Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

We just got back from an awesome vacation in the United States of America. It was great, BUSY and fun! It was also our first time travelling anywhere with Buddy Bear. Let me tell you, I was stressed! But, we survived and I even learned some helpful things for when we travel next. Or maybe even when you travel next?


The Do’s and Don’ts of vacationing with a baby

  • Don’t put a white baby in a white shirt
    • Our little Buddy Bear is a special brand of white. We liken his skin tone to clear. As we were visiting family on our vacation, a family picture was necessary. We decided to dress him in a cute little white button-up shirt. We thought he looked rather dapper and darling. Until we saw the pictures and realized that a white baby in a white shirt does not look dapper, but um, washed out and white. VERY, VERY white. Lesson learned
  • Do use an unstuffed cloth pocket diaper as a reusable swim diaper.
    • So thrifty, so very thrifty! And if you already have pocket diapers you’re like 10 steps ahead!
  • Don’t use a cloth swim diaper the day before you fly internationally
    • Nobody wants to travel with a nasty poopy diaper in their carry on. At least I don’t! Which meant a rushed load of laundry on the morning we flew out. Which we almost left in the dryer.
  • Do bring a traveling buddy with you.
    • I cannot imagine taking a baby through an international airport, trying to make a tight connection without Mr. Man’s assistance. Actually, I lied. I CAN imagine it, and it makes me want to cry.
  • Do breastfeed if at all possible
    • Plane taking off? Breastfeeding can help! Baby need help sleeping in a new environment? Breastfeeding can help! Trying to minimize the sheer amount of baggage you’ll be hauling around? Breastfeeding can help! Need I go into more detail?
  • Do bring lots of wet wipes they’re useful for more than diaper changes
    • I’m sure you can fill in the blanks for this one.
  • Do use a cloth unstructured baby carrier
    • Hello? One little (ok, HUGE) piece of fabric can be a renegade blanket, nursing cover, extra modesty provider, as well as allowing you to carry baby hands free. Done and done!
  • Don’t try to institute new sleep habits on vacation
    • All you seasoned parents are laughing at me, I know because I can hear you all the way over here! In my innocence/naiveté I planned to teach Buddy Bear to sleep in his own bed, WHILE on vacation, WHILE in a completely new environment, WHILE losing any semblance of routine/normalcy. Yeah, that was a stupid move. We ended up sleeping on the floor the whole week because Buddy Bear did not take to my harebrained scheme. AT ALL. The worst part was we were squished next to an EMPTY queen size bed the whole time, because Buddy Bear can’t sleep on an air mattress. It still stings.
  • Don’t haul all the toys in the world
    • I fretted for weeks whether Buddy Bear would have enough things to play with while on vacation. I didn’t have to worry because he had so many cousins, aunties and Gramma’s and Grampa’s vying for his attention that he was never bored. His favourite toy when he wasplaying by himself? Banging on the coffee table.
  • Do give your baby grace & time when meeting new people
    • It would be great if Buddy Bear had leapt out of my arms to embrace his grandparents when they met us at the airport. BUT. If he had been that eager to greet, essentially strangers, I think I would have died! I don’t want him walking away with the first person that calls him by name! BUT. Within a couple days, my Buddy Bear would gladly go to his Gramma and Grampa for cuddles (when mama was around, but still). Which means that I can still sleep at night.
  • Don’t expect baby’s eating habits to be the same as at home
    • It’s vacation! No one is eating like they do at home. (Hello, all-you-can-eat-shrimp-buffett)! So if Baby is eating even a smidgen of food, I’m gonna count it as a success!
  • Have fun!
    • Its vacation, its not forever! So Baby wears clothes with food stains and eats Cheerios for 3 meals in a row. No biggie. You can worry when you get home. Now, just relax and have fun. That’s why you took a vacation, right?



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Earlier this week I stumbled upon a series of “10 Small Things” by Amanda at I am Mommy. Just a list of 10 things that make her life better, improve it in some way or that she is grateful for. What a great idea! While I like to play the lazy card, A LOT, I really do want to be a good mommy to Buddy Bear and be intentional about the things I teach him. Like being grateful. So I’m totally stealing Amanda’s idea.

With props.

And also shortening it down to 7.

Because I’m a sucker for aliteration.

If only I could think of a S word for “Things”.

That’s not “stuff”.

I already thought of that, and “7 Simple Stuffs” does not bode well with me.

Any other suggestions?


My fans. We had our first hot week and have already pulled out our fans. Its only 30 degrees (Celsius, I can’t do Fahrenheit.) but I am already cooking!


This little $8 gizmo allows me to take Buddy Bear driving without him losing it completely. I don’t know if he knows its him in the mirror or if he just thinks there’s another baby in the car with him, but either way it means peace in the car. Also I can do a quick rearview mirror check and see if he’s sleeping yet which also rocks.


