Sunday, February 27, 2011

Giveaway roundup for Canadians - 02/27

Remember when I said that I didn't plan to overflow my blog with giveaway posts? Well, this has been challenging, given that my latest addiction is finding and entering sweet giveaways!! I keep getting the urge to share latest finds with my readers - both 'cause they're awesome and because in many cases, I get extra entries for doing so. ;) Soooo at 5:25 AM here, I've just had an epiphany - why not do a weekly(ish) giveaway roundup post? This'll allow achievement of the above in a nice, streamlined fashion!

Below is my inaugural weekly roundup. But first, a few notes:
  • Giveaways are listed in chronological order by closing date
  • Most of the giveaways I'm currently scouting out are for cloth diapers and related products, so there will be a heavy lean toward these, at least initially
  • All giveaways I post will be open to Canadians; some exclusively. I'll indicate whether a particular contest is US/CAN, CAN ONLY or WORLDWIDE beside each listing.
  • To help you decide which giveaways to enter, I will list the mandatory entry as well as the current # of entries at the time of the posting. The fewer the entries, the better your chance of winning!
  • On future roundups, I'll indicate which giveaways have just been added to the list with a NEW tag.
  • If you know of a great giveaway open to Canadians which is missing from my list, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!


02/27: Bambino Mio Swim Nappy from Childish Notions (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Cloth Diapers Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 105

02/27: Smart Bottoms AIO Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: The Small Town Mom
Mandatory entry: Product selection; GFC follow
Current # of entries: 167

02/28: FuzziBunz OS Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Flutie Patootie
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 463

02/28: Blissful Booty Diaper & Wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Instinctual Mamas
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook follow & comment
Current # of entries: 382

02/28: Thirsties Duo Wrap (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mommy Kat & Kids
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 559

02/28: Baby Bullet (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Six in the Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook follow & comment
Current # of entries: 351

02/28: Mother-ease One-Size System
Hosted by: Discovering the Me in Mommy (CAN/US)
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 141

03/01: Sleepy Wrap (CAN/US)
Hosted by: The Small Town Mom
Mandatory entry: Product selection; GFC follow
Current # of entries: 160

03/01: Earth Mama Angel Baby Giveaway (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Chat
Mandatory entry: none
Current # of entries: 12

03/02: Bumblebee Baby Prize Pack (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 547

03/02: Wee Expressions Fitted Diaper (WORLDWIDE)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 39

03/04: Maxwell Designs Wet Bag and Charlie Banana Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Toots n' Tots
Mandatory entry: Facebook follow
Current # of entries: 446

03/04: Diaper Sprayer (Head Over Heels for #Clothdiapers event) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Lilac City Mama
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 125

03/05: Oh Katy diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mommy of 1 and Counting
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 325

03/07: Knickernappies Custom Fit Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Diary of a Devil Dog Wife
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product website visit
Current # of entries: 209

03/07: Driline Baby Gift Pack (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 294

03/07: gWipes by gDiapers (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 37

03/07: gDiaper (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 102

03/09: Thirsties Fab Wipes & Booty Luster (CAN/US)
Hosted by: All Aboard (the review & giveaway train)!
Mandatory entry: none
Current # of entries: 135

03/09: Mother-ease Sandy's System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: What Mama Wants
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 321

03/10: $25 Gift Certificate to Ottawa Cloth Diapers (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 65

03/11: Blissful Booty cloth diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 53

03/11: $25 Gift Certificate to AppleCheeks (WORLDWIDE)
Hosted by: Sweet T Makes Three
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 196

03/15: GoGreen Pocket Diaper and Wet Bag (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Life With Levi
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 111


Saturday, February 26, 2011

"It's a sign from the universe" giveaway - Baby Bullet!

I've recently seen the infomercial for the new Baby Bullet several times, and I totally want one! :) Several of my friends have the regular Magic Bullet and love it. Didn't get around to buying one of these myself... but now the Baby Bullet essentially serves the purpose of the MB but with additional features such as the batch tray, storage cups with date dials and other "fringe benefits" for baby!

I just posted on Facebook earlier today asking if any of my FB friends have one, and what they think about it...

...and then just now, scouring the interwebs for cool giveaways, I found a blog called Six in the Nest which is giving away a Baby Bullet to one lucky reader. Yes please! If you'd like to get in on the action, enter here!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Favourite baby gear roundup: 0-3 months

First time parents almost inevitably acquire a plethora of items for their new bundles of joy, via direct purchases, baby showers, hand-me-downs, loans, arrival gifts, freebies and sweepstakes. When it comes down to it, you really only really need a few things for baby, however there are many other items which can make life a lot easier and more pleasurable when the li'l one arrives.

