Our Pet, Juliet- 7 Weeks Old

May 20, 2016


I am so much happier than I was when I wrote last! Things are getting easier and easier each day that goes by and last week, a switch seemed to have flipped on Nora and she is back to being much happier and flexible again. She still has her moments, like any 2.5 year old, but she is mostly back to her old self. It could also be that I am learning better strategies to deal with her. It's all about constant forethought on my part- what can I get her busy with before a feeding? When was the last time she had a snack? How can I spin things to make them her idea/more fun for her? How can I constantly keep her involved with what I am doing with Juliet? It can be exhausting on my part, but the end result is less tantrums and whining and more enjoyment for all of us.



Juliet is the sweetest little thing in the whole world! I find that I am more in love with every day. I remember the same thing with Nora, the first few weeks you're kind of in shock as to what has just happened to your life and super worried about whether the baby is OK, etc. and as you get the hang of things, you just start connecting with that baby more and more. She is such an easy baby, I hardly even want to say it out loud. She really NEVER cries, other than the odd little squawk if she is hungry or has to wait for me to pick her up. She is so content all the time and the gummy grins are ridiculous now! I rush over to her crib in the mornings or after naps and can't wait to look over the edge and see that little face smiling back at me.



I remember really trying to force a routine with Nora at this age and it just didn't work. This time, I am far more laid back and if we are home, she naps in her crib, but if we have things to do, she naps in the stroller or car seat. I can't make things hard on Nora and make her stay cooped up at home all day just because Juliet needs a nap, especially when she will sleep anywhere at this point. I do make sure she takes at least one nap a day at home so she gets used to napping in her crib. I put her down awake for naps and sometimes she cries a bit, sometimes a lot and sometimes not at all. When she does cry, I go in every 5 mins or so and settle her down, say "time to sleep, time for a nap" and then leave again until she falls asleep. So far it is working quite well. She is also going to bed between 7-7:30 already which is amazing. I love having my evenings back! She wakes up once a night, anywhere between 2-5 for a feed and then sleeps until about 8:00 every morning. One thing that really helps is understanding that her "wake time" is about an hour, so no matter where we are, I make sure to lull her sleep after an hour of being awake so she doesn't get overtired.

We got out the play mat for Juliet this week and she loves to lay under there and kick while Nora surrounds her (buries her!) with toys and stuffies. It is seriously cute and so fun to watch her look around and play.



As Nora gets closer to three than two, I can really see her play changing. Just in the last few weeks, she will finally make up her own games and set up elaborate story lines and imaginative scenes with her little people and teddies. She is really into the show Paw Patrol and she often plays that she is rescuing people or "ready to roll!" She also likes Curious George and replays the predicaments George gets himself into. Her vocabulary expands by the minute which never ceases to amaze me. She uses the words "rather" and "awful" and "amazing" and "impressed" and uses such descriptive language with justifications, comparing and contrasting things, connecting books to her life, always commenting on things she sees and later describing them in great detail. We walked past our friend Holly's house the other day and she says, "there's Holly's, mom, and she doesn't have the sign in her window anymore!" Never once had I remembered commenting or pointing out that sign to her, she noticed all on her own. It's such a joy to see her so enamoured and in awe of her surroundings all the time.


I feel like I am finally falling into a groove of being back at home with these two littles again and so thankful that I get to be with them all the time.


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I'm alive! Barely...

May 05, 2016

Sorry to leave you all hanging, but I think insta-blogging (updates via instagram) is going to be my new reality for a few more months. I vastly underestimated the amount of "free time" I would have with two kids, especially now that Nora is no longer napping, EVER.


Our little doll, Juliet Vera Niddrie arrived on March 29th at 7:44pm. The labour was faster than Nora's birth, but not any less painful, challenging, mind-blowing or overwhelming! I was induced that morning as my water broke two days prior and I still hadn't gone into labour. It took a while for things to get going, but when they did, they went fast and furious! So fast that I didn't have time for the coveted epidural which I was begging for! However, I conquered another labour and delivery and all is well with Nora's baby sister, Juliet.




The transition to having two kids has been tough on us all. I forgot how sore and hormonal I was going to be during those first few weeks. I have said to several people- if women truly remembered the agony of labour, the first week anxiety, the postpartum healing and the postpartum hormonal crying phase, I think the human race would have ended by now! It sucks! Yet somehow, we look back on those first few weeks with wonder and amazement and nothing but joy over that little sleepy little newborn snoozing away on Daddy's chest and decide it's a good idea to do it all over again! I'm not saying it was a mistake, but if there is a next time for us, I hope to be more mentally prepared for it!

