Friday, 29 May 2015

May Book Report

I'm not gonna lie. This is the most books I've read in a month since before I had a baby. But lately I've been finding myself reading more and thought I'd share a bit :)

Dark Places by Gillian Lynn: You've read Gone Girl right? RIGHT?! Well I loved that one so much I thought I'd try some of her other books too. This one was another great thriller, a little too grisly for me in some parts but I couldn't put it down and finished it in two days. I love how she goes between past and present, it works so well.

Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri: I actually bought this one from the authour herself at Chapters. She was so friendly and excited about her book I felt like I had to buy it! I think this one is considered YA but it was still a fun read. The premise of the story is (SPOILER!) that the main character is the (secret) granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler and moves into Baker St. after her mother dies. I have really enjoyed early 1900's mysteries set in England lately (I have to laugh as I write that, it sounds so specific and weird) but I'm still not sure if I'll pick up the next one in the series. It would make a good beach read though.

Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman: Oh man, this was my favourite book this month. If you have a kid, you will definitely relate so hard to this one. This one chronicles the year of the authour's life while she is pregnant with their second baby and generally the day to day ups and downs of being pregnant with a toddler still in tow. I actually read the whole thing out loud to Dave and he loved it too. It's funny, at times sad, it's real, and I may have gotten a little weepy at all the bittersweet parenting truths I can relate to now. Totally recommend this one.

What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Iris' First Music Festival!

Music festivals are kind of a new thing for me. Dave on the other hand pretty much grew up at folky music festivals. His dad used to be in a band and played at a lot of those types of things during the summers (cool, right?!). About two years ago Dave and his fam took me to my first whole-weekend-festival (I think it was called Gentleman of the Road or something like that). It did not go well lol. I was 9 weeks pregnant at the time and super nauseous, tired and hormonal (read: a grouch) the whole time. PLUS my allergies had gotten really bad since I got pregnant and I ended up getting so congested and wheezy I had to wear Dave's uncle's sleep apnea mask to bed (Ha!).

Anyway, last weekend we headed to Toronto for the CBC Music Festival with Iris in tow. And surprise surprise, music festivals are a blast when you are not hormonal and nauseous! The festival itself was kid friendly (there were so many families there, it was great) so we weren't too worried about having her tag along.

We met up with Dave's oldest brother and his girlfriend there where Iris would either glance at them shyly from my lap, try to relieve them from all of their accessories (see above), or graciously give them handfuls of sand.

All in all, outdoor concerts are totally doable with a baby! We went into it with the idea that we'd stay for as long as we could and then would just head home. We stayed for about 3.5 hours before it got a little too chilly and Iris was starting to get sleepy. I didn't get to see all the bands I wanted too, but that's cool, we had such a great time and it was such a parenting ego boost like, "We are totally parents who take their kid to music festivals! We're awesome!".  What else can we drag this kid to next...?

random side note: doesn't Iris remind you of Eric from That 70's Show in the top photo?! 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Parenting (Or Rather: What the Heck Was I Doing Before?!)

A few weeks ago a mama-friend and I were talking about how our babies are getting older and how it gets so much easier, but in many way so much harder. And then we came to the (somewhat startling) conclusion that the first year of your kid's life doesn't really require much parenting, you're really just trying to keep them alive. This is a large exaggeration but there is some truth to it right?! And then you think back to how hard it was the first year and how it's really only beginning.

Now that Iris is no longer a baby and has started to become more independent and "assertive" (this may be a nice word for it) I've found myself really starting this whole parenting thing. And obsessively thinking about how what I do with Iris now will affect her down the road. Like she wants out of her highchair, but it's still dinner time; do I make her sit there until dinner is done or do I let her out? Am I being mean by making her sit there or will she turn out to be a brat who wants everything right this second if I let her out? Or she keeps opening the cabinet with the large ceramic mixing bowls in them. She knows she's not supposed to play with them and freaks out when I tell her "No" over and over again. Should I just let her pull them out just this once, I mean, is it that big of a deal? OR will not being consistent confuse her?! Oh god, it's maddening! There are many times when Iris is having a meltdown and Dave and I just glance at each other with our eyebrows raised, willing the other person to decide which route to take.  

I feel like I could over-analyze every small decision we make with Iris but I'm trying really hard to be gentle on myself, to know that all I really want is what's best for her. And there will definitely be those times where I probably shouldn't have let her play with my toothbrush because now she acts like a crazy person whenever she sees me brushing my teeth with it, or should have just let her pull out all the laundry that I just folded out on to the floor because it really wasn't that big of a deal. But I can deal with having those moments, I figure by the fourth kid we'll have this parenting thing semi-figured out ;) 

Monday, 18 May 2015

365 Photos (Week...oh who's even keeping track at this point)

Well this is almost a straight up Iris week (secretly my favourite type of week)
87. Long evening walks
88. Girl power library books
89. Caught someone "cooking" with Gus' food and water
90. Dreamy backyard bonnet baby
91. Iris' favourite toy at the library
92. Obsessed with crawling into things, boxes, dog crates, you name it
93. Picking all of the "flowers" that pretty much make up our entire backyard right now

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Iris' Birthday Cake (Cake #15)

So I had debated making a traditional tiny cake for Iris for her birthday but then decided to try something new and perhaps a bit odd. When I came across this post I knew this was the cake I was going to make: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Candied Smoked Bacon. I love this cake because it was relatively simple to make; it's just a loaf cake cut in half. And CANDIED SMOKED BACON. My cousin gave me some candied bacon the other week and it was so good. I was instantly addicted.

If you're never going to make this cake, at least make the candied bacon. My dad had bought some thick cut smoked bacon from the market especially for this. You just cook up you bacon until it's almost done, sprinkle some brown sugar on each side, letting it caramelize for a minute or two before flipping. Then let it sit and harden a bit on a piece of parchment paper before eating it. I confess I made candy out of the entire package of bacon. 

This was a hit! I was worried it wouldn't be able to feed 9 people but it was more than enough. And yes, Iris loved it! Although it may have been because she was too distracted to eat at dinner and was starving by dessert time ;)

5 left!!!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Iris is One!

Last week Iris turned one! ONE. It's kind of crazy how fast that year went. It's bittersweet to think that I no longer have a baby and now have a toddler. It's funny how the first few months of her life I would day dream of the days where we could go play at the park and she would call me mama and now that we're here I day dream of the sleepy newborn cuddles lol. Oh, such is life! 

Anyway let's not get too sappy because in all honesty I am loving this age of Iris. She's so fun! I cannot wait to see what the next year holds for her :) For her birthday we kept it simple and had a birthday dinner with my family one night and Dave's immediate family the following night. Lucky girl got 2 cakes! When we sang Happy Birthday to her she was so happy, flapping her arms around like crazy! Here are a few pictures if you'd like to take a peek...

Oh how I love you my brave and feisty girl! 

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