Aug. 18, 2012

Thomas at One!

My sweet angel, at 7:30 pm one year ago today you came into this world. I have never loved anyone as much as I love you (though your dad is a close second). You are my best guy, and I will love you until the end of time. 

Here are some tid bits about you at one year:

Weight
Birth - 8 lbs, 7 ozs (74th percentile)
One Year - 22 lbs, 11 ozs (67th percentile)

Height
Birth - 21 inches (89th percentile)
One Year - 31.75 inches (91st percentile)

Communication
You are such a chatter box. Even though you don't speak clearly in English (or any discernible language) yet, you clearly tell us when you're happy, sad, hungry, tired and excited. You say Mama  (mostly when tired) and Dada (when you want to play or are excited to see him), and Neh Neh when you want to nurse. When you're playing, you constantly chat to your toys, and when we're at the grocery store you insist on roaring like a lion (I think you like the big echo). You're an excitable child, and love to scream and express joy.

Likes
You love puppies and music. When you hear a tune, you clap your hands, flap your arms and kick your legs. You're even starting to bop up and down in a little dance like way when your favourite songs come on. Daddy loves sharing music with you! When you see a dog, you get very excited!

Dislikes
You hate being in your crib and having your bum changed, and you dislike people feeding you. Aside from that, you're the happiest camper.

Sleep
You're just not a sleeper. You are so cuddly and we love sleeping with you between us, but you insist on waking up to nurse at night. If we refuse to nurse, you scream until we cave in. You're most certainly a reverse cycled child, but you won't have it any other way. 

Physical Activity
You love doing "activities'. You crawl, cruise and climb. You're not walking yet, but you're so adept at crawling that we're not surprised. As soon as you wake up in the am or from a nap, you climb off the bed and head into the hall to start your day. If mom gets up in the middle of the night, or dad is awake before you in the morning, you've been known to climb off the bed and crawl to meet us in the bathroom. You're a funny critter.

We love you Thomas, and are so happy that you chose us as your family.

Jul. 30, 2012

Musings on Having a Second Child

When Thomas was three weeks old, I ended up in the emergency room (for what turned out to be very minor issue), but at the time, I was a bag of stress. Stressed that our baby was spending the night in an emergency room while he slept in his bassinet. Stressed that I was awake ALL NIGHT waiting to see a Doctor, which meant that my sleep deficit was growing, and I knew I couldn't recover with a restful sleep the next night (or even day) because I had a 3 week old to tend to. When I finally was admitted, and saw a nurse, she asked me about Thomas. I gushed, as all new moms would, and she said "I bet you can't imagine having a second child, but let me tell you, as this little guy hits his first birthday you'll forget about the sleepless nights and will start to think about the possibility of having a second child." 

I thought she was nuts. 

I was never having a second child. I was never being pregnant again. I could do another labour (I thought that was the easy part), but the whole production of getting to that point (a three week old) seemed exhausting. I wasn't keen to sign up again, and I have to say I felt the same way until a few weeks ago. 

As Thomas nears his first birthday, he laughs with us at the dinner table. The three of us share a grilled cheese sandwich together while playing on a Saturday evening. Thomas wakes up between us in the morning cooing and clapping his hands. In a way we have never really been before, the three of us are a family. We feel like three individual people, as opposed to two people and a baby. It's been the most remarkable feeling. 

Though we have no plans for a second child in the near future, the possibility is exciting.

Jul. 21, 2012

Furniture Stores


As I (somewhat) recently mentioned, now that all the kid-specific nooks of our home are designed, I've started to think about the other parts of our home again after a hiatus on these things for the past few years (I can't believe it's been almost two years since our love it or list it adventure)! I've started online dream shopping for a bigger home in the future, and decided to pull together a list of my favourite resources. Here's where I do my dream window furniture shopping and some of my current lust items:

Major Modern Furniture Retailers
Canadian Vintage Shops
Canadian Modern Furniture Stores
Where do you shop online for furniture? I'm also working on a list of lesser known small shops that sell art and home accessories, which I'm excited to share next week. Image via Apartment Therapy.

