too much

fathers day

Gwen now has multiple excuses she uses for when she doesn’t want to do/try/eat something: “too hard,” “too scare,” and “too yuck.” I have been feeling too yuck myself recently, as over the weekend my pregnancy nausea stepped up its game to the point that EVEN THOUGH I am taking Diclectin (anti-nausea medication) yesterday I puked SO HARD I burst all the blood vessels in my face YET AGAIN and I also peed my pants. And not a little bit. A lotta bit. Sorry if that is Too Much Information but I think it’s important to share the realities of life and pregnancy on this blog, and not just a shiny sugar-coated version. The puke- and pee-coated version is what you’ll find here.

Thankfully yesterday was also the day of my monthly appointment with the doctor who very sympathetically wrote me yet another prescription for a second medication to aid digestion, with the theory being if I digest my food faster it won’t be in my stomach to get thrown up. I don’t know if it will help BUT I did take one last night that absolutely knocked me out so I guess maybe if I am sleeping I’m not puking?

Of course sleeping all day isn’t exactly conducive to eating enough (or working at my full-time job…) and I’ve lost two pounds since my last appointment when I should have gained four pounds which actually means a net loss of six pounds. The baby’s growth is still good (based on how my uterus is measuring), but if I don’t start gaining again that would not be cool. If I don’t I will have to get another ultrasound to check that everything is still developing normally, IN FACT my doctor (who I really like, have I mentioned I really like her?) offered to order me a not-really-medically-necessary ultrasound now, on account of we weren’t able to find out the baby’s sex from the last one. I declined because I’d rather not use up resources that other people might REALLY need and also it’s really hard to fit them into my full-time job work schedule, but talk to me again in four weeks and we’ll see.

Feeling so sick all weekend seriously cramped up my plans to celebrate Father’s Day with Taylor, mostly because I spent most of it in bed and had to ask him to clean the whole house, which seems pretty unfair to him. We did do a couple of fun things: on Saturday we booked a zipcar (because it was so rainy, normally we take the train) and took Gwen to the Lego store. We got her one of the new Duplo construction vehicle sets and as predicted SHE LOVES IT. Sunday we went out for brunch and Taylor got gifts: an electric griddle for making brunch at home, and a cool manly apron so he doesn’t have to wear my frilly polka dot one while griddling things. Hopefully these helped to make up for the rest of his weekend of cleaning, haha.

around here


Cake Pop Gwen

Pregnant Tanie

Swing Gwen

Taylor took these pictures a few weeks ago, when we took Gwen to the playground at the school and then to lunch and both got sunburned. Since then the weather has vacillated between super hot & sunny and super cold & rainy (a little while ago it was hailing and just as I was about to hit “publish” on this post a thunderstorm started!), often both in the same day so it’s almost impossible to make plans or dress yourself appropriately.

I haven’t been taking weekly pics this pregnancy like I did with Gwen, which I sometimes feel a little bad about but it kind makes the whole thing go more quickly. Like I’m 23 1/2 weeks pregnant already! Amazing! I did ask Taylor to take a few pics that day BUT unfortunately they are all obsolete now because I got bangs again. I KNOW I KNOW, I know what everyone is going to say: “Tanie you hate having bangs, why did you do this again, you are a fool, a FOOL!” But really I don’t hate having bangs, and the last time I had them my hair was too short (anything above my shoulders is reprehensible on me) so I hated all my hair, not just my bangs. And I grew them out! I grew them all out successfully so it’s really nbd.

I took Gwen to the salon with me so she could get a proper bang trim herself instead of one of my Lloyd Christmas butchering jobs, and brought Sym along to help wrangle Gwen during my cut. While we were there Sym spontaneously decided to get bangs as well, for the first time. So now we are all Twinsies, which is cool, it’s cool to match with your old mom, right? She’s never had bangs before and it took a little getting used to for all of us. She looks more mature with them somehow, like a really teen instead of a little kid. Weird how they make her look older and me look younger!

