Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why The Wait?

I have previously mentioned my tower of night table books on the subject of sleep. I have a go-to book for every particular situation but I now realize that I probably could have gotten by with just two of them.

Ferber is tough love but a must-have, especially for a sleep hater like Hannah.

And the second is a recent acquisition: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.

To this day I keep asking myself why I waited so long to purchase this book that has been recommended by quite a few moms. I don't think this book is enough on its on as it refers to theories of Ferber and Pantley (No Cry Sleep Solution) but it is the most comprehensive, logical book about sleep.

And I am proud to say that it is the reason why Hannah is now napping 1.5-3 hours a day in her crib. Granted it took some working on (and lots of crying) with her dad off of work for a week. But the main lesson learned was that an earlier bedtime will encourage naps as it diminishes over-tiredness. It seems logical in retrospect but never even crossed my mind.

The book talks about children being the newest accessories who are dragged from here to there. But if you really want to raise a happy, healthy child then you need to respect their right to sleep. Not in the car seat. Not in the stroller. But in their crib.

A must read in my opinion.

It's been a great week. So much time to be productive and even take a half an hour by myself to do absolutely nothing. Sure its been hard to let go, but after almost 9 months of go-go-go its a nice change.

And now that Hannah is in bed by 6pm, unfortunately when he goes back to work, her dad will only be able to play with her for a few minutes upon getting home from the office.

But after a week together 24/7, I think he now appreciates my exhausting days and will give up some of that precious time so I can have some precious time of my own.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fashion Forward

Winter may be upon us but in the fashion world spring 2010 is front and centre.

Writing for Sweetspot comes with its perks and today, I was privy to a viewing of the H&M Spring Summer 2010 collection for women, men and children. Hosted by uber cool Agence Zoi this collection preview was held at the Montreal Science Centre.

So what's in store?

Tons of florals
Overalls (oh my!)
Royal blue, salmon and orange
Acid wash denim (double oh my!)

And my top kids' pick? A sequined bomber jacket to make any girl shine for just $29.95.

See for yourself...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hip Hip Chai-ray!

Lucky number 18. It worked its magic tonight.

An unexpected evening telephone call left us jumping for joy as we found out that Hannah has been accepted to Hebrew Day School. This $7/daycare comes highly recommended and has a wonderful Jewish curriculum.

Hannah will be in the 18 month class starting in September 2010.

We put our names on the waiting list back in May and knew that our chances were slim being 18th in line. With a total of 26 spots in two classes, 10 spots were immediately scooped up by children with siblings already in the school. So do the math and that leaves 16 spots.

But oddly enough two families never got back to the school after a week of phone calls, so we were able to snatch up that last coveted spot. Woohoo!

Now to figure out the plan from March (end of my mat leave) to August.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby Sitter

Time to get a life (again).

With limited outings since Hannah's birth, it seems as though it is time to get up off of the couch and go out. Now that she is sleeping famously from anywhere between 6-7pm until 5am, there really is no reason to sit around all night.

But really how much fun can it be for the grandparents to sit here, Hannah already in her crib upon their arrival? Maybe they don't mind but I feel bad. They've got better things to do than sit here on a Saturday night.

So, I guess the quest begins to find a trusted babysitter.

Even though this person won't be very hands on (unless Hannah's decides to wake up), we both don't feel comfortable with a teenager. I'm tempted to ask some of the nanny's in the park nearby for recommendations.

Unless maybe you have a suggestion?

Not really sure where to start and haven't the slightest idea what the going rate is these days?

Are you sitting on a wealth of babysitter info? If so, please share!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Early Birds Take All

I admit it, I am a BabySteals addict. And newly addicted to KidSteals.

I am usually at my computer at 11am to see what the newest item of the day is. But as luck would have it, it always seems that on the days that I am away, the best products are featured.

I missed a great one today on KidSteals that would have been a great 2 year birthday gift for my niece: Chalkmats by Sam & Bellie at 50% off. I logged in an hour late and they were sold out :(

I had never heard of this company before but they have super cute products including bibs, aprons and chalk pens.

This one certainly got "stolen" and unfortunately with a rambunctious 8 month old I am the furthest thing from an early bird, anymore.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Labour Pains

It took me 8 months to realize I had it easy.

Into the hospital at 7pm, dilated 3cm. Out of the delivery room at 2:30am (3:30am with the time change) with a precious little girl in my arms.

Sure, to this day I complain about the epidural wearing off at around 8cm but in retrospect, I really had it easy (albeit painful).

Maybe it wasn't so much time that has made me realize my luck (thanks Hannah) but a slew of friends having babies. Emergency c-sections, 24+ hours in the delivery room, forceps...the list of delivery horror stories goes on and on.

We are currently waiting on news from a friend who was induced last night and after over 24 hours is now getting a c-section. Now, that's a strong fighter, a motivated mom-to-be. No, she didn't have a choice but can you imagine a man on the delivery table?

