Monday, December 19, 2011

Am I Back?

I'm sitting at the computer while Alex sleeps thinking I have a bit of free time. Yes, there is clean laundry waiting to be folded but maybe this is the perfect opportunity to make my blogging comeback.

I write that with a bit of fear as I don't know how often my posts will be. But if I never try...I'll never know, right?

So, the past month has been a a great one settling into our new home. Everything is pretty much set up, although the list of projects seems to just get bigger and bigger, along with our realization that we may need to win the lottery to get it all done :)

Alex is an absolute sweetheart. He's a great tempered baby who loves to smile. And knowing all of the mistakes that we made with Hannah has also made it easier. From day one we put him down to fall asleep on his own, scared that the sucking to soothe problem would have a new addition in our bed for 8 months, like it did with Hannah.

Our plan worked well for about 2 months and then all of a sudden our sweet little boy turned into a bit of a cranky pants. We even resorted to strapping him into the car seat and going for a drive one night, since all else failed.

So, we've reached a compromise point where we let him drink to get sleepy and then pull him off in time for him to fall asleep in our arms or in his crib. Not ideal but baby steps in the right direction.

The other challenge, also sleep related, is trying to avoid movement induced dozing. With Hannah's drop off and pick up at prime napping times and a dog walk plunk in the middle, if I let him, Alex would sleep exclusively in a stroller or car seat all day. So I've been trying to make a point of transferring him into his crib. Even if the nap gets shortened and my to-do list gets longer.

All that to say, I'm definitely no longer a midnight mom! Chris is now a midnight dad as I've smartened up and pump before bedtime so he can do the last feeding of the day and I get 2 more hours of sleep.

Here's a picture of the little guy. I'm sure he'll be the subject of discussion for many more posts to come :)




Monday, November 7, 2011

Too much of this, Too much of that

So I still haven't caught up.

I know I said I'd post photos of baby Alex and be back to my regular blogging schedule soon but that still hasn't happened.

The reality of it all is that I'm doing tons - working, packing, buying for the new house and being a mom - but unfortunately I don't think that I'm doing any one thing particularly extraordinarily.

Sure I'd love to think I'm a great multitasker but these days it seems like I'm doing a lot at once, just nothing to its best.

Work gets a quick email reply here and there but big projects keep getting shuffled to the back burner. Buying for the new house is top of mind but takes time, especially when you can't find what you're looking for. And now that Alex is more alert - smiling, laughing and looking - I feel like I can't just leave him on the playmate alone while I do things like write this blog post.

So, all that to say, I'm taking a hiatus from blogging. Don't know how long it will be but hopefully by the new year we'll be settled in our new home and Alex will be on a regular sleep (especially nap) schedule that will afford me more time to write.

So until then...wish me luck!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Storm Arrived Early...

My last post was about basking in the Indian summer sun. One month ago. And in those
few weeks how things have changed!

Alex James Manitt was born on September 27 at 11:32pm. Almost two weeks early, the little guy made an expected early debut pleasing mama with his good looks, quick arrival (no time for an epidural) and September birthday, guaranteeing a spot for daycare when he turns one.

While I won't give away all of the labour and delivery details, let's just say it involved one false alarm, 30 minutes of dilating from 5cm to 9cm, one doctor turned away for an epidural and six minutes of pushing.

Pictures of little Alex to follow soon, along with tales of being a mom of two, returning to work (part time) after two weeks and photos from our pre-Alex family photoshoot.

Lots of catching up to do...sleep, exercise, work, and of course, blogging!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Quiet Before the Storm

I just spent 20 minutes on my deck reading a magazine. In the quiet. In the sunshine.

It was fabulous.

It hasn't happened once in the past 2.5 years.

And it probably won't happen again for some time.

I'm working from home this week, my last week of work before officially going on (a working) maternity leave. Cramps and sleepless nights last week made me realize that I needed to slow down and this seemed like a great compromise.

And the timing couldn't have been better since yesterday's doctor's visit left me with the knowledge that I am 2.5cm and 70% effaced. So the minute those contractions start up, off to the hospital I go. Good thing its only five minutes away.

