2 Girls and Their Dolls – American Girl Review

Since Ezra was born, her and her cousin Maisie have been inseparable. At the beginning it was an un-dyeing love that Maisie had for this new little baby girl that was all hers. This love then it grew and grew as Ezra began to crawl, babble and say ‘MAIZEE’ with the biggest smile. Even though there is almost four years difference, they still find ways to play together, laugh and connect on the same crazy level!

We are very fortunate to live so close to Ezra’s cousins and that she is able to see them at the very minimum, once a week. In a sense she is growing up with her cousins more as siblings, the bond they all share is so strong. Ez will go through all of her cousins names, and her aunts and uncles at LEAST 5 times a day, wether we be in the car and she hopes were driving to their house, or just at home sitting on the couch.

Ez is so funny with her eldest cousin Maisie, she will see her and instantly start to vibrate, run up to her and give her the biggest hug while chanting MAISIE! MAISIE! MAISIE! Maisie will run over to Ez, swoop her up in her arms and twirl her. There is such a look of pure joy and love when they see each other, you can’t help but smile along with them.

When I first started working with American Girl, I was thrilled to be able to give Ezra one of their beautiful dolls. Not only did I just find out that I was pregnant and that this would be so fun to gift her a ‘practice’ sibling, but to watch her grow and change and show the same love and care that we pour in to her each day. I then started thinking of that same love that she exudes when Maisie is around and how fun it would be if they each had their own American Girl to play with on their playdates!

I knew that Maisie loved her dolls and barbies and that she would love her Camille Doll and the Garden Party Table and Chairs accessories. She loves fairy gardens and dresses, so this was the prefect fit for her! As for Ezra, I found the Bitty Baby that looked the most like her when she was born, very dark features, a head of hair and in her jammies! Along with Ez, we received the Bitty Better Kit, a doctor kit for her Baby, Ez is so compassionate and caring that this was such a good addition for her, and plus, it came in a ‘purse'(doctors kit), Ez’ favourite thing to carry around right now haha!

When the girls first opened their dolls, they were both shocked, and instantly in awe of these beautiful little girls, all dressed up and all theirs! They could barely keep it together while we unpackaged them for them. (Note to self: Prep and un-package all tags next time I am gifting an item to a toddler!). As they started to play with their new American Girls, I brought out the other items for them and it happened all over again! the OO’s the AHH’s and the ‘I Love It!’ was all over the place. It was a little bit of a rough start, as the girls both received brand new toys at the same time and wanted to play with each others gifts.

They worked it out in the end and played for a couple hours going back and forth and obviously ending the playdate with a dance party!

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Thank you so much again to American Girl Dolls for these gifts for my favourite girls! They will enjoy them for years to come and we are excited for Ezra to have her very own baby doll to take care of in a quick six months!

XOX,

Cass

 

Summertime Sisterhood – up’s&down’s, high’s&low’s and I wouldn’t change a thing.

They say that a sibling is a forever friend. This is a bold statement, especially when you are 9 and your sister is 2, you may be thinking quite the opposite. As time went on, it threw us curve balls and we could do nothing but cling to each other and grow through it. You learn to turn to each other in times of defeat instead of turning your back. You celebrate the small victories and rejoice in the milestones. You start to pull at each other, asking for guidance, for support and sometimes just for a hug. I am so thankful God gave me a sister to go through life with, even if I didn’t realize the blessing in the early years.

Growing up we had a large age gap between us and even though we did get along the odd time, when we got in to mom’s makeup or expressed ourselves artistically with markers on the wall, I don’t think we really ever anticipated what our relationship would one day grow in to. I look back now on the days we spent together, our endless LEGO villages and Sunday morning cartoons, and I can still see that same little 4 year old looking up to her big sis. Waiting for me to make the next move, to tell her if she’s doing a good job or when her pony tail isn’t centered.

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To this day, this is still our saving grace, our center of gravity, pulling each other in and lifting each other up. A state of glorification and eagerness to help each other. Why? Because we’re sisters. There’s no other way to explain why we’ll go to the ends of the earth and walk the moon for one another. She’s my little and I’m her big, plain and simple, black and white.

Now in to our twenties, that 7 year gap isn’t making quite such a dent anymore. We both have a home life, work life and personal interests, hobbies and loved ones. Tish is such a great auntie to our little Ez, I find myself sometimes tearing up thinking and dreaming of the relationship that they share and will hold so dear to their hearts.

I remember when we were younger and Tish was trying to figure out what she was going to do after high school, having no direction except knowing she loved art, music and personal connections. She followed in her sisters footsteps and took an interest to Makeup Artistry, luckily that soon dwindled and she fell right in to where she was supposed to be, teaching and caring for children. we are now working in the same field and I am so excited to hopefully work along side her in the classroom and share our joy, excitement, and craziness.

Watching Tish grow over the years has given me a variety of feelings. Feelings of joy and excitement, feelings of anticipation and anxiety but mostly an overwhelming feeling of pride and love. I guess having a larger gap between us opens up the door of almost becoming motherly towards her in the teen years. I have to say though, now being older and being able to share the same passions and interests, it’s like a whole new world. As if I was just waiting for her to catch up to me, waiting for my best friend to arrive.

