New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

A Day In The Life

As a Stay At Home Mum (yes-it’s a title!) I often wonder if my LO is going to be ‘on-track’ with the other toddler’s.  When I see my friends who have their kid’s in daycare I often find myself asking “so what things are they doing in daycare that are different then at home?” I’m not worried that baby girl wont be on the same track as her kiddie friends or that she is missing out, I just want to make sure she is receiving enough stimulation and eventually when she does go to daycare she isn’t the only kid still being spoon-fed.

Our day’s are pretty repetitive, which I’m sure it a-ok considering our kids thrive on routine and structure. Throughout the day she has some ‘alone’ play-time. Where she sits with her toys and plays and keeps herself busy, this can go for about 20 minutes. This is an important time of day for us, for one I get some time to drink my coffee, check my emails, browse the news, blog- and Aud learns that even though I am a TON of fun, she can figure things out on her own and have a good time doing it.

I sit from afar and watch as she chews on just about everything she touches, dumps out all her blocks and shapes and puts them in whatever holes and openings she can fit them into, give her stuffed animals hugs and kisses, walk around, crawl; and eventually play-time ends once she has this concentrated distant stare on her face when I know it’s diaper change time…

It’s funny to remember from when she was an infant she would just stare, shake, rattle, and bang her toys and now she has figured out the functions of them, stacking blocks, pushing her toy truck. It’s truly amazing what their little brains absorb in a year.

We go for a walk everyday, weather permitting. On our walk I talk and chatter about the leaves changing colors, how tall the tree’s are, the cars that drive by, the squirrel that just ran in front of us, the birds that are chirping. People who walk past us, especially teens, definitely giveme that ‘crazy lady, who is she talking too?’ look.

Seeing as I am someone who talks a lot, I chat to her about everything, and it’s not always in baby babble. They say speaking to your child as though they understand you is better then baby talk as it could hinder their vocabulary. I say mix it up- just remember to point out everything to him/her- Body parts, colors, shapes, foods, numbers, letters- it really doesn’t matter how you say it as long as your saying it.

We sing songs all day, top 40’s, nursery rhymes, country, appropriate rap, house rock… just about everything. There isn’t one style of music that she hasn’t been exposed to at this point. Some of our favorite songs to sing range from ABC’s to Old MacDonald, Judy Garland’s Over The Rainbow to Madonna’s Like A Prayer, I like to think I have a pretty good vocal range and Aud completely agrees- no holding back when we belt out tunes.

At this point we are going to start really focusing on things like letters and numbers. I have made the alphabet and number’s 1-10 on cue cards (super easy) with shapes or objects that relate. Each few days we are going to focus on one letter, number or shape. I also plan to pin it on a few places around the house so she see’s it, and when we walk past it, stop and say it out loud. I know, I know you might be thinking isn’t she a little young to start that? I am not starting it so that by 2 years old she is adding and subtracting, it’s more of learning by association thing. For all I know it could be disastrous and the cue cards will be in a cupboard for the next two years, but it’s worth a try.

We also play with knob-puzzles, we build forts, we watch The Wiggles, we paint and color, we also go on lots of play dates and join different mommy/baby classes that are offered in our area; no wonder we are both exhausted by 7 p.m, let’s not forget the house work, cooking, laundry, showering, bath time,  (that I could rant about for a while)…ohh the life of a mummy.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Well the day has finally come, it’s Halloween!! I remember this time last year my LO was only a couple weeks old, and Jon, being the guy that he is, said he was taking her out trick-or-treating to which I replied with a Hell No. A year later I wasn’t about to deny him a second time. He has been talking about it for weeks, how he was going to be out all night with her and get a whole pillowcase full. Which makes me think he is thoroughly missing his childhood days of the infamous events of today. Well I can tell you he a) wont be out all night with baby and b) he will definitely not be getting a pillow case full of candy tonight. Personally, yes I am looking forward to showing off baby girls adorable costume, and getting the “awww, she’s so cute and adorable” reactions when people open their doors, but I especially can’t wait till the next day when I go to Wal-Mart and buy all the candy and chocolate at half-price to indulge in over the next week, or two days…

We went to the pumpkin patch last week and got Aud a little wee pumpkin! I had this awesome idea that I would buy some non toxic paint and let her go nuts! Needless to say there was paint everywhere, she tried (very hard) to eat it, she was not interested in the pumpkin at all, she smeared paint all over herself… but I do believe we have a baby Picasso on our hands…so I hope you all have a great and memorable day and remember this day is not only for the kids but for us too, so enjoy!!

Here are a couple safety tips I got from http://www.safekidscanada.ca/

1. Children under the age of nine should be accompanied by an adult or responsible older child since they lack the developmental skills to cross the street on their own. This is a year-round tip that will help keep your child safe while you share good pedestrian habits and pass on a legacy of safety-minded behaviour.

2. Teach your child to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic. This vital skill is especially important when children are distracted and excited. Never rely on traffic signals alone – use your eyes and ears to make sure it’s safe to cross.

3. It’s unsafe to cross between parked cars or other obstacles – always cross at crosswalks, street corners or intersections. Many injuries occur when children run out between parked cars, but even at intersections it’s vital that children practice tip #2.

