Monday, October 20, 2014

Two Months

Harrison is two months old. Actually he is more than two months old, but since he hasn't quite mastered the art of sleeping this mama is a few days behind!

What can you say about a two month old baby? I mean, I love him to absolute bits, but he doesn't do a ton. He is starting to coo and smile and totally redeem himself for causing the aforementioned lack of zzz's. He is starting to hold his noggin up, which is actually impressive given his rapidly expanding cheeks. He seems like he is going to be more laid back than his sister, but since most people are more laid back than Vi, we're still not sure what this little man's personality will be like, but we love getting to know him so far.

People often ask me if he is a good baby, which I also often ask parents of newborns, but the question is a little funny. Does anyone respond that their baby is a bad baby? Before I got pregnant I would have taken a bad baby no questions asked, heck I would have taken a couple bad babies. I think that the fact we waited so long for Harrison coupled with the reality he is likely our last baby makes this whole newborn sleepless haze that much more manageable. When I am up in the night I truly feel so lucky to have a baby to be up with it makes it (almost) bearable. I just smell his head and kiss his cheeks and thank God he is finally here.



Here is last month's photo. (His face is definitely filling out. He may look like Daddy, but those cheeks are 100% Harris.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Newborn Photo Shoot with Charlotte Griffiths Photography

We don't normally get our photos taken professionally every few months, but since you don't have a newborn baby every day we asked Charlotte to come back and capture our family just after Harrison came home.

I've gone on about how much we love Charlotte, but it is possible that she is at her best when capturing new babes and the families who are welcoming them. What you will see in the images below is an adoring family and a tranquil babe. What you will not see are bodily fluids, including but not limited to tears, baby poo, baby pee and milk (lots and lots of milk). One of the great things about Charlotte is that none of this bothers her. She knows babies poop and pee without pause and doesn't mind if that happens to be on her beautiful blankets. She knows that it is hard being a big sister and that a new one might like being her assistant for the morning. And she knows that a mum may need to nurse her new baby if he makes even the teeniest squeak, because that is what mums of fresh babies need to do sometimes. Charlotte gets it and that is why it is such a pleasure to have her in your home even during those crazy, sleepless, hormonally charged first few days with a new baby.

We are so happy with the photos Charlotte gave us. I want to print them all. We have to add Harrison to the shrines of Violet that cover our walls and table tops after all.

Check out more of Charlotte's work on her beautiful website:

I hope you enjoy this little look at our little family.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Big School and Breakfast Conundrums

Violet started school this fall. I have lots of feelings on the subject, but this is not a blog post about letting your baby go off into the big wide world. This is a post about trying to feed that baby before she goes out into the world so she doesn't ostracize herself with bad behaviour brought on by low blood sugar. 

Sweet Violet has difficulty with breakfast. She is just not into it. I've been lucky because Violet will eat almost anything, but she will not eat at almost any time. As someone who wakes up ravenous I have trouble relating to her, but my sister is the same way so I have some experience with this mysterious breed. 

One morning Violet took over 45 minutes to eat one piece of toast with sunbutter -- I could have eaten it in under a minute easily. Hence the timer in the photo above, yes it has come to that, we actually time Violet's breakfast. Fifteen minutes is all you get at Em & Jeff's school of hard knocks. 

We've tried almost everything to appeal to Violet's tastebuds first thing in the morning: smoothies with almond butter and cocoa, eggs in their many incarnations, hot cereal, cold cereal, toast with every topping known to man, all to no avail. 

My mum had the bright idea to send Violet home with an extra large ziplock bag of fluffy white pancakes after their sleepover on the weekend. Voila! A breakfast Violet could get behind. I wondered if I could pack a little more wholesome goodness into Violet's morning meal and the internet did not let me down. The carrot pancakes pictured above wouldn't win an award for thier nutrition, but getting Violet to eat veggies and some nuts before school is good enough for me.

The pancakes are easy and Vi likes them hot with syrup or cold with maple butter - like a muffin, according to her...right...I think they taste like carrot cake without the icing (so basically not nearly as good as carrot cake, but good for a pancake, okay). 

