Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Hellooooooo!!!

I'm not sure that I could really go so far as to call myself a blogger anymore, but I would like to get back into it and continue documenting our lives here in this space! Here's my first attempt at that ;)

Whenever I think about our lives these days, I think "wow! I've been so busy!", and that's true, but it's such a different kind of busy than many people. It's a getting-a-3-year-old-apple-juice-while-bouncing-a-crying-baby-and-stirring-supper-on-the-stove-and-listening-to-toddler-music-on-3-hours-of-sleep kind of busy. I definitely love it, most of the time. :) We had lots of fun visitors over the summer, and we had a lot of fun adventures around the province, and a lot of easygoing days too. It was great. That being said...fall is my favourite season and I am welcoming it with open arms!

Come September, my baby turned 3 years old (ahhhhh!!!) and next week Lucy will be 6 months old!!! I can't believe it. But really...look at how their sister bond is developing these days:



They melt my heart and bring a smile to my face each and every day.

Whenever I start to feel frustrated these days (and believe me, it happens - I blame lack of sleep), I just try to take a step back and remember how unbelievably lucky I am to have healthy, happy children, a wonderful husband who loves us so much, a home to call our own, and supportive family and friends.

Since I love lists, here are some of the many things that have happened to us in the past 3ish months since I've written a blog post:

- MOLLY finished summer soccer, got 4.5 inches cut off her hair (Brian was NOT happy about this but I think she looks adorable), started preschool 3 afternoons a week!!!, started swimming lessons, turned 3 years old, had a fun teddy bear's picnic birthday party, and is constantly learning new things and growing.

- Lucy ate, ate, ate, slept a bit, grew, and grew some more. She is starting solid foods this week and we will be following the baby led weaning approach (for the most part) with her. I'm really excited about this because we did BLW with Molly after 7-8 months but not 100%. I will be trying to document some tips on the blog about it all :) Lucy also stopped sleeping well, which has affected all of us, but we are starting sleep training this week with her in the hopes that I can sleep for longer than 2 hours straight and regain my sanity ;)

- Brian is a busy busy beaver at work...he often has to work at home in the nights and stay late. It is difficult and stressful and I hope it passes soon...for both of our sakes, actually.

- I recently ran a 2 mile race in 21 mins and I'm trying to make my HIIT workouts count. I'm getting out for 1-2 runs a week whenever I can squeeze them in when Brian is home...running in fall is THE BEST so I want to make the most of it!!! I also finished up my summer French course, and I am looking for something to do online to keep my mind active :) I am meal planning ALL the time and trying to get our house all organized :) I'm hoping to spend some time this fall reconnecting with some friends that I haven't seen much lately (which includes all of you! ;)).



We're busy, but I'm starting to get a bit of time to myself here and there, and I want to make it count. I have SO many ideas for great blog posts that I want to dive into over the next few weeks. I've still been reading all my favourite blogs and trying to comment whenever I can, but I want to start sharing my ideas again too!!

Some posts coming up:

-Recent favourite recipes and meals
-Toddler activities
-An update on our cloth diapering adventure
-A recap of Molly's birthday party
-30 before 30! I turned 29 in August so I'm working on this now!

Glad to be back in this space!






Thursday, July 3, 2014

Canada Day and recent fun :)

I may have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: I *LOVE* Canada Day. I am so proud to be Canadian, and I love celebrating our country. There are usually a lot of fun, free, festive events going on for Canada Day and while I love partaking in them, this year we had a bit of a more low-key day. Since it didn't end up being a "long weekend" for us as Brian worked on Monday June 30 and had July 1 off, we took it easy and got some things done around the house. We are having a bit of a heat wave right now (30+ degrees and SO humid) so it has been a bit hard on the girls. Lucy particularly minds the heat and it is a bit hard to cool her off and feed her successfully, but she has been OK. We're looking at a hurricane this weekend so that might cool things off a bit ;)



For Canada Day, friends of ours hosted a big BBQ and there were lots of fun people there, including some nice little girls for Molly to play with as well as a kitty AND a puppy and many people to hold our precious little baby too ;) Before the BBQ, Molly just played outside in her new pool all morning ($20 at Target, amazing deal) ;)



So this week I'd like to share some of my favourite Canadian "things".

