Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Update

So you know when you get so far behind in your blogging that just feel this immense amount of guilt about it and part of your brain is like "just delete the thing already"? But then the other part of your brain is like "just write something to catch up". So I've got some catching up to do. Need to fill you all in on Australia and such, but the most exciting topic is that Holly is now a fully mobile baby. She's a crawling demon now: life just got interesting. I'm waiting for my eyes in the back of my head to arrive.

Hey, look what I found in the basement...'s a do you turn these things on again?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jaime's Away

This little Piggy went to Penny Arcade Expo
and These little Piggies stayed home
This little Piggy had roast beef, and beer and drunk chicken
and these little piggyies had none
And this little piggy will go wee, wee, wee, all the way home tomorrow

Jaime's at Penny Arcade Expo. I'm happy for him, but really wish I could have gone too. Especially after hearing about Jaime's performance at Drunk Rock Band on stage in front of 50 paxers. He claims to have got 100 on his rendition of Vaseline by Stone Temple Pilots.

We miss his so much. Holly keeps looking round for her daddy. And I realise now how much I look forward to Jaime when he comes home from work.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our Baby is Six Months Old Today!

I can't believe it but Holly is now six months old. Its been the fastest and best six months of my life. Having a baby has brought us such joy. Holly is just the most lovely person.

Each day she learns something new; each day brings a new achievement. She is close to being able to sit up on her own. Her manual dexterity has improved so much. And we have started real foods. So far rice cereal and bananas. She was a little weary at first. We tried the cereal, but it just sat as a glob on her lip before Holly burst in tears, I'm sure she was convinced we were trying to poison her. I was a little disheartened that feeding was going to be hard. But the next night we tried again, and she really took to it. Now she really enjoys the feeding sessions. She certainly enjoys the mess she makes. Tonight we're going to try pears.

Along with the food, Holly has had lots of firsts lately. First time sleeping in a tent; first time watching mum play the cello; first time viewing wonders of the British Museum*. She loved them all. And while its a little sad to see her growing so quickly (can't they stay little babies just a little longer?), its is wonderful to watch her grow and learn and develop as a person. We are so proud of and absolutely in love with our Holly.

* Currently on display at the Royal BC Museum

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Holly Speaks :)

This is Holly at three and half months practising her speaking voice.

Holly Speaks from Jaime & Shannon on Vimeo.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I got two laughs and plenty of smiles

Lately I've been trying to make Holly laugh. I got very jealous that the one time I go away for a weekend Holly decides to laugh. So when I see my moment I strike, when she's all smiles I go for a rain of kisses which makes her giggle. It usually sounds like a "huh huh huh huh" but it makes me laugh.

Also I've been singing to her since birth. My Repertoire includes:

  • Do your ears hang low

  • Would you like to swing on a star

  • The Grand ol' Duke of York (Can I get a shout out to Prince Frederick)

  • Frère Jacques

  • Tainted Love (thank you Joe)

And just today I have added "Diamonds are a girls best friend" ... apparently I know the lyrics better than Shannon. Make of that what you will, but who can resit a musical number of that calibre.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kneel Before Zod

Today Mum and I weathered the trip out to IKEA on a Saturday afternoon, while Daddy stayed home and watched Holly. Holly really is getting too long for the bassinet so we had to bite the bullet and get a crib. Lucky us, the crib I wanted has been discontinued so I was able to get it for half off.

However, while we were there I picked up a high chair for Holly. She's not quite ready for real food yet, but I still think she'd like to sit at the table with us while we eat. So this afternoon was the first time Holly sat in a high chair...

...thirty seconds later was the first time Holly dropped something* from the high chair. I suspect it will not be the last time.

*Sophie le Giraffe

Friday, June 26, 2009

First Video of Holly

So I finally figured out how to compress and upload videos using iMovie. Here is the first video we shot of Holly when she was just shy of a month old. I can't believe how tiny and alien looking she looks here. She looks so different now. I wish I had got a video camera for her first few days, as its getting harder and harder to remember what she was like then.

Holly's first video from Jaime Fenton on Vimeo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Goin' On a Hike

Yesterday we got out and enjoyed the sunshine by taking a little hike in Stanley Park. Rather than walk around the park along the seawall, we took the trails in the park leading up to Prospect Point. The trails were surprisingly deserted (when you see how packed the seawall is on a sunny day), and were cool and refreshing. We rewarded ourselves with a great lunch of fish and chips at the little cafe up at Prospect Point. Holly is really enjoying dining out, as long as she held up at peoples level and is given her food too.

