Friday, February 28, 2014

Driving, driving, flying (finally) with baby!

We made it to Texas! Yes, its that time of year again, time to visit the family down in Stephenville (ok more like Morgan Mill) (that's middle of nowhere for you geography aficionados). Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the drive from the airport. But I am getting ahead of myself.

We booked the flight to leave out of Buffalo at 9:30am, connect in Cleveland, then arrive in Dallas at 2:30pm. Brilliant. Left the house at 5am for the 2 hour drive to the airport, M conveniently woke us up at 2:30am, after which neither of us slept. I'm talking about me and my husband. M fell back asleep at 3:30.

We made it to the airport in plenty of time… only to find that our flight was 25 minutes delayed. Not an issue. Played in kid's play place, M loved the people mover and Dad had to ride back and forth over and over again with her.

Flight delayed by 2 hours. We would miss our connection in Cleveland, and would have to wait until 6pm to take a flight to Houston, then arrive in Dallas at 10:30pm.

No thanks.

How about leaving at 6:15 the next morning?

No thanks.

Ok, fine, how does a direct flight out of Toronto sound? Tonight at 7pm? Arrive at 9:30?

Yes please!

So back in the car, deciding to drive to Grandmas to play for a bit before going to the airport. A great idea! Grandma took care of the baby and even gave us money to go to a fancy restaurant for lunch. If you are ever in the Morriston, ON area, check out Envers, the food is absolutely amazing.

Then back to Toronto for our flight. A few gripes about the Air Canada US departures section: 1) No children's play place - really? Thanks for depriving your smallest customers, Air Canada and 2) There is nowhere to sit and wait at certain gates. It was taken over by a weird restaurant that features iPads at every seat. And white leather furniture. Not cool, airport, not cool.

And still this saga continues. Our flight? You guessed it, delayed. Argggg. But at least M slept the entire time.

M is sleeping on my lap
Deeply, soundly.
A little angel at rest. 
But then we made it! To Texas! And a 2 hour drive to Stephenville.

We made it by midnight, and crashed into blissful sleep.



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Baby 'Round the House

Baby in the Fridge!

M is hungry in an American Apparel onesie and a Petit Bateau Shirt-Dress

Baby in the Tub!


M is looking to get her Obaibi sweater, Baby Gap pants and Clarks shoes wet.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Washing and Washing: Cloth Diapers

A while ago I posted about the stink in my cloth diapers. Well, ladies, the stink is not a-lingering! It has been completely eradicated. The entire house is thankful. Even the neighbours are thankful. As well as the bus driver. The world really is full of thankful people. I digress.

I can't really blame anything but the change I made in regards to my laundry soap.

I recently switched from Nellie's (which admittedly, I really really liked), to the Laundry Tarts unscented powder. Though it claims to be unscented, there is a modicum of smell to it, and the ingredients actually say something to that effect (I would quote the package, but I have thrown it away as I poured the soap into a metal container I keep for that purpose).

Now, my cloth diapers are fresh smelling, soft and absorbent.

M's bottom is rash free and pinch-worthy.

And I still have to wash the diapers every other day... maybe every third day if I'm feeling particularly lazy.

To be honest, when am I not feeling lazy? Oh yeah, when I actually get to sleep. Thank you new teeth (bringing M's official tooth count up to 8). I am thankful for teeth, I am. They help us eat.

Good night.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ill Prepared Mommy Tip #1

And now for a new segment I'd like to call Ill Prepared Mommy Tips.

For this inaugural post, I will start with a little something that happened today: bright sunintheeyes. What? No baby shades? Only a brimless hat? Never fear, flexible mamas, just grab the sunglasses of the nearest Dad/Uncle/Grandpa who happens to be with you, then plop them on your child's face. In 1 second flat your little angel will stop their wailing mid-scream, look befuddled, then turn on the charm for a red-carpet worthy photo- op!

M is being sunned in a Cosatto stroller and is sporting an Osh  Kosh hat, Patagonia jacket and  Oakley shades. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Having Kids, Working Shifts

I'm not talking about taking turns - Dad takes the morning, Mom takes the afternoon, I'm talking about my job. It entails shift work. My husband, on the other hand, is a 9-5er.

I've now been back at work for 3 months. And it is time for me to start taking shifts. This weekend was my first. It is a good thing, because it means I get this Thursday and Friday off, which I need because we are going to Texas, Texas!

However, working for 10 days in a row is hard. It means not spending my usual full weekend day with my little princess. It means checking my email A LOT, hoping that there is a picture of her in my inbox. Like this one:

I miss you so much Mom! Um, more puffs?
It also means that life is returning back to normal. I can no longer blame my lack of knowledge on Maternity leave. It almost feels now like I never left. 

