2.

Has it really been two weeks?

My parents and sister returned home this past Sunday (March Break is only one week), leaving Kelvin and I to get to know Andy a little better on our own. Daily, I have been getting texts from them with requests for photos, and mentions of how much they miss Andy. Something Kelvin and I didn’t entirely realize was the effect that Andy would have not just on the two of us, but on our immediate family. We see qualities and emotions in our family members that we’ve never seen before, and it’s so nice to see the way that they pour out their love on him.

Though we are far from having any semblance of a hard and fast routine, we are starting to find a rhythm. For the most part, Andy likes to be fed every 3 hours or so, and he is usually content to sleep between feeds. He’s been alert a little more the past few days, giving us time to enjoy his cuteness in a waking state. We’ve been out and about almost every day, and I’m learning that he absolutely loves being in the car. Just like me! Both of us can pass out in the car almost instantaneously.

We have been making a concerted effort not to introduce Andy to any screens or tech, but it seems we have a harder time pulling away from it. I actually discovered this app last week and found it to be immensely helpful at the beginning of the week for tracking what Andy is doing and whether he needs to be changed/fed soon. When you download the app, you get a 14 day free trial of the features, and though I originally thought I would pay the $5.49 to make the trial version permanent, I became all too aware of just how much time I was spending glued to my phone because of it. I would document every diaper (including colour and texture of any BM), every waking moment, every feed…I have now reverted to just keeping one of our boogie boards with me to jot down times of when he feeds, and a tally of diaper contents. “Low tech” for the win.

Now, on to this week’s top 5:

  • reusable nursing pads – I hear this happens to most women, but it seems that my body is tuned to produce milk whenever Andy cries, resulting in less than uncomfortable dampness and stainage on my clothing. I just picked up a few sets of these to use, and they’ve been serving me well. I couldn’t imagine how many disposables I’d be going through!
  • our car seat cover – it’s supposed to be spring, but alas the snow can’t seem to stay away. With how often we take Andy out, we couldn’t imagine toting him around without something to keep him warm and toasty. We like this one in particular because it goes over the car seat bucket (as opposed to into the car seat itself), allowing us to still keep his 5-point harness buckled nice and snug around him.
  • a goal and something to look forward to each day – it’s very easy for days to blur together without setting some sort of priority for the day. I reverted from my phone calendar back to a moleskine agenda this year and it is proving very helpful in keeping me productive each day
  • leftovers/freezer meals – I was super ambitious on Sunday and planned out our meals for the week. Alas, we had maybe 2 of the meals…neither of them on the day they were assigned. There were definitely days during the week that we did not feel like whipping something together, and were immensely thankful to have food that we could just reheat and enjoy
  • whatsapp – for my family to receive real-time Andy updates…among other things. Nothing like technology to keep your family close haha

Andy’s features are definitely more pronounced this week (he is less of a crying blob) and he is on the verge of learning to smile while awake (he smiles all the time when he’s sleeping…weird kid…). I must get better at taking (not grainy) pictures of him.

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1.

Some exciting news! Last Friday, we welcomed this little guy into the world and into our family. We call him Andy :) He was a pretty big baby, but I am infinitely thankful that my labour was short and that we aren’t too far from the hospital! It has been an emotional week, fraught with ups and downs (thankfully more ups than downs), and I like to think that we are starting to settle into life as a family of three.

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Leading up to Andy’s birth, we did what we could to prepare, and we sought advice from a number of people that we trust and respect. One of the things that people continued to tell us was that we should take all the help that we can get. I found that to be immensely true in this first week. Just so happens that this week was March Break, so my parents and sister were able to come down to spend time with us and with Andy, and to help out. I honestly could not have imagined what it would have been like if Kelvin and i had had to do this all on our own this first week. The morning of Day 3 came with a particular weepiness, and my parents were gracious enough to watch Andy while I stayed upstairs, simultaneously crying and attempting to sleep.

Even in 7 short days, so much has happened and changed already with Andy. He has developed some considerable neck strength, rolls around in his crib, and his been sleeping longer and longer on his own (he was in there so long today that I decided to take him out for a feed because he hadn’t eaten in 6 hours). He also went on his first outing last night – back to Queen’s campus so that we could attend an alumni night at the Christian fellowship we used to belong to while in undergrad.  He was so good and slept the entire time! Here’s hoping this calmness is a sign of things to come :)

Anyways, here’s to yet another attempt to post more regularly (I’m aiming for once a week), and a list of the top 5 things I learned or could not have lived without this week.

This week’s Top 5 (in no particular order):

  • support – family, friends, whoever you consider your network…you will want to have them around! It is during weeks like this that I am really thankful for Kelvin and just the patience and care that he has
  • soak items that baby spits up on ASAP so that they don’t end up stained
  • this crib – we have a mini crib in Andy’s room, but we also bought a Nuna Sena Mini as our travel crib because we have quite a few trips planned this year. Our original sleeping arrangement was that I was in Andy’s room with him while he slept in the crib, but it proved difficult. Instead, we move the travel crib up to our room every night (during the day it’s in the living room) and that allows me to keep an eye on him while still being able to sleep in the master with Kelvin
  • big swaddle cloths – Andy quite likes being swaddled, and it allows him to be in the crib nice and warm without blankets. Our favourite right now is his bamboo muslin swaddle cloth from Lulujo, which is big enough that he doesn’t break out of it too easily, soft enough that it doesn’t irritate him at all, and light enough that he doesn’t wake up in a cold sweat
  • this wrap – A friend of ours gave us her sleepy wrap (now rebranded as Boba wrap) and it is fantastic for when I want to do things around the house, or when we take him out. Andy feels really comfortable in it, plus it keeps my hands free!

