.

• I've started reading Anne of Green Gables to Mary. It's my favourite book. We're on page 40 of 308 of the first book of nine. This could be a long process!

• Peter has had some wonderful stories on the Northern Gateway pipeline this week. You can read them here, here and here. I'm very proud!

• Mary is such a happy baby. She only cries when she's hungry or when she's getting her diaper changed. She hates being a naked baby!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meet My Husband

I'm a few days late with this, but I was busy taking care of a not-quite-two-week-old baby. So here it goes:
Introduce us to your husband! (What's his name? How old? What does he look like?)

My husband's name is Peter and he's 31 years old. His most distinctive feature is his blue eyes. He even gets compliments from strangers on how glorious they are! Here is a photo:

What is your husband's favourite thing to do?

Peter loves sports, especially Canadian football, hockey, NASCAR, U.S. college football, Canadian college basketball and curling. He also loves politics, listening to podcasts and cooking.

What does your husband do Monday-Friday?

Peter is a newspaper reporter. His reporting beats are health and the Northern Gateway pipeline. I'm so proud of him!

What was the first thing you noticed about your husband when you met?

I saw Peter in the office before I met him and I thought he was really handsome. This was during the Beijing Olympics so Peter began work in the early morning because of the time difference and finished work just after I got there in the early afternoon.
I met Peter for the first time when my boss sent me over to his side of the office to ask another reporter a question about his story. I had no idea who the reporter was, so I went and asked Peter and his boss in the sports department. After I left, Peter said, "Who was that?"
We actually met a few weeks later when a bunch of people from work got together at the bar. Peter had got back from his parents' cabin. Randomly, I had seen his vacation photos on Facebook because his friend who was also at the cabin was my friend on Facebook. (Journalism is a very small world.)

What is your husband's best quality? 

Peter has a million wonderful qualities. But if I had to pick only one it would probably be his loyal and giving nature. When Peter graduated from high school he won an award for being a "Man For Others." To me, that pretty much epitomizes Peter. He is such a supportive and wonderful husband.

What is your husband's biggest pet peeve?

I had to ask Peter about this one and he said he doesn't have a pet peeve. So I'll just say plagiarism. Once Peter and his friend Dave discovered that a reporter at one of Canada's biggest newspapers was plagiarizing his stories and he was subsequently fired.

How does your husband feel about blogging? 

He used to have an awesome blog about the Canadian Football League. It was glorious.

What is something you do/can do that makes your husband feel loved? 

Learn more about his hobbies. (I still don't know much about football, but I'm getting better.) Remind him how glorious he is. Keep our home clean and organized. Take care of our daughter.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thankful Thursday (21)

Today I am thankful for:

• Mary for being so healthy, content and glorious. I am so in love with her!
• Peter for being the most supportive husband ever. He always knows how to make me feel better.
• Peter's benefits package at work.
• All the meals we made and froze before Mary was born. We're really enjoying them.
• My mother-in-law coming to visit in six days.
• Meeting potential friends at a breastfeeding support group today.
• The beautiful fall weather.
• My sister making me a nursing cover.
• Getting six hours of sleep last night.
• The cats adjusting so well.
• Mary's weight gain. She's back up to seven pounds, 14 ounces. She'll be at her birth weight soon!
• Living so close to my family.
• My mother giving me such good advice.
• The free playpen Peter's coworker gave us.
• Emails and messages from friends in Ottawa.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Random Baby Things

 • Last night I had a nightmare that a man tried to kidnap Mary and I was trying to fend him off by scratching his face and pulling his hair. It was the worst dream ever. I get chills even remembering it.

• Mary has her first doctor's appointment this afternoon. We are keeping our fingers and cat paws crossed that she is gaining weight. Fortunately, she did spend all weekend eating and sleeping.

• My mother-in-law is coming to visit in nine days! Mary can't wait to meet her grandma (and another one of her namesakes.)

• We took Mary to mass with us yesterday. I dressed her up in my blue dress from when I was a baby and she looked extra adorable. She wimpered a bit at first but then she slept through the rest of the service. I was so proud to show her off!

• Mary's umbilical cord fell off last night. She's only a week old and she's already growing and changing!

• We've been using cloth diapers since we got home from the hospital and so far they are working great.

• I've been going for a two-hour nap every evening while Peter and Mary hang out and watch sports. It makes such a difference!

• Depending on how Mary and I are feeling this week, we may try out a baby massage class or go to a breastfeeding support group or baby activity time at the library. We're so blessed that all of these activities are free! I'm really hoping to make some friends.

• I also signed Mary up for a free baby yoga class that is about a five minute walk from our house. The class has a waiting list so Mary is signed up for the January session.

• In non-baby news, the ground beef we bought is now part of the extended recall. Boo hiss.

• Also, you should read this extremely sad article Peter wrote last week. I think it is my favourite thing he's ever written. (And that is saying a lot because I am his biggest fan!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (21)

1. I still can't believe Mary is finally here. I am just so grateful that she's healthy and happy. The first time she looked me in the eyes, I started to cry. She is such a miracle!

2. I've completely had to change my attitude toward what I should accomplish in a day. My only goals for the weekend are to rest, eat and feed Mary. The public health nurse who visited on Friday was slightly concerned about Mary's weight loss so both Mary and I are working hard to rectify that before her doctor's appointment on Monday. I've had tons of emails from friends and family that haven't replied to yet, I have thank-you cards to write and I haven't cleaned the house since last Friday. But I keep telling myself that this is OK. I just need to focus on feeding and caring for Mary. (And if I haven't replied to your email yet, I'm sorry and I will!)

3. Peter has been an amazing support. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Even though he went back to work on Tuesday, he's taken care of all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. He also looks after Mary while I nap each day. Peter is such a pro at diapering, soothing and bathing her. I always feel terribly guilty when I have to rely on Peter to do things I feel I should be doing myself. But again, I have to keep telling myself that I need to focus on feeding and caring for Mary. Again, this is easier said than done. Darn that Catholic guilt!

4. So far Mary has met my parents, my sister, my sister-in-law, my cousin Andrew and my friend Caroline. She is coming with us to mass tomorrow so she will make even more friends. I can't wait to show her off. I'm so proud of her!

5. Other than being tired, I'm feeling pretty well. Physically I am doing great, but I get very weepy and anxious at times. I think this is a combination of the hormones and the lack of sleep. Hopefully it will get better soon. I'm really looking forward to my mother-in-law coming in 11 days. She will be such a huge help. And, because I won't have to be so dependent on Peter while she's here, I hope I will feel less guilty.

6. Mary loves to sleep while we're holding her, but she doesn't like to sleep in her crib. We're working together on it. Since she got home on Wednesday, she has eventually managed to fall asleep in her crib each night. It took until 5 a.m. the first night and 3:30 a.m. the last two days, but we're making progress.

7. Here are some photos:

Our beautiful daughter Mary is nice and clean after her bath.

Mary meets Nana, who is one of her namesakes. Both my mother and mother-in-law are named Mary.

Mary meets Grandpa. My mother knit both her hat and sweater.

Peter is a very proud (and handsome) father.

I am so in awe of her.

Mary meets Auntie Laura and Auntie Andrea.

Mary is ready to leave the hospital.

More quick takes here.