Happy Halloween!

iPad camera + squiggly toddler = blurry pics.  But you get the picture ;)

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Needless to say, he was one VERY happy toddler when he saw himself in the mirror.

The costume was very simple: A Batman T-shirt over a blue long-sleeved shirt, the cape from his pyjamas (I just stuck some adhesive velcro to the shirt for the cape to stay put), a diaper cover over the top of black leggings (tho only thing I bought) and his yellow rainboots.  Oh and the cap!  It was was made by my brother’s girlfriend. <3

I wasn’t planning on buying a costume for baby girl, but when I saw this at the start of the month, I knew I HAD to buy it.  It has been used as transitional “coat” over her clothes for when we go out in the cool Autumn weather.

P1000948Anyone want to rub her belly? ;)

A Mystery & Other Random Thoughts

I know, I know…I already did a random thoughts post on Tuesday, but I have more to share!

First the mystery: this is the second time in as many weeks that I’ve left the house to drive Little Dude to daycare with the garbage bin at the end of my driveway waiting to be emptied and have come back to it empty and back in its place beside the recycling bin at the other end of my driveway.  Since both my brother and partner have assured me that it was not their doing, I’m forced to assume it is either the work of a kind neighbour or a poltergeist who happens to be the black sheep in his family.  I’m thinking it’s a poltergeist.

Baby girl is sleepy, cuddly and irritable today, but that’s because she had her two month vaccinations yesterday.  She would have undoubtedly slept through the night (from 7:30 to at least 6:30) had I not chosen to nurse her at 5am after having been awoken by some engorgement issues…  She seems to be reacting well though, the injection sites are neither red nor swollen and she has not run a fever.

Tomorrow is Halloween (duh!) and if the weather’s ok I’m thinking of going out and walking with the little guy so that he can see the trick or treating kids.  I’m not ready to allow him to go and pick up candy though.  When did you first allow your kids to go ask for candy on Halloween?

I’ve found an old Osterizer blender for sale in my area!  I’ve contacted the seller and am going to pick it up tomorrow after baby girl’s 2 month well checkup.

Wordless(ish) Wednesday: What Tummy Time Looks Like

I hated tummy time with Charles.  Probably not as much as him (he would always spend the whole time giving me a look of total loathing and screaming at me), but I still hated it.  Amélie is much more easygoing.  Perhaps she just likes being on her tummy, or perhaps the fact that she actually likes tummy time has to do with the fact that she started much earlier than Charles (I started doing tummy time with her as soon as her umbilical stump fell off – so at about 6 days whereas I started Charles off when he was a month old).

I did use different ways to get my son (and still use them with my daughter) to do tummy time though.

Here is what tummy time looks like around our house.

How did tummy time go with your littles?

Ten Thought Tuesday: October 28th 2014

TTT

  1. I’ve been having some trouble finding the time to blog lately mostly because baby girl has been napping very poorly during the day.
  2. This is why I’ve decided that it was finally the time to break out the EASY routine and work on teaching independent sleep.
  3. Of course, we’ve got the eat (E) and activity (A) parts down pat  Now, I just have to work on the sleep (S).
  4. After a few days of frustratingly little day sleep, my daughter is finally taking a nap in her room (she’s been sleeping for 90 minutes – woot!).
  5. We’ve got a busy week.  Besides it being Halloween on Friday (can’t wait to share a photo of the kiddos in their costumes!), Amélie has her two month shots tomorrow, on Thursday I’m starting band again (haven’t touched my flute in almost 2 years!) and on Friday, baby girl is going for her 2 month well check up).
  6. After my postpartum appointment with my obgyn, I have decided to explore the world of smoothies.  She kindly scolded me when I admitted to not taking any postpartum vitamins, but I can’t stomach the things (good thing she didn’t know I wasn’t taking any when I was pregnant).  I figure that I can get all of the vitamins I need out of real food.
  7. Right now, I’m working on figuring out which vitamins I should focus on given that I’m breastfeeding and finding which foods pack the vitamins I need (also experimenting with flavour combinations ;) ).
  8. The one thing that’s annoying me is that I’m using a food processor to make them.  Besides the fact that I have to remove the blade before removing the container and that the opening to the container has such a large diameter (and no spout) that it’s nearly impossible to pour the smoothie in my glass without losing half of it on the counter, it’s also a pain to clean all the parts and it doesn’t take care of ice and frozen fruits as well as I would like.  I’m thinking of investing in a good ol’ blender.  Any suggestions?
  9. Now that the content of Netflix Canada is better, we’ve decided to go ahead and subscribe to it.  I have been having a lot of fun going through the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes.  So many memories for the geek in me!
  10. I can’t believe how quickly time flies.  My little sister turned 23 last week, my daughter is going to be 2 months tomorrow, my son 2 years old next month, I’m going on 30 and baby brother is going on 20!  What, seriously?  I remember holding him in my arms when he was fresh out of the oven!

