Friday, March 30, 2012

A trip to Gastown

Since I've started sewing and actually going to fabric stores I've come to appreciate how great Dressew, the sewing fabric and supply store downtown, is. It's two floors and kind of crazy, but you can find some awesome deals on fabric and be guaranteed that they have everything. With the sun staying up later and later, I've decided we need to line the curtains in H's room. There's already a blind in there too, but it's still just too bright, and while I suspect we may end up just covering the windows in tin foil, I thought we could try a less extreme option first.

So today, when H was already cranky by 11 am we headed down to Gastown for some fabric shopping. I confess, that I also had a bit of an ulterior motive. You see, I'd been hearing a lot about a boutique donut shop, Cartems Donuterie, and I really wanted to try out their super expensive but yummy donuts. Their warehouse is just down at the end of the Commercial Drive, but yesterday when I walked down there in the afternoon, all the donuts were already sold! Ruined my day, no joke. I wasn't going to let those donuts play me like a fool two days in a row, so I was extra determined to make it to their pop up shop, which just happened to be down the street from Dressew.

Now that street is Hastings Street. And even though Gastown has been a cool neighborhood forever, this particular stretch of Hastings is an amazing study in gentrification in action. So many hip cafes and restaurants have appeared, with lines extending down the street during the lunch rush. Every other building front is still some broken down pawn shop, but in between cute shops are popping up like creeping buttercups (just ask James if you're not familiar with the dreaded CB, he battled it all last summer). And can we take a moment to ponder the craziness that $3 donuts are being sold steps from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country.

Ahh but those donuts were tasty. With flavours like Chai Masala and Earl Grey it was so hard to decide. But in the end I went for the Maple Bourbon Bacon and the Chocolate Mole. Yum yum.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

6 months 17 days

Dear H,

The days keep going by faster and faster and now here we are and you're already half a year old! You're growing and changing so fast it's hard for me and your dad to keep up! You can roll from you front to back with ease, and have just started rolling the other way. You can sit up with some help, although you're still a bit tippy, and what you really love to do is stand! You grab our fingers and pull yourself up to standing (with a bit of help still) and I'm always amazed how strong your legs are. Lately you've been having fun when we stand you up holding onto the ottoman. Mom or Dad just needs to provide a bit of balance and you can stand there on your own banging away at the top like a drum. Our musical boy, you love listening to mom sing silly songs, dad play his guitar, and sometimes you even play some of your own music at the piano.

You've had a few weeks of solid food now, but you're still more interested in playing with it than eating it. Mom's milk is still your favourite and you like to have it as often as you can get at it! We still nurse every 2-3 hours, pretty much around the clock, although during the day if we're out and about you can easily go longer. Who needs to eat when the world is so interesting? This can lead to some problems though when you suddenly realize you're starving and we're not somewhere where you can nurse. Though you're not too interested in food, you love drinking water or anything out of a cup.

You have the most amazing belly laugh, and you're quick to share it with us. A few tickles, silly dance moves, or even mom leaning in close and saying 'hi' are met with shrieks of delight. It's the most infectious laugh, and I'm not just saying that because I'm your mom. Everyone who hears it can't help but join in on the joke. You've also started trying to communicate with us more and more, and have started to say 'dadada' which sounds just like a real word, only not in any language we understand. It's pretty awesome and your dad and I can't wait until we learn what it means!

Sometimes when you reach up to touch my face or I look down and see you staring up at me with that amazed and adoring look in your beautiful blue eyes, it's like the rest of the world melts away and it's just me and you kiddo. I've been surprised how much falling in love feels like, well, falling in love. I thought it would feel different with a baby, but every cheesy love song could have been written about the two of us.

I wish I could freeze time with you at this wonderful age. The world just beginning to reveal itself to you. Your heart so open and trusting that every new person is a protector and friend. But then again, I can't wait to see what comes next.

Love, momma

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Date night!

After 6 months of staying home with the baby James and I finally had a proper date. My parents came to babysit and we went out for dinner at Havanas on the Drive and then to a party at a friend's house for some dancing. Even though we had to stop by the house mid way through the date and were home by midnight it was a huge success. So fun to wear lipstick and heels and go out with my man. And after posting about all the comfort clothes I've been wearing I thought I should post some photographic evidence that I'm still capable of getting a little dressed up.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our little foodie

It's been almost two weeks since H started 'eating'. My goal was to try to keep it fun (no crying!) and for him to gradually get used to the idea of food. Every day after his first morning nap (seriously, when will this kid go down to 2-3 naps instead of 4-5?) he gets in his bumbo and we 'have breakfast'. All the quotation marks are because at this point very little food actually makes it in.

