Week in the Life 2014 – Thursday

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Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Today Abby woke me up at about 5:30 am. (I’m not complaining because she slept through the night leading up to this early awake). She was really stuffy and crying so I brought her downstairs as not to disturb Eli. Rob was up too, since he has started going to Cross Fit in the wee hours of the morning. As I finished nursing Abby, Eli started shrieking from upstairs “My mommy is gone!!!” Abby and I went back up, snuggled with him, and we all fell back asleep until about 7am. “Guess who is downstairs Eli….” “Cata and Gramps!! Come with me mommy, come with me to find them!!”

My parents arrived last night at about 11:30pm and my mom was downstairs making coffee welcoming Eli with open arms. “Did you bring me a present?” he asked right away. She had indeed, some Peppa Pig toys from the UK and a handful of Shrek ears from the cruise. They snuggled and giggled and then Eli announced that he was dirty and needed a bath right away. My mom took care of that, and brought Abby down too, since I had a coffee date.

Angela picked me up at about 9 and we drove to Coffee Culture. I got an English Muffin with egg/cheese/bacon and a half coffee/half hot chocolate. We chatted for a while as she nursed her babe. We also decided that CC really should have a change table in their bathroom. She dropped me back home and headed to her appointment. I love having other moms with babes to get together with and just chat and relax. We try to get together most Wednesdays when our older kiddies are away for the day.

Eli greeted me at the door in his undies (surprise, surprise) and asked if I would take him to the grocery store to pick up some lunch for grandma and grandpa (who decided to visit today instead of on the weekend). We got him dressed (although he would have been happy going as-is) and headed out. It was really weird leaving without Abby, but it was a fun adventure for Eli and I. We went to Sobeys and picked up some sub mix, cookies, peanut butter, strawberries and diet coke. Eli wanted to check out in aisle 5, and was pumped when his soccer buddy Knox lined up behind us. “Where’s coach?” he asked. I took him over to the Kwik-K for a special Spiderman surprise egg, and he picked up an Elsa one for Cata.

We came home, and as I nursed Abby, Eli played with his new Peppa Pig and Danny Dog combo and then he got his lion costume on (thanks Sammy J!) ready for Halloween: Round 2 at preschool. My grandparents arrived shortly before noon and the lion scared them. They brought him some brand new Batman pjs and he promptly removed his lion costume and announced that he was going as Batman to preschool instead (in 10 minutes). I duct-taped some pointy ears to a sleep mask that I cut holes in, and voila! Make-shift. My mom wanted to drop him off at preschool today, so she did.

My grandparents took turns snuggling with Abby. It is really amazing that my kids can get to know their great-grandparents so well. We had some sandwiches and chatted. They didn’t stay long, but it was a nice little visit.

I picked Eli up from preschool (they carved pumpkins today) and he was exhausted. He came home and watched some youtube with Cata at the table while I played with the Project Life app. And then Gramps came home from work. When my dad walked in the door, Eli jumped up and ran to him – all giggling and arm-flappy. They hugged and hugged and hugged and Eli didn’t leave his side for a long time. “Chase me Gramps!” were some of the first words. They played chase and Triceratops (aka. My dad is the dino and he traps Eli) until I left for band practice.

I left for Port Elgin at about 5:45 after feeding Abby again. I listened to Seth Rudetsky all the way in the car. I love my Thursday nights playing music. It is challenging enough, but not so much so that I have to spend my days practicing for it. I also love the sense of nostalgia for my elementary and high school days as I play. I genuinely enjoy going. It poured rain all the way home in the car. I arrived home at about 8:25pm, but “No One Mourns the Wicked” came on, so I had to sit in the driveway belting it out until it was over.

I came inside and Rob (who I hadn’t seen since this morning) and Eli had already fallen asleep. I nudged Rob awake, but he went back to sleep shortly after. My parents went down to read shortly after 10pm, and Abby is asleep next to me in the swing. I made myself some nachos with cheese.  It is just barely 11, but I imagine my last hour of Thursday will either be watching Drop Dead Diva, listening to the Book of Mormon soundtrack in bed or reading a few chapters of my book. I haven’t decided yet. I enjoy these nights to myself.

