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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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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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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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I’m a lightweight

                                           

Before I got pregnant you could often find me out at a popular bar on a Saturday night taking shots, drinking white wine or guzzling a cranberry vodka through a straw. After a night out, The Hubster and I, along with friends would go on a search for greasy food which for me always means grilled cheese and french fries.  I can tell you where I was, and who I was with the last time I got drunk prior to getting pregnant. Then when I found out I was pregnant alcohol was an obvious no-no. I didn’t crave alcohol during my pregnancy but it was more that I couldn’t have it that I wanted it.  Then once I had baby I attempted to breast feed so alcohol again was off-limits for me. Once I was done breast-feeding I knew I could have some wine.

I’ve had a few sips on occasion and a few Friday’s ago I sat at home while The Hubster was out at a work event, Princess Peach was asleep in her crib and I poured myself  a glass of wine. I’ve probably had about half a glass and I feel a buzz. Now getting to this bottle of wine was a feat in itself. Having moved 2 months ago we haven’t unpacked our 2 alcohol/liquor boxes yet because we really haven’t needed to. But Friday was a LONG day and stressful in the morning because Princess Peach smashed her face into the floor and her mouth started gushing blood. Then she took an afternoon nap that was over 2 hours! Now, I know it doesn’t sound stressful but she just started to sleep in the afternoons and I dont’ know how to judge how long she will sleep, or what to do with all this newfound time! I didn’t want to start anything because I feared she would wake up.

By 10:30 pm on a Friday and my eyes were half closed, a glass of white wine half-finished sat on the floor beside me and one of my favourite treat of chocolate chips fill a small bowl. My how my life has change and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My nice relaxing evening quickly diminished when Princess Peach woke up around 11 pm screaming. Those damn teeth are ruining my quiet evening along with my wine. Its a good thing I only took a few sips. Mommy duty calls.

xoxo

P.S. Happy 3 week bloggiversary 🙂 Thank you so much to all of you out there who are reading my blog. I appreciate every one of you!

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‘Cause everything is RENT

Friday mornings I get a few hours to myself. My mom takes Princess Peach to a class so it’s a nice break and something I enjoy looking forward to every week. So my childless self decides to go downtown. I had some errands to run on Bloor St this morning and after completing them I quickly ran into Indigo to look at some books. I need a new summer read. So as a side note if anyone has any suggestions please let me know!

As I walked into the door of Indigo with my head down checking some emails I heard it-RENT. LIVE. Right in front of me were half a dozen young adults singing RENT. There was a pianist and these people standing there. I couldn’t believe it. A few people were looking on. My heart started beating fast. Of all the musicals, it had to be RENT performing live right in front of me. O.M.G. I got flustered. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t have my baby with me. She couldn’t enjoy this production. All these wild thoughts were going through my head! HELP.

I went to the side to watch and all the sudden more cast members pop out of the mystery book aisle and start walking towards the other singers. There are more of them. I start lip syncing because that’s what I do when I hear RENT. I looked up and saw salvation, Starbucks. I could “listen” and enjoy this performance without looking like a total weirdo. So I order my coffee and while waiting I see another girl standing in front of me lip syncing too. So now I’m not alone. There’s another (possible) RENT lover (head) standing right in front of me waiting for her coffee. I get my coffee and sit down. How can i miss a free pop up production of RENT? I wanted to video it and probably could have but I felt creepy because I don’t know these people and still dont’ know where they are from- a school? a theatre group? So I have an idea. I can record their voices. Still creepy but inconspicuous. I’m brilliant. So I record a song. Send part to my sister and part to another friend. Genius 🙂

I get lost listened to them singing. Enjoying my coffee, just being able to sit, somewhat shortly reliving a huge piece of my past and then I look down at the time. Realize I have a shit load of stuff to do before I have to pick up Princess Peach from my mom. Snap back to reality, smile and leave.

Oh, how I love RENT.