Silent(ish) Random Sunday: October 26th 2014

  1. iPhoto still has trouble distinguishing Amélie’s face from Charles’.  Perhaps it’s because they look alike in many regards.

2.  When you have a toddler, it isn’t nap time and it is silent in the house, there’s a good chance that he’s up to something.

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Caught red-handed!

3.  Amélie’s already 8 weeks old (how did that happen?)!  She’s so squishy now!

P10009464.  Charles still loves his sister very much and feels the need to be in close proximity to her very often.

P10100255.  Charles’ first experience with chopsticks…actually went pretty well (considering he could also use his hands and fork to eat).

P10100366.  What happens when the toddler picks out his sister’s clothes and pyjama for the day?

7.  Daddy took the liberty of taking an impromptu photo of me and the littles! <3

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Different

I’ve heard it said too many times to count: no two pregnancies are alike, no two labours are alike, no two children are alike.

Isn’t it true!

Whereas both my pregnancies were very similar, my labours were not.  And the kids!  Oh the kids…

It seems that they are opposites in many ways.

As a newborn, my son cried and whined quite a bit.  He wasn’t colicky, but I remember holding him tummy down over my arm as I walked and walked around the house to try to calm him down.  His tummy hurt quite often as a newborn and I remember that I had to give him lots of tummy massages to help him through the pain.  Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that he had an undiagnosed dairy allergy and I couldn’t get enough of the stuff while I was breastfeeding him.  Poor guy was already on two kinds of cortisone creams and a hydrating cream from the time he was 2 weeks old because his eczema was so bad.

So far, my daughter has been really relaxed.  She hardly cries, isn’t showing any signs of an allergy to something in my milk and besides the normal tummy issues that come with her developing digesting system isn’t too bothered by what goes down down there.

As far as breastfeeding goes, it was an unending marathon with my son.  He would suck at one breast for a good half-hour before sucking at the other breast for another half-hour.  Then, an hour or two later, he would be ready to do it again.  When it came the time for growth spurts, well, he’d be at it from 6pm onwards, sucking away and switching breasts every half-hour until 3am.  If I tried to put him down to sleep (when he inevitably fell asleep at the breast) he would wake up acting as though he hadn’t eaten in days.

My daughter, on the other hand, is a speed nurser.  It isn’t rare for her to be done with her meal in ten minutes.  She very rarely wants anything to do with the other breast once she’s done: she’s content to work on her neck muscles as I try to burp her instead.  Growth spurts for my daughter are also unending marathons…that last for hours on end during the day.  In fact, we just got out of one, in the past two days, little Amélie had hardly slept during the day, instead concentrating on bringing my milk supply back up to par as her needs change.  Oh she would fall asleep at the breast (the only time that happens is during a growth spurt), but I’m sure you can guess what would happen when I would put her down for a nap.

Speaking of sleep…on second thought, let’s not; I wouldn’t want to jinx myself.

Hum, what I will say is that Charles could be rocked to sleep in a jiffy and for a long time I had to work really hard to keep him from falling asleep during car rides (when I needed him to stay awake so that we wouldn’t mess up his nap window).  My daughter, well, let’s just say that rocking is a stimulating activity and car rides seem to be as well, whereas having a toddler running around and playing loudly with his toys near her typically has a soporific effect on her.

As for me, well, it took me a long time to heal and get over the extreme fatigue after giving birth to Charles.  I stayed two nights in the hospital and slept a lot during the first week.  With Amélie, had the doctors allowed it (they didn’t as they had to wait 24h after birth to to a test on Amélie), I would have returned home before supper the day I gave birth.  I was able to move around easily and didn’t feel the fatigue as I had with my first.

Having a first child is a wonderfully terrifying experience.  It’s roller coaster of emotions from learning about the pregnancy to delivering to the first days and everything that comes after. I remember following my pregnancy day by day reading about the development of the baby.  I remember spending hours reading numerous parenting books after giving birth.  I remember googling about everything from low milk supply (because my 2 day old…1 week old…2 week old…) was nursing all the time to oversupply, from poop (what?  He hadn’t pooped in 4 days at one point as a newborn) to sleep (when will he sleep more than two hours at a time?), to milestones (shouldn’t he be able to roll from front to back at 12 weeks!?!), to…well, you get the point.

