Gifts for New Baby and New Parents

When Harrison was born we had a few visitors, as everyone does. But MANY of our friends here are single and/or childless and aren’t quite into the stage of life yet where all their friends are having babies. So while they wanted to bring a gift, they kind of didn’t know what to bring. The OBVIOUS choice is a 0-3 month outfit from Carter’s. Quick, returnable if something goes wrong with it, and a pretty safe bet. But what if you don’t live near one or don’t want to do that? Well this is for you!

1. A Good Travel Mug.

When you have a brand new baby it’s EXTREMELY hard to drink a cup of coffee before it’s cold and wretched. We have an abundance of travel mugs, which I’m not quite sure why, and I started putting my coffee in there. Then I could drink it when I had set him in his playpen to stare at the ceiling or nap for 5 minutes and it was always STILL HOT. My friend fought doing this for the longest time and then was like “WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING THIS IS THE BEST!” See? I’m right.

2. Their Drink of Choice.

I don’t suggest this to be like “YOUR LIFE IS SO HARD NOW LOLZ LET’S GET DRUNK!” but rather, for birth moms, they haven’t had a full drink since they found out they were pregnant. And sometimes that sucks, yo. Especially if you really enjoy a certain drink, like a *cough* gin and tonic every once in a while. Nursing moms, you can drink. I mean, not excessively, but a glass of wine/a beer is fine, just do so right after you nurse. Some friends brought us wine and we dug in basically right away.

3. Food in any form.

FOR REALS. Cooking with a baby needing constant attention is sometimes impossible, AND you’re pretty tired, so even if they’re sleeping you don’t really want to be cooking. Meals that go in the freezer are great, and don’t be afraid to bring something, EVEN IF you’re not a great cook. Some people stopped at a grocery with one of those self serve salad/appetizer bars and compiled a dinner for us and we were extremely appreciative and ate it all. One thing we often make for people is this. And we make a HUGE 4x batch and give them enough for like 3 meals and then we eat it for dinner that night too.

4. One Handed SnacksGet a bunch of those Ziploc snack bags and put together a ton of one handed snacks. As I’ve said before, newborns need almost constant attention and it’s hard to get away sometimes. So you can hold them while they sleep or nurse and eat nuts, veggies, granola, whatever with one hand. Do it.5. Cleaning ServiceYou can get people a maid for a day, or YOU can be the maid. When we were brand new parents (we still are), my husband was able to stay home from work with us for FIVE weeks. Not everyone has that privilege, and having a cleaner come by about a week after the (assuming here) husband goes back to work could be a Godsend. Tidying was fine, babies don’t make a lot of mess, but CLEANING was definitely put on the back burner. The bathrooms, eww. And when can I vacuum with a baby “always” sleeping? Oh, I’ll do it on my ten minute break when I. Just. Can’t. listen to them scream for another second.6. Take Their Other ChildOk, don’t TAKE their other child. Only borrow. And only with permission. Now, in my experience, when people have a second child, they seem to be in much better spirits than with the first, and seem to have EVERYTHING under control, but they will I PROMISE YOU appreciate it if you take their toddler to the park for an hour. Even if they just sit and stare at the wall, they’ll appreciate the silence for a few minutes.7. Something for LaterIf you want to get them something tangible, you can get their baby something for later, like clothing in a bigger size (just be cautious of changing seasons) or a toy for when they are bigger (if you need a suggestion, FREAKIN’ STACKING RINGS AND CUPS ARE A HUGE HIT AND SO SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE).

That’s all I’ve got!

Do you have anything to add?

– Sarah

Posted in 2013 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Baby and Toddler First Aid Kit

As you bring your first baby into the world, you realize a NUMBER OF THINGS. One of which is that you wish you’d had that *thing* (whatever it is) at home already instead of having to go and buy it in the middle of a heated situation (moms of teething babies be like mmhmm, mmhmm). Now I don’t like to buy things that aren’t really necessary in case I don’t use them but it’s definitely worth it to stock your first aid kit with a few must-have items. I’ve listed them below. Now while Harrison isn’t quite a toddler just yet, I’ve also included some items I’m aobut to add to our first aid kit to last us the toddler and child years. Cringe.

Baby First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Gripe Water – also helpful: liquid baby Probiotic for infant gas. This is the one we use.
  • Thermometer – imagine wondering and wondering and wondering if they’re sick because they feel warm etc. Just get a thermometer and you’ll know in less than a minute.
  • Nasal aspirator – you don’t want to be messing around if your baby’s sinuses are clogged. Make sure you have one of these on hand. I recommend the Nosefrida.
  • Infant Tylenol – teething pain seems to be more aggravated at night, which is the last time you want to be out buying infant Tylenol.

Once they start crawling, pulling up, standing, walking and FALLING, you’ll want some heavier duty stuff on hand.

