Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bring It On

I've been doing a lot of reflecting this week. I'm not quite ready to share it all just yet. Let's just say that 2008 was one heck of a year... My family had desperately wished for my mom's breast cancer treatments to be over by the end of the year. That's not happening. But we're *so* close - and 2009 will be a year of healing and new beginnings as we watch my mom get better and experience Briony's first year. A year full of hope and joy, more happy tears than sad. I'm so ready to get it started.

I've posted this song before, but I'm sharing it one more time - because I'm making it my official 2009 theme song.

Lenny Kravitz

I'm gonna walk my faith
Gonna raise my sword
I'm gonna fight my battle
Gonna praise my lord

It's getting heavy
But I'm ready
To take on this world and rock steady
So come on, bring it on

I'm gonna face my demons
Gonna take them down
I'm gonna keep on moving
Gonna make my sound

It's getting heavy
But I'm ready
To take on this world and rock steady
So come on, bring it on
Bring it on

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home Stretch

Okay, this is *way* more exciting than Christmas to me... My mom officially finished her regular radiation treatments today. She starts with the first of five booster treatments tomorrow - and by next week Wednesday evening, she should be finished. She has one surgery left on February 4, and then she can finally start to heal.

But we're not there yet. Please don't stop praying for her, because recovery will be a long road still and we'll need our friends and family around us as much as ever.

Labels: ,

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas In Pictures

Christmas flew by in a bit of a blur for our family... And I really expect no sympathy because Geoff and I have about half as much family in Manitoba as most of you - and therefore about half as many places to go and people to see.

Christmas Eve was a little bit crazy here at our house. Geoff was working a day shift and I was frantically trying to pack, finish some last minute Christmas prep, and clean up the house (I *hate* coming come to a mess, it totally stresses me out the entire time I'm away). Briony and I managed to leave the house exactly on time - a feat I'm still feeling pretty proud of - and picked up Geoff from work before heading over to join the rest of my family at my parents' house.

On our way to my parents' house... Yeah, so Briony's new hat is just a tiny bit big :)

I always feel so Christmassy the moment I step into my parents' living room.

My sister snapped this shot, which was supposed to be candid. Apparently, neither Geoff nor I can resist screwing up a picture (hehe).

I bought this dress for Briony right after we found out we were having a girl... It made my heart so happy to see her wearing it this Christmas.

We stayed overnight at my parents' house, then enjoyed a relaxing day together on Christmas Day. We lounged around, had brunch together, and just generally didn't accomplish very much - other than stopping by to say hi to my dad's family (the official gathering on that side will happen in January).

My daughter is a baby with a thousand goofy expressions. Here's one of them that makes me giggle.

From there, we returned home and exchanged our own gifts. I spent a lot of the evening (and the next morning) running around like a crazy lady trying to do some baby laundry and get things packed and quasi-organized before we left again at lunchtime on Boxing Day. Do not underestimate the effort required to be away with a baby for three days... We managed to be ready to go TEN MINUTES EARLY (even I was surprised) and hit the road for a 3+ hour drive southwest where we spent the entire weekend at Rock Lake with my mom's family.

Briony - and the other two babies - kind of stole the show. Here, Briony is admired by a gaggle of adoring young fans. For my less-than-regular blog readers, my sister Jessica had a baby girl (Chloe) eleven days before my daughter was born in November, and my cousin Sara had a baby girl (Eva Beth) just an hour after Briony was born - same hospital, same doctor.

My sister attempts to steal back some attention for Chloe by dressing her up in a penguin costume. Seriously. They were told that their baby would be early, so they had a Halloween costume all ready to go, but didn't get to use it because Chloe showed up on November 5. So they used it for Christmas instead. Here, my cousin Mady (aka Mady-Cakes, because she's so cute you could eat her) checks out the baby penguin with amusement.

Ever the party animal, Briony managed to sleep through Christmas at my parents' house, Christmas at our house, and - pictured here - Christmas at Rock Lake.

My daughter being attacked by her Uncle Kevin's new Peter Griffin slippers. (Seriously, Kevin... Kick your own baby!)

Yeah, so Briony likes to give me the finger when I'm feeding her. Not Geoff or my mom or anyone else who's fed her. Just me. I'm pretty sure it's an 'eff you, mom' because I'm not breastfeeding her anymore.

Chilling out on her daddy's shoulder.

