Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby's First Halloween!!!

This time last year, I was on strict hospital bed rest at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. What a difference a year makes! This year, our little preemie got to go trick or treating for the first time! Yes, I realize it's pretty silly to take her out trick or treating. She's far too young for sweets, but not too young to enjoy all the fun!

It was a windy and wet evening, but we (along with friends of ours and their kids) went door to door in "town". In our immediate neighbourhood, it's just us, my mother-in-law, and the family across the road. In "town" there are more houses and they're closer together. It's still a small town, but it's perfect for walking house to house with little ones. We did swing by grandma's house on our way to town. Grandma handed out apples this year. I was kind of hoping she'd hand out the amazing caramel corn she makes! She makes the best caramel corn! Oh, well. I guess it's better for us that she didn't make any! Apples are far healthier :) She did give Little One a jar of homemade applesauce without sugar (just the way I make it for her).

Little One was a little lady bug and she made a lot of people smile. Some of the people told us they gave her extra goodies, because she was so cute. Funny, because she can't even eat any of that stuff! One man was so funny and told her to make sure she brushes her teeth tonight! :)

I was shocked that Little One ended up with TWO bags FULL of goodies! I think she had half a case of pop in there. No joke! People handed out cans of Pepsi, Mug root beer, 7UP, etc. Hubby carried Little One door to door and seemed pleased with the loot she hauled in.

After trick or treating, we went to the Halloween Party that is organized for the kids in our township. There were lots of games and prizes for the kids. One thing about living in a small town is the sense of "community" there is. Little One even won a prize for being "the youngest in the hall".Go figure! She was more interested in the gift bag than in the stuffed animal she won!

All in all, it was a great evening had by everyone. Little One fell asleep halfway through the party! I guess she was lulled to sleep by all the noise from kids scrambling during the candy toss! Sometimes I think those first 2.5 months of her life in the NICU worked in our favour. Not just because the doctors, nurses, medical equipment and medicine helped her become stronger, bigger and healthier, but because now the kid can sleep through anything! :)
Friday, October 30, 2009

Shout Outs

This will be short but sweet because I'm not feeling 100% today. Feeling really nauseous and headachy...and can't seem to eat anything other than mashed potatoes! Weird. I hope I'm not coming down with anything. Little One's first birthday party is next weekend!! Gahhhhh!

Anyway, check out Audrey on the Rachael Ray Show! Yay, Audrey!

Oh, and check out this little sneak peek of our family photo shoot with the photographers from PhotoCaptiva! A few weeks ago, the photographers came to our farm and we spent a glorious Sunday afternoon taking photos outside amongst what was left of the Fall colours. Like the cute pumpkin hat? My friend, Beachmama made it. Check out her Etsy shop!

One more thing for you to check out: Mercury Falls, by Rob Kroese (aka: Diesel from The Mattress Police). My copy of the book arrived a few days ago. Can't wait to read it!
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Conversations with Moms

A friend and I were discussing whether or not we are going to get our kids vaccinated for H1N1. We both decided not to go to playgroup since we didn't want our kids to get exposed to anything right now. Little One being a preemie, is in the high risk category. Her Neonatologist recommended getting the vaccine for her and said that we should think twice about bringing her to big public gatherings (errrm..playgroup) for the winter. Anyway, my friend and I discussed research we had both done for the pros and the cons of the vaccine. Then I told her about what Dr. Oz said to do to help prevent yourself from getting sick (wash hands frequently, hands off the face, boost your natural immunity with vitamin C rich foods, drink lots of warm liquids, gargle with warm salt water, etc).Somehow the conversation ended up like this:

Friend: Do you watch The Doctors? I was thinking of writing an e-mail asking about what we can do to safeguard our kids against H1N1. They answer viewer e-mail/questions.

Me: I don't really watch it. We don't watch much TV during the day, but I've seen a few segments and WOW is that one doctor really hot! I don't think I would want to have a doctor that hot examine me! *giggle* (Okay, so I went on a HUGE tangent!)