Thankfully I am through the hardest part and Juliet is already "sleeping through the night", which at this age is 7-8 hours at a time. She went through a few weeks of being up for hours in the night, when I was convinced that both my children were slowly trying to kill me, as Nora was also waking up in the night and/or getting up at an ungodly hour when I had just been awake for 3 hours bouncing and feeding a fussy baby. However, we are entering into some kind of normalcy now, with more sleep and baby smiles!

Nora has had a really hard time with the new baby as well, which breaks my heart. She has been waking several times in the night screaming for me, which I know is some sort of subconscious insecurity about Juliet, as annoying as it is for me. She will have nothing to do with Tom and only wants me to come and tuck her in again, hug her and sing her a song and she goes back to sleep. One night this week, this happened 4-5 times in the night! She used to be so easy to parent, hardly ever acting up, and in the last month I have raised my voice with her many times which brought tears to my eyes, because I couldn't believe I was speaking to my perfect little baby like that. But she has to learn boundaries when it comes to my attention and Juliet's needs as hard as it is for all of us. She does silly things like throw food on the floor or spit milk out of her mouth, or rub her dirty feet in my face while I'm nursing or insist I carry her from one room to another and if I don't, throws herself on the floor screaming and kicking. It has been so challenging and I'm really struggling about how to deal with her. I give time outs, but I also give her more than enough hugs, kisses and reassurance that I'm not going anywhere and I still love her more than anything.


But, enough with the doom and gloom and complaining! I am so excited to have two adorable, beautiful, healthy baby girls! Juliet has been a much easier and less demanding newborn than Nora was. Tending to her needs have been so smooth. From the beginning she has been feeding really well and gaining weight just as she should be. She is growing like a weed and her big, dark blue eyes have started to dart around the room and focus on things now which is so exciting to watch. She is 5 weeks old and smiling at us, mostly first thing in the morning. When she is awake, she happily sits in her little bouncy chair in our kitchen and watch what's going on. She has finally started to going to bed a little earlier, so Tom and I have our evenings back and can have some kind of a conversation again, or in my case, I can stare blankly at the TV and NOT TALK for an hour before passing out with exhaustion! One thing has been different is the amount of gas and spit up this baby has! It has improved slightly, but at least once a day, I get covered in giant spit ups! We can recognize the look on her face when a big one is coming, and if I don't have a burp cloth or a towel nearby, it's new outfits for everyone. It's uncharted territory for us, because Nora hardly every spit up. I know it's normal, but I did begin to wonder at first, because the amount seemed so great.


We can't decide who Juliet looks like! She is not a ringer for her sister, or either of us. But we thought that about Nora at first too. When Juliet was first born, her nose and cheeks were so swollen that we all thought she would have this GIANT squishy nose! Within a week or so, it had turned into a cute little button nose, but still a very different shape than Nora's. Her hair is much lighter than Nora's was and her eyes quite a bit darker, although still blue like the rest of us. I think she looks like Tom when I see his newborn pics, but we will see! When I look back at Nora's photos from the first 3 months, I can't even tell that it's her comparing her to now. She turned out looking so different as the months went on. We will see what happens with Juliet.



I know each stage goes by so fast and Nora will adjust eventually. She won't even remember life without Juliet and seeing other siblings together, lifelong playmates, makes me realize it is a good decision to bless your children with siblings. I can't wait until Juliet can interact with Nora a bit more as I think that will make it easier for Nora to form a relationship with her. Until then, we forge ahead in the parenting trenches! Thank you for all your support and well wishes!


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Baby Season is here!

March 13, 2016

It has been on my list to update you all for weeks now and I finally had  minute to sit down and write. I have just been trying to coast into the finish of work and the start of spring, finishing up several projects at both school and home. As usual, there is never a dull moment around here and between everything going on, our little monkey continues to get in on all the fun!

I finished work a week ago and it is so nice to put my feet up a little bit and have only family to focus on. I finished a week earlier than I had originally planned, but it was the right thing to do, because getting there every day was becoming a huge chore. Last week, I had 2 uninterrupted days of bliss when Tom was working and Nora was in daycare and I did WHATEVER I WANTED! I actually worked on some hoops, ate my weight in mini eggs and had big naps each day. It was so nice!

