WITL 2016: Monday

Photo 2016-05-09, 11 20 30 PMMondayMorning

6:30 AM With Sam in his sleep sack and in my arms we take Charlie outside for his morning bathroom break. I wish I could say that I woke up refreshed however, with  Aaron up at 4 am, leaving for a business trip, I had a hard time falling back asleep.


6:58 AM Rowan comes down for breakfast. I will often tell her to entertain her brother while I accomplish some goal like  cleaning up or getting ready to leave the house. You name it, girlie is a good sport and does it. Good thing Sammy loves  his big sister. This morning she is singing him the “bippity boppity bo” song from Cinderella.


7:15 AM I am trying to form new habits, one of them is sitting down to eat with my kids, especially at breakfast. My favourite go to simple meal is oatmeal with banana, walnuts & maple syrup. No joke, I have ate this religiously for breakfast for the last four weeks. Yum!


8:50 AM School drop off. It’s a gorgeous morning, but a little cold. Rowan does one lap around the playground before we head inside. This morning she take in her bike helmet for show and tell. The class is talking about all things spring. We practice what she is going to say as we walk up the steps. She is going to talk about riding her scooter in spring, when the temperature gets warm.


9:04 AM Walking down to the beach after school drop off for my workout with Monika. Hoping Sam will sleep in the stroller. It’s incredible how physical activity can change my mood & mindset. There were a few moments that I thought I couldn’t do anymore moutain climbers / squats but I tried to clear my mind and focus on being strong. I am super grateful for these sessions and for Moni for the guidance. When the session is over I feel peaceful. It’s amazing to do something for yourself especially first thing in the morning, in the busy season of raising small kiddos. I hope to keep investing in myself in the years to come.


10:25 AM After my workout, I walk back up to Queen St. I give Sam his bottle and head to Starbucks for a reward. This morning, like so many others, I am having a grande coconut milk latte! I see Kelly and Brenda and chat. I then head back home to shower, so I can run errands before naptime. Here is a no make up/ post workout selfie.


10:53 AM Can you tell we are in the “into everything” phase? Hard to believe I use to shower by myself.


11:13 AM Driving to the camera store to pick up a lens that I am renting for this project. Being on maternity leave, I am use to walking everywhere. Driving is a novelty, so when I am stuck behind a streetcar, I don’t seem to mind. Sam is also fine as he is chatting away in the backseat. For the most part, Sam is pretty happy / ok with being schlepped from place to place.


11:47 AM I don’t want to jinx it, but I think spring has finally arrived in Toronto.


12:06 PM We arrive home from our trip to Vistek. This boy loves Charlie and especially enjoys playing in the pup’s water dish. He is currently making a b-line for said dish. He does the best expressions! This open mouth gasp is his go to reaction for most things.



12:15 PM Lunch. So happy that Sam is eating real food vs purees as it makes meal preparation much easier. On today’s menu: scrambled eggs with a tomato & avacodo salad. I think I could eat this for every meal.


12:34 PM We listen to CBC radio over lunch. I am eager to hear what is happening in Fort McMurray and somewhat relieved to find out that they have cooler weather and rain in the forecast. After we finish, I do a quick sweep of the floor and take Sam up for his afternoon nap. We are later than usual but better late than never!


1:45 PM Although I am tired, I work over naptime photographing some special scrappy project. I have some spiced nuts and a apple for a snack. The time to myself always seems to go by quickly. I blink and realize we are running behind. Sam sleeps so well that we are almost late to pick up big sister at school.


3:33 PM She’s covered in dirt from head to toe but loves running around outside after school. Here she is playing chase with her friend J. I like this time after pick up to socialize with my mama friends.


4:45 PM Someone needs some downtime. Girlie always chooses to watch the iPad at the counter vs something on tv, downstairs. Currently is watching Peppa Pig. Her favourites include Paw Patrol and Jack and the Neverland Pirates. Of course, she’s also into The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Snow White.


