This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
  • Tuesday, March 10, 2009 2:51 PM | Marina
    Toronto Grocery Deals: March 6 - March 12
    At Loblaws:
    • AAA grade strip loin steak, $5.99/lb
    • Fresh cod fillets, $5.99/lb
    • Neilson chocolate milk (1L), Ultimate chocolate milk (500ml) or MooJo milkshakes (325ml), $.99
    At No Frills:
    • Cashmere bathroom tissue (2-ply, 8 double rolls), $3.99
    • Allen's juice or cocktails (24x200ml), $3.33
    • Gallo extra virgin olive oil (1L), $4.99
    At Real Canadian Superstore:
    • Boneless centre cut pork loin portions, $1.99/lb
    • Seasoned pork back ribs, $2.99/lb
    • Kraft Delissio pizza (627-927g), $3.99
    At Valu-mart:
    • Lean Cuisine or Stouffer's entrees (196-340g), 3/$6
    • Kellogg's Corn Flakes, All-Bran Flakes, Raisin Bran or Rice Krispies (475-775g), General Mills Curves or Fiber 1 bars (168-175g), 2/$5

     

  • Friday, February 20, 2009 9:31 AM | Marina

    Hi mommy here is a nice freebee,

    Free Phyto Berry Food Supplement at Vaughan and Bayview locations. Offer is valid until Sunday, Feb 22.

    http://www.planetorganic.ca/sites/all/themes/planetorganic2/goodness/coupons/coupon-febbayview09.pdf

    PhytoBerry is a highly concentrated whole food supplement loaded with natural antioxidants
    and phytonutrients. It features a comprehensive blend of over 40 highly antioxidant
    fruit concentrates, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids and herbal extracts.
    PhytoBerry offers whole body antioxidant protection by using a harmonized and synergistic
    combination of nutrients that in concert target and protect each organ and key
    body system. PhytoBerry has been professionally formulated, energetically tested and
    does not contain artificial ingredients.

    Enjoy!

    Marina

  • Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:14 PM | Joanna
    I didn't have any particularly big plans for Family Day. But I did want to take Naomi to the Markham Museum Children's Winter Carnival. It was a simple enough plan, get up early (well, we're always up early anyway because my little one wakes up between 6 and 7), have breakfast, and then leave. Be at the carnival by 10 or 10:30, maybe have some pancakes at the pancake breakfast if we weren't late for it, and then on to activities. Wagon rides, a lounge full of toys, watching older kids ice skate-- sounds fun, right?

    We found ourselves still home at 10:50. But at least, we are rushing out the door, with snacks for us and Naomi's lunch packed. Then Isak, my husband says, "Maybe we should eat first". And I'm like, "No, it'll be nap time soon." I give in with much reservation only because I thought maybe it would indeed be better if she ate lunch at home rather than at the carnival.

    So I fed Naomi quickly and we scarfed down some sandwiches. And then we rushed out.

    The carnival is about 15 minutes away from our home. Directions are really simple. It's a no-brainer. We get to the main intersection where the carnival is located. And then we take a wrong turn.

    For crying out loud. I did look at Google maps quickly but didn't retain any information (hey, I'm a mom with other things on my mind). I assumed Isak took note. But I guess not.

    We finally get back on track. We get to the carnival, and we suddenly feel so lucky because we get the one remaining parking spot.

    Excitedly, I turn to Naomi to say "We're here!". She's asleep.

    AAAAARRRGH!

    I was so mad at the whole situation. (and at Isak, well, because I had to blame someone for the delays.) We play the blame game for a while on the way home. It's my fault because I took too long to get ready. It's his fault because he decided we should eat first.

    By the time I we arrived back home, I was calm, though still a bit disappointed, after my dear husband convinced me that all Naomi really cares about is to be with mommy and she won't miss the carnival. SIGH... I guess it's true. But it was a bit of a let down anyway. On the upside, she slept for more than 2 hours and we got to relax.

