Pandemic reflections

Things have definitely developed fairly quickly over the past few weeks. Just a month ago (on the 17th of February) we were traveling into Toronto to go to the car show, and now doing something like using public transit to attend an event attended by tens of thousands is unthinkable.

Since then, things have been slowly shifting, we went from fairly typical activities (going out for groceries and haircuts, going to the dentist, seeing friends every week, going to the gym, to none of that. I had planned to travel to Boston to visit my work team and attend some meetings, and that was cancelled as travel restrictions ramped up.

For me, the shifts were doubly interesting because I went from a job where I was going into the office every day, to one where I was working from home every day- before we had additional work from home directives. So I was ahead of the curve in that regard- we have already set up multiple workstations at home (my husband also works from home nearly 100% of the time).

It felt like things started to go away slowly, then quite quickly- I made a comment to my work team that the schools were still open after our March Break and then about an hour later we got an announcement that they were closed until April 6. I had already planned to take March Break off, so was able to spend that time with the kids, staycation-style.

Since I switched to working from home back on February 23, the transition doesn’t feel quite so dramatic, but the overall feeling of urgency and stress is not lost on me. We’re also going to have the kids home with us as we work through the next few weeks at least, so we’ll have some adjustments to make as we manage that.

Thankfully my workplace and others understand the situation everyone is in so there’s a bit more flexibility around having a kid show up on your conference call (that had happened for me a couple of times already and thankfully everyone was cool).

Overall I’m feeling grateful that I already had put in place what was needed to effectively work from home, I’m grateful my kids are old enough to manage themselves for short periods so I can focus on some things (though I still do have to intervene to get focus time here and there). I’m grateful we have service through Good Food and PCexpress to get groceries we need with minimal need for interaction. I’m grateful our house has space for us to spread out a bit and get out of each other’s ways.

There’s a lot to be nervous about but I’m feeling very grateful overall. As an introvert I’m able to get plenty of social interaction without a lot of effort using technology, which is great. I got to do a cool video chat with my regular tv-watching group this week, did a dress-up fancy party on Facebook (with everyone dressed up fancy in their own homes of course) and have more fun things planned. I’ve been able to donate to some of the fundraising efforts providing relief to those much more affected than me, and help out a few folks as well.

Back to work this week- we’ll see what the next week brings but I know I’m so lucky.

September – Glorious Autumn After a Lovely Summer!

I have been quiet writing-wise for a bit, but mostly because I was greatly enjoying my summer! We spent lots of time at the park and taking walks, spent time in the backyard and on the deck, hung out with friends, and it was pretty wonderful.




We got a natural gas line installed for our barbecue grill this summer, which meant lots of grilling, but had the side effect of one of our cats going missing (the contractors left a window open, which we didn’t realize until later). Amazingly, after over two months, he was returned to us via the Humane Society thanks to his microchip. If you ever needed convincing on microchipping your pets, that is it right there. He’s an indoor cat, but it still made the difference between him coming home and not!


We also visited the Toronto Zoo in August, which has become a yearly trip for us. Wesley had a lot of fun this time and really enjoyed seeing the animals!


It wasn’t all rest and relaxation though! In August, I and 14 others were part of a GISHWHES team. It’s this huge worldwide scavenger hunt that went on for a week, with nearly 200 crazy items that had to be completed via images or videos. We did a bunch of different ones, but my favourite was probably the business suit waterballoon fight- basically we had to get 10 people in business suits to have a waterballoon fight, and then take a video and set it to opera music. This is what came out of that-

That was just one of the 100 items that my awesome team completed. It was great. We get to find out soon who won the contest part of it!

In addition to all that, I also completed the work product portion of my CPLP certification this summer as well. It was difficult to do with a newborn at home, for sure, but overall I was proud of all the work I put into that project. I should find out in a few weeks whether I passed or not. Terrifying!

We also got some more family portraits done, which turned out pretty well. Wesley wasn’t 100% cooperative, but the pictures that came from that are so funny that I don’t even mind.



My birthday has also come and gone. Lots of lovely birthday wishes, and Trevor got me a gift card for an overnight stay at Langdon Hall! I am SO EXCITED about that!