Goodnight Everyone!

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(two more faves of the day)

* A Week in the Life is an idea created by the ever-inspiring Ali Edwards. It is an annual seven-day documentary capturing the simple details of everyday life with photos and words. Staying motivated by Jess Forster, Joelene , Aly and everyone hash-tagging #weekinthelife on Instagram.  I plan to type up my words every night on the blog with a handful of photos (in black & white for now) – and after this week is over, I will do some designing and printing of theses pages to put into a book of some sort. I will post it.

Week in the Life 2014 – Wednesday

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I only half-woke up this morning as Rob was getting Eli up and ready for daycare at Kelly’s. I normally get up with him, get him dressed & fed and help him out the door, but this morning I was out of it. I gave him a kiss and mumbled goodbye as he hopped happily out of the bed, eager to spend the day with his pal Evan. I pulled Abby into bed with me and we snoozed for another hour or two.

We came downstairs and I made my morning coffee, nursed my babe and checked my messages and feeds. I realized that I hadn’t taken any photos yet, so I decided to go around the house and take photos of things of today including our couch which is currently covered with baby girl clothes, diapers and toys. I took a photo of our dragonfly name tags, the books on Rob’s bedside table, our bathroom photos and our brand new bed. I gathered my markers and notebooks and computer to do some designing, when Rob came home for lunch. He picked up his binder and joined me for lunch (leftover roast with onions and carrots and celery root potatoes). He played with Abby on the carpet for a bit and went back to work.

I spent most of the afternoon working on my listing for Etsy as Abby napped or nursed or played peek-a-boo. I’ve decided to reopen my Etsy shop to make some extra funds on mat leave, but also because I love design and lettering. I am starting with a franglais t-shirt perfect for my French Immersion pals (I’ve already sold a few!) and then on to the onesies/kiddo clothes. I put my 16 designs into a survey, and awaiting results as to what to print first. I was also playing around with some greeting card ideas, and trying to decide if I should revive the old items I used to sell.

Rob and Eli came home at about 5pm and gave me a giant hug. Rob always has him knock on the door when he comes home. “I bonked my head today, but I am ok. It was just some bad news. I’m thirsty!” I gave him some of Curtis’ grape juice and he visited with his little sis, who was enjoying the mobile on the swing we borrowed from Amanda. She is starting to watch him and follow him around the room with her eyes. He also knows how to make her smile. He also thinks that he can make her stop crying any time she starts. He helped change her diaper and blew strawberries on her tummy. She loved it.

Rob and Eli got their carve on. Pumpkin carve. We convinced him to make a Jack ‘o Lantern instead of Spiderman (we’ll try that tomorrow). They picked out the seeds and goop and carved a face. We put Abby in her diaper inside the pumpkin, but it wasn’t her cup of tea. We had her bathtub filled with warm soapy water next to the pumpkin for a quick clean up. She really loves taking a bath. Eli decided that he needed to get nudie because Abby was and get into her tub with her. We convinced him that he was too big, but he could help clean her. I snuggled Abby in the spiderman towel and nursed her as Eli climbed on my shoulders. “My penis is in your hair mommy! hahah! That’s so funny!”.

Dinner and bedtime happened. Eli wouldn’t eat anything, I am guessing he had a big lunch. I wasn’t going to push it. He is getting better at willingly brushing his teeth since going to the Dentist last week. I also tell him how proud his Gramps is of him when he brushes out the sugar bugs. We read “Eli, No!”, “Red or Blue – I like you”, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and “Yellow Bear Goes to Catholic School” (the book he got at Kindergarten Registration last week… which hilariously I picked up a couple of years ago at Value Village). Although he got in “trouble” for kicking his feet too close to Abby’s head, he fell asleep fairly easily. I was downstairs before 9pm.

I am just watching some more Drop Dead Diva (it’s been playing marathon-style in the background all day) and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my parents who should be here at midnight. They’ve been away all month overseas and we are happy to have them here for the rest of the week and weekend.

xxoo

* A Week in the Life is an idea created by the ever-inspiring Ali Edwards. It is an annual seven-day documentary capturing the simple details of everyday life with photos and words. Staying motivated by Jess Forster, Joelene , Aly and everyone hash-tagging #weekinthelife on Instagram.  I plan to type up my words every night on the blog with a handful of photos (in black & white for now) – and after this week is over, I will do some designing and printing of theses pages to put into a book of some sort. I will post it.

