mysocalledmommylife

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I have moved!

Come visit me at my new website:

www.mysocalledmommylife.com

Looking forward to seeing you there :)

 

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A sign of the times

In my field I have worked with many children who have used some basic signs to help aid their communication when they are unable to do so with their voice. So, when Princess Peach was born I knew immediately that we would be signing with her. From birth The Hubster and I have been signing “milk” pretty consistently. When she was 5 months old we took an 8 week sign language class to expand our knowledge beyond “milk” to help facilitate her communication. This class enabled us to add “bath”, “more”, “play”, “all done”, “finished”, “I love you” to name a few to our sign vocabulary. Not surprisingly her first sign was “milk” because when crazy people look like they are milking an utter every time they pull out a bottle eventually you are going to copy it right? I say people too because we got everyone on board! My sister, my parents, in-laws, nieces to name a few. Too bad the dogs can’t sign because she would be all over that.

The first time she signed we couldn’t believe it. We were in quite shock. Princess Peach would stick her arm and hand out, milk the utter and wait for one of us to see it. It was the cutest thing ever.  But we would have to watch for the sign. She hadn’t yet used the sign by looking at us and signing at the same time as in “I’m hungry mom, please feed me already!” One day in music class it was as though the sky parted and the angels were singing. She turned to me, made eye contact (yes, I’m big on eye contact because I work with children with autism) signed milk, I echoed back “you want milk?” took out her bottle, and she crawled over to me and drank it. All the other moms looked over. I was shocked and amazed all at once.I could not believe what just happened. It was one of my proudest mommy moments. We fully just had our first conversation. I totally understood what she said. She told me what she wanted and I could give it to her. Amazing. How cool?!

Here is a great sign reference poster of commonly ( can’t write commonly because who uses “frog” or “horse”on a daily basis) used signs with baby.

                                                         photo credit www.signingtime.com

Have you used sign with your baby or child? Was it successful for you?

xoxo

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Touch and Feel

Princess Peach is now at an age where she is really into touching and exploring everything! She is also really into books these days and loves being read to. It’s so cute to watch her “read” a book to herself and flip the pages. Yesterday, we went on a walk and she had a book with her and the whole time she just kept flipping the pages and touching the pictures. So cute.  I feel like we read books for a good chunk of our day. I must admit that I love it. We snuggle in her rocking chair and I read to her. Touch and feel books are an awesome sensory experience for baby as they get to explore different textures. So many books now have a touch and feel component to them. Here are some of my our favourites.

Curious George the Movie: Touch and Feel Book

Book Cover Image. Title: Animal Kisses (A Touch and Feel Series), Author: by Barney  Saltzberg

What are your favourite touch and feel books?

xoxo

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Volunteer of The Year Award!

Please see the press release below! If you know an amazing volunteer who meets the criteria below nominate themselves or you :)

Also, check out www.lifewithababy.com while you are at it!

VAUGHAN, May 30, 2012— Healthy Start Healthy Future is pleased to announce its  new Life With A Baby Volunteer Of The Year award, which will recognize   dedicated community volunteers who have a significant impact on the  lives of children 0-6 years old and/or their parents. Three award  recipients will be chosen based on the following criteria: impact,  reach, and communities served. The prizes include over $2000 in cash and a new iPad.

As a volunteer based organization we know It takes a very special and  wonderful type of person to commit to helping others when there is  nothing in it for them.  We want to salute their efforts!

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted- “Aesop”

Nominate yourself or someone  you know who and help us salute volunteerism in Canada. For more information and to enter visit: https://www.facebook.com/LifeWithABaby/app_360445997355351

This contest is sponsored by Head Start For Baby, a not for profit  organization dedicated to providing information for families related to  education, budgeting, and financial planning through all stages of life.

About Life With A Baby: Since 2009, the Life With A Baby volunteer based program has supported  over 2,600 families. In the latest evaluative study regarding LWAB’s  performance, the findings revealed that ‘peer support’ and an increase  in social networks were ranked the highest and most important among the  benefits participants received from the program. Participants claimed  that the LWAB program “helped to decrease feelings of isolation by  increasing their social network and providing activities to attend  outside of the house.” Of equal importance is the fact that LWAB’s use  of it’s online community also “helped to keep participants connected and involved in the community.”