Lest you think the only thing going on around here is bangs, this weekend I was on the news. It was for a story they are doing about a motion being voted on by city council, to like… see if they want to consider possibly making my block a Heritage Conservation Area or something. Basically stop any terrible redevelopment in the block that doesn’t mesh well with the existing look of the heritage houses. I also stood out in the rain at the farmer’s market collecting signatures in support of the motion, which is being voted on today. Fingers crossed!

I didn’t actually watch the news story for which I was interviewed because Oh My God how embarrassing is it to watch yourself on video? I literally wanted to die the entire time I was making my stupid kickstarter video and I feel like this would be even worse because I had NO CONTROL. I did read the article and there is one quote from the city councillor who put forward the motion, one quote from the executive director of the organization that manages the block and TWO FROM ME. And OF COURSE the interview was outside on a drizzly day when my hair was in a frizz, this was actually the same day I had my hair done but the interview was in the morning and my hair appointment was in the afternoon! Oh well, at least if I had to look dumb hopefully I didn’t sound dumb.

Monster Gwen

All photos in this post by Taylor Laramie.

the answer

pink blue 1

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.

pink blue 3

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.

pink blue 2

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.

mystery baby
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







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.



short pants

01 blossoms

02 gwen at the waterfront

03 north shore & clouds

04 deskie

05 white hearts

06 baby stack

07 waiting at the window

Gwen is talking more and more all the time, and it’s very funny to me (and probably only me but what can you do, it’s my blog) the way she will put words together to describe things she doesn’t know the name of. Like it’s spring so I got out some of her shorts from last year that still fit, and bought her a couple new pairs. One of them is actually a skirt with built-in shorts, but she calls them all the same thing: “short pants.” OBVIOUSLY they are short pants, that’s where the name shorts even comes from, but now she feels she needs to put a modifier on non-short pants so she calls them “big pants.”

Today I am fifteen weeks pregnant and yesterday I had my second appointment with my new OB-GYN and I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time! I always love that sound, and I didn’t get to hear it at my last appointment because they* literally wouldn’t hold still long enough. Even yesterday it took the doctor several tries to listen for long enough to measure the heart because this baby has things to do and those things are CONSTANT FLIPS. I don’t feel any baby movement myself but anytime anyone tries to listen to or look at them it’s time to party, apparently.

My nausea levels have continued to decrease. Last Friday night/Saturday morning I actually forgot to take my medication, but I felt fine all day Saturday so I decided to try going without. I was okay until Sunday, when I started to feel ill again. I’m going to try quitting them again this week; I don’t want to try during the week because of work but I have been able to get a lot more stuff done during the day, like dishes and laundry and even on one triumphant occasion, taking out the food scraps to the smelly bin in the smelly garbage room without getting sick.

I think I’m starting to nest already, because I am more obsessed than ever with painting my apartment. Some rooms need repainting; some have never been painted at all. I need to wait until the summer to do most of the bigger jobs like repainting Sym’s room for Gwen & baby to move into, and finally painting my bedroom after being in this apartment for TEN YEARS. I will definitely require Taylor’s help for these projects as my bump will be very bumpy by then. There are a couple of things I can start before my bump gets too big, like repainting the BRIGHT ORANGE half bath and BRIGHT YELLOW hallway, and finishing painting the full bath (thankfully pale grey). I could probably even paint the whole kitchen since open plan apartment = the only walls in that room are between the top of the counter and the bottom of the cupboard (realistically a tiled backsplash would be better but I rent so NOPE). This is a good idea; I should start filling all the holes in all the rooms I can paint. And buy tape! Filling holes and taping is like 90% of painting anyway.

*I’ve been using the singular “they” as the baby’s pronoun but yesterday I started using male pronouns which is WEIRD. I never did it will either of my previous pregnancies so maybe my body is trying to tell me something?

one two three four five people are in my family

Sooooooo if you follow me on instagram you miiiiiiiiiiiight have seen a particular post from me on Friday. If you missed it, SURPRISE!