Capping off the summer, some friends of ours got married in Iceland, and then had a really lovely reception back in Canada! It was our first dress-up outing since Everett was born, so we took the opportunity to go all out. It was a lovely evening.

Trevor and I

And now, it’s definitely autumn, though the weather this weekend is still amazing and sunny and warm. But the trees tell the real story.


July Catchup

So, since my last posting here, I had a baby! Everett was born on May 29, nearly a week late, and all went well.

So since then, it’s been lots of newborn time, but I’ve been having lots of nice little outings as well. It’s definitely a bit nicer to have a newborn in summer than it is to have one in the dead of winter- easier to leave the house!

Speaking of summer, there’s a lot to love. Here’s a list of things I love about summer!

1. The smell of the air after a thunderstorm that drops the temperature like 15 degrees.
2. Walks at lunchtime. I’ve been meeting a friend of mine for lunch and walks on Fridays, which is a nice way to get some gentle exercise while being a fun outing for Everatt and I!
3. Trips to the playground. There’s lots of little playgrounds in our neighborhood, and we also like to go to the big city park every few weeks for a nice outing as well.
4. Barbecuing. My husband loves to grill and I love grilled food in the summer!
5. Sunshine. The long days make me feel like I can do so much more in a day!
6. Festivals. There’s lots of cool things to do in the summer, especially where I live.
7. Sandals. I love being able to just step into shoes on the way out the door.
8. Cherries. I love cherry season.
9. Summer in Canada. Because summer is comparatively brief (and constrasts so starkly with winter), summer in Canada is particularly special. There’s a holiday feel that seems to go on all season long.
10. Three day weekends! There’s a three day weekend in May, sometimes one in July (depending on when July 1 falls) one in August, and one in September!

April Updates

I think (hope?) that spring is finally starting to arrive. Of course, I pick a day where there was snow on the ground this morning to say that, but I’m convinced enough that I swapped the snow tires off my car, so hopefully spring is properly here now.

My US taxes are kind of a pain this year for a variety of reasons, so I’ve decided to have an accountant help me out, which has been super pleasant thusfar. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal easyness next year, but this past year I definitely wanted an extra hand. It wasn’t even figuring out what to file, it was just that some of the forms I need to file are super annoying. I do think I’ll be able to wrap things up by the June deadline, which is good, I didn’t really want to file an extension again this year.

Wesley has started to properly walk now. He’s been walking while holding on for ages, but he just wasn’t comfortable letting go and taking steps unaided until recently (and I don’t blame him, as someone who still ice skates right by the boards to this day). He’s getting more confident with it though, and it’s super fun to watch. He’s a blast. He likes to dance and he likes cars a lot right now, and computer mice, which he also likes to drive around like little cars. 😀


Easter has come and gone, and it wasn’t quite as busy this year since we didn’t make the trip up to visit Trevor’s parents. It’s tough squeezing in family time around holy week services! And Advent and Christmas services, for that matter.

On the volunteering front, I have nearly got all my paperwork finished for Family and Childrens’ services- I should get my police record check back shortly. Then, next month, four evenings of training, and then I’m able to actually volunteer!

I got a new laptop recently, a Samsung ultrabook. I really love it. It has Windows 8, which I like more than I expected. It also has a touchscreen, which I am finding useful off and on as well. The best part is that it’s small, and weighs less than 4 pounds, so it’s super easy to carry around, while still being powerful enough for me to do work on it if I need to, or play video for a presentation or whatever. It tucks nicely into my laptop bag along with all my other junk. I’m a fan. I’ve been using it at work, since I have a desktop at work and the team loaner laptop is this huge heavy monstrosity that I don’t love carting around, and I don’t always have enough time to set up what I need on it.

Along with the technology vein, I also got a BlackBerry z10 a while back, and I’m a fan of that, too. I’m really coming around on the topic of touchscreens. The flick-up typing on it is super nice, and I love being able to peek into my email when I’m in another app. Overall, it’s pretty awesome.


So ever since I dubbed myself the Preggonaut when I was pregnant, we called the baby “Babynaut”, off and on. So his halloween costume was a foregone conclusion.

Ready for blastoff!

Pumpkin Patch!

