Adventures with Audie & Edie - 3 of 12

Our third adventure took us right downtown to the Cloud Gardens. The Cloud Gardens was built in the 1980's as part of the Bay Adelaide Centre and was given to the city, it consists of small park and greenhouse betwixt bustling Bay and Yonge and you can often find parkour teams of Toronto training (at least, according to Wikipedia - there's a big "No Climbing, No Jumping, No Parkour" sign there). The park features a monument designed by Margaret Priest to salute Toronto's construction workers; the patchworkesque monument is made up of squares, each representing one of the building trades. 

Miss E wasn't too sure about this adventure. Giant plants can be scary for toddlers! With a little coaxing, a strong grip of Mama's hand and the company of Honeybunny we were able to make it through the whole steamy greenhouse. In the end, Miss E much preferred looking at the pigeons outside and enjoyed waving and stealing the attention of many of the business folk hanging around outside. 

Adventures with Audie & Edie 2 of 12

For our second adventure I wanted a place that wasn't as impossible or complex as the underground maze of the PATH. I decided to check out Toronto's cork house! I've always known Toronto has a collection of quirky houses, but I've never actually been to any of them. 
While conducting a bit of research, I discovered the owner of the house was badly injured in a construction accident and turned his home into an art therapy project. How cool!
The wacky home on Clinton Street is not only decorated with thousands or corks, but also pool cues, coins and all sorts of toys including Mr. Potato head!  Edie and I stopped and starred at the home for a good 10 minutes (almost nothing can hold this babes attention for that long!)
Unfortunately because of the weather a lot of the decor was covered with a layer of plastic weather protection. I'd love to visit again this summer to see the cork house and all its decor revealed! 

Since our adventure was fairly short, I decided a trip to Christie Pits park was in order. Edie and I love to discover new parks! 

Adventures with Edie & Audie - 1 of 12

I love discovering new places. I love discovering odd/interesting/hidden/offbeat places my lifelong hometown has to offer even more! Whether hidden down one of Toronto's many ally ways, in the basement of a downtown office tower, on a nature path, or in someone's front yard - if it's strange, if it's beautiful, if it's creepy... I want to see it. 

I hope my daughter is always curious, and I want to spark that curiosity and desire to explore. I decided to start a new photo project where Edie and I would venture to places within Toronto that I didn't really know about: the hidden gems of the Toronto. 

First trip: Commerce Court!

I decided Commerce Court would make a good first adventure since it is indoors (and it's still a bit chilly) and is pretty easy to get to (well, if you know what you're doing!). 
 

A little History of Commerce Court:


Commerce Court is a complex of office buildings, we were specifically visiting the North Tower, which is the original building erected in 1931. The building sits at the intersection of King & Bay Streets, and was the site of Toronto's first Wesleyan Methodist Church from 1818-1831. From 1833-1886, the site was home to Theatre Royal and from 1887-1927, seven storeys became the head office of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. 

The 34-storey limestone building was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth until about 1962. At the time of construction, the Canadian Bank of Commerce (now Commerce Court North) was one of the most lavish corporate headquarters in all of Canada. Perched atop the elaborate building is a public observation deck which closed in the 70's due to safety concerns.  The deck wraps all the way around the tower and holds 16 "giant heads." Visitors could pay 25 cents to trek to the top of the lookout to see a gorgeous view of Toronto and apparently even the mist from Niagara falls!

The other 3 buildings were erected in 1972, creating the Commerce Court complex.  

 Brochure for the observation deck in the 1930s. Image courtesy of the CIBC Archives.

Brochure for the observation deck in the 1930s. Image courtesy of the CIBC Archives.

 A corridor of giant heads, image by Jack Landau

A corridor of giant heads, image by Jack Landau

I decided we would begin our adventure at Queen Station and walk through the PATH to Commerce Court North. What a mistake that was! If you have ever been to the PATH there is no explanation needed. For those of you that haven't ventured into this ridiculous maze, take my advice and stay out unless you enjoy the thrill of crowded lobbies and walkways filled with very important (insert eye-roll), very busy people and getting lost. Once we got into the PATH I remembered how, of all the times I'd been there, I'd also got lost, and I didn't have a stroller or a 1 year old back then. Oi.

 
After going the wrong way more times than I can count, I finally made it to Commerce Court but found the North Tower was just as difficult. In hindsight, the Art Deco styled elevators probably should have tipped me off, but my anxiety was already high so I clearly wasn't thinking. 

