Friday, 30 December 2011

sparkly tights and all

I am sure I have vented about (made fun of, ridiculed and teased) people who spend copious amounts of money on their kids for an outfit they will wear only once. 

No? huh. I totally thought I would have. I personally chose to spend my money on things like new winter boots, snow tires, groceries, sushi lunches and lattes - you know stuff that matters (grin) but hey - to each his own.

But you know, dressing P up for J's family's formal holiday festivities helped me to finally get it. It's fun to get all dolled up, and it really is fun to get the babe dolled up with you! If you have the disposable income - why the hell not go all out. You only get to treat your kid like a doll for what, a year? MAYBE 2 before they start insisting on dressing themselves? 

But you don't HAVE to spend the equivalent of your oil bill on an outfit. This is what I did - I found a dress on consignment (BNWT) for only 10 bucks. Normally I wouldn't even spend that much since she's only going to wear it once. But, I justified the purchase with plans that it will end up being an art piece in her nursery with a giant vintage frame I found. So, even Penelope was dressed to the nines for the holidays!  

She was in full princess mode...

Seriously - the dress was actually called a Cinderella dress! (Who the hell am I and what have I done with my former self)

I caved and bought the sparkly tights. (I know, I'm a sucker for sparkles) And yes, they were almost as much as the dress. 

So, thanks to the shoes being courtesy of a hand me down, P ended up being super fancy and adorable for less than 20 bucks. If I had have just stuck with the hand me down tights and a 3 dollar Value village dress, we could have done this for under 5 bucks. 

See, we really can treat our babies like big dolls and not go broke doing it.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Is it really the holidays without...

... drunken family members?

... drunken in laws?

... drunken family members and in laws who fight over who gets to hold/kiss/play with/sing to the baby?

... drunken family members and in laws who fight over who gets to hold/kiss/play with/sing to the baby WHILE SHE'S SLEEPING!?

Conversation at In Law Christmas dinner: 

Why does he get to hold the baby?

Cause you're drunk.

20 minutes later:

Oh sure, let her play with the baby and not me.

*tapping foot

You can play with the baby... just not when she's sleeping, or nursing, or crying.

Or awake, or laughing....

Or when you're drunk.

10 minutes later

Where's the baby?


Would you get upset if I woke her up so I could play with her?

Maybe a little, you're drunk.

5 minutes later

Look how cute she is sleeping... look at her little bum

If you wake her, I will kill you.

Just let me hold the baby one more time

*tap tap tap - Can someone get me a drink?

Friday, 23 December 2011

Baby Brainz Moment #32

Walking through Loblaws with my shirt unbuttoned after nursing Penelope upstairs.

Yup - I'm a classy gal.

Monday, 19 December 2011

I am the love child of Jamie Oliver and Martha Stewart

No, I'm not drinking too much. I hosted a Yule feast for our families yesterday. A 5 course Yule feast. A five course Yule feast complete with crafty place settings, a linen table cloth and I even decorated the house with fresh holly and cedar. You'd think that would lean towards the consumption of multiple bottles of wine, but it turns out I just got to embrace my inner geek:

(I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the table!!! You'll have to take my word for it that it looked amazing. It was all white and red with black and white dishes and just a hint of cedar from the cups and centrepiece).

I have to admit, the day went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would. First I was worried that because of Penelope's intense cuteness, there may issues with sharing her.
Two women in one room, both ferociously in love with their granddaughter... can you blame me? Then I was worried about each dish being on time, and still hot... and of course there were the nerves over each dish being delicious or not. But the whole day was amazing; there is something satisfying about providing a beautiful meal, and hosting a wonderful afternoon of great conversation.  

I learned a few tips along the way:

1. You can throw the perfect dinner party if you take what needs to be done, and spread it out over two or three days.We tidied and cleaned the house a little at a time through the day Friday and Saturday. Then we chopped and prepped as much food as we could on Saturday so Sunday it was just a matter of cooking and presenting all the food.

Because we weren't having the party on Saturday, we weren't stressed about getting stuff done in time, and Sunday almost all the prep work was done so there was no stress about having dinner ready on time, and we were able to sit and visit with our family. And there's something to be said for going at your own pace to lessen that "go go go" feeling.