Trevor and Wesley and I went to the pumpkin patch on Saturday, and it was really fun! We wanted to go someplace new- we’ve been to Snyder’s Family Farm in the past, but it was a fairly long drive and it’s a really big patch, so you have to do a good bit of walking around to find a pumpkin you like.

So we tried a place in St. Clements called Naumans. Much closer to us. And it was awesome! I took Wesley in the carrier, and we didn’t have to do too much hiking to find pumpkins we liked. It didn’t cost to get in, and the pumpkins were nice and cheap (we paid like 8 dollars altogether for ours, I believe). The weather was chilly, but pretty decent pumpkin patching weather!

They’ll sit out on the porch to keep fresh, and we’ll probably carve them the day before Halloween. I’ll post pictures of our costumes soon! 😀

Baby… or rather, big boy!

Wesley is 9 months old now. He went to the doctor last week, and he’s now 20 lbs and 13 oz, which is a nice size for a baby his age. He’s nearly 30 inches tall, so he’s above average in that regard for sure. Tall and lean like his dad maybe? We’ll have to see!

He’s definitely starting to look more like a little boy, and less like a baby. For example:

That’s not a baby, that’s totally a big kid! People mistake him as being a year old, because he’s so big.

He likes riding in the grocery cart now, and he loves loves loves to play with the springy doorstop in the office. He likes to make it broing and he’s also managed to twist it off the wall a bunch of times- I find him halfway across the floor carrying it. We like to say that he’s playing us the song of his people, ha.

He’s not walking or really standing up yet or anything, but I don’t really want to speed up his mobility too much either. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be chasing after him soon enough! He likes to make noise and laugh and wave and give high fives, and while he says hi and mama and dada I don’t think he really knows what any of those mean yet. He has a super ticklish neck (like me!).

He’s branched out a lot in terms of foods he likes- he likes a lot more fruits than he used to, which is nice. He also likes yogurt quite a bit, and meat! He doesn’t eat a ton of meat, mostly fruit/veg/grains, but we do give him tastes of whatever we’re having.

He’s still a pretty easy baby- sleeps well, eats pretty well, plays with toys independently, not a huge crier (though I think he’s working on his next couple of teeth, because he’s crying a bit more the past couple of days). Definitely easygoing though, so I can’t complain. Changing his diaper has gotten to be a struggle though- he hates lying on his back long enough for me to change it. I have to basically distract him with a full-on-broadway-musical of song and dance to keep him there long enough to get a clean diaper on him. I hope that phase ends at some point.


Wesley is 6 months old (as of last Thursday)! He’s pretty much enormous. At his doctor appointment, he weighed 18 lbs 13 oz, and was over 27 inches long! The joke is that he’ll be taller than me any minute now (since I’m only 5’1″, he doesn’t get his height from me!)

He’s started on solid foods. So far, we’ve tried sweet potatoes and green beans, and rice cereal, and the biggest winner so far has been sweet potatoes mixed with rice cereal. Introducing new foods is a bunch more fun than I thought it would be- I thought feeding him would be really time-consuming and messy enough to bother me. But really, Wesley has been a relatively tidy eater (in that he hasn’t sneezed it all on me yet) and he gets through his little bowl of food pretty quickly, in about 15 or 20 minutes.

He rolls all over the floor, and is working on crawling, but hasn’t quite figured out how to push with his feet yet. He loves standing up though, if you hold him up he is super pleased to be on his feet (no standing on his own yet, of course!)

We had a half-birthday party for him last weekend, and it was nice! Just a barbecue for our friends, and their kids, too. Our friends have some really charming kids, as well. There were 6 children here aside from Wesley, and they were all girls, so that might have something to do with it, but talk about well-behaved and quiet! I hope they had fun. It was fun to have so many littles around, but I don’t know if I could handle it every day!

He’s still a pretty good sleeper, but he almost always has to sleep in his crib in his room now- where he used to be able to just nap wherever he was, now he’s too distracted if anything cool is going on around him. So he naps in his crib most of the time.

Trip to Texas!

About a month ago, Trevor and Wesley and I took our first plane trip together as a family, to Texas to visit my parents and brother and sister-in-law.


