Same Blog, New Website!

Hi friends! It’s been almost a month since I posted here, which I have to apologize for. We are still doing great and little Abel is now twelve weeks old! He’s growing so fast and I am so obsessed with him. I love being his mom!

The last several weeks I’ve been working on a new project which I’m so excited about! For months now I’ve been thinking about upgrading this blog by changing it to a new web address and I finally have!

The Canadian American Kiwi is still going strong but now you can find us at www.tillycutforth.com

I won’t be posting here anymore, so make sure you bookmark my new website so you don’t miss a post!

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Abel: Eight Weeks

Today this sweet boy is eight weeks old! On Sunday, he’ll be two months… time just flies by, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant, or had just gotten married, or I was coming to NZ, or still in college. Especially since getting married time feels different to me, part of it is just getting older, and another part is the seasons switching around when I moved to NZ.

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It really messes with my mind. I grew up with hot June, July, and Augusts. December was cold and January was kind of miserable because the best part of winter – Christmas – was already past. Summer vacation was around June to August or September. Here in NZ, it’s August and it’s cold – some days, but other days it’s warm enough to wear just a t-shirt! November, December, January… those months bring hot, humid weather and I’m constantly sweaty (gross) and dreaming of going for a swim. There’s no summer vacation; it’s called school holidays, and I have no clue when they are. The school year starts in January or February.

Also experiencing summer four times in a row threw me for a loop. Summer 2016 was June-September, and then I moved to NZ, where it was spring, and then summer. I moved back to the US in March so I got spring, and then summer. Then I moved to NZ after marrying Jared, in August 2017, and got the tail end of winter, spring, and summer. I was thrilled to experience an actual autumn/winter last year. I was also excited that it didn’t get super cold, because I didn’t really miss the 20* Fahrenheit weather (that’s less than 0* Celsius).

That said, moving to the opposite hemisphere has messed up my sense of time even further.

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Okay where was I going with that… right, time flies by! It’s so exciting to think that Abel is almost two months old, and that’s 1/6 of the way to a whole year old. I also think it’s amazing that we have our very own son – like, he’s ours, forever. He’s just a baby now and in a year or two he’ll be a toddler, then a kid, then a teenager, then an adult — and we get to be his parents, the whole time! I love the stage he’s at right now but I’m also excited for the future.

Abel had a check-up today and he’s just over 6kg – more than 13lbs! He’s becoming more aware all the time – of his surroundings, and of himself, especially his arms/hands. He loves interacting with us and makes great eye contact, and ‘talks’ back and smiles!

I took this photo on the left, before Abel was born, so I had to recreate it now that he’s here! During pregnancy, it is so fun to imagine what your child will look like and be like. I am beyond thrilled with our little boy and I can’t imagine him being any different!

Abel: Seven Weeks

At seven weeks, Abel is a really happy baby! He fusses when he’s hungry, tired, or gassy, and that’s about it. He loves having his diaper changed and being all clean and fresh and will usually give me some sweet smiles and coos during a change! The other night after Abel nursed, Jared and I sat with him and listened to music and Abel was having a great time watching us make faces. He tried to copy our faces and sing along to the music! His ‘talking’ is so adorable!

No I don’t normally let Abel wear a necklace… this was just for these photos… read on down below 😉 

Sonic is very curious about this new little person in our house. He also loves to steal my breast pads and chew on them. Gross. Last week Jared got Sonic a new dog bed, a few new toys, treats, and a dog collar, since he chewed the last one off. The very next day, the brand new collar was chewed into about five pieces. However, he was very excited about his new toys. Since he dragged all his other toys off outside, he’s been bored when he’s in the house.

Abel and I continue to just chill around the house, and we’ve gone on a few walks when the weather is nice, and met up with another mum and her baby last week. I’m in a Facebook group of other mums in New Zealand who had babies around the same time as I had Abel. The support has been awesome, and there are a few mums who live here, so we’re getting to know one another.

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I love taking photos of Abel, because he’s SO CUTE, and I had the idea to dress him up for some fun pictures! I had fun doing this little ‘gangster’ outfit for Abel, and I want to do more photos like this as well, so if you have any ideas, let me know!

Don’t mess with Abel! And also don’t take pictures on a sheet, because the wrinkles are impossible. Lesson learned.

Five Things I Never Thought I Would Do

What are some things you never thought would happen to you? Today I’m sharing five of the biggest moments in my life that changed me and that I didn’t expect!

