Sunday, February 28, 2010

Packing... with a Baby

This week, the three of us are going to visit friends in Vancouver. 'Looking forward to it' really doesn't sum up my feelings - I am bursting with excitement and have compiled a pretty large 'to-do' list for while we're there.

I like lists. Where planning is concerned, you will always find a list I've created. I make lists about the cleaning I want to tackle in one day. I make lists on holidays about the food I have to prepare. And, when traveling, I make a list of all I have to pack.

An example of a packing list before Ember would look like this:

jeans (3)
sweaters (3)
t-shirts (4)
tops (4)
slingbacks, chucks, red diesels
down vest
cell phone and charger

I'll also put together a smaller list piecing together outfits to ensure I'm covered (literally) for all outings and occasions while away.

Here's what the packing list looks like for Ember alone:

car seat and base
aden and anais blanket
diapers - grasshoppers and gro baby with bio inserts
wet bag (3)
cameras and chargers
stroller with rain cover
Goodnight Moon
2 blankets (don't forget the pink one!)
receiving blankets (more than you think is necessary)
sleepers (5)
onesies (3)
jeans/pants (3)

There's more, I'm sure of it. I am almost positive that I'm forgetting something. What I must learn to remember is that, I'm going somewhere civilized. Maybe packing everything under the sun isn't necessary; there are stores and laundry facilities. Although, my neuroses has served me well in the past ... for the most part. And with the third degree case of mummy-brain I suffer from, a list couldn't hurt.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Little Cottontail

Cloth bottom girl, you make my rocking girl go round.

I would have never, ever guessed that cloth diapers were something that I would become addicted to or passionate about. Let me stress, when I say addicted, I mean addicted. For about a month now, I have placed an order for diapers at least once a week. I know I have a problem and my husband is certainly aware of it, but I can't stop!

I've decided that cloth diapers are like black shoes. In that, you need more than one pair - a pair for every occasion, really. To date, I have discovered the almost perfect diaper for every part of Ember's schedule. Furthermore, I have learned that no matter how well a diaper performs, it doesn't mean it suits our family or our daughter.

Why do I write about this, you ask.

First and foremost, I promised my husband I would acknowledge my problem publicly.

Second, you should be aware that this could happen to you. Cloth diapers (or fluff as us addicts call it) are seriously addictive; I'm not the only one with this affliction. I can only think of ONE friend who found a cloth diaper that she liked, worked well and stopped there.

We don't understand each other.

From time to time, I will be posting reviews of diapers. I realize that there are oodles of reviews circulating, however I have experienced "issues" with some popluar diapers that I haven't read about in other reviews to date. And I have discovered diapers that aren't well known yet, and you really need to know about. Stay tuned!

Ember Snuggle days

I apologize for my absence. We enjoyed a three day weekend as a family. The weather cooperated and our trio enjoyed our days thoroughly.

The last few days have been spent snuggling with my little girl. I'm learning that the days before Ember goes into a growth spurt, she gets a bit fussy and doesn't sleep well. Since Tuesday, we have been lounging in an armchair together. It's the only way she gets sleep during times like these. Falling asleep isn't an issue, but as soon as I would try to lay her down in her bed, she would snap awake and wouldn't settle back into sleep by herself.

I know it's not permanent so I just settle in and veg in front of the television. Thankfully, I have had the Olympics. I've learned to accept these fussy days and not stress about them. Instead, I've embraced them - they're my Ember snuggle days.

Friday, February 19, 2010

(I'm so) Happy Friday!!

Here's why:

- More of Ember's personality and character have emerged this week. Some highlights are below.

- On Monday, she decided she loves to talk. All day, everyday now she chatters away. I'm sure I will live to regret this, but I love her voice and hearing her stories.

- Meeting people as of late, Ember has been shy. When in my arms she now swings her head around to the shoulder furthest away from the stranger and nuzzles in. It's amazing to feel like her safe place.

- During storytime, she oooohs and aaaahs and reaches her hand up and hangs onto my bottom lip, all with a huge smile on her face.

- 'Head and Shoulders' (the song, not the shampoo) and the alphabet are new favourites. As is, singing "Raise a Little Hell" by Trooper while hoisting her in the air. The latter produces giggles.

- Andrew has a three day weekend!! Planned is a walk in the River Valley, watching rugby with Grampa, and some shopping ! Not to mention, lying in as a family and pancakes for brunch.

Woah, Mum, the flash is on!

Ready for the Opening Ceremonies.

So strong!

She loves that hand as of late and, she's pudging up for a growth spurt. Look at that belly!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I heart Thursdays!!

