Thursday, 29 March 2012

All over again

A year ago, at 3am, Alice decided to start a new journey...resulting in the purchase of a new amniotic fluid free mattress! My childbirth was not a lovely walk in the park and I'm definitely not one of those women who managed to give birth on the backseat of a taxi cab after having contractions for a grand total of 35 minutes. For a few hours, I didn't have any contractions but as soon as they started it was a real pain in the (so many options) know what I mean.

So, is it normal that I would love to give birth to Alice all over again (and here I'm not talking about giving birth to a second child)?

Yes, you read correctly! If it was possible, I would be over the moon if I could live those few intense hours again.

Last week, I went to see my regular gynecologist who did my first echography when I was 6 weeks pregnant. He asked me how my labor went. Without hesitation, I told him in a very enthusiastic voice that even if giving birth to Alice implied a great deal of pain the experience was totally awesome and when I think about it I have shivers of excitement. The look on his face made me realized that probably not that many women have a similar wish. Yes, I'm a freak!

As a teenager, I religiously watched Gilmore Girls. Many years later, I remembered 3 major things about that show:
1) They were talking too fast for viewers who were learning English as a second language (aka me).
2) Rory and Lorelai had wardrobes that didn't fit their budget (especially the last few seasons).
3) Lorelai wakes up Rory every year at 4:03am, the day that she was born, to tell her the story of her birth.

Since I can't re-live Alice's birth, I will, just like Lorelai, tell Alice the story of her birth every year at the same time (5:20pm). It will be our little (and pain free for me) tradition.

Now, can I at least eat some ice chips ;)

Happy Birthday Alice. I love you more everyday.

* * * * *

kimu: Slowly, I will find a "fairly firm" pillow for Alice. There is no rush but it is good to know.

vanessa at lynn david: It seems that we often have great timing regarding baby stuff :) Isn't it cute when they put their little head on the pillow.

jacinthe: Ah ouin! Chez IKEA. Facile :)

tjremp: I'm happy that you like my little blog. Take care xox

daniela: Oh, you people in Norway are so awesome (totally jealous here). I have images of babies with adorable duvet in their crib!!!

emily: At the moment, Alice sleeps with a baby sleeping bag but soon it will be too warm. I think that we will start using a light blanket (or a light quilt) for her crib. At her age, just like you, I'm not too worried about a blanket in her crib.

señorita puri: They are all so pretty. I can't wait to make one, similar to this style, for Alice.

oscarlucinda: Yes, it was fun :) xox

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ignorant Claudia - pillow talk

At what age is it safe to let your baby sleep with a pillow (and a duvet)?

I generally take an afternoon nap with Alice and I realized that she really enjoys resting her head on my pillow. She also does it with our floor cushions when she is getting a bit tired of chasing the cat ;)

A few weeks ago, while she was fighting a nasty cold, we elevated her head a bit with a pillow since she was very congested. I think that she fell in love with the pillow at that moment!

Also, is there such thing as a "toddler pillow"?

Thank you!

Lovely toddler bedding by Colette Bream.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Let the sunshine in

After a few very warm days (25C or 77F), most Montrealers were pretty sad to start the week with more normal spring temperatures (-2C or 28F). So the timing was perfect when I received some "sunshine" from the delightful blogs Oscarlucinda and Last Day of May. Thank you ladies!

Favorite color?
Red always made me happy but green is slowly getting a bigger place in my heart.

Favorite animal?
Pretty much anything that is cute and fuzzy.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Chai latte with soy milk but I would be equally happy with a glass of cold water.

Facebook or twitter?
A neglected Facebook.

Favorite number?
3 (odd numbers are always the best).

Favorite day of the week?
Saturday because we religiously go for brunch at the same restaurant.

My passions?
Well, is it strange if I say that my daughter and my husband are my passions? What? It is true! However, I have a real interest in living a simple and relax life with them.

Getting or giving presents?
Now that I'm "old", giving presents makes me really happy...especially if it is spontaneous.

