Sunday, June 30, 2013


I am an anomaly. When it comes to shopping that is! My husband, Rob LOVE LOVE LOVES to shop. He'll be trying on a dozen shirts and I'm sitting with three guys, all on their phones, holding their girlfriend's purses. My friends say I'm so lucky to have a husband to shop with. Although, it makes leaving the mall very difficult for this girl!  During Christmas I will often bring my Kindle and sit on a bench while he shops. Now that we have the baby, he goes ahead with her to the next store. Once I catch up with him, he'll give me what he wants to buy and I'll buy it for him and he'll move onto the next shop. It gives him a running start at each store. I usually don't take very long to browse.
 Yesterday Rob and I were doing our usual shop at the mall.. He was ahead of me with Alina and I was meeting up with them. A man with special needs in a wheel chair wheels up to me and politely gets my attention.

Man: Do you know why I stopped you? It's because I saw you walking and I just had to let you know that you are absolutely gorgeous.

Me: THANK YOU so much..!

Man: Do you known why I put sunscreen on today?

Me: No, why?

Man: Ssssssssss (He pretends I'm so hot it burns his skin..)

 He is the first person or stranger that has hit on me since I was pregnant and it felt really, really good to be noticed! I don't care if he used a cheesy line either. It was kind of sweet and I took it as a compliment! Besides, I don't think he was hitting on me but just voicing his opinion in a cute sort of way. It just made my day and I had to share.

Christmas Pre-Alina.. Couldn't find a really recent one right before I got pregnant.. So this will have to do!

Alina's 2 days old in this one.. And I'm 2 days after being pregnant for 9 months!!

This was taken last weekend. That's right.. I think I'm sort of bragging. It feels good to be almost at my normal weight again!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm a REAL Blog!

 It's been 8 years.. 8!!! years since I started my blog. I initially started it because I was well, bored.. and I needed an outlet. I had a tragedy unexpectedly happen in my life and needed to be able to write about it. It definitely helped me with my grieving. I also met my husband while I was writing in this blog day to day. So it's really neat looking back on the 'early days' of our relationship and reading about how he 'swept me off of my feet'.
 Once I met my husband Rob, I slowly stopped writing. My life became more interesting and I felt like I didn't need to depend on the posts and input of my blogging friends. About one month ago a family friend of mine invited me to read two of her new blogs she started writing in. I got addicted to checking in to see if she had posted anything new and found myself yearning to update mine.
 I am currently on maternity leave. I had my first child, Alina in March so I have some extra time during the day to write. I also have more time to think about personal things, rather than how many pills someone will need if they take 2 and a half twice a day for 3 months. (I'm a pharmacy technician by non-maternity-leave day!) The answer is 270 if anyone is wondering..... Go ahead, do the math.. I'm right!
 I wrote a story and entered it into a writing contest and won a year ago. So I had to write a mini bio about myself and I included my blog. I made sure to edit out any inappropriate, 'immature' posts about ex boyfriends so that people would take me a little more seriously. I started to post some of my recent blogs that I felt like sharing on my facebook.  Now I feel like anything I have written is fair game and can be read by whomever.
 So far, I shared two posts on facebook and have had an okay turn out. I looked into reading more blogs and found Bloglovin'. At night I wake a few times to feed my baby girl and I find myself bored as hell. So I have saved the most entertaining and interesting blogs to my favourites on my phone. After a few days of reading different blogs in the middle of the night, I decided that I would like to be on Bloglovin' as well. So I linked my blog to it and have suddenly decided that I want my blog to be more than just a journal for myself. I think some blogs are really busy and that's why they're so popular. But I want my content to interest my readers. There are so many bloggers out there that it's going to be difficult to compete. But I figure, why not give it a try and see how many followers I can get after a bit of time? So, if you like what you read.. please follow me on Bloglovin'. It would make my day and give me a cheap thrill!

Us kids in 2005.

Still kids.. but with our own kid in 2013.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, June 24, 2013

Have You Seen This Man?