The nursery is officially done (pictures to come soon!), down to the diapers in the drawer, the baby is over 38 weeks now and we are ready for it to come. I feel like I really want it out now. It's hard to look after Nora while I'm this pregnant and overall, I feel like a whale, waddling around. I am getting up to pee a lot in the night and my hips are really sore when I try to sleep. Everything is loosening up in the pelvic region so there are lots of aches and pains and moaning and groaning! I am also really out of breath all the time, which is annoying because I go up and down the stairs about a million times a day and each time I have to stand at the top and catch my breath. When I sit down in the chair to read stories to Nora at bedtime, the effort it takes me to give her a bath, get PJs on and tidy up her room, bending over to pick up clothes and towels, etc causes me to pant for a couple of minutes before I can start reading. I hate it!

Since I last wrote, the baby did a couple more somersaults in there, so the last month has been wrought with anxiety and appointments and the unknown of whether it will stay put in the head down position or not. At 36.5 weeks we had an ultrasound which confirmed the baby was finally in the head down position and has stayed there since. Fingers crossed it doesn't flip again. I am now on pins and needles wondering if it's a boy or a girl. The name game has proven to be more difficult this time, especially boy names. We keep changing our minds and names that we liked all along, suddenly I'm not so sure about. I also just can't picture myself with another of either gender. It all seems so daunting having two kids to look after. It's so different waiting for it to come this time, because I know what to expect now. I KNOW how much labour hurts, and I KNOW how hard breastfeeding can be and I KNOW how much it sucks to get up in the night a million times and all of these things seem that much more scary when I'll have Nora around too. I am also more worried about the baby this time because I KNOW how much you end up loving and caring for them and what that feels like this time and it just seems like there is so much more at stake this time around.

I am really glad we waited a little longer between each child though, because Nora gets more and more helpful and independent as the weeks pass. She can now dress herself entirely and like everything, girlfriend is a chip off the old block, she comes to me and asks me if her clothes match before she puts them on... "this is pink, and this is DARK pink, this match, mom?!" She is FINALLY completely potty trained during the day with few accidents, but still wears a diaper to sleep in. She said the funniest thing the other day- she pooped in her little toilet and looked in and said "It looks like a totem pole!" Ahaha! I laughed so hard! So Canadian of her! However, the worst part of her growing up, is that she has pretty well quit her nap. It is was saddest thing in the whole world! She still naps at daycare and at my parents house because they both have cribs for her to be trapped in, but at home, she trashes her room for about 40 mins and then comes out and says she's done napping :) I am still putting her in there in hopes maybe this is just a blip in her sleep habits, but it's been about a month now since she has napped at home. I'm hoping she will at least continue "playing" in her room alone quietly for a while longer.

As I brag about her being more independent, it doesn't come without its challenges either. I DO IT MYSELF has become a common phrase around here, even when she thinks she can cook us a full meal! This is her new favourite thing. She calls herself a "chef"- "I'm a chef!" and whenever we set foot in the kitchen, she gets her stool right away and insists on "helping" with everything. Usually I don't mind, but when patience is wearing thin, sometimes I just want to do it MY OWN SELF! The other night I was making a salad and I just let her have at it too. She stood there and ripped lettuce and "chopped" tomatoes with a play kitchen knife (aka. made a total squishy tomato mess) and dumped the cucumber peels into a bowl she had. She has also gotten really into "getting ready" in the mornings with me and loves to do the same things I do. She pretends to put on the deodorant, blush, lip gloss, lotion, etc. Makeup is not something I would like to encourage her to be interested at such a young age, but I am all about picking battles these days.

I am planning to update you with nursery pics soon and other than that, hopefully the next time you hear from me is to announce the arrival of Baby Tweedle the second!


Here's a little bonnet I knit for baby! 

Playing on our deck in the sunshine! You can see what a mess our muddy yard is though... we plan to plant grass and do a fence this spring. 

Playing doctor is a favourite!


Bathroom break on the way to Cranbrook!

Always up to mischief, this one- lipstick EVERYWHERE!


Me at 37 weeks last week. As you can see, one of us is better at hiding our emotions than the other! ;)

Savouring my lazy morning in bed with my monkey!
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Happy Valentine's Day!

