22 Months **

Reed_22mosReed_22mos.15 Reed_22mos.2 Reed_22mos.1 Reed_22mos.3 Reed_22mos.4 Reed_22mos.5 Reed_22mos.6 Reed_22mos.9 Reed_22mos.10 Reed_22mos.11 Reed_22mos.12There is a fair-haired and very mischievous little elf that wanders around our garden, scouring it for pink and purple wildflowers, stopping now and again to pluck off a perfect bloom. He collects them and offers the posey to me with a resounding “Mamaaaa…Love Flowers. Here go!” Just like that, I could care less about whether not he picks every poppy, daisy or gilia. I should be cringing, but there would be no point. There is something so endearing about a toddler discovering the world around him, and developing a sense of appreciation for those very things that adorn our everyday lives.  “We can add them to our flower press,” I tell him, and then he brings me all the ones he can find. Always purple first — it is, afterall, my favourite colour, and if Reed is anything he is a very astute young man who knows his mama’s daily routine and aesthetic tastes fairly well.

Halfway through his 22nd month, this boy is growing up, and yet still very much our darling baby. Yes, it is true he will cease to be the ‘baby of the family’ in less than 6 weeks, but then again, all of our children are still very much our babies —no matter how old they get. He is quick as a bunny, a budding Picasso who draws and adorns walls/paper/coffee tables with very deliberate and concentrated markings. Reed even requires a notebook and pens in the car, and once he’s done, lets his big sister or brother help him ‘sign’ his name on his finished masterpiece.

If you have something, well he’d like it very much please, especially if they are scissors, batteries or dvd discs he can toss like a frisbee. Is that a tabletop I can clear off with one swipe of my arm? Why yes. Do go ahead and throw absolutely everything you can find on the floor, and then get up on top of a too-high surface, shake your naked tushie, and tap dance. By all means!

We do give in to assuage him to avoid that throwing-back-your-head thing our children have seemed to do as toddlers when things aren’t quite going to plan. Grant and I will choose avoiding injuries over ‘discipline’ and ‘making a point’ any day of the week. As I have touched on previously, we practice attachment-style parenting which lends to a very natural, emotional sense of security for the child, but also develops independence and trust. Luckily, for now he is very easily brought out of his itty-bitty tantrums (thankfully!) and still eats, takes bubble baths and nurses with great gusto. He calls himself “Me Me” most of the time (but will answer to a huge variety of nicknames we’ve got for him, from ‘Pas en tout’ to ‘Toodles’). He’s recently started saying his own name, which is positively the sweetest thing; my heart simply melts.

Reed Anders: you have us constantly in awe of what a dear, dear soul you are. You are a bright light… a shining, wide-eyed, pursed-pouty-lips totally inquisitive boy who wants to do everything we are doing, see everything as we see it, and tell us about it all in an unending stream of delightful toddler banter. Flooding the bathroom and pulling the cat’s tail..? Getting your parents up at 3am so you can eat cereal bars and play? Not exactly your best choices, but we’ve all got a little bluster in us, haven’t we? Let’s roll with it.






19 months **

Reed_19mos.4Reed Anders at 19 months is a high-energy, talkative, dichotomy of a boy — on the one hand, the most cooperative little guy you’ve ever met, and at others, so willful and masterful at yielding his newfound toddler independence, you just stand aside and let him do his thing. For ages, we have marvelled at Reed’s cooperation: sticking out his mini hands and toes to have his nails clipped, lying down patiently and stretching out his legs whenever he needs a change, stepping into his pant legs one at a time and helping to pull them up, eating whatever it is that you put in front of him, sharing anything and everything he is given… Then there is the strong, eagerly precocious guy who refuses strollers, high chairs, and constraints on his freedom of any kind, all the while running at top speed and shrieking and shoving aside your hands with a firm “no.”

Through it all he is bright-eyed, kind and loving (perhaps the most affectionate of all of our children), and around our neighbourhood, known as the boy with the easiest smile around. An inquisitive old soul, Reed has to be shown only once before he appropriates your knowledge or skills for his own. “That’s mine. I did that. BRAVO!” (applause applause applause)

Such is the lucky fortune of the third-born, who looks up intently and locks eyes with you, pulling you into his conversation, parroting what all the other ‘big kids’ on the block seem to do.

Those toddler days seem so far away with Alina and Finnlagh, and yet we are so glad to be discovering them anew with Reed, rolling with the moments (oftentimes cheerfully compliant, sometimes obstinately) as best we can. Come July, we will have the arrival of #4, and we’ll start the process all over again…

Rough-and-tumble Reed: we adore you.



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14 months…

Reed+Loic_09.18.13// Reed Anders at 14 months

Oh how you’re changing, young lad! The other morning Reed came bounding into the living room, and we all just turned to one another and exclaimed at how much he’s grown. Just like that, the baby fat decided to melt away, and in its place — a communicative, forever-laughing, crazy squealing toddler. Last week, Reed was calling “Mama, Mama…” and the next thing I knew he said: “I love you.” His first sentence, clear as day. Needless to say, my heart pooled into a puddle on the floor, and I swept him up in my arms and covered him with kisses. What is so intriguing to us is that he refuses to believe that he has any limitations as a wee little one. If he sees his siblings doing something, well naturally he can too, and the next thing you know he’s jumping on the couch and laughing the heartiest belly laugh you’ve ever heard. Reed is teaching us everyday that life is best lived running at a hurtling speed…and giving it your toothiest grin.