So why do I feel like a completely different person?

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Daycare Virus

This nasty thing is destroying my intestinal tract!!
I am so sick of being sick!!

I thought that kids were supposed to be the ones who got sick at daycare. Instead, it's the parents in this household that are suffering.

My poor husband, I would have held his hair while he vomited into the toilet if it was long enough to hold.

Neither of us had any energy yesterday. We fell asleep at 7pm. Right after we put M to sleep. 7 pm! And we slept until morning. 

I don't think I've had this many fevers since I was 1 year old.

It sucks. Please tell me it will end. Please tell me that I will defeat the evil virus.

Anybody?

Image courtesy of sscreations / Freedigitalphotos.net

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Wool Diaper Cover

Look at my belly, belly, belly button! (M in a Disana wool diaper cover) (what you can't see is that she pooped just minutes after changing from a pocket to this diaper) (though maybe that's why she's shouting to me)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Get your Toddler to Eat: Part 2

M wouldn't eat tonight. Apparently she wouldn't eat today at daycare either.

Nobody knows why. She seemed happy and full of energy and not in any visible discomfort.

We offered her crackers: no.

We offered her puffs: no.

We offered her cheese: no.

We offered her bananas: no.

We made her favourite dish, vegetable risotto: no.

We gave up feeding her and gave her a bath. After the bath, she ran around upstairs naked as a jaybird. She climbed up onto the rocking chair and laughed with glee.

We offered her risotto one last time: success! About 10 bites went into her before the final preparations for sleep began.

Now we know what to do when she won't eat - strip her down!! (Maybe she didn't want to get her outfit dirty... can you blame her?)

M is wearing a Lucky Brand poncho and leggings, and is reading Snug by Carol Thompson

Monday, February 17, 2014

Family Day, Baby Style

This week for their ketchup with us blog hop, the ladies have asked (I mean suggested) to set a timer for 10 minutes, and then write about whatever. This is it, my blank canvas awaits. And it seems like my brain has followed suit by emptying itself of all creative ideas.

As an additional challenge, I've decided to do this multitasking style, by watching Masterchef at the same time as I type. Sorry, Masterchef Canada. It seems pretty exciting, way more exciting than this empty white page...

Today for Family Day, I decided to take the day off. We actually don't get the day off, so I had to use a vacation day but I have so many that I didn't mind in the slightest. Plus I'm working this upcoming weekend so it will make my 10 day in a row stretch one day shorter.

Today on my list of things to do was: make bread, make a crock pot dinner, and clean the car. It all happened! Woo hoo! This is mainly due to the fact that the in-laws came over to spend time with little M. It was great. They got to be the ones to read the same books over, and over, and over (and over!) again to her. They made the mistake of bringing down "Brown bear, brown bear what do you see?" and then little M says, while signing, "More, More!" and then you have to read it all again.

While they did that, I crossed items off my list and also folded M's laundry. I think I have to make a confession: I am a baby clothes addict. M has more shirts than she can wear in a month. And they are all super adorable.
M rocking Dior
She actually has a Dior onesie! (Okok, I'm not that insane, it was a gift!). Some of my favourite kids's clothing brands include Zutano, Tea Collection, American Apparel and I absolutely adore Hatley pyjamas. If she wasn't sleeping right now, I'd be photographing a fashion show for you. But alas, that will be left to another post.

Yessss. 10 minutes are up. That was only slightly painful!

What are your favourite kid's clothing brands?



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ayurvedic Rituals Spa Review (Toronto)

Valentines weekend couldn't be better! Last night I was showered with gifts - thai takeout, Godiva chocolates and blood orange mimosas. I wasn't too keen on the mimosas, but when made with freshly squeezed blood orange juice - delicious! Plus, the color makes for an excellent Valentine's day drink.

Then yesterday, as a Christmas gift to myself and a friend, a facial and massage was the plan. We had a groupon from Ayurvedic Rituals spa on Bathurst and Dupont. And as you may recall from previous posts, I love using groupons! It was the best reviewed spa that I could find that had a groupon for sale around Christmas, and though I've never had any Ayurvedic treatments, I was confident that it would be amazing.

And it was. Absolutely and sinfully the most incredible pampering experience of my life.

It started with a sensory exploration - we had to choose the scent that spoke most to us. The therapist told us that we would know which was right for us for that day. And I did. The other scents smelled OK, but the Shiva scent smelled so perfect that I knew it was right for me. Ayurveda is all about  aromatherapy and whichever scent you choose sort of describes what you need to work on that day.