So how does a parent-to-be separate the awesome from the so-so and the downright crappy among the many hundreds of potential baby products out there? Well, there are numerous great review sites out there which can certainly help. I spent A LOT of time on these sites when building S's registry, lemme tell ya! :) That said, ratings and reviews only get you half way; in practice, you need to actually use the stuff to determine which items end up kicking butt for your own family!

On this note, I thought I'd do a roundup of Chris 'and my favourite baby-related gear up until this point, to commemorate S's 3 month birthday! (Happy, happy day to our pear-fect little monkey!) I've purposefully left out the basics such as car seats and bassinets/cribs, as well as cloth diapering items which deserve their own discussion! The Top 10 items are more or less ranked according to relative awesomeness, with #1 being our favourite. (Note that by "our", I mean mostly mine, with some input from Chris ;) The honourable mentions are other items we love, but didn't quite crack the Top 10. I'll repeat the roundup at 6, 9 and 12 months (perhaps longer) to paint a picture of what's changed and what's remained in our favourites list!

Enough preamble. Here we go!


The Top 10:

#10 - Sassy Ring O' Links. This is one of the main "holdable" toys I regularly give to S at this point. The links are small so they're easy to hold and gnaw on, there are lots of bright colours and they can be connected in many different ways to hold baby's interest. Plus, the large black & white ring in the middle can be attached to a car seat or stroller handle with the links or other toys for baby to look at and/or play with on the go! A fun and versatile toy!

#9 - Moby Wrap - I blogged about this puppy about a month ago. Fast forward to today and I still love having S snuggled up snoozing against me - the best feeling ever! :) That said, I don't use it every day like I originally planned to. Some days, she doesn't seem to be in the mood and other days, we're out and about. Plus, I don't feel completely hands free when she's in there so I usually end up watching TV or on my laptop. But all in all, I still love it and it's the only carrier I use with DD.

#8 - Bunch Farmers stain remover stick. This stuff rulez on EBF poop stains! We've had some nasty blow-outs onto diaper covers and a few clothes, and in most cases, the stains come out in the wash when treated with the BF stick. By comparison, I forgot to treat one pair of pants which got pooped on (see #12 above) and it was still badly stained when it came out of the wash. True test will be when S's eating solids; I hear carrots are a particularly bad offender! :)

#7 - Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. $50 for a bra? Isn't that nuts? Well no, not really considering how awesomely comfortable, well-fitting and high quality this thang is. Plus, the detachable flap reveals the whole boob rather than a mere peephole which makes feeding less awkward. I wear the snot out of mine and it's still in great condition. Highly recommended.

#6 - LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo. This toy is virtually guaranteed to elicit a smile from S, even when she has her grump on! She loves watching the wheel spin and listening to the music and animal sounds, and she's even starting to reach out and make the wheel spin herself! Great toy, and Chris and I both find ourselves "spin spinning a letter" for her at least once a day!

#5 - Fisher-Price Rainforest Bath Center. Chris is in LOVE with this tub, and he's in charge of bath time so this one makes the top 5. :) He is a big fan of the mesh part, however now that S has surpassed the 10 pound weight limit we're starting to bathe her in the tub directly which requires a bit more dexterity. I'm personally looking forward to the day we begin bathing her in the big tub! That'll simplify things and create more opportunities for fun play time!

#4 - Grab Apple by The First Years. This is currently the hand-holdable toy of choice we give to S. The apple's "skeleton" is perfect for her little hands to grab onto, and the stem and crunchy leaf combo is great for mouthing (and likely teething as well, when she moves on to that fun phase!) This toy will hold her interest for several minutes at a time, which is pretty dern good for a 3-month old! (I shot a video of her holding it the other day - will post this on her upcoming 3 month development post.) Finally, the apple is super easy to clean, which is always good for a toy. Two thumbs way up!

#3 - Baby Einstein Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym. Another Kijiji purchase which rocks our socks! We started laying S in the gym at about 6 weeks old, and from day 1 she was completely enraptured with the octopus! Before she was learning motor control, she'd smile and coo at it, and now she likes to pull on the links hanging from its tentacles as well. We also like how the toys are interchangeable; we often hang her Infantino plush jungle friends (see below) on there as well. The gym is great when we just need a few minutes to do something - e.g., grab a drink or throw in a load of laundry. Definitely a great product for a pre-crawling infant!