Toddler First Aid Kit Checklist

  • Bandaids – bonus points for any character or theme they like, although I’ll just go with the neon coloured ones. Get a bunch of sizes.
  • Butterfly bandaids – for those terrible splits – and keeping them together especially if you have to go to the hospital, double cringe.
  • A couple lollipops or other long lasting treat – nothing worse than trying to do something totally unpleasant with a worked up child. Seriously.
  • Antiseptic – for cleaning the gravel out of the wound.
  • Benadryl or other suitable antihistamine. For when you find out your child is allergic to whatever just stung them.
  • Gauze and a tensor bandage – I’ve never used them but the kit has always had them and I’m afraid to be without it!

And of course any other items you seem suitable depending on the situation, your lifestyle, where you live etc – i.e. a camping first aid kit is MUCH more robust!

What would you add?

– Sarah

Posted in 2013 | Leave a comment

Nautical Nursery Tour

It’s been so long since I posted here. I had a nursery tour all ready to go though, so here it is. Oh, also. I had a baby this year. If I neglected to mention that.

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the water and everything about it. I have always loved the crispness of navy and white together and grew up with a bedroom in that scheme. Throw in some double breasted jackets and gold buttons and I’m “on board,” if you will.

When I was newly pregnant, my husband took me took see a submarine in real life for the first time. It was in Connecticut and we stayed at a bed and breakfast in a nautical-themed room and loved it. We already had a dresser we were going to use as a change table and it was stained a light colour that was impossible to match. I was wondering what I was going to do with it and thought of going with a muted Hundred Acre Wood colour scheme and then the thought if everyone giving us Winnie the Pooh everything was too much to bear (BEAR, get it?!). I decided I could do a nautical theme no problem with a couple colours of wood. It freed me from continuing to search for a wood to match the dresser.

Here is what we started with. Yes it always was that messy.

Before

We removed that white shelf and painted that wall navy and the rest a very very light grey.

2Our friends gave us an espresso crib, you can see that in the corner above. I bought the glider and draped a yellow quilt over it that my mother in law made the baby. I grabbed a lumbar pillow for $14.99 from Target that fit the theme perfectly.

3

Then I stained some Ikea spice racks (more here) to use as bookshelves and made a couple of curtains from two tablecloths (more here).

4I finished off the crib with a navy striped crib sheet and white/navy crib skirt. I finished the decor on the navy wall with an “AHOY” burlap pennant banner for $15 off Etsy, a “Welcome Aboard” navy and white buoy for $20 from Ebay and a $10 (on sale) oar from Canadian Tire.

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Three boat cleats-as-coat-hooks and a $5 shelf that I stained myself go along the wall with the door. The shelf is pretty dainty so it houses only light, decorative items, including a sailor’s hat from the submarine we visited in December.6

5 I eventually want to put two books there that are nautical, but I didn’t really have any so I just went with the colour scheme.

Opposite the navy wall is the low dresser that started it all. You’ll notice the shelves have been stained to match it. Ordinarily I would have spray painted the shelves but I figured on a boat you see many natural fabrics and different kinds of wood so that was my inspiration for the stain.

I bought an $8 vintage-inspired world map off of Ebay and mounted it above the change table. Our diaper pail is behind the door. And you can see the hamper in the before picture. I don’t have an after pic of it because it was in the laundry room. Here’s before and after:

Change-Table-B-AThe diapers-and-wipes box (holding our Applecheeks!) was from HomeSense and the navy change pad cover I bought when we drove across the border one day. Psst also see that little snakey thing above the change pad? That’s a Mighty Bright booklight that I had in my bedside table from FOREVER ago. I think it was a stocking stuffer one year. Anyway, I clipped it to the dresser and it’s an invaluable aid for night time diaper changes. Seriously so handy. Except when the baby kicks it, because it’s got a flexible neck on it.

I finished the room with a beigey rug from Ikea that I don’t LOVE but whatever, it’s fine.

Here is a before and after panoramic:8

and the other view:9

I’m still looking for a side table to put beside the glider but that’s a very slow process.

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Posted in Baby | Tagged , , , , , ,

It’s Been A While

Hey! It’s been a VERY long time since I blogged! I hope to pick it up again soon, but until then you can find me writing regularly over on the Snuggle Bugz Blog here.

See you there!

Sarah

Posted in 2013

What I Wore – August/September

The end of August was pretty crazy around here so I didn’t get an August WIW post up. Here it is! The two dresses at the bottom (blue/gold and red/white/gold) are new finds I bought in Boston. Not necessarily a bargain but I like getting dresses from independent stores while I’m visiting a city. It rounds out my wardrobe. I also bought a few new pairs of pants in these two months to suit my NEW BODY coughbiggercoughgetsomeexercisesarah. Anyway, which item is your favourite? Leave a comment and let me know!

WhatIWore_AugSep-2

Posted in 2013, Fashion, What I Wore | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Adventures in Boston

“Oh you’re going to Boston? *pause* foooor….?”

This was many of my conversations leading up to our trip to Boston. Yes, we’re going to Boston. No, we don’t really have a reason. I know it’s not NYC, LA, Chicago, Vegas etc, but it’s certainly on the list of MOST AWESOME PLACES IN THE USA. Who made that list? Well I did. Having been to the aforementioned four cities, two of them we visited together, we can say that Boston is absolutely world class and you won’t be disappointed in your trip there. So here’s my summary of what we did. For you, mom, and the other two people reading this.

First we missed our flight. We were flying out of the nearest US city and time at the border took longer than usual. Now you’re probably saying “well, YES it always takes a long time,” and I’ll just say that it was FIVE THIRTY in the morning. ON A SATURDAY. So after spending way too long idling in our car (beside the “no idling” sign, mind you), we made our way to the airport – to be greeted with a 50-minute long line for security. We made it to our gate 4 minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave. And let me tell you, JetBlue doesn’t mess around. So we missed it. But luckily for my suitcase, IT had NO PROBLEM getting on the flight – cue heart attack at baggage claim when it doesn’t come off the conveyor belt. We were plunked on the standby list and got on the next flight a couple hours later. No harm, no foul. I guess.

We rented a lovely apartment in the South End off of AirBnB – by the way, once you go AirBnB, you never go back. It was like we were actually LIVING in Boston.

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Not a hotel to be found, no tourists staying anywhere nearby. Just us, our apartment key and our weekly transit passes. Sidebar: public transit in Boston makes public transit in Calgary look like the HIGHWAY ROBBERY that I will always maintain it is.

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We did a bit TOO MUCH our first day there which we repeated through the week so I’ll just skip that.  We did end the night with dinner with my bloggy/social media/online friend, Katie, who I met through blogging in 2005 when I lived in Montreal. And we’ve corresponded ever since then – sometimes more regularly than others – but had never met in person. Katie actually sent me a metal star ornament from Texas that says “The stars at night are big and bright” and I still have it hanging on the knob of my bedside table, many years later. So we met for dinner and it was as though we were old friends which, I guess, we are! Conversation and laughs both flowed freely as we ate, walked, ate, and – you guessed it – walked. Katie and her husband, Jeremiah were a sparkle in our trip, two friendly faces in an unfamiliar city.

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We took in a Red Sox game, which was an amazing step back into time at Fenway Park. I expected everyone to be wearing hats and tweed blazers. The best time I’ve ever had at a baseball game, hands down. Amazing.IMG_6116

We poked around Boston Common (like Central Park, but in Boston), grabbed dinner at Cheers (no, nobody knew our names, because I know you’re going to ask) and did some shopping on Newbury Street.

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We saw the majestic Public Library and were thrilled to see it being used as a library and not just a museum.

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We (mostly Graham) visited used bookstores on every corner and visited Harvard to see where the magic happens.

HarvardBookStore

We walked the 4km Freedom Trail (which ends with a hike up a huge hill, by the way) and learned about the founding fathers of the city. We learned about how Boston fought for America’s independence and all there was to know about Paul Revere other than his shoe size, which I’m sure we could have found out if we’d wanted to know.

freedomtrail

We downloaded a $3 app and took it along with us on the Freedom Trail. It was amazing. Best app ever for the purpose. We learned so much more than those poor chumps who had to read the plaques and every stop. Losers. Here we are, the actual losers, listening to our audio tour.

AudioTour

And here is my favourite photo from the trip – Graham inside a “box pew” in The Old North Church which is where they hung the lanterns to signal that the British were coming.

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We drank before noon at our Samuel Adams Brewery tour and then drank a bit more when we went right afterwards to L Street Tavern from Good Will Hunting and realized they didn’t serve food. Poor planning on that one, she says as she stumbles up the street.

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And as we were leaving, we waited an hour on the bus and three hours at the airport as weather had delayed everything. The rough travel in and out hadn’t deterred us – we loved Boston and will definitely be back.

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Posted in 2013 | 2 Comments

What I Wore in July

I can’t believe it’s August. July’s weather was weird and had pretty much every temperature and humidity possible. Here’s what I wore to tackle it.If these were in order you’d be able to see my lovely haircut deteriorating as the month goes on. That’s the trouble with shorter hair!

Comment and let me know which outfit is your fave! Special guest appearance from my boss who WORE THE SAME THING AS ME on one day. Unknowingly. Maybe it was me who wore the same thing as her?

WhatIWore_July

Posted in 2013, Fashion, The Daily 'Drobe, What I Wore | Tagged , ,