Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some things I said today…

Hi friends,

I had one of those days. The not so good kind. I think The Boy woke up and decided today was going to be Mess With Mommy Day. At breakfast, he would not eat. Instead, he spat his cereal in my face. Nice. I persisted in trying to feed him and he kept spitting. As I started to clear the dishes, he pointed to the cereal bowl and started screaming, like I was taking his food away. After this drama, he decided to eat.

I was hoping to be productive today and clean the house. No such luck. I did manage to cook a delicious and fairly nutritious dinner so yay for me! I didn’t really accomplish much else though. I was too exhausted to do anything by the time Baby Daddy got home so the house is still filthy. Here’s a line-up some of the (non-swearing) things I have had to say today:

“Please stop spitting out your food.”

“Why did you spit cereal in my face? That was not nice.”

“Stop screaming.” Repeated this several times throughout the day.

“Do not bit my toe.”

“Stop biting my knee.”

“We do not chew on Mommy’s shoulder.”

“Why did you bite my cheek?”

“No climbing! Feet on the floor”

“Where are your pants?”

“Go back to sleep, nap time isn’t over.”

After picking up 3 pacifiers and his lovey from the floor, “go back to sleep, nap time isn’t over.”


“Stop screaming at Mommy, I will give you more yogurt.”

“Do not try to climb on the baby gates”

“Stop shaking the baby gate.”

“How did you figure out how to open the gate?”

“Stop chewing Elmo’s eyes.”

“Do I have to sing C is for Cookie and make singing motions with the Cookie Monster hand puppet again? Ok, I can’t resist the sad face so one more time for you.” I swear I had to sing that song 512 times today.

“Only one piece of orange in your mouth please.”

“Where the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS did YOUR FATHER put the potholders again?”

Some things The Boy said to me:

“Bbb...” while pointing to a book. Translation: read that book to me again, please (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he says please".

“Bbb...” while pointing to a balloon. Translation: give me that balloon please.

“Bbb...” while throwing a ball at my face. Translation: play ball with me please.

“Cah cah cah.” While pointing to my glass of water. Translation: I want that cup.

“Psst,” accompanied by food hurling out of his mouth and maniacal laughter. Translation: obey my every command and entertain me.

I really hope he is teething because if today is an indicator of things to come, I may go crazy. It wasn’t all bad. At one point he climbed onto my lap, hugged me, kissed me (with his mouth open and biting my lower lip) and then laid his head on my shoulder and said “Mama, mama, mama.” I think that means “I love you, Mom.”

Mommy-0, The Boy-1. He always wins.

When you are this cute, you always win


Long weekend road trip…will we survive?

Hi friends,

The Boy, Baby Daddy and I are embarking on a road trip this weekend. We may be ambitious, driving 8-10 hours with a 1 year old. We are excited and are expecting fun times. Talk to me 1 hour into the trip and I will let you know if we still feel the same.

We are heading to the Garden State and will be staying with our cousin. The most exciting part of the trop however, will be spent in New York City. Specifically, the streets of New York City. No, we are not planning on panhandling. We plan on sampling the delicious food truck fare. Eat St. has become a favourite and it inspired us to venture out to the wilds of New York and New Jersey. What can I say? Food is the best motivator.

I’m hoping for a smooth trip but I’ve come to learn that you never know what can happen when you have a baby on board (the car that is, not my tummy). I’m trying to figure out how to pack efficiently without leaving any necessities behind. The good thing about driving is that we are not bound by airline luggage restrictions but we still have to consider trunk space. And…we may do a little shopping so have to leave space for whatever we buy.

I tried something radical for the July long weekend, where I did not lug a camera bag and several cameras around. I don’t think I can do that on this trip though. I want to capture The Boy’s excitement when he sees FAQ Schwarz for the first time. I can just imagine him running on the giant piano. I think I will be more excited than he will be.

My rules for this weekend are simple, have fun and try not to get too stressed. I wonder how well I will do without regular call phone coverage as I don’t want to get slammed with crazy roaming charges.  The conundrum I face is how to pack a bag (1 bag only) for our days of sightseeing, eating, walking and shopping with a baby. I think a backpack is the way to go as The Boy will be in a stroller or baby carrier. I need to fit baby gear and camera gear into one bag. The weight has to be reasonable too as we will be taking public transit and walking A LOT.

Are we being too optimistic? Will we survive? How would you do it? Check back with me to find out how we did.

Maybe we should let him drive...

See what my friends at the Intel Canada Facebook page are doing for the long weekend.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Bags...Diaper Bag vs. Camera Bag

Hi everyone!

What do you use as a camera bag? I have never found a camera bag that was both useful and pretty. It has always been black, ugly but functional. Once we had The Boy, I hated the camera bag even more. It became one more thing for me to schlep around but I always wanted to take pictures and video so I sucked it up and carried it around.  