February 11, 2016

Nora collecting the neighbour's eggs with Gran and Papa. 
It is already February! Yay! It has been so nice to have some warmer weather and sunshine here in the last week, as well as reaching the 34 week mark tomorrow with Baby Tweedle the second! I have been in "baby turning mode" the last 2 weeks as at my last doctor's appointment I found out that the baby STILL hadn't turned into the head-down position. I sprang into immediate action, googling everything in sight about breech babies and talking obsessively to everyone and anyone I knew who had a breech baby. I was not happy about the idea of the c section and was willing to do almost anything to get the baby to turn. I visited the chiropractor twice, osteopath, spent every evening doing my baby turning exercises and even went to the pool and did handstands in the water! I just found out that IT TURNED! YAY! I had thought it might have, but due to the many odd positions everyone who felt my belly, was feeling the baby in, I wasn't sure until my appointment today. I am so happy! However, it's not 100% sure that it will stay this way, and I go to see an OBGYN next week to confirm and discuss options if it turns back. For now, I can stop poking and prodding at the poor baby all day every day to try and feel where its head is! 



I have been feeling pretty good, although starting to get that heavy feeling I had forgotten about. The second trimester is where it's at... no nausea, lots of energy, feeling good... and then you hit that third trimester and little things like putting on socks and bending over to pick up things off the floor become SUPER uncomfortable. The Kindergarten snowsuits are going to be the death of me!!! Some days I feel like telling them to tuck their own $%&!-ing snow pants into their boots!

Cleaning the windows for me! aka- making a total mess with water streaks and puddles everywhere!  She loves helping me do whatever I am doing all the time- cooking, laundry, bathrooms, sweeping...
Even though her eyes are closed, I still love this picture! My little dress up girl!
A lot of TV, popsicles, juice and cuddles happened while she was sick!
Nora is our happy little monkey who is now talking in full sentences all the time, which somehow seemed to happen overnight. She had a bad bout of strep throat and a high fever that lasted 3 days a few weeks ago, but other than that, she is on the go and the countdown to the baby too! She talks about it all the time now and calls it "that big baby!" because my tummy is in the way of her lap sitting routines these days. I don't think she really gets the difference between brother and sister, and doesn't seem to have a preference or any inclination what sex the baby will be, like the rest of us. I really have no idea at all yet either. We are stuck on names as well. I like so many girls names, but boy names have been a lot harder for us both to come up with. Everyone that sees me thinks I am having a boy, but symptoms and "wive's tales" all point in the direction of a girl, so who knows! We will find out in 6 weeks or so!

Toddler antics in full swing! I came home from work and walked right into this! She was quite happy to clean it up and  had her first real "time out" for this one. Thankfully it hasn't happened since! 
Cupcakes after swimming in our SUNNY, BRIGHT kitchen!
We are slowly plugging away at the organizing and unpacking in our house. It has been nice to have all the baby stuff and not have to research and/or buy everything all over again. However, I am still asking around for tips with baby gear for number 2- anything you mama's loved having for the second? We have decided not to buy a double stroller for now. Nora doesn't really sit in the stroller for long walks anymore. Although that was my favourite thing to do with her when she was a baby, I realize that I'll have to save those long walks for times when Nora is not coming. We can walk easily to the store, park, beach and to get the mail from our house and she can walk most of the way, and if not, hitch a ride on the single stroller somehow. I am hoping this baby will like to be in a carrier or wrap, as Nora didn't. However, I didn't push it too hard being I had no other children around to attend to!


My little pretty girl!- I posted this on instagram this week with a caption-- how am I ever going to give her as much love and attention as I do now, with a new baby around?! 
Report card season is coming up at school and after that, it will be smooth sailing until spring break and baby's arrival! Cross your fingers that baby decides to stay put now that it's turned in the "right" way!




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Home at last!

January 16, 2016

Happy New Year! 


I am so glad to report that we are officially living in the new house and aside from a few minor details, it is completely finished, down to the last towel rack and baseboard! We got our occupancy permits on December 23 and finalized our mortgage on the 24th. Coming in on budget and having it FINISHED had to have been the best Christmas present ever!

House errands at Ikea in December!
We moved in on December 28th and have been enjoying the space since then. It's taking a while to organize and unpack everything, but feels good to do some purging as we go. Of course I have a long list of things to shop for and we are planning to buy a few new pieces of furniture. We are still eating from our uncomfortable bar stools that have always been too high for the counter. When I envisioned the living room when we were planning the house, it had a large comfy sectional couch in it, which is also on our list to buy and I'd like an area rug for the living room as well just to tie everything together. Hopefully we can get to the city to shop for some of these things soon!

The thing that we love most about the new house is the light! It's the first time in 10 years that we can sit in the living room and look out the window, or be able to tell what the weather is before actually stepping outside. It's so nice and bright everywhere in the house! The kitchen is also a highlight. It's HUGE! I've unpacked every piece of kitchenware that we own, even stuff that was in storage since our wedding and I still have one full upper cabinet and one full lower cabinet that are empty! Yay for storage, storage and more storage space!