5 things I never thought I would do

 

one

When I was fifteen, my grandma told me that she and my grandpa were planning a trip to Colombia, to visit missionaries they had been good friends with for thirty years. She wanted me to come.

I was terrified. I didn’t know anything about Colombia. I barely knew where it was. I had no idea what to expect, and I didn’t want to go, but I said yes. As the days went by and the trip was getting closer and closer, I was getting more nervous all the time. I secretly hoped that the trip would be cancelled, but I didn’t want to admit that I was scared, and I knew that I was lucky to get to go.

Finally the day came, and we flew from Vancouver to Toronto to Bogota. The moment I looked out the airplane window and saw Colombia for the first time, every fear I had was gone. I instantly fell in love with the country. Those three weeks were incredible. I got to spend time with some amazing people. Enjoy this gorgeous country. Learn some Spanish, which I still think is the most beautiful language.

We spent time with Indian women whose tribe had been displaced from their village due to a volcano. We heard the stories of two of these women and their husbands who had been tortured for their faith. And I realized that God was much, much bigger than my idea of Him. Going to church on Sundays and reading my Bible here and there was good. But I realized that God really truly loved me on a personal level and wanted a relationship with me, not just to be the one I prayed to, hoping He would answer.

I will never forget the time I spent in Colombia, and the people I met. I really hope that one day I can go back to visit!

This is the first thing I never expected. I never thought I would fall in love with a country I was terrified of. I never thought I would discover a love for travelling and expanding my horizons beyond just my hometown. I never thought I would have friends that I love so much.

two

Since my sister Adalia moved to New Zealand with her husband, I had been wanting to visit her. I didn’t know when, or for how long, but I was incredibly jealous when my little sister Kalina went to visit her for two weeks. Little did I know that a few months later, it would be my turn. After I finished high school and college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to pursue more education, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a career, and I was both scared and excited at all the possibilities. Adalia asked me if I wanted to come visit her. Sure, I thought, why not? I was sure I wanted to visit for a whole month, but then my sister asked if I would stay for six months.

At first I wasn’t sure. I would miss Thanksgiving. Christmas. Did I want to spend that much time away from my family and friends? Six months… is a long time.

But I said yes, and started saving and preparing for this new adventure. I had never been to New Zealand before, and I only knew a handful of people – My sister, her husband, and his immediate family. Honestly, I think it was a little crazy.

It turned out to be an incredible experience and I met some amazing friends! If I hadn’t gone, and if I hadn’t stayed for six months, I wouldn’t have met them, and I wouldn’t have met Jared either, and wouldn’t be here now!

three

When I announced that I was heading to New Zealand for six months, e v e r y body said ‘Ooh are you going to find a husband?!’ I always responded with an emphatic NO. That was absolutely not the point. In fact, my one goal was to not find a husband. I didn’t want to have a long distance relationship, and although I enjoyed my time in New Zealand and I would gladly visit again, I didn’t want to move there.

After three months in New Zealand, I had successfully managed so far without falling in love with anyone. And then Jared came along. At first, I wasn’t even sure if I should text him back. Did I really want to start getting to know a Kiwi? Jared lived five hours away, so we texted for several weeks and then started talking about visiting each other. I invited him to come visit and then a few days later changed my mind, and as bad as I felt about it, I told him not to come.

We kept texting though, and as we got to know each other even better I realized I would never find a man like him again. I invited him to come visit, again, and this time I didn’t back out. We started dating, we kept texting, I went to visit him a few times, and before we knew it, it was time for me to go back to the States. We didn’t know when we would see each other again, so it was a sad goodbye. When I got home, we figured out the time difference and we video chatted and texted every day.

Jared came to visit in May and we got engaged, and in August we got married, seven months to the day from when we met (not planned!).

I never expected to marry a guy from New Zealand. I never expected to move to New Zealand. I never expected to get married after knowing someone for seven months. I always thought I would get married young, but when I turned 18 I never expected that I would be married before my next birthday.

four

I have always loved children and babies. I’ve babysat for ten years, and I worked as a nanny for several years. I couldn’t wait to have my own babies someday, and once Jared and I got married I was always dreaming about the day we’d have children. When we got pregnant, I was SO excited, and spent the pregnancy looking forward to meeting our baby and falling so in love, and soaking up every single precious moment. I’d heard of people who didn’t instantly fall in love with their baby, but I knew that wouldn’t be me! I was so excited to meet this baby and would most definitely have an instant overwhelming love and bond with him.

