Friday, November 27, 2009
From the time we were pregnant with Christophe there was no doubt that I would nurse him, we never researched formula or even looked at any. But if you would have asked me 10 or 15 years ago if I would nurse a baby when it was my turn to become a mom I think I would have said "I don't know?" I don't remember seeing anyone breastfeed as a child, I was not breastfeed. I know my aunt Monique breastfeed her children but it was always behind closed doors other then that I don't remember anyone else breastfeeding. I grew up in a world of bottles and formula.
It was definitely not from my childhood that I got my passion for breastfeeding.
So I look back at what point did i decide that breast was best. I don't think it was a conscious decision but something must have influenced me because when we got pregnant with Christophe there was really no question about it - I was going to nurse no matter what it took. And then it dawned upon me; who was the first person I saw breastfeeding that made it look like there was no other choice - our friend Kim. She was so determined to nurse her little boy no matter all the odds that were stacked up against her (at least that is the way it seemed at the time) that I finally realized that breastmilk is oh so important for babies that mothers who also realise that will go through hell achieving a nursing relationship with their babies.
If someone is willing to go through what seems like pure torture at the time to establish their milk supply and a proper latch so their baby can breastfeed when their is such an easy way out it must be extremely important to them and their baby.
Thank you Kim, without you who know Christophe might have been a formula fed bed (I hate even how that sounds.)
This all being said I don't want to scare new moms breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt, if you are experience any kind of pain or discomfort seek professional help. Your baby should be gaining weight after about one week of life and be back up to their birth weight after 2 weeks, if your baby is not gaining weight seek professional help. A midwife, lactation consultant, La Leche League leader or your doctor can help you - and remember most breastfeeding challenges are fixable - if you really want to nurse you can do it - all you need is some help.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
- bow wow
- pokpok (this is his sound for a chicken)
- zrooom (this is his sound for an elephant)
- ppp (the noise a fish makes)
- there it is
- en haut
- wewonwewon (the noise emergency vehicles make)
- bye bye
- guliguli (this is a imaginary that is in a song we sing)
- uh oh
- baa baa
- what's this
- mumm mumm ( when something is yummy )
- oh ( when he sees something he likes )
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's official if you have a Maclaren Stroller it's probably been recalled.
The Hazard as described in the recall - The stroller's hinge mechanism poses a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to the child when the consumer is unfolding/opening the stroller.
For recall information:
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Avalon Orchards is an organic apple orchard with a u-pick operation as well as organic cider which they package in glass bottles. We're pleased with the cider, and it's difficult to find organic cider in glass bottles, so it's nice to be able to buy it at all, let alone in cases. The price on-site this year was $30 for 12 bottles, which is about $2.50 per 1L bottle.
We had a good time. I think it's likely we'll return next year. I also took some pictures, of course.
Christophe was scared of the Queen Ann's Lace; this was the only time he was willing to touch it, and immediately wanted to be picked up:
Christophe, modeling his new fox hat:
Christophe loved the tractor, although the exhaust fumes were a little much:
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
He has now had his pillow for about 1 month and sleeps on it about half the time.
When looking for a pillow you need to consider many aspects including whether or not you feel you child is ready - if you and an inclination of doubt about your toddler and pillow then wait. I had a hard time finding definitive information as to when is it appropriate to give a pillow to a child; what I found ranged from 18months to 3 years old. Christophe is on the lower end of that scale at 18 months (when he got the pillow) however he had already been climbing onto our pillow at night since he was about 12 months old. One of the key components that I found was consistence in everyones advice is - NO PILLOWS UNTIL YOUR CHILD IS OUT OF HIS CRIB.
There are thousands of types of pillows to chose out there I wont list them all, instead I will just talk about the one we ended up choosing for him. We selected a natural shredded rubber pillow and purchased it at Grassroots; it's a custom order and took about 1 1/2 months to get to us. The reason why we chose shredded rubber over cotton or wool is that we wanted something that was machine washable and hypoallergenic. Natural and organic materials were also very important to us; therefor this pillow had it all.
At the same time we ordered one standard pillow to keep in his room from me that way I did not need to drag one of my pillows in there each time he wok and wanted me to stay with him.
So far we are happy the pillows, mine is actually one of the most comfortable pillows I have ever had. Christophe seems to enjoy his he understands it's his and it matches with mine and that makes him happy.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I brought my camera, as I'm wont to do. I was able to shoot some pictures of a month-old baby gorilla:
I was also able to get this picture of a butterfly which I'm pretty partial to:
There were of course some other nice photos, including the kids:
Sunday, September 27, 2009
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped
- 4 cups frozen corn kernels
- 4 cups veg. chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 cups milk
1. combine all ingredients except cheese, butter, milk and parsley
2. cook on low for 8 to 10 hours until vegetables are tender
3. stir in butter and cheese until melted - cook for an additional 30 mins
4. serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I tried this recipe today:
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups cold water
In a medium pan, mix all the ingredients together to make the finger paint. Cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring the finger paint mixture until it is smooth and thick. After the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool.
After cooling, divide the finger paint into storage containers depending on how many colors you would like. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container. Seal and shake to mix in color. Cover tightly when storing.
Normally I would caution against using food coloring in a recipe as many food dyes are controversial when it come to your health; however I think making your own paint and knowing what goes into it outweighs this concern.
