Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas 2010: Stocking Stuffers

So, it turns out I'm the kind of mum that approaches stocking stuffers with an air of practicality. I mean, there should be more than just chocolate in them right?

Well, in everyone's except mine.

Here are my favourite non-chocolate items this year:

Boon Flo

...because my child always seems to come thisclose to bonking her head on the faucet.

Alex Jr Farm Stickers for the Tub

...because the acoustics in the bathtub are all the better for moo-ing.

Life Factory Multi-Sensory Teethers

...because they can double as snazzy bracelets for me and they work!

Weleda Children's Tooth Gel

...because my toddler needs to get those chompers clean.

Educo Early Melodies Tambourine

...because she will love it and it will make her smile so big.

Nuby Sippy Cups

...because out of the few we have, this is Ember's favourite and basically we need another one.

Socks and toque will find their way in as well. What are your favourite stocking stuffers?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas 2010: Ember's Book Picks

The Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems
The series follows a little girl named Trixie and her beloved Knuffle bunny. They are so good. The series begins with pint sized Trixie in A Cautionary Tale which tells of a trip to the laundromat with her dad that goes bad for somebunny. Next in Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, Trixie takes her best friend in for show-and-tell to discover a classmate has the same bunny! Rounding out the series is Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion, that sees Trixie and her bunny go overseas with a slight detour for a long eared traveller. All three picture books feature black and white photography layered with Willems' colourful illustrations. This lends itself to Ember's age group while the strong, hilarious tales are good for grade school level readers.

Duck! Rabbit!
Can you go wrong with Amy Krouse Rosenthal? Honestly, I want her brain. In this bright picture book, she couples with Tom Lichtenheld to debate whether the nondescript illustration is indeed a duck or a rabbit. I love bringing the two "off screen" debaters to life with radically different voices which always seems to make Ember smile.

The Scaredy Squirrel Series by Melanie Watt
Canadian author Melanie Watt has created a hilarious series centred around Scaredy Squirrel who, get this, is afraid of pretty much everything. Since the first book in which Scaredy Squirrel conquered his fear of leaving his nut tree, he has had made a friend, gone to the beach, and overcome other fears. The humour is still very much over Ember's head and often wanders off during storytime though we always finish reading because we enjoy them so much.

Oliver Jeffers
British author Oliver Jeffers is brilliant. Basically, I adore all his work so he makes Ember's reading list as opposed to just suggesting one book. When I was pregnant, I learned of The Incredible Book-eating Boy which I promptly took out of the library and read to Ember in utero. (Yeah, we read to my belly. I was determined to have a reader, but that's another story.) Since then, we have gone through the Jeffers library and own many of his books. The illustrations are beautiful and the writing clever. For younger kids, I like the Boy and Penguin series which now includes four titles: How to Catch a Star, Lost and Found, Way Back Home and Up and Down. For those a little bit older, I'm sure The Incredible Book-eating Boy and The Great Paper Caper would be a hit.

Sandra Boynton
Definitely known for her board books, Boynton is an author is very popular in the toddler set. I'm sure every child has their own favourite and Ember's is hands down Fifteen Animals. A story about 14 animals named Bob and one turtle with a very different name always holds Ember's interest. A great thing about this book and all of Boynton's for that matter, is how easy it is to re-purpose the book. When Ember is keen to turn the pages quickly, we do colours instead or we count, or we name the animals and their sounds. The simple illustrations and bright colours make this really easy and engaging. Other favourites include: Moo Baa La La La and Blue Hat, Green Hat.

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
This Caldecott Honour award winning picture book is one Ember will unwrap this year. It's all about Mouse and his best friend Rabbit and the trouble they encounter when Rabbit gets Mouse's airplane stuck in a tree. The method Rabbit employs to reclaim the plane is hilarious and where the story really takes off. (No pun intended). Rohmann relies solely on illustrations at this point which allows the story to become as wild as your child's imagination. Of course, Ember is too young to write her own tale but she loves the way Andrew and I tell it and points at the brilliant illustrations. Mouse is loyal and not at judgmental of his best friend Rabbit despite his questionable choices at times because Rabbit always means well. It really is a lovely book.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
At the risk of being painfully obvious, I'm including this. To date, it could be Ember's all time favourite book so I would be remiss if I didn't throw it in. She always smiles when I'm reading it. It's the only book that she never walks away from. It's the only book where she waits for me to turn the pages - she doesn't want to skip ahead. And, I apparently read it the exact same way every time because she mimics my actions when reading it - gesticulates and shakes her head. To be clear, we read it at least once a day and we've been reading it since she was three months old. Already, it's been decided that Ember's second birthday party will be the theme of the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's a pretty big deal in this house.

