Thursday, January 30, 2014

Going Out for Dinner with the Kids

And yes folks, that is what we did tonight.

The players: Four adults. Three children: 3 years, 14 months and 6 weeks.

The location: Morgan's on the Danforth.

The scenario: Buttered noodles = greasy fingers = greasy everything. And crying. Lots of crying.

All this at a pretty classy joint where you might want to get a relaxing drink after work. Not a Chuck E. Cheese, where in hindsight, is where we should have gone.

Thank you so much to the staff who maintained their sense of humour and didn't kick us out. We love your food and will be back soon!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - The Year of the Horse

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cow's Milk? No Thanks!

M doesn't like cow's milk. In fact, she really doesn't like any liquid other than a) that which comes from the boob and b) water.
Sidebar: She doesn't like whipped cream either... what kind of kid is this?
Well, the fact of the matter is that I have been stressing about this. I hear of so may kids who loooove milk, can't get enough of it, etc., etc. I know she is getting breast milk, but what about when we are ready to wean? She doesn't get milk all day, either, because I am at work.
I mentioned my fears to a friend, and like a true buddy, she came through with an amazing article which I will share with you:
What's the Deal with Cow's Milk at 12 mos, Anyway?
It put my mind to rest, and if you are stressing about this too, please give it a read.

And just so you know, yes, I realize it is before 6am. And yes, I have been up since 4. And no, this is not by choice. And to my poor exhausted body: I am sorry.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Baby Asleep on the Living Room Floor

The other day, I witnessed a miracle.

I had always read about certain kids, described as great sleepers, who would just fall asleep while they played.

I had always thought to myself - those parents are liars! No kid would do that. Certainly not mine.

Well folks, she did do that.

And I have photographic proof.

(no applause necessary)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sears Portrait Studio

I took little M to the Sears Portrait Studio this weekend. I had bought a groupon - $35 for six sheets of prints, with a choice of 6 poses, plus 50% off anything else I wanted to order. I thought it was a pretty good deal, so off we went. Little monkey had a pretty good time, but the photographer was really in her face, and so for the first half of the session M was unsure. Her expressions were cute, but not the big smiles we are accustomed to.
I think the photographer might have taken one shot where you could see her teeth, but that was it. Oh well, she took 68 photos, which is pretty good, and 3 different backgrounds. Last time we went we only got the white background, but had 3 clothing changes. This time we didn't change clothes, but that was OK with me.
The one beef I had was that the photographer seemed to be in a huge rush. Now, I could totally understand if there were people waiting on us, but the place was deserted. Absolutely empty. Except for us. So what was the deal?
I ended up purchasing a framed photo of M's face close up, it was just so blasted cute and we don't have any framed photos of her at all in the house (bad parents? or just lazy?). It will come in 4 weeks, and hopefully, I won't regret getting it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nipple Saver 2000

Who's that? It's Momtrepreneur of the Year!!!

Still nursing a toddler with a full set of teeth?

Breastfeeding a baby who likes to nibble?

Say goodbye to those pesky, painful bites, those bloody teeth marks, and say "Hello!" to unscarred nipples!

Introducing my fabulous new invention: the (as yet, unpatented) Nipple Saver 2000.  Baby can eat (er, drink), and you can relax and never scream "Ouch!" when he/she clamps down again.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday! (Winter Coat)

I just love when the dog gets so shaggy you can't see her eyes. And it is way too cold to get her hair cut. Smooch!

That Suburban Momma

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Poor, Sick, Feverish Baby

It is so heartbreaking when your baby is sick. Little M has a chesty cough, a runny nose, and is spiking a fever. She usually gets pretty high fevers when she gets sick - 102 or 103 degrees, but she is also pretty resilient. She plays right through them. It's me who gets so freaked out and stressed. She just looks at me, then brings me another book to read her.

We took her to daycare yesterday because in the morning her fever had broken and her temperature was normal. Am I the worst mother ever for taking a sick baby to daycare? Well, her friend little P was also already there, and he was sick too. He wasn't playing through it, he was listless and laying on a pillow, poor little guy.

After her nap her temperature shot up. I have an amazing daycare that will administer Tylenol, so they gave her a dose and gave me a call. I went in and got her. She seemed fine for the rest of the evening but pretty restless all night. I ended up nursing her a few times at night, which calmed her right down, and we slept in until 8 (please note: this has NEVER EVER happened before. I know she is sick, but I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth).

This morning she woke with a fever, so my husband and I stayed home with her for a few hours. Once again, the fever broke and we made the decision to take her to daycare. Are we the worst parents ever? Have you taken your sick child to daycare? I know it is a tough decision, but she was happy and playing like her usual self. So we decided to take her, and I will go get her if she gets another fever. Fingers crossed she stays cool!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Gabriel Method

I don't know about you, but after having a baby I am a lot bigger than I was. I can't seem to shake the last 20 pounds that I gained during pregnancy. Now, while I was pregnant I gained about 50 pounds. It is not something I would advise. I think next time around I am going to be a lot more careful.

