July 31, 2018

I haven’t documented Colton in a little while and worry that I am going to forget all the juicy details of his beautiful life, so I am packing it all in tonight.

At around 4 months, Colton weighed 15 lbs and change. He was starting to tripod-sit, supporting himself upright with his hands and arms, which really impressed me. We also started to crank up tummy time at around this age to be more diligent in training his core muscles. What a difference it made in his overall strength. A few days after, Colton was rolling and then not too long after, he was able to tripod-sit for longer periods of time. We also started to spend a lot of time at the Little Gym of Oakville, exercising :). More on that in a future post.


At 4.5 months, we started playing around with his first solid food, Oatmeal, but only for fun at this point, not a meal replacement. He was absolutely ga-ga over the taste of something new and was literally ready to eat the spoon, too. Thank goodness for being able to capture these moments so easily on video because it was truly hilarious to watch him eat from a spoon for the first time.

At 5 months, Colton weighed 16 lbs and change, on track with doubling his birth weight! We continued to do LOTS of tummy time and by this age, he was able to sit upright for a few seconds, unsupported by me or his arms! He is also discovering his love for standing. :) We’ve also introduced pureed prunes to regulate his bowel movements because he started to go 8 days without pooping and it tripped us out :P.

Clearly Colton has been very busy with growing up, it’s no wonder his night wakings have been worse than ever, which leads me nicely to the topic of sleep training – Lord, have mercy, lol.

Rewind back to 4.5 months, we decided to start sleep training because Colton was determined to wake up multiple times a night and I was stuck nursing him back to sleep with each waking (15 to 30-minute process) and I was a zombie, albeit still a happy one, by morning. I mean, he was sleeping reasonably well by 3 months, giving us anywhere from 4 to 6-hour stretches then all of a sudden, we got hit hard with the 4 month regression and the night wakings were unreal. Don’t get me wrong though because honest to God, from the bottom of my heart, I love, love, LOVE every minute of every part of this whole journey. Nonetheless, I wanted my son to be a great sleeper because ultimately, it is good for everyone, himself included. So we moved forward with Richard Ferber’s gradual extinction / progressive-waiting method.


Day 1 was not too shabby – we handled it well and felt empowered by the results. He cried for 28 minutes at bed time and then no more than 15 minutes during 2 subsequent wakings that night. Looking awesome. Simultaneously trained for naps as well, and it was effortless.

Day 2 was great! He cried for 13 minutes at bed time and self soothed himself for 2 subsequent night wakings within 10 minutes and mostly just whined vs cried. WOW, I thought to myself. This is wonderful. Naps were peachy, too.

Day 3, the momentum kept going! He cried for 3 minutes at bed time and self soothed himself for 2 subsequent night wakings within 8 minutes. Amazing!! This is magic!! Naps continued to be peachy.

Then Day 4 happened. Complete regression. Cried 20 minutes at bed time and 30 minutes during one of his wakings, followed by several other wakings. It was just so much crying that night. We were caught off guard. It felt like Days 1-3 never happened and we felt discouraged. (Naps were still great.)

Day 5 was a slightly better night in the sense that bed time was effortless and he self soothed throughout his night wakings but it was worse than Days 1-3 because his actual number of wakings increased from 2x to 3x when it should have decreased by this point. (Naps still great.)

Day 6, he woke up 3x again. (Naps still great.)

Day 7, he woke up 6x!!! LOL. What happened?!?!?!?! (Naps still great.)

Day 8, I stopped documenting and was winging the training. I was exhausted and completely emotional. We were messing around and changing up Ferber’s method according to what made us comfortable and what allowed us to survive the crying, making the training inevitably ineffective. (Naps still great.)

Day 9, we persisted through another messy night. Not worth discussing. (Naps still great.)

Day 10, we decided to take our wins so far and stop training. (Naps still great.)