My husband is a manager in a retail lumber store so that means he doesn't have an 8 - 5 job. For the most part that stinks, but each Thursday he works 12 - 9 and it has become a true gift. A few weeks ago, it was decided that every Thursday morning would be daddy-daughter time. That equals a morning off for me! In my Thursdays to date, I've gotten a haircut, a pedicure, laid in bed reading, but this morning was the best so far.

Today I went shoe shopping!!! On a mission for a new pair of kicks for our trip to Vancouver next month, I took myself to gravity pope. Ah, I love it there. I came home with a new pair of Converse.
Oh how I love trips out by myself. I don't have to worry about pulling the carseat out, unloading the stroller AND I don't have to carry a diaper bag. It's so lovely to carry a purse - it feels so small and light now comparatively. Though I really don't hate my diaper bag, which when out with Ember, does double duty as my purse.
My time alone comes to and end around 11:45 am. Fine by me. Honestly, by then I'm usually missing Ember. Driving home this morning, I was a little sad that I missed seeing her big smile that greets me when she sees me for the first time every morning. But it makes me happy that, at least once a week, Andrew is treated to it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ember and friends

Here is Miss Ember playing on her mat. She loves it on there! There are lots of conversations with the dolls and that musical sun always brings a smile to her face. You will see that she grabs for toys now. *Sigh* They grow up so fast.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lesson #2 - Opinions

I used to be opinionated. I used to judge people's choices. I had opinions on how children should be raised and treated; everything was so black and white. It was so easy back then, when it was obvious that my child was going to be well behaved and cooperative from day one, at all times of day. HA! That being said, I never dared to share my advice with a parent. I kept it to myself.

My first tidbit of parenting advice came in a grocery store check out line from a woman old enough to be Ember's great- great- grandmother. It was just a few days before Christmas, Ember was just two weeks old and I had just finished picking up all the groceries needed for our Christmas feast. The place was packed to the seams and I was tired.

We're about 3 people back in the line to checkout and my girl loses it. She is just wailing away. "I'mmmm hunnnngrrrry!!!", her cry is screaming at me. I'm swinging her around in her carseat trying to calm her, when the old gal in front of me, turns around and says, "Sometimes they just like to be held you know." Cue immediate hate and rage! I explain that Ember is hungry and I can't help her that instant since I'm nursing. Oh well, this lady persists, "Holding her may help."

Well, thanks tips! Look around, maybe if I weren't in a grocery store checkout about to purchase enough food for ye olde Christmas dinner, I would hold me child. Maybe if she weren't two weeks old, and she could hold her own head up allowing me to unload my grocery cart, I would hold her. Maybe if I knew holding her would fix it and settle her for the next hour, I would bounce her on my hip. But here's the thing, nothing is going to quiet her down until there is a boob in her mouth, so I'm not going to tease her but pulling her out of the carseat, and then toture her by putting her back in it without a meal. Of course, I say none of the above. Instead, I just simply say, "Yup, sometimes they do. Merry Christmas." And mutter a few choice words under my breath.

The second incident that made me want to launch a dirty diaper at a human being, was during a Robbie Burns dinner when Ember was 8 weeks old. Ember was the only child there, let alone infant, and many, many women were cooing in her face. She was really well behaved but each night, my girl has a 'witching hour' where she is easily annoyed. During that time, she likes to cuddle and to lay low, patience really isn't in abundance. To make it more bearable that evening, after our dinner and before dancing, I took Ember to the bathroom to change her our of her dress, and into a clean diaper and a sleeper. She is perfectly happy until her back hits that cold change table, at which point, chicky melts down. I'm working as fast as I can while Ember just belts out a sob song. Most women in the loo were understanding but there was one bag, who as she was leaving felt it necessary to say to her friend, "Why didn't she just pick the baby up?"

Argh!! Really?!?? It was cold in the bathroom and my daughter's rear end is hanging out. The way to fix the problem is to dress her. A feat which is a wee bit trickier with a squirmy, little body. Come on!!!

Nothing opens you up to unsolicited advice like parenthood. And, ladies, we are the best at dispensing at it. We're also very good at judging. Maybe it's time we cut each other a little slack and give one another the benefit of a doubt. After all, a parent probably knows their child better than you do. That's coming from me and I used to be opinionated.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Encouraging Cloth Love!!

How appropriate that on the day we celebrate love, there's a contest to celebrate cloth diaper love! Quickly scoot on over to Acorns and Oaks to enter for a chance to win a free diaper. And be sure to check out their adorable online shop, too.

Contest closes at midnight, February 14th.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spirit Flippers

Here is Ember sporting her Vancouver 2010 mitts. They are the youth size but clearly massive on our wee gal, more so resembling flippers. She is warming up her cheering arms for the opening ceremonies. Go Canada!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

(I'm so) Happy Friday!

