Saturday, 31 March 2012

Baby at the Beach

The first sign of sun meant an offroading adventure for the family. We went about an hour into the forest service trail, to a great 4x4 trail that brought us to a beautiful secluded beach with a pristine lake and gorgeous mountains in the background.

We set up baby on a large sleeping bag with her toys and she had a blast!!! She kept crawling to the edge of the blanket and playing with the rocks. She was quite messy by the end of the day, but she had so much fun she slept the entire way home!!!

Of course, we co-ordinated our outings with her nap times, so it made it easier to travel for a long distance. As for the 4x4ing, she was in her infant car seat with an extra head support.....we actually took her for the first time when she was 10 weeks old! She laughs and giggles at the bumps and at the scared faces mommy makes.

Oh summer, I can't wait for you to come. Except that it means my mat leave is over........crap.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Time for the Big Girl Carseat!!!

So my DD is very long and lean, and although she still has 12 pounds to go before she is supposed to be out of her infant carseat, her feet are sticking 3 inches out from the base.

For her comfort and safety, we have decided to start using a rear-facing upright car seat.

Shopping for these seats can be really overwhelming. I discovered that there are seats that can be used rear facing, front facing, and can be converted into a booster seat. These 3 in 1 seats are expensive, but they are a good investment as they will be suitable as baby grows.

I am an avid comparison shopper, so once I chose the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 Deluxe seat, I had to find the best deal. I found the seat available at many retail locations, ranging from $200-$300. I was so happy to find the seat is currently on sale at CANADIAN TIRE for only $167!!!! Great deal!!! They only have a one-year exchange policy on the seats, but the cashier said that if the seat did not fit in my Jeep then we could return within one week no problem.

So then, I had to make sure it would fit. Front facing is no problem, but the seatbelt is about 6 inches too short for rearfacing. Thankfully, the lap belt of the middle seat is long enough for rear facing, so that will be just fine for us. It might make it a little more difficult to get DD in and out of the vehicle, but I think I feel safer with her in the middle seat anyways.

Check out your local Canadian Tire for this excellent deal!

Monday, 26 March 2012

First Time Hiking with the Baby

I was lucky to recieve a hiking carrier from my brother and sister in law for my baby shower, and the weather was so beautiful this weekend we decided to try it out!!

My DD loved being on daddy's back and was so excited to be able to see all around her as we trekked through the wilderness. She was jumping up and down, very vocal, and had a huge smile on her face. She lasted about 3 kms up the trail but then she started to get a bit fussy so we set up a mini camp on a large flat rock. DD didnt even know there was snow around!!!

Although the carrier takes a little while to adjust in preparation for the hike, it was very sturdy and we felt that baby would be very secure in the carrier. We knew that she would enjoy being upright and having her legs and arms free. The carrier is designed in a way that makes it easy to adjust for baby and for daddy, and with the various strap adjustments you can reduce the strain on your back and shoulders. My DH said that at first it feels like you are carrying an extra 20 pounds, but after a while your body adjusts and he barely even felt her there (except for when she kicked his back!!!) The carrier even has a detachable backpack that can hold your food, drink, and baby supplies.

I would recommend this carrier to anyone who wants to go for a trek. We were so happy to go to a trail that we previously couldn't attempt with a stroller. I am looking forward to a summer full of hiking and adventure with the little one!!!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

RESP's: Do Your Research

I was contacted by a rep from the CST foundation about a month after my daughter’s birth. Both my husband and I wanted to set up an RESP for my daughter, so we were interested to find out about the program. The rep offered to come to my home, as it was difficult for me to get out with a newborn. I thought that was convenient, and we set up an appointment.

When the rep arrived he explained to me the benefits of the program, including the interest rates and the fees. They would apply to the Government for the available grants on my behalf, use my contributions in a group plan in order to secure the funds, and I could contribute anywhere from $10 to $250 per month. It seemed like a good way to go, so we set up the RESP with the CST foundation.

A month later, I received the User Agreement Plan in the mail, and during a naptime one day I decided to read it. I was shocked to discover that the fees were extremely high - almost 10% of my entire contributions. There would not actually be any money going into the plan for almost 2 years, they would just be covering fees. Also, the payments were fixed so that if I could not contribute one month, there would be a penalty. These two points were not explained to me by the rep.

