the answer

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When I was pregnant with Symphony I really wanted to have a girl. It was just a feeling I had and when I had my ultrasound I pestered the technician to tell me, which you could still do in those days, and eventually they reluctantly told me “well I can’t be 100% certain because the position of the fetus isn’t 100% optimal, but if I had to guess, which I’m doing, I would say it’s probably maybe a girl, but I’m not sure so don’t quote me on that.” So obviously I did quote them on that and told everyone I was having a girl. I just FELT like I was having a girl, I knew it in my heart.

With Gwen I really wanted a girl again, and when I found out that I’d have to wait (and wait and wait) for my doctor to get the results of the scan before finding out I was beyond frustrated. Of course it didn’t help that the family doctor I was still seeing at that time was super useless and never bothered to follow up with the ultrasound clinic on why she hadn’t received my results, and in fact I was the one who tweeted at and called the hospital to find out what was going on myself. I mean it’s not like there are serious conditions that can be detected via ultrasound which are more likely in a mother who is 35 years old or anything! Anyway, after something like six weeks of waiting I was happy to finally learn that the baby growing inside me was another girl, just like I wanted.

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This pregnancy was something of a surprise, seeing as how we had JUST decided we were done having babies, but a happy one nonetheless. It was also different from the very beginning as I had no strong feelings one way or the other about the sex of this baby. Another little girl would be cool but a tiny little mini Taylor would be great too! Before I had my ultrasound last week I had expressed to my doctor that I was interested in finding out the sex if it was possible, but tbh I kind of didn’t care? It wasn’t like my previous pregnancies where I think I would have needed to get “used to” the idea of having a boy (some people hate it when you say stuff like that and will tell you if you can’t handle the idea of your baby being a certain sex then you don’t even deserve to have a baby YOU MONSTER but like… you don’t know my life and you don’t control my feelings? So like shut up?). I just don’t have a preference this time and I think that’s pretty alright.

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As I mentioned in my last post I’ve kind of been considering not announcing the sex this time. I just… didn’t want to deal with it? I knew yesterday that my doctor had the results of my detailed ultrasound but I had to wait for her to call me. I kept my phone with me so I didn’t miss the call but when 5 o’clock came and went with no phone call I wasn’t even bent up about it? I figured she would call me today and this morning she did. Or rather, her receptionist did, and I’m super pleased to announce that the sex of the baby is I don’t fucking know. No one does! Because they couldn’t tell! And I kind of feel relieved about it! So I guess we will just find out in October when the baby is born, since my pregnancy has been super normal and all my test results and scan results are super normal so there’s no reason for additional ultrasounds. I mean, the only way we could find out would be if we paid to have one done at a private clinic, or for genetic testing, which ahaha no. If I had the extra money to spend on that I would put it on my credit card bill tbh.

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Baby Laramie, everything TBD, giving everyone the thumbs up. I think. Is that a hand? Honestly who knows with this baby.

All gradient images from Colorful Gradients: 1 2 3

good ideas

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I have a surprise day off today, the little girl I look after is sick so she is staying home with her mom. I really wasn’t looking forward to going back to work today after the long weekend so it’s quite serendipitous. Honestly, ALL weekends should be five-day weekends. I figured I’d use a little of my unexpected free time to update my poor, neglected blog. Honestly I have started half a dozen posts in the past week but ended up deleting them all. Maybe I’m over it? Who can say. But I wouldn’t want to disappoint my three fans so here I am.

(Aside: as I was sitting here I heard the sound of someone knocking on one of the interior doors. Gwen often shuts herself in one of the bedrooms and requires rescuing, but this time I found her in the bathroom. She’d stripped off her footy pajamas and had a little bottle of nail polish in one hand and asked me to “Paint toes?” Maybe later, kiddo.)