So I'm calling this week the quiet before the storm. Wrapping up work, getting organized pre-baby (cells for life, bag packed...) and unfortunately still showing our house. We have an approved offer on our condo but have to wait until Friday for the financing to come through. And the owners of the house we want to buy are on vacation until Saturday so nothing is happening on that end either.

It's quiet.

But in a matter of days (hopefully) or weeks, there will be a new baby in the house, a sold sign on the lawn and the task of packing boxes.

Ya, I think I'll end this post here and go back outside. Just a few more minutes...

Monday, September 12, 2011

This Week's Winners and Losers

A bunch of mom-related things came my way this week and I thought I'd highlight the best and worst of them.

The Best:

A special shout out to D for passing this along.

This designer creates one free children's illustration per day.
On the day that the illustration is released it is free to download and print as you like.
After 24 hrs the image can be purchased for a nominal fee ($4.99)

Best of all, each week has a theme (last week's was back to school) so you can download photos that work together in a montage.

Here are just a few examples:



The Worst:

This one came in via A-List Mom.

They are calling it the Ultimate Tantrum Tammer but if you ask me its going a bit too far.

It's called the iLatch. Invented by a mom, its a special iPad case that can be attached to your stroller to play movies for your little one while you walk around. What ever happened to the great outdoors? Watching the world as it goes by and lulling themselves into a non-electronic sleep is what strollers and strolling is for...no?

They do show it being used in a car which is a fantastic idea, but putting it in a playpen or on a kitchen cabinet seems a bit much to me.

What do you think?

Have you spotted anything you think is a mom-must or absolutely shocker? Feel free to share!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Memories in the Making

At the early hour of 8am tomorrow morning our family will be assembling in Westmount's Murry Hill park with a slew of wardrobe changes for a family photoshoot.

Some may find it strange that we're taking photos just weeks before baby #2 makes his/her debut but we wanted to savour just one more moment of being a family of 3 (plus 1 furry tailed friend).

And, selfishly I also wanted some belly shots to remember being pregnant (as I have a feeling this will be my 2nd and last time sporting a belly).

Montreal seems to have been invaded with some very talented photographers including renowned maternity photographer Mellanie D. Her work is amazing. You look at her bump shots and see sexiness all over them. And while I have written about her in the past, her rates are unfortunately slightly out of my league.

We lucked out for our wedding by having an amazing photographer who provided us with a high-res CD of all of our images, so paying for prints is a bit of a foreign concept.

So was I ever thrilled to discover Ella Photography. While not a maternity/newborn photographer her style and portfolio have just the look we are going for. Kids, pets, families....outdoor smiles.

Here are just a few of my favourites that I hope we can replicate:





So hopefully the weather will be on our side tomorrow as we have already rescheduled once thanks to hurricane Irene.

As soon as we see some proofs I'll be certain to share!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where have I been?

I didn't realize it had been so long since my last entry.

A whirlwind week of work, followed by a 10-day family vacation and the first day of school had my priorities temporarily shifted.

But now that we're back, and trying to catch up on sleep, what a vacation it was!

We took the slow route to East Hampton, NY to spend some time with family and enjoy the beach. Hannah bonded with her 4 year old cousin over a plethora activities.

Some might say that the Hamptons are too swanky for kids. While the shopping and dining may be on the high end, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities catering to all of the NYC moms escaping the city heat.

Just a few of the stops along the way included...

An outdoor musical performance by the SweetBeatz at the Children's Museum of the East End

A Peaceful Planet Kids Yoga Class at Goat on a Boat in Sag Harbor

Sand castle building alongside the massive waves

And while Hannah had a ball, mom and dad had fun too even though they were second fiddle and privy to 6:30am wake up calls.

After 5 great days, we headed to NYC for a family wedding. Always a great time with delicious eats from Magnolia Bakery, Grom Gelato, Chipotle, Maoz and Levain Bakery.

Biggest lesson learned: being pregnant in NYC is rough. Besides the heat and humidity, having to walk everywhere is tough on the toes and more than bothersome to the belly. We never left the upper west side (aside from a Brooklyn jaunt for the wedding) partly because of me but also because it has everything we needed.