This time?  This time I am much more relaxed.  I know that things will happen when they will happen.  I know how breastfeeding works.  I know that my daughter is growing well enough that it’s ok if she goes 6h between two feeds at night sometime.  In sum, I know that I have instincts and that I should just trust them.  Because for every child there is in the world, there is a different “book” on parenting.  The basics stay the same, but the small details differ.

You know what’s not different, though?  Love.   I confess that a part of me was afraid as I was nearing my due date.  I mean, my son means the world to me.  I remember being so overwhelmed with love for him in the early days that I would cry.  And, now, I was about to have a second child and a part of me wondered how I would be able to share the love between the two of them.  But you know, I’ve since leaned that your heart only grows with each new child that you add to your family.

Write For Me Wednesday – Why Your Child Needs Swim Lessons

Today, I have a wonderful guest post to share with you on a subject that I find very important.  The author, Becky Flanigan, enjoys writing for An Apple Per Day, and focuses on exercise and parenting. She is looking forward to the day when her last child leaves the nest, so she and her husband Ed can start traveling. She would love to lounge around a cruise ship pool, with no family chores to worry about.

I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.

Why Your Child Needs Swim Lessons

I freely admit I must have been a water baby – I just love being in the pool any chance I get. When we started our family, I wanted my children to be exposed to the water early, so they could enjoy all the pleasures it has to offer. But I wanted them to be safe as well, so I did a lot of research about swim lessons.

Early exposure. When we took our first son out to the pool, my husband held him while I went into the water and splashed around, laughing joyously. He was so excited, he reached out for me, and quickly fell in love with the water. Our second child was more hesitant, so we let him adjust at his own pace. Not all kids will respond the same way to the water, and we wanted it to be a positive experience for them, so we didn’t rush things. Here are some wonderful resources with more information about kids and swimming:

Mom or a swim instructor? I gave some thought about teaching my kids to swim. The general rule is that by the time the child is 4 years old, they have the motor skills to begin formal swim lessons. My boys are so headstrong (they get it from their Dad) that I thought this was a place where Mom trying to teach them something just wouldn’t work. Especially as they grew older and took more advanced swim lessons, I would be out of my element anyway. So the decision for formal lessons from an instructor was pretty easy. It was quite a joy to see how well they behaved for the instructor – he had a presence that just made them pay attention. I’m thinking of hiring him to get the boys to clean their rooms.

Check out the lessons. Not all swim lessons are the same, so we visited the class we were thinking about for the kids, to make sure it was handled correctly. They had a lifeguard overseeing the class, they had a pole and ring buoy in place in case they were needed. We asked the instructor, and he showed us his Red Cross certification and his card that showed he knew CPR. Then we watched a class. It was so businesslike that we felt very comfortable with it. They had a purpose for what they were showing the kids, and they weren’t just letting the kids splash around in the water.

A lifetime skill. I wanted my boys to know how to swim, because it was a skill they would need all through their lives. When they were young, we would be taking trips to the beach, they would be hanging out with their friends at the community pool, and after they grew up, who knows where they might be around the water. I wanted them to have the confidence and comfort to know they could handle themselves in the water.

It’s really about safety. They talk about protecting children around the water as being not just one thing – but taking a number of steps to provide for their safety. Since we had a home pool, we put a fence around it, got alarms and a locking gate. But I read an article by the Center For Disease Control which stated that the best solution for keeping a child safe was formal swimming lessons. Since drowning is an alarmingly common problem for young kids, that further convinced me that lessons were in order.

As I watch the boys in our back yard pool playing games with their friends, I smile because of how comfortable they look in the water. I’m so glad we gave them swim lessons.

Thanks again, Becky, for this wonderful post!

Do your children do swim lessons?  When did they start?

Whose Glass Is This? (Aka: Glass Markers)

Sometimes, the best ideas are the ones that come to you in the spur of the moment.

We recently had some friends and family over for my sister-in-law’s birthday.  As is customary when one has guests, we offered drinks as they arrived.  In a very short amount of time, there were glasses everywhere and we quickly lost track of which glass belonged to who.

Since we don’t have an unlimited supply of glasses, we ended up washing them before supper.  Not that it’s a big problem, but, y’know, who likes to do the dishes when it can be avoided?  So I thought that there must be a solution.  I mean, wine glass markers have existed for years, but I’d never seen something to help identify regular glasses (though I’m sure something must exist, I didn’t want to spend any unnecessary money).

And then, I saw my table centerpiece and knew that I had found a solution: stained-glass paint.

