Friday, August 26, 2016

Second child A-HA Moments

What I learned with 2 kids now that Mikkel is nearly 1 whole year old (omg)!

this is my 2012 list with my first born.
my 2013 A-HA list.

  1. no two kids are alike. you can plan while #2 is in utero but they'll just throw you a curve ball
  2. i love the age difference between my kids; Jan 2012 and Sept 2015. Max is an amazing helper, it's the little things that count! for example, i couldn't shower alone unless he was there as Mikkel would be bawling. so him and her would play in the play pen and i'd have peace and quiet for a reasonable shower time length
  3. i must've done something right because there's been no apparent sibling jealousy since Mikkel was born
  4. tip #1: buy the older one a gift and insist that it's from their new little sibling
  5. tip #2: if you can, baby wear #2 so you are hands free as #1 transitions into a new normal. I found by doing this, I was never too busy for Max or trapped at home while Mikkel was having a nap
  6. tip #3: give #1 a 'job,' during the transition stage
  7. tip #4: give constant praise and compliments on the oldest' actions and behaviour towards #2
  8. tip #5: if you have a name already for #2, introduce the name to older sibling at least 6-8 weeks before estimate due date. I read Max a becoming a big brother book and constantly mentioned Mikkel. He was accustomed to the name by the time she arrived
  9. tip #6: I made up a 6 word sister song and sang it to Max all the time. sounds similar to the chorus of this song from the movie White Christmas. I also interchanged it with Brother so as if Mikkel was also singing it. kids love songs, kids love songs about Them!
  10. the ERGO carrier is my absolute lifesaver and best investment. If I had to do it all over again, I would buy this first, brand new, top of the line
  11. any funny responses from Mikkel towards Max is prime opportunity to remind him how much she loves him. Smiling at him when we open the door to wake him up? she loves you so much Max! Showing you some toy she's holding? she wants to share with you Max! she loves you so much!
  12. i love bedsharing and room sharing, so easy
  13. don't buy a crib unless you can be certain of your child's personality: cosleeper vs. independent spirit. if cosleeper, the crib will just be a space hog. we started the first month with the co-sleeper bassinet
  14. i really appreciated the Graco pack and play this time around. I saw how Mikkel's sleep evolved and had a deeper understanding of her sleep needs and style while being in the same room and close to me. love portability!
  15. i was all about feeding rules with Max, with Mikkel she's eating fried potato wedges at 7 months ha! it's a whatever works, fed is best, sleep is best, dressed in something is best attitude
  16. motherhood is hard work, treat yo' self
  17. with my children's age gap, an umbrella stroller was all I needed. thank goodness i didnt buy a twin or tandem stroller, i have no room for all that hardware in condo living
  18. with #1, new clothes. with #2, hand me downs any colour will be fine. Babies don't care what they wear.
  19. from 0-6.5 months, baby OXI-CLEAN is necessary to remove those blowout stains from clothes. Poop stains. stained clothes in the dryer = ruined clothes = wasted money
  20. breastfeeding? formula feeding? FED IS BEST
  21. best baby socks are from Old Navy, i like the knee high ones as they actually stay on 
  22. button up sleepers are ok when they can't roll over, otherwise it's a fucking fight to the death to button up those snaps. zipper sleepers ONLY please
  23. i love lanolin for the nipples, lanolin is necessary ladies!
  24. Mojo fries or Fry wedges are a great BLW option
  25. no need to get hung up on baby led weaning vs. pureed foods. there will come a time, approx 8 months old, when the kid will refuse to be spoon fed anyways and BLW is your only option until they're open to being fed with a spoon again
  26. craigslist and Facebook kid swap sites are great sources for second hand baby stuff. not everything has to be brand new
  27. peruse through the Amazon reviews before buying anything
  28. a white noise machine is essential to cancel out other house noises; like a toddler having a tantrum in the middle of the night because OF ANYTHING! 
  29. it's true, the last 10lbs are the hardest to lose. WTF metabolism!?
  30. y'know how some women swear by breastfeeding as the source of their weight loss? yeah I'm not one of those women!!