However, what is done is done and now I am stuck with this paunch and would really, really like to fit into my old pants. Right now I have two pairs of jeans that I wear, and a pair of maternity pants. Which, to my credit, are definitely too big.

From the library, I checked out this book called "The Gabriel Method". It is not a diet. It is more of a nutrition modification plan (diet??) where you can eat whatever you want but you need to do quite a bit of visualization. For example, it wants you to keep a picture of someone (or your old, svelte self) beside your bed so you can visualize yourself looking like that before you go to sleep and right when you wake up. There is also a 24 minute track that you are supposed to listen to before you go to sleep.

I tried to listen to it last night, but fell asleep almost instantly and didn't hear too much. Hopefully better luck tonight.

As for the nutrition modification, it asks you to eat more Omega 3, take probiotics, and eat more "live" foods, which I take to mean as raw. Other than that, you can eat anything you like, and it claims that in time you won't want things like pizza, honey balls, or carrot cake (fat chance, but I'll give it a go). So, as today is only day 2 in my journey, I'll keep you posted on how its going.

One more thing - the method tells you not to weigh yourself for the first 6 months, so no embarrassing weigh in updates!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Stinking Diaper Covers

I'm having a cloth diaper problem.

Stinking covers.

They smell so bad it makes me cringe. It smells worse than urine, more uriney poopy awfulness. And the worst part is that they stink coming out of the dryer. So after all the rinse, wash rinse cycles, they still smell terrible.

The actual cloth part of the diapers smell fine.

So this morning, we sent M to daycare with disposables. And I set about researching what to do about stinky diaper covers.

I didn't find too much… either I was using too much soap or too little soap. So I washed them once without soap. And they still stank. So I washed them again with more soap, and that seemed to work. Except for one cover and one cloth diaper. They must have been the culprit! The bad apples, so to speak, making all of the other diapers reek.

I made the executive decision to keep washing that particular cover and diaper, for at least a few more cycles.

If the smell doesn't leave… I'm going to stick them in the backyard. They should keep the raccoons away.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Up Series

I am obsessed with this documentary!

If you have never heard of it, it involves 14 people in the UK, followed throughout their lives from 7, and then every 7 years thereafter.

I am on 28 Up right now, and it is fascinating to see how people's lives have changed from their ambitions and attitudes at 7, then their awkward teenage phase at 14. The 21 year olds were adorable and still so innocent. It really makes one think about their life, and how much things can change in only 7 years.

My issue is time. It is so hard to steal away for a few minutes to watch a show. I end up watching at night when I should be cleaning or cooking or reading. And I get so obsessed that I watch in bed with headphones until the wee hours of the night, then wake exhausted.

Looking forward to next week - not working! 5 days off! (And don't worry, I'll be taking M to daycare so I'll have plenty of time to myself.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014 Randomness Reveal

Sometimes I can't help myself, and I go ahead and order the randomness box. So far, I think I have ordered 4, and it is the latest one that I am about to reveal! I ordered it just before Christmas and received it a few days ago. I ordered the girl randomness, which I always have. I have been too afraid to order the mama randomness in case there were things that wouldn't fit me, or I wouldn't like, etc. Most of the stuff I see for mamas on the site are not really my thing, anyways.

In the past, I have liked my randomness box. One time I got a Nutcase helmet! It is too big for little M, but she will grow into it, and it was super nice.

This time, well… Let's break it down.

1 Set of Gimme Clips. They are blue flowers, and are cute. On the Gimme Clips website, they retail for $3.99, while usually sells them for $1.

1 pair of Jeffries tights. These are pale pink footless tights. By some miracle, they are the perfect size for M right now. She will wear these. The price on the tights is $8.00. I have never noticed how much sells them for. I have received Jeffries tights in 2 other randomness boxes, but they have always been much too big, so they are in storage until M grows into them.

1 pair of Jeffries socks (not pictured). These are white with dots, size 6-11. Way too big for M, but very cute and will be worn one day. There is no price tag, so we will assume they are about $8.00 as well.

1 "Grow your own Wildflower" bag. It reads "Merry Christmas Grandma" on it. It looks like a cute gift for grandma, but not so much for a small child. I went to, and these bags are 4 for $19.80, so $4.95 each.

1 reusable snack bag. It is a nice pattern, but only has a small velcro closure at the top. The closure does not go all the way across, so you couldn't put anything in here that is smaller than the openings on either side of the velcro, which are quite large. Even if you put a sandwich in the bag, crumbs and other bits would easily come out. I'm not sure what I could use this for… maybe as a bag for diaper cream? I am not sure how much this would retail for, but it couldn't be more than $5.00.