First of all, here are some of my favourite Canadian bloggers:

Haley at Truth be Told
Alex at She's his Co-Pilot
Tracey at Just a Trace (she has a few amazing series on her blog)
Melissa at Making Melissa
Renee at So Fill your Heart
Laura at Mommy Miracles (a real-life friend ;))

Some of my favourite Canadian songs/musicians:

1) Cape Breton musicians (I am grouping this because I have many favourites including Natalie MacMaster, The Rankins, The Barra MacNeils, Ashley MacIsaac, Beolach, Coig, Slainte Mhath, etc etc) but here are two of my favourite songs: Clumsy Lover Set and Feel the Same way too
2) Joel Plaskett (favourite song Face of the Earth, close second Nowhere with You and best Canadian song True Patriot Love)
3) Blue Rodeo (Head over Heels)
4) The Tragically Hip (Fireworks)
5) Great Big Sea (Ordinary Day)
6) Arcade Fire (Wake Up)
7) Barenaked Ladies (Falling for the First Time)
8) Sarah McLachlan (World on Fire)
9) For Molly - Raffi (Baby Beluga)

Some of my recommended Canadian tourist destinations (that I have been to in my lifetime):
1) Banff National Park (less than an hour from my hometown of Calgary)
2) Calgary (particulary during Stampede which starts today!)
3) Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
4) Niagara Falls (might be a bit obvious but SO amazing)


5) Vancouver Island (right Haley?) - SO beautiful
6) Quebec City / Old Quebec / Montreal
7)  Halifax (because I am here, of course) haha
8) St. John's - visited once for 5 days and fell in love with Newfoundland
9) PEI - a small but beautiful province
10) Interior BC - love this area around the Okanagan
and 11) Ottawa - I almost moved here before I met Brian and I love the city

Some great links I saw around the web this week for Canada Day:

1) Chris Hadfield and his brother's Canadian music video
2)  100 Great Canadian songs
3) Canada Day 2014 in Photos
4) Things you can only buy in Canada

And this video of a puppy trying to see a new baby is also hilarious :)

I'll be back soon to share some of our fun recent toddler activities - I thought about including it here but I think a full post is in order for that :)

Happy belated Canada Day, everyone!! XO





Monday, June 16, 2014

Life Lately

While I can't necessarily classify my life as "busy" in the sense that many lives are busy, I'd say a better definition lately would be that my life and my time are not my own. I'm sure this is obvious, and I can't say that I am unhappy with it but I am working to carve out a bit of extra Heather time here and there for myself :) I almost never go near my computer anymore but I am still able to read blogs/instagram/twitter/facebook on my phone daily and I enjoy that.

Wearing Red in support of the fallen RCMP officers in Moncton last week
My two girls are both doing great. Molly is a wonderful child and I am feeling blessed to have this time with her at home at this age. However, she is also a very active child and she is curious which means that she is constantly chattering, singing and asking questions (this is NOT a bad thing but if I haven't had coffee yet and I was up all night, my patience can run thin ;)). Her favourite question is a variation of "what". For instance, if I tell Molly that we're going to a store, she will say "what kind of store?" or I tell her that we're going to play a game, she says "what kind of game?" or "what colour is it?" or something like that. It is hilarious and she gets so excited when we're going to Sobeys (our grocery store here). Overall, she still desperately loves her little sister and she especially loves to make her smile. She also loves to comb her hair (gently) :). She started playing soccer this summer (See below) which has been great fun so far. I love watching the two of them together, and I am feeling so happy that our family has this beautiful additional member. 



Rocking Heidi braids a la What I Wore

Happy to be seeing the world from this angle :)
Lucy is a sweet baby who is already adored by all of our family and friends. She is still eating well and gaining weight - she is also over the 100th percentile for height (25 inches at 2 months) so she is mostly wearing 6-9 month clothing. She is starting to sleep for longer stretches at night most of the time, but some days she does not nap well. I find that the days where she naps for a 2-3 hour stretch are so much more relaxing because I can get cleaning done, or I can grab a quick shower with Molly right outside the door watching 3 wheels on the bus Youtube videos...or I can play outside with Molly ETC ETC. On some days, Lucy will only sleep for small snippets of time during the day and it is much more draining for me because I have to constantly console or feed her. However, overall, things are great and I can't complain because she is a very happy and content baby who is anxious to explore the world around her. She is fascinated by mobiles (we have one with bears that moves) and likes to play on her playmat or observe things overhead such as hanging toys or the ceiling fan. She is not fantastic at taking her bottle (expressed milk if I am away from her) but I hope she will get better at that. She also won't really take a soother, so we are just not going to bother with it. She is outgrowing her bassinet so we will be moving her into her crib in her own room in the next couple of weeks sometime (this kind of stresses me out but I know she will be fine and might even sleep better ;)).