Walking back along Merilees trail that skirts past a large area that had been severely damaged in 2006's windstorm, we saw tons of gorgeous magenta flowers (foxgloves, I've been told), ferns and small seedlings that would not have been there except for the now canopy-less landscape. And with so many flowers came so much beautiful fragrance and many gorgeous bees! Holly was a darling the whole way, either sleeping in her stroller or taking in the scenery. She certainly was the least fazed - after fours hours and 10.5 kilometres we were bushed but Holly was up for playing when we got home.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Holly Laughs

Holly just laughed for the very first time! It was turning on the kitchen faucet that did it(i guess she'd never seen it before and it was somehow amusing). And it wasn't just a couple of giggles either. It was a good two minutes of chuckles. It was like she had wanted to laugh for ages before this but did know how and had been storing up her laughs for when she could. Pity Jaime's away camping and missed it.

The Visitors

Haven't updated in awhile, but we have a good excuse - visitors! First off Jai's folks came out from Australia to meet their grand-daughter for the first time. Naturally Holly made a fabulous impression - how could she not? It was great because though the Grandparents were only here for ten days, Holly made some nice developmental leaps during that time. She's learned to hold her head up properly now. While she will slump a little when she's tired, most of the time she can hold her head up, which means I can now hold her on my hip and put her forward facing in the baby carrier. Also, her 'baby talk" has improved and she can make many more sounds than before. She's also grown immensely; she's now 5.5 kilos, meaning she's more than doubled her birth weight of 2.6 kilos. It does mean she's outgrowing the bassinet -we will need to buy a crib soon, making our bedroom very squishy.

While the in-laws were here, we managed a weekend up to the Sunshine Coast. We have some long-time friends who own a gorgeous bed and breakfast up there. The weather was glorious, making the ferry ride over awesome. I caught up with my friend Saba - a friend from when I was a little girl. She's the same age as me, but she has four children, the oldest of which is just graduating from high school. It's so strange as I have only just now had a little baby. Holly liked getting out of the city I think and enjoyed the gorgeous garden at the B&B. I wish I could find some place for us to live that had a little garden.

After their time here Jai's folks headed for a week in New York. The next visitor was my cousin James who came up from Seattle to meet his new cousin. While he was here we did a nice hike in Lynn Canyon, afterwards enjoying a yummy BBQ. While his visit was brief, it was great to catch up with him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where does the time go?

Holly is twelve weeks old!!! Almost three months!!! How did that happen? She's growing so fast! Its so sad to have to be putting away some of the cute things she wore when she first arrived, knowing that she'll never wear them again. She's over five kilos now. She is no longer teeny tiny.

She's developed so much. She's starting to take an interest in playing with toys. She's not quite ready to grab them, but knows that when they're attached the bouncy chair she can flail around and they will make a noise.

She is very close to holding up her head on her own. She is not quite there yet, and that made getting passport photos for her today very interesting. The photographer took about 30 snaps before she finally got one where she wasn't crying, tilted or my fingers in the way. Now I can apply for Holly's Aussie citizenship and an Aussie passport.

She's smiling so much now; it makes us so happy. Plus she coos and gurgles now. No more hair though. It hasn't grown at all! And she's sleeping through the night. So I can often get five hours of sleep at night.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Shout Out to my Midwife

When I first found out I was pregnant I went to my regular family doctor. I hadn't been very happy with him but finding a good GP who's taking patients is hard, so it was all I could do. In typical fashion, he spent minimal time with me and did a very basic job. I was getting frustrated by the lack of care, especially on whether or not to have amniocentesis. Then luckily I was told about a group of midwives by one of my mum's friends who had just had a baby. I managed to get an appointment with Chloe from Bloom Midwives. I could not believe the difference in care I received over that of a doctor! I must admit that I thought of midwives as baby-specific nurses. However, they're really more like doctors - they can order tests, prescribe drugs and even do minor surgery. After I switched to the midwife, my appointments went from five minutes to 45 minutes. I was given so much support and information, so that I could feel good making decisions like amniocentesis (which I did not have to do luckily).

Then in my third trimester Chloe told me she would have a UBC midwifery student, Yarrow, interning with her and could she come to our appointments and delivery. I was initially very skeptical, having seen some pretty inept med students in my time. However, after my first meeting with Yarrow all my reservations went away. She put me very at ease with her professionalism and warmth. So when I went into labour, I essentially had two midwives looking after me, as well as an obstetrician monitoring my sky-high blood pressure. And I honestly don't think I could have kept pushing if it wasn't for Chloe's incredible coaching.

After I gave birth, both Chloe and Yarrow came to my house to check on us all almost everyday the first week. I've never had such great medical care in my life! Their knowledge really helped us to settle in to being comfortable as parents. My only sadness is that midwifery care is only up to six weeks after birth, and now I have to find a doctor for Holly's ongoing care.