  31. don't fall for the girl toy and boy toy marketing, babies and kids don't give a fuck naturally. it's however the people they are surrounded by that teach them gender specific appropriateness, super frustrating.
  32. nothing wrong with some distracted parenting, i can't be ON in mom mode 24/7
  33. skin to skin immediately after birth, get your bacteria on those babies! your hormones will be in a frenzy
  34. even in an apartment setting, a baby monitor is necessary for us. I can't hear a thing when she's in the other room
  35. wondering whether to start a sippy cup or straw cup first? buy one of each. Max took a straw cup only, Mikkel used a sippy and then bam one day knew how to use a straw. don't sweat it!
  36. i get really worked up on things that will happen months and weeks in advance. ie. how to train her to sleep in a crib for naps. I've come to realize that I'm a last minute decision maker especially when I'm unsure about an approach. i like to get some background experiences for options, but can only decide on the multitude of options at the last minute
  37. i don't feel the need to travel long distances or going to many places overnight with 0-12month olds. yes I'm lucky that my immediate family is close by, but i am also not one to steer away from night routines. if there's something i will go out of my way for, it's to carry on with night routines; same place same bed. it helps me more than anyone, travelling can wait, sleepless nights affects me for days! 
  38. maternity leave is deadly for an online shopper. baby asleep? free time? shopping! no thanks to Pinterest and complete utter convenience! why is it so easy to drop $100 online but harder when in person? 
  39. IKEA has plenty of pieces that make great makeshift bathtubs. after they're done with that stage, repurpose the 'tub' back to what it was meant to be used for. For example, the TORKIS basket
  40. speaking of baths though, I'm still against soaps and shampoos for babies. they're not dirty. 0-6months = sponge bath, maybe every other day. 6+ months or whenever they're sitting up? = bathroom sink for play factor
  41. having a daughter is a great excuse to buy expensive luxury handbags :op
  42. i was really into the diaper genie but then once poop started to be once a day, i just threw the diaper in the kitchen garbage, double bagged for smell. it does stink up the house if left for long periods. those diaper genie rings add up in costs! 
  43. forget those ugly nursing/breastfeeding specific shirts! Keep on trend with shirts that button up and flowy for an easy lift. Vancouver has been AMAZING for breastfeeding ANYWHERE and  EVERYWHERE (my latest has been on a moving sky train)
  44. forget white shirts, any white shirt. kids will wipe themselves on you and throw things at you (not maliciously). might as well add dry clean only and shirts you love and don't want to wash every 3 days or less
  45. when your child is old enough, you don't need to force them on the breast. just sit there with your breast exposed and it's like a magnet- coming at you with their mouths open wide
  46. best wipes are from Costco (Kirkland) and cheapest place to buy Pampers are Walmart. I'm obsessed with pampers codes!
  47. even though i do 95% of the work around here, husband's 5% of measly help is still useful in its own way. i guess ill keep him after all! 
  48. she will be my last kid because another will end our marriage! see your husband 24/7? no thanks!
  49. i can't keep myself organized electronically. everything has to be written out on pieces of paper, in my agenda, and oh all the ideas and wise things i think of come while breastfeeding and before I sleep where and when i don't have my agenda with me and forget within an hour of thinking of it
  50. the only show i've watched while on mat leave religiously is Breakfast television. otherwise, i hate it when the TV is on. Very overstimulating when you already have 2 kids + husband + pet. Commercials, vocal ranges and volumes, flashing lights etc.. Surprisingly though, the radio hasn't irritated me. I've found entertainment in being alone, peace and quiet, my computer, and phone
  51. maternity leave is expensive. there's just so many things to do when you've established a routine with the kids! buy this, eat that, go here...yay! 
  52. there's nothing more exciting than going retail shopping ALONE where I can spend a healthy amount of time somewhere, try on things, think about things, go nuts buying or just window shopping. love it!