Nora's room, day 1- still need to hang the art!
Baby's room progress- I am doing black and white with pops of colour. I love how the vintage green chair looks in there! And, did you notice I finally got my white poufs?! 

Nora has done really well with the transition over here. She pretty much didn't miss a beat when we moved her room over. I didn't know how the first night would go, but she slept better here than she did in her old room. About mid-november we decided to switch her out of her crib and into a toddler bed. It went horribly. As you know, she has always been a champion sleeper and it all went out the window when she moved into her own bed. It couldn't have come at a worse time, as I was run off my feet with report cards at school, finishing our house (painting every night), being pregnant and trying to prep for Christmas. She was up multiple times in a night, sometimes for almost an hour, thinking it was morning and/or having a tantrum about something, wanting me to sing to her, needing a new diaper, etc. It was always something. It was also taking us until almost 9:00 some nights to get her to go to sleep because she just kept coming out of her room. And then she was waking up at 4:50-5:15 for the day every morning! The same thing would happen most days for naps and I was beginning to think she would never nap again. We were both overtired and cranky constantly, I cried almost every day with exhaustion and I figured I would never sleep again! We tried locking her in her room with a child door lock, but she could get the door open and after several nights of battling with her, we ended up tying a rope to her door and anchoring it to something in the bathroom so that she couldn't get out! It was crazy!

The one and only Christmas activity I had time for this year.... 
However, somehow, moving into the new house made all the difference. For one, she can't get the door on her new room open on her own, and for two, we bought a special clock for toddlers that shows a sun when they can get up and come out of their room and stars and a moon when it's time to sleep. The clock has done wonders! She now sleeps until 6-6:30 every morning, goes to bed at 7:00 and naps her regular 2-3 hours every afternoon. I feel like a new person with the house being finished and getting decent sleep again... I'll enjoy it until another one comes along to terrorize me in the night in a couple of months!


Speaking of Baby Tweedle the second.... I am now 30 weeks along and counting myself into the home stretch. I had an ultrasound last week which showed that the baby's head is still up and the bum is right down at the bottom so I hope it decides to flip around soon! I am feeling pretty good overall aside from a few minor pregnancy ailments, but really looking forward to being finished work. Although that won't be for another 6-8 weeks. I have no inclination at all whether the baby is a girl or a boy, but I also have no preference at all! It would be fun for Nora to have either a brother or a sister- sisters would be pretty cool, but experiencing having a son would also be pretty exciting for both of us, so I guess we will just have to wait and see!


I am sorry to report that my goal of having Nora potty trained by the end of 2015 didn't happen! She is part way there. She does very well going pee on the potty, but poop is a different story and there is just no convincing her or bribing her to do something she doesn't want to do. I haven't fully taken diapers away, just because she spends so much time with different care givers throughout the week that have different expectations and daily routines that I think it will be easier to just wait and go cold turkey when I am off work if she doesn't decide to do it on her own before then. At least she is getting the hang of it!


As usual there are so many funny things she says and does now. One of the funniest ones that we laugh at so often is her expression "you genius!"-- she says this to either Tom or I all the time and we don't know where she got it from! We don't remember having called her a genius to her face before, but she uses it for us all the time. It's usually not in the right context which makes it even funnier. Tom will say, "I'm going out to shovel the driveway now" (or something like that) and she will reply with, "Dad, You GENUS!" (she pronounces it "genus"). She also tells us she is "too cranky" to do certain things, which is pretty funny and quite often will say she wants to try something "when I'm a little bit older". She wouldn't stop stealing the candy canes off the Christmas tree at my sister's house the christmas, but exclaimed that she wouldn't eat them "until I'm a little older!" One afternoon I picked her up from daycare and told her we had to go home and see Nana because she had a cold and wasn't feeling well. When we walked in the door, Nana was up sitting at the table and Nora says "She looks good" very matter of factly, like "whats the big deal, she doesn't look sick to me!" It was too funny! She peed on the floor at her Gran and Papa's house and then blamed it on the dog- "Garmin just peed a little over there, Gran!" Ha ha!


Lastly, we went to church just before Christmas and there was a reading about the coming of the Lord. She listened intently and then when it was over, looked around and exclaimed loudly "Where is the lord?!"


I cannot wait to spend every day all day with my little genius! It will be here in no time! In the meantime, you can keep up with our antics on instagram! Thanks again for reading and Happy 2016!




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