My not-so-little sister has grown in to this beautiful, funny, courageous and multi-talented young woman and I am SO excited to continue on in life with her. Going on trips, discovering new hobbies and just enjoying everyday to the fullest. Each day is a new beginning to start something new, learn something new and be renewed. I hope and pray that one day we can give Ezra the same blessing that God gave me 21 years ago.

Love you Little One

X0X

 

COLLABORATORS // Summer Styled Shoot

STYLED & CAPTURED BY: The Venture Creative

PHOTOGRAPHY: Natalia Reardon Photography

SUNGLASSES: Ollie Quinn

TOWELS: Tofino Towel Co.

SWIMSUIT: Nettle’s Tale

SUNSCREEN: K’Pure Naturals

JEWELRY: Mind the Minimal with Joie De Cristaux

APPAREL: Aloha Kai Apparel

BAG: Hold & Carry

WATER BOTTLE: The Free Reign Life

MODELS & GUEST BLOGGER: Stumbling Grace with Natasha Holt

LOCATION: Spanish Banks

 

 

Mat Leave Ends, But Another Adventure Begins

Back to work. Back to the grind. Back to the ol’ time card.

But it’s not the same. Back to work, with a baby. What does that look like you ask? Well, I really couldn’t tell you; yet. I have my first day back to work on Friday. Starting a new job in a new field of which I know nothing about the company but I’m excited. It’s going to be good and it’ll allow my week to have a more structured look to it. Thankfully I have found a position I can go back to part time, as I don’t know if I could quite muster up enough courage to leave my baby girl for the entire day for 5 days a week.

[The day she was born – 17 hours old// Her first baseball game – 6 days old//Teens camp – 2 months old]

Luckily, I have the most amazing mother in law who is willing to watch sweet Ez for those two days that I’m away. Not only does this give me the confidence and freedom to separate myself from mama-mode and dive into work-mode, but Ezra LOVES her Nama. Let me tell you, the second Ez sees Nama, everything else disappears and nothing else matters, Nama is here. Her little legs start pumping a hundred miles per hour, she is fist bumping the air and with her big goofy grin, she is screaming at the top of her lungs. She loves her.

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The night I went into labour 

Looking back on when I was pregnant, very pregnant, and preparing for maternity leave, the 12 months you’re given seems like an eternity. The ‘go-getter’ in me thought, ‘yeah, I’ll get this baby thing under wraps and then I’ll just have a 9 month vacation!’ Oh man was I wrong. Everyday has been a joy, full of love, laughter and all that gushy stuff. There has been hardships in the midst of that, endless crying, sleepless nights, but every parent goes through that. We were fortunate enough to have an angel of a babe that was, and continues to be, so kind to us. But even though I thought having a baby wouldn’t weigh me down and immobilize me that much; it did. You get in to the routine of sleep, nurse, change diaper, sleep, nurse, change diaper, and eventually that starts to level out. Ezra is pretty simple when it comes to this schedule and will mostly go anywhere with me as long as I’m able to take time out for her. Pushing the stroller a little longer or put a wrap on to cuddle her close, to ensure she can have a nap.

[Ezra in her new Beluga Baby ‘EZRA Wrap’ Photo|Haley Campbell Owner of Beluga Baby // Ice cream at Morgan Crossing // Ez meeting Jillian Harris for the first time (all babies have this ‘first’ right?]

All this is about to change though. I am going to feel that heart wrenching, yearning sensation to want to be with my baby and can’t. I’m fully anticipating a meltdown, not on her part but on mine! She’s was and now, has become again, a part of me. My little side kick. The robin to my batman, the tissue to my sniffle, the laughter to my jokes, the peanut to my jelly. the Ez to her mama. For the past three weeks I have been completely soaking up every hug, every smile, every giggle, and yes, even every roar. (she’s a baby Rex). Getting more sentimental as the time tock’d and the days grew closer. I am not usually this type of person, at least the one that sits there for an extra minute just staring at my sweet babe, every, single, moment.

[I really miss this precious time of napping with a newborn. Oh how sweet it is.]

I am looking forward to going back though. To have more then the length of a nap time to be a real person again, to be an adult and have a conversation that doesn’t include what was in her diaper or how many veggie balls (IKEA – delicious) she ate for lunch. To regain some composure and assertiveness that I can bounce back, I can be social and I can live my life again, of course, with my little sidekick holding my hand through it all. This’ll be another new chapter in our lives, a chapter of change and a chapter of growth. Figuring out what it means for mama to go back to work and how Ez will receive it. Here’s hopin’ and you bet I’ll be praying.

What were your thoughts? your doubts? your fears? Did you find identity in going back to work, feel more like yourself again? (whatever that may mean to you).
What were your biggest hurdles in trying to make things work and making sure your little loved one was comfortable and confident in you leaving them? I want to know them!
From one mama to another, I would love your support and guidance in some ideas or scheduling that you found moved mountains when you went back to work.

I’ll leave you now with a few of my favourite memories from the past year with my sweet babe. Enjoy x0x

Wedding Shoot photo | Sasha Cooper Photography