Sixto Rodriguez.. A Detroit born man that made two records in the late 60's and early 70's. He was compared to Bob Dylan in his writing of music and the way he sounded. But unfortunately for him, his records flopped and nothing ever came of him in the United States. He had been in contact with people to help him make his records,and they recall him meeting up with them on street corners or random park benches. They assumed he was homeless, another drifter. He made the records, they flopped and most people that knew him or of him, said he disappeared. There were stories told of him committing suicide on stage after a particularly bad show. These tales were never the same.. One story claimed he doused himself in gas and lit himself on fire. Another stated he shot himself right at the end of his last song. It remained a mystery .. for awhile.
 Meanwhile, in Cape Town, South Africa a man by the name of Stephen "Sugar" Segermen had his own questions. He had heard of Sixto Rodriguez, in fact all of South Africa had. Apparently Rodriguez was a musical legend there. One day a woman asked if she could find a record of Rodriguez and Segermen simply pointed her in the direction of the closest record store. She was shocked that there would be copies because she had been in the U.S. and no one had ever heard of him, never mind getting a copy of the record. It's like he didn't exist. That, got Segermen's attention. He had noticed that there was little to no information on this American legend like there was on the Rolling Stones or The Beatles. Another man, Craig Bartholomew Strydom took interest in finding more information on Rodriguez. He was a writer and decided it would be an interesting story to tell once he did his research. He was most intrigued when he finally contacted someone from Rodriguez's record label and the next day, the phone number was disconnected. Where, if Rodriguez was in fact dead- was all the money for his records being sold in South Africa going?  Segermen created a website that was directed at finding any information on Rodriguez or his death in the late 90's. Soon after, Rodriguez's eldest daughter came across the website and came into contact with Segermen. Rodriguez had a family and was in fact alive!
 Segermen recalls waking at one in the morning to the voice of Rodriguez calling from the United States. He, being a huge fan was completely dumbfounded. The fact that this mystery man was alive was one thing but that he didn't know he was famous was another!
 Rodriguez is informed of his unknown fame and to him, nothing changes. He continues working where he works and living in the house he owned for forty years. He is convinced to go to Cape Town and perform a series of concerts to long awaiting disbelieving fans. He is greeted with limos at the airport and nearly walks past them thinking they are for someone else. He is treated like a king and continues to act like a labourer in Detroit, never letting his new found fame get to him. His daughters are in awe of their father because of his cool, laid back demeanor. He performed for thousands of people and played with such ease and grace, like he had been doing it for years.. One daughter describes that her father now has two lives. One in Detroit where he is like a nobody. The other in South Africa where he is what he always dreamed of being..

 I learned all of this from the documentary, "Searching For Sugarman" that I watched tonight. Rob introduced the idea of watching a documentary and I instantly sighed and mentally signed out for the night. I'm not sure why, but my attitude towards documentaries is always fairly negative, especially when it's one that Rob wants to watch. But I am almost always interested within the first few minutes. Such was the case with this one. I couldn't believe the mystery behind this .. intriguing voice and his haunting lyrics. The documentary played many of his songs and with every song I wondered.. why wasn't he famous? Was it because there already was a similar song writer; Bob Dylan? I found that Rodriguez's songs were chilling and touching like Dylan's but that his voice could be compared to Don Mclean's or James Taylor's.
 I couldn't believe that this man's dreams came true in another part of the world and yet he had no idea. I would have been so sad to find out that he was dead and that he would never know how big he had been. But it was exciting to learn that he was in fact alive and that he did get to live that dream years and years after his disappointments. When he goes to South Africa to perform for the first time, I can almost feel the anticipation of the crowd waiting to see if it's really him... The bass player is strumming the same beat over and over.. as Rodriguez is being introduced for the very first time.. The crowd goes nuts for a good five full minutes before he can actually begin to play. The moment his voice is heard throughout the crowd everyone starts cheering, LOUD. It must have been such an incredible experience for Rodriguez and his family to live that moment. This story was so touching, I had to write about it. There was never any proof of where Rodriguez's money went when he sold all those records back in the 60's and 70's. But the money he made from all of the concerts he did after he was rediscovered went to his family and friends. He continues to live in his old house and he does what he did before he was discovered. Although I did some research and found out he was just in London last week playing a concert. The documentary is out now, so he must be getting a lot more publicity because of it. I know that I would like to have a few of his songs on my ipod to listen to. He is a very talented man. I'm so glad his talent wasn't wasted on deaf ears all of those years ago. Someone somewhere heard something in that voice. I guess it could be a lesson to be learned.. Never give up on a dream because.. someone.. somewhere .. could hear/see something in you.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Co.

