Sunday, 29 April 2012

Alice and I are going screen free!

See you after screen-free week (however, I gave myself a little 10 minutes each day)!
Have a lovely week.
Claudia and Alice

Sunday, 22 April 2012

week 3 - kiss me (and a "spring cure")

Over the past few months, I wrote on my baby blog, I read baby books, I watched baby documentaries, I took baby (swimming, massage, yoga, herbalism, etc.) classes, I bookmarked baby activities and projects...

I'm surrounded by a group of awesome mom friends who enjoy drinking coffee while chatting stuff (well, not all the time).

Also, when I talk to my family, I get to repeat over and over again the same "baby record" because even if babies evolve at a fast rhythm, they generally don't change that much in 24 hours!

No wonder that sometimes my head spins and all I can think is baby-baby-baby!

So I thought about a friend of mine who goes to a "silence retreat" at a monastery to "recenter himself". Baby and monastery retreat would not go well together and I'm not at all looking to isolate myself from Alice or my husband. However, I could create settings that will help me get centered physiologically and physically.

This is my plan for the next 4 weeks:

Finishing spring cleaning 
(a clutter free home is less stressful)

Limiting social activities to a minimum

Cleaning up my social media
(no need to follow a gazillion blogs or Facebook friends)

Cutting to a minimum my use of "screen" technology
(Screen-Free Week anybody?)

Reading a book that is not baby related
(any suggestion?)

Sewing for me and for Alice

Taking one 30 minute walk each day with Alice

Doing a small yoga session each day

Drinking 8 glasses of water each day

Following the Canadian Food Guide
(and hopefully add some extra pounds!)

Taking my post-natal vitamins

Drinking "real" homemade herbal tea 

Having a positive attitude and avoiding negative discussions

Picking my "battles"...if any!
(won't waste time on futile things)

What do you do to "center" yourself?

* * * * * 

note: Alice has her own "Montessori inspired" mirror in her bedroom (don't worry it is very baby friendly) and, as you can see, she really enjoys it!

note: Alice is full of scratches. She is climbing on sofas, walking faster and faster and getting more active everyday...awesome but slightly "dangerous". 

* * * * * 

ali: A dirty kid is a happy kid. 

vanessa at lynn david: Alice loves the swing. You should totally go! 

paula kiliclar: Don't tell me that ;) 

red boots: The doll is from Ella at Little Red Caboose. However, I don't think that she makes them anymore. 

núria: OMG, thank you! This is AWESOME. I will order it asap. 

sarahgreen: Thank you so much.

Monday, 16 April 2012

week 2 - Alice at the park

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Kitten Approved Activities

Over the past few weeks, I realized that toddlers are indeed like sponges because they absorb everything that they see. It it at the same time fascinating and a bit scary.

When I decided to become a stay at home mom, I knew that I would have to turn myself into a "daycare worker" and find ways to educate and entertain my daughter while, at the same time, giving her the opportunity to discover the world freely and at her own rhythm. Easier said than done for somebody who has zero experience with toddlers.

Thank God for Internet and the library!

Since there are maybe other moms in that situation, I will regularly post Kitten (aka Alice) Approved Activities that were a success in our home.

The eggs "dedans" the carton

Alice's first word was "dedans" (inside) and it also became her favorite activity. It started with putting her wooden blocks "dedans" a plastic bin. To add a bit more challenge, I got her a set of beautiful wooden eggs (also good for her future "kitchen", a spring Montessori style nature table...oh, the possibilities!) and cut in half an empty egg carton that was in our recycle bin (with an awesome chicken on the lid).

Basically, I gave Alice the eggs and the empty carton and let her try to fill each compartment. Simple but an instant hit with my little lady.

* * * * *

di: It was (I think) a lovely party!

paula kiliclar: Eating...well, maybe not but playing with it, oh yes.

little wild moose: And by keeping it simple you actually have time to enjoy the day with your baby, your husband and your friends.

pauper: I just saw that you posted on your "sadly-neglected blog". I was so happy to know there was still a little baby on its way. Take care xox

ani castillo: Absolutely right! We also called it the "We survived one year with a baby" party and "I got stitches on my vagina one year ago" celebration ;)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Alice's birthday "party"

Until about a month before Alice's birthday, I was mostly against the idea of having a "party" for her...a "party" with many people (young and old), a cake with icing that will end up all over her body, the dilemma regarding presents (I don't want people to feel obligated to buy a present) and the stress of a potential crying party girl (Alice pretty much never cries but this type of event could be a wonderful opportunity for her very first screaming fit).

I don't really know why I changed my mind but I figured that there are certain things that can only be done once in a lifetime and Alice's first birthday is one of those.

I kept things pretty simple even if I would have enjoyed a complete petting zoo in my small living room, ah! Seriously, we had a table with snacks, a lovely bouquet of tulips, 12 yellow balloons, a reading corner with board books, fabric garlands, floor cushions, a "photo booth" activity, toys to entertain the kids and a grand total of 19 people (3 babies, 3 toddlers and 13 adults).