4. Stay on the sidewalk or path when walking from house to house and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you. From a very young age, children can be taught that roads are for cars and sidewalks are for kids. If your community has no sidewalks, walking beside the road at night can be very dangerous – adult accompaniment and flashlights are a must, regardless of the child’s age.

5. Select costumes with bright colours to increase your child’s visibility and choose face paint instead of masks. Masks can make it hard for your child to see properly and often restrict peripheral vision, making it difficult to check for oncoming traffic before crossing a road.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun filled ghoulish Halloween!

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Staging for the Play-dating

Aud and I are avid play-daters and have been since she was about 3 months old. We thoroughly enjoy meeting up with mummy and baby friends and making an afternoon of it. As I have mentioned in past posts I have a really amazing circle of mums and babes, most of which have gone back to work, but a couple who are still at home.  I live a little out of the way for a lot of them but have come up with creative ways of hosting like meeting up at the park for a picnic, or stroller walks and splash pads in the summer, mall walks in the cooler days. There are times I have hosted at my place and as I was getting ready for our play-date I couldn’t help but giggle to myself about how I ‘stage’ my home for company.

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a clean house, or that my place is a dirty, frazzled mess all the time. I actually thoroughly enjoy cleaning and organizing but since becoming a mum finding time to do a full out clean or even the daily dusting is few and far between.

So here I go, picking up toys, dusting every shelf, shining the mirrors, scrubbing the bathroom and then it dawned on me. Does my mum friend really believe this is what my place looks like everyday? Am I really fooling her to believe I make our bed every day? That my kitchen looks this immaculate? Not to mention the fresh baked cookies and pumpkin spice candle for smell. If only I was a real estate agent staging homes for a living, I think I would do pretty well.

How funny is that?  Her and I have actually had a good laugh about it before. How we try our best to impress other mums, giving off this façade of a women who keeps it all together, who’s floors are spotless and shelves are dustless. Personally I have never walked into a fellow mum’s home and thought OMG? Why hasn’t she folded the toilet paper ends in her bathroom? Or I see a spot on her mirror, doesn’t she clean? Puh-lease.

Ready for the truth? I definitely do not make my bed everyday, actually our room usually looks like a clothing bomb went off. I have this bad habit of getting out clothes, changing a million times and never putting them back. Then finally at the end of the week when I can no longer see my dresser I decide to go through it all and put it away.

I do have a habit of vacuuming a couple times a week but only because Audrina will find the smallest of smallest fluff or crumbs and eat it, (ok-do babies have x-ray vision or something?) Aud has also figured out that if she keeps her bottle tilted upside down she can paint a beautiful of milk drops and smears all over the floors…try keeping up with that 45 times a day.

Fresh baked cookies? Ok I might of gone to Tim Horton’s and bought a half dozen of cookies to put out…although I really do bake a mean batch of uh-mazing CCC’s, but who has the time? Let me know if you want my recipe…one tip melt the butter.

So why do I do it? Why do I insist on spending all evening and even during her nap cleaning and getting prepped for a play date that will only result in toys and food everywhere? I guess it’s because I really do have a feeling of satisfaction when it’s over. The feeling of knowing when they walk in they will think, wow her place smells great, or being comfortable putting their babies on my floor not worrying about them eating last nights dinner. Even though the women I am friends with are probably the least judgmental mum’s I have met, I still have this need to impress them.

So I am giving myself a challenge, the next play-date I host I will not go on a cleaning spree, I will not “bake” cookies or light a candle, and I will not pick up Aud’s toys all morning or make my bed. Do you think they will notice? Probably not…because the truth is the only one’s us mum’s need to worry about making an impression on is our kids and to be honest I think Aud would love it way better if I didn’t spend the time putting away her blocks only to have her have to find them and spill them out onto the floor for the 3rd time today thinking, “I wonder how many times she wants to play this game?”

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Labor Day

Well that’s it, my daughter is no longer a baby. She is officially a toddler. She turned the big o-n-e this past weekend. It is just such a bittersweet feeling. A part of me is soo excited for what’s ahead, the walking, the talking, the new discoveries but a part of me is a little sad my wee baby is no longer a wee baby.

When I think back to when I had her I can remember every single detail. The morning my water broke, the phone call to Jon, the drive to the hospital, the nurses name, the layout of the hospital room, how many times I was checked, the minute the nurse told me it was time, the emotions, the feelings, everything!  I remember being pretty calm most of the day, until the pain started. That’s the funny think about birth stories. Every women can pretty much remember every last detail of that day, whether it was a year ago or 20 years ago, it’s one of those memories you just don’t forget.

It all started on a Monday. I had been on my mat leave for a couple weeks now and was anxiously awaiting her arrival. Like most women in their last trimester I was ready, get her out. I was puffy, retaining water like a balloon, I couldn’t sleep, I was just huge. So a couple girlfriends and I had plans to go to dinner that night and on our way to the restaurant my car ran out of gas, (I’m not getting into the details of why…it happens to us all!) We are all sitting in the car waiting for Jon to come and help us out for what seems like hours, (if you know Jon, you know it takes him double time to do anything). While we were sitting in the car I started to feel crampy pain in my side, my girlfriend asked me if I was ok to which I replied, “ya I think I’m just hungry,” not knowing that it was the starting pains of labor! We all giggled in the car and joked that Aud would be here any day, (she wasn’t due for about 2 weeks). Got some gas, went to the restaurant and I ordered a delicious pizza.

