Category Archives: All About the Little Ones

Please Don’t Call Social Services on Me…

So Little Patch is now 16 months old and starting to walk around and doing his own thing at home.  He’s pretty good with playing by himself (he’s surrounded by me, patch and grandparents at all times, but we don’t really engage in games with him all the time) and if he wants our attention, he would come over and do something cute like pat our back or put his head on our legs.

But recently, he learned something new.  Doing what we don’t want like touching or TV.  Or turning knobs on our stereos. We try to be stern and let him know we don’t like it with words like ‘Don’t touch’ or ‘Too close to the TV’ (although since both his parents are blind bats, it’s inevitable that he would be donning his first pair of glasses soon).  Well, tonight when daddy’s out, those same words somehow meant the opposite to him.

Maybe it’s his way of playing or getting my attention, but after 5 times of telling him not to touch the TV, he ran back and pushed the screen that it almost toppled over.  Quite a douchey move.  I was not happy.  So I took the hand that pushed the TV, told him again, ‘Don’t push the TV, you’ll hurt yourself’.  He didn’t get it.  So I opened his palm and slapped it.  Not too hard but it wasn’t gentle either.  He knew I meant business.

He looked at me and stared at me hard.  Then he turned away in a way that showed he didn’t want to look at me.  So I just stared back wondering what he was feeling.  Then he broke free of my grip and ran to the gate by the stairs.  He just stared down the stairs and I knew that he was looking/waiting for daddy.  I called his name and he looked at me but it wasn’t with love.  He was upset at me.  He had the look of holding back his tears because his lips were quivering.  He turned back to continue staring down the stairs.  Then I walked over and called his name again and he turned around and ran towards me crying.  I felt relieved thinking he wanted me to comfort the pain that I caused.  Except that he ran past me.  And the pain I felt was more than his.

Just like his dad, I realized that he’s got pride.  He didn’t want me to see him cry when I slapped his palm. He didn’t want to show fear or pain.  Instead, he held it in as long as he could until he couldn’t hold it anymore.

By now, I’ve already forgotten what had happened 10 minutes before.  Instead, I held him in my arms and kept kissing the palm and telling him ‘Mommy loves you’.   He was fine and continued playing and trying to touch the TV.  And I continued with my half-ass ‘Don’t touch’ warnings.

This is my first attempt at disciplining my son.  After Patch got home, I told him what happened and he told me I shouldn’t have slapped his hand.  He was probably right and I feel like I failed somehow because I did it the wrong way and it surely didn’t feel like Little Patch learned his lesson.  Except to make me feel resented.

Finally, I am experiencing my first steps in parenting.

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Treats for Mommy (and Friends)

I don’t go shopping frequently (except when I’m vacationing) but with a baby now, it’s even more rare that I go to a mall.  So this is where the internet saves the day.  I love to computer-screen shop.  Forever 21 is one of my favourite online shops to browse mainly because they have to many items offered at such a cheap price.  That though comes at the cost of the quality as well.  Tonight I bought some accessories that I can wear to work or even at home when I want to feel dressed up in sweats and a hoodie.   Their accessories also make decent gifts (well, if you have friends that think F21 accessories are too cheap for them, they probably don’t deserve a gift from you!).

Isn't this bracelet just gorgeous? For the pearl lover... the flower comes in ivory colour as well $7.80

I think turquoise is a beautiful colour especially on jewellery, it really stands out without because too flashy. A cuff that looks like you've bought it from a South American street vendor. $7.80

Leaf and flower earrings, it seems like feathers and mother of pearl are in this season. Love the colour and the different textures. $4.80

Classy style that goes well with the little black/red/silver dress. $5.80

Trimmed feather earrings $5.80

Another classic design are cut-outs especially if done delicately. But then this is Forever 21 so this is pretty for $5.80.

I find that a lot of the earrings from F21 are pretty big so you have to look at the additional photos as they would have an image of the earrings next to a ruler or read the description.  They carry hundreds of earrings so you’ll need to spend some time to go through them.

I didn’t end up getting every thing I liked because I don’t think I’ll make use of the pieces but I think that’s are great as play jewellery and it’s not as painful if you lose it or break it.