2. Pinterest is AH MAZING (see link above) in keeping you organized, and to gather ideas. I started a Yule feast board just the day before so I could find all my websites easily for each element that hadn't been done yet. The next party I host, I will use this right from the beginning. Warning: it's crazy addictive.

3. If you are slightly ocd like me, after you've put the baby to sleep (providing you have a baby) send your partner (providing you have a partner) to a party and set the table. He gets a couple hours baby free to hang out with his friends and you can indulge in channeling your Martha Stewart without ridicule. 

4. Speaking of Martha, keep the DIY projects to a minimum, just two things each evening helped add the festive flair and I wasn't worried about whether or not I'd finish everything in time. This included decorating.
5. Remember that glue guns are hot. 

6. Remember that holly is sharp and will stab you.

7. If you have men in your family that hound you in the kitchen... you know the ones - they circle you like a hound dog looking for scraps tripping you when you're trying to get a meal together - put out a Smörgåsbord of snacks on the coffee table - I did rainbow fruit kabobs, chocolates, hummus, various pickles and olives and crackers. Surprisingly it held them over until the first course.


8. Do not dress baby in fancy dinner clothes until at least one grandparent has arrived. This way you ensure baby is adorable before spitting up or shitting on their cute little outfit. 

9. Take pictures once everyone has arrived and the baby is awake. This way guests are free to leave when they need to and, well, it guarantees baby will be wide eyed in pictures rather than looking like you nursed them after indeed drinking those two bottles of wine ;)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A picture's worth a thousand words, right?

I debated whether or not we would "do" Christmas this year. I'm pretty simple - celebrate the Winter Solstice, have a nice feast with family and call it a year. But, since our family is such a mix of culture and tradition I figured Penelope may benefit from learning about not only Yule but Christmas and Chanukah as well. And then I started thinking about HOW we were actually going to celebrate the holidays. Do we celebrate all three? How do I go about teaching her about festival of lights, celebrating the moon, honoring the sun and seasons, and the parallels with Christmas - let alone the bs associated with Santa. (Yes, she'll be told it's a dude in a suit). It's so much!

And then I remembered...

She's a baby.

So this year, we'll have a Yule feast for me and we'll have a small stocking exchange for J on xmas morning. And that's it. 

And really, nothing can compete with the lovely insanity that was yesterday: Penelope's first "A very baby Christmas" party!

A picture's worth a thousand words right?

Need I say more? 


Friday, 9 December 2011

Saying goodbye to 7 inches of baggage

No this isn't a post about my ex husband. Although I'm sure that there was a bit of him in the massive suitcase I threw overboard. No, I didn't go all Aileen Wuornos, this post just happened to start with a giant metaphor.

I cut my hair. 8 years and almost 7 inches gone. And it feels MAGNIFICENT!

I always thought "mom hair" was when women cut all their hair off because they couldn't be bothered to take care of it or their kids were yanking on it too much. While I'm sure there are women who relate to that. "Mom hair" for me was not the short hair cut but the hair before the cut; I had been living in braids for weeks. One morning while I was attempting to untangle the straw like texture, in a shower longer than a teenage boy's, I looked down at the pile of hair on the shower floor and decided it was time to say goodbye.

This was a BIG deal. At least I thought it would be, to the point that I asked friends how short I should go. It was thanks to one comment a friend made that turned what could have been a sad, vain moment into an incredibly uplifting and releasing one. She told me, "Move with your spirit sista! Transformation within = transformation without. Besides, hair always grows back, so there's no real danger here...just thrill!"

So I decided while I sat at Luce with my conditioning treatment on, I would have a little pow wow with my spirit self. And deep down I knew I wanted it short (ish) but I was still scared to go above my shoulders. Still scared to let go. So I told my stylist Chris (AMAZING at cutting curly hair btw) that I was trying to embrace what my spirit needed but to keep as much length as possible.

My hair was such a mess that he ended up having to snip sections of it just to get it untangled and ended up cutting it the perfect length. When I looked in the mirror the pieces around my face still touched my shoulders and the long pieces in the back still came between my shoulder blades. I left happy.