I have to say that I am in love with summer. The obvious reasons are that it's hot and sunny, the days last longer and because of where we live- we can go to the beach everyday! But I also love summer because of the company. So far, and it's only the end of June- we have had Rob's mom visit, my best friend and her son last week and my three buddies from Alberta just left yesterday! I am one spoiled, new mom being on maternity leave and having this much action in my first three months with my baby girl. I suggest to all people that plan on having babies.. try to conceive at the end of May, beginning of June...! That way, you'll pop in March or April and the summer will be right around the corner. I didn't even have a chance to get the baby blues.. It's been too nice!
 A friend of mine asked me the other day if I got the phone call from the public health nurse asking me a series of questions to see if I had postpartum. I did get a call but she didn't ask me the questions I think because I was so chipper and happy when I answered the phone. I remember she asked me how I was feeling and I said I was great and then I mentioned how beautiful the weather had been and how could I be anything but. So that right there, says it all. The nurse just skipped asking me the questions because of how happy I sounded on the phone! Have a baby in the spring time. Alina is now over 3 months old and happier, holding up her own neck for the most part and just all around easier to take out camping and to the beach, now that the weather is beginning to improve.
 The girls visit was super quick but fun. I was saying to them last night, that it's funny how you miss your friends over time but you gradually get over missing them because they aren't part of your day to day. But as soon as you reunite again, everything falls into place, and you realize how much you really enjoy being around them! Carmelle was saying hilarious things, as always. Kailey was crying when she laughed- which she used to always do and it wasn't until she did it again, that I remembered that about her!  It was lots of fun being around the girls again. The best medicine is an evening with old friends.. It was also the first time I've hung out with them, where I didn't get drunk. That sounds sad but we all grew up together, partying most of the time. It was really fun just having a beer here and there, laughing and blabbing just the same. They brought yummy cupcakes, champagne to toast Alina to and great company. Our house is small and the girls slept in our camping van. They decided to only stay one night, which was perfect because there isn't very much to do in my little town. They went off to Victoria for some night life and we decided to go camping.
 It's June 23rd and I already feel so fulfilled with all of our summer company. Good thing there's still two whole months of real summer left.. and I still have my sister's visit to look forward to!
I heart you summer!

Crazy girls having a campfire.

Until the next time ladies...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Win, win!

It all began with a trip. One trip that tweaked a couple of heart strings and caused a few wheels to turn...
 My cousins from Alberta went on an all girl's trip to the East Coast with their daughters. Of course the girls got together with my sister, Kyli and her family while they were there. Courtney has two daughters that are very close in age to my sister's two little ones; Quinn and Sophie. Jessica has a 9 month old daughter as well. So all five babies got together, as well as my cousins and sister and they took lots of pictures as promised. I found myself looking at the pictures all of the time. Part of me was so happy and excited for Kyli because her babies got to meet their babies. The pictures were so cute of all of these similar little kids. But another big part of me wanted sooo much for us to be able to afford to get together like that too! 
 I remember telling Rob that I really wished that I could have some pictures of Alina with her cousins as a baby.. so that when she looked back at them, she would see that they somewhat grew up together. I also have never met Kyli's 15 month old Sophie and obviously Ky hasn't met our Alina. It's important to me to meet Sophie while she's still little and to see our little Quinn again.
 My relationship with my sister isn't normal. We just really, really, really love each other. We were the maids of honour at each other's weddings and can both honestly say that we are still the other's best friend. I love our chemistry. We can just talk and talk and ... talk and always get each other. I can't imagine not having a sister to confide in all of my life. I always had Ky to look up to and I continue to look up to her, now that we are both mothers.  I could go on and on about our relationship, but I'd never stop.  Rob and Joe met right after we started dating in 2005 and became instant friends. Rob was also in their wedding party. Him and Joe share a die hard love for the Toronto Maple Leafs, they are both incredible musicians and they seem to have a similar sense of humour that can entertain for hours. It's almost as if Ky and I married brothers.
 Kyli, Joe and Quinn moved away the day after our wedding day. It was really sad and we will never forget that feeling we both had, when we had to say goodbye to them. This July will make it three years that we were all together last.
 The pictures of the kids got me thinking, that we really needed to put in an effort to visit my sister this year while I am on maternity leave. Rob and I got onto the airline websites and made a promise to keep our eye on any seat sales going to the East Coast. The next day, while visiting my mom I told her about our plan to visit Kyli. We were thinking about going on September 11th because we know that flights are sadly cheaper that day. My mom was forced to tell me her big surprise...
She was helping pay to have Ky and the family visit US this summer!!!!
 The words came out of her mouth and I instantly started crying..and saying, "Thank you.. thank you!"  I could hear my Grannie saying; "Oh Hay....oh Haley..." I don't think Gran sees me like that very often. Needless to say, Mom agreed that it was an awesome reaction to her surprise!
  I am so beyond excited to see Kyli..! But then to top it off.. I get to meet Sophie. I get to see my Quinnster again. Joe and Rob get to reunite... and they all get to meet Alina!!! Win, win, win, win, win!!!
 Apparently after Kyli's visit with the cousins and their daughters she had a similar feeling that I had. She found out how many aeroplan miles she had and she had enough for a round trip to the West Coast. She decided she would take Sophie and come for a visit. She told Mom about it and Mom being Mom.. said that if one gets to go... so does the other. (In regards to Quinn.) She's like that with her dogs Audi and Lucy. Many times I've asked her to just bring Audi over to visit me, but she says I can't have one without the other. She then decided that if she was paying for Quinn to visit, why not pay a bit more and have the whole family come!? Amen, sister. Or mother...!
 Really I should be thanking my cousins for going to the East Coast and giving Ky and I that feeling of desperation to see the other this summer. Now, because of their trip- we are getting reunited again!
 Here's to the trip of a lifetime coming this August!! I can't wait and oh, there will be much to blog about...

