five faves

Happy Friday! This weekend we are taking Gwen to her first ever birthday party for a friend of hers (she was so shy when she was younger + her delayed speech meant she had trouble making friends DON’T @ ME ABOUT IT OR I’LL CRY) and I’m planning on rearranging & decluttering a bunch of kitchen cupboards (thrilling stuff I know).

This had me in tears. TEARS.

I need to find a local baby spa.

Thinking about a white bedspread for spring/summer.

Gonna try making Dutch Babies in the cast iron this weekend (if you have any tips please let me know in the comments!

A crowdfunding project I can really get behind.

five days & five faves


All my babies at 5-ish months old in 2002-2013-2017

It’s been a busy, bonkers week you guys. I actually only had to work on two days (Wednesday & Thursday) but my family (and the time change, ugh) has had me all over the place!

On Monday I took the little kids out to Chapters on West Broadway so I could pick up a new basket to store the dress up clothes in. Gwen got some new Peppa Pig books and Nicky got a teether shaped like a old school Nintendo controller, which was too expensive but also too cute to resist. That night Gwen developed a fever, which was not very fun but thankfully the next day she was fine.

On Tuesday Sym and her grandma dropped off a new desk for Gwen they’d picked up for me at Ikea. Gwen helped me to build it (like, she really helped, not “helped” the way little kids often do) and we put it right next to my desk in the office. It has a top that opens up and a nice big compartment inside, so now she has her own space to store all her drawing supplies and papers so they aren’t piled on MY desk anymore. I’m planning on putting a magnet board or magnet strips and maybe a small shelf on the wall above for her to display some of her fine arts.

On Wednesday I continued my quest to get this place decluttered and donated four huge bags of clothing to charity. That evening Nicky cut his first tooth and it was all very exciting, but later that night he developed a fever (I know some people believe teething causes fevers but I think he just had whatever Gwen had on Monday night).

On Thursday I was up until 3am with a poor sick baby, until Taylor came home from the office to relive me. Thankfully I was able to sleep in a little that morning because I was super tired and super crabby. Nicky still had a mild fever for most of the day, although it never reached the “seek medical attention” threshold (something I have a lot of anxiety about after his bout of meningitis last fall).

On Friday (today) I slept in until 10am, which was amazing, but when I got up Gwen informed me she had put beads in her nose. I sent her to get dressed to go to the hospital while I brushed my teeth, and I heard her sneeze and the sound of a bead pinging away across the room. My relief was short lived when she informed me there were still two more beads in the other nostril. After waiting for 2 1/2 hours in the emergency room and performing something called the “kiss technique” (where you blow into your kid’s mouth to try and blast any obstructions out of their nose) all I got was a faceful of snot because there weren’t any more beads up there! I’m not mad at her, obviously, but I definitely would have rather not spent the whole morning there!

A quick five faves for this week…

This is the basket I got for the dress up clothes, they are only available in store but they are on super sale if you can get to a Chapters!

Nicky’s Nintendo teether is available here.

This article on grey clothing is CLEARLY relevant to my interests.

Nicky has outgrown his basinet (HOW????) so while he was sick we used this folding portable mini crib in the living room. If you have a baby and a small space I super recommend it. It has a very small footprint, folds flat when not in use and can be easily rolled from room to room.

Since Nicky was tiny we’ve used the FeedBaby app to track his diapers & bottles, as well as growth and vaccinations. This week we also used it to keep track of his temperature and medicine. The apps syncs between our phones, which is great for us since Taylor and I live & work on opposite schedules and are also very often very tired and confused about the passage of time, haha. It’s available for Apple and Android.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Happy Friday! It is my birthday weekend and Taylor has something??? planned??? that he is keeping a surprise, which is exciting. It’s also SUPER SNOWY out again! I felt pretty dumb buying Gwen a snow suit & boots this winter but I’m so glad I got them.

The second Charlotte Holmes novel by Brittany Cavallaro (I KNOW HER), The Last of August, is coming out in less than two weeks! I have mine preordered already and I can’t wait.

When Gwen saw this playhouse she said “Aw Nicky like to go in it with me too, soon!” so I guess I have to buy it now?

I need to try these churro donuts immediately.

I love everything in the midwinter collection from Stay Home Club so much I can’t pick just one? I want these pins, this patch, and this sweatshirt.

Riverdale is filling the Pretty Little Liars-sized hole in Sym’s and my hearts (Taylor doesn’t it like it but I think he’s just old and out of touch, not like me, I’m a Cool Mom).

