So I am feeling the urge to reassess my blog.

And by reassess, I mean...start over and take a new direction.

Still ironing out the details and polishing up the edges...but it's coming...soon.

Stay tuned!!
video

My boy doing what he loves to do most. Cruise and cause trouble :)
So we're 8 months in! And I find myself absolutely positively smitten with our little boy. He makes me laugh every single day and brightens the dreariest days with his kisses and his hugs.

If I could bottle up that look he gets in his eyes when he smiles at me, I would.





I still have not been able to properly articulate the range of emotions that I feel when I look at him. But I imagine that most mothers would understand exactly what I mean when I say that he has forever changed me in ways that I can't even begin to explain. 


 






Ok, emotional post over :) Happy Monday everyone!!



Chocolate? Trashy novels? Celeb gossip? Shoes?

Guilty pleasures! The delicious, indulgent treats that make our days sweet!

Here are a few of mine...

1) Online shopping: Probably my most favourite way to waste time. Paypal and I have been buddies for years now. If I told you how excited I get to receive packages in the mail you'd likely be embarrassed for me.

2) Cold Stone Creamery: The first time I tasted this was in L.A. It is quite possibly the finest thing that has ever stepped foot in my mouth.

3) Harry Potter: I know i'm too old to be watching. But I don't care. I also cried (sobbed) when Dumbledore was killed.

4) Sushi: Carbs, carbs and more carbs!!! I love sushi rolls :)

5) Disturbing horror movies: Saw, Hostel, that sorta stuff. Every time I watch a new Saw movie i'm disgusted with myself for enjoying such filth.

6) Chocolate milk: I could easily have this as my only beverage. Love the drink, hate the calories.

7) Taking a bath and a shower at the same time: I love laying in the tub (while it's filling up) and watching the shower fall down on me. When the tub fills up, I drain it and start over. Indulgent AND wasteful!

8) Dominoes Cracker Crust pizza: Feta cheese, chicken and green peppers. I could eat this daily.

9) Napping when DS naps: There are days when I climb back into bed and catch another 30 mins of sleep while DS is napping. I know I should be doing other things, but the lure of the bed is too strong for me.

10) Forums, blogs and all things cyber: I spend way too much time online. I'm like a junkie. Sometimes I even dream about surfing.

Ok, your turn!!!
"Motherhood: All love begins and ends there"
~Robert Browning

In honour of Mother's Day I thought i'd write a little something about my mom. 

This is one of my favourite pictures of me with my Mom and my Grandma (I could write a whole other post about my Grandma. She's just as remarkable as my Mom) 


I truly believe that my mom is one of those women who is (and always has been) absolutely positively cut out for motherhood. I think that her reason for being on this planet is to be a mother. 

In her 68 years she has endured many losses:

The loss of a brother in an automobile accident (he was 29);  the loss of her father to alcoholism (he was 58); and the loss of her husband after 40 years of marriage to cancer (he was 61). 

She has mothered a child (who is now a 48 year old adult) with Down Syndrome; adopted a son, and birthed two more kids for good measure (I was the last of the brood). 

But what's most remarkable is that she's done it all without complaints, without regrets and without resentment. And here I am whining about my son not sleeping through the night!

So without further adieu, here are 5 of the most important life lessons I have learned from my mom:

1) Patience: Quietly wait your turn. Everything that you want and need in life will come to you (eventually) if you are patient enough and strong enough to endure annoyance, misfortune and pain without complaint. 

2) Compassion: Each person in the world deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. There are no exceptions to this rule. Advocate for those who can't advocate for themselves. They are the ones who need us the most.

3) Forgiveness: Very little good can ever come from resentment, anger and confrontation. Holding on to those feelings only ends up ruining your day(s). Let it go. Whatever it is. 

4) Loyalty: When you love someone, be fiercely loyal to them. Defend them, listen to them, and put their needs before yours. 

5) Love Deeply: Don't hide your feelings and emotions. Don't wait for tomorrow to tell someone how much they mean to you. If you care for someone, don't just tell them...show them. Your actions will always be the proof of your words. 

Happy Mother's Day to all of the women of the world who are working hard to make memories for their children. What you are doing is of the utmost importance. All of the little things that you do that nobody remembers and that nobody sees are the very stuff that build children into strong, loving and courageous men and women. Thanks for all that you do!