I had a meeting with my bank to find out about what they offer for RESP's. Although the interest rate was lower, so were the fees, and both my husband and I felt more comfortable putting our money with a bank.

We decided to cancel our CST plan and have the money transferred to our bank in an RESP.

A few weeks after I mailed my letter to the CST, I followed up with a phone call to the head office to make sure they received my letter in time (you have 60 days from the original sign up to cancel) and to arrange the transfer of funds to my bank. It would all be processed in about 5 days, so I was confident that my concerns were resolved.

A few days later, I received a call from another rep who wanted to know why I was canceling. I explained what I had researched and how I was feeling about the program. She of course was challenging my points. She wanted to know why I was okay with a lower interest rate with the bank. I said that although it was lower, so were the fees. She said that the fees were refundable in the CST program through interest. Well, wouldn't it be the same with the bank, as you are gaining interest there as well. She had no comment. "Didn't you see on the news last night that a high-up bank manager is making a million dollars a year?" was her response. "So you don’t make a salary or commission on your accounts?" I asked. No comment again. She finally said that she would have her husband call me, who was the original rep I had dealt with.

I checked my account on the day the funds were supposed to be transferred, and nothing had been done. I called the head office again and they said that the rep had called and cancelled!!! I was shocked, as she never said anything like that to me on the phone. I submitted my request again, but unfortunately, the 60 day cancel period was over. After a few hours on the phone talking to several reps and managers, I was able to still cancel the plan and have them honor my original request.

When setting up an RESP, RESEARCH, COMPARE PLANS, and FOLLOW UP to make sure your best interests are covered!!!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Where did my little baby go? One week of major developments at 7 months old

Gone are the days of my baby lying on the floor, watching a toy or the cat for hours on end. I can not believe how much she has changed, even just this past week!! I knew I had a little mover when she started rolling over at 14 weeks. Grandma said "You've got a wiry one!"

She started the army crawl at 5 and a half months and started rocking on all fours at 6 months. Now she has figured out crawling and while she is still learning, she gets a little faster everyday. It is amazing to see her explore the house and areas she has not been before.

We had been practicing sitting but I had to put her into position and stay close to catch her if she fell. Within two days she nailed it and would even practice falling herself. Two days later, I find her sitting on the floor. I asked my DH "Did you put her like that". Nope, she did it herself. Now I find her sitting all over the place, and she is slowly learning that she can not sit under tables without bonking her head.

Yesterday I went to get her out of her crib after a nap, and she was standing holding onto the bars. Next she is trying to stand at the coffee table. She has figured out that if she reaches up she can grab things off of the table as well. Unfortunately, she loves to stare at beer cans (Budweiser to be exact) and my DH had left a half full can on the side table. A few minutes after she saw it I had a beer soaked DH was in hot water on that one.

I think that these developments will help her to become more independant and learn that she can do things herself. I have noticed she is much happier now and can entertain herself for longer periods of time. I just can not believe how rapidly she is changing and it seems like my little 7 pound 10 ounce colicky newborn is becoming a distant memory.......

Where should I start?

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Raffi CD's arrived - tough to find

I finally received my Raffi CD's!!! I have been looking for them for weeks now, and after searching 6 different local audio/video stores, I brought my search to Amazon. Not only did I find great prices, but they arrived quickly!

I remember listening to Raffi when I was a kid, so I really wanted to find them for my DD. "Baby Beluga", "Oats and Beans And Barley,"  "May There Always Be Sunshine", and "Day-O" are some of my favorites. I look forward to hours of listening and dancing pleasure with my dear little girl.

Monday, 19 March 2012

What a beautiful day!!! My baby just flipped me off!

It is amazing how much a nice day can change your mood!!! A little brisk walk and I am a happy mama again!!!

No wonder I have been going crazy, cooped up in my house due to the random rain, hail and snow recently. Its hard being a new mother with no vehicle as your days are determined by the weather.

No wonder baby is cranky, she is bored of being at home! Thankfully, the local library hosts great storytime for babies once a week, and I even just signed us up for swimming lessons.