HAVE FUN PAINTING - I KNOW WE WILL BE
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Today now that I am a more savvy stay at home mom I need to add a few more criteria to this list - so now we are looking for:
- 100% cotton
- 200+ thread count
- Neutral color
- no flame retardants
- Fair trade (optional)
When you get sheets you want to make sure you get good quality sheets something that will last well this is where thread count (tc) comes in. Thread count refers to the number of threads, both vertical and horizontal, in a one-inch square of fabric. With my experience I find the more you have the stronger your fabric is and the softer the fabric is. This is not the only determining factor for these but a good guide. For example we got 400 tc once and really hated the sheets. So open the package and touch them first.
I used to buy sheets in some sort of fun color to match my room and often I would end up getting rid of them before they ripped whether because I got tired of them or I changed the decor and they did not match anymore. Now we only buy unbleached or natural sheets that way all our sheets match, you don't have to worry about matching pillowcases and so one. Also no matter the decor of your room the sheets will go with it. A plus to natural sheets is they give you that hotel feel when you slip into bed.
You have to keep in mind that cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop on the planet; "twenty-five percent of all insecticide is applied to cotton. Two hundred chemicals might be applied to a single plant in one season in the United States. This translates to a third of a pound of chemicals per pound of cotton fiber. One and a quarter pounds of agricultural chemicals are used in California to produce the conventionally grown cotton in a single set of queen-sized sheets."1
Buying organic cotton products can have a large impact on the enviroment - for the positive.
NO FLAME RETARDANTS (PBDEs)
We cover everything that is man mad in flame retardants so it does not go poof if their is a fire. When the easiest solution is to surround yourself in natural fibers with no chemicals so they don't go poof if their is a fire. Flame retardants are bad when it comes to close contact with you; now don't get me wrong I think their are places where flame retardants are required but my bed sheets is not one of them.
Why are flame retardants bad? "Health Effects related to Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs): Brain and nervous system, Reproduction and fertility, Persistent and bioaccumulative, Neurotoxin; brain damage."2
The perfect sheets according to me that is...
So when we needed to get some bedding for Christophe both for his crib and now his toddler bed we looked arround at what was readily available here in Toronto that met our critarias and ended up on going with Coyuchi. These meet all of my critarias and I can get them at 2 stores that are within walking distance from my house: Kids on the Hip and Grassroots.
Depending on where you shop a fitted crib sheet will cost you about $45CND; a fitted twin sheet $80CND; and a fitted king sheet $105CND. These are well worth it we used our crib sheets for about a year and washed them once every 2 weeks and they still look like new.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sometimes I wonder if he is getting anything out of it because he will sit for half the class then take of running - but that is the great thing about this setting Eva is OK with that. As long as your child is around music that is all that matters. However when we pass by her house and Christophe starts crying because he wants to go to class and I told him their is no class today - I know he must be getting something out of this.
I have been to various baby music classes and circle times but their is something special about Eva's classes, I think it's her kind hearted nature and awesome mothering that comes true in her classes. Each class is structured with it's own theme and follows a basic outline. We sing some songs, we play instruments, we dance to Eva playing the fiddle them we sing some more songs. Christophe particularly likes the fiddle and dancing. I think that is because of his spirited behavior.
Last session I met a few of my blog readers there and it was great; hopefully I might see a few more of you again this time around.
Oh almost forgot one of the best things about Music for life is the cost per class is probably one of the best deals you will find in Toronto.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Date: October 3rd 2009
Time: Registration 9:30AM
Location: Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, 711 Bloor Street East (Castle Frank Subway)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Arugula Salad with Pears & Beets
3 cups arugula (washed and torn)
8 small beets
2 pears, sliced
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup crumbled feta
¼ cup chopped pecans
Salt and pepper, to taste
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper; whisk until mixture is smooth.
In a bowl, toss arugula with 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing. Arrange arugula onto four salad plates. Toss pears and beets with remaining dressing. Arrange over the arugula.
Sprinkle cheese and pecans over the salad.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I've finally dug the coffee grinder out from one of the various boxes, and so I've started to use the cup, and I'm actually pretty fond of it. Besides the kitsch of a ceramic cup that looks like a paper one, it's a decent size, it feels good to the hand, it's got good thermal insulation (I can't even tell there's hot coffee in there once it's closed), which means the coffee stays fairly warm, and it doesn't seem to leak, which has been a problem for me with lots of plastic cups with rubber washers and screw threads that you'd think would prevent such a thing.
Anyway -- I'm pleased.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Check out this great contest at This Mom Can Shop for some Livie Luca Shoes...
Bonne fete du 15 Aout a tout les Acadien et Cajun au tour du monde.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
½ pound fresh green beans
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh mint leaves*
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ tsp salt
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 cup toasted walnuts*
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup feta cheese* (crumbled)
Wash beans and trim ends then cut into thirds. Parboil by dropping into salted boiling water for 2 - 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water for 5 minutes, then drain well and chill. Meanwhile, cut zucchini into ¼” semi-circles, fry or grill until crisp tender. Allow to cool. In food processor, combine oil, mint leaves, vinegar, salt, garlic and pepper and process 20 seconds then set aside.
Place beans and zucchini in a serving bowl and top with toasted walnuts, red onion and feta. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Best if made 2 hours ahead of time or the day before to develop flavors.