The next evening, I grabbed all of our glasses (all 9 of them!) and fetched my paint kit downstairs.  Then, selecting 9 of the 10 available colors, I painted the bottom of each glass a different color.  I even had some fun and painted a smiley face on the bottom of three of the glasses, because, well, why not? ;)

P1000912There, problem solved.

Enough Is Enough!

It seems like Little Dude just can’t catch a break.  Three weeks ago, we brought him to the medical clinic for a bad cough to find out he had an ear infection on both sides.  Then, the morning after finishing the antibiotics he’d been taking for ten days, he broke into hives and suffered through the bad reaction all weekend.  He’d been doing pretty good for the last two days or so and then, yesterday morning, something was off.

He woke up in a good enough mood, but things quickly went downhill.  After throwing a tantrum when we had to force him to take his Benadryl, his screams and tears became more insistent.  He refused to walk, repeating the word “hurt” over and over again (a word he’d also used over the weekend, at the peak of his hives, when it was time to walk).  When, I asked him where it hurt, he told me it was to his knees.

Feeling that the tears and tantrum were more than those of a terrible two toddler who’s just plain sick of being sick, I decided to bring him in to the walk-in clinic.  It turns out that the little one has lots of fluid in his ears (which isn’t infected…yet…).  As for the pains, the doctor told me that hive sometimes came with joint pains.  He suggested we give some Motrin for the next five days to see if things got better.  After giving Charles two doses of Motrin, I see a big improvement!  Though the little guy walks as though he was an old man, at least he’s walking again.

So now, Little Dude is on a nice cocktail of Motrin and Benadryl for the next five days.  Here’s to hoping that he’ll be spared from any pain or discomfort for a while by Monday.

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Feeling Fallspired – Part 2

Continued from part 1

The Burlap

After doing some research on the different ways I could cut my table runner down to size without having to deal with fraying edges in the near future, I settled on two options:

  • Using a mixture of 1 part mod podge and 1 part water
  • Using some double-sided tape

Since I didn’t have any double-sided tape, but I did have mod podge (well, sort of) I decided to start off with testing that.  I put my burlap runner down over some wax paper and mixed some school glue and water together in a 1:2 proportion (accidentally making mod podge in the process).  Then, using a small sponge, I applied a generous amount of the mixture across my burlap (I made sure to saturate the fabric so that I didn’t have to turn it over and apply on the other side as well.  After that, I hung my runner on the clothesline to dry.

You know what?  It worked! :!: (to my surprise)

Then, it was just a question of measuring out the length of burlap that I wanted and starting over with the mod podge before cutting it down to size.

Enter Pinterest

Of course, no decoration project is complete without the collaboration of Pinterest.  So off I went in search of a manageable Autumn wreath to make.

And then, I saw this:

Not exactly a wreath, but oh so cute!

Not exactly a wreath, but oh so cute!

I immediately knew that I had to make this.  I also knew that following its confection, one of 2 things were going to happen:

1.  It would become a super cute decoration that I could reuse year after year.

2.  It would be relegated to the cemetery of Pinterest Fails

I started out by finding buying the required amount of canning jar rings, 25 to be exact (ok, truth: I only bought two packs of 12 ’cause I had one ring lying around at home) and a pack of cinnamon sticks.

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Then, I cut out a long piece of sting and strung my rings (all facing in the same direction) onto my string before trying to tie it.  The moment of truth was about to be revealed, I crossed my fingers for it to work.

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Imagine my surprise when it worked!  On the first try!  (Notice the piece of string still attached to the ring.  Though the original tutorial call for cutting it, I suggest keeping it attached to aid in the next step).

Once my pumpkin shape was finished, I fished an old can of spray pain from my art supplies.  I’d bought a black chalkboard paint aaaaages ago and thought that the matte black finish would look great.  I went out on the balcony, held my art project by the string and spray painted it.  Then, I made good use of my clothesline once more to let the paint dry.

Once dry, it was time to add the stem (a bunch of cinnamon sticks) and the leaves and showcase it on the shelf at the top of our entrance stairs.  (The pumpkin has since been replaced by a butternut squash as it is now in this pie).

I’m thinking that this pumpkin craft could be fun to do with little (but not too little ones).  Perhaps, the canning jar rings could be replaced with a slinky.  Hum…will have to give that a try.

It felt so good to get involved in an art project again.  It seems that in the process of building a family, I have somewhat forgotten myself.

Are there things that you loved to do pre-kids and haven’t taken the time to do in too long?  What is the last Pinterest project that you have tackled?