LWAB is a three-tiered support-system that offers: 1. Local, community-based social events where parents may build relationships with their peers; 2. Online support and interactive open forums for communication among members; 3. Multi-lingual parenting programs with a focus on peer-support.

For more information, please contact: Claire Kerr-Zlobin, Executive Director Healthy Start, Healthy Future 416-833-3860 info@lifewithababy.com

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Wordless Wednesday

Ok fine, I let her watch tennis too :)

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A pint sized artist!

There is something so freeing and wonderful about finger painting. There are no rules, no boundaries and the masterpieces that are being made are in the artist’s mind and on their finger tips! Anyone no matter what their age or abilities can finger paint. Some might need some help but it’s really such a fun experience!

Yesterday afternoon we had a friend over and finger painted. I made edible finger paint from scratch as both Princess Peach and Little Man S (he’s almost a year old!) are both likely to eat it.

Here’s how you can do it at home yourself.

You will need:

1/2 cup cornstarch

3 tablespoons of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of cold water

food colouring

whisk

pot

1. Mix all of the ingredients into the pot on the stove over medium-low heat. You will need to continually whisk the mixture for 10-15 minutes. It will seem that you are mixing a milk like mixture forever but have patience because it will change!

2. After about 10-15 minutes your mixture will suddenly congeal and become gel like. Once that happens remove it from the heat.

3. I spooned my mixture into 5 different plastic containers

4. While hot, mix the food colouring into each container.

5. This is what all 5 colours looked like after adding the food colouring. Wait until the paint cools before you use it. You can store the finger paint for about 3 days in the containers.

I purchased small canvases from the dollar store. Put the kiddies in high chairs and put dollops of the paint onto the canvas for them to explore. Sure, they both put some in their mouths but their end results were phenomenal!

Princess Peach’s final product. I helped her shmear around the paint!

Little Man S’s masterpiece! He did it all on his own! Amazing stuff!!!

I hope that you will try this and that you and your kiddies will make wonderful masterpieces and memories too.

I would love to hear all about it! xoxo

 

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Name Game

I love names. I have for a long time. There is so much in a name. The pronunciation, the popularity or unfamiliarity,  the history, the meaning, the reason for its choosing, and language of origin. For me, choosing a name for a child is serious business.

When I was pregnant The Hubster and I would talk about names every night. Every single night no fail we would have a similar discussion with me taking it seriously and The Hubster not. Often our conversations would be as follows:

Me: What about Taylor?

The Hubster: Nah. Not Taylor. I had a student with that name that I didn’t like.

Me: Ok, what about Piper.

The Hubster: Nope. I knew a girl named Piper who walked her cat. What about cat?

Me: No. Try again

The Hubster: What about train, car, tangerine, clementine, pen, pencil?

Me: No, no, no, no, no and no!!!

This conversation would continue like this for months and months and months. Until finally, through a thousand searches based on the letters we needed to use (after deceased family members), meaning, and the uncommon factor we narrowed it down to two names. Phew. And that was hard!

Right after Princess Peach was born The Hubster turned to me and said “So is that her name?”. I said “yes” and he went to announce it to our family. I’m sure they said a few “WTF’s”. My grandmother still can’t remember her name but we know it’s the perfect name for her.

The 2011 Social Security Administration list was published a few weeks ago and Princess Peaches name is in the 500’s. I’m happy it’s there! One of my naming criteria was that it couldn’t be in the top 100 although some of my favourite names are! Her middle name is in the top 20 and I’m ok with that!

Here are 5 favourite names from each list (boys and girls) and their ranking (and for one reason or another I won’t be using them so don’t think it’s a hint for any future offspring!) :

Boys:

7. Ethan

34. Landon

304. Finn

745. Lennon

827. Keenan

Girls:

322. Maddison

492. Dylan

865: Princess (haha. never a name choice for us just funny for it to be in the ranking!)

956: Liv

970: Juniper

You can find the list here! http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi

What do you think of the list? What names do you like, or dislike?

xoxo

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At your service

I’ve mentioned before in a previous post that I did TONS of research prior to purchasing a stroller. I failed to mention that I have since become a baby research nut. Pretty much before buying anything baby related I now spend time to read reviews and ask people about the product. I find that there are so many crappy products on the market and everything baby these days cost a fortune so I want to make sure that if I am going to spend the money on an item, it better be a good one.