Big smiles :)

2 months old May 31

The end of May until mid June is HUGE for celebrations in our family - Brian's dad has a birthday, then Brian's birthday June 5, our anniversary June 9, his brother's birthday June 14 and then Father's Day yesterday. I feel like I need a break from all the celebrating ;). Brian turned 30 this year which he was unhappy about (haha) but I think he is coping OK now. We went out for all-you-can-eat sushi for our anniversary while my mother in law watched the girls and it was great but we stuffed ourselves too much!!!



With the warmer weather, we are getting outside for walks a lot more frequently. I still usually walk with Lucy in the Ergo carrier and Molly in the stroller unless it is a shorter distance and Molly walks. I want to try Molly in the ergo on my back and Lucy in the stroller sometime because Lucy gets extremely warm in the Ergo and I can't really take her out if we reach a destination (i.e. playground) and she is asleep. Molly also really likes to "do exercises" with me in the mornings. I usually do 20 mins of HIIT with her and she is great - she loves to do jumping jacks and jogging in place and boxing moves etc. I also made her a set of "weights" last week with wooden sticks from the dollar store and pieces of a pool noodle:


I have been running a few times when Brian gets home from work at 3:30 before supper and that feels great, but I really need to get my fitness level back up. Now that I'm getting a bit more sleep some nights, I definitely feel like I can make this more of a priority.

Overall, when I get "free time" (such as right now), I have a list of 800 things that I want to get done (most of which involve organizing each room of our house now that I am in them all daily), but today I wanted to drop in here and blog a bit. Although I'm unsure where the blog is headed, I still want to record how things are going so that I can look back on it. I also want to get some of my planned posts up and write about some other interesting things happening these days :) I even have a fun recipe or two that I can share someday if I get the time.

So, in a nutshell, life is great here and I am very happy living it. I am also debating sharing my blog with our family and friends (most do not know about it at the moment), but I want to read through all of my old posts first. (Yes, I realize that anyone can find it at any time, but I doubt they would happen upon it unless directed to it!)

Until next time (whenever that is)...


Friday, May 23, 2014

Dropping in on a Friday again :)

Hi there!!

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I just won't be blogging regularly for a little while longer. I am still reading all of my favourite blogs and trying to comment when something resonates with me, but it has been hard to keep up. Shannon over at Life After "I Dew" wrote a post this week that really describes how I feel...basically when I have free time, blogging is not a priority. I am either doing a fun craft with Molly, cooking, cleaning or organizing our house, or sleeping (usually at about 8:30-9pm every night, HAHA). It might be better someday, but I'm not sure. I am trying to keep a personal journal going just so that I can remember these days and some of the things we have done.

Anyway, I do have some favourites to share this week to link up with Amanda at Meet at the Barre!! I love her Friday posts SO much...I always end up finding a good recipe and some good music and laugh at her funnies ;)

Favourite Pics of my Girls:

Big Sister/Little Sister :)


Favourite Recent Recipe:
Last weekend I made this delicious vegetarian chili (added lentils to make it thicker too) and this very yummy cornbread. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, but we all enjoyed it and Brian doesn't typically like meatless chili so I was impressed!!!

Favourite New Music:
Coldplay's new album Ghost Stories...especially A Sky Full of Stars

Favourite Show that Molly has been watching:
The Hive, which is a British show on Netflix about a family of bees. Ahhh so cute!! See?


Favourite Show We've been Watching:
Still Homeland. We just finished Season 3 and Season 4 isn't out until October. What an amazing series!!! Now we're watching old episodes of House on Netflix :)

Favourite LOL this week:


Favourite new purchase:
We technically got them for free, but Brian and I both got new cell phones this week. Sony Xperia Z1s. They are awesome so far, but I'm still figuring it out a bit. They are similar to our Samsung phones since they are both Androids, but the Xperia has some pretty cool features.

Favourite recent read:
One More thing, by BJ Novak of the Office fame (Ryan on The Office). It's a collection of short stories - so I haven't finished it but I have gotten into some of the stories and it's very entertaining so far!

Favourite Mommy Lifehack:
In the mid-morning when Lucy is napping, Molly watches 4 2-minute clips on Youtube (Wheels on the Bus x2, Row Row Row your Boat and Hickory Dickory Dock [my fave]) and I get to shower with the door open 10 feet away. Works out great for both of us ;) Another great Mommy lifehack: Molly and I "work out" together - doing HIIT for 20 mins and some strength training. She loves to jump around to the music I put on! :)

Favourite Newly Discovered Blogs:
Kids Activities Blog - amazing resources for keeping kids entertained and educated!
Lindsay's List - some great posts about being a mother & fitting it all in!