Fast forward to Wednesday. I woke up and was feeling more tired then usual, and nauseous, which I hadn’t felt since the first trimester. They tell you nausea is a sign of labor but when it’s all actually happening and it wasn’t the week of our due date, I didn’t think much of it.  Come on I still had time, plus I thought first time mums are usually over due?

We had a very busy weekend ahead too! It was thanksgiving weekend coming up to which I was in charge of making the pies, we had a family wedding that I really did not want to miss, and my grandmother was ill in the hospital so we were planning on visiting. So much to do, I cannot have the baby this weekend!

So then Thursday night comes around and one of my great girlfriends told me to sit on a yoga ball and move my hips around, get baby girl to sit real low. I didn’t think much of it, I didn’t think it would really do much. So that night during an episode of Jersey Shore, I sat on the yoga ball and moved around for a few minutes. Just as I thought, I didn’t feel any different. So off to bed I went and curled up with my Snoogle pillow (best investment during pregnancy, trust me).

I remember waking up in the middle of the night and feeling a little crampy, and Aud had the hiccups so I was up from that as well but quickly fell back asleep. I woke up in the morning around 9 a.m. to a text message from my girlfriend asking if it was time, I “ugh’d” at my phone, and rolled over.

When I rolled over, I felt it. It was like a giant balloon had just popped. I shot up, and ran out of bed into the bathroom. I stood there for a second and thought about a million different things to myself; this is it, she’s coming. Do I call 911? NO, no, I’m going to call Jon. Then I will call my mom, then my sister. Who’s driving me to the hospital? Wait, I need to have a shower, I HAVE to shave. Oh sh*t, I have to finish packing my bag. I have to cancel my lunch date. Should I wash my hair? I just colored it… this is happening.

 I started the phone calls, first Jon, then my mum, then my sister.  A few minutes later mum and sis showed up, it felt like they were freaking out more then I was. I was trying to stay calm, cool, and collected. We finished packing my bag and off we went. I took a video on the way to the hospital, and I look and sound completely terrified. We check into the hospital, I tell the nurse my water broke and immediately I am checked in and brought to the 4th floor. They bring me into triage, and hook me up to a heart rate and Doppler machine.

I explain to the nurse what happened and she nods her head and tells me indeed my water broke, so I will be staying indefinitely. She tells me to press the button every time I feel a contraction, but the weird thing is I haven’t felt any yet. A few minutes go by and she comes in and asks me why I’m not pressing the button. This time I just start pressing it every few minutes because I just assume that’s when my contractions are happening.

After a while I am moved into a room. We unpack a couple things, get out the camera, our phones, Jon FINALLY arrives also looking rather terrified but excited. We bicker about what took him so long, I tell him I forgot a blanket for him. Then the Dr. comes in.

She examined me and tells me why I am not feeling the contractions that much is because my water hadn’t completely broke. So she breaks, what she explains is the second layer. Oh, so that what it should feel like. It felt like a galloon of water had just poured out of me.

About 20 minutes later the contractions started. O.M.G. So this is what it feels like, I thought. As time went on they got worse and worse, and closer together. Just like how you see in those baby shows. The nurse kept asking me if I wanted my epidural, and I kept putting it off until finally she didn’t give me much of a choice.

After I got the epidural and after some hot and cold flashes, it started to kick in. Ahhh…this feels good. I pressed the drip about every 10 minutes or so. Around 8 p.m. is when I could start to feel my contractions again, and I knew I was getting close. All of a sudden it became so real. All these thoughts going through my head- Can I do this? What if something happens? What if I can’t push? How much is this going to hurt?

Around 9 p.m. I started to push. I remember thinking it was a lot of work, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was out of breath, I felt nauseous, it was exhausting and come on, it hurt. Jon was my coach, he did a lot of yelling and telling me to keep going. The nurse looked at me at one point and said “Hockey player?” I nodded my head, yes. My mom and sister kept telling me they could see her head, and the nurse kept telling me I needed to push harder. I took a deep breath, tilted my head down and pushed as hard as I could.

 At 9:38 p.m. Audrina was here. 7 lbs 11 ounces. I cried incessantly and couldn’t wait to hold her. My eyes followed every move the nurse made with her. I had so many overwhelming feelings and emotions, my happiness and love I had for this little baby I just met was incredible.

 We were at the hospital for a couple days, asking the nurses about a million questions and gearing up for the day we went home. It’s amazing how natural motherhood comes to us isn’t it? How we can be so scared and nervous about this step in our lives but once it’s hear you can’t imagine life any other way.

I am utterly amazed watching my daughter grow in front of my eyes everyday. I couldn’t be happier and more at bliss having her in my life. She truly is my little miracle, and I can’t wait to see what else life has to offer.