#2 - Country Save laundry detergent. I originally picked some of this stuff up for doing cloth diaper laundry, as it's allharshstuff-free and very reasonably priced compared to other detergents recommended for this purpose. Now, we do ALL our laundry in Country Save. It gets everything nice & clean and neutral-smelling - i.e. no flowery or mountain spring-y scent (which may smell good but means that chemicals are still kicking around!) Since we have a front loader, we get 80+ loads out of a single $11 box - less than 14 cents / load! The one downside is that it can be hard to find and many folks need to order online (and therefore pay shipping). Thankfully, the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe in downtown Waterloo carries it. I'm tempted to buy several boxes the next time I'm there just in case they stop selling it in the near future!

#1 - HALO SleepSack. This thing is THE. SHIZ. !! Since S has been big enough to wear her sack (10+ pounds) we've completely done away with blankets in her bassinet and crib. This makes us feel secure that she's safe and not getting all caught up under loose blankets, and it gives her more mobility to do her patented crib rotations. :) We currently have her in a micro-fleece jobby for the winter months, and have an organic cotton one waiting for when she's a li'l bigger. Our #1 baby product!! :D

Honourable Mentions:

- A super-soft polka-dotted polyester blanket from "Blankets & Beyond". Try as I might, Google was not my friend in terms of drumming up an exact image, however it came with a little pink teddy bear and is similar to this one by Piccolo Bambino. It's a perfect size and warmth for snuggling S in one of her various chairs during naps, and she likes to suck on it too. :)

- Sassy Flutterby Teether. This was one of the first coloured toys that really fascinated S! I included a video in her 2nd month development post showing her cooing and smiling at it. So why didn't it make the Top 10? Well, it seems to have lost its luster at just over 2 months. Now, it may elicit a brief smile but that's about it. I suspect it may re-enter the list soon enough when she's teething, however.

- LeapFrog Baby Counting Pal. Earlier on, S mainly liked to look at the caterpillar's happy face and listen to the music. Now she still enjoys this, but she also likes to touch the different textures hanging below the numbers. All in all, a nice multi-faceted toy.

- Twinkle Twinkle Little Violet. This li'l pal plays your choice of lullabies or environmental sounds in either 10 minute or 20 minute durations and also cradles a moon that glows, creating a type of night light. Little Violet became part of our night time routine once we moved S to the crib in her nursery. I play either the music or sounds during our pre-bedtime nursing session and then put her down with it still playing. I'm not sure to what extent the sounds are soothing to S, but I kinda like it in the background while I nurse her before bedtime. :) S also likes to look at the glowing moon when she's sleepy.

- Infantino Plush Jungle Friends. S loves her jungle friends! She likes to look at them hanging from her gym as well as hold and mouth them. It also amuses her greatly when we make them "talk" to her using different voices. (According to Chris, the lion has a Spanish accent :)

- Footed pants. No particular brand; just the concept. They allow S to wear her cute onesies in the winter (when it's chilly) without the annoyance of those little socks which constantly come off her feet! Unfortunately she had a big blow-out on one of her two pairs of these, so we may end up buying some more. :)

- Carter's sleepers. Of all the ones we've tried, these sleepers are the most practical, well-fitting, and adorable. We especially loved "Squeeze me" and "Mommy Loves Me" in the 0-3 month size, so we were somewhat wistful when S outgrew them. :'(

- Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe. These were the shiznit when S was less than a month old. They make swaddling SOOO easy. Since we got the 2-pack, we always had one handy and never had to do a "real" swaddle with a receiving blanket (which is good, because I tried during our prenatal class and it was somewhat of an epic fail.) S didn't really like her arms tied down, so we swaddled her just under her armpits and this worked well.

- Cozy Cover - As I mentioned in an earlier post, I nabbed one of these bad boys on Kijiji for a mere $5. This particular brand is no longer sold, but many similar "shower cap" styles are currently on the market, such as this one from Summer Infant. Basically it's a thick, elasticized blanket which goes over the car seat to keep baby warm and shielded from the elements, without extra material between her and the seat which is considered unsafe by carseat manufacturers. A couple downsides - it's a bit awkward squeezing S in and out of the opening, and the fit isn't perfect on our Graco SnugRide (it tends to droop a little bit) but otherwise, it's great!