I stepped out of the busy, bustling hallway into the elevator and pressed the button I assumed would take me where I needed to go. It was a bit like stepping into a time machine. The elevator doors opened and I was greeted with silence. I poked my head out to see if I was in the right place and there it was, the gorgeous gold-plated ceiling. 

I took Miss E out of her stroller so she could toddle around while I took a few photos. At one point, she was about to fall and my incredible mom automatic reaction kicked in to save her. Unfortunately. my camera swung around and hit a nearby banister. Now my camera was making strange noises. We cut our visit short and I didn't get nearly as many photos as I wanted because I was just too worried about my other, non human baby. 

Miss E is the big ONE!

Somehow, an entire year went by. The beautiful, tiny, magical baby that came into our lives at 3:59pm on March 13th 2017 has just turned 1. 

This has been an INCREDIBLE year.  So many emotions. So many ups and downs that new parents talk about all the time but you don't really truly understand until you have lived it. So many skills and lessons learned, so many tears, so many giggles, so many smiles and so, so many moments that I never want to forget. Ever. 

Miss E suddenly discovered that food is actually awesome and enjoys eating! So happy that some of her food actually makes it into her belly and not the floor! Her tooth count is up to 8!
She walking everywhere! She can even walk up the stairs in 12 seconds flat (I've timed her!) 
Miss E has lots of sounds but her first official word is Wiggle! It sounds more like "iggle" but that's okay, we'll take it!  She has lots of baby signs under her belt but I'm not convinced she knows what they all mean - she knows signs for milk, more, eat/food, finished.
She finally looooves reading her books, which makes both of her parents very happy! 

This month our miss has developed into such a person!  She already has a sense of humour and tries to make you laugh, she even tried to tickle my feet the other day!  She is such a pleasant kid and not much gets her down.

We are so proud to be her parents.

Miss E is 11 Months!

Little E is 11 months old and full of beans.
This has been a big month for her, she took her first shaky steps a couple weeks ago and has been practicing her new skill non-stop.
E is working on her two canine teeth that broke through, taking her tooth count up to 6! She is still the pickiest eater I know - these days everything must have cheese on it in order for her to even consider having a taste. 
She is developing into a funny little girl and imitates all kinds of sounds and enjoys declaring her gibberish opinions on popular topics like dinner, diaper changes and politics. She loves to play "Where's Edie?" (peekaboo) while she throws a blanket over her head. Another favourite game is to walk to and throwing herself onto pillow piles we make.
Throughout the day she has started hugging all her stuffie friends and has developed quite the friendship with her stuffie kitty, Asriel.
We are so lucky to have this awesome girl, she is always so happy and can brighten up anybodies day. 
 

Miss E is 10 Months!

How is this even possible? 10 months? It really feels like just a couple weeks ago it was her half birthday and a couple weeks before that she was a newborn.  

This girl continues to amaze us. Edith is interested in everything around her, constantly pointing at everything and everyone and wanting to know what they are. She has picked up trying to walk again and loves to show off her skills with her walker.  She's been practicing her standing and stays upright for about a minute before tipping over. She's the speediest little crawler and loves to be chased and plays fetch but her recall needs work! 
She loves to clap and wave and loves songs that get her to do so.  She's also working on blowing kisses! 
Edie has 4 teeth and has decided she doesn't like solids for the time being... unless its peanut butter, egg salad or lasagna. 

I love this fun and happy girl but I wish she would slow down!

Miss E is 9 Months!

This kid. She amazes me everyday. She makes me smile everyday. She makes me so happy. 

Edie is babbling up a storm these days, she's a lady with a lot on her mind and not afraid to express it! Da-da is by far her favourite thing to say, but I have heard a Ma-ma once or twice. 
She is still non-stop but has decided to take a pause on walking.  She's so independent and wants to do everything herself! She enjoys walking around while holding onto things but has no interest in walking holding onto people. 
Edie has 2.5 teeth and is a huge fan of pasta, again, just like her mother.  She has started waving and clapping and her new favourite song is B-I-N-G-O! 
This month Edith unfortunately experienced her first flu, actually our whole household experienced our first flu with an infant. I have to say, she handled it better than all of us! Nothing can slow down this girl! 

Can't wait to spend our first Christmas together and see what this month holds! The time is just flying!
Happy 9 months Edith Rose.

Miss E is 8 Months

I cannot believe another month has gone by... AGAIN! 