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My friend Lindsay posted this braised chicken recipe on facebook and I was like… I NEED TO MAKE THIS. We had it the next day and it was *chef kissing fingers* I used a mix of baby kale, chard & spinach for the greens and substituted 1 dried Thai chile for the 4 dried chiles de árbol, only because I happened to have the Thai chili already. PRO TIP: always check the Scoville heat units before substituting types of chilis! I almost threw 4 Thai chilis in before I checked and saw they are TEN TIMES HOTTER than the chiles de árbol! That would have been… something else.

H&M has online shopping in Canada now, FINALLY geez. Unfortunately the site is a weird, hard-to-navigate mess (why can I only view all the t-shirts for men, women and kids all mixed up on one endless page???) so I wasn’t able to find my holy grail t-shirt to share with you all, but I did find this one which I obviously need to buy immediately.

I’m totally obsessed with this rattle/teether I made for Nicky this week, and want to make him one in every colour! It was so easy and affordable; I got everything I needed to make it for ~$10Cdn from Canadian DIY Supply ←←← use that link for 10% off your order!

It’s no secret I went a lil bonkers on AliExpress during the Global Shopping Festival, and now all my purchases are slowly trickling in. Other than Nicky’s shark sleeping bag, my fave item so far has been these cloud-shaped placemats. I got them in white and they have been great for reducing the amount of mealtime mess with both Gwen AND the daycare kids.

Amanda. Chantal. Bacon.

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Happy first Friday in December! I’m hoping to take the kids to the tree-lighting down on Robson Street tonight but it is pouring with rain rn and idk if I want to deal with wet, crabby kids, so we might just stay home and decorate our own tree instead.

WHO WATCHED SEARCH PARTY omg I loved this show so much.

I want to make this cake for Christmas dessert.

Parks Canada is giving away FREE ADMISSION PASSES for 2017 (if you can get the danged website to load, I’ve been trying for AN HOUR already, trapped on the billing & shipping address page).

My friend tweeted these grey velvet sweatpants at me because she knows I have a very strong grey sweatpants personal brand. TRAGICALLY they were sold out in my size in Canada but I persevered and checked back every day until they came back in stock.
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As someone who started going grey at 17 and a few years ago supremely embraced the grey hair lifestyle, and ALSO has an autoimmune disease (which is thankfull in remission) this video rly resonated with me.

five faves

First of all, I keep meaning to thank everyone for your sweet comments on my last couple posts/facebook page/instagram. I really appreciate it 🙂 I actually meant to include this in yesterday’s post, and also meant for the post to be longer but the baby woke up so I was just like… “good enough,” and hit publish. AUTHENTIC MOMMY BLOGGING, or something.

Anyway. Today Nicky is TWO WEEKS OLD if you can believe it. I actually never talked about his one week checkup with our family doctor last Friday. It went amazingly, Nicky is doing great and as of last week had not only regained the weight he lost in the hospital but had actually SURPASSED his birthweight. Actually he started regaining the weight even before we left the hospital; he weighed 3.465kg at birth, 24 hours after birth he was 4% below his birthweight but at 48 hours after birth he was only 2.4% below his birthweight. As of last week he weighed in at 3.56kg, so a whole 100g more than when he was born. He is a little eating machine and averages about 500ml of delicious, delicious baby formula a day.

Aside: I’ve decided I’m switching to just using metric measurements for weight, it’s easier to keep track of Nicky’s weight because that’s what the doctor’s scale is in and this way I don’t have to do any conversions, PLUS for myself I think it gives a more manageable-sounding goal for getting back into shape post-pregnancy. Like, if I say I want to lose 10-15 kg that sounds a lot more doable than saying I wanna lose 25-30 pounds, right? BUT IT’S BASICALLY THE SAME THING. Of course this is just an estimation at the moment since a) I don’t actually own a scale so who knows what I even weigh, and b) I can’t work out for four more weeks anyways.

OKAY. On to the faves. These are somethings I’ve/we’ve been loving for Nicky in the first two weeks of his life. These are all things we have purchased ourselves or received as gifts from family, some are things we used with Gwen and some are new to us, but all are total faves.

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1. Baby Brezza Formula Dispenser HOW. DID WE EVER. LIVE WITHOUT THIS??? Honestly if you are formula feeding your baby or regularly supplementing your breastmilk with formula then RUN DON’T WALK to get yourself one of these bad boys. It has honestly made feeding the baby so much easier than it ever was with Sym or Gwen. No measuring, no spilling, no reheating. Just fill the hopper with the powdered baby formula of your choice, fill the reservoir with sterilized water and HEY PRESTO you can dispense the perfect amount of perfectly mixed formula at the perfect temperature at literally the touch of a button. It takes less than a minute and you can do it with one hand while holding your baby, and as a result I can probably count on that same one hand how many times Nicky has gotten worked up into a full howl while waiting to be fed.