Favorite pattern?
Stripes, stripes, stripes, stripes and anything Scandinavian.

Favorite flower?
Ranunculus are sssssoooo pretty.

Now, if you would like a bit more sunshine in your life, feel free to answer those fun little questions!


paula kiliclar: I also think that it is pretty cool. I can't wait to see it.

oscarlucinda: So happy to know that you also like the concept of, as you so nicely said, carefully crafted piece of 'furniture' to keep & pass down.

olena: Wow, thank you for all those links.

jacinthe: Et la chaise de PO est tellement cute :)

jamie: A basket full of musical instruments is AWESOME. Alice already has a few instruments and she loves music. Great idea.

anonymous: Alice is also a big fan of Queen. Of course, Henri Des is such a classic. I used to listen to him when I was a kid.

michaela: Thank you so much for the information. So much good music.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Long term investment

Since I was in denial about Alice's first birthday (March 30th), I didn't give much thought on what we will give her as a gift.

We love the idea of just giving her one (1) gift but it has to be pretty awesome. I prefer giving her one object that will rock her world (fine, an empty box could probably do the trick but you know...) instead of many items that will eventually get lost in a sea of baby junk. And because I categorized myself as an "hippie chic" mom, I generally go for hand crafted - natural materials - minimalist design - durable. In other words, I'm pretentious, picky and it drives my family crazy.

While quietly rocking Alice to sleep, I told myself that we could give her a fun rocking device for her birthday. Etsy to the rescue!

And the winner is a Rocking Sheep by Bright Spark Design...with a 7-8 weeks delay due to popular demand. This brings us after Alice's birthday but she probably won't mind. Especially since she is a bit too young to use a Rocking Sheep all by herself (about 18 months).

Yes, it is a bit pricey but I intend on keeping it as a souvenir even when Alice will be too big to use it. After all, my mom still has my old rocking horse at her house.

* * * * *

little gray pixel: Bowie! I need some Bowie for Alice.

painted fish studio: Thank you.

anonymous: Wow, thank you for the link.

kt: Awesome! You are an expert at baby music. And I love to do car operas :)

olena: I will try to find those books/CDs in Montreal. Anyway, I have many friends that are from France so they can always find them for me! However, would you have the title? Thank you.

ines: Thank you so much for the informations. It looks pretty cool.

nankie: I really want to thank you for your comment regarding breastfeeding. This is the kind of thing I see myself doing. You are an awesome mom. xox

one claire day: Ah! I like to thin that Alice will have good taste in music...especially when she will be a teenager ;)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A bit cliché

When my dad came to the hospital after I gave birth, he gave me a beautifully illustrated Alice in Wonderland book. My mom gave us the Disney version. And now, I decided that it would be interesting to have a small collection of Alice in Wonderland books. Yeah yeah, totally cliché when your baby girl is named Alice but what can I say!

This colorful board book by Jennifer Adams will soon find its way to Alice's library!

And if you know any cool Alice in Wonderland books (vintage or new), please, let me know.

* * * * *

little gray pixel: I enjoy Rockabye Baby. It is just that I imagine, I don't know, Thom Yorke (Radiohead) saying "What the fuck have they done to my music!!!". Anyway, I was mostly looking for day time music...I love to dance with Alice :)

hello milky: Thank you so much for the information. I should also get a Bob Dyland record for Alice. Good idea!

linda: Wow, she is so freakin cool. I must ABSOLUTELY order her CD.

anne: I have this CD (Un dimanche à Kyoto) from the library and it is pretty nice. The vocabulary is very rich (maybe a bit too much) but Alice enjoys it. Everything else was very boring with a lot of pipi-caca vocabulary. I will let you know if I find something.

sid: I did a little research and watched one of his video. It is super fun. This is exactly what I was trying to say : non-condescending!

last day of may: Another record I must find : Jackson 5. I'm so happy to know that I'm not the only one doing daily "baby dance party". xox

shannah: This is a sign! With a name like that it must be good for Alice and I (ah ah ah)! We will get that CD for sure.