She does not stop moving! Not even for a second. Since she started crawling she is just go-go-go! Edie is now, what I would call an expert crawler - she's a speedster and it seems like she wants us to chase her! She spends her days pulling herself up on everything and everyone and enjoys using her bouncer like a walker but refuses her actual walker. She loves taking you by the hand and leading you around to her various toys. Her walk is more of a march... and I love it! Lift those knees, girl!
She's getting better at eating! Her favourite foods are pears, peanut butter and yogurt (definitely my child!) 
As of a few days ago she has started babbling! Dada and yaya are the favourites for now.  She likes to whisper babble and she really enjoys shouting (sorry neighbours!) 

Edith is an amazing and clever girl and she is almost always happy with a huge smile on her face! 
 

Miss E is 7 Months!

Little Miss E is growing way too quickly! This has been a big month for her! She has learned to crawl and has become quite confident with it! She is on the move every moment she gets! Her absolute favourite pastime is to race to Stella's water bowl before I notice and tip it over!
She has recently been able to lift herself up to stand while holding something or someone. Still only rolls left.. but really, who need to roll right anyway? 
She's got two chompers and gets really excited to taste new things, but hasn't mastered the whole eating thing yet. 
Favourite song is still, "The wheels on the bus" and still loves airplane rides and bouncing.
She is a very happy baby and still exploring everything. She is getting so tall, so smart and so strong and we love her so much! 
 

Miss E is 5 months!

Well, where has the time gone! It's hard to believe I have a sweet 5 month old baby! 

Little Miss E is doing so well, she's such a happy girl with huge, bright smiles. She has such a sweet little giggle, but is a hard sell to get her to laugh. She is ALWAYS rolling onto her belly but still can't really manage to roll onto her back. At least she doesn't get too upset about it these days! She wiggles around and is somehow able to get from one end of her crib to the other. She lifts herself up on her knees, but then isn't really sure what to do. We are working on unassisted sitting... progress! She loves standing and watching everything and everyone around her - such a curious girl!  
Miss E loves watching her Mom dance and has become quite the jolly jumper! She has been eating like a champ and has become a side and tummy sleeper.  Can't wait to see what this month brings!

What's Miss E wearing?! Do you love her outfit? I do! Check out  Baby Bee Clothing This awesome Tardis Romper actually grows with her from 3 - 12 months! Don't have to worry about her only wearing it once - she'll get a lot of use out of it!

Miss E is 4 Months!

Somehow, four months have passed since this little bear was born! She is FULL of character and smiles! She has become quite the social butterfly and is curious about absolutely everything she sees! She has been babbling up a storm and really enjoys shrieking like a pterodactyl. She loves that she can roll from her back to her belly but despises actually being on her belly and can't quite do the reverse. 
 

The Scariest Happiest Moments

People always tell you how challenging parenthood is and everyone knows that it's hard, but no one truly knows until they've lived it. 

I'm here to tell you It's so hard, it's the hardest thing in the world!

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My labour was quite long and not exactly what I expected. My contractions lasted a long time before we ended up at the hospital, so I was going on almost no sleep. I had to wait several hours for the anesthesiologist to place and administer the epidural which faded at the most critical time during labour and the hospital staff were not going to give me anymore! That moment. That was the second scariest moment of my life.
When the epidural wore off, I could suddenly feel everything and as all the medical staff, my doula and Stephen were encouragingly screaming,"PUSH!"  the pain was too intense for my brain to even consider pushing. I remember thinking, "If they won't give me medication we might as well go for a c-section or I'll end up dying on this bed" A little extreme, I know, but I honestly felt that I could not handle it.  When the nurse told me they were going to give me a fast acting drug, it was as if she told me I won the lottery, never have to work again and will travel the world forever! 
The drug kicked in fast! Our doula and Stephen got me to practice breathing and pushing a couple times and then I said to them, "Okay, go get them - I can do this!" I knew that I would need to work hard and fast before this medication wore off also.
Several pushes later, at 3:59pm on Monday, March 13th, 2017 our amazing daughter was born. This was the happiest moment of my life.

One hurdle down. A lifetime to go.

The first week was rough. There was a long list of hurdles we had at that point. 
Still no sleep
Trying to heal
No appetite
Weight loss (baby)
Baby not latching
Milk not coming in
Baby thrush
Sore nipples
New mom anxiety X 1000
I quickly spiraled into a ball of anxiety and couldn't cope.  We ended up staying with Miss E's grandparents for awhile so they could help us out. The help and rest was much needed but once I started feeling more confident the stress of going back home and not having help sent me further into the anxiety spiral.  This spiral went deep, deeper than I thought possible.

