Friday, June 29, 2012

Rowen's Cradle

Rowen in her cradle at 1 week old

Rowen in her cradle at 19 weeks old

She did this by herself, in an attempt to roll over.

It is an extreme understatement to say that she is ready for her big girl crib.  We have one picked out (pretty much) and will go pick it up when Lowell gets home next week.  

Note: Before anyone sends me messages about SIDS and being a neglectful Momma, I only recently added the bumper pads when she started shoving her little limbs through the bars....  Bumper pads = bad.  But sprained little legs = bad as well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Small Space...Big Big Love

I recently came across an article about a couple in New York City who lived in a typical New York City studio apartment and they had a baby.  They didn't immediately sublet the apartment and put a down payment on a mortage for a house in the suburbs.  They didn't even move to a bigger apartment.  They made their space work!  How brilliant!  You must take a look at it!

Baby's Nursey in a Closet:

This article made me happy.

There is this conception that babies need a lot of stuff.  But they don't really! Children, maybe yes.  Children need a lot of stuff.  But all a Baby wants from you is love, food and a safe cozy place to sleep.  Oh and diapers! Lots of those.

I must admit that I have felt...not embarrassed, but sheepish about the fact that Lowell and I do not have a bedroom for Rowen.  I've caught onto friends and family looking around for the rest of the apartment after they peer into our tiny bedroom from the livingroom/kitchen when they come here for the first time.  Rowen shares a bedroom with us and up until the time that she was about 3 months, she shared our bed with us.  We didn't plan the bedsharing thing but it turned out to be what worked for our little Family.  She now sleeps in her cradle next to our bed and will get a grown-up crib this coming month.

When we hung out with the other parents from our pre-natal class, the host couple who lived in the rather LARGE two bedroom + den (+ a livingroom and kitchen that could fit out entire unit inside it) balked about how baby stuff was taking over their tiny place.  I remember making eye contact with Lowell across the room.  We were both thinking the same thing... "BAHAHAHA they should see our place!"  

Yes, as Rowen continues to grow way too quickly we will move and find her as much space as we can.  She will have a bedroom to call her own.  She will have space to play with her toys.  But in the meantime, while she is a Baby, I don't think we are failing her in any way.  This article reminded me that we are doing a good job regardless of living in a small space.  She has everything she needs to be a strong, healthy, growing Baby.  She is the love of our lives and I tell her this no less than a few dozen times a day.  Sure she doesn't have her own bedroom yet...but she is Happy!  

Square footage and good parenting?  Irrelevant I say!  Let's judge by how big your Baby's smiles are!

Rowen and Chip the Cat
(Chip is her favourite toy that she selected herself from her PILE of stuffed animals and a relic from my younger days)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photos: First week without Daddy & Serious bedhead

Momma officially survived 11 days of single parenthood!  Daddy comes home in a week!  I've gotten take out more often than I'd like to admit.  I'm currently obsessed with the Dragon Bowl from Fresh.  Why is it so delicious???

The days are flying by pretty quickly, though some hours feel super slow on days when Baby is cranky and won't nap.  If she doesn't nap, it means no downtime.... which means being "on" and in "alert and taking care of Baby" mode for 14 hours straight or more.  It can be a bit of a workout, mentally and physically.  I have much much much respect for you, single parents!  

I'm insanely lucky and blessed to have a Baby who is very rarely cranky and mostly very happy!

This week, Rowen rocked some pretty intense bedhead.  
Her hair's thinning out a bit but growing steadily.

We went to visit Auntie Jenn, Jaden and Nathan.  Rowen loves Jaden!

Jaden baked us cookies.  
Isn't this awesome?  Certainly upgraded from my beige rectangle easy bake from the 80's!

Some days, it's hard to get out of bed.  Some days, we don't even bother to for hours.

Gorgeous!  Go organic, guys. Seriously!

More bedhead

More Jolly Jumping!
These pants really are fabulous.  And how about those magnificent thighs?

This week, we really really love reading!

