I know I'm a bit late, but since I spent Father's Day with my husband and baby I don't feel too bad about it. This Father's Day we spent the weekend with family - extended and our own little trio. Saturday we went to the Jays Game with Matt's parents, grandparents, sister and her boyfriend. Fun day outing for sure! Sunday was more relaxed - I made Matt breakfast (buttermilk blueberry pancakes and bacon), we lounged around and tried to distract a fussy baby from her teething pain, opened some gifts (daddy got a new record player among other little things), and relaxed. Once Charlotte was asleep (and well all day really) I made pulled pork and we did wraps with cheese and greens and avocado and sat on the patio outside. I also wrote him a super sappy Father's Day letter that I will not subject you to reading here on the blog. Pretty much said he's the greatest dad ever and that I love him so much, but in a lot more words. So here are just a few pictures of Matt and Charlotte over the past few months:
The first time I saw our baby was through this picture Matt sent me while I was in recovery
First time he got to hold her, when she was 4 days old (I was only able to hold her at 3 days)
This was her first day at her level 2 NICU - one of my favs (she had way more hair then than she does now!)
Holding and playing with her in the hospital only after he had to work all day was hard
He's in charge of bath time!
There was a lot of sleepy cuddles in those first few months
A few shots from the newborn shoot
Playtime whenever possible
Story time before bed
Love this one too!
Tiny Jays onesie
She sure does love him
Happy Father's Day also to my own dad, Matt's dad Pete, my grandpa Charlie (Charlotte's namesake) and Matt's Boppa. Plus all of my uncles and friends with babies of their own, and anyone who is a dad at heart.
It's been a LONG time since I posted. Well that's because I had a baby 2 months early (surprise!), who was in the hospital for 6 weeks and then home, and pretty much my life has turned upside down (but it's a good way) and blogging definitely took a back seat. I have posts about the floors, her nursery, spring gardening plans, and lots of other baby-related stuff that's coming, but I thought this post was more important.
This year is my first Mother's Day. I have been spoiled so far, and my husband is such an amazing guy for making me feel like the best mom in the world despite what I may think of myself day to day. This will be my mom and mother in law's 32nd Mother's Day and I am so grateful to both of them for everything they've done for me. My mom has always been great, even when I was a sullen grumpy whiny teenager, even when I pushed her buttons on purpose, even when I didn't appreciate her. Especially when I had Charlotte. There were days these past 4 months where I didn't think I could do it at all and her words of support and kindness were the exact thing I needed. Matt's mom Lynn is incredible too - she is so thoughtful and considerate and always looking on the bright side of all situations. I've heard MIL horror stories but I'm happy to report that I have none of my own and so happy with the extended family I am now a part of. Happy Mother's Day also to all the grandmothers, great-grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers, and even mother-figures like aunts and cousins and great friends.
Now although I am over the moon in love with my little baby girl, and so happy to become a mom, I know that there are some who may be reading this and having a really hard time. There are so many women who want to be moms who haven't gotten there yet, or maybe have but have experienced loss. I feel your pain - I really do. Matt and I started trying to have a family in December 2011. We actually got pregnant right away but I miscarried at 11 weeks and I was devastated. After a few months of healing, we started trying again, but with no success. After a year we went to see a fertility specialist and for the next year and a half I went through rounds of meds and treatments before we had any success. 3 years later, our little girl was born. Between that time and now, I went through a really rough time. I went through times where I thought I was fine, days where I couldn't stop crying, and bouts of anger where I have no clue how Matt put up with me. It was hard to be around people with kids and seeing all the social media announcements about pregnancy and babies was like a dagger to my heart each time. I even withdrew from two very close friends. They told me they were pregnant shortly after I miscarried and we would have all had our first babies within a month of one another. Then they got pregnant again within those 3 years too. I'm happy to report that we've reconnected and looking back I wish I had done a better job at staying in touch because it turns out there are a lot more people than you think that are going through the same thing. So please stay positive as much as possible, talk about it with others, and know that you are not alone. I hope that one day you will look to this day without pain and anguish. I know my blog isn't usually this intense or personal, but I remember how I felt all those years and thought I would share my story.
I hope everyone has a great day celebrating those special women in your life.
Newborn photograph (Charlotte at 2 months) by Oak & Myrrh Photography
Today we had a great celebration of my grandpa Charlie's 90th birthday (his actual birthday is in a few weeks). Here are a few pictures from the day:
Beautiful argyle birthday cake made by Kat Makes Cakes (delicious too!)
If her website doesn't work, you can find her on Facebook under katrina Salvador
Florals (my brother Adam took this one!)
This one is better. Typical Andrew.
Mom and grandpa
Grandpa and his 3 kids - his fav team is the Roughriders
(Wow my dress is inappropriate short with a bump)
Aunt Andrea with grandpa and dad
His first born
And the baby giving a great speech
My grandpa spoke so well! I love his stories.
Mom's cousin John (grandpa's nephew on the paternal side) spoke about his dad and grandpa
Mom's cousin Marian (grandpa's niece on the maternal side)
Family photos and albums from so many family members
Grandpa with his cake
Now for some randoms...
Movember growth...halfway done
(Matt can't do it this year because he has to wear a respirator at work in certain areas when he travels and you need to be clean shaven to get a complete seal)
Andrew, just because he likes to be on the blog.
This year, my brother Adam and his wife Jessica threw another Halloween Party. Jess' birthday is on the 30th (Happy 29th sister in law!), and so they've had many celebrations in the past few years, like this one from two years ago. I honestly didn't take many pictures of the party, since I left at 11 p.m. My feet were actually killing me, it wasn't the exhaustion, but my drive home I felt it kick in so I'm glad I left when I did. If people have pictures, send them to me and I'll add them here!
I love all the juxtaposiiton of their decor - beautiful straws and gory eyeballs
Blood and spiders and Kate Spade coasters (which I think I gave her)
Tiny skulls and glowing West Elm tree laterns
A gorgeous mirror in a sitting room with bloody hand prints
Lacey black making the front hallway eerie - see? Halloween doesn't have to be tacky!
Birthday Monster cupcakes I made for Jessica - Devil's Food cupcakes with buttercream
I used the Wilton grass tip for the hairy effect
My brother, the zombie. (Jess was Katniss but I didn't get a picture)
I also got to dress up my bump a bit - nothing crazy, but here it is:
Daytime - Skeleton baby (a girl!)
This year Thanksgiving was split between the farm in the afternoon with my family and the evening with Matt's family. Matt went to Indiana to see a Notre Dame game with his brother, dad, and uncle, so I met him at his families in the evening.
Ahh the farm - nice big open space in the country.
Aunt Yvonne with the newest addition, little Blake, my cousin's son.
Nice enough to stand around outside. Everyone pay attention to Jessica, haha.
Mom and I in navy (OMG I look huge here!)
Adam and mom
He's so photogenic.
Mom and Ashlin (aka my cousin Melissa's clone # 1)
Now to Oakville - teeny tiny Notre Dame jersey for little baby boy or girl.
PS - Matt and I match, haha, not planned.
Beautiful table setting and yummy 3-squash soup!
20 weeks - half way done!
A few pictures from the boys weekend in Indiana
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I know that I had so much to be thankful for.
The weekend before Thanksgiving Meg and I went over to Matt's grandma's house (Momma) to learn how to make pie crust and pies, in general. I know I could have just googled it, but she's been making pies for a long time and it was a nice afternoon to spend together.
32 apples. I still have some in the freezer to use.
Pie recipe (crust is on another page I think)
Momma mixed the dough while we peeled a sliced apples.
That's a lot of McIntosh apple slices!
Rolling out the dough as thin as possible
Getting thin dough into the pie plate without tearing is a two-person job!
Cutting off the extra edges
I'm sorry do you think pies are healthy? Crisco/lard/butter crust, sugar and more butter on top?
Mmm delicious though.
Cinnamon and drops of butter cover the sugar before the top crust gets done.
Meg is creasing the edges to make it all pretty
The finished (uncooked) product!
Pie # 2 is underway (we were pros by then)
Decided to try a basket weave top this time.
Baking is messy.
First pie (right) cooked, second pie ready to go (though I cooked it at home later in the week - left it frozen in my fridge until Thanksgiving, along with 2 other apple pies).
We also did pumpkin with ready-made crust. And pumpkin tarts - so cute!
And even more adorable with some whipped cream on top (at Thanksgiving dinner).
Oh yeah and I "outed" myself by posting this picture on IG and FB, not realizing how "bump obvious" I was looking.
Yep, we're expecting! Due at the end of February - pretty excited!!!
Walking past Casa Loma on my way to "Dressing for Downton" at the Spadina House
(pronouced Spa-deena - who knew?)
My cast of "Into the Woods" at their finale show
First ice cream truck of the year!
Easter "nest" cupcakes - carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut and mini-eggs on top
Family trampoline time
Gave my hedgehog some hair with a mustard plant (lasted for about 3 months - pretty good)
I always get tulips at St. Lawrence Market
I had a whole bunch of bananas that were too ripe - so made banana-chocolate cupcakes
Teacher Day at the zoo. Saw the new pandas and polar bear cub, and this peacock strutting his stuff
Getting out the outdoor patio furniture and stringing up the lights
Painted this little shelf and decked it out with some Anthropologie pulls (more on this later)
Hydrangea cupcakes - didn't use buttercream so they melted pretty quickly into a tie-dye delicious mess
Mother's Day love
Had my family over for a Mother's Day BBQ
One of many cat love pics of Earl Grey (my neighbour's cat who pretty much lives on my porch)
Florals for spring (only the tulips are real)
May Long Weekend at the cottage with Moose (right before he swatted at me, I'm sure)
Decorating for the Music Banquet.
The students picked pale yellow and I accented it with leafy greens and bright pinky-orange flowers.
Marta and I - work wives
Nothing like a little coordinated dancing from my awesome music students
Go Jays Go (I'm wearing a Jay's shirt, I swear!)
That Jays Game was followed by apps and margaritas at El Catrin in Distillery
...and then Ed's real scoop. And then we walked home. So Roger's Center to distillery to Queen & Broadview to home. That was about 3 hours of walking, but it felt good!
Last rehearsal of the year with my students :(
Enjoying a drink outside one warm spring evening
I heart gelato
Marta and I at Wonderland for our performance at the Music Festival
Happy 25 years Skydome!
The Roots concert outdoors
Just a few sweet Tea-cher gifts.
This past weekend we were up at the cottage and Matt wanted to do a "New England Clam Bake" but since I've never had clams and they're not always a crowd pleaser, we changed it to to a crab boil. Pretty much means we cooked a whole bunch of stuff over the fire in a big pot. It was delicious.
Pretty much Matt doing everything while we watch.
Potatoes were done first, then corn, chorizo, crab legs and shrimp all in wine and herbs.
Taking a beer break
Dining Al Fresco on the dock
Thank goodness for timers and remotes
Oh yes, and wine.
Cooked the mussels last as we ran out of room in the big pot
Note - you need a REALLY BIG pot.
The lake was a great way to wash hands after all the butter and oil.
Beautiful - happy summer!
**UPDATE: Adapted recipe HERE.**
A few days after I did this cake, I decided to have more fun with some birthday/St. Patty's Day cupcakes for Jamie and I at a family dinner. The cupcakes themselves were pound cakes, and the icing was a Bailey's infused. Not a butter cream this time, but there was still some butter in there for sure! Here are the results:
Fun bubble spikes
Grassy clover field (the same tip I used for the pink cake)
Ummm this one failed just a bit...
Rosettes - my favourite!
I honestly just went on Pinterest and googled the Wilton tips I had and there were so many tutorials and videos! Please I want to practice more but I don't want to eat all the cake...sooooo feel free to put in some requests so I can practice! I have the Martha Stewart cupcake book!!!
Each year I have a few March Break goals. Last year it was mainly to paint the kitchen and redo the grout. Well this year I took a more relaxing approach. It was much more enjoyable!
My goals. Though "make bunting" was not one of them, I think it turned out nicely and matches my kitchen colours.
First night of the break we went to dinner with our friends Jeff and Liz at Goods & Provisions.
Jeff, like me, likes to takes pictures of food.
Sunday dinner by Matt - coq au vin blanc with potatoes and bacon.
Birthday Manicure from Miyuki at Tips Nail Bar
It was tbt so I decided to do a collage of past birthday fun
Lie to me and tell me I don't look 31!
Oh yeah, remember THIS CAKE? I made that. No big deal.
My brother and Jessica had us over for dinner the following day - pretty tulips!
Delicious salad my parents brought. Going to modify it a bit and add quinoa for dinner tomorrow.
I said no birthday candles so instead I had to blow out a tea light from the bottom of the Eiffel Tour
Okay so many I am really proud of this cake.
See how Adam's right eye is more dilated than the left? Yeah he got beat up by a nerf gun by a child...it's a sensitive topic. That's why I'm writing about it here. LOVE YOU!
Then we listened to some records - love the baby blue player!