The last time we were together!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

One of the Good Ones

Father's Day is tomorrow..
 June 16th marks Rob's first Father's Day. I believe that today will mean more and more to him each year. This year will be special because it's his first as a Daddy. I'm writing in the dark, with the glow from the t.v. and computer lighting the room. Rob sits in the rocking chair he bought me for Christmas, with a very exhausted little girl in his arms. He busies himself with his Iphone, patiently waiting for her to be in a deep enough sleep to dare put her down. She is teething and has a bit of a cold. We took her out to the Show n' Shine's Annual Dance In The Streets tonight. She was out late, but eventually fell asleep in a friend's arms. As we walked home, the air began to cool and the melodic jerking and bumping of the stroller, kept Alina asleep. It wasn't until a street light lit Alina's buggy, that we saw two bright eyes looking up at us. She was awake, just in time for us to bring her home to bed. She began the screaming as we entered the house and carried on for about ten or fifteen minutes. Normally Alina is a pretty easy going girl, but she is a baby after all and babies do cry. Her daddy tried all sorts of tricks as I sat with my head in my hands, stressed that she was so upset. This is the very reason why Rob deserves a great day tomorrow. He is an incredible dad. He knows not to get upset or frustrated with Alina or the fact that she's upset. He tells himself that she was happy minutes before and goes through all of the different things that could be causing her to be upset. Once he checks off.. changing a diaper, feeding her, opening her sleeper so she cools off.. he takes her to our room to look at the ceiling fan- a usual favourite of Alina's. But the screaming continues, tears running down her red, angered, scrunched up little face. He then tries putting her in her car seat and swinging her back and fourth- again another trick that usually calms her. Nope, not the case tonight. He doesn't let the screaming bother him and keeps his mind on the task at hand. He tells me that he knows she is not really upset, because minutes before she was smiling and completely content. She has just gotten herself worked up and needs something. But what is that something? Finally he puts on a striped shirt because he knows she likes looking at the pattern and sits in the rocking chair, with her against his chest shushing and patting her back. Within minutes, her breathing slows and her cries turn into soft whimpers. Our baby is asleep in my favourite place; against Rob's chest. That has been a spot that has given me much comfort over the last eight years. A place where I can rest my head and feel completely safe. Turns out it's a new favourite place for our little girl. Rob's a natural. He is going to thrive at being a dad and each year he will only get better.
 Tomorrow I will celebrate his first of many Father's Days to come. I won't let losing my dads shadow the day. I will think of how lucky my daughter is to have such an amazing daddy in her life. I will appreciate that this man is in my life, keeping us happy and safe. And I will smile and feel proud that I found him and chose him to be a part of my life. He's one of the good ones..

Playing guitar for her - only days old in this picture.

He wanted to take her to the beach right away so she could put her fresh toes in the sand.

We had a jersey ordered for her the first week we were home from the hospital- priorities!

This was their "Game Face!" The onesie and t-shirt were custom made.

He will share anything with her.. even his own shirt.