I’m pregnant with baby number 3, Due October 7th! Pretty funny coming after my baby blue post in early January about how we weren’t having any more babies, ever. Now, I wasn’t pregnant when I wrote that… but I was about a week later. Oops! This was definitely, obviously not something that we planned, but I guess life just works like that sometimes.

pregnant me

Since we weren’t trying to conceive Taylor and I discussed this pregnancy a lot to come to a decision together about what we would do. I am very pro-choice and in case you missed it one of the eight billion times I mentioned it I had an abortion in 2007 and if that was the right choice for us now I would not have hesitated to have another. Obviously that isn’t what we decided- although when I told Sym I was pregnant I said we hadn’t decided what we were going to do, and her reply was “well, if it was ME I would 100% abortion because we don’t have any more bedrooms in this apartment.” Bless her logical heart.

Sym has been really sweet in general, especially since the aforementioned lack of spare bedrooms means that this summer she is going to have to trade her bedroom (the biggest in the house, very Regina George of her) for Gwen’s bedroom (the smallest in the house, too small for Gwen and a baby to share). Gwen has also been prettyyyyyy good about a baby sibling in her future. She likes to pat and kiss my belly “all better,” although she will also say “baby go home” and point out the window. She’s just so used to kids coming her to play and then leaving, so she doesn’t completely understand yet that this baby is going to stay. She’s really good about sharing so I think she will be okay.

With over a decade between my girls, my pregnancy with Gwen was more like a first pregnancy, especially in that I didn’t show for a LONG time. I was able to easily hide my bump completely until close to my third trimester. This time has been very different and I’ve had to start getting maternity clothes already. Actually tbh I’m not sure if that has less to do with my bump and more to do with the fact that every single pair of jeans I owned were high-waisted skinny jeans, but I’m definitely regretting having gotten rid of almost all of my maternity clothes. LUCKILY even though I sorted everything out in January we never did get around to getting rid of any of Gwen’s old baby stuff so we’re pretty well set in that department.

I’m super thrilled that I’m nearing the end of the first trimester because my morning sickness this time around has been the pits. I actually have a swell kind of reverse-morning sickness where I feel just fine when I wake up but then start to feel sicker and dizzier as the day wears on until I have to go to bed and not move again. This is usually by about 4pm and thankfully I was only working two days a week in February and was off work the whole month of March so I COULD take to my bed whenever I needed to. I ended up getting a prescription for some anti-nausea medication from my new ob-gyn mid-March, but it’s like, SUPER tailored to women who have MORNING morning sickness in that it has a delayed release and takes SIX HOURS to kick in. You’re supposed to take it before you go to bed but I have to take it in the mid-morning which is a bit of a hassle because it makes me very sleepy AND I often lose track of time and forget to take it until lunchtime.

Even with the meds I am still very susceptible to gross things. If it looks gross or smells gross or could be gross in any way I have to stay far, far away from it lest I start to hurl. This has made it REALLY hard to keep on top of housework because old food scraps in the sink or nasty leftovers in the fridge or stray hairs on the sink and I am running for the bathroom. Or the trash can. Or the sink. Taylor and Sym have really had to step up to the plate with cleaning the house and cooking meals and washing the dishes and taking out the trash as I am incapable of any of it. They have both been the best, especially since I’m back to work today and can’t just let the whole house descend into squalor. I am so appreciative of everything they have been doing to help me out.

Anyway. That’s my life update, as well as the explanation for my lack of blogging, lack of shop updates, and repeated tweets about how I’ve “taken to my bed.”

tanie & gwen

PS I know Friday was April Fool’s Day but please rest assured I would never to a tired gag like a fake pregnancy bit. The joke was that it wasn’t a joke.


01 fern

02 hydrangea

03 leaves

09 animals

05 gwen

06 gwen

04 skull patch

08 georgie

When I opened the door this morning I was expecting to see grey and clouds and rain, but instead I was hit in the face with bright sunlight. It’s blue-skied and warm today, I didn’t even put off walking the dog. Sometimes on rainy mornings, rather than get Gwen and myself completely dressed and weather-ready to go out I just open the blinds and let Gwen stay on the couch watching Peppa Pig while I take Georgie out to the backyard. I have to watch her through the window to make sure she doesn’t get up to any naughtiness (she usually does).

