Friday, February 26, 2010

Wonder Week 55

Sometimes I can't walk.

Not because I'm tired. Not because I have a leg cramp.

Because I have a 20 lb. infant clinging to my leg.

Yes ladies, we have entered the weeks leading up to Wonder Week 55. Clinginess, temper tantrums, hesitation towards strangers...oh what fun! That coupled with 4+ teeth making their debut and we're talking about one unhappy little girl.

It seems like such a shame that she would be so moody so close to her first birthday but I guess she doesn't realize that such a big milestone is approaching.

As we enter the world of programs, she is turning into a toddler. In fact, this morning she fed herself yogourt with a spoon. Granted it was messy, she quite enjoyed the autonomy.

So we will bear down and prepare for the worst and keep motivated by knowing that in a few weeks she will be her happy, smiling self again. And take heart in knowing that once we've hit the one year mark wonder weeks are far less frequent. Phew!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spring Shopping

March is a birthday month.

I know this because when Hannah was born everyone was telling me they knew someone born on the 8th.

Well, if you've got gifts to stock up on I highly recommend that you stop by the new Mortimer Snodgrass store. After visiting this evening for the official grand opening, I checked a few gifts off of my list. The new store features a large kids' section with great toys, books, plates and more.

Definitely worth a visit to Old Montreal.

Beach Baby

I apologize for the week long hiatus. We took our first family vacation to Varadero, Cuba and returned home yesterday evening.

We stayed at the Paradisus Varadero, the city's only 5 start hotel resort. And it truly was a wonderful experience. Aside from the weather, that is. From Monday to Friday we had cool, albeit sunny days, dressed in sweatshirts as we let Hannah sample the beach. From sand in her mouth to building castles, she had a ball.

Then the weather picked up for the last few days allowing us to spend time in the pool and the ocean.
Our flight to Cuba had us a bit concerned as Hannah was overtired, cranky and wouldn't let herself fall asleep. My husband stood in the gally, talking to the flight attendants (a ski instructor and aspiring dog walker) while she swished and swayed with the movement of the plan. But she amazed us the rest of the trip. Two naps a day and reasonably easy bedtimes made the trip a pleasure and she even managed to stay up until 8:30 some nights to accommodate our dinners.

So would we go back? Definitely! Here is my roundup of Paradisus Varadero:

Beautiful beach within steps of your villa
Huge pool with super shallow sections for the kids
Amazing food at a buffet and 5 a la carte restaurants (including a Japanese steakhouse)
Baby Club for 0-4 year olds and babysitting
Huge junior suite with ample room for a crib
Potential to upgrade to beautiful new section which opened in December. Picture marble bathroom, outdoor shower, a pool and restaurant for these elite customers
Mini bar stocked daily with water and soft drinks

Dinner only starts at 6:30 - when Hannah is normally asleep
No proper high chairs - bring your own clip on seat
Snacks are hard to come by. There is a formal pool restaurant and a beach salad bar but no where to really pick up a snack

So now we are home and my mat leave is officially over. Back to reality. Unfortunately, it got kick started by coming home to a house with no heat and just getting an unexpectedly large quote from the repair man. Guess my year of guilty pleasures has come to an end!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Celebrities are Moms Too

Flipping through glossy magazine pages we always see photos of moms like Nicole Richie, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Garner spending time with their kids. I often wonder if these photos were snapped on a rare occasion when the kiddies are without their nannies.

Well, today I got a dose of celebrity mommy-hood, playing alongside Sophie Gregoire at Le Petit Gym.

And I must say Justin Trudeau's wife is one fine mom. In fact, I think she was one of the most enthusiastic, caring moms there.

At first, I questioned whether she was putting on a show to impress the other moms but after the 45 minute class you could see her genuine kindness and love for spending time with her daughter. She got up on the inflatable mat with the lot of us and was bouncing around, sang along with the rhymes and was beautifully casual throughout it all in a cardigan and a pair of stretch pants.

Her mom even came at the very end to pick them up since it seemed as though they had walked over with their Bugaboo.

With two kids almost two years apart I wonder how she does it while maintaining a successful career and playing the role of the perfect wife to Mr. Trudeau. I guess her secret is safe for now. We'll see if in the coming weeks her little one is eventually accompanied by a nanny. Or maybe she will surprise us all by being just a regular multitasking mom like the rest of us.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Purim Party

I have been looking forward to Hannah's first purim for so long. Knowing that it was so close to her one year birthday was a milestone in my eyes.

We don't know what we will be wearing to the party below (should have stocked up at Halloween) but we will definitely be there.