So to Chloe and Yarrow - thanks so much!!! And to those of you in the Vancouver area who might have a baby anytime soon, I recommend Bloom midwives (I've heard equally glowing reports for the other midwives that practice there too).

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Wonderful Birthday Weekend

This past weekend was my birthday and it was really special. On Friday night Jaime, the sneaky boy, organised a surprise birthday dinner for me. It was just supposed to be us but when we arrived at the Afgan Horseman Restaurant, eight of our friends were waiting! Its was a fabulous surprise. After dinner we adjourned to our place to play Dalmuti, enjoy some drinks and hurl abuse at each other (just joking).

On Saturday we had folks over again to watch the Canucks hockey game and to try out Jaime's new BBQ (that I bought him for our anniversary). Even though the Canucks lost, it was still a nice time and much flame-grilled meat and cupcakes were consumed.

On Sunday, Mum, Jai, Holly (in her first outing to a real restaurant) and went to the Sandbar on Granville Island for brunch. My eggs benedict was fantastic and Holly was a very good little girl, suggesting that she might enjoy dining out as much as her parents do.

All in all, it was a lovely three days of birthday fun. Thanks to all for being a part of the festivities and particularly to Jai for making such an effort to surprise me!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First Immunisations - Wwwwaaahhhhhh

Today Holly had her first set of immunisations. Three needles for eight diseases. I know its got to be done, but boy it was tough watching her get the needles. I held her close, but she cried so much and was so upset. I cried too. The nurse was really nice to us both; it sounds like a lot of mums cry when their babies first get their jabs. I've discovered that seeing your child in pain is harder to handle than being in pain yourself.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What Holly Likes

So now that Holly is a full nine weeks old, its starting to be apparent what her likes and dislikes are.

Holly likes:
  • Lying on and (unfortunately) sucking on the sheepskin rug.
  • Music by Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Billie Holiday, Bob Marley, Delerium, and Juno Reactor.
  • Having her nappie* changed (she's the only baby I've ever met that does).
  • Lying on mummy or daddy's chest.
  • The bouncy chair. The thing has soothing vibrations that are supposed to put her to sleep, but are far more effective for making her do a poo.
  • Kicking things.
  • Having a bath.
  • The sound of the dishwasher and vacuum cleaner.
  • NHL Hockey playoffs - She's already a Canucks fan.
  • Cuddles
Holly does not like:
  • Being swaddled with her arms in. I've had to develop a "swaddle-from-the-armpits-down" way of wrapping her up.
  • Trying to be fed on the breast :(
  • The sound of crinkling paper.
  • When mummy and daddy want to have dinner.
  • Metal, Rap and music by the Gorillaz.
  • The baby sling.

*This is the Aussie/British word for diaper.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nine and Three Years

Nine years of happiness together and three years of wedded bliss. Today, Earth Day, is our wedding anniversary. I can't believe we've been together almost a decade. The time has just flown by. Its an especially special anniversary this year as it is our first with our beautiful baby girl. She has added such happiness to our life. Jen sums it up best about how the heart is an ever expanding organ.

Happy Anniversary Jaime-boo :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So far ...

So far I've been pooped on, thrown up on, had my shirt sucked and spat upon. I've been headbutted, kicked in the face, punched in the face, slapped and scratched. I've had my groin stomped and my ear screamed in.

And I've loved every moment of it, especially now that she has learned to smile :)

My Present to Me: An iMac

So I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a new computer, having last purchased a pc in September 2003. I had ummed and ahhed about it for ages after I had to give my macbook pro back to work in January. Since then the only computer access I had was Jaime's old Frankenstein of a pc, which worked, but barely. Besides bad performance, the biggest problem was the sound; like a jet engine taking off. Holly hated it!

So I ordered myself an imac! And it is a thing of beauty. 640 gig hard drive, 4 gig ram and a screen that makes me redefine what colours mean. The built in speakers are great. And everyday I learn something new that OSX can do. I just found out that if I get a USB keyboard, I can learn to play the piano through Garage Band! And for digital photography it's perfect!

And most importantly, its whisper quiet. Even the keyboard is considerably less clicky than traditional ones, so it doesn't bother Holly.