Momma trimmed all of Eileen's nails for the first time since Rowen was born.  
Yes, that means over four months of neglected talon growth.  :(  They were starting to get dangerous and I was afraid that she'd hurt the Baby accidentally, even though she's a gentle Bean. 
 I managed to escape the nail trim (mostly) unscathed...


Monday, June 25, 2012

I *heart* Bugaboo

For those of you who may not be familiar, this is an overview of why I was lusting after the Bugaboo Cameleon:

  • Reversible seat.  I was having anxiety that when Rowen moved onto the stroller portion of our current stroller and no longer fit into the infant seat, she'd be facing away from us.  No more eye contact!  But when she's older, I love the option of having her face out and look around
  • So easy to maneuver!!  We walk around almost exclusively on busy city sidewalks
  • Amazing design. Shock absorby wheels.  All-terrain capability!
  • PRETTY!!!

And well, admittedly, I had a case of childish jealousy.  I was seeing the other Mommas at the park and around the neighbourhood effortlessly pushing their strollers along with one hand and meanwhile, ours felt like a workout.  Others seems to glide over curbs and cracks in the sidewalks while we would jam into them and give Baby a jolt.  City sidewalks are surprisingly bumpy!

Anyway, I have a well-documented and slightly embarrassing case of Stroller Envy.  

I became obsessed with studying reviews, perusing the companies websites,  combing through Craigslist for secondhand deals for weeks.  I'd go into our local store that carries the "fancy" strollers and push them around.  I lusted after a Cameleon but found out that it wouldn't be available in Canada for the next whlile.  I balked at the idea of buying secondhand due to the potential of buying a defective  (we're talking about pushing the precious Rowen Baby in this thing!) or  stolen item.... then my amazing, generous Uncle sent one to Rowen as a gift!  Oh em geee!  Ladies and Gentlemen, this arrived at our door last week:

Our Bugaboo Cameleon in limited edition Electric Blue!

One of Bugaboo's main visions is mobility.  And man, I had no idea what a world of difference we were in for!  I swear they use some sort of magical stroller fairy dust on these wheels.  They glide along and absorb the shock of big bumps yet still "jiggling" Baby just the right amount that she's content that we're moving.

I was able to maneuver the Bug through inside the elevator and the narrow front hall of the apartment, without once bumping the walls.  I actually could do full turn in the elevator easily.  With out old stroller, it was a running joke that I 'bumper car-ed" into the elevator every time.

I walked home with my coffee in one hand and gently steering the Bug (with wrist strap on of course) with my free hand and I had no problems negotiating curbs, crazy CAMH-ers staggering in front of us, turning corners...  I could not believe it!

We are so spoiled to be blessed with a generous Uncle.  I think that everyone should have one of these. Everyone with a Baby, I mean.  Buying secondhand would be well worth it if it's not within your budget.  I recommend it to any parent, especially if you'll be spending time trekking around on foot like us.  This amazing contraption offers peace of mind and freedom.  Pushing the stroller has seriously become effortless!  And no more bumping Rowen's precious head when we bump into a curb instead of gliding over it!

The Cameleon has a bassinet option and then a seat for when Baby gets big enough to sit up.  At first, I was skeptical about the bassinet or "pram" look... but then after taking it out for a spin and seeing Rowen sprawled out luxuriously when she fell asleep, I got it.

For taking transit, I think that maybe the Bugaboo Bee would be easier as it's smaller and lighter but still has the magical Bugaboo fairy dust wheels... It would be easier to lug onto transit and has a one-piece fold if you chose to fold and sling it over your shoulder and hold Baby.  The Cameleon is not quite as portable as the chassis (frame thingy part) and the seat have to seperate to fold.   As a city dweller, if you could afford it, having a Bee and a Cameleon would be the dream.  I'm certainly not complaining though and am absolutely head over heels in LOOOVE with our Cameleon!

p.s. This entry is not endorsed by Bugaboo and is brought on strictly by my own insanity and endless praise for the Cameleon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Floral Safari Rowen

Rowen's first time wearing a floppy hat.  It was pretty funny times for her.