1. We no longer nurse and rock Colton to sleep. This is a HUGE win.
2. We’ve weaned him off his swaddle, yay!
3. We can put him down in his crib awake during nap AND bed time and he will go to sleep all on his own. He will sometimes still fuss a little bit but nothing crazy. Bed time from start to finish is now a 30-minute enjoyable, relaxing process vs a 1.5 to 2-hour ordeal that sucked the life out of our entire evening!
4. Colton now consistently naps 3x a day for 1-2 hours at a time. They are NICE, CHUNKY, SOLID naps. I find myself anxious about what to do with all this extra time!
5. During his night wakings, I can soothe him and put him back down in his crib awake and he will finish the falling-back-to-sleep process on his own. The breast is still the fastest way to soothe him unfortunately but I need not keep him at the breast all the way back to sleep, which is PROGRESS. (However, he still wakes up a lot. In fact, he’s waking up every 1-2 hours right now. Did I mess up the training that badly? lol!)

Alright, so where does this leave us? We are probably 60% of the way there. And well, I actually know exactly why our training for the night wakings failed epically. Sleep training logically works best if the baby no longer feeds at night. This allows firm consistency in the controlled responses/comforting to the cries. For example, if baby wakes up crying at 10:00pm and has to self soothe all the way back to sleep and then wakes at 2:00am and this time, mom comes in, picks him up, and nurses him, a completely different response to the first waking, would this not be super confusing to baby? Now imagine every waking consistently required self soothing all the way back to sleep and mom never intervenes with a feed? Baby would catch on much quicker.


The challenge is my Colton is a big nighttime eater and it breaks my heart to cut it all off cold turkey. No one wants to feel like they are deliberately starving their child and there is debate as to when babies no longer need to feed at night, so I kept 1 feed during training but it was enough to weaken the entire thing and make it ineffective or at least slow to progress. My plan is to train for the night wakings a little later, maybe at 6.5 months, when I know for sure he no longer medically needs to eat at night.

For now, I’ll say this: it was by far the toughest week since giving birth and it was my first testing challenge as a first-time mom. I’ve entirely underestimated the emotional and mental readiness needed for this daunting task, walking into it excited when anxious was probably more on target. It’s the hardest thing in the world to hear your baby cry and takes every fibre of your being to not respond right away. It was a lot of emotional nights. But I know in my heart of hearts, it was the right thing to do and he is better for it. We will get there. :)

Despite all of this, months 4 and 5 are easily my favourite seasons so far and I will surely mourn for them. It keeps getting better and better. What was life without Colton?

Back again soon, xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 9:16 pm
July 16, 2018

I started this draft 2 weeks ago and am just finding time to get back to it now! I really need to write up this post because Pennsylvania is becoming a distant memory and there are so many new experiences since then to blog about!

Pennsylvania was another super fun trip. It was quite different from Hawaii in that it was a more aggressive “travelling” trip and we spent a lot of time on the road, driving to different cities, and sight seeing. This of course was much tougher for Colton given that he was often stuck to his car seat whether it be in the car or in his stroller and we all know how much babies love their car seats, right? (lol) He dealt with it nonetheless and was a champ for the most part!

What I loved most about this trip was having Colton spend time with my mom and dad; the first Instagram story below is just the sweetest photo of all 3 of them! :)



We stayed in Allentown, which although was quite boring in itself, it was close to family we were visiting, so it was convenient :). We took day trips to Hershey Park, Philadelphia, Princeton, and Lancaster, Princeton being my absolute favourite. What a charming little gem; of course Colton and I had to have a mini photoshoot :P.



Here are some new prints featuring Princeton! This here was Albert Einstein’s home for the last 20 years of his life, 1935-1955. Pretty cool!


This here is simply capturing the style of homes and greenery that lined the streets of this very charming city.


And finally, a scenic drive through the Princeton countryside…


Lancaster was also very interesting, particularly because of the Amish community. It is truly admirable how simply they live. Here’s Colton unimpressed with the stench of horse manure during our horse and buggy ride! It was also uncomfortably hot that day but I so adore those chubby cheeks when they get rosy :).


And here are a couple of new prints featuring Amish Country in Lancaster:



Philadelphia was groovy but not a place to really bring a baby, so we were only there for about half a day! This is Colton in Elfreth’s Alley; probably the cutest photo I’ve taken of him. That little face is just perfect!


New prints featuring Philly:



Another memorable trip in the books :). We MAY be taking another trip to California later this year; I’m crossing my fingers that we can make it happen. I love California!!

Upcoming Posts: new milestones for Colton and the daunting task of sleep training!