The facial included a scalp massage, as well as an upper back and neck massage. The therapist used warm olive oil generously to massage my body and it felt like heaven. It felt like a warm bath of oil and I felt cocooned and safe and completely, utterly relaxed. The facial itself was remarkable - they make their own cleanser, exfoliating powder and moisturizer so you know they are fresh and natural. Based on my skin type, they also applied fresh natural plain yogurt to my face to help with the redness and breakouts.

Afterwards, they provide a consultation which tells you what to eat for your body type, as well as a skin care routine that would be best for you. She doesn't hard sell her products, and for me recommended only the cleanser and moisturizer as well as the occasional application of yogurt.

Would I go back? In a heartbeat! And so would my friend. In fact, we are planning to go back before the end of March. I am already counting down the days. If you need a spa to go to in Toronto... this is the one, I'm telling you.

**Full disclosure: I was not paid anything to write this review. All opinions are my own. This post does contain a groupon affiliate link**

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Toddler Behaviour: Naughty is Normal

Little M has recently learned the word "No". Not only does she wag her finger at you if you say it to her, she will also respond to questions with it, for example, "Do you want a banana?" "No. Nana." Then she may or may not eat the whole thing. She will also say it when you ask her if you can have something, another example, a mum-mum wrapper. She will say no, then cling to it like its her life raft and she's in the middle of Lake Ontario.

If you manage to pry it out of her clutching fingers, she will moan and (fake) cry and throw herself on the ground. She may kick and writhe and pound her little fists on the floor. It is so cute and so annoying at the same time. Mostly annoying if she's doing it in the middle of the supermarket. That floor is so dirty!


Is it love? Or CPR?
At least the tantrums are short lived. 

One good thing is that she has also increased her capacity for affection. She loves giving hugs and kisses to everything and anything. See above (and ignore the Christmas Sheets... it hasn't yet been 2 months yet and I really love them). 

So for every bad there's a good.  And for every crappy day, there has got to be an amazing weekend around the corner. (Or I'm doomed). 



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shine Baby Diapers - Review and Giveaway

By now you may or may not know that I cloth diaper. I like cloth diapering, though I'm not a fanatic about it. Disposables have their time and place. Like today, for example, when I had to run out the door to make a last minute doctor's appointment for little M who sadly has contracted pink eye. My husband and I are so psychosomatic that we have both been experiencing madly itchy eyes all night, with not a hint of redness to be seen. I still might rub some antibiotic goo in mine before I go to sleep. But I digress.

This post is about cloth diapers, not goo oozing from eyes or ointment tube.

These Prints are adorable, am I right??


I wanted to increase my cloth diaper stash so I ordered some *gasp* cheapies from China on ebay. I realize that they may not have been ethically produced, and the cloth may have been whitened using chemicals but I still figure that it is better to use them than disposables most of the time. You may recall from an earlier post that I received a Mon Petit Mardi cloth diaper in a mystery box, and that it also seemed like a cheapie cloth diaper from China.

Shine baby diapers are not quite as good quality as the Mon Petit Mardi diaper, especially the insert, which seem to have been sewn in a hurry. However, the pocket diapers themselves are quite well made with super adorable prints. The white plastic snaps on them also seem a bit cheap, so we will see how they wear over time.

The fit is the same as the other diapers I own, and is quite adjustable for your baby. From the Shine Baby information page on ebay (I had to fix the spelling!!):

Outer Layer:   The Outer/Cover Layer is made from New lmproved Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Laminated Fabric, which is highly water-resistant, breathable and very durable. it can be washed without any deformation and gives an ideal protection for your baby, the bed and linens from leakage.

Inner Layer:   The soft polyester fleece inner layer gently touches our baby's skin. This layer can wick moisture away from babies skin and keep bottom dry. There is a pocket opening located in the inner layer to accommodate the microfiber inserts/liners, you can stuff the insert inside the pocket for maximum absorbency. All of these advanced designs are to make your baby feel easy and comfortable.

Features:
Size:
Babies weighing 3-13kg (6.5-28 pounds)
Dimensions of insert:
35cm in length (13.77")X13.5cm in width (5.31")
Wash temperature:
under 30.(Less than 86°F)
One size design:
S.M.L all in one size. (Please adjust the button according to the body size of baby)


How to wash the diapers :
Please use water under 30℃.(Less than 86°F) , Do not boil them for disinfection . Use Baby cleaning agents. Do not use Fabric Softener. Dry naturally, do not iron. If you have DIAPER SPRAYER, it will be easier to clean this diaper.

