Monday, January 30, 2012

Alice's Favourite Things: (almost) 3 months

In her few short months of life, Alice's favourite things have been pretty simple - eating, sleeping, kicking, punching. She's now moved on to looking, smiling and accidently touching so, needless to say, her list is just a wee bit short this time around.
FavThingsAlice-3months
1) This activity centre is a new favourite of Alice's. With her new "looking skills" I knew I wanted to get some sort of a play gym for her, but I wasn't keen on spending the $50-$100 on a brand new one. Alice's buddy, Cole, had this one and Alice thought it was pretty great.  It's pretty good looking and for only $24.99 at IKEA it was perfect.

2) Apparently babies like black and white, I think it's the random stories I make up that she likes the best ;) Great picture book.

3) This is Franny the fairy (yes, I name all of Alice's toys), she hangs out on the car seat.  I like it because she hangs off an elastic and stays put, Alice likes it because she's pretty and keeps her company in that stupid car seat thing she hates so much.

4) I think Alice's parents like this sing-a-ma-jig more than her, it's hilariously creepy and annoying in a good way... she'll grow into it.

5) Best tip passed on to me: swaddle baby and then put her in the swing.  This is Alice's new favourite place to nap.

6) This White Noise app is a life saver. Seriously. Alice loves "rain on car" and "floor fan"... she's going to need her own iPhone pretty soon ;)

So those are things all fine and dandy in Alice's world, but can I tell you something she doesn't like - her car seat.  I thought babies were supposed to like car rides?? Nothing relaxing about a crying baby and blaring white noise app on a half hour drive home from my parents... ugh.

We'll be back next month with Alice's new favourite things (hopefully it's the car seat)...

Happy Monday, peeps!
Christine

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Favourite Things: New Mom

It's only been a few months so I can only imagine this list is going to get bigger and bigger, but here are a few of my must have items that have got me through these early days of motherhood.
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1) I posted this in my preggo fav things list too, but this one line a day journal is such an awesome gift for a new mom too. It's great to be able to track the little everyday milestones, complaints or oh-god-shoot-me kinda days and I think it's going to be even better to look back on a year from now.
2) BabyLog App for iPhone: this app is a baby brain lifesaver.  It tracks everything from feedings, poos/pees, sleep and lays it out in handy dandy charts. I mainly use it for tracking Alice's feeds, it's great for those "when did she eat last?" moments and really helps you track your baby's routine so you can know what to expect (especially in those early, early days).
3) I bought this Petit Collage baby book before Alice was born and I really love it.  It has a simple design, great content and is not too baby.  I love how it comes in a box so you can store keepsakes in the little drawer underneath.
4) I love these aden & anais bamboo swaddle blankets.  While they're not actually my fave for swaddling (little sucker breaks free eventually), they make great all purpose blankets.  They're huge, breathable muslin, and really lightweight.  I like to use them in the car seat as a blanket, as a burp cloth and as a swaddle during the day when I don't want her to get too hot.
5) These velcro swaddle blankets are my nighttime life saver! The last thing you want to do at 3am is fuss with a blanket, these are so quick to just velcro them for a tight little baby burrito all night long. (tight & comfy = happy baby = long sleeps = happy mom)
6) It's not so much the beautiful Maskros pendant itself, but the light on a DIMMER that I love. I try and keep Alice's room as dark as possible while I'm feeding her at night so she knows this is "sleep time". Having the light on the dimmer means you can set it at the perfect lightness before bed and just slap that baby on and off with ease. Plus it casts some cool shadows on the wall.

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7) The Baby Jogger, City Mini stroller was one of our first purchases and I love, love, love it! It's a compact, lightweight stroller that moves with such ease. It's super easy to open and my favourite part is how easy it closes (one handed!).  Things that I can do with one hand are really, really awesome nowadays.  We've cruised the mall many, many times with this baby and even trekked through a bit of snow.  I have to say my only complaint is the little compartment (where you'd put your shopping bags of course ;) is kind of hard to stuff things into and I wish it was a bit bigger, but other than that I love it and would highly recommend.
8) For babies born in winter and in Edmonton this 'Easy' car seat cover is a must.  It goes on snug and keeps baby warm, plus her little head looks adorable peeking out the trap door.
6) I don't actually have this exact chair/bouncer - mine is a second hand one borrowed from my mom - but it's the main reason I get a shower everyday.  Basically, you gotta have something portable to lug baby from room to room.
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Every mom has to have her sanity savers...
7) I think the concealer is pretty self explanatory.  I like this one from MAC but now that I'm sporting some "mom bags" I'm kinda on the hunt for some serious concealer action, any recommendations?
8) Sometimes it's the little things in the day that make you feel normal... there is something about a hot, yummy drink in my hand that just makes me feel happy.
9) Pinterest: so addicted! My time for reading blogs has seriously been reduced and I love that pinterest is basically an easy one-handed dose of creative inspiration! You can follow me here.