Jul. 16, 2012

Back to Work Checklist

A few months ago, I started developing an excel spreadsheet (yes, seriously) to manage my back to work transition. I've created several master spreadsheets like this to manage my earnings and savings, household budget, wedding planning and even baby preparations. The file is a work in progress, but includes our childcare schedule, meal planning and even an inventory of work appropriate outfits to choose from. In addition to my excel workbook, here's how I'm managing my back to work transition....

Childcare -- Greg and I both work as policy directors with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which means we're both in our offices at least 40 hours a week, we check our Blackberries in the evenings and on the weekends, we often work through lunch and we occasionally travel for business. This all amounts to the need for reliable, quality childcare. This was one of the first things we secured early this spring. It's a relief to have a childcare arrangement that sees Thomas being cared for by people he knows and in an environment where we are comfortable. He'll be staying with my cousin and her 1 year old. 

Weaning -- I'm in the process of day weaning Thomas from breast milk to whole milk.  We'll continue to nurse in the morning before work, in the evening and throughout the night, but he will take a few sippy cups of milk in the day while I'm at the office. Thomas has never reliably taken a bottle, so for quite awhile I was nervous about how he'd be sustained while I was at work. We started by introducing whole milk in a sippy cup without a valve. This made quite a mess, but was essential in training Thomas to use the cup. He now uses a Nuk sippy cup, which I highly recommend for breastfed babies. 

So once we had milk down pat, it was time for us to try to do something about the fact that Thomas really doesn't consistently eat food. About three weeks ago, Thomas started to refuse to eat any purees. He literally would only eat cheerios and rice crackers. It was as if he was telling us that he wanted to do baby led weaning, so that's what we started. It has been amazing. If your little one hasn't been taking to purees, this might be the solution for you, like it has been for us. We started by giving Thomas toast and waffles, and then moved to fruits, vegetables, meat and cheese. After only one week of consistently using this method, he's feeding himself and showing a far greater interest in food,  and new tastes and textures than ever before. 

My next frontier in the food scene is trying to get him to eat yogurt. I think it would be convenient to send him to his sitter's with yogurt as a snack, but because he thinks it is a puree and I have to feed it to him, he's presently resisting. Greg and I decided to try sharing our morning yogurts with him from now on, in hopes that he will accept because he sees mommy and daddy eating it too.

Meal Planning -- Our childcare arrangement sees us adding to our daily car commute significantly (going from a short 5 minute drive to probably 40 minutes). For this reason, we're a bit nervous about getting a nutritious meal on the table each evening before Thomas' bedtime (between 7 and 8 pm). We're preparing by arming ourselves with the mastery of some basic recipes, acceptance that we'll dine at the Rocket Bakery once a week on our way home and a weekly order from Red House Soups

Wardrobe -- We recently took a two week trip to visit family in Calgary and Vancouver. Prior to leaving, I took an inventory of my closet -- what fit, what needed altering, what could be donated or sold, and what was needed. While on holiday, I took advantage of a wider range of shops to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe. I decided that work dresses (like this one, a recent purchase) were the perfect solution for a working mom - 1 piece that automatically looks polished. What could be more simple in the morning than that? Once home, I tried on all my new (and previously owned) dresses and skirts, and matched them up with sweaters, blazers, jewelery and shoes. I then itemized each outfit and added it to my spreadsheet. The logic is that I can choose an outfit without even needing to think about it each evening for the next morning. I'm hoping this will help avoid the "I have nothing to wear" feeling that often causes me to try on 5 ensembles before settling on one for the office. 

I also refreshed my jewelry collection at a Lia Sophia party, updated some of my outerwear (a new  trench and rain boots) and bought a few new blazers (Zara and Madewell) and a new pair of Friday jeans. Greg and Thomas also kindly gave me a beautiful new bag for back to work as a Mother's Day present. I'm still debating buying a few new pairs of shoes too. Before I head back to work, I also intend to buy a whole season's worth of hose and stockings (the days of running out quickly to the drug store for a pair at 9 pm, are long gone), and some new make up. It might seem silly, but preparing to look professional (once again) after a year of jeans and cardigans has been a huge part of mentally preparing for the change in my daily routine. 

