Six Months

26 Nov

Dear R3

Today you are six months old.

You missed your first Halloween!  I know you wouldn’t remember it but I was hoping for family pictures of everybody in costume.  But daddy stayed home from trick-or-treating because you were napping.  Don’t worry, we still forced you into your costume when you woke up.  You think I’m going to let a ten dollar costume go to waste?!

On November first, you decided it was time to roll over for the first time.  Of course you did it after I left the room for thirty seconds.  I came back and you had rolled from your back to your tummy and you looked pretty darn proud of yourself.  I took a picture then put you on your back again so I could get a look at your new party trick.  But wouldn’t you know it, you didn’t roll over again until November 15th!  Now you’re an old hand and you roll the second you get put on your back!

Now that you can roll and clumsily grab things, you always want to be in a sitting up position.   No more of this laying back, that’s for little babies, and you’re clearly so grown up.  You love being held in a sitting position or sitting in your bouncy chair/Exersaucer and closely examining toys before they get jammed into your mouth.

Speaking of jammed into your mouth, we did a little taste-test with baby cereal this past month and you were definitely not impressed.  We will give it another try in a couple weeks I think.  Right now you’re still more than happy with your bottles.  Though you’re so distracted all the time, that it’s almost impossible to get you to eat unless your arms are held down and we’re in a dark room.  I remember this phase with the other boys; I knew it was coming but it’s still a tad frustrating.

You haven’t recovered from the typical sleep regression that many babies go through around this time and are still waking up 3-4 times a night.  After having a taste of a full night’s sleep, it’s always hard for a parent to go back to constant night feedings.  But again, this happened with both your brothers and I know it won’t last forever.  

At least your naps during the day have gotten a bit better.  Last month I was frustrated 10 and 20 minute naps you insisted on, but now it seems like you’ve settled on 60-90 minute naps.  Now I can be frustrated with the fact that you need six naps a day!  It really makes it hard to schedule anything but I know it will change.  How do I know this?  Because your big brothers were the same way: constant naps that veeeeeery gradually transformed into a single afternoon nap.  I just have to be patient because it will happen and then we can plan more activities during the day.  Unless it’s winter.  That is when we hibernate.  Also, we stay inside if it’s too hot too…  Okay, we will never do anything fun, I’ll admit it.

At your doctor appointment this past month, you weighed in at 15 pounds!  So congratulations, you’ve tripled your birth weight!  I can’t remember your length but I’ll get the measuring tape out one of these days.

Despite needing a lot of sleep, you are a super smiley baby!  You love looking at your brothers and always have smiles for them, but just about everybody else gets smiles too: me, daddy, Gramma, and almost everybody who comes to visit.  Your happy shining face is really such a bright spot for us when we’re feeling bogged down by the business and chaos of life.  All we need to do is look at you, and you reward us with the biggest beaming grin and all the chaos just melts away.  Thank you little buddy for bringing even more joy to our little home!

Marie from Marie’s Digital Designs provided the photo prop sign and thank you to Julia from Mommy Can Sew for the stylish drool catching bib.  She knows what our family likes:  


Guest Blogger: To My Mom on her Birthday

23 Nov

Written by my husband Jason


This was supposed to be done on Saturday the 21st, but unfortunately I was battling a bit of illness that kept me from being done on time. Oddly, I think Mom would have been shocked had this been on time.


My Mother taught me a great many things. Some of what she taught me I learned from what she said other things from watching what she did. I’d like to share some of these with you.

Things I learned from what my Mom said:
1. Treat everyone as an equal. It doesn’t matter if the person cleans your bathroom or signs the paycheque, that’s a person who deserves your utmost respect…until they show you they don’t deserve it any longer.
2. Whether you believe in the Bible, the Torah, the Qu’ran, the Bhagavad-Gita or any other religious writings, the bottom line is this: be a good person, love everyone regardless of what their faith is, and realize that killing or hurting other people is wrong.
3. Whether you are straight or gay (this was the 80’s, Mom didn’t know there were other options), your parents should accept you for who you are. If they don’t, they had no business being parents in the first place.
4. Always remember the roots of what you are listening to, watching, or reading. You may hate the Beatles, but if it wasn’t for them most of what you hear in music today would never have happened. (For the record, I love the Beatles)

