Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fifteen months of fun

I'm happy to say that we have a healthy household once again. Caleb still has a runny nose, but I think I have to accept that as a fact of life now that he is in daycare. It only seems to bother him if we refuse his snotty kisses.

It has been another month of huge changes. We are having such a fun time exploring the great outdoors. Cale discovered his first ever puddle last week which was pretty hilarious to watch, and he loves touching all the grass, trees and flowers that we see. There is definitely no such thing as walking anywhere quickly with him, but that is just fine with me.

Taking time to stop and touch the branches

He sleeps from 7-5:30 consistently and falls asleep without even a peep. Once we are finished our books, I can just lay him down in the crib, give his seashell mobile a twirl and he is out like a light. He will ask for more books or baa baa black sheep in an attempt to stay up a bit later, but all in all, it is a pretty easy process and a remarkable improvement from where we were a few months ago.

I've lost count of how many words Caleb can say. Most he pronounces really well, others not so much (monkey and Greggy sound a lot alike), but he sure is willing to try and say just about anything. Since last weekend his new favorite word is Aly which he says multiple times a day. Most of the things he says are ridiculously adorable, but he has a few words now that are not so cute. He has started saying 'Owww' which would be fine, but he sometimes says it quite loudly when I've just barely touched him. I'm hoping he doesn't pull that one out in public anytime soon. I also made the mistake of saying the word 'booby' one time when he wanted to nurse so of course, now he says 'booby, booby' all the time. We are desperately trying to break that one and replace it with the malagash word 'NuNu' which is a little less conspicuous! We need to be careful of what we say around him nowadays!

Too cool for school

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter weekend

Cuddling up with the cousins

My parents came to visit for the long weekend and they had their hands full. Alan and I had planned our first 2 night getaway, so Greg and Linda were going to watch Caleb for us. It turned out Adam and Angela were also in Halifax, so they dropped off Aly and Ava for the weekend and my parents got to spend Easter weekend with all three of their grandkids.

Alan and I had a cottage rented in the Annapolis Valley and we were so excited to spend some time together and get some much needed rest and relaxation. The first 20 minutes of our vacation was great, until we had to pull over on the side of the highway when Alan started feeling sick. It turned out the dreaded stomach flu also decided to join us on our romantic getaway! We did end up getting lots of sleep, and thankfully I had lots to read, so we made the best of our time away.

Back home, my parents were having a great time. Caleb loved having his cousins here to play with and he even slept for 11 hours straight one night. Unfortunately, Aly was the one who woke up in the middle of the night, also sick with the flu. We thought Ava was going to be ok, until on she was sick in the car on the drive back to Fredericton. Blah. So it didn't turn out to be quite the weekend everyone had hoped for, but it is one we will surely remember...and it must mean that Alan and I get another weekend away soon. And next time we'll stay up past 8:30!!

Tyvonn spent Thursday night in the Cove, showing Caleb some stick handling moves!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Working Mom

My mom is working to protect the coast...woohoo!

Determined to make it to the water before mom catches me

I think I'm actually settled into my new role as a working mom. It really, really helps that Caleb is in daycare two days a week. Having a set schedule really helps me get in solid hours at the office and I don't feel like I have to juggle my time quite as much to get in the extra hours at home. I'm lucky to have a flexible job that I really enjoy, and I also feel really lucky to still spend most days with Cale. I'm working on an exciting new film project at the moment, talking to Nova Scotians about the coast - why they love it and what needs to be done to protect it. I'll post a link to it here when it is done (in the mean time, join our 'Act for the Coast Now' facebook page if you want to find out more).

Caleb is more outgoing and hilarious everyday. He loves to say hi, wave and blow kisses to just about everyone he meets. He definitely makes the day of complete strangers on every outing I take him on. His vocabulary is growing daily. Bubbles, walk (alk), dog and down are big ones lately. And of course he still loves his baa baa black sheep. Here is a little clip of him singing his own version of the song. It is funny to see who is on his mind when we sing this. Today it was Dada who got all the wool, since his dad is at the ECMAs and Cale is missing him. Sometimes the wool is for Linda or Grammie, but usually all the wool goes to Greggy like in the video. For some reason old Mama never gets any wool, but I'm allergic anyway, so that must be why.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101

Diapers drying by the fire

I knew as soon as I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to use cloth diapers. Luckily, Alan was also willing to give it a try. I had talked to friends and read about the many advantages - no chemicals to worry about, no waste that ends up in landfills - but I also wondered about the disadvantages like the amount of laundry required and how best to deal with the inevitable mess.

