Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Day in the Life of Little Miss m (at 14 months)

Every since having a baby, 1) I've become a total sap and want to remember every detail of every day because time passes so quickly, and 2) I forget everything.

In the past I've seen a few bloggers document their day with their children at different stages and ages, and I thought that by doing the same, it would be a good reminder of what life was like at this specific moment.

I woke up this morning and thought, okay, today is the day. It turned out to be an interesting day. Little m is teething and she was particularly clingy and quite grouchy, but also happy, laughing, and as usual, being the light of my life. You take the good with the bad and today was somewhere in between.

6:45am I got woken up by M's alarm and quickly hop into the shower, because these days, if I want to shower for longer than five minutes, I need to do so before Little m wakes up. I even have a couple of minutes to slip back into bed and read while I wait for the babe to wake.

7:10am She's up! I continue to read while I nurse Little m because my book is oh so good right now and I don't want to put it down. M is off to work early today so the monkey and I sit on the bed while he gets ready. We chit chat and Little m tries to figure out his blackberry password.

7:30am We say bye bye to daddy and it's time for a diaper change, which reminds me that I need to do diaper laundry today. We head downstairs to start the laundry. Little m is always so happy to see her big brother Bama in the mornings, and today is no different. There is squealing and general happiness.

7:45am I sit Little m on the counter so that she can "help" me make breakfast, or more so that she won't hold onto my legs and cry to be let up. She is so inquisitive and wants to be a part of everything.
Today I decide to make oatmeal since we haven't had it in a while and usually Little m eats it without a fuss. Oats, chia seeds, fig butter, a spoonful of greek yogurt, milk, and cinnamon, plus strawberries and raspberries to top it off. Yum. Little m is having fun playing with a bag of Halloween candy, so I set her down in the middle of the floor to play while the oatmeal cools. While she plays I wash dishes from last night. Ugh, dishes.

8am- Breakfast is served. Little m has a few bites and then throws all of the strawberries that I cut up for her onto the floor. I figure that she isn't hungry yet so I put her back down on the floor with the bag of candy. She is a big fan of sorting through objects, picking them up, and walking around the house while carrying them. With Little m being occupied, I figure this is a good time to vacuum. A little boy that I babysit is coming over today so I want to make sure the house is spic and span. After five minutes of vacuuming, Little m is pulling at my legs, so I pick her up and continue. I set her down so I can vacuum under the couches and a moment later she's at my legs holding out a book to read together. I quickly finish, then pull her into my lap to read the book she's been following me around with.

8:15am - I try offering breakfast again, this time giving her an Aussie bite (from Costco, so good), since the oatmeal and fruit is a no-go. These are one of her favourite foods but it goes directly onto the floor, which makes me very frustrated since I hate wasting food. It's really unusual that Little m won't eat, so I figure her teeth must be bothering her. I let Little m out of her chair and start to put the vacuum away. She runs into the closet and hightails it toward the dog food. She had her first taste of it last week and is now obsessed. Little m ignores me saying no and reaches in for a handful of kibble. I catch her just in time and she has a fit that I'm taking her beloved dog food away. She runs and hides in a corner and cries. After a minute she's over it and is on to the next thing. Little m finds Bama's medicine on the table (it's a whole new ballgame now that she can reach the tabletop) and when I say,"Give it to mama," she runs in the other direction. Another fit ensues when I take it away. 

For the next half hour, Little m has a fit about everything and anything. I won't let her play in the dishwasher - she run and cries into the couch. I won't let her empty out the fridge door - she runs away and cries some more. She's finally happy when she figures how to outsmart the child proofing and opens the kitchen cabinet. Into the garbage she goes and finds a real treasure.

When I take away the dirty diaper and close the cabinet she has another fit. Oh man. I think about the long day ahead of me.

