Friday, April 30, 2010

(I'm so) Happy Friday!

Teething Ember sleeping on Mumma's lap.

Hanging out with Dad, chomping on his watch.

A full cookie jar means I have meals in a jam this week. :o)

Sophie love.

Vibrating with the desire to walk.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sophie love

Mummy loves Sophie.
Sophie helps sooth Ember's sore gums.

Ember loves Sophie. A lot.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I feel bad about my hair.

I'm freckle faced strawberry. I have strawberry blond curly hair and several dozen handfuls of freckles. When I was 10 and under it meant torture at school and for that reason, I wanted anything different atop my head. Then I turned 14 and realized that women everywhere were paying good money trying to acquire my hair colour AND I learned the value of great hair product. (Big love to Bumble and Bumble). Since then, I've been laughing and loving my unique traits.

During pregnancy, my love affair grew deeper with my hair. It was so thick and my curls behaved oh so nicely. Not one strand would be found in the shower drain after lathering and rinsing - something I had never experienced before. It was such a nice change of pace as I have been referred to as a "shedder" for a many years now.

Well those days are oh-va! The postpartum moult has begun, and it's disgusting. I am completely and thoroughly grossed out by what's happening with my hair follicles. Ember will grab my hair and her little fist will easily remove two hairs. It's not like she can yank! I could vacuum everyday and easily fill the canister. It's a sad state of affairs. Despite my best efforts at creative styling, I walk around looking like a wet rat. My mop is so straggly. I think a trim would help but I don't want to voluntarily get rid of hair, especially pay someone to take it away.

The spring she has been going hard for a month now. Good grief, it should be coming to an end soon right!?! Or, maybe I should just shop for a chic hat?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Ember is the world's worst napper.

Well, let me amend that. Ember is a great napper if: a) she is sleeping on Andrew's or my lap, b) she is in the stroller, OR c) she is in the car. Since she always falls asleep nursing, I've formed the bad habit of just letting her snooze happily on my lap while I indulge in some daytime crap TV.

Of course this greatly impedes my productivity in a day so I'm working to change it. Now, as soon as she dozes off, I try to move her into her bed in our room. Ha! Ember has other plans. As soon as I stand, her eyes pop open and she is awake. I've tried laying her down regardless, with hopes that she will calm down and fall asleep. Again, HA! This is what I found this morning when I popped my head in after she'd been "asleep" for 10 minutes.

I'm grateful that Ember recognizes nighttime and sleeps well then.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big News for Gro Baby

It was announced today that Gro Baby products will as of May 5th be re-branded as GroVia.

GroVia launches on May 5th with the official re-branding of the company and product line-up, with the products available to purchase May 12th.

While the Gro Baby system wasn't my favourite when Ember was smaller, as she grows and the diapers fit better many merits of the system are coming to light. I'm very curious to see what they're coming out with. This transition means reduced prices are coming on all Gro Baby products which most retailers are taking part in. Details will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, April 23. Be sure to contact your favourite retailer to learn whether or not they are participating.

Ingredient of the Month

Andrew, Ember and I enjoyed a lovely brunch with friends on Saturday. It was wonderful to catch up with a good friend over yummy French toast while Ember happily snoozed. Questions were flying back and forth as both parties tried to catch up on all the happenings in recent weeks. One that was asked of me was, "What's your ingredient of the month?"

The ingredient of the month stems from "Pumpkin month". My husband is a massive pumpkin fan. Seriously, not kidding. He loves everything about it, especially the taste, and somewhere in the past four years October was deemed "Pumpkin month". Basically, for the month of October I try to use pumpkin in all all the recipes I prepare. I've done lasagna, fudge, pancakes, cookies, soup and much more featuring pumpkin. Some people tend to think we're crazy for dwelling on one ingredient so heavily for entire 31 days but I love the challenge of creating delicious meals and baked goods for us.

I laughed when I was posed with the question and honestly answered, "Um, we don't have one. October is the only month that we become obsessive. " However, as I was baking up a storm on Sunday, I realized that I have a love affair with lemons each spring. This April is no exception. This past weekend I made glazed lemon cookies and a luscious lemon cake. (Thank you Martha.) I didn't realize that I played favourites to the extent of focusing on a feature ingredient for a month but it turns out I do. This afternoon I make old fashioned sugar cookies with a lemon twist. Yum!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ember goes Swimming!

My little fishy during her first swimming lesson. She had a blast - splashing and kicking away without any worries.

Look at her go!

Splishy splashy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

(I'm so) Happy Friday!!