    Sometime in the afternoon, the three of us went for a walk. It was a beautiful sunny day (for a winter day, it was). We strolled through a park with a pond and watched the ducks. We also discovered a path we didn't know existed. It was perfect. Well, almost. :-)

    ==============================
    joanna
    http://theworkingmama.blogspot.com/
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:01 PM | Joanna
    Like most new moms, my husband and I debated whether to place my child in daycare or hire a nanny once I returned to work (when Naomi turned a year). We didn’t really start thinking about it until Naomi was about six months. We considered the pros and cons of both options, and eventually, decided to put Naomi in daycare.
    Immediately after making the decision, we visited many, many daycares, and interviewed their staff until we found one that met our expectations.

    For the first four months after I returned to work, Naomi was part-time at daycare, and part-time with my mother-in-law. We were lucky that we had family who wasn’t working and was willing to take care of Naomi (in fact, she volunteered!). Today, at 17 months, Naomi is in a daycare full-time, well cared for and enjoying herself.

    Frankly, choosing daycare over having a nanny wasn’t all that difficult for us. Yes, we did think seriously about each option, but it was more difficult finding and deciding on which daycare to out our child in was the hard part. The following were my lists of pros and cons, which we considered during the nanny/daycare decision process.

    NANNY (PROS):

    • Dedicated one-on-one attention
    • No need to wake baby up at an ungodly hour every morning
    • No rushing to drop-off baby
    • No rushing to pick up baby (and get stressed in traffic). Did you know that daycare fines for being late are $1.00 a minute?!
    • Baby is in a comfortable and familiar environment from the beginning. Less transitioning needed.
    • Extra help with caring for baby (ahhh.... maybe we can eat dinner in peace)
    • Visions of a super tidy house and dinner waiting came to mind. (Of course there's no guarantee nanny will do all that.)

    NANNY (CONS):
    • Potentially quite expensive (“potentially” because the fees of certain daycares are shockingly expensive too)
    • Would require us finishing the basement of our home (sounds like a lot of money and work but we were prepared for this option)
    • Not enough social interaction - this is a really big deal to me
    • No stimulating activities (Maybe Nanny will be boring and Naomi will end up watching T.V. all day.)
    • Nanny could be serial killer (I get really paranoid when it comes to my child!)
    • But seriously, how do I know if the nanny is hurting or being mean to my child?? I don’t want to have to put nanny cams everywhere. And do I really want to live like that where I can’t trust my caregiver? This was a drawback I couldn’t get over.

    DAYCARE (CONS)

    • Well, opposite of all of the above pros for the Nanny option. Also:
    • People tell me kids in daycare get sick more often (unfortunately, for the first 2 months, this was true)
    • Potential neglect due to lack of staff (The daycare we eventually decided on bragged about always having extra staff. And you know what, it seemed Naomi got extra attention on the days she needed it.)

    DAYCARE (PROS)

    • Lots of fun activities including circle time with songs and reading, arts and crafts (yes, they do it for infants), indoor and outdoor play, and various other programs
    • Will learn to be more independent and become comfortable with another caregiver other than mommy (At the time, I really, really hoped this would be true.☺)
    • Social interaction with other kids. It drives me crazy when people tell me that young children (under two or three) don’t need to interact with other children. Okay, so a child may turn out “ok” being alone at home but believe me, children do benefit from playing and being around other kids their own age! It would take another blog post for me to list all the benefits (maybe another time) but don’t take my word for it—do your research.
    Naomi has learned from other children by trying to imitate what they do. It has motivated her for example, to try and stand/walk sooner rather than later. I do know that Naomi loves being around other children. I’m sure this could be partly genetic (being a social creature) but it’s also because in her first year, I took her to my mommy and baby get-togethers, classes, arranged frequent playdates, and I just always tried to find opportunities to have her be around other kids.