A minute later she comes over and hugs me and I pull her into my lap. She just needs some TLC. I notice that she feels hot and because she's been acting so grumpy, I decide to take her temperature. Thankfully it's normal. I get Little m dressed for the day and bring her into my bathroom to brush her teeth while I blow dry my hair. Finally, she is happy! My my, this girl loves brushing her teeth plus it keeps her hands busy while I put a bow in her hair.  Success! For once, she doesn't rip the bow out immediately.

We head back downstairs and I sit in the living room and she brings book after book over for me to read to her. I love it, even if she will only let me read one or two pages before it's on to the next.

9am- I try again with breakfast and this time she gobbles up two Aussie Bites. While she eats, I sit at the kitchen table, cutting up grapes and depitting them. How did I not notice that I bought 5lbs of seeded grapes? Never again. I'm planning on having a picnic at the park today so I get lunch packed and ready to go in Little m's lunch bag.

9:30am- Little m continues to play while I get everything ready to leave the house. I want to attend a music class at 10am before picking up the boy I babysit at 11am. There's only one problem. I can't find my wallet. I run around like a crazy woman and decide to break the law and drive without my licence. I buckle Little m into the car, then change my mind and run back upstairs to take one last look. I find it under a box of recycling.

9:45am- Ahhh, a peaceful drive to Whole Foods, where the free music class takes place. Little m has a blast and gets comfortable enough near the end to go up on the stage with the other kids and dance stand around. Her little hands are too cute.
10:30am- Time to go pick up the little guy I babysit. We get to his school early, so I pull the monkey up to the front seat and she sits on my lap and eats grapes until it's time to go in.

11am- So the plan was to go to a nearby park to play and have lunch, but the little guy is so grumpy that we just head home.  So much for the beautiful October weather!

11:15am- We have lunch, play a little, then it's time to put Little m down for a nap at noon. She is exhausted. We're still getting used to the one nap a day schedule.

12pm- I spend the next two hours with the little guy, carving pumpkins, raking leaves and playing in the backyard.

2pm - I'm child free so I rush inside to make a few phone calls for a side job before Little m wakes up.

2:30pm- Little m is up and surprise, surprise - she's still tired and grumpy. I nurse her for a few minutes and that makes her a lot happier. Boobs are magic.

3pm- It looks like it's going to rain so I decide to take Bama for a walk. I forgo the stroller and let Little m walk on her own. I take a route where I know we will pass by a lot of Halloween decorations and the monkey girl absolutely loves it. Looking back, these are my favourite moments of the day. She is so extremely happy just to be standing, looking at pumpkins. We spend a good 15 minutes walking back and forth between the three houses that have the most decorations. One of the ladies comes out to chat for a few minutes.

3:30pm- We walk back to our house and go into the backyard to play some more while the skies are still clear. Little m loves playing with the leaves and swinging in her dolphin swing. I open up our empty turtle sandbox and sit on the edge. Little m has a blast stepping into the sandbox and then out of the sandbox.. into the sandbox and out of the sandbox. It's the little things in life.

4:00pm- I feel raindrops so we head inside. I am so happy that we have leftovers for tonight's dinner because the last thing I want to do is cook.

We play and read more books. I show Little m a new animal game app I downloaded onto my iPhone. M and I have been emailing back and forth and he's feeling pretty stressed out from a combo of work piling up and trying to study for his exam next week. I encourage him to stay late at work and study there so he can focus. This means he won't get to see his munchkin tonight, but such is life. We all can't wait until his exam is over.

5pm- I heat dinner up - leftover pasta with meat sauce and peas on the side. I strip off Little m's clothes because I know things are about to get messy. She loves the pasta and wants a second serving of peas!

5:20pm- We head straight for the bath tub. Little m plays in the tub while I go through the pictures I took on my iPhone today, deleting the blurry/bad ones. I look over and oh gawd, a floater. Gross me right out. This is the first time this has happened to us. I pluck Little m out of the tub, drain it, clean it out, and bath time continues.

Now I know why she looks so mischievous in this picture.

6:00pm Time for pj's. I get Little m lotioned up, disposable diaper on, and now it's time for a few last minutes of playing and reading. Little m loves carrying her bears to the bathtub and throwing them in. We take a goodnight picture and send it to daddy.

