Painted & Polished

Dec 5, 2016

motherhood // Willa at 1 Month

Photos by Roz Edge ❤︎

I just reread the post I wrote after Navy's first month. Cuuuuuuue the waterworks. Here I sit, nearly two years later, a more seasoned mama of two with a lot more wisdom than I had back then but mountains yet to learn, I'm certain. I find the powerful love for Willa is the same as I felt towards Navy, even considering the climate of my life is so very different. I'm mama to two now. Two girls, at different stages in life. And yet, I remain just one person; one person with a heart that's doubled in size but still, only two hands. Earnestly, albeit clumsily, I find myself learning new skills moment by moment. Learning how to prioritize, how to give equal volumes of love just in different ways and at different times. It's the most incredible, heart expanding, mind challenging learning curve I've ever been on and I just could be more grateful to be experiencing this.

One daughter, my sweet Navy girl, is talking with her words upon words these days, exuding more zest for life than I can keep up with .... and yes, certainly exerting equal amounts of that infamous toddler spice to round things out (read: 'litigators should take a lesson from her on negotiation' or 'pass me alllllll the coffee' any will do ;). She is wild and loving, tender-hearted and fiercely determined. But more than anything, she craves and thrives on independence. Everything is 'me do it' these days, even when she really can't and her 'doing it' means we're going to be kissing it 'all better' shortly after, as a result. She is the brightest light and I am certainly better for knowing her and parenting her.

My other baby girl is so new. Only 6 weeks old and the most precious gift! Another unique soul who we get the blessed honour of getting to know. Willa has been a peaceful and easy-to-soothe baby so far, just like her sister was. I'm loving co-sleeping with her and am finding it to be an excellent solution to the sleepless nights that usually accompany this newborn season. I co-slept with Navy from when she was about 1 month old to 4.5 months old and loved it too. Will Willa I started when she was about 4 days old and have been loving it ever since. She usually sleeps one 6 hour stint from 9pm -3am before nursing, and then nurses twice between 3 am and 8/9 am. We're in a really good rhythm and I certainly can't complain about sleep given how well she's doing with it so far.

From weeks 1-3 little Willa snoozed most of the time, quite contentedly. But around 3.5 weeks she had a couple fussy days where she cried a lot and was only soothed by nursing or being held and bounced. I remember Navy behaving identically at 3.5 weeks too, which is so amazing that they are behaving so similarly at this point. Anyway, as I suspected, that fussiness lifted about 5 days in and just like Navy, Willa kind of 'woke up' after the fussiness passed. SO much more time awake, tracking us with her eyes, focusing on us and on objects for long periods of time and even some baby smiles!! I could just fall over when she smiles. It is the most amazing feeling, seeing her register your face and respond with joy in the way she is able.

In terms of the rest of the family, Navy can't get enough of Willa. Most of the day she plays contentedly, with a drive-by kiss or 'love you baby seesta' as she's moving between activities. She loves to tell us 'how tiiiiiiny' baby sister is or how much she loves her. But perhaps the most heartwarming thing she does, is tell everyone else around us about her baby sister. Even Santa haha! Her first time sitting on Santa's lap she took the time to tell him all about her baby sister, and point us out in the crowd. No discussions of presents occurred, just Willa chat. Be still my heart. Seeing the one little person we made be so excited about the other person we made? Nooooooothing better.

Ryan is eager to get home after work these days and first plays with little Navy for a bit before bed. She can't wait to see him and their reunion is always a sight to behold. Then, once Navy is in bed he's always diligent and excited to cuddle little Willa. It's nice for me to have a moment to myself and watch him love on his baby girl too.

Lincoln absolutely adores Willa & Navy. Navy and him are playmates these days. Meaning he lays patiently while she plays furiously around him and on him, non stop. As for Willa, he showers her in kisses, especially when she is being changed. He honestly treats her like a baby pup. He wants to bathe her I swear haha. We let him get his kisses in within reason, as we love how tender he is with the girls and never want to discourage such sweet and appropriate behaviour.

So far, life as a family of four plus our furball has been so incredibly sweet. Of course, there have been lots of challenging times over the last month and a bit, as is to be expected. We're learning a lot, tired of course, and normal life just keeps clipping right along. So this isn't to say that everything has been effortless and easy. It's just been *so good*, despite the incredible amount of effort required of us. And the joys of this journey and the love we are feeling just far outweigh any of the challenges. Feeling so grateful for this family of mine. Grateful to spend my days loving on them.