During my labor I reminded myself that each contraction was bringing us closer to the moment we would finally meet our precious child. I looked forward to bringing him into the world, holding him in my arms for the first time, gazing at his little face and falling so, so in love with him.

Then things didn’t go as planned. After laboring at home for twelve hours, we went to the hospital and I spent another twelve hours laboring there. When I finally went for a c-section, I was so exhausted I was struggling to stay awake as they wheeled me to another part of the hospital. When Abel was born I was distracted by the terribly uncomfortable feeling of whatever it was that the doctors were doing to my stomach. I was glad to meet our son but I was even more happy that my labor was finally over, and couldn’t wait for the doctors to finish tugging my insides around.

Once Abel was out and we were back in the maternity ward, I was so tired and, by then, full of meds, that I don’t remember much of that first night. I certainly didn’t have that moment where I locked eyes with my baby and fell in love.

As cute as he was and as much as I liked him, I didn’t feel how I expected. It was hard, feeding him every few hours, recovering from the c-section, and, once my mom left and Jared returned to work, taking care of Abel on my own most of the day. There were many times I thought, Motherhood is amazing? This isn’t really all that great. It’s so hard! Way harder than I thought.

After a few weeks, I felt less like I was drowning, and I was definitely falling in love with him. He was no longer feeding around the clock, I could put him down for naps and have a little bit of alone time, he started sleeping better, and I really made an effort to enjoy the moments that I could. We had issues on and off with breastfeeding for several weeks, but we stuck it out and it got better. Now he’s seven weeks and he’s smiling, cooing, and I can enjoy feeding him and feeling his little hands grab at me as he eats.

Now I do understand that overwhelming love for your child. I thoroughly enjoy being Abel’s mum. We still have our moments, but overall, I love it!

I never thought that I wouldn’t fall in love with my baby right away.

five

The summer I finished 11th grade, and my first year of community college, my cousins came to visit. As usual, we had so much fun together! Growing up, we only saw each other every year or two, but every time we would always pick right back up where we left off. My siblings, cousins, and I always have the greatest time and want to spend every second together while they’re visiting. Even when they’re on vacation, my Uncle, Aunt, and cousins find a church to go to that is similar to their home church, which usually meant an Independent Baptist church.

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That Sunday they were visiting, I went to church with them, and, as dramatic as this sounds, it changed my life. I had no idea, that day, that the people I met at that church would become my best friends and my second family. I enjoyed the church service and meeting everyone, and the next day my family and my cousins all went along to the church’s Memorial Day picnic. We had a great time enjoying good food, fellowship, and volleyball.

My cousin Elijah stayed with us for several weeks after the rest of his family went home. He continued going to the Baptist church while he was with us, and I went to church with my family on Sunday mornings but went with Elijah on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. Before long, I was becoming good friends with the families in the church. When Elijah went back to his family in Calgary, I went too and stayed with my cousins for a few weeks, and went to my cousin Arianna’s high school graduation. When I got back home, I continued going to the Baptist church whenever I could and before long it was ‘my church’. I still went to my family’s church on Sunday mornings, but I was a regular at my church on Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and any opportunity to get involved. My family would come along to church events or picnics, and sometimes my siblings would come to the services with me.

There was nothing wrong with my family’s church. But at this church, I felt like I really belonged, I was always challenged to grow in my relationship with God, and I found a new joy in serving the Lord. I was part of the church family, and found some of my best friends! By the time I turned eighteen, I talked to my parents and asked their permission to join this church, and go there instead of my family’s church even on Sunday mornings. They said yes, and I was excited to become a member of the church.

Just a month and a bit later, I was leaving for New Zealand. I went to church with Ben and Adalia a few times, but I wanted to find a Baptist church, and after some searching I found one half an hour away and began going when possible. A few months later, I met Jared when he visited that church. (It is crazy to think that if I hadn’t gone to church with my cousins four years ago, I wouldn’t have looked for and found the church I attended in New Zealand and I wouldn’t have met Jared!)

I never thought I would go to a different church than my family (while living in the same place).


These five things have had a huge impact on my life! I love how there are some moments that you don’t realize at the time will mean so much to you. I wonder what the next big five moments will be for me?!