My library card. Call me a nerd, but I love having this thing. Right now Buddy Bear and I are devouring (figuratively and literally unfortunately) 25 books that we didn’t have to buy. That’s at least $100 dollars worth of books, maybe even more! Love it, I think you should get one too!


Buddy Bear’s cloth diapers. I’m not a fanatic, but only because that takes too much work. But I love, love, love having my little boy happy and comfortable. And that is possible because his cloth diapers are so much easier on his super sensitive skin.


Alberta’s Health Care System. Say what you want about Canada’s health care system (*cough* Mr. Man *cough*) but I needed to get a doctor’s note for the job I’ve applied for, and I called them on Tuesday, and had the medical done on Wednesday. I like that!


See that? That’s naptime. I love it. Buddy Bear is not the most consistent sleeper ever, but he always has at least two naps and I have the option of napping with him, working on my to-do list (right…) or most often just putzing around on the computer.


The non-dairy world. Before Buddy Bear’s milk allergy, I thought all those dairy-free products were expensive and the domain of vegans and well, vegans. Boy was I wrong! Well true, they are still expensive (2L for $4, ouch!) but they also mean that I can still have some of ‘my normal’ food, like smoothies, cupcake frosting, pancakes. You know, normal stuff. I will be the first to admit that Cheerios and coconut milk are not the same as their dairy alternative, but a rice milk pancake? I can’t tell the difference! So thank you to the non-dairy producers for making expensive non-milks for me and Buddy Bear. I will put you in my next 7 Simple Things again if you could please lower your prices. Thanks.


What are you grateful for? Am I the only one who has to take a conscious effort to be grateful?

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Last night was a bad night. A very bad night. It started out as a good night though. Buddy Bear went to sleep easily (!) and quickly (!!) at 9:15 instead of his usual 10:30 and he seemed to be down for the night. Yes, he was awake every hour and needed help going to sleep again, but that’s pretty normal in our house.


And then 1AM rolled around.


Buddy Bear woke up again and he was in a foul disposition.


He didn’t want to be in his bed. He didn’t want to nurse. And he DEFINITELY did not want to go back to sleep.

It was starting to remind of all those children’s books we read Buddy Bear when he doesn’t want to go to sleep.

This is the cutest book ever. I love it. Except for when Buddy Bear acts like the baby bear.

But when its happening in real life at 1:30 in the morning, its not cute.


Eventually after some cajoling by both his daddy and his mommy, Buddy Bear finally went to sleep. At 3AM.


And then he decided it was time to start the day at 8:00 this morning.


Yes, 5 hours later.


And then Mr. Man forgot to make the requested 8 bazillion cups of coffee I requested, instead making just one cup for each of us. I think he is a sucker for punishment. And at this point I think it would be more efficient to just eat the bean then to waste time making a second pot of coffee.


Have you ever been in a sleepless situation like this? PLEASE let me know I am not alone! But not that this is what I can expect for the next 18 years. I don’t want to know that.


So today, I broke out the big guns.

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller

This is my secret weapon on days when I feel like if the rings under my eyes get much darker, people will start to think Mr. Man is abusing me. (He’s not) It works, its relatively cheap, and I don’t have to fuss around with a colour chart trying to determine what shade I am. (You would not believe how hard it is to find pasty white on a foundation colour chart) I love it, and I use it most everyday.

A little trick I picked up quite by accident is navy-blue eyeliner. By some optical illusion using navy-blue eyeliner makes the whites of your eyes appear more white (and essentially less pink) making you look less tired. Sneaky sneaky.

And the age old trick of napping when your baby naps. This is one of the most popular pieces of parental advice EVER. Because it works.


What are your tricks for surviving sleepless nights and exhausted days?

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Before Mr. Man and I became parents we used to look down our conventional noses at certain types of parents, saying smugly to ourselves “What hippie parents!” and “We will never do that when we’re parents”.

Humble Pie meet Andg.

Andg meet Humble Pie.

I think you two will be great friends!

You see, Mr. Man and I aren’t your typical crunchies. We recycle only because we have a recycling box right outside our back gate. We drive two cars, and we drive them A LOT. We don’t buy used (only because we’re too lazy to drive across town to the second-hand store). We don’t eat organic. In fact, the only ‘organic food’ we have are our tomato plants and we are killing those as fast as we can (we have black thumbs apparently).

But when it comes to parenting, well we have veered quite heavily into hippie territory. And not because we’ve experienced a philosophical revelation and now understand the importance of hippie living. No, it’s because being parents has helped us realize how LAZY we are!

You don’t believe me that lazy mamas and papas can accidentally become dirty, dirty hippies?

Breastfeeding: In itself not a hippie thing (though stereotypically hippies love it) or a lazy thing, but above all I do it because I’m lazy. No bottles to wash, no formula to cart from the store to the car to the house, or bottles to make in the middle of the night. Once you get over the initial breastfeeding hurdles, its always available, the right temperature and exactly what my baby needs. The perfect choice for a lazy mama like me.