And then it dried.

Curly hair, remember? So I ended up with the short (ish) style my spirit wanted all along but that I was too afraid to ask for, Chris being the clever (and sneaky) guy he is.

I decided through the cut that the 7 inches of hair would represent baggage I had been holding on to. Released was my fear. Released was the attachment to my old self; my hair had become the thing by which people identified me. I no longer have my hair as my safety net, or as a curtain to hide behind. I'm free of the past. I'm embracing the unknown and trusting in my spirit. 

 (I'm actually thinking next time another inch or two might be a lot of fun!)

Monday, 5 December 2011

All Aboard!!

Last week Penelope and I went to visit friends in London. It was hard not having a partner to rely on for 5 days (a salute to single moms everywhere). And, I learned that travelling with a baby can really go either way. Some of the trip was good, some of it caused me to pray under my breath for strength, wondering why I thought this might be good idea in the first place, and some of it was truly gigglicious. It was a week to just be; to spend time with those I love, and to bond even more with my little noodle. We got that, and I got the learning experience of a lifetime.

Welcome to the story of Penelope's first adventure on the train. 

First step, climb aboard and look for a possible baby friendly person to sit by. The 20 something in the university sweats and Ugg boots? The 13 year old kid with the giant headphones? I went with the middle aged lady with a kind smile. Stereotypical of me? Yes. But it totally paid off. Diane, my seat mate, played with P a lot during the trip when she got fussy and other than the guy in front of me, who thought Penelope would stop crying if he glared hard enough, it wasn't a horrible two and a half hours. Mind you there was a lot of walking to the back of the car with her - she loves being 'up' - and a lot of talking and interaction so she would stop fussing but I told myself that it could be a lot worse, and I discovered how true that was on the next leg. 

I thought by upgrading to first class from Toronto to London, I would have an easier go of it - a little more leg room and a meal. Was I ever wrong. 

Rather than risk this blog turning into a total bitchy rant, I'll just share a couple highlights from my letter to Via Rail: 

I recently travelled with Via Rail from Kingston to London and was surprised to find that "First Class" doesn't necessarily mean better service. 

Here I was, spending my first class train ride standing by the bathroom or, once my daughter had fallen asleep, crouched down in front of my seat. The least they could do was give me my meal.

I'm guessing your staff that day is not aware of just how hungry a nursing mom can get.

It was hell. A seriously unhappy baby and terrible service meant that by the time I got to London I was seriously ready for a nice cold beer. There were a few tears and deep breaths, but we got through it. And I got that beer. Two of them in fact. :)

The train ride home was the yin to my yang journey 5 days before, but definitely not without it's epic moments. Like Penelope deciding to sleep from London to Toronto and, after not pooping all week, taking a colossal shit ten minutes before we arrived. (I never thought I would find myself talking about feces as much as I have since having a baby.) In that ten minutes of cleaning her off, changing her clothes, redressing her, packing up our things and getting her strapped on as the train pulled into the station, I was a freakin' super mama! I was so incredibly proud of myself, and so grateful to have a happy baby girl for the rest of the trip home. We had lunch, boarded the next train - where she dozed on and off - and 45 minutes from home...

The train hit a person walking on the tracks. For real.  A person!!!

But for the 4 hour delay we had, P was a freakin' rock star... and not the full of themselves, faux encore, high maintenance type. More like the "you're amazing and I want to grow up to be like you" type. It was like the morning set the mood for the day. She was so wonderful dozing on and off. Chilling in her seat with her toys, smiling at all the people on the train. 

 I am blessed to have such an awesome person as my daughter.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Learning to love the new me....

A lot of you have asked why I haven't blogged for a little bit, and the answer isn't, "I've been busy with the baby" but, "I've been spending some time with myself". I am constantly working on me. Trying to improve my attitude, working on my ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, and recognizing and dealing with my issues rather than project them onto other areas of my life. It's a never ending learning process and it helps me be the person I want to be. Just because I had a baby, doesn't mean I'm going to stop looking within; I'm hoping this will allow me to be the mom I dream of being.