Oh! Dr. Travis (something or other)! He was on The Bachelor, eh?

Me: REALLY!?!?! (I had no clue since I don't watch The Bachelor)

Friend: Yeah! Dr. Travis STORK! Stork is his last name. He was on The Bachelor, but it didn't last. Those things never work. I don't know why I get hooked. It's always the same.After we got back on track and talked about getting our children vaccinated, my friend had to put her babies down for a nap. Little One was already napping (for TWO hours!). When I hung up the phone, I thought "Oh. My. Goodness. This conversation just opened my eyes to a new level of mommyhood". Crazy.

The following is a Facebook conversation I was having with a friend:

You wouldn't happen to have a breast pump you're not using at the moment, would you? LOL! I know your answer to one part of that question. You're not using a breast pump because your boys are 2 and 4! Ummmm...Mine just got a hole in the hose and one of the falanges has a tear in it. It still works, but it's soooooo slow and the process is tedious.
If I don't get it fixed (doubtful, since I just priced the pieces at over $40 for replacements), I'll probably try to wean her after she turns 12 months. That's in 2 weeks!! Maybe I'll try to wean her when she's 12 months corrected then! LOL! That will be in February. I'm having separation anxiety! LOL! I think you mentioned having a manual pump kicking around somewhere. Do you still have it? If so, would it sound weird or gross if I asked if I could borrow it? Is that just wrong? Oh, the joys of motherhood!

Under normal circumstances, I will be the first to tell you that I think it's gross and unhygienic to borrow a breast pump. I'd have to disinfect it a few times to even get the icky factor out of my head. When I was at Mt. Sinai Hospital for the first few months of Little One's life, I brought my own breast pump to the breast pumping room. The thought of touching something that another person used on their body just grossed me out. I know not everyone Virox-ed the pumps and area surrounding the pumps after every use.

Now that I find myself in a very uncomfortable predicament, (it sounds weird, but) this kind of question is not something I feel toooooo awkward about asking a good friend.

Image found here

I have discovered a few things in my 11.5 months of mommyhood so far.

1. I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I survived a rocky first few months with my daughter being in the NICU while my husband was 6 hrs away from us for that time. Every day was a roller coaster of emotions.

2. Once you have a baby, you have little to no down time and it is okay to have a breakdown or meltdown every now and then. In fact, a friend told me that it is encouraged to have a good cry or to fall apart once in a while!

3. All the precious moments with your baby make you forget (briefly!) about #2.

4. My brain is forever scattered now. My thoughts are all over the place...all the time. See conversation with friend above!

5. Exhaustion makes you do crazy things like put the milk container in the cupboard with the coffee mugs and glasses instead of in the fridge. What about putting the roast you just cooked and were ready to serve into the freezer? What on earth?

6. The conversations I now have with my friends differ considerably from the conversations I used to have before I became a mom! Moms are not afraid to talk about anything!

7. Being a mom (for me, at least!) is the most amazing thing in the world. Being a teacher is extremely rewarding and I love that moment when I see that light bulb light up in my students' heads when they "get" something they've been trying hard to grasp. However, being a mom is all that...only times a hundred.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baby Loves Beethoven

Little One just LOVES Baby Einstein. Hubby and I were really shocked to see her go nuts watching and listening to Baby Beethoven: Symphony of Fun. She was bouncing, dancing, jumping, singing, "talking" and squealing! Too cute!

At first, I was a bit uncertain about letting her watch any TV at such a young age. My mother-in-law was listening to a radio program about how babies who watch TV (DVDs, videos, etc) are more likely to become couch potatoes (not in those exact words) and how it delays their development because they aren't forced to use their imagination and creativity.

I then wondered if letting Little One watch her Baby Einstein DVDs was in a way doing her a terrible disservice. I was also worried about her being overstimulated. Little One loves listening to music and watching all the different colours, shapes and animals on the screen... and it's not like she watches TV all the time. She gets time to play on her play mat, crawl, play with her toys, play with mom and dad, and with her piano. I read to her and sing to her every day.