Well that's that. Hope you enjoyed the roundup! Also curious if readers out there have any 0-3 month "must have" items which didn't make our list?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sweet giveaway - 4 cloth diapering products!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm starting to enter some giveaways for cloth diapering products in order to (hopefully!) get to try some new dipes on S without investing a lot of $ upfront!

West Coast Mama is currently offering a great giveaway consisting of four RearZ brand diapering items from Cushy Tushy. Many giveaways just consist of a single diaper so this is some great loot. I'm hoping to win myself (of course ;) however if you're into cloth diapering I recommend at the very least leaving a comment with the type of diaper you'd like to try so that you're entered as well! The contest ends today so get your entries in stat!

Footnote - no, I don't plan to innundate my blog with giveaway posts. :) I thought I'd post this one as it's a particularly sweet score, and may post the occasional one moving forward.

Not so posty recently...

A few reasons:
  1. S is back to NOT sleeping through the night (probably due to the early arrival of her 3-month growth spurt!)
  2. Busy weekend - I curled twice (it's good to be back out there!), we organized & attended a 94th birthday lunch for Grandma C and had dinner at the Campbell's.
  3. I've been doing s'more research (in addition to tips for getting more blog traffic) - checking out, surveying dipes which fit well on skinny-legged babes, learning about how to enter and host blog giveaways. Oh, and I finally signed up on Twitter - mainly for the purpose of gaining additional entries into cloth diaper giveaways. I have a feeling I'm going to get addicted to this. :D
3, unfortunately, often results in me staying up ridiculously late (see timestamp) which isn't ideal especially when coupled with 1. On that note, time to hit the hay! I've got some ideas for "meatier" posts which I'm hoping to get to soon! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011


I've been researching methods on how to get more hits to my blog, and, as expected, there is muchos content out there on the interwebs on this topic.

One of the first things I tried out the other day was subscribing to some blog toplists. For these to work well, however, I need to swallow my pride and ask for some assistance. ;) If you enjoy reading my blog, please take a sec to click one or both of the image links below - this'll help bump me up higher in the corresponding listings. These links are also permanently displayed along the right hand side so they can be shown love at any time! :)

Thanks muchly!

Vote For Us @ TopBaby Blogs! The Best Baby Blog Directory

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Family pics :)

Although we've (obviously) taken zillions of pictures and videos of S so far in the almost 3 months (!) she's been with us, Chris and I noted that we don't really have any *good* pictures of the three of us together as a family. Thanks to (Great) Aunt Heather, who is always eager to pull out the ol' point 'n' click for an impromptu photo shoot, we now have a couple decent shots! These were taken this past Sunday when we had Aunt Heather, Uncle Terry, Dad and Linda over for dinner:

...and one with our other "daughter" as well:

(Yes, Chris is wearing plaid shorts and his "chick magnet" shirt and my hair is still wet and somewhat unkempt, but I like the spirit of these shots! We plan to set up a more "professional" session soon enough - whether we attempt it ourselves or enlist a photography service is TBD.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More cloth wipe adjustments

Since we started making our own wipes early last month, we've made the following improvements:
  1. We now mix a much larger portion (about 4x the amount) in a large mason jar and refill the peri bottle until the mason jar gets empty. This allows us to go at least a week before we need to make another batch.
  2. We originally folded all wash cloths with the rough side out, but we now fold about two thirds of them with the soft side out. We use the rough ones for poopy diapers and the soft ones for pee diapers; we figure the latter are nicer on her bum when there's no "material" to scrape away. :)
I've also noticed that following our current laundry routine, the wash cloths come out smelling a bit "flowery" from the wipe solution, so I'll probably start stripping them via the boil method every month or two to prevent this from getting into the dipes and causing stinkies.

Small world part 2 - Baby yoga!

When we were pregnant, Ange and I took yoga together at Queen Street Yoga in downtown Kitchener. It's a spacious studio with terrific instructors and many types of classes - I highly recommend it! They teach a Parent & Peanut class as well so I thought we could get back into yoga together with our little ones. However, it turned out that these classes are on Wednesday mornings and Ange has Leena then (who is 2 1/2) so this didn't work out for her.

But! She found another "Mom + Baby" class at the Svasukha yoga studio (Uptown Waterloo) which is on Tuesday mornings, so we made plans to check it out this morning. Unfortunately Ange & Sam didn't make it until near the end of the class as he had his 2 month checkup beforehand which ran late, but S and I managed to get there on time (impressive for us, as we're still honing our time management skillz when it comes to getting places, especially in the morning!) The class was a nice combination of baby bonding/cuddling and flowing postures designed to help new moms regain strength and restore abdominal muscles and back stability. I alternated between taking part in the poses and feeding, changing and snuggling S who was, for the most part, in good spirits and enjoying the new environment but also had a couple "Whoa - what's going on?" moments!