As if it's not weird/funny enough that we essentially gave birth to twins last month, Sara and I rather inexplicably showed up at breakfast on Sunday morning wearing eerily similar outfits. It pretty much required a picture.

And from there, we went HOME. Briony's still dealing with thrush - her mouth is steadily getting better, but her thrush-related diaper rash is taking a long time to clear up and it makes her uncomfortable. Having a sick baby isn't especially fun. And then Geoff was sick from Friday night until Saturday night, and then again last night. Of course, Briony chose last night to wake up for feedings again after sleeping through the night for two weeks now. And with me still flared up... Yeah. We're fully grounded in reality here. I had more than one moment in the last 24 hours when I wished for a mom who wasn't in the middle of cancer treatment and a mother-in-law who wasn't four provinces away.

But we've been on an upswing since this afternoon - and I even managed to have a nap this evening, and made some plans for the New Years party I'm hosting on Wednesday. Christmas is winding down, but real life is starting up again. And I'm even more excited about that.

We don't seem to be able to snatch a family picture, but this is the closest thing so far... Hope you all enjoyed some great time with family and friends over the holidays.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friday Smile

This past week, my Friday Smile was quite literally a Friday smile. In the morning (as per usual) I was playing with Briony and trying to convince her to smile. She's fluked into it before or just smiled at us kind of randomly - but on Boxing Day, she started smiling at us whenever we tried to coax one out, and it's been continuing ever since. It was the best Christmas gift ever.

When we got home from Rock Lake today, she was playing in her gym and we captured a few seconds of our happy baby girl on video... She is seriously the cutest thing ever.

Make photo slide shows at

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

As always, Jenni from has climbed inside my head and posted an article that speaks to *exactly* where I'm at right now. This week's topic: Get Ready For The New. And I am sooo ready to do that.

2008 was a big year, and the record-high high moments were balanced by earth-shattering lows. I'm ready to move on, and so very excited for what 2009 will bring for my family: the end of my mom's battle with breast cancer, my daughter's first year (and mat leave until sometime in October), and so much more that makes my heart smile in anticipation.

But for today, and the last week of this year... I want to make the most of these very precious moments with family and all the people I love. I want to dwell on peace, surround myself with love, and seek out little moments of joy. And I wish the same for you, dear friends. Merry Christmas.


This is the ornament we bought to celebrate Briony's first Christmas:

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great Baby Buy

I'm laughing to myself that this is my life now... But I had to share that Rob emailed me this morning to let me know that Pampers are 50% off at their local Superstore in Vancouver. I went to check it out - and they're 50% off in Winnipeg too. I paid $8.97 for a pack of diapers that I usually pay $17.99 for.

In case any of you are also in the diaper phase of your lives, the sale is on until December 24, and there is a limit of 2.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun with Chloe (Part Two)

Jessie sent me some pictures from our playdate last week, and I had to share :)

The girls are playing nicely and having fun in Briony's gym...

Still having a decent time...

Chloe's arm starts moving toward Briony's territory...

Chloe's fist makes contact with Briony's face...

Briony retaliates by chewing on Chloe's fist

Labels: , ,

Monday Secret


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fun with Chloe

Briony & cousin Chloe had their first playdate yesterday afternoon. Here's how it all went down: Chloe hit Briony in the face, and then Briony started chewing on Chloe's hand. Then Chloe started crying, and Briony started with a strange cry that was totally just imitating Chloe. Good times.

Other than that, they pretty much just ignored each other (but thoughtfully managed to nap at the same time so that Jessica and I could actually visit a little bit).

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Favourite Things (Baby Edition)

Oprah's not the only person who gets to have a list of her favourite things (that she then forces on people - hehe).

I have to say, I *heart* Lux for Sprouts - a new baby store that opened on Academy Road this fall. Everything there is gorgeous. I will continue to spend way too much money on cool baby stuff there. I know that E-Children is supposed to be the cat's meow here in Winnipeg - and I've dropped a lot of cash there because their product and selection is to die for. But the service at Lux is ridiculous. They remember me, they remember my baby's name, and they make helpful suggestions without ever being pushy. Their selection is much smaller, but EVERYTHING is awesome.

We got this CuddlyWrap baby carrier as a baby gift, and it absolutely revolutionized my world (my new mommy world, that is). Briony loves it. And it lets me carry her around even on my worst flare-up days, without hurting myself - it's so super-comfy. And did I mention organic cotton? And machine washable? Happy sigh.