This was officially the scariest moment in my life. 

It's difficult for me to put into words how I felt. I was scared. I was stressed. Every single thing stressed me out. Every single thing was catastrophic. My world was spinning in a circle of stress and depression. The one thing I wanted most in the world; to be a mom - I was failing. I couldn't escape. It felt like these feelings would never go away and I just wanted them to stop. 

I knew I needed help. I reached out to my amazing doula who suggested a trip to the hospital to get some immediate evaluation and relief. I hate hospitals for various reasons and the thought of going while in the worst possible state of mind was terrifying; and yet the alternative was much more so. 
After hours of waiting, a blood test and an EKG I spoke to a hospital psychiatrist. He was amazing, and gave me a glimmer of hope that I hung onto as I walked out of the hospital with trembling hands and a plan.  He set me up with a prescription and an appointment with a postpartum psychiatrist. 

I have a fear of medication due to a horrible reaction a few years ago. I almost never take medication, not even for something simple, like a headache. When we got back to the grandparents house, I felt hopeful, but my prescription would take about two weeks to be effective. How could I possibly get by two whole weeks when it hadn't even been that long since I had the baby? Anxiety started spiking again. 

My sister, who had driven 2.5 hours to be with me at the hospital, accompanied us back to the grandparents house and conveniently had some situational anxiety medication in her purse. She suggested I take one to take the edge off until my medication started being effective. This too, was terrifying to me but I was desperate for some relief. My irrational fear of medication was convincing me if I took even just one of those pills, I would have another horrible reaction and it might even kill me. This was probably the third scariest moment of my life, but I took the pill.

Best decision ever.

Twenty minutes later, I felt like another person. The person I used to be before I gave birth. It was crazy to think a tiny little pill could make everything better. It was like someone flipped a switch. My eyes began flooding with tears, the happiest tears. I thought I was never going to feel this way ever again. This was the second happiest moment of my life. 

Below are some photos taken the day after our hospital trip, when I, for the first time started feeling like a mom. 


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Nap Time = Cry Time

 

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Miss E has been one of those babies who hasn't really been interested in sleeping anywhere other than in your arms, whether it be at night or during the day. Occasionally you can rock her to sleep and put her down anywhere like a ninja - bassinet, crib, swing, your bed, floor... you name it! She will fool you for a moment, but give her 5 minutes and she will be onto your plan! 

Discovery

One of the most amazing things to watch is Miss E discovering the world around her. Recently we went for a walk and as she woke up from a much needed nap her eyes lit up like she was seeing EVERYTHING suddenly for the first time - it was amazing to watch! This type of discovery is one aspect (of a growing list) of parenthood I am so in love with. Watching Miss E discover cannot be beat, it'a almost as wonderful as watching her sleep :)

Miss E is 1 Month!

Our little bear is 1 month! It's quite astonishing how time somehow seems to stay absolutely still, while other times, days feel like years and then all of a sudden a whole month has flown right by.  How did that happen?

We are sloooowly getting used to Miss E, but it has definitely been a bumpy road! She's already developing quite the personality and I'm loving watching it evolve. 

Daddy Daughter Time

Babies are amazing.

I really could stare at her all day, forever. There are times when I have spent hours sitting, watching, just taking her all in. Babies change so much in such a short period of time that I feel the need to sit and stare. I need to discover all developments and mourn the loss of every newborn trait that grows.
I also love to watch these two begin to fall in love with each other, it's even better when they both are unaware that I'm doing it. Its incredible how the love for your child grows with each and every moment.  

Welcome Miss E

So, I'm a Mom.

Sometimes I still can't quite believe it! We welcomed our amazing little daughter, Edith Rose to the world on March 13th and I couldn't be more in love with her. 

I knew motherhood was going to be difficult, but I wasn't quite prepared with just how incredibly hard it truly is. This new adventure was full of challenges and I really doubted if I was capable for quite sometime.  Only recently have I felt like a true mother, and it's such a beautiful thing!  Each day Edith and I are both learning.  I now know I 'm more than capable and am so happy to continue this awesome adventure with my new little family. 

First of many Edie Galleries below in both colour and black and white. Click to enlarge as usual.