So happy first birthday to my little monkey. Mama and Dada love you so much and could not imagine our lives without you in it.

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October-National Anti Bullying Month

Today I found out October is national anti-bullying month. Maybe I’m behind, but as soon as I heard I knew what I wanted to write about next. This post might be a little out of the ordinary, but if you follow me and my blog you probably know I like to throw in a little variety now and again.

When you think of a bully you might think back to when you were in grade or high school. You might think of that kid in your class who constantly picked on you because you wore braces, or those girls who snickered behind your back because you didn’t have the cool knapsack that they had. Fact is, if you were a victim of bullying (which I’m sure we all were at some point) you probably remember exactly what it was you were picked on for.

For me, I remember all the way back to when I was about 7 years old. My parents had moved us out to Florida for a couple years and we were so excited to be in the sunshine and oranges State. I have lot’s of great memories but a couple of sour ones stand out too.

At the ripe young age of 7 my legs were visibly hairy. Yup, I said it. Coming from Canada were parka’s and long johns are worn 6 months out of the year, it didn’t occur to my adolescent self that my hair growth would be a problem. I remember being teased on the bus because I had hairy legs. Really? Who teases a 7 year old about that? I would come home so upset and in tears almost every day.

Then one day my mom took matters into her own hands. She waited by the bus stop, I walked off and she walked on. She scolded the kids making fun of me; when we got home she shaved my legs. From that day on she would shave my legs for me every week until I could do it on my own.

This is just one memory I have of being bullied as a kid. I could tell you tons of stories. Stories that have stuck with me all my life, names that have haunted me ever since I was a little girl. I was never skinny, tall or super popular, the perfect recipe for disaster in school. Today I thank God that I wasn’t one of them because if I was I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The person I can say I am proud to be.

It’s funny how most of the time the ones who bullied and were mean are the ones who are alone and miserable. Karma, karma, karma.

I am terrified for the day when my daughter goes to school and comes home crying.  I will do anything in my power to prevent it from happening. The truth is as parents we can try to shield our kids from the schoolyard bully, but what happens if your kid becomes one of them. It is never too early to teach your child to love everyone. It is our duty to teach our kids to be kind, gentle, and friendly.

The sad thing is that it doesn’t end in the playground. It happens to everyone and anyone these days.  From kids name calling and hitting a school bus driver, to a news anchor receiving a nasty email about being overweight. It sickens me how today’s society treat each other.

As parents we have to teach our kids that it is not ok to name call, fight, or pick on someone because they are different. We have to teach them that in the end the bully loses and only ends up alone and miserable. Set an example, our kids hang onto every word and action we do so make the right choices and spread the word. STOP BULLYING!!!

 

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Weaning…hard? Not so much…

I can’t believe my little ham is almost a year. It seems like yesterday that I was in the hospital, anxiously waiting to meet her. The past year I dedicated all of myself to her, including my body. As I mentioned in past posts, I exclusively breastfed her since day one. Well now has come the time I have decided to wean her to whole milk, and off the breast. Well maybe not completely, but it will no longer be the majority of her daily intake. I’ve known this time was coming but am feeling serious mixed emotions about it. I want to write about what the weaning has been like and how it’s working for us.

The first day I gave Aud whole milk I had intended on just giving it to her to taste and see what her reaction was. So I put some in her bottle (the sippy cup didn’t work for us…yet) and intently watched her take the first gulp. At first her face made a squishy, WTF sort of face. I’m not going to lie, a part of me was ok with it. Maybe we weren’t ready to give up breastfeeding? Maybe it’s too soon?

Then there was a second gulp, and it didn’t stop until I had to give her more. The WTF face turned into, what the hell have you been holding out on me face. The first time I gave it to her she drank 4 ounces!! I couldn’t believe it! Her expression was priceless, (as it is most of the time, she is very expressive).

They say weaning is a big process. That slow and steady wins the race. It could take a month to wean and for baby to be on whole milk. This is why I started it around 11 months. Not my girl. It took one day for her to love it. I mean really, if your a milk lover, who wouldn’t love a nice glass of 3.25% milk with cookies?

The second day I replaced a second feed with the whole milk. That went well too. WTF? I really couldn’t believe this was happening so easily for us. Although I will say my body was starting to respond to missing two nursing sessions in a day. Let’s just say I wasn’t fitting into my usual bras that day.

It’s really amazing how responsive your body is when you have been nursing for so long. That second day I was a tad bit uncomfortable but it was nothing major. I didn’t need to pump or express any milk because I was still planning on nursing a couple times during the day. This also lead me to believe that my milk supply was nowhere near was it used to be like. If we ever had to skip a feed I would have to express, but not this time. Wow, things are really changing around here.

By the fourth day Aud was drinking 3 bottles of whole milk a day and anywhere from 2-4 ounces at each time. We’re about 2 weeks in, I wont say every feed is easy. Sometimes she hesitates and protests, not because she wants the boob but because having a bottle means it takes away from her play time, smart cookie she is. So she isn’t always drinking a full bottle. In the beginning she would sit on my lap and drink it while watching treehouse, but since she realizes she can do it herself she will not let me have any part in it.

