Thursday, May 31, 2007

sleep confused

Here I go, writing about Kayla and sleep issues again. Why is it that sleep is probably the single most confusing thing about babies for first time moms (and maybe even some experienced moms)?

Just when I think we've gotten to a good point (waking to eat only once per night), for the past two nights my babe has been waking up at 4am (not hungry or wet) and staying awake! I've tried everything - rocking her, re-swaddling her, changing her, nursing her, trying to sleep with her, but I can't figure out what's going on. She simply refuses to go back to sleep although I know she's still tired. Eventually she settles back down after an hour and half, probably from exhaustion from all the fussing, but by then, I'm wide awake and can't fall back asleep myself for another hour or so!

I'm hoping this craziness is some sort of evil phase and like everything else, too will fade.

Monday, May 28, 2007

my shop

My etsy shop is live!

I've been mulling about setting up this shop for a while now and I think now is the perfect opportunity. My little girl has been an inspiration to me these past few months, renewing my interest in handmade creations.

So, my little shop is live under my alias FlowerPot. For those that don't know, Etsy is a venue for buyers and sellers of all things handmade - kind of like eBay but for crafters!

Anyways, I'm just happy that one of my goals for my maternity leave is finally a reality. Thanks to hubby for the support and encouragement, and to Baby K for the inspirations!

Hope you'll check out my shop and blog regularly for updates. I'll be adding other items, including a few organic cotton nursery knits I've been working on shortly!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

just the two of us

Hubby and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary last night at my fave resto - Scaramouche. An evening out - just the two of us. Oh, so nice. It felt really good to be out after 8pm. Sad as that may sound, we don't go out in the evenings together since Baby K was 6 weeks old. Those early bed times are too important for her.

There's a reason why Scaramouche is my favourite - the atmosphere, the food, the view - all breathtaking. The only small disappointment came at dessert time. There's not much choice in dairy-free dessert and no coffee, either. I just haven't acquired a taste for black coffee yet. But not to disappoint, of course I could count on my fave restaurant making "ice" taste oh so yummy!

And did we talk about our babe during our first night out alone - of course we did!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

first family outing

Yesterday hubby took a day off work and we had our first family day at Niagara Falls - it's a nice short drive from our house - perfect for testing out how Kayla will do out and about for a whole day. Beautiful day... beautiful time!

Kayla really enjoyed the sights and sounds of Clifton Hills - the wax museum capital of the world. And we enjoyed watching her take it all in. Hubby and I also got a good workout trekking up and down the "hill" with stroller and baby in tow. By the time we reached the Falls, the cooling mist was well received!

We also took Baby K out of the country for the first time. Across the border for an afternoon of outlet shopping. As we were driving home, we realized how much our lifestyle has changed. Everything we ended up buying was for our little one! In the past, we would have come home with new clothes, new shoes and bags - more than we needed. This time around, we came home with nothing for ourselves and everything for our babe! How things have changed indeed!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

family ties

Recently I've been thinking about Kayla's inherited features. When she was born everyone said she looked like me. Of course babies change in appearance as they grow and develop. Recently, friends and family have been saying that she's taking after hubby more.

For sure, we know that Baby K's head full of jet black hair is from hubby. I came out pretty bald as a baby, whereas his baby photos show the same thick black hair. But these days I've been wondering about our babe's personality traits and not just her physical features.

For instance, Kayla is a pretty loud baby. Not just her cries, but her "talking" voice too. She doesn't really babble and coo like the development books and web sites say babies start to do at 3-4 months. Our little one is testing the sound of her voice through squeals and what I can only describe as "happy shrieks".

As my friends know, I can be pretty loud when I get excited or passionate about something. But Kayla's enthusiasm reminds me of her grandma (hubby's mom) whom she's named after. And for that, I'm glad because it's like a tribute and remembrance to her because that was one of the traits about her that really stood out when I first met her.

I'm also beginning to think that Baby K's love of sleeping swaddled comes from me (she still won't give it up even at 4 months old - I think we'll need a bed sheet soon to swaddle her as she's getting way too big for receiving blankets). I love sleeping with the blankets tucked all around me, especially around my feet - kind of like a sleeping bag. And of course, her love of music must come from hubby, because for sure I'm tone deaf and can't follow any rhythm.

It's nice to reflect on the family ties... the physical features can be pretty apparent but the behavioural ones are more subtle, hence, much more beautiful.

