Tag Archives: baby

Summer 2013 Round-up

4 Sep


We have/are having a phenomenal summer. A bulleted recap for you, faithful readers:

  • Nova had a birthday party
  • She got some belated gifts
  • Tamara’s bridesmaids and I threw her a terrific nautical themed Stagette
  • Cale celebrated another year as a stellar Dad
  • Nova’s actual birthday rolled around and my Mom came to help us celebrate
  • Lux’s boyfriend Beckett came for a visit
  • Anthony and Jen had a beautiful baby named Hannah
  • Emery and Ashlyn started coming over for playdates
  • Tamara and Jerred got married
  • My sister came for a visit with her boyfriend Ross
  • I had a sleepover and went shopping in the Unites States with my BFF
  • Emery came over on her birthday and we had a pool party
  • Nova and Lux’s cousin CJ came to visit from Ontario
  • We watched a lot of movies
  • We went to the library
  • We spent a lot of time at the park
  • My family from Lloydminster came to Penticton and we went to hang out with them
  • Our family friends bought a house!

We also went camping and learned a lot of new skills, but those are posts for another day. For now…Summer-time collages.

Summer 2013 1



Summer 2013 2


Summer 2013 3


Summer 2013 4

Summer 2013 5


Summer 2013 6


Lux – 7 Months

16 Aug


Lux’s seventh month was pretty dynamic!

She got her first tooth.

10 Tooth

She also worked very hard on her upward mobility and went from lying on the floor, desperate to see everything going on by craning her tiny little neck every which way, to pulling herself along with her delightfully strong arms Army style. Following me around from room to room snorting from the effort and from being excited that she can finally follow big sister around, get that squeeky toy across the room (usually her Sophie the Giraffe doll) and shovel cheerios and other treats into her mouth.


She made the transition to solid food like a champ and baby led weaning is going AMAZINGLY well. She loves all kinds of food. Avocados, steamed carrots, toast, bananas, strawberries, everything. She’s loving every minute of it. It is so fun introducing her to new foods. I don’t know if she realized that she’s eating something new or if she’s just excited to be eating in general but it’s pretty entertaining either way.


We’re THISCLOSE to being able to get a good night’s sleep. She goes to sleep around 7pm and if we’re lucky she’ll wake up at midnight when we move her from our bedroom, and then again at around 2/3. Some nights there is still a 5am cuddle needed, but more and more often we’re able to stretch it to 7am. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Mama misses her sleep so much! Fortunately, her chubby little grin makes the late nights worth it. I mean, come on!


Lux is a pretty cute baby, but I feel like photos never quite capture her the right way. In person she is delightful, charming, good natured, determined, hilarious and eager to please. She’s started mimicking our voices so we squawk at one another like birds in high pitched falsettos. It’s a very weird Mama/Baby bird-like dynamic without the feeding process. (She eats like a human without cutlery, never fear.)


A Lux tattoo is forthcoming! July was a VERY busy month for us but things are settling down which means more time for snuggles, giggles and tattoos.

Soon to follow…CRAWLING! I cannot wait for her to be running after Nova! I cannot wait for them to be able to play together! And I cannot wait until she can hug her big sister goodnight! (I think Nova might be excited about that as well.) For now we will settle for the amazing belly laughs she lets out every time Nova comes in for a kiss. It’s pretty amazing.



24 Jul

“There is family you are born into, and family you choose. Tamara has always been a member of my chosen family…”

On July 13th my best friend married my brother in law. In some ways, my life is like a fairy tale. I fell in love and married a man I’d been secretly in love with since high school, and now my best friend, whom I’ve known and loved for 15 years, shares my last name and I get to call her “sister”. Does life get any better than this?


Tamara and Jerred were married at Gatzke Orchards in Oyama, BC. It was an incredible wedding with thousands of personal, beautiful DIY details.


The groom, my handsome brother.

Tamara has been a part of my life for so long that my family has amalgamated her into their lives like an honorary Kushniruk (yeah…my maiden name is a doozy.) and it was amazing to see them there on such a momentous occasion.


My younger brother.


The day before the wedding was vibrating with the excitement of the day to come and we were treated to an incredible feast by Tamara’s other bridesmaid Liz and her husband/chef. Just thinking about the food and set-up makes me drool. It was amazing.