Week in the Life 2014 – Tuesday

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I woke up in the dark today with a wet t-shirt and impressed with the quality of sleep I am getting with this newborn. 8am seems to be the magic hour for waking up with Abby these days. We’ll see if that stays the same for daylight savings. Eli wakes up shortly after and the first words from his mouth are “Is it preschool time now??” I am thrilled he is loving Kids Co-Op, but realizing that I might have a few long hours on my hands before he goes. After his morning pee and snuggles with his sister, he decided to take off all of his clothes minus one sock and head downstairs for his Shreddies. Today he added a “cold chocolate drink” to his order and told me that the thunder outside hurt his ears. That was at about 10.

Just as I was about to start my mad-tidy for our cleaning ladies, they called to tell me they would be coming at 2pm instead of 11am. A sigh of relief was heard, and I sat down to have some java and catch up on some social media (tweets about Jian, election results, and movie trailers. Everyone seems to be instagramming Taylor Swift’s new album. I also chatted with my mom a bit.) Afterwards I decided it was crucial at that moment to take a shower (it had been a while and I just couldn’t wait any longer). I invited Eli along, but he wanted to watch some Peppa Pig Toys. I brought Abby upstairs and laid her on the bed while I had a short (but glorious!) shower, calling down to Eli periodically to see if he was alright.

As I was putting on my last sock Eli yells from downstairs “Don’t worry mom! It’s not dangerous!” – He had climbed onto the counter and was searching the cupboards for cookies. What the? We had a firm discussion, and then we made some PB&J sammies, I nursed Abby and finished tidying the house. Eli announced that it was 12 – time for preschool!

Shortly before getting ready in his skeleton costume for Halloween week, he decides he wants to be Spiderman. I convinced him to put his skeleton top over his Spiderman one. That seemed to work. He wanted to help paint his face, so he painted once side with red and I attempted to paint the rest of his face skeleton-esque. He was really squirmy, and in order to convince him to let me finish, I let him paint my face too. He got himself ready (boot on right feet for the win!) and I quickly wiped my face. We drove to preschool in the pouring rain and he was so excited to be there. He thought that Laia might be dressed up as a Peanut Butter Sandwich. He was wrong, she came as Snow White. Close enough.

I swung by Tim Horton’s for a bagel and hot chocolate/coffee and came home for a rest. I watched some Drop Dead Diva, ate a sandwich, nursed my babe and did some work on my t-shirt design stuff. Merry maids came promptly at 2pm, so Abby and I went to Pharma Plus to pick up my Synthroid and wander around. Only one old lady stopped me and asked if I had a baby in my sling and if she could see. Lady:”Was she a preemie?” Me: “No, she is just small”.

We picked up Eli at 3:15 in the rain. Instead of our usual forest adventures with Aly & Laia, we met them at the library instead. We read some books and did some colouring. While I nursed Abby again, the other three played catch, spoons and walked on fancy boards. Eli and Laia played and played and played afterwards pretending they were running from monsters and crocodiles and bears and anything else they could imagine. They climbed the railings like monkeys and hung like sloths. They ran and giggled. “They love each other,” said Aly as she took another photo.

Rob called to say he’d be late since he was going to an OECTA meeting (I got annoyed), and Ryan met Aly at the library. We drove out to Pine River pick up some apples and a pumpkin for carving and couldn’t resist the photo ops and cookies. On our way home we stopped by the bulk barn for some more chocolate covered pretzels and the mailbox. Today was a no-mail day. That was sad. (Does anyone want to be my penpal? or at least swap pal?) We got home and had some leftover roast with onions and carrots and potatoes. Rob had left a message at home inviting us to Owen Sound with him (why didn’t he mention that on the other call?). Sad to have missed it. I nursed Abby again and brought Eli up to bed.

