Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

When you think of NYC and Halloween you think of kids trekking through apartment buildings collecting candy from their neighbours.

Not the case.

With Hannah dressed in her pumpkin t-shirt and orange socks we strolled through the UWS to see plenty of children popping into stores (from banks to depanneurs) in search of treats. And then we hit 69th street.

Two city avenues closed to traffic, haunted houses abound, this street is the definite life of the UWS party. Even though we're tourists, there was a real sense of neighbourhood and community. And some pretty funny costumes.

The most notable? A little girl dressed as a Fresh Direct delivery person, complete with a cart filled with boxes. Too cute!

Definitely a memorable way to spend Hannah's first Halloween.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big Apple City

We made it. 

A six hour voyage in the car with minimal crying and lots of playing.

One lunch stop at Friendly's. Multiple diaper changes. Two baby food meals on the go.

And Hannah is truly a super star. She impressed her grandparents with her A1 personality and constant dadada-ing along the way.

We checked in at Hotel Beacon to a great suite (aside from the smoke smell) and I managed to get Hannah into her pack and play easily. But I then proceeded to ruin a great day by going into our room to get a fork for dinner. 

And she woke up. And proceeded to cry for 2.5 hours. And then ended up in bed with me. And woke me up every few hours to nurse.

Oh well. Tired eyes this morning but we had a great day scouting out Loehmann's and Filene's Basement (no purchases though) and even caught a What Not to Wear candidate being filmed during her shopping spree. An afternoon with 5 cousins, finished off with a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery.

And after Hannah's bath, back into the pack and play she went. Not happy at first but I caved and stayed with her until she fell asleep (an hour ago). Hopefully it will last through the night.

Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow has in store!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Recap

I apologize for being MIA this week.

Unfortunately I can't really make excuses for my absence aside from sheer tiredness. It's my own fault for staying up late most nights, as a result of a new addiction with Mad Men.

So it was quite a week...

I am proud to say that bedtime now consists of approximately 1.5 minutes of crying. Yipee!!! In fact, tonight was a mere 30 seconds! I figure I can let the cat out of the bag now since we are off to NYC tomorrow and at this point I probably won't jinx myself since the pack and play will probably take care of that for us.

We also participated in a study at McGill's Polka Lab for speech. A bit nerve racking for me, hooked up to monitors, while I had to make up a creative story for Hannah about artichokes, pencil sharpeners and toothpaste, all without using their real names. In the end, she graduated with a junior scientist PhD and a fun red t-shirt.

And now our bags are packed and we're ready to hit the big apple. On the itinerary: lots of family time with cousins, visits with friends, a hunt for a long black bridesmaid dress (hopefully achieved at Loehmann's) and tons of walking in the (forecasted) 19 degree warm weather. Fingers crossed that our nights will be quiet (and full of sleep) so I will have time to post from there.

If not though, here are a few articles to keep you reading in the meantime:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Shoe In

Mark your calendars, ladies.

November 14th...its the big day.

Never thought you could afford a pair of Jimmy Choos? Well, thanks to their newest collaboration with H&M you can!

Shoes, purses, accessories and more!

We're guessing they'll go fast so get in line at one of the three Canadian locations featuring the line:
Ste Catherine/Peel - Montreal
Pacific Centre - Vancouver
Eaton Centre - Toronto

We're thinking a cat fight might be the order of the day, but if you get out on top you'll be riding high in a pair of new heels.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Beck your Pardon

Some of you already know...but I am a die-hard fan of my Beco Baby Carrier.

I wear it at least twice a day while walking Winston, giving me two hands to hold on to the leash. Well, this past weekend, one of the clips broke.

We're off to the Big Apple next week and I MUST have my Beco to navigate the stairs of subway stations. So I put in a call to Enfant & Compagnie where the carrier was purchased. Within 24 hours, the owner (who I have previously written about for Sweetmama) got me in touch with the sales rep after offering to lend me her very own carrier for my week in NYC.

I am now expecting a replacement clip in the mail prior to my departure.

Amazing customer service. On all levels. Which makes me love the brand even more than I already did!

Service like this is hard to come by so Beco most definitely deserves a pat on the back.

Deals that aren't steals

Welcome to a new website in the world of discount kids' stuff.

Totsy makes it's debut with some super colourful PJs from Beeposh. Two
sets at 50% off...not bad!

