Trick or Treat!

Oct 31, 2013

Aaralee's First Flight!

Oct 24, 2013

Standby travel is arguably the best perk of a job as a flight attendant.  Sure, it takes patience and flexibility, but few crew members that I know would ever pay full fare for a flight.  Do you know who has it even better than flight attendants? Babies. Babies are free.  
As aviation geeks, Aaralee's first flight has been an anticipated event for Ryan and I since long before her birth.  The weekend was approaching and for once we had no plans.  We made the spontaneous decision to fly to Vancouver... a short flight, a familiar city, and warm enough weather to spend the majority of the day outside with a baby.  I checked the flight loads, listed us for standby, packed our bags, and found a friend to take care of Niko.  
On Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and headed to the airport. When traveling with a baby, leaving the house takes careful planning.  Wanting to ensure that I was able to shower before we left meant waking up extra early.  When the time came to leave the house, Aaralee was still fast asleep. We put her into her carseat in her pyjamas and made a mad dash for the car. She was very cooperative that morning, letting us check in for the flight before waking up and screaming for food and a diaper change.  We happily went through the family line at the security checkpoint, grabbed ourselves breakfast and then sat down to feed the baby and wait to board.

I hadn't been on a plane since June, which by my standards is an extremely long time. I can't tell you just how wonderful it was to fly and no longer be pregnant.  I only had to use the lavatory once, as opposed to every 10 minutes.  It was a far more enjoyable experience. As for Aaralee? As it turns out she is an amazing flyer. Perhaps I can credit this to the 7 months of my pregnancy that I worked. She slept almost the entire time. Armed with years of experience listening to babies scream in pain, I tried to force her to eat during take off and landing to help with the pressure in her ears. She was too lazy for that.  My own ears were popping and she didn't even flinch.  

We landed in Vancouver and took the sky train to the city. It was still too early to check into our hotel, so we dropped off our bags and headed out for a day of walking, eating, and taking photos. 

The only difference between traveling with a baby versus our usual Vancouver trips was the extra stops to feed our hungry child. She'd cry, and we'd head for the nearest coffee shop. Lattes for mommy and daddy, milk for the baby.  On one occasion we had to resort to feeding and changing her on a park bench. When Aaralee is hungry, she means business.

We headed to Granville Island for lunch. Aaralee slept the entire time, but that didn't stop us from taking her to the kid's market... who are we trying to kid? We were happy to finally have an excuse to browse the fun shops. 

On the way back towards downtown we stopped for a few photos. British Columbia is fortunate to experience autumn in all of its glory for more than the 2 weeks that we are teased with in Alberta. 

Aaralee loves fall, I'm sure of it. 

Since this was her first vacation, Ryan and I decided that Aaralee needed a souvenir to bring home.  What better gift for a little Canadian baby than her very first hockey jersey? Ryan has been an Edmonton Oilers fan for many years. I cheer for the Calgary Flames. Our dog, Niko, is told that he is a Winnipeg Jets fan based solely on the fact that his middle name is Jett. (Yes, our dog has a middle name. ) Obviously it was only fair for Aaralee to have her own team as well. We made the controversial decision to raise our daughter as a Vancouver Canucks fan. 

Next on our itinerary was to head to English Bay for a little ocean dosage. Us landlocked Albertans don't get to the beach very often. Our baby did what she does best, and slept through it.


I was starting to get rather hungry by this point, so we set off in search of dinner while we still had a sleeping baby.  I've improved my skills of eating while nursing a squirmy baby, but it's still far easier to enjoy a meal while she sleeps.  Being in Vancouver and no longer pregnant, our dinner choice was easy... delicious. fresh sushi.

We continued on walking through a busy downtown, passing by groups of people dressed to the nines, preparing for a Saturday evening full of partying.  We were a stark contrast in our grubby clothes, pushing our stroller. My, how life has changed! We searched for some beer for Ryan, and a slice of pizza for me, and we were both thoroughly satisfied.  
Tired from the early morning, we retreated to our hotel room for the rest of the evening.  Aaralee slept cozy in a makeshift crib... my suitcase.  