Happy reading! What are the favourite books and authors in your home? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Christmas 2010: Gift Guide for the Kiddies

In addition to the the items on Ember's wish list, these are favourites of mine this Christmas.

Ikea kids' section.
Dude, it's worth checking out. They have some pretty great toys and since it's Ikea, you know the price doesn't is completely reasonable. Affordable and cheap even. From plush fruit and veg, to mini kitchens and all its accessories, to art easels and other great wooden toys, Ikea is a great place to check any child, of any age group off your list. I think the wooden block set with wagon is pretty fantastic for $14.99.

Koo and Poppet
Recently, I properly introduced you to Ruby. Wanting to keep the attention on dear, sweet Ruby I didn't gush about Koo and Poppet quite as I should have. From the enviably creative mind of Sarah MacNeill, incredibly stylish stuffed animals have been born complete with irresistible personalities. I want to adopt them all. I may or may not have ordered Ruby Heart Bear for a small red head. Who says you can have too many Ruby's? And, I've always had a soft spot for Black Bear Liam who likes caves and dislikes getting stuck. Melts my heart.
In addition to these delightfully kooky animals, there are accessories for your home and child in the way of pillow and scarves.

Cute Bunny Milly
likes: snowflakes
dislikes: toothaches

These are art products that you can feel good about. I love that they are eco-friendly company producing non-toxic products made with natural and wholesome ingredients. Check out the ingredients glossary: I really appreciate it when I can pronounce everything on an ingredients list, especially since no matter how fastidious I am, Ember will inevitably taste test all that she holds. Aren't the soy crayon rocks a great idea for little hands? These art supplies coupled with an art easel from Ikea will mean special, one of a kind artwork for many years to come.

Stonz Booties
These are freaking awesome boots for the 3 & under set. Not only will they do the job and keep your kiddie's feet warm while allowing them to walk naturally, they stay on!! My girl is a Houdini of footwear and the double toggle on these means she can't escape. Plus you can get the warm and fuzzies considering they are Canadian designed and made company. Ember sports the Daisies and I really groove on these pink skull and crossbones.

Tip Toey Joey
Combing style and support for the developing bones of your wee one's feet, these shoes made of soft leather are fantastic. They offer three different lines covering the ages of 9 months - 8 years aiding your furniture cruiser to your budding Donovan Bailey, they are made to encourage your kidlet's developing peds. I love that the girl's shoes are feminine without being the requisite bright pink. The lads' shoes are pretty adorable too, yes?

Lego Creationary
What kid doesn't love Lego? For the age appropriate, Creationary combines game play with Lego brick building. Roll the dice to find out what you're building and have the other players guess. The dice is even buildable, and rules changeable which means you can play a different game each time you play. Lego recommends for ages 7-12 but I'm thinking this is good for those aged 7-12 at heart. Read: husbands. What? Ember will grow into it.

I freaking love Bananagrams. I was given it a few years ago and I'm always nagging Andrew to play it with me. It's an award-winning word building game that is played without a board which doesn't require a pencil or paper and fits into a case the size of a big banana. Hello, awesome! There are oodles of way to play it, it travels well and would make a great stocking stuffer. The company has also come out with Appletters and PAIRSinPEARS, two other wordie portable games. Maybe you could give someone an educational and fun (that's not an oxymoron) fruit bowl this season. Ha! I'm a dork.

It's Ember's Fault.

Friends, I'm sorry for going off the grid for a week. It's Ember's fault. Seriously! On her birthday, she decided to upend a cup of tea on my laptop keyboard. This prompted her first time out - in the playpen she went for a minute while I tried to mop up the tea before it flooded the keyboard. Too late. When I returned to the laptop sometime later and tried to resume my blog post, half of the keys weren't working. I called Andrew for help who said, "Turn the laptop upside down and let the tea flow out." Hmph. Should have maybe done that immediately after the incident; doing it an hour or two later didn't really garner any success. Go figure.