i thought i couldn't love another more than I do my #1, but now I can't imagine my family without my wonderful baby #2, Mikkel!
52 Moments, 52 weeks (and then some) off! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

My Birthday Wishlist!!

This month I'm turning the ripe young age of 34!

My birthday has really now just become another day when I turn a year older.  I think I look relatively young (ok young on Snapchat filters ha!), I definitely feel like I'm not a day over 30ish- however being woken up at 530am and literally crawling (vs. bouncing) out of bed makes me feel hella old. My responsibilities are quite heavy and grownup, nevertheless very doable and i'm motivated. Married (check), home ownership (check), done with having babies and the sleep deprivation attached (conquered), lifelong career (check)- ready to add some sweet, salty, sour, and spicy to my mid thirties. Whatever 34 has to offer, i'm as ready as ill ever be!

(c/o Pinterest)

As far as gifting, there's nothing like getting all excited about some birthday presents! Believe me when I tell you that I don't need anything, I'm a want for nothing gal. This wish list is primarily for myself, a visual on all the material things that I'm currently lusting after that I may or may not splurge on. TREAT YO' SELF to something expensive says my sister!

Anyways, my wish list In no particular order!

  1. Louis Vuitton Keepall 55 Bandouliere 55 in Macassar - I'm in this mindset that if I get one well made item, then that's all I will never need of that particular item. I'm currently in the market for a carry on bag that'll hold some essentials for myself and the kids. I've always heard that a carry on should include a couple days worth of needs in case the check in gets lost, the 55 should suffice (vs. the Keepall 45). Because anything can happen to vachetta leather, the Macassar is the most care free option. Great weekender bag too, but even better when Mikkel is potty trained as diapers don't need to be a space hog. 
  2. Chanel Le Boy flap bag- it's true when you really are interested in something, you see it around everywhere in the city, seemingly on anyone and everyone. Feels a lot like when I was trying to get pregnant, every.single.woman around the corner had a baby or bump. So here lies the Le Boy bag; beautiful, cross body, casual everyday jeans and tshirt vibe yet epitome of luxury handbags. I'm thinking black caviar with ruthenium hardware ideally, but how many black bags do i own? too many. Maybe Navy with ruthenium hardware? Bold colours would be cool but I wear too many dark colours and am afraid of colour transfer on such an expensive bag. Want!
  3. Gucci Jordaan Leather Loafer- looking forward to transitioning into my favourite season with the timeless loafer that'll carry me through many years. my Fall-Winter uniform of long coat and skinny jeans work well with the menswear inspired shoe, an original fashion house design of over 60 years old. I'm done with crap fast fashion shoes at retail price, as I get older i'm loving shoes that mold to my feet and can be resoled over and over again with the cost per wear going down over the years. Also, because my foot size has gone up a whole shoe size since baby #2, my feet are house hunting!
  4. Jo Malone fragrance- i love stopping by the Jo Malone section at Nordstrom and taking a whiff at all the different scents. I think Holt Renfrew has a section but I don't recall them having that table of samples? Someone correct me if i'm wrong. Anyways, I don't love them all but from the ones I do like, I can't decide which one I love more and willing to drop $120+ on a bottle! Unlike many other fragrances, I feel like the scents are natural- on me, I'm like a walking Sage Wellness instead of Bath and Body Works, y'know what I mean? 
  5. Danish Teak Lounger- i love mid century modern and currently in the market for a lounger to complete our living room. Current criteria includes: Danish teak, clean profile, stamped Made In Denmark or has the maker's mark, open to reupholstering, a pair preferred but 1 will do, ottoman a bonus but not essential. Plenty of MCM retail stores here but id rather save some costs and wait on craigslist- with that, I'm in competition with so many teak hounds. I don't know how they do it, do they refresh the site every minute or something? right place right time? the fastest we've ever sold our teak furniture was literally 4 minutes, item unseen by buyer!
  6. Northwest Coast Native Wrap Ring- I love love love West Coast Native jewellery, something about the carving, design, and symbolism speaks to me. my favourite carver is Alvin Adkins and i have a few of his pieces. I'm looking to add a ring to my collection but still trying to find the right one, or rather the right one will one day choose me if that makes any sense. My fav gallery is just far enough that I can't visit often unless it's a special occasion. This love for native art is something Gene and I have in common, if when we were to get new wedding bling, we'd take gold Native design over diamond any day. 
  7. works of art by Norval Morrisseau- this is a long shot for this year (or for any year who am I kidding? lol), but maybe if I win the lotto?! Other than Ted Harrison, Norval Morisseau is one artist I would spend a small fortune on to adorn my walls. I'd die for 1 large authentic piece! Legend states he used to sell his pieces in Vancouver to fund his addiction decades ago, wow! 

happy birth month to me!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stop the Clock! Mikkel is 11 months old!

hair: natural side part on the right side with longer bangs. really itching to get a hair clip or tie up her hair into a little pony tail.
eyes: Brown centres, grey rims
weight: SOLID

head: No new teeth in month 10 and I don't see any teeth in the next week or so. gets super excited when we're about to wake up her brother, nearly bouncing while in my arms (heavy!). she really really loves her brother, and has smiles for him whenever she lays eyes on him. she started dancing this last month, and by dancing she either does vertical pushups while standing, or bouncing on her legs with arms up, or just bobbing her head up and down on the spot. Thriller by Michael Jackson was the flavour of the month. Currently notices things all around her now; lights, art, pictures of family and says "hooooo hoooooo" with cute curled lips. 

cries: she sucks at travelling, truly hates being restrained by the carseat. we had to go to UBC to visit someone at the hospital and I had to bring tonnes of entertainment for her alone. the iPad is not something she's interested in at all! if she is tired of a toy, she throws it over her shoulder where I cannot reach (i sit in the back with them), so by the end of the trip (a 40 minute trip), my bag of goodies is on the floor and my ears are deaf from her squawking, shrieking, crying. She also 'fights' with Max will on the car seat- as she is rear facing, she swings her leg over his forward facing space and pushes/semi kicks him. the more i stop her from doing so, the more she escalates. 