We left for the airport early the next morning, crossing our fingers that there were seats available on the flight.  Luck was on our side, and we flew back home with our baby.  Once again, she was great on the plane. What a proud flight attendant mama I was!
It was good to be home from another wonderful weekend with my amazing little family.  I'm already looking forward to our next adventure! 

thanksgiving 2013

Oct 16, 2013

This weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada! We overdosed on turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and all sorts of deliciousness. As it was the very first holiday of Aaralee's life, she obviously had to be dressed for the occasion! This is what happens when you have a holiday obsessed mother.    

It was a busy weekend spent visiting with both sides of the family. Aaralee finally had the chance to meet her Uncle Kaynyn, who was forced to hold her despite his objections. I think that he secretly loves her but won't admit it because he's too cool to cuddle babies. He's 19, after all.  

My friend Carley came to visit from Victoria, and Kimmy was home from Saskatoon.  Both of them met and cuddled Aaralee, and she loves them both already! There was a lot of sharing, but as her mommy and sole provider of food, I still get most of the snuggles.  Lucky me!
We are so thankful for you, baby girl! 


Of course, we can't forget about our fur baby...  he spent the majority of the weekend scouring the floor in search of dropped food.  

 I have the most amazing friends and family... thank you for such a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Now if you'll excuse me, I have leftover turkey to eat before my baby wakes up. 

thank you, thank you.

Oct 12, 2013

It's that time of year again... the time for turkey, pumpkin pie, and most importantly, giving thanks.  In a year filled with so many amazing happenings, where does one begin?  I'm at a very wonderful place in my life, and I can honestly say that I've never been happier. Ever.  
So without further ado, here is my list of thankfulness, 2013 edition.  

1.  My husband.  

Being pregnant didn't make me the most pleasant person to live with, but Ryan put up with me and loved me just as much as always.  When Aaralee was born he sprung into action and did more than his fair share of housework and took care of the baby and I while I was stuck on the couch recovering from a c-section.  He's amazing as a husband, amazing as a dad, and I don't know how I'm lucky enough to deserve him!  

2. My baby.  

I'm still trying to process the fact that Ryan and I created something so beautiful and so perfect.  Every day I love this tiny little person even more. I can't wait to watch her grow up and see who she becomes.    I'm the luckiest mommy in the world.  

3. My puppy.

I was a bit of an emotional roller coaster this year, but my furry baby Niko cuddled and loved me through it all. He kept me company on the many occasions in which Ryan was working out of town.  He was also great practice for the human baby that would join us later on in the year!    

4. My friends and family. 

I could write personal shout outs to so many individuals, but with a newborn I'm a bit limited in spare time. I'm thankful for all of my friends and family members who have been so supportive and awesome... especially since Aaralee has come along.  Thank you for the food, the gifts, and the adult interaction!  

5. My pregnancy.  

I was grumpy, I dealt with morning sickness, and I went 2 weeks overdue. Despite all of this, I still had a relatively easy pregnancy that was free from complications. Really, what more could I ask for?  Everything was textbook normal and it resulted in my sweet baby girl.  So many people dream of being pregnant and I was fortunate enough to experience it. 

6. My travels.  

On top of my frequent layovers for work, I was fortunate enough to travel to Japan and Seattle with my husband, Hawaii with my mom, and Vancouver Island with my whole family... all while pregnant. Call them "babymoon" trips if you will... I wanted to take advantage of my last months without children and I couldn't settle for just one destination.  Travel is so important to me, and I can't wait to show Aaralee the world!

7. My job.

For the past 4 years my office has been 40,000 feet in the air.  I've seen the world, lived my dream, and got paid to do it.  With Aaralee in my life my career future is uncertain, but I'm so fortunate to have had such incredible opportunities. I've worked on 6 different aircrafts, visited 36 different countries, and even if I never work as a flight attendant again I'll still have accomplished more than I ever thought possible.  My new role in life is that of a mother, but I'm satisfied knowing that I fulfilled my personal goals. I've had my selfish years, and now I can focus on helping this little girl become whatever she wants to be in life!  