Favourite recent life moments:
1) Brian is a diehard Habs fan so Molly has been wearing her Habs hairclips and t-shirt all this week to support his hockey team in the playoffs. She is obsessed.
2) Lucy is smiling these days! I love it!
3) Molly had a little bout of Hand Foot and Mouth disease and I caught it too but we are all seemingly on the mend now :)
4) My sister graduated from Med school yesterday and won an award! I'm so proud of her!!
5) And here's Molly's contribution to this post: aaaaaaa ("I push A!")

Check out all the other Friday Favourites here! BTW I love how I spell favourites the Canadian way for an American link up ;) Oh well!! Potato, potato! ;)

Hope all the Americans out there have a great long weekend...ours was last weekend but since I am home everyday and Brian has to go into work that day to meet a deadline, it was pretty normal around here for us ;)





Friday, May 9, 2014

5 on Friday (finally!)

I've been pretty absent from the blog world the past few weeks. I guess caring for 2 kids finally took over my life ;) My mom was also visiting, so I spent a lot of my usual "free" time with her or out doing fun things with the kiddies with her help :) It was great to have her here, and we are back to life as normal now, which is okay too. Spring is finally (knock on wood) arriving here in Halifax, and I couldn't be happier about that - I see some playground fun in our future!! :)

I have debated (in my absence) whether I will be able to continue blogging this year. I'm sure I will regain an interest in it at some point, but right now I am feeling like there are SO many other things taking over my time and interest. I want to spend time planning crafts to do with Molly. I want to revamp my resume and work on my French skills to pump up that resume. For now, I'm not going to intentionally STOP blogging, but I'll probably pop in less frequently, at least until Lucy is either a) sleeping more at night or b) on more of a routine, thus granting me more predictable free time during the day or in the evening when Brian is home or Molly is asleep.

I'm still reading all of my favourite blogs, even though I don't always get to commenting! I miss connecting with some of my favourite bloggers, so I really want to make an effort to get back at that a bit in the coming weeks.

ONE

We started cloth diapering about 2 weeks ago and I am loving it so far. I want to do a whole post on this sometime, but I am finding it 100 times easier than I would have expected. We are buying about 10 more cute patterned diapers this weekend so that I can go an extra day between washes, but overall, still totally glad to be taking on this endeavour so far.

TWO

My two little girls loved their time with their grandma, and we were sad to see her go. It was so helpful having her here with us for 2 weeks, and I am elated that they will be moving here (hopefully within a few months time!)

THREE

 Lucy was an absolute angel at the outdoor wedding we attended last weekend. Our friends had their wedding outside (with a tent/barn) at a farmhouse on MAY 3 in Nova Scotia. We were all extremely lucky with the weather and it ended up being a lovely day, but a bit cold in the night until I changed into jeans and a holding. Lucy was bundled in her Ergo and she slept for 80% of the event. I was overjoyed that she was so good because it made the whole event much more enjoyable for me :)

 FOUR

My beautiful 2.5 year old who has refused to nap at home since November had a nap in her bed yesterday AND today. This little break is fantastic for her and for me mentally and I hope it continues occasionally :)



FIVE

My baby is almost 6 weeks old and I am dipping back into a more intense fitness routine after my 6 week all-clear appointment with my doctor next week. I'll post more about that soon, but my plan is to get back into interval training, strength training, fitness blenders and running this summer (I think I will start with a goal of 3-4x per week which is realistic :)).

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all you moms out there! I personally feel very blessed to have an amazing mother whose company I enjoyed immensely this month, a lovely and caring mother in law who is 5 mins away and willing to help out at any opportunity, some substitute moms in my aunts in Halifax, 2 wonderful grandmothers and many amazing mommy friends!! XOXO

PS - One of Brian's cousins was a top 4 finalist in the CBC Searchlight contest that ended today. His song, Regular Jo, is a great tune that Molly loves to dance to! Check it out here!! :) Congrats to the CBC Searchlight winners too...Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk. I found some great new artists to listen to during this contest :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

5 on Good Friday!!!

I've missed 5 on Friday link ups lately, but today I'm back for it!! Although people probably won't really be reading blogs on the holiday, I still have some things to say, so why not post? I am also joining my fun blog buddy Amanda (Meet @ The Barre) for her first Friday Favourites link up today - so I'll be posting 5 of my favourites :) I have loved reading Amanda's Friday Favourites posts for months now, so I think her link up is a great idea!!! AND check out how cute the link up button is! :)

ONE - Favourite Funny

This picture basically sums up my life these days (and made me laugh out loud because it is SO true).