And as you know, I wasn't able to continue breastfeeding - but while I did, I absolutely loved the nursing cover I ordered from Small Potatoes. It was so well made, totally easy to use, and the fabric selection was gorgeous (and oh so much cooler than anything I could find in a store).

The best part? Both of these are local companies, with products available both online and in stores all over Winnipeg (and beyond). And what's not to love about that? :)

Labels: ,

Friday Smile

This is the funniest website I've seen in a long, long time - and I could hardly wait until Friday to share it! Thanks, Geoff :)

Things Bears Love

And here's another thing that I'm smiling about today... It's official: I'm going to finish school this year while I'm at home with Briony. I'm pretty excited about it. Now I just need to wait patiently for my first class to start on January 26... I'm doing 'Ethics and Public Relations' in January, 'Research and Evaluation' and 'Evolution of Public Relations' in May, and then finishing up with a case studies course in September. And then I'm going to graduate!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unplanned Field Trip

What did I say the other day about life being full of surprises and completely impossible to plan? Yesterday, I suspected that Briony might have the beginnings of thrush in her mouth. Today, I was pretty sure - and then my mom confirmed it. Fortunately, we have a great pediatrician and one phone call around lunchtime got us an appointment for 4.15 pm today. Geoff is working a day shift today and I'm dealing with a flare-up, so I wasn't looking forward to carrying around my adorable but increasingly heavy baby - never mind dealing with rush hour traffic, slippery streets, and downtown parking.

What did I say the other day about having amazing parents? They didn't hesitate to volunteer their services, before I'd even thought to ask. After my mom's radiation appointment, they came back to our house and my mom stayed here while my dad drove Briony and I to the doctor's office. He dropped us off at the door, waited with me, and took care of all the heavy lifting and driving.

It WAS thrush, by the way - and we caught it early enough that it only looks gross but doesn't seem to really be hurting her yet. I filled Briony's prescription on our way home and hopefully this will be relatively easy to treat because we took care of it right away (typing with fingers crossed).

We just got back home and I'm EXHAUSTED, but I know it would be about a thousand times worse if I hadn't had that help. Now I'm just waiting for the pizza I ordered for dinner to arrive. Yeah, I know, BAD WIFE :)

Briony seems to be cooperating with my flare-up request for her to sleep well at night. Yesterday, we tiptoed out of her room at exactly 9.05 pm (and were sleeping *way* before 10.00 pm, cool party people that we are). I heard her first 'MOMMY FEED ME' cry right arond 5.00 am.

Best. Baby. Ever. Even if her tongue looks so gross that it's a little hard not to gag.

Labels: ,

Fibro Update

So it's official. I'm dealing with a fibromyalgia flare-up, and there aren't really words to communicate my disappointment. I wanted so desperately to give 110% to my family right now, and it's hard to ask for help. But that's exactly what I did yesterday. I went to go see my doctor and filled a prescription for something that will *hopefully* help a little bit (the best option they could offer was something that will take up to six weeks to be fully effective - if it works for me at all). And Geoff went back to work today after a couple of days off, but I called my parents yesterday to fill them in on how I was feeling and asked them to come over and watch Briony for a couple of hours today so that I can sleep and get a bit of a break from carrying her around.

But Briony started smiling yesterday. It's incredible how much that can fix.

And because I wasn't able to continue breastfeeding, all my medication options are open to me. Kind of a strange silver living, but I'm so happy that I'm not having to balance making that decision on top of everything else - and bottle feeding allows me to let Geoff and my mom help with feeding her. Which makes me realize that everything just kind of works itself out the way it's supposed to be.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Briony is One Month Old

Briony is one month old today. Can you believe it? This has been the fastest month of my life, no question, but it truly feels like Briony has been a part of our little family forever. I am absolutely in awe of how much she was grown and changed in just four short weeks.