I've got a few more items to share in Alice's list and pretty much anything she loves I'm going to love too because happy baby equals happy mom!

Even before I had a baby I loved hearing from other moms for future reference and great gift giving options. What are your must have items?


Christine

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Favourite Things: Pregnancy

This whole becoming a mom thing has been quite the journey.  Most of the time I liked being pregnant, but I'm not going to lie, it's not all roses and sunshine.  Your back hurts, you're emotional, you're tired, hungry.... it's important to find those key items that make your life a bit easier.  I always love hearing from other moms so here are a few of my pregnancy must haves for you preggo ladies, friends of preggo ladies or just to be filed in the "just in case" folder.

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Fashion: I found that having a few basic maternity clothes and mixing with "normal clothes" was key to my fashion happiness.
1) I bought a great jersery black dress (similar to the one above) from Mexx Maternity that I wore tons.  With a jacket, cardigan, necklace, you could dress it up or dress it down.  Dresses were one of my fav things to wear, especially in the summer because it's one piece and there's no annoying elastic digging into your belly.
2) I'd suggest getting a few basic plain t-shirts for layering. I had a short sleeved white one from Thyme Maternity that I wore all the time.  This way you have the practical long maternity top that you can pair with all your regular layering pieces - jackets, cardigan, etc.  Don't buy maternity cardigans, normal cardis and jackets totally work.
3) I lived in these maternity leggings in my last trimester.  Maternity jeans were great but by the last trimester these were the only things that felt comfortable.  Get yourself some long shirts or cardigans to wear with them so you cover your butt.

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Cardigans, jackets and blazers were the one thing that I still bought while I was pregnant.  It was so nice to be able to look at the "normal clothes" and they're great for adding some colour and pattern to your maternity basics.
4) Joe Fresh Blazer
5) Old Navy Cardigan
6) H&M Cardigan

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Accessories were key to making me feel normal and not frumpy.
7) I love scarves and pretty much wear them all year round - bright, colourful and patterned add interest.
8) A great skinny belt was my go-to item and helped me feel less like a giant tent.  Wrap it around the smallest part of you, you know that disappearing waist that slowly creeps closer and closer up to the boobs.
9) Statement jewelry is another item to pump up your basics.  I got one just like the one above from H&M for only $15.  The one above from j.crew is just a little pricier ;)

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10 & 11) Stretch marks, um, no thank you. Straight up, greasy vitamin e oil at night and vaseline cocoa butter for the day.
12) Okay, so maybe the snoogle was like having another person in the bed, but trust me you'll do whatever it takes to help you sleep.  Those hours between getting up to go to the bathroom are precious.
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13) I LOVE this journal.  I started this once I got pregnant and it's great to track the little everyday things throughout pregnancy and once the babe comes.  One line a day is usually pretty manageable.
14) I researched and read a lot, this book is hands down my favourite. It's easy to read, informative and not filled with terrifying, make-you-paranoid information.
15) You lose a lot of your bendiness during pregnancy so it's important to keep moving.  When sitting, standing, lying down is uncomfortable, doing a bit of stretching really helps (so does going for walks).  I liked this prenatal yoga DVD a lot because it had a different gal to follow for your 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester.

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What did people do before iPhones?? As an information junkie, I loved having all that info at my finger tips. Plus, it kept my male co-workers entertained when I could tell them what size fruit my baby was at (it was their fav preggo question). Here are a few of my faves:
16) iPregnancy
17) What to Expect Pregnancy
18) Baby Bump
19) Labour and Contraction Timer (for when the time finally comes)

Some other must haves were a hot water bottle for sore backs, one for drinking and snacks, snacks, snacks. My purse was always filled with goodies for those I'm pregnant, feed-me-before-I-kill-you moments.  Seriously, don't mess around with a hungry, pregnant girl.

So, those are a few of my top must have items, I hope it helps. Anything to add mamas out there??

I'll be back later this week with of Alice's favourite things and my favourite things for mom. later peeps!


Christine

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Loving... Something to Heart

I'm not a huge Valentine's Day person and yes, I know it's still a ways away, but I do love all the love themed items that pop up in store! I was in Chapters the other day and am loving these canvas totes I found:

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I always like giving gifts in reusable bags if I can so I bought the "a little something to heart" one. It's the perfect medium gift bag size while the others are a bit larger like your standard over the shoulder tote.

These would make awesome gifts (or gift bags!) all year round because, really, you should be spreading the love everyday, right?

Right :)

Christine

Monday, January 16, 2012

Alice: Month Two

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I cannot believe what a difference a month makes! Someone's getting her milk... wow.

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Month two and currently loving...

- making Alice smile, she's such a happy baby and you wouldn't believe what levels my voice can reach to see that pretty little smile.

