Ten Thought Tuesday

TTT

  1. I’m 20 weeks along today.  Can you believe it?
  2. We haven’t caught anything in the potty yet.  My son waits until his diaper is on before relieving himself.  BUT, he does like sitting on his new “chair”.
  3. The weather here is all over the place.  Yesterday it was 25C and rainy and tomorrow it’s going to be 0C with a chance of snow.  I mean, come on Mother Nature, isn’t is spring yet?
  4. The little guy’s new favourite breakfast food is oatmeal.  When I tell him it’s time for breakfast, he enthusiastically grabs the box of oatmeal (that he chose when we went grocery shopping together) and sets it on the table and then helps me put everything else we need on the table.  Then, he helps me prepare it.  His favourite part though is eating it! ;)
  5. Today, I’ll be making these delicious energy bites for the accountants at the office where my partner works.  They’ve been putting in so many hours to get the tax returns done before the end of the month and I think they all deserve a little treat (my partner included).
  6. Sunday, my partner made some delicious brownies to bring to work yesterday (we follow the recipe without adding the espresso and they are absolutely divine!).  Needless to say, the triple batch he whipped up didn’t last very long at the office.
  7. I can’t wait for the park in front of our house to become more dry so that I can bring Charles during the weekend or once he’s home from daycare.
  8. Yesterday for lunch, I made some hot brie, turkey breast and pear sandwiches.  So yummy!  (Hum, I think I may be in need of a snack, this is the third point in relation to food lol).
  9. With today’s weather the way it is, I’ll be making the most of being indoors and try to tidy up the house.  I’m feeling loads better now that I’ve been resting for two weeks so I actually have the energy to do some cleaning (yay!).
  10. I think it might be leopard gecko mating season; my female has been digging like mad for the past three days.

How are you doing today?

The Babies ‘R Us 3-In-1 Potty Chair: First Impressions

*Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement of a product.  It is just my honest opinion on a product that I recently bought*

So, I finally took the plunge and bought a potty for my son.  After a couple of hours of online shopping and review reading (no joke!), I finally settled on the Babies ‘R Us 3-In-1 Potty Chair.

There it is!

There it is!

It hasn’t had much use yet, but so far there are quite a few things that I like about it.

Pros

1.  It’s compact and can likely fit in a small sized washroom.

Nicely sized.

Nicely sized.

2.  It’s gender neutral: grey, white and lime green.

3.  It is 3-in-1, meaning that it can serve as a potty seat, as a training seat and as a step stool.

You've already seen the potty seat.  Here's the training seat and step stool.

You’ve already seen the potty seat. Here’s the training seat and step stool.

4.  It only has four pieces to it and is easy to assemble and disassemble.

P1000191

5.  There is a built-in urine shield (as opposed to a removable one as I saw on a few of the potty seats I looked at today).

6.  The lime green part is a foam cushion which gives me the impression that it will be more comfortable to sit on.

7.  It doesn’t have any bells or whistles.  No lights, no sounds, no batteries.

8.  There aren’t any textured parts or crevices, which means that it will likely be easy to clean.

9.  At 20$, it’s a great value – especially when you don’t really know what you’re getting into with regards to potty training.

Of course, for all its positive points, there are also aspects that I don’t like as much.

Cons

1.  It is easy to take apart.  Maybe a little too easy.  The lime green foam part in particular is very attractive and is one of the first things that my son grabbed.  He then proceeded to make a necklace out of it and parade around the house with his new find (which is cute because it hasn’t come into contact with any waste yet, but…).

2.  The step stool seems a little unsteady to me.  Though it does have grips on the bottom to avoid that it slips, there is no base that attaches to it so I find it lacks stability.

3.  Because the base is the same size as the top (as opposed to the base being a little larger than the top part), it can be unsteady for a newbie toddler trying to get on by himself as best he can.

What my son thinks of it

Little Dude was positively beaming when I sat him on his potty (fully clothed) the first time.  He then spent the rest of the evening either carrying his new seat around, trying to sit on it by himself, or using the foam part as a necklace.  When he signed that he was done with his bath, he enthusiastically pointed to the potty and so I sat him on it asking him if he needed to go pee-pee.  Though he didn’t pee, he happily stayed on it for a minute and then got up.  I put a diaper on him and then he spent the next 5 minutes getting on (or trying to) and off his potty.