GI: i feel like I'm running out of food ideas, because i don't eat that great either. refuses to be spoon fed altogether as an added bonus. for breakfast, it's often an apple, toast, scrambled egg (she's good with egg whites, phew!), despises apple sauce now. for lunch, there's always some sort of chicken and fries wedges plus fruit. Dinner is what we're having plus fruit. she likes peas thankfully as they're so easy to make. i save parts of our dinner to give to her for lunch the next day too. lots of carbs, she's a carb freak like me. she really loves this Munchkin Click Lock Bite Proof Trainer Cup, able to take it and drink on her own...and drops it on the floor. She doesn't like any other cup and will just throw it to the ground without drinking- how is this trial and error of kids stuff even affordable? 

feeding: I reduced the number and frequency of her feeds in month 10 just to prep her for my absence while at work. During month 10, i fed her on waking in the am, after breakfast, mini top up before going out (maybe), after lunch, sometimes after nap if she woke up before 4pm, but not if she woke up after or she'll have less appetite for dinner. always a feed to drowsy during bed time routine. I definitely tried to feed food before breastfeeding this last month. if it was a scorcher day, i was more relaxed about hydration via breast.

^^ extra happy face ^^

GU: pampers baby dry #4

skin/body: chunks of love. still fits in the bathroom sink for her bedtime wash, tried to put her in the big tub by herself and with her go.

communication: her first word is definitely "Daddy" and was said this month. when Gene wakes up, she randomly started saying "dadddddyyyy" and followed him on multiple occasions. Randomly when Gene and Max went to the washroom at a restaurant, she stopped eating and kept saying "dadddddyyyy" for about 1 minute (pretty long in kid vocab!) as she looked around. yep, thanks kid! Also, if she Max tries to take something from her while they're playing, she shrieks or squawks quite loudly but doesn't put up a lingering fight, just resistance.

muscle strength: crawls long distances and looks for me by searching each room. it's just fantastically heart warming and adorable. furniture cruising. pulling herself up with one arm easy.

hands: Like there's no change with these claws, as evidenced by all the scarring on my chest from her scratching. she's also pinching. not sure what i loathe more??!

legs: the only thing frustrating her while crawling are her skirts, they just get right under her knees and pull her down and her body becomes a barrier.

play: any type of peekaboo, tickling. frequent books are Goodnight Moon, Baby Animals sounds, this hand puppet book with a pig, and an ABC book (links to follow eventually). Eating crayons tsktsk 

sleep: looks like she's staying up longer, bed time routine was pushed forward to 640pm during month 10 with her falling asleep at 710pm-ish. 
current schedule: wake up 515-530am (yeah i know!)
-nap at 1015am for 30 minutes
-nap at 2pm for 1.5-2 hours
This month 10, i let her fuss for 1 night (15 minutes) after her first waking and she slept the entire night with no feed! carried on for the rest of the month! Love the Homedics sound machine too for all of our sleep comforts.
On JULY 21st, I let her sleep in the crib for a nap for the first time EVER! She did cry for 10 minutes and then fell asleep for 1.5 hours with the white noise machine and fan blasting. It can happen!! 

how she sleeps: carrier for naps, bouncing to sleep. in her playpen pushed to the darkest park of the room for night sleep. breastfeed till drowsy, but this month I waited only 5 minutes before putting her down in crib as opposed to the 10-12 minutes i used to wait before putting her down and leaving room. sure she fussed, but maybe for 2 minutes max, her body is really ready for sleep at that hour. always sleeps on her tummy. 

as for me: thinking about back to work process. too many things happened in month 10 (parents moving, resettling, mom had surgery, sister moved etc) that i don't feel like much happened with me, myself, and I. I have some goals for Mikkel's new routines to start in month 11 and am finding that i feel more motivated now and can make decisions easier. added pressure helps me see clarity maybe? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What's In My Bag - 2 kids edition

I don't know about you, but I enjoy seeing what people are carrying in their bags. I'm just nosey like that :op

From regular purses, to luxury purses, to diaper bags; i like to see what not only fits (if I were to consider purchasing that bag) but also some ideas on what I could carry to make my trekking with two kids much easier. If it seems as though I carry a lot, it's because we're pedestrians 98% of the time; Max on bike + Mikkel stroller/carrier (walking), or Mikkel on carrier + Max on Stroller (using transit and or walking), or Mikkel on carrier + Max walking (using transit).