*Don’t have mint, walnuts or feta? Any herb, nut and cheese combination would work – Try: pine nuts, basil and parmesan; or almonds, parsley and a shaved hard cheese.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
So, we as mothers and fathers are not perfect. Here are some of the less fine moments from the Wiseman house: I tripped with Christophe in my sling; Christophe wiped out on our wet kitchen floor; Christophe opened the stove door onto his head (it really sounds worse than it was); Christophe crawled into his crib rails while sleeping and gaves himself a bloody nose (this one scared the crap out of me)...
I know I am not alone out there in this world of "not as perfect as we seem" mothers. One of my friends' little one learned how to roll on the change table; another one had her little one surprise them in the middle of the night when they climbed out of their crib; someone else saw their little one tumble down 2 concrete steps because they could not react fast enough. (Everyone mentioned above is 100% A-OK)
I have also been witness to a mother lapse in judgement while trying to juggle a baby and toddler; the baby rolled to the ground from the top of a cafe table; another time in the same cafe a toddler accidentally poured a cup of hot coffee on themselves. (Once again everyone is fine)
So, are our kids made from rubber? Sometimes I think they are; but that is not the point of this post. The point is that we are all human. We try our best to be on guard for all dangers that lurk around the corner and sometimes the dangers win.
I just want to remind everyone that our first and foremost responsibility as a parent is to love and protect our kids.
Oh, and did I ever mention we think Christophe ate a rivet once?
I dare you to share some of our not so perfect moments...
Saturday, August 1, 2009
In honor of world breastfeeding week here is a compilation of on-line links with breastfeeding information:
- World Breastfeeding Week
- Breastfeeding Committee for Canada
- Australian Breastfeeding Association
- Baby Friendly USA
- Baby Milk Action Coalition
- Human Milk Banking Association of North America
- The international Baby Food Action Network
- International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
- International Lactation Consultant Association
- INFACT Canada
- La Leche League Canada
- La Leche League GB
- Global Breastfeeding Challenge 2009
- Well Start International
- World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
- World Health Organization
- La Leche League International
- AnotherLook Breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS
- National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy
- Dr. Jack Newman
Remember the WHO recomandes that all babies if possible are exclusively breastfed until they are 6 months of age; breastfeeding is to continue until the child reaches 2 years of age or outgrows the need.
Friday, July 24, 2009
"On Wednesday I was in Ikea Redhook in the middle of breastfeeding, fully covered, when I was told I had to stop doing "that" and go to the nearby family bathroom. The Ikea employee and security guards were extremely rude to us. I was hustled off to the bathroom and then had to wait because someone else was using it. I was humiliated, my daughter was upset from being interrupted in the middle of her feed. When eventually I gave up and headed for the car to finish feeding, the security guards who had seen the entire event insisted on checking my receipts. I'm putting together a formal complaint to IKEA. I was wondering if
this has happened to anyone else?"
Just another reason why I dont like Ikea right now.
Luckily I am an Interior Designer so I was able to measure design and turn around a preliminary floor plan and elevations for my kitchen in a day; so off we went to Ikea North York on June 28 to purchase my kitchen. I had already chosen at home all the Ikea finishes that I wanted (their website is extremely detailed); they even have a kitchen planning toll online that I would have used instead of drawing my plans by hand other then the fact that the software is not compatible with a MAC. We go to the kitchen section of Ikea and I find someone in a yellow shirt; this is a brief description of our conversation:
Me: I would like to speak to someone to ensure that the kitchen I've designs works and then get some help to make sure I have all the components.
Ikea: Did you plan your kitchen using our kitchen planner?
Me: No, but I am an Interior Designer and I have full plans and elevations of the kitchen.
Ikea: You have to enter your kitchen in our kitchen planner; let me set you up - it should not take you too long. We will also place your name on a list so someone will come to talk to you.
Me: The only reason I did not use your kitchen planner was that it does not work with a MAC
Ikea: Yeah we know you should have just come straight in to the store; here is everything you need to get started.
I would like to point out that the whole family (Geoff, Chrstophe and me) left for Ikea that day around 10am. So I sit down get started various people come around and tell me how the plan looks great; wow you have such a big project, your kitchen it going to look great, and to answer various questions I have. Lunch rolls around we have pasta at the Ikea restaurant (the kitchen planning tool lets me save my kitchen on-line o I could leave freely and come back as I needed). After lunch I come back and finalize my kitchen around 4:30pm it's done I am finally ready to order. You ask why it took so long?
- If I could have used the planning tool with my MAC I could have came in with a plan already inputted in their oh so sacred kitchen planning tool
- Every time I tried to add a upper cupboards the system would go bonkers
- I could not override the pulls to mix and match the styles (we are using long D pulls and want to select the length based on the size of the door or the drawer)
- Unless you have a perfectly square room the programme does not seem to like you and gives you a hard to to place cabinets in that will need to be cut to fit your room
- Every time I tried to rotate my 3D drawing it would zoom all the way in and I would have to restart looking at the 3D a few times before it worked
- Whenever I wanted to speak to someone i had to wait 15 to 30 minutes on average. 15 minutes is acceptable; 30 minutes is a bit long. One time I waited almost 45 minutes. they really need more staff.
- Will the cabinets fit with the height of my ceiling?
- Will my range hood fit with the height of my ceiling?
- What pieces will have to be cut to fit - so when everything gets home I know what to do.
- Can I actually cut all the pieces we talked about?