gillian: The Beatles are so awesome for babies. I was very happy to get a few records from my dad. I just hope that Alice won't break them too soon. Wow, so many people enjoy Elizabeth Mitchell. How come I didn't know her? Thank you for the other suggestions.

taryn: I will take a look at Putumayo Kids. And I'm curious...a Quebec CD?!?

gimbo: There are so many good indie-folk artists that are totally fine for kids. Well, more the music than the words but whatever ;)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Searching for good tunes

Every afternoon, Alice and I boogie down to some music. Michael Jackson, Charles Aznavour, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Sigur Ros, Manu Chao, Beastie name it!

Once in a while, I let her "choose" a vinyl from my dad's small collection. Who knew that my father was into Jimi Hendrix? Alice loves to look at our turntable! John, Paul, Ringo and George get their butt kicked regularly as Alice inevitably smashes the turntable cover with her dirty little hands.

However, I would like to know about any good music that is a bit more targeted to babies...but that is still enjoyable to adults. Does it exist?

note: I already listened to a few tunes on the Rockabye Baby web site but I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the entire concept. Is it lame or cool...still not sure!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Right this second...

...I want to get those adorable yellow shoes for my little lady.

Ruffled Mary Jane from Podsshoes

Friday, 2 March 2012

Poultry humor

My little lady just turned 11 months old. I nurse at night (once or twice) and welcome Alice in our queen size bed after her first leisurely snack. Until last week, her crib was in our bedroom. To be honest, I moved her crib because when two people that are not college students love each other very very much they enjoy the comfort of a bed for certain activities!

Now back to night feeding. For some well intentioned people, this lifestyle could be an act of laziness but for me it is completely the opposite. Of course, I'm well aware that my 11 month old baby doesn't need to drink milk at night to meet her nutritional needs. However, I see benefits in night feedings (also much easier since we are cosleeping) and since it doesn't affect me too much at the moment, I'm in no rush to completely night wean Alice.

This post is not about night feeding. As far as I'm concerned, we are free to do whatever we want as long as it works for our family. This post is a quick reminder that following your motherly instincts is super important and that certain advice, even from lovely friends, should be like water off a duck's back unless you want to find yourself running around like an headless chicken.

Ah, it is funny because it is a duck and a poultry humor a clue that I should stop feeding Alice at night? Yeah, I don't think so!

The unorthodox toy basket

Alice has her share of fancy toys that I carefully selected over the past few months. However, if I really want to make her happy, I get the Treasure Basket (aka Hippie Basket).

I don't remember why I visited that web site but the text that I read changed my vision of how babies play and how, as parents, we often don't realized that simple is generally much better.

I also learned a new term: Heuristic Play. Basically, it describes the activity of children as they explore the properties of objects from everyday life. Heuristic play with babies (from the time that they can sit unaided to around 18 months) revolves around the use of the Treasure Basket. Babies put everything in their mouth since it is their way to explore objects. By creating a Hippie Basket filled with 20-30 objects, which comprise a variety of textures and materials, you will provide a rich experience that will inevitably stimulate your baby's senses.

To make your Hippie Basket, you obviously need...a basket. Then look around your house for baby safe objects like a small knitted toy, a pocket mirror, a paint brush, a silk scarf, a whisk, a notebook, etc. You can also add a few "short term objects" like a finished toilet paper roll, an egg box, a lemon (?!? but Alice loves it) or a big pine cone.

Once your Hippie Basket is completed, let your kid play with it for about 45 minutes everyday. Of course, if Alice decides to investigate the big pine cone, I will supervise a bit more to make sure that she is not going to choke on an eventual piece of broken pine cone. However, don't become an helicopter parent and please let your baby explore "real" objects not targeted for babies.

In a world were toys are so intense that they limit a child's creativity and discovery, heuristic play came to our life as a breath of fresh air...and it is free so why not give it a try!

* * * * *

Thank you so much for your amazing comments regarding my hypochondriac tale. You are the best medicine! xox