Friday, October 29, 2010

Bugaboo Just Got Better

For all of us first time moms, we just had to have a Bugaboo. From the city efficient Bee to the Frog (my personal favourite) or the Cameleon, with all of the bells and whistles, we could find 100 reasons to excuse this stroller's hefty price tag.

But whether you're thinking about, trying to or are pregnant with a second baby, your Bugaboo may no longer seem like such a good investment. Ya, maybe you can add on the wheeled board if your first is old enough, but it looks like a double stroller might be in your new future.

Well, I hope you are excited as I was (no, I'm not pregnant) to find out about the Bugaboo Donkey. Yes, you might feel like a bit of an ass that you didn't wait for this amazing new model to come around but you can always sell your Bee, Frog or Cameleon on Craigslist once you've snapped up one of these. Because there are plenty of other first time moms out there. We can all admit to our naivete.

So what's the big deal about the Donkey? It has the sleek look and functionality of a Bugaboo but it is a mono-duo-mono stroller. What does that mean? You can have one child with extra storage or two side by side.

Still not sure? Watch this video for a demo

bugaboo donkey from bugaboo on Vimeo.

Now, for the big much will it cost?! Guess we'll find out soon enough.

The Bugaboo Donkey is being released for sale in spring 2011.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sick Day

This past weekend was one filled with tantrums. Lots of crying. Lots of tears. I thought we were experiencing an early bout of the terrible twos.

Turns out we were just getting sick. I thought an upset tummy had cleared come Monday morning but got the dreaded call from school on Tuesday that she had numerous diaper changes, a runny nose and glassy eyes.

When I picked her up, after rushing my way through a major keynote presentation, I found out that 4 kids in her class hadn't come to school because of gastro.

Oh, no!

But lots of starch and liquids and our tummy ache seems to be resolved. We're still stuck with a runny nose but our worst condition is a diagnosis from the doctor this morning of conjunctivitis. Highly contagious, I was warned that her school would require at least 24 hours of antibiotic drops before letting her back in.

Luckily that'll be the case at 9am tomorrow morning. Just in time to see the Wiggles perform live at the Bell Centre.

Crazy to think how quickly germs can spread from one kid to another.

But not as crazy as trying to re-jig my schedule to work and keep her home.

How on earth do parents of multiple kids manage with sick days? I guess thats why so many offices are filled with coughing and sneezing. We save the days for our kids and just grin and bear it even though we'd rather be in bed.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

School Yard Junkie

Last week was an affirming week. A week where I finally took complete confidence in Hannah's school.

That's not to say that I shipped her off every morning worried about how her day might progress. No, I knew she was going to a top facility (did I mention its only $7/day?) but I guess I just had to see it for myself to believe it.

Well, before I even got my half hour glimpse into a day at Hebrew Day School I was welcomed upon pick-up with great news. Hannah slept an hour, then an hour and a fifteen and then an hour and a half. She finally got her groove of sleeping in a room with 14 other kids. Yipee! And the best part of it (aside from not having to worry about her teachers hating that she was the one shortening their "break") is that the behaviour has carried over at home. This weekend we had a record breaking two and a half hour nap. I literally didn't know what to do with myself!

So, all this sleep was a welcome introduction to actually joining Hannah's class on Friday morning. She was the "ima" for Shabbat so I got to tag along (with challah and cookies). In just a short half hour, I realized how encouraging her teachers are. Most of my time was spent singing songs around a table.

But no ordinary songs. The teachers' playlist was crafted to include popular kids' tunes that involve actions like Wheels on the Bus and Skinnamarinkydinkydink. Each time a child imitated one of the actions, the main teacher would shout Bravo or Hurray, providing wonderful positive encouragement.

It was really so great to see.

I think about all of the things Hannah has gotten better at in the past two months (her vocabulary, holding hands, not biting) and it makes me realize how great this experience is for her.

I am genuinely thrilled. Now if only I could do something about the school's somewhat unhealthy menu my mind would be completely at ease..until I find something new to worry about...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back

Today we went apple picking.

As luck would have it, we hit Quinn Farm on the last day of the apple picking season. Empire was the apple du jour. But were they ever hard to find. Luckily Hannah's daddy is pretty tall and he was able to pick apples off of the tallest branches.

Quinn Farm really is one of the friendliest places for kids. We started off our adventure in the barn with a visit to the sheep, turkeys, pigs (with newborn piglets) and a giant horse. Then we climbed aboard a tractor ride and made our way out to the orchard. And then we rounded off the afternoon with a stop at the pumpkin patch in preparation for Halloween.

We made the same trip about a year ago and its amazing to see the differences between a 6 month old and an 18 month old. My main memory of last year's adventure is Hannah bawling the entire tractor ride home wanting to eat. A bumpy wagon wasn't quite my ideal place to nurse. But on today's trip she was having an absolute ball. And rather than sitting in the apples she helped out by placing all of our pickings into the bag.

What a difference a year can make!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Itsy Bitsy

About a week ago I blogged about a new high-end children's clothing store on Westmount's Greene Avenue.

Well, now that the article has officially run on Sweetmama, I can reveal more details to you.

The store is called Itsy Bitsy.

You can read all about it here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Whine and Dine

Why is it that children only whine for their mothers?

They can be total angels for their teachers, friends and other grownups but the minute their mom enters the room, that high pitched tone breaks out?

Case in point. Yesterday I picked Hannah up from her best friend's house post-daycare. They were playing and having a snack when I walked in. After getting a hug and a huge welcoming grin, Hannah proceeds into the kitchen where she begins to stare up at the counter and whine.

Eat, eat. So her bf's friend gave her a snack to qualm her demands. I asked if she had been whining prior to my arrival and, no shockingly, she hadn't been.