I checked out dozens upon dozens of websites and articles on this very subject. A lot of the feedback came back positive for the Baby Einstein DVDs or any other learning/discovery DVDs. Surely, if you just plop your kid in front of the TV and let him or her watch hours and hours of TV, I can understand the arguments against that. Many of the videos are designed for parents to watch the videos with baby and interact with baby.

Personally, I think these learning tools are fantastic. Little One now opens and closes her hands when we sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We're still working on the clapping part. Do I think these kinds of videos make babies smarter? Not really. Most probably not. However, for the musical aspect, Little One enjoys it.

Just an aside (about the plopping one's kid in front of the TV bit), I have put on a DVD or TV program for Little One so I can do dishes, laundry or cook. Do I feel guilty? Nope. Well, in the beginning I did. Now I realize that moms need to do what they have to do sometimes.

A few of my friends who have babies have also said that their babies love the Baby Einstein videos. My biggest concern was for Little One being exposed to too much TV. I don't want her addicted to the boob tube or having the attention span of a goldfish. At the same time, I don't think it's too bad for her if she watches and listens to Baby Mozart or Baby Beethoven every now and then :) After all, music cultivates creativity.

Can You Tell I Only Have One Child?

I have over a thousand photos of Little One. No joke. Over a thousand! It isn't really hard to do since digital cameras make things so much easier than back when I was a kid. Click, upload, save. We can delete any not so perfect shots. It's brilliant.

I was thinking the other day that if/when we have baby #2, will he or she have just as many photos as Little One has? I wonder if people take more photos of their first child? If so, is it because it's the first child? Maybe with baby #2 (or 3...or 4) there isn't enough time to take as many photos because there are more babies to run around after?

That's what happened when my brothers and I were little. I was the first born, so there were always tons of photos of me. MiddleBro didn't have as many, so when Mom realized that, she did a whole day photo shoot for him. She changed his outfits several times, put him in different locations around the house, and took lots of photos in one day. By the time BabyBro was born (almost eleven years later!), having a baby in the house again was a novelty. I think he had the most photos out of the three of us.

I'm obsessed with capturing Little One's every day moments, her milestones, and just "her" on film (or in digital photos). Part of it is because I cannot believe she's here with us! She is a miracle and continues to amaze me each and every day. I am amazed at how a 2 lb, 3 oz baby has grown into an almost one year old!
Hubby had to lower her crib mattress because she has been trying to climb out. Yes, I know that bumper pads in cribs are a no-no because of SIDS. I just put them in recently because Little One kept getting her arms and legs stuck between the railing. She figured out how to get herself unstuck, but then she kept bumping her head on the railing. They haven't been in her crib for long, but will have to come back out. Now she uses them to try to climb out of her crib. She stands on them and tries to escape!
It's the quiet ones you have to look out for! When she's too quiet, it means she's up to something!
It shocked me when she figured out how to pull herself up two days ago! It all seemed to happen so quickly! What a difference each week makes!
I keep saying that she's a handful. She's not naughty, but just very inquisitive, curious, resourceful, busy, active, and into everything!
See what I mean?
Hubby gave her Cheerios last week. She LOVED them! I was a bit worried that she'd choke, but she seemed to automatically know to put one Cheerio in her mouth at a time and to get it all wet and gummy first and THEN chew before swallowing.
This is what happens when Mommy turns her back for a second.
Little One helps herself to her food.
She didn't even seem to mind or notice that she had food all over her eyelashes.
She refused any assistance from me and wanted to feed herself. She even pushed my hand away when I tried to help her. *sigh* Is this a sign that we're raising a very independent girl?
All decked out for running errands in town. Obviously this isn't one of her "barn outfits"! She won't be helping out with farm chores in this! ;)
Sunday, October 25, 2009

She's Growing Up

In 16 days, Little One will be turning 1 year old. I was talking to some of the moms I spent time with at Mount Sinai Hospital when our babies were in the NICU. Little One spent the first two months of her life in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The moms and I were reliving the first few days and weeks of our babies' rocky beginnings.