I've mentioned before that DS is now into everything. He crawls, he cruises, he stands, he climbs, he pulls large things down on top of himself...you get the idea. Each day I witness at least 2-3 bumps and bruises. He's sporting a particularly nice bump and bruise under his eye today after falling and landing face first on his Baby Laptop.

Throw in the fact that our house is absolutely positively not child friendly. We've got pieces like the one below that are so heavy that I can barely lift them. You can well imagine what might happen if DS tried to climb up on it. Notice its precarious balance on the stand:



We've got this lovely booze cart with sharp metal angles to contend with (a personal favourite of D's to pull himself up on):




And this equally pointy glass shelf that is within our little guy's grasp...can't say I blame him...it's the perfect hight for standing! Pictures don't do those razor sharp corners justice. Notice how everything is pushed onto the higher shelves for safe keeping?


And the little guy's all-time favourite glass table that toppled over seconds after I took these photos:








Oh...I can't forget about these ever so stylish stainless steel stools in the kitchen that our boy is fixated on. Lots of sharp edges to have fun with there!





Ahem. And that's just one room.  Can you tell we built and furnished this place before we had a baby? Don't worry...we're moving in a few weeks and none of these death traps are coming with us.

So when you have a very busy and mobile little boy who doesn't really understand what they heck Mom is talking about when she keeps saying "NO!!" or "DON'T TOUCH!" or "GASP....OH MY GOD...NO!!" to everything he comes into contact with it makes for awfully long days for Mom and frustrating moments for Baby.

Until Thursday.

The sun was shining and the day was warm. So I laid out a blanket in the backyard and brought out some of DS's favourite toys. "I'll outsmart you, kid" ran through my mind. There isn't anything at all he can get himself into outside!! It's like his own personal, padded playground!! Without the swings or slides or any of that other dangerous stuff.

Little did I know just how right I was! The second I brought DS out and laid him on the blanket he flipped over and looked around, eager to see what kind of trouble he could get himself into. He lunged out onto the grass with his usual confident stride and stopped dead in his tracks when he realized he was on...the....grass!! Not the ceramic tiles, not the carpet...but the GRASS!!

And he promptly began to scream.

Apparently babies loathe the feel of grass on their hands and feet. Who knew?

He scampered back to his safe zone on the blanket. We spent the next glorious 45 minutes shamelessly sprawled out (ok, I was sprawled out, DS was playing) on the blanket. D played with his toys while nervously checking every few minutes to make sure that the grass wasn't going to 'come and get him' again.









Sigh.

Heaven.

Tomorrow I'm going to plant some grass seed in my living room.
I'm now almost 8 months PP and ironically, have about 8 more pounds to lose.

Getting to the gym is a challenge. It's not impossible. But it's tough. The hubs works and stays out of town from Monday to Friday. My mom watches D for me as often as she can so I can get to the gym but when she's not available, I am housebound.

A friend of mine recommended that I check out the 200 Training Program. Anyone who knows me knows that i'm not usually a fan of at-home workouts or trendy training programs. But now that i'm housebound more often than not and getting to the gym isn't always possible, i'm willing to try anything ;)

Here's the gist of the program: for 6 weeks, 3 times each week you follow the 200 squats, and sit-ups regime. The program helps you to build your strength gradually and by the end of the 6th week you will be doing 200 consecutive squats and sit-ups. Really?

I'm 4 weeks in and keeping up with the program. I like that it doesn't require any other equipment or tools besides your own body weight. And it doesn't take long to get through each session.

This week I also added the 100 Push-Ups Program to my regime. I'm lucky if I can string together 20 push-ups on a good day so this one will definitely be a challenge for me.

Wish me luck!

So I recently came across this video and fell in love.

Timmy.

Singing Lady Gaga's Bad Romance.

His confidence is incredible. There doesn't appear to be an insecure or self doubting bone in his body. I don't think I can even remember a time when I felt so spirited and free. Like so many precious things in life, that unbridled courage and assurance is usually wasted on the young.

I watched the video a couple of times and each time it spread a huge grin over my face. The browning produce microphone, the Dad walking by in his banana hammock, the Mom's giggle, and Timmy....passionate, flamboyant Timmy. 


