*12 Months…*

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Reed's 1bday ps.4// Reed Anders at {ONE} year – July 8, 2013

Our birthday boy is cool-as-a-cucumber and serene as can be. He chortles with that toothy grin of his whenever he finds something amusing (which is often!) and is most certainly his own little person. As much as we already miss those teeny, tiny, muslin-swaddled newborn days, getting to discover his own unique personality with each passing day has been a glorious process for us all. He warms our hearts with those melty hazel eyes of his and those still-chunky thighs…  Reed is so full of love and wonderment, and that curiosity sure means that he gets into everything. From the cat’s water dish (a daily hourly favourite), to rescuing glass bottles from the recycling bin and snuggling with his loved ones, our littlest guy has a keen sense of his surroundings and all of the people in it. He’s a big fan of waving ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ – to family and to new acquaintances, to pretty girls in cafes…our mini man is a charmer and a scene-stealer, rolled into ONE!



P.S.: The past year has been immensely gratifying as a family of 5. We have grown even closer together, not only in our love for baby Reed, but also in experiencing growing pains and changing dynamics as we’ve stretched into a bigger family. All in all, we have found our rhythm together, and our home is a rewarding and loving place to live life and just BE.  I’m so proud and thankful for all of our darling loved ones in my life – for my husband and our children, for doting parents/grandparents and great-grandparents, kind aunts and uncles, supportive cousins and extra-thoughtful friends…we are blessed to have all of you in our lives. Thank-you for helping make Reed’s first year truly spectacular. 

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Birthday eve baby…

Reed_7Jul2013_sleepy bday hatWhen I have said my evening prayer, 

And my clothes are folded on the chair,

And mother switches off the light,
I’ll still be 11 months-old tonight.
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I’ll be 1 year old.
1 kiss when I wake,
1 candle on my cake.
We’re feeling the bittersweet moment once again of what it is to have a baby teetering on the edge of toddlerhood. While Reed has been properly ‘toddling’ for the past two months, we are still not ready for these grand milestones, no matter how much we prepare for them in advance. Last July 7th was spent watching Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” at the Violet Crown Cinema, and assuring all the other members of the audience that despite appearances, I wasn’t due for another week, and not to worry. I recall spicy Mexican favourites at a romantic dinner with Grant, followed by a very long walk home, and of course, my water breaking at around 4am (not-so-strangely, my water has broken with each and every child between 4-6 am).
While there will be no such wakefulness this evening (no audible boom and subsequent drenching of the bedsheets), there will be stirrings of a different kind: the nudge of my gorgeous baby boy as he awakes from slumber, grabbing his Mama to nurse in the night. These are the special moments that I get to share with Reed all to myself, the bond between mother and child that we share countless times per day… the moments that feed and uplift my heart and manage to break it all at the same time. As I watch him grow, I close my eyes and try to re-imagine all the moments there have been along the way this past year, my favourites of which have been those times when we are together, when all I have to do is hold him – to watch the rise and fall of his chest and the flutter of his eyelids as he dreams. Tomorrow there will be countless kisses when he wakes…one candle on his cake…and wishes for him to grow big, healthy and strong. For now, there is the promise of tears (of which there are already so many), gentle rocking in the crook of my arm, and  in my heart, the deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Lord above. I know now – as I did one year ago – that being Reed’s mama (and Alina and Finnlagh’s too!) is the greatest gift on this green earth. Loving my babies will always, always be enough.



// Hibiscus blossoms

These are the dog days of summer – the blistering, lambent morning hours as the sun rises from its slumber, waking up the dawn. Each morning is punctuated with the sounds of the city – first the car horns, then the sirens, and finally the whoosh of traffic as it plods through hazy bits of daylight. Slowly then the creak of a mattress, the pitter-patter of humid feet across wooden floors seeking the chill of porcelain tile underfoot. There is the clinking of ice cubes as cold brew coffee sloshes into glasses, ready to be swirled around with just the slightest splash of milk.

We make the best of these mornings, a great plume of sunscreen and brimmed hats as we set off to meet the day, before the afternoon is too sun-soaked and sweltering to confront. There are trips to the market and to the playground, swims in the pool and frequent stops to smell tropical blossoms or to tweet to the birds. Then… home again to find a temporary retreat, to let in the sunshine and filter out the heat, until later on when the sun eventually lowers itself in the sky. We step out into the dimming light, enveloped by the music and the din of the crowds, and think: let’s do it all again…














10 months

Reed_10mos.5bw10 months old. We are in double-digits now. The splendid face of the baby boy who has captured my heart. He’s stolen it and run away with it you see…


Eyeglasses peeled off faces, smudged back on with warm, pudgy hands.

Squeals of delight, to say

I am very proud, I am.

Such moments. Time-telling moments, marching one, then two…

Tiny trouble-seeking fingers, dewey-eyed hazel boy,

Nothing can be kept from him, removed from view.

Hidden away or not, he will find it, knowingly discover it–

He is so familiar now with sounds and things.


Picked up, raised to our shoulders, cuddled and cradled in our arms…

A kiss.

One purposeful kiss – or many,

To adorn these shoulders that hold him in place to preside over his world,

Arms to shelter, voices to calm him.

He steals it again and again with every roguish glance and sweetest coo.