Naps -- This is my huge to-do. I nurse Thomas to sleep for naps, and am thinking he'll still need one nap per day come September. Here's to hoping we can find a peaceful way to teach him to sleep without Mama before then! Any suggestions are very much welcomed! 

Trial Run -- I'm heading to a conference for a few days in late August, when I'm hoping the day weaning and napping without Mom will be solidified (he'll be staying with my mom while I'm at the event). Thomas is also starting to spend some time solo at his sitter's this week, in hopes that the transition to being there is a smooth one (I anticipate it will be, as my cousin has two dogs, and Thomas loves dogs more than anything, so I doubt he'll even notice that neither of his parents are around). 

Any other tips and advice on preparing to go back to work? Image above of me in one of my "itemized" outfits.
 

May 15, 2012

How to: Help Your Breastfed, Co-Sleeping Baby Sleep Better



Earlier today, I shared this story on the Facebook page of a breastfeeding support group I participate in, and I've received positive feedback so I thought it might be useful to post on my blog  My hope is that other families who co-sleep, nurse to sleep and experience frequent night wakings that are soothed back to sleep only by nursing can gently encourage their little ones to sleep longer. I'm not a medical, sleep or lactation professional - this is simply what has worked for us and I'm sharing it in hopes that it might work for you too.
  
Given others here have been very helpful in giving me advice on breastfeeding related concerns, I thought I should share how sleeping is going at our house (two wakings last night in ten hours and a similar stretch of nights last week before the onset of the nine month growth spurt) in the event that some of the the things that worked for us might work for some of you too in similar situations (baby waking every two hours or much less looking for a nipple to soothe back to sleep).

Our son sleep regressed from waking once a night at 2:30 am to waking every 30 minutes or less at four months. Slowly he's gotten better (every 45 minutes, every hour, every hour and a half, every two hours and now every three or more hours).

I searched online everywhere, but couldn't find clear advice on how to help a breasfed baby who nurses to sleep and who co-sleeps to sleep better while continuing to nurse to sleep for bed in the first instance and co-sleep. So I spent a lot of time observing him sleep and watching what happened when he woke up. It was clear that he would always stir and move at the end of his sleep cycle, which is the only time he would wake up. So I knew if we wanted him to sleep longer than that, he'd need to be able to stir and then go back to sleep without a nipple in his mouth.

Here's what we did to gently guide him to sleep better:

1. I have always offered the breast upon waking, so I continued to do so because this is his routine. However, I started by unlatching him during the most difficult waking of the night for me (normally the one between 11 pm and midnight) after his sucking had slowed and his eyes were closed. I would always hold him close (which he likes) and say "shhhhh" as I did this. Sometimes he would cry for a few seconds and then go to sleep, other times he seemed to already be asleep and other times he would cry so much I'd need to relatch him. If I relatched him, I let him suck until he fell off the breast. I think this helped him be able to sleep since he was drowsy but not fully asleep and gained confidence in his ability to fall asleep on his own.

2. My husband would take a shift at night during one or more of the wakings most nights. He'd walk, pick him up, sing etc. (whatever he had to do) to get our guy back to sleep. If he wasn't asleep within 30 minutes or he didn't stop crying, I stepped in and nursed him back to sleep. But he most definitely learned through this process that he could fall asleep with Dad. This was helpful since he now often rolls over to Dad for a back rub (see how we started to include this in the night routine below) at night when he wakes or stirs.

3. I combined nursing at night with a gentle head rub (which I found calming for both of us) or back rub. This way the gentle head rub or back rub became part of the falling back to sleep routine, and we could then (many times) use this to put him back to sleep without needing to nurse. We did the same thing with lullabies, so they became a way to put him to sleep as well.

4. I always fed him if it had been three hours or more since his last feeding (the typical amount of time he goes between feeding during the day). I also saw he slept longer when I nursed him on both sides. So I started to unlatch, roll him over my chest and relatch him on the other side after about 15 minutes. The rolling across the body woke him just enough for him to feed a little more. This has helped avoid frequent wakings due to hunger.