Turning a year old is bittersweet. Certainly, we have a lot to be thankful for. Our babies made it so far and they are thriving. After being born so early, this first year is really worth celebrating. It's a big thing! At the same time, I realize that Little One is...going to be a year old!!! This makes me sad in a way.

It means my baby is growing up. She's not going to be a "baby" baby anymore. She rolling, sitting, standing, scooting around (backwards only still!), feeding herself, entertaining herself, babbling and singing...she even drank from a cup two nights ago! Yes, Grampy gave her some apple juice for the first time, and not even from a sippy cup! From a big person cup!!! She drank the apple juice and enjoyed it. Grampy also gave her a french fry the other day. Oh, boy. I have a sneaky suspicion Little One is going to be spoiled when she goes to Grampy's and Lola's house! At home, I make all of her baby food and I am pretty anal about what she eats. No wonder she loves Grampy so much! ;)

Little One's relationship with Grampy reminds me of the relationship my brothers, cousins and I had with our grandfather. My Mom would tell my grandfather not to give us gum because we always swallowed it. We were little! We didn't know the difference between gum and chewy candy! My grandfather would always wait until Mom left and then give us candy. I will never forget the smile on his face and him whispering "Don't tell your Mom!".

Lola made Little One laugh at supper time tonight. Little One gave her grandma some pretty loud belly laughs! We got it on video, but Lola wants to screen the video first before it gets posted! :)

Little One turning a year old just makes me cry. This time last year, I was at Mount Sinai Hospital on bed rest. Gavie's Gal, AvoidEverything, FancyPantsyMomma, Humps'NBump and several family members of mine and Hubby's came to visit me while I was on strict bed rest. We still didn't even know the sex of Little One (and were convinced we were having a boy!). We were calling the baby "Junior" on the blog back then!
Saturday, October 24, 2009


Halloween is my favourite non-holiday of the year!

Yours truly (Halloween 2007)

When I was a kid, Halloween was one of the most exciting days of the year for me. My brothers, cousins, friends and I would go house to house in our costumes and see how much candy we could haul in. We lived in the suburbs just outside Montreal, and the neighbourhood we lived in always had the best (and the most) candy (at least that's what we thought when we were kids!). Sometimes we'd have to stop off at home to empty out our pillow cases (pillow cases are stronger than plastic bags or those cute (yet cheap) plastic jack 'o lantern/pumpkin shaped buckets we used to lug around. The handle would always break after the twelfth house or so. We got smart and started bringing pillow cases instead!

It was a sad year when I finally felt I was too old to go trick or treating. At least I had a baby brother who was (and still is!) eleven years younger than me! I figured that if I took him out trick or treating, at least he'd share some of his loot with me!

When I was teaching in Japan and in Toronto, I would dress up and go all out for my students every Halloween. The students and I would decorate the classroom. They'd learn about the history of Halloween. We'd have costume contests and a big party. Since all of our students were ESL students and from countries that didn't celebrate Halloween, it was so very new to them. They had a blast!

Even after I got married, Halloween was still a big thing to me.

Hubby and C. Halloween 2007
Hubby and I would dress up in costume, put on some spooky sound effects and music, decorate the house...and we always did a haunted house motif. My first year on the Island, I bought enough candy and little gift bags for 300 kids. We only had 10 trick or treaters! I didn't realize that in the country, there were so much fewer children around. I suppose if we lived in one of the other townships where there were houses closer to each other, we'd get more trick or treaters. We live in the countryside where our neighbours are stretches and stretches apart.

This being Little One's first Halloween, I was thinking about what kind of family traditions we can start for her. I know she will not remember this Halloween because she's still a baby. I know she can't even go trick or treating because she can't even eat candy!

I was at my friend's house on Friday and while Little One and her son were having a play date, we were catching up and enjoying some conversation that did not involve "Say Mama!" or "Time to eat! Open up! Yummmmm!". My friend invited us to partake in their Halloween tradition with them. In the past few years, they have stopped giving out candy because they don't really get any trick or treaters in their area. Along with some other friends of ours, they just take their kids trick or treating in "town" and then they all go to the Halloween party at the community center/hall.