When wearing a safari-esque hat, it's only appropriate to hunt lions.  And...cupcakes?

Gearing up for the cupcake hunt.

This is a Bacon cupcake from Yummy Stuff in Parkdale.  

They do some seriously YUMMY stuff there!  The Bacon cake made me curious... I was prepared for weirdness, but it was amazing and rocked hard.  The cake was a chocolate oatmeal thing and the frosting had that awesome salty-sweet taste going.  I want another one now and will need to go back soon.  I LOVE CUPCAKES!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Video: Jolly Jumping Rowen

It's occurred to me that I need to tweak the layout of this little blog thing.  Okay, I vow to update our "about" section and little blurby line before the end of the month! Or maybe next month? ;) Or let's say, before Rowen hits 6 months.

(Oh my goodness she's growing up way way way too fast!)

And now, a Rowen video for your viewing pleasure...because the photos just don't do justice to how fun the Jolly Jumper is.

 Sadly, I took this video towards the end of a jumping session and she was pretty tired.  Her posture is droopy and tired, I know I know.   I swear I'm not a bad Momma, I rescued her for cuddles immediately afterwards!!  (And yes, she's stomping on a cloth diaper.)

The White Squirrel and Angela Brings Comfort Food

Today was Day 6 of "Momma's Temporary Single Parenthood While Daddy's on Tour".  It was a bit of a tough day as I received some sad news from my Family the night before just as I was headed to bed.  By the time I finally fell asleep, it was exactly the time that Rowen decided to wake up.

But, alas, being Momma to this beautiful little human certainly gives me seemingly super human strength some days.  No matter how tired or mad or sad, this face just makes it okay.

Momma put this funny pink romper on me.  It's so FUNNY!
This gal is my cure-all.

We decided to go for a walk before the crazy heat and humidity (oh the HUMIDITY) set in.  Momma needed a caffeine fix, so we set off for The Squirrel

The White Squirrel Coffee Shop is probably one of my favourites in the city.  It has a great vibe to it... I can't quite put my finger on how to describe it.  It's somehow both sparse and airy yet cozy and homey...if those things could be combined.  I remember going there on a wet winter day for the opening day... and for a good while, I was literally going every single day before work to grab an Americano and a muffin.  Conveniently, it was exactly in the middle of my former 90-second commute to work.  Anyway, my favourite is when the owner is there to make my drink.  And he was today! 

Also, the Squirrel has a feature that I never full appreciated until now.  They have this awesome walk-up window so you can order from the sidewalk and get your coffee (or ice cream!!) without going inside.  Every other coffee shop I can think of in my neighbourhood has a step out front and/or a door that opens outwards.  This makes maneuvering through the doors with a stroller difficult.  Factor in the possibility of having a full hot beverage on the way out and most times, I opt to just skip going in completely if I'm alone.  The window is great for stroller and dog peeps.  As well as smokers, as David the owner pointed out to me today.  I suppose smokers can use the lovely window as well.

The walk to The Squirrel marked my first real walk with Rowen in the Bugaboo.  And man oh MAN, I am in love.  Words... cannot describe what a WORLD of difference this is.  Actually, I lie and up next will be my entry entitled "Stroller Envy Begone - We Are Now Proud Bugaboo Owners, what!!" in which I will use words to describe how marvelous the Cameleon is.

Be still, my heart.

The day continued to get happier when Angela and Cory came by with provisions and open arms for Miss Baby!  Pot pie, Mac n Cheese and cupcakes.  Perfect foods!  Ange, how did you know that all I had eaten all day was a handful of cherry tomatoes at 5am and then a banana muffin with my soy latte?

So now, I suppose we've survived Day 6.  Lowell sent Rowen a video from the van, on the highway somewhere around Medicine Hat apparently.  She liked it and is now fast asleep and I might have to follow her lead very shortly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Belated Early Father's Day Post

  Rowen was just over a day old here and we were getting ready to leave the hospital. Just about 24 hours into Lowell being a Dad.  

