Saturday, July 31, 2010

Try Not to Miss Me Too Much!

Dear Readers,

I will be taking a short break from blogging.  We're off to Ontario's beautiful cottage country to kill two birds with one stone; reuniting with my family and attending a friend's wedding.  I have a few posts scheduled so you'll still get your fix while I'm gone, but all the eating, drinking, swimming, boating, napping, and visiting I intend to do will probably cut into my blogging time.  Don't worry, I'll be back before you know it for some more oversharing and droning on ad nauseum about my kid.  Doesn't that sound like fun?

Yours always,



Dear Burglars,

You thought that announcing my departure was your cue to move in and rob my apartment, didn't you?  Well I've foiled you again!  A good friend of ours has agreed to house-sit for us, so the apartment will be inhabited while we are gone.  In fact, this "friend" is actually a huge, burly man who makes Brock Lesnar look like a pipsqueak.  And said individual doesn't plan on venturing outside.  At all.  He will be there the entire time.  He never sleeps.  And he keeps a man-eating Pitbull.  Also, we hired an army of ninja robots to guard the premises.  They have no human emotions and will tear you limb from limb no matter how much you plead for your life.  And if that doesn't do the trick, my attack kitty will swoop in and finish you off.

Scared yet?

Besides, we have nothing of any value.  So go rob somebody else.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Project Green: July

We're going green, but change takes time!  The Hubs and I are challenging ourselves to make our household and lifestyle more environmentally friendly by taking on one green project each month.  In June, I made my own laundry detergent.  Here's what we tackled in July.

July presented some challenges to our aspirations of becoming greener.  First, we bought a kit to convert our standard toilets to dual-flush and then discovered that we'd need an additional attachment since our toilets are on the older side.  All told, it would have put us out a couple hundred dollars, and considering that we are hoping to move from our little apartment to a house in the next six months to a year, we didn't think spending that much money was warranted.  Especially since a small part of the impetus behind going green was also saving some green!  Maybe once we have saved up some cash with all this green-ness, we'll invest in some more expensive projects.

Next, after several weeks of using our home-made laundry detergent with no problems, we had a bit of a washer debaucle.  Water started spewing out of the detergent drawer.  Word to the wise:  break up the clumps in your home-made liquid laundry detergent as small as you can get them.  Otherwise, they will clog the hole where the water rushes in and you will end up with water-logged floorboards!

Okay, enough with the negativity.  After casting around for a project to tackle in July, we finally settled on... (drumroll, please)...

worm composting!!!

We live in a small apartment with a decent-sized patio and shared courtyard, so we needed a solution for a small urban space.  The Hubs found a course subsidized by the City of Vancouver that supplied all the materials and taught worm composting basics in a couple of hours.  The whole shebang cost just $25!  We have to take 'er easy on the worms at first so as not to overwhelm (ie. kill) the little suckers.  A litre of waste is the weekly limit for the first four weeks.  After that, we can up the ante a little.  I'm pretty sure we will only be able to compost a fraction of our food waste, but it's a decent start.  I'll keep you posted as to how it turns out.

*If you have any suggestions for future green projects for us to try or would like to share something you've done in the interest of going green, please share!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Beauty of Breastfeeding

A few weeks before Lilah was due, the Hubs and I took a breastfeeding day course at the hospital. The nurse who was teaching the course asked everyone to brainstorm the many reasons why breast is best. There were all the usual suspects - antibodies in the milk, mother-baby bonding, environmentally friendly, no preparation necessary, etc. Oh, and you can be sure that the Hubs and I were the ones chiming in with "and it's FREE!" We're notorious for our, ahem, "frugality."

Yes, there are endless reasons to breastfeed. For me and Lilah, it didn't exactly come easily at first, as I wrote about here, but now we are a breastfeeding power team. She is almost 13 months old and still going strong on the boob, nursing three to five times a day. I've been asked many times when I intend to wean her, and I really thought I'd want to around the time that she turned one. But it has become such a natural, beautiful interaction, and I really can't imagine taking it away from either of us at the moment.