Over the last little while I've been actively working on learning to love me. Somewhere between "oh shit, I'm pregnant" and "hang on, Penelope needs boob", I acquired a couple curves. So, I should say I've also been actively working on learning to love my new body. Sorry to those of you itching for a new Penelope blog, this one's about Mama. 

Finding a balance between mamahood and all the things I love to do is difficult some days, but not impossible by any means. I'm a mom. But I'm also a partner, a radio host, a lover, a painter, a yoga enthusiast, a sister, a daughter... you get the drift; I'm not self identifying as a mother alone.  

I'm also a belly dancer (who is still very much in the learning stages). I was asked to participate in a cabaret show this past weekend and at first I thought hellll no, I'm not good enough to solo in front of people, I'm not back to my pre baby body, I'm not... I'm not... I'm not... Then I realized I was being ridiculous. I decided to try to turn those negative thoughts around in my head to what I am! 

So, I put my ego and insecurity aside and teamed up with my favorite body painter Shelley to create something spectacular for a circus themed puppet cabaret show: a snake lady. 

And really, what better way than dancing in front of 200 people in nothing but paint to a) stop taking myself so seriously, b) try to let go of being in control of everything and c) fall in love with, and be comfortable in, my new body. I figured if the dance wasn't A+ at least we'd have fun painting, get some great shots for the portfolio (thanks to Josh Lyon), and I could tackle all of the above.  

Everything that could go "wrong" did. I cried through the process of creating the costume - sewing slinky fabric is like trying to walk a straight line after 6 shots of tequila; the air brush machine didn't work the first night; the paint came off certain parts of my body before I hit the stage; and having Penelope in the audience for a show caused my breasts to engorge so much I thought the nipple covers were going to come off.

I (and I'm sure Shelley as well) got confirmation that everything happens for a reason, and that we can control nothing but our attitudes.
In doing the show, ego turned to self confidence, insecurity to self awareness and control to whimsical frivolity. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The never ending parade of crap...

When you have a baby there`s this assumption that you need a whole bunch of stuff. From special seats for bathing and play mats with fancy arches, lights and mirrors, to 'Sophie' and teething bling for Mama. From the sleep sheep to the latest swing that simulates babe's days in the womb, it's a never ending parade of crap that marketers tell you will help you be a better parent. We're told that we need this stuff to stimulate our babies, in order for their development to be on track; to make parenting easier.

Congratulations new parents! You are now a niche market. 

I personally feel that all our babies need is the human experience ~ tagging along with us every day is going to teach them how to use their senses. (Remember, P is only 3m.)

It almost seems as though it would be easier to not get any of it. Some days I think, wouldn't it make more sense just to get down on the floor with her on a bright quilt with a toy and a book? Let's just read to her in silly voices and have J play her guitar, rather than try to figure out which play mat is made from decent fabric and materials (preferably not in China), that has arches that will stay up, and toys that will encourage her to play on her tummy. 

Because I'm borderline OCD and slightly neurotic, I end up analyzing each item. Which of these items do we really need? Am I going to pay less attention to my daughter because of this thing? Or, am I simply going to be able to have a shower and eat something when J isn't home? :)

I'm trying soooo hard not to buy into the BS that I need any of it. J helps - when I mentioned the Giraffe (Sophie) to help with the teething that has just begun, he went down to his workbench and made teething rings out of a beautiful piece of untreated wood we had.

It was Thursday afternoon that I surrendered.

I did it.

I bought a Bumbo

I'll admit I thought they were ridiculous when I first saw them. Not to mention, the thought of spending 60+ dollars on a piece of moulded polyurethane made my eyes roll so far back in my head I got glimpses of my frontal lobe. But, when I saw a little flat spot on P's head while perusing the Kijiji ads for a breast pump, I found myself looking for the seat that will let her sit up... without the back of her head resting against something. 

Now that I've given in, what color do I want? 

The shade that's only $20 please. 

So there we have it, the acquisition of our first trendy baby product.

And damn it if she doesn't LOVE it.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

sushi baby?

Every so often, I do something unthinkable. I pump a bottle, leave babe with Pa and do something for myself. I know, radical right? It doesn't happen often so it has to be huge, like showers that not only include both shampooing and conditioning but exfoliation too.