- What is the return policy
- What is the warranty
- Is there anything I did not ask or seem to have though about that your expertise as an Ikea Kitchen Planner can add?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Rona (Warden and Eglinton) - I needed to get 3 items in 3 different departments at Rona, after wondering the aisles for 30 minutes and not finding what I needed, I decided to try to get help. I found the first person available they said "I don't work that department let me page someone." Thirty minutes later I had help. I then asked that person about something in the next department they gave me the same answer and again 30 minutes later I had help; needless to say the same thing happend for the 3rd item I needed. 3 hours later I was at the checkout with a screaming baby in arms that was just about as fed up as I was. If it would not be for the fact that we had about $400 in gift certificates at Rona I would not have entered the store again for the duration of the project.
Home Depot (Gerrard Square) - This is our close large hardware store we end up going here for almost everthing just because it is only a few minutes drive away. The service is hit and miss everyone is always nice but you can't trust what they say more then once we have been mislead on how to use a product. Like the guy who said the concrete board should face label-side out when the labels were randomly placed on smooth and rough sides, and, in fact, the orientation depends on whether or not you're using mortar or adhesive on top.
Home Hardware (Gerrard and Coxwell) - Amazing bunch of guys that work here, they are very knowlegeble and friendly however the store is very small so you can not always get what you want.
Lowes (Warden and Eglinton) - I hate saying this but I am impressed with Lowes, the staff knows what they are talking about, you get service fast, the staff is extra nice. The store is huge so they pretty much always have what we need. I hope this lasts, our Lowes is pretty new.
And that is that on hardware stores. Basically, Rona has lost my business except for when we have gift cards there (I say this because you can cash in Air Miles for Rona gift cards); Home Depot could probably treat us like crap and we would go back just because they are convenient; Home Hardware is my first stop for little things; Lowes has definitely won me over and if I need to price compare I will make the trip.
My mom and dad are down from NB helping (thank you so much). 3 weeks into the reno, my dad is now working on getting the floor ready for my new cork floor. The walls are up and painted; same goes for the ceiling.
I wish we could have done the full kitchen eco-friendly but cost restriction and timing prohibited us from doing so. However I did consider the enviroment at many points in the kitchen reno; below are some of the decisions that we made that are in part green.
- Cork Floor: When cork is harvested the tree is not destroyed and then replanted but rather the bark is trimmed from the tree every 9 years, leaving the tree and the forest undamaged. Its not unusual to have a 200 year old tree still producing cork bark. Cork flooring is actually made from the waste of the cork wine stopper manufacturing process so cork flooring is a recycled product.
- Sico Go Prime Duo 100% Acrylic Latex Primer- Sealer and Undercoat: This is a great all purpose primer with less then 78.38g/L of VOC's. I knwo there are some primers out there that have 0g/L VOC however we had some primer left over from a previous project and in our time restraints could not get our hands on anything that had a lower VOC count.
- Sico Paint Chamois: This is a 0g/L VOC paint; however the tint does add some VOC, the darker your paint the more VOC in it. Once again I know more eco-friendly options exist but we had all the paint we needed left over from previous projects.
- I would have loved to get a LED light fixture for the kitchen but the up front cost is too much for us; instead we got a light fixture that could accomodate a compact florecent bulb. When chosing your light fixture make sure to always double check that a compact fluorescent bulb will fit, they are bigger then their incandescent conterparts.
- We are reusing our existing cabinet pulls. We don't have enough to do the full kitchen so the uppers will have the old pulls reused and the lowers are going to have new pulls giving the kitchen a unique fun look.
- An Ikea kitchen we chose Ikea for a few reasons first they are inexpensive secondly they do have a good enviromental practice. Ikea is not perfect but they do try harder then many companies out there to find out more check out : http://www.theikeaway.ca/en/home.html.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
"100,000 on The Hill is a peaceful demonstration and public plea for strong climate policy. This gathering of Canadians in person and spirit aims to show our government that Canadians support proactive, internationally acceptable climate policy." - 100,000 on the Hill.
Get involved now.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
We started with the Klean Kanteen the problem here was that it looked too much like ours and he wanted a cap that matched ours and one the same size of ours.
Then we tried the Safe Sippy, he still has no clue how to get water out of it.
Then we realized he could drink from a straw so we bought the first BPA free sippy cup with a straw that we saw the Nuby.
But it was made from plastic so when I saw a friend with the Foogo we had to get one and that is Christophe sippy cup today.
For the healthy, full-term baby breast milk is the only food necessary until baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.
When and how did you introduce solids and a cup?
We decided as couple to introduce solids to Christophe right around 6 months (I think it was slightly pass that.) his “first” food was sweet potatoes that I prepared myself. I placed “food” in brackets because he did not any and still refuses to eat sweet potatoes. We were determined to make all his food and follow the guidelines that we would introduce one food at a time; however after 2 months of him not eating anything I turn to my mom friends and asked what they were doing and took the advice that seemed to suit me and went with it. So when Christophe was about 7 1/2 months old we decided since there are no major allergies in our family out with rules...
