rise & shine





my jean jacket has a theme for spring; (sold out) pins by Sad Ghost Club & Sara M. Lyons












Gwen is officially an early bird. She wakes up at 5:30 or 5 or 4:30 in the morning. For a few days the other week we tried putting her to bed later but it really made no difference to what time she woke up. The later bedtime also meant that by the time whatever housework was done and the dogs were walked and we’d both decompressed from parenting a rambunctious toddler, Taylor and I barely had any time to hang out together as grown-ups (ie fall asleep on the couch watching tv). Now we’re back to putting her to bed at around 7:30-8 and she’s still waking up in the pre-dawn hours.

Last Tuesday Gwen woke me up at 5:45 and I was like “this is a good thing.” I got her up and changed, gave her some milk and put on Pee-Wee for her to watch while I had a quick shower (something that never happens in the mornings) and it was GLORIOUS. Just for that one day though, and then I was back to hating it. I’m just really not a morning person. In the latter half of the week she started waking up even earlier (ARGH NO) so now if she wakes up earlier than 6 we put her back to bed and cross our fingers that she’ll actually let us sleep. This morning she was up at 5:45 again, but after a quick diaper change & reading one Olivia book she went back to sleep until 6:45. It was kind of a miracle.

• • •

I have so much work on the go right now. Last week I ran out of every single colour of glitter for (almost) every banner I needed to make, and had to wait until the weekend to get more. I was so dumb about it too, there was plenty of OTHER work I could have done instead of the banners (like sewing boots and making patches) but in my vast intelligence I decided to do nothing instead. SO STUPID UGH. So now while I’m not technically that behind on things… I am kind of behind on things. Then yesterday I accepted a rush order on a time-consuming banner AND an order for twenty banners. TWENTY. Like I didn’t already have enough on the go! So I have no time for slacking this week. This month, even. So if you see me slacking around on the internet STOP ME!

tip top














Last week I had a lot of work to do so of course I thought it’d be smart to spend an entire day dismantling my desk. It needed to be cleaned off anyway and I was really sick to death of the yellow. I’ve been planning on repainting it for a while, but I figured I could enact a quick change by swapping out the old desktop of a couple spare white Ikea desk tops I had. They had previously been on top of the kitchen island (from before we got a real dining room table) so they aren’t in great condition, but then again, neither was the yellow top and did I mention I was sick of it? SO SICK.

Of course what I thought would be an easy breezy simple swap turned out to be anything but. After removing the old top I realized there was only one small board holding the two halves of the desk together, and that the seam between the two new desktops would fall over open space and bee all wobbly so I needed to first attach them to some sort of stabilizing piece. Luckily I had a big heavy piece of wood stashed behind my bed that worked perfectly, and after only a brief struggle I was able to get my new desk top on place. It’s much longer so I have space on it for the printer now without feeling crowded and even though it’s a little scratched up it still looks much cleaner than the yellow one. Eventually I’d like to replace the two cobbled-together 1 meter-long desktops with one 2-meter long desktop, but baby steps. I also still need to paint the base of the desk, which is still bright yellow. Did I mention I was sick of the yellow? I’m thinking of doing it either a black-brown or a dark grey.


When I was screwing the new desktop into place from underneath I needed something to weigh it down so the screws would go in properly, and I made the mistake of sitting Gwen on it as my weight. It worked perfectly, and she was pretty thrilled with the experience. So thrilled that she’s added climbing onto my desk to her repertoire of things she knows she’s not supposed to do but does anyway. With the new desktop she can no longer get into my drawer full of pens and markers and scissors so I guess it’s kind of a trade off? Her climbing up on my desk was an inevitability anyway as she has great enthusiasm for climbing things.

Accidental Twins








Can I just state for the record that I really don’t deliberately dress Gwen and I in matching outfits all the time. I buy most of her clothes though so OBVIOUSLY I get her things that are to my taste so yes, it does happen. Often. For example, on Sunday morning Taylor got up with her (at 5:30am , kill me pls) and dressed her in grey sweatpants and a green shirt. A few hours later when I got up I dressed myself in grey jeans and a green tank top. Sometimes our matching is more subtle- I’ll wear a blue-green plaid shirt, she’ll wear a blue AND green plaid shirt. Sometimes I’m even twinsies with Sym- on Friday we were both wearing grey jeans, denim jackets and black shoes with teal shirts (mine was a flannel and hers was a hoodie but still). The best though was on Saturday, Gwen was already dressed and ready to go to the Lego Store but when I put on my fringed black suede Minnetonka booties she ran and changed out of her sparkly pink Vans into her fringed black leather booties so she could be like me!

This picture is actually from a couple of weeks ago when I deliberately matched our footwear, yes fine I admit it, sometimes I do it on purpose.

Gwen continues to be a suuuuuuuuuuper early riser. On Sunday night we tried putting her to bed a little later than normal but she was raring to go at 5:30 again this morning. Thankfully Taylor working from home so I didn’t have to get up myself, but I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. I’m going to have to start just changing her and putting her back to bed, because when she’s up and unsupervised (like in the instance that her very tired mother falls asleep on the couch watching Sesame Street) she goes around the house like a little whirlwind of destruction, using her chairs and ride-on toys as step stools to naughtiness, granting her access to things on our desks, the kitchen counters and even the windowsills. Nothing is safe!