So far, everything looks positive.  Little Dude likes it and though he has no conception of what it’s used for yet, he’s interested in sitting on it.  Onwards we go!

Rating

I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars for now.  I’ll update as it gets more use.

What did you use for potty training?

A Little Trinkle

I’m thinking of investing in a potty.

I wasn’t planning on it.  I always figured I’d wait until my son had the words for “pee” and “poop” so that he could ask to go to the potty.  Actually, I figured I’d do the three-day potty training during spring break 2015 or summer 2015.

The thing is, though, my son peed on the floor again this evening and some of my neurons connected.

Ok, maybe I should rewind a bit and explain what my son was doing sans diaper.

You see, Charles likes his routines.  He likes to know what to expect.  One of his favourite parts of bath time is when he gets out.  That’s when I wipe him down and then wrap his torso in a towel and call him my little Greek god.  He just beams and walks proudly out of the washroom in his “toga” to see his dad.

Then, if I don’t catch him in time to put his diaper on, he generally finds a place to squat down and leave a little puddle of urine before continuing on with his business (namely trying to get away from me so I can’t catch him and get him ready for bed).

So, why the potty?

I realized today that his bath lengths vary considerably.  Sometimes he’s in the tub five minutes before signing to me that he is all done, other evenings he can play and play for 45 minutes before being ready to move on to the next part of his routine.  But each time, invariably, he ends up peeing on the floor if I don’t get a diaper on him within two minutes of getting him out of the tub.

Besides, what do I have to lose?  We’re going to have to invest in a potty sooner or later anyways so it’s not like I’m going to be buying something that won’t be useful somewhere down the line.  Plus, there are some people that do elimination communication (or EC) as early as the newborn days, so I suppose it makes sense to give partial potty training a go at 16 months.  Also, he’s already gotten used to waving bye bye to his flushable liner when I’m done changing him (of course, he also likes to wave bye bye when his father or I use the toilet too :D.  I figure that I can start out slowly and encourage him to use the potty when he’s done with his bath and see where things go from there.

Make sense?

Care to share your potty training experience?

Share it Saturday: Simple Chickpea Curry

I thought I’d go ahead and share some of my favourites when it comes to meals around here.  I was thinking of sharing a recipe every week to two weeks.  Today, I’d like to share a curry recipe (I LOVE curries!).  It’s made with chickpeas, but you could easily substitute for chicken or shrimp if you wanted to.  I like to serve this with rice, but it’s also great with some mini pitas to soak up all the curried goodness at the end!

Simple Chickpea Curry (4 portions)

P1000184

Nutrition facts (per portion): Fat: 5g, Protein: 6g, Carbohydrates: 21g, Energy value: 160kcal

Source: Kilo cardio – alimentation, exercice et motivation pour atteindre votre poids santé

Ingredients

  • 10 ml (2 tsp.):  olive oil
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup):  onion, chopped
  • 10 ml (2 tsp.):  curry powder
  • 20 ml (4 tsp.):  all purpose flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup):  reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 90 ml (6 tbsp.):  lite coconut milk
  • One 796 ml can:  chickpeas
  • 250 ml (1 cup):  broccoli
  • 250 ml (1 cup): cauliflower
  • 250 ml (1 cup): red and orange bell peppers
  • To taste:  salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger

Directions

  1. Sauté onion in olive oil.  Add curry powder and ginger.
  2. Add flour, stir and add in the chicken stock and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, add the chickpeas and veggies and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked to taste.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Hints!

  • Double the amount of chicken stock if you want more curry sauce.
  • Save time by preparing your ginger in advance.  Just peel a few hands of ginger, puree with some olive oil and freeze in some ice cube moulds.

If you like this recipe, you can download a nifty pdf printable version.  Just click on the link beside the image!

Simple Chickpea Curry

 

 

 

 

Simple Chickpea Curry

 

 

 

Do you have an awesome recipe to share?

Splish Splash!

The little guy has discovered a love of spring.  Yesterday his daycare was closed so we hung out together.  He was thrilled to be able to walk around and explore without being stuck in a big snowsuit and mountains of snow he couldn’t climb. We made the most of the awesome whether and walked to daddy’s office to bring him some supper (it’s income tax season so Mr. Accountant has been needing to put in a whole lot of extra hours).