6:22 PM A rare moment, when these two are sitting still trying to grab the water. We Facetime Daddy who has arrived safely at his destination. I am somewhat excited that it is the end of the day that I will soon have time to myself.



9:15 PM When the kids go to bed, I listen to the WTF podcast while I clean the kitchen and take out the garbage. I head upstairs to work some more. My body is aching slightly from this mornings workout. It is also saying to go to bed. I have a bath and finish the day texting with Aaron.

Monday Reflections:

With Aaron traveling for work, I am solo parenting the kiddos for the next three days. Although I was feeling very discouraged and unprepared for the start of this photo project, as the day went on I became excited. Renting the 24-70 mm lens from Vistek has help to motivate me to take pictures. And that’s what this is really all about, isn’t it? Just taking photos & writing down some stories.

Typically – Monday’s are my jam. I like being organized and feeling like I am in control. However, during morning routine I kept thinking, “what do I need to do next?” Although we were up early, I felt like I was rushing every moment until we got out the door. I felt stressed which soon melted away after working out.  It is during these busy times, I often wonder to myself, what did I do with all my time when I had no children? How did I ever think having one kid was hard?


  1. I am thankful for my body & for taking the time to workout this morning. As a mama of two, I don’t always put myself first. It is a real treat to be able to do something for me at this stage of the game.
  2. I am thankful for our neighbourhood and I get to live so close to the beach.
  3. I am thankful for new mama friends who continually make me laugh on a daily basis.

Favourite Moment of the Day:

Jess: Treating myself to a grand coconut milk latte after my workout with Monika.

Rowan: “Playing with Cole”

Sam: “Ah gah….!”

Aaron: “Facetiming with kids, having a nap & breathing the fresh air on his work trip”

Week In The Life 2016 Intention:

To capture the fullness of our lives right now.

WITL 2015 | Thursday Photos & Words



Today was an interesting weather day: it called for both rain and sun. As such, girlie wore shorts, rainboots & jacket and took her sunglasses to daycare. She even asked me, “Can I bring a ‘rainbrella’ to Sarah’s”. Fun fact: we joke about “Jess-ism’s” in our house. These “ism’s” are all the funny things I have said over the years. Rainbrella is a term I coined in 2003. It would seem girlie is catching onto my lingo.


Although I was ridiculously late for drop off, I was able to get out of the house, 2 kids and all! Bonus points: everyone washed, fully clothed and fed. Am I a miracle worker? No I am just a mom.


If you came to visit me, you would find me here, holding Sam, drinking coffee, looking at my iPhone on the couch, most days. Some days I switch it up and hang out on my bed.  I am almost 4 weeks post op and I am itching to start running.


Sam went to his first movie today. He and mama give the new Guy Ritche film, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. two thumbs up!


He shoots out the door like a bullet every time I come home. It’s like he worries, we will never take him out.


Someone made a birthday “book” for their daddy for his special day. Apparently she understands her father’s love of reading.


His and her’s takeout. His: Deluxe Hand tossed pizza. Hers: Hawaiian thin crust.


Everyone is excited when the birthday “boy” comes home. Not pictured here: Charlie mauling Aaron.


Everyone drinking for their party glasses. Good times at the table.


This guy was super alert today even in his daddy’s arms.


We are in the process of establishing new normals and new routines. I thought leaving the house was challenging before, doing it with two kids takes it to a whole new level. Rowan will start kindergarten in a few weeks; and although her school is two blocks away, I wonder if I will continue to be able to have everyone ready before we leave the house. Organization is key.


I am grateful to switch up my routine and to go to the movies. Treating myself to a show is a great way for me to rejuvenate and identify with my pre children self.  I am hoping to continue to see a movie when R goes to school and we have an early pick up time.


Celebrating Aaron’s birthday and seeing the excitement through Rowan’s eyes.