Here's why:

- Ember slept through the night last night ... in our bed but I don't care because I got 7 straight hours of sleep.
- the Olympics start today. For the next two weeks, I will be on my couch, glued to the TV.
- we're having sushi for dinner, yum.
- life is good (see below).

Instead of the tongue sticking straight out, it now curls around her upper lip. Talented girl!

She got those monkey toes from Andrew.

My two gifts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Klub Koo

Ember's best friend is quickly becoming Ruby bunny. Ruby was designed and handmade by the incredibly talented Sarah MacNeill of Koo and Poppet on Vancouver Island. Head on over to Koo and Poppet to see Ember's warm welcome into Klub Koo. Be sure to check out Sarah's other beautiful creations as well!

Thanks Sarah!!

Have we met? You're kind of cute.

The person who coined the term, "It's a good thing you're good looking, or..." must have been a woman. Probably a mother whose baby wasn't sleeping.

Now I realize that my sleep complaints aren't really worth complaining about compared to what some mothers go through with their children. But last night, my girl just didn't want to sleep by herself. No matter what I did, as soon as she hit her pack and play (which she sleeps in in our room), her arms would flail and if I wasn't found in that reach, the cry would start which easily leads to her car alarm cry. She had no trouble falling asleep in my arms. A good, deep sleep too; the kind where her head would fall back like a pez dispenser if you let it. But each time she hit that mattress, the arms would swing to find no Mummy and the cry was triggered. After the sixth attempt of gaining freedom, I just gave up and crawled into my bed with her. It just wasn't worth it anymore. We both need sleep too badly to fight it.

I wonder if she has a minor cold, or dare I say it... she may have started teething. There has been drooling and hints of a diaper rash this week. Whatever the reason, that wasn't our Ember last night but she was still pretty darn cute.

Ember sleeping on our bed. She rolled from her back onto her tummy. Her feet were too yummy to pass up.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lesson #1 - Grandstanding.

It was decided while I was pregnant that we would use cloth diapers. I was determined and steadfast in the decision despite the mixed reactions I received from family members and friends. The more I read about cloth diapering, the more I learned about the harm disposables do to babies, the planet and your pocketbook. And I wasn't afraid to share my findings with people. I was quite content up on my soapbox spouting off, the "Did you knows?" of cloth diapering. Don't worry, I will spare you the rant.

I conducted oodles of research, pouring over cloth diapering websites educating myself on our options and reading reviews. I consulted with Andrew and we concluded that Gro Baby was for us. So in my third trimester, I purchased the Gro Baby package that would (hopefully) cover us from infant through potty-training. [Let me declare that we knew Ember would be in disposables for the first two weeks (give or take), while we were waiting for that umbilical cord stump to fall off.]

Ember's belly button made its appearance earlier than we anticipated, when she was 6 days old. After cooing over how cute her little inny was, Andrew and I high-fived that we were done with disposables. So excited we were to strap her in to those cloth bottoms for the first time. Well, "pop!", went our bubble. That little diaper was still swimming on our gal even though she was back up to her birth weight of 7 pounds, 4 ounces. It went up over her ribs, cutting her in half, and really making it impossible to wear. Sheepishly, we rocked-papered-scissored on who was doing the run for another bag of diapers. Guilt ridden, Ember was fastened into another disposable.

Weeks went by. More bags of soiled disposable diapers left our condo than I really care to admit or remember. Frequently we tried a Gro Baby* on Ember only to realize that it was just too big still. When she was 7 weeks old, consumed with the guilt of wasted money (all those diapers sitting in a drawer), and the guilt of used diapers stacking up in a landfill, I contacted a local business for help. Melissa of One Posh Baby came to my home for a free diaper consultation. This allowed me to try tester diapers on Ember to see which were the best fit for her. Needless to say, we ended up spending more money on cloth diapers to get away from the disposables. We bought some smaller fitting diapers for the interim until our baby grows into those Gro Babies.

I talked such a big game while pregnant about the benefit we were going to do the planet only to produce more waste than we ever intended. Furthermore, we've spent more money than we ever planned. We take comfort in that we want more than one child so these diapers will be utilized. I've also learned that diapers are a serious addiction; I want to try them all. But more on that later....

* I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with the Gro Baby product. I am very impressed with the quality and know that one day it will be great on my daughter.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A New Hobby

I've been talking, thinking and debating doing this for sometime. There have been brainstorming sessions for names and topics. was batted around for a bit. My husband still thinks it an apt name. I still pretend to think he's way off base.

On December 2, 2009, I got a new job title - Mum - and the topic became clear. The name wasn't far behind.