This wedding deserves its own Pinterest board.


The day of!




Tamara looked so beautiful. I felt such pride and love being a part of such a huge moment for her. Getting to watch her transform from my gorgeous friend into a stunning bride. Yes…when she slipped into her dress and turned around, I cried…a lot.

There are so many things about the day that made me smile. The guests and the decor (that I knew first hand contained all of our blood, sweat and tears), Tamara’s excitement seeing everything come together, Jerred’s very obvious adoration for the woman he was marrying, being maid of honor and having my girls be flower girls, getting to spend time in the gorgeous Okanagan. So, so, so many delightful and memorable moments.


Bridesmaids and two flower girls. (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

Mom and Girls

My mom and my two girls! (Thanks for the photo Mom!)

4 Sisters and Nova

My younger sister and I, with Nova.

Flower Girls

Flower girls! (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

Crazy Nova

Crazy looking Nova at the end of the night. (Thanks for the photo Liz!)

This wedding and Jerred and Tamara’s marriage is so close to my heart. I’m so looking forward to family holidays and get-togethers and for our children to be cousins. I can’t wait to see where their lives are headed and how much happier they are going to make one another. I cannot believe my good luck. I get a sister, my children get to have my friend in their lives in an entirely new capacity, and my FAMILY has gotten so much bigger and better. The things I have to say are so overwhelming, but I think it’s safe to say that when I think about my life, I feel more than blessed, I feel incredibly full of love. Both love received, and love given. And there’s a whole lot more to go around.

For the photos of Jerred and Tamara’s incredible day, stay tuned on their AMAZING photographer’s page: Blush Photography by Angela Waterberg. You DEFINITELY want to see these.

Tamara has always been a member of my chosen family, but I am so happy that on July 13th, she joined my “you have no choice” family.

Walking with Tamara

Blush Photography

Lux – 6 months

2 Jul


I’m coming to terms with the fact that I have a toddler, and a baby.

My baby is already half a year old.

In the circus that is our life, keeping all of our balls in the air while we juggle our many commitments means that Lux’s life is passing me by at light speed and, like with her big sis, I’m grateful for the moments when it’s just her and I and a little felt ribbon pinned to her chest.

I bought this outfit for Nova when she was a year old from Dandelion Kids on Commercial Drive. It was the tail end of summer and I thought, “It’s just so cute.” It never really fit her though. It was too small in the arms and too long. The diaper cover was saggy in weird places and although the print is adorable it just wasn’t right. So she tried it on and then it was packed away into a bin to be given away, or for our “maybe baby”.

Turns out, it was waiting for Lux to come along and fill it out. She wears it the way I imagined it being worn. Just past her delightful belly but not quite hitting her dimpled knees. Her ruffled butt wiggling around hilariously while I try my best to capture photo after photo of this hilarious moment in time.


She is generally a very good natured baby. She only cries because she wants one more, five more, ten more minutes of your time, but never just for no reason. She has one small tooth poking through the bottom of her gums but the only reason I know is because I’m looking for it. It takes her about 30 seconds longer to fall asleep.



She’s started realizing when the camera is out. I can’t distract her with silly faces or weird noises to make her give me a big, dopey grin.



Sometimes I can still trick her.

At her last check up the nurse informed us that Lux is the size of the average 1 year old. She’s 20lbs and 72cm long/tall. She is full on with the baby push-ups and dragging herself around. Sometimes she manages to lurch forward awkwardly, amazed by her own achievements and other times she just scoots backwards across the floor, getting herself into and out of the most impossible situations. I wish I had a fraction of her flexibility.


I love her baby toes and her awesome rolls. I love her easy going nature and her newfound interest in her surroundings. I love that she is more or less sleeping through the night. Ha. She laughs when we tickle her, and it’s exactly the sort of hilarious, chubby baby laugh you’d expect.

She’ll be crawling so soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was walking by her first birthday.

I’m so excited to see what she’ll do next.