Nov 8, 2016

2 babies △ 1 mama: our first week flying solo

Well the first week of the little ladies and I flying solo is officially in the books. Honestly don't know where the time has gone. Little Willa is already 2 weels old! It all just feels like a blink when I look back on it. A really happy, blurry blink :) 

Despite some sick set-backs, we did pretty well this week! Navy had that awful cold that seemed to really start the day Willa was born. It's held on until now and just today, we found out it's developed into an ear infection. So hard to see her this sick! But we got in to our doctor really quick and she has already started her antibiotics. Hoping she starts to feel well really soon. Unfortunately, little Willa came down with Navy's cold on Tuesday of this week despite our best efforts to keep her from it, and has been struggling with it ever since. Thankfully, she is still sleeping & eating well. Could not be more grateful for how she has weathered feeling unwell so far. Her little chest coughs and runny nose are heartbreaking considering how new she is, but she's taking it in stride so we couldn't hope for more given the circumstances. 

Because Navy was feeling so unwell and I am still recovering from Willa's birth, we took things really easy around home. We had lots of loved ones who had planned on visiting this past week but because of all these cold bugs going around both on their end and ours, all our visits had to be postponed regrettably. We were so looking forward to seeing our sweet family and friends but everyone was really understanding about pushing things off and now we just have lots of visits in our near future to look forward to! 

Thankfully Nanny (my mom) was able to come out a couple days, including Halloween evening, which we were so grateful for. And certainly, every evening Ryan came home we were SO happy to see him!! 

One thing that's been difficult for me towards the end of Willa's pregnancy and now as I recover post-birth is not being able to get Navy & Lincoln outside as much to run free and play. When we lived in Cochrane we had a beautiful walking rhythm in our lives. Lots of friends and paths and puppy friends to meet up with, visit, play and walk with.  Admittedly, since we moved and in conjunction with my sciatic pain increasing as the pregnancy went on, I've been unable to reestablish that kind of a rhythm in our lives here in Didsbury. So, it brings my heart no end of joy when Ryan comes home to take Navy and Lincoln out for a run. He always gets the best pictures of them and knows how happy it makes them and me, by proxy, to see them out and enjoying the outdoors. And I simply cannot wait to join them on their adventures soon. AND to make sure we start having these adventures again, during our day while Ryan is at work. 

Emotionally, I'm feeling very well post pregnancy and birth. So very happy with how peaceful Willa's birth was and how similar it was to Navy's. And as the days pass, the memories of her birth are blurring into the same kind of blissful nostalgia I feel towards Navy's birth. And that realization, alone, gives my heart a joyful buoyancy that seems to lift it even if, in a specific moment, I'm struggling with something else.

Looking forward to my little girls kicking these coughs, colds & infections to the curb so we can start the transition towards what normal life will look like as a family of four. That said, I'm definitely taking this bought of sickness as a sign to slow down and love on my little family right here in this season, just as we are.

Oct 30, 2016

A Day at the Zoo - Bookends on Willa's Pregnancy

The day we found out we were expecting little Willa ♥︎ Valentine's Day 2016

The day before little Willa was born ♥︎ October 23, 2016
The day we found out we were expecting little Willa, we thought we would celebrate with a trip to the zoo. Navy was finally old enough to really 'get it' at the zoo and Ryan was off work to join. It was perfect and the whole day was a mix of the magic of enjoying our first born daughter take in the world around her while dwelling on the sweet surprise that another little soul would be joining our crew later that year.

Fast forward to my due date coming and going on Saturday October 22, 2016. As we chatted about what we wanted to do that weekend I suggested a zoo day for Navy. Even though I was feeling quite tired from the later stages of the pregnancy, I figured a day focused on Navy prior to baby girl's arrival would be really nice. And the copious amounts of walking wouldn't hurt my progress either ;) We ended up enjoying the sweetest day as a family of three. Ryan was on exclusive toddler management as I was moving closer to a snail's pace at this point haha. We saw all the sights, played on alllll the parks and let Navy run wild and free, wherever her little heart desired. Afterwards, Navy didn't nap on the long drive home like she usually does so we decided to stop in at Costco and really stock up before baby girl made her debut. Hilariously enough, once we were home from our awesome day and the groceries were all packed away a looked around and took stock. Navy was SO content, Ryan and I had enjoyed the greatest weekend together, the house was stocked full of food, neat & tidy. I felt this wave of peace wash over me and I remember thinking 'ok, I'm ready'.

That night I felt the preliminary feelings of labour and our sweet little Willa was born the following day. Amazing how life works sometimes. So grateful, that in the midst of a season that has seen lots of change and transition for our family, Willa's entry into the world was cocooned in peace and intention. The journey of birth is so incredibly important to me and the peace that accompanied hers is a gift I will never take for granted.