So I dedicate this post to all you moms out there. Whether you struggled in labour or laughed off the pain with an epidural, I salute you. No man could ever do what we have done. And even though labour memories may continue to haunt us...we'd do it all again cause the payoff is certainly worth the pain.

Latkes, Dreidels, Fun & More

A fellow mom is on the organizing committee of an upcoming Chanukah party for kids.

All proceeds benefit the Birthday Angels which provides underprivileged children in Israel with birthday party.

Hannah, Chris and I will be there...hope to see you too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Note from Maclaren

I just received the following press release from Maclaren's PR agency and thought I would share it with you.

For Immediate Release

    Media Contacts:

    Tricia Chan, Public Group LLC

    Susan Gerson, Public Group LLC

Maclaren Statement to Customers In Light of Recent Events

(South Norwalk, CT— November 16th, 2009) At Maclaren safety is at the heart of what we do because of the consumers we serve. It is with the youngest consumers in mind that we design our products with the utmost care and engineering, not only to provide a smooth ride but a safe one.

We regret that children have been injured while using our product and we acknowledge that parents may be upset or even angry. That is of our deepest concern and makes us even more committed to serve you better.

As many of you know we have voluntarily recalled our strollers in the United States and are providing hinge cover kits to remedy the problem. We fully understand that the recall has not been perfect and that consumers have had some difficulty requesting the hinge cover kits. Over the past few days we have improved our system and it is now better suited to respond to the needs of our consumers.

While the recall is only in the US market we are providing kits to any of our customers no matter where they may live.

Parents expect a Maclaren stroller to be of the highest quality and safe for use. Our long record of safety is why we are one of the most trusted names with parents around the world. We are confident that the action we have taken will rebuild and maintain that trust. Ensuring safety is crucial to the long-standing relationship we have built with parents for more than 40 years.

Our commitment to parents is to provide the safest stroller on the market. There is simply nothing more important to Maclaren than the safety of a child.

# # #

Gifts to Grow

When Hannah was born I briefly toyed with the idea of using re-usable diapers. But because of what seemed like a huge start up cost and a rather stinky solution to global warming, I opted for disposable diapers.

In retrospect, we probably would have saved a lot of money with clothe diapers but at least Pampers has come up with a way to make the $38/box every few weeks a bit more palatable.

I just placed our first order for a Pampers Gifts to Grow free set of Sesame Street board books. At 100 points (shipping included) these books will make a nice edition to our library, even if they took about six months worth of diapers to redeem.

There are tons of other great rewards if you are able to wait it out while you collect 300+ points. Gifts change every so often but I have spotted some Melissa & Doug toys and other book sets.

So might as well take advantage of the few free things left in this world. With the holidays right around the corner, these rewards certainly are great last minute (free) gifts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rainy Morning Nap

Success!!! This morning, Hannah took her first nap in her crib since she was a newborn.

I have been working at it all week with up to an hour of crying per session but daddy seems to have the magic touch.

At this point, I will do whatever it takes to get her to sleep in her crib during the day. For a while I was nursing her to sleep in our bed just so I could get 30-40 minutes of my own during the day. And since the bucket car seat will shortly be on its way out, a sleepy transfer from car to home won't be so easy anymore.

So when daddy decided to stay with her (for all of 10 minutes) until she fell asleep I told him to go for it. Sure, the last thing we want to do is create those same associations we had to break at nighttime. But, for someone who has never spent a minute in her crib during the day I figure we need to ease her into it.

The number one thing I have learned as a parent (or at least as a parent to Hannah) is that nothing comes easy. You need to work at it. But once you get it, you realize it was worth the effort (and the 12 hours of nighttime sleep!)

From crawling to eating to standing, it really takes baby steps. And naps are certainly no different.

The downside? With all of these baby steps (8 months later) it seems that soon enough she won't be a baby anymore, but rather a toddler. How time flies...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Go with the Flow

Just in time for the weekend, check out my newest article for Sweetmama.

Flo Urbain is an amazing kids' furniture and toy store. It's worth the trek to St Lambert to stock up on modern nursery decor and wooden toys.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sale Away

I'd like to think I have my ear to the ground when it comes to amazing sales. So I thought I'd share one of my most favourite of the year with you.

Note cards, photo albums, amazing wrapping paper, gift bags, bows and more are what you will find at the Pierre Belvedere warehouse sale. A great place to visit before the holidays, where you can stock up for the entire year:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Power of Prayer

I am not a spiritual person.
Nor am I very religious.

But tonight I am asking for your prayers.

There are two new little girls who entered the world today. At just 25 weeks old, they are about to meet their parents' for the first time in the NICU.

I do not yet know how much they weigh or their current medical status, but I do know that the love their parents already have for them is insurmountable.