Then I scrolled down and started to read some of the comments (double click on the video above to bring you to You Tube)

1,935,947 views.

I guess you're bound to get some douche bags who will comment. I continued to scroll through page after page of comments. Wow. I'm completely blown away at some of the hateful comments that people are leaving for this boy. I guess the anonymity of the internet makes people forget that he's JUST.A.KID.

Sad. I feel like i'm witnessing what will likely be the end of Timmy's fearless, and spunky self assurance.

The world aint easy.
Labels: 1 comments | edit post
Do you ever wish you could have a redo on your friend list? You know what it's like, one co-worker adds you then the next co-worker adds you...
Or even worse...one person you went to high school with adds you then a friend of a friend from high school adds you. The next thing you know, there are an embarrassingly large number of people on your friend list who you actually can't stand. Non-friends if you will. Truth be told, when it comes to those old school contacts, you probably couldn't stand them back then either.

Stupidly, I have always granted full access to everyone right off the bat when they add me on Facebook. So now it feels 'rude' to pull back - to give them limited access to my profile. I have considered casually deleting some of these non-friends but of course, I have a great deal of Facebook-friend-overlap. So if I delete Susie but keep Jane (who work together and are BFFs), it's bound to come up in conversation at some point that I de-friended Susie, right?

Basically...i'm a coward. And because of this cowardice, my non-friend list will continue to grow on Facebook.

Sigh.

Who knew electronic relationships could be so complicated?
Thanks so much for visiting. Please do not ever return.
Lots of love,
J
xo

Wikipedia never lets me down:
Muffin Top:
"a generally pejorative slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging flesh (fat) when it spills over the waistline of pants or skirts in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing."


There is something so confronting and unnerving about the words "overhanging flesh (fat)". Nothing good can ever come of those three words strung together.

Sadly, after giving birth to my dashingly handsome son, I too fell victim to the dreaded MT. It's funny, I never noticed it while I was pregnant. It's like it was hiding (baking?) and waiting to make it's grand entrance when I was most vulnerable...post partum.

If you google 'muffin top' you'll find a million and one different ways to rid yourself of the muffin top. There are diets, exercises, creams, surgeries, clothes, all designed to eliminate those unsightly bulges of 'overhanging flesh'.

Despite the numerous links I was offered through my google searches, I believe that it was Wikipedia's fine definition that became my ultimate motivator to bid farewell to the dreaded muffin top.

I like to wear low-rise jeans. And I enjoy a curve hugging dress. But I like to enjoy these things sans muffin top.

Things are still not fully resolved, but i'm getting closer (and refusing to give up on) bidding farewell to dear MT.

Here are some tips i've come across:
  1. Eat clean: Cut out the junk and reduce the amount of starchy and sugary carbs. Eat lots of protein.
  2. Drink water: Keep yourself hydrated and drink about 8 glasses a day. 
  3. Get moving: Include a cardio session with your workouts. 
  4. Weight train: Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn all day long. You'll also strengthen your bones and feel stronger. 
  5. Give up on spot training: Unfortunately, we don't get to decide which part of the body we can gain and lose weight from. 
  6. Buy clothes that fit ;) Your goal may be to fit into those pre-pregger jeans, but in the meantime, you can buy yourself a pair of 'transition jeans' that will get you through until the MT vanishes. 
Anyone have any other pearls they'd like to share? How did you shed yourself of the dreaded muffin top? 
So D has mastered pulling himself up. He pulls himself up on his Leap Frog learning table, on the couch, the chairs, the coffee table. Yay for reaching another milestone, right?






Kinda.

I guess I should be more grateful and celebratory when we hit these milestones but when they start to interfere with D's (at best) mediocre sleeping habits, it makes for some very long days (and nights).

For the last month and change i've been sleep training. A fancy dancy word for trying to teach the boy how to put himself to sleep and STAY asleep. It was (hands down) one of the most difficult things i've had to do, but I did see some improvement. It was going fairly well for a few weeks... Our evenings usually looked something like this:

1) 5:00-6:30: Whining, crying, fussing, eye rubbing
2) 6:30-7:00: Bath time, bottle, snuggle, books, etc.
3) 7:00-12:00: D sleeps like a rock!
4) 12:00-12:15: Dream feed the little guy about 7 oz
5) 4:00: Wake to feed (sometimes....not consistently)
6) 5:00: Up for the day (ugh!)

