The first 4 months

Kalista

Dear Kalista,

You celebrated a significant milestone on Saturday, June 21 – the 4 month anniversary of your birth.
A lot happens in the first four months of life: bonds are formed, major developmental milestones are reached and a tiny human becomes a small person.

Here is what I have learned about you so far:

You have great timing. Full stop.

Most of your behaviour points to “extrovert” but I can see that you are also deeply sensitive. That is a powerful and tricky combination. You absorb the energy around you and then project it right back. Thankfully you are happy and going with the flow 99% of the time.

No one would ever guess to look at you that you have a temper. But you do.  You really do. (So that’s the 1%.) Sometimes that means I’m jumping through hoops to keep you content. Other times it means that we butt heads because we get frustrated that things aren’t going the way we want. Most of the time, we move on pretty quickly. What’s a few temper tantrums between friends?

Your eyes are constantly changing colour. By the hour. Sometimes they are a blue-grey, sometimes they turn a dark olive green and other times they are hazel. This fascinates me to no end. It’s almost like a changing art exhibit. Everyday – a new masterpiece.

You love to be read to daily. I watch you memorize the images as I rhyme the words. Your list of favourite books is growing. (And so is mine!) But you cry every time I attempt to read you Maurice Sendak’s book Where The Wild Things Are. You are a mystery.

You adore Mojo your monkey. He makes you smile instantly when you see him. I am almost jealous.  I say almost because I get the same reaction from you when I sing: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”.

You like to party. We often put on some retro latino music and salsa dance in the living room. More than once this has resulted in spit up all over me. But you always have a smile on your face and that has taught me to “just go with it”.

You grin and laugh at the funniest and least sophisticated words. Potty humour totally does it for you.

You are mesmerized by the sound of running water, entranced by our ugly kitchen cabinets (for some completely unknown reason) and fascinated by other babies.

You are the most engaged audience member of my daily un-televised cooking show. When we’re in the kitchen together, you seem curious about what I’m doing. Out of all of the ingredients I have ever used for my lunchtime meal, to date, the lemon is what fascinated you most.

You love to sit up, push yourself forward, and stand on both feet. (Supported, of course.) You demand to be upright almost all of the time. Oh and you demand to be with me all of the time. You don’t like to be alone. I’m not yet sure if it is a “baby” thing  or a “personality” thing. Only time will tell.

You are choosy about how much you “talk”. It seems to me that you vocalize only when you really have something to say.

You like to sleep. (At least, for right now.) While this is good news for your previously sleep-deprived mama, it does mean that sometimes you use sleep to work out emotional challenges. You are a sensitive soul and I hope that you find peace in your slumber. But when you don’t, I will be there.

You are growing at the speed of light. Once a petite 6lbs 8oz (then 5lbs 14oz) and 18 1/2 inches, you are now 15lbs 4oz and 25 inches long. I take personal pride in every roll, dimple and ounce on your little body.

Over the last four months, you have had some important firsts. The kind that all babies experience. But instead of keeping record of your first spit up and laugh, I have instead documented your first adventures. Like your first photo shoot, first walk in the neighbourhood, first flight, first party, first 10k hike, first library card, first yoga class, first play date, and first piece of artwork.

The wonderful thing about firsts is that they are just the start.

With love,

Mama
(a.k.a. best bud, co-adventurer & dance partner)

*Photography by Michele (www.photographybymichele.ca)

Welcome Kalista

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Today is a special day. It is March 14, 2014 – otherwise known as the due date of my first child. It also, incidentally, marks 3 weeks since the birth of said child. That’s right!

On Friday, February 21, 2014 at 3:13am, my daughter, Kalista Isabelle, made her way into the world at exactly 37 weeks. The child in womb who we affectionately called Bear arrived with larger than life cries bellowing from her very petite and compact 6lb 8oz and 17 inch long body. Her early arrival surprised us all but because she was so wanted, people mobilized quickly to come from far and wide to celebrate this darling little girl.

Kalista is healthy, happy and thriving. And we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Welcome Bear. You have arrived!

Songs for Bear

Songs for Bear

A month ago I began thinking about curating a collection of songs for Bear. Babies develop their hearing quite early. At first, they can really only use that sense to hear sounds that are inside their own environment such as their mama’s heartbeat and voice. Later on, they develop the ability to hear sounds – quite muffled – coming from outside of the womb such as barking, talking, music, etc…

I am such a music lover that I immediately became overwhelmed with all of the possibilities I could expose my Bear to at this early stage. So instead I thought about the kind of music we could listen to in our early days as new mama and infant to help us bond and gel together. I didn’t want old-school lullabies or heavily-synthesized kiddie-sounding versions of classics. (Sorry but the latter does not mesh with my interpretation of music.) But I did want to find some favourites that would be soothing and calming.

Songs for Bear is a selection of popular songs with beautiful messages and melodies. (Click on the image above to listen to the playlist.) I chose songs that originated from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Guns ‘n Roses and Elvis to name a few and then found arrangements (sung by other artists) that fit with the general mood I was aiming to create. There are also two songs on the playlist that have a very special place in Bear’s parents’ collective history. One of which was, in fact, our wedding song (Over the Rainbow sung by Ray Charles).

I can’t wait to curate a playlist for our many dance parties. 🙂

Mama & Baby

[Mama & Baby] Ursa Major & Minor

Constellation pillow by Regan’s Brain and Ursa Bear Cub by Mount Royal Mint

In a matter of months, my family of 4 (two humans, two dogs) will become a family of 5 (two humans, two dogs + 1 bear). 🙂

I have been spending time thinking about my little Bear’s nursery and style. Both my husband and I are minimalists and we intend to continue this way even with a baby. I have been curating a collection of truly special and meaningful items.

Inspired by Joy Cho’s This & That concept, I decided to create a Mama & Baby board featuring items that speak to me. These will show up every now and then. In the meantime, happy weekend!

Announcing…

Announcement (Blog)

I am excited to announce the addition of a new member to the Inspired Practice family in March. Mike and I are thrilled to be taking on the added roles of Daddy and Mommy in 2014!

When asked to comment on the expansion of our amazing little team (and household), Khailee, our Zen Master-in-Residence, responded thoughtfully with a quiet tail wag. She then rolled over, exposed her belly and waited for a belly rub.

Winnie, on the other hand, was not surprisingly confused by the news. Since her arrival in February, she has worked so diligently to claim the title of Chief Troublemaker and cement her future in that role. After some reflection (and cuddles), she was happy to take on her new role as Ambassador of Curiosity. She added that after consideration, a child bearing DNA from both her Mama and Papa seemed uniquely qualified to live up to the Chief Troublemaker standard.

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