Friday, May 18, 2007

lunch date

My babe and I now have a standing Friday ritual. Friday mornings we join the Infant Mother Goose program at our local Ontario Early Years Centre. I first learned about this program through some of my mommy friends, and we've started to go 3 weeks ago. Kayla loves it! She's alert and enjoys listening to the singing and watching the hand gestures. And I'm slowly learning all the words to some new songs and songs that I only knew brief melodies for. So we both have a good time.

I must say that I'm very impressed with both the staff and the programs offered at the centre. It's also a great place to meet other parents and babies in my community. At least this is one thing our tax dollars are being spent nicely on!

After class, we walk next door and have a nice sushi lunch at a very friendly Japanese restaurant in the same plaza. Kayla is always on her best behaviour at the restaurant - go figure! And the waitress and sushi chef always get a smile from her.

So this has quickly become our Friday morning date. I feel very lucky and honoured to have the best little companion in town!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

cookie love

This is big! I've found the BEST dairy-free chocolate chip cookie ever made! I'm not joking... this is serious stuff.

Since discovering baby K's allergies, I've been on the hunt for tasty baked goods. Made by New Moon Kitchen (right here in Toronto), they are sooooo yummy! In addition to being dairy-free, the cookies are egg, gluten and nut-free too! I'm in heaven! Now if only I can find a tasty dairy-free ice-cream. I'm trying soy ice-cream today.

I'm happy to report that K's rash is completely gone now and her eczema is getting noticeably better. So at least the effort on my part is providing my babe much relief. She's much happier these days, too. Laughing and talking non-stop. I'm so in love!

Monday, May 14, 2007

mama says thanks!

Thanks to hubby and baby K for making mama's day such a delight! A beautiful Sunday spent with family - what more can I ask for.

I shed a couple of tears of joy and love when I received my first mother's day card signed by my babe (with the help of daddy). Such a treat!

Thanks also to friends and family who wished me a happy first mother's day. Thanks to all for making me feel appreciated! My heart was bursting from such happiness that day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

four months

My babe is four months old today. Time does go by very quickly.

I had her passport photo taken today. She was very good throughout the whole ordeal. And I have to say, taking a passport photo at her age was VERY difficult, especially since no part of me could be in the shot even though I had to support her on my knee. It's a good thing she can hold her head up now. But the lady at Black's taking the photo couldn't seem to get her flash working - so despite Kayla's good behaviour, we ended up having to take the photo MANY times before we had a usable picture.

Some other things I learned by four months:

  1. Don't talk to strangers - Kayla gets very upset in large crowds full of strangers. I guess some babies are very social, others, like my babe, gets very anxious (i.e. screams at the top of her lungs) when she's surrounded by people she doesn't recognize.
  2. Be patient, sleep will come - by now, Kayla is pretty easy to put down for both naps and bed time, but I'm still waiting for that "sleeping through the night" thing to kick in. I'm still up at least once per night with her.
  3. More playtime - Kayla has recently really started to enjoy playtime. She's holding some of her toys on her own now, putting things (other than her fingers) into her mouth, and able to amuse herself, even play by herself, for longer stretches of time.

I'm really enjoying motherhood right now. My babe delights me everyday with her developments and smiles. It's so special to be celebrating my very first Mother's Day this weekend! I'm so excited!

Wishing all mothers out there a Happy Mama's Day!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

shopping day!

Today was our first real shopping day! Not just a mall, but hitting the outdoor shops and cafes at Queen West with Baby K's little cousin and auntie.

Here we are taking it easy in a cute little tea shop (where they serve strawberry popcorn tea, which actually had pieces of popcorn in it!) on Queen:


And I was so proud of my little girl. She was having a blast (lots of winning smiles throughout the day) and was so well behaved! She didn't even protest as I covered her ears (many times) as fire trucks and ambulances came screeching down the street. I was actually surprised how many there were today. I guess you never really notice them until you have a baby and the loud sirens are way too loud for their sensitive ears!

It was so nice to be outdoors. Definitely something I need to do more of as spring rolls into summer days. Now is the best time to be a mommy and on maternity leave - when you can take a day and leisurely sit in a cafe, stroll down the street and browse through the shop windows, all the while basking in the warm rays. I love spring!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

no more moos

I'm saying goodbye to dairy today - at least for the next couple of months. It's pretty much confirmed now - Kayla is allergic.

As a final farewell, I had shortbread cookies, lemon cake (thanks V), stuffed pasta shells with ricotta cheese, and an ice-cream bar (yummy) today. Boy, I think I'll miss ice-cream the most, especially with the nice weather. Nothing beats ice-cream in the summer. I guess it's sorbets and Popsicles for me!

We'll try again when Kayla is 5 or 6 months old, perhaps. Hopefully she'll grow out of it. I hear that these types of allergies are usually temporary. In the meantime, it's back to looking for dairy alternatives. Any advice is surely welcome!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

dress-up

Okay, so I have to admit... baby girls are a lot of fun (although I'm a little biased). I love dressing my babe up. Maybe it's a girl thing and a result of playing with dolls as a child, but as the weather warms, it's hard to resist all the cute little dresses and smocks in the shops for little girls.

I have to say, I've moved my shopping addiction from clothes for myself - besides, I live in cotton tees these days because I'm covered in spit-up every few hours - to clothes for my little one.

Here's my babe looking ever so cute in her Mish Mish dress, baby legs and new matching hair bow!


Yes, I know... a little indulgent of me but I couldn't resist sharing... please forgive :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

allergy update and going green

I'm fairly certain now that baby K is allergic to dairy. I've been dairy-free for almost two weeks now and we've also stopped giving her formula in the evenings to test the assumption. Her eczema is almost completely gone and her rash has faded.

This test has made me more sensitive to how food is prepared and what ingredients go into various foods (espeically pre-packaged foods). Surprisingly dairy is in a lot of unexpected foods. It's not just milk, cheese and chocolate anymore, but sometimes even breads and many packaged foods. In an effort to find dairy-free baked goods, I've recently started shopping at organic food markets (and my grocery bill has almost doubled). But I was surprised to find the multitude of choice in dairy and gluten-free foods (like brown rice milk and rice cheese, which I stayed away from). I also pleasantly realized that most organic produce actually tastes better - sweeter fruits, fresher veggies, and longer shelf life.

My organic "adventure" has resulted in a few conclusions:

  1. Dairy-free baking can actually be tasty. I especially loved the "seeds & raisin" cookie (just like oatmeal cookies).
  2. Ice-cream made with hemp is NOT good. Why I even thought it would be is a wonder.
  3. Spelt is a good wheat replacement, but makes everything very dense!
  4. I HEART organic grapefruit. So sweet and juicy!

I was very pleased to discover a brand new organic market opened up in my neighbourhood - a great alternative to the over-hyped Whole Foods.

Starting Sunday, I'll be adding dairy back into my diet to confirm the allergy theory - finally REAL ice-cream. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

spring flowers and strolls

I love craft projects as much as I love knitting - so when I can combine the two - what a sweet thing!


Since spring has FINALLY arrived, I knitted a few spring flowers to adorn hair clips for my sweet baby's head full of jet black hair. The outcome was so adorable I decided to craft a few more for my baby girl's girlfriends (who are all celebrating birthdays this month).


Thinking that these lovely clips might make it to my online shop this summer. Working on the idea. More on that later.

And in terms of spring projects. I'm still working on the spring knit v-neck cardigan I started about a month or so ago (yes, I get distracted easily... always more than one project on my mind!) Just as I was about to finish the last sleeve, turns out I'm out of the lovely purple yarn - just 6 rows short! So it's off to the yarn store before I can pick up this project again.

Here it is in mid-completion. I'm loving the way the frills are forming at the edges.


In the meantime, here's a shot of Kayla and her boyfriend Brandon out for a springtime stroll... she's very shy, hiding under her bib, and he's fascinated with the new shades his mama got him!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

salsa baby

We had our very first salsa class today. Lots of fun - except I've got two left feet! Definitely hope that Kayla inherits hubby's rhythm and not mine!

During the last 10 minutes of the class, I was amazed to find that baby K had fallen asleep in her carrier (forward position, no less) as had half the other babies, including the instructor's! That surprised me because we were moving around pretty quickly. I guess the swaying motion rocks babies to sleep!

By the end of the class Kayla was a dead weight and I was wondering how I would get her out of the Baby Bjorn and back into her car seat without waking her. Amazingly, it was no trouble at all. She didn't even bat an eye as I moved her arms and legs out of the carrier and strapped her into the car seat. I couldn't believe it!


Today was also the first time baby K tried out her Bumbo. She's still trying to get the hang of it!