Daddy's girl.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Diamond in the Rough

My friend Katie visited this week with her four year old son Fletcher. They stayed for two nights and we ended up having a really nice time. When Katie and I talk on the phone, I can usually hear Fletcher in the background and sometimes he likes to talk to me too. But seeing this boy is another thing entirely. He is sooooo good! He is not only polite, but sweet and sincere. I asked him in the morning how his sleep in the van was and he tells me that it was good. But then he asks ME how MY sleep was.... He's so thoughtful that way. He always begins a sentence with "Excuse me.." He is always saying excuse me before he speaks because Katie doesn't like him interrupting. His dad is the deputy chief in their local fire department and so he is very interested in anything fire department related. Rob took him to the fire hall to look at all of their big trucks. He was so thrilled. Rob took pictures of him in a bunch of the trucks so Fletcher could bring them home to show his dad. Rob and Fletcher were like two peas in a pod. They both shared a fascination with the van. Rob showed him all of the improvements he made in the van and Fletcher was genuinely impressed and excited about them. (More so than I ever am!)
 I took Fletcher and Katie to the Market with the Goat's on the roof. (Wasn't I just there touring Andrea around last week? Why yes, I was. It's visiting season.. Typically we are at the market much of the summer with different guests.) He bought a set of wooden swords and shields for him and his dad, for Father's Day. Talk about the perfect gift for a dad. This boy loves his dad like I've never seen before. It actually made me sad for boys that lose their dads in a divorce. I see how much Fletcher adores his dad, how much he wants to be just like him and I realize that if his dad ever left- he would be beyond devastated. It made me think of my brother and how much he loved my dad and how many times dad disappointed him when he was just a kid. I mean, he disappointed all of us. But there's something about a boy and wanting to impress his dad. It's .. different.
 The excursion to the market went so well because I forgot Katie is a lot like me. She doesn't like to shop around looking at hippy dresses. Most of the stores are more or less alike so I didn't have to spend hours browsing in essentially the same store over and over again! I forget these things about my friend.. "Oh yeah- you hate shopping like me!"
 Fletcher scored a bunch of times on his trip. Katie and Fletcher came to visit family in Vancouver last week. They came over to the island to meet Alina and to visit other friends in Victoria. He's such a likeable little guy that he is quite spoiled. I don't mean that in a negative way. I'm just being honest. He is liked by so many people that he ends up getting a lot of cool stuff. Rob ended up giving him a fire truck and QBFD fire t-shirt. Our back lane neighbour owns an old Fire Rescue van that he parks in his backyard. Fletcher saw the lights peeking over the fence and knew instantly that it was something fire department related. Later on in the day, our neighbour happened to be pulling that van out for the car show this weekend. Rob took Fletcher over to see it up close. He shook our neighbour's hand and showed his cute, genuine interest in everything. It was about ten minutes later that our neighbour returned with a Matchbox ambulance and fire truck for him to take on the ferry. It's the little gestures from people that just meet the little guy that show what a good kid he is. I'm not only proud to introduce Fletcher to people I know. But I'm so proud of my best friend for raising her son right! There are so many children out there that are complete brats. It's just nice to see a real gem once in awhile.
 I hope that Alina is like that. I will work hard with her to be a respectful, polite, genuine little soul- just like her pal Fletch.
 Tuesday this week I took Andrea to the airport and Wednesday Katie came to town.  It's been another busy week, but I'm grateful for it!
 Katie and I had a fire in the backyard on both nights that she was here. We had a beer or two and listened to tunes and stared at the fire. It was so nice to just sit and chat with an old friend, about old stories and people and places from my childhood and adolescence. We've been buds since Katie was six and I was eight. We both grew up in the same neighbourhood and struggled with similar parental issues. Our parents were tighter with money, so we never asked them for any, like a lot of our friends did. Our parents were divorced. When we wanted to go to the valley- (about ten minutes from where we lived) we had to get our friend's parents to pick us up because our parents just didn't want to give us a ride. It was small things but we had them in common and I think that's why we stayed so close after so many years. We understand each other and our values. We respect each other as adults. Katie is a strict mom but she has a really great kid to show for it. I look up to her and the way that she raises her son. I hope when Alina is four turning five- she can make me proud like Fletcher did this weekend.
 Here's to old friendships that last and last the test of time!

Together again.

The little knight and his new sword.

Our kids- together.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

One "First" Off The List- Camping!