New Things This Month:

Favourite Moments:
- The first time I held her in my arms. I had to wait too long for that moment, and I think it just made it even more intense and wonderful
- Last week, I was feeding her in the middle of the night and she sucked so hard that the bottle's nipple flattened out and she wasn't getting any milk. I took the bottle away for half a second to fix it for her, and she was MAD about her temporary lack of milk (and she let me know). I quickly put the bottle back in her mouth, and she gripped both sides of it - as if to ensure that I couldn't take it away again. The best part? The tiny hand that was facing me was giving me the finger. I know it's impossible, but I kind of suspect that she knew exactly what she was doing... :)
- Watching her with Geoff, especially when they're hanging out on the couch together. She just looks so tiny and they look like they absolutely belong together
- Briony's first time playing in her gym, totally fascinated by all the toys and sounds and colours
- Briony and Chloe meeting for the first time outside of our stomachs (you'll recall that when I held Chloe for the first time, I was still pregnant with Briony - and my little girl was kicking the crap out of her cousin from inside of me)
- Watching my parents fight over who gets to hold her, and seeing how they love her *almost* as much as we do
- Getting ready for our first Christmas with her

Looking Forward To:
Briony's first social smile... I torment her for hours a day, trying to coax one out. The other day, I thought that I had one for sure and I totally teared up - and then she pooped. Oh well :)

Labels: ,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Busy Girls

It was a cold, cold weekend in Winnipeg - and not just because Geoff was working nights. Neither of those crappy things stopped me from making plans and staying busy.

On Saturday, I *officially* left Briony for the first time to attend the Cocoon Christmas party (my parents graciously volunteered for babysitting duty). It was kind of hard to be away from my baby girl, but I'm really glad that I went. I had lots of fun catching up with some of my work friends and dinner was yummy. After dinner, we all went back to Kyle & Jill's to continue the festivities - but I was home by 10.30 to relieve my parents. Ah, the realities of motherhood continue to sink in :)

Briony and I bundled up on Sunday morning and roadtripped it out to Niverville for church - her first time at Word of Life, where she was swarmed with admirers who love her to pieces. It felt oddly comfortable to be there with her. After church, we headed to my parents' place for lunch and the afternoon. Our visit ended up being extended when I didn't feel like driving home in the evening - it was too cold, and I was too tired (and I'd packed for overnight in case the roads got bad). So Briony and I had a sleepover and ended up staying to see Jessica and Chloe this morning.

Briony and Chloe together were hilarious... Every time that Chloe would cry, Briony would start to cry too - but a strange cry that I've never heard before, kind of an imitation of the noises that Chloe was making. Super funny. Jessica and Chloe are coming to visit us on Thursday, so we'll see if it was a one-time show or something to get used to.

It felt relaxing for me to be 'at home' for a little while, and it was great to get to talk to some adults this weekend. Yes, I'm counting my dad as an adult... hehe. I love just hanging out with my baby, but with Geoff working so much, I'd really been feeling the need to TALK - and baby talk doesn't count :)

Briony and I made it home safely in the cold today, and then we spent a quiet afternoon at home with Geoff. By around 4 pm today, I was starting to really feel the fibromyalgia flare-up that I've been expecting. Instead of the constant discomfort that's become the norm over the last couple of days, it's escalated to constant pain. In some ways, I still feel brave because I get smarter every time I do this and have a better arsenal of tools to help fight this. In other ways, this is the scariest it has ever been for me because of Briony.

Tears were shed this afternoon, but I know it will be okay somehow. God is bigger than this. And it's such a small battle when viewed in perspective. Still... Please keep our little family in your thoughts and prayers. It would be awesome if this flare-up was a very temporary little thing.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday Secret


Sunday, December 14, 2008


Oh WOW. There are some days when I think I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have so many wonderfully creative friends that I have to pick between them when it comes time to document my life's special occasions.

When it comes to graphic design, though, it's always Chuck. We've worked together for most of the last decade, and he knows me well enough that I don't have to say very much for him to be able to come up with something that is exactly what I wanted, but a hundred times better than I had imagined. I thought our wedding invitations were beautiful, and now I am so totally in love with Briony's birth announcement that I'm going to ruin the surprise and post it here (just pretend to be surprised and love it when you get yours in the mail sometime soon).

Labels: ,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Didn't I Invent This?!

I promise, I'll try really hard to post something non-baby-related soon... But something happened today that revolutionized my world. Something other than Briony sleeping through the night for the first time (which I'm still smiling about). And something other than my gorgeous new pedicure (which managed to actually make me feel kind of like a girl again). It's the Avent Formula Dispenser.

After a couple of weeks of experimenting with stupid little containers that I buy but am never happy with, I have discovered that SOMEONE ELSE ALREADY INVENTED EXACTLY WHAT I NEED. It has three separate dividers inside, then you just readjust the lid to move the spout to the section you want to pour from - and it holds three bottles worth of formula powder. Oh, and the spout actually fits inside the mouth of the bottle (don't underestimate that feature, it's incredibly hard to find something that does).