I ordered 5 of these diapers, and have decided to pass one on to you, dear readers, in the form of a giveaway. The retail value of these diapers is only around $5-$6, however, it is always nice to get something free, and will give a chance for one lucky reader to try one of these diapers without a)paying for it and b)having to order more than one, in case it doesn't work for you. I have absolutely no affiliation with Shine Baby, other than being an ebay customer. Giveaway is for residents of Canada/US only. 
Shine Baby Diaper Giveaway - Adorable Grey Print Minky Pocket Diaper with one insert.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

Currently...

This is my first post in the Currently style, brought to you by A Mama Collective. I love the idea, as it makes me think about what is going on in my life. And hopefully it will help you get to know me a bit better. 

Thinking about:
I am thinking a lot about work these days. Too much, if you ask me. I was promoted a few months before my one year maternity leave, and now that I'm back I see just how much more work it is to be in this position. Considering I only make $2 per hour more than the other techs, it doesn't seem that worth it. I really need to stop thinking about work so much unless I'm at work.

Reading:
I just took two books out of the library by Alan Bradley. I actually saw an ad for these books on the subway and became intrigued.  He's a Canadian mystery writer, and in his series, the protagonist is an 11 year old girl. I am obsessed with this book. It is amazingly written, gripping enough to take me away from reality when I'm on the subway. Can't ask for much more than that! Read these books, I urge you.


M is obsessed with reading, just like Mommy was (before M came along...)

Listening to: 
Listening to a lot of Morrissey. What's not to love? He's been in my head for a while. 

Watching: 
I am in a long-term relationship with Project Runway, but it is not currently on. Instead, they are airing Under the Gunn, which is sort of along the same lines. Amazing! (Though not quite as good as PW) (Also, I love Mondo, whom they brought back as a mentor... thanks reality television!)

Thankful for:
Reality Television (see above). 
Also, terribly thankful for my amazing husband who takes care of me and our baby. In one million ways, from tidying the kitchen to keeping us fed. And letting me sleep in on Sunday!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Breastfeeding a Toddler

While I had every intention of breastfeeding M until she was 2, things are not going exactly as planned. I love breastfeeding. It didn't come easy, but once we were in a groove, I always enjoyed it. I never had sore nipples, and only had blocked ducts a few times, mainly from sleeping on my stomach, I think.

In my head, once she turned one, we would still have a loving feed in the morning, potentially one after daycare, then one more at night. Things would gradually wind down on their own and she would self wean without complaint.

Hah! How wrong I was. How wrong I always am! (Remember when I thought I would become an earth goddess while pregnant?).

M will still breastfeed in the morning, after daycare, and before bed... but also many, many times in between (except while I'm working. obviously). This morning after waking up (I was able to sleep in until 8!), as soon as she saw me she literally launched herself at my breasts. And for this entire weekend she has been sucking, and sucking, and sucking. I don't even think there is very much milk left in there!

Her new word for "I want" is "Meh-nah". So she comes at me all the time, signing like a crazed zombie for milk and whining "Meh-nah, meh-nah, meh-nah". My poor nipples are like hamburger meat. I feel like she is sucking out all my energy. For the first time ever, I'm wondering if it is time to wean. Sigh. Hopefully, like everything, this is just a phase, because I can't take it much longer.
What do you mean I can't stay here all night??

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Homemade Valentine's Day Cards

Valentine's Day Cards for the kids at Daycare
I decided to make Valentine's Day cards for the kids at M's daycare. (Did I go too far? These kids are anywhere from 7 to 18 months...). Possibly, I went overboard, but I guess I have become one of those moms. (It's ok. I am a slacker in most other ways. I just happen to like making cards).

Making them made me happy. Well, except for the gluing part. I have a bit of an aversion to too much gluing. I think we all do. 

I made them using items from Stampin' Up. My cousin-in-law (is that a real thing?) is a demonstrator and roped me in to card making last summer. From kijiji, I got the 2004 "Toucan of my Love" stamp set, and then used the colours and paper that I already had to make these cute little cards. 

Because M is too small to help make the cards, I held a marker in her hand so she could "write" her name on the back. Next year, or maybe even the year after, I feel like we could have a lot of fun making cards together. I think young kids love stamping... I can't wait!


Weekend Block Party Blog Linkup

Thursday, February 6, 2014

On Fitness

It's been a long time coming, and I have definitively decided that I want to reduce the pooch - the tummy pooch that resides over the top of my jeans. I'd like to shrink it down to at least half it's size. I feel like that is doable. I feel like if I get rid of it all together, I'd be missing a part of myself, right?