So now we've settled back in and Hannah had a meet and greet with her teachers. I can't believe a year ago today she started daycare. Seems like ages ago. Hopefully the first half day won't be too rough. Memories of calls to pick her up mid morning dash through my mind. Another year, a more mature little girl!

That's the recap in brief. Now its time to start focusing on baby #2!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Angry Birds for Happy Babies?

My husband gets major props for this one. Not sure how he found it but I think he may have just landed on one of the hottest baby gifts of the season.


The collection includes swaddling blankets, lovies, burp clothes and sleep sacks. Available in yellow, red and blue to accommodate both boys and girls. And while the items aren't available to order just yet they are quite reasonably priced. And best of all, shipping is available to Canada.


And wouldn't you know. The Angry Birds Baby collection starts shipping the day after my due date. Totally cool to get these as gifts but let's just hope the sounds of my newborn entering the world are nothing like that of birds being launched in the air...rrraahh!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boden Maternity

The past 8 months have been so busy. So busy that it took an email this morning to remind me that Boden launched their maternity collection back in early 2011. And oddly enough, I haven't acquired one piece from this UK brand yet.

I love their stuff for Hannah and with only 10 weeks to go I am somewhat tempted to pick up a few items. Come to think of it a nice maternity dress might be a good investment for the Jewish holidays in the fall and a baby naming/bris (with post baby weight) to follow.

Here are some of my favourites from the fall collection:

Straight leg cord in Fig $88US


Knot Front Top $58US
This one looks great for nursing too.

The Special Day Tunic $98US

Really tempted by this last one for an upcoming party...

Save or splurge? New baby accessories or a dress? Tough call.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kiddie Menu

Dealing with the heat and humidity and being 7 months pregnant does not make me want to log many hours in the hot kitchen.

Needless to say, some of our meals the past month have been lacklustre. But after a very colourful dinner and some whole wheat banana muffin making, I think I've gotten re-inspired. Mainly to feed my family healthy food but also to start stocking my freezer for early October when I won't have the time to cook.

So the subject of food got me thinking. Yes, Hannah is a good eater but her palette is quite limited. Yesterday, we went to Music in the Park and the little girl next to us was snacking on strawberries and nectarines. Sounds delicious right? Well, Hannah wouldn't touch either of those fruits with a ten foot pole.

She definitely eats her fruits & veggies but the list is very limited:
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Watermelon
  • Avocado
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato
Yes, I should be thrilled that there are some nice green veggies in there. And I am. I just really want to expand her horizons.

She supposedly eats cucumbers and tomatoes at daycare but says they are yucky and won't eat them at home. I always offer her the fruits and veggies we eat but she refuses.

I know it can take up to 10 tries to like a new food (all of which she liked when she was a baby) but how do I actually get them into her mouth?

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Second Time Around...

This weekend I will be 7 months pregnant.

I really can't believe it.

We had a bit of a scare on Tuesday morning that made us realize that baby #2 is coming sooner than we think.

I was experiencing some menstrual like cramps and lower back pain and it felt all too reminiscent of my 4am wakeup call back on March 7, 2009. That's how my labour with Hannah began. She was born less than 24 hrs later.

Needless to say I was a bit concerned and headed to the hospital case room. Both myself and the baby had normal heart beats (along with a recurrent case of hiccups happening in my tummy) and to my relief I was closed tight. No dilation. No effacement. Phew.

So while I still haven't gotten test results they're chalking it up to an elevated white blood cell count which can be attributed to a minor infection.

But sitting there in the case room got us thinking.

With less than 3 months to go we don't even have a place for baby to sleep upon arrival. The pack n play is on loan to my nephew and the Bugaboo bassinet can't be assembled until closer to my due date as Hannah still needs to be strolled around.

Sure, we barely have anything to buy this time (a few unisex sleepers, a double stroller, a visual monitor and a Bugaboo foot board) but we haven't really taken the time to think about how our family will expand.

When I was pregnant with Hannah each kick and shift was monumental. And not that I don't acknowledge each and every nudge this baby gives me, but it usually gets overshadowed by spilt milk or a dirty diaper.

The reality of having two kids, right?

So with a pregnancy bump (the verb, not the noun) in the route we've taken a moment to get ready and prepare ourselves to become a family of 5 (dog included)!