2. Vital Baby Microwavable Steam Sterilizer We don’t use Vital Baby bottles (I SPENT ALL THAT MONEY ON THE LIFEFACTORY BOTTLES MY KIDS WILL USE THEM UNTIL THEY ARE GROWN) but this sterilizer works with other brands of bottles, as well as breast pump parts if that’s a thing you care about. Prior to buying this we were sterilizing bottles by either boiling them in a pot of water like it was the olden days, or running them through a whole dishwasher cycle (which took forever). This takes just a few minutes to sterilize and has really streamlined our whole bottle washing process, as well as made me wonder WHY DIDN’T I HAVE ONE OF THESE LAST TIME???

3. IKEA Himmelsk Burp Cloths These were a hand-me-down from Gwen, so ours have a different pattern on the printed one (although I really love the grey stars on the new ones). We used these cloths every day at every feeding with Gwen and we use them every day at every feeding with Nicky. Gwen had a cold at the beginning of this week and I sent one to bed with her to wipe her nose. She also uses them (sans boogers) to swaddle her babies (ie stuffies) as she’s become obsessed with swaddling since we brought Nicky home.

4. AngelCare Bath Support Another item we used with Gwen, I feel like I sang the praises of this bath support a lot back in 2012/13, and I still love it. It is comfy for little babies to lay in, the holes make rinsing super easy and it’s a breeze to clean. If I had any complaints about this it would be that it does take up quite a bit of space when not in use, but our bathroom is really small so this might not be a concern for you. We have a hook on the bathroom wall to hang it on and it generally hasn’t been a problem or gotten in the way at all.

5. Jolly Jumper Moses Basket Stand YES THE INFAMOUS MOSES BASKET STAND, the one I was so keen/desperate to get before the baby was born that I walked down to the baby store and back WHILE IN LABOUR to pick one up. In spite of the fairly mixed reviews online we haven’t had any problems with this stand. It was easy enough for Taylor to assemble, the overall look is unobtrusive and simple so it looks good in any room, and it’s small and light enough that even I can move it around the house if need be. The bassinet from our old stroller is shorter than the baskets you’re meant to use with it, but once I adjusted the length of the curved straps on either end (they are flexible plastic and screw into the sides; I was easily able to drill new screw holes to tighten them without having to actually cut them shorter) it’s worked just fine. I do wish this had regular straight legs instead of rockers as we don’t really rock it ever, but I just put a couple of door wedges under the rockers to keep it stable. And honestly, we aren’t going to use this for very long so for the amount of time we’ll need it the price cannot be beat.

If you have any baby faves you think I should hear about let me know in the comments, and have a great weekend, everyone!

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ooak nursery illustration by The Disaster Life
ooak custom nursery illustration from The Disaster Life

Happy long weekend Friday! After realizing I was a whole week more pregnant than I’d been thinking this weekend I REALLY want to get some stuff done in the little kids’ room: tidy up Gwen’s toys as best I can (& pray that shelf I ordered arrives sooner rather than later!), set up the crib, put up some of the artwork on the walls and most importantly, start getting out baby clothes so this little one has something to wear when s/he arrives in just over a month!

this week’s faves…

Gwen’s new look for rainy days this fall is gonna be a bright yellow rain coat with bright red rain boots*.

We already have too many mugs I feel like I could really use this bear one, and hey why not throw in a bear infuser too?

I really feel like the little kid’s room needs some custom artwork like the one above from The Disaster Life, oh and this weekend get 50% of orders from her shop with the code “laboryay”

One thing we still need to get for the baby is a special bedtime cuddly toy. I really like this little deer one but doesn’t seem to be available in Canada (or with reasonable shipping to Canada, I’m not about to pay £15 shipping on a £14 toy).

The other weekend we got this faucet cover for our bathtub and Gwen LOVES it, both the way the water pours out and the built-in, self-foaming bubble bath dispenser. She is so eager to have her bath after dinner now we actually have to be careful to make sure she doesn’t climb into the tub & turn on the water on her own.

*I wasn’t planning on getting Gwen new Hunters after she outgrew the secondhand pair my friend Katie sent her, but with a new baby on the way to accept hand-me-downs, well that’s enough of a reason for me!