It's been a busy week compared to my solo weeks with baby girl. Andrea has been visiting and enjoying her granddaughter. She went out of town for a night to visit Rodney's cousins- Betty and Wendy. Those two remind me of my own Aunties (mom's sisters) - in the way that they are lots of fun to be around. They were all going to Betty's for a girl's night. Betty has a beautiful home that over looks the ocean and you can actually watch BC Ferries crawl into the harbour. She is a wonderful hostess that makes delicious dinners for her guests and it's like staying at a nice hotel when you are there. Naturally I wished I was going with Andrea.
 Friday came and the sun was shining as radiantly as it had been all week. Alina and I took a walk to visit my work buddies. Every Friday I take her to work and everyone gets a snuggle. When I returned, Betty's RV was parked in the drive-way. The girls were now going camping. Once Rob got home, he mentioned that he'd love to take the Westfalia for it's first camping trip. So we spontaneously decided to go for it!
 It took us about twenty minutes to pack up what we needed for one quick night of camping. It was our first overnight trip with Alina, so I was a little over the top with the baby items. Rob didn't think that we'd need to bring her swing. But I insisted, just in case she didn't go to sleep easily, we would wish we had it with us. I brought her four sleepers, just in case she pooped through three. I brought three outfits for the next day, so we would have options pending the weather. I brought her play mat so she would have it in the morning to make her smile for her doting Aunties and Nonna.
 In the end, Alina was so enraptured with her surroundings, that everything I brought to entertain her was nothing compared to the green leaves hanging over our camp site. She loved camping. She posed for a million pictures with Mom and Dad, Nonna and the Aunties.. Then just herself sitting in a lawn chair, then her with just Nonna, and then just Daddy, etc. etc. She was up for an hour or two, and then I fed her her bedtime snack. We had her all snug as a bug in some jammies and a warm blankie. The van has a spot right beside the bed that fits her bassinet perfectly. She fell asleep within minutes and slept well until 4 am for her first feeding.
 While baby slept, Rob and I decided to take a quick voyage down to the beach in the dark. On our way back we passed a swing set. We both joked that we'll be 60 years old and unable to pass a swing set without wanting to jump on and start swinging! There's nothing better than getting back on a swing and feeling the air hit your face as you swing up and back down. It always brings me back to a place of comfort and fun. It's funny how something as simple and basic as a swing can remind you of a time and place when the world was so much simpler.
 It was so nice going camping and being able to leave Alina in the trusting eyes of her Aunties and Nonna. I think it was the perfect first outing for all of us. We had a camp fire, roasted weenies and listened to good, old tunes. The ladies slept in Aunty Betty's luxurious RV. We slept beside it in our dinky Westy. But it was snug and perfect for our little family.
 First outing: success. I'm just looking forward to the next one!

The Aunties and Nonna - A's First Camping

Enjoying her surroundings

First Family Outing

One Happy Camper

Thursday, June 06, 2013

My Girl

Daughter, I have a daughter. Mom, I am someone's mom. It's only when I walk passed a mirror with Alina in my arms, or I see a picture of me holding my girl - that I realize I am a mommy. I always wanted to be a mom, ever since I was a little girl. People say that a girl dreams of getting married, but I always thought about when I would be a mom. Now, I am and it really is everything that I hoped it would be. Of course I was terrified at the idea of being solely responsible for a human being. I described pregnancy as one big, day before a new job but over a nine month period. I began to question my abilities, my intentions and I started to doubt if I was going to like being a mom, once the day came. But once it came, and she was born.. most of those thoughts and fears disappeared. I say most of them, because it took some time to become comfortable with everything.  Changing a diaper, or stuffing a head through a newborn onesie is challenging at first. I would describe myself as a clumsy mom. When I told Rob that, he laughed and said I could call myself a "Clumsy Mumsy". So that is what I'll call myself- a clumsy mumsy. But I don't mind that title because it's honest. I have gotten better, but I'm still a bit clumsy with my girl. I'm just beginning to get bath time down to a science. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I started bathing Alina in her baby tub, inside of our bath tub. I would bathe her in the kitchen sink, holding her upright with one hand and washing her with the other. As you can imagine, that gets pretty slippery.
 My favourite time with Alina isn't first thing in the morning or a time of day necessarily but when she gives me lovey eyes. She just lays where she is and stares at me. I mean, really, really stares at me. I feel like she's reading my thoughts or seeing more than just me. It sounds crazy but my heart actually does something. I write, "does something" because I can't quite describe the feeling. It doesn't beat faster or anything. But I can definitely feel the love she is giving me through a simple, lovey stare.