Now that we've got a little one, I think it is so important for us to do things as a family and create lasting memories for our little girl. Yes, she'll only be a few weeks short of a year old (or 9 months corrected), but I'm so excited about her first Halloween! This time last year, I was on strict hospital bed rest and couldn't even see the doctors' kids and some of the other moms' kids all decked out in costume at Mt. Sinai.Just testing out Little One's first Halloween costume. She's such a cute little ladybug!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Laughed So Hard

We were having supper at our friends' house when my friend's husband mentioned the dancing baby on YouTube and how the video got so many hits and was even on the news. Because I've been living under a rock too busy with the farm, the house, and Little One helping Hubby get the corn silage done a little preoccupied these days, I hadn't even heard about this famous dancing baby.

After I bathed Little One, folded laundry and did the dishes, I decided to troll the internet for this much talked about video before heading to bed.

Oh my goodness! Too funny!

Gotta love a dancing baby! So cute!

...and then I saw this!
Monday, October 19, 2009

When Life Hands You Green Tomatoes...

Photo from this amazing food blog!

I had lots of green tomatoes! I could have let them ripen, but I was craving chilaquiles con salsa verde. Since we don't grow tomatillos, the green tomatoes were the closest thing I could get. When living on the Island, we make due with what we have...or we drive two hours to get whatever it is that we need/want! Some days, a day trip is fun, but other days I'd rather just make due and improvise!

Living on the Island has really taught me the difference between WANTS and NEEDS. We can basically get whatever we need on the Island. The people who own the grocery stores or the hardware stores will always order things for you if they don't have what you need. We can also order things online and get them delivered to us. It's no big deal, really. Contrary to popular belief, the Island isn't really in the boonies. It isn't isolated. It isn't in way up in polar bear country either. Oh, and yes...we do have internet access and we do have postal service.

Now, for the Salsa Verde!!!
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos (I used green tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (I used 4!)
  • Salt to taste
1. Wash the green tomatoes well.
2. Place tomatoes in a pot and cover with water. Cook tomatoes.
3. Once cooked (but not completely mushy), pour out hot water and rinse with cold water.
4. Remove skin from tomatoes. This is probably the most tedious part, but you don't want sharp pieces of the tomato skins in your sauce.
(You can roast the tomatoes or boil them. Roasting gives more flavour, but I was too lazy too impatient and wanted my chilaquiles ASAP!)
5. Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.

I actually prefer green salsa over red salsa. I like dishes that are a bit tart. You can serve the salsa verde with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to Mexican dishes. I always serve salsa verde with my chilaquiles!!

Oh, one other thing you can do with green tomatoes is...

Apple and Green Tomato Pie!

Image from

It tastes JUST like apple pie, but with a bit of tartness! We had it for the first time at our friends' house the other evening. Our friend cooked up a spectacular feast and then baked a very unusual yet scrumptious pie! My friend baked an apple pie, and when she said "Oh, it's an apple-green tomato pie", I can only imagine what the expressions on our faces looked like!

I'm one for trying out new things and decided to take a chance. There's nothing I can't stand more than closed-minded people. What's the worst that can happen? If I don't like it, I don't like it. Right? Anyway, as odd as the combination sounds, the pie was DELICIOUS! I'm not going to post my friend's recipe, but here's one I find online. The photo has raisins in it. My friend's pie didn't include raisins, but I if you really like raisins, they would taste great in the pie too.
Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm Soooo Sick of Thanksgiving Leftovers!!!

There are a few things that I can do well. I can paint, draw, write, bake, take my jeans off with one hand and pee while holding my eleven month old baby in the other...and I can cook. I wasn't always a good cook. In fact, I used to be a horrible cook. Never having had the opportunity to cook as a child/teen/young adult, there was never a need to learn. Until I moved out on my own. I had to teach myself to cook. I watched others cook (my father is an amazing cook and so was my late grandfather), took note of how dishes were presented at restaurants, paid attention to flavours and ingredients in dishes. That meant a lot of dining out at all kinds of restaurants. It also meant watching FoodTV.