1 pair of Rugged Bear shoes, size 3 (6-9 months). These are a cute pair of shoes, but unfortunately too small for M. The price tag reads $16.00, but I am sure you can get them on sale for less. I have seen this brand at Winners as well.

1 Mon Petit Mardi pocket diaper. This is the first pocket diaper I have ever used. It is hot pink and came with 2 inserts. I'm more of an unbleached cotton kind of girl, and these are ultrawhite microfiber, but they seem to work just fine. Their website sells them for $31.99, but I have seen threads claiming they are just super marked up Alva diapers, which can normally be bought for $6.99. Mamabargains sells these for around $10, I believe. There is no way I would pay $31.99 for this diaper. If I was to spend that kind of money, I could get a much nicer, organic, ecofriendly one made locally, not a cheapie one mass produced in China.

Summary:     Clips…………$3.99
                     Flower Bag….$4.95
                     Snack bag……$5.00
Adding up to a grand total of $77.93.
While I realize that I estimated the cost of the snack bag, it may very well sell for about $8, so the value of the bag could have been $80. Mamabargains says that the retail value of the bags should be $80. This one was, but it doesn't stop me from being a little disappointed. I paid $23 for the bag, plus $10 shipping, and this stuff seems like it was at least worth $33, though I won't use the shoes and am indifferent to the snack bag and the flower thing. Will that stop me from buying another? Maybe, maybe not. I can't seem to resist these mystery bags… I'm a sucker for a surprise.
Now, to make this long post even longer, I have decided to giveaway the Rugged Bear shoes to one lucky reader. My readership is not so great right now, so if nobody wants them, I will donate them to charity. In order to win, you must comment on this post. Have you ever ordered a mystery box? Did it live up to your expectations? What site did you order it from?

Please note, I will only ship to Canada or the US.

Also note: I was not given anything for this review, all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cloth Diapering

I have been cloth diapering M since she was about 2 months old. I like it, I really do. We started off with a diaper service, which meant no washing. For me, that was really important, and looking back, I wouldn't have done anything different. I really did not want to deal with all of that runny newborn poop!
We are not militant cloth diaperers, however, and have tried huggies, pampers, and we now use NATY diapers at night and when we are on the go, and don't feel like dealing with the cloth. Also at daycare, M sometimes gets a bit of a rash (they may leave them on a titch too long), so we provide them with a few disposables just in case.
After deciding that M would be cloth diapered at daycare, we scratched the service and bought ourselves some organic unbleached pre-folds and a few fitteds from We already had so many covers that we had purchased to use with the service diapers, I just couldn't see buying a whole bunch of AIOs and tossing out my covers. Plus, pre-folds are pretty economical.
Now here's the thing (future post spoiler alert!). I got a pocket diaper in my mama bargains mystery bag the other day, and I kind of like it. So I'm maybe thinking about trying some AIOs or pocket diapers to complement my stash of pre-folds. What do you think? Any suggestions about which to try?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Peanut Butter for the Baby

Peanut butter has become somewhat of a curse word among daycares and schoolchildren. People are terrified of the innocent protein. That's why it took us so long to introduce it to little Mun Mun. Nobody in either of our families is allergic, so we were relatively certain that she would be ok. I toyed with the idea of going and sitting in the ER waiting room and feeding it to her there.

But that might have been taking it a bit too far.

So the other morning, I took a big hunk of (all natural) peanut butter on my finger and fed it to my darling.

She smacked her lips.

She was fine.

I wiped my brow. Phew! We don't have to deal with a peanut allergy. Hurrah!

She had some again tonight with dinner. She ate her toast soldier up like a champion. A shame I'll never be able to pack her peanut butter sandwiches for school. It will be our treat at home, I guess. PB and J only if she cleans her room. I like the sound of that. Do you think she'll clean my room too?

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Cost of Daycare in Toronto

I guess it's time to rant.

I mean, the amount of money that you should pay someone to take care of your child should be in the millions of dollars. That's how precious my little baby is to me. However…

We are not all born fiscally able to take care of our kids at home forever (as nice as that might be… or not, depending on what kind of person you are), so then we must turn to others to look after our kids while we work. Some of us are lucky enough to have relatives who are willing, able and responsible enough to look after their kin. Some of us (like me) don't have anyone like that living close by.

Options, options, options. In Toronto, there are many. There is the Nanny - live in or live out, depending, and also the possibility of a Nanny share with others in a similar situation. Pros - the child stays in their own, familiar surroundings and is always looked after by the same person. Cons - pricey, difficult to find someone you can trust, and you have to rely on the Nanny to socialize your darling.