Doesn't sound too bad, right?

Well that was how things were looking around here until we started with the standing. D wants to stand all day, every second of the day. He has abandoned crawling. Standing is MUCH more interesting.

Here's the problem: When nap time and bedtime roll around D would much rather stand in his crib with his hands on the top rail and spit his soother on the floor. After a few minutes of that he screams and cries himself into a sweat because he can't quite figure out how to get back down. I go in, re-insert soother and lay him back down. Repeat this for about half an hour until he submits to the exhaustion.


Note: It may appear that my son is wearing a Halloween costume of sorts...hehe....but really, he's just showing love and support for his Dada who is completing his Radiology residency at UofT :)






He'll sleep through the night one day, right?
Labels: 2 comments | edit post





We've all seen them....

The tired, washed out, I've-lost-my-mojo-type-moms. The kind of moms who dress and look about 10 years older than they are. These once stylish ladies find themselves in high rise, pleated jeans, a faded cotton t-shirt or hoodie, visible roots, no make-up, and a tired old ponytail.

Sigh...

LADIES...IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!!

Sure you're sleep deprived and covered in spit up and baby poop. Of course you've got a bit of a mommy tummy and your hips might be a bit wider than they were a few years back. Naturally you spend 99% of your time making sure that your little angel is dressed to the nines which leaves little to no time left for you.

All that being said. I'm telling you that there is still time for you. In fact, I would argue that you must make time for you!

I'm a firm believer in working with whatcha got! Maybe we don't all look like Heidi Klum after 4 kids (did she seriously walk the runway 6 weeks post partum?). But we can still strive to look our personal best. I think that if you look deep enough...there is a MILF inside of all of us ;)

So if you're a new or seasoned mom who is searching for her mojo, here's where you can start.

Must Haves:
  • A pair of the best jeans you can afford. I'm partial to Rock & Republic, Seven for All Mankind, and True Religion. But really, any jean that fits you great is a winner! If you're not sure where to start, hit a boutique and ask one of the fashion forward looking sales people to help.
  • If you must wear sweats, invest in some good ones. Put away the flannel pajamas you got for $10 on sale and get yourself some Lululemons or even better, a Juicy Couture suit. Even when you're comfy...you'll still look like you've got a bit of sexiness in ya!
  • Get a great bra. If you're still breastfeeding buy a sexy nursing bra. If you're not BFing, go and get properly fitted as your size has likely changed. A well-fitting bra makes all the difference in the world.
  • If your post partum bod needs some help, invest in a Bella Band and/or some Spanx.
  • If you're pale, pick up some sunless tanning cream. A little colour hides a lot ;)
  • Buy some hot shoes. I'm a sucker for stilettos but if that's not your thing, find some sexy flats or over the knee boots.
Must Dos:
  • Visit your hairdresser. A new haircut, colour and style will do wonders for your self esteem!
  • Go to the gym. Regularly! Working out is the greatest form of therapy.
  • Clean up your diet. You'll look and feel better when you start to eliminate some of the junk.
  • Shower and put on mascara every single day. Spritz a little perfume on too!
  • Connect with your girlfriends. Nothing makes you feel more like a woman than a bottle of wine and some girl chatter with your closest friends.
  • Get out of your sweat pants as often as you can.
  • Work on your swagger. Get your shoulders back, chin up and walk like you mean it!
  • Put away your maternity clothes. Yeah, they're comfortable and yeah they fit...but they don't help you shed your 'mom image'.
Remember ladies...You were a hot, vivacious woman before you were a mom. Having children does not mean that you must lose yourself.
Summer is right around the corner...it's time to embrace your inner MILF!!

I drive the hubs bananas with my passion for recycling. Secretly I find it amusing watching him shuffle from bin to bin trying to find the 'right spot' to throw away things. "Dammit...can't we just have ONE garbage bin??" Hehe!

April is Earth Month! I thought i'd take this opportunity to list all of the things i'm already doing for Mother Earth and to suggest some new ways that I can be kinder to our planet.