Oh ya...and most importantly try to steal a much needed 24+ hrs away for a babymoon!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Bump

Last week I was lucky enough to be in San Diego for the Childhood Obesity Conference with FoodFun.

While I didn't have much free time I had a few shopping stops planned to fill my summer wardrobe with maternity wear.

Last time around I was pregnant during the winter so my collection of sweaters and dress pants (from a previous, more conservative employer) are still folded neatly in my maternity box.

I've managed to stock up on basic tanks and dresses, mostly from Old Navy but I thought I would find some real fashion steals in California.

I was wrong.

Yes, I had limited time and really only hit up one mall but the maternity department at Macy's leaves much to be desired (why does it have to be located next to the Plus sizes?) and the Gap seemed much too pricey for pieces that I'll only be wearing for 3 more months.

My best score of the trip was definitely a fancier deep V tank from the Gap for a mere $9.99 and some basic camis at the same price.



But my problem still remains in the bottoms. Aside from a borrowed skirt, a pair of regular size 3/4 leggings and 2 really ugly pairs of shorts/capris that I bought for a babymoon cruise, my options are slim.

I was dying to visit the Forever 21 Love21 maternity department and Liz Lange at Target but the closest stores were no where near the conference centre.

Any suggestions for local maternity summer bottom hotspots that won't break the bank? Or are long flowy dresses really the way to go?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smuggler's Notch Family Retreat

So this past weekend was an absolute blast. We were treated to a weekend at Smuggler's Notch in Vermont and discovered a new vacation spot that we often pass on our way down to Stowe. In fact, we've been to Smuggler's before as my cousins have a condo there. But to stay overnight, experience all of its services and truly be on vacation is a whole different story.

We checked in Friday evening and drove off to our condo that lay on a hilltop. Were we ever speechless upon entering "Eagles 5". Three bedrooms, a full kitchen, 2 baths, 2 fireplaces, one balcony, one sunroom - we could definitely live here! Of course, Hannah opted to sleep in our bed rather than one of the five others in the condo but luckily we all fit nicely into a king sized bed.
Day one. We ate breakfast in our condo and got ready for an early start. I attended the bloggers' morning and had planned for everyone to be occupied during that time. Hannah would spend the morning at Treasures, Child Care Centre, and Chris would go to the Zipline Canopy Tour (an early father's day present).

After dropping Chris off in the forest, I was a bit hesitant that Hannah wouldn't let me leave her with "strangers". But the numerous fish tanks and warm staff at Treasures made her feel right at home.

Chris enjoying the great outdoors!
Wee!

When it came time for me to pick her up she was even sporting a new look as they had headed to the stream for some rock throwing and her clothes got dirty in the process. The staff had some extra clothes and decked her out for the rest of the morning.

Post nap, lunch and thunderstorm, we chose from one of the resorts' 8 pools and 4 water slides. We opted for one of the indoor water parks and for someone who was hesitant to go down the slide, Hannah must have run up those stairs and slid down a good 50 times.
The definition of fun

After a snack, we headed off to the Fun Zone which is basically a giant tent filled with inflatables, toys and games. Again, I've never seen a kid have so much fun!

Dinner at the Morse Mountain Grille followed by ice cream at Ben & Jerry's (have you tried the new Late Night Snack with fudge covered potato chips?) and everyone was soon tucked into bed.


Father's Day Sunday started off early with a visit to one of the many playgrounds with a new friend in the making at the sand box.

Once the pools opened at 10am, we went to Mountainside as we had heard that there was a water slide that was just Hannah's size.
She ended up spending most of her time in the Little Smuggler's Lagoon

Post checkout, we packed up the car and headed home. Hannah slept the entire way. No surprise.

All in all it was an incredible weekend. I'd really like to call it the DisneyWorld of the north. But at this resort, parents can actually get a break. The excellent child care and camp programs let parents enjoy the outdoors and some alone time. And the resorts' shuttle means that the car stays parked and older kids can get around on their own.

It's a weekend that we'll never forget, hopefully will repeat and will change the definition of a family vacation for many.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why am I a Blogger? You Tell Me...