Yes, I know kids feel most comfortable with their moms, but why do we have to get the raw end of the whining deal. I suppose we have to take the bad (whining) along with the good (an instant bond, super smiles, giggling laughs).

Oh, did I mention that the whining in the car is my least favourite kind of whining of all? You wouldn't believe the things we do to try to distract from the long ride. Pointing out dogs (on sunny days), umbrellas (on rainy days) and singing just about every song in the book (with actions and a very dry throat by the end of it), all to avoid any unhappiness.

Oh, wait. I just realized I am now the one who is whining.
I guess I don't need my mom to make it happen, just a captive audience :)

For the Utterly Exhausted

Waking up every two hours? Got into a habit of co-sleeping? Want to reclaim your bedtime rituals?

That was me just over a year ago. But with enough work and perseverance I have been enjoying 8 hours of sleep (plus 4 of relaxation or work) for quite some time.

How’d I get here? Lots of reading. Lots of trying. Lots of tears.

Maybe you’ve read every book and it's not working. Maybe you can’t stand to let your little one cry it out.

Maybe this will help.


- Baby & Toddler Sleep Consultations and Parenting Coaching -

Smooth Parenting, which offers ‘Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultations’ designed to help parents who are struggling trying to get their babies and toddlers to sleep for naps and nighttime, today announced a free teleclass for parents everywhere.

"Baby Sleep Basics Teleclass: Top 7 Strategies to Help Your Baby Become a Great Sleeper”

Are you struggling with your baby’s sleep? Did you read all the books and nothing works with your baby? Is your baby’s sleep (or lack of thereof) affecting your family life? If your answer is ‘YES’, you can’t miss this complimentary teleclass!

Smooth Parenting's founder will share with you the top 7 strategies to help your baby become a great sleeper without leaving him/her to cry it out.

Date: Thursday, September 16th, 2010 - 7:30PM EST

If this date/time doesn’t work for you, sign up and you will have access to the recording of the teleclass to listen at the best time for you.

Sign Up Link:

Please let me stress that I have never tried this company before. I know nothing about them.

But if you are in any way the person I described above you are probably willing to try anything. So let me know how it goes!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giving Thanks

It's Canadian Thanksgiving.

And while many companies are having sales to promote Turkey day here is one that stood out.

Serena & Lily have a beautiful line of children's bedding.

But my favourite item from their collection has to be their market sling. When Hannah was just a few months old I wanted tone so badly. But couldn't justify the $129Us price tag. I knew a sling would last just a few months compared to my Beco Carrier which lasted over a year.

But maybe if I had the opportunity to save 25% I would have. Well, aren't you lucky!

From October 12-15, you can save 25% off on their gypsy tote and market sling collections.
Just use the code NEWMOM at checkout.

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Ordinary Nap

Hannah is doing fabulously at daycare.

Last week was the first week that I left her in the morning with no tears. Yes, she's been going for over a month but its been a very erratic schedule with just a few days a week in class.

Now, I knew going down to one nap a day would be an adjustment but I didn't know she'd be the short sleeper of the class.

I never sat around eating bonbons while Hannah took a 2 hour slumber. I was lucky to get an hour on any given day. Well, I think her teachers, who are looking after 14 other kids, were hoping to have a bit of a longer break too.

Hannah took a nap that was a whole 15 minutes on Friday. Most days I get a report that its anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes, which is about half of the time of her peers. I knew she would never jump into a super long nap but I thought her classmates might have a bit of an influence on her.

Guess not. But I totally understand where she is coming from. I can't imagine sleeping on a little cot (when I'm used to an enclosed crib) in a room with my friends. I'd love to just sneak in at 12:30 and see how it all really works.

Hopefully with a bit more time she'll start resting longer. In the meantime, I guess her teachers will just have to take what they can get, like I did for 18 months.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Price Tag Wars

Last night I visited a new kids clothing store in Westmount for an article for Sweetmama. I won't give away the name or address'll have to wait until my article runs to find that out.

I've reviewed many kids' stores in my day but this one was special. Aside from having beautiful fashions for kids of all ages, the store had another distinguishing feature. It's price tags. $100, $200, even $300! I had to scour the shelves for the lowest priced clothing item at $70.

Now don't get me wrong, these shelves were lined with designer labels from
Sonia Rykiel to Moschino. But why does a 2, 6 or 12 year old need to wear such expensive clothing? I don't think I even own one piece of clothing that cost more than $300 (ok, maybe the powder pink dress I wore as a maid of honor was more). So why would a kid, like Hannah, who is prone to tomato sauce stains and dirty knees, need such fine fashions?

I love to dress Hannah in cool clothes. At least twice a week at daycare her teachers compliment her on her outfits but I don't think I have ever spent more than $30 on a single item for her (shoes and outerwear excluded). In fact, if I'm not at
Old Navy, H&M or Joe Fresh, I won't buy anything that's not on sale. Call me cheap. Call me frugal. I just don't see the point.

I already step into our locker and see her 6+ boxes of clothing since she was a newborn and secretly hope that my next child is a girl so all this stuff gets a second life.

What do you think? Are you a $100+ kids' clothing shopper or do you adhere to a style budget?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ready, Set, Shop!

Sample sale season is coming up quickly.
Perfect timing for this rainy weather and the urge to curl up in warm comfy sweaters.

I just discovered this new sale that is full of goodies for the little ones. With sizes newborn to 14 years, the Fashion District, is sure to have something for all of them.

This sale is being held on the following dates:
October 6-8 10am-6pm
October 9 10am-9pm

At this location (just minutes from my office, how convenient...)
7449 Trans Canada Hwy (Cote Vertu exit)
H4T 1T3

Brands featured include European imports like Imps&Elfs, Tumble 'n Dry and Franck Fischer.

You can get all of the details here.

Happy shopping!