We started giving him little bit of everything we were eating; generally speaking we eat pretty healthy so we figured it was ok. By this time Christophe had already mastered saying no by shaking his head (thanks to my dad - I do not say this with any enthusiasm my father thinks its funny I hate it as we had worked so hard to that point to never use the word no around Christophe) so each time we approached his face with food he would shake it and say no; however sometimes he could be convinced to put food in his mouth himself. So out with the muchy food... We would give him large chunks of soft fruits and veggies (he had not yet mastered the pincer grasp) and small bits of food so he could practice his pincer grasp. We quickly realizes we had a very picky eater on our hands. Christophe (still to this day) will not eat anything that is too soft, too slimy, liquidy, leafy, sticky (that is not to drink), orange, purple, yellow, as a matter a fact any colour that is not red, beige (bread colour), brown, white or green (he likes green that is so weird). - Thank God for my milk I think he might have of malnutrition by now if he still did not nurse 8 to 14 times a day. Oh I forgot he still wont eat anything that he can’t feed himself, I am so happy he is learning to master the fork and spoon these days.
A cup? hum I think we started at the same time as solids - however i really can’t remember. We started by offering water with his meals only, this seemed to encourage him to eat more - some days. (Actually we tried cup feeding him milk when he was less then a month old but he never took to it so we stuck with tub feeding.) Introducing a cup and other liquids was a long process it seemed... he was very interested in liquids to drink but had a hard time with a cup, could not master the sippy cup (I think we tried 2 or 3 different ones) then one day when he was about 14 months or so we were at a restaurant and he was interested in my straw so I let him try it; he mastered it in 3 seconds flat. That day we bought him a sippy cup that had a straw in it and a pack of straws and since then he will try almost anything that comes with a straw. We have to watch ourselves in restaurants because he will steel our drink that are not always “approved for Christophe consumption” and try them. One of my favorite things to make for him is smoothy with all real fruit (no juices) and a bit of soy or cows milk whatever we have on had; this is actually the only way I can get him to eat fruit that is not dried.
What signs of readiness did you look for?
Unlike a lot of parents start because they are told to we made sure of the following:
He could sit unsupported
He could hold his head up
Seems interested in what we are eating
He is at least 6 months old
He seemed to have lost his tongue-thrusting reflex
He increased his nursing sessions
Christophe had not mastered his pincer grasp yet and did not do so until he was around 9 months sometimes I wonder if we had waited till then if we would have a less picky eater.
If you have used bottles, please describe when and how?
Like I mentioned in the past we tube fed for about a month at the beginning - here we used a bottle to hold the milk or formula depending on the feeding. I will go in greater details when I talk about starting breast feeding.
I also tried a bottle once with him that night I mentioned that he would not take to the breast and kept on crying. But like I said he though it was a toy.
We have 4 practically unused premium glass baby bottles (2 in the packages) that I hope will never have to be used by me again.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.
What are your thoughts about when and how weaning proceeds?
A child starts weening when solids is introduced; therefore Christophe started weening at 6 months and 10 months later is still in the process. My feelings about weening are in constant flux however my core beliefs don’t change change. When I first became pregnant I though I would nurse for one year then stop; however at the time I did not understand the benefits of nursing a toddler and also hoe its not just cut and dry nurse one day then you don’t. Once I started understanding those points I quickly decided that our baby would wean himself - this decision was probably made when I was about 6 months pregnant.
Weaning to me starts when solids are introduced the first time and then stops when your baby no longer wants or needs to nurse. Sometime weaning can happen if a mothers milk is gone but I think typically it should be when the baby decides - or better said child at this point - decides that they no longer require their mothers milk. I hope this can and will be the case for Christophe.
If it’s part of your experience, describe your baby’s weaning.
Weaning these days i san emotional subject because I can see my little baby growing up and sometimes now choosing water over breastmilk. Christophe started solids at 6 months and with his first spoon in his mouth I am sure I shed a tear. I remember telling my husband that this is the first step to no breastmilk and crying; I think this was so emotional for me because we had a though time for the first month of nursing. After 3 months or so of solids Geoff reminded me of what I told him about Christophe and starting solids and we laughed because my son does not want to eat anything and did not want to anything other then breastmilk and a select few foods until he was about 13 months old.
Today at 16 months Christophe eats a small variety of foods; therefore I think it crucial that he continues to nurse however we no longer offer him breastmilk unless he asks - however he asks about 12 times a day so I am not worried. We try to encourage him to eat and drink a large variety of items so that his diet can go beyond 10 foods for the day he decides that he is ready to wean.
Some days I think he might wean sooner then latter because he will drink at the breast for 5 minutes then want his sippy cup with water; but other days he can stay at the breast for hours on end. I feel these changes are not necessarily because he is weaning but because he is changing the reasons to nurse. He is nursing more for emotional needs and less for food - I guess this is also a step a child led weaned baby goes through.
I hope that Christophe will nurse long enough to remember nursing.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I modified the recipe slightly for my own circumstances. I used 1/3rd whole wheat flour to increase the whole-grain side, and swapped out some of the cheddar for mozarella and asiago, as Christophe doesn't always like cheddar cheese. I also used organic ingredients except for the pepper and salt.
I did briefly try to put these through the pasta machine, but the dough was too moist and sticky, so I rolled it by hand. In so doing, I ended up with some different thicknesses, and discovered that the thinner ones came out a lot like goldfish crackers, where the thicker ones puffed up a little and became like crispy cheese puff crackers, which I also liked.
- 1 cup flour; I used:
- 1/3 cup stone ground organic hard wheat wholegrain flour
- 2/3 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cold salted organic butter, cubed
- 8 oz cheese (I used a mix of organic cheeses: asiago, cheddar, mozzarella), grated or cubed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 3-4 tsp water, ideally icy-cold
The dough goes together as pie crust does:
- Assemble the flour, butter, salt and cheese and seasoning in a food processor.