Tonight was a long bedtime. I was surprised because he played fairly actively all afternoon. Endless chatter after we did our usual routine.
Me: Stay still, stay quiet, keep your eyes closed.
Eli: I’m not comfortable, I’m thirsty, I have to pee, I have to poo, I’m just checking for boogers, I love you so-so-so-so-so-so much mommy, I just want to hug and kiss you, Where’s daddy? Where’s Abby?…. mixed in with various songs and a goodnight snuggle from Rob.

He finally passed out at about 9:15 and I came downstairs to talk with Rob for a bit and chill. I chatted with Sam and Katelyn and read the first couple of chapters of Six Meters of Pavement by Farzana Doctor (a book my mom won in one of her many contest entries).

It is now 11:43pm. I am going to add some photos to this post and call it a night.

xxoo.

* A Week in the Life is an idea created by the ever-inspiring Ali Edwards. It is an annual seven-day documentary capturing the simple details of everyday life with photos and words. Staying motivated by Jess Forster, Joelene , Aly and everyone hash-tagging #weekinthelife on Instagram.  I plan to type up my words every night on the blog with a handful of photos (in black & white for now) – and after this week is over, I will do some designing and printing of theses pages to put into a book of some sort. I will post it.

Week in the Life 2014 – Monday

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Monday, October 27th, 2014

I woke up this morning just before 8am to a squirmy Abby in the cradle beside the bed. I pulled her into bed beside me to nurse her, to convince her to sleep longer. I was up late last night. I have bedtime problems. Shortly after, Eli woke up on the other side of me asking his usual “Where’s Abby? I want to hold her”. I sent him to have his morning pee first. “Ok, I am a big boy, I will do it ALL BY MYSELF!” When Eli came back, Rob came in to give us all a kiss and said how much he wanted to just stay home with us today. I asked if it was too late to call in sick. It was.

After Rob left for school, the three of us snuggled in bed for a bit longer. Eli talks to Abby in a squeeky mothery voice – “Abigabe Yo Abby Dadabby. You are such a big girl, don’t worry, don’t cry – I am here, look mommy is right here too – you’re ok… I love you so, so, so, so, so much.” He was also asking me to talk to him about monkeys, carrots, bunnies and cookies. We also talked about “daddy’s school” and he asked where every one of his friends currently was (I said sleeping). All of a sudden he is finished snuggling and pulled me out of bed – “I want Peppa Pig on the pI-pad! Come with me mommy!” – although he got temporarily distracted at the CD player, turned on Big Bird singing Old MacDonald and started singing. (lately he has been mixing up two songs – “And on that farm there was a dog, B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name-o.”)

We went downstairs, I put Abby in the swing, made a coffee (with milk and chocolate syrup), made us some bowls of Shreddies and pulled up Peppa Pig. I checked my instagram and twitter feeds and sent a couple of messages. We talked about what time the big analogue clock says, got dressed and I nursed Abby while Eli jumped on the mattress trampoline (keeping a close eye on him yesterday he was really barfy.) We got our hats and mittens and coats on and went out the door. Eli inspected his witch pumpkin and wondered why I hadn’t yet fixed the eye and ran to the car – climbing over the seats to get to his own. We listened to Kids Place Live and drove to the Davidson Centre. “There it is mommy!”

We were the first ones at Kindergym this morning – Laia and Aly (our weekly Monday playmates) were running a bit late. Eli played with two new girls and I realized that my bright blue argyle socks didn’t really match my black/white damask sling, or my pink umbrella scarf. Oops. Our friends arrived and Eli was so excited, but the two kiddos were having a tough time playing together today. Crankiness ensued on all sides. We finished in the gym, and went outside to the Blue park to play on the slides and the leaves. Our playdate was cut short because of hunger and sleepiness, I succumbed to the fast food beast again for a late lunch and then we went home.

I left Abby sleeping in the carseat inside the door and we had our nuggets. Eli wanted to watch some “surprise egg” videos and Itsy Bitsy Spiderman. I let him be, put Abby in my brown embroidered owl mei tei carrier and I emptied and loaded the dishwasher, and changed the garbage. I put on the soundtrack to the Book of Mormon musical and snacked on chocolate covered pretzels and sour keys.

