Friday, 29 November 2019

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

The holidays are sneaking up already! I can hardly believe it's the end of November. I always try to do my holiday shopping a little bit in advance, and I'm really excited to share some sweet gift ideas for kids this holiday season. I love to include a variety of items - something to read, wear, use, and play. I've rounded up a few small shops I love supporting, along with some bigger store box items as well. Hope this gives you a few ideas on some fun and thoughtful gifts for the little ones!




BABY GIFT GUIDE

Board Books I always love gifting books as you can enjoy them for so long. A few favorites are Tiny Farm, Peek a Who, Guess How Much I Love You.
Baby wrap Since having Annie, I've been baby wearing a lot to keep my hands free. We love Beluga Baby wraps - they are so comfy and she loves falling asleep in it!
Teether -  perfect for babies who are teething to bite and play with. Easy to wash and sanitize too! And made right here in Vancouver by Lou Lou Lolipop
Decor for nursery - These wooden animals are so sweet and perfect to dress up any nursery. I especially love this pink one for Annie's room. And I love that they are made in Canada through J&M home.
Kitty Stuffy - This adorable kitty doll is so sweet and looks like an heirloom piece.
Rainbow Stacker - So cute to add some whimsy in a nursery, and love that they will get played with as baby grows.
Christmas books - I love adding a new book each year to our Christmas collection. My kids loved The Little Reindeer last year. A favorite!
Baby onesies - Snugabye holiday bundles are so sweet and include a baby onesie, matching mama pajama and stuffy. I love that your family can match with baby over the holidays and winter. They also have them in toddler sizes! How cute!
Soft sole shoes - Aston Baby leather baby shoes are just so sweet. They're perfect for dressing up and for those adorable little baby feet!
Stuffy - All my kids have had these jelllycat stuffies, and I love the sweet bunny one for Annie
Baby bonnet - Carolina Baby Bonnets are so sweet. We have a shimmery pink lined with fleece which is perfect for winter weather. And I think baby bonnets are truly SO darling.
Nativity Scene - The perfect toy and decor for baby's room. And you can bring it out each year!
Storage basket - I'm a sucker for baskets in the home - perfect for corralling diaper necessities by your change table. They are perfect for collecting toys, stuffies, books and clothes.
Baby bows - As a mama to now 3 girls, I definitely have a love for bows. Annie's been wearing Clover and Jules headbands and we love them!
Warm blanket - Nothing better to help you stay warm than a soft cozy muslin blanket. I love all the prints that are available now!
Car seat cover - This Covered Goods cover is perfect for baby when you're on the go in the infant car seat. But also amazingly doubles as a nursing cover and shopping cart cover! I love that it has multiple uses.



GIRLS GIFT GUIDE

Slippers - My girls love warm fuzzy slippers in the winter. And these unicorns are so cute!
Cozy blanket - Nothing better for movie nights and reading than grabbing a super warm blanket. I have one for each child so there are no arguments!
Christmas books - Each year I add a new Christmas book to our collection. This year I got them How Winston Delivered Christmas. I cant wait to give it to them!
Microphone - We got this microphone last year for Ellie and it's been played with so much by all our kids. Such a great gift for little music lovers.
Wooden play food - My kids love playing kitchen, cooking, baking, and restaurant. These adorable magnetic play food pieces are so cute!
Books - Books are always a top pick for gifts. And these Narwhal ones are so funny. Maddie loves reading them!
Warm hats - I love adding something useful like a winter toque...and this red one with a pom is so cute!
Lego Duplo - Endless hours of play!
Bubble toys - These are so fun and sweet for making bubbles at bath time. You run them under water and they last for many many baths!
Animals for dollhouse - If your kids love playing with their dollhouses, pets are the cutest addition!
Dollhouse - My girls play with their dollhouse every day, multiple times a day. Its the most played with toy in our house.
Unicorn mug - I love getting the kids cute mugs for their hot chocolate days!
Puzzles on the go - These puzzles are perfect for taking on the go to restaurants or to keep busy when you're out. They have a carrying container so nothing gets lost. They are wonderful single player games!
Calico Critters -  Our dollhouse is filled with these adorable vintage looking animals My kids love these so much and I love adding a new family for special holidays.
Dollhouse car - Fun addition to the dollhouse
Nativity set - I love having a special nativity set to bring out each year at Christmas. The kids love setting it up and playing with it.



BOYS GIFT GUIDE

Puzzles to go - These puzzles are perfect for taking on the go to restaurants or to keep busy when you're out. They have a carrying container so nothing gets lost. They are wonderful single player games!
Game Matchi Koro
Nintendo Switch
Mug - Perfect for cold winter days!
Harry Potter Illustrated books - this is a new release for Harry Potter fans, and it looks so amazing with the illustrations and explanations. I love how it all looks and gives the perfect visual for little fans.
Helmet -  Love the look of these simple helmets.
Lego - So many hours of play.
Game Rummikub 
Monopoly Deal - Its faster than regular monopoly and really fun! Plus, it it doesn't take up much room at all.
Scooter
Cozy blanket - The kids love having their own blankets for snuggling while watching movies and reading.
Harry Potter cookbook - I love these fun little recipes that HP fans will enjoy!
Christmas jammies - Each year I get a pair of matching jammies for the kids. These fun Santa ones are adorable - and the girls have the pink version.
Pokemon figurines - Super fun for Pokemon lovers!
Books - I always love a good book series, and Ben has been loving this Amulet illustrated series.
Instax camera - The perfect little gift for those who love pictures and being creative.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

WELCOMING ANNABELLE FLORENCE


We're so excited to announce the birth of our 3rd daughter Annabelle Florence.

She's only been with us for over a month, but we've all fallen totally in love with her, and we couldn't imagine her not in our family.





Sharing a little bit about labour and delivery...

At the end of my pregnancy with her, my midwife was worried about her size. The ultrasounds I had done showed signs that she was a bigger baby. They wanted to induce me slightly early at 39 weeks just so I didn't have any problems delivering her.

I got called into the hospital for Monday evening for my induction. I was already 4 cm dialated (from my appointment at my doctors the week before) and labored for hours with the oxytocin. Before they broke my waters, I got an epidural because they weren't sure how long I would labor for before baby was ready to come out. A few hours later, I was ready to push. They had a team of pediatricians and the obgyn there in case I needed an intervention (which I had when Ellie was born as her shoulder got stuck on the way out). But they were able to turn baby girl during the pushing and she came out really easily.

We ended up having to stay at the hospital until Friday because Annabelle had some jaundice and they ended up giving her light therapy to help with her bilirubin count. Friday we were discharged and we couldn't have been happier to be back home.

Less than a week later I went back to my doctors for a routine baby wellness checkup. The nurses had been to our home for 2 visits already to check that her weight was going up. She seemed healthy and on track to gaining more weight. But when we were at the doctors for a wellness checkup, they asked me to do some more bloodwork for the jaundice, as she was looking more yellow. Later that day I got a call from my doctors asking me to go to Children's Hospital, as her bilirubin count was very high. We packed a bag, and when we arrived, they rushed up to the NICU for more light therapy. Her levels were dangerously high, and they were really concerned. They immediately started her under the blue lights and we saw her levels slowly returning down.

After just under a week of being in the NICU, we were able to go home.

Its been a sweet but challenging few weeks as we adjust to being a family of 6. But theres been so much love and we wouldn't have it any other way.


Monday, 30 September 2019

WHAT'S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG...




I can't believe we're getting so close to the end of my pregnancy! I'm at 38 weeks and baby could be making her arrival at any time.

I've been getting a room ready for her in the house, and the next thing on my list is to get a bag packed to bring to the hospital.



I've complied a list of some essentials that I will be packing for our hospital stay.

MAMA

Clothing (leggings, tank, cardigan/sweater)
Nursing Bras and extra underwear
Robe and comfy jammies for evenings and nursing
Flip flops (for walking around and showering)
Shampoo and Conditioner
Toiletries (makeup, dry shampoo and hair ties)
Camera and extra batteries
Long phone charger or external chargers
Laptop and charger
Snacks and thermos (for hot water and tea)




BABY

Swaddles and crib sheet
Bow, bonnet, baby hat
Going home outfit
Sleeper, baby gown, oneies
Boppy Pillow for nursing
Nipple cream and shield
Nail clippers


Clothing
I loved packing clothes that are comfortable and have easy access to nursing. Stretchy pants, loose layers and cardigans all seem to fit the bill. With Maddie, I forgot to pack a cardigan and I felt so uncomfortable and chilly. Thin layers always work well in case you need to add or take something off. Don't forget you'll likely be getting visitors, so make sure you're wearing something comfortable enough to see your guests. And I always wear flip flops around because they're super easy to slip on and off.

Toiletries
I've usually taken a shower after baby arrives before we have any guests to come and visit. You're usually totally worn out, and a hot shower and fresh face always feels so good. I usually pack everything I need for a shower and a few other items like makeup, lotion, hair accessories and some dry shampoo.

Nursing Essentials
I usually bring my nursing pillow which helps so much with getting comfortable and feeding baby easily. I've always had a tricky time nursing at the beginning and being comfortable makes a big difference. The hospital usually has some nipple cream, but I like to bring my own just in case. And this time I may end up bringing a nipple shield. My friends have sworn by it and I'm willing to give it a try if needed.

Baby Items
I usually bring a few simple and easy baby outfits as well as a swaddle or blanket for baby. Normally the hospital wants the baby without clothes, but if you're staying more than a night or two, it's nice to have something to put the baby in. This time I'll be bringing a bonnet and bow as well for a few newborn pictures. Nothing fancy, but it may help if you want to make a little announcement for friends and family. I think a letterboard or name sticker would be so cute as well!



Wednesday, 25 September 2019

OLDER SIBLING GIFTS



It's almost baby time, and everyone in the house is so so excited. The big kids cannot wait to meet the little baby...and Halloween time cannot come soon enough. (We told them baby is coming right around that time!)