Friday, I decided the margin of difference between the length of hair on my legs and J's beard wasn't nearly a large enough and headed to my esthetician. You know you need a baby break when you are looking forward to having all the hair ripped out of your body. After an hour and a half of ~ahem~ relaxing sans babe, I decided it was too nice out to go home. Why not take P and venture downtown for a mama-baby day. I thought I would take a nice walk, grab a latte, do a little shopping, and stop for a sushi lunch. Visions of sitting with my babe on my lap while flipping through a copy of Mental Floss, popping pieces of maki into my mouth went through my mind.

I should have known better. 

I managed to get my coffee and buy the magazine. Then it was a matter of finding a restaurant that was baby friendly. We all know the best sushi in town is Akira on John Counter but it's a little further than I'd like to walk. And they love babies. It's so baby friendly they would actually hold yours if you really needed them to.

But I was walking and downtown, so the first restaurant I thought about stopping into was this cute little place on Princess who has pretty decent sushi. But it's tiny and congested inside, especially around 1pm on a Friday, making it next to impossible to maneuver a stroller. Add that to the few steps leading up to the door, and the long staircase to the bathroom and you've got an environment that isn't baby friendly. Even if I had been wearing her, it feels like a pub at last call when there are more than 3 tables taken. So, I headed up the street to the other place. 

Oh Ta-ke, how I love your 9.95 sushi lunch; how I hate your attitude towards the stroller, even when it's dead inside. Last time we went in the waitress asked us to move it away from our table because they wanted to seat the next customers at the table it was blocking. There wasn't anyone else in the restaurant. 

Seriously. And you thought I was just being sensitive. ;) 
Maybe I was just in a mood, and I realize I have risked this post turning into a rant because I'm feeling bitchy, so I won't go into details about the hour that followed. Instead, I've let this experience inspire a new quest: finding a baby friendly sushi restaurant within walking distance of my house (downtown). 

ps. speaking of the baby and sushi combination, did you realize there are a lot of people out there who like to dress their babes up as their favorite nigiri or maki?

  Or, if you'd rather have the Tuna.
 Sad that it's not even the baby as a hand roll that makes this kid creepy. I can't put my finger on it but... oh no wait, it's totally the Trump hair.

 And our favorite - California roll and shrimp nigiri - I think we need to see the California roll close up
 I think the wasabi helmut wins over the soya sauce one
 These folks went out of their way to sew the shrimp tail. I'm impressed... but don't think you need sewing skills - you could simply tie a pillow to your kid's back and make them crawl around to imitate your favorite sushi.
  and to think we missed Hallowe'en by thiiiis much. ;)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Why don't friends with kids have time?

You have to admire a writer with the balls to tell it like it is... or tell people when they have their heads up their bums. (just click on the article to make it larger)

I have to admit, while I wasn't quite this ignorant, I didn't always get it. And it doesn't have to be daily, weekly or even monthly, but I still think you need to make time for those you love. 

No matter how busy you get.

Baby or not.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ancestors, spiders, and biker babies

Hallowe'en is host to many of my favorite childhood and adult memories (even that year I got the broken nose *cough-Naresh-*cough). Getting P into her costume yesterday, I sat and reminisced about heading down to the basement with my big brother. We would sit and sift through the giant trunks and boxes of costumes and accessories my folks had for hours, trying to find that perfect costume. Would it be the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz, long nose and green paint? A creepy clown, or princess? Then we would head out together, parading around the neighbourhood hand in hand with the kids from next door. 

This year I started a costume trunk for Penelope to do the same thing... spider arms and biker boots added from her costumes this year - plus all those wonderful items I happen to have laying around due to my love of all things dress up. Hair extensions, jewellery and veils all got added to the box. I can't wait to add something new every year. It wasn't just continuing this tradition that made this year's Hallowe'en so magical. Watching the kids shyly walk up to our door with a mousey "trick or treat" and being on the other side of dress up was just as much fun.

I knew that I would be approaching this year's Hallowe'en and Samhain festivities from a different perspective, but I didn't realize just how much I would enjoy it. Except for the sugar hang over, it was a fantastic day and night. We even made it to our friend's birthday party after the trick or treaters called it a night.

