Monday, 29 December 2014

Pre-Christmas Relaxin' at the Aasman Cottage

Once again this year we enjoyed a few days up at the Aasman cottage with Amber and Nate. This has been a tradition for the past three (four?) years and we love it more every time we go up to South River. We can see why the Aasmans all love spending time up there! They have a beautiful property with lots of nature to enjoy, a beautiful lake, and two warm stoves to keep us toasty in the cottage during wintertime. Thanks so much Aasmans!

Monday, 8 December 2014

{10 Months}

Sorry for the long absence here lately, everyone! It has been a busy month... I've gone back to work full-time and between that and shuttling B back and forth to daycare, it's been go-go-go. We also helped Erin and Jaron move one weekend, which was a lot of fun! (You should go check out their house... no really, she wants guests!) We also celebrated my birthday this past weekend. My parents came up on Saturday and we went out to have some Japanese food, but not without a little drama (ask Mom and Dad... they'll tell you all about my awful neighbours! ;D)

Anyhoo, moving on to the important one here....

Brynn is 10 months old! And those leaps and bounds we were talking about last month... they were bunny hops compared to this month!

She has been moving like crazy. She crawls, walks around the furniture, climbs the stairs, and has recently taken a stab at standing all by herself! She also loves to sit on her haunches while she examines anything and everything closely.

As far as the talking department, Brynn has also learned a few new words. In addition to mama, dada, and byebye, she's added hi and cheese. Despite what you may be thinking, she learned cheese in response to the babysitter taking lots of pictures, not because she eats excessive cheese (or does she? haha... that may also be the case!)

If you've noticed a difference in B's smile lately, it's because she has added three more teeth to the one she had a month ago. Her top front teeth and another bottom one have popped through, making for a very toothy smile that cracks us up every time!

The Brynnasaur is still a very happy baby, even with all these teeth popping through, and we are having so much fun watching her grow. (All you parents with more than one kid are rolling your eyes, but bear with us: we are still new at this and are enjoying every second!) I have a feeling that very soon she'll be leaving babyhood behind and moving on to be a toddler. She is big for her age (22 lbs at 9 months, 29.5 in long!) and with the way she is moving, I'm thinking she'll be walking before long. It makes me sad to think that my baby is almost gone, but I'm pretty excited for the next stage too! And besides... she's getting to the point where she is getting too heavy to carry for long, so walking may not be such a bad deal!

Here are some recent pictures:

Climbing the stairs like a boss
Dad and Brynn cross-country skiing
I love my bike carrier!

The medicine dropper is the only thing she'll chew for teething relief.
She'll crawl around with it like this :)
The little stinker discovered the faucet...
Future musician? And can we talk about that standing? Sheesh.

Ah, that smile.
Keep checking in for more updates... the next month is going to be full of fun activities and I'm planning on busting out the ol' camera once again!

Monday, 10 November 2014

{9 Months}

We are officially 3/4 of the way through our first year as parents, and Brynn has definitely upped the ante this past month!

When I did the last update I felt like I was grasping at straws for any new tidbits that B was accomplishing. Not so this month! She has been growing in leaps and bounds... literally!

The week of Thanksgiving, Brynn decided to sit her self up, start crawling, and then pull herself up... all within 3 days! We are blown away by how much she changed in just a few days. We are having a hard time keeping up with her now! She crawls around our apartment constantly, getting into everything.

But as much as we might complain... we are secretly loving this stage. She is just so stinkin' hilarious!

She's also saying a few words. She knows Mom, Dad, and bubbye (just ask Grandma K! She was quite excited when Brynn popped that one out over FaceTime :D).

Last, but not least, she also popped a tooth! We waited a long 5 months, and we are happy it's here... although we haven't spotted that pearly white as of yet... B has an overactive tongue and it seems to push in where it's not wanted :D.

With the "official photographer" (me) off to a full-time job and Dad working his buns off a work we haven't had a lot of time to take pictures, but I'll leave you with what we have. Enjoy!

Little Miss Bright-eyes
a common position

climbing up on everything these days!
Brynn and Nana on her 60th birthday :)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

{October} Life Lately

Sorry for the crickets around here lately, people. It seems as though it was just October 1 and then I blinked and, shazam, here we are and it's November 2. Seriously.

October was a great, albeit insanely busy, month.

 For starters, I started not one, but two jobs, in addition to my job at Christian Horizons.  I was hired on by both the Catholic and Public school boards, and of course chaos ensued in the following weeks. Thankfully, things have slowed down a bit now after trying to figure out how to make it all work. I was offered two part-time, long term temp EA jobs at the school closest to my house, making for full-time work until the end of November, with possible extension. So although I will be working quite a few hours, I will at least be at the same place every day, with the same schedule. I am so thankful for how this all worked out!

James has been working extra hard at school, too, and the course load for Semester 3 is tough. Thankfully he loves it and its getting great grades!