    Hence, my fear was that if I left Naomi with a nanny, she would miss the social interaction, perhaps get used to it, and become one of those kids that get overwhelmed when around other children. As well, I wanted her to benefit from children’s activities in the same way she did when I took her to music and play classes.

    But my biggest fear is not knowing how my child is truly being treated by the nanny. Until my child can speak and tell me what goes on, I will never be comfortable leaving her alone with one person who is not family. And this is the same reason, we decided against home daycare. I’ve heard too many horror stories of overcrowding and children being abused in private homes.

    I know there are good nannies; I know there are good home daycares. In the end, it’s really what you’re comfortable with, and you do what you believe is best for your child.

    What about that list of disadvantages for daycare?
    • Well… it is a bit hectic in the mornings. But Isak (my husband) has flexible hours so he doesn’t have to be at work by 9am sharp. Not even 10am, actually.
    • Naomi is not woken up at an ungodly hour— she wakes us up earlier than we would like ☺.
    • Yes, transitioning week was hell. I cried. But we all got through it.
    • I don’t have to kill myself trying to make it home by 6pm because mom-in-law picks up Naomi between 4 and 5pm (HUGE help).
    And what about visions of a super-tidy house? Well, that still remains *just* a vision.

    (first published in The Working Mama on Feb. 17, 2009)
  • Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:37 AM | claire (Administrator)
    Family Day Fun!!!
    It’s family day and you’re not sure what to do, maybe you think, “hmmm… my hubby is home this day,  can use this day to clean and catch up on some of the things I wanted to do for a while…” maybe? Or you could make this day really about family and spend it doing something really memorable. Not sure what to do, we’ve got you covered, check out all the different child friendly activities that are available for Toronto & York Region. To learn more about each event, click the title to follow the link.  From our family to yours have a fantastic family day!
    Enjoy the KenJen Menagerie and Petting Zoo in Kew Gardens from 11 -4. See the llama famous for kissing the Duchess of York and 34 other animals! 
    Swim, skate or create on Family Day in Whitchurch-Stouffville  
    Willowgrove's first-ever family fun day takes place on Monday, Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 11737 McCowan Rd, just south of Stouffville Road.

    K’nex Build Zone – Ontario Science Centre 

    For Families with Older children, do you child likes building and putting things together? Check out the build zone at the Science Centre.  The workshop is free with admission.


    Toronto Zoo for family day! 
    - 50% off admission price

    Bring your family to meet the animals, check out the family trees at the indoor pavilion exhibits and learn about the different zoo animals. 50% off admission all weekend long
    Go online at
    http://www.torontozoo.com/ for a chance to win a family membership to the Toronto Zoo.


    Markham Museum's Winter Carnival

    The carnival will be held Monday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is $2 per person (children 24 months and under get in free). The museum is offering both indoor and outdoor programs. Free activities include: skating on two rinks, snowman building, snowball target practice, candle dipping, indoor arts and crafts, guess the artifacts, snow painting, maple toffee demo and sampling, lounge with games and toys for children, free Starbucks coffee or hot chocolate, meet the fire department staff and fire truck and meet York Regional Police on foot patrol (giving out stickers).

    Family at with LWAB members at KinderZone indoor playground

    Make this playdate part of your Family Day plans. Bring your kids, (and dad if you wish) for some indoor playground fun.  We'll be there till about noon.
    Do you know of other family day activities happening in your area?  Post them a comment
  • Friday, February 06, 2009 3:08 PM | claire (Administrator)


    Are you planning to travel with your baby? Is so, let start at the beginning? You will need to get a passport for your little one. If you have not already done so, you can download an application form at
    http://www.ppt.gc.ca/cdn/form.aspx?lang=eng&region=Canada , or go to your nearest passport office. 

    First Aid Kit: One of the most important things you will need is your First Aid Kit, and it should include:

    Pedialyte, in case of diarrhea and dehydration

    Advil, or other pain/fever medication, whichever one your pediatrician recommends

    Benadryl for allergies

    Itch cream for insect bites

    Thermometer – you will want to be able to do an accurate temperature check in the event your baby gets sick.