The heavier The Boy got, the worse it became until I had an epiphany. Our cousin was visiting with her little boy and she had a massive diaper bag, it was made for twins. I went right out and bought one for myself.  It held everything, toys, clothes, diapers, snacks and I could put my DSLR into it. Yay for massive diaper bags!

So this brings me to my big questing (sorry, we have been watching a little too much Guess With Jess). Do you use both a diaper bag and a camera bag? Do you use a diaper bag that also holds your camera? Do you use a camera bag that also holds diapers? Sorry, one question turned into three, blame on being Trini.

My primary bag is the twin size diaper bag that has room for my camera. I use my cell phone camera as my video camera. There are cases when I bring a camera bag too but those occasions must be major milestones (first haircut, someone’s wedding, birthdays etc.).  Usually Baby Daddy is with us so he helps with the schlepping. Right now, I gladly give up my Sherpa duties, especially in 35 degree weather that feels like 47 degrees.

My friend Catherine does the opposite. She found a great camera bag that also holds diapers and other toddler paraphernalia. Check out her bag blog at What’s In YOUR Bag?

Now that The Boy is walking and in the toddler stage, I may have to make the switch. The diaper bag does tend to get a little out of control, especially after a busy weekend. Here’s a list of what is in my bag:

  1. Camera- not shown because I was using it to take the pictures 
  2. Diapers and wipes- including swimmers for impromptu splash pads or swimming and overnights in case we are delayed somewhere 
  3. Stinky bags for stinky diapers. You can find these cheap in $ stores. 
  4. Two sizes of Ziploc bags for dirty and wet clothes and toys 
  5. Hand sanitizer. 
  6. One complete outfit, including shoes- I either stick the shirt inside the pants or vice versa so pieces do not get separated. Extra shoes because The Boy likes to take off his shoes and fling them, often resulting in one she lost. 
  7. 2 sets of PJs. One short and one long. Have to be prepared for weather or air conditioning. 
  8. One red Adidas track suit in case the opportunity to have a Royal Tenenbaum style tennis match comes up (this is in a Ziploc bag for some reason, guess I really wanted to protect it). 
  9. Rice crackers and One Oscar The Grouch container with additional snacks. The Boy has figured out that pressing down the lid of the Snack Trap allows him to empty snacks all over the car so we no longer use that. 
  10. One Ziploc bag full of toys and books. 
  11. One Ziploc bag full of misc. medicines, creams, lotions and potions. 
  12. Small safety kit with nasal aspirator, nail clippers etc. 
  13. Big and several washcloths. 
  14. Blanket, pacifier and lovey for nap time.

I’m sure I’m missing some things. Here’s a peak into my diaper/camera bag.

After a crazy weekend, Unable to zip close

Contents laid out on a towel on my bed in case sand/dirt fall out. Also didn't want to be judged for my bedding choice but since you can still see the bed, judge away!

After shot. Repacked. Bag can now zip close and there is room for a camera.

How do you deal with your technology conundrums when you are going through a heat wave and have little ones underfoot? See what my friends have to say at the Intel Canada Facebook page.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

National Film Board website is a real lifesaver. Who knew? I didn’t.

Hi folks!

How is the summer? I’m enjoying the warm sunny embrace (or smothering in some cases) but there are times when I need to be smart and keep The Boy inside. The heat wave has coincided with the dropping of the morning nap in my house. I did not realize how much I came to rely on that hour from 10am-11am for my sanity. I was able to catch up on email/phone calls/chores and sometimes have a little mommy time. Now, it’s another hour that I have to provide non-stop entertainment. Mama is tired!

Yesterday was especially trying. They Boy fell asleep during lunch, which required me to risk losing a finger by putting it in his mouth to fish out any remaining food before I put him in his crib. Then, he only slept for 45 minutes and refused to go back down no matter how hard I tried. Bribery does not work yet. I was at the end of my rope. I’m sure it was not fun for him either as I noticed that he cut another tooth.

Sometimes I resort to screen time in these situations. The Boy and I watch Sesame Street videos on YouTube. Videos like the Lady Bug Picnic or The Alligator King. Makes me nostalgic because I used to watch the same videos as a child but we have watched these a few times already and he does not seem interested anymore. A friend told me about videos on the National Film Board website.  I was amazed at the content. There are lots of short films perfect for kids (and parents too). There are some really great and original short movies. My favourite so far is “The Girl Who Hated Books.” The Boy was enthralled by “The Lion and the Mouse.”

I love that I have an option when I do have to use screen time. The best part was that The Boy settled down and after the films were over (we watched for about 10 minutes), he chose a book, got comfortable and lounged while he “read.” Just like Mama loves to do.