If you'd like to become a member just let me know and I will send you
an invitation.

Bargains abound, cheers to happy shopping!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Why should babies have all of the fun?!

Now toddlers and kids can get in on the online action with the newly launched Kidsteals website.

First order of business, Crocs at 55% off.

Looking forward to seeing what other brands this website will offer at discount prices.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Get a Life

For the past 7 months Hannah has been my life.

But tonight we went out. No worrying about a crying baby. No
hysterical phone calls rushing us home. No feeling guilty.

And though we were home by 11 as per the babysitter's (aka grandma)
request, out in exciting Dollard, and our stomachs were already full
from a 5pm early bird special, it was great.

Oh, to have some semblance of life as a married couple again.

After 50 minutes of crying, we hit the road for a friend's birthday
dinner. And while there was a celebration complete with chocolate
cake, it was really a celebration for us as a couple, and as parents
of a baby who now sleeps through the night.

Looking forward to many more of these mini celebrations and now trying
to figure out the going rate for a babysitter.

Dinner and a movie just got a whole lot more expensive...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Size Does Matter

It took 7 months. Minimal working out. A few chocolate binges.

But I've made it to just one pound away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm sure if I had cracked the cardio whip and really laid off of the sweets I would have reached my goal much sooner. But really, what's a few extra pounds for a few months anyways.

Well, you like me, must be thinking she must be so happy to get back into her wardrobe. I wish.
It seems as though even with the numbers on the scale back at home base, things have shifted. A little here, a little there. Three strikes and my skinny jeans are still out.

Maybe once I start to wean, my body will bounce back, but for now I'm happy knowing that those extra forty pounds are in the past.

So while I've stopped tipping the scale, maybe it's time to start toning the tush (and thighs and tummy....)

All Grown Up

Everything takes time and so it seems our time for success with the Ferber method has come.

Please, please, I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

After two hours of crying night one was relatively painless. Night two was even better.

Perhaps our first attempt at 4 months was just too early. And we did cave on the second attempt by staying with her until she fell asleep.

Here's to hoping that the rest of the week only gets better.

And that we'll soon be packing our bags for a week in the big apple.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here we go again

Two hours. 120 minutes. Countless cries.

Ferber method, take 3.

After a travel weekend gone wrong (sleep wise) we're breaking out the book again and attempting the Ferber Method.

I was spared the first hour by going to yoga but the sobbing is definitely sobering. She's gotten so close to stopping so many times. And now we have collectively decided to stop going in to comfort her because it does just the opposite.

The worst part of it all is that, like last time, we can easily soothe her to sleep if we just keep a loving arm on her until her eyes shut. Last time we caved. This time we will try not to.

With a strong willed child we will give it four days. If the nights continue to be filled with endless tears we will let it be.

We'll take that last (planned) vacation (for the next little while) and then get back on track with the no cry sleep solution upon our return. It worked last time. Slowly but surely. After three weeks we were just about where we wanted to be.

It's a trade off, time vs. tears. Right now, time is sounding a lot better.

But Ferber seems to work for everyone else so we will try (again) to put ourselves in those ranks.

Hopefully once she finally gives in tonight, it will be for the night.

Tough stuff.

Monday, October 12, 2009

If I could turn back time

If I could turn back time I'd start it all over again.

Not because the last 7 months have been anything less than spectacular but because I have learned so much.

Everywhere I go - pregnant women abound - I try to provide them with guidance based on my mistakes. I wish I knew back then what I know now. Hopefully these lessons will stick for the second one, not that that is happening anytime soon :).

Lesson 1:
Schedule, schedule, schedule
If you don't keep a consistent routine for naps, eating and bedtime then your little one will think its a free for all.

Lesson 2: Get rid of all sleep associations
Say bye bye to the boob, pacifier, bottle or loving hands by the fourth month and teach your baby how to fall asleep on his/her own.

Lesson 3: Keep travel to a minimum until you have solidified lessons two and three.
May be the toughest, seeing as you have more than two weeks vacation but in my case, every time we hit the road, Hannah decided not to hit the sack.

When you're running on just hours of sleep it seems difficult to keep these lessons in mind but in the long round things will get smoother a whole lot faster.

I look at where we stand today and feel like Hannah has been pinged and ponged back and forth between different techniques. Falling asleep at the boob, napping in the car, resting our heads on her chest as she dozed changes every month so its no wonder she's still no sleeping restlessly.