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Abel: Six Weeks

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Six weeks of being a mum and dad. Six weeks of taking care of a tiny human. Abel is doing great, and I am finally feeling normal again! I haven’t felt this great in months. I had low iron near the end of my pregnancy and so I was always exhausted for no reason. I’m currently functioning on four hours of sleep, but I am functioning. I feel like a normal person just tired. While I did enjoy being pregnant, I don’t miss having a sore back and hips, being unable to sleep on my stomach or my back, being swollen and chubby, tired and hungry, the occasional heartburn, and having to use the bathroom every hour.

Abel is interacting more each day, and he loves to just gaze around the room, or at our faces, and take everything in. He’s been smiling for a few weeks now, but it’s not as random anymore. He has discovered his voice and now makes noises other than fusses or cries – lots of whines, but other sounds too!

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Last week Jared was on the couch doing some work on his laptop, and Abel was snuggled up beside him, happy to just sit by his daddy.

I put Abel in this shirt and just had to take a photo because it’s the first thing I bought for him, before I was even pregnant. Plus doesn’t he look so adorable in black? Who am I kidding; he looks adorable all the time. 😉

Abel and I are just chilling at home most of the time. He eats, cuddles, stares around at everything, and sleeps. I take a thousand pictures of him each day, and try to do housework or work on my blog, while he sleeps.

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He’s so darling and I am just loving him more all the time. He’s so stinking cute and just gets cuter every time I see him, which is a lot, since I’m his mum.

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Look at his blonde hair!


In case you missed my previous posts about Abel:

Abel: Five Weeks

Abel: Four Weeks

Introducing…

Old Navy Sale Summer 2019 {Baby}

{Updated August 1}

I love shopping. I especially love online shopping. And I am notorious for adding things to my cart or wishlist and never actually buying them. We do have a budget after all. Having a baby is fun though because he’s growing and I have an excuse to buy baby clothes, which, let’s be honest, are the cutest clothes. I mean how many times have you wished your kids clothes came in adult sizes?!

I recently discovered that Old Navy’s baby clothes are the CUTEst. I ordered a few items for my mom to bring over when Abel was born and I seriously had to restrain myself. I could have bought everything but unfortunately, yes, we still have a budget. 

Well, today I was once again browsing Old Navy and willing Abel to grow quickly so I can buy him more clothes (Just kidding. Kind of.) and realized that some of you have babies to shop for too. This is not an exhaustive list of their sale items; just some of my favorites! Now, I’m a clearance shopper. I always go straight for the sales; I hate buying things full-price. That means some items may be sold out of some sizes, so I apologize if that’s the case! Now go get shopping! 😉

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Bodysuits/Tops

Graphic Bodysuit 3-Pack – $16.47
I bought these for Abel in 3-6m and can’t wait for him to fit them!

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Graphic Bodysuit – $4
I especially love the leopard, giraffe, and dinosaur ones.

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Dino-Print Bodysuit – $6
Is anyone else obsessed with dinosaurs?

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Printed Crew-Neck Bodysuit – $6
Another dinosaur one, this is even cuter!

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Printed Sleeveless Bodysuit – $2.97
I can’t wait to put Abel is sleeveless shirts like this in summertime! Isn’t this leopard print the cutest?

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Graphic Sleeveless Bodysuit – $3.97
The ‘Life Is Sweet’ one and the pineapple one, are my favorites!

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Graphic Tank Bodysuit – $3.97
These girly little tanks are so cute!

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Ruffled Chambray Sleeveless Top – $6
I need a daughter just so she can wear this top.

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One-Pieces

Sleeveless Kiwi-Print One-Piece – $5.97
I was sitting on the couch browsing on my phone when I saw this and decided I HAD to place an order with Old Navy. When I was pregnant with Abel our nickname for him was Kiwi. So obviously he needs anything that is kiwi themed. Right?

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Graphic One-Piece – $5.97
These are so adorable as well.

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Printed Jersey Dress – $6
I adore baby dresses. I actually have four baby dresses that I bought before Abel was born, just in case he was a girl, because they were on a great sale.

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Jersey Tank Dress 2-Pack – $11.97 and Jersey Dress 2-Pack – $11.97
More dresses for your little sweetheart.

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Bottoms

Rib-Knit-Waist Pull-On Jeans – $18
{updated 1 August} These jeans were $10 when I published this post, and now are $18. However, this pair is only $10 and this pair is $12.
I love the look of these, and the knit waist means they’ll be nice and comfy! I got a pair of these for Abel.