VIA
TWO - Favourite Festive (Easter) Recipe

Molly and I are making bird's nests with mini eggs this morning to bring to "Fish Cake Friday" which some of our friends host every Good Friday. Here's a link to the recipe we followed and a picture of our nests in the freezer setting right now:



THREE - Favourite post-baby purchase

Brian's parents bought us an Ergo baby carrier to use with Lucy. They had offered to buy it before she was born and we went and got it last week after I could try it out a bit in the store. We decided when I was pregnant that we weren't going to invest in a double stroller because we have a double jogging bike trailer/stroller to use when Lucy is a bit older. So for now, I will put Molly in her stroller and walk with Lucy in the carrier (and we'll see how this goes). We went for a short walk the other day to the playground and it was GREAT. The carrier is extremely comfortable, and Lucy slept all snuggled up the whole time. It really frees up my hands to help with Molly too. The only thing is that it kind of reminds me of being pregnant again with the belly ;)

I've also used it a bit around the house to cook breakfast etc. when Lucy is fussy and Molly needs to eat ASAP. Definitely a worthwhile purchase :)

Here's the one we got:



FOUR - Favourite TV lately

We are still pretty hooked on Homeland, although I haven't been able to stay up past about 8:30 lately to watch it with Brian. We finally caught up a bit last night because Lucy was feeding so I couldn't go to bed right after Molly (lol)....we just started Season 2. Honestly, the show just sucks you right in. I really like it.

FIVE - Favourite spring music

Molly and I (and Lucy) have been listening to music to make the days inside go by a bit faster. I will probably bring music out to the backyard when we start venturing out there more too. Often, I am a bit stuck listening to toddler music but here are a couple of songs that make me happy:

Mistake by Molly Rankin on Grooveshark
 

If It's Love by Train on Grooveshark


Happy Easter, everyone!!! We can't wait for this weekend. The Fish Cake Friday event tonight will be a great chance to see a lot of our friends, then we are having Easter dinner (turkey) with Brian's family tomorrow, and egg hunting with Molly on Sunday! Brian had to go into work today, so he is taking Monday off and I am looking forward to having a NAP! lol :)

xoxo

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Boys behind the Blog - Boys' Questions Edition!!

I almost missed posting this link up even though I bookmarked it 2 weeks ago because we have been busy bees around this house. I finally tied Brian down tonight and got a few answers out of him though! It's such a fun link up that I'd hate to miss out!! Check out the other posts on Mal's blog or Stephanie's blog!!

He also agreed that I could share this hilarious picture that I referenced yesterday of my view when I came home from spending 30 minutes at the grocery store without any kids yesterday. Two little girls asleep on their daddy after crying for about 20 of the 30 mins I was gone. Ooops. ;)

1. Your significant other’s blog- a blessing or a curse? Joe @ Another Clean Slate
Blessing. *thinks about it for a few minutes* That one's tricky. It seems to make her happy. (Nice safe answer Bri). 

 2. Do you read your wife's blog?Brian @ Heather's Hurrah 
Occasionally. (Heather's note - he almost never reads my blog unless I tell him about an interesting post - he's just not much of a reader and prefers to spend his free time watching TV or playing video games. He was interested in whether most husbands read their wife's blog though!!)

3. What is one thing you can do better than anyone you know?- Justin @ Our Fairy Tale
Umm...grow hot peppers. (This is true - we basically have a "grow op" going on in the basement utility room right now and last year he grew TONS of extremely hot peppers which I did not consume. Right now, all of the peppers and other plants are in 203 Solo cups in the basement waiting to get planted outside when it gets warm out).


A panoramic view of our basement at the moment

4. What is your favorite TV sitcom from the 90's? - Sam @ Jessie Jo At Home  
Umm...a sitcom?? Is family guy there? (No...it's not a multiple choice question and that started in the 2000s). Probably Simpsons then.

5. If you were opening a small business or shop, what would it be? Nate @Kate & Trudy
 Ummm...that one is hard...ummm something to do with hot peppers again I guess? (Truth - he actually wants to sell them but I think that might be biting off a bit more than we/he can chew these days).


So there you have it - my hunky husband isn't a big reader, can't remember many shows from the 90s and is obsessed with hot peppers. What about the boy behind your blog?! ;)
 

Mal Smiles

Hoping to be back tomorrow for 5 on Good Friday but we will have to see how it goes!! xoxo