Of course, it was Ember's birthday so I had a celebratory dinner to prepare that day and cupcakes to make so I wasn't spending much time at the computer anyway. Last Friday, family arrived for the weekend, I had Ember's party to organize and host and of course, spend time with the family. So, it hasn't been really until today that I can sit down and resume blogging with ease. My keyboard still doesn't work and though the comp is still under warranty, it turns out "my kid spilt tea all over it" isn't covered. Boo.

Only the A and F keys work. I'm so annoyed. Here I sit, with a keyboard plugged in via USB to my laptop (it's so ridiculous) attempting to catch up on a week's worth of posts. Posts are going to be coming rapid-fire style especially since we're less than three weeks away from Christmas! Oh, and Ember's 12 month birthday post (complete with pictures) is coming, too. Hang on!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We Interrupt Your Regular Programming for Sobfest

Ember will be a whole year old tomorrow.
We are rounding home on her first trip around the sun.
Time is running down on this 364th day.
I've been teetering on the brink of an ugly cry all day.
At one point, I actually sat on the floor and took in the world from her perspective. I want to appreciate it all.
We've been banking lots of snuggles the last two nights since she is teething. There are four coming in all at once and they are taking their sweet time.

I sat in her rocker last night, rocking and soothing her to sleep.
I opened up all my senses as wide as possible to soak up the moment and savour the right now of it all.
My eyes to remember every curly locket of hair, the way her feet still flex like a newborns, and the pudge of her thigh.
My nose to inhale her sweet breath and the scent of her freshly bathed body.
My ears so I could fully appreciate the perfect rhythm of her inhalations and exhalations.
My mouth so I could kiss her oh so kissable face perched just-so on my shoulder, being sure to plant a few on her rosy, apple cheeks.
And my hands: I wrapped one around her torso, managing to cover the expanse of her back, and the other supported her tush so we could rock, back and forth, back and forth, slowly helping to lull my girl to sleep to dream sweet dreams.

I recalled how nearly 365 days ago, how very differently our bodies fit together. How her tiny, fresh to the world body, fit between my collar bone and belly button.
I thought about how for our first nights together, she slept on my bare chest and we formed an unmistakable, heartfelt bond.
My heart swells.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday 2010: Ember's List to Santa

Obviously, Ember can't write to Santa yet, so I am penning her list this year on her behalf, with her best intentions in mind, rest assured. My outlook on toys for Ember: I want her to play with the toy, rather than the toy playing with her.

My friend Kim taught me this; it is her criteria for her girls. Much to her chagrin, it's not a concept I fully appreciated until having Ember. For Kim's daughter A's first birthday, we bought her a Fun Time Tractor. While I believe it to be a fine toy - there are animals, there's a happy little farmer, there's a tractor and wagon - there is one reason I wouldn't buy it for Ember: it takes batteries.

You have to be cautious of toys that require batteries because quite often they are the toys which will do all the work leaving your kids in a vegetative state, but more so - toys that take batteries make noise. I distinctly remember a voice mail Kim left us some months after A had unwrapped that tractor. "You hear this? I have been listening to it for an hour straight this morning. I just thought you should have to listen, too." In the background was a jolly Old MacDonald E-I-E-I-O-ing his little heart out.

Ember has exactly one toy that requires batteries - a little attachment on her Exersaucer - a chicken/weather vane thing. When the weather vane is pushed, one of five instrumental rhymes start playing with a country twang. I remember how proud I was when Ember learned that music came as a result of her pushing that chicken on vane but now I want her to forget! Each time she presses that thing, she looks at me, beaming with pride, starts dancing and looks for me to sing. And I do, each and every time. Why? Because it's not her fault I didn't take those batteries out in advance.

Anyway. All of the items on the list to Santa this year are items that I would happily give my child without regret. I would also give any of them to Kim's girls knowing that I won't come home to voice mail full of disdain.

Plan Toys

I love this company! They are all about promoting a child's development, both physical and intellectual, while being ecologically responsible.
Favourites of mine include: the Cone Sorting, Sorting Bus, and the Dancing Alligator and the Clatter.