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Rolled-Cuff Twill Utility Shorts – $5.97
Your little guy (or girl) would look so cute in these!

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Ruffle-Back Jersey Diaper Cover – $6
I love these for under dresses for a baby/toddler!

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Sets/Pajamas

Whales & Sharks Graphic Sleep Set – $8.97

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Graphic Pocket Tank & Dolphin-Hem Shorts Set – $8.97
I’m in love with the yellow and pink sets! Maybe I do need to place another Old Navy order, for our future daughter… hmm…

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Fruit-Print Sleep Set – $15
As soon as I saw this set I knew I HAD to get it! I’m not sure if I’ll put Abel in this or save it for when we have a girl. There are a few other sets that are just as cute and they’re only $8 right now: Solar System, Fruit and Veggies, and Dino-Print.

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Accessories

Faux-Leather Double-Buckle Sandals – $7.97
Birkenstock-style sandals for your babe? Yes please!

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Chambray Baseball Cap – $4.97
Simple but classic, I think this is adorable!

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I’m really looking forward to putting Abel in the clothes that I ordered for him! I also got matching Independence Day shirts for Jared, Abel, and I. I remember wearing these Old Navy shirts when I was younger, so I just had to get them for us!

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If you’re in New Zealand and now you’re sad that you’re missing out on Old Navy, check out this post on some of my other favorite places to get baby clothes!

Abel: Five Weeks

Jared and I are so thankful for the past five weeks with our son! It is so fun to see him learning and growing every day. He loves to look around and just take in his surroundings, with a serious look on his face. He’s started cracking some smiles too, and occasionally as I put him to sleep he’ll laugh as he drifts off.

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Because Abel was born by c-section and the first week of recovery was especially rough, Jared has been doing basically everything around the house so I can take it easy. It’s been five weeks now so I’m starting to do more, but he’s still bearing most of the housework on top of going to work every day. I’m so thankful for him!

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Abel’s outgrown newborn diapers and most of his newborn clothes, and is now in 0-3 month clothing. He’s over 11 pounds now!

In the past few days he’s also started making more sounds besides just crying or fussing. It’s so fun to hear his sweet little coos!

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He absolutely loves having a bath before bed every night! He just relaxes in the warm water and is so cozy and ready to sleep afterwards.

Abel is pretty good about taking naps, so I normally have a bit of time to myself while he sleeps, and the other day I found my old laptop and started it up. It’s almost seven years old, so I didn’t expect it to work very well. It’s in great condition though, and it’s so nice to be able to work on the computer without having to go to the other room where we keep our desktop computer. I’ve been working on some things for the blog, so don’t go anywhere! Thanks for sticking around while I’ve been a little MIA after Abel’s birth.

Abel at 2 weeks and 4 weeks. It’s crazy how much babies can change when they’re so little! Especially the first week or two, I felt like Abel looked different every day.

Abel: Four Weeks

Today Abel is four weeks old! At times it seems like four days, other times it feels like four months. He’s such a sweet little guy and we are enjoying him so much!

We’re learning the art of functioning on little sleep and using sheer willpower to stay awake rocking him back to sleep at 4am. This past week he has started smiling, and he smiles and laughs as he falls asleep! He’s also treated us to several explosive nappies, and wet through his clothes several times as well. He enjoys sleeping through church and takes about three hours to rock to sleep at night (okay it’s like one hour, but it feels like ages).

We’re starting to get into a routine and the first few weeks of constantly nursing have passed, so I’m hoping to get back to blogging soon! In the meantime, I’m posting regularly on Instagram, so if you want to see more photos of Abel, follow me there! My username is tillyvirtue.

Introducing…

Abel Brian Cutforth 💙 Our sweet little boy was born on Tuesday, weighing 8lb 15oz. His birth turned out very different than I’d hoped but we’re both healthy and happy! I’ll share more of his birth story later but for now just look at how adorable and chubby he is. He’s such a happy baby and is already nursing like a champ!

Maternity Photos

Since my mom is here and she’s an amazing photographer, she took some maternity photos for me last week. I’m so in love with them!

Of course we had to take a photo with the Alpha ute (Alpha Construction is Jared’s family’s business; he works for them, and I did too until a few weeks ago when I finished up since Kiwi is due soon).