As we more frequently put him back to sleep with a little back rub or song, we saw he was sleeping longer. I think this is because those activities required a greater ability on his part to fall asleep on his own. Last night, I watched him for more than three hours. He sat up a number of times, rolled over etc. but each time he went right back into a deep sleep without calling for me. It was amazing. In January I never thought we'd get there. I hope some of these tips help.

May 11, 2012

Apartment





I haven't posted about home decor in such a long time (I've kind of missed it!). With all baby related decor squared away, I'm back to thinking about the other 90% of our house. I love this apartment, which just won a contest for small spaces on Apartment Therapy

May 9, 2012

Maternity Leave Bucket List

 
As of today, I have 118 days of maternity leave left, which seems like a lot and a little at the same time. In thinking about the (hopefully!) beautiful summer ahead of us, here's a list of everything I want to do before returning to the office to make sure I make the most of every moment with Thomas. 
  • Spend hours each day cuddling, reading books and singing silly songs
  • Go outside every day, even if it's just for 15 minutes under our covered deck to watch rain clouds
  • Meet up with Greg at one of our many neighbourhood parks for a swing ride after work
  • Walk each of the trails in the Grand Concourse system
  • Visit Lester's Farm Petting Zoo
  • Enjoy lots of picnic and park playdates at Pippy Park, Bowring Park and Bannerman Park
  • Walk the trail at Salmonier Nature Park
  • Enjoy a bedtime story time at Marjorie Mews Library
  • Visit Topsail and Middle Cove Beaches
  • Have lunch at Lighthouse Picnics
  • Visit the MUN Botanical Gardens 
 Any other suggestions? xo 

May 7, 2012

Style: Quantity vs. Quality

I remember once reading an article in a fashion magazine where the author stated that she now felt she was too mature and successful to shop at The Gap. As a student at the time, shopping at The Gap seemed like a splurge and I couldn't imagine feeling like that sportswear was too common to wear and though my modest budget's grown, I still can't relate to that magazine comment. Today, I count The Gap (alongside shops like Club Monaco, J Crew and French Connection) as my most commonly frequented and favourite shops (thank goodness for online shopping!). I'm also a fan of consignment shops, like Model Citizens (where I recently bought a beautiful Reiss silk blouse, which was very exciting for a Kate Middleton fan like me). 


But, the reality is that really special items (particularly uniquely patterned full a line skirts - my work staple) are hard to find at mainstream retailers. So I'm left browsing Bluefly and Nordstrom for the skirts of my favourite designers - Marc by Marc Jacobs, kate spade new york, Tory Burch, Nanette Lepore and Diane Von Furstenberg - and feeling the pinch (or torture as Greg says) of  deciding whether one really special skirt or dress per season is preferable to a few more affordable pieces. Already owning a sizeable work wardrobe, I'm leaning towards making only one really special purchase.  Early on, building a wardrobe was important (I recall one massive Jacob shopping spree when I finished my graduate degree), but now that I have plenty of suits, sports jackets, dresses and skirts (I'm anti-pants at the office, owning only one pair of wool pants for the depths of winter),  this approach might make more sense. Who are your favourite ready to wear designers? How do you approach building and maintaining a work wardrobe? Above is one of the skirts I'm adoring these days from marc by marc jacobs.

May 3, 2012

NoseFrida


There are certain products that you never even think of needing, that is, until you become a parent. Thomas has never been a good sleeper, but now teething his front teeth, we went from manageable frequent waking to uncontrollable wheezing, coughing and crying all night long. Enter our solution -  the NoseFrida Snot Sucker. This thing is a miracle worker. Seriously.  After sucking all the gunk out of Tom's nose before bed, he slept beautifully. It's my new must have for all parents. Owning one makes the many colds in our future seem so much more bearable. Boy are the Swedish brilliant!

Apr. 28, 2012

Raising a Foodie: At 7 and 8 Months



I am very pleased to note that Thomas now (often) eats three meals a day. I wasn't sure this would ever happen a few weeks ago.