In the past we've brought some little gifts with us to the hospital for the older kids from the new baby. Babies get so much love and attention (and rightfully so!), but sometimes it can be a hard transition for the other siblings. The two girls are already starting to get a lot more clingy and needy than usual, and I think that they know there is going to be a big change coming.

 I don't want them to feel left out or ignored when that time comes. We wanted them to feel so loved...and a few thoughtful gifts can make a big difference. It also gives them something to do while they are with us at the hospital during visits.



Here's a look at what I got the kids!

Books
I told the kids that the baby would be coming right around fall and Halloween. I thought it would be really fun to give them some Halloween inspired books that we'll bring out each year around the season. It's something that they'll remember each season we bring the books out.

I'm also getting the girls some activity and sticker books that they can play with. They love them and it's a perfect thing for them to play with if we're preoccupied.

Stuffies
I got the kids all a small stuffy - a bat for Ben (they have Halloween ones out now and that's his favorite animal!), kangaroo and baby roo, and a baby llama.

Necklaces & Bows
I got the girls two Coral and Cloud necklaces - one rainbow (for our rainbow baby!) and one honeycomb style in pretty pastel colours. They love these necklaces and wear them all the time. I also got the girls a few little bows just for fun too!

Other Goodies
I bought a few mesh bags for sand toys over the summer, but they ended up being too small for what I originally wanted them for. But they're perfect little totes for putting the kids little gifts in! We got the kids a few other small items that we thought they'd like. We got Ben a new deck of cards, chewing gum (his fave!) and some little treats for him to snack on. For the girls, we got some new chapstick, and some little chocolate treats as well.



I think the most important thing is to remember that these little gifts (no matter how big or small) just shows them that as we've been waiting for baby's arrival for so many months...we still think of them all the time and want to show them how much we care about them too.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

BABY NURSERY & SHARED MASTER BEDROOM



Our sweet baby is almost here and everyone can't wait! I'm starting to nest like crazy and have been working on getting different parts of the house ready for her arrival.

We decided to do some small renovations in our basement which is where the baby's room is. We're hoping to extend the room slightly and re-do the kids shared bathroom. With 4 little ones sharing...we really needed to make the space more accessible and friendly for them. Although it's not going to be a huge job, it will likely take a month or so to get it all completed.

We thought it was really important to have a space for baby that was functional in those early newborn months. Somewhere I could easily be close to her and have the essentials nearby. We decided that we would try putting her nursery into our master bedroom. Although our room is spacious, it's not huge. But we found a few little spaces that we could use temporarily while we get her actual nursery in order. I didn't want to change too much in our room, so most of the things are items we will put in her room eventually.

I'm so excited to share our sweet shared space!



I've been wanting a moses basket for so long now, and my sweet friend gifted me one. I love the way they look and can't wait to put baby in it!



My favorite way to corral odds and ends is in a basket of some sort. (I love them and my husband thinks I have a serious problem!) They keep a space looking tidy and keep all the things contained.







And...since she's an October baby...I had to add a few touches of fall and Halloween into the room too. The kids know that the baby is due right around Halloween, so this got the girls so excited!




Hope this little space inspires you if you're looking to keep a newborn in your master bedroom for the first few months too!


Sunday, 18 August 2019

FAMILY PHOTOS - STYLED WITH PINKBLUSH


I'm so excited to share our family photos we took last week!




Each year we take our family photos over the summer. I love them and ask each year for my birthday for them. 





And I'm so excited to share that we're expecting another baby! The news is obviously public now, but I haven't shared many pictures on the blog. I'm about 31 weeks now and baby is moving around all the time. Feeling baby move and kick is truly the best part of pregnancy!

Since this will be our final and last babe, I haven't purchased much maternity wear. Luckily, with it being summer, I've been able to use most of the dresses I already own. But with this shoot coming up, I was really wanting a long maxi dress for our pictures. I didn't really take any maternity pictures with any of our other children as I wasn't showing yet  over the summer. (They're all spring babies!) But with this being our final addition, I thought it would be a fun change. 

Light Pink Lace Maternity Maxi Dress



I wanted something a little bit fancier and more formal that I normally wear, but something I thought I may be able to wear again in the future. I've purchased some items from PinkBlush in the past and was really excited to find something for this shoot. I loved the look of this light pink lace maxi dress. And I like that you could wear this again - this would also be perfect for a baby shower, bridal shower or wedding

The dress was perfect and just what I was hoping for. The lace was so pretty and feminine and I loved the long length of the dress.




My girls loved how fancy and pretty this dress is and they couldn't help but dish out all the compliments that made me smile. 



All lovely photos by Chic Geek Photo

Although this post was sponsored by PinkBlush, all opinions and thoughts are truly my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

PICKING BLUEBERRIES



Blueberries. My favorite summer fruit. I love that they last for so long (unlike other berries) and that you can freeze them and do so much with them afterwards.







And picking them from our local farms is such a fun part of summer. They fall right off the bushes when they're ripe!






And you always have to end the picking day with a treat, right?
I ordered a large smoothie to be split, and the lady who made it was so nice...she made extra so I could have some too. Best way to end the day!


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