It's hard to believe that it's been seven months. I'm fairly sure I start a lot of my baby updates like that, but it's true. The first six months were some of the hardest that we've ever experienced. Finnley didn't eat well, didn't keep food down, had bad eczema, and never slept. Ever.
I know we had it easier than so many others do, but it still seemed almost impossible on 3-4 hours sleep a night. When Finnley turned six months we started sleep training with the help of Good Night Sleep Site Halton (read about it here!) and it was a game changer for us.
Finnley has spent his seventh month being well rested, smiley and interactive. This month we are really seeing his personality. He wants to know how things work - watching his inquisitive mind take in the world is a real joy. And he's got an Irish temper like his Momma when things don't go his way.
I love watching him as he learns to sit, explore and discover how to do things, like making a game of playing with his soother and getting it in his mouth every time. I love that he knows his name and enjoys music, even if I am getting a little tired of the Little Baby Bum songs, he loves them!
I also know that he still has a witching hour. The hour before bedtime feels like another entire day as we try to keep him entertained and happy before bed. But overall this has been the best month to date and I can't wait to see what comes over the next few months as he starts to transition from little baby person into mobile toddler person. Crawling!
Any tips for what's to come, mommas? Any summer time fun tips?
This week my husband and I celebrated four years of marriage and seven years of being together. It was so nice to take a quiet moment and think about our time together.
What better way to reflect than with a bottle of our favourite champagne and Skor Cheesecake. You may not know, but "Skor Cheesecake" were the first words I exchanged with my husband, so the dessert holds a special place in our hearts.
I normally make a baked cheesecake that you can also read about here, but since it was summer I wanted to do something that was a little cooler and felt almost like ice cream. This is super easy and if you're making it for a group you can double the recipe and make it ahead of time.
* I used two 5 inch dishes for ours, but you could easily double the recipe and use a spring form pan*
To remove from a non-springform pan: warm a butter knife under hot water and slowly work your way around the edges. Then put a plate on the top and flip it over, give the bottom of your dish a good pat so that the cake falls out, then remove the dish and place another plate on the bottom on your cake. Flip right side over and voila!
How'd you meet your special someone? Do you have a go-to dessert? Leave a reply in the comments below.
Last week I started to write my blog post for “Whatever I Want Wednesday” ...and I had nothing. Literally nothing.
When I first thought of this post series I wanted it to be just for me. Not about baby and not about food. I hoped that Wednesdays would just a time to talk about the other things I was doing.
But then it happened, I was empty. I looked back at the past month and couldn’t think of anything to talk about that wasn’t baby related.
I’ve always had a lot of passions and suddenly I couldn’t come up with anything. And it got me thinking. What happened?
I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but in wanting that did I agree to give up myself? My husband asked me what I would like to do and I couldn’t answer. For the past three years I’ve been driven by getting pregnant and then having a baby. I couldn’t tell him what I’d like to do as a personal hobby.
But now that babe sleeps more and we have a schedule, I have free time. And I don’t know how to fill it. It’s no ones fault, I think it’s just a natural part of the different cycles of life. But what happens when you want to find yourself again?
How do you balance the responsibilities of a mom, wife, friend and individual? How do you push aside guilt that isn’t created by others, but worse, by yourself.
As you define the new you, how do you balance your family and individuality?
I’ll keep you posted as I find my own balance. Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!
I wrote a post about how I love my Baby Bjorn but how I didn’t realize how much I needed it until my little guy arrived and I started using it. It got me thinking about other products where I didn’t know how valuable they were until I got to using them.
So that brings me to five things you can’t live without when you have a baby.
What were some of your go to products when you had babies? What about as they became toddlers? Leave your tips in the comments below!!
So while this is late in the day it's still Friday and that makes me proud. I'm pretty sure when a recipe combines puff pastry (butter!) and cheese (cheese!), it's going to be a good thing.
We were having company over last weekend and I wanted to try a new appetizer. I should probably note that basically EVERY appetizer I make has cheese and this latest cheesy treat was delicious & super easy!
And then... Enjoy!
Do you enjoy cooking with cheese? Tell me about your favourite cheese recipe below!
I've been quiet lately on the blog because I totally devoted myself to sleep training our baby boy. I know for some it's a controversial topic, it's ok if you don't want to sleep train your baby, but it was much needed for us and as the mom I made the call to benefit my family.
After months of struggling with sleep, reading countless books, and considering a three hour stretch of sleep to be a major win, I knew I had done all that I could on my own, and that I needed help. I ended up contacting the Goodnight Sleep Site. I knew that I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't do it alone and I needed some guidance.
They responded the same day and we set up a time for a consultation. I answered a super in depth questionnaire and prepared for our call and sleep plan. The consultant, Jamie, http://goodnightsleepsite.com/halton/meet-jamie/was wonderful and listened to me every step of the way.
For us going to sleep wasn't a challenge. He went in his crib awake, we had nap time and bedtime routines we had followed since he was about six or eight weeks old, and we didn't feed him to sleep. We followed the eat, awake, sleep model. That's why I was so confused why, with all these healthy habits, my little one was waking up ALL NIGHT LONG?
At his six month appointment we had gotten the ok to stop night feeds as he wasn't eating a lot at night and eats a ton during the day. So we were ready to address his (and our) sleep needs.
I was mentally prepared for a tough few nights and with the support of my consultant got down to the business of consistent sleep training. I think that was the key for me, being consistent and having someone who could give me structure and reassure me that what I was doing was the right thing to do. What if they wake up after half an hour? How do I slowly stop those night feeds? What do I do if he wakes at 5am ready to party?
The best part of working with a sleep consultant was having those guidelines. I felt empowered knowing what I would do throughout the night. The first couple of nights were hard. There was crying, and I was ok with that, he was learning a new routine and it was going to be tough. While trying to reduce his feeds he just suddenly started to not need to feed at night, which was great.
By about night four we were down to one wakeup at night (from 4-7 wakeups - what a win!) and often he settles himself before I get to his room. This has been a huge win for us! I am sleeping the majority of my hours together, and just sleeping well in general!
Finnley wakes up happy and is generally happy to be in his crib. He goes to bed without a fight and settles himself down. He doesn't need me to run into his room multiple times a night to pop a soother in. He just doesn't need it during the night anymore.
Sleep has also helped him during the day. He's happier, more alert and actively learning. Our time together is quality now, and I love seeing how much more he smiles.
I don't think I would have been as successful without the help of Jamie. It was great to have an unbiased person giving me support and structure. She checked in with me several times a day and gave me tips for the future.
If you're considering sleep training, I say go for it. If you can do it yourself that's great, if you need help that's ok too. Just know when your child sleeps (and you sleep) you'll both feel so much better. You'll get to enjoy your child more and bedtime won't instil fear in you.
How did your baby learn to sleep? Did you sleep train? Let me know if the comments below!
I posted a photo to Instagram the other week asking what people wanted to see, my muffin recipe or the "How To" for my Spring Beet Salad. Most folks said the muffins (and hey, they're dark chocolate chip banana muffins so I can't really blame them....), but I did have one person who wanted to learn about this salad - so Steph this is for you!
I have to be honest, I generally hate salad. Lettuce bores me. Spinach and kale don't really float my boat either. So for me to truly dig into a salad, it has to have enough "other stuff" for me to forget I'm having a salad.
One of my favourite things to add to boring old salad, are beets. They need to be roasted, and since I tend to have the oven on a least once a week roasting food to make Finn purees it's super easy for me to toss in some beets and roast them as well. I just remove the ends, cut in half, toss in olive oil and roast until fork tender (it really depends on the size but generally 45-60 minutes at 425). I roast the beets in tinfoil, and when they're done I just let them sit for a bit and steam, which means the skins basically fall off.
For extra flavour once the skins are off I toss the beets in balsamic vinegar (about a tbsp) and let them kinda marinate in the vinegar as they cool down. I feel that when you add the balsamic directly to the hot beets they soak up more of the flavour.
This salad is a little different every time I make it, I really use it as a fridge clean out, to use more produce and enjoy some seasonal foods. This is how I made the salad this time around, but please free style and leave your adaptations in the comments below!!
One of the things that really attracted us to our home was the backyard. It is a very manageable size for new homeowners and backs on to protected green space, which makes it feel like it goes on forever. We also loved our two-tier deck. We knew it would be perfect for hosting our friends and family and maybe enjoying a beer or two on a sunny summer afternoon.
The only problem was, we didn't have anywhere to sit, and the way the backyard had been done previously, wasn't 100% to our taste. So, armed with Pinterest and my Dad who is a bit of a backyard makeover expert, we set to work.
The guys (my husband and my dad) had two big projects: sod a sandy pit in our backyard (the result of a previous kiddy pool killing all the grass) and fix up the front lawn/garden. My husband planned out our front garden and gave it a bit of a modern facelift and he incorporated some of favourite colours, pink and purple. Then they moved on to tackling the aforementioned sandy pit... several bags of dirt later (including one extra trip for more) and many rolls of sod, the guys had the backyard all greened up and levelled out. Yay! No more risk of rolling one's ankle!
My job during all of this had been to update our patio furniture. We had been given a set of furniture from family friends when they were downsizing. It was in great shape, however, was a shade of green that was a little more 90's then we envisioned for our backyard oasis.
So, we opted to give it a cost effective facelift with some spray paint. I went to my local Home Depot and picked up several (like a heck of a lot of) cans of Rust-Oleum Metallic Paint and Primer in Oil Rubber Bronze. Each chair needed it's own can and the table needed two cans. Below is a brief summary of what I did and a few tips!
We added the finishing touches with some great comfy cushions (from The Superstore) and a bench and red umbrella (from Canadian Tire). We couldn't be happier with how it turned out and feel like we have really added another room to our house.
What do you do to get your backyard summer ready? Any DIY tips? Leave them in the comments below!
I love to cook, entertain, craft and create - all while being a wife, friend, daughter and a mom to a little boy.