And it was a success!

My conclusion for a stress free young kiddo party:
keep it short (less than 2 hours)
keep it simple
keep the guest list kid friendly (Alice sees these people frequently and enjoys their company)

I can't believe I now have a toddler!

* * * * *

lina: It is such a funny museum! I must go again with some friends. My dad also told me good things about the museum of civilization in Ottawa and the science museum in Toronto (I actually visited both but it was many many many years ago).

kt: Vikings rocks! When we were in Iceland we were totally amazed by Vikings (at the museum...hihihi). This Viking Museum in Oslo absolutely on my list.

ani castillo: Wow, you are a loyal reader :) Thank you so much. You are right, museums can be pretty expensive. And just like you, I believe that even if they only remember the fat squirrels, there must be some neuronal connections or something like that. Now, I will take a look at your blog. xox

kimu: The good things with zoos and aquariums (and museums with kid oriented exhibits) is that I would go anyway because I love those kind of things. Thankfully, my husband is just like me :)

Thursday, 5 April 2012

To the museum

When I was 5 years old, my parents brought me to see a fascinating exhibit called The great Pharaoh Ramses II and his time. For many years, I dreamed of becoming an Egyptologist. Many of my school projects were about Egypt and I even had a hieroglyph stamp set. Sadly (or luckily since there are not that many work opportunities for an Egyptologist in Montreal), I never pursued my childhood dream and did a business degree.

At the grand age of 1 year old, Alice has already visited 5 museums:
Montreal Fine Art Museum (Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit)
Montreal Botanical Garden (Butterflies Go Free)
McCord Museum (Toys 2)
Biodome (Permanent Exhibit)
Redpath Museum (Permanent Exhibit)

Each visit was a complete success. Alice was wide awake, looking curiously around her, fascinated by the shapes, colors, textures, sounds and smells that were surrounding her. Of course, she does not care that much about the tragic extinction of dinosaurs or the Monarch Butterfly migration. However, I'm convinced that each of these experiences can have an impact on the way that she sees "her" world.

Alice might not talk a lot (5 words so far) but it was obvious that she was having a good time at the Redpath Museum since her facial expression and her body language changed many times during our visit (about 45 minutes).

Visiting a museum with a baby/toddler implies a few challenges but with some time management and realistic expectations the experience should be enjoyable for the parents and the kiddo.

What is your favorite museum (visited with or without kids)?

* * * * *

paula kiliclar: Thank you. Her room is slowly having more "personality"! It's fun:)

sew nancy: Ah ah ah, this is not is just me playing with paint during one afternoon :)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

How to build front facing book shelves

Step 1: take a look at your DIY options on Pinterest (search "front facing book shelves")

Step 2: figure out what you want to do

back piece is 3/4" by 5.5"
bottom piece is 3/4" by +/- 4.5" (see note)
front piece is 3/4" by 1.5"
shelf is 20" long

Step 3 : go to the hardware store to get the material (wood, glue, screws, paint, etc.)

Step 4: feel like an super mom because you are doing "woodwork" for your kid's room

Step 5: spend way to much time creating a pretty book layout (add some toys...'cause it's cute)

Step 6: look at your carefully selected board books getting beat up by your kid as she pleases (Alice can easily reach the bottom shelf so those books are in big trouble!!!)

Step 7: are awesome!

note: the measurements include all 3 pieces of wood (2 verticals and 1 horizontal)

* * * * *

courtney: Thank you! Everything is great and life is good :)

pj: You are so right. How can this be possible that!?! Time sure flies "sigh"

Monday, 2 April 2012

week 1 - the yellow birthday balloon

I love Alice to the moon and back but I realized that the number of baby pictures that I take slowly decreases with time. I'm aware that I probably have more pictures than the average mom but the average mom might not have a "fancy" camera available to fulfill her need to document her child's fascinating life, ah!

Now that we celebrated Alice's first birthday, I will embark on a little photographic weekly journey...into toddlerhood!!

Simple, everyday stuff.

* * * * *

linda: Thank you so munch. You are so right (we would cherish it more because we know the beautiful person who we are going to meet).

paula kiliclar: Thank you. Her birthday was great (I will post about it soon).

ulla v.: I also like the idea of a birthday tradition. Thank you again for the pattern. xox

kimu: Thank you :)

anonymous: Thank you Tibi.

bess callard: Hey, you never wrote your birth story!!! I love to read birth stories :)

luke and pamela: Ah, thank you so much. You are so nice. xox

sandra: I know! Where did the year go? Hello, I have a toddler now!!!

gillian: Birth story birth story birth story :) I want to read your birth story!

oscarlucinda: Thank you. I didn't know that Gilmore Girls would influence me as a mom, ah!

su: Gilmore Girls was awesome...but not the last season and lets not even talk about the end!

anonymous: Thank you so much for all the information. I love to get different point of views when I ask a question on my blog :)