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Sunday, May 22, 2016

the official start to the summer



The May long weekend has always held special memories for me. 
Growing up, we would often head up to our church camp in Gracefield, Quebec, where we would be eaten alive by blackflies, take countless canoe rides around the lake, and always have a small set of fireworks. 
To me, making memories with the kids is probably my #1 reason for ever making things happen, and this May long weekend was all about memory making for us. Thankfully, Winslow happened to have the weekend off, so I was able to plan a little bit of extra activities (*if I am alone with all three kids, the expectation meter goes WAY down). 
This weekend was brought to us by a visit with my step-sister and her family, playing in the back yard with the sprinkler, lots of bike rides around the hood (a certain somebody can now ride her bike sans-training wheels!), a bonfire on the beach, a family photo session in the apple blossoms AND ice cream! PHEW!
The weather was lovely (maxi dresses all weekend), and we all have crashed hard at the end of the days, feeling full, happy and exhausted. 
Happy Victoria Day. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

growing up

We've had some pretty monumental moments in our household over the past few weeks. The kind of moments that make you pause, take note, and file them away as important memories. 
Each of the children are moving along in their development, and growing in different ways. 


Wesley is 5 months old now, and it's a little hard on this Mama-heart of mine. 5 months, is one month away from being 6 months... which is half a year! Please, someone, slow down time for me.
Since Wesley is our last, I want to savour each moment and etch it into my memory. It can be bittersweet to watch him grow. Of course I am beyond thankful that he is moving along in his developmental milestones.... it's just sad to know that this will be the last time I have a baby of my own at this age. 

Wesley is now: 

~ rolling from his back to tummy
~ babbling A LOT
~ sleeping very well at night, right close to his mommy 
~ likes a routine (morning, play, getting dressed, nap, play, nap, dinner, jammies, bed)
~ still is a very good nurser 
~ tasting different foods: avocado, homemade bread, broccoli, chicken. I am pretty sure that we will primarily do baby-led weaning with him, and maybe make up a few pureed versions of what we are eating. 
~ loves to bed carried in his Beco (outwards) when he is awake and happy, and his Ergo (inwards) when he is tired and needs cuddles


In Katia's world, a few big things happened this week. She got her school aged vaccines and she got her first very own bike. Two big things for a little girl who is growing up quickly. 
To prepare her for her vaccines, on the advice of another mama, we spent the night before her appointment, playing doctor and practicing what would happen at her appointment. 
We used her favourite stuffed fox, and went through all the steps of a doctor's visit. Getting weighed and measured, listening to her heart, checking her eyes, and getting her needles. We also used Emla cream on her fox, to help freeze the area where the needles would go in. 
The day of her appointment, we used the Emla cream on Katia and on her fox, and got all ready to go to the doctor. Katia was very calm about it and didn't seem anxious at all. 
Once we were there, we waited for a while and then the nurse came along to do her needles. 
First "Foxy" got her needles and band aides, and then it was Katia's turn. Not a peep or a tear from that girl! We were so impressed! 
I really do think that practicing the night before, helped her to feel in control of the situation, because she knew what to expect and nothing was going to be a surprise. 
After her appointment we went off to get a mint chocolate chip ice cream and her very own new bike (it just so happens that this year was Katia's year to get a new bike ... perfect timing!).


And my dear boy Noah. Oh this boy sure is growing and changing each day. He has had some growth spurts, but for me, the biggest changes are what is going on in Noah's personal life and his thoughts. 
Something really cool that has begun to happen (that I have been waiting for and hoping for) is that Noah now has friends in our little subdivision who come calling on him to play. 
They sometimes ride bikes,sometimes play lego and often spy on the littler sisters. I love it. I love seeing him open himself up to new situations. To experience a bit more freedom, as he cruises on his bike to his friend's house. To witness this new stage of his life, where he is venturing out a bit more and making new relationships. 
And on a different note, last night, Noah and I had a little heart to heart, when he came to me upset. He confessed that he was worried about what will happen when/if one of us dies (a normal thing for a little person to think about). 
I remember having these same worries when I was a little one, and I remember making a pact with my mother, that we would meet at the gates of heaven one day. I remember. this plan we discussed, brought me so much peace of mind, so when I suggested the same thing to Noah, it was so sweet to witness his worries dissolve, and a peace come over him. He went to bed happy. 
And while I truly do not know where we all go once we die, I do know that my love for my children will go on and on forever and ever. That some how, our spirits will always be intertwined for eternity. That I know. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