For the past two years (can't believe its been that long as of July!), this blog has been an outlet to express my experiences, voice my concerns and share special moments about motherhood. I have enjoyed getting your comments (when they come) and hearing feedback about other moms going through the same discoveries as myself.

From time to time I was able to take advantage of my blogger status with giveaways for my readers and a few promo codes here and there. But that all changed this weekend.

About a month ago, I was contacted by Smuggler's Notch to attend a blogger weekend with my family. We celebrated Father's Day in Vermont with an amazing weekend that can only be compared to DisneyWorld of the North for Hannah.

I'm in the process of putting together a full post with photos and highlights of our big weekend. But in the meantime, the blogger seminar featuring Nicole Ravlin of People Making Good Inc, Miss Magpie of Find and Go Seek, and Bill Patton of HMC2 Marketing, got me thinking....

What is the purpose of this blog? Definitely not to make money. But the perks are certainly nice! I'd love for it to become a travel blog but with a pending new baby and move that seems highly unrealistic for the next 6 months (unless free offers come my way).

So I put it out to you, my readers. What do you like best about my blog?
1. Hearing about Hannah's (and my) adventures
2. Finding out about family friendly events happening in Montreal
3. Getting a first hand mom account, trials, tribulations and all

Or is there something else that might make you log on more often?

I was thinking about putting a kiddie fashion spin on it since I love shopping for Hannah's clothes and have been told I've got one of the most stylish kids on the block. Think fashion steals and deals and how to stretch a kids' clothing budget.

You like?

Let me know! I need your feedback now more than ever!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Last Day

I can hardly believe it but today is Hannah's last day of school.

It seems like just yesterday that we were taking her for her orientation to meet her teachers and classmates. And when I look back on that post from August 2010 I can't believe how little she looks. Almost like a baby.

She's a real big girl now. A huge vocabulary, social skills (in the works), friendships, life lessons. Its amazing what a short 10 months can do.


While she'll be attending the camp "daycare" this summer, her days won't be as structured with learning but rather will focus on fun with time in the park, pool and other activities.

I've said it before but teachers really don't get enough credit. This 18 to 26 month period has been a formative one for Hannah and her teachers had so much to do with it. No amount of appreciation is enough to show how grateful we are.

I'm heading off for a school-wide lunch BBQ this afternoon. Will try my best to express my gratitude to them all.

To all of you moms with kids out of school....good luck! Hope your days aren't too hairy and the weather accommodates fun in the sun!

Friday, June 10, 2011

4 in the Bed...

Two nights ago there were four of us in bed.

Me, the husband, Hannah and the dog.

By the end of the night, I ended up sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed, freezing cold.

I think we have finally discovered the solution to our bedtime woes though. Yes, the door lock is one of them but the other seems to be for mommy to get out of the house.

Last night I went to see Water for Elephants with two friends (both who had also read the book) and Hannah went to bed with little complaint and ended up staying there the whole night. Daddy seems to have the magic touch. That, or the bad behaviour just comes out for mom.

I think its a bit of column A and a bit of column B.

Hannah had no school yesterday so my mom babysat. She had a big day planned of buying the dog a birthday gift at Safari (while looking at the animals), lunch at the Rockland food court and a nap in the car. Well, I advised her not to bring along the stroller since it would just be dead weight when chasing after Hannah.

But the report at the end of the day? Hannah was an angel.
Had mom been the activity planner I'm sure it wouldn't have been so easy.

So I'm starting to think that with the warm weather finally upon us maybe I'll make it a nightly habit to go for a nice walk around bedtime. I'll get my exercise and Hannah will actually sleep.

Wonder what dad will think about that. If it means not waking up to 2 little feet in his face I think it just might go for it...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stock up on Toys

With tons of summer birthday parties already in full swing, here's a great way to save a bit of money on gifts.

If we find our dream home soon I'm hoping to snatch up a play house for Hannah to put in the backyard!

Keeping her Captive

I made an unexpected stop on my way to work this morning. Walmart.

No, I wasn't stocking up on the latest diaper sale or perusing all of the water toys (perfect for this steamy day). I had a destination upon entering: the child safety section.

No scrapes, bumps or falls. I wasn't looking at the corner pads or drawer stoppers but rather the door handle locks.