Last week I had my detailed ultrasound. It was on Friday morning and I was hoping to find out the sex of the baby but wouldn’t you know it, they still have that rule that the technician can’t tell you and you have to wait for your doctor to get the results. I actually had an appointment with my obstetrician right after the ultrasound (I had to RUN from the hospital to her office and I was still late) and she gave me the impression that some techs are a little more lenient about that rule now, but not the guy we had. He was a real stickler and didn’t even show us that area!

I have had been having a lot of anxiety about this pregnancy. With Sym and Gwen I started feeling definitely movement at around 15-16 weeks and this time I didn’t really feel much consistently until 19 1/2 weeks. As you age your chance of having a baby with chromosomal anomalies that are incompatible with life increases dramatically and I’m like, OLD so this lack of discernible movement combined with the fact that I don’t feel like my bump is very big had me freaked out. After seeing the new little Laramie on the sonogram screen I feel a lot better, and my doctor said she would call me with the results “by Wednesday” and hey, that’s tomorrow.

I have actually been thinking recently that I’m not going to announce the sex when/if we are able to find out. It seems like people can’t help but start gendering babies right away, pre-birth even, and I really don’t like it? I have a few different ideas for different kinds of cake reveals we can do to get this point across:

#1. The cake is covered in Swiss meringue and when we cut it open instead of being pink or blue inside it’s nothing, just a hollow shell of meringue because gender is a construct.

#2. Instead of a gender reveal party it’s a “Righteousness Revelation Celebration” (©2016 Taylor Laramie) with angel food cake for a good baby or devil’s food cake for an evil baby.

#3. The cake is actually a green Jell-O mold because it’s an alien baby.

#4. Red Velvet cake for a blood sacrifice?

Idk, these are all pretty good ideas I think. Anyway, let’s wrap this up with a little Tragically Hip (unrelated to post content).

Advice My Mama Gave Me

Way back when my etsy shop was starting to get more popular, my mom gave me this sterling piece of advice, based on her own experience as an artist and craftsperson: Only do it as long as it’s fun. And for a long time it was fun, even when I was thirty-nine weeks pregnant and my shop blew up overnight and I spent the first month of Gwen’s life making banners all day every day and well into the night. It was fun bringing people’s ideas to life, and it was fun coming up with my own ideas and seeing them become popular. It was fun collaborating with other artists and let’s be real here, it was fun earning extra money doing something I enjoyed.

However recently it’s become a lot less enjoyable, and more frustrating. It wasn’t fun making the same three or four banners over and over again, seeing copycats* become more successful than me, and spending every spare minute working on banner orders and having no time to work on anything else. I slowed way down after my carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, and again when I started offering my most popular banners as ready-to-ship. When I got pregnant in January and was SO sick and SO tired I slowed down even more and removed custom orders from my shop entirely. Of course when that happened my sales went way down but in all honesty, it was worth the reduction in income to have my time to myself again.

Over the past little while I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to bring back my popular ready-to-ship banners or put all the custom listing and made-to-order items back in the shop. I have been making a few custom banners here and there for friends and friends-of-friends but they have been taking me f o r e v e r to finish, and I’ve come to the realization that I just really, really, really don’t wanna do it anymore. Part of it is because I have super limited energy right now; I tend to fall asleep on the couch during nap/quiet time ie the only time during the day I can get any work done, and most evenings I fall into bed as soon as I’m finished at my day job. Like really, probably half the time I’m in bed before dinner and some days I can barely make it until Gwen’s bedtime before I’m asleep. She goes to bed at 7:30 btw. Another reason is that I hate disappointing people, and while I haven’t sent out any items I feel are below my standards I am a little ashamed of how long it’s taken me to get these orders shipped. I actually just sent a message to a friend telling them I wouldn’t be able to make something for them (not even a physical item, just a design!) because I don’t have the energy to do it in any sort of reasonable time frame and I feel like shit about it. And that’s not fun either.