I’ve learned that she will drink most of her bottle in her highchair with a snack, in her stroller on a walk, and in her carseat on a drive…so that is where we are at now, I’m sure as time goes on she will be receptacle  to when and where she has her bottle but for now we do what works. 

It’s amazing how quickly they become some independent from us. 6 months ago I couldn’t leave her for more then an hour or two, now I could leave her the whole day and she would be just fine. (I can only handle one emotional detachment at a time people). I will gradually increase her bottles as time goes on, in the meantime I make sure she makes up for it in other dairy products. She is still nursing once in the morning, once in the evening, and once throughout the night.

I know some are probably thinking why the bottle? For one, I tried to give it to her in a sippy cup but she refuses to drink anything but water. and 2) we haven’t quite mastered drinking out of a cup yet and i’m sorry but I don’t feel like cleaning up spilled milk for most of my day…I’m not worried about eventually having to take away the bottle. Aud obviously doesn’t seem like the type to be overly attached to things, just look at how easy it’s been to wean.

So am I ready to hang up the nursing bra’s and call it a day? No, and I plan to keep nursing until she no longer shows interest. No bottle or delicious whole milk can replace the bond between a nursing mom and baby. I am going to cherish these last few times we have left because once I introduce her to sugar, and peanut butter, and all her teeth come in, she starts walking and talking, I have a feeling this may all be a distant memory for her someday soon.

I do plan on going out to Victoria Secret and purchasing some new fancy overpriced undergarments because let’s face it, I havn’t worn a lacy black bra in about two years, I hear they have animal print now…sold.

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Planning, planning and more planning

Planning, planning and more planning. If I thought I was a planner before, man am I ever one now. From planning Aud’s birth to her first birthday and everything in between I think I can call myself an expert. I wonder how I have gotten through it all this last year. I’ve definitely learned a couple things in the mix of it all, so I thought I would share what you might find handy when it comes to planning your babies upcoming events, cause you might not think it but there’s a ton of it ahead.

Yesterday we had her baptism, and it was such a great day! I have been planning it the last 3 months, again with my lists upon lists of things to do, people to contact, food to order, decorations to hang. It got a little stressful (Jon is probably rolling his eyes at “little”) at times. I will start with the first thing I had to get organized in order to go ahead with everything else; guestlist. I have a big family, Jon has a big family, so combined we have a HUGE family. We also have tons of friends we like to include as much as we can. But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to have everyone there. So I made the executive decision to invite close family, aunts/uncles and close friends. I was so worried what people were going to think if I didn’t invite them. But the truth is we had a strict budget, and I couldn’t sway from it. And the bigger the guest list the bigger the budget. So that would be my number one tip, think really hard about who you want to be there.

What event are you planning? A baptism I felt was a more intimate gathering, something a little more personal then a birthday party or a  shower. Make sure you have an RSVP date on your invites and I would suggest having it almost a month before your party. This gives you lot’s of time to really plan ahead and be able to chase down those who havn’t RSVP’d, because trust me you’re going to get the ones that maybe skipped the small print to do so. I’m not going to say it really bothered me people didn’t RSVP, but at one point I was wondering if people just thought it was an option to let me know if they were coming or not. Is it? Does RSVP mean don’t worry about letting me know if you are coming or not, I will just have double of everything in case you do…ok I sense myself going on a rant so I will just say this. If you receive an invitation and it says RSVP it means, please respond. See we are asking nicely, so respond. Ok so guest list, very important and do not feel bad about having to call or ask people if they can make it, some people may have just simply forgot…

Since we live in a small apartment having a big party at our place isn’t ideal. Seating is limited, Aud’s toys take up probably half of the living room, and we just don’t have a ton of space in general, so cramming 40 people in our place just won’t work. Location was key for us, as with all things really. I’m apprehensive about outdoor parties especially in September because the weather can be dodgy. I ended up renting out the church hall (in basement) and it was perfect for the occasion. Nice big room, they supplied tables and chairs, we had full use of the kitchen and I was able to get the keys a couple days before hand so I could go in and set up and decorate. It was really a perfect space. In fact I would use it again for any future event where I have more then 25 people coming. It was not expensive and they don’t only rent out the space for church events like baptisms and weddings. So if you are looking for a space check the unexpected. Ask your local church, library or even museum if they have a space they rent out. They likely will cause they can make some money and the space is being used, and it won’t cost you an entire months pay. You will just have to promise to clean up and throw out the garbage.

I would have to say aside from checking things off a to do list my favorite part of planning is the decorating. A) because I get to shop and buy pretty things and b) because I get to have a vision, coordinate it all and see a finished product all in a matter of hours. I had to pick a theme for her party. I love themes. You’re probably thinking, there already was a theme, her baptism! Yup that was the theme but I got to pick a colour theme, (cue the ‘Ohhh’). So obviously I went with pink and white with a splash of sparkle, who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle. The had picked up a couple decorations here and there when I would see something I liked but majority of the deco’s I bought closer to the date. Listen guys, don’t go buying streamers and balloons and table covers at these big, expensive party stores, go to the dollar store!! I am a huge, and I mean huge advocate of Dollarama especially for party supplies. Trust me, you will save lot’s of dollars going to your dollar store then the local Party City. Not to say I didn’t go to Party City because included in my theme was some baptism insignia of course, which they had tons of. I ended up buying a ‘Little Angel” banner and a couple of other things but didn’t spend a ton.