The flights were pretty awesome! It was Wesley’s first time on a plane, and we did some planning ahead and things worked out incredibly well. We flew mostly on MD88s, which are a middle-sized plane, two seats on one side and three on the other. We were on the three seat side a few times, and that worked out surprisingly okay!

Can I just say, pre-boarding for families with kids under 2? Awesome. Gave me enough time to get situated without having to trip over a bunch of people and bags, and without worrying about people bashing my kid with their bags. That was sweet.

We bought enough ready-made formula for the flights down and back (as Wesley is formula fed at this point) and brought our bottles. The timing worked out such that it was time to feed Wesley at each takeoff (we had 2 flights down and 2 flights back) and that kept him calm during the initial parts of the flight and probably helped keep his ear pressure normalized. Because we were next to a third person on a few of the flights, I was a bit apprehansive, but each time they complemented us on how calm the baby was, which was nice. After takeoff, he’d be pretty much done eating, hang out for a bit, then have a nap on our lap/shoulders/whatever. It worked out well.

In praise of the family restroom

On the way down, during our layover, we both needed to hit up the restroom and Wesley needed a diaper change. Enter the family restroom! If you’ve not seen these, it’s basically a big, accessible restroom with a change table. We got everything taken care of way faster than if we’d gone to the separate restrooms. Super awesome.

In Texas

While we were down there, we stayed in a hotel near my parents’ house, so that we’d have our own space and also because I kind of love hotels and this one had a whirlpool, so yay. We bought the baby supplies we’d need while we were down there. Diapers (we used disposable diapers, though we use a cloth diaper service at home), some wipes, swim diapers (so Wesley could try out the pool!), formula and water, and a couple other things. My mom got Wesley some clothes as a nice gift, and we also got some clothes from Kimberly and Tony (my brother and sister-in-law) which was nice.

We mostly hung out at my parents’ house and my brother’s place, which was good and relaxing. I was worried that with an infant it wouldn’t feel like we were on vacation, but the hotel stay helped with that (I love having other people make my bed! Also, whirlpool). We watched TV and played with the baby and had a good time. We watched crazy stuff too, Superman II! And Hazel. Random, but entertaining!

Speaking of the whirlpool, we made use of it a few times! It was nice. We also took Wesley in the indoor pool they had. It was a little chilly for him, but he had fun!

To give my mom some babysitting/grandma time, Trevor and I went with Tony and Kimberly to see The Avengers. We saw it at the Movie Theatre Tavern, which is a fantastic thing they have in Texas (and some other locations in the US) where you basically have your movie and food and beer all at once. It is particularly fantastic for comic book movies, I think.

They also have a system there which I think pretty much all diners/casual dining restaurants need- you push a button, it lights up, and then a server comes. Seriously, awesome. It’s rude to call a server over (especially from across the room), but sometimes they don’t catch the pointed glances when I want a refill or a dessert menu or the check. All in all, it was a nice baby-free outing, and my parents had fun babysitting. Here’s my dad and Wesley!

Back home

The flights back were also pretty good, Wesley had a tiny bit more fussyness but was overall pretty calm. He got a little bit upset on the car ride back home from Buffalo, but we made it home late in the evening and Trevor and I both had the following day off from our various obligations so we were able to get back into our regular home routine. Overall, I definitely recommend traveling with infants, especially when they’re still not mobile on their own (as Wesley was at the time, he’s rolling all over the place now).

I got one.

So I totally got the mom haircut. My hair has been pretty much a disaster for several months now- I’ve been scraping it into a ponytail or a bun, while wet, pretty much every day. I had a bunch of shorter hair as well, that had grown in while I was pregnant, and I wanted the length of my hair to be a little more consistent, instead of having a ton of short hair and a ton of longer hair and having it all look ridiculous.

And I get why moms get the short haircut. The kid pulls your hair all the time (or spits up in it). You have zero time to do anything with it. You don’t want to do anything with it. Getting rid of the extra length solves a lot of things!

So I got a haircut finally! And it is a short bob, as is typical, but I don’t care, I’m just glad my hair isn’t the huge mess it was before. It’s not unusually short for me- it’s about as short as I generally go though. I got a shampoo and style and everything. It was awesome.