An example of her lovey stare
   I look forward to everything that is coming. She's 3 months old and I look forward to when she can hold her head up on her own. I am excited to see her sitting upright and crawling. I can't wait to hear more of her laugh. We heard it once a couple of weeks ago and I think I actually felt my heart SMILE. No joke, I believe it was beaming with delight at the laugh coming from Alina. I am going to melt to pieces when she holds my hand or hugs me. I can't even imagine what I will do when she calls me Mommy. When she snuggles up to her dad or reaches for him for the first time, I may spontaneously self combust with love.
 Rob and I have always been very good at discussing situations at great length. If something bothers us we talk about it. If I'm feeling down about someone in the family or I'm missing my sister we usually talk it out. It's not something we do on purpose, it just happens. We communicate very well and I think that Alina is in good hands because of that. Rob is a problem solver by nature. Physical problems and the mental ones too. I always have believed that I am good at giving advice. I can't really back that up. (haha, so you're just going to have to trust me on that one!) Again, I believe that Alina will be okay, even as an emotional teenager because her mom and dad are good at listening. We've discussed that we want to be understanding and open-minded towards her as well. If there is one thing that frustrates us about our own parents, it's their inability to admit when they are wrong or not willing to change because they are stubborn. I am stubborn and so is Rob. But we both are good at admitting when the other is wrong. HAHA- we are good at that, but we are also good at admitting when we ourselves, are wrong. Rob told me that he wants to be Alina's friend. He doesn't want to tease or bug her, but he wants to be there for her when she needs him. We both want her to want to talk to us or feel comfortable about coming to us with anything. (Especially me, because sometimes you just can't talk to dad about "those" kinds of things.)
 I am excited about being a mom. I'm looking forward to the good and the bad. (more so the good, but I'll take the bad too I suppose.) Alina is going to keep us busy for the rest of our lives and we are ready to take on the challenge.. because we want to be and not because we have to be.
Dad and his blue eyed beauty

Another sweet expression

Buds for life

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Difference A Nonna Makes..

I have been off of work since the beginning of March. I had Alina the eighth day into my holidays. My maternity leave officially started March 18th, so I have until next March off to spend time with my baby girl. I feel fortunate everyday that I wake up to her smiling (usually) face. But there are times when the rain falls and the sun doesn't want to come out and the hours just drag by. Rob's mom Andrea, is here visiting Alina. She was originally going to return in the summer to see the babe but just couldn't keep away that long. I don't blame her, it is very hard being away from my sister's kiddies. (They live in Nova Scotia - two kids- boy is four, girl is one. But that's another entry.) Andrea arrived Saturday and the company has been so nice for not just Alina, but me as well. I wake up and pass the baby over to Andrea to snuggle and love first thing in the morning. It gives me a chance to get ready for the day and it gives Andrea some alone time with her grand baby. (Her first grand-baby I might add!)
 Alina is nearing the 3 month mark and she has already shown signs of growth since Nonna got here last weekend. She is beginning to pick things up with her chubby, little fingers. She recognizes songs and cute sayings that Nonna sings to her. She has been nothing but happy since Nonna arrived. The weather also took a turn for the better since she got here as well. I think the weather also makes a huge difference.
 We went to Coombs' Market this morning, before there were too many tourists flocking the place. It was actually cooler this morning and the crowds were thinner than usual. It was nice shopping around with someone for a change. We didn't even think to look and see if the goats were on the roof like advertised. But we have all been there so many times, we didn't think to look. Andrea did buy Alina a goat headband to try on a bit later though.
 We put a blankie out on the lawn and placed Alina in the middle, covered in soft blankets. She fell asleep in the shade and I laid with her and relaxed while she slept. These are things that I could do without anyone here, but I never think to. 
 I bought myself a big, black sun hat for the beach this summer and a fresh Jalapeno Foccacia to have before supper tonight. I love market shopping; so random.
 So to sum it up- I'm happy with the company. I'm grateful for my mother in law and all of her goofy, whacky songs that she sings the baby. I love having someone to hang out with during the day and Alina especially is enjoying her sweet self.
Alina and her Nonna