The Early Years Farm Friends Bowling Set
We picked this up for Ember while in Vancouver in October. She actually played with it once before it went into hiding. It was a big hit! There are animals, chimes in the pins and ball, numbers and colours and it encourages play. I look forward to rousing game of five pin on the 25th.

To me, the Bilibo is everything a toy should be; it can be anything that your child would like it to be, the only limit is their imagination. Awesome. I love both the Game Box and toddler sized Bilibo. The Game Box has six mini bilibos, coloured chips and more that I think Ember will really benefit from this year. She can learn colours, invent games and whatever else her heart desires. I know that those mini bilibos would pretty quickly transform into little cars that she pushes around the floor. Vroom!


Hand made by Peruvian artisans, Blabla is a line of beautiful creations for little people. I am quite fond of the Classic blablas that are soft dolls that are of many ethnicity and creature. There are monkeys, frogs, mermaids, dolls and more in a wide variety of colour scheme which makes them a great gift for either gender.

Fropper Ride On Trike
Ember already motors on foot and come springtime, I'm sure she would love this boogie around on. Considering her birthday and Christmas are back to back, I believe we need to give her one or two things that she can grow in to in an attempt to pad our pocketbook through the spring and summer months.

Ember won't be scoring every item on this list from us (or Santa) but this is the list I'm working from this Holiday for her. They are things I know she will like and favour for some time, which is imperative for every parent, right?

Tomorrow, I'll be featuring a gift guide of items I love for kids of varying ages and some of my all time favourites that we've been gifted. In fact, all this week I'm focusing on the upcoming holiday. Stay tuned!

--Companies in this post have no idea who I am; I just really like their products. I'm sharing on my own accord. I am not being compensated in any manner.--

Monday, November 29, 2010

Win or Lose, Ember has Rider Pride.

It was Grey Cup weekend; the biggest weekend of the CFL. I personally don't give a hoot about football but my husband's family, specifically my father-in-law, loves football. And his love in the CFL lies in the Saskatchewan Roughriders. And you may know that this past Sunday they had a chance to right a horrible wrong from last year's Grey Cup. Much to Grandpa Ian's chagrin, the Riders did not make it right... not at all.

But I digress.

3 months old.

By proxy, my loyalty lies with the Riders when support is called upon. Ember, well, she will be a Rider fan through osmosis. Since day one, she has been gifted with Rider gear ranging from onesies, sweat suits, slippers and even a cheerleading outfit that should probably fit just in time for Halloween next year.

As we live in the host city of this year's Grey Cup, we had to partake in some of the festivities. Namely the parade on Saturday; Ember's first parade!

Throughout the entire parade, Ember looked like this:

It was this face when watching the parade pass by.

And it was this face when watching pigeons fly from building to building. I think she was more interested in the pigeons actually.

Oh, the Snowbirds did several fly overs. It was tricky to capture them flying over considering we only got glimpses between the buildings, but I think I got a fantastic picture of them:


On game day, we we didn't attend the game but we did don our kelly green and watch the game at home.

The melon was a little too large,

It worked better as a seat.

Ember is waving and saying "Hi!"

Ember cheered hard and clapped for three quarters until it was time for bed. The Riders lost. The Alouettes won for the second consecutive year. For us though, the Grey Cup was just the conduit for a fun filled, family weekend.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White, and organized!!, Christmas.

Last year, when our little spark went overdue into December, Andrew and I declared that Christmas wouldn't arrive in our house until after our wee one's birthday. So with that, no twinkly light, festive carol, or jolly elf shall grace our home until midnight on December 2nd, when the clocks chime us into the 3rd.

But that doesn't mean I can't shop and plan!

And considering that Christmas started in the stores November 1st, my mind has been whirling about ideas to make this our best holiday yet.

A beautiful Christmas Eve buffet, don't you think?
Frog Prince Paperie

I have always been a bit of a slacker where Christmas organization is concerned. My enthusiasm is always amped for the holiday and I put loads of thought coming up with ideal gifts for all on my list but they don't usually come to fruition until the 20th of December. To be honest, I think Christmas will always be a little rushed for me and I really enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season. Part of the fun of Christmas is feeding off the energy of other hurried shoppers at the mall, don't you agree? Just a little bit?