And Here I Am, A Year Later…

… I’m still here, still partly crazy, still loving motherhood but a lot poorer.

Lots of changes and here are some updates and things that I would’ve done differently.

Diapers

I am still using cloth diapers which has its good and bad moments.  Little Patch is producing more pee each time he decides to go which means I have to change him more frequently. I love him but just thinking about his pee stench in a pail/bag waiting to be washed makes me want to gag.  I dislike changing diapers and I find every excuse to get out of doing it when Patch is around.  I’ve used every excuse in the book when I hand LP to him saying ‘Honey, could you change him, I have to go pee/job hunt/upload photos/return a call.‘  Yes, I’ve used job hunt before and it works because if he questions me, he’ll get, ‘Do you want me to work or not?’

That said, I do appreciate how much money we’ve saved by using cloth diapers.  On our one week trip to Hawaii, we used exactly one pack of 35 Seventh Generation disposable diapers.  That would normally cost around $20.  So at around $20 per week, you do the math.   We spent about $350 on cloth to last until he’s 25 lbs and about $200 on disposables.  However, that’s not the same deal as if I got Huggies or Pampers from Costco in the US (which for size 3 is about 17 cents each), I use Seventh Generation which costs about 27 cents each. Still, not bad for the year.  Best if the little bugger is actually potty trained…!

Money Saved But There’s Also Money Unwisely Spent

I can’t practice what I preach.  I tell new moms over and over that it’s not necessary to buy clothing and toys for the first few years.  Little Patch’s been extremely fortunate enough to receive clothing and toys from friends and family on Christmas, birthday, and “just because”.  He has so much that I’ve donated some to a local clothing bank or passed it on to expecting friends.  But guess what, I still spent $10 on a hoodie just because it’s cute and more importantly, I feel that I want him to wear something from mommy.  Does he know or care?  Most likely not. Yeah, I know that’s why I suck in this department.

TV Time

I’m a bit ashamed to admit that around Lil Patch’s 10 month bday, I started using the TV (Treehouse to be exact) to calm, distract or entertain him.  Who knew that 4 middle age men can be cute and comical wearing star trek knock off uniforms (I heart you, Sam Moran)?  And to be honest, sometimes it’s because *I* want to watch it.  His TV times are usually 12:30 – 1:15pm, around his lunch time.  Lunchtime with the TV on? That’s double crime.  However, I’ve managed to turn off TV time during his feeding and I find that he focuses better of eating.  Uh duh.

The Start of Potty Training Adventures

Attempts to potty train Little Patch has all been crap, down the drain.   Few months ago, Patch and I have bought LP a cute portable potty (because cuteness plays a vital role in squeezing a poop out right?) in hopes to get LP potty trained.

We were hoping that combined with the use of cloth diapers, which isn’t as absorbent (meaning: comfortable in pee) as disposable, LP would start using a toilet, just like the rest of us. We bought an actual potty, and not a mini seat that attaches to an adult toilet because I didn’t want to freak him out as putting a baby on an adult toilet is like pushing a puppy into the mouth of a live volcano. Read the rest of this entry

Granville Island and Making Fresh Fruit Sauce

I went to Granville Island yesterday for a stroll and to pick up some fresh fruits.  The trip was fruitful (haha) and we took home some Okanagan apples and pears, Manhattan clam chowder and a tub of fresh oysters.

The apple stand in the Granville Island Market

All their apples are unwaxed.

We picked up a bag of Auroras and soft pears for a total of $5.  We are going to use these to make Apple and Pear sauce for Little Patch.

Here’s how:

1) Wash, peel and core the apples and pears.
2) Cut into small chunks and place in pan.
3) Add a bit of water and simmer for 10 minutes.
4) Let cool and serve or store.

My neighbour recommended adding a dash of cinnamon to the apples and the kids will go crazy for that stuff.

To defrost, run under warm water or place in hot water as you would to heat a milk bottle.

Have Teeth, Will Cry

Little Patch was up for most of the night due to teething, constipation and having his shots done recently.  He was NOT a happy baby.  We did almost everything we could to calm him but he was just agitated and angry.  The only thing that calmed him was by nursing him but the minute I pulled away, he would start crying and my back was starting to ache.