I’m not going to shut my shop down completely; I still have ready-to-ship banners and other cool things (at least I think they are cool) available for purchase, and maybe one day I will get around to adding some of the things I’ve made in the past few months but not listed. Things like my “Not Only Will This Kill You” mini banner and the awesome leather & suede skull patches I made. These are things just sitting around waiting for me to photograph and list them, and I haven’t had the energy or inclination to do even that! But yeah, after I finish any open orders I will no longer be offering custom orders for banners, patches, baby boots or any other items. Ready-to-ship items are still available for purchase in my etsy shop, and you can also find all kinds of really great and not at all terrible things designed by me on my society6 page.

I also want to thank everyone who has supported my work over the years; it was truly great and I have appreciated every order, tumblr reblog, blog feature and instagram like. You are the best, I love you all, and remember:

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*I know I was not the only person making banners but when someone follows me on instagram for a year, liking and commenting on pics of my work, then unfollows me, changes their username to something banner-related and opens a shop selling glitter banners it’s kiiiiiiiind of obvious.







Even though I was sick with a pretty awful pregnancy prob all weekend (I got sick on Friday after I finished work early and didn’t start to feel better until this morning, talk about LIFE IS UNFAIR) I managed to have a really nice weekend. This is all thanks to my wonderful kids and sweet husband and I feel a lot of mushy, cheesy things about being so grateful to have them all but what’re you gonna do? Sorry not sorry, I’m pregnant and all my mushiest emotions are on overdrive.

For Mother’s Day everyone spoiled me with homemade cards & a delicious brunch, candy and presents and flowers. We spent a lot of time outside and Taylor very nicely played with Gwen at all the different playgrounds we went to which was a blessing because a) I was not physically well enough to join in and honestly probably shouldn’t have gone out at all, and b) after fourteen years of being a parent I really truly and honestly can’t stand playing at playgrounds. The last time I took Gwen to a playground by myself was over a month ago and I got into a yelling match with a woman because I told her rotten kid to stop trying to push Gwen down the metal stairs. I won’t get into it further than that except to say I WAS RIGHT AND SHE WAS WRONG. Anyway. I got to lie around on sun-dappled grass reading while he pushed her on swings and helped her navigate climbing structures and dig in sand and wood chips. Perfect division on labour imo.

Symphony didn’t come out with us because she is a teen who prefers to do teen things and I find it makes everyone’s life easier when I don’t force her into family togetherness events. I know when I was a teen I didn’t want to do that kind of stuff all the time, so I made a rule that once a month she had to come with us without complaining and the rest of the time she could choose whether to come with or stay home. We did stop by to see her at her dad’s on the way to and from one of our outings, mostly so Gwen could give her hugs but also so I could be all mushy at her too. Sym really is a great kid, smart and funny and sweet and creative, and I feel pretty lucky to be her mom.



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Taylor took this pic on our trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in FEBRUARY but only just downloaded it from his camera. Maybe if we all ask very nicely he’ll do the same with his pics from our trip to Golden Ears Park last weekend? Preferably before August?

I really want to get one of these headboards from Northshore Custom Furniture for our bedroom. I actually almost bought one at the end of winter but then my income dropped to zero at around the same time I found out I was pregnant so I had to put it off, wah.

Gwen became obsessed with bocce after seeing some people playing it in the park the other day. I think this set would be good for her as all the (negative) reviews complain that the balls are smaller & lighter than a ~regulation~ set. That sounds perfect for a little kid, and it doesn’t hurt that they are cute and cheap!

THANK KRIS Keeping Up with the Kardashians is back! It is absolutely my guilty pleasure show and also I like to watch it while doing the ironing? All I know is that while it was off I didn’t iron a single thing and we ran out of napkins and placemats.

I recently started using Overtone conditioner in my hair and I absolutely love it. I use the pastel purple to keep my white/grey hair from looking yellowed and it does just that but also leaves my hair so soft and shiny.

This article on being motherless on Mother’s Day by my friend Mollie is so beautiful and moving ♥