As we waited for Rob to come home from work, we did a pirate puzzle and played some Spiderman+Green Goblin action figures. I was the Green Goblin as always, throwing pumpkin bombs. Rob came home and hugged/kissed us and turned on Blogged50 on Songza, opened the mail and called his mom. Abby woke up ready for a meal, and Rob and Eli played chase and wrestling while she nursed. My mom called to let us know that they were home from their month-long Europe adventure and chatted with Eli about Halloween.

Rob left at 6pm for the gym and we had some dinner. I packed up the kiddies, dropped off my municipal election ballot at the voting poll and headed over to Erin’s for a La Leche League meeting. There were a bunch of older kids for Eli to play with tonight, and we celebrated our 4th year anniversary with a cake. Afterwards, we drove around looking at Halloween decor in town and came home to a clean house (thanks Rob!). Rob and Eli went to bed, I put Abby in the swing and turned on season two of Drop Dead Diva. It is 12:08 now. I guess Monday is officially over. I really, really should go to sleep….

* A Week in the Life is an idea created by the ever-inspiring Ali Edwards. It is an annual seven-day documentary capturing the simple details of everyday life with photos and words. Staying motivated by Jess Forster, Joelene , Aly and everyone hash-tagging #weekinthelife on Instagram.  I plan to type up my words every night on the blog with a handful of photos (I have 65 photos from today to go through) – and after this week is over, I will do some designing and printing of theses pages to put into a book of some sort. I will post it.

I suck at imaginative play.

On a regular basis, Rob tells me that I am too literal. Too black + white. I usually fight him tooth and nail about those accusations, but I’ve come to realize, he is kind of right – just not the way he thinks. I am a very, very artistic person, but I am very unimaginative.

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I’ve noticed this to be most obvious when I am playing with Eli.  When I was young I spent hours and hours and hours playing with Barbies in the basement with my sister. We french braided their hair, designed their family tree, gave them elaborate homes complete with a running track (crokinole board) and elevator and dressed them and re-dressed them. Sometimes the Barbies re-enacted Beaches or the Sound of Music to their respective soundtracks. The other day, when I was playing action figures for the 400th time, I realized that we weren’t “playing” Barbies at all when I was little. Occasionally the Barbies would run around the track, watch TV, kiss Ken or drive in the car, but really we were just setting them up. There was no plot. There was no imaginative play.

Eli doesn’t play that way. He wants Batman and Spidey and Peppa Pig and Buzz to have epic adventures with one another. I just can’t do it. I try, but I suck. He wants me to come up with elaborate plots and fun and creative storylines. My “adventures” consist of Batman asking Buzz for a lunch date, or Mike Wazowski asking the red dinosaur what his favourite colour is. Lame. I can’t imagine anything. Everything is factual and literal (that wouldn’t really happen!). Can’t we just line them up and display them? Make them outfits or do their hair? Why do we have to actually act them out? Want to do some painting instead? Build some towers?

It’s also very obvious that my imagination is lacking when Eli asks me to tell him a story before bed. I hate storytelling. I offer to read him 5 more books, but when that doesn’t work, I usually just retell a known story. Sometimes I replace the 3 little pigs with him and his buddies. The other night, I retold the pilot episode of Who’s the Boss for his story. Seriously.

Other ways I am black/white and lack imagination.
– I am generally not excitable, it is what it is
– I am the worst liar in the world
– I answer questions Eli has with facts (no sugar coating of things, even if he is only 3).
– I am the biggest copier of all of my artistic endeavors – I like copying artists and following guidelines and tutorials.
– I am the worst at “sunshine calls” for my students and complimenting other people if I don’t really mean it (so I don’t do either). If you get a compliment from me, albeit rare, it is genuine.
– I was terrible at creative writing in school, but really good at scientific lab reports.
– I prefer reading realistic fiction or biographies/memoirs over adventure books any day.
– My writing minilessons (generating ideas) are totally pre-planned (and I’ve even copied small-moments ideas from books), I can’t think on the spot of any good stories to model. Ever.
I’ll just make sure I spend time with my family and friends who have lots of imagination. Maybe they will rub off on me. I doubt it, but Eli will appreciate them. xxoo

 *Above picture of me, age 2 in Florida watching the boob tube with Ernie and Bert.

My Font Reference Book

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I have a fondness for fonts and types. This isn’t news to most.

