Wednesday, February 28, 2007

one-handed wonder

Crying babies don't like to be left alone. It's a fact. If she's already crying, setting her down (even for a minute) to do just one little thing sets her off into hysterics.

As a testiment, in just a short 7 weeks, here are 7 things I've learned to do one-handed:

  1. eat an entire meal
  2. apply make-up
  3. make chili
  4. change out of my PJs and into fresh clothes
  5. brush my teeth
  6. compose an email
  7. make a cup of tea

Sunday, February 25, 2007

bathing baby

I've read in baby books and online parenting sites that many parents use bath time as part of a bedtime routine - relaxing baby before going to bed. Although Kayla is still too young to have a consistent bedtime routine, I can't imagine adding a bath as part of it. Kayla hates to be bathed (a phase we hope she outgrows).

This afternoon, we (it's a two person job) gave her a bath and what did she do? She pooed in her bath! That was a shock that sent Roland and I into hysterics. Has this ever happened to you? Well, this meant that we had to start all over again; prolonging the torture for both Kayla and her parents! Trust me, it was torture!

Perhaps Kayla's attitude towards baths will change as she gets older. Other moms have told me this. I guess it's the same as being naked. Babies love it apparently, however, they must have to be older to appreciate this. Again, Kayla hates the cold (me too)!

Friday, February 23, 2007

through mama's eyes

I just wanted to share my view of Kayla as I look down at her sleeping in her sling.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

the oven - mama's BFF

For the first 5 weeks we've been lucky to get takeout from restaurant mom & dad. They were more than happy to provide both lunch and dinner - I suspect to get their daily dose of baby K. This week, I decided it was time to wrestle up some food independence and start cooking on my own again.

My challenge, however, was time. I don't have the luxury of uninterrupted time before the dinner hour to fix an entire meal from start to finish. So, I learned quickly to compromise and cater to Kayla's schedule. Now I prepare the meal during her naps or during what I call her "non-fussy" periods (when she'll sit happily in the bouncer with her music and toys). This means the oven has become my most valued cooking tool and my repertoire of recipes now include casseroles, bakes and anything I can cook in the oven! Not many Chinese dishes (if any at all) call for oven cooking, so some of this is new territory for me.

My kitchen routine these days: chop, slice and prepare the ingredients during her morning nap; assemble the meal during her afternoon nap; pop in the oven right before her 6pm feeding. This allows hubby and I to sit down for dinner around 7pm.

On the menu:

  • Monday - steak fajitas

  • Tuesday - stuffed shells with arrabbiata sauce - I saw the recipe last week while watching Food Network's Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis (photo)

  • Wednesday - mushroom turkey casserole

  • tonight - pork chops with horseradish mashed potatoes
I think tomorrow, I'll take a break and we'll get takeout... and next, I'll discover the slow cooker.

I wonder how other moms handle the dinner prep. Let me know if you have any insights or just plain good recipes!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

the art and science of shopping with a newborn

The *warm* weather today has jolted Kayla and I out of hibernation. Although I'm still not ready to trek out in the snow for a stroll around my neighbourhood, I decided to take my baby girl to every girls' favourite place - the shopping mall!

This first experience (although only lasting about an hour) by myself with the stroller has taught me a few things:

1. Don't bring the snowsuit - trapped inside a snowsuit in a climate controlled environment makes baby very hot, very quickly (reading between the lines... this means cranky and uncomfortable). A stroller blanket and the bundleme would have sufficed.

2. Do bring the sling - once baby wakes up from her nap, she doesn't always sit happily in the stroller.

3. Don't forget a toy - a little entertainment doesn't hurt when she gets bored of staring at the mall lights.

Overall, not a bad trip out the first time, but I'll be better prepared next time.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Today I've been searching for a home for my knitting needles. I currently stash them randomly in a basket on the floor of my closet, but I think I should upgrade their home. At first I started looking for a needle case pattern that I could craft together myself. There's tons online, but reality set in - I'm a terrible sewer! So imagine my surprise when I came across a product made by a company called Namaste Needles. How zen is that!