When it's this hot, the only thing you can do is lie around and read in your underwear.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On cheating on Old Faithful…

Hi friends,

I have written before on my increasingly strained relationship with Old Faithful.  I’ve strayed recently and I do not feel guilty at all. My friends at Intel Canada loaned me a notebook with the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor and Intel Wireless Display (WiDi). I recently learned about WiDi. It lets you connect your PC wirelessly to a HDTV or monitor. Super cool. It gives you a whole new way to show off baby pictures. With the weather being so hot these days, I took full advantage of the opportunity to stay inside with the air conditioning to check out WiDi.

The notebook I had was a 13 inch Samsung Series 9 and let me say I was drooling when I saw it and was in love by the time I turned it on. It is so light and fast! It only made me realize just how out dated Old Faithful has become. My favourite feature by far was the WiDi. It was easy to setup (even for me. My brain sometimes stops processing tech acronyms and instructions when it comes to setting things up). I found a really great use for it…streaming videos of The Boy to our TV. I upload all his videos to a YouTube account so I just streamed from the PC to the TV using a D-Link router. The Boy was enthralled by videos of himself, guess he’s a little vain. At one point I put the PC on the counter top in the adjacent room and there was no interruption to the stream. This was more in an effort to keep cute, grubby little boy fingers away from the PC.

Right now, I show off pictures and videos on my tiny phone screen or my laptop but the ability to stream to a 55 inch HDTV is just another reason to add to the growing list of why Mama needs a new PC. Watching The Boy watch himself on TV also entertained me tremendously.  

Watching himself on TV
Hey! That's me up there!

Check out the Intel Canada Facebook page to stay updated on cool new technology.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So cool, we’re hot!

Hi friends,

Summer’s here in full force and I’m not complaining, I like the heat even though I feel like I am melting most days. There are a few things I do to try to keep The Boy and myself cool, especially if we’re heading out for the day. The first thing I do is check the forecast. I have desktop and phone apps from The Weather Network so it takes no time at all. Helps me decide between capris or shorts.

The other thing I do is ensure that I have enough entertainment devices for The Boy. These days, one of the toys he is into is a vtech laptop. It’s so strange to think that a “laptop” and “entertainment devices” are toys. In the not so recent past, I would have not even considered computers (even simple kiddie computers) as a must have for a one year old. The kids really are too cool for school.

A friend told me about the new hot toy, a vtech tablet for toddlers. I have to admit, it looks really cool. The Boy is a few years away from it though as the age group is 4+. I expect by the time he is 4, the technology in kids’ toys will probably involve some type of haptic feedback telekinesis hybrid.

It’s crazy to think about how fast technology advances and how quickly we Canadians embrace it. What is even crazier is how quickly and how young the embrace starts. My challenge is making sure we have balance with screen time and hands on play time. I fight that battle with myself and Baby Daddy as well. I guess we have to lead by example, put down the laptop/iPad/smartphone, slap on the sunscreen and head outdoors!

A new way to enjoy Dr. Seuss

How are you staying “cool” this summer? See how my friends at the Intel Canada Facebook page are doing it.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long weekend hangover, fighting against being a technology Sherpa and a visit from Crazy Mommy…

Hi friends,

A few years ago the phrase “long weekend hangover” would have a completely different meaning that it does to me today. I am still recovering from my long weekend with a toddler. I think I was a bit ambitious with my plans for the long weekend. We planned on strawberry picking, fireworks viewing and checking out Ribfest. We did everything but The Boy, Baby Daddy and I are still tired. I think I was too ambitious in trying to jam pack so much family activity into the Canada Day weekend.

I’m a planner and a scheduler and lately a bit crazy with wanting to document everything The Boy does. The one thing I’ve learned recently is that I tend to take too much with me. I realise that I don’t always need to bring the backpack with camcorder, DSLR and a variety of lenses with us everywhere. This weekend, we only took the DSLR and one lens.  Guess what? We survived. I still captured some memories without being a technology Sherpa.

The other thing I learned is that I sometimes need to let things go. We don’t have to attend every event. I just want The Boy to experience everything. Baby Daddy is so busy with work that I try to squeeze as much as I can out of family time. The downside is that I drive everyone crazy with the planning and scheduling and stress myself out. A relaxing family outing sometimes turns into “Crazy Mommy” time. But if Crazy Mommy didn’t stop by occasionally we would miss things like this…

#1 Canadian

Strawberry Fields Forever

My version of Twilight...waiting for fireworks with The Bo

Neighbourhood Sparklers

Baby, you're a firework!

Someone's not impressed with Ribfest...that's lemonade in my cup!

How do you handle your technology? Can you survive with less? See what my friends at the Intel Canada Facebook page have to say.