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The other month when I closed my etsy shop it was partially because I was too tired/sick to keep up with it but MOSTLY because there was an imminent threat of Canada Post going on strike. So this week I FINALLY reopen it and WHAT HAPPENS? Canada Post might go on strike! I didn’t even realize it was a possibility again but THANKFULLY I got all my orders from this week out before the 72-hour strike notice was filed (I used to have a daycare client who was a mail carrier and he told me years ago that as long as I shipped to the US before the 72 hours started it would be ok). But still. How typical of my life! I’m going to leave my shop open for now since there is a chance mediation this weekend will prevent a strike, but what I’m really annoyed about is in the past couple weeks I ordered all the supplies I need to make my next line of crystal tiaras and none of it has arrived yet. Most of it is coming from overseas and takes weeks to arrive under normal circumstances so if there is a total work stoppage I have no idea when I’ll get any of it.

Anyway, on to the five things…

WHO’S WATCHING THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF??? And if not, why not? Like re-evaluate your priorities and make time for this.

This pregnancy I’ve been really enjoying wearing all my terrible/ridiculous jumpsuits and overalls and now I think I wanna get some non-maternity ones for the fall? I haven’t found the right pair that I like yet so if you have any suggestions leave me a link! I’m specifically looking for a medium-wash denim and a black.

tanie new hair
I got my hair cut fairly recently but being pregnant and not losing any hair means the cut grew out into a shapeless mass almost immediately so last night I went and had WAY more layers put in. I’ll probably regret it in December/January when I start to go bald from postpartum hair loss but right now I love it so much. If you’re local and would like to love YOUR hair as much as I love MY hair go see Aleksandra at in.salon.

We haven’t needed to buy much baby stuff this time around (lol I am SO THANKFUL that Taylor wouldn’t let me get rid of any of Gwen’s stuff!), other than a secondhand rockaroo I found on craigslist I’ve only bought a few special clothes. I did want to get a few swaddle blankets though- Gwen’s old bedroom was the coldest room in the house so all hers were flannel, and the new room she’ll be sharing with the baby is the warmest room so I figure we might need a few lighter weight ones. On the weekend I picked up this swaddle from aden + anais and it is so soft I want to LIVE in it. Like why can I not get a Tanie-sized swaddle blanket? DO I NOT DESERVE SWADDLING???

Teen Titans Go! is one of Gwen’s fave shows right now, and we’ve been slowly catching up on old episodes with her. This song features prominently in an episode from last fall but I just heard it for the first time this week and I’m LEGIT OBSESSED.

I hope everyone has a great Friday & a great weekend! Yesterday was Taylor’s birthday but we are celebrating tonight so I’m off to clean my kitchen well enough that I can bake a cake for him (no Genoise sponge though) (GBBO people will know what I’m talking about).

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This week has been a little difficult, to say the least. I had some family drama, a pet emergency and idk if it was the stress or overdoing it last weekend but yesterday I was SO SICK all day. Nausea, dizziness, pain all over my baby bump, crying. SO MUCH CRYING. I was really thinking about blowing off work today (which I never do unless I am like DIRELY ill with like a cruise ship virus or something) but I decided to suck it up because this weekend is actually a long weekend so really I just need to get through one more day and I get three off, thank goodness. Because of all the stress & sickness I really didn’t get all the things I needed to do in Gwen’s old room/Sym’s new room done, and since Sym will be back next week and will presumably want a place to sleep I really need to just do it.

Gwen definitely needs this picture book about women in science.

How cool are these toy cars???

This is actually not a fave, it is appalling and I’m disgusted by this whole situation.

I want to get a little leaf-printed rug for Gwen/The Dreaded Laramie’s room and I miiiiight want to design my own or maybe one of these would work? Or this, it’s not leaves but definitely fits the theme.

Bill Clinton loves balloons.

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Even though they’re old (from 2014 & 2015, practically neolithic) I figure these articles on how & why white parents should to their kids about race are still super important. Please read them if you are a parent, even if your kids are very young. And this should be required reading for every white person. PLEASE FELLOW WHITE PEOPLE, HELP ME OUT HERE.

My amazing friend Brittany Holloway-Brown and some of her coworkers are developing an inclusive photo-editing app with filters designed to enhance and compliment darker skin tones (rather than just lightening them like most apps do), please check it out. It’s open source so you can even contribute your own filters!

This crystal-based beef between Moon Juice (and Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon) and Father John Misty is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Conversely this article about the Spirit Weavers was the most eye-roll-y.

The other day I was talking to some friends of mine about finding dolls for their kids with a variety of skin tones, to help teach kids about racial differences and also so kids of colour have dolls that are representative of them. I was reminiscing about a ragdoll I had as a kid and tried googling to find a picture of it, and to my surprise I found it’s available again! My two sisters had a blonde-haired blue-eyed white version but I thought my black-haired brown-skinned dolly was The Best- because she had green eyes just like me! I also think this doll subconsciously influenced my decision when I bought Gwen’s ragdoll from Roving Ovine.

A lil Chvrches for your morning: