Monday, July 9, 2018

18 months!

That's it - I'm taking some of this nap time to sit down and write some of the memorable Gabby 18 month isms and happenings so that I have this to look back on!

Gabby is now most definitely a toddler. In the last few weeks she started saying "yeah" and "nah/naooo" and she answers most questions with the former, and questions to to with bedtime/nap time/vegetables with the latter. She has a long list of words (mama, dada, hi, bye, up, down, Juice, Zozo, Abbyyyyy, Pup pup, Pippa, manana (banana), two, yoyurt, baily (berries), cheese, hand (to hold hands), arm, eye, knee, peeease, more, all done, hep (help), poopoo, Baba (barbara, her favourite doll), Yoyo (Brentwood, her favourite bunny, home, Hello, wawa) and animal sounds, and seems to understand almost everything that we say to her. She says "Hi Mama/Dada/Juice" etc., but hasn't put any other words together. She loves music and singing and fills in the tune of "all day long" when you sing verses of wheels on the bus. She also sings ba ba black sheep on a continuous loop sometimes, and begs you to play her her favourite song (Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys) on your phone. When she comes into the house she yells "Hellooooo!!!" even if nobody is home.

She is now taking 1 nap a day most days, (1.5-2.5 hours) and has been for the last month or so. She sleeps all night every night, from about 7:30-6:30/7. She is such a little monkey and has recently started climbing on everything (the couch, over the edge of the futon, on her little slide). She is generally pretty happy and easy going but she definitely has her moments! Her favourite little test is unfortunately to grab the dogs. She ignores them for the most part but sometimes she gets this look in her eye like "I'm going to do something that I *KNOW* is off limits" and then she goes up to a dog (usually my poor Abby!) and pinches them. I can usually see it coming now and redirect before it happens. She has also started hitting sometimes if she's frustrated. In general though it's easy to work through anything because she's good at answering questions about what she wants (hungry/did you hurt yourself/etc.). She is completely in love with Juice (our cat) and tries to snuggle with her...Juice is more tolerant than pretty much any other cat ever. Gabby eats a LOT but definitely has her food preferences. All dairy/fruit/bread is loved. Veggies are hit or miss. Usually she likes any meat that we make, and some pasta. Rice is left behind on her plate for some reason. She loves scrambled eggs with cheese (usually). Her biggest meal is her giant bowl of oatmeal with fruit and yoghurt at breakfast. She is really good about saying all done before any kind of throwing/dropping food, except for today when I caught her sneaking bits of chicken to Kevin under the table. She is still nursing about 3 times a day, sometimes 4. Morning, before nap(s) and before bed.

Gabby has had a few colds but (knock on wood) the only worse illness so far was hand food and mouth last month. She had some cranky feverish days and lost her appetite, and woke up one night upset and wanting milk. She also got the telltale rash on her feet. Luckily, though, it didn't hit her too hard and she was better in a few days.

Some more month by month of what we've been up to in the last 6 months:

-I started back at work (Sundays and Tuesday evenings right now)
-We got a puppy!!! Kevin the border collie x whippet joined the family at 11 weeks old. He is such a funny guy and we all love our Pup pup.
-Oprah had twin lambs (1 girl 1 boy)
-Gabby started walking all over the farm holding my hand

-Not too was cold
-Jess, Erika and Loic and Maelle visited for the weekend
-Gabby started walking all over without needed to hold a hand for support

-Had a fun trip to the mainland
-Gabby finally started saying Mama instead of just Dada!!!

-Went to LA with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Lisa

-Molly and Poppy came to visit for 3 weeks!

-We had lots of visitors - Auntie Ffion, Paula Ross and Bailey, Kristi, Lisa and baby Asher
-Had surprise twin lambs born - so cute! Another boy and girl.
-Got 3 pigs
-Went to LA with Erika, Loic and Maelle
-Gabby started full speed running

The farm is going well considering how busy we are! We have about 30 laying hens, 4 ducks, 3 pigs, Pippa and 6 sheep (2 ewes and their 4 lambs). The garden is full and right now we are in full berry season (yum!). Gabby loves going outside to pick berries (none of them make it into a bucket..).

Ok there is a lot more to write but I'm going to wrap this up with some photos before Gabby wakes up!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our Baby is ONE!

I want to do a post later on how we survived our flights to Australia (they went much better than expected!) and how much Gabby loved meeting her cousins. For now, though...we have a one year old. The ongoing theme of this year has been "she is that many months ALREADY??" - but it really has gone faster than I ever could have imagined.

Gabby has:

-started to take a few steps! She practices standing and walking all the time right now
-6 teeth in and working on a few more (4 on the bottom, 2 on the top)
-started sleeping through the night for real (up until our big trip to Australia she still woke up at around 5 or 5:30 am for milk a lot of nights - that feeding is now gone)
-one word: Dada. 
-understanding of lots of words - the names of a lot of our family, the animals, her different toys, etc. 
-started pointing at things and making a "what" sound until you tell her what it's called
-started to become a toddler...she now has opinions on what food she likes (fruit!!), on whether she wants to drop it off her high chair or put it in her ear, on whether she wants to be picked up NOW or put down NOW, etc. 
-an all encompassing love for Juice-cat. She screeches with joy when Juice walks in the room, follows her around, tries to be gentle but also wants to squeeeesh Juice...
-totally mastered the signs for 'more' and 'all done' (since about 8 months) - 'more' is used for "yes" and "I want that" (she points at something and then signs 'more'). 
-also mastered pooping on the toilet. This is one that I never ever thought I'd even think about with a baby but at around 8 months Gabby started becoming so obvious and regular about pooping that I just sat her on the toilet when I could tell she had to go. So many nasty diaper changes saved! So much time saved! Since then, it progressed into her looking at us an grunting if she has to poo. Pretty funny little girl...

I'm sad that my little squishy baby is already such a small person but at the same time I'm loving how fun and full of personality she is. Tonight after dinner we all just sat around and were entertained by her antics practicing her steps and slamming her beloved new dolly on the ground. We had a giant snowstorm for her birthday (same as for her birth last year!) and our power was out all day. Last year, our water froze as I went into labour. Lets home that crazy storms aren't her birthday tradition!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Lambs and Goats and Pumpkins, Oh My

Gabby is 10 months old! What? How?? Yes. 10 months already. This baby is just the happiest, silliest little girl!

Grandma and Grandpa are here visiting since they won't see us for about a month...because in just over 2 weeks we are flying to Australia to visit Molly, Poppy and the rest of Nathan's family. We are so excited and so terrified. Is it possible to entertain a 10 month old baby for a 13 hour flight and then an 8 hour flight? I feel like we'd have better luck entertaining Pippa for that length of time. This baby likes to move - she grumbles if a car ride lasts longer than 10 minutes and when she's playing on the floor she is constantly moving. Up, down, spinning around, crawling... So yes, that's the terrifying part. We are very excited for when we get there, and for our couple of nights in Hong Kong on the way!

I forgot to write in the last blog update that Gabby got sick for the first time in August, just when Nathan's parents first arrived. She had a high fever for a day and just slept and nursed all day. She slept normally that night and seemed fine the next day! Since then she had a cold that lasted only a day and was barely noticeable.

Amelia's daughter had her lamb! She had a little ram lamb born on September 29th. He is very cute and very bouncy - and he tries to mount Pippa all the time. Speaking of that goat, we had the sheep in the front yard the other day (fully fenced away from the house) and we were in the kitchen. All of a sudden our third dog walked into the kitchen...wait...we don't have a third dog...PIPPA! She had jumped through the fence and marched through the front door that Abby had pushed open and into the kitchen. I guess she liked the toasty warm house from the new wood stove :)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Baby's first summer

After reading some other blogs this morning, I am committing myself to updating my own!

As a side note, it's very hard to concentrate with the LOUDEST CHICKEN EVER announcing her egg right outside the front window. Why must she lay her egg in the harvested garlic/onion basket? Only she knows.

Gabby's nap times have been spent either in a frenzy of tidying/getting some task done outside or else lying down and recovering the endless energy that taking care of a small human uses!

Let's do a point form catching up of the last few months since I posted:

-took a wonderful girls (plus Loic) weekend trip to a beach house a few hours north with Erika and her kids, Jess and my sister. We were in the sweet spot of Gabby sitting well but not moving around, and not eating enough solid food to have to worry about 'meal times' yet. A large blanket kept her from ingesting too much sand...

-I think it was during either June or July that Gabby started rolling onto her stomach to sleep and also moved her only wake up to 5-5:30. Other than a short period of crying for a few minutes at 3:00 am for a week or so last week (while staying half asleep), she has been super consistent at night (knock on wood!!!!). I started to try and stretch that early feeding out to 6:30 am but she was sleeping very restlessly in that last hour and waking up starving and cranky (and then wanting to take a nap super early because she wasn't sleeping soundly for the last hour of the morning). So, for now, nursing at that early hour works well.

-We took a trip to the mainland to visit Grandma and Grandpa (we do this every month or two).

-Gabby tried her first pizza crust. Yummy. During July she hadn't really perfected her pincer grasp so I was still cutting her food into strips. She ate some of it, but a lot of it was accidentally dropped (and became chicken/pig/dog food). 

-We took lots of hikes to the river that Gabby either slept through or, if she was awake, she got to splash and dip her feet in the water.

-Our friends came to visit with Gabby's bff, Bailey. This was the visit where they started interacting more and, even though they are 9 months apart, they have started to seem closer in age.

-Gabby started really showing how much she loves Juice:


-we went to a Mother Goose music class series at the library in July and August. Gabby loved bouncing to the songs and watching the other kids, and sometimes screeching with excitement!

-we went on vacation to LA. We spent the first few days with Grandma and Grandpa, and then Erika, Loic and Jess came for a week. We had so much fun going to all different beaches and swimming in the pool!

-at the beginning of the month, Gabby started getting up on all fours and rocking. Crawling was imminent!

-by the end of the month, she was crawling! Before LA, she was belly scooting on beds but not really able to move on the floor. Just after we got back and started really moving!

-her sitting was stable enough to not need a pillow behind her anymore for the 'just in case' topples

-Gabby started ingesting a lot more solid food. Her pincer grasp all of a sudden got a lot better so I started cutting her food into smaller pieces. She was and still is nursing just as often (when she wakes up, before and after naps, and bedtime - so 6-7 times in a day but who knows how much milk she actually ingests total). 

-Gabby started taking 3 solid/predictable naps in August. For the most part they were 1.5 hours in the morning and after lunch, and then a 30-40 minute nap around 4:00. 

-Gabby got her first tooth! Bottom right. She also started waving, clapping, pointing, and getting into any position herself (from lying to sitting to pulling up standing, back to sitting, etc.). 

-Molly and Poppy came to visit for 3.5 fun weeks!! We got a lot accomplished, as per usual. The main big project was that we redid the basement stairs. They are now less steep, super solid, and much safer for trips up and down for laundry and wood stove refuelling (did I mention our new wood stove??? We shall be warm this winter!). 


-Gabby started the transition to 2 naps a day. We are still sometimes needing a third nap now, depending on whether they were two long naps or not. 

-The day after Molly and Poppy left, our friends came to visit for almost a week. We took a day trip to Saltspring and hung out on the farm the rest of the time, with a few hikes thrown in.

-The day that they left, Gabby and I went to visit Grandma and Grandpa and picked up my friend Ffion from the airport on the way there!

-When we got back from the mainland, Ffion and I took Gabby on her first camping trip to the wild west coast of the island. It.was.stunning. We got back yesterday. 

PHEW. All caught up in baby land! If this post doesn't have all the photos, it's because Gabby woke up from her nap and I decided to publish it rather than forget about it. 

In less point form and more thoughtful writing, this has been the best year of my life so far. I never realized how having a baby could make you feel so nostalgic each and every day. I love nothing more than seeing all of Gabby's new skills, but at the same time I look at her standing and playing and she looks closer to toddler than to the tiny baby that we brought home 9 months ago. It isn't like each day disappears in a blink, but somehow seeing her change so quickly makes time feel way too fast. I think the part that really gets me is that I can already tell that I'll be looking back at this time when she is 5...10...15...and yearning for it in some ways. Taking care of a baby is a lot of work but I haven't yet found myself wanting or needing a 'break' (except during the time when I chug my coffee while Nathan takes Gabby to do chores, and during her naps ;) ). 

Farm updates:

We have a freezer full of pork and chicken, as well as so much tomato sauce and relish and zucchini cake (thanks Molly!!). We will have lamb back soon (one ram and two ewe lambs). Nathan and his dad built a removable box for Nathan's truck so we could finally take the lambs in without using dog crates (and these lambs were huge!). It looks like Amelia's daughter is going to give birth soon...the ram lamb was born January 1st so I supposed he could have bred her in May. 

In a month of so we will process our 4 turkeys and 3 drakes for sausage. Our pork sausage this year is the best we've had yet. Maybe tonight for dinner we should have something other than pork...we've been eating it non stop since we got it back last week!

The garden is doing well (thanks to Nathan!). We still have lots of tomatoes and zucchini but everything is slowing down. Gabby and I might go to some gardening when she wakes up. 

And she's up! I'll add photos to another post later on...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Flying by!

Oh dear, time seems to have skipped ahead somehow. I don't understand how it's going by so quickly. It seems like Gabby changes every day and I want it all to slow down at the same time as enjoying it all so much.

She tried solid food for the first time a few days before her half birthday. We are feeding her with a combination of purees and finger foods, but trying to let her feed herself as much as possible. She tried avocado first (a messy hit!), followed by yams and carrots (cut into sticks and steamed), broccoli (prefers it raw), egg yolk, apple and pear (also cut into sticks and steamed), and her very favourites: garden strawberries and raspberries. It is the perfect timing for her to be eating solid food - she gets to try all of the veggies as they ripen! Today she tried raw cauliflower and cucumber (both were popular). She is pretty good at grabbing the food but she's still working on her pincer grip. Peas are not possible yet...but she does love gnawing on sweet pea pods. Solid food has in no way affected her nursing. She still loves to nurse and likes an appetizer before solid food and dessert afterwards :)

She has been sleeping really well at night - most nights there is a quick wake up at 3-4 to eat, and then up for the morning at 6:30-7. I'll try to wean her from that last feed soon, but she does still eat a lot at that point (and that's after 8 hours of sleep) so I think I'll wait until she's eating solid food better. She still takes short naps - she'll throw a long one in every so often but it isn't predictable. So we are still at 4 naps per day, usually, with the last one ending around 4:30 and then bed by 7:30.

She can sit up on her own now! She looks so proud of herself and likes to sit with her toys to play now. Her current favourite sound is "DADADADADA". She has been practicing it constantly for the last week. She is all smiles all the time, unless she's tired. When she gets really excited, she does this hilarious full body wiggle. She is fascinated by chickens, still, and also by Abby (since she never gets to touch Abby). She really likes Juice, and pets her (...tried to squeeze her fur) all the time.

She rides on my back now when we hike (so much easier for me!) and falls asleep there on every hike. We had our first few trips to the river and she loved splashing her feet in the water even though it's still pretty cold.

In farm news, we are as busy as ever! Our meat birds go to the butcher this week so that will help ease our work load a bit (chasing them all into the coop every night it getting old...). We've got 4 turkeys that we're growing for sausage, and the 4 pigs that will be butchered in August. We're selling lots of eggs, and everything is growing really well in the garden. We got to eat so much asparagus this year! Our strawberries are really tasty but tiny for some reason.

And with that, it's time to go run outside and finish the chores!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Green Grass

Spring is finally here!

Gabby is 3.5 months old already. As we came out of what is referred to as 'the 4th trimester', Gabby suddenly seemed to change so much. She notices everything around her now; she turns to voices and follows people around the room with her eyes. She is working on rolling over both ways and has had a few successful rolls, especially when helped by being in a soft surface. She is starting to like tummy time more now that she can lift her head way up and look around. She also grabs things (now my hair really has to be up all the time!) and constantly has her fists in her mouth. Some days she is super chatty and other days she seems quieter while she works on rolling and grabbing. She still loves to lie on her playmat and most of the time she would rather be down there than held! Most days go by with very little fussing except if she gets too tired before a nap or bedtime. She is a happy, smiley little baby!

She naps about 4-5 times a day - each one is usually only 45 min-1 hr and then she goes to bed between 7:30-8:00. Bedtime has been going really well, and so have most of her naps. She seems to soothe herself to sleep well as long as she isn't over tired. Her arms are now usually out of her little swaddle sacks and if she is having trouble falling asleep, swaddling her arms helps. She likes her little lamb wubbanub soother but doesn't usually need it for sleep - which is good since she can't keep it in her mouth very well without help!

We had two weeks or so of difficult nights - the first 2 am wake up became 1:30, then 1:00, then 12:30, and then for about a week she was waking at 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 and then up at 7:00 for the day. I was exhausted! Only nursing seemed to soothe her back to sleep. I'm still not sure whether it was a growth spurt or whether she was having trouble getting herself back to sleep on her own. Either way, we moved her into her own room for the first stretch of the night and things have been a lot better this past week. She started waking to eat at 2 or 3 again (she wakes up around 12:00 and fusses for a bit but doesn't cry - and falls back asleep without us going in there) and then at 5/6 and back to sleep until 7/8. That feels soo much better for me and I feel mostly human again!

The most exciting thing these past few weeks has been Nathan's parents' visit! Gabrielle has been loved and spoiled by her Australian Molly and Poppy. They are here for 5 weeks altogether and we are sure going to miss them when they go. We went away for a night with my parents to an airbnb on the beach which was lovely. We took Molly, Poppy and Gabby on their first snowshoeing adventure!

Molly has been working hard in the garden and Poppy has been tiling our kitchen counter and backsplash!

First time being able to hang those diapers in the sun!

Squishy baby burrito!

The farm is getting busier! We're picking up new layers tonight (15 4-week old Bovans) and our 3 or 4 Berkshire piglets will arrive in 2 weeks. We have to fix our meat bird coop up to be ready for them at the end of the month. The 3 lambs are getting big and enjoying the spring pastures with their moms and auntie Pippa. We transplanted 3 rows of raspberries to start a new bed in the garden. The asparagus has just started coming up - this is year 3 so we can finally eat some! We've got mescluns, lettuce, spinach, cilantro and potatoes in the ground. Tomatoes, peppers and squash (hasn't sprouted yet) seedlings are growing well in the little greenhouse. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017


The 2017 garden has officially started! Yesterday we planted some arugula, kale, broccoli and cauliflower. We'll use the little glass greenhouse when they sprout, but for now we have the trays in the kitchen so that we can make sure they stay damp and warmer. Last year we had a really bad year for starts (maybe there was too much variation in moisture and temperature in the glass house?) so hopefully this year they'll do better. We will only start a few tomato plants since we have so many 'volunteers' from the compost!

All of that fresh air must have made baby Gabby tired. Last night she slept from 8 pm until 7 am with just a 4 am feeding. What?! That would be even more amazing if I had managed to sleep that whole time...instead, I couldn't sleep because I kept wondering when the baby would wake up! Sigh. So frustrating. Oh well, cross your fingers that this sleep pattern continues. Until then, coffee!

Fascinated by trees!

After yesterday's spring like weather, we have snow on the ground today. Again.