Moo at the Zoo 

Leading up to Monkey’s birthday we were asked what he needed or what we would like him to have. Our answer was always “books or experiences”, which was usually met with a look or comment of “really?”.

Because we are a family with two working parents and Monkey (according to Ms. J) is the best sleeper ever he doesn’t need a toy room full of toys. I’m not saying he doesn’t need any, trust me he has plenty, but he is only home and awake for about 3 hours a day and that includes the 90 minutes it takes for supper, bath and stories at the end of the night.

What Monkey (and Mama & Dada) need are things that create memories and can be used during the routine that works like magic. You don’t mess the the routine TRUST ME!

Michael and I are strong believers that you can never have too many books and our house right now is a testament to that.

Monkey’s ever growing book collection

So gifting your favourite books to add to our collection is a lot of fun for me, plus I am that super lame Aunty who always buys books or gift cards to Chapters/Indigo for all occasions, all the time; so I really appreciate books as gifts. But for those rare times that I don’t, I give experiences. Either for the little and I to do together or for the little and their family. 

It can be really difficult after a long week at the office to will yourself to put on pants let alone pack up the family and head out to somewhere full of screaming littles that aren’t yours and the risk of yours following suit. But one thing I know for certain is that when someone gifts you an experience you find that extra bit of will power and manage to make it out the door and you are thankful for the memories the gift brought. 

This year Monkey received a pretty awesome experience for his birthday from some family in New Brunswick, an Annual Family Zoo Pass to the Calgary Zoo. This gift hits two very important markers for us, it will give us a reason to do something fun and stimulating outside the house and most importantly we can drive during naps!

We decided that this past weekend would be a perfect time to go because it had been a sunny 27C the majority of the week and Nanny and Grammy are visiting from the Maritimes.

Yes that’s right Mama put his shoes on the wrong feet #mamafail #noonenoticeduntil3hourslater

As you can see from the look on Monkey’s face we had a great time. Even though he is just barely 1, there was so much for him to see, hear, smell (💩) and see. He was beyond fascinated with the animal sculptures around the zoo and I think he was a little perplexed as to how Sophie grew so big and managed to get to Calgary all on her own.

So brave with Dada’s help

Mama… how did Sophie get so big?


But Mama’s favourite as always are the penguins 🐧 

This has been one of our most successful trips so far! Beautiful weather, no melt downs, and lots of learning. I am sure we will be taking advantage of this pass often over the next year. 

What is your favourite day trip with your littles? Let me know in to comments below!

Goals are a dream with a deadline

Now that 33 is here it’s time to set some goals for the next 365 days. Last year my only goal was for Monkey to come home. This year I think I will be a little more selfish. 

I have had a dream of running a marathon sincei was 21. I started running in my fourth year of university and blew out my left knee. I tried again at 23 and did really well but when my running partner moved away I struggled to maintain my routine. Every few year after that I have started and stopped with goals of running a marathon at 25, before 30, at 30 and now with 35 only a few year away I will set this goal again by 35 I will have run a marathon.

My next goal is for our family. I want the three of us to travel to the beach when it’s freezing here. Whether that means Christmas at Disney, January in Hawaii or February at an all inclusive in the Caribbean, we will have a sun break this winter

And lastly my third goal is to challenge myself to try 2 new healthy recipes a month and blog about it here. I hope you will all enjoy them and share them with your friends! 

I can’t wait to see what this year brings and I hope you join me for the journey! 

What was 33 like for you? Do you make birthday goals? What was your favourite? Let me know if the comments below!

10 Things about 32

I LOVE my Birthday. It’s my most favourite day of the year. It always falls on my favourite week in the best month of the year, April 16… TODAY!!! Yay!!! 🎉

And in celebration of my special day here is a list of 10 things that made 32 so special.

  1. Monkey was home for my first Mother’s Day
  2. Michael and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary 
  3. Michael and I both brought Monkey home to meet our families.
  4. We had our first Christmas in our new house.
  5. I mastered the pizza stone
  6. And rye bread on the pizza stone
  7. I got really sick but got my priorities straight because of it
  8. I spent the entire year loving these Monkey  feet​.
  9. I learned the power of regular pedicures… especially in the winter.
  10. I Started Dinner at the McGills and I’m enjoying every minute of it! 

Even though 32 began with a pod party, it turned out to be a magnificent year, that flew by far too quickly! I am so excited to see what 33 brings!

    🐒Look Who’s 1 🐒 

    Thinking about last year today, I didn’t expect that you would be here quite yet, which was painfully obvious in my lack of organization around the hospital part of labour and delivery. Your father and I were supposed to start prenatal classes at the hospital the evening you were born and I hadn’t met my delivery doctor yet… actually they called to book my first appointment about an hour after you were born. But none the less you came into the world in your very special way and this last year has taught me that life doesn’t always go as you planned but God certainly has a plan and lesson for you in all the unexpected journeys you take.