P1000159

I’d brought the small stroller so that I could put the little guy in if he got tired of walking.  Of course, Mr. Independant had other ideas and pushed the stroller for almost the full half-kilometer that separates our house from the daddy’s workplace.

I also got him to try on his new rain boots.  Oh boy, such joy!  His face was priceless when he heard the splashing noise it made when he explored the small puddle in our driveway.  After that, there was no stopping him: he decided to explore each and every puddle in our street.

Of course, “exploring” also meant getting up, close and personal with the water by kneeling and sitting in it *facepalm*.

P1000180

And by the time he was ready to go back indoors, he was both very wet and very pleased with himself.

P1000168

Sleeping Arrangements

Ahhh, peacefully sleeping.

Ever since we brought Charles home roughly 16 months ago, we’ve had to make several changes to our/his sleeping arrangements.  I thought I’d break down what changed when for future reference (y’know, so I don’t wonder how we managed when Peanut comes along ;) ).

The newborn phase

Since a newborn’s circadian rhythm isn’t programmed the way ours is (from my understanding, that happens around 4 months) they have no conception of the difference between day and night.  Knowing this, we decided to establish a visible difference between naps and nighttime sleep from the getgo.  During the day, the little guy slept in his moses basket wherever his father and I were hanging out.  During nights, though we considered many options (co-sleeping, having a cot in our room…), we decided to get him used to sleeping in his own crib in his own room.  Since his room is right next to ours, we just kept both bedroom doors opened and we could hear him very quickly when he awoke for a feed in the middle of the night (or, rather I woke up very quickly – often my partner didn’t even hear him).

We swaddled him for the first week or two before stopping because he just seemed to hate it.

P1000770

1 week old and snoozing away in the living room.

Eventually, when the little guy started too get big for his basket, we moved him to a baby park bed for his daytime naps.  We also started to swaddle again when he was about 6 weeks old and his moro reflex (startle reflex) started to kick in.

2 months old.  The swaddle is officially back.

2 months old. The swaddle is officially back.

The infant phase

At around the age of 4 months, we felt that Charles was ready to do his naps in his own room and so that’s where he went.  We were still swaddling (as he was still aaaages away from being able to roll) and we had started using the pacifier sparingly to help him settle down for naps when he was overtired.  Except the “sparingly” part eventually led to “frequently” and so we began our road down pacifier hell.

Weaning off the pacifier and the swaddle

By the time Charles was nearly 6 months old, I was way past the mombie phase because I had to keep on replugging the darned pacifier all night long.  I was also getting frustrated with my little Houdini’s ability to break out of every single swaddle, no matter how tight or how creative and so, after trying a gentle method  of pacifier removal (Pantley’s gentle removal), I decided to embark on the sleep training wagon get rid or both the paci and the swaddle cold turkey with the baby whisperer’s PU/PD method.  It was hard, but it ended up paying off.  Oh and this is when we invested in a lovey and when we started using a white noise machine for his sleep.

Of course, the little guy was very happy with his newfound liberty…

…and he got himself into a whole bunch of weird positions…

P1020339

Looks…um…comfortable…

6 months to 16 months

…so we ended up setting his mattress to the lowest setting and we decided to invest in some sleep sacks.

Isn't a sleeping baby the cutest thing!

Isn’t a sleeping baby the cutest thing!

It took a while, but eventually, Charles started to really “get” what a lovey was meant to be used for.  When he was about 12 months old, he would grab on to his lovey when it was story time and keep hold of it when I set him in his bed.  A couple of months later, he would recognize it by name and go get it when we asked him where his friend the ghost (that’s what his lovey is called ’round here) was.  Then, at about 15 months, he started to go and grab it by himself as soon as he was out of the tub and in his pyjamas.