I decided, though, that I needed a faster process to choose which font works best with which project – instead of sampling them all every time.

I sorted my fonts by colour and type – Serif (has the little tails on it), Sans Serif (no tails), playful, handwritten, block letters, script, symbols/shapes, themed, grunge and new. I had considered giving a sample of every letter, but found using the font name made more sense and took up far less space on each card. I then laminated each one, punched a hole and added a ribbon to tie them together.

I love it.

(my fonts consist of default mac fonts and the plethora of free fonts I’ve downloaded from dafont.com)

Abby: Two Months

You are two months old. Woah. We have started counting your age in months.

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weight. Just over 9 lbs. You are comfortably wearing 0-3 month old clothes now.

eyes. still dark, dark blue.

hair. dark blond – but you are still pretty bald.

feeding. Lots and lots these days. Don’t be so afraid of the right side.

sleeping . You are a super-sleeper. I really, really hope this lasts. Not sure if this is a 2nd-born thing, a girl thing or an Abby thing, but you rule!

things you love. Your brother, the dangling animals on your bouncing chair, baths, milk, staring out the window, kisses, the ring sling, sunshine, driving in the car

things you don’t love. Being gassy. That’s about it. You are a really happy baby.

other awesome things you do. Smile, coo and sigh. It is the best.

xo Abigail.

For a super-fun memory, check out Eli at 2 months here!

Mat Leave: Partie Deux

I am on Mat Leave.

I am not sure what my bloggy topics will be in the months to come. On my Eli mat leave I was passionate about breastfeeding and babywearing and bedsharing – now I realize that it’s what works for us – but I don’t need to post about it.

Read some of my old gems from 2011 here:

General Parenting
Being a Boy Mom
Love for Rob
Things I’ve Learned
Great Posts I wish I had written
Daddy & Eli
Cheap and Lazy Parenting
To my Non-baby self
Sweet Potatoes for my sweet potato.
Yes, we have a family bed
A streetcar named Mei Tai

Cloth Diapers
CD family!
Flats & Handwashing challenge
Cloth Diaper Conspiracy

Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding on TV
Success
Oops
Breastfeeding Resources
Global Breastfeeding Challenge
Chomp chomp chomp!

Day care? No guilt.

I love Eli. I love love love him. In the mornings we snuggle and have breakfast together and wrestle and read books and chase and dress-up and play hide&seek and paint and play-doh and superheroes – and I look at the clock and it isn’t even 10am yet.

So, what’s the problem? Sounds like so much fun! Well.. there is also a newborn in the house. One who now likes to nurse all the time. This is the hardest part of having an energetic 3.5 year old at home. Sometimes I flat out get – “Noooo… feed her later! She doesn’t need it!” or “Play with me first and then feed her, sound good?” and other times I get more interesting behaviour. I decided to draw some pictures to illustrate my time. He goes mental, pees on the floor intentionally (ok, just once), pretends my hair is a spiderweb for his toys, lays on my head or nursing pillow, pokes/hits/pinches Abby, pulls everything out of cupboards/laundry baskets/shelves, climbs and runs on counter tops, starts microwave or dishwasher and sometimes leaves the house if I forget to lock the door. I get impatient and snappy and frustrated and annoyed. I don’t like that side of me. I’ve “yelled” at Eli more in the past month than I have in the past 3+ years. People suggest special treats or toys that he can only use during nursing time, others suggest reading books together, talking about when he was a baby or playing toys with your free hand (free hand?). They are great ideas and they work… some of the time. The more I need to feed and bond with Abby, the needier Eli gets. I’ve been resorting to the ipad or tv more often than I’d like. How do stay-at-home parents do it?

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Yes, the photos I post on Instagram are dreamy and artistic (imo), but things aren’t always so rosy. Everything looks better with a filter. Because I crave (and need) bonding time with our new muffin, we chose to send Eli two afternoons a week to a preschool and every Wednesday at our favourite childcare provider.  People may think I am crazy or that I am lazy or that I am “taking the easy way out” but he loves it. I love it. We love each other more for it. He gets to be busy with friends and parks and snacks and projects. He is gaining independence, learning how to work and play with different people (and different expectations) and having fun. He isn’t stuck at home with his mom and sister 24 hours a day – and we avoid most of the above scenarios.