Lilah has entered the realm of toddlerhood, and so our days are full of adventure and chaos. Breastfeeding is our time-out; our little oasis of stillness that grounds and reconnects us a few times throughout each hectic day. I used to resent the fact that I needed to leave a social event and find a private room to nurse my distractible, constantly moving baby, but now I relish the excuse for some quiet time for the two of us. Of course it doesn't hurt that nursing her only takes five or ten minutes where it used to take the better part of an hour.

Lilah and I have our own little inside jokes while we are nursing, and I love watching her trying to smile while still latched on when I tickle her or we play the "stinky feet" game. That milky smile that inevitably emerges is just about the most precious thing I can possibly think of.

I am pro-breastfeeding in general for all the usual reasons, but the reasons why I love it for myself and for Lilah are not really what I expected them to be. Or maybe it's just that the term "bonding" doesn't do it justice. I have struggled to define and explain it, but then I came across this breastfeeding photo blog, and suddenly it dawned on me. Breastfeeding makes me feel like I am part of something so much bigger than just me and Lilah; something ancient and mammalian, and yet, when I am nursing her, we are in our own little world; the only two souls who exist.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Say What?!!

Lilah is at the stage in her language development when her babbling is starting to sound more and more like actual actual words and phrases in an actual language (this is what we fancy-pants speechies refer to as "jargon"). The Hubs and I are constantly doing a doubletake these days and asking her, "Did you just say...?"

In addition to the handful of real words she says (like "hi," "mama," "dada," "more," and "bubble"), here are a few of the things we could swear she's come out with in the past week or so:

"I'm outtie."
"Mind yer biznaz."
"Oooooooh. Big bad bog buggy!"
"Duuuuude. Totally badass."

She hasn't yet ventured an attempt at "unbesmirched," but I'm sure it's on the tip of her tongue!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday of Few Words

These pictures were taken on July 21, 2009. What a difference a year makes!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pros and Cons

Things I love about being back at work:
  • Drinking my morning tea while it's still hot.
  • Taking a proper lunch break.
  • Peeing alone. With the bathroom door closed. No audience!
  • Knowing that Lilah is getting to spend this time with her daddy.
  • Getting email updates from the Hubs about nap length, food consumption, and overall mood (yes, I'm talking about Lilah's overall mood, although he does sometimes include an update on his own mood as well).
  • The fact that I'm currently only working two days a week.
  • Reuniting with my professional identity.
  • Being greeted at the door after a long workday by squeals of delight, baby cuddles, and a tiny hand frantically making the sign for "milk."

Things I hate about being back at work:

  • The alarm clock rudely interrupting my dreamy slumber at 6 am.
  • Pumping. Because I if I don't pump, my breasts ache and I feel like I'm going to explode.
  • Paperwork.
  • Skipping my afternoon nap.
  • Being stuck inside now that we're finally having summer.
  • The commute. And traffic.
  • Having to look at least halfway presentable. This means locating clothing that is stain-free and often includes ironing. I hate ironing. And after a year of living in workout gear, I'm at a bit of a loss as to exactly how to make myself look presentable and professional.
  • Missing so many of my sweet Pickles McGee's waking hours.
  • Separation anxiety. Mine and hers.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Talented Friends, Part 2

Yesterday I blogged about my friend Sarah and the custom backpack she made for Lilah's birthday. Today, it's all about Kristyn and her gorgeous custom cloth books. What can I say? I have talented friends.

I know Kristyn from work, and I knew she was a quilter and an all-around crafty person, but I had no idea how amazing her handiwork was until I saw some pictures of her Books for Beginners on her Facebook page. Then I just had to have one for Lilah. These cloth books have the child's name on the cover, and then a letter of the child's name on each page, along with a picture of something that starts with that letter. The back cover even includes a photo and dedication!