Rowen loves goofing around with her Dad.... and I love watching them together.  I can already foresee her being a teenager and totally hating her Momma for not being fun and cool like Daddy.

Happy Father's Day Lowell!  What a crazy amazing adventure we're on together with Ms. Baby!


I forgot to post photos from Lowell's Early Father's Day.  Early because he would be away for actual Father's Day.  He wanted to have a picnic, so we had a picnic with friends in Trinity-Bellwoods.  

Thank-you friends for coming and hanging out with us!!

Uncle Leland (one of Rowen's "real" Uncles!) is very tolerant as she tries to remove hair from his head.

I baked carrot cake cupcakes, as per Lowell's request.  I cheated and used cream cheese frosting from a tub though...

Oh Lowell.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last week.... (Highlight = Jolly Jumper!)

Lowell's Parents bought Rowen a Jolly Jumper last week.  It's definitely been a game changer for her.  She's ready to walk off on her own now...

"This thing is funny, Momma"
A few minutes into her first Jolly Jump here.  She hesitated for about...4 seconds and then she was off!

Bax gets a nice Jolly Jumping pat/lovesmack on the head.

The day before Lowell left, he got some cupcakes from For the Love of Cake.  Two of our favourites (his: salted caramel, mine: grasshopper) and two that were new to us.  

We cut each one in half like usual.  They were gone within a few hours.

Guard Bean

Toe time

Natalya came over with  bahn mi for dinner from Bahn Mi Boys.  SO SO SO GOOD!!  Thank-you Nat, it was much needed!

Another day, another Jolly Jump!

I love these little legs!!!!

There is a thunderstorm and lightening happening right now.  I've embarassingly been afraid of thunder and lightening my entire life.  I secretly want to bring the baby into bed with me so she can protect me with her cuddles.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Daddy's on tour

Her Dad is the Drummer!

Last dinner together on Fresh's sunny patio..

Well friends, I am officially a single parent starting today until late night on July 3, about 18 days!!

  The Heavyweights are on their Western Canada if you're in Western Canada, or know of anyone out there, tell them to go see The Heavyweights Brass Band!!  They are opening for The Roots in Saskatoon on Canada Day, which is really really cool right?

Come visit Rowen and me (and Bax and Eileen too)!  We'd love the company! And if you're not afraid to entertain the  Rowen baby by yourself briefly, I'd probably love a few minutes to take a shower without sticking the poor baby in her bouncy chair on the bathroom floor!!

Also dinner company and strawberry donations are greatly appreciated and always welcome.  I will trade you for adorable Rowen giggle-squeals and ice cream dessert!

Check out the boys' EPK below!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let's talk crib envy. (I'm not afflicted!)

This is the Oeuf Sparrow.  It's so beautiful isn't it?  

This is the IKEA Sundvik.  It's also pretty, right?

Baby stuff is funny.  For every item that you could think to buy for a baby, there exists a "luxury" version and a "budget" version.  How do you tell when it's actually worthwhile to splurge and when it's fine to be practical?  My answer so far to that question is.... it is hit and miss!  I think as a parent, you're inclined to want to spend as much as you can on Baby.  And if you have the money, I think you totally should!!  But in some cases, more expensive doesn't actually equal better.  (See: THE PUJ TUB.  Boo.)

I present to you, the crib that I would purchase for Rowen if it was practical for our budget.  In the grand scheme of things, $800 +tax for the Sparrow isn't that much money.  But when you can spend $159 on the Sundvik for something that's equally as safe and comfortable, I'm inclined to go with the slightly less attractive version and put the money towards say, a "luxury" mattress.  