And now what you've been waiting for, pictures of Penelope in her costumes...

Penelope was such a trooper, attending her first Boo Boo Baby party. 10 adorable babies, all in their plushy costumes. 

 And the babies were lined, row by row ...

Long gone are the days of Krueger and Jason

Penelope's the spider since her name means weaver (It also means duck but Suzanne nailed that costume with her son Ralph, dressing him as the duck and herself as a duck hunter). 

Penelope ended up having a two in one costume since she was wearing black underneath -- with her kick ass new biker boots. Yup - you guessed it....

BIKER BABY! ~or Abel for my SOA girls;)

And now that yesterday is behind us I leave you with the following moment of intense cuteness.

Monday, 31 October 2011

revisiting the 80s

Blue mascara? Oh yeah, it's all the rage.  

I went to put make up on this morning only to discover in my baby brainz state of being I purchased blue. 

Guess we're revisiting the 80s - good thing it's Hallowe'en!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Great Diaper Experiment

You might remember the post from a couple weeks ago about the secret to a good night's sleep. I have to question whether or not we're using the best cloth diapers out there but the sleep wasn't consistent enough to justify using disposables outside of when we travel. We finished our test (results below) and determined cloth still wins out in the end. For now.

I have been having some serious issues with my wrists because of the snaps on the diapers and sleepers. Some days I feel like I have talons rather than hands. But am determined to stick with cloth and reduce my carbon footprint. Now it might be a different story if the city would take my compost if there's a compostable diaper in it. I'm not sure why. Are there not enough people in the city using them to justify the increased cost to break them down? Is it the human waste issue? Maybe people don't know that it's an option... maybe, just maybe, those who use disposables would switch to compostable diapers if they knew they just had to throw them in the big green bin. I think it's something worth looking into. If you know why, please shed some light. If I can't fix my wrists with physio and stick with cloth like we want to, my back yard is definitely worthy of a big ol' compost bin.

I guess it's just a process, figuring all this out. I know diapers are just the beginning. What a strange path I have ventured down. I can only chuckle and shake my head. I'm doing experiments on freakin' diapers!

The results - for those who want to see how it went in detail:

The first night, the one that started it all, we got a beautiful 6 hours - P woke up, nursed and then slept another 5 hours with just one boob fix during the second stretch.

Night 2 she went back to her routine of  4 hours - wake - 4 hours but then on night 3 - she gave us 7 glorious hours and then another 2 of restless sleep complete with lots of kicking (this kid is a ninja remember?!)

She slept 7 hours on the 4th night too, although we woke up after 4. Good luck getting out of that routine. She slept another 3 hours after that. At this point I'm starting to think that these long stretches of sleep may have nothing to do with diapers at all, but her possibly going through another growth spurt.

Night 5 and 6 - 4 hours - wake - 4 hours - wake - 3 hour; Night 7 - 4 hours, then 6

Back to cloth - first night she slept 7.5 hours, then slept another 4, and on and off all day. Growth spurt? mes thinks so! The next night, I honestly can't remember - it wasn't overly excessive on either end - short or long - trying to remember back a few days is hard ~ hence the name of the blog.

The third night back with cloth, she slept 4 hours with a quick side feeding, then 2.5 more hours... up for diaper change and quick feeding and back to sleep for another 3

Night 4 - 4 hours, 3 hours, and a restless 1.5 before we got up, night 5 - a decent 5.5 hours and then another 3

Night 6 sucked, and had nothing to do with her diaper at all. She slept for 4 hours, when she woke up wanting boob, we went to change her and she was completely dry. She slept another 3 and 3 after that

The final night of back to cloth she conked out for about 4 hours, then another three...

We went back to disposables for a couple nights, just to test my growth spurt theory (she did grow quite a bit that week). She ended up sleeping as (what's become) normal: a 4 or 5 hour chunk and then another 3, and if we were lucky another 2 in the morning.

Friday, 21 October 2011

ouch Mama, ouch!