That takes me to my next point. Customer service. When I give a company my money and lots of it I like to know that if there is a problem that it will be dealt with in a timely manner with helpful customer service representatives. As well, if I walk into a boutique store and the sales people choose to ignore me (which has happened on many, many occasions and not just in baby stores) I will leave. I refuse to give a store money with rude employees.

Recently I had two minor issues with products and both companies were beyond phenomenal with their customer service and that is why I am dedicating this post to them. Please note that I am not getting paid by either company for the mention. This is my experience and my opinions.

I was lent a baby carrier by my sister-in-law and when Princess Peach was around 2.5 months old I put her in it and walked to the drugstore and back. It was probably a 10 minute trip in total. Princess Peach was around 12 pounds at this time and when I came home I thought my back and shoulders were going to separate from the rest of my body. I was in so much pain. So I decided to do research. I felt like everyone at this time had Baby Bjorn’s and I just wasn’t thrilled with it. Sure I could spend close to $200 for one with better support but baby can only face two ways; towards me and facing out. I then read about the Beco Gemini carrier. Never even trying one on and I was sold. S.O.L.D. I loved the possibilities of four different positions for baby to be in and the weight limits. They also offer a fantastic array of prints. Anyways, I had a minor issue with mine with a string breaking. I emailed Katie and not only did she reply immediately she provided me with explicit instructions of what to do and what to include when sending my carrier back to be fixed. Within 2 weeks my carrier was shipped from Toronto to California and back! Yes, two weeks. Super FAST! So thanks Katie and everyone at Beco for an amazing product and superior customer service. Please check out the Beco website for a more in-depth look at all their great products!

A few months back we decided to switch Princess Peach’s bottles. We were using Dr. Brown’s and they were getting really annoying to clean and travel with  so after tons of research we settled on the Gerber First essentials bottles. Super easy to use and clean and most of all Princess Peach loved them! The price was also a bonus as they are super inexpensive. After happily using these bottles for a while The Hubster and I noticed that we kept losing and misplacing the caps. On a search of a few baby stores I noticed that they did not sell replacement caps. So I looked up the number to Gerber and called their customer service department wanting to purchase some more caps. I can’t remember the lady’s name that I spoke with but she was beyond lovely. She told me that they no longer sell replacement caps in stores but that she could send me some in the mail with no expensive to me. Within seconds she had my address and told me to expect the package within the week. Five days later 6 replacement caps arrived. Easy peasy. Such a pleasure to deal with companies with such amazing customer service.

Thank you!!!

Anyone have some positive customer service experiences to share?

xoxo

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Mommy Confessions

Top 5 recent mommy confessions:

5. Sometimes Princess Peach finds a cheerio (or food from a previous meal) on the floor and eats it. At first I was NOT ok with it, now I don’t mind so much. The 5 second rule is overrated…haven’t you heard of the 5 hour rule?

4. When she squirms I often hand her my iPhone to keep her busy. She plays with apps. Fisher Price are her favourite. I might look like a bad mom sometimes but how else am I to tame a very mobile inquisitive baby?

3. I would like one day where I could pee with the door closed. Always having two eyes staring at you when on the toilet gets old fast! Now that she is mobile and very FAST she tries to stick her hand into the toilet. Gross

2. I take dressing Princess Peach very seriously! My husband took her out (at the cottage) in the pj’s and I was not a happy mommy. I don’t go out in my pj’s, so why should she?

And My Number One Weekly Confession is………………..

1. The Hubster and I decided to not let Princess Peach watch tv until 2. For some reason after coming back from the cottage she screams when she is put into the pack n play. Today I needed to do some laundry so I put on Treehouse, put her in the pack n play and she was quiet. But then I felt guilty after. Oh well…….Maybe I can get her hooked onto So You Think You Can Dance this summer…its my all-time summer favourite!

What’s one of your weekly mommy confessions???

xoxo

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Wordless Wednesday

So important! No matter what age people are everyone needs praise and here are 101 ways to do it! Technically this post is not wordless but I’m sharing it anyways :)

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