♥︎ Willa Paige ♥︎ October 24, 2016

It's been nearly a week since our sweet little Willa Paige was born and I can still hardly believe that she is here! It has truly been the most wonderful week, getting to know our new little girl and watching Navy embrace her entry into our family so graciously.

On the morning I went into labour, Navy came down with a terrible cold. The worst one she's ever had. And unfortunately, she's been fighting it all week. While it's awful to see your child sick, and especially during such a big transitional time for her, I never want to forget that she was sick this week. Because despite her own obvious discomfort, she has welcomed little Willa with open arms and an enthusiasm we could only have dreamt of. With her croaky little lost voice and in between painful coughing fits, she's a constant chatter of 'baby wawa napping!', 'aw baby Wawa's crying', 'baby Wawa drinks milk from mama', 'baby Wawa's so tiny mama!' and the greatest.... 'me hold baby Wawa?''s honestly heartbreaking in the cutest of ways.

Navy's always been a bit of an old soul and routinely surprises Ryan and I with her ability to put her thoughts together in sentences or relay a deeper understanding of a situation than we expect for her age. So, we had hoped she would take to this transition rather well and definitely tried to talk to her a lot about it while I was pregnant in preparation. I'm just so grateful that it seems like that preparation and a mix of her sweet personality is making for a smooth transition this week. I know it won't always go this smoothly, so I'm just relishing in how lovely this week has been and savouring this sweet transition.

Baby Willa is doing so well! This past week she and I have both hit our recovery milestones on schedule and I'm feeling remarkably well post birth. Wondering if it has something to do with this being my second time around in addition to a great birth. And on that note, Willa's birth was amazing!! So similar to Navy's even though our life and location has changed so much in between my two girls' births. I'm writing her birth story now, and finishing Navy's at the same time. It's been on my heart for so long to write about my birth experiences and now feels like the perfect time to chronicle them both in one place.

Finally, I just can't say enough about how incredible Ryan has been with everything. He's always so supportive, but around my pregnancy, the births and the recovery that follows he just takes things to a different level. This time around he's on primary toddler entertainment duty with Navy ;) in addition to taking care of me and the home. As is his nature, he's done it all in his quiet, calm way and with a graciousness that is synonymous with his character.

I know the hormones are definitely a'flowin right now, but I am just totally overwhelmed with gratitude. This family of mine is the greatest blessing and I just feel so fortunate to be married to Ryan and mama to these two precious girls. Life is truly so good ♥︎

Oct 21, 2016

Before 3 becomes 4 ♡

Feeling all the feelings these days as we count down to baby girl's arrival. Savouring these last days with Navy & Ryan knowing that another precious soul is about to join our crew (on the outside :) and that things are going to change. To know that the way we love Navy is about to double with the addition of baby girl, well, it's impossible to wrap my head around at this point. I just know that my heart is anxious with excitement that we'll know the feeling soon enough. And in the meantime, I'll just be relishing our time as three before we become four.

I'm so grateful for these past two years of parenthood; what they've taught me and how Ryan and I have both grown as a result. Navy is the most life-transforming gift and we are simply beside ourselves with joy as we await the arrival of her baby sister. This really is the good stuff. Everything else in life pales in comparison, of that I am sure.

Sep 21, 2016

An Afternoon at the Pumpkin Patch

This weekend Ryan was out of town so my sweet sister Brooke & my mom (Nanny with 3 exclamation marks if Navy is saying it ;) spent the weekend with us. There's just nothing like having family come out and visit at our new place, especially as we're still processing moving away from so much and so many that we loved. 

We explored our town, ate out, took long country drives, watched lots of movies and smiled constantly at Navy being a big girl all weekend...conversations a'plenty, the start of potty training, SO many bubble baths, gymnastics all over the house and the sweetest little toddler sentences taking all of us off guard at the cutest moments. 

We wrapped up the weekend with a visit to a local pumpkin patch and had the BEST time. There's just something about watching a toddler take in the wonder of a new experience; relishing the sights, sounds, textures and newness. Sure forces you to slow down and focus on being present. Hard to do feeling as very pregnant and tired as I do while running after my wild little girl, but am I ever grateful when I manage to. Always seems to feel like the most peaceful pause in the midst of chaos and a moment of total clarity towards what really matters. 

Doing my best to soak up this precious time with her as my only. Baby sister will be here in a month or so and I know the greatest new adventure awaits us. Still, I can't help but feel a bit wistful and emotional over closing this chapter with her as our only. Her joining our family and showing us the unparalleled joy that parenting can bring....well, adequate words escape me. I'm just so incredibly grateful and humbled ..... and tired ;)....but more than anything, so. beyond. grateful. 

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