So aside from diet (yep, still doing the old visualizing with the Gabriel Method), I have also undertaken the Bikini Body Mommy challenge. It is a 90 day challenge, which I think started at the beginning of January, but I started two days ago.  The woman who does the program is pretty amazing - she just had her 4th child and wants to lose the baby weight, and is helping everyone else out by posting her workouts. She is very inspiring, and very real. She struggles at the end of the workout just like I do.

Even though I'm only on day 3.

And I can barely walk. My butt, thighs and stomach hurt something fierce. But at least it's targeting the right areas! That is undeniable! My butt, however, feels otherwise and is protesting in pain. But I will persevere!

Actually, I am putting off workout number 3 in favour of blogging.

Also, my husband is downstairs watching Suits, which is just icky. I hate that show, and don't want to work out anywhere near it. In fact, I made my husband turn it off yesterday and instead of watching TV, he had to cheer me on while I did squat jumps.

Speaking of squat jumps. My body actually told me this morning that it already feels bikini ready, so I really don't need to do anymore squat jumps.

Also, doing 20 is impossible. By the third set yesterday, I could only make it to 8 before collapsing on the mat, my legs a pile of jelly. One cannot jump on jelly.

Anyhow, I will keep you posted on my progress, though I categorically refuse to post any before/after pictures, especially not in a bikini... I'll leave that to your imagination!

Ketchup With Us

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Talking Dog

I had a very bad day. Baby sick. Husband sick. Had to leave work early. Baby wouldn't sleep. Etc., etc.

So I though I would post something amusing.

Because my baby can't talk... and neither can my dog... I'm pretty sure this is what little Lulu would say if she could!


video

I got this app for free today using my "app of the day app". It's called My Talking Pet. Free today, $0.99 otherwise. I wonder if it would work if I put a picture of the baby in there...


Glossy Blonde
Wot So Funee?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Force-Feeding your Child: What to do when your Toddler Refuses to Eat

The title of this post may lead one to believe that I have the answers.

Sadly, I don't.

The answer is definitely not force-feeding. I've tried to force feed my husband. It only makes him mad. Think about what response your toddler will have. My daughter spits out food before you can even get it past her lips. It's one of those infuriatingly adorable things she does.

Tonight she would have absolutelynothing to do with dinner. We offered stew, bread, crackers, a banana, cereal, water, forks, spoons both metal and plastic. What she did with said offerings? She threw them on the floor and said "oh-oh". She looked around for the dogs and offered them some of her bounty. She whined and whined. So we asked her if it was bedtime. In response, she made her way to the stairs and crawled up as fast as she could.

We bathed the little monkey, then we decided to offer her food one last time before we put her to bed.

And she ate.

Three servings of oatmeal.

Then refused the banana.

Then, after a good tooth brushing, fell instantly asleep.

Parents everywhere, fear not. Your child will eat at some point. I just cannot tell you when.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Sunday

It's Superbowl Sunday, and while I thought it was surely the Green Bay Packers vs. the Raiders (I was sadly mistaken), I did manage to concoct some delicious, high calorie snacks for the event.

Mind you, I'm not actually going to watch it. Instead, I'll be roaming through the interweb whilst munching on my...

Pretzels and Beer Cheese

Hello! Amazing! 

I made the pretzel dough in my bread maker a) because I can't be bothered to knead and b) because my bread maker makes crappy bread, but excellent dough.

I made the beer cheese by mixing beer and cheese! And garlic powder, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Do this over a double boiler, and melt the cheese before adding the other stuff. I used a mixture of cheddar, oka and cream cheese.

De-Lish.

Go football guys in tight pants! May the best team win!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Room Shoes!

Slippers and bath salts, bath salts and slippers. These are a few of my favourite things!

Room Shoes and Bath Salts. Direct from Japancakes. 
Luckily, I have an amazing friend in Japan who sent me these for my birthday. It was fortuitous, as I have been wearing my husband's slippers around the house (not to mention they are kind of gross and damp in the toe region), and I am also plumb out of bath salts (haha).

Now, the bath salts are definitely a Japanese import. I have been unable to find anything like them anywhere in Canada or the US. Japan is really the best place in the entire universe to buy bath salts. They are the bath salt capital of the universe. They are the top producing country in the galaxy. I kid you not. Need bath salts? Book yourself a long flight and prepare to be salted!

As for the room shoes.
They are from Uni Qlo. They actually have stores in the US, and you can get your very own pair of room shoes online! They cost $12.90, and you pay $7 shipping if you spend less than $75. The sad thing is, folks, they do not ship to Canada. Why does nobody ship to Canada? Why do we have to wait years and years and years for stores to come to us? It saddens me. (Rant over). If you by chance have friends in the states, I highly recommend you get some of these slippers. They rock.