    At 2:50pm you were born 5lbs 6oz, 18 3/4 inches of “HERE I AM WORLD!”, and from there the adventure began. 

    First Day Without CPAP

    Your Father and I spent every single one of the 36 days you were in the NICU there with you. Even my birthday!

    This cute smile was the best Birthday gift ever

    But like the nurses told us every day, babies do go home from the NICU and not a single one would do so while attending kindergarten… as much as it felt like that is when you would be discharged. And after passing your car seat test you went home on the day that would have been the first day of my maternity leave.

    First time in the car seat

    When you arrived home you had so many visitors. Good thing you love snuggles so much because there were lots to go around.

    Family snuggles

    Not long after you got home you had some amazing adventures, like when we visited the ocean 

    First day at the beach

    And the north

    You  even flew business class before you were even 6 months old!

    Flying in style

    Even with all this adventures and exciting things you continued to grow and learn so many new things like jumping

    Jumpin’ jumpin’ jumpin’

    Sleeping in your own bed


    Look at him go!

    Feeding yourself 

    Nom Nom Nom

    And standing

    This is what happens when you take your eyes off an 11 month old for less than a second

    Seeing how much you have grown I can’t help but wonder who you will become over the next year. What adventures will you take? What will you like the most? But one thing I know for certain is that it will be a wonderful ride because you are the brightest light in our lives. 

    Happy First Birthday My Monkey!

    Mommy Moment: A Mother’s Instinct 

    Shortly after Michael and I got home from our honeymoon we learned that we were expecting our first child and due in May of 2016. This was such exciting news, baby would be the first grandchild on my side of the family and the first in 3 years on Michael’s. Everything was going to plan; which is pretty typical for me. I am a planner like no other according to my best friend Alissa.

    The pregnancy went along smoothly, my prenatal appointments looked great but in the back of my mind I kept thinking “there’s something wrong”. I would often say we need to have everything ready by the end of March because you never know what could happen. At one appointment I broke down crying to the doctor saying I was worried there was something wrong and no one was telling me. I was reassured that the baby was healthy and I had absolutely nothing to worry about. 

    I kept attributing the worry running through my mind to first time mom jitters, but boy was I wrong… and extremely accurate.

    Easter 2016 arrived and Michael and I spent the weekend at Mass, and celebrating with family. I felt great after just getting over probably the worst cold of my life. When I returned to work on Tuesday I teased my officemate that I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions all weekend and that maybe I would go into labour in the office… his biggest concern since finding out I was expecting.  I thought I was hilarious!! On Wednesday I started my day a little late, a voice told me to take my weekly bump shot before leaving for work because it could be my last. Like I had been doing for months I pushed that out of my mind and rushed off to the office. 

    That entire day I felt off, I struggled to sit and stand and had no appetite. On my way home I decided to stop by my clinic and thankfully my GP was working walk in. He did an non stress test and said everything seemed ok and I was probably dehydrated from my cold so go home, rest, drink lots of fluids and if there is any blood or sharp pain go directly to the hospital. So I did just that… all of it.

    On March 31, 2016 around 2am I woke up and went to the bathroom and there was the tiniest bit of blood. I debated (can you believe it, I DEBATED!!!) waking up Michael to go to the hospital but thankfully after months of fighting it I let the little voice win. We packed up a few things because my hospital bag was not ready and we headed out. 

    While waiting in the exam room at the hospital and having nothing to look at but the giant clock on the wall I realized that the cramping that had been going on since weekend were about 3 minutes minutes apart. After the doctor examined me, Michael was told I was being admitted and would not be going home until baby came whether that was in 6 hours or 6 weeks. 

    Later that afternoon after hours of more poking, and ultrasounds Michael was sent home to get my things because I had only thrown a shirt and an extra pair of underwear in my purse because when packing that night I was certain this was not happening. The nurses put me in the bath hoping it would slow labour because I still hadn’t progressed any further than my exam at 3am. 

    At about 2pm my water broke, Michael was still gone and the little voice said you couldn’t have done anything different except pack your hospital bag. Thankfully Michael made it back to the hospital just minutes that felt like hours later and at 2:50pm in a room full of labour delivery nurses, obstetricians, pediatrcians, and a NICU team of nurses and respiratory care specialists our son was born. He cried, Michael cut the chord and he was taken away to be examined by the NICU team. Then he stopped crying…

    Our little bundle was whisked away to the NICU and Michael followed where his journey of several respiratory treatments began to stabilize him. Over the next few days we watched the team of nurses and doctors perform procedures and treatments on him to stabilize his breathing so he could come home, and after 36 days he did. And now he is a happy, healthy, growing far too quickly 8 month old Monkey.

    I will post more about our time in the NICU and how we managed to get through that difficult time soon. 

    Mommy Moment is a weekly post that covers my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a mom. Come by every Monday to read about what it’s like to be a once career focused mom of a premature baby, who sometimes solo parents, loves cloth diapering and often bites of more than she can chew.