Ember is sick for the first time. She woke up at 6 this morning with a stuffed up nose and a grumbling, hungry tummy. When she tried to latch on to eat, she started to cry because she couldn't breathe. It was obvious she was a little scared, very hungry and exhausted. While Andrew and I were consoling her through her small meltdown, she smiled at us through her tears. I love her spirit so much! Honestly, I can't help but be impressed by her. She doesn't even know how to sniffle and she's handling this cold like a champ.

After a few good sneezes, enough blockage was cleared that was able to eat. She latched on, nursed to sleep and dozed for another three hours. Waking up at 9:30, she was breathing (almost) clearly through her nose and was fever free!

Here's a clip of Miss E in her Jolly Jumper this morning. Note the tongue sticking out in concentration; she gets that from her daddy.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grasshoppers are my choice!!

Looking back on Ember's first months in cloth, I like to think of them as research. Research in the pursuit of the perfect diaper for our family, specifically Ember's needs. (Read: contain the artistic messes she creates.) I have stated before that I believe diapers are like black shoes, in that you need many kinds for different occasions and I stand by that. Of course one of those is your everyday, go to diaper. After months of stuffing, washing and wear and tear, one diaper has pulled ahead as my favourite. Pulled way ahead.

That diaper is the Grasshopper Bamboo Quick-day All-in-one diaper. Handmade and developed by a mom in Port Perry, ON, these diapers are well made, absorbant and trim.

Some of the great features of this diaper include:

Waterproof outer fabric means no separate cover. Hard wearing snaps last and last and aren't easy for a curious toddler to unfasten. Our roll-up snap makes diapering on the go a breeze (illustration right).

Bamboo is more absorbent than other natural fabrics, resulting in a trim diaper that doesn't sacrifice absorbency.

Soft, unbleached, naturally absorbent Oeko-Tex certified bamboo/ organic cotton inner layer and snap-in soaker. Oeko-Tex certified fabric has been thoroughly tested and found to be free from all known harmful substances; it is suitable for use in products intended for babies and young children. Fabrics made with bamboo are softer, more absorbent, less bulky and quicker to dry than 100% cotton fabrics. Bamboo grows quickly without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and withstands both droughts and floods.

Snap-in tri-fold soaker design provides plenty of absorbency yet unfolds in the wash to ensure thorough cleaning and quick drying in the dryer or on the line.

I was introduced to these diapers through a rave review on a cloth diapering blog. The addict in me couldn't resist having one or two. Initially I bought a small and medium since Ember was in the overlap of sizing. Despite the small appearance, they are a generous fit without the bulk. The size small still fits Ember on the smallest waist setting and third thigh snap and she is nearly 15 lbs.

I've had the Grasshopper diapers in my stash for 2 months now and I've realized that:

- they are my favourite for running errands because they are so darn great at containing messes and with a doubler, they are super absorbant and great for hours at a time
- they are my favourite to go under the cuter outfits and jeans because they are the trimmest in my collection
- they wash incredibly well and aren't showing any age, including NO STAINS
- love that they are low maintenance - I wash the diaper with the soaker attached. To dry, I separate the soaker from the shell, put it on the line and throw the soaker in the dryer. Bonus: the trifold soaker takes mere seconds to snap in.
- the soaker and shell are so soft - even after air drying
- they are so easy to get on thanks to the even snap placement on the hips
- these diapers are the most vibrant I have. I love the colours and how the snaps match perfectly or create a more playful look. Black snaps + red shell = firetruck. (We call it ladybug for our gal).

Now that Ember is beginning to out-grow her small sized diapers, I am faced with choosing the diapers that will (hopefully, fingers crossed) take us through to potty training. Grasshoppers are my choice! Ember wears the size medium diapers on smallest snaps, both waist and thigh.

Hubby's Opinion: While he prefers the ease of applix, he likes these since they're so easy to fasten and don't require a lot of thought. He loves that he doesn't have to un-stuff them (he tends to forget before throwing into the wet bag). Our "pumpkin" is his favourite diaper in our entire stash. He noticed how well made they are and is impressed how they still look brand new.

These diapers make diapering, dare I say it, hassle-free. I love that they're made in Canada! Check them out -

~ Ember is wearing 'bubblegum' in size medium.
~ Product picture and info in italics from Grasshopper diapers.

* I was not compensated in any capacity for this review. I paid for the product.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ember's Favourite Trick

Ember is in a hurry to go places. My friend Kim says that Ember vibrates with the desire to go. And, I have always said that there is no moss on our rolling stone. To help us prove the point, Ember is all to happy to stand up now. Bouncing in the exersaucer or holding herself up with help from the couch or Mummy or Daddy is her new favourite past time. Tummy time is so yesterday. Tomorrow, I think she will be treated to a Jolly Jumper.

Friday, April 9, 2010

(I'm so) Happy Friday!!

