Tag Archives: first birthday

Turning 1

18 Aug

Nova’s birthday was a lot of fun. We had an amazing caterpillar cake made by our resident baker Tylynn. There were gifts, and family, and friends, and just general good times. It was really spectacular. We are so grateful to our friends for coming out and wishing our not-so-little darling a happy 1st birthday, and to our family for lending us their time and in this case, their home. Having an outdoor space to enjoy the day in meant a lot to us and we are always thankful. 

Here are just a few of our favourite moments of the day, taken by the lovely Stamata. 

 

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Happy Birthday to my always baby, Nova. 

Nova Turned 1!!!!!

21 Jun
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3 days old.

Miss Nova turned a whole year old this past Sunday. It’s hard to believe that we have been parents for an entire year. A whole year of reading every baby and toddler book I could get my hands on. Of late night google searches, sleepless nights, early mornings, schedule changes, more bodily fluids and functions I ever thought I could possibly take an interest in, a re-evaluation of our priorities and relationships (both as spouses and with our friends and family), nervousness (Will she roll off the bed, will we drop her, will our 140lb dog eat her when my back is turned?!?! Thankfully the answer to all of these questions is a loud, resounding NO!). The wide, wonderful world of becoming a parent is full of so many twists and turns and major life changes.

Here’s what we’ve learned: 

1. It is possible to love another human being more than you love your own life. We regularly forgo meeting our own basic needs because Nova needs something, or wants something, or we just want that extra minute with her. This seems obvious, but when you’re in the thick of it, it’s completely awe-inspiring. Suddenly, those glib, loving comments I made to my husband in the early stages of our relationship are being taken back because now I ACTUALLY know what it feels like to want to protect someone else’s life with your own. I don’t want Cale to DIE…but would I jump in front of a bus for him? Well…let’s hope we never have to find out. 😉

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6 weeks old.

2. It is IMPOSSIBLE to imagine what your life will be like after you have children. I am a researcher. I research things to death. My University papers were terrible, but my research was always thorough (oh hey there brownie points). I thought I knew exactly what sort of parent I would be and exactly what sort of conflicts Cale and I would encounter when it came to parenting and exactly what our friends and family would be like once our daughter was born. Take note…because this may only happen once in our lifetimes. I was COMPLETELY wrong. Not about everything. I still don’t want Nova to watch Killers R Us and there are some lessons we are firm on teaching her. But as it turns out, you can’t control everything that happens in life. Some people will surprise you, some people will disappoint you, you will surprise and disappoint YOURSELF, but in the end it’s all worth it.

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4 Months

3. Parenting is NOT easy. It’s awesome. It’s fun. It’s delightful. It’s challenging. It’s constantly changing. But easy? No way. I have ALWAYS wanted children. My entire life. I always KNEW that I wanted children. I knew that there was a deep reservoir of love that was being reserved for my future children and I would not be dispensing that love to anyone else. When I say that parenting is difficult, I don’t mean that NOVA is difficult. She is a shockingly easy child to be around. I mean that it is hard to reconcile with yourself after you become a parent. It is hard to differentiate between who you were and who you are now. It is ALWAYS difficult to accept change in others, it is ESPECIALLY difficult to accept change in ourselves, and it’s TRIPLY difficult when it’s coming from all angles. I admit, it’s taken me (and I’m sure some of our loved ones) probably the entire first year of Nova’s life to be okay with the fact that I used to enjoy getting out and being social several times a week and now, I am perfectly okay only leaving the house to hit the park for an hour, chat with some other Mom’s, laugh while Nova squeals delightedly on the swings and then head home to wash cloth diapers and make her food for the next few days. But was it easy to come to this place? Nope. There were tears, misplaced blame, and a lot of soul searching. I would do it all over again, but go a little (lot) easier on myself.

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6 Months

4. It’s not nice to judge parents. Another obvious one, right? Totally. But in practice it’s much different than in theory. It’s easy to judge someone when you can’t possibly understand their circumstances (i.e. pre-children). It is MUCH harder to judge someone when you know that everywhere you go, YOU are the one on trial for the exact same things. :/ I won’t apologize for marathon sessions of Teen Mom bashing (otherwise how would I get all of this repressed rage out?! Heh.)…but I do apologize to any of the Mom’s I judged before I became one. I get it now. I’m really sorry. Don’t worry though Mama’s…I’ll defend you to the ends of the earth.

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10 Months

In a similar thought train…the way we see our parents will never be the same. Talk about guilt. Talk about GRATEFULNESS. Your parents give you the base to determine what sort of parent you will be. They provide you with the tools and skills you need to determine what choices you will make, and what circumstances and events you might want to avoid. We cannot believe some of the sacrifices our parents made, and continue to make, for us. We look forward to making those sacrifices for our own children. Any time we ask a question, or for a favour and it’s “No question!” and a totally selfless act to follow, it blows our frigging minds. When I was 15, and brooding in my bedroom, I had no idea that my Mom had likely been sitting in her own part of the house wanting the best for me with everything she had. You can’t replicate that kind of love, and I’m a better person for it. I know it’s the same with my husband’s family. Becoming a parent changes how you see your own parents indefinitely. And there is no better way to learn than through first hand accounts. Our parents HAVE that experience, and we’re so grateful to be learning from them and about them every day. Which leads me right into number…

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11 Months

5. We have a LOT of amazing friends and family members. Seriously. I’ve said it before, but Nova is, for all intents and purposes, a part of us. I could function without her about as well as I could function without my own heart. To see people taking her wants and needs into consideration, to think of her before themselves, to be there for our growing family and providing us with comforting words of wisdom and sympathy and sharing our joys, triumphs and excitement has been life-changing. The way I see our loved ones is changed forever and I can never, ever thank them enough. I don’t even think most of them GET how or why I am SO amazed by them. I imagine it’s a little bit like how you would feel if someone gave you their kidney. It’s something you can’t pay back, but you’ll be grateful forever.

Ultimately, we’ve learned that parenting is one of the most rewarding adventures of our lives, and we feel enriched and so fortunate to have Nova. She has taught us so much about ourselves, about each other, and about life. We’ve also learned we want more, which is already in the works. 😉 We were happy to learn that our decision to have children when we did was a good one, and we are absolutely happy with it. Life will always have challenges, but with such an awesome team-mate (yeah…that’s a husband shout out and a little self love) and an incredible support system we are looking forward to what’s next. Immediately…all of the excellent comments on the hundreds of birthday photos I posted of Nova on Facebook taken by a gorgeous friend who managed to escape being in front of the lens somehow. HA!!

Thanks for a wonderful year! Here’s to the next one!
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For a look into what some other Mommy bloggers have learned from THEIR parenthood experiences, here are a few I love:

Annie Fox’s Blog: What My Children Taught Me

The Parent Vortex: Having Kids Has Taught Me a Thing or Two

Oh For The Love of…Me: Things My Children Taught Me

Hike. Blog. Love.: 5 Things My Children Have Taught Me

First six images copyright of Tamara Lakeman Photography.

Final image thanks to Stamata Massaoutis.