What's that I hear? Ah, yes. It's my resident angel choir.

The last time they sang in honour of a baby-related purchase, it was for this Skip Hop bottle dryer - which brought about the end of a very cluttered kitchen countertop, and looks oh so cool while it's doing it.

Seriously, HOORAY for the people who are actually starting to make an attempt to incorporate intelligent and cool design into baby products. You're making this new mom very happy. Now make me more cool stuff :)

Okay, this blog is getting lame. Good thing I'm making a temporary escape from Mommyland and going to the Cocoon Christmas Party tomorrow night... Though I'm going to bet that the post I write following our festivities goes less like 'check out the awesome time I had at this awesome party because I'm awesome' and more like 'it was so hard to leave my baby, even though it was only for a couple of hours and she was totally happy and safe with my parents.'


Friday Smile

I woke up at precisely 07.58 this morning to the sound of a baby beginning to ramp up her 'hungry cry' and the thought that it still looked cold and snowy outside. I rolled over to grab my glasses and go rescue my recently-awakened daughter... And then it registered. It was 07.58 in the morning. And I HAD GONE TO BED AT 12.30.

That's right, folks. Briony slept through the night. (Can you hear the angels singing?)

I don't expect this to ever happen again, but for today, I am grateful. And if this isn't a Friday Smile, I don't know what is. The very best part? My awesome day is by no means over: I have a pedicure booked with Darcie this afternoon.

After that, Geoff goes back for another three night shifts - so it's almost as if the universe is giving me an encouraging hug today :)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back to School?

Argh. Geoff went to check the mail this afternoon, and I had a letter from the University of Victoria containing their upcoming course list.

I graduated with my BA from the University of Winnipeg in Spring 2002, with a virtually useless major in English and minor in Theatre. I had a lot of fun and gained all kinds of life experience, but realized I'd be virtually unemployable unless I continued my studies somehow. I'd already begun work on my Education degree there with full intentions of becoming a high school English teacher (and did three years of student teaching toward that), but I knew by then that I wanted to work in advertising more than I wanted to teach. It came down to a desire to actually do the writing myself instead of teaching teenagers how to write. Very noble, just not for me (at least not at that point in my life). And so, I enrolled in the Public Relations Management program at the University of Victoria - a program that was offered entirely online and could be completed on a totally casual, part-time basis. It was a perfect solution for someone who already had a job in the industry but wanted to do something extra to ensure her career would be viable in the long-term.

Fast forward to today... Since 2002, I've completed six courses out of the ten required for the program. The last one I took was in 2005, when I'd advanced enough in my career that I was working almost infinite hours and felt like crying over the mere suggestion of taking a course on top of that. I don't *need* to finish, but I want to - and it's always been in the back of my head, I just haven't felt any kind of pull to go back. And I hadn't really given it serious thought until I received the letter today. Some quick calculations showed that I could take one course in January, two in May, and one in September - and graduate by next Christmas. I'd only have a few weeks where my final course would overlap with my return to work next fall. And the very best part about these courses? They're all project-based, which means no exams and an even distribution of work throughout the term (read: very low-stress and mommy-friendly).

The schedule is actually kind of perfect, and I know the courses are totally manageable. I read the course descriptions and looked up the required textbooks - and I started to get kind of excited... It would feel awesome to finish and graduate. And I'd just been lamenting to Geoff earlier today that, while I love being Briony's mom, I kind of miss using my brain. The only real catch is that - with my rather pathetic excuse for mat leave salary - I would need to let Geoff pay for my courses (which he has already offered to do). And that's a tough pill for this girl to swallow after so many years of taking care of myself. I'm a little worried that some of the awesomeness I would feel about graduating would be lost because I didn't really do it on my own.

Am I being ridiculous? Or are those legitimate feelings? I can't really tell anymore with all these extra hormones flowing through my body. Anyway. Lots for me to think about :)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Beautiful Baby Girl

A few highlights from our photo shoot with Anja on Sunday to document Briony at three weeks old. There were so many great pictures to choose from, I'm not sure how we'll decide on one for the birth announcement being designed this week...

And seriously, how much fun is picture number three? :)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Change of Plans

Okay, so today didn't turn out *quite* the way I thought it would. I'd been missing adult company enough that I hauled myself out of bed early this morning and got Briony (and myself) ready for Moms Group - our first appearance since she was born. Geoff surprised me with Starbucks when he got home just after 8 this morning, so I could cross that off my list of things to accomplish on my way to church. Plus it gave me a bonus ten minutes to spend with him before we left and he went to sleep.