- Pulse until the dough assembles crumbs, or coarse meal.
- Add water one teaspoon at a time, or use an atomizer to distribute well. Pulse between each addition, and stop when the dough can be pressed together in a coherent ball.
- Chill for at least twenty minutes (or up to a day), 'til the dough/butter stiffens somewhat. Prevent the dough from drying out by wrapping in plastic or a lightly damp cloth.
- Before removing the dough from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll the dough thinly, about 1/8th inch for crackers, or 1/4" for something more like 'cheese puffs'.
- Cut. Squares, fish, cookie cutter, pizza cutter, knife -- the possibilities are endless.
- Lay cut crackers on a cookie sheet. The dough is fatty, so you shouldn't need to grease it, but feel free to grease it or use parchment paper. They shouldn't be touching, but they don't spread much, so the distance doesn't matter terribly.
- Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool. Eat.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Before ordering a Waldorf doll we quickly looked at the dolls that were available at all our regular toy stores and was rapidly disappointed to find out that none of them truly carried non-toxic dolls. What we found was a mix of Corolle and plush dolls that were not very realistic looking or other no-name plastic dolls. Many plastic dolls are made with vinyl, a chemical often under scrutiny as soft vinyl's can contain phthalates (PVC). At our locale toy store we were recommended Tidoo from the Corolle collection, the sales rep said that many parents like me that are concerned with the toxicity of toys chose Corolle dolls and Tidoo is a boy doll. I rarely buy anything for Christophe without doing my research so I told them i would look up Corolle and find out if they were truly non-toxic. After a quick search on the net I quickly decided that no Corolle dolls for Christophe. Healthy Toys rate Tidoo as a medium hazard as he contains Chlorine, Bromine, Tin and Antimony ( I don't even know what antimony is but it sounds bad). I will give this to Corolle I don't believe they have ever had a product recalled - that is something to brag about.
Now that the decision was made that we were not buying any dolls that we could find at the various local toy stores we started searching the internet and was determine that we would be spending $100 plus for a custom made doll. Here are some of the highlights that we stumbled across:
(Keep in mind we wanted a white doll with fair hair to match Christophe appearance as best as possible, all these companies make great dolls of all ethnicity and hair skin color mixes)
Clay by Palumba cost $99.99USD plus $24.99USD for clothing.
Jan by Polar Bear Creations cost $130.00 USD.
Chris by isgood cost $125.00 USD ( I have to admit Chris was our favorite ans we almost bought him)
And the winning doll is... we found Karl by peppa at Parenting by Nature. Cost $54.99 CND. We call Karl Bébé .
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
There are 100's if not 1000's of sunscreens to choose from on the market so how do you know what to do when it comes to selecting one for you or your little one. Well this is a subject I was not very educated on until last year, I will admit it I am bad I used to never use sunscreen, but I don't want Christophe growing up thinking it's OK to prance around in the sun without protection. A few years back my best friends dad was diagnosed with skin cancer and he is one of the healthiest man I have ever met so if it can happen to him it can happen to anyone; he is still battle with cancer and will probably be doing so until the end. ( my thoughts goes out to him and his family everyday ) I think his story is probably what made me start thinking about sunscreen for use other then at the beach.
There are so many website out there that tell you the pros and cons of sunscreen that I am not going to talk about that. I just want to stress if you are going out in full sun or on a day the UV index is high were sunscreen. Now you may ask how do I tell if the UV index is high; here in Canada you can get all that information from Weathernetwork. Unless the UV Report is low I slap on the sunscreen on both myself and Christophe, if we are planning on being outside for more the 20 mins or so.
What kind of sunscreen do we use: I selected California Baby for Christophe only SPF 30+ and for myself Lavera SPF 30 for babies. So far so good when we are wearing the sunscreen and reapplying as directed neither of has had a sunburn. The reason why I selected a baby sunscreen for myself is that despite the fact that it is for me I am still picking up Christophe all the time so there will be product transfer. So you say why do I not use the California Baby; California Baby Sunscreen is not sold in Canada you have to order it from the US that being said it's not cheep, but it is one of the best sunscreens on the market for infants and kids.
Additional resources on sunscreen check out Skin Deep Sunscreen Report.
Sunscreen naturally brings us to hats, wear a hat, wear a hat, wear a hat. Do I have to say it again. Not only wearing hats is fashionable it offers some sun protection creating shade around you face; and some hats offer additional SPF protection due to the fabric used to make them.
Our favorite kids hats are from Snug as a Bug as a bonus they are Canadian Made. Be sure to check out there adjustable hats. Unfortunately these hats then to be hard to find in stores so your best bet is to order online, you wont be disappointed.
And for mom I just love the hats from deLux. In my hood you can get them at the Hat Depot located at 704 Danforth Ave. This is a great little shop the owner still makes hats right in the shop; if you make it there ask them to show you the caps they make for small kids we got one for Christophe and every day he wheres it I think we must get at least 4 or 5 comments on it. Louis the owner and hat maker will also most likely show you pictures of his grandson that is around the same age as Christophe.
Now that we are ready to go out and play lets talk toys:
Many balls that we buy our kids contains PVC, latex or vinyl; also a lot of the balls you can find these days are decorated with Diego, Dora or some other cartoons. I am not sure about you but in my home we try to avoid any ting that is branded commercially by large corporations. Last summer we found this great company that only makes products that are PVC, latex and vinyl free - Crocodile Creek; you can purchase their balls at Treasure Island Toys in Toronto.