The best time of my day is when I pick Eli up at preschool or he comes home with dad. His eyes light up, he runs to me and gives the most delicious hugs anyone could ask for and says “I love you so so so so much!”.  He is happy and proud and I enjoy my late afternoons with him with more enthusiasm then I would have if he had stayed home with me all day. xo.

Is anyone available for a playdate?

#amwphotoaday

Being on Maternity Leave allows me to push my school-thinking aside (but not too far aside, don’t worry friends) and put more effort into projects that I want to do. My presence on Facebook has been replaced by Instagram, and in a true IG fashion, I created my own little Photo-a-day challenge for Abby’s first month and used the hashtag #amwphotoaday Enjoy!

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new, car seat, sibling, lips, love, tiny feet, snuggles, first, listening, rise, I wore this, family, habit, simple, pattern, dreaming, growing, cranky, calm, favourite, reflect, home, morning, belly, tiny, we live here, colour, hands, eyes, close-up, smile.

If you aren’t already on IG, come join my madness @mmewright and keep in touch.

One Month: Abby-Style

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weight. about 7lbs… I think?

eyes. big and blue-ish like your brother.

hair. bits of brown.

feeding. lots – although you have a preference for all things left. You are a snacker.

sleeping. lots. Way more than Eli ever did (not that I’m comparing).

pooping. lots. But you really, really hate the gas.

other awesome stuff you do. stare at the sunshine, watch your bro, hiccup, sigh, snuggle, sneeze, absorb the world around you.

Check out Eli at one month here!

Baby Books + Free Printable

For Eli’s baby book I added assorted pages from assorted “baby” books that I was given or bought. I made some templates for people to fill in and added photos. I bound it all with three binder rings. It ends with Eli’s first birthday invitation. Since then I’ve made him some great little books with pictures of him (from printstagram and artifact uprising) and themed books (from blurb and handmade). I also compiled a fun book of all of his scenes we made during my mat leave.

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This time around for Abigail I have combined pages from a Smash book, my copy of Art Doodle Love by Dawn Sokol and some assorted Project Life cards, to make a new baby book. I colour-copied some of the beginning pages from Eli’s book (about Rob and I, grandparents, family trees) and plan to add some photos (from Print Studio) and notes periodically.

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I also created (inspired by ones I have seen on Pinterest, of course) some “wishes for baby” cards. People have been filling them out as they visit our newest little plum (don’t forget to return them!). Click the image of the cards below for your own free printable (and fill one out for us.)

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To my teachers

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Forever and ever I’ve been wanting to contact my teachers growing up – but I haven’t. Three things recently made me remember that: 1) a student mentioned that she is currently writing letters to her teachers (she just graduated grade 8 in June – She is  20 years ahead of me), 2) my friend told me about reconnecting with a past teacher at Lakeside Park, and 3) visiting Colasanti’s.

I picture myself 20 years in the future having past students contacting me to thank me for inspiring them or teaching them something important or even just sharing with me where they’ve gone in their lives – and although it makes me feel old, it would make me tickled. The kids who were in grade 8 the year I started teaching have graduated university and are off into adulthood. Unreal. I may or may not have creeped some of them on FB.

I decided to write a public letter to a handful of my elementary teachers of the past who I think about with fondness- with the hopes that they may be directed here, or stumble upon it. Most people remember their high school teachers having the most impact (and I had some absolute gems – Mr. Gombai (art), Mlle Gaudette (french immersion), Mr. Buchanan (music) who grew my confidence, made me laugh regularly and pulled my artistic talent in all directions. My math and science teachers also made me very prepared for University.), but because I teach elementary school, I find that I think a lot more about my KPS teachers in my teaching life.

I now realize how much effort and love goes in to each classroom – and probably didn’t give them enough credit at the time. Some teachers are magnetic, enthusiastic and make learning fun, safe and welcoming. Not all were like this, but I was blessed to have many great teachers growing up – perhaps they inspired me to become one myself.

