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. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Two Months Old!

I really need to keep this blog updated! I love reading other peoples' blogs with baby updates, and I know I'll want to look back at this later on. Babies change so quickly! I'll try to organize this about starting with the topic that people seem to ask about the most -


I told myself before Gabby was born that I didn't want to stress too much over sleep. I know that not sleeping well can affect everything in life, but nobody ever sleeps well with a new baby and they are only little for a short amount of time! Our main strategy is just get sleep to happen however that needs to be, with some 'future sleep habits' practice.

For the last week or two we've started a bedtime routine - she gets her pjs put on, we read her a short story and then she gets swaddled and I nurse her, burp her and put her down in that magical 'drowsy but awake' state in her sidecar mini crib that I made. The time depends on her last nap, but is generally around 8:30 (and we go to bed just after that to get maximum sleep!). We've had a few nights where she loves looking at the story book, and then some nights where she is overtired and can't handle life anymore and starts to scream! The actual going to sleep part is pretty good. Sometimes she falls right asleep, sometimes she fusses a tiny bit and then sleeps, and other times we have to go in and soothe her (usually give her the pacifier - or 'dummy' as Nathan is making me call it) once or twice. Her best night of sleep so far was a 6 hour stretch followed by two 3 hour stretches. There have been a lot of nights close to that, and then of course some less fantastic nights. The good part is that she hasn't yet been really awake at night. If she wakes up, she's either hungry or has gas and she goes right back to sleep.

We've been aiming for one nap a day in the crib (the first morning nap usually). That nap has been pretty good - she is up for about an hour in the morning after she eats, and then she can be put down awake/relaxed (and swaddled) in the crib and 9 times out of 10 she falls asleep easily. A few times that has been a nice 1.5 hour nap, but most times she wakes up at 45 minutes and then soothing back to sleep in the crib doesn't really work, so into the wrap she goes. I never knew how much I'd love the Moby wrap! It gets used multiple times daily. I also made a ring sling and we were generously hand-me-downed an Ergo - both of those are useful too, but the Moby gets used the most right now!


I feel really lucky that breastfeeding started out well and has continued to go really well. Gabby eats every 3 hours or so during the day. It probably takes her about 10-20 minutes per side right now (sometimes she is happy with one, sometimes she wants both). We weighed her today and she is 12 lbs! Last weigh in was at 6 weeks and she was 10 lbs 3 oz then.

Everything else:

In general Gabby is pretty much perfect (not that we are biased or anything ;) ). But really, she seems to be continuing to make things easy on her new parents. She only really cries when she is hungry or over tired. When she is neither of those things, she is all smiles and is happy to lie on her play mat cooing at her toys (and herself at the mirror). She loves to lie on her back and stretch out and practice kicking and opening and closing her hands. She is so aware for the past few weeks and tracks us and the dogs and cat around the room. She loves being on the change table and having her diaper off :) She is always happiest first thing in the morning; we chat to her while we drink our much needed coffee! When she does get herself worked up, she can always be calmed down with either nursing or being put in the wrap carrier (phew!). Sometimes she also needs her 'dummy' but sometimes just being close and snuggled in the wrap is enough. She seems to like riding in the car and she usually falls asleep. She has such good head control now! She isn't a huge fan of tummy time but she puts up with it for a few minutes at a time (then she just starts mouthing at her blanket on the floor). She *loves* bath time, especially when she gets to go in the big bath with me and kick herself through the water. She definitely does not like being cold, so we have to be quick getting her out of the tub and into pjs!

In those pictures you can see that she has some very crusty cradle cap. Now it's mostly on her scalp but it started all in her eyebrows!

Useful baby items:

I read a lot of lists before Gabby was born about 'baby must-haves'. We got a ton of hand me downs and found pretty much everything else used. The one thing we just bought new is a high chair (hard to find any used that aren't disgustingly and permanently dirty!). We have a swing and a vibrating baby chair for her and she definitely likes the baby chair more. She has fallen asleep a few times in that. We also have a pack and play with a bassinet on top that I thought we would use but so far naps have been in the crib, carseat (in the car) or carrier. For sleeping, I love the Halo swaddle sleepsack that you can use with arms in our arms out. It's so nice and snug and warm. A few weeks ago I made a water ring sling out of athletic mesh jersey and we went to the pool - that sling worked like a charm! We took Gabby out for a little swim around the pool and then when we put her back in the sling she fell asleep for the next hour. I think she would have gotten cold and fussy right away without being up against me in the pool.