- nanas (especially "semi-retired" ones), grandmas, opas, gidos, aunties, and uncles.

- being able to stay home in our jammies when the temperature drops near -30 (like today, ugh).

- coos and gurgles, you know "baby talk" - she tries so hard to get those noises out. I'm working on getting her to say "Alice", she's got the "ahh" down pat ;)

- walking into a room smiling baby happily lying in her crib.

- chubby cheeks, rolls, dimples and chins (yes, chins) - I love them all.

- Alice's bright little eyes. She has become so much more aware of everything this month. There is no better feeling than seeing her face light up when she sees you.

- white noise apps, a godsend during those witching hours.  Alice particularly likes "floor fan" and "rain on car".  This girl is going to need her own iPhone pretty soon...

- play dates with friends, like this handsome little guy.

- adorable, silent laughs.

- the fact that I don't think I've ever said the word 'poo' so much in my life.

- my mom friends who say 'poo' just as much.

- convincing my brother that one day he too will probably pick his kids nose.

Love you, little girl!


Christine

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Loving... New Boots

Moving on from the drama of this week to happier, simpler things... like new boots:

We've been having an extremely rare mild winter in Edmonton this year, but you're not fooling me, winter, I know you're coming and I'll be ready - cute, warm, practical boots in tow.

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images via free people
I'm pretty excited about these Sorel Tofino's I just ordered in black. Bring it on, winter, bring it on.

Christine

Monday, January 9, 2012

Haters Gonna Hate: Discuss

I received my first harsh dose of internet reality on Friday, on my birthday no less (thanks, internet). A website that will not be named (in an effort to not fuel the fire) wrote a post featuring my nursery. I had no idea they posted this and only found the link from checking my blog stats and noticing that I was getting quite a few hits from website-that-will-not-be-named. The post itself actually had pretty positive things to say about my nursery, but the comments are where it gets nasty. Last time I checked there were 80+ negative comments of people basically attacking my nursery. I get that it may not be your style which is fine, everyone has different tastes, but when people start questioning the safety of my child and my child's ability to learn and have fun THAT stings. In the end, I resisted the urge to defend every single ridiculous comment and just laughed it off. Alice, Mike and I love the room and that's what matters. Haters gonna hate. I turned my computer off and promised not to read it again.

On the positive side, this experience made me thankful for the good people out there in internetland. It made me appreciate you, my sweet reader. My real friends and family and the amazing, kind, respectful like-minded people I've met through this blog. Thanks for being so sweet and supportive, I really appreciate all of you.

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I really debated posting this, I didn't want my intentions to be misread. I'm not looking for reassurance here that you all like my nursery, I just wanted to put it out there for my blogger friends. I wanted to open up the discussion and get your input. Have you ever had something like this happen to you? How did you handle it?

What's the blog etiquette here? Do you need to ask permission before posting someone's work/photos? (for the record, my photos were credited back to me, which I totally appreciate). It just sucks that I didn't ASK for these people's opinions and boy did I get them. I guess that is the nature of the internet you are putting yourself out there, posting for all to see and you can't control what happens with your content.

What do you think?

Haters gonna hate: DISCUSS...



Christine

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

oh baby! A Pregnancy Journey

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It is pretty amazing what our bodies can do. There were days, especially by the 41st week, I thought my skin couldn't possibly stretch anymore. I'm so happy Mike and I managed to capture photos as I grew. Every week turned out to be way too much work and commitment, but every 2/3 weeks seemed to do the job.

Pregnancy is definitely full of it's ups and downs, but it's an incredible, rewarding journey. Overall, I liked being pregnant, but I really like having Alice on the outside. She's pretty great :)


Check out more of our baby adventures: the nursery, monthly photos and first birthday party!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reminiscing: Top 11 of 2011

Sometimes I feel old when I notice how much I say things like, "man, they grow so fast" and "man, time sure does fly". I remember rolling my eyes at those crazy old people who used to say that to me when I was a kid. "I remember you when you were thiiiis big!". Okay, old lady, whatever. But seriously, people, kids do grow fast and time does fly! I can't believe it's already 2012!??

I'm not too concerned about blog stats but I like to keep an eye on my google analytics (mostly because I'm nosy). It's interesting to see what people read the most and how they find their way to my little piece of the internet. Here's a look at my top 11 posts of 2011. Forgive the "rerun" as my brother so kindly informed me, "isn't that kinda lazy?". Thanks, brother. I like to call it reminiscing, so let's reminisce...

London Fog
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Guest room: wallpaper headboard
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"Baby Wood" (my niece's) baby shower
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Our big news of 2011
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Emry's Baby Shower (plus cake pops!)
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Nursery Reveal
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A few oldies that keep making the rounds...

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
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DIY necklace holder
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Master bedroom: vanity
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Puffed wheat squares
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Our house guestbook
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Here's to more good times in 2012!

Christine