Mlle Pugliese – Kdgn + grade 1: Mlle directed all of the school musicals, and even though I never got cast any “higher” than chorus I always tried out. I memorized the songs, longed to be a set designer and dance. I was mostly too shy and probably couldn’t handle it at the time. These days, elementary musical theater is my thing – my most favourite of extra curriculars. I think Mlle had something to do with this. When I think of Mlle, I also think of making dioramas at trapezoid tables, dipping cookies in milk and how she taught my parents to speak French. Mlle is currently a Professor of Dramatic Arts at UWindsor. Très cool.

Mlle Costa – 2e année: Mlle was the most artistic teacher I ever had. She spent her lunch recesses drawing epic chalk art to illustrate our printing practice. She had trendy clothes and long painted fingernails and took us to her mom’s house for an awesome field trip. She always sang and performed at school talent shows. I hope that I inspire my students artistically as much as she did. I try to infuse as much art as I can, going out of my way to bring creativity to my students. (And I always have some sort of performance up my sleeve for assemblies). Not surprisingly, Mlle created an alter-ego clown named Zoléo and wrote French children’s music. So rad. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/zoleo

Mme Cotter – grades 3 + 6: I think Mme was the smartest person I know. She taught us songs and taught in small groups – two things that I value in my classroom. She gave me the love of overseas penpals and the value of snail mail. She had us make poster projects (one of my favourite things for my students to create) and do a lot of research. Most importantly, she had confidence in me and encouraged me to be a leader amongst my peers. I truly value the things I learned about myself in her classes. Mme eventually became a principal – and is now happily retired.

M. Pelland – 5e année: My first male teacher (and his first year of teaching!). His perspective and love of practical jokes leaves a lasting memory for me. My best memory is his epic Lou Flirpa joke (I copied this joke with my students and wrote an ode to it in a blog post here). He was very strict with his ZERO English rule (that is my number one classroom rule) and gave out random little toys for fun (plastic smurfs!). We created a class newspaper (still on my list of to-dos) and he used a purple pen to mark things. He would often share stories about his family (nightmare about buying his engagement ring for his wife) and his hobbies and interests. It made him real and likeable. I always try to incorporate these things in my mini lessons as well.  M. Pelland is still teaching at KPS.

Miss Hopper – Music. She was my trumpet mentor extraordinaire. She made my confidence soar, and I still play my trumpet in the Port Elgin Community Band (and in our school band). She made me lose my fear of performing in front of a crowd, gave me solos and continued to be supportive throughout high school. She helped me get a spot in the pit orchestra for one of my favourite musicals of all time (A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum), she taught us some fab choir songs and introduced to me to the (underappreciated) movie Newsies (love!). I incorporate music in my classroom on a regular basis and I am a huge advocate our school’s music program. Miss Hopper currently teaches High School music.

What were your favourite things about these teachers? Do you think of them as often as I do? If you weren’t in my wonderful KPS French Immersion class – when you think of your past teachers, do you think of them with fondness and inspiration? Why? Why not? Do you think that your high school teachers had more of an impact on your life today, or elementary?

*The above letter is from one of my super-rad students. She writes me a heartfelt letter every year. They are all hanging on my wall. xo

** If you have contact info for any of the above teachers, please send them over.

Welcome baby

Abigail Morgan Wright was born on her due date in a completely different way than her big bro (and recovery has been much nicer this time around.)

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We are thrilled and tired and full of love and support. Thank you to everyone’s kind words and thoughts. Please book your time to come and snuggle and squish and smell this teensy weensy babe (or take Eli for a run around the park haha).

I couldn’t decide which announcement pic I liked better, so I posted them both. Classic indecisiveness on my part. I will be printing a bunch of these – so if you’d like a real-life copy, let me know! (clicking and printing from here won’t be at the highest quality).

And our life with two children begins. xoxo.

Graphic Tees + Onesies

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A student in Rob’s class gave us a huge bag of baby clothes. Inside there were 8 crisp white onesies just dying to be drawn on. I used Tulip fabric paint and pinterest/etsy inspiration.

I love graphic ts. Here are some the of gems that I’ve picked up for myself over the years from Busted Tees. Can you tell me the pop culture reference for each one?

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I love graphic tees. I love pop culture. Friday I’m in Love.

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