We're told to do it at 2 months, but because we procrastinate, we took Penelope to her first doctor's visit yesterday. Which was a little odd considering she didn't actually see a doctor, but a nurse practitioner named Jenn. 

Nurse Jenn turned out to be a really wonderful woman. She listened to my anxieties over giving P a bunch of shots and took the time to explain the histories behind them, the benefits and how to treat the diseases if she were to come down with something I chose not to vaccinate her for. 

I'm not immunizing her for everything under the sun. Did you know that some of the early stage vaccines have only been around for a few years, and one only a few months? No way. uh uh. not happening. I know I am not alone when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of each shot they want to give our children. The list of immunizations just seems to get longer and longer.

During the hour and a half we were there, Penelope got the usual head to toe. It was interesting to see where she showed up on the baby growth charts. Turns out, I have a huge baby. I already knew this but for those of you who haven't lifted her lately, she's 63.5cms long and 14lbs, 7oz. She's in the 85 percentile for weight. She's bigger than my friend's little girl who is 2 months older! Crazy. But she's super healthy. Which is another reason I don't want to give her a shot for something that hasn't been around long enough that it's a) been proven to work and b) won't mess with her developing immune system. Remember that cold she brought home from Harvest Fest? She fought it off in 2 days. Go breast milk! *fist pump

I am feeling a little regretful for not having taken more time to think about giving her the Prevnar vaccine. I don't want to take the chance at her getting pneumonia or meningitis, but on the flip side... she isn't high risk. Did I just put unnecessary drugs into my daughter? Can I take that decision back? Are there repercussions from getting an initial shot and not following up with boosters? So many questions, so many things to research ~ and I know this is just the beginning. Someone actually mentioned looking in to childcare to me today. eeek. Really? Is this our life now? Endless researching until she's able to make decisions for herself? I suppose so. I'm okay with it in the end. After all, I don't want someone else making them for us. But overwhelming. I guess for now, I'm just going to focus on comforting her when she cries "ouch Mama, ouch"!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Could this be the secret to a full night's sleep?

Could it really be true? Are disposable diapers the secret to getting a full night's sleep? We are cloth diaper users all the way - to the point where we actually weighed the pros and cons of using them when we went camping. The disposables won out in the end, although I have a feeling if it had been summer, and not quite so cold at night, cloth would have taken the victory lap on that one.

I thought she had been sleeping so well while we were camping because of all the people (a lot of stimulation) and all the fresh air. I know I sleep amazing after a day spent outdoors. Now I am beginning to question whether or not those long stretches of slumber may have had something to do with our babe not being wet. 

While we were in the woods, we missed our diaper drop off/pick up. Yes, we are spoiled and use a diaper service, we saved up the money from our baby showers and got a 10 week trial. Missing our weekly exchange lead to us running out of doubles for nighttime. Since it was only a day until we received a new bag, we decided to dip into our travel diaper stash just to use overnight, saving the last few cloths for during the day. 

What happened? Penelope slept a glorious 6 hours straight! Then, another 5 hours with just one wake up for a quick boob fix.

So, I have decided to experiment: one week using the Seventh Generation diapers overnight and cloth diapers through the day, and one week using the double stuffed cloth diapers.
Our trial for the diaper service runs out afterwards, so it's as good a time as any to test our theory. We're on day 3 of the great diaper experiment and she's sleeping pretty great - we'll let you know how the rest of it goes.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

aaaah CHOO!

Looks like we brought home more than a new harp last weekend. (Only we would go to the woods and end up bringing home a freakin' harp, but that's a story for another day.) We also brought home the bug. The inevitable first cold has arrived. As has the never ending river of snot. Maybe I should make that a never ending bubbling brook of snot.

Sorry, I just don't know how to put it any other way. I mean, it really is more like a brook... at first it trickles down just a little at a time, then has a steady consistent stream and is topped of with a bursting white cap. And this just keeps happening over and over again. Who would have thought that "aaaah choo" sound from a tiny babe would end up leading to the most disgusting display of mucus. If we're really lucky we get a thick stream of green.

I never really understood people who talked so incessantly about their children's bodily functions, but now I get it... misery really does enjoy company. :) It's nice to have you along while I'm dealing with my first bout of gross baby oozes.