On the weekend I retook my first aid, so I spent most of Valentine’s Day getting physical with CPR dummies of assorted sizes. Not to brag (yes to brag actually) but I’m like, rly good at CPR, all my dummies lived. Also, DID YOU KNOW that doing CPR is a pretty intense ab & booty workout? I had forgotten and the next day I was completely incapacitated. My arms weren’t that bad but my stomach was pretty sore and my behind was not having it at all.

Another thing I did this weekend was start making what I think are some great little patches from appliqued leather & suede. Each 3.25″ patch has little skulls with leaves & flowers or laurel wreaths that have all been cut out, placed and sewn by hand. I’ve only finished one so far but I have a bunch that are half-made and I hope to have them up in the shop soon

Sym is having trouble with math again; this happened last year as well and the problem is that if she starts having difficulty with it, she doesn’t ever ask for any help and just lets it spiral until she’s fallen far behind. This is especially bad this year because at the moment her grade is so poor that her teacher has to recommend her for “Apprenticeship & Workplace Math” next year. See, there are two different tracks for math, A&WM and Foundations & Pre-Calculus Math, and if you don’t get on the F&PCM track in the 10th grade you can’t take any of the grade 11 or 12 math prerequisites for university! When I was in high school I feel like we just had Math 9, Math 10, Math 11 and it seems bananas to me that at 14 years old she has to decide her post-secondary education plans already! Thankfully her teacher has said that if she gets her grade up enough by June he will change his recommendation, and he is confident that she has the aptitude to do it and doesn’t want to see her limit her future now. But like. WOW. Teenager stuff is intense.

gwen lately






Gwen’s speech is progressing nicely. Everyone always said “oh she’ll be caught up by the time she’s three!” and now she’s three and she’s not caught up BUT she is definitely talking more and more every day. She asks for things by name, she uses adjectives to describe things and numbers to describe quantity (usually how many chocolates she wants…). She tells jokes! Kid jokes, like when I ask her what colour her pants are she’ll say “pint (pink) pants!” when really they are black. Hilarious.

Potty training is basically done; it took like… three days. Not even. The other week on a Monday I stopped putting diapers on her except for quiet- and bedtime, and on Thursday she said she didn’t want a diaper at quiet time. She only used the potty a little that day, on Friday she did a great job and by Saturday there were no problems. I always try to not get too hung up on milestones and where other people’s kids are at but it was a little frustrating hearing about 2-year-old who are fully there when Gwen was not even close. But NOW I’m glad I didn’t bother trying to force it to happen before she was ready, because it was SO EASY! Even though she’s completely out of diapers during the day (even when we go out places) we’ve only had one accident.

Her favourite toys right now are Duplo (she asks us every day to “pway wo” with her) and this week she is really into tea parties with the toy food and dishes. Other faves are any kind of tiny baby animals, like Calico Critters or the toys that come out of the bath bombs we get for her at Daiso; her stuffed Peppa Pig; and the little wooden trees, mountains and houses Sym painted for her for Christmas. And Play-Doh! She would play Play-Doh all day if she could.

As for her favourite show, it’s all about Peppa Pig right now. That’s the only thing she wants to watch on the tv although I can usually convince her watching the Lego Movie is a good idea. She doesn’t sit still for very long watching tv though, and will often run around or get up to go play in her room. She WILL sit still for probably forever watching her weird little kid youtube videos on a tablet or phone though. She loves unboxing videos (WHY) and the ones where people act out terrible skits with their toys (WHY). She’s only allowed to watch them during quiet time and I have to remind myself to go get her up after a certain amount of time because she will stay in her room for hours watching videos if we let her.