We started using cloth diapers a week ago. I had bought some before Gabby was born because I was interested in trying them - when one of the least expensive companies (Kawaii diapers) had a buy 1 get 1 free sale I bought 14 bamboo pocket diapers. Each one came with 2 bamboo inserts. I first tried one on her when she was about 2 weeks and it leaked - either her legs were too skinny or else I might not have done all the snaps up right. In the last week, though, they've worked really well! I think we've had one leak and that was from a very wet diaper. We've just been laying the inserts in the cover instead of actually putting them in the pocket of the diaper. Because the bamboo feels damp against her skin when it gets wet, I cut some pieces of microfleece to use as liners. It only takes a second to put the layers in the diaper during a diaper change, and then the whole thing can be tossed in the wetbag lined diaper pail. For night times we put her in a disposable diaper because there are no middle of the night diaper changes around here!

We had a crazy snowstorm two weeks ago!

Here was my attempt at a snowy photo shoot...

It isn't possible to put into words how much I love this baby!

At some point there will be farm updates...once we can actually get back out there! We did prune the fruit trees today, and wrangle Pippa back into the paddock - naughty goat is still naughty!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Four weeks!

How has it already and only been 4 weeks?? We are loving our new life with Gabby!

Still a layer of snow/ice covering the farm...melt, please!! Another photo of us all bundled up...going to be the only outdoor baby photos for awhile!

Zoey looking depressed that baby play time is happening before dog play time today.

Haven't seen any 'real' smiles yet, but lots of sleep smiles!

I was brave last week and I took Gabby to meet a bunch of our mainland friends. I managed to time all of the feeding so that there was never a hangry baby in the car seat - high five for me! (And for a baby who falls asleep in the car!).

Loic and Maelle were so sweet and cute with her! It was kind of surreal that 'my' baby Lolo (the first baby I was around all the time!) was holding my real baby!

First story time with Bailey! 9 months apart is a lot at this age.

Abby says enough baby photos now, time for farm running please!

So frozen out there on the pond that we could cut a bunch of branches on the far side that we've never been able to get to before.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Ms. Gabrielle!

Born December 19th at 2:05 am, weighing 8 lbs 10.5 oz.

So many photos already - it's impossible to choose just a few!

Other than the actual pushing out a giant baby thing, Gabby has been making this a smooth few first weeks (oh so scared to even type that and jinx it!). 

But really, I had mentally tried to prepare for possible difficulties feeding her at first and for no sleep. Instead, she latched on within half an hour of her birth and has been feeding like a little piggy ever since. She is pretty much hungry every 3 hours on the dot and is oh-so-happy every time she gets near the 'feeding stations'. At night, she and I both half wake up (she is in her bedside crib co-sleeper that we made her) and I slide her over, nurse her while still lying down and then slide her back over to her bed. We've been going to bed at 8 sleeping from 9ish-midnight, then until 3ish and then 6ish. Usually we get up around 8. 12 hours in bed means at least a good number of sleeping hours! The last few nights she has been up for awhile in the middle of the night doing the loudest grunting and pushing noises. Poor girl is a bit gassy (don't even get me started on the diaper-less projectile poo incident).

Loosened swaddle so she could bicycle her legs!

We've been doing daily hikes now (Gabby in the ergo carrier) which is really nice even though it's so snowy and icy here. We've also gone out to dinner and breakfast, to the farmer's market, and on a bunch of errands. We went to Victoria for the day last weekend and had a lot of fun even though it was freezing cold! 

Everything is good on the farm. We had a surprise ram lamb born New Year's Day! So glad we live where it isn't normally this cold...definitely a lot more work to haul water around and make sure our house water doesn't freeze!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Countdown is On

Approximately 10 days left until everything changes!

Better get some photos of the farm on the blog before it becomes a whole lot busier around here. We are pretty excited!

Ok, that one is maybe not so excited to have a tiny human around...but she is certainly happy to make cozy couch nests at every opportunity. 

I took Abby back to the vet this week to have her blood rechecked after her kidney failure diagnosis in July. I had my fingers crossed that her kidneys hadn't gotten any worse. Much to my (and the vet's) surprise...her blood results were perfect. Kidneys do not heal themselves! It is very strange, and the only real explanation is that something odd was going on with the results in July. Still waiting for more info from the vet after she calls the pathologist, but I'm feeling pretty happy about my 12 year old Abigail's sudden excellent blood results!

We woke up to a white blanket over the farm this morning.

Our little snowy flock. Those are Amelia's twin ewe lambs that were born October 20th (ish! Should probably have written that down...). We could tell that Amelia was close to lambing in the next few weeks and then, in Amelia style, we went outside to do chores and two little lambs were up and nursing!

So cute and curly!

The rare ginger bearded snow goat..

And the rare snow hunting Juice cat:

Our chores are minimal right now which is perfect. We just have the chickens, ducks and sheep and it only takes about 10 minutes morning and evening to feed and lock in/let out. The nursery is all finished and we've cleaned and organized the whole house. I think we're about as ready as any soon to be parents can be (as in...we have no idea what we're in for!!).