In mid-March, Thomas caught a lingering cold and he entirely lost his appetite. Literally the boy refused food, aside from a few (very small) mid-afternoon meals, for weeks. We continued to offer fruit, vegetables and meat two or three times a day and celebrated every time he accepted a bite. I tried baby led weaning too, in case he was expressing a preference to feed himself instead, but nothing seemed to work. I kept reminding myself that when I'm sick I rarely want to eat, so this was likely what was going on with our little man. I kept sane knowing that he was getting plenty of breast milk and was continuing to gain weight.

However, after all signs of illness subsided, it occurred to me that Thomas might also be overfed. He does after all nurse all night long (literally! I've woken up at night and he's already been latched!). After confiding in a few other moms, one with a similar baby (a frequent night feeder) shared that her nutritionist recommended she nurse only to sleep for naps and bed, and then (at eight months, which is the age Thomas is now) offer food and water throughout the day. I tried it, and all of a sudden Thomas started eating! Before that we'd been nursing every three hours, which is what's generally recommended, but for babies who nurse at night might be too much if establishing solids is a priority for the family. For those super curious, this means I nurse Tom to sleep for a nap at 8:30/9:00 am, again for a midday nap, and then late afternoon before supper (around when he often takes a mini nap when we're out in the car/stroller/carrier). He then cluster feeds for an hour or so before dozing off for the night (which happens anywhere from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, depending on how long his late afternoon nap lasted).

Having Tom eat three meals a day was very relieving. But the quantity of food he was consuming at these 'meals' remained slight.

But we've found a (hopefully temporary) solution to that too!

Oh a whim, I bought a Baby Gourmet pouch (I had never (well aside from a few jars of pureed chicken) given my baby jar food before), and he loved it. When offered Baby Gourmet, Thomas went from passively accepting a few bites to literally standing in his high chair and jumping up with his mouth open to accept the food. It turns out Thomas thinks mama is a bad cook (I really didn't think you could mess up purees that bad!). I still have a freezer full of organic, homemade purees that I hope to move back to, but for now we're munching on pre-made organic purees.

To wash down those meals, and when outside on a warm day, we offer Thomas water from a regular cup. He loves it so much that he reaches for everyone's water glass when they're having a sip. He can't get enough. This is a habit that I'm so happy to encourage! 

Apr. 16, 2012

Horizontal Stripes Guide to: Strollers

Since becoming pregnant with Thomas, starting to focus on more 'mommy-styled blogging', and seeing many of my friends also become pregnant, the most common question they've asked (at least with regard to 'baby gear') has been 'which stroller should I buy?'. After tailoring my advice to each friend, and discovering for myself what works for our family, I thought this might make a good topic for a blog post.

We have three strollers. Yes, you read that correctly -- three. And yes, we have one baby. So, you might want to keep in mind that I'm not someone who has found one stroller that works for everything. I also prefer to purchase strollers that have a decent resale value, because I want my stroller to have a life after I use it so that it doesn't end up at a landfill after a few years use. So, my recommendations tend to be mid-priced strollers (most very high end strollers aren't locally available and therefore my city's second-hand market doesn't seem to place the same value on them that people in larger cities might). If you're like me, you might want to take a look on Kijiji or the like before buying to see what different brands are selling for in your area.

So, which stroller should you buy?

If you love taking walks in the city while baby naps, you'll want a stroller with a bassinet.


My personal bias for preferring that baby sleep in a bassinet rather than a car seat saw me seeking out a stroller with clip in bassinet (which we actually used as Thomas' bassinet in our bedroom for the first three months) as our main full-sized stroller. We went with a fun Quinny Buzz that combines plastic and air-filed tires (and provides the option to switch out the front plastic wheel for a pair of air-filed ones). Other strollers with similar functionality include the Bugaboo Cameleon, UPPAbaby Vista, Stokke Xplory, iCandy Apple, Mamas and Papas Mylo, Bumbleride Queen B and Microlite Toro. Quinny and Bumbleride strollers pictured above. These are catch all strollers, and tend to have better resale values than similar 'travel systems' (Graco and Evenflo, for example, strollers that come complete with a clip in car seat from big box stores).