I have to share this picture I took when I got home, this was the first thing I saw when I went to get DD out of the stroller. LOL!!!

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Today is a bad day. I am so overtired that I just do not have the coping skills to keep up with my DD.

She is waking up every two hours right now, and it does not seem like she is hungry or needing a diaper change, she just wants to be held back to sleep.

I can't blame her, after all it is what I have taught her. Cry and mom will pick you up. It is so habitual now that she falls back asleep after one minute of being in my arms.

I dont want to start letting her cry it out, but I dont know what else to do. I love her, but she strains me in every possible manner.

Nobody told me that PPD can occur months after birth, but I am starting to think that I have it. Apparently I am miserable according to my DH. I didnt think it was that bad, but try getting up every two hours or so for 7 months straight and then being happy during the day. Especially when your DD is so very needy and you cant even go to the bathroom without her screaming.

I need help, but I dont know where to turn.

DD is lucky she is so cute.

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Pros and Cons of Reusable Diapers

Bummis Easy Fit Diaper

My husband and I decided to use reusable diapers because my sister in law had used them and had a great experience. Our diaper of choice was Bummis Easy Fit Diaper because they have a built in liner and adjustable size, so they will be suitable while baby grows and are convenient and easy to use. Also, you can add an extra liner for overnight needs. The cost savings alone are convincing. Buying a decent supply of diapers could run you $500 or more but the savings in the long run are staggering. We couldn't use them until my daughter was 6 weeks old and those weeks the cost of using disposable diapers was a shocking $200.

I do have a few issues with using these diapers. First of all, you can only put so much liquid in a cloth diaper before it begins to leak. I have found that by morning my daughter is quite wet. I decided to not do a diaper change in the middle of the night because baby would wake right up. She is not wet during the late night feedings, and it does not appear to effect her sleep in the early morning, so its just a little messy when she wakes up. I started playing around with the folds in order to get more support up her back, but it doesn't appear to help. I have found that due to my daughters size (she is very long and lean,) the diaper will fit in the tummy area but has gaps around the legs. She has started to build up the chubbiness in her legs, but not enough to create a proper seal.

My little monkey at 6 weeks old
Overall I like these diapers, as they save me lots of money in the long run and they will last a very long time. Also the colors and patterns are adorable!!! However, I wish I had tried a sample pack of different kinds so that I could have found the proper fit.

Does anyone have any ideas to help me reduce these leaks?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Need your teething tips and tricks!!!

So my dear daughter has started teething. This has been accompanied by a fever and very irritable behaviour. I have tried frozen teething rings, chewy toys, mum mum crackers, frozen waffles, pacifiers, and frozen yogurt tubes. She is in so much pain, and I am looking for advice on how to help her get through it.

Of course I have been giving her baby tylenol for the fever and the pain, but I am looking for any other ideas that might help her!

PLEASE HELP!!! Comment below.....

Baby Food Making Day!!!

I find making my own baby food is lots of fun!!! You can create new blends of tastes by combining different foods as well as introduce new flavours with ease. Of course, my handy dandy Baby Bullet makes the entire process much easier!

We started solids when baby was 5 months old. I found she was hungry after feeding on the boob and she started mooching when my husband and I were eating. We started with the basics - baby cereal, apples, pears, squash, bananas, and peas. Of course it is important to keep track when you introduce new foods so that you can watch for reactions. After 4 days from trying a new flavour, I introduce another new flavour.

New tastes for the next two weeks are mango, zucchini, and cottage cheese!!! I am also going to try apple juice (diluted of course) in a sippy cup to see how she does, as well as Mum mum crackers. This will be great because she is just starting to teethe and she seems to enjoy sucking on the crackers.

I am going to watch her reaction to the cottage cheese. She hasn't had any negative effects from yogurt (which I introduced two weeks ago) but I still think I need to be careful with dairy products. Her doctor has approved, but better safe then sorry.

What new baby foods are you trying this week?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Great deal at Costco!!!

Every mom needs an ear thermometer. They are convenient, quick and easy to use. No more fighting with your little one stay still for a long period of time. I have seen ear thermometers from $80 to $140, but I was amazed to find a top-of-the-line thermometer at Costco for only $50!!! My dear daughter has started teething, and with that came a fever, and this thermometer has made everything so much easier!!

