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!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthday Bonanza

Yesterday we celebrated Hannah's 2nd birthday with a party for her friends and family.

Wanting to keep it somewhat low key we reserved a place at Le Petit Gym in TMR and invited about 10 families to celebrate with us. 45 minutes of running, jumping, bubbles, parachutes and a bouncy station and the kids were in sheer delight. Then pizza, veggies, cake and fruit made it that much sweeter.

I think the photos below pretty much sum up the whirlwind of wonderful fun that Hannah (and her parents) had.

The one thing I do want to talk about is the presents. In my last post, I said that I didn't want Hannah to be overwhelmed with gifts but I think what I really meant is that I didn't want Hannah to have bags full of plastic presents set upon her. So while I fully intended on letting her open only a few gifts post-party, I peeked in all of the bags and was completely impressed. I guess I was expecting our living room to be full of plastic, cheap presents but our friends and a family surprised me. The gifts were educational, paper-based, creative, recycled, and most of all fun! One family even made a donation to the Montreal Children's Hospital.

So I take back everything from my last post. Being a birthday party virgin I obviously had no idea what to expect. And I'm sure not all 2nd birthday gifts are like the ones we received. Guess that just goes to show that my values are very similar to my friends (guess that's why we like each other :) )

So without further ado, here are some snapshots from birthday #2.


Make a wish!

Not exactly my vision for Minnie Mouse but a 2 year old really doesn't care about design :)




Special Moments!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Present Tense

Hannah's 2nd birthday is next Tuesday.

We'll be having a party for some friends this weekend and I'll be bringing cupcakes to her school on the big day.

While party planning I was stuck with a bit of a conundrum.

I want Hannah to have a fun day with all of her friends but the thought of 15+ gifts is simply overwhelming. So I started looking for kids' birthday party registries where people could make charitable donations instead. I came up pretty much dry. One site did pop up but it was an environmental themed site (e-invites...) that wasn't really the direction I was looking to pursue.

So we sent out the invitations with no mention of gifts. I know Hannah will be getting some big ticket items from our immediate family - things that I have been wanting her to have for quite some time - but those other gifts from friends seem highly unnecessary. Chances are that most of them will be toys, which she really needs none of. Hopefully there will be a few arts & crafts projects mixed in (Play doh, crayons...)

I don't want to seem ungrateful to any of our friends. I just don't want to put a bunch of shiny boxes and bags in front of Hannah to tear open and then forget about the next day.

So I've decided that we'll be donating some of the gifts to the Montreal Children's Hospital. Sure, I could return them all in exchange for clothing (which she will desperately need come summertime) but instead I figure this is the perfect opportunity to start teaching her about helping others at an early age.

How do you keep your kids from being overwhelmed by birthday gifts?