We decided to give it a go and when Caleb was less than 1 week old, we began using our reusable diapers. I learned right away that cloth diapers require you to use 'alcohol-based detergent'. Most laundry soaps are oil based, therefore they repel liquids so you obviously don't get the maximum absorbency from your diapers if you use regular detergent. We use the Allen's Naturally brand. We also quickly discovered the need to use flushable liners which definitely helps with the cleaning process. After we remove the liner, we rinse them in the toilet then let them soak in our diaper pail.

Over the past 14 months, we have used three different types of cloth diapers and have had varying success with them all. Here is my quick review of the brands we've been using.


This brand is made by moms in Montreal. They are outer covers only (have no pocket) and come in 3 sizes. I pair these with a hemp insert (buy seperately) folded 3 times. I find these are quick and easy to use, but they do seem to leak more than I'd like. I'd never attempt to use these overnight, but I like using them for 2-3 hour stretches. I also use them at the pool. I have 3 pairs of the medium Bummis.

Bum Genius

This brand is made in Colorado. They have a pocket where you can place a micro-terry insert, which come with the diaper. I often double up and put a smaller insert outside of the pocket for extra absorbency and find this combo lasts really well through the night. These come in one size, and can be adjusted using the front snaps. This means they are a one-time investment from birth until the child is toilet trained. The smallest size was super bulky for the first couple of months, but the biggest size fits great right now. I really love these ones, but lately the velcro has not been holding up. There has been a couple of times that I've noticed a large lump in Caleb's pants and, sure enough, his diaper has come undone! This has not been disastrous yet, but could lead to some pretty terrible situations if it keeps happening. I think it is my fault because I didn't properly care for these diapers right from the get go. You have to be super diligent to fold back the velcro tabs before washing them, which I didn't do for the first while. I'm not sure if there is a fix for this, because other than this problem, they were my definite favorites. I have 8 of the Bum Genius brand.

AMP (Annie Marie Padorie)

Made by a mom in Winnipeg, these pocketed diapers have snaps instead of velcro so the ones we own are still in great shape. It took awhile for me to figure out the best combo for inserts with these guys, but I think they work best with the double terry-cloth inserts (just like the Bum Genius - a big one in the pocket and an extra one on top). I like that these ones are trustworthy and I don't need to worry about them coming undone. They come in 3 sizes. We did have about 7 pairs of the small size but had to reinvest in the mediums when Caleb was about 6 months old. Now we only have 1 of these, but I'll probably buy more in coming months when he outgrows it.

So, looking back, if I were to do it all again I'd try to take better care of my Bum Genius diapers. If the velco still held well, they would still be my favorites. A close second (and creeping into first) are the AMPs. I like the Bummis as well, but only for shorter periods of time. Hope that helps some of you who may be considering cloth diapers!

Anyone else have any tips/ brands to recommend? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Arts and crafts (photos by Greggy)

Tomorrow Caleb will begin his first day of daycare. We are still in the 'transition period', so he will only stay for the morning and then on Thursday he will stay for his afternoon nap. Next week, he will begin full days twice a week. I'm happy that we've found a great daycare and I know he is going to do great, but I can understand how beginning daycare is an emotional time for parents. This is the first time that he will be out in the world on his own without his mama or dada by his side. I know the teachers will fall in love with him and he will quickly adjust and make lots of new friends, but I guess it is the fact that he will be doing all this on this own that makes it a bit hard. He's becoming independent and tomorrow someone else will be there if he needs to be comforted or if he does something ridiculously cute, someone else will laugh and smile with him.... and I think I'm ok with that. I'm so proud of the little boy he is becoming and I know he will do great tomorrow, and hopefully, mama will do great, too!

I'm ready to take on the world