Seeing as time is not on my side (unless someone out there has invented a time machine), going forward it will be all about consistency. I have another week long trip planned at the end of the month but feel that it might be best for the four of us (especially Winston who starts panting heavily when the crying begins) to stay put until sleep gets sorted out. Not ideal but maybe the right decision for now. We'll see what the coming week brings.

Two weeks ago (prior a trip to the country) we were happily getting sleep from 7pm to 5am, with just a loving hand on her cheek and a tip toe out of the room. If we can be there again by the end of the week, with a nap or two (in the crib) thrown in, I will definite re-consider our travel plans.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Literary Lover

My bedside table is currently toppling with books. All of the parenting kind.

I admit, since I got pregnant last July I have yet to complete a novel. I had a few in rotation but none of them have ever made it to completion.

Call me obsessed but (as you know) sleep is on my mind. So my current titles include:

Wow. Seeing all the titles lined up makes me thing I've gone overboard. But they really each have their own benefits and focuses. And I have definitely learned something from each of them.

Well, now I have been suggested another one to add to my collection:

And since I have given the people at Amazon and Indigo so much of my spare change already, I tried to find a copy at my local library. Unfortunately they didn't have it. So now I ponder the decision to take the $15 leap and discover another take on sleep.

Or at least another distraction to drowned out the cries permeating from across the hall.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

I am a huge fan of Melissa & Doug toys. Made from wood, these back to basic games are pure and simple for any child. But like all good things they come with a price tag.

Well on a recent jaunt to Ikea, I discovered their selection of wooden toys. The Mula collection includes building blocks, stacking rings, a bead roller coaster and, our newest acquisition, an abacus. And in true Ikea style, the Mula collection won't cost us tons of moolah, with prices ranging from $9.99 to $19.99.

With a few extra pennies in our pocket, we can get more of a good thing and stock up on their delicious hazelnut chocolate bars. Yum!

It's truly win-win for everyone.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Under where?

Check out my newest article on Sweetmama:

Le Nid de La Cigogne

With the leaves falling and a real chill in the air, I'm contemplating getting Hannah a pair of long underwear to keep her warm and toasty.

Weekend Report

The weekend started off with a bang after I experienced my first true nap on Friday.

By true, I mean not induced by a stroller, a car or by breastfeeding. Just the lull of the sleep sheep, the comfort of a sleep sack and 45 minutes of calming her down.

It was all well worth it. I got 1.5 hours all to myself. Heaven!

Granted I didn't want to clump around for this first encounter, I caught up on some emails and even watched 30 minutes of Oprah. Once we get into more of a napping groove I will go about my daily chores (laundry, cooking...) at an audible tone.

So after a relaxing afternoon, we headed down to Vermont. It was all planned with much calculation. In the car for bed time for the 2 hour drive. But when we arrived, Hannah did not enjoy the company of her pack and play. A few attempts later she ended up in the bed with me, and dad was on the couch next to us (usually reserved for the dog).

Night two was a bit more successful to start. With much effort.

I realized that to calm Hannah upon the initial moment when her body hits the mattress I rest my head on her tummy. Not so easy in a dropped pack and play. With back and leg aches to prove it I got her to sleep for an entire episode and a half of Mad Men (still waiting to understand what people are raving about). And then when she rose again we just all went to sleep early in bed.

Not a peaceful slumber as she decided to wake up every 2 hours and cry until I fed her for no apparent reason.

This morning we were blessed with a 2 hour nap (in our bed).

So naps are good but it seems that bedtime in new environments will take some work. We are off for Thanksgiving weekend to visit Hannah's great grandmother in Ontario, pack in play in tow.

Faced with two options:
1. A really sore back
2. Having great-grandma take out her hearing aids during the shrill cries!

Maybe I should book those massages now...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chomping at the Nip

Hannah has two teeth.
I am still breastfeeding her.

Our partnership has been give and take since the get go. But all of that changed yesterday.

One. Two. Three.
That's the number of times I have been bitten.

The last one happened at 6pm tonight and I can still feel the pain.

I have made a point of reprimanding her after each incident and I think she can sense and hear the severity of my firm NO.

Hopefully the message will get through to her soon. Mom has been giving milk filled with love and nutrition for almost 7 months. And I'm willing to take one or two bites for the team, but I'd rather this give and take relationship remain of the milky white variety.