Some other things…

Taylor and I were FINALLY able to see Furious 7 and it was as good as I’d imagined. I laughed, I cried, I’m pretty sure it literally bit my knuckles? Movie of the year, for sure.

While eating breakfast yesterday Gwen sneezed out a small snot-covered rock. Truly, a classic toddler move. We have no idea how long it was in her nose, but at least it came out on it’s own?

Sym had her braces tightened last week and it was the worst one yet I think. She said she couldn’t even eat popsicles. Poor Symmie :(

Also poor Symmie: her stupid Ikea bed slats are officially disintegrated to the point of no return, small wonder as they are ten years old. We can’t just get new slats because they’ve changed the configuration over the years- we’d have to get a whole new frame. Instead, I’ve opted to get her a mattress & boxspring (her old mattress was an atrocious mass of spranged-out springs) and just bypass the slats altogether. Her new bed is gonna be so comfy, and should last until she’s in college and it’s not my problem anymore (that’s how it works, right?).

Taylor has finally agreed that we (I) should get a new cat. Now I just need to find a rescue that will give me a cat when I have a house full of dogs and small children and who won’t try to check with the landlord if I’m allowed to have more pets. SHOULD BE A BREEZE. I’ve been trolling petfinder a lot, but it really only takes a few pages of cats that I definitely can’t have before I’m suddenly viewing pets in California, like this row of excellent cats in San Francisco.
Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 8.23.55 PM
I mean… COME ON.

five in the morning


















On Saturday we made the trek to Ikea and bought Gwen her big-girl bed. After setting it up I’m really glad we went with a toddler bed (in spite of my previous reservations about them) as there is literally NO WAY a twin would have fit in her room. Hopefully she will fit the toddler bed until we move to a place with a bigger bedroom for her, or Symphony moves out in like five years. It’s okay for a 7-year-old to be in a toddler bed, right?

Anyway. So far the transition is going pretty smoothly. She has been going to bed well at nap- and bedtime, and although sometimes she gets up for silly reasons (for example to shove 500 books into her lil friend’s crib) other times it’s to let us know she needs a diaper change, which is good. Once the problem has been resolved she will generally go back to bed without a fuss.

The part that is going less well is the mornings. I’m REALLY not a morning person, and having to get up at 7 or 7:30 for work is pretty much the earliest I can do and remain functional & conscious for the entire day. Gwen was also waking up at 7 or 7:30, OR SO WE THOUGHT. But since moving to her big girl bed she’s been getting up earlier and earlier every day: 6:45, 6 and in a grand coup this morning, FIVE AM. Has she been waking up this early all along and just hanging out quietly in her crib? Or is this a new, special, big-girl-bed-only wake up time?

When she wakes up she gets out of bed, turns on the light and knocks on her door while yelling (not angrily/sadly, just LOUDLY) to be set free since she can’t open her door yet THANK GOODNESS. This morning after I changed her diaper and her jammies and her bedsheets (it was a very wet diaper) and read her a story and played “this little piggy,” I tried putting her back to bed. I could hear her playing quietly until about 5:50 and then it was knock knock, who’s there? A yelling toddler, so you better wake up. RIGHT NOW.

little fishies




so many jellies






sloth spotting




On Friday Taylor, Gwen and I went to the aquarium. Ostensibly we were there with Taylor’s dad and sister & her husband & kids, but they have three kids younger than Gwen (a 2-year old boy and twin baby girls) so we didn’t actually spend too much time together. Those kids just need to keep moving! Gwen had a lot of fun climbing up to peer into all the tanks of fish and frogs and eels, and she LOVED the Amazon Gallery. She found a spot on the pathway near the hyacinth macaws, some scarlet ibis (ibises? ibisi?) and ringed teals and was happy to sit down and watch the “birs.”

big girl bed | coal harbour

I hung up a disco ball in the living room window, the sun hits it between 11am & 1pm, aka PRIME DISCO HOURS.



Gwen’s new sandals, she is O B S E S S E D with them (from Zara)


The li’lest blackheart


On Wednesday afternoon I went to go wake Gwen up from her nap and she greeted me at the door to her room. She’d never (to our knowledge) even attempted to climb out of her crib before so this was surprising, to say the least! In my experience, once kids realize they can climb out of their crib they want to do it all the time so I knew it was time to convert her crib to a toddler bed. She was horrified while I was taking the crib apart but pleased with the results. I was a little apprehensive about making the switch to a non-crib sleeping arrangement in the middle of the week (I have to get up early for work) but so far it’s been fine. She’s always been a good sleeper (KNOCK ON WOOD) so hopefully we won’t have any problems.