So anyway, here's a quick recap of the month of October:

 We took Brynn to a few farms on the Kawartha Farm Tour. She loves animals and kept getting upset when we wouldn't let her put her hand in their mouths. She had a lot of fun watching the horses and the pigs.

 James spent an evening banding Saw-Whet owls... those cute little puffs of feathers! He had a great time (who wouldn't love catching an holding those adorable little creatures?!)

 Brynn had her first leaf pile experience... She didn't really like it very much! Better luck next year!

 The only pictures I took at Thanksgiving this year were of these two stinkers having a bath in Nana and Grandpa's sink. They were super cute!

 Brynn is still teething like crazy, and we are running out of soothing options, so we thought we'd try the old "carrot in the freezer" trick (it didn't work).

 As the Brynnosaur gets bigger and more move-y, we are becoming more creative with constraint ideas. Aren't we geniuses?

 Brynn keeps getting bigger and these kinds of things keep happening...


... and standing!

As life gets busier and crazier every day, I try to be thankfully for all the little blessings we do have. October is always a month of reflection and thanksgiving for me, and this year I have so many things to be thankful for!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

{8 Months}

This month we saw:
plenty of moving around- rolling, sideways, backwards- but no crawling yet!
increased fine motor control (especially with those cheerios)
drool, drool, drool... but no teeth
a peanut allergy :(
more and more "talking" (I'm positive she can say the work "hi"!)
lots of copycatting- Brynn loves to copy the noises we make to make us laugh

I didn't get around to taking 8 month pictures, so I thought I'd share some of Brynn's "finer" moments for a laugh this month. Enjoy!

And, for old times' sake:

Can I help you?
Haha! Have a fantastic week!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


nostalgia: noun; a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time

Today as I was walking home from town, I passed a beautiful century home with a wraparound porch and a lush, green yard. Separating the front yard from the back was a hedge with a slightly overgrown archway, a la Secret Garden. As I was passing by, something about the view of the backyard through the arch brought me back to my childhood, where I used to play with my cousin at my aunt and uncle's house. 

They lived in an older home, I think built sometime in the 1920s, and somehow, after seeing through that hedge, I could see, feel, and even smell their old house. I was walking up the creaky, old staircase with the smooth, low handrail and I could smell the age of the house, I really could. I could see and smell the dirt and grass in the backyard, and feel the sawdust from my uncle's garage where he did his woodworking.

And then there is the apple tree down the road from our house where I often walk. When I pass under those sweet smelling branches, I can suddenly hear the crunching gravel as we drive down the road to the apple farm we frequented every fall in Belwood. I'm not crazy, I promise, but I can feel the chill of the cellar in the barn where we used to pick out the bushels of apples we wanted, and I can taste the different kinds we munched on while sitting on the tailgate of our van. I can even faintly feel the stomachache from eating too many apples.

I hope I'm not the only one who sometimes thinks about going back to the past. Maybe it feels so good because time erases the most horrible parts and leaves you with the good things that come back at certain points every year. You know what I'm talking about: the smell of leaves in the fall, the feel of wet socks from the snow that got in your boots while playing outside, the stickiness of those popsicles you ate on the deck, or in the shade of your favourite tree. 

I don't advocate living a life that is completely based in the past, because by doing that, you'd miss the opportunity of the present and the hope of the future. Plus, as Christians, we are not to dwell too closely on the past: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" - Is. 43:18-19a 

But there must be some benefit of being able to closely relate to the past and remember it in such detail time and time again. Maybe now that I have Brynn I'm thinking more about the experiences I want her to have, and how to convey them to her. 

Now, my past was definitely not perfect, but even through the brokenness I can pick out the beautiful parts with a clarity that astonishes me every time. Maybe because I have an idealistic personality type, I want to continually look for the good rather than dwell on the bad.

In the end, what I do know is that the feelings of nostalgia that present themselves at unexpected moments are an opportunity to take what is good about the past and use it in the present. We can learn from our mistakes and weed out the bad memories to use the good memories to grow and learn and love. 

Call me "Anne" (it's been done before), but that's just how I feel these days.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

While Dad is Away...

... the "kids" will play! James is spending this week away in Buckhorn for school (doing something with fish... catching, tagging, playing... who knows? :P) so Brynn and I made the trek up to Orangeville to visit my family. In four short days we crammed in a Sunday evening drive around Mulmur/Mono Townships, a visit to Brampton, dinner with my sister and her kids, a trip to Owen Sound, and another trip to Brampton (Michaels was calling our names!). All in all productive, wouldn't you say?

This kid was a hoot! She's a lot like her mother :D
Less than 2 months separate these gals, but there's about a 7 lb difference.
Mauling Playing with each other
Chillin' like a villain
Cadence & Brynn playing clapping games
Les Trois Mousquetaires 

These are really our "normal" faces

Terrible picture, but I love it just the same
‘We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.’ Frederick Keonig

To know when you have enough is to be rich beyond measure. Lao Tzu