This was my bag BABY EDITION (1 Child)
This was my bag TODDLER EDITION (1 child)
Without further ado, here's my luggage with 2 kids!:

my purse

  1. mini purse (approx 7" length) for essentials only. I've learned to trim down a lot as a heavy bag and a kid on the carrier was just way too physically exhausting. One handed closure is a must with two kids!
  2. coin purse (from Turkey!) for candy machine quarters, rewards cards, and gift cards
  3. double sided card holder that holds essential plastics: credit card, debit card, ID card, Compass pass
  4. emergency snack for Max; PC organic fruit leathers in any flavour
  5. compact mirror, also used as a toy for either kid (buys me at least 5 minutes of time!!)
  6. key pouch that currently holds at least 6 keys. keeps keys organized and pressed down nearly flat. it also protects the inside of your purses from getting scratched up
  7. Spiderman and Star Wars bandaids for the win!
  8. fabulous lipstick, helps me face the daily challenges when i feel great
  9. emergency liners to buy me time, damn you aunt Flo!
  10. iphone 4

my diaper bag
  1. this Fjallraven Kanken bag is nearly a bottomless pit of space. to boot, once I'm done with needing a diaper bag, Max will take it over as a school backpack. The style has stood the test of time, stylish, and very comfortable
  2. best on the go wipes packaging c/o Kirkland from Costco
  3. best diaper changing station c/o SKIP HOP! useful on the ground, in public washrooms, public change rooms, on a bench, anywhere and everywhere
  4. food for the kids. squeeze pouch, rice puffs, some egg and fries for Mikkel. Cashews, apples, and a sandwich for Max if we aren't eating out
  5. love this Tommee Tippee  bib because it rolls into a compact size and the little pocket catches Mikkel's food waste
  6. phone charger; my batt life sucks
  7. toiletries: tissues, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, Tide to go, random lip stick
  8. fork and spoon set from Daiso, love this for when we're eating out and plastics are of poor quality (and some bad for the environment)
  9. S'WELL bottle that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours. it's also the only water bottle that fits in the Kanken external pockets
  10. bubble wand (it's summer after all!)
  11. washable crayola felts for whenever they need to be occupied. Also a chewing toy for Mikkel ha!

the stroller compartments

The umbrella stroller I have has the undercarriage but I also bought the awesome J.L Childress Cups 'N Cargo Organizer for added compartments- really, one can never have enough compartments!

  1. I have this pacifier holder for Max's soothers (yes he still uses them to queue him to nap) when we have to be out during nap hours. they keep the soothers clean, child #1 gets sleep anywhere- although lately, he can't fall asleep in the stroller anymore (cuz he's too big for the allotted space but he still wants to go on)
  2. various toys for both, the favourite here is the Kazoo
  3. because it's summer, hats are essential
  4. seeds for when we feed the ducks (did you know bread is not recommended duck food?)
  5. quick grab napkins from various fast food joints because someone is always making a mess 
  6. hand sanitizer, we are transit users after all. Don't worry though, I don't overkill on these antibacterial products, I'm not afraid of germs. Also, SPF 50+ kids sunscreen for all of us. Ombrelle is the only brand I am NOT allergic to
  7. quick grab diapers for Mikkel when a sink is available and I can wash her bum instead of going through the lie down and wipes motion- she also won't stay still while supine so washing her bum as she stands is the path of least resistance
  8. in the Spring/Summer/Fall time, we often have picnics together. this old table cloth can be folded into a small size (fits under the backpack in the undercarriage) yet folds out to a relatively large space for us comfortably to sit, eat, and play around the city. we're always ready to picnic! 

Any recommendations on what I should carry?
Should stop carrying?
Hope you enjoyed
'Tis the life! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Four Year Old Tantrums

Have I ever said that FOUR YEARS OLD was my favourite age?
if I did, I take it back.
If I haven't, yes, it continues to NOT be.
There's truth when they say, "Fcking Fours!"

Funny stuff to lighten the air (c/o Pinterest).

and of course, to bring me back down to parenting basics, sometimes an image or an article shows up on my Facebook feed at the right time. I need a CONSTANT reminder of this! (thanks Helen!)


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