WITL 2015 | Wednesday Photos & Words




Mid afternoon: the mail has arrived and I am a little excited. And it’s not just because the new Ikea catalogue has arrived with a great message on the cover. It is the little things these days that makes me happy, people!


It’s after 5 pm and girlie home from preschool and eating a snack. Like always, Charlie is underfoot hoping to help her eat said snack. Rowan sits on the stool at the kitchen island counter. The stylish kitchen is just one of the many reasons we bought this house. When we have company over, people flock to sit here. As Aaron says, this is the heart of our home and will be the place we watch our kids grow.


Le sigh. Although Sam and I took him for a walk this morning and Jennifer came to walk him this afternoon, he still looks like he is hard done by. With that said, it’s 32 degrees with the humidex, I am not willing to go for a long walk with a bebe in this heat. C’est la vie!


Prepping dinner. We always have fresh fruit on hand. Although we feed her protein at every meal, girlie loves berries and carbs.


On tonight’s menu: breakfast for dinner. In my sleep deprived state, I couldn’t find the eggs in the fridge. Luckily, Aaron was on hand to point them out. When given the option between scrambled or fried, Rowan chooses fried every time.


Breakfast for dinner to me means: quick and easy. Gone are the days of long luxurious meal preps and eating dinner at a leisurely pace. That will return at some point but tonight, we are tired and are just trying to survive evening routine.


Aaron takes off his dress shirt and visits with Sam. I still have a hard time believing that I have two kids / we are family of four. At dinner, Rowan announces that her and I are girls and that Daddy and Sam are boys. I am always surprised to hear what comes out of her mouth as I can’t remember having a specific conversation about this with her. Pictures in this photo are “the boys”.


After playing withe the Daniel Tiger app on the iPad, we head upstairs. Rowan has a tantrum because she wants Aaron to play with her in the bath. It’s true, I am not as fun as Daddy but after a quiet day at home I am excited to talk with my big girl. The transition to a family of four has been both good and bad. Unfortunately, we have relied on the iPad a little too much in the last few weeks and I think it shows in her behaviour. I am confident we will find our way a some point.


In order to put on her pj’s,  I bribe Rowan (I mean promise her) that she can hold baby brother. Thankfully this works and the evening routine moves along.


Stories in our bed. Aaron reads Dora goes to the dentist / Dora goes to the doctor for the umpteenth time. She has lots of books to choose from and right now this is her favourite. True story: I remember when I was a child asking my mom to read, “Little Black: the pony” until the covers fell off.  Apparently she comes by it honestly.


I am less “stir crazy” this maternity leave compared to my last. Surprisingly,  I am actually happy to sit down and stay put. In the quiet moments today, I am able to keep myself entertained. Thank you Apple! Today, I texted with my friend Beth, listened to two podcasts on my iPhone and started to watch a documentary on Nina Simone on my iPad. Not to mention, there were many minutes where I just held Sam and stared at him. Good times.


Today I am grateful for air conditioning and a lovely house to retreat to.  Despite the stress of moving, it was completely worth it moving last year. A bigger space meant our family could grow. It is stylish and comfortable and everything I could have hoped for.


As Rowan was holding Sam in bed, she looked at us and said, “This is our family!”

WITL 2015: Tuesday Photos & Words




6:53 AM This is his favourite spot. He loves to be our guard dog and watch the world go by from this window. I don’t always appreciate his growls, especially at 3 am in the morning when an unsuspecting racoon passes by, but I do love how fiercely loyal he is to us. Although he just turned 7, you wouldn’t know it; at times, he is energetic just like a puppy.


7:13 AM My view this morning as I nursed Sam. I am not gonna lie, breastfeeding didn’t go well with Rowan and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to try it again with baby #2. As I recover from my c section, I have a hard time getting comfortable. Legs crossed, sit up in bed is a position, I enjoy / doesn’t hurt.