I would say I am someone who doesn’t abide by the whole, “less is more” thing but in this case I did. There was a moment where my cart was FILLED with pink decorations but I had to scale it back. I wanted it to look tasteful, not like I was throwing a pepto bismal launch party. So when it comes to decorating especially for more intimate events, go with the less is more saying. Now first birthday parties…that’s a whole other story. Which I am sure I will write about when the time comes…

One thing I found myself really struggling with during my planning was food. Have I mentioned I am a people pleaser? I wanted to make sure everyone would leave with full and well bellies but not breaking my budget. Since Jon is italian I guess I felt a little more pressure then usual about the food. Plus, isn’t food the one thing you end up talking about when it comes to a party? I had this whole vision of lasagnas, and pastas, caesar salads, and anti pasta, bread…mouth watering italian food. Then someone asked me if I was planning my wedding. I was planning a lunch, who am I kidding. Not to mention it probably would of cost around $30 a person if I served a hot meal like that and again budget was a big factor.

So finally I came to the conclusion a big spread like that wasn’t happening nor necessary. We decided to go with sandwich trays, salads, dips, and great desserts. I am so happy I did. Since I have some great friends, a couple of them offered to bring something which was a huge help. When they first offered I thought no, no I got it covered but I am so happy I agreed to let them help. So when someone offers help with ANYTHING take it, because I know this party would of been a lot more hectic had I not had some of the help of my friends and family. Keep the food simple, don’t take on more then you can handle. If someone offers to make something, let them! You don’t want to be short on food, so have a variety and make sure you have enough to feed everyone at least once. We set it up buffet style which I think always makes the most sense at these things, just remember everyone is probably going to put a bit of everything on their plate so don’t skimp out on portions.

Well I would say those are the four most important things I had done when it came to planning her baptism. I still have a couple  more parties to plan including her first birthday which I am thoroughly looking forward to! A couple more tips to leave you with, gifts for the guests. How nice is it when you go to a party or event you get to leave with something too!? A keepsake or memorabilia? We had pictures done of baby girl in her dress from our local Superstore (wal-mart does them, blacks photography…) at a great price, and I got some great little dual frames from, you guessed it, dollarama, and then I personalized a little thank you note to go with it as well. People loved it! I will be doing my thank you cards for gifts as well but this was more of a thank you for coming gesture. I can’t stress enough about when people offer to help you, take it!! Don’t get all high and mighty and prideful, but say yes. They are offering it for a reason. Oh and one of my biggest tips, bring flat shoes to change into if your a heel’s and stiletto lady. Trust me, golden advice right there, bring the matching flip flops.

 

 

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Who’s Your Baby and What Does He Do?

When you find out your expecting a child your mind automatically starts running through a million questions. I think the most common amongst us all would be, what will she/he be like? Will she have my attitude and her father’s laziness?  Is she going to be creative or a little more reserved? Will she want to play sports or look pretty in a tutu? I think we predetermine a lot of the answers before we even meet them.

After meeting a lot, and I mean a lot of babies this past year and watching them grow along with Aud, I have come up with a few different explanations of personalities and I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed what our little baby girl will be like as she gets older.

 The Shy Guy Baby- I met a couple little shy ones over the last year. The ones who stay close to mummy, don’t welcome unfamiliar scenes and people, tend to be on the quieter side. Now most babies when brought into a new environment or scene do show these tendencies but after a few minutes adapt and start to seem more comfortable. Just like we do walking into a room where we don’t know anyone. At first we stick to who or what we know, after a little while (or a drink or two) we start to ease into our surroundings. It is possible it’s just a phase they are going through, and maybe just take a little longer to warm up. You can help them learn to adjust easier by joining play groups, meeting new people, and socializing them when you can.

Textbook Baby, Maybe?- You know, the baby that meets all the milestones exactly when they are suppose to. Sleeping through at 3 months, rolling over at 5 months, sitting up at 6 months, crawling by 8 months, ect, ect. Weight, height, head circumference are all in the 50%. Their schedule and patterns are pretty predictable and meet all the growth spurts when the book says. They smile when you smile, frown when you frown. They are easily adaptable, no surprises here. These are the ones that you hear about an think to yourself with envy, if only my child slept through the night at 3 months.

The Challenger Babe- These are the wee babes who cry at the drop of a hat. No matter what you do seem unhappy or dissatisfied, wont sleep, rejects anything new, and is just very sensitive overall. I read that these babies are known as having a low sensory threshold. Meaning anything from a just wet diaper to a bright light will set baby off. Don’t fret! Most likely this will start to tapper off as baby grows, (phew!) but listen, if you know your baby starts up at the sound of the phone ringing then turn the ringer down. Maybe get them a toy phone so they can play with it and get use to the sounds.