I look at Hannah and realize she really was a little miracle. And all I can do is pray for my friends and their two daughters that they will experience their own miracle.

Welcome to the world, strong little fighters.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Aunt Flo

When I was about 10 years old we went on a family vacation to Vail Colorado with my cousins from New York. One day out on the slopes, I thought I was following the fluorescent yellow one piece snowsuit of my uncle, when in fact it was another man in what can now be considered a fashion faux pas. Lost in the powder, I managed to find my way back to our ski-in hotel.

Once my mom finally found me, she escorted me back to meet the rest of the gang. As we slid on to the chairlift, there on the whiteboard, was a message from my parents in search of my return. But instead of writing "Lauren meet here" it read "Florence meet here".

Every since that day, I have been taken on the nickname Flo.

Well, while I wish I was currently pounding the powder out west, I am unfortunately focused on the pounding occurring in my lower abdomen. After 17 months (of pure heaven) without a monthly visitor, I think she is about to make her grand entrance.

Hannah is still breastfeeding at 8 months old but the cramps I am clenching back in my tummy, may be a pretty good indication that I have a visitor on the way. And this aunt is pounding at my door for what will seemingly be an anti-climactic return.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Red Alert, red alert! It's NOT a catastrophe!

Ain't nuthin' goin' on but history, yeah
it's all right, don't panic...

If only the Basement Jaxx's tune could have been piped through the airways today..

Warning: Some of you might not like what I am about to post. Sorry to offend you if you are one of those in question.
I rarely express opinions in this blog trying to keep it to whimsy and tips but H1N1 is on everyone's mind so...

Wake up at 5am. Get a number at 6am. Stand like cattle with cranky children about. Get pricked. Leave by 9:30.


Why would you subject yourself to that? Why would you subject your children to that?

Yes, H1N1 is real. But if you have been safe thus far chances are you're not going to get it today, tomorrow or even the day after. So why not let the panic settle? And when society is back in an orderly state then take your spot in line?

It seems like even by waiting until this afternoon wait times seemed to be reasonable and crowds civilized.

So with more than a month on the calendar until the vaccines open up to the general public, why are so many of you in a mad rush to get you6 6 month - 5 year olds vaccinated within the first hour of availability?

Now, all this is not to say that I don't care about the health and safety of Hannah. In fact, now that I know that things have settled down I plan on taking her to the Cavendish Mall tomorrow afternoon (prime time pre-shabbat). In my opinion, standing amongst hoards of people today was probably a bigger health threat than having your kids out in the fresh air with the possibility of actually contracting the virus.

There's my vent. End scene.

I wish you and your kiddies all nothing but health and and hope that the only Hs in our vocabulary this winter are pure happiness.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

3rd (and 4th) Times are a Charm

Hannah broke out all of the stops this halloween. Decked out in her orange pumpkin onesie she topped it off with two new fangs. Yes, her eye teeth made their debut.

Our pediatrician suggested that we start brushing all four pearly whites right away (without toothpaste) so that she gets used to the sensation. And while we trade in the Colgate and Crest for water, he suggested that she get her fluoride in another form: a daily dose of Fluor-a-day.

Proven to reduce cavities by 70%, our future pediatric dentist better stock up on plastic rings and lollipops for Hannah's dental debut. But the way these teeth are coming in, her future orthodontist can probably book that retirement world cruise sooner than later!

H to the Hizzo

Phones ringing off of the hook, 5 hour line ups, hysteria in the headlines...all for your very own chance to experience flu-like symptoms and what is hoped to be the immunization that saves us all from the swine flu.

Yes, H1N1 is on everyone's mind. And up until now I was against it. I don't have tons of facts to back up my opinion just knowing that in 30 years of never getting the flu vaccine I never got the flu.

But with the constant media attention and heated conversations, it was time to get informed. And the best, most respected place to get this information (in my opinion) was at our pediatrician's office this morning. We had our first visit with the new doctor and the three of us absolutely loved him. So when we found out that he had already gotten the shot and was recommending it for all of his patients (no matter their age) and their parents, I realized that we should join the pack and get our vaccines.

So now the big question is when?! Of course, we all want to avoid the lineups (especially with an 8 month old).

Have you gotten the vaccine yet? Planning on it? Any tips for getting through the system easily and efficiently?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Queen of the Road

On the road again...heading back from a week in NYC.

We had a great trip and Hannah was a superstar during the day. Most
nights she spent 7-9pm in her pack and play and then joined me in bed
nursing the night away (two steps back, I know- hopefully upon
returning home it will just take a few nights to get back on track.)

And I myself just achieved new credentials for my "dairy queen" status
while soothing a crying (confused by the time change) baby with milk
at 120km/hr. I always knew yoga moves were multi purpose :) To go just
took on a whole new meaning...

We're staying put now until Christmas but these vacation memories are
sure to last all the while.