Obviously she is fine with the converted crib buuuuuuuut I reallyyyyyyyyyyyyy want to get her this adorable mini canopy toddler bed. Actual toddler beds are kind of ridic but like… her room isn’t really big enough for a twin bed (I have to have a second crib for her lil friend in there is why) so maybe I can justify it? It’s not on the Ikea Canada website anymore but it is available in stores (I confirmed with them via tweet) so maybeeeeeeeeeeee I can get it for her? I mean I DO have a new baby starting daycare next week and if Gwen is in a new bed, her lil friend can have her old crib and the new baby can use the mini crib. See, look? It’s practically a business expense!






A few pics from a walk along the Coal Harbour Seawall. Gwen wants to get out and walk all the time now so it takes five-ever to get anywhere but she has fun. We all have fun, really.

Beach Bunny



















Growing up my family always had an Easter egg hunt, well really more of a general candy hunt. We each would get a basket of treats, a chocolate bunny, a paper egg filled with goodies, and one of those big chocolate eggs with Smarties inside (I’m talking Canadian Smarties here, not the candy that is called Smarties in the US, those are Rockets, NOT Smarties, get it together US tbh). They’d all be hidden around the house and to make sure it was fair my mom assigned colours to each of us. Our treats would be marked, usually with a ribbon in our colour- mine was blue.

With Sym I was never able to do that because when she was two we got Dougal, and big dumb dog = not hiding chocolate all over the house. Instead we’d just give her a basket full of treats, and for the past couple years that’s what we did with Gwen as well. This year Sym spent the weekend at her dad’s so it was just Gwen, and I decided to try doing a little Easter egg hunt with her. Sunday was so sunny and nice that instead of staying home we took everything down to Sunset Beach and had a little Easter celebration there.

Taylor went down to the edge of the beach near some rocks and hid everything while I took Gwen further along the seawall and then doubled back. We got there early enough that it wasn’t very busy yet so we didn’t have to worry about stranger kids finding Gwen’s stuff. She had a lot of fun searching for all the toys and candy hidden in the rocks and plants, especially once she realized just what was in the plastic eggs- Mini Eggs, aka her fave thing ever. She shoved about a hundred (actually more like eight) in her mouth at once and just drooled nasty chocolate drool all over herself. SO GROSS, GWEN.

shipwrecked | sneaky sneaky

I realized the other day that my last three posts (THREE!) have all been super whiny & complainy. Ew, no one needs that. So this post has zero whining in it, except just a quick note that since my last post I’ve had terrible cramps AND I smashed my toenail into oblivion, it’s split right in half and bled everywhere. lol, who cursed me?

Sym’s dad told us there were some sailboats shipwrecked on Sunset Beach yesterday morning so after breakfast & coffee the lil ones and I headed down there to check it out. Gwen and her buddy had a lot of fun chucking rocks into the water, drawing in the sand with sticks, running around on the beach and basically just covering themselves with sand. It was mostly sunny but SUPER windy and cold! Once we’d all had enough of freezing our buns off I bundled them into the stroller with cozy blankets and walked around the Yaletown stretch of Seawall in the sun to warm up before heading back home (with one quick stop for cookies along the way).


she literally could not be cooler

all washed up










her lil friend was like “Chuck it in the ocean, Gwennie! Go for it!”

things found on PNW beaches




don’t let the knit cap, sweater, jacket, boots and wool socks fool you, it’s very tropical here





five seconds before the meltdown to end all meltdowns


After Gwen figured out she could open up the corner cupboard in the kitchen (where most of the food was stored) it was GAME OVER, MAN. We had to rearrange the kitchen and moved the food into the kitchen island which was more secure. Sort of. She can’t completely open it but she can get it open just enough to be able to sneak things out if we’ve stupidly left small items too close to the middle of the cupboard. Basically we’ve been spending a lot of time vacuuming up granola and rice off her bedroom floor and the food cupboard is now DOUBLE childlocked.

She’s started saying a few new words, including cheese and toast. She actually says the whole of these words, NOT just the first sound (chee, toh) so that’s pretty cool. She had a follow-up appointment with the speech pathologist scheduled for this morning but I decided last week to cancel it so a child with a more serious speech problem could get in sooner. They’re going to follow up with us again in the summer to see how she’s doing, hopefully she’ll have made even more progress by then.

She’s obsessed with playing “This Little Piggy.” She hated it when she was a baby but now she would happily sit for hours playing piggies over and over on alternating feet. When she has a bath she likes me to sit on the edge of the tub with my feet in the water and the other night she was pinching my toes and the ran her finger up to my knee, saying “eeeeeeeeeee;” she was playing piggies on my foot!

One day last week she got ahold of a plastic cup of water- I think I left it on the kitchen counter. She carried it around for a while before spilling a little on the floor, and after that, all bets were off and she just dumped it out, shrieking with laughter. Since then she will take any receptacle she can find (containers from the recycling bin, dirty dishes from the kitchen sink, clean dishes from the dishwasher) and fill them up in the bathroom sink before gleefully pouring them out. On the one hand I don’t necessarily want to mop up pools of water all the time, but on the other it’s kind of an easy-breezy way to clean the linoleum. She did drop a mug and break it yesterday but like… we have too many mugs anyway.

PS don’t forget to check out my printables page for this month’s calendar! I’m going to try to do them every month (and have already done May’s as well, oops).