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 9:13 pm
May 8, 2018

Colton is 10 and a half weeks old already! He was weighing in at 13 lbs. and change right at the 10 week mark. While still in the 50th percentile, he just feels solid and really heavy, killing my back and giving me muscles! He is also measuring 24″ in length, putting him in the 85th percentile for height. After all, dad is 6’3. :P


Every week or set of weeks have their own challenges. The last 2 weeks have been all about creating a loose routine and paying a lot more attention to his sleep schedule. Surprisingly, I’ve found the last 2 weeks to be particularly stressful; more so than the previous earlier weeks, which tend to be the traditional more “stressful” weeks. I found and am still finding it difficult to balance the freedom of no-routine with the structure of a loose and eventual rigid/strict routine, which I understand is critical to fostering good sleeping habits. SLEEP is a beast of a thing to tackle with children.

1. He still doesn’t sleep through the night and wakes every 3 hours on average. On a few rare occasions, he falls under a sleeping spell and gives us a 4-6 hour stretch; this doesn’t repeat itself very much for the time being although we’re hopeful it starts to soon.

2. Ever since tuning in more closely to his sleep, I’ve learned he is a great napper. He will nap on average 3 times during the day for 1-2 hours each time. I’ve been guilty (pleasurably) of letting him nap on me because transferring him to his crib during naps has grown to become epic fails and before you know it, that nap window slips away altogether and you’re left with a cranky babe! Funny story: prior to letting him nap as he pleases, I actually tried to keep him awake during the day so he’d sleep longer at night! What a rookie mistake. Sleep indeed begets sleep is what I soon learned.


3. He has been sleeping in his crib at night since 7 weeks and continues to do so, which is awesome. We co-slept a bit from weeks 5-6 and while I loved every minute of it, I also missed sleeping independently in our bed without him, so it was nice to wean off of that quickly.

4. Bed time makes me anxious because it’s currently such a long and drawn out process. 65% of our evenings are spent trying to get him down for the night! His bed time was quite late around 11pm for weeks and trying to move it up is a grind. Oh the patience. I can’t wait until it gets more efficient!

5. We are starting to educate ourselves on sleep training. There’s a ton of stuff out there and hoping to find one that works for us.

Lots more serious business and challenges going on in these coming weeks; we’re just enjoying the ride while it lasts :).

New wanderlust / road trip print down below! I often make myself nostalgic with my own images – ha! I surely do miss being able to pack up, hit the open road with windows rolled down and music blasting, and drive somewhere. There are limitations now but such are the beautiful stages of life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Colton is my biggest, brightest star, and has shown me the higher realms of love and happy hearts.

road trip photography, wanderlust photography

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 10:42 am

Baby is napping so I’m squeezing in a super quick post for the nursery series :).

Here’s both a decorative and functional wall we put together for hanging clothes and things. The heroes of this wall are undoubtedly the adorable cloud, whale, panda bear, and polar bear hooks that are just to die for. All purchased on Etsy, all the way from England and Israel – see ‘Shop this Look’ below for links to the shops.

nursery decor, nursery ideas, nursery room, baby boy room

The elephant faux taxidermy is super cute and adds to the fun on this wall. I’m not huge on real taxidermy but these faux ones are so lovely in nurseries.

The shiplap wall continues to complement and I’m obsessed with it (might put shiplap in our bathroom, too)! And down below is a toy dump hamper. Yes, it’s a hamper, but it works just as perfectly for toys as it does for clothes :).

Beside the toy dump hamper is a DIY step stool that Chris put together for me, so I can reach the top of baby’s closet :P. We repurposed barnwood scraps from our basement renovation project that would have otherwise ended up in the garbage. To be honest though, it’s not the safest stool to stand on unless you were extremely, extremely careful (ha!). It loses balance. We don’t have woodworking expertise and didn’t know how to make it structurally safe. I do deem it safe for sitting though, so it’s not completely purposeless!

Stuffed animals in the toy dump (puppy dog and wolf) are just starters for now to finish the look. Colton will have a growing collection of toys going in there as he gets older and I’m sure it’ll be a huge mess soon enough!

That’s it for now! Enjoy, xo.

Panda and Polar Bear Hooks – Crafted Pine Co. Etsy Shop
Whale and Cloud Hooks – Kids and Wood Etsy Shop
Cotton String Hamper – Bouclair Home
Elephant Head Wall Art – Bed, Bath and Beyond
Wilderness Wolf Plush Toy – Indigo Kids
Max the Dog Plush Toy – Indigo Kids

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 1:34 pm

Colton is 6 weeks old today! Here he is all bundled up after bath time. That face though!! He is growing so fast :(, I’m already missing these newborn days and they’re not even over yet. They’re just rapidly escaping me. A part of me wants him to stay this little forever; just little enough to hold him in my arms.

bath time g

In these past few days, I’ve noticed he has began to recognize who I am; that I am mom and mom is comfort and safety. He has started to ease up on the fuss during witching hours and those hours have gotten significantly shorter, and dare I say it: sometimes barely exists. He has been so sweet and so good and is just the best.

He is now weighing 10 lbs. 14 oz., still in the 50th percentile, and no longer fits into a bunch of his onesies. I’m trying to squeeze him into them to get 1 or 2 more wears, ha!

Last night while half asleep, I caught him roll from his back to his side. It took a second to sink in my sleepy, groggy head, and when it did, I was stunned. He went on to show off his fancy new trick while at the doctor’s today. Doctor says “oh my God, it’s too early.” I’ll take it! The little guy doesn’t waste any time (except for when he was late entering the world).

Breastfeeding has finally stabilized (I think)! No more surprises and it has been all around wonderful. I actually find it extremely rewarding. It sounds so simple because it’s something so natural but it’s hard work to get that milk supply up and running smoothly and when you get there, it’s plain awesome. You reap what you sow indeed!

He is getting his first set of vaccines in a couple of weeks and I’m quite excited to have them done only because I can start to feel more comfortable taking him to public places like the mall to go for little strolls. Can’t wait :).

Before I sign off, here are a few new prints!

This lovely Icelandic house on a hill…

iceland photography, icelandic house

This old shipwreck along the Pacific Coast… a little eerie with a whole lot of beauty… there is such a thing!

point reyes shipwreck

Dug through archives from 2010 and found this gem. An oldie but goodie.


Back again soon! Xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 12:06 pm

A few days past our 1 month anniversary with baby Colton but better late than never :).

It is now 4 weeks and 4 days. Time is eagerly flying and I am seeing him grow right before my eyes. Really holding on to these miniature days; he will never be this little again! Sure, some of the days can be tough, mostly because of sleep deprivation, but they’re so precious all at the same time, it’s utterly worth it. I’m a completely smitten mama.


In his week 4 appointment, he was weighing 9 lbs. 10 oz., gaining almost a pound from the previous week. We were feeding him roughly 120ml or 4 oz. of breast milk per feed via bottle leading up to that appointment so our experiment went very well. The problem is that it was just so. much. work. It was chaotic to pump like a crazy lady and wash and sterilize bottles and pumping gear around the clock. Between that housekeeping work and the actual feeding and soothing, I was a slave. It wasn’t sustainable.

So now going into week 5, we’re reverting back as exclusively as possible to the breast while supplementing with a single (or 2) formula feeds overnight to make sure he is fed and full. We have also opted for a part time night nanny Mondays through Thursdays, therefore, breastfeeding overnight wouldn’t make much sense if the whole point is to sleep through the night a few times a week. This is so Chris can go to work a human being instead of a zombie and I can get some legitimate rest, and formula feeding bridged that gap perfectly. Do what works, right? :) Formula is our friend, not our enemy.

Other than cracking the breastfeeding code, he is all around a true bundle of joy. He is smiling a ton lately and as much as I’d like to think it’s conscious, it’s probably still only some form of a reflex at this point. But that doesn’t change that fact that those smiles are hopelessly endearing and heart melting.


He is also blowing a ton of spit bubbles, which I’ve read is a sign of early speech development. Sure, we’ll take it!

By the way, had we not gotten the Fisher-Price My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Bouncer at our baby shower, we would be in dire need of saving. It is the ultimate soother and our go-to almost every time he becomes inconsolable for whatever reason. It basically sings, bobs up and down, and vibrates and boy does it keep him at bay. Highly recommended. (In fact, I am blogging while bobbing him up and down on the bouncer at the same time. And he’s in heaven – what a win.)

That’ll be all for now, going to catch a snooze. xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 2:59 pm
March 26, 2018

3 new prints to share :). Love sifting through our thousands of photos in our archives. It’s funny how we relentlessly take so, so, so many pictures when we travel but we really only have time to tap into 1-2% of the pile at most. So it’s always worthwhile to go back and tap into a little bit more. There are so many hidden treasures, like the ones here.

This was taken while driving through Route 66. So barren yet so beautiful. I absolutely love open landscapes. I find them therapeutic.

route 66 photography

This was taken while driving around Napa Valley; we literally chased this hot air balloon like little fools in our rental car until we got a great view of it :P.

hot air balloon photography

This was taken in Iceland. Mama and her babe; love that little lamb. Everything little is just so endearing. Wish all little things could stay little, right?

sheep photography, lamb photography

More and more to come. xo.

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 12:37 pm

It’s been while since I’ve shared another piece of the nursery so here it is, the bookcase area :)! If you haven’t caught the nursery series so far, you can take a peek here and here.

The styling of the bookcase has actually evolved a little bit more since this photo was taken but time is a scarcity these days so I wasn’t able to take a more updated photo. This will have to do!

I LOVE bookcases and this one was so much fun to dress up only because it was different from the rest of the bookcases we’ve decorated and filled up around the house. It’s the only one that can be styled for a baby and that occasion doesn’t come around every day!

nursery decor, baby room ideas, baby room decor


Just 3 that I want to quickly share (before baby wakes up ;)).

1. Less is more & mind the space: Don’t overload the bookcase with things. Think of it as a wonderful storage unit but one that has to look good since it’s out for the world to see. Be mindful of space between items to create clean lines – don’t overload and err on the side of ‘less is more’. I could stockpile a lot more books than what’s in the bookcase but that’d look terrible :P. And when filling up a bookcase, don’t limit yourself to just literally books! Always complement with pretty boxes, baskets, bins, which fill the space substantially but in a neat, non-cluttered, minimalistic way; they just so happen to also work great for extra storage.

2. Decide on a tone, mood, colour scheme: You would generally want to think about an overall tone for your bookcase. Soft? Vibrant? Dark? Girly? Boyish? In our case, I wanted a soft and calm, earthy-tone bookcase, mixing colours like whites, greys, baby blues, and pastel browns together. Having this in mind will guide your shopping list and how you put everything together from your accent items to your actual books.

3. Play with book layout: The traditional way to place books in a bookcase is in the vertical upright position. But to add appeal, place some of your books horizontally/flat and then stack them on top of each other. Be mindful of the books’ spines – try to put books together with spine designs/colours that go hand in hand with each other. Might I just add that Value Village has $1.00 pre-loved nursery books that are in fantastic condition??? We picked up a whole bunch and then sanitized them. Dollars very well spent!

That’ll be all for this bookcase. It’ll be a few more weeks before we take some of these books and start reading to our little guy. For now, I’ll enjoy its completely untouched state while it lasts :).

Cameron 4-Shelf Bookcase – Pottery Barn Kids
FuddleWuddle Elephant – Indigo Kids
FuddleWuddle Lamb – Indigo Kids
Bashful Honey Bear (exact bear no longer avail.)- Indigo Kids
Books – Value Village & Indigo Kids
Darice Paper Mache Round Box Set – Michaels Arts & Crafts
Blue Wooden Crate (exact crate no longer avail.) – Michaels Arts & Crafts
Globe Bookend – Homesense
White Smarassel Box – IKEA
White Toddler Chair – Homesense

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 7:51 pm
March 2, 2018

Here’s a new print: Los Angeles cityscape with its beautiful skyline in the background, faded by the good ol’ LA smog! Love LA but love Toronto more. :) Baby Colton is sleeping well today, so hubby and I have managed to squeeze in some TV time, yay! Been watching Shameless – took a while to get into it but now I’m hooked.

los angeles photography, LA photography, LA skyline, Los Angeles skyline, city of angels

Posted By Charlene Precious @ 6:51 pm