This year though, I really need to make a concerted effort in getting my ass in gear earlier. Ember's birthday is December 2nd. This means I need to strategize a game plan, purchase gifts for two occasions and ensure that the stockings are hung with care before December 23. (Of course, I may have to wait until Christmas Eve because Ember could yank them down off the mantle.) I realize that Ember is still wee, and this won't be a blip on her radar but for Andrew and I, this is our first real Christmas as a trio.

Last year, Ember was just three weeks old when Santa came to visit. Running out to buy gifts for anyone was tricky. I actually did all of my Christmas shopping December 22nd. Ember was so new that buying presents for her seemed silly and we were content to savour the joys of our new family. I made a full turkey dinner for my family and that was accomplishment enough for me.

Suffice it to say, this Christmas is a big deal for me. I plan on making cookies, carefully choosing gifts, wrapping them all pretty like and starting many traditions as a family.

Are the holidays into full swing in your home already? Are the hiding spots of your house full of special pressies for all on your list? Or, do you thrive on the hustle and bustle of shopping after December 20th? Let me know.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

While You Were Out

Every so often, I email Andrew pictures of what's happening around the house in his absence while he's work. Here are some that Andrew has received in recent months:

While you were out:
Ember discovered toilet paper. I think she likes it.

While you were out:Ember reluctantly had a nap.

While you were out:
Ember learned how to stand up - unassisted!

While you were out:
It happened again.

While you were out:
Winter boots and a onesie? Ember embraced her inner Ukrainian.

Now you're all caught up!

Happy Thanksgiving to my American visitors!
May your day be full of family, friends and too much food. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Fine Place

In response to a recent post about my mummyhood catch phrases, Kristin sent me an email about her everyday mantra, "I'm gonna miss this." Since then, I find it popping into my head pretty darn frequently. I've been feeling verklempt about Ember's upcoming milestone birthday and "I'm gonna miss this" rings through some of our more tender moments lately.

For example, in the wee hours this morning, when she demanded a feed that I thought she'd grown out of, she put her hands on both my cheeks, broke latch, and said, "Gawl-EE!"
Or that no matter how tired, through each and every feeding, she still holds my finger just as she does in the photo below.
Or the way that she "ooohs" and points when discovering something new.

It's not that I think these moments will dissipate once we start counting the days into her second year. And I know that there will be new, wonderful experiences and moments to treasure. Still, I can't help but feel like I'm leaving babyhood behind and fully graduating on to the next phase. By definition, she is becoming a toddler!

How can that be!?

Wasn't it just yesterday that she looked like this? So small and new.

18 hours old.

Wasn't it just last week that she moved like this?

11 weeks old.

I wasn't expecting to be so mushy about this upcoming day but alas, here I am crying as I watch her squirm in that video. I had already forgotten her chirps and squeaks.

Oh the first birthday - what a fine place to reflect upon my best year to date and to look forward, with wonder and excitement, to what's to come. There's so much to celebrate.

Now excuse me while I go get a tissue.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm not sure if it's the city I live in but I see an abundance of very young mothers on a daily basis. Mothers passing their babe around like a fashion accessory with very little regard for their well being. Mothers pushing their child in a stroller through harsh winter elements when their child isn't appropriately dressed. Mothers feeding their infant McDonald's french fries. Witnessing such instances makes my heart hurt. So very much. Maybe it's a demographic thing, but "unfit" mothers seem to rampant here.

While at a mall on Saturday afternoon with Andrew and Ember, we came upon a mother (21ish) on a cell phone while her son (probably a year and a half old) cried a pain ridden, tired cry in his stroller. There were two security guards (no older than 21) squatting beside the the little guy telling him to calm down. I slowed our pace to watch the scene and tried to ascertain the problem hoping to offer help. The little boy was beat red and had been clearly crying for some time and looked faint. He was wearing a full snowsuit, mittens and winter boots on. My first thought - he's baking.

It's freezing cold outside, no question, but the mall was warm - heat pumping and throngs of eager holiday shoppers; Andrew, Ember and I were stripped out of our winter duds and walking in long sleeve shirts, still warm.