Make sure you go pick one up!!!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sleep??? What a struggle!!!!

Somebody pinch me!!! Baby slept through the night last night. And at almost 7 months, I say FINALLY!!!!

My dear daughter has never been a good sleeper. When she finally learned night from day she was about 2 months. But even then she would only sleep 2 to 3 hours at a time. Naptimes are about 30-45 minutes long.  I can't tell you how many books I have read on baby sleep. I was starting to think night time would always be a battle for me.

About two weeks ago it got really bad. Baby would wake up literally every hour and would only go back to sleep in my arms. I would have to pick her up, put her on the boob or give her a soother and slowly she would drift back to sleep. Of course by the time I got back to sleep, it was almost time for her to wake up again. After about a week of this, I was so extremely tired and irritable. And I knew there had to be a reason. I thought it might be teething or a growth spurt. If that was the case there was not much I could do.

I went to a sleep seminar that my doctor was hosting. There wasn't much that I didn't already know. Establish a bedtime routine. Teach baby that bedtime is a good thing. Make sure you are consistent with bedtime. Teach baby how to self soothe. Blah blah blah…. I had a one on one with the doctor after the seminar was over and explained what I was experiencing. Her suggestion? Baby is too attached and I need to let baby cry it out. Yeah right, I can't lie in bed, listening to her scream for me, letting her get more upset and more awake, when I know I can get her back to sleep within 5 or 10 minutes. I just need advice on getting her to sleep longer stretches of time, not start her sleep training all over again with the opposite approach.

I went away feeling very defeated. Especially when I hear that there are younger babies sleeping through the night just fine.

One night, during diaper change, I discovered her feet were like icicles, and she was in a fuzzy sleeper. So I gave her an extra fuzzy blanket and tucked her in real good. She slept all the way till morning, 5 hours straight. What a simple solution to such a tiring problem!!! Since then, it has been great, although she still gets up once or twice at night. But I actually enjoy those special snuggle moments.

Everybody has a different view on sleep strategies for babies, but you have to find what works for you. For some, the cry it out approach works like a charm, but I don’t feel that approach is right for me or my baby. Every baby is different, and I know that many babies her age still wake during the night and are not ready to give up the middle of the night feeding.

What I learned through this is to try different approaches to addressing your baby’s night waking, there could be a simple solution staring you in the face!!!

Best toy ever!!! And only $3

This was the best $3 I ever spent.

I have tons of toys for baby, but none are enjoyed as much as this simple toy. She throws it around, sucks on it, plays with the rings, and stares at it for periods of time. If I had known how many hours would be occupied with this toy, I would have bought more!!!

I found it at my local grocery store, and on sale!!!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Cut Down Your Daily Costs of Having a Baby

One of the great ways that I have saved money while having a baby is by creating a clothing exchange with other moms.

I have not had to buy any clothes (except for things that were just too cute to pass up) for my daughter because I found some other moms online that had baby girls before me. Its perfect, everytime she grows out of one size, I return it to the other moms and get the next size. I have about two full rubbermaid totes for each size that she will go through.

There are great ways to connect with moms in your area, such as forums online (my favorite is babycenter)and at the local health units. I have even met other moms waiting in the doctors office and grocery store!!!

Babies grow so quickly, and although baby clothes are not overly expensive, this is a simple easy way to save a buck!!!

How many outfits in a day?

I was amazed at how many outfits I went through each day. Babies spit up, drool, are messy eaters, and can leak right out of their diapers. Laundry can build up very quickly!!!

I always kept an extra outfit with my diapers "just in case". Thank God I did!!! I think in the first week we probably went through 30 outfits or more!!! Make sure you have enough beforehand, or just be really committed to doing laundry in your down time (haha, whats that?)

In the beginning, babies eat a little bit many times a day due to tiny stomachs, but they often just eat and eat and do not really know when to stop. If you do have a little milk munching machine, everything extra will come back up. Keep lots of receiving blankets and washcloths handy to keep up with the mess. Otherwise you quickly accumulate little piles of baby barf in spots you would never even imagine. No joke, one time I found dried milk all the way down the arm of my lounging chair. I discovered it is way easier to clean up when its wet, dried milk requires a scraper and muscle!!!