    Proper medicine dropper, never estimate the amount of medication

    If you use natural/homeopathic medicines, you can bring activated charcoal for relief of diarrhea for the whole family (check with your naturopath)

    What to bring for a 7 day vacation in the sun J

    Bathing suit, that’s a given, but to reduce sun exposure, you can bring full body bathing suits that provide UVA/UVB protection

    Life Jacket, if you’ve given your baby swimming lessons and you plan to put your baby in the ocean you should put a life jacket on them.  You’re probably thinking why would I need a life jacket? I will be holding my baby… well let’s face it, accidents happen and if for some reason your toddler wiggled out of your hand, at least the life jacket will keep your baby above the water

    UVA/UVB mosquito net and sun protection, it is HOT in Mexico, this screen is great for keeping the sun out of the face with the benefit of sun protection. When I was there a lot of moms asked me where I got it and which they had bought one.  I got mine at Wal-Mart, but they are sold at sears, Dearborn, the safety superstore.

    Stroller, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to bring your stroller. At the airport you can bring it right to the door of the plane and the attendants will put it on the plane after you have boarded. While you are on your vacation, your baby will be able to sleep on the beach, while you lay on a sun bed, or just while you are walking around the resort.  My daughter slept a lot while we were in Mexico, I am glad I had the stroller with me, because she slept in the restaurant, at the beach, at the lobby bar… if I didn’t have my stroller I would have had to either hold her in my hand for two hours or I would have been confined to the room every time she wanted to sleep.

    Extra Diapers,  Let’s face it, you are taking your baby to a different environment and no one can predict how they will react to the food, so I recommend you bring extra diapers in case they have extra bowel movements that normal.

    Food from home, Bring a few days worth of food for your baby/toddler, your baby may not like the food, so it’s a good idea to have food that he/she would normally eat.   Check out the restaurants on arrival and plan your baby’s meals ahead of time.

    Sunscreen, choose sunscreen that is low in chemicals such as “Earth’s Best” and “California baby “  brands

    Get Medical Insurance – If for nothing other than peace of mind, you should definitely get medical insurance, if your child gets sick, you don’t want cost to be a factor in whether or not you call the doctor.

    Remember this is your vacation, you are going to relax, so do some of these simple things ahead of time so that you don’t have too much to think about when you arrive.  Just relax and enjoy paradise!

    For more information on travelling with a baby look for our new Travel Forum where moms can post reviews of the best places to travel with kids.

    If you have any tips for travelling with a baby, please share.

     

  • Friday, February 06, 2009 2:42 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Read Suzette's Story about how she coped with the challenges she faced.

     

    PRELUDE

     

    Before I start my story, it’s probably important for me to tell you a little about myself as it may help my story make sense.

     

    I didn’t get married till later in life, 42 years old to be exact.  Before that I just lived to play, whether it was sports or just partying with my friends, doing whatever I wanted whenever.  It was a carefree life and my poor father had given up any hope that I would grow up and settle down.  Okay so I find myself married a year after meeting my husband.  Considering my age, I realized it was probably a good idea to try for a child right away to complete my new family.

     

    In all those years of having fun, I never knew that age actually does affect one’s ability to quickly conceive.  Lo and behold, we finally got pregnant after a year.  My little guy was not really so little, almost 9 lbs and over half a metre long when he was born.  Now I’m a pretty short gal so that explains the HUGE belly that proceeded me by a block the whole winter.  Before leaving the hospital a lady from “Social Services” stopped by my room to chat with me but against my wishes and insistence, refused to talk to me because my husband and mother were present.  The curiosity was killing me so I chased her down and asked her what it was about.  Apparently she wanted to talk to me about “Post Partum Depression” as it was very common amongst older mothers.  I assured her I would be fine and would have lots of support from all my family members who lived very close to me but listened to what she had to say anyway.