Why you may ask? Because Hannah has mastered the art of opening her door and managed to escape from her room about 5 times last night.

We tried everything to get her to sleep: sleeping in her bed with her, sleeping on the couch, letting her sleep in our bed. But she just wouldn't settle down. Until 10pm. After being held hostage in her room, tears pouring down her face, she had finally exerted enough energy to fall asleep (in our bed of course) within seconds of hitting the pillow.

Unfortunate for her dad who found her lying horizontally on his side of the bed relegating him to the couch.

So, with my trusty new door lock and a hopefully easy installation, tonight she will be held captive in her room. Feel kind of like I am fending off a prisoner but the girls' gotta learn to stay put.

Not to mention that I keep envisioning her locking herself in her own room.

Putting all of my hopes for a good night's sleep in a round piece of plastic. Please work!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sold!

The listing went up on Wednesday, the sign on Thursday and the first visitors stepped in on Friday.

First offer received Saturday night and the deal was done on Monday (pending inspection).

Wow! I knew it would go fast but 6 days to sell a home is amazing.


I think I was most happy about the quick nature of the sale because I no longer needed to keep the house looking immaculate. But once the dust (and dog hair and toys) settled, it quickly hit me that we have less than 3 months to find a new place.

We've revised our location preferences realizing that our 1st choice neighbourhood just isn't realistic for our budget and space needs. So, the visits continue and I've dug up some old listings that were originally ruled out.

Worse comes to worse and we can't find our dream home? We rent for a year and continue the search.

Either way, time to start packing before my big belly starts getting in the way!

Monday, May 16, 2011

For Sale

Tonight we are putting our condo up for sale.

After 4 years, some minor renovations, the welcoming of Hannah and a slew of bizarre neighbours we need to move on.

With #2 on the way this fall, we're running out of space. Yes, we have 3 bedrooms but if each are claimed as a personal space our den will become a playroom, TV room and office all-in-one. Not to mention the terrifying thoughts of having to walk a dog up a hill with 2 kids in tow.

Sounds like its time for a basement and a backyard...

So while the decision isn't an easy one, its something we realized we have to do. Not just because of lack of space but because when that dream house (or lower duplex) does pop up on the market, we can't have any conditions on our offer (ie. the sale of our home).

Scary stuff, eh? The possibility of being 8 months pregnant and homeless is definitely not helping the stress of house hunting. But with 4 months of searching under our belt, we've narrowed down our locations, realized what's important and, most of all, learned that even if you are somewhat interested you need to jump on a place or it will be snatched up.

So with the For Sale sign going up in the next 48 hours and mortgage brokers hopefully battling it out to get us the best interest rate it looks like a new chapter in our lives is about to begin.

And hopefully it will be on the quaintest tree lined street in a home that will be the backdrop for our family's formative years.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My First Flash Mob

The last time I blogged I was sitting on a train making my way to Toronto for work.

Three days later I helped put on an incredible flash mob that involved 5 sky typing planes that flew all the way from Las Vegas. Plus 165 people on the ground. It was pretty incredible and a thrill to be a part of.

You can check out the official stunt footage here:



And thanks for your help in passing the link along!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blabber Mouth

It happened overnight. Hannah started speaking in full sentences and now she can't get the words out fast enough.

The cuteness started with "I like...". It was so cute and genuine at the beginning with I like mommy and I like daddy but when I like tires and I like medicine got thrown into the mix it didn't feel quite so special.

Then came I love daddy and I like daddy so much. My heart melted even though the cuteness wasn't directed at me.

And this weekend, she took it to a whole new level with " I want...". The beginning of full sentences but also many, many requests. I want supper, I want chocolate, I want it now...

The ultimate plus to this advancement in vocabulary has been a truly happy little girl. now that she can say exactly what she wants, the tantrums have all but disappeared.

Definitely a milestone week in our household!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Collectif Nene

I just got an invitation to a must-attend for Montreal moms.

This event is so cool, in fact, that it got written up by one of the coolest sites (in the US,Sweetmama is still tops for me in Canada) called Cool Mom Picks.

So what is it?

Collectif Nene is a gathering of local businesses who create products for babies and kids. This weekend they will be putting on a baby show featuring all of their hand crafted products.
The show is taking place on Saturday April 30th from 11am-6pm at OFF Interarts (5145 St Laurent Blvd.