Lux – 5 Months

5 Jun



There is nothing like parenting to really hammer into your head how fleeting time is, how precious every moment is, and how quickly life can pass you by while you were busy watching Buffy and consuming instant noodles instead of uploading your photos and taking your kids to the park. Time is measured between naps and baths and how long you have to look up a healthy recipe for toddlers that they’ll definitely throw on the floor instead of eating and you’ll find yourself debating whether or not you should just pick it up and eat it or if there’s too much cat hair on the floor for that to be sanitary.

This is my life now.

Measurements of time, of love, of quiet, of noise, of parks, of sunburns and strawberry smeared smiles.



Lux is amazing. She never fails to find a way to be her sister’s complete opposite. When Nova wants to cuddle, Lux wants to explore the floor on her belly, sliding off of her playmats and onto the hardwood where she inevitable finds the grossest thing I missed to put into her mouth. Her baby babble is loud and high pitched and makes me laugh every time I hear it. She has so much to say and doesn’t care who is listening. (She reminds me a lot of my sister, heh.)


As her Auntie Janet very aptly put it, “She has so many expressions for someone without eyebrows!” I love her face. I love her chubby cheeks, full lips, and her little earlobes. I could literally devour her and I would feel VERY happy about that accomplishment.

She’s becoming an incredibly easy-going baby. Learning to sleep in many different situations and environments, eager to interact with her surroundings but not so desperate that if she can’t we don’t have to immediately leave. She’ll happy sit and watch everyone for hours, then pop her little thumb into her little mouth and drift off to sleep.



Her smile is absolutely infectious and her laugh, oh my, her laugh is the sort of laugh that makes every spare inch of fat jiggle delightfully. You cannot help but catch that laugh and pass it on. She is the perfect foible to her sister who tests our limits every day, in every possible way, and gives us a brief calm in the storm that is raising a two year old. I only have to look at her sweet face to be reminded that it hasn’t always been this way, and it won’t last long. It wasn’t long ago that Nova was smiling up at me from her perch in the exact same bouncy seat, content to watch me entertain myself with mindless “busy work” while we waited for her Dad to get home from work.



Cale goes back to work on Monday. I’m both dreading and looking forward to taking on the bulk of our childcare myself. In some ways, the routine and consistency will be very good for these ladies, and in other ways, I’m afraid that I’ll become the one they butt heads with the most, since I’ll be there for all of the ins and outs of their day. Right now our parenting duties are split pretty evenly, in fact, they’re stacked a little in my favor because I leave for work and he stays home, but now the scales will tip and I hope that being more of a disciplinarian isn’t going to negatively impact the good relationship we’ve forged. One of my favorite moments over the last 6 months has been coming home to Nova’s “Hi Mom!” and Lux’s little face splitting into a dopey grin that I can’t help but smoosh. Now those end of the day looks and greetings will be all for my darling husband, who deserves them, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss having them both be so excited to see me at the end of the day. Now I imagine there will be days when they’ll be happy to get a break from me, and although I know it’s a thing that has to happen, and I need a break from them too sometimes, it’s still a bit bittersweet.



Luckily, they’re stuck with me, so they’ll be getting smooshed no matter what.


Nova – 21 Months

19 Apr


Nova is continuously amazing and astounding us. Cale and I often stare at one another in complete bewilderment as she masters another skill, learns another word, climbs onto another previously insurmountable piece of furniture. The rate at which she is learning and growing and adapting is incredible to behold. I can’t believe she used to be so small and helpless and now she shakes her head at my offers of help and has an incredible determination to do things on her own that makes me proud and a little afraid at the same time.


I’m getting very excited planning her second birthday party, which she will no doubt ignore completely in favor of hitting the slide/swings/sand at the park. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ha. We’re discovering more and more things that she enjoys that give us 10 or sometimes even 20 whole minutes to put her baby sister to bed, make lunch or just so that I can run a brush through my hair. (A process in and of itself, oye.)


Our house looks like children’s books, pop-up circus tents, tiny pink socks littering the floor, little finger prints smudging the hardwood, cupboards and mirrors, plastic figurines and electronic pianos.


Caught mid-sneeze. LOL!

It sounds like screams and laughter and the “thump-thump-thump” of little toddler feet running up and down and up and down and up and down. Head bonks and hugs. Kisses and a sweet little voice saying, “Ow.” “Cat, yeah, cat!” “Mom, yeah, Mom!” “Bubba Gup, yeah, Mom!”