     

    REALITY

     

    Where did my life go!!!!!!??????  Oh my goodness, NO ONE and NOTHING could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood.  I now realize how easy it was going to work every day.  All girls/women grow up hearing what a miracle and how wonderful motherhood is.  What they forgot to mention was just how hard it is on you for the first few months.  Even the preparatory classes we took at the hospital didn’t set me up for the real thing.  What on earth did the nurse mean when she said “sleep whenever the baby sleeps”.  When the baby slept I was cleaning the house, doing the baby’s never ending laundry, cleaning bottles and making new ones, and on top of it all trying to maintain my home and have my husbands meals prepared.

     

    Being housebound the first couple of months was also a killer.  I guess due to my age, I had a very tough recovery.  On top of that I developed severe tendonitis in both arms.  I’m sure a lot of you mothers out there experienced that too.  Now my social life and ‘big outings’ consisted of going to the mall with my husband and baby.  I truly began to understand what the nurse meant by post partum depression!  My poor husband who married such a laid back women now had a shrew freaking out on him, even though he helped with everything.  Talk about hormones gone crazy, plus add to that severe sleep deprivation.  Yeah I could all of a sudden flip personalities and it wasn’t pretty.  How women who have no close support from family/friends survive I have no idea.  All I can say is “hats off to you!”

      

    HOW I SURVIVED

     

    Okay we are now in present day.  Obviously I made it through even though I previously had serious doubts.

     

    The most important things I did to get my life back on track and be the best mom I could was:

     

    1)      Get mobile.  This is so important and I tell all my friends who are new moms that they need to do this as soon as possible.

    2)      Join a Mom & Tot network.  Let’s face it, your life has changed and your relationships with your single friends while still there is now different as your priorities have changed.  The advice you get from other new moms goes a long way to easing your mind and giving you confidence in your own role as a mother.  These ladies are a lifeline, truly.  It’s also great to get your own child socialized while you both enjoy the company of others who are on the same page in their lives.

    3)      Enroll your child and yourself in classes.  The TORONTO FUN GUIDE and the ONTARIO EARLY YEARS centres provide lots of great classes.

    4)      Story Time at the library is awesome and getting your child interested in reading and learning phonetics from an early age is a win win situation.  Plus there are lots of play areas for the kids.  My son loves going there to play.  We go to the North York Public Library in the North York City Centre.

     

    IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE

     

    If you plan on returning to work, and didn’t apply for daycare during your pregnancy, get cracking!  I am now having to resort to a nanny as there is no affordable daycare available in my area for kids under 18 months at this time.  Waiting lists are about a year to a year and a half I’ve been told at all the best places in my vicinity.

     

    I’m even trying to find someone in my area to share a nanny as I have to return to work in 3 months.

      

    MY FINAL WORDS

     

    I have a gorgeous, happy, loving son named Rafael and he’s the best thing in my life along with my husband.  I wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything.

     

  • Friday, February 06, 2009 2:26 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Are you having difficulty transitioning to parenting?  Do you feel like you are alone and have little or no support?  Well, the truth is you are not alone, in fact most new parents feel this way and luckily there are many programs and services in place to ease the transition to parenting. While telephone counseling and online support such as our website is useful. It is also extremely important to get out and socialize with other moms.  You will find that there is always someone there that relates to you and your situation, not only that, getting out and meeting new friends for yourself has a therapeutic effect  and you will find that you feel much better than if you isolate yourself and stay indoors all day.

    Below are some important numbers that you can call if you feel overwhelmed. 

    Sick Kids Hospital – Telephone Counseling
    Motherisk
    The risk and safety of treatment v.s non-treatment
    Call: 416-813-6780
    Available : Mon to Fri,  9 am To 5 p.m. 

    310-COPE  - Crisis Line - York Region
    When you feel overwhelmed and need don’t know where to turn
    Available : 24hrs

    York Region Health Connection
    1-800-361-5653 – Public health nurses
    Available 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday

    Life With A Baby - Mom to Mom
    416-833-3860
    connect with other moms in your area to talk.
    When all you want is for someone to listen.