Hope to see you too!

I have been looking forward to Hannah's first purim for so long. Knowing that it was so close to her one year birthday was a milestone in my eyes.

We don't know what we will be wearing to the party below (should have stocked up at Halloween) but we will definitely be there.

Hope to see you too!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Selfless vs. Selfish

Last week in a business meeting, a colleague made an unexpected comment.

He said "it's amazing how unselfish you are to feel uncomfortable leaving Hannah alone with someone else."

I had to think twice about that one.

My response "if anything, I am selfish for wanting to have some time to myself".

In retrospect, I didn't mean what I said. But I still am having trouble grasping the meaning of his statement.

To me, letting Hannah interact with other people is a good thing. Sure, I may miss out on some moments (like her inserting the K at the end of the word BOOK for the first time) but I'd rather her be an adaptable, friendly little girl. Don't get me wrong, if Hannah were in daycare it would be a whole other story as I am sure my separation anxiety (nots hers) would have me feeling very insecure. But I see how well she gets along with E, her babysitter, and it makes me happy. Happy to know that we are not tied at the hip. Happy to know that come September (when she officially begins daycare) it will be that much easier.

Now, I can't retract my retort but, like I said, in retrospect it is all wrong. Yes, I use my 6 "free" hours a week to run errands, walk Winston and do work, but I think this time is anything but selfish. I get the "dirty work" out of the way so I don't have to shlep Hannah in and out of the car seat all day. And though I am working most of the time, I am happy to be doing it for such a small number of daytime hours. No, six hours is not enough to match my previous income, but at least on weekends and in the evenings Hannah can bond with her dad.

Honestly, I don't think a mother can be selfish. From the day we know we have a little fetus growing inside our bellies, it is no longer about us. And I guess only time will tell when we start putting ourselves first again. I figure in a good 20 years sounds reasonable :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Je Me Souviens

I never thought I would be saying this...but here goes nothing...

Thank you Quebec.

Thank you Quebec for giving me 11 joyful months to watch my daughter grow.
Thank you Quebec for paying me a significant portion of my salary so I did not have to be concerned about finances at the same time as becoming a new mom.
Thank you Quebec for paying me additional money to ensure that my daughter is well taken care of.
Thank you Quebec for allowing me to deduct fun mom/daughter activities with the child physical activity deduction.

Today, I salute the white and blue, on behalf of moms throughout the province.

And realize that things may be bigger and better in the USA but I'd rather have 12 months off than a Target next door.

Groceries to Go

Back in 2002, when I lived in New York City I heard about FreshDirect. Groceries delivered to your door, that you shop for online. It was an amazing concept that my cousins took advantage of but unfortunately my 10011 zip code was not in the delivery zone.

And now, unfortunately my postal code does not qualify for IGA delivery which would have come in really handy during those first few months of mommy-hood.

But not all Montrealers, including moms, can take advantage of online grocery shopping...wait for it...of organic produce and packaged goods. Read all about it in today's article on Sweetspot.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Every Little Bit Counts

Just a few weeks after Hannah's first birthday, we will be participating in Ski for the Children's.

This fundraising event is on a mission to raise much needed dollars for the Montreal Children's Hospital.

The ski-a-thon was created by two Montreal parents whose daughter, born with a rare tumour in her chest, was given exceptional care at the Hospital. As a way of saying thanks, this year they hope to raise $100,000. Last year's event raised $80,000 enabling the Hospital to purchase a Giraffe Incubator for the NeoNatal unit.

Chris and I are hoping to achieve a personal fundraising goal of $1000. We are halfway there and ask for your generous support in helping such a worthy cause.

Click here to sponsor us.

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Not So) Baby Bites

Hannah can eat.

In fact, sometimes I think she eats too much.

A yogourt and cereal for breakfast.
Cheerios as a snack.
A bread, protein, veggie and fruit for lunch.
A banana snack.
Meat, veggie, fruit and a cookie for dinner.

While she is on the small side for her age (at a mere 19 lbs), I wonder how much that little body can actually hold. Or more importantly, how much she really needs to make it run.

Its as though she starts to salivate at the sight of food. I whipped up a batch of banana muffins for her yesterday. After polishing one off with her lunch she needed to have a bite of mine. And in the afternoon, when grandma was having a granola bar snack (with nuts), she threw a mini hissy fit when she couldn't have a bite.

Have I created a food monster? I know, I know. Moms whose kids don't eat are probably jealous but I'm just looking to find a healthy balance here.

How much is too much? Can an 11-month old really know her limits?