I couldn't help but approach the mom, boy and security guards: "Can I do anything to help?" The security guards looked up as if I was from outer space and said, "No, the paramedics are on their way." Up close, I was also able to overhear the mom on the phone with presumably, 9-1-1. She seemed wholly confused and was having a tough time understanding which mall exit the ambulance was going to arrive. She didn't look up to recognize my presence. They boy continued to cry and almost appeared semi-conscious. The security guards were prompting him to stay awake. Horribly, I wanted to strip him down - he looked so warm.

The whole scene was painful to watch.

On the verge of tears, I caught up to Andrew and Ember. I couldn't help but scoop Ember up out of the stroller, smooch her on the cheek and tell her 'I love you'. Moments later, the security guards ushered the mother and her son, to the nearest exit to where the ambulance was presumably waiting. Again, I heard, "Just stay awake. Keep your eyes open." The boy was still in the stroller.

I don't have all the details obviously, and I don't know what the circumstances were but I do know that the mother did not touch her son once that I saw. I would have been carrying my child crying to an ambulance. I would be assuring my babe that I loved him and offered him comfort. This mom did nothing of the sort and laughed like she was embarrassed while walking by.

That was nearly 72 hours ago and I still well up with tears thinking about it and worry about that boy, hoping all is well now.

Like I said, I have witnessed many a scene like that in this fair city. I'm not here to condemn young mothers as I know not all are ill equipped and I know older mothers don't have it all figured out either. We are all doing our best and we all have our share of trying moments where we don't have the answers or patience.

Driving home that afternoon, I couldn't help but talk about how disturbed I was and how my heart was breaking for that little boy. Looking back on similar scenes I've witnessed, I can't help but think about how poorly educated and informed the bulk of mothers in those situations appear. They appear to have very limited resources. They are often alone or part of a large social circle trying to live the life they would have before baby.

I think about how we are all allowed to leave the hospital after bringing a life into the world. There we are, battered by delivery, and armed with few brochures of what will happen to ourselves and baby in coming weeks, sent home to care for and raise a human being. Hell, my husband after his appendectomy received more news and direction at discharge than we did coming home with Ember.

My stepmother-in-law, Michelle, is a teaching aid, and often points out how Andrew and I are doing everything right: reading to Ember, encouraging communication and nurturing her. I laugh and say, it's such a no brainer. She sombrely replies, "You'd be surprised how many parents don't do anything like that."

Let me stress that I don't have it all figured out. Not even close. Some days are better than others. Some days I'm grateful for the reset button that is night time. I always take comfort in knowing that my girl is loved and for that she is richer. But for some mothers, who lack information and education, love isn't enough. They are alone in the hardest job on the planet without help or knowing where to turn. I think about that little boy and how hard he was working to communicate and no one was adequately listening or comforting him. I think about that mother and how confused she appeared and almost unmoved by the situation. My heart is heavy and I am haunted by it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Family Snow Day

A few inches of snow have accumulated over the past few days. This, coupled with a balmy -13 degrees (it's dropping to -32 tomorrow) means that we just had to go out sledding.

We held Ember down and wintered her up. It felt like we were re-enacting Thomas' Snowsuit.

The parents prevailed and our little abominable snow princess was ready.

It turns out Ember enjoying the snow the first time wasn't a fluke.

"Are you ready, ladybug?"

Weeee! First time down the hill and smiles all the way.

Getting pulled along by Daddy was something she could get used to.

Because walking in the snow was tricky in her puffy ensemble.

Post face plant.
Thankfully she was too uncertain about what had transpired to cry.

Grandpa couldn't resist getting in on the action, too.

When Ember's cheeks had turned to match her jacket, we knew it was time to head home and sip some cocoa to warm up.

Homeward bound.

*** This should have been posted yesterday. Sorry - technical glitch. ***

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coco Bonk

Roses are red,
bruises are blue,
Tell me that your child's forehead,
once looked like this, too.

Even though Ember is very good at walking, she sometimes gets sloppy, overly confident and tumbles over. Unfortunately, this is usually within proximity of a coffee table, or some other large, hard piece of furniture. This means that Ember's forehead is often dotted with small bruises.

Post nap, and ready to take on the afternoon.
(ie. make new bruises)

My poor little bug.
Although she doesn't seem worse for wear.