Other necessities for outdoor play are available from Green Toys; we have the Sand Play Set and I would like to get one of the Trucks for Christophe as well. You can get these at Kids on the Hip in Toronto. Green Toys is a wonderful manufacture from the US that make toys from recycled plastic and all there toys contain no traceable amounts of Phthalates or BPA.
When talking about summer items I should probably also talk about sunglasses and bathing suits; unfortunatly I don't feel aquiped to talk about them because well - For sunglasses Christophe refuses to wear them and bathingsuits we really only go swimming indoors. However with Christophe now able to walk I am sure we will be frequenthing the splash pad so I should probably start doing my research on this one... maybe I will share my findings in another post.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Exclusively make non-toxic toys
Automoblox - www.automoblox.com
Dwell Baby - www.dwellshop.com
Educo (HaPe) - www.hapetoys.com/Educo.asp
Rich Frog - www.richfrog.com
Selecta Spielzeug - http://www.selecta-spielzeug.de
Makes some non-toxic or eco friendly toys
Brio - http://brio.knex.com/
Djeco - http://www.djeco.com/
Heros - www.heros-toys.de
Haba - http://www.haba.de/Home.344.0.html
Melissa and Doug - www.melissaanddoug.com
Vulli - http://www.vulli-toys.com/
Exclusively make non-toxic eco friendly toys
Anamalz (HaPe) - www.hapetoys.com/Anamalz.asp
Bamboo (HaPe) - www.hapetoys.com/Bamboo.asp
Blabla - http://www.blablakids.com/
Didoodle - (Made in Canada) www.fidodle.com
Ecotronic - www.ecotronictoys.com/
Green Toys - http://www.greentoys.com/
Grimm’s Speil und Holz - http://www.grimms.eu/en/include.php?path=start.php
ImagiPLAY - www.imagiplay.com
Jalu Wood Creations - (Made in Canada) www.jalutoys.com
Keptin jr - http://www.keptin-jr.com/
miYim - http://www.miyim.com/index.html
Noonoo - http://www.noonoodesign.com/p73/playthings
North Star Toys - www.northstartoys.com
Peppa - www.babylonia
Plan Toys - www.plantoys.com
Sprig - www.sprigtoys.com
The Playful World -http://www.theplayfulworld.com/index.htm
Under the Nile - www.underthenile.com
Wonderworld - www.wonderworldtoy.com
Where to shop
The shops below consist of a list of my favorite stores in Toronto or on the web; there are many other store that carry non-toxic toys and eco toys; the list would be too long if I included them all. I do not work for any of these stores nor did I receive anything for mentioning them.
Ape 2 Zebra - www.ape2zebra.ca - great selection
Baby Guru - www.babyguru.ca - good selection
Bear Dance - http://www.beardancecrafts.com/creativeplay.htm - great selection of non-toxic toys
Cheeky Monkey - www.cheekymonkey.ca - good selection
Craftsbury Kids - www.craftsburykids.com - great selection
Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/index.php - great selection of hand made toys
Green Cricket - www.greencricket.ca - small selection but all are non-toxic and eco
Kai Kids - http://www.kaikids.com/ - small selection but all are eco friendly and non-toxic
Safety Super Store - http://www.babyproofingplus.com/ - good selection
Natural Pod - www.naturalpod.com - exclusively sells eco-friendly and non-toxic toys, great selection
Baby on the Hip, 969 Queen St. E., 416-465-4141 - small selection but al are non-toxic and eco-friendly - www.babyonthehip.ca
Craig’s List - great selection of second hand toys - www.craigslist.org
Grassroots, 372 Danforth Ave, 416-466-2841 - small selection but all are non-toxic and eco-friendly - http://www.grassrootsstore.com
Kids on the Hip, 1142 Queen St. E., 416-466-1117 - small selection but al are non-toxic and eco-friendly
Lapin Calin, 1918A Queen St. E., 416-690-1918 - small selection but al are non-toxic and/or eco-friendly - http://lapincalin.com/
Mastermind Beaches, 2134 Queen St. E, 416-699-3797 - good selection Toys “R” Us - limited selection - www.mastermindtoys.com
Planet Kid, 960 Queen St. W, 416-537-9233 - All toys are non-toxic and made in Canada - www.planetkid.ca
Scholars Choice, 1599 Bayview Ave., 416-485-8697 - good selection in store, great selection in catalogue - www.scholarschoice.ca
Ten Thousand Villages - www.tenthousandvillages.ca - small selection but all are eco friendly and fair trade
Treasure Island Toys, 581 Danforth Ave., 416-778-4913 - great selection & custom orders available
Value Village, 924 Queen Street E., 416-778-4818 & 2119 Danforth Ave., (416) 698-0621 - great selection of second hand toys
Paint Depot, 914 Queen St. E, 416-469-5633 - carries lead paint test kits - http://www.paintdepot.com/
Just because it’s for kids it does not mean it’s safe in many toys available on the Canadian market you can find one or multiple of these:
www.healthytoys.org - Online database of toys tested for various chemicals
http://www.ewg.org - Environmental Working Group has been at the forefront of many actions to ban various chemicals in the US
http://www.greenenterprise.net/web/index.php - Online database of green enterprise in the Toronto area
http://www.greenmom.ca/index.shtml - Tones of resources for raising your child green, Green Mom also has a trade show once a year in Toronto.
http://www.healthycanadians.ca/index_e.html - Canadian recalls
http://www.cpsc.gov/index.html - USA recalls
http://europa.eu/rapid/searchAction.do - European recalls
http://www.recalls.gov.au/ - Australian recalls
http://www.toysafetyrecalls.ca/ - List of recalls from around the world
Monday, May 18, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"BPA is also present in many plastics and the lining of food containers..."