 Easy Peasy Baby- la-la-la is what you think when you meet this baby. You just want to dress this baby up in a leather jacket with a popped collar and some cool shades. Nothing phases them, and I mean nothing. You can walk into a play-date, put this babe on the floor, walk away and they wouldn’t even notice. Not much crying except when it’s warranted, they mostly are good sleepers and have the common set back when teething or sick but manage to get right back into routine. You can leave the house with just some diapers and wipes and leave the toys at home. This baby is so easily adaptable you wonder what they could be feeding her. I met a couple of these babies and I have to say after meeting mum or dad it comes to light as to how this baby can be so easy! Being that kind of parent really does transfer to babe. I know it’s not always easy but just relax a bit and you’ll see your baby will too.

So I’m sure you are wondering where does Aud fall in all this. Well she’s the baby who is a bit of everything. She can be shy going into a room full of people, but opens up after a few peek-a-boo’s and tickles are exchanged. She was pretty textbook when it came to rolling over and crawling but she was never a great sleeper and does NOT like the noise the vacuum makes. Not much seems to bug her, but she does know how to get what she wants, oh, does she ever…

Baby girl is also showing signs of ‘diva-ism’, which when I say it Jon gives me the, “that’s all you” look. She demands the attention when in a room, and has realized that she has mum and dad wrapped around her teeny weeny finger. When she drinks her bottle she insists I hold it even though I know she can (I know, my fault). I think if she could walk and talk she would be demanding that golden egg (remember Violet in Willy Wonka?) She does not like the word no. Ok mom stop rolling your eyes.

So does you baby fall under any of these? I know all babies are perfect, and obviously demand our undivided attention at all times, and it’s ok to give them what they want, and yes I know babies cry, but I am just simply categorizing the things I have taken in. It’s funny how before being a mum I would of never noticed babies have such specific personality traits at such a young age, how I just assumed all babies are the same when in fact all babies are completely and utterly different in every way.

You may not see it or notice it right away but the tendencies your baby is showing now, I’m guessing will be carried through. Embrace them, love them, praise them and remember all babies are different in EVERYTHING they do. 

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Starting Solids-Lights, Camera, FAIL!

There is such an abundance of information out there for new mums, and most of it I find to be rather conflicting. The one topic I was just so confused about when the time came was starting baby on solids. Do I start at 4 or 6 months? Do I start her on rice cereal or go straight to pureed vegetables? Do I try the “Baby Led Weaning” or stick with purees? Ahhhh! I think I drove myself crazy leading up to the day I introduced solids. I thought I would talk about my experience with introducing solids and everything in between. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who was a little confused around the subject.

Around 4 months my mum suggested I try introducing the rice cereal into Aud’s diet, I mean why not? My mum started me on it around the same time and lot’s of other mum’s had done the same thing. So I went to the store and I probably stood in that baby food aisle for 15 minutes before I decided which one to get. So many options were in front of me. I bought the one I could mix with breast milk and the one I could mix with water. I decided I would try mixing the one with breastmilk first. So there I was, I had set up the stage, got my camera ready, put baby girl in her cutest onesie, and was ready to feed her the first bite. FAIL! She hated it, spit it all out. With every bite she just had this awful look on her face, so I gave up after a few sad attempts. She just was not ready.  To be honest, at the time I had an instinct that she wasn’t ready, that she didn’t need it in her diet yet and thinking back I should of listened to myself. (I want to be clear that the recommended age by Pediatrician’s to start solids is 6 months. Up until a year milk is the most important food for your baby). Don’t feel pressured by your parents, grandparents, and any elders to start your baby on solids early as they did, there is no better time or right way, its your way. Yes, we all started earlier and yes we are all fine but for the first 6 months your baby is just fine with exclusively breastmilk or formula.

At Aud’s 6 month check up the doctor gave the ok to start solids. We are told to start them on iron-fortified baby cereal is because it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, especially if you are starting in and around 6 months. I kept hearing that I could go straight to veggies and skip the cereal but I decided I would start her on Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal, and at 6 months she was definitely ready for it. The first bite she took no problem and opened her mouth for more! So once again I had the camera out and took about a million pictures! I was so excited to start this new milestone in our journey. Then got the confusing part. I did the 4 day wait rule, watched for any symptoms that could signal a reaction, and she was fine. Ok, so do I introduce a fruit or a veggie next? Do I stop the cereal and start a new food? Do I feed her twice a day now? So many questions! This is where my mummy friends really came in handy! So this is how I started to intro different foods.

Day  1- Intro to cereal, in the mornings. They say to intro food in the mornings in case any reaction occurs you will have a better chance on noticing. The brand we use is Healthy Times, Organic Oatmeal Cereal for Baby which we buy at our local Loblaws or Organic Grocer.

Day 4- Cereal with a single pureed fruit- Once a day. Every 4 days we would try a different fruit until I had exhausted all fruit options! She absolutely loves fruit so she was not picky about her choices.