If you want to use the same stroller seat from newborn to toddler, you'll want a stroller whose seat can lay completely flat.


There's something appealing about having one seat, which has the ability to lay completely flat so that it can be used from birth and up. The bonus here is that there are no extra components to store or adapters to fiddle with. The leaders in this category are the Mamas and Papas Sola and the UPPAbaby Cruz (both pictured above).

If running is part of you're daily routine, you'll want a jogging stroller.



We also bought a used jogging stroller for occasional use on some trails around our neighbourhood for about $40 (it's a Co-Pilot). BOB and Phil and Ted's (both pictured above) are the leaders in this pack (at least in St. John's), so I'd recommend starting there first when you're looking to buy. I have close friends with both types. If you plan to use your stroller while also walking your dog, this is the sort of stroller I recommend. BOB and Phil and Ted's also sell double strollers.

If you're a jet-settler, you'll need a compact umbrella stroller.


Baby's comfort is most important to me, so I suggest staying clear of the too flimsy umbrella varieties if your little one is less than two. We have a Maxi Cosi Mila, but I also love the Maclaren Triumph and the Quinny Zapp Xtra. If you plan on flying with your baby, or want a stroller to keep in your car all the time, I recommend one of these. I love the Maxi Cosi and Quinny varieties best because they also allow you to clip in your Maxi Cosi car seat, which is super convenient if you're travelling with a small baby. Maxi Cosi and Quinny strollers pictured above.

If you plan on having a second child, you might want a stroller that converts to a double.


Similar in styling to the bassinet options above, a stroller that expands to accommodate two might be the best choice if you plan to have a second child or if you have twins. This is a small but growing category of strollers. My personal favourite is the Bugaboo Donkey, but the Mountain Buggy Duet and Baby Jogger City Select are also beautiful and functional. Bugaboo and Baby Jogger strollers pictured above.

Chances are you might need one or two of these (likely a larger stroller and a compact stroller). What strollers do you use and love? I'm so curious!

Apr. 14, 2012

Our Playroom: The Reveal










At long last, we put the finishing touches on Thomas' playroom yesterday afternoon. Our timing couldn't have been any more perfect because he's just started actually crawling. I feel so fortunate to have a space dedicated to play for our little man, and it's a stress reliever knowing the room is baby proof (or at least so I think!).

Sources:
Floor squares - Walmart
Solair Chairs - Studio Pazo
All picture frames - Michaels
Teepee - Mozzlehome (confetti painted by hand by me)
Artwork - Mrs. Eliot Books and Retro Menagerie
Clock - Dominion
Growth Chart - Indigo (thanks Virginia!)
Artwork Hanging Wire - Ikea
Hanging Artwork - Vintage Tintin Post Cards and Lagom Design
Pillow - Ikea (no longer available)
Toddle Truck - Ikea
Storage Bins - Dominion

Apr. 13, 2012

Raising a Baby in St. John's: Fine Dining with a Baby



Now that Thomas is able to sit up in a high chair (yay!), I wanted to put together this round up of fine dining establishments in St. John's that have a high chair. It's great to know there are high and (medium!) end dining options for the whole family to enjoy -- not only to be able to bring baby along to avoid the costs of a sitter, but also to expose baby to the enjoyment of dining out. As Thomas grows up, it is a priority for me that he be comfortable (meaning enjoy eating) and able (meaning having the appropriate table manners) to eat at a high end restaurant. In St. John's, high chairs can be found at (in alphabetical order):
  • Aqua
  • Bacalao
  • Bianca's
  • Blue on Water
  • The Casbah
  • Get Stuffed
  • Indian Gate
  • The Keg
  • Oppidian
  • Piatto
  • The Peppermill
  • Portobello's
  • The Rooms Cafe
  • The Sprout
In completing my round up, some restaurants (Duck on Water, Oliver's, The Cellar and Chinched Bistro notably) let me know that while they don't have a high chair, they encourage patrons to bring along a booster seat as they're child friendly. Annexe Resto also mentioned that they plan to buy a high chair soon (as they're a new establishment). I also couldn't reach anyone at Basho or Yellowbelly, so I'm not sure about their status? Anyone know? If I missed somewhere, please let me know. I'd love to add them to the list!