Although I have written about some of the brands to be featured like Twig and Zoo Babies some of them are new to me and definitely worth checking out.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mickey meets Method

Ever since our January family trip to Disney World Hannah has been obsessed with all things Mickey & Minnie Mouse. From a Minnie themed birthday party to a love of Mickey apple crisps, we seek out healthy and entertaining products doning her favourite characters.

So was I ever excited to get an email from Method about their new line of Mickey & Minnie Mouse hand wash. Already a fan of their all natural cleaning products, these soaps can't get any cuter.

Just $4.49 US a bottle, with lemonade and strawberry flavours, the fizzing action of these soaps is sure to get any kid excited about hand washing (especially during cold season).

Two thumbs (and mouse ears) up!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Hives, Nausea & Fever...Oh My!

I feel like I say this every week but what a week it's been!

It started off with a call from school last Friday that she coughed her way through nap time and was exhausted. A bit of puke, an extremely high fever and 3 days home sick.

What did I learn through it all? Stay at home moms are amazing! Granted we were a bit cooped up due to illness, I don't know how stay at home moms do it. Entertaining, planning, physical exhaustion. When I get home from a short day at the office I've been sitting for 5-6 hours so I've got the energy for Hannah from 3pm-7:30pm but this 24 hour kid thing takes everything out of you! Maybe the bun in the oven is partly to blame but kudos to all you 24/7 moms.

Then, I had my 2nd doctor's appointment and finally caved for the Diclectin. I'm going into week 15 now and my nausea symptoms aren't getting much better. So I took the first pill last night before my early bedtime of 9pm. I awoke at midnight (the third part of this post) feeling absolutely nauseous. I know the pills cause drowsiness but I wasn't expecting to feel nausea off the bat. My symptoms this morning weren't completely gone and now I'm contemplating popping another pill.

Finally, hives. The past two nights have been rough as Hannah is finally better from her cold but broke out in a sudden rash. Two nights ago my husband spent two hours on her floor, after coating her with ample layers of cream. Last night, her entire face was covered in hives.

I raked my brain trying to think of what was new (food, drink, routine) and finally realized that I had switched from Natural Bounce sheets to Outdoor Fresh Bounce sheets. And her pillow case had just been cleaned in them the day before. So to avoid any more late night calamity, she came into our bed (which my back is still blaming me for) and I'm in the process of re-washing all of her bedding and clothing.

So now we have the weekend to look forward to and 8 whole days off of school. At least we've got sickness and allergic reactions out of the way...now to solve the nausea dilemma. Hoping it will do that on its own :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Boys, Boys, Boys!

It is officially the season of the boy!

In the past month, I know of at least 4 boys being born. And interestingly enough, they were all born to moms who are 31 years old.

Yes, I am 31 years old so they are my peers but I point it out because what are the chances? I did hear of one girl in the mix but her mom was a bit older.

A fluke? Or does the Chinese gender prediction method really have truth to it?

I consulted this chart back when I was pregnant with Hannah and it said boy. Wrong.

Then I checked it for all of my friends who had probably conceived in June/July. All girls.

Interesting. Wrong all the time.

So should we just take the opposite of whatever it says?

Or leave it to a 50/50 chance?


So what does the chart say for me this time around? Boy.

Guess we have 6 more months to see if my reverse theory is right :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Plus One

I haven't blogged in over a week.

A few reasons...weekend in the country with family from NYC, preparing for my boss' 5 week vacation, husband in Vegas for a business trip...but mostly because I am in bed at 9pm and hovering over the toilet around 6pm.

Very proud to announce that we are expecting a new addition to the family in early October.

Everything is different this time around. Partly because of a high-energy two year old running around, partly because of morning sickness that seems to last all day long.

Either way, the maternity books still sit unopened on my bedside table (I know everything already, no?)

Don't get me wrong we're definitely excited but as an expecting friend recently said you don't have hours to ponder every symptom, read every article and figure out the size of your growing baby based on the size of a fruit.

So that's the big news! Hopefully now that I'm into the 2nd trimester I'll start feeling better soon - and can share the details of this second journey with you. I have a feeling it won't quite be the same as the first time around :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mom Mentality

It's been a rough week.