Of the five other moms who took part in today's class, it turns out I know two of them and Ange knows a third! Shara was there with her little boy Sam who is 4 months old; I've known her for awhile and she's another blogger and cloth diapering mama! It was also good to see Jenn Forristal, who is a naturopath at the Roberts Centre of Integrative Medicine. I saw her a couple years back when Chris and I were starting to think about getting pregnant. She has the funniest little guy who is really vocal and had us thoroughly entertained during the class! Finally, Ange and Naz worked together several years back at Conestoga-Rovers & Associates. S was enraptured with Naz's little girl Taryn - possibly because their names are so similar? :)

All in all, a fun class and a great group of ladies! Ange and I are planning to go back next week and will likely grab the discounted 8-week pass. Many thanks to Kerri, our instructor, for allowing S and I to join despite the fact that we didn't (realize we needed to) pre-register. Oops! We'll definitely drop a note to confirm next week!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Date night & first (planned) bottle!

Chris and I went on a date last night! :) It was a traditional dinner 'n' movie affair - Mediterraneo for Greek cuisine (delicious) followed by "Black Swan" at the Princess Twin (Aronofsky in peak form - thoroughly engrossing!). It was cooooold out so we grabbed Starbucks on the way home - decaf for me, of course! We did miss our little one, especially during dinner as we were reminded of her by a couple with a 6-ish month old baby girl at the table beside us, but it was definitely good to get out for some time together with just the two of us. We decided we'll try to do this at least once a month.

Mom and Norm came over to babysit S while we were out. This was the first time that S was *intentionally* bottle fed; we had no choice when I was in the hospital back in December. I was a bit concerned she wouldn't take a bottle since it had been so long (and since she outrightly rejects pacifiers) so we did a "trial run" on Friday night; she fussed a bit but did take it once she realized hey, this is where my food is coming from right now. :) Apparently she was pretty agreeable when Mom fed her last night, so that was good. It's reassuring to know that she WILL take a bottle now when need be, but that she still prefers da boob when it comes down to it! Plus, all that pumping beforehand and cleaning afterwards reiterated how much extra time, planning and effort is involved in bottle vs. breast feeding, especially when using expressed breast milk. Words can't express how happy and thankful I am that S and I persevered and managed to overcome our early issues with latching & whatnot - sooo worth it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sucks to be a baby

Before S arrived, Chris and I agreed that we wouldn't be quick to pop in a pacifier, at least not in the first few weeks as we wanted to avoid nipple confusion and didn't want her to develop an early reliance on it to calm herself. We've also seen what an asspain it can be to constantly contend with lost/misplaced soo-soos, and then there's the whole fun process of weaning a reluctant toddler. That said, we weren't vehemently against the prospect of using them and did register for a couple; we figured it would be wise to have an additional tool in the ol' box in the event we found ourselves with a freaky zeaky infant who couldn't be consoled by (seemingly) any other method.

Fast forward several weeks and what do we learn on a particularly fussy night? Our li'l girl refuses to take a pacifier anyway. Go figure.

But she does suck. Yes, yes she does. She sucks the life out of her li'l fingers and hands! So much so that she has little dry patches on the back of each palm. So much so that we've amended a Hall and Oates song in dedication to her mad suckage: Ohh here she comes. Watch out boy she'll chew you up! Ohh here she comes. She's a hand eater!

She sucks when she's upset; she sucks when she's bored; she sucks when she's amused. For awhile we weren't sure whether to be amused or concerned by this until one day recently her motor skills had advanced to the point where she'd isolated the sucking to her little thumb. Uh oh! A thumb sucker in the making! Should we pull her hand away, we wondered? Try to distract her with toys or games? After all, it's a well known fact that thumb sucking can cause problems with dental development, right?

I did a little research, and it turns out we needn't worry - at least not at this point. According to the majority of sites I checked out, no harm is done to a little one's teeth or jaws until ages 4-6 when permanent teeth begin to come in, and the majority of babies who suck their thumbs or fingers naturally wean themselves off before their first birthdays. So hey - if it brings our girl comfort and feels good to her while she's just a wee thing, then why not? Hey - it's a built in binky; one more thing we don't have to spend any money on! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The big move...