This convenient and trendy purse-like carrier and the super cool colour combos (my fave of course is chocolate and light blue) is just my thing!

I also discovered that they manufacture knitting needles out of glass. So pretty, but not very practical for me as Roland can attest to the number of times I drop my needle. That certainly wouldn't last long!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

happy lunar new year!

We've had lots of celebrating and eating over these past couple of days because it's Chinese new year. Kayla has enjoyed visiting relatives and being the centre of attention. In keeping with the spirit, I recently looked up Kayla's astrology, both Chinese and Western zodiac.

Born a Capricorn, astrology predicts that Kayla will be a serious child - determined, disciplined, and highly organized (sounds more like her father to me)!

According to the lunar calendar, Kayla was born in the year of the dog, so she will be loyal, unselfish, and idealistic. All good traits.

It's early to see what her personality is like, but if I was to base it on perceptions so far, both seem like a fair description. She is a very demanding eater - she's a woman who knows what she wants!

We've also given her a Chinese name: Lai Kae (loosely translated means "pretty" or "beautiful").

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

snow day lovin' and craftin'

It's a snow day and it's Valentine's Day - how perfect. It means that hubby is working from home today and the three of us get to spend v-day together!

It's also a good day for crafting. Snowy weather to me means staying indoors with hot tea and doing something creative that makes me happy, so I made this memory box for Kayla's room. I had saved the baby tags from our hospital stay and I had been meaning to do something with them. Rather than store them away for keepsake, paired with an imprint of her foot and her announcement card - this shadow box was a perfect match.

Monday, February 12, 2007

the big weekend

It's Chinese custom for mom and baby to remain at home for the first month after delivery. I'm not a big follower of traditions, however, I did try to stay at home for the whole month (minus mandatory doctor's appointments and one little Super Bowl Party). Now you might think that it would be difficult to remain indoors for an entire month, but with recovery from a c-section and the freezing temperatures and snowy road conditions combined, it wasn't too difficult.

By now, however, I am a little stir crazy so when we got the chance to eat out at a restaurant this weekend with some friends, I was all over that!

Here's a photo of Kayla and I all dressed up for our big weekend. Boy, do I need a haircut!

BTW - we finally got the nerve to cut Kayla's fingernails this weekend.
A little tip: do it when she's sleeping, her fingers are more relaxed and there's less squirming!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

the first month

I've been recently obsessed with learning about how my baby is developing so I've been scouring the Internet for answers. Perhaps I'm like all new moms, wanting some validation that what I'm doing is right for my child.

To my relief, at four weeks old, Kayla is right on track. I'm still eagerly waiting her first uttering - a little "goo" or "gaa" would really make my day! However, she can now lift her head off my shoulder, turn in the direction of my voice, and follow objects with her eyes. It's amazing to see these developments every day.

I've found Baby Centre very helpful (and Canadian). It allows you to personalize the web site so you get information about your baby's development upfront.

Next on my list, learning these lullabies to "sing" to her:

Monday, February 05, 2007

learnings from week 3

Lots of milestones this week - Kayla attended her first party (a Super Bowl Party nonetheless) and we've graduated to size 1 diapers!

1. Babies don't always eat then sleep - These days Kayla is staying up longer and more often than in her first 2 weeks. She's very alert and likes to be held and walked around. This surprised me because I thought newborns went to bed promptly after they ate. I began asking my mom-friends, and apparently this is quite common. It just means my baby girl is growing up - oh so soon!

2. Burping sucks - but it's oh so necessary. It takes forever to burp a baby but if you don't you end up paying for it later with endless complaints of gas build-up.

3. Baby wearing is convenient!
I had purchased a Little Star Sling at the Baby and Toddler Show in the Fall and recently pulled it out to try. Since Kayla is staying awake so often I'm finding it difficult to get things done because the bouncer and swing only keep her entertained for short spans of time. Using the sling allows me to carry her and have my hand free at the same time. Ingenious!

Friday, February 02, 2007

flower princess

Here's our princess in her daisy hat. It's a perfect fit!