Dealing with her cold this week has also demonstrated just how deeply I have fallen in love with this creature of mine. Not because my clothes are covered in crusted bits and dried spit up (really what's not to love about that) - but because every time she whimpers to let me know she feels like shit, or sticks out her tongue when she lets out that tiny little cough my chest tightens and all I want to do is make her feel better. Poor little monkey. All I can do is hold her, try to comfort her, and, as many of my friends have recommended, "boob, boob, boob".
Funny, boobs really can make everything all better.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Well, we made it! Our first camping adventure was amazing. Although it wasn't looking as though it would go that route; it didn't even look as though we would get to Fest. We had booked an appointment to get our hitch put on with U-Haul a week before. They were aware that we were hoping for an earlier appointment. Hell, we even called every day to see if the hitch had arrived early by chance. 

So what happens? Morning of departure: Phone rings. Jared answers. U-Haul is on the line saying "Hello, Mr. MacKay? We're sorry, your hitch didn't arrive in time for your appointment this morning."

I'm giving them a big thank you in the form of a Johnny Cash one finger salute on Twitter for not telling us that there was a chance it wouldn't get here in time. 

Jared, being the calm, uber chill, relaxed guy that he is, gets on the phone to every Canadian Tire in town, finds a hitch, gets a mechanic to take pity on us and has it installed (for cheaper) within two hours. He always says "everything always works out". I guess I should start believing him. 

Turns out U-Haul follows their customers on Twitter, as I got an "oh no! Is there anyway we can contact you to fix this?" tweet... at 4pm.

uh huh.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Camping for dummies

The grain is cut, some for bread and nutrition, some to be stored away to use as seeds next spring, creating new life. It's a time for sacrifice, transformation, death and rebirth! We're off to Harvest Fest, an amazing weekend in the woods with tribe, to celebrate and give thanks to our Corn King for an abundant harvest. 

Wondering what's up with the clothing shots? We decided since it's P's first Harvest, we should make onesies to mark the occasion. In the process, I found a new hobby (screen printing is way more fun than I thought it would be) and hopefully ended up with a really great product to sell at Harvest Fest.


But it's not just Harvest, and it's not just a festival weekend.

It's also this new family's first camping trip. 


Should be easy enough to pack for since Penelope's only a couple months old, right?




Yeah, um, no.


Today saw two drawers of clothing carpet the nursery floor, me give up on the idea of camping with cloth diapers, and Penelope squirm with every pitiful attempt I made to see if stuff might still fit, or if during her growth spurt she managed to grow into some of the warmer clothes. 


Long sleeve onsies, jeans, sweaters, dresses, hats, knitted booties, blankets, receiving blankets... 




I was lost. What DO you pack when it's going to be 4 degrees at night and 26 through the day? 


A wise friend told me, "Pack everything... and a baby carrier".


She's done this before. 



Thursday, 29 September 2011

Baby and Body Paint

If you know me, you are aware of my love for body art. If you are just getting to know me through the blog, well, let's just say my body has a wonderful relationship with clothing. And with tattoos, jewellery - pierced and worn, costuming, masks and my favorite, body paint. Which you may have seen while I was pregnant. 
I love being transformed by Shelley! (you-name-it) She's been painting me for 5 years now.
So, can you imagine how excited I was when she asked if I was still interested in learning some techniques. Me, a paint brush, sponge and pallet of colors? Yes please! I had forgotten how much fun it was to be behind the scenes, instead of just modelling! 
Of course during our amazing afternoon of painting and hanging out, we realized that Lady P needed a little more color...

Penelope hit her two month mark and I still hadn't inked her feet. So we broke out the teal, to match the nursery of course ;) and set to painting her tootsies.

It went about how you would expect it to: paint on sponge, sponge on feet, squirm, cry, kick the excess paint off onto Mama's face, press foot into paper, and repeat.

But we got it. You know what they say, "better late than never".

We were feeling so good about how they turned out that we decided to try for the hands.

Let's just say that unless I creep in and sneakily paint her hands while she sleeps, Penelope won't have prints of her hands to match. She totally won that battle, hands down. (sorry, I couldn't resist.)