The Oeuf is definitely prettier.  Oh so much pretty pretty.  It's made of solid birch and it's from fancy, ambigious "handcrafted in Europe" Land.  The Sundvik is kinda the awkward plain cousin.  Looks fine until you line it up right next to the pretty.  It's made of beech and fibreboard and is made by a machine in Sweden.  A plus is that both convert into nice looking little toddler beds when the time comes!  Of course, the Oeuf conversion kit costs another $300 while IKEA includes theirs.  Ultimately, both comply to the same safety standards.  So I say, spend the extra moolah on a great quality mattress since her little body is going to do so much important growing on it.  

I certainly wouldn't turn down an Oeuf if say, I won one or was gifted one.  It falls under the same category as the freakin' Stokke Xplory.  You know what I'm talking about!  (If you don't, google!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

4 months old

Today, Rowen is 4 months old!  FOUR MONTHS!  I will be a broken record and say once again that I can't believe how quickly time is flying by...  and how big she's getting!!

Today I hit a wall at around 5pm like I often do now that Ms Baby has taken to getting up at dawn....  I had to lay down in bed for "just a few minutes" and set Rowen up  next to me with Chip the Cat and barricaded her in with pillows.  I woke up 20 minutes into my half-sleeping to her little hand stroking my lips and teeth, little fingers trying to wedge themselves into my mouth.  Oh little one....

I still can't believe how blessed and lucky we are to have the best behaved baby in the World.  Yes, of course we're slightly biased... And of course she does have her fussy moments but I swear, we won some sort of lottery.  From the moment she was born until now, she is just the most chillaxed little Baby.

Earlier this week, at her check-up and vaccines, she didn't even panic or freak out after she was jabbed with two needles at the same time!  I don't think that I could even handle two needles at once!  Mommy may be good at wielding needles around animals, but being around needles outside a veterinary context makes me stressed and queasy.  I felt awful all morning leading up to her appointment...and the day before.  I felt so awful that our adorable, sweet Baby who trusts us was going to get stabbed with needles and it would be our fault she was hurting.

Last time she had needles, Lowell held her while she was jabbed...  this time around, we couldn't find parking so I went up alone.  I kept hoping that Lowell would get upstairs in time so that I wouldn't have to hold her.  At the very last second, as they were swabbing her chubby thighs with alcohol, Lowell made it.  I felt like wussing out and making him switch spots with me, but I was brave and stayed put. Rowen was so excited to see her Daddy and was momentarily distracted.   I held onto her little hands and braced myself while she got stabbed. But she only cried for about two seconds after the needles and then kinda looked around as if to say "wait... that wasn't so bad.  Yeah, I'm okay now" and abruptly stopped crying.  She was smiley and happy the rest of the day!  How?  How is she so good?  AND HOW IS SHE SO STINKIN' CUTE???

I feel so lucky to be your Momma, Rowen Baby.  You are amazing and I'm still in awe of what a great little person you are!  I can't wait to keep learning and growing with you for years and years... and squishing your little face with kisses and cuddling in bed with you in the morning.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rowen and The Bax

Baxter LOVES laps.
He doesn't quite understand that Rowen's lap is too small for him.
(Note: we never leave the Rowen Baby with the cats unsupervised!  They do love her lots though!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A few photos from our week so far....

 Walked in on them napping like this last weekend.  Excuse me, how cute, right? 

 She LOVES her baths!  Immediately after this, Ms. Rowen proceeded to spalsh me so hard that I had to change my shorts

Beeeeyoooty-fulll!  I enjoyed a Bailey's Coffee, my most favourite drink.

Lowell's gig this past Tuesday night got cancelled at the last minute, so we decided to send me on a solo dessert date while he put the baby to bed with a bottle.  I had not been alone (not counting the bathroom or Doctor's office) in.... AN ENTIRE YEAR!  

Ms. Baby is teething and can't stop drooling or keep her hand out of her mouth.

Her nails are also growing at such a rate that even though I try to trim them all the time (a few times a week!) , she keeps on scratching herself. :(

However, she is still her usual happy happy self!

Just us girls hanging out.  Eileen is pretty much Rowen's guardian cat these days...  Yeah, it's pretty darn cute.