Things I learned from watching what my Mom did:
1. If you find yourself in a situation that you created, own up to your mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions and try to fix it. Dwelling on the negative and blaming others for your misfortune will never, ever, help you.
2. If you are doing something to make someone else happy, but it makes you so miserable you end up making the person you were trying to make happy miserable…for crying out loud, stop doing it!
3. If you have kids and want to go do ‘grown up’ things, find them a sitter, a play date or a friend to visit. Leaving your kids sitting in the car for hours in front of the bar, or expecting them to entertain themselves for hours in the lobby outside the bar is not cool.
4. Make sure your kids know you love them in your deeds, not just your words. Saying, ‘I Love You’ every night is nice, but when you’ve spent hours screaming at them for every little thing they’ve done wrong, they won’t really believe you.
Yes, these are things I learned by seeing how my mom acted, and realizing how wrong her actions were.


Bonus Round: Things I Learned From Trying To Emulate My Mother

1. Alcohol and depression do not mix. If you have problems with either, there is no shame in asking for help.
2. Treating people like you don’t care about their emotions or feelings doesn’t make you ‘cool’, it makes you an ass and that treatment will eventually come back to haunt you.
3. Anger is an energy that needs to be harnessed and released in a controlled way. Letting anger out without forethought or control leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Suffering leads to the dark side. (Okay, that was partially a Yoda paraphrase, but you get the picture).

The 21st would have been Mom’s 64th birthday had she lived long enough to see it. 

When Mom died in 2009 the ceremony was a quick, tired affair. My family had just been through the loss of my Grandmother, literally a week earlier, and everyone was tired of sadness and tired of death. I hadn’t been home for my Grandmother’s funeral as at the time I was told that I likely would need to come home for my Mother’s soon. We hoped that wouldn’t be true but I knew it was coming. I think we all knew it had been coming for a long time. 

I never had the time to properly eulogize my Mom, getting home, then to the hospital and helping my Dad arrange a funeral…it was all too fast. In a lot of ways, I think my Mother was ripped off by going when she did.

My little brother told me that he didn’t have any happy memories of Mom and I understand why. By the time his memories started to form, the illness that took her had completely changed her personality. I wish I had a whole lot of happy memories to share, but I only have a handful of really happy memories myself. Being a single mother and then marrying my dad years later wasn’t the life she had wanted. It wasn’t what she had envisioned and, ultimately, I think this is why her life ended as early as it did. I think having my brother actually prolonged her life, as the joy of bringing a baby into the world gave her a little more hope that things would change. The disease unfortunately, had other ideas.

My Mom wasn’t a bad person, not at all. I strongly believe that she tried her best to be a good mother but had a hard time leading by example. She had ideas and plans for her life that just didn’t pan out. This led to bitter disappointment, regret and depression. Eventually, coupling that depression with alcohol, my Mom was a high functioning alcoholic. She had a mean streak, and couldn’t stop herself. 

During rare sober moments, she was very sweet and caring; she truly did love my brother and I. I wish he could have known her before she was too far gone, I wish we could have saved her before it was too late. 

Mom died of cirrhosis of the liver in 2009. My Mom will never meet my youngest sons and that breaks my heart. My Mom never got to see HER youngest son graduate and turn into the fine young man he is today. Not to mention all of the amazing things I know he’s going to do with his life.

I’m angry with my Mom. I’m angry with the disease that took her and I’m angry that even when we begged her to get help, she was too damned stubborn to get it. I also love my Mom and miss her every day. Despite all of the crap we went through, the pain, the tears, the fights, she was/is still my Mom. Without her I wouldn’t be here, or who I am today.
Love you Mom, Happy Belated Birthday.


Excuse the poor formatting, I will likely never be able to figure out how to copy and past from a word document and insert it into the blogger app on my iPad  -Leah


11 Nov

Last year on R1’s birthday we asked attendees to bring a card and a monetary gift.  The plan was to add the money together and buy one larger set of Lego and donate a portion to a charity of R1’s choosing (of course, I helped him with that choice by telling him about different options).

Last year, R1 donated a portion of his birthday money to the Breakfast Club of Canada to help out the thousands of kids who go to school hungry every morning.

This year, R1 wanted to fill a shoebox!  I’ve been filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child ever since I was a kid so I’m happy that he’s taking an interest.

On my old blog, I wrote about making a shoebox and, surprisingly, received several comments about Operation Christmas Child being a bad organization because they’re simply proselytizing to vulnerable and impoverished children under the guise of providing Christmas joy.

To that I say who cares and so what!!

Yes, OCC is a Christian organization but nobody has to say the sinner’s prayer or renounce their own faith in order to be gifted with a shoebox.  It’s a wonderful way to spread love and joy, especially for families on a limited income.  

Of course, this year we used R1’s birthday money!

If you’re interested in making a shoebox you can visit the website to find out your local drop-off location.  If you’re in Thunder Bay, drop off here between November 16-22nd:  


“You remind me of the babe…”

3 Nov

My friend Meagan makes the most adorable baby items!  I’ve written about her home business before and I pretty much love everything she makes.

One of the great things about Meagan is her self described role as a mega-geek.  We have a lot of common interests, like Wonder Woman (and other super heroes), Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.  I started noticing that, while she made baby accessories and clothes in all kinds of prints, she really enjoyed finding geeky pop culture prints.

I shared the following image on my Instagram to showcase some Sweet Beginnings Doctor Who baby pants:  

I asked her if she had any Labyrinth prints and she came back with this:  


I had this great idea that I could get matching labyrinth pajamas for the three boys and they could wear them for the newborn photo shoot we had scheduled with Shannon Lepere Photography.  But as you can see, my plans fell through!  Not because the jammies weren’t awesome, but because my little newborn was too small for the newborn pants!

But that’s ok, he fits them now!  And it’s not the professional photo shoot I had in mind, but I still wanted to show off Meagan’s work!  My blurry pictures don’t actually showcase her work in a deserved fashion, but you’ll get the idea.  

 R3 is also wearing an amazing Labyrinth onesie I found on  Thinkgeek is not paying me to plug their website, however, let it be known that I would gladly accept free merchandise or money to showcase products on my blog.  


Lego mini figs are a good bribe for boys who dont like to pose for their mama


Check out how flexible these baby pants are for a baby who is starting to move around and explore!

If you’re in the market for baby products or geeky baby products, check out Sweet Beginnings by Meagan.

If you aren’t interested in baby products, Meagan has just launched a new line of geeky products for adults!   

I’m so excited about her new “Made by Meag” products and I want them all.  I will, however restrain myself, but I don’t think you should.  

Thank you Meagan!  

Meagan and R3 hanging out at the Thunder Bay Thunder Con, where the new products made their debut!

Halloween 2015

1 Nov

I didn’t really have any expectations for this Halloween, but I suppose I was hoping for better weather.  

First to recap from Friday’s post, R2 said a few kids did make fun of his butterfly princess skeleton costume, but he said it didn’t bother him.  Soooo…I guess that’s both bad and good.

Jason did manage to snap a picture of the kids after school while at the radio station:  

R2 the adorable butterfly skeleton princess and R1 as Anakin ready to attack!

Back to tonight…

It’s better not to have any expectations when you’re trying to coordinate three kids when one is a baby.  

The kids were asking how long until trick-or-treating since 9am so at 4:45, we finally said they could put their costumes on.  R3 was napping and we decided Jason would stay home, rather than wake him up.  If the weather was nice, I probably would have woken him up, but it was raining pretty hard.  

The bad weather made for some pretty poor pictures and we didn’t get any family pictures, but there’s always next year!   


If you’re wondering, I was dressed as a witch/hag who steals babies (R2 helped me come up with that)

When we got home, R3 was up so he was forced into his costume for a few pictures.  I didn’t want it to go to waste, after all!  

Then the older boys spent the next two hours staring out the window, complaining that not enough people were coming, waving and calling to people across the street, and then excitedly stuffing piles of candy into the hands of those that ventured into our yard.  

We didn’t get many kids (we never do) and I told the boys it was because the trick-or-treaters could sense their desperation and it was a real turn off.  They didn’t get it.

This was the first year the kids were able to stay awake long enough to hand out candy and I think they were wild with anticipation, excitement, and energy.

But we made it through the day and the evening without any major fights and nobody cried or had a tantrum.

That’s a success in my book!


Pretty Skeleton

30 Oct

This morning, R1 dressed as Anakin Skywalker for the school’s Halloween festivities.  R2 was planning to dress as a prisoner-kitten-butterfly-princess for trick-or-treat but he had settled on a pirate outfit for school.  But at the last minute he changed his mind.  

This is a post from my husband’s Facebook wall:  

I’m both proud of him and nervous for him.  

I just hate the thought of him getting taunted about wearing a pink skirt or the pink butterfly wings he chose.  R1 wasn’t much older when he came home and told us the boys were making fun of him for his Barbie water bottle and the pink spoon he brought for his yogurt.  That was the end of the waterbottle and the spoon.  It wasn’t long before R1’s love of princesses and dollies became hidden interests, to be explored in the secrecy and safety of his own home.

I hate that colours and toys and every day objects are put into gendered boxes.  I hate that parents pass this ignorance into their children, and I hate that I sometimes subtlety try to convince R2 not to wear something because I don’t want him getting teased.  

I worry and wonder every day if this is going to be the week/month/year that my boy’s spirit gets broken. He is a different child than his older brother and he is much more vocal about his love for babies and princesses and “pretty things.”  He has been mocked a lot but has never been aware enough to notice.  Now he is more aware.  

In the above screen-cap, my four year old child has demonstrated more wisdom in one sentence than some people have in their entire lives.  I’m so proud of my amazing little boy.

We didn’t get any pictures, but I’ll update on Sunday with anything relevant that transpired at school and some pictures of our Halloween family fun. 

You be you, R2.

Five Months

26 Oct

Dear R3

Today you are five months old.

You started out the morning by sliding off the living room chair and landing on your stomach.  I looked over at you, after helping one of your brothers brush his teeth, and noticed that you were on the floor.  It didn’t really register that you’d fallen because you were smiling at me.  I guess the shock of falling on your face was overshadowed by the feeling of freedom…maybe you thought you were crawling?  I don’t know… But what I do know is, this is the second time you fell off the living room furniture in a week so I have to be more careful!

So even though you rolled/slid off the furniture, you still can’t quite roll over on your own.  You are getting so close and you love to turn onto your side and you love sticking your feet straight up in the air.  These new physical skills are definitely leading the way to rolling over and I bet it’ll happen this coming month.

October 15th was the first day I heard some real little giggles out of you.  Such a delightful little sound.  Since then you’ve giggled a few more times but what we’re all waiting for is the giant belly laughs!  I have a feeling it’ll happen in the coming month and I have a feeling it will be a brother who gets the first big laughs!

Your sleeping is getting a bit better during the daytime hours and has regressed a bit during the night.  For most of the month, you were having really short naps and the lack of sleep compounded over a whole day resulted in evening crying fits of apocalyptic proportions, sometimes lasting an hour at a time.  Eventually you would fall asleep and sleep well at night, but I really thought something needed to be done to fix the short nap problem.  After all, better naps lead to better nighttime sleep and better moods!

I started trying to sleep train you by waiting until the signs of sleepiness appeared, swaddling you tightly, feeding you, then rocking you in the dark, then putting you down in your crib and walking away.  Then I let you whimper for a few minutes, came back in to rock again, put down, walk away, repeat until asleep.  Sometimes I let you cry alone in your crib for longer periods of time because it was unavoidable.  Unfortunately, in a house with other kids, it’s a fact of life that the youngest will be left to cry sometimes.  Not left to cry it out, but left longer than intended.  

After about 10 days of my “sleep training-light” method, you are able to fall peacefully asleep in your crib and stay asleep for between 45 minutes and two hours.  I was trying to get you to fall asleep on your own because I’ve read numerous times that a baby who falls asleep on his or her own often sleeps longer.  And from past experience with your older brothers, it’s proven to be true.  It’s still not a perfect sleep schedule, but it’s getting better and you’ve had much fewer crying fits.  Sleeping at night is still pretty good with one or two night feedings.

During the day, you’re eating 3-4 oz every 2 hours (or so) but sometimes getting food into you is a huge ordeal.  You’d much rather grab at things, pull the bottle out of your mouth and stare at it, or just whip your head from side to side so you can take in all your surroundings.  I remember I had to immobilize your brother’s arms in order to get food into him, but I didn’t remember that it started this young!

The drool is flowing fast and furious from your mouth these days as you chew on absolutely everything.  I can’t feel any teeth poking through yet, but I think there must be one getting ready to pop up.

Here’s hoping the coming month brings lots of smiles, laughs, and an ever improving nap schedule.  Here’s to another drool filled month of fun and love!

 As always, thank you to Marie at Marie’s Digital Designs for the fabulously geeky photo props!

And another shout-out to Merk for making our boy such a terrific little onesie!

Thank you to my good friend Stacy for the adorable yoda hat (her mommy made it)!


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