6:20pm Because this was an off day, and Little m's been yawning ever since she woke up from her nap, I decide that an early bedtime is necessary. Well, just ten minutes earlier than normal, but still. I nurse Little m and lay her down in bed. She's crying as soon as I shut the door, which is very out of the ordinary.

6:30pm- I run downstairs to make another phone call for my side job. Little m is still crying a bit and I go back upstairs and give her some ibuprofen. I can tell her teeth are hurting her, poor baby. She has been chewing on everything today, including her own wrist when she can't find anything else.

Again, the littlest monkey starts crying as soon as I close her door. It rarely happens that she makes a peep at bedtime and I hope the ibuprofen works quickly. I make my last phone call and sit down to write this blog post. Again at 7 and 7:15 I hear her cry out. My poor sweetie pie.

I was supposed to attend a yoga event tonight but since M is staying at work to study, it's just me and my boy Bama. I spend half an hour cleaning up the kitchen and putting away toys. I spend most nights either relaxing and watching tv, catching up on my emails, going grocery shopping or making Costco runs, or doing whatever else needs to be done. Tonight I spent a lot of time blogging (look at the size of this post) and as soon as I hit publish I'm going to get cozy on the couch!

Did you find anything surprising about my day with a 14 month old? Other than finding out that I'm still nursing her?! How was your day?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Little m's First Birthday Party!

I knew I wanted to make a rainbow cake ever since noticing one on the internet a few years ago. I just needed the right occasion. A first birthday party? Perfect! Thus, for Little m's birthday, a rainbow themed party was born! First on Pinterest, then in reality.

I knew I wanted to keep the party fairly small and invited only my immediate family members and best friend. I also knew I wanted it to be a pool party because, well, my parents have a pool and it was a hot day in August!

For decorations, I hit the dollar store and stocked up on balloons. I loved the balloon garland
I saw John and Sherry from Young House Love make, so I decided to give it a try. My dad is Mr. Handy and came up with a much easier way to knot the balloons on without feeding the super long string though each and every time. I think the garland turned out fabulously and I hung it between the pool and the house. So simple yet so pretty, blowing in the breeze.

Other than the garland, I hung a few balloons from the mailbox and decorated the table area a bit with what else, more balloons! In proper rainbow order, might I add.

I also filled a beer glass up with skittles and popped some pinwheels in for a centrepiece. 

I tried to make the food as rainbowy as possible as well. I made a rainbow fruit tray, rainbow veggie tray, rainbow fruit dip, rainbow jello (my mom's recipe), and for non-rainbow food - pulled pork, coleslaw, chips, and pickles! I sent the kids home with rainbow popcorn for their party favour.

For dessert I made rainbow cupcakes, a mini rainbow cake for the birthday girl, and a huge rainbow cake for everyone else. I wanted to use gel food colouring, as I read that it makes the colours more vivid, but I couldn't find any. I didn't really look too hard.
I got the idea of the mini cake from this blog and I love how it turned out. I went skimpy with the cream cheese frosting on Little m's cake because she'd never really eaten sugar before and I didn't want to have a wild animal on my hands. 

Little m was delighted with all of the attention and although she liked the cake, I think she liked the Happy Birthday singing more than anything else! We ended up taking away the bottom four layers of the cake to make it easier for Little m to eat smush it into her dress. 

The big cake was made from two boxes of mix, a whole lotta food colouring, and a double batch of my mom's cream cheese frosting. She was a labour of love, she was. Things would have been much quicker if I had more that two cake pans, but such is life. The end result was so worth it. It took four adults to cut the cake and hold it up so it wouldn't fall over, but hey, that was fun in and of itself. 

The day was absolutely perfect, Little m was her usual happy self, and I had so much fun planning and executing the rainbow party. Even though she's a year old, Little m is still my peanut and we are so thankful we had the opportunity to celebrate her first year with friends and family. Check out this super short video to see the cuteness in action!