The storm before the storm

We've spent the last month preparing for this weekend's London Bridal Expo at Western Fair, which runs Saturday and Sunday. It's hard to express how thankful we are for Anjhela's father, Patrick Michielsen of Sylvan Kitchens, for the work he put into making our set one of the best at the show. If only they would change the floor colour. Next time, we'll have to bring in our own flooring, but we're still learning! Here are some photos of Pat at work on site today, plus the finished booth. He also made the stunning live-edge walnut table we'll be using to show off our albums. If you're interested in it or other similar tables (you should see our coffee table!), drop me a note. LondonBridalShow-1 LondonBridalShow-2 LondonBridalShow-3 LondonBridalShow-5 LondonBridalShow-4

Merry Christmas from Parkhill

Who would have predicted, even just three months ago, that we would have spent Christmas Day in Parkhill hosting all of Iris's grandparents? When we were driving back to the airport to return to Nunavut that fateful September day, being able to spend such occasions with our family certainly became a mitigating factor in our decision. We haven't been home for Christmas for the past three years, so it was a real joy to see our families (short of my brother and nephew, who were working out west) this year, and to spend today in our new place with my parents and Anjhela's parents.

For our fine feast, here's the Jamie Oliver mushroom risotto I made with acorn squash, and the cake Anjhela's sister Leanne made (with a hint of blueberry inside, yum!): Christmas Dinner

The reasons we moved home: Christmas with the grandparents

Iris and her grandparents: Iris and her grandparents

And Iris sends out her wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone in our lives (thanks to aunt Val and uncle Mike for the cute outfit). Christmas Pyjamas

Looking forward to reconnecting with you soon, with a revived 365 blog of sorts for the year 2013. Stay tuned! Lots of love from all of us.

Tools of the trade

Sometimes it feels as though Iris is bored, so what's a new parent to do? Thanks to Karen Brown, we've been able to show her the joys of a Jolly Jumper, thanks to Montessori, she's shown she loves the latest mobile we've set up, and thanks to mom and dad's strong shoulders, we've seen that gently swinging her in her car seat can put her to sleep (eventually). But sometimes you have to pull out the biggest weapon: television. However, we don't have one, so YouTube it is. Check the video to see her reaction to watching Baby Einstein on YouTube. P.S. if you have ways to energize and relax a baby, let us know!

Iris in her Jolly Jumper
Iris in her Jolly Jumper
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris loves her Montessori mobile
Iris in her car seat
Iris in her car seat

Elimination Communication

Since the day our potty arrived, one month after our baby was born, we have been successfully helping her use it. That's right, our one-month-old baby uses the potty. It's pretty common anywhere other than the Western world to pick up hints when your baby needs to go to the washroom, so we've learned how to take our baby's cues and get her on the potty. This is called elimination communication, and it's pretty easy to do. It works almost all the time, except for some late night misses. What a relief, though, as we save a lot of hassle cleaning dirty cloth diapers. Those who use paper diapers would save lots of cash doing this.

If you're considering doing this with your baby, there are some good books out there, but our favourite is Diaper Free by Ingrid Bauer. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this.

Faces of Iris

After a scare that Iris wasn't gaining enough weight, she finally had a surge this weekend and returned to her birth weight by the two-week mark, right on time. We haven't gotten a lot of sleep, and we don't have much time for much else (including photos and updates), as Iris consumes all of our time. We wouldn't have it any other way. As a side note, we have made some very good investments as new parents. Cognizant of the outrageous cost of diapers here, we are using cloth diapers, but with that comes the necessity for The Potty Pail and Sprayer. Seriously. My shirt is thankful for it (I won't go into details).

Iqaluit, Nunavut - The rocker
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The rocker
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The actor
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The actor
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The thinker
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The thinker
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The accountant
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The accountant
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The rebel
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The rebel
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The gourmet
Iqaluit, Nunavut - The gourmet

A portrait of a young lady

Sometimes I have to remind myself that a great portrait doesn't need to show the person's face. Thanks for the reminder, Case.

Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris Lessard-Michielsen

Kids are funny

God, I love this kid. My world has been flipped upside down, and she is so cute and sweet. Yesterday she was enjoying face time, but today, she's obsessed with breasts. I understand that sentiment. Not just any breasts, though. She won't accept my hairy nipples as a mommy substitute, but doesn't mind sucking my finger in the times mom needs a break.

Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris gets the giggles
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris gets the giggles
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Sweet dreams, Iris
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Sweet dreams, Iris
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris at peace
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris at peace
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris doing her best George Bush impression (although she's already much smarter!)
Iqaluit, Nunavut - Iris doing her best George Bush impression (although she's already much smarter!)