On Thursday, I was craving Hawberry Farms' garlic spread on crackers. We didn't have any crackers in the house and the baby was just getting over her first cold. Instead of dragging her out to the grocery store just so I could buy crackers, I made some homemade crackers. HOMEMADE CRACKERS! I remembered watching a show on FoodTV about making crackers.Worked like a charm! It was the easiest, quickest thing to make!
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 Cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Lightly grease two large cookie sheets. Combine the dry ingredients, and then stir in the water, oil and mix until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half on a cookie sheet. Use a small rolling pin or even your fingers for a rustic, uneven look. Once the dough is spread thin, use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares. The elasticity in the dough will make the crackers shrink slightly and pull away from each other; this makes them easy to bake without sticking together.
  4. Brush lightly with an egg wash (one egg white and 2 tablespoons of water) or spray lightly with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with the topping of your choice. Experiment with your favorite flavors, or try one of these variations: Chopped rosemary and sea salt, sesame seeds, poppyseeds and onion salt, Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the crackers are golden and crispy.
In my attempts to use up all the leftover ham from Thanksgiving (I am soooooo sick of ham and turkey!), yesterday I made the dough for the crackers, roasted some sliced tomatoes with oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper, sliced up leftover ham, and arranged them on the rolled out dough. Then I rolled up the dough so it looked like a giant Calzone!Lots and lots of seared tomatoes! Why? Well, they were in abundance (from Dad's garden) AND I make sure Hubby eats lots and lots of tomatoes. Tomatoes are high in lycopene and lycopene is said to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Luckily Hubby likes tomatoes! I feed him tomatoes like there's no tomorrow! Paranoid much? Perhaps I am...just a little! At least the roasted tomatoes I fed him yesterday tasted yummy though!

We had tons and tons of squash (again from Dad's garden) this year.Fortunately for me, Little One LOVES squash! Hubby's not so much of a squash fan, but squash is one of my faves.

Did I mention that I can turn leftovers into several very different dishes to last the week? Today, I made a batch of baby food (squash) for Little One, AND a squash puree that I used to coat some Rotini with. I also added diced ham (still left over from Thanksgiving!) and more roasted tomatoes. I roasted the tomatoes in olive oil with some oregano and a dash of salt and black pepper.Looks kind of like mac and cheese, but it's got a sweet, buttery squash flavour. Hubby was shocked. I don't really know if he loved it. He said it was "interesting". I, on the other hand, think it is my new favourite quick fix! It's full of vitamins and nutrients with the squash and the tomatoes. I loved it!

I can make a meal in record time. I can live on a shoestring budget. I can be a very frugal chef and my guests don't even know it. There are many things I can't do though. I've always been horrible at math. Horrible. Oh, and I have never been able to knit. My wonderful friend, E tried to teach me one winter. I did well...until she left! I messed up and ended up unraveling the scarf that I started making.

Which leads me to my next project.

One of these days, when I finally get some spare time, I am going to teach myself how to knit. I am determined to learn how to knit. I don't know why I need to learn, but I do.
Friday, October 16, 2009

I Wanna Be Sedated

I recently read an article on MSN Travel about sedating kids on planes. Should kids on planes be sedated? What do you think?

People who know me KNOW I'm not one to administer medication to my baby unless absolutely necessary. Of course, I won't let her suffer if she needs Baby Tylenol or anything. I'm not cruel. If she's got a fever or she's teething and a bit of Tylenol will make her feel better, so be it. I'm just a bit apprehensive about immediately heading for the drugs at the slightest hint of her discomfort. I mean, I would hope that I can find out why she's not feeling well first. It could be that her tummy is bothering her or she's gassy. In which case, sometimes it just takes me walking around with her to relieve the pressure. Sometimes it's really that easy. That's just what works for us.