So yes, I am one of those annoying Mac people.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Filth Wizard

...friend only to the rat and the pig. That's Holly. I cannot believe how much laundry she generates. Today she managed to throw up on her adorable little onesie suit about three seconds after I put it on her. And the thing is that I don't actually mind the task of laundry. There's something almost zen about putting dirty, disheveled clothes in the machine and taking them out clean and soft. However, like most apartment buildings in Vancouver, we do not have a washer in our suite, but rather have a laundry room in the basement of our building. This wouldn't be so bad if the washers weren't so scarce or nasty. This building has almost 140 apartments, and yet we have six washers and six dryers in the laundry room. Trying to grab a washer or two during the week is tough and on weekends its practically an Olympic event. And the industrial monster washers are just brutal on our clothes. I miss having my own washer, where if I realised at Midnight on a Sunday that I had no clothes for the week, I could do the washing then and there. Alas, until we own our own place (which is never) I shall be at the mercy of the industrial washers.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today is that day.

Though spring technically sprang on March 20th, it really has felt like winter up until today. Today is that day when the temperature edges up towards 15 degrees and all the Vancouverites come out of hibernation and hit the beaches and parks. Its blinding to see all the blue-white, "haven't seen the sun in six months" skin. It was perfect day to hit Stanley park for Holly's first picnic. It was also the perfect chance to take Holly out in the new Baby Bjorn Active, which I scored used on craiglist for about $130 less than it sells for retail!

What a beautiful day. Nice to get out for a lovely walk around the Lagoon, and see the swans nesting. Came back along Denman Street grabbing some cupcakes on the way. We probably walked about six kilometers all up and Holly slept most of the way. The new baby carrier is a dream. All in all, an awesome day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Post!

It's funny, but when I imagined maternity leave I envisioned all this time I'll have to get stuff done between taking care of baby. How wrong I was! I love little Holly and spending time with her, but I now realise how difficult it is to do even basic things while holding a baby most of the time. My to do list now has to include things like shower, eat, pee! So unfortunately blogging inevitably gets pushed to the bottom of that list.

But now that I am starting to get more comfortable with the whole mothering thing I have a few moments to sit down and type (with one hand while the other cradles a squirmy baby) an update.

So after six weeks into life outside my tummy, Holly is doing very well. One recent change includes better eye focusing, meaning Holly now stares right down into your very soul when she looks at you. Her eyes have lightened to a slate grey-blue. While she initially had quite a head of sandy blond hair, much has fallen out and now she looks like a little bald baby with a golden halo. Most importantly is the weight she's put on. Born at five pounds 13 ounces (2.6 kilos) and mildly jaundiced, the doctors focused on the need for her to gain weight as quickly as possible. And she's done that in spades. Now Holly weighs in at eight pounds 9 ounces (3.8 kilos). No longer scrawny, Holly's the very picture of the chubby little baby, with a little double chin to boot.

The sounds and faces she makes are hysterical. We are never long between laughs what with all her gurgles, coos, and squeaks. Being a parent is even more amazing than I thought it would be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Yes, We Have a Video"

We decided to buy a camcorder to capture all the little moments with Holly. While I consider myself an expert on still photography, I really don't know much about videography, and choosing a camcorder was pretty hard. In the end we went with the Canon HG10. So far we've been pretty happy with it. However, we are still trying to figure out how to convert the HD format files to something more web friendly. Once we get that sorted we'll be putting up some of our Holly movies.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Exciting times

So as Shan has already mentioned WE HAD A BABY!

She's perfect in every way (and I'll hear nothing different). A mix of emotions have been happening, but none of them negative. I am missing sleep but then again, the more time I'm awake caring for my daughter is more time I get to spend with her.

The other big milestone in my life is I just became a permanent resident of Canada. I'm halfway on the way to becoming a citizen of Canada (although my daughter has already beaten me to this and to having dual citizenships).

So interesting times have occurred and more to come I'm certain. Loving every moment of it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And Now We Are Three

Introducing Holly Jane, our gorgeous little baby girl. Twelve days old and already she's changing quickly. We're starting this new blog to reflect the change in our life. An Australian-Canadian family of three. While we are both Canadian residents, Holly has already beaten us to Canadian citizenship. However, we will not forget her Aussie heritage. When toast finally gets on the menu, it will be topped by vegemite!

Two observations about labour: 1) It hurts more than anyone can prepare you for. 2) It's true; it's all worth it. Even after 36 hours of induction and another 22 hours of labour, when she popped out, I was moved to tears by the awesome sense of love I have for her, and for J (and not just because they had pumped me full of oxytocin).

Both J and I will be posting here (hopefully more than we did on our own blogs). But even though there will be lots of baby news, we promise to keep it sufficiently geeky. I mean, J hacked into the wireless network in the hospital when I was in labour to keep people updated about my progress. And Holly's already dressed in dinosaur-laden jammies. And we're hoping to get a camcorder soon so we can post videos of our little girl.