feeling the feels

There is a beach, about 30 mins away from my door step. I just kind of discovered it over the past few months.
One day in early April, I went and it was high tide. And high tide on the Bay of Fundy, means no beach at all. It was windy, and the waves were coming right up onto the boardwalk. It was pretty though.
Another time I went with the kids, but we had to be somewhere else, so we just took a few minutes to check it out.
But last Saturday, I made a calculated effort to gather the whole bunch of us and go to the beach. Calculated, because you really need to look at the tide schedule and make sure it is low tide when you go.
On Saturday, all the stars aligned. Low tide was to be at 8:45 in the morning. We could do that I said.
There was a bit of moaning and groaning from the peanut gallery, but once we were there, OH it was beautiful. And while there, I had so many thoughts run through my head.
Thoughts like, this is our home. This is really our home! This is where Wesley will always call his home and this beach, is our beach!
I also thought about our crazy RCMP life, and how we have called so many beautiful spots in this country our home. I thought about how lucky we've been to see such beauty, to belong to such amazing places, to feel connected to so many different spots.
I thought about Mother's Day. About how complex it all is. About how I fail at motherhood sometimes. About how I succeed at it in other ways. How I want to be a better mother. How I need to be more gentle to myself. How I love my own mother, and how she messed up so bad as a mother. Oh it's complicated this mothering business. So complicated, and beautiful, and hard, and amazing.


Lately I've been trying to be mindful of my anxiety. It's an ongoing battle of mine, that I recognize is affecting not just me, but my family. I find being self aware and giving myself words to use, helps. I also find, when I say no to what I cannot do, it helps too. I just know that I have little eyes watching me, and I want to show them a better way of coping with stress. Perhaps more walks on the beach are in order.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

motherhood self portraits

In honour of Mother's Day. Some motherhood self portraits.
Much love to all the mamas out there.

feels like home to me

It finally feels like home here. After 9 months and 3 seasons, this area, lovingly called "the Valley", finally feels like  home.
It took the inevitable period of time, where I yearned for my old home in the Yukon.
I missed the familiar. I missed those safe feelings. I missed the vastness, and mountains. I missed that comfortable feeling of being alone, something I first learned to accept, and then embrace.
But now, those feelings don't pop up the same way they used to. I still miss the Yukon, but I am okay with it being part of our past.
There is this view, here in the Valley, that catches my breath every time.
It is just as you get off the highway, and are driving towards Wolfville. You can see the village of Port Wiliams, the apple orchards, homes, churches and farms, Cornwallis River (which is fed from the Bay of Fundy, so it is tidal) and the red cliffs of Blomidon Provincial Park in the distance. Each time, I scan the river to see if the tide is in or out. It's beautiful and magical, each time.
It's the little things that make me feel at home here. Tuesdays are our library day. The librarians know our name when we go in. The farmer's market is fun on Saturdays. We always bump into a neighbour or acquaintance there. I now know a few parents at my son's school, we do coffee sometimes together. The neighbourhood kids down the street call on Noah and Katia to play outside, we had them over for brunch the other weekend. This place is just small enough to feel a real sense of community, and I like it.
For a while, I had this unsettled feeling in my gut. I questioned whether this had been the right choice for us. Was this really our home, and would we really like it here?
I can now say without any reservation, that I am 100% sure that this is the right place for our family to live and grow. I'm excited to see what adventures lie ahead for us.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

life lately ...

Life lately:
Long stretches of solo parenting. A teething babe. Spontaneous trips to the beach .... because we can. Lunches outside. Playdates at the park. Wind chimes outside my bedroom window. Chasing the light. Getting the perfect shot. Self portraits with my littles. An afternoon in the garden. Getting our seeds started. Chocolate chia seed avocado pudding. Life is short, lick the bowl. Walks in the woods. Chalk drawings on the front driveway. Neighbourhood kids, calling to play. Feeling like this is home. Thankful Spring is here.

Monday, April 11, 2016

telling our story

 camera set on a timer with interval shots bmbv cnc

photo credit: Katia 

photo credit: Noah 

For the last 6 years I have been dedicated to documenting my children's day to day lives, and it brings me great joy to be able to look back at those moments. But it was recently that I started to realize, that I am hardly in any pictures with the kids. Somewhere along the way, Winslow stopped picking up my camera and getting me in the shots. Somewhere along the way, I stopped asking him to. So somewhere along the way, I just stopped being in the pictures. It may not seem like a big thing, but it kind of is. 

Not only do I want my children to have pictures of me, but I also want to be able to reflect on my self too. I want to remember what these days, what these moments felt like for me too. I want to have those memories for myself as well
A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I decided to take a photo of myself holding Wesley, because it was a perfectly warm and cozy moment that I wanted to capture. To set up the shot, I fixed my manual settings, and then stretched out my arm above my head as far as it would go and snapped the shot. 
Once I uploaded the image and edited, I was instantly attached to what I saw. It was very emotional for me, to see myself and my baby, there in the shot. I decided that I would try to capture more images of myself with the children. 
Then, as if it were meant to be, I was surfing a photography Facebook group that I am a part of, when a woman posted some self portrait images of herself as a mother. Her images and the concept spoke to me, and I was excited to learn that there was a Facebook group, just for mother photographers who do self portraits. 
Since joining this group, I have learned some new techniques and have become inspired to do a better job at telling our story, with myself included in it. The images that I create won't be about perfection. 
Technically, they won't always be good. Visually, things won't look "picture perfect". Personally, I won't always have my make up on, or even be wearing day clothes (yes, jammies and housecoats are where it's at). But they will be about us. They will capture what motherhood is really about. They will be treasures for me and my family one day.

camera set on a timer with interval shots