    Toronto Public Health
    416-338-7600 – Public Health nurses

    Links and Online Resources

    www.motherisk.org

    www.von.ca

    Good Beginnings Program: If your baby is below 6 months old, you may be able to have someone come in once a week for a few hours to help you.  I know many moms who have benefited tremendously from this service.

    We’ll be updating this list each week. If you know a number for support in your area, please let us know or post a comment.  

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009 9:14 AM | claire (Administrator)

    When I had my daughter, I discussed with my husband some of the things we would never ever do, for me, it was : I will never let my little princess "cry it out".  For 19 months, we stuck to that decision, if she cried one of us would go in and comfort her, but this weeks we had to let her "cry it out".   At 19 months, toddlers have already started testing the rules and limitations that we set, that is what Katelyn was doing, she started waking up in the middle of the night, she started refusing to go to sleep at bedtime, for two weeks we tried everything, we took her from the crib b/c we thought she started hating her crib, we let her sleep with us, b/c we wanted her to get her rest, but when she had a tantrum at 4am and nothing would soothe her, we realized she was overtired and none of the solutions we were trying worked... we discussed, should we let her cry?  We decided we would, the first night we gave up after five minutes, we felt too guilty about it, the following day Katelyn was so over tired she was having tantrums about everything, she wouldn't eat properly, she was a completely different child from the one we knew...  that night we decided we had to stick to the plan of letting her cry for a bit and then going to sleep... she cried for about 10 minutes (it wasn't a "I'm hurt or I'm in pain cry") it was her I'm really tired cry, I started going up the stairs about five minutes into her crying and when she heard me coming up she stopped crying, so I started back down again and she started crying again, at one point she stopped crying to listen if we were still there and then started crying again - it was at that point that I realized she was just crying so that we would come in and get her.

    Our choice was, do we try to make her feel better at this moment, but she will still not sleep and still be overtired tomorrow or do we let her cry for a bit, go to sleep and then be rested tomorrow.  We decided it was better for her health if she went to sleep and got a good night rest and it worked.

    The first night she cried for 30 minutes (which was heart breaking for us, mostly b/c we felt bad about it, will this affect her emotionally, (From what I've been told by her doctor and York Region Public Health - it will not affect her b/c we are not neglecting her - we followed the guide in the "Secrets of the baby whisperer".  She slept 12 hours, which is her usual amount of sleep before the change in schedule.

    The second night she cried for 10 minutes ( we already saw the huge improvement in her mood, her eating and her ability to enjoy her toys again from just one night of rest, we didn't feel guilty anymore), she slept 12 hours

    The third night she cried less than two minutes

    Last night she didn't cry at all. 

    So now, I saying "never say never"...  For us, we could see that our daughter was over tired, we could see that she needed to sleep and even though it broke our hearts to do it, we had to think about what is best for her in the long run and we had do something we didn't feel good about, but that is a part of parenting, sometimes we have to make the right decision, even if it doesn't fit into our picture of what we would or wouldn't do.  If you are having issues regarding sleep, and you would like more information on a variety of solutions, send us an email at info@lifewithababy.com and we will forward you some resources.

    What have you said you would never do and then decided to do afterwards, share your stories whether it be letting them watch TV, letting them cry it out, putting them in daycare, using a pacifier, letting them suck their finger, co-sleeping, etc. 

  • Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:51 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Hi Fellow Mommies,

    We are looking for an organiser for the Thursday Meetup at Promenade mall.  Please reply to this post or send and email to info@lifewithababy.com if you are interested.

    We really want to keep this "coffee & chat" event at Promenade mall going, but my daughter is now 18 months and this event is more for moms with babies 0-12 months.  So if you have a baby 0-12 months and you interested we can change the date and time of this event to fit your schedule.

    Thanks so much,
    Alexia





 

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