What I'm Already Doing
  • Cloth diapering. I also use a HE washing machine and line or sun dry all of the diapers and inserts.
  • Using cloth wipes.
  • We're down to about 1/2 a bag of garbage every two weeks.
  • Using cloth bags for grocery shopping
  • Re-using any plastic bags that accumulate
  • Crunchy Clean: I use environmentally friendly and gentle laundry detergent.
  • Re-using gift bags and tissue paper
  • Donating old clothing and furniture
  • Less idling with our cars
What I Need to Start Doing
  • Make the switch over to all natural cleaning products
  • Rely more on vineager and water for cleaning
  • Buy a water cooler for the kitchen...stop using plastic water bottles
  • Stop using fabric softener and dryer sheets
  • Buy more stainless steel bottles
  • Collecting rainwater to use to water household plants and garden
  • Use less ziploc bags and more tupperware
  • Wash more loads of clothing in cold water
  • Buy more organic foods
What are you doing to be more environmentally friendly?
Any suggestions ?

When DH and I decided that we wanted to have professional photos taken of D's first year of life I knew right away that I wanted Empirical Photographic Arts to be our photographers. I met Angela and D'Arcy through a friend a few years back and have had the honour of doing some fun photo shoots with them before I was married with a baby.

I have seen countless wedding photos over the years and I can honestly say that nothing compares to the work that D'Arcy and Ang put together. They are not your average photographers! While other photographers are happily taking pictures of the bride and groom cutting their cake, D'Arcy and Ang are shooting crazy wicked photos of the wedding party in the middle of an abandoned factory. Sounds strange...but boy does it ever work. Genius I tell you...
But don't let me try to convince you...their work speaks for itself.

Check out their website and blog for some of their artistic creations:
Empirical Photographic Arts

Every three months, D'Arcy and Angela arrive at our house fully equipped with all of the necessary tools and ideas to snap as many photos of our unique and crazy little guy as he'll endure. Each time, i'm moved to tears at how well they capture his personality. There are no props, or costumes. Just raw photos of our baby that are brimming with emotion.

Here's some of my favourites...











My hubby and I just got back from a glorious 8 days in Aruba. We were married in Aruba in 2008 and have been a few times before. Aruba always feels like home away from home for us. What an amazing feeling it was to be able to show our little one where his parents were hitched ;)

The thought of travelling with a 6 month old was a bit daunting. I approached it like I do most things...lots of research, lots of reading, and a ton of check lists.

I found this blog particularly helpful:


Here are some pearls that I thought i'd pass along:
Travel

1. If your flight isn't full, request that they block out the third seat for you. It made all the difference in the world to have the three seats all to ourselves. It's really uncomfortable to keep a bouncing baby amused when you are wedged between two people.

2. Use your umbrella stroller in the airport. We loved our Maclaren Quest. I picked up an inexpensive umbrella storage bag to keep it safe. What's super convenient is that you can gate check the stroller. Keeps you virtually hands free until you board the plan.




3. Carseats: We didn't bring a car seat. Anywhere we travelled with the babe (bus, cab, etc.) we carried him on our lap.

4. Carry-on: This was my most important piece of luggage! I packed wipes and diapers in ziploc bags so that I didn't have to bring the diaper bag. I also packed some new toys for my little guy and a couple changes of outfits. I brought a blanket for him too. I had no trouble at all bringing bottled water and formula through security in my carry-on.

5. Baby get-up: I dressed my little guy in a long-sleeved onesie and Baby Legs. Made for easy diaper changes!!

Hotel

1. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib: I can't say enough great things about this crib. It is ridiculously light-weight (11 pounds) and takes seconds to set up and take down. My little guy certainly isn't an easy going sleeper and he's quite comfortable in this stylish crib.








2. Fridge and microwave are super handy if you are dealing with purees or if your little one likes his bottle warmed. My son takes his at room temperature so that wasn't a big deal.

3. Dish soap & laundry detergent: I brought both and was so thankful that I did! I used the dish soap daily to clean his bottles, nipples, sippy cup and his dishes. The laundry detergent is great for cleaning swimsuits and anything that gets covered in spit up or blowouts ;)

4. Clothespins: Most bathrooms come with the hangy string in the shower to hang wet clothes. I find that things dry better when you use clothespins. You can also bring a string and rig up a clothesline on the balcony.