When Nova was born I couldn’t believe that my heart could stretch as much as my swollen belly, fingers and feet already had, but I amazed myself when I discovered that I had stretch marks there as well as littering my body. I find that with each new thing she does or says it stretches even farther, and I imagine that it will only keep on growing as I find the room to include my amazement at her sister’s achievements as well.


I’m reading so many blogs written by so many Mom’s, each with their own take on motherhood and parenting. Each with a different philosophy in how to attack problems, distract toddlers, and make time to take care of themselves. I’m learning so much and feeling so connected in a way I never thought possible before. I’ve noticed, however, that the general consensus is that becoming a Mother changes you forever, inside and out, and you will never, ever be the same. I find that though I think fondly on the girl/woman I was before I had Nova I don’t miss her at all. I feel like my life has an incredible purpose completely outside of myself and it motivates me constantly to be a bigger, better, smarter, faster, more streamlined version of me. I’m grateful to my children every day for the opportunity to be MORE for their sake and for mine.

I live in a constant state of amusement and amazement. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


Neglected Nova At 17 Months

22 Dec

My bad Mommy moment is that I put off taking Nova’s 16 month photo until it was too late and she had almost cleared 17 months already. Fortunately, I picked up my socks and she will hopefully only have one small blip in an otherwise pretty good track record. One missed photo in 24 months, given my propensity for quitting and procrastinating, is pretty good. 😉

In spite of her Mom being more distracted than usual, Nova is nothing short of her sweet, charming self. At 17 months her tantrums are becoming more focused and less intense. Her communication skills improve on a daily basis and her sign language has come leaps and bounds in the last two months, luckily for us. She is showing a LOT of interest in the bathroom/toilet so Adventures in Potty Training might begin sooner rather than later.

She’s very active and loves to climb but hasn’t really shown an interest in climbing out of her crib so although we were toying with the idea of transitioning to a “big girl bed” we’ll hold off for as long as she is content to be confined to a small square footage in the mornings/evenings.

Her bedtime routine is basically the best part of my day.

Nova isn’t much of a cuddler. She’ll drive by for a quick kiss or hug but mostly interrupting her playtime for affection is met with a swift backhand and some sort of grunt or scream to convey her utmost displeasure at your presumption that she might love physical contact with you more than stacking her blocks or playing with her new Superfriends (shout out to Auntie Janet and Uncle Ross). BUT…at bed time all bets are off.

We let her run and splash and have a ball in the bath, then she sits quietly reading a book or snuggling a stuffed animal while we brush her hair and teeth, then it’s time to hang out in the rocking chair with a blanket and another book. Typically this time can last anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes, depending on how hard up for a serious cuddle I am, but it’s always immensely enjoyable. It’s also very sweet to see how much she responds to the routine. We go into her room and she points at the Twilight Turtle so that we are sure to turn it on, then it’s time to point at the white noise machine because it wouldn’t be bedtime without the sound of crickets next to a babbling brook.

Gosh I love her.

How is she adjusting? VERY well. This kid was made to be a big sister the way that I feel made to be a Mom. She brings us diapers and throws the old ones away, she helps wipe Lux’s face when she has milky dribbles, she gives her sister a hug and kiss good morning and good night every single day, she asks to come up on the couch or bed and then sits sweetly next to our new babe just looking at her and gently touching her face or hands, occasionally she’ll position Baby Lux’s hands so that they are receptive to high fives. It is pretty amazing to watch. I can’t wait until they are old enough to run and play together. So far so good. 🙂

I was nervous about spending less time with Nova or being too busy to recognize all the ways she is still growing and changing right before our very eyes but I’m extremely pleased to find that so far it’s been relatively easy. Lux, like her big sister before her, is a dynamo sleeper so our days are still reserved largely for playing with Nova and our nights are dedicated to rocking, shushing, and placating Lux. I know this won’t always be the case, and despite my extreme exhaustion, it’s working so far and I can’t complain about THAT particular arrangement.

Next foreseeable challenge…managing a 2 year old and a 6 month old who is desperate to become mobile.