The article about sedating kids on planes got me thinking about bringing children to other venues and events. I have to admit that before I became a mother, the shrill, ear-piercing screams of a toddler would really give me a headache if I were on a plane, bus, train, or in a get the point. Yes, I was one of those evil non-understanding young adults who used to get annoyed. Okay, I'll be honest. I used to think (and please don't hate me for being honest!) in the back of my head, "Please control your child" or "Couldn't you leave your child at home with the grandparents or something if he/she is just going to scream his/her head off non-stop?". Yes, I am embarrassed at my former attitude.

As a person paying to attend and enjoy a concert, show, movie, performance or speech, I would like to be able to hear and enjoy what I paid for. Sadly, screaming children take away from the enjoyment. I guess I can sort of understand why some people feel that children should be left at home for things like that.

Fortunately, Little One really enjoys attending musicals, concerts, and movies with us. She usually just watches quietly. She is getting older and more aware of her surroundings though. She is also becoming more and more vocal. She sings along when she hears music. Cute, but I'm sure people at the places we attend are not paying to hear an eleven month old baby sing! Out of respect to other patrons, I often sit in the last row and in an aisle seat...just in case I need to make a quick get away. Luckily, (knock on wood!) that hasn't been necessary yet.

Though blood curdling cries still grate on my nerves sometimes, I find myself a bit more understanding towards other parents. I feel extremely guilty for not being able to tolerate or block out screaming kid cries in public. I really feel for the parents whom are no doubt under judgment and scrutiny of onlookers when their children scream in public. Sometimes certain things are beyond a parent's control. Also, in the case of babies, they can't help it. They're babies! Babies cry when something is bothering them.

What do you think? What are your opinions on bringing babies and young children to "adult" events and venues (ummm...not the X-Rated kind!)? What are your opinions about traveling with babies on planes?

Photo found here. Read the article!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adventures in Road-Tripping (with babies)

The other week, SuperAmazingMommy and I embarked on an 11 hour road trip with our little ones. She brought her 22 month old son, and I brought my 10 month old daughter. Since Little One's been traveling pretty much before she was supposed to be born, she's used to the idea of getting into her car seat and going on long drives.

She had her first plane ride and ambulance ride when she was teeny tiny. We also live on an island where we have to drive to wherever we need to go. The neighbourhood we live in only has farms, a general store, a post office, a town hall...and even those are a stretch to get to by foot! Little One knows that when she gets strapped into her car seat, it means she's going somewhere. Anyway, she's a great traveler and mostly just sleeps or entertains herself.Now, this time around there were two things that made her a little cranky.
Teething and a sore bum.

All the literature I've read states that there's no correlation between teething and rashes. Why is it that so many moms I've spoken to have claimed otherwise? Little One has never had a red bum before, and all of a sudden her bum is so sore. Poor baby.

Poor SuperAmazingMommy. She did all the driving, because like me, she fares better driving than being a passenger. Her 22 month old was also a super traveler, but at one point he got his foot stuck in his backpack that was filled with his toys and since we were in the front, we had no idea what the commotion was about. Once we discovered what it was and once I unbuckled my seat belt and reached over to get his foot out of the back pack, all was good in the world.

On the ride home, Little One cried a bit because every time she peed it would burn. SuperAmazingMommy suggested we stop somewhere to do a diaper change and put some diaper cream on Little One's sore bum.

Little One for some reason refused to nurse. I don't know if her gums were hurting her, but she'd keep biting me. She also doesn't do well nursing in public anymore. I don't know if it's because she's a bit older and more aware of her surroundings, but she is so curious and wants to look around all the time. She gets distracted easily! We stopped the car and I nursed her in a restaurant parking lot. When she was on the breast, she kept biting me. I'd pull her away and say, "No!". Every time I'd do that, she'd look up and SMILE at me!

It was a good thing I had pumped some milk for her and she fed herself the bottle. Not only was I frustrated, but I was also engorged! Fearing I'd get mastitis (yes, I can be a bit paranoid sometimes), I told SuperAmazingMommy that I hoped she didn't mind, but I had to manually express milk while we hit the open highway.

