Father’s Day Reflections

Nearly nine years have passed since losing my father to cancer. Nine years. So much has happened in that time, it’s hard to believe.

With my daughter on the way, I think about my dad more often. I think about the relationship we had and how it changed as I grew.  I think about everything he’s missed in the last nine years, and I think about all he’s going to miss. It breaks my heart knowing that my little peanut will never meet her grandpa, but I’ll make sure she knows who he was. I’ll tell her stories of when he took me camping, when he made birthday cakes for my stuffed animals, and when he took me to the emergency room to get stitches (twice). I hope she inherits his infectious laugh, his love of sports, and his tenacity. I’ll show her pictures and videos. I’ll make sure she knows how much he would have loved her.

I also hope to teach her how special her daddy is. I want her to love him, appreciate him, and never take him for granted. Life is too short and family is everything.

I love thinking about Mark being a father. He is going to be an incredible daddy to our girl. He already is! She has no idea yet, just how lucky she is to have such a kind, thoughtful, smart, strong man in her life. I can’t wait to watch them bond and witness such a beautiful relationship.

To all the fathers of today, yesterday and tomorrow, and to all those who are missing their fathers, I’m sending you love and light. Think of your fondest memories with your fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law and grandfathers and hold them close to your heart today and always.

A

May she have the sweetest dreams

This is a picture of a white baby crib with decorative bedding on it

Our baby girl finally has a room all her own!

Mark and I were a bit concerned about how we were going to have room for a baby in a small living space. We’re working on a budget and had to be smart about choosing our apartment. Lucky for us, we found a place with a dining room that could be turned into a nursery. This meant we wouldn’t be paying rent for a two-bedroom space and could stay on budget, while still having a separate room for little peanut.

This is a picture of a baby's nursery

As mentioned in previous posts, the nursery was functioning as a storage space for all the crap we didn’t know what to do with for the past couple of months. That ended a couple of weekends ago, when my in-laws came to visit and helped us turn the storage room into a real nursery! They took us to IKEA and Home Depot and we collected everything we needed to make the room into something wonderful. It was a long weekend of cleaning, measuring, building and painting, but it was all worth it for sure.

This is a picture of a baby's nursery

I wanted subtle colours with some splashes of natural wood accents. I didn’t want to make the room overly feminine and I think we achieved that. The last hurdle we have to overcome is deciding what to do about doors. There used to be a door to the kitchen, which was taken off at one point and no longer exists. The archway to her room will be covered with a set of curtains, but we’re deciding if we need to/how we would sound proof it, since it’s not an actual doorway. We still need a diaper genie, a side table for the bed (coming this week), and a few other little necessities, but it’s pretty much done!

The little personal touches are my favourite. I always wanted to display Mine and Mark’s old stuffed animals in the nursery. It’s nostalgic and awesome to see them displayed in our little one’s room. I also wanted the room to have a bit of an outdoor vibe because Mark and I grew up enjoying the outdoors and we hope our daughter will too. The painting of the girl with the canoe has major sentimental value to me, as it was a gift from my late father. The same painting used to hang in the bedroom I slept in at a cottage my family used to rent for several summers when I was little. The little paddle is Mark’s, and used to be his great grandfather’s. The wood B (for our last name) was made by Mark’s Poppy and is a very special part of our decor as well. We’re waiting on pictures of our parents to add, and then our display will be complete with the pieces of our wonderful family.

This is a picture of white, wall-mounted shelves with decorative objects on them

Mark and I are SO excited to meet our little peanut and can’t believe there’s only about 9 weeks left before her due date! We’re treasuring all her movements and I’m enjoying my ever-growing bump. We’re really looking forward to seeing our girl at our ultrasound appointment this week 🙂

Good things to come!

A

Not that it’s any of your business but…

This is a picture of purple flowers in front of a stone building outside

Since he-who-shall-not-be-named was elected in November, Mark and I are often asked why we chose to leave Canada. We get raised eyebrows when we tell local Bostonians where we’re from. We get comments like “wow, I wouldn’t have done that.” It’s a time of uncertainty and fear in the US and its obvious that people are feeling it. While we understand why we get the responses we do when we say we’re from Canada but choose to live in the US, it can be disheartening and a little annoying.

Why did we choose to move to Boston (Brookline)?

It’s pretty simple.  Mark was given a wonderful opportunity that would greatly benefit his professional growth. I wanted this opportunity for him and I was ready for a change anyway. I was ready to leave Toronto several years ago. We both knew the move wouldn’t be without its challenges. Moving to the US was always a possibility because of Mark’s field of work, and we talked about the pros and cons many times. In the end, we chose this adventure together!

It’s only been a couple of months, and we can honestly say, we’re pretty happy here! We like our little town. It’s clean, safe, and friendly. Our apartment is finally feeling the like home we envisioned. We’re very close to all things Boston and can get to them via train or walking, no problem! I even found a great community of parents via Facebook and Mark and I have already attended one of their events.

You’re choosing to have a baby in the US when you could have it in Canada?… Wow.

Yep. We’re doing it. Yes, we understood what we were giving up, regarding healthcare expenses, when we moved here. The pros of this move outweighed the cons, and we’ve made peace with our decision. The system here is complex. There are a lot of layers to it and it’s incredibly overwhelming at times and getting good health coverage here is expensive. We’re making it work. The upside is, we’re getting what we pay for. We’re getting excellent care and we know that our little one will be well taken care of right from birth. Canada’s healthcare system is great, but it’s far from perfect. It would be nice if people would remember that before judging us for choosing this path.

Mark and I are happy to talk about our moving experience and how we like living here so far. When we ignore the politics and the healthcare stuff (this can be difficult at times), it doesn’t feel much different from living in Ontario, Canada! No country is perfect, am I right?

We understand that there are people living in the US who would love to live in Canada if they could. We also understand that Mark and I benefit from being white, English-speaking people and don’t for one second take those privileges for granted. Our lives are good, they’re pretty easy compared to many others, and we acknowledge that. When it comes down to it, we have little to complain about.

We’re all just trying to do our best to live our lives well, and we go about it the best way we know how. Our decisions are our own. What we choose to do may not make sense to everyone, but it doesn’t have to.

A