In my few weeks of experience, kids in grade primary can be a bit of a challenge. However, when Violet crawled into bed with me the other morning, hugged me and told me I smelled like a waffle cone, all was forgiven. It really is a good thing they are still cute at this age, because holy!



Get the recipe for these delicious pancakes here:

A few shots (from my phone) of my number one school girl crush:

{day one}
{Violet's preferred mode of transportation}
{getting crazy on the slide}
{the consummate poser}

Friday, September 19, 2014

Baby Pond aka Harrison's Nook

{newborn Harrison in his nook -- photo by the wonderful Charlotte Griffiths}
I wrote a post similar to this one last night and I somehow deleted it. It was basically devastating. I've heard horror stories about PhD students losing their theses in the final hours before submission and if you would have seen the look on my face last night you would have believed me if I said that is what happened. Irrationally upset was I. Anyway, I've managed to move on, but boy was that a great post...

What I had wanted to share with you last night and what I am excited to share with you now is a little look at sweet Harrison's nook. Little is definitely the operative word! These photos are Charlotte's handiwork, (all but the poorly lit two at the end, those are mine):

I know what you're thinking, that room is small! I think it is around eight by six, a small closet by today's standards! We have, however, made the best of it, and I don't think Harrison has noticed the discrepancy between the size of his room and the size of his sister's room. Fodder for future therapy sessions I'm sure.

My dad was kind enough to paint the room and I requested "Going to the Chapel" by Benjamin Moore. If you are wondering if I chose the paint because of the name the answer is heck yes. How could I not? Such a cute name. I actually expected the colour to be more grey, less beige, but in most lights it looks more like the latter. I think that the colour suits the room because it is bright - great for such a small space - and a little warmer than the colour I had initially envisioned, which is quite nice for a nursery. 

I suppose we chose a subtle (I hope) nautical theme for Harrison's space. We went with the rope rug I mentioned in my first nook post and I found a couple ocean themed prints to display on the shelves we hung above his crib. My friend Amelia bought us the fisherman pendant light after I asked her if she liked it (she has great taste), how sweet was that? It really adds to the room and makes me want to change the boring old light fixtures that light up the rest of our house. 

The only thing that has really changed since these photos were taken is the window treatment. I finally got around to getting a roman shade made after finding the sweetest grey and white polka dot fabric at my new favourite shop, Patch Halifax. Have you been? Such a great store with such a sweet owner. It makes me want to learn to sew! Check it out, it is in the building where Nurtured used to be on Robie St. You'll love it, I promise. 

I do wish Harrison's room had a little more room. I'd love to rock him to sleep in there and a closet would be nice, but it really is cozy and all in all I am happy with how it turned out. It is a sweet little room for a sweet little boy. 



{literature and a photo of Harrison's fan club}
{shelves added for more storage, but not used to store anything overly practical!}
{every baby has a Sophie,  it is practically a requirement}
{this guy is the cutest thing in his nook times a million}
{thanks Ames! we love our fisherman light}
{the coziest rug in Christendom}

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Baby H is One Month Old!

It truly was with joy in our hearts that we welcomed Harrison Stuart David Pond to our little family on August 14th, 2014. How can a month feel at once so long and so short? That pretty much sums up parenthood in my limited experience.

H-Man, as he is affectionately known around these parts, arrived a few weeks early and in a bit of a whirlwind. I had gone the IWK for a routine-ish ultrasound with plans to leave for the valley for the day as soon as I was through. Well, we never left the hospital. Harrison wasn't making big movements so our doctor, who we love, suggested he would be happier (and better fed) on the outside and so out he came first thing the next morning. The night before he was born was so surreal. They had admitted me for fetal monitoring, but there was no great concern. Jeff and I shared a pizza from La Frasca and my favourite Bicycle Thief cake and I went to bed feeling like it was Christmas Eve. (It is funny how you forget all the horrible things that accompany a birth until you relive it again!) All of the discomfort was obviously worth it when I held the little guy in my arms (and I do mean little - he weighed in at a whopping 5lb 13oz).

