Oh 2012, I’ve never been so sad to see a year go. You were a fabulous year, my best yet. 

2012 saw me transformed mind, body and soul. I started as a single entity, lived three quarters of the year as two beings melded into one, will end it as a mother watching the best parts of me living independently in that squirmy, smiley little girl we call Olive.

Here are the highlights of the past 12 months.

                                    The Best of Sweet Madeleine: 2012

  • I made New Year’s resolutions, and kept most of them…for a while anyway. I wrote this list a full six weeks before I knew I was pregnant, yet wrote this about October 2012 (Olive’s birth month),

    “October: Whatever. Who Cares. I don’t care about October. October is a such a MEH month to me. In the context of my resolutions October will be a gimme month, a time to adjust to my wonderful new clean-eating yoga-doing gardening dancing social amazeballs creation I have become.

    And maybe to put time into creating a fabulous Halloween costume. Okay yeah, Halloween Costume. That’s it.

    November & December: TBA.  I’m leaving these two open because I can’t think of anything else (as evidenced by October) and I don’t want to just fill the months for the sake of filling them. These will be updated as needed.”

  • Needless to say, October was not a “meh” month, will never again be a “meh” month. I was unusually prescient in leaving these three months resolution-free. Had I known what was coming, my resolutions would have been “Shower once or twice a week. Try to not look like a homeless zombie person some of the time. Attempt to limit photos of Olive to less than 120 a day.”
  • I tried to tease apart and make sense of the KONY2012 movement and resulting backlash (oh god, remember that?)
  • I called my husband “Couch Satan” and lost two followers. Totally worth it.
  • I discovered this picture, drawn by a 17 year old Adam. Then I died from the laughing.


  • I felt the first kick from the baby who would become Olive
  • I found out that instead of my hippy-dippy home waterbirth, I’d be having a cesarean section (and freaked. the fuck. out. Obviously.)
  • My grandmother died. I miss her every day. I still cry when I remember that she won’t ever get to meet her first great-grandchild. She would have loved her. She would have pronounced her “divine”.
  • Adam and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary, and our our ten-year “being together without strangling each other to death” anniversary.
  • I got ginormous

  • I struggled with feeling trapped, stilted, with a new baby
  • I started researching baby toupees

Olive turns 6 weeks old this Friday and I feel like we are just DAYS away from seeing her first smile. 

She keeps giving little hints at it, like this smirk, delivered this morning (and immediately disqualified being as it was followed by a diaper explosion)

  • We began to see the first inklings of a Olive’s smile
  • Olive slapped Adam with her poop hands. I got to write “poop hands”.
  • We took Olive to meet Santa

And that brings us to today, as we sit spending the last dying hours of an incredible year.

I can’t thank you enough for coming along for the ride. I have no idea why I do this, why I sit here and hammer out these words day after day, except to say that it stretches and deepens me in a way that I can’t properly put words to.

Thank you for reading.

An accurate depiction of Christmas with my siblings

I so wish I could have been there! I am currently scheming ways to have both my family AND Adams with us next year.

This would include several big adult life decisions like a move, a house purchase, and um…a table for people to sit at. I’m working on it :)

An accurate depiction of Christmas with my siblings

Merry and Bright


The Christmas haze is slowly lifting, that months-long frenzy of preparation and anticipation now being replaced with a scrambled mass of happy memories, gifts, and the familiar scrum of family dynamics.

We headed up to spend Christmas with Adam’s family last Saturday (it seems like so much longer! It’s gone by so fast!) and despite arriving with all three of us (Adam, my mom and I) being covered head to toe in all manner of dog hair, baby spit-up and even baby pee, it was a fantastic trip.


Christmas day was incredible. It was Olive’s first Christmas and although she will never remember it, everyone went out of their way to make it a special one for her. She’s a little too young to be writing thank-you notes, so she instead repaid this kindness with nightly 6-8 hour sleeps in the playpen that Adam’s parents set up in our room.

Do you know how awesome that feels? To sleep 6-8 hours in a row? It’s pretty much the best thing ever, like waking up to find a 2lb log of goat cheese in your fridge, or your husband cleaning your floors without being asked.


Also bliss is the fact that Adam’s sister has temporarily adopted Gus during our stay – keeping him at her house so he can play with their gorgeous chocolate lab, Finnegan. This means a temporary respite from drool and dog hair and his passive-aggressive sighs.

I love that dog, (I mean I reallylove that dog) but lately that love has been swallowed whole by the sheer breadth of the mess he leaves in his wake. This little break has given me a bit of breathing room before returning to my routine of sweeping up dustpans full of dog hair twice a day, waiting like a butler for him to finish drinking (“Would sir desire a napkin for his drooly mouth?”)

He’s been having a ball playing with his energetic cousin, and Olive is reveling in the adoration of her extended family (behold the paparazzi below!)


I don’t think her feet have touched the ground this whole week, she’s been passed around amongst a happy passel of Aunties and grandmas, even having some cuddles with her cousins on occasion.


I have felt absolutely no desire to blog over the past week or so, so I haven’t. Regular posting will resume when we return home January 3, and until I unpack all of our stories, here’s a sort of photo trip down our Christmas holidays so far.







It was my birthday on the 27th, my first as a mother. Olive wore a ridiculous pink dress covered in little fabric rosettes, I was feted with cake and a dinner of all of my favorite salads. All I could think about while laying in bed later that night was what an elderly woman said to me a few weeks ago when I was on my way home from visiting my mom in Victoria.  

She passed by me while getting off of the bus and, looking at me bouncing Olive on my knee trying to soothe her, stopped and said, “Well, aren’t you just the luckiest girl in the world?”.


As 2012 comes to a close, I have to admit that it sure feels that way.

Because, why not?



Cleaning up my bookmarks today I rediscovered some of my favourite wiki articles And now I share them with you.

  • The Byzantine Empire used it’s own special napalm-like weapon called Greek Fire during sea battles, the recipe of which was which was a closely guarded state secret and people still argue over what exactly was it it. But everyone agrees that it was awesome.
  • Sometimes the Romans would fill amphitheatres with water so they could stage sea battles in them. Because why not.
  • Mount Roraima in South America is 31km in length and had 400-metre-tall sheer cliffs on all sides. On the plateau it rains almost every day of the year and many of the plants and animals found up there are completely unique.
  • The Great Palace of Constantinople served as the main royal residence of the Byzantine emperors from 330 to 1081 and was the centre of imperial administration for over 800 years. Only a few remnants and fragments of its foundations have survived into the modern world.
  • The quantum Zeno effect is the situation in which an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
  • The category of ‘Unexplained Disappearances’
  • The Enchanted Highway is a collection of the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures constructed at intervals along a 32 mile stretch of highway in North Dakota.
  • The Ship of Theseus: if a ship is rebuilt so that eventually every part of it has been replaced, is it still the same ship?
  • Ancient Chinese burial mounds, not unlike the pyramids of of the Aztecs.
  • If you like snakes then you should take a visit to Ilha da Queimada Grande, where there’s said to be one snake every square metre, including the very venomous Golden Lancehead Viper.
  • A list of Latin phrases to be of use to you in your lives.

Well, I’ve just discovered what I’ll be reading today.

Sea battles…you crazy Romans!

Because, why not?