Southern Ontario visits!

It’s 6:45am. With Henry in the sling, we sit by the woodstove in my parent’s kitchen in Muskoka  – Ada at my feet. We have been up since 3am nursing, walking the creaking farmhouse floors, pumping, burping, changing, etc. Three times I tried to put him down in the bassinet, each time unsuccessfully. I finally gave up on sleep at 5:30am, put Henry in the carrier, turned on the coffeemaker and pulled out the computer.

Rough morning!

It’s been almost two weeks since we have been in Southern Ontario with our families and friends. Henry is becoming an intrepid traveler 🙂 braving multiple trips to and from Muskoka to visit. In actual fact, he’s fantastic in the car and mostly sleeps, with occasional meltdowns requiring immediate roadside nursing sessions!

First time at a mall – Mom and I had to stall in Barrie due to weather on our way up to Muskoka for the first time
Driving, driving, driving

So far, our travels have taken us from Muskoka to St. Catharines, Dundas, Toronto and Burlington. Our first visit was with my ninety-seven year-old Grandpa Joe. It was pretty special to see him take interest in the squirmy bundle of chubby legs and kissable lips!

Meeting Great-grandpa Joe Reid in St. Catharines
With Great-grandpa Joe at almost 4 weeks old

Our first weekend in Muskoka, Blake’s brother, Darren and his four year-old daughter Ava came to visit. It was a beautiful weekend with lots of snow allowing for snowfort-building, snowshoeing and snowman-making. Ava was adorable and very motherly to Henry – patting him on the back, helping to change his diaper and frequently cupping his face with her hands while planting kisses on his face.

Snowy Bracebridge!
Ava in the fort that Blake built for her
Ava and her snowman
Blake hard at work building a fort for Ava
Poor Blake – always getting beat up 🙂
Meeting Uncle Darren for the first time
Uncle Darren, Ava and Henry
Everyone hard at work in Muskoka with Mom multitasking with Henry 
Ava holding Henry for the first time – the love was mutual!
Hanging out at home with Ava, Uncle Darren and Uncle John
With Bat Girl!
Mom & Ava tending to Henry
Uncle Darren, Ava & Henry
Ava holding Henry

We also traveled to Dundas to visit my other grandparents on the Sprague side. Henry visited with his namesake, his ninety-nine year-old great-grandfather Henry Sprague. Although both of the Henrys slept through the entire visit, it was so amazing to think about the connection between the two Henrys and the many historical events, political changes, lives lived and technological advances that have occurred within the 100 years between my grandfather and my son’s births. Henry also met my Nana, who at ninety-four has been following Henry via pictures sent to her iPad. I am so grateful that he was able to meet all three of his great-grandparents.

With his great-grandmother in Dundas at 5 weeks old
The sleeping Henrys
Nana, Grandpa Steve & Henry
Future employment?!

On our way back to Muskoka, we stopped briefly in Toronto to see my good friend Emily and her partner, Nick. Although it was a quick visit, it was fabulous to see her and her new puppy, Gus!

Henry with Emily & Gus the puppy who was desperate to lick him!
He’s growing so quickly!
Henry loved Nick
With Emily
At the dog park with Gus
Look at that double chin!

Back in Muskoka, with the snow falling again, the paces of day-to-day life are pretty blissful. Mornings are drawn out with cups of coffee and snuggles by the woodstove and evenings are spent visiting with my parents and brother and games of Settlers of Catan. Having my Mom help out with Henry has also been fantastic. Blake and I have had a few outings just by ourselves which, to the non-parents out there, doesn’t seem too exciting, but even an hour at the gym or a lunch out without Henry have been quite special 🙂

Our routine daily walks in snowy Bracebridge
Blake helping Dad shovel the roof
Ada loving the snow much more since she’s been groomed
Dad’s snowy wood shed and wood furnace
Our Muskoka home
On a walk taking in Muskoka’s beauty
Snuggling with Mom & Dad
Hanging out with Uncle John
Toasting Henry’s arrival with champagne on the first night that we got to Bracebridge

Blake giving Ada a piggyback ride…
Ada’s not loving it…
And off she goes!

Now as 5 weeks have passed, I cannot believe how quickly the days have slipped away. Henry has been growing and changing at a mind-boggling pace. At 4 and a half weeks, he tipped the scales at over 10lbs, which is no surprise as he loves to nurse and has been rapidly packing on the pounds. Blake’s mantra for him has now become, “Oh Hungry? Oh Henry!”.

At 5 weeks old sporting an outfit given to him by our neighbours Jon & Suzann Partridge

Parents of newborns the world over I’m sure can identify with the constant amazement at how each day brings something new. I hope I never forget the flipflop of my belly the first time, while singing to him, Henry looked into my eyes and smiled. Henry still snoozes most of the time and usually feeds every 4 hours, but now actually spends some time alert and happy. I love watching him take the world in with his beautiful blue eyes 🙂

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