By 5am, he calmed down and went to sleep after we gave him a shot of whiskey.  That is, if whiskey comes in the form of infant Tylenol in a dropper.

Getting Yourself Ready Before the Bump

So you find out you are pregnant and you celebrate with your families and close friends… then comes the overwhelming load of information from friends and family on what to do next.  Nursery! Last-minute vacay! Who to tell next! Baby names!

It’s natural to start thinking of your future baby but don’t forget yourself too.  Here are some things that you should take care of before you go into all-about-baby mode!

 

Read the rest of this entry

Sesame Street on Crack

I can’t stop watching YO GABBA GABBA‘s videos on Youtube. It’s so fun and the tunes are so addictive. Here is one of my favourite clips, it makes me want to throw down cardboard and host a baby dance off.

Special Guest – DO IT… go go go Do It! go go go Do It! Hilarious.

I don’t know what it is about Baby Einstein clips that are award winning, but their shows put me to sleep!

Baby’s Clothing Advice… and why I’m a Hypocrite.

Over the course of my pregnancy, I had received advice from many friends. Some advice was well received and some I brushed it off.  Now with some colleagues  expecting, many had turned to me for advice.  But I’m not one to sound off my thoughts, oh, who am I kidding, I love to rant.

Looking back, there was one piece of advice I wish I followed but did not and is slightly regretting it.

Buying baby clothes – everyone will tell you this – Don’t invest too much in baby clothing. You will receive them as gifts.  You will receive a lot!  Especially if you are having a baby shower, you can count on guests that are parents to give you useful items that they know it’s useful.  You can also count on non-parents to give you the ‘safe gifts’ such as clothing, bath towels , blankies, plushies and gift sets.

I didn’t take this advice seriously.  I still bought clothing because a) it was  on sale and b) it was too cute and I couldn’t resist.  In the end, I realized that the first few months, Little Patch wore mostly onesies and sleepers.  His ‘cool street clothes’ were worn about 3 times at most.

Also, if you are inexperienced in buying baby clothing, you will  tend to overspend on your first shopping trips.  And I don’t mean overspending as in buying Burberry Kids (unless you named your child Hollingsworth IV). I thought I got a sweet deal at the Gap when I bought a pack of 3 long sleeved onesies for $16 (originally $25) thinking that $5 each is not so bad.  Then the next day, I went to Old Navy and saw that the same onesies were for $12.    Now, I can tell you that you can find it for even cheaper!

Don’t bother with pants in the first few months, especially denim. They are hard to put on and you will eventually give up putting pants on your baby after the 3rd diaper change of the day.

Babies do not need shoes. Yes, they are cute but baby’s shoes are over priced and unless your baby is a child-athlete prodigy that can already walk on his own by 6 months, just leave the shoes out.  I know, some shoes are just too cute but even if you put it on the baby, he will eventually kick it off wherever he is.   I find that shoes and socks are too restricted so I buy little booties (they look like a little sack for the feet, much looser than socks) instead.

I have to admit that even giving out such advice, I will still buy Little Patch’s clothing knowing that I will regret it… especially if I’m at the Carters or Osh Gosh outlets.

 

Our Choice of Diapers

After my review on the diapers that we tried in the sample pack, we’ve decided to go with something that we have not tested out.   Hemp diapers.  There are so many reasons why we decided to go with hemp.  They are more expensive than cotton but these are the reasons that changed our minds:

  • stronger than cotton
  • breathable
  • has natural antibacterial ingredients

Here is a video to show how easy it is to use hemp diapers!

The covers can be bought at your local baby store for about $10 each.  We have 5 covers for 30 cloth diapers. Even if the cover is waterproof, I still wash it often and change into a new one because the trim is not waterproof so it can absorb pee.

We also have a couple of AIO (All In One) diapers from Kushies for days when all the covers are soiled.  You can get them from BRU or TJ Kids for about $12 each.  No cover is required and they work exactly like a disaposable.  AIO diapers are a great way to see if you can handle using cloth diapers before committing to the switch.  AIOs are not as absorbant and leak-proof as hemp or cotton diapers.