(For the record, we didn't buy thousands upon thousands of birthday presents for Lilah. Her big ticket item was a Fisher Price Little People farm, and her other gifts included a couple consignment store purchases, such as wooden insert puzzles, and the items I've been blogging about. To me, this is a no-brainer. I get hand-made, durable, and meaningful gifts, customized with Lilah in mind, designed and sewn by people I've known for years. And I get to support their crafty/business ventures at the same time. Talk about win-win!)

Here's what Kristyn came up with for the Lilahbility:

Awesome, right? I think every kid needs one of these!

If you'd like to contact Kristyn about her Books for Beginners or other Playful Patches Productions creations, you can email her at

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Talented Friends, Part 1

You may recall that a couple months ago I asked my friend Sarah to make a baby backpack for us to give Lilah for her first birthday. If you need a refresher, you can read about our little Spice Girl here. Once it was decided that Lilah is 3/4 Scary Spice and 1/4 Sporty Spice, Sarah got straight to work designing a backpack for the li'l miss.

The backpack arrived a couple of weeks before Lilah's big day, and we are extremely pleased with the results. Sarah usually makes the backpacks in cotton or flannel, but keeping Scary Spice in mind, Sarah felt a silkier material was in order, so this is a bit of a departure from her usual style. The shoelace drawstring closure and ribbon straps address Lilah's Sporty side. The straps are long enough that Lilah has room to grow into the backpack, and my hope is that she will fill it with treasures and take it along with her when she goes to daycare, the park, a friend's house, and wherever else her little heart desires - just one more step in our busy girl's quest for independence!

So, without further ado, here it is:

Sarah's handiwork - Lilah's custom baby backpack

Lilah's modeling debut

You can check out other Sew Inspired products here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Check Out My Ride: Then and Now

At left: Lilah's daddy in his stroller circa 1979.

At right: Lilah in her stroller circa July 4.

So just one question: whose ride is sweeter? The Hubs' has a groovy retro vibe to it, but Lilah's embodies sporty chic, and handles like a dream on all types of terrain. It truly is the SUV of strollers. Her sweet shades seal the deal. Sorry, Hubs, your daughter already has you beat in the cool department!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Birthday Fun

Hey, my kid only turns one once! I gotta milk it for as much blog fodder as I possibly can!

I think my Blogger is broken. I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to upload a couple of videos. So you'll just have to make do with some photos and your imagination - you know, that thing you used before we all became so addicted to TV and the internet.

This is my water. Go get your own.

Family portrait.

New favourite toy. It's the envy of all the kids in the courtyard!

Proof that she does eat cupcakes. She just won't do it for a crowd!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Me and My Baby McGee

If you've been reading along for a while now, you've probably figured out that I'm a giant nerd and my brain is capable of a whole lotta random. So it probably doesn't come as much of a surprise that I have about a million strange and silly nicknames for Lilah, including but not limited to: Pooper Scooper, Poopalicious, Poops, Poopums, Pooperooni, Boober, Booger, Sugar Booger, Bugaboo, Goober, Bubby, Stinker... the list goes on. By far the most random one that I've come up with is "Pickles McGee." Don't ask me why, but I started calling her this early on, and it has stuck. I have absolutely no idea where this nickname came from, but it's cute and quirky, and it kind of suits her.

When you're this cute, they call you Pickles.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with random silly nicknames for my kid - tell me yours!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Story in Pictures: Not My Finest Parenting Moment

Apparently small fingers are attracted to hot wax. Which is, in fact, hot, and will burn little fingers. Duh. I'm not sure if it was the hot wax or my (and her many adoring fans') reaction to her touching it that actually made her cry, but needless to say, it wasn't my proudest moment as a mother. Meh, you live, you learn, and all's well that ends well!

*Photo credits to Mr. Adam Schwartz, who so graciously agreed to take photos on my camera, despite the fact that I have yet to buy the lens he recommended. If you would like to stalk Adam and his brood, pop on over to the Schwartz Chronicles, authored by his lovely wife Lisa.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

12 Random Thoughts

In honour of Lilah's birthday, here are 12 random thoughts, one for each month she has graced us with her magnificent presence. (Hey, so I'm a day late, but cut me some slack, okay? I had a big old first birthday party to throw yesterday!)