Alina sportin' her new goat headband from Coombs

Monday, June 03, 2013

Hunk of Junkala

Introducing our 28 year old baby .... a 1985 Westfalia Vanagon to the family.
Rob's sister Erin bought a Westy last year but hasn't had the chance to drive it from Thunder Bay to the island just yet. Rob was really excited at the possibility of borrowing it this summer for camping. When he found out she wasn't going to be bringing it, he was pretty disappointed. So, he got the idea in his head and well, anyone that knows my Robert- knows that once he gets an idea in his head, he goes for it. He researched Westy's on Friday and Saturday. We got our finances in order on Monday and Tuesday we were driving the Westy home from its previous owner.
 Rob's been in it since May 28th.. the day we brought it home. He got me to eat lunch in it with him, play cards and even to just lay in the back and imagine that we're camping. My husband is a little dreamer. He dreams up an idea, and then unlike many people; he makes it happen.
 He has since replaced the sunroof, the canvas pop up tent, fixed the lock on the window and repaired all of the curtains. He installed a light in the back and strip lights above the stove. He also got rid of the 28 year old carpet and replaced it with dark hard wood flooring. It really is starting to look like home! Look out Summer 2013, here we come!
 Even though Alina is only 12 weeks old, she already loves it. We put her in and she just stares out the windows, or at the curtains and kicks her legs and throws her arms around with a big smile on her face. It's going to be the perfect camping van for our little family.

The family in our new Westy

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Light In My Life

In July 2013, my husband and I were delighted to discover we were going to be having a baby! We weren't taken by surprise because it was something we were aiming for. However I was completely surprised that it happened so quickly. I have always heard of couples having to try for sometimes years before getting pregnant. Well not us. We tried once. That's right.... once. I actually found out the day before my 27th birthday. How fitting; I got a baby for my birthday!
 The pregnancy, for the most part was a breeze. I am sure there are many women out there rolling their eyes at that sentence. I have a few cousins that would probably like to beat me for it too. I have heard of women spending night after night in the hospital, hooked up to iv's because of  nausea. I didn't throw up. I felt icky in the first couple of months at night, after 6 pm. But other than that, it went really well. We nicknamed the baby Peanut because it looked like a peanut in our first ultrasound. I felt Peanut kick me for the first time while I was at work, doing the front store order. I still don't know how to describe what that felt like. It's amazing knowing that life is growing inside. But it's almost like validation once you feel that first flutter of movement. It's like- "Yes..! I really am pregnant and I didn't just fool everyone else around me into thinking I was..."
 My husband was very excited to say the least. It doesn't matter what it is, if he is into it.. he's REALLY into it. He got occupied with building a room for Peanut and basically did all the nesting for the both of us combined. I didn't mind. I mean, I had to help. There's no free ride in this household. Pregnant or not.. I painted the walls and helped hold the tape measure. But in the end, Peanut's room turned out more than I could have hoped for. Our little house was now ready for a new room mate. The room mate is what we jokingly called the baby as well. 
I would say; "Our new room mate is going to be the worst.. It won't clean up after itself.. It's going to take up so much room. Never help clean or do it's own laundry.. "
 As the days whizzed by, my belly grew.. and grew..and grew.
 Peanut was an avid kicker. I have video footage of Peanut having a dance party in there. It was probably my favourite part of the entire 9 months.. the kicking. Before I would go to bed at night, I had this feeling of excitement because I would always feel the most then. I'd lay on my side and have my hands resting on my belly waiting for the show. Even in the mornings I wouldn't like to get up and out of bed until after I felt Peanut move a little bit. Dropping things became my new pet peeve. Bending down to pick things up, tie my shoes or even just standing became pretty difficult near the end of the pregnancy. To say that peeing became quite a frequent occurrence would be an understatement. My husband became VERY patient with me when it came to how many times I'd need to stop to use a bathroom.
 My due date was March 14th. My water broke on the evening of March 7th around 10:45, while I was reading in bed. My mother in law had just arrived from Ontario that afternoon. My mom and her were both at the hospital for the delivery. The entire ordeal took about nine hours in total.  Our daughter, Alina was born at 7:39 am on March 08, 2013. When asked what I thought about the whole experience.. I replied, "It's enlightening." I found the experience to become intense, fast. The contractions are the real bitch. That's the part that made me yell out and moan. Once I had the magical epidural- things got more manageable. The pushing was intense, but I enjoyed it in the sense that every push was getting me closer to it being over AND meeting the baby!
 Around 7 am - after one set of pushes, I opened my eyes and the entire hospital room was filled with golden sunlight. It was absolutely breathtaking. Later we found out, once she was named, that Alina means Light.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

My Book Launch- November, 2012

At my book launch- showing the book and the artwork that was painted for my story.

Signing books.

The story and the picture of the artwork that is shown in the book.