5. Don't forget to bring all of your sleeping gear from home: swaddles, sleep sacks, white noise machines, loveys, blankies, etc. You want to replicate the home sleeping environment as much as possible so your little one will sleep well!

Sun & Sand

1. Baby Banz. A UV swimsuit is a must for travel! Baby Banz makes great one piece suits that zip at the crotch for easy diaper changes. They also make fantastic sun hats and baby sunglasses to protect your little one's eyes. My babe didn't tolerate the sunglasses for too long but i've heard of a lot of other babies who don't mind them at all.




2) Bring a float. We found a great blow-up float with a sunshade for our little one to float around in. It was very similar to
this. We got it at the Pool Shoppe in Hamilton. They usually sell similar items on the resort but never exactly what you are looking for and often extremely overpriced.

3) Swimming diapers: We used reusable Kushie's swim diapers. The disposable ones work well too but if you are a bit crunchy like me you'll appreciate the reusable ones. It's also less to pack and much more economical. I made sure that I put them on him at the beach and took him out of them right away after swimming. Not great for him to be sitting in a wet diaper and also not great for Mom if she has to clean a poopy reusable diaper by hand...ICK! Remember that the swim diapers don't contain pee (you don't want a wet stroller!)

4) Sunhats: Find one that's light and dries quickly. The one I had was thick and my son hated wearing it because it made him so hot.

5) Sunscreen: Bring extra. Resorts always sell sunscreen but it's usually double the price.

6) Pool v.s. Beach: I found the beach fun for photo opps but super messy. Obviously my monkey wanted to put the sand in his mouth...we spent most of our time pool side. Much easier to keep the little guy clean.




7) UV cover: My little guy doesn't nap on the go too well. But if he did, this Jolly Jumper UV cover would have been a godsend.

Food

1) Breast is best! If you are nursing, it will make travel much easier! You can probably skip this entire portion. At this stage i'm nursing, bottle feeding and doing solids so it was a bit more challenging. Nursing came in handy when I wanted/needed to pacify my little one quickly (e.g. on the plane and on the beach). I brought my nursing cover but didn't end up using it. I was discreet and a towel usually did the trick.

2) Bottle feeding: I used Playtex Drop-ins for the entire trip. GREAT for travel! No sterilizing bottles. Just keep the nipples cleaned and your good to go. I used bottled water for his formula. No sterilizing here at 6 months...

3) Solids: Aruba is fully stocked with everything you'd need for your little one but I brought cereal with me. We hit the grocery store the first day we were there and picked up some bananas and avocados. I make all of my little guy's food but we bought the jarred stuff for the trip.

4) Highchair: We brought and LOVED our Phil & Ted's Me Too. They usually had highchairs at the restaurants and the resort had them too but they were old, wooden and looked really uncomfortable and dirty ;) The Phil & Ted's chair doesn't fit every style of table but when it fits, it works amazingly.



5) Bibs: Invest in a Mally Bib. Fantastic for travel. Just wipe it clean!!

6) Ziploc bags & plastic grocery bags: I brought a ton of baggies in different sizes. They came in handy for many things. I used them to carry the drop-ins, diapers, wipes, spoons, bowls, fruit, etc. You can even fill them with ice and stock up on fruits from the buffet for your little one. 
Diapering

1. I'm a cloth diapering Mom but I decided to use disposables for our week away. In retrospect, I probably could have done it successfully (great chance to sun dry the diapers too!) but for my first trip away I didn't want the extra stress. The nice things about CDing while you are away is you never have to worry about running out of diapers. Aruba is great for picking up things like that (they sell every brand of diaper you can imagine) but if you were somewhere more remote it might be tough...

2. Bring lots of wipes. I use cloth wipes for my son but I decided to use disposable wipes for our trip. I brought two refill packages and went through one in 8 days. I didn't bring the hard case...just the refill packages. They also came in handy for wiping down surfaces that looked icky.

3. Diaper rash: Our little guy didn't have any troubles with this but bring some ointment just in case.
All in all it was an amazing trip! My son slept better than he ever has before and I was asleep most nights at 9 pm (with some night wake-ups of course!). It was lovely to not have any house work or distractions to keep me up late at night.

Happy travels!!!



.author { display: none; }