Like many other mums I'm going to try to take a photo of Harrison every month for his first year. How many months do you think I make it? Two? That might be optimistic...Anyway, I chose the little pirate toy to add perspective, but I think it might have been a poor choice because it is so tiny. I think the diaper will help show his growth...and his cheeks, those are growing too.

I chose this picture because I absolutely love the little face he is making. It probably has something to do with a gastrointestinal issue, but I am a biased mum and I think it is absolutely darling.

Blogging is something I would like to start doing again. We'll see how that goes. I have a very spotty track record and I'm getting less sleep than usual, plus a whole human is depending on me for their very survival. Like I said, we'll see how it goes.



Here are some funny (to me) outtakes from my "photo shoot" (I am well aware I am playing it fast and loose with the term photo shoot):
{deep thought}
* please excuse my phone & toes!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bump Photos with Charlotte Griffiths Photography

One evening a few weeks ago Jeff, Violet, my parents and I squeezed into our little car and made our way to Hirtle's beach. Have you been? The beach is tucked between Rose Bay (wouldn't Anne of Green Gables be tickled by that name?) and Kingsburg, just down the LaHave River from Bridgewater. Though the goal for the evening was a photo shoot, we made a night of it by stopping for supper on the way: mussels and pints all around (don't worry, Violet and I shared a pint...) The beach is a bit of a jaunt from Halifax, but it is one of our favourites and our lovely photographer, Charlotte Griffiths, just happens to live in the near by and equally lovely town of Lunenburg, so she was more than up for the trip.

I had mixed feelings about getting pregnancy photos taken, but we've worked with Charlotte on other occasions and we all love her and I totally trusted her to capture the beauty of my burgeoning belly. I'm so happy we went for it! Not only did we get some gorgeous shots of my belly, we got some pictures of Violet and Jeff and I that I would love, bump or no bump.

If you are looking for someone to take family photos I really can't speak highly enough about Charlotte. She is talented - the way she captures the light takes my breath away, but she is also the sweetest person with the ability to make parents feel at ease and kids feel like taking hundreds of photos is fun. I don't know how that is possible. Violet adores her and frankly, so do Jeff and I.

Check out her awesome work here (or below!):



{Nana and Papa even got in a picture - much to both of their chagrin!}

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Strawberry Pie (& how is it July already?)

Is it just me or is it all of a sudden summer? Our car is full of sand, our driveway is covered in colourful chalk, strawberries are being sold in roadside trucks and Violet is turning a beautiful shade of caramel (despite being coated in SPF 55, I promise). Oh, and our bedroom is hotter than Hades, but I have vowed never to complain about warm weather, 32 weeks pregnant or not!

Summer and local strawberries go hand in hand and one of Jeff's favourite things in the world is my mum's strawberry pie. It isn't a regular old strawberry pie, oh no, it is an amped up calorie-laden whipped cream and cream cheese love fest coated in strawberry glaze. It really cannot be beaten. The first time Jeff had it he ate precisely half a pie, which may not sound like a lot but trust me, I was impressed. Anyway, I'm not the best wife in the world because I have never made this pie myself. My mum makes it so well and strawberry season is quite short, so the thought has never really crossed my mind. Plus, I basically live in fear of making pastry. I was joking with a friend the other day that I think the dough can sense my stress, probably through hormones I release in my hands, and it gets anxious too! I may be over thinking this, but every time I make pie I end up piecing the crust together and scrapping at least half of it off my counters with a knife.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Anyway, my friend Lisa was telling me her plan to make something fun and red and white for her girls to celebrate the birthday of the true north strong and free and it dawned on me, strawberry pie is the perfect Canada Day dessert. It is red and white and calls for berries than just happen to be in season locally at the beginning of July. Perfect! 

Happily I found a recipe for a strawberry pie very similar to the one my mum makes but with a cookie crust. I can bake cookies. My palms don't get sweaty thinking about baking cookies.

The pie was a big hit. We spent Canada day at the beach with friends followed by a competitive game of bocce ball "Pond v Pond v Pond" style. For supper we had barbecued hot dogs and strawberry pie. Indulgent and delicious. The perfect way to end a perfect Canada Day.

{step one} 
{step two}
{step three}



ps -- the recipe I used can be found here: