Monday, 16 December 2013

December-ish Things

Okay okay, it is the middle of December and I haven't posted once. Not about life with the new baby, not about our Christmas preparations. I have no excuse other than that both of those things have been keeping us Boyds very busy!

It's all a good busy though. With the first hard and tiring six weeks under our belt I feel like we might be hitting our stride as a family of four.  We're still tired, still getting up at night, and still lacking and predictable routine, but we are getting used to all of that and somehow it's starting to feel normal.  Anyway, the result is one long holiday post in lieu of five short ones.

Happy things that have been going on this month:

Adorable preschool Christmas concerts:

They were all angels. It was the sweetest thing I had ever seen, and somehow watching my son proudly walk onto the stage smiling ear to ear, waving to his family out in the audience and singing along as best he could to all the songs made me feel like I had arrived as a parent. What started out so naively three and a half years ago at St. Paul's Hospital all came full circle to this perfect moment to the tune of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

She slept through it all. It was like they sang her lullaby's.

Sleigh rides in the "snow":

It snowed the other week, about three centimeters. We played like it had snowed three meters deep. In these parts you take what you can get.

Somehow Jake and his friend managed to build a snowman.

Visits to Butchart Gardens:

Hands down the best garden light display I have ever seen, and if you ask Jake the best Christmas train display he's ever seen. Amazing. If you are ever in Victoria during the winter holidays go see this light display. You won't be disappointed.

Visits from long lost best friends, who made the effort to come all the way over to our wee island to spend a part of her precious and infrequent holidays with us: 

My friend Judy has been my friend since we were Amelia's age, basically sisters from another mother. Over the last decade our lives have taken us on different paths - mine down the road to family and motherhood, hers into war torn countries as a UN aid worker. I am never in her part of the world (and I can't say I'd want to be) and she rarely has enough time off to come home, so on average we see each other once every two or three years. But she made it home this holiday season, and we were excited to welcome her into our new home and show her our town.

Jake may have only met her twice in his life before this, but through photos and gifts and stories he is very familiar with his Tante Judy. And oh the fun they had playing trains, eating chocolate, and decorating gingerbread houses. We are already looking forward to the next visit.

Meeting Father Christmas:

Other visits from places far away included one from Father Christmas, whom we went down to the Royal BC Museum to meet. Jake climbed up on the old man's lap and informed him that all he wants for Christmas this year is more track for his electrical train. It was a happy bonus to hear that St. Nick also has an electric train that runs around his Christmas tree back home, so these two have something in common. Who knew?

This week we look forward to more visitors, cousins and aunts and uncles. There will be cookies to decorate, presents to wrap and carols to sing along to. I love this time of year, even sleep deprived and unshowered the joy and innocent happiness of this season cannot be sapped out of me.

Ho ho ho everyone! go bake some cookies.

Samichlaus Tag: he found us in Victoria this year.

Friday, 29 November 2013


My husband has spent all of November growing a mustache. It might seem (and look) silly at first glance, but beneath the visual ridiculousness there is a seriousness.

He is part of a campaign that is raising awareness and money for men's health issues from prostate cancer to mental health. So far he has raised more than he would have hoped for considering it's his first year at it, but there is still one day left in November to raise more before he shaves it off.

We Boyds ask you to support this cause, and one of the ways you can do this is through the link below:

There are also many other ways you can contribute and support men's health issues and research: volunteer, join an annual run, donate to a specific charity, help a neighbour, friend, brother, father, cousin, who may be suffering from a health issue by cooking a meal or paying a visit.

But failing any of those go to Mr. Boyd's MOvember site and toss in a couple of dollars. The money raised gets filtered out to various important and necessary programs and organization that help men across our country.

Wishing you all health, happiness and a wonderful November 30th!

Love the Boyds

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Four Weeks

We survived the first month! There have been highs and lows, and not ever enough sleep, but we made it.

Things that have helped make this month easier than I could have ever imagined: Good weather, lots of help, visitors, preschool, many free dinners.

Oma came to rescue us for a week. We miss her.

Cousin Margaret singing my girl to sleep

Amelia: 4 Weeks

Monday, 11 November 2013

Our new baby and a few other things

Does it go without saying that it has been a crazy couple of weeks around here?

It hasn't been easy, but I didn't expect it to be. I can't complain though since I have had a lot of help and support in the form of mother's, cousins, husband, and a sister who always texts back when I am having a postpartum crisis. Plus my mama is arriving tonight for a week, so despite the tired I feel right now, and the overwhelmed I feel often, I feel loved more. And that's nice.

Anyway, moving on. Amelia is lovely. So different and similar from her brother, if that makes sense. She loves sleeping on someone, can pass out for hours (similar), she doesn't cry too often (yet) unless she needs something (different), she's snuggly and smells good (similar), and she can eat like it's going out of style (similar). 