Apr. 10, 2012

Registering for Baby: Modern Budget-Friendly Alternatives Edition

The reality is that we didn't have $20,000 to spend to prepare for Thomas' arrival. If we did, our nursery might have looked like a composition of the last post. What we did have were generous parents, the ability to make a few splurges ourselves and some researched findings on much-more budget friendly pieces. If modern design is important to you, you might want to consider some of these more affordable pieces as well.
Bassinet - Eco Cradle

Stroller - Bumbleride Indy
High Chair - Svan High Chair
Rocking Chair - Ikea Poang

Apr. 9, 2012

Registering for Baby: Lux Gear Edition

When I was pregnant, I couldn't find a baby registry checklist tailored to my style (modern, clean lines), so I've decided to draft my own. If you share a similar aesthetic, your dream registry might look something like this. In preparing for baby, I wanted to balance my desire for good modern design with utility and my average budget.

This list is similar to one I crafted in my master 'prep-for-baby excel spreadsheet'. When shopping, we splurged on some of these items ourselves and our families bought a few others. In thinking about a second baby, I even have a very short splurge list ready to go (a second Stokke Tripp Trapp and a Bugaboo Donkey). For fun and as an alternative to this dream list, I'll be sharing a list of affordable and modern items, inspired by this list below, tomorrow, including some of the alternatives we purchased to keep our budget on track.

Crib - Ooba Nest

Bassinet - Hushamok
Stroller - Stokke Xplory

Nightlight - J Schatz Egg Lamp

Apr. 4, 2012

Baby Goals: Updated



I've become a humble mother. I'm constantly seeking advice from those mothers who came before me, and I'm constantly changing my approach to caring for our son. As month seven fades, and a return to office work looms in my future, I've updated my approach to my two baby goals. Back in February, I wanted nothing (yes, NOTHING) more than for Thomas to sleep through the night and to take a bottle when I was away from him. I was convinced I'd done everything wrong -- waited too long to introduce a bottle, rushed to him too quickly at night to respond to his cries -- and those mistakes had created a situation (a baby that would only eat from mama and that woke up every hour looking for a nipple) that I couldn't easily change.

Two comments by my public health nurse (love her!) changed my entire perspective on our situation, and I now feel much more confident in Thomas' ability to thrive while away from Mama when I head back to work.
  • Sleeping Through the Night -- My nurse said that babies who are well-established at breastfeeding often wake regularly at night because it helps maintain mom's milk supply! Knowing his waking might simply be nature ensuring that we're able to continue breastfeeding for the foreseeable future is actually pretty amazing.
  • Taking a Bottle - My nurse said that Thomas also wouldn't take a bottle because he's so well-established in breastfeeding. Knowing that his rejection of the bottle is an indication of my dedication to exclusively breastfeed until one and to then continue to breastfeed until he self-weans, not an indication of a failure on my part to introduce a bottle earlier, was so reassuring. In fact, she mentioned he was actually old enough to skip a bottle all together and move straight to a sippy cup or even a regular cup. So far, he's preferring a regular cup to any of the alternatives! I don't know why I was so bent on thinking that taking a bottle was central to us maintaining breastfeeding even after I'm back at work -- it didn't even occur to me that I could give him breastmilk in an actual cup!
Has anyone ever said something simple to you that's changed your views on parenting?

Mar. 30, 2012

Easter Bunnies


If you're looking for an Easter present for your little one, why not give them an Easter Bunny? Timohandmade's are so beautiful, don't you think? Since we already have a present for Thomas for this Easter, I'm filing this idea away for next year!



Mar. 28, 2012

Teepee


For Easter, we splurged on a teepee for Thomas! It's arrived from the Netherlands, and because it's plain, I'm thinking of affixing it with a splattering of confetti, like this table cloth. I'm debating whether I should use a circle, triangle or square motif... hmmm. Images via Oh Happy Day.