On Friday night, Chris' mom pointed out that it was high time we moved S from her bassinet to her "big girl" crib. Although I'd hoped to keep her in our bedroom until 3+ months, she outgrew the bassinet sooner than expected so we had to agree that the big move to her nursery was in order!

We tried her out in the crib for the first time that night. Unfortunately, we'd made the mistake (in hindsight) of having jerk chicken for dinner; it appears that in addition to a likely caffeine sensitivity, S's little tummy may also have an aversion to spicy food as she ended up fussing and crying until about 2:30 AM. (Gah - another culinary favourite I'll have to cut out of my diet!) I slept for the last hour or two of this and my vunderful husband performed the required labour of love, soothing and calming her until eventually she conked out. He put her in the crib at that point and she slept until about 7 AM. Saturday night she was in there for another 5ish hour chunk, and then finally last night she slept through the night from 12:30 until 8 AM.

I was pretty sure the transition would go well for S, as she didn't exactly heart the bassinet. She'd sleep there fine once she was sufficiently tired at night, but she pretty much refused to nap in it during the day, preferring any of three chairs (bouncer, swing and extra car seat) we have scattered around the main floor. It appears that once she reaches her "sufficiently tired" point at night, however, she'll sleep anywhere - the challenge is getting her to that point. :) I was less sure how Chris and I would adapt to the move, but as it turned out it wasn't really a big deal. Her nursery's just around the corner and we keep the doors open so we can hear her clearly when she makes significant noise. I did have the urge to check on her frequently the first two nights, but last night I allowed myself to sink deeper into sleep and not worry about her too much. When I finally did get up to check her at about 6 or 6:30 AM, I was surprised to find that she had gone from this:

to this:

Although she has been getting a lot "kickier" over the last few weeks and has gained the ability to roll onto her side, I had no idea she'd become this much of a mover 'n' shaker! Talk about taking advantage of all that new space! :)

She was sleeping peacefully so I decided to leave her be despite the wonky alignment. An hour or two later when I went back in for her morning feed, I found her like this:

At this point, I convinced myself that she was either teaching herself geometry or the four cardinal directions. I was tempted to let her sleep for another hour or two and discover North, but it was time to start the day! ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

"When will we know" questions

As I'm sure many new parents do, Chris and I have been posing a lot of "When will we know?" questions to each other about S, concerning her physical traits in particular. When will we know what her permanent eye colour will be? How about hair colour? When will we know whether she will be left or right handed?

We have our theories/guesses. For example, we think she's going to have blue eyes as they're a really bright, solid blue right now. From what I've heard, a baby's eyes tend to be more gray or mottled if they're going to change colour. I've also noticed that she seems to prefer her left hand at this point when it comes to batting out at objects, grabbing onto my shirt when feeding, etc. Her hair is an interesting one. She still has her dark brown "mullet" at the back that she's had since birth, but the new hair growing in front and her eyebrows are a lot lighter, and sometimes look reddish under certain lighting.

That said, It seems that for most of these, we'll need to wait awhile to find out for sure! Handedness, for example, generally doesn't start to emerge until 6-9 months and shouldn't solidify until after 18 months (according to Babycenter). Hair and eye colour can apparently change multiple times and may not settle until the child is several years old! It'll be interesting to track these and other traits as she grows older, along with all the other fascinating developments still to come!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No more Starbucks?

Chris and I have wondered for some time now whether S might have a sensitivity to caffeine. We've noticed that she seems to be fussier, more difficult to put down and more likely to wake through the night when I'd had one or more caffeinated bevvies, especially from the 'bucks. For example, yesterday I had a caramel macchiato and we couldn't get her to sleep until after midnight (when we'd had "success" the previous few nights getting her down by about 11 - more on this in an upcoming post) and then she woke at 3:30 and 7 to fuss 'n' feed (whereas she'd been starting to sleep for much longer chunks for several days). According to Babycenter and other sites, small amounts of caffeine are not harmful per se when breastfeeding, however some babies are particularly sensitive, exhibiting symptoms like we've noticed in S. Luckily it seems these babies usually grow past their sensitivity within 5-6 months. I do love my coffee (latte-based bevvies in particular as of late), however moreso for the taste and the experience than the caffeine, assuming I'm getting a decent amount of sleep. Which is almost exclusively dependent on S's habits on a particular night. Which (to my earlier point) appear to be negatively affected by the caffeine. Soooo, I figure the logical move here is to switch to decaf for awhile and thus eliminate the vicious circle; a much healthier and happier option for both of us! *nods*