Long story short, Briony and I got there five minutes early (!) only to discover that the Moms Group is on Christmas Break. Sigh. I walked over to the other side of the building and we visited my aunt Verna who was more than happy to see us - and introduce us to her coworkers who have apparently heard a lot about these babies because they knew Briony on sight :)

After that, I figured that since we were awake and presentable anyway, we would have a little field trip. We spent a few hours mall walking - and shopping - almost five, to be exact, with one stop to the private mall nursing room (thanks for the tip, Kari-Ann). It felt SO GOOD to be getting some exercise. Do not underestimate the moderate workout you can get from navigating a stroller through a packed pre-Christmas mall while power walking.

Now all my Christmas shopping is officially done, with one gift left to wrap. Do I get a prize or something? This is BY FAR a personal record.

Labels: ,

Monday, December 08, 2008


Okay, so I guess I forgot to give Briony the memo about sleeping at night while her daddy is at work.

She usually does pretty well, and it's not like last night was a disaster - she was awake a lot, but she wasn't screaming. She would just fuss whenever I put her down and wanted to play instead of participating in *my* activity of choice: sleeping. The big difference is that Geoff got home this morning and needed to sleep, so not only was I missing my trade-off person at night, I'm also missing him today. And he has two more night shifts left, then two off, then three more next weekend. We'll survive, but it's certainly not ideal.

Now I'm left with the quintessential mommy dilemma. It's 11 am and Briony just went back to sleep after a feeding... Do I eat breakfast and shower? Or do I crawl back into bed? Ugh. As much as I WANT that nap, I NEED the shower. And the food.

(Here, I pause to look down at my stomach which bears a striking resemblance to the Pillsbury Doughboy, and give it a tentative poke to confirm that I have not re-developed abdominal muscles overnight. I resist the urge to giggle. I'm pretty sure my body could feast off the spoils of my pregnancy remnants until Christmas at least.)

Labels: , ,

Monday Secret

Here's my kind-of-related confession for today... When I want to buy something potentially embarrassing (usually a CD), I'll tell them it's a gift for my sister and ask for a gift receipt. She knows that I do it - and really, really hates it :)


Sunday, December 07, 2008


Near the end of last week, I had a little bit of a meltdown. It was small as far as meltdowns go, but I feel like it deserves to be noted. I was so tempted to just blame in on sleep deprivation and the emotion of the last five week or so of my life, but I don't think that's fair. I think that everything I was feeling was completely legitimate. I was just feeling all the weight of my mom's cancer all over again as I begin to notice the signs that she's getting tired from the radiation treatments and their rigorous schedule. I know that it's making her better, that it's part of her healing process. It's incredibly hard to watch sometimes, but there's also nowhere else I'd rather be - and it's an honour to experience all the highs and lows of this journey alongside her. But it seems like every couple of weeks at least, I just need to process and feel it all over again so that each layer of this experience can heal before it's covered up and we can move on.

On Saturday, Briony and I spent the day at Val's where we participated in a family tradition of Christmas baking together with my mom, my grandma, and my aunts. We got a lot of baking done - and we left Val's place so far beyond exhausted that it might take a couple of days to catch up again - but the highlight of my day was getting to spend some time with my mom. It was exactly what I'd been needing, and I didn't even know it. Somewhere in the course of that day, I found a little bit of healing just by being close to her.

After we finished up, I drove her back to Niverville and Briony and I had a sleepover at my parents' house (Geoff was working a night shift). This morning, my dad was awake when Briony woke up for breakfast just before 7 am. After she finished eating, he offered to take her so that I could go back to sleep - and both my parents surprised me by keeping her and taking care of her next feeding so that I could sleep straight through until after 11. Amazing. I was so incredibly grateful. I think it's amazing that, in the middle of an experience that is sucking up so much of my parents' energy, they can still give to me like that. My daughter is so blessed to be loved so much by so many people.

Labels: , , ,


Anja came over this afternoon to take some pictures for Briony's forthcoming birth announcement, and she brought along the finished pictures from our maternity photo shoot this fall. I know I shared a few of the proofs that she rushed to us before Briony was born, but here are some additional highlights (you'll need to click through to the last part of the album): Maternity Photos on Facebook.