After we had done the fruit introductions we moved on to vegetables at which point we also introduced dinner. So she would still have her cereal with fruit in the morning, and around 5-5:30 we give her dinner. I was reading that the serving would be the size of an ice cube (around 1 ounce). HA! Audrina was eating almost a whole baby food jar size amount of food! Just go with their cues. If they are full they will tighten their lips, turn their head or protest when you give them a bite. So we first started with pureed sweet potato, then butternut squash, peas, green beans, zucchini, carrots and so on and so on, of course waiting on the four day rule in between each intro. When we had gone through most veggies we stopped the 4 day introduction. Obviously some people will shake their heads to this but baby girl has had absolutely no reaction to any food we have given her so we are confident about the choice. We also started making combinations of veggies and fruit around 7ish months. We are lucky because our girl doesn’t seem to be a picky eater (knock on wood). Since she had about 6 teeth already we also started to give her baby cookies (i.e. Mum Mums) and Puffs (Graduate and PC brands), the ones that all dissolve in their mouths.

Audrina is now 10.5 months and is on 3 meals a day plus a snack, plus her breastmilk. She is on all finger foods (started around 8.5 months) with the exception of breakfast (cereal with fruit). She loves the independence of being able to feed herself and so do I! Although I am watching her closely with every bite it’s a nice change of pace in the day for her to be able to do it herself. I try hard to get her to eat all the food groups in a day but I’ve learned if she doesn’t eat all her green beans at dinner it’s OK! She will make up for it tomorrow. Would you believe the girl loves tofu!! One of her staple dinners is tofu and sweet potato and peas…would you of even thought of that combo?

When we first introduced solids I was so confused with all the mumbo jumbo out there, but now it’s come as second nature. So don’t stress too much about the introduction, don’t be disappointed if when you set the stage and lights, camera, action- baby spits it all out! Before you know it baby will be stealing food off your plate, shoving handful’s of cheerio’s into their mouths, and throwing every piece of food you put on their tray onto the floor (invest in a good mop…seriously!) Happy feeding!!

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Get OUT!

The first month and a half after bringing baby girl home we didn’t leave the house. We were getting to know each other, trying to get a routine in place, and since baby slept all the time I thought I would too. We would go for walks, do a run to the grocery store but that was about it. I am the first out of my friends to have a baby, so I didn’t have many people to talk to about a newborn. I just wasn’t sure what was out there for us to do. I just assumed she was too little to be signed up for anything, and too little to meet new friends. Then I received an email from an old friend of mine from highschool. She wanted to get together, meet the baby, have a coffee. I thought why not? We need to get out, I would love to catch up and since she had an almost one year old boy and maybe she could answer some of my questions about this new mum, new baby life.

Going to meet up with my old friend was probably the best thing I did as a new mum. Since she had been there, done that, she had so much information about what was out there for us to do. I didn’t have to sit at home and wait for my friends to have babies, I didn’t have to go to the grocery store everyday to kill some time. There were so many resources and programs out there for new mum’s and babies I had no idea about! Best of all most of them were free! When I got home from our get together, she had sent me an email with tons and tons of links to all the mum and baby groups and programs we could join in and around our area.  So I picked up the phone and started calling. The reign of us staying indoors all day, being antisocial, and wondering what grocery store I would check out next, was over! I was finally going to meet other new mum’s, swap birth stories and share experiences and did I mention it was free!

The first program we joined was for new mum’s and babies to learn different ways to be able to parent more confidently. Every week there was a new topic from learning Infant CPR, to infant nutrition, to just being able to network with the other mum’s who joined.  It was so great. It was so nice to be able to swap questions such as why does baby girl spit up? And what color poop is your babies? (Trust me, these are the topics of conversation that become second nature when you’re a mum).

After that program I signed up for every program I could. Registration day for the free programs was like calling into a radio station to win tickets to the next Spice Girls concert, (love them). But I always got through and I always got us into the program we wanted. Another program we really enjoyed was called “Mother Goose” hosted by the Ontario Early Years Centre, (almost every Ontario city or town has one). Every week, for two hours we would go and learn nursery rhymes (it’s amazing how many there are!) and meet new mum’s and their babies, and have snack! It was awesome! I met so many other mum’s and we always had something to talk about. We would all talk about what major milestone our babies had achieved, and what new foods they were trying, what transition from the bassinet to the crib was like… I was so sad when the program came to an end. But there were a core 6 of us who have remained friends. We try every week to get together for play dates doing all sorts of things- Splash pads, picnics, walks, home play dates.

The point of this article is to let all the new mum’s out there know you don’t have to stay inside or go to the grocery store everyday. No matter where you live there are programs out there for you and your baby to enjoy. Check out your local library, the local paper, use google, even call your town if you have too! There are resources out there for us new mum’s. If your town doesn’t have a mummy and me group then start one because trust me, you are not the only one feeling like there is nothing to do. I’ve met some really amazing women, and great babies that Aud and I will be friends with for life. It’s been amazing seeing all the babies grow together this last year, and see how close us mum’s have become. I couldn’t be more thankful for that day I decided to leave the house and go for coffee with an old friend. So get out there, buy that mirror for the backseat of your car so you don’t have to be nervous driving while baby sits in the back (you know what I mean), and meet new mum’s! Do it for you, your baby, and your sanity!

 

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