The licensed City of Toronto daycare. That's the option we chose. The workers are paid well, have good benefits and are happy, the ratio of caregivers to kids (in the infant room) is 3 to 1, and they don't really say no to anything. Cloth diapers? Sure! Naps whenever the child needs them? Sure! Dietary restrictions? No problem! The cons- $100 per day. Yes, that's right. One hundred dollars per day. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. More than my mortgage, car payment and property tax bill combined. More than most people I know can afford. But we are gritting our teeth and doing it. If only for the first six months, after which is goes down to $86.

The third option is a licensed for profit daycare, which are also fine, but many don't accept kids until they are 18 months, and there were none in our area that we could get into.

Last, and most affordable (besides the free grandparents) is the home daycare. Licensed or not, they seem to be everywhere in my neighbourhood. Our problem with a home daycare was twofold. First, we didn't know anyone who had their kid in a good one. Second, we didn't want to abruptly have to transition M to one nap a day, and most home daycares have the kids on a pretty tight schedule.

That is why we are bankrupting ourselves via childcare.

What it has taught us is this:
When we finally stop paying for daycare, we will surely be able to afford that dream kitchen.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Walter S. Stewart Library

It was a cold day with freezing rain threatening. We were going to stay home, but sometimes it is nice not to be cooped up, so we decided to head over to our local library. We needed to return some books, pick up some holds and they have a fabulous kid's room so little M could run crawl around somewhere different than our living room.

Surprisingly, the children's area was practically empty. I thought there would be a lot of people there who were also escaping the bad weather, but I guess they decided not to brave the elements.

M was interested in everything but the books. She looked at herself in the mirror, crawled as fast as she could out of the baby room and went up to the computer. She wanted to bang on the keyboard (like she does at home). I tried to put her in the rocket ship and she sat in there for, oh, 2 seconds before crawling out to the big blocks where she could put stuff in her mouth.

I got a few books, my husband got a few CDs.

This was kind of a boring blog post perfectly summarizing kind of a boring outing.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pushing 40 is exercise enough...

Happy Birthday to me!

I think I've finally reached that point where I'm in denial about getting older. I'm happy to stay at the age I am (34 if anyone is asking). So from here on in, I'm not going to need a birthday. I'm giving up the presents and the cake, and all I want in return is to stop aging. Seems fair, right?

Though I'm not quite sure I can give up the cake. This year's was a marzipan covered vanilla layer cake with vanilla cream. It was amazing. I found it at Pusateri's after my massage yesterday, and decided that sometimes a girl has to buy her own birthday cake. I'm glad I did, though my thighs may not. But eating sensibly is not something one does on one's birthday. Pretty glad I'm not going to have any more.


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Friday, January 3, 2014

How to get your baby to sleep through the night in 409 days

Thats right. Monkey did it. Here's how:

1. Every time your baby cries at night, go get her and feed her. Doesn't matter how often.
2. Don't give your baby a pacifier or other toy with which to sooth themselves (or even if you do, don't worry, your baby won't take to it).
3. Try to night wean, several times. Again, don't worry, the baby won't like it and will still wake up anyways. So really, you shouldn't have bothered.
4. Go back to work and continue to wake up multiple times per night. Become a cranky zombie featuring low productivity and a squidgy midsection.
5. Finally decide to night wean. Baby may cry for half an hour or so, but they are big enough so that you know they aren't hungry, and when you go in and tell them its "night night, sleepy time" they understand what you are saying.
6.Get the first good night of sleep that you have had in 408 days. Be prepared not to get another for a while, because there is no reason that this good luck will last. But cross your fingers anyways.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

13 Month Growth Spurt?

Little monkey is the hungriest I have ever seen her! She is eating. And eating. And eating! This morning she had 1 egg and 3 helpings of oatmeal. Two bowls of spaghetti for lunch. A pile of rice, carrots, corn and a touch of ham for dinner. It must be a growth spurt, though I'm not sure there is such a thing as the "thirteen month spurt". We'll say that there is. And she's going through it. And none of her clothes will fit tomorrow.

Sigh. Goodbye adorable outfits.

Yay! Hello new adorable outfits. Who wants to go shopping?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a new year equals new vacations!!

It's that time again, time to start thinking about where to go on vacation. We are pretty limited this year, what with paying $100 per day for daycare (I know, it is INSANE… hopefully we will get our subsidy this week, bringing it down to a scant $86 per day… but I'll leave that rant for another post). So, in the name of frugality we will be heading down to Texas to visit my parent's place in Stephenville. We've opted to fly out of Buffalo, and our flight heading down stops in Cleveland, and coming back through Washington. Two more delicious airports for me to sample! Travelling with a baby wasn't all that bad, but travelling with a mobile toddler might be a whole new kettle of fish. I refuse to do it alone. So thankfully my husband has enough vacation time to come with me for the entire time, and by default will share parenting duties on the plane. Any tips for travelling with a toddler?