7:37 AM I put Sam back in the bassinet while I hop in the shower. I can hear Aaron and Rowan downstairs as he feeds her breaskfast. I am both thankful and sadden that I am not the one helping with the morning routine.

Fun fact: This is bassinet is from the 1930’s and has been used in our family over the years. Rowan and now Sam have slept in it.


So much laundry – will I ever be done?


12:31 PM Girlie’s art from her session with Tina. With the low tone in her hands, we are encouraging Rowan to cut with scissors and drawing with pencils. Since her diagnosis in January, all of our efforts are trying to get her ready for junior kindergarden which will start in a few weeks. It is amazing to see the progress and it inspires us to keep moving forward.


5:31 PM Pick up from Sarah’s. Rowan will only come home if she is able to borrow a Dora book. While Sam sleeps, Rowan reads as we drive home. I am relatively relaxed knowing that we have homemade quiche from friends on hand for dinner.



8:32 PM After recognizing that Sam was super gassy and straining / grunting 30 minutes after feeding we call tele-a-health to speak with a nurse. It seems like I may be overfeeding our little man. I love that Aaron is such an involved parent helping me navigate this obstacle.


I am, and will forever be, a morning person. Yes, I am one of those awful /annoying people that are energized in the morning. Although I am sleep deprived, I still like to accomplish some basic tasks off my to do list: laundry being one of them.


I am grateful for living in a city that has easy access to the supports we need for Rowan. It has been a truly humbling experience, but I thankful that we are working with a great team of specialists.


Rowan giving me a big kiss/hug when I picked her up from daycare AND having a mid afternoon nap with Sam.

WITL 2015 | Monday Photos & Words




8:44 AM I’ve made the bed, had a shower and got dressed. Success! Besides looking after Sam (and Rowan) these are my only three goals everyday for maternity leave. Sam starts to stir from the bassinet and before I start to nurse him aka “breakfast” I change his diaper. Although he is only 3 weeks old, yesterday we switched from newborn to size 1 diapers. Apparently all the cluster feeds are working!


Of all the individuals in our household that are having a hard time adjusting to life with a newborn, our fur baby has had the hardest time with the transition. He will deliberately eat anything off the counter to get our attention. I am not gonna lie, he did this when we brought Rowan home and we he was our one an only. No doubt, eating something he shouldn’t have is probably why he started barfing this morning at 6:01 am.


Three things that I need to survive these early days of having a newborn: coffee, iphone and a sousy.


12:30 PM Picking Rowan up from daycare at lunchtime to take her to a speech and language appointment.  Since I had a c section, 3 weeks ago, I have been unable to drive. This essentially means that I have to stick close to our neighbourhood. With Rowan’s therapy, Mondays prove to be interesting.  I carry Sam in the wrap and push Rowan in the stroller. I sweat the entire way.


5:15 PM Leftover sandwiches for dinner. It’s 32 C with the humidex and this mama doesn’t feel like cooking.


6:43 PM Dinner is over which means playtime for Rowan. First she bandages her toys on the couch and then spends the last few minutes before bath with Aaron playing with a new app – Daniel Tiger. I am not sure who has more fun –  Rowan or Aaron.


7:43 PM Bath time. Aaron hangs out with Sam and I get some much needed one on one time with my girlie.


The transition of going from 1 to 2 kiddos has been a smoother then from none to 1. I don’t know if I am just “used to” /come to terms being a mom, I feel much more at ease having a newborn.

The transition is easy, but Holy Batman, I am tired. Newborns are the “easy” part, it’s the almost 4 year old energy that I have trouble keeping up with. I am comforted, knowing that I will one day sleep again!


I am grateful to have the opportunity to be at home with Sam and have one year maternity paid leave. Although I miss chatting with my coworkers, who I consider my friends, I am happy to not have to drive 45 minutes one way to work. It amazing how much stress I generally feel rushing from one place to another.


Drinking coffee, relaxing and “playing” with Sam in our room.