Cloth Diapering: Admit it, when you think about hippie parents you think cloth diapers. And its true, cloth diapers can be better for the environment if you care about that kind of thing.  But lazy parenting? Oh yes, cloth diapering is great for lazy parents! I always run out of diapers. Like 2 or 3 times a week. So I throw a load of diapers in the laundry and after 2 or so hours of naked bum time I have a whole set of diapers ready to go again. If I had to pack a squirmy, most likely smelly, or even worst case scenario half-naked, little boy into the car and drive to the store to pick up diapers everytime I ran out of diapers, believe me, I’d be one drive short of the nuthouse! So cloth diapers have become way easier for me, allowing me to be just a tad bit lazier…

Co-Sleeping: As Mr. Man said to me earlier, “We do it, because it works!” Pre-baby we (he) were predisposed against co-sleeping. But after a series of sleepless nights of night nursing and wondering if we would Iever sleep again, I snuck the little man into our bed and slept the rest of the night with Buddy Bear tucked beside me, nursing to his heart’s content. What a relief! I didn’t have to get up every 45 minutes (yes 45 minutes, I’m not exaggerating) and actually slept for the first time in what felt like my entire life! And we’ve been sleeping together ever since, because I am too lazy to go back to the on the hour, wake-up calls.

Elimination Communication: Classic hippie territory. And us. Because I am so lazy that I don’t want to change diapers anymore, so I’m attempting to reduce the amount of diapers I have to change through a little elimination communication.

Baby-Led-Weaning: Huh? What’s that mean? It essentially means no purees (homemade or storebought), no ice cube trays of ‘baby food’. Its just giving your baby good food, yes ‘adult food’ and letting your baby explore how to eat at their own pace. Which means mama (me) puts a cooled portion of whatever we’re eating for dinner on Buddy Bear’s tray and we all eat together, and I get to eat my supper when its hot. Easy, non-conventional and yes, lazy. Also, check out this site if you are interested, I really like the way these ladies have explained the concept.


Moby Wrap available @ http://www.mobywrap.com/

Baby-wearing: This one is easy. Hippies wear babies because its good for them, and better for bonding, and yadda, yadda. I wear my Buddy Bear when I’m out and about because I can keep my carrier in the diaper bag and when I need my hands free I just whip out my carrier instead of fussing around with a heavy stroller. (If I have it, I have a knack for leaving it in the garage when I need it) So easy!

So there you have it. One or two habits by themselves are pretty harmless, I would even say normal. But throw my brand of laziness into the game and all of a sudden I’m a perfect storm of cloth-diapering/co-sleeping/baby-wearing/breastfeeding/baby-led-weaning/elimination-communicating hippie parenting!

*munch* yum… I love humble pie!

What have you said you would or would never do that you have now found yourself changing your tune? What made you change your mind?


P.S. We don’t think people who practice any or all of these techniques are actually dirty or necessarily hippies. I just think its a funny phrase. Though if you are either dirty or a hippie, that’s cool too. – love andg

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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the first things you learn as a new parent is that “It takes a village to raise a child”. This is usually followed by a crash course in selective hearing, but that is a whole other story… You see, what they don’t tell you in this little proverb is that unlike most other life situations, for the most part you get to choose who lives in your child-raising village! It’s like you’re the mayor of Mommy-town!



You choose if you are going to let the crunchy mommies into your Mommy-town.

You can decide if you want that Tiger Mom wannabe taking up residence in your Mommy-town.

Is your Mommy-town going to be filled with trendy, of-the-moment, all the newest theories and ideas mommies?

Will I let the judgy-mommies take up residence in my Mommy-town?


These are decisions that we as moms have to make as we learn how to love and raise our children. The people that we allow to speak into our lives will affect how we raise our children and who we become as mommies. Within the confines of loving our children and wanting what’s best for them, there aren’t a whole lot of wrong ways to be a mom.  But there are many, many different ways to mommy your child and it can get so confusing trying to sort through the million different voices to figure out what works for YOU and YOUR family.


So bring alongside people who can help you raise your child. Who are on the same team as you. Who you can call when you’re having a very BAD day and have them remind you that “You can do this. You’re going to be ok. No one will notice if you haven’t swept in a month. Promise…” Maybe they practice the same style of mommy-ing as you. Maybe they’re your mom, your mother in law (you both rock, BTW) or your neighbour down the street. Maybe they have 10 bazillion kids and you have just one. Maybe they live in your computer and you’ve never seen them face to face. Maybe you’ve been friends since preschool and being moms is just one of the many things you share. Maybe they believe in Dr. Sears and you believe in Dr. Spock. But most importantly they believe in you. They are there for you when baby isn’t sleeping well and checking up on you when you haven’t been to a social engagement in weeks because your child is a terror whenever you leave the house. They’re a part of your Mommy-town and without them, being a mommy just wouldn’t be as fun or as sane.


Who’s in your Mommy-town? Has it been populated naturally or have you been intentional about the people that live in your Mommy-town? Do you live in anyone else’s Mommy-town?


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