Here she is:

He loves her. It makes my heart glad.

In other business around here, these guys are back in our yard fattening up for winter.

And our Christmas cactus is in full bloom, which to me signals that it is game on for Decking the Halls!  Something to do while I am up three times a night....  bright side, right?

Love from the Boyds

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Hello

Just a quick Halloween Boo from us Boyd's.

As I listen to night time fire works in the neighbourhood go off, and nibble on Jake's candy stash (he really shouldn't eat it all himself), I am reflecting about how lucky I am to have a little train man and a little Zebra in my life.

He just always wants to be a train man, what can I do?

Thank you cousin Marsha for sending this hand made hat and matching wrap via express mail. Amelia's first Halloween wouldn't have been the same without it!

Yes, it's been a long week of transitions and change, but it's all good. And nights like tonight make it all worth it.

 Jake was quite happy with his loot this year, but can you believe there are still people giving out raisins!

Happy Halloween from The Boyds!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Amelia Veronika Sandra Boyd

Born October 25th, 2013 at 10:45 am
Weighing 8 pounds and 10 ounces

We feel happy, we feel blessed, and we feel tired.

Photos, updates, and life as normal will resume sooner rather than later I hope. In the meantime, we are laying low, getting to know each other, enjoying our beautiful fall weather, and trying to nap when the baby naps.

Be back soon.

Love the Boyds

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Concert at the Library

I realize this blog tends to focus mostly on our little Jake, and secondly on the random happenings in my life and in my kitchen. Not often enough do I dedicate an entire post to our fine dad and husband, which is completely unfair because he brings so much into our lives that is worth blogging about on a daily basis. Maybe I should start a blog just about him. What do you think I should call it? The life and times of Daddy Boyd? Father Blackhawk? Matt's Amazing Transit Adventures?

While I work on that I will use this time to dedicate a post to our dad, the musician. As I have posted before our talented Mr. Boyd has had a few gigs in his back pocket already, but since moving to our new hometown his love of creating and sharing children's music has taken a back seat to other things like settling into a new job, providing for his family, co-managing a household, catering to his erratic and demanding pregnant wife, and entertaining his three year old every spare minute he is at home because by the time daddy gets home Lord knows mama and jake have spent enough time together!

Earlier in the month however, the public library invited him to come preform a one hour children's concert to help celebrate Canadian Library month in our city. Let me tell you there is something surreal and amazing about walking into your local library that you visit on a weekly basis, and seeing a stack of flyers there on the librarian's desk advertising your husbands musical talents.

It was a registration only event and though you can't really tell from these photos there were some 50 people there.

Brag alert: He was amazing! the swing in his step never faltered since his last performance. He picked right up like he never took "parental leave" from his side career. Parents, librarians, and random members of the public all enjoyed the show, but mostly the children - oh how they danced, and laughed and sang along at the top of their lungs. They caught on to his original songs in a heart beat and by the end were singing his back up like it was their job.

We are proud, so very very proud and happy to have back our funny, musical, dancing daddy (hey maybe that's a good blog name "Dancing Daddy?) that we have missed for far too long.

We love you dad....

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Nesting, pumpkin patching and giving thanks

I love October, I love autumn, and I love experiencing those two things right here on Canada's West Coast. In these parts Fall has been magnificent. Days of cold crisp sunshine, colours changing from summer green to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Even the nutty browns look beautiful this time of year over here. I love the raking Fall demands, the leaf piles, the slow cooker stew and soup recipes that find their way back into the kitchen.

And I love Thanksgiving, especially this year when we have so very much to be thankful for. Our October blessing is coming soon, and we Boyds are excitedly preparing for the arrival of baby Boyd in our own ways. I am washing tiny clothes, receiving blankets, and spending lots of time in the baby's room trying to make it cozy and welcoming. Matt is installing car seats, putting together the crib, and finishing up lingering home projects. Jake is testing out old baby toys to make sure they are up to snuff for his new sibling. We are in nesting mode, and what better time to nest and make cozy than autumn.

We wanted to take some pre-baby family photos so we chose a pretty spot in the garden on a sunny day. About three dozen photos were snapped, with Jake making a funny face in each and every one. So at the very end, tired of begging him to smile nicely and say "cheese", we decided to join him and make silly faces too. Can you believe that turned out to be the best one? The new baby doesn't know what she's being born into! 

Rest assured sweet baby of mine, we can be normal... at least your daddy and I can be. Sometimes.

I'm huge, I know. I feel as big as I look.

I know that crazy, busy, routine breaking times are ahead, along with a sharp learning curve for all of us, but we are ready. Or at least we pretend we are.


In the meantime, we have been enjoying autumn in our town starting with one of Jake's favorite October activities: leaf pile jumping. With the ancient oak tree in our front yard he's not left with a shortage of leaves, and he's been in heaven. 