16 months onwards

A couple of weeks ago, after months of pretty smooth sailing when it came to putting him down for naps and bedtime, Charles started to get into a fit when it was time for bed.  Thinking that he had developed a fear of the dark, we started to turn on the little nightlight that comes with his white noise machine.  Then, one night, out of the blue, he reached out for one of his blankies.  I’d never let him sleep with one before because I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to sleep and the possibility that he might suffocate himself (he also doesn’t have any bumpers on his bed or any stuffed animals with him), but I figured that if he was old enough to ask for it, he was old enough to sleep with it (of course, there’s also the fact that he is super mobile now).  He was very happy and now grabs both his lovey and blankie once he’s in his sleepsack and ready for bed.  For the record, this is the shop where I bought the sleepsack from (seen below with a dinosaur print).  I’m not affiliated with the Etsy shop owner in any way, I was just so in love with the product (I mean, it has feet holes which means that my son can walk around in it and easily move around once he’s down for sleep!) that I decided to give it a shout out here.

Blankie: check, lovey: check, sleep sack: check.  Ready for his bedtime story!

Blankie: check, lovey: check, sleep sack: check. Ready for his bedtime story!

Another change in preparation

In preparation for Peanut’s arrival, Charles will be going through another sleeping arrangement change.  We have decided that the baby will be moving into the nursery that Little Dude is sleeping in right now and that the little guy will be moving to a “big boy room”.  We’ll be moving him to a floor bed so that he’ll be able to get in and out on his own and he’ll be allowed to bring stuffed animals to bed with him if he wants to.  I’m really excited (and, let’s face it, anxious) to see how the transition will go.  I will definitely be keeping you guys posted when we go through the move this summer.

What do the sleeping arrangements look like in your household?

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Write For Me Wednesday – Tips To Throw A Kids Pool Party

This guest post comes at a great time for me.  We’re seeing more and more grass around here and today is an absolutely beautiful day.  It is written by Kaitlin Gardner who writes for AnApplePerDay.  She currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend.  In her spare time, she loves to go hiking and enjoy nature.  She has just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.  If you haven’t had time to check out her blog yet, I strongly suggest you go take a look, it’s really great.

Tips To Throw A Kids Pool Party

Your children want to have a party for their friends at your family pool. You are thrilled to hear they want to take advantage of that wonderful entertainment resource right there in your back yard. So what do you need to throw a great party at the pool? Here are some tips and thoughts:

Guest list and invitations. This part is basically the same as hosting a party inside the house – you have to come up with a guest list, and send out invitations. But there is a difference – when you contact parents for addresses, discreetly confirm that their child can swim. Hopefully every child invited can swim, which will make things a lot easier. Then send out fun invitations – kids love to get a real invite in the mail. Invite the parents to stay as well. Be sure to specify date and time, so the parents can put it on their Google calendars.

What time? Do you want to have this party during the day, or evening? That will change your planning. If it’s spring and chilly in the evenings, day is better. If the party will be in the middle of the summer, consider an evening party to avoid the heat of the day. This factor will determine how you plan the party, so decide early.

Set up the pool area. If the party is during the day, you will want to have tables set up for parents to sit and watch their kids, preferably in the shade. Provide a table stocked with sunscreen, so the kids are well protected against the sun. If the party is in the evening, you’ll have to add some lighting around the pool area, and around the back yard as well. After the meal, you’ll want the kids to sit out for a while, and they can play in the back yard with a Frisbee, or a volleyball court if you have room. Here are some great sites with more information about planning for a pool party:

  1. With kids and a pool, burgers would be a great way to go. Dad can cook on the grill, and the kids will love it. Just make sure to cook plenty of food, because hungry kids will eat a lot. Add shrimp or chicken to the menu for the parents. Have chips and drinks available, and you’ve got a basic but solid menu that keeps planning simple for the hostess. Don’t forget the plates and forks.
  2. You might want to consider having some music in the background, but with the noise of a lot of kids in the pool, it might be too much. The beauty of a pool party is that the kids entertain themselves for the most part. When they gather at the community pool, they are very ingenious about creating their own fun. You can have some pool games in mind if they get stuck for something to do. But if they’re enjoying themselves – just let it happen.

Provide a safe environment. Think about what will be going on at the party. Mom will be playing hostess to the parents, Dad will be cooking on the grill. Are those great candidates to be in charge of watching the kids? With kids and water, safety is too imperative to be addressed in a haphazard way. Consider hiring a lifeguard from the community pool. The kids will likely know him, will mind him and pay attention.

Once you’ve got the party in motion, take a moment to just look around – the smiling, laughing kids in the pool will be all you need to see, and you’ll know you’re throwing a great pool party.

Thanks for this great post Kaitlin!  I know I’ll be able to refer to it in a couple of years when my little guy is a bit older.