There we were. Two mommies, two babies, and the open road. SuperAmazingMommy was at the wheel, while I was manually expressing breast milk into a bottle. Nice.

To top it all off, there was a young hitchhiker at the side of the road. As we got closer, he looked surprised and then just smiled. Embarrassing.

SuperAmazingMommy had her hands full with M during our bathroom break, and the bathroom stall I was in didn't have a change table. I desperately needed to use the loo, so I had no choice but to hold Little One as I peed. Try holding a baby in one arm and unzipping your jeans with the other AND slide it down so you can pee! One handed! It is possible. Challenging, but possible. I ended up just changing Little One in the car. Did I mention I'm also a freak when it comes to public bathrooms? Yes. I have a fear of public bathrooms. I carry hand sanitizer in my purse, in the diaper bag, in the car... I will avoid changing Little One's diaper in a public restroom if I can. *sigh*

All in all, I think SuperAmazingMommy and I did a great job with our 11 hr trip from the Island to Montreal (and back!). The babies were fantastic travelers and we all survived the drive.
Good music, lots of road snacks (Baby Mum Mums for Little One, Golden Oreos for M, and Werther's Originals for SuperAmazingMommy and me!), 11 hours of conversation (a lot can be said in 11 hours!), and good attitudes helped us make the long drive a good drive.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Image from here. Freedom from Want - The third of Rockwell's Four Freedoms paintings.

Today we say thanks for many things.

We say thanks for the harvest and all its bounty.
Thanks for our family.
Thanks for our friends.
Thanks for our health and a roof over our heads.

Today I say thanks for Little One being our lives. She is 11 months chronological. (8 months corrected).
Remember her first photo with Moo? She was 3 months chronological (newborn in her corrected age). Look how tiny she was!
Here she is on her 11 month monthaversary shot with Moo! My baby girl is growing up! :(
Happy Birthday to my husband! I will post pics of his surprise party as soon as my friends e-mail me the pics. I was so preoccupied that I forgot to take my camera out! Thank goodness there were others with cameras that night! :)
Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

I was just admiring the beautiful Fall colours and thinking how truly blessed we are to be living somewhere where we can appreciate such beauty every single year. There's just something so special about Fall. Perhaps it's the fresh, crisp air and the changing of the leaves. Perhaps it's because it's not stifling hot (not that this Summer was stifling hot at all!) and not freezing cold like in the Winter. I have to say that Fall is probably my favourite season of all.

Hubby mentioned that there was a lot of mail for me while I was away in Montreal last week. I glanced over to the dining room table and saw a few parcels and envelopes. I noticed the address on one of the parcels and excitedly tore it open!

My blog friend, Beachmama (who happens to be one of my favourite bloggers on the internet!) sent this for Little One!
I was so surprised to see a parcel from Beachmama! The funny thing is that I was about to buy Little One one of Beachmama's pumpkin hats on her Etsy Shop! How cute is that hat? Little One will be toasty warm on these cool Fall days and will look as cute as a button at the same time!Not only is Beachmama a fantastic writer, but she is also a very creative, talented, "crafty" person! She makes the most amazing things! It's like magic! She truly amazes me with her creativity. She makes anything from knitted hats (like the adorable pumpkin hat she made for Little One), to laptop protectors/sleeves, coffee cozies (so you don't burn your hands while holding a hot cup of coffee!), to children's aprons, etc.

I only wish I had but an ounce of her creativity! I'm pretty artsy, but cannot sew fancy stitches or knit for the life of me! I WISH I could! Painting, drawing, scrapbooking, crocheting...Those I can do well. Knitting and using a sewing machine for major projects? HA!

This is why I am so thankful to have friends like Beachmama who can do all of those things! Check out her blog and her Etsy Shop! Better yet, go shopping at her Etsy Shop! I guarantee you'll find something (or things!) you like!

Thank you Beachmama! Little One looks adorable in her pumpkin hat! You are awesome! xoxo

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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