Unfortunately, we missed Thanksgiving with my side of the family for possibly the first time ever. We normally make an effort to be with both sides over the holidays, but this year I just couldn't make it to Vancouver. So we missed one Thanksgiving meal we always love to be a part of. But we were by no means deprived. Thanksgiving turkey at the Boyds was delish, and memorable, and plentiful. 

Gramps slicing the bird. It's his job.
I made a pecan pie from scratch for the first time. It was good. But next time I'd use chopped nuts. If there is a next time.

But today was a highlight in our October for sure. We made a family trip to the pumpkin patch at the farm just down the road. Train rides, hay rides, and pumpkins for all. What more could a three and a half year old ask for.

For all the pumpkins in the patch we went home with this one.

And yes, Matt intends to carve it. 

Happy October everyone, hoping you are enjoying the change in season wherever you are.

Sunday, 29 September 2013


I don't know what it is about September, but it gets away from me every single year. Before I know it September is over, and October is right there showing off her beautiful colours and crisping up our air. So before we launch into one of my favorite months, I thought I would get a quick September post in this year.

Mostly I can sum this last month up with one word: cookies. I've been baking cookies like it's nobodies business (and eating them all too, but we'll gloss over that part). Ginger, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin. Yum! Cookies are great because they are a small and delicious and for some reason I feel less guilty scarfing down a pile of cookies than I do downing half a cake to satisfy my sugar cravings. And oh how strong those cravings have been these last few months.

Chewy gingers snaps, but they don't really snap. Therefore, chewy ginger cookies they shall be called.
Peanut butter chocolate chip. And yes, we snack in front of the computer around here sometimes. That's how we roll.

Side note: the oatmeal raisin didn't make it long enough for a photo - oops.

That all said I switched gears today and have a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. Pumpkin's healthy, right?

Another highlight of our September was the start of Jake's preschool again. Three mornings a week, Yo! Three. Mornings. A. Week. Do y'all know what that means, a total of seven and a half hours of Jake-free time each week for me to whip my rear into gear before baby comes. Not that I don't love every minute I have with the little guy (most of the time), but all you mamas know what I mean. Seven and a half hours to myself in a week equals a whole lot of productivity. And we all know what's going to happen to those hours once baby comes, so I am trying to use my time wisely now while I can.

I just love the beginnings of Autumn, it makes me happy. And since my sister and I have the whole "summer is my least favorite season" in common, she's not the only one with increased serotonin levels. Let us revel together, Fall lovers.

Looking forward to all that October can bring!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

What are those you ask?

Well those, dear friends, are my feet poking out from under my ginormous belly. I can barely see them, I sure as heck can't reach them, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Yes, we Boyds are happy to announce that we are expanding our family. We are excited and looking forward to meeting the newest little member of our clan come Fall.

Grateful and happy,
The Boyds.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Something Different

Warning: If topics such as bird poop and/or toddler poop offend you this is your cue to move on to the next blog.

With that out of the way I'll start by saying that we potty trained Jake a year ago. He was just shy of two and a half. He didn't show any "signs" of readiness but I thought he was of an appropriate age and moreover I was ready as I'd ever be so I took the bull by the horns and much to my surprise Jake was trained before the week was out. He took to it really quickly and never looked back - to peeing that is. Poop was a whole other story. It took months, and when I say months I mean pretty well almost a whole other year before he built up the courage, or the maturity, or whatever it was he needed to build up before he confidently pooped in the toilet. Until then he waited to do his deed until he was safely tucked in bed at night with his pull up on. Around February I sat down with him at his little crafting table and we put together a sticker chart to motivate the pooping in the toilet.

There was about three stickers on it by the time he turned 3 in mid March. Maybe eight by April. Then in May something clicked in his body and brain and the stickers started flying onto the chart. By mid June we didn't even need the chart anymore, but I left it on the wall next to the toilet out of sentiment, or laziness, I'll never know which, and every once in a while Jake still likes to toss a sticker up there after a poop he's particularly proud of. Anyway, I thought I'd take a picture of it before I finally take it down because it goes very nicely with this next gem of a story I have for you.

And when I say story, I mean a story, written by Coral Vass. This book proudly sits in our child's library courtesy of Jake's fabulous Uncle Jon who visited Australia a few months ago and brought this home as a gift for my three year old. Ever since this hilarious, slightly graphic but a lesson in kindness nevertheless, book has become a favorite bedtime story around here. True, bird poop may seem a bit odd a topic for bed time but it brings a smile to all our faces every time we read it. It's funny, and there is a lesson in it about getting along, and being kind, and accepting differences - so it stays in the book shelf. And if you ever feel your child's library is in desperate need of a unique and fun Australian story then we Boyd's highly recommend this one. But remember, it requires an open and hardy sense of humor.

Go for it, try something different.