And here’s one last picture of Andy doing what he does best…

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A Lack of Punctuality

So…the little guy is almost a week late. I must say, it never occurred to me that an expecting mom might experience emotional pressure (on top of the physical pressure hah) from having more time before baby arrives. Perhaps part of this is due to the seemingly endless amount of downtime that I have right now. I feel like I have literally done everything I can and am reading books voraciously. Everyone has been telling me to rest and enjoy this last little bit of peace before baby, but I must say, it is harder said than done!

Today, though, I did get a chance to spend some lovely time outdoors. Every so often, I head to Lemoine’s Point Conservation Area – it’s free and pretty close to where we are. Usually I go in the summer or fall via bike, but since it’s winter, and biking clearly is not an option for me right now (plus I have a flat…I should fix that…), I decided to drive over for a nice stroll. Ventured down a new path today and even met some friendly deer!

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There were quite a number of other people out on the trails as well. People with dogs. People with cross-country skis. People with food for animals. They were all very friendly, and it dawned on me that many of these nice folk come almost every day! Perhaps the little guy and I will join them for a daily jaunt :)

Anyways, keeping these fingers and toes crossed that I won’t be pregnant for too much longer.

Research and Reviews

Happy new year! It’s hard to believe that it’s 2015 already. It seems like not that long ago that people around us were stocking up on food and water for the Y2K scare (remember that?). Anyways, 2015 is a big year for us, because our family is growing by 1! Our baby boy is due at the beginning of March, and we couldn’t be more excited. We are looking forward to getting to know him, and slowly but surely, we are doing what we can to prepare for his imminent arrival.

Normally, Kelvin and I are planners. We like to know exactly what we are getting into (me more so when it comes to travel, and him more so when it comes to purchases). For some reason, though, we have been hesitant to read up too much on preparing for baby, as we know there is a ton of conflicting information out there. Recently, though, it has dawned on us that baby will be arriving in 2 short months, and we better be as ready as we can be. We finally have more than 2 things on our registry, and all our big pieces are either here or on their way. I’m hoping that throughout mat leave I’ll have a chance to post and write out my thoughts on the things we’ve invested in.

Our current debate is what type of bottle to get for our little buddy. We are leaning towards glass with a silicone sleeve and are probably going to go with LifeFactory bottles. I like that they grow with our baby and that we can use them well beyond the first few years of life. Anyways, more to come!

Amazing Things Around the Web

I love to read blogs. On my iPhone, I have an app called Newsify, and every morning I try to make it through all the posts that have come up. Admittedly, some of them I will gloss over, but there are others that draw me in and move me to action. Here are four posts that I dwelled over for a while – 2 of which I would like to see come true in Kingston, and 2 of which were more for my own personal interest.

The Happy Post Project: Spreading Cheer Via Post-It Note (via GOOD)

Last year, I initiated Kingston Through My Lens. It was an amazing experience, and my plan was originally to run it again this year. However, as circumstance would have it, I need to do something a little less involved for Culture Days this year, and I am leaning towards organizing a Happy Post Project in Kingston. Simply put, people will come and answer the question “what makes you happy?” on a post-it note, and then you display it in some shape or form. Then, you take all the post-its and mail them to The Happy Post Project to help them reach their goal of 100,000 happy posts.  If you live in the Kingston area and want to help me out with this, just send me an email!

Little Free Libraries Around Toronto (via Apartment Therapy)

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As it says in the article, the idea of book swaps is not a new one. I came across Book Crossing a few years ago, and really liked the idea, but I wanted something that kept the books more so in the local community. This idea of little free libraries is great, but the price of purchasing one of their libraries is quite prohibitive, and I really don’t trust my ability to create one from scratch. Most likely, the thing will fall apart, and we will be left with a yard full of books that have been destroyed by Kingston rain (though lately we have been getting no rain…and my lawn is definitely showing evidence of that). That being said, I think Kingston could really benefit from doing something like this – maybe we could use little mailboxes or something like that. According to the little free libraries global map, there is one in Landsdowne, Ontario, on a boat dock…but alas, I do not have a boat. Don’t worry, I will find a way to get this off the ground. Again, I am sending out an open call to people who live in the Kingston area, if you can help in some way (maybe you just happen to have a vast quantity of mailboxes that can be used for this project), please email me!

A $10 Bicycle That Actually Works! (via Apartment Therapy)

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Can you tell I love Apartment Therapy? =P After watching this video, I was amazed not only at the bicycle, but at the man behind it. His process of trial and prototyping, his determination for success amidst the skepticism of others, and the way he used his skill set were inspiring. Though this is not something I would do, I have so much respect for him, and would love to try out the bike!

Monday Giveaway! (via A Cup of Jo)

There are a few personal blogs that I subscribe to, Joanna Goddard’s being one of them. I have this attraction to people who live in NYC and SF, so it seems most of the individuals that I follow are from one of those two cities. Anyways, her giveaway yesterday was this SWEET diaper bag from So Young. I am not yet at that stage of life where I will need a diaper bag, but I forwarded it to Kelvin nonetheless, after which I received a text that said “That is one of the best baby bags I’ve ever seen…How much?”. We then proceeded to scour their website, amazed at all the cool features the diaper bag has, and how it has such a rugged exterior that Kelvin would proudly tote around. In particular, we liked the built in sunglasses case, though Kelvin and I will need to determine whose Raybans will go there. And for those of you who are curious, it is $175, and available at a number of fine retailers as well as online (with free shipping for orders over $50, which this bag definitely is).

Now that I am at the end of this post, I just want to say that I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts. Often times, these thoughts will get sent off to twitter or in emails to Kelvin, my sister, and my parents, but perhaps I should use this outlet more to share cool things I find.