Dear Violet…

Dear Violet,

You’re just over six months old now and it’s difficult to imagine what my life might be like right now if you hadn’t come along. Less busy in some ways I suppose… but so much less full. You are so precious little one and I am so happy you are mine; mine to hold, to cuddle, to laugh and play with… mine to cherish, to enjoy, to adore… and mine to care for, clean up after, to teach and eventually… to say “no” to (!)

The way you smile when I come into your room after a nap… is incredible. Your smile hits your eyes and then extends to the rest of your body as you shake your head and pump your legs with glee that “Mama” is here.

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Safely past the 7-year itch…

8 years ago, on a perfect spring day, I married Brandon… my high school sweet heart, my best friend, the love of my life. Barely finished our bachelor degrees and not quite certain of what would come next – we pledged our love for one another in front of family and friends and vowed to support and stand by one another through all the experiences and moments that life would bring us. At 22, we were essentially still kids. Sure of our committment and our desire to be together, yes, but with much learning and growing to come. With no clue what “all the experiences and moments” would look like… Over the last eight years – we have lived a full life together. We’ve made good decisions and bad decisions (and neutral decisions)… we’ve laughed and played together… we’ve fought and (I’ve) cried together… we’ve grown as individuals and discovered new passions and interests… learned more about who we are and who we want to be… we’ve dreamed together and been so busy we didn’t know how or when to fit in some one-on-one time… we’ve learned (and continue to learn) to be parents… and home-owners… and renovators…

…and through the ups, the downs, the I’m-not-sure-what-you’d-call-them moments, we’ve been blessed to have a love and friendship that has deepened over time.  No – it’s not butterflies and roses all time. It’s not perfect. And it’s not a fairy tale. In fact, I’m not always sure why it works so well when I consider how different we are, how some of the things that I want are nowhere near what he wants… but I am sure of us. I am sure that this is real. That we are real.  That out love is real.

And besides… we’re now officially past the 7 year itch so it can only get better from here on in 🙂

Happy Anniversary my love… you’re still my favorite person.

My baby is two…

My baby – my oh so calm, oh so whiney, oh so sweet, oh so… dramatic little lady is two years old.

We celebrated her birthday with both sides of the “immediate” family over a simple Easter brunch. Breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, a store-bought quiche,  pancakes, fresh fruit and home-made mandolins

It may sound like a longish list of food to prepare, but I swear, I was totally keeping things simple…

…especially in opting for cupcakes instead of a birthday cake (like last year‘s “raffy” cake!) Call me lazy or call me sane… I’m sure I fall somewhere in the middle of the two… but I’m just too tired to try to wow the family with my domestic diva skills (which are nowhere near diva-like) – and Meaghan was truly thrilled with the pink, purple and yellow cupcakes! Maybe there’s something to this K.I.S.S. philosophy after all!

Getting back to Meaghan though – I have to make note of what it is like living with a just barely two-year old Meg. 

When she’s cute, she’s absolutely adorable. When she’s not… she’s absolutely not.  When I said that she is “dramatic”, I really meant it. She is a little woman of extremes and she’s only two. But then… she’s always kind of been like that. She laughs more than Layla did. She cries more too. She can be incredibly sweet and adorable. She also gives some of the meanest looks I’ve ever seen on a such a young face. She can melt your heart… and make you want to pull you hair out. That’s my Meggie.

As the youngest of our two girls, Meaghan is really starting to copy a lot of the things that Layla does. Hence – if Layla is being mischievous, you’re pretty sure that Meaghan is too. If Layla is being affectionate, then you probably have four arms, and not just two, wrapped around your body.   

But as much as she may copy her older sister (for better or worse), Meaghan doesn’t need to follow her example to be affectionate – it’s probably more the other way around actually. Meg is a hugger… “Elle est une petite colleuse” in french. She likes to be held and to rest her head on your shoulder. She likes to crawl up with you for those last 15-20 minutes of sleep in the morning (and yes she does actually go back to sleep). And she has this way of taking your face in both of her hands, puckering up and planting a slimy kiss on you – and the slimy part doesn’t matter so much because the tender way she holds your face in her tiny little hands… makes you feels so so so loved.

There’s something else about her being the second child… something I’ve noticed since I’ve had her. Not only did I learn my lesson after wishing away some of the earlier (and more difficult) moments with Layla – which made me make a conscious effort to enjoy all the ups and downs with Meg…

But Meaghan really is my baby.

I don’t know how to explain it, but ever since I’ve had her, I’ve looked at her older sister differently – as older I guess. But I just know that unless I have another one someday, Meaghan will always be my baby… no matter how many candles are on her cake.

Happy Birthday my sweet little Megs. I’m pretty sure the next year will be interesting with your “terrible twos”… but I’m having so much fun watching you grow and carve out your own unique place in our family. That place is one that only you can or will ever be able to fill. Because you’re you…. beautiful, funny and loving you. Because you’re unbelievably special just the way God made you. love you, Mama xx

Barbie won’t last long here…

Warning: The following may contain graphic or offensive content. lol.

This past Christmas we bought the girls a common gift, a doll house that we imagined they would play with for years to come. We asked relatives to jump in and buy presents to match so the girls also each got their first Barbie dolls. One with warm brown hair for L, and one with strawberry blond hair for M.  They even got a Barbie horse and fridge and a few changes of clothes. Continue reading

An “all-included” Spring Break with Toddlers

The good, the bad… and the lessons learned…

This has been a particularly good winter for me. A particularly fortunate one. I have no doubt that this is in large part (if not completely) due to the fact that I’ve now missed 3 weeks of the Montreal winter weather, first with my trip to Kilimanjaro and more recently by spending March Break in Varadero, Cuba. I have no illusions – I know that this is not the norm and I count myself very very blessed. You can read a very brief recap about my Kilimanjaro experience here… and the following are my thoughts on my week in the sun – with my man and my babies. Continue reading