And a Briony picture from last week...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Things I Love About My Baby

Briony is getting more and more alert. She's been very observant since she was born, but she's really starting to respond to the world around her and focus on objects and things going on in the room. Every day, she spends more and more time awake and happy (rather than eating or sleeping). It's so fun to watch her face as she takes it all in with those big, dark eyes of hers.

Our half-asleep feeding sessions. If you remove the bottle from her mouth for any reason, she'll just start moving her head around with her lips slightly parted - not bothering to open her eyes and actually look for the bottle, and too princess-like to actually open her mouth and make an effort to continue her meal. But god forbid you take too long to insert the nipple into her mouth for her... This girl can certainly fuss (read: scream loudly and dramatically, as if you've been starving her for a week).

My baby is a cuddler, as per my express request when I was pregnant with her. It's occasionally inconvenient when there are so many things you could be accomplishing if both your arms weren't full of baby, but I wouldn't change this part of her personality for the world. She's my little snuggle bug, and she's *always* happier in our arms than any other place.

Briony is such a happy baby. We've been having some trouble with her current formula and we're trying out something new as of this afternoon to help her digest it a little more easily. She'll cry and let us know that she's sometimes uncomfortable, but even when she's obviously having a rough day, I'd say her total crying time is still well under an hour - and it's never crying just for the sake of it. She'll sometimes fuss for a minute or two if she doesn't like something that's happening, but she gets over it so quickly (if she escalated at all). I am so incredibly grateful, and I'm hoping that she'll stay this easy-going. It's giving me the sleep and the lack of stress I need to be able to slowly get back on my feet. At this point, I would like to officially thank Geoff, because I know that her easy-going-ness has absolutely nothing to do with me. I'll take *all* the credit for her moments of full-on drama, though. And that single incredible shriek she lets out when you've frustrated her. Sigh.

Briony is the baby with a thousand nicknames. I'm sure that, as she gets older, we'll settle on one or two. She was usually either Monkey or Princess when I was pregnant with her, before we knew that she would be Briony. She's been Princess a few times since she was born, but she's not Monkey. She just isn't - it doesn't fit her at all. So what is she? She's always my Snuggle Bug. She's my Sunshine. She's sometimes simply B. Lately, she's sometimes been George (as in Curious George). Oh, and occasionally (but always affectionately) she's Milk Breath. Our family in Kamloops has dubbed her Baby B. But she's undeniably Briony, which is very cool to me.

Labels: ,

Plan of Attack

Okay, so I think I've managed to eat breakfast ONCE in the last week. Which is not okay. Yesterday, I didn't actually have any food pass through my lips until just after 3 pm. I need to learn how to manage my day so that 'breakfast' and 'lunch' are permanently scheduled in (though, in my defense, I did manage to accomplish a lot yesterday - just not feeding myself).

Today, we tried something new: I ate after Briony's early morning feeding. Admittedly, I felt disgusting because it was *way* too early for me to be eating. Well, too early for the Old Lindsay. And while New Lindsay isn't sure she values food quite enough to be eating before the sun comes up, she's willing to give it a try.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Today was a milestone: Briony's first trip to the doctor. We met her pediatrician, Dr Hanna, and I was happy with her - something that doesn't always happen with a new doctor. We were referred by our obstetrician, and I'm almost wondering if the two of them might have gone to school together because they both seem very close in age.

The appointment went well. Briony is absolutely okay after our car accident on Saturday (we were rear-ended, for those of you not on Facebook, and everyone seems to be doing okay other than a touch of whiplash and a headache that I've been dealing with since then). She's gained almost 9 ounces over her birth weight, which puts her at the 75th percentile for weight and around the 90th percentile for height. Interestingly, she's at the 95th percentile in terms of her head size - which kind of explains a lot about my recovery :)

After our appointment, we stopped in to introduce Briony to some of Geoff's coworkers. She made her first appearance at Cocoon yesterday. My coworkers were much more apprehensive than Geoff's, but equally happy to meet her.

And now, after replacing our two week old car seat / stroller / travel system (at Autopac's insistence), we're back at home and the rest of my family is napping on the couch while I'm trying to get bottles washed, baby laundry stains soaked, dinner defrosted (hey, I'm not magic), living room decluttered, presents wrapped, and Christmas tree finished. Oh, and blog updated.

I don't think there's any better feeling in the world than watching Geoff and Briony together. I keep on stopping what I'm doing to just look at them and smile. My heart is so happy and full.

Labels: , , , ,