Hannah developed a fever on Sunday afternoon and hasn't recovered since. I attempted to send her off to daycare today (with just a cough) and got a post-nap call that she didn't sleep a wink and was unusually crying. So I made the executive decision to keep her home the rest of the week, starting with a visit to the clinic tomorrow morning.

Between 2:26 when I received the call from school and 3:00, I must have made 10 phone calls. To my mom, my husband, the doctor, the potential babysitter...and it got me thinking.

Let me preface this by saying that the last thing I am looking for here is a pat on the back. It's just me expressing a revelation.

Moms are amazing.

Actually let me rephrase.

Becoming a mom turns you into an amazing person (or even more amazing if you were amazing before).

We become these selfless individuals who put their kids first. Work gets tossed aside (momentarily), schedules are adjusted, chicken soup is purchased...we just want them to get better.

But, it really goes beyond our kids getting sick. It's becoming the 2nd or 3rd or 4th most important person in your life.

Last night, I watched an episode of What Not to Wear where the 39 year old makeover candidate was a mom to many. She had totally put her style on the back burner when her kids came along. The part that got me the most was when her husband said that he routinely offered her $100 to go shopping but she figured the money would be better spent on her kids.

Now don't get me wrong, I will never say no to a shopping spree. And I definitely take the occasional time to myself (my husband is probably rolling his eyes after an evening massage and saturday afternoon at the spa, but these visit were truly out of the ordinary). But in my day to day life I usually come 4th. First is Hannah, second is Winston (our dog), third is my husband...and then there's me.

I'm not complaining. I'm just realizing how along with the responsibility of becoming a mom comes the change of hats. A hat that may not always be the most up to date, or well groomed or in tune with current events. But a hat that is most definitely full of love.

So on that note, I tip my hat to all of you moms whose lives have taken a 360 post childbirth. And I remind you that every so often you need to be #1.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Left from Right

In the past few weeks Hannah has started to want to be involved in getting dressed. She can unzip her jacket when we get home and attempts to put on her socks, sometimes.

I guess the age of 2 brings some independence with it. Hopefully to make our morning routine less hurried.

This great company was passed along to me by my ear-to-the-ground cousin (and mom of 2) in NYC.

ShoeZooz are "educational shoe stickers for kids" that teach them left from right. Using some of our favorite zoo animals! Stick the front of the cow on the left shoe and leave the rear for the right. Kids can mix which shoe goes on which foot in a fun and engaging manner.

And at only $5.99 for 3 pairs, you can put one on every pair.



Friday, March 11, 2011

When a Mess Means Fun

The mess I'm about to mention seems trivial in comparison to the tragedy of Japan's earthquake. Hundreds of homes lost. Businesses destroyed. 88,000 people missing.

Life has to begin anew.

Donate now to the Red Cross Canada to support the Japan earthquake and Asia-Pacific Tsunami.

--

Arts & crafts have become the go-to activity in our home. It started with Play Do and crayons and rapidly progressed to all sorts of crafting with an amazing birthday gift with boxes full of art supplies.

We ventured to take out the glue, markers and glitter pens but I feel like I need to wrap my sofas in saran wrap every time they are in use.

Our house is by no means big so the den becomes the craft area with a huge plastic tablecloth spread out on the floor. Luckily most of the markers are washable, and as I learned last night, wipe off our couches quite easily with water.

But there is one plastic bin that I am avoiding, almost hiding, in fact.

It's the one filled with paints. We've got everything we need for Hannah to be the next Creo or Van Gogh (brushes, colours, canvasses, easel) but I am terrified at the thought of opening it up. Yes, she paints at school. But how supervised are her strokes?

Hardwood on the floor, one colour of paint of the wall, furniture that is somewhat scotch guarded...can they withstand her masterpieces?

I guess the only way to find out is to give it a go but I'm letting fear of the mess get in the way. Maybe its an activity thats best to try on the weekend under the supervision of 2 (one to watch, the other to clean).

Hopefully, this weekend's weather will make for plenty of outdoor activities so the only painting we'll potentially be doing is maple syrup on snow.

Happy weekend to all!