"Len Ritters,.... executive director of the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres, said "I would advise a pregnant woman to try to reduce or entirly eliminate her exposure to bisphenol A."
"The chemical has been linked to cancer, early onset of female sexual maturity, male fertility problems, and behavioural problems."
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Before starting I want to throw this questions out to you - have you used a carrier or are still using a carrier if so what is your carrier of choice?
I have been a baby wearing mother from the time Christophe was about 1 month old, we tried wearing him before then but he always seemed to have a hard time breathing every time we placed him in a sling. Needless to say that this freaked us out at the beginning and delayed our baby wearing until his weird behavior stopped.
We tried 6 different carriers with him and still have 5 of them today which 4 of them we use regularly.
Heart 2 Heart lightly padded sling:
This is still one of favorite carriers, Christophe lived in it until he was about 5 months old. We did the laundry together, grocery shopped, took long walks, cleaned the house and so on... Now the sling is stored in the bottom of the stroller as Chrstophe has grown I find it not as ideal for long carries; instead I use it to help deviate some of the weight when Christophe no longer wants to sit in his stroller of just needs some love. It is also great to help hold him up when he needs to be rocked to sleep on though nights.
Just recently my sling broke, I contacted the manufacturer and they were devastated and understood the severity in this. Due to there great immediate response to the fact that one of my rings on the sling gave I still trust the manufacturer and would use the heart 2 heart again with Christophe and our future kids.
Rolz & Sassy Ring Sling:
We bought this one before the heart 2 heart and I used it all the time for 2 weeks then I found a heart 2 heart that I liked the print ( I forgot to mention earlier that the patterns for the heart 2 heart are not always the most stylish ) The Rolz & Sassy became my back up sling, this was the one I took out when the other was dirty; I also kept one sling on each floor so the heart 2 heart was on our main floor and the Rolz & Sassy was on the top floor that way we always had a sling handy. The Rolz & Sassy have some amazing prints; with that said I have selected to wear our Rolz & Sassy on special occasions because it looks so much nicer then the heart 2 hearts. Would I buy another Rolz and Sassy probably not, am I going to use my Rolz & Sassy with our future children yes. Just because it's not my favorite sling it does not mean I hate, I just prefer the Heart 2 Heart.
Ellaroo Mei Tai:
This is the only carrier we have parted with. Before we parted with it I have to say I loved it and used it on the go often it truly aloud me to be hands free. The slings let you be hands free but I find you have limited rang of motion with the arm that your sling is resting on. So you ask me why did we part whit it? For a few reasons, Christophe was outgrowing the height of the carrier and was starting to arch his way out of it (this can be dangerous); the color was white and with the long tails that Mei Tai's have it was always dragging on the floor and was extra hard to keep clean; the last reason we invested in a new carrier that replaced the Mei Tai, so we wanted to sell our Mei Tai to get a bit of money to put towards the new carrier. Would I recommend a Mei Tai to someone, yes but make sure to stay away from white.
Olives and Applesauce:
This is our number one carrier these days. When Christophe started being to heavy for me to comfortably carry him in my sling I wanted a soft structured carrier; these are similiar to a Mei Tai but has bucckles so they go one and off a lot faster. I knew I liked Mei Tai's so I figured I would also liek this style of carrier. After doing some research I found Olives and Applesauce, they offer a todler carrier with a larger body that your typical structured carrier, I was sold and wanted one. We have had our for about 4 or 5 months now and I love it; I can do a front acrry for about 3 hours before I need a breack and a back carry - well Christophe needs a break befor I do. The only draw back for me is I have yet to master being able to put Christophe on my back on my own. Many days when we go out we bring our Olives and Aplesauce instead of the stroller. Also they have some of the nicer prints I have seen, we get comments all the time on how beautifull our carrier is.
Lascal M1 Carrier:
I can't say much about this one other then I never liked it; it always felt like my baby was velcrowed to my chest. To me babywearing should feel more intamint then that. This was the carrier Geoff like a lot at the begining.
I always found that Christophe felt so nice and snug in the wrap. This is a good one to get at the begingin for skin to skin; wraps can really cover you up. The draw back of the Moby is that it is a streachy wrap that means when your baby hits about 20 lbs it gets harder and harder to use; many people prefer rigid wraps for this reason. Geoff was a big fan of the wrap and used it frequently; I used it here and there but because I have 2 other styles of carriers that I was alreay used to I never gave it a fare shot. Would I recomend it to others, based on Geoff experiance - yes.
In case any of you are wondering Christophe is now 14 months and weighs about 26 lbs.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Eva has recently started a new home business called "Music for life". I think the classes are going to be great, if you live in the east end of Toronto - Riverdale, Little India, Upper Beach Area you should check out her website. Eva is one of those people that when you meet for the first time you are like this is someone you want to get to know, she is very relaxed and well balance and has this amazing never ending love for her daughter.