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!

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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.

light

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

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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!

boogers & braces

Version 2

02 ivy

03 tiles

04 robson square

05 gwen & peppa

This week has been a weird one; most of us (especially Gwen) were/are sick with a gruesome cold, and for most of the week it’s felt like the wrong day. The former was a nightmare of coughing, sneezing, runny noses and nowhere near enough sleep for anyone. The latter was because Sym switched the days she stays at her dad from Tuesday & Thursday to Wednesday & Thursday- there was a good reason for it though, and that reason is PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. It’s basically the one show we watch together, it airs on Tuesdays and we’ve always had to wait until Wednesday or sometimes even Saturday to watch it. It was actually my suggestion she change her schedule and spend PLL nights here so I can’t really complain, but it made Wednesday feel like Thursday and Thursday feel like Friday and it all just made the week seem extra long.

Also this week (just yesterday in fact) Sym got a palate expander added to her braces, which sucks and she hates it. We have to adjust it twice a day for two weeks and she’s having a helluva time eating because every food gets stuck in it. I have no idea what to make for dinner now, like should I make her favourite foods so the hassle of having to clear it out of the expander is worth it, or should I just make a blended soup to reduce the amount of hassle? I’m reminded of the time my high school boyfriend’s older brother had his jaw wired shut and their mother would just take whatever the family was eating and blend it up with milk into like a ham-peas-barley smoothie. NASTY. Anyway I’m going to wait until she gets home from school and then figure it out together.

I’ve been adding more things to my shop and society6 but I don’t want to make constant picture posts about it; maybe just once a month? With my new shop policy I just have all this extra time and I’m feeling super ~inspired~. Most things I do post on instagram so you can follow me there to keep informed. This weekend I plan on working on EVEN MORE new things, as well as finally figuring out what the heck I’m gonna do with all the baby clothes; the bins of them are still all over my kitchen and dining room and even though I took some things out of them (I gave Gwen some of her tiniest sleepers to dress her “babies” in instead of her current size 4 pajamas) somehow they’ve expanded and no longer fit in the same bins? It’s a mess.

glitter & frost

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All pics by Taylor.

I so wish I didn’t have my eyes closed in that last one but OH WELL. Maybe I will just photoshop my eyeballs into it. We may have not had any real snow this winter but at least we had some good frost, right? Taylor took these photos one morning during our break after we walked the dogs. These were actually all taken in the alley behind our house; it’s very picturesque.

I’m trying something new with my shop this month. I’ve deactivated the listings for some of my most popular banners (the mini feminist killjoy, everything is ok & what is the point) YES I KNOW THAT SOUNDS INSANE but there’s a reason! Instead of making them to order one at a time I’m going make a bunch of them all at once. Then I’ll list them and hopefully they’ll sell out, at which point I’ll make more.

Honestly I should have switched to this type of business model long ago but once my shop became semi-popular I never had the time to get a bunch of banners pre-made. I’m committed to doing it now though and
feel it will allow me to a) make my customers happier with faster shipping times, and b) allow me more time to work on other projects, either for the shop or just for myself! I have a lot ideas for different things I want to make but it’s hard to justify spending an evening painting or sewing or appliquéing when I have outstanding banner orders; hopefully this new direction will change that.

baby blue

One thing I really wanted to get done over the winter break was to clear out some space in my storage locker. We usually have to do this about once a year, as we start to run out of room. It was a kind of desperate situation as there was no room left to put the Christmas tree away, which also needs to get done. I figured the best way to free up some room was to do something that we (mostly Taylor) have been putting off for a long time: going through all of Gwen’s baby stuff and getting rid of most of it. We aren’t going having any more babies so most, if not all, of these things aren’t getting used again, and meanwhile they are taking up A LOT of room.

Really we should have been doing this all along; each season as she outgrew things we should have put aside a few precious items and then given away or sold or donated the rest. That’s what I did with Symphony’s things, but someone IE TAYLOR couldn’t bear to part with any of Gwen’s tiny baby items so they just piled up and piled up and piled up until we had nowhere else to put them.

Here’s the thing: even though Taylor didn’t want to get rid of anything, he also didn’t want to have another baby. And me, I’m the one who is CONSTANTLY getting rid of stuff and I did and still do want to have another baby. But we don’t have the money, we don’t have the room, we don’t have the time, so no more babies.

Even though No More Babies had basically been decided, every time I brought up getting rid of Gwen’s baby clothes Taylor would get all emotional about the thought of her teeny-tiny newborn things and accuse me of trying to manipulate him into having another baby. Finally this weekend I was like NO, you are the one who is trying to manipulate me. Holding onto all these little sleep sacks and tiny onesies and minuscule socks was keeping a small secret hope alive in my heart that yes I would get to have another baby, that there was still a chance. But there isn’t, so it’s time.

Taylor went out to the storage room and brought in all the boxes and bins of Gwen’s old clothes and we started going through them, and that’s when I discovered the truth: for all my rational talk of “we don’t need these things” and “it’s time to get rid of them,” well, I don’t want to. I think yesterday we only made it halfway through the first bin of all the smallest clothes before I quit to go cry in bed.

It was the footed pants that set me off; baby Gwen had multiple pairs of these little pants with built-in feet that she used to wear all the time. I had completely forgotten about them, but seeing them again and trying to decide if I should keep one pair in the “precious memories” pile was too much. They weren’t even anything special, just little pants from H&M in white, a couple of shades of brown and a brown & white stripe. Neutrals that went with everything. They came as part of a set, there would be a sleeper, a onesie, a hat and a pair of these little footed pants. They were really no big deal but suddenly for me, those little pants were the biggest deal of all.

When I was younger (like… 30) I never thought about a time in the future when I would have to decide to not have any more babies. I never thought it would be this hard, or this sad. After Sym was born I didn’t even consider having more kids (for a lot of reasons that I don’t care to get into) and I never felt sad about it then, so I couldn’t have predicted I would feel so sad about it now. And like… it’s one thing to intellectually and logically make the decision because you know it’s for the best, but it’s quite another when the emotional side of the equation confronts you in the form of tiny trousers.

In the end I sorted through almost everything. I saved the things that were the most precious, things worn by both my girls, things made by my mom, things that brought up memories of special occasions. Her baby bear suit, the tiny hockey jersey I used to tell Taylor I was pregnant, all the shoes I made for her went in the “keep” pile. The plain white onesies and old every day sleepers went back in the bins so I can decide how to best get rid of them, although tbh I don’t know that I even can.

Gwen is growing up; she’s three now, she helps with the laundry and makes our coffees for us. She’s finally talking, she’s quitting binkies, and I swear one day she’ll master the potty. She’s not a baby anymore, but I’m just not ready to say goodbye to the baby years of my life yet. So one thing is for certain: the footed pants aren’t going anywhere.

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