1. Why do I always have to sneeze when I pluck my eyebrows?

2. We had some warmer weather last week (finally, but apparently it was just a teaser), and I let Lilah hang out in just her diaper. She disappeared into the bedroom and all I heard was silence, which always means trouble. Five seconds later, she came around the corner butt naked, swinging her diaper around over her head. I kid you not.

3. Our cat caught a mouse and kindly brought it in to the house for us. I guess it's his way of paying us back for providing him with food, shelter, and the occasional petting session over the past six years. Unfortunately, it was still alive and the Hubs showed that he truly is the man of the house by disposing of it. There may or may not have been a few girly shrieks along the way.

4. Apparently no one listens when you request no presents at a child' birthday party. We may have to buy a bigger house just to house all her toys, but Lilah is pleased as punch with her gifts!

5. I think I'm still in denial about my return to work tomorrow. I thought I'd have a serious case of the "Sunday blues," but I'm just trying not to think about it. Oh, no, wait - it's start to hit me... NOW. Just a second while I have a massive anxiety attack.

6. Okay, I'm back. I really can't believe I'm now the mother of a one-year-old. Everyone says it and it's such a cliche, but seriously, where does the time go?

7. "I Am Legend" was on TV last night. Somebody tell me, when did Will Smith get so ripped? I adore him, and I think he was brilliant in "Six Degrees of Separation" and "The Pursuit of Happyness," but he will always be the Fresh Prince of Belair to me. I guess no matter how many serious roles you take on, you'll never be able to shake a reputation like that.

8. Teaching Lilah the sign for "milk" might have been a mistake. She's now asking to nurse about 17 times a day, whether she actually wants it or not.

9. Justin Bieber's dad. Am I wrong, ladies?

10. So one year and one day later, and I still have yet to see any sign of that old hag everyone loves to hate, Aunt Flo. That means it's been almost two years since she's shown up around these parts. May she continue to stay far, far away!

11. I'm one of those obnoxious parents who posts hundreds upon hundreds of nearly identical photos of my child on Facebook. Because I can.

12. On a totally unrelated note, can I interest you in a photo of my insanely cute one-year-old? (Okay, not really a random thought, but I figured you'd be distracted by her dazzling smile, squishable cheeks, sparkling blue eyes, and porcelain complexion.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

June 2010 Recap

Amber Strocel does a monthly recap and has invited others to join in and link up. So here's what I learned in June:

1. I learned that dealing with a sick baby is difficult enough, but dealing with a sick, pukey baby while your husband galivants around Vegas without a care in the world is all about survival, much like climbing the Grouse Grind -if you were to do it over and over for four days straight.

2. I learned that molars can take an excrutiatingly loooooong time to come in.

3. I learned how to make my own laundry detergent, being green and saving green all at the same time!

4. I discovered that I will do just about anything not to see this expression on Lilah's face:

5. I realized that there is part of me that actually looks forward to returning to work.

6. I learned that I can make a mean cupcake.

7. By playing with my new camera, I learned a few things about photography. But I also discovered that I have a lot to learn!

8. I realized that nursing has given me almost constant nipplitis. Note to self: wear thicker bras. Or looser shirts.

9. I realized that Chocolate and I are actually soul mates, and I should never have tried to go on a break from my sweet, sweet loooover. I'll have to find another way to fit back into my work clothes. Or go on a massive shopping spree! (Hmmmm... which one sounds like more fun to you?)

10. I was reminded that I am incredibly lucky to live in Canada and have the luxury of taking an entire year's maternity leave. The past year has been absolutely amazing, and I can't imagine having done it any other way.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

O, Canada!

"True patriot love," as interpreted by one Lilahbility:

Lilah celebrating Canada's victory in men's hockey during the Olympics in February

Happy Canada Day!!!


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