She loves kitties and bunnies and foxes. Her favourite colour to wear is pink but she always walks on the green stripe of the rainbow crosswalk. She likes any kind of small bread products and calls them all “buns.” She always wants to help do the laundry, make coffee, feed the dogs, wipe the table, and will even clean up her toys when asked nicely (though she usually wants one of us to help her). She’ll steal my phone and tweet pictures from Neko Atsume (sometimes with emoji commentary), she will always give us a hug or kiss (or bart-kiss) but she’s still very shy with strangers. She’s 40 inches tall, weighs 42 pounds and wears size 4 clothes.

little fox

01 cinnamon hearts

02 fox

03 fox

04 shadow cat

06 ivy

07 legos

I have been LOVING this new ready-to-ship banners change I instituted in my shop earlier this month! I love not feeling bogged down with making the same banners every week, I love being able to ship orders so much faster, and I love love love all the extra time I have to work on different projects!

On the weekend I started embroidering a little grumpy fox and I just find it so fun and relaxing. I hadn’t really done any embroidery since I made the patches for Taylor’s anniversary gift two years ago, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it. I even like buying the embroidery thread; the subtle variations of the colours make choosing just the right shade fascinating AND they only cost sixty cents each (less with a coupon; I got the new oranges I needed for this fox for 45 cents each)! Combine that with how inexpensive the wooden hoops are and the fact that I’m upcycling the fabric from a torn pair of linen shorts and this is a very cheap hobby.

Bad news for poor lil Symmie: after two weeks having her palate expanded with a palate expander she went to the orthodontist to get it removed… or so she thought. Turns out that while we don’t have to adjust it anymore, she has to keep it in the whole rest of the time she has her braces! I feel really bad for her, it makes it hard to talk and hard to eat and it leaves a weird impression on her tongue that really bothers her. Thankfully she only has four months of braces left, or maybe less! Everyone cross their fingers that it’s less.

life right now

01 messy room

02 dining room

03 fawn & cardinal

04 gwendolyn

05 marie

06 bottles and goblet

07 gwen on the table

Last fall I got super into making to-do lists for myself so I wouldn’t forget things I had to do. I fell out of the habit in late November (because at that point every list was like… “MAKE ONE THOUSAND MINI KILLJOY BANNERS, MAKE ONE THOUSAND EVERYTHING IS OK BANNERS” so it seemed pointless). Yesterday I made my first to-do list in months and WOW did I ever get a lot done. Like so much cleaning and work and organizing and meal prep. It was amazing and inspired me to get a jumpstart on spring cleaning, and also force Taylor and Sym to get a jumpstart on helping me with spring cleaning, by posting a big household to-do list on the fridge.

It took me two days but I finally sorted through all of Gwen’s old clothes. I think living with the messy piles and bins everywhere for weeks really helped to take the sentimentality out of the process and I was able to ruthlessly pare down the precious keepsakes down to just one huge bin. I didn’t even include the little footie pants you guys. I sorted everything else (four other huge bins and one medium bin) by size and it’s all ready to take back to storage or get rid of, whichever I decide.

There is a lot going on with Gwen this week. She’s decided she no longer naps in the afternoons and after a couple of days of fighting to get her to nap just a little I gave up and now I just let her quietly watch videos in her room during quiet time. TERRIBLE PARENTING I KNOW but like… it works so whatever. I just set her up in bed with my phone and turn out the lights and she won’t get up until I go get her. Yesterday I discovered she had subscribed me to like a billion of those toy-opening youtube channels. Why do kids like those toy-opening videos so much??? It’s weird. Anyway I’m making the executive decision that little girls who don’t need a nap don’t need to wear diapers either (except for quiet- and bedtime). So far we’ve had no luck with going on the potty but no accidents either as she will hold it all day if she has to. I had also meant to quit giving her pacifiers (she only has them at sleep time) but I swear the very day I decided this she started asking for them, which she’d never done before. COOL MOVE, KID. So rn I’m just being stricter with the sleeping-only rule for them, because I think NO naps NO diapers and NO binkies all in the same week is too much.

Sym is doing well with her palate expander; she’s having less trouble eating and is almost halfway there. It’s less painful for her and I’m getting better at cranking it without getting the little tool jammed in it. This morning she did stamp her feet in a little huff when I reminded her we had to do it, but I think that was mostly because she was trying to leave for school and I’d made her “late” by making her take Georgie out for a pee (not really late, she leaves for school like an hour early and it only takes ten minutes to walk there). Teens!