This was outfit #6 on a particularly messy day
Its funny how if baby throws up, I change her right away, but if I get barfed on it doesn't really matter. I cant tell you how many times my hubby came home and looked at me like a crazy person. Apparently puke on both shoulders, down my back, and in random spots on my clothing is not attractive. Trust me, after a while you wont even notice. Except for the smell, god that's awful!!!

If you decide to venture out into the world with baby, check yourself in the mirror for hidden treasures..... or just get changed because thats just easier!!!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

What I miss the most about a brand new baby

My last post made me think, was there anything from the first two months that I miss?

Milk coma
There is, and its called MILK COMA.
There is nothing better about a new baby then when in the middle of feeding she breaks away, throws her arms in the air and passes out in your arms. Open mouth, milk dribbling down her chin, and snoring away.

*sigh* How I miss those moments!
Enjoy this time because it does not last long!!!

The First Two Months of Motherhood......

What I learned the first two months …….

Babies cry. Man do they ever cry. Especially mine. Hungry? Nope. Diaper change? No. Too cold? Too hot? Tired? Gassy? Who knows. Sometimes babies just cry. I would say for the first month there were uncountable bouts of unconsolable crying. I believe now that it was just an adjustment phase. Baby was saying “Where am I? How did I get here? PUT ME BACK!!!!” They gave me a DVD on Purple Crying at the hospital. After a few weeks, I watched it. Disappointing. I know I can’t shake a baby, just tell me how to stop her crying already!!!

I was frustrated, upset, even annoyed at times. And tired. Man was I tired. The first month, babies do not know night from day. All new moms hear the phrase “Sleep when baby sleeps” BEST ADVICE EVER!!!! You never know how long baby is going to sleep for, but take advantage of it. Speaking of sleep, I should mention that my daughter did not sleep still for the first two months. She would not sleep in a bassinet and I didn’t feel comfortable co-sleeping as my partner is a random limb thrower. She was in a moving soothing chair that went back and forth slowly, and that was the only way I could get her to sleep over an hour at a time.

Post-partum depression? Not me. Loved my new role as a mother. Didn’t necessarily enjoy every moment, but that’s normal. Totally normal. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. With so many adjustments, you are bound to have mixed feelings at times.

Breastfeeding. Dear God, nobody told me my entire abdomen would cramp up every time my baby was on the boob. Apparently this is your uterus shrinking back to size. Ouch! Not the best feeling in the world. (This went away after the first month.) And my poor boobs….. achy and sore from baby learning to latch and the new flow of milk (which still baffles me…..where does it come from anyways????)

This leads us to diaper change. Look, you WILL get pooped on. It is just bound to happen eventually. The hardest thing is to not scream when you see a bright yellow goop shooting out at you. If you do scream, baby will most likely scream too. My advice? Get everything ready before you take off the diaper and get diaper change done quickly. I am thankful I have a girl…….many mothers who have boys have some crazy stories about opening the diaper and the sprinkler turns on. I can seriously deal without washing pee off the ceiling, thank you very much.

Overall, the first two months were full of ups and downs. With hormone levels out of whack, being awake throughout the night, and watching so many hours of crap television, I am surprised I made it through. BUT I DID!!! And you can too!!!

Welcome to Rambling Mama!

Welcome and thanks for visiting!!

I decided to start this blog so that I can share my experiences as a Mom. When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was excited and scared. Excited for the new life experience, sharing my heart with a child of my own, and growing closer to my partner. Scared of the unknown, of losing my independence, and having another human be 100% dependant on me. Many of my friends have had children so I had a great support system in place, but I really didn't know what I was in for.

People say that you never really prepared for a baby. Sure, I had a crib, swing, clothes, all the necessities for a new baby coming home. What I was not prepared for was the emotional ups and downs, lack of sleep, continuous crying, and limited time for me. Somehow, I managed to get through the last six months in one piece.

Of course, every day presents a new struggle, a new joy, and a new experience, all of which develop me into a stronger person and a better mom.