I could certainly continue this list, but it would be incredibly long and impossible to complete with a hungry newborn. I'm so fortunate for everything in my life, and still pinching myself to make sure that it's reality.  Now it's time to spend the weekend with the people that I love and gain back any baby weight that I've lost in the form of turkey and pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! 

Aaralee's First Weekend Getaway

Oct 8, 2013

Ryan and I like to be on the go.  As much as we love our house, it's nice to have a change of scenery once in awhile. As a flight attendant, it's difficult for me to stay in one place for too long. 
We stayed close to home throughout the month of August, just in case our baby decided to join the world early. She didn't. September was a blur of being overdue followed by adjusting to life with a newborn.  
October rolled around, and needless to say, I was getting pretty stir crazy.  Having a c-section has limited me in that I can't leave the house without my husband to carry the carseat or anything else that is heavier than the baby.  My outings had consisted of nothing more than the odd trip to the grocery store.  
We decided to have a weekend away, partly for our sanity, and partly as a trial run for traveling with an infant.  
Our go-to destination is Canmore. We've spent many special occasions there, so it was only fitting that we bring Aaralee to one of our favourite places!  
After spending Friday night in Red Deer visiting my mom, it was time to hit the highway. It would be Aaralee's longest car ride yet! We broke it up with a stop in Calgary to visit our friends Jon and Dixie where we indulged in burgers and milkshakes from our beloved Peter's.  

Ryan's parents were camping in Banff, so we stopped by to enjoy some campfire food and drop off our other baby, Niko. He wasn't allowed to stay in our hotel, but fortunately he loves camping and spending time with his grandparents.  

After we left the campsite we drove into town and wandered some of the shops before returning to our hotel to check in. After Aaralee was fed it was off to Boston Pizza for Ryan and I to enjoy some food as well. By the time we'd finished our nachos and pizza bread it was past our bed time so we retreated to the hotel for the evening. We tucked the baby into her bed for the evening... a laundry basket. She is still tiny and a playpen would take up far more space than necessary. She slept more consecutive hours that evening than she had in several nights... perhaps baskets are cozy? 

On Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel, had breakfast, and headed to pick up Niko from his evening of camping.  Our only plan for the day was to drive home, but we opted for the longer, more scenic route with a few detours along the way.  We drove to the provincial border so that both Aaralee and Niko could visit British Columbia for the first time. 

Autumn in the Rockies is gorgeous. Ryan and I stopped for a few photos, but it was cool and windy so most of the day was spent from the comfort of our car. 

Overall, it was a great weekend away.  We've discovered that road trips with babies require a bit more versatility, but we didn't mind the extra stops to change diapers and feed our hungry girl.  Ryan even managed to change a diaper on the front seat, on his lap.  Talent? I think so.
Aaralee slept the majority of the trip, but we are pretty sure that she thoroughly enjoyed her first mountain adventure on the outside world!  There will certainly be many more to come in her future.  


Oct 1, 2013

It's October!! Already!  My autumn wreath is hung on the front door and I plan to request that my husband bring home pumpkins for the front steps.  I am a big fan of this month... Thanksgiving, Halloween... what's not to love?  With the amount of turkey, pumpkin pie, and candy that I plan to consume I don't see myself getting back to my pre-baby body any time soon. Perhaps it will be a New Year's resolution. Let's face it, Christmas is coming and there is no way that I can exercise self control in the presence of the mass quantities of fresh baked goodies that come along with the season.

  Last week we ventured out to get some family photos while the world outside is still gorgeous.  Aaralee wasn't having quite as much fun and she wasn't afraid to let us know.  

Today our sweet baby girl is already 3 weeks old! She has already changed so much from the baby that we met in the hospital. She's becoming much more alert... and much more chubby!  We are so in love. Ryan is back to work, so it's just the two of us girls and our slightly jealous puppy at home during the day.   If you'd asked me 5 years ago where I thought I'd be today, I never would have guessed that the answer would be a stay at home mom.  These days, there is nothing I'd rather be doing than cuddling my little girl.   Even Paris can't beat this.