Ten Thought Tuesday: Spring

TTT

  1. Well, spring has finally gained the upper hand on winter (yay!).
  2. Because of this, though, the fields look like lakes and part of the road I use to drive my son to daycare was closed this morning because it was flooded.
  3. But it’s all good.  We bought the little guy some rain boots.  I can’t wait to bring him out to play in the puddles!
  4. I’ve been off work for almost two weeks now and I’m finally starting to feel better.  I’m not as tired anymore and I think I’m getting over the darned cold that too a hold of me last week.
  5. I’m so excited because I finally got invited to a campaign as a BzzAgent!  The campaign only starts on April 21st, so look out for a post on the product I’ll be getting a chance to try for free and review by the end of the month.
  6. Yesterday was election day in Quebec.  The last time there were provincial elections, I was pregnant too.  Kind of a funny coincidence.
  7. It’s funny how perception of time works.  On the one hand, I look at my son and am in awe that he’s already 16 months old.  I feel like time flies by when I look at him.  On the other hand, I feel like time is crawling when I think that I am 19 weeks into my pregnancy.  I guess I’m just excited that another baby is on the way.
  8. Oh!  I’ve got another awesome guest post ready for you guys tomorrow.
  9. Tonight, we’re eating maple-glazed pork chops.  Yummy!
  10. Hum, that’s weird, my brain can’t connect the dots for another random thought.  Oh well, perhaps you’ll get eleven the next time ’round.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

To Doula Or Not To Doula?

It’s a question that I’ve been asking myself for a little while now.  In fact, I started wondering about this shortly after giving birth to Charles.

You see, though his birth went well, there are a few things that bugged me about the whole process and now that I’m pregnant again, I would like for Peanut’s birth to be different in some regards.  I know I don’t have control over everything that goes on, but I would like to keep what control I do have when I’m going to go into labour.

For instance, with Charles, I had initially thought of going for a home water birth with a midwife.  After discussing this option with my partner though, we ended up deciding upon a hospital birth.  Since this was our first experience with birth and so had no idea what to expect exactly, we ended up concluding that we’d be safer in a hospital environment in case anything went awry.

I had also filled out a birth plan in which I had decided that I wanted the least amount of interventions.  I was gunning for a med-free birth.  However, when my water broke during the night at 40 weeks, I followed hospital procedure, gave the labour and delivery wing a call and we made our way there at 3am.  I started to have very weak contractions for the first time in my pregnancy (no Braxton Hicks for me, it seems) on the way there.  Upon arrival, I was checked (I was 1/2 a cm dilated!), strapped to monitors and told to try to get some sleep until 8am when the first ob/gyn would start their shift.

I listened to the nurse and managed to squeeze in a few more hours of shut-eye that night.  Then, at 8am, when the nurse realized that my contractions had become weaker and more spaced out, I was started on the hell that is Pitocin.

Had I known that I’d be leaving the comfort of my bed to go to a hospital bed, I probably would have stayed home.  In fact, had I known that moving about was likely to get my contractions going naturally, I probably would have stayed away from my bed and done just that: move (cleaning the house or even going out for a walk).

I pretty much stayed strapped to my hospital bed during labour as I tried to work through the pain of the contractions.  By 1pm, I was going into shock from the pain and was given an epidural (poor anesthetist who had to get his job done through my uncontrollable back muscle spasms).  After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing until I delivered at 6:26pm.

Now this time around, I can’t have a midwife.  You see, out here in Quebec, there are only 15 midwifes that graduate annually.   Here is a great article about the reality of natural birth with a midwife here.

Anyway, that got me thinking about having a doula this time around.  A doula, or labour coach, can be hired to help a mother/family before, during and after delivery.  Befor labour, they can help with a birth plan and preparing older children to the arrival or a new sibling.  During labour, they can provide physical assistance by the means of massage or just suggesting different birthing positions and emotional support.

I’ve actually started researching doulas and have found a few that have experience, references, a doula certification and other types of training (massage, rebozo…).  Now, I just have to call to see how much a doula costs.

I still haven’t made up my mind yet though, because I *did* enjoy having just my partner (and medical staff that kept popping in and out) with me during my son’s birth.

Did you consider a doula for one of your births?  Did you ever consider hiring one?