What are your favourite musicals?

xoxo

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Nice Wheels

Before I became pregnant I never really noticed strollers. I knew some of the brand names but really had no clue about them. Then I became pregnant and I started doing research on “THE” stroller I would be purchasing. Finding “the perfect” stroller actually became a time consuming task. Somewhat of an obsession really. This was going to be “the stroller” that we used all the time so it had to meet specific criteria. It had to be light, have a bassinet and seat, be able to put a car seat adapter onto it and have a large basket. I thought that my criteria was pretty straight forward but it wasn’t! Who knew there were so many different brands of strollers that fit our criteria. At about 4 months pregnant the search begin. I would read hundreds of reviews online to try to narrow it down. Our weekends were spent going to baby stores to speak with their sales people to get their opinions on the “best” stroller. We would then walk up and down the isles pushing the stroller, opening and closing it trying to imagine our little baby in it!

Then by process of elimination with meeting our specific criteria and our tests drives we narrowed it down to about 4 strollers. We knew everything about these four strollers! Which car seats brands had adapters, which stores had the best price to buy it, weight of strollers, maximum child weigh limit, and the accessories to be purchased. I even brought my four-year old niece to “test” all the strollers for longevity purposes to see what a child looked like in each stroller!

Once upon a time, The Hubster used to turn his head to look at attractive women and through all of our stroller research he started to look at strollers on the street and in the park!  Actually it didn’t matter where we were, he was constantly checking out strollers. It didn’t matter who was pushing it in fact and often it was a yummy mummy who he wouldn’t even notice! Sometimes he would whisper to me proudly “oh that’s an Uppababy” because he could identify it independently. Then there were many times that he would say “what stroller is that?” when it was a brand that he was not familiar with.

He also started to judge people based on their strollers. Yes, a little ridiculous I know but he did and still does. He vows that you can tell a lot about people based on their stroller types. We will keep that for a later entry!

Anyways, after months and months of research and testing we settled on our stroller. The stroller that was going to be the one and only. We chose the Uppababy Vista and it met all of our criteria and more. We do absolutely love this stroller.  The sunshade is incredible as is the massive basket underneath. It pushes nicely, my daughter is super comfy in it, and i love the ease of using it.

All in all we love our stroller and made the best decision for us. The only problem is that now Princess Peach is in a convertible car seat and no longer in the bucket. So I decided I wanted a lighter umbrella stroller to leave in the car. I got it, but that’s a story for another day.

I would love to hear about your wheels! Which ones did you choose?

Whatever wheels you decided on, enjoy ’em!

xoxo

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Go the F**k to sleep (please!!!!)

There is a great book that came out last year called Go to F**k  to sleep by Adam Mansbach. It’s a very funny book especially for parents whose babies and/or children give them a hassle about sleeping. I read the book, laughed and enjoyed looking at the pretty pictures. But, The Hubster and I are pretty lucky parents in that Princess Peach sleeps and has slept pretty much since about 6 weeks old. We are VERY lucky and definitely realize this.

But Princess Peach has never been a good napper. She will fall asleep in the car, in the baby carrier and in the stroller when we are out but once I move her she wakes up. Usually we are together and she is awake ALL day. Yes I am with a mobile baby ALLLLLLL day long. It’s exhausting to say the least. I yearned for the day when she would nap like some of her little friends for 3-4 hours a day.

Last week it was although a little bird whispered in her ear and said “be a good napper. give your mommy a break”. She slept 45 mins-1 hour in the morning and then 2-2.5 hours in the afternoon! My child? Really? And I didn’t have to do anything to get her to do this? Nope! Nothing. I’m just lucky.

But then when your baby naps and you don’t expect it you don’t know what to do. The first day this happened I literally waited around for the 2 hours she slept in the afternoon waiting for her to wake up! What was I suppose to do with all this free time?

By the end of the week I was reveling in my newfound time! I could clean, do laundry, sit and each lunch! LUNCH!!! Eat lunch! Something I really haven’t done since I left work last year! I even made a midday coffee.

So yesterday, when I went to put her down for her nap a little later than usual she decided to pull off my glasses and laugh. So I rocked her a little longer, sang her a song, kissed her forehead and she screamed when I put her in her crib. Screamed and then puked up her lunch all over her sheets. Awesome.

At this point my tummy is rumbling and my mouth is salivating thinking about the lunch I am going to make. I even planned on treating myself to an afternoon coffee. She’s been in such a good routine and I have so been enjoying my alone time in the afternoon.

So i change her sheets, bring her to the basement to play and wait 30 minutes until I try again because baby go the f**k to sleep (please and thank you). And dont’ forget…I love you 🙂

xoxo

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