Here's why:

Ember is blossoming into a smart, independent and charismatic little girl right before our eyes. It's incredible how as the calendar pages turn over, we get to see more of Ember's personality. I truly love who my little girl is growing into. She now plays alone for up to 40 minutes at a time, chatting happily away with her dolls, and bouncing in her exersaucer which allows me time to get dinner ready and tidy around the condo.

Andrew and I have been reading to Ember since day one, and she has always responded. Now, however, she very clearly has favourites and bounces up and down with a gigantic smile on her face while I read 'Knuffle Bunny' by Mo Willems. She reaches for books and really studies the pictures with her eyes and fingers. It's amazing to watch her discover the world. I truly love being her mum!

Playing with her great tummy time toy from Auntie Kim.

Ember loves watching the water move under her hands and fishes float around.

In her exersaucer for the first time!

Ember posing happily for her four month birthday photo.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Rant ... sort of

Remember when I spared you the rant about the benefits of cloth diapering and why you should be doing it? Well, you have the choice to click here and read one. The author does a great job of dispelling myths and tackling excuses people often use as a reason to use disposables.

It's funny. Seriously worth it. Just do it, please, maybe it will open your eyes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Some-bunny loves Easter!

It could be my favourite holiday, I love it. Ember celebrated her first Easter this past weekend. Of course, she's too young for the egg hunt and chocolate but an excuse to wear a dress, well a gal is never too young for that. Her Easter dress came from her Grauntie (Great Aunt) Nedra and Great Uncle Albin and I just love it. I was having great difficulty finding one that I liked in Ember's size so I was thrilled to find it in our Easter parcel.

Nana, Andrew's mom, joined us for the weekend. Ember and she shared many laughs. We had our family dinner on Sunday and I made the best darn lamb I've ever tasted, accompanied by scrumptious three cheese scallopped potatoes. Of course there were other veggies, but they were only secondary to the main events.

Ember sitting up with just a little assistance from Daddy.

Andrew, Grampa Ian, Nana, Ember burying her face in my hair.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ember goes to Vancouver!

The first week of March, our little family went on its first vacation to Vancouver. Having not been back since moving a year and a half earlier, Andrew and I had a Vancouver itch that just needed to be scratched. It marked Ember's first plane trip, which despite my concern, there was no need for. Once on board, Ember nursed for 20 minutes through take off and continued to sleep the one and half hour long flight, right through landing. She was a champ!!

Our great friends Kim, Isaac and their two daughters opened their home to us for the week, making us feel nothing but welcome. It was great to see them and meet their youngest, Ellie, who is just 12 days older than Ember.

Everday of our seven days there, we spent enjoying a different part of the city or surrounding area - Granville Island, Stanley Park, White Rock and more. Here are some of our photos.

Ember on her very first flight, sound asleep.

Ember and I on the Bombardier train.

The whole group on the pier in White Rock.

Ember and I in front of the Olympic cauldron. We were there between the Olympics and the Paralymics so it wasn't lit.

Ember wanted to drive through Stanley Park.
(Yes, the keys are in the ignition but it wasn't running).

On the seawall with the Lion's Gate bridge behind her.

In Daddy's arms on her first ferry ride to Galiano Island to meet Grandma Michelle and her great-grandparents.

At our favourite lunch spot, Steamworks, in Gastown.

Waiting for our flight to go home; we aren't too thrilled to be leaving.

March - the Good, the Bad and the Annoying

The Good - Our first family vacation to Vancouver. It was an absolute joy. Ember was unbelievably well behaved and a delight to introduce to all our family and friends. Andrew and I basked in escaping the dumpy Alberta winter for spring's glories of cherry blossoms and magnolia trees.

The Bad - My first cold as a mum. I don't get sick often and I found it pretty rough when I was in the thick of it. Ember was going through something at the same time, be it the beginning of teething or a small cold of her own... whatever it was she was waking up every hour and a half for several nights. Poor sleep and no meds allowed (since I'm nursing) make for a grumpy mama. That cold was going nowhere fast and I felt perfectly justified in complaining about it to my husband who was getting a solid 8 hours of sleep every night. In fact, I'm still not 100%.

The Annoying - My laptop died. Lights out. Gonzo. Kapput. The vessel which contains all photos of Ember and details of our life has died. I realize the bulk of it is retrievable however I'm mourning my loss. It's extremely difficult to set up a new computer just to my liking after everything had been so perfectly established. And that's why I've been MIA. However, I now have a new computer all to myself and I'm slowly getting it "just right".

I'll be posting oodles this week, featuring lots of pictures of Miss Ember from our Vancouver trip right up to Easter in her adorable dress (thank you Grauntie Nedra!!). Bear with me!!