I have to say, I think he's doing great. At first he was just really into his spoon, his plate and his cup. He'd always grab for the spoon and then put it into his mouth, but was kind of oblivious to the fact that there was any food on it. He'd grab for the plate and suck on the side of it. He likes to hold his sippy cup, but would sputter and spit out the water if he ever managed to get some out. But in the past couple days I think he's discovered the food. Now when he grabs for his plate, it's what's inside that's got his attention. And he's actually swallowing some water from the cup. Needless to say, mealtimes have gotten mess-y. I'm amazed how he manages to coat himself from head to toe with food, and yet so little makes it into his mouth. Ah well, at least he's having fun and I'm optimistic that the next step will be that he discovers that food is for eating.

So what's he playing with these days? So far he's had yams, banana, pear, oatmeal, avocado and chicken. His favourite so far seems to be avocado... I guess they don't call it nature's baby food for nothin'.

Oh and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that that his absolute favourite thing is to drink out of a real glass. I thought I'd be smart and try to get him to take breastmilk out of a cup since he wouldn't take a bottle, so I spent a week trying to show him how. Yeah, still no interest in drinking breastmilk but now he will grab any cup out of your hand and try to get at it. Steaming hot coffee? Grandpa's beer? H's all 'get me some of that'. Oh dear.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shorts take two!

What do you do when the sun finally peaks out and reminds you that spring is on its way? If you're me, you dress your baby in rainbow bright leggings and the new wool soaker shorts you knit him! 

I knit these using a wool soaker pattern found on ravelry and Galway worsted yarn bought from Baaad Anna's. The super helpful sales girl there helped me pick it out, and it's 100% wool so very absorbent but also maybe a bit scratchy. H didn't seem to mind too much, but in future soakers I think I'll use some softer yarn for the waistband and legs. I just couldn't help myself this time because I loved this colour combo soo much, and my good friend Elizabeth Zimmerman says that if you dress a baby in wool from when they're little then they won't complain about it when they get older... it's all us softies who are used to fleece and such that find real wool scratchy. So we shall see. 

So taken was I by my new wool diaper covers that I went out and bought a bunch of prefold diapers in the next size up (H was just about grown out of the original prefolds I bought him), totally disobeying my 'do not buy any more cloth diapers' rule. So I guess I need to keep making them. I'm contemplating trying to upcycle some sweaters into diaper covers which is a much scarier proposition for me since it involves the sewing machine instead of my trusty needles. But seriously, how cute are these? I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mom Jeans Part Three

Here's the final installment of my favourite new/nursing mom clothes (here's the first and second). I realize it's a bit indulgent to think that anyone cares about what I've been wearing. And does anyone care enough for this to warrant a three part post? Well the answer to that is I'm sure no, but this post just kept getting longer and longer and if there's one thing more annoying than a three part post about the lounge wear that a new mom likes, it's a super long post about the lounge wear that a new mom likes (at least in my opinion that is). So to round things up, here are my final two picks.

5. Padraig slippers

See previous post re: cold. And you should also know that when my feet get cold, I get upset. Last year I kept buying cheap slippers, which a) did not keep my feet warm and b) were trashed in weeks. I think I must have spent over $50 on my various crappy slippers. So inspired by my friend Rachel (Again! That girl has good taste) I invested in a pair if Padraig slippers. I love that they are local, all natural and soo cozy. They have prevented many a cranky mommy episode by keeping my feet happy through this winter.

As an aside, I see babies wearing these slippers all the time and I always want to rush up to them and say, 'I have the same slippers! Don't you love them?', but then I remember they are babies. H has a pair that I can't wait for him to grow into, they will be perfect for when he's running (running!) around next winter.

6. Flannel

Do you remember back in 1994 how we used to wear those oversized flannel shirts? I think mine must have been hand-me-downs from my dad. I loved them. And well past the time when they were cool to wear, they were my go to outfit for around the house. Especially in the morning when I was getting dressed for school. You see, I'm a bit clumsy. And when I'm tired, I'm really clumsy. And too often my school outfit would get messed up before I left the house. One day it occurred to me that my huge men's flannel shirts would fit over my good clothes and I could leave the house without peanut butter smeared down my shirt or toothpaste on my sleeve. But little did I realize that my parents assumed that I was actually wearing those worn out plaid shirts to school, a discovery I made when I overheard my mom talking about my lack of fashion sense to a friend of hers. I assure you this was quite horrifying to my 16 year old self.

Anyway, when I was browsing in a vintage shop by my house this past fall, I remembered how great those shirts used to be and found myself drawn over to a rack of them. I took home a very cozy red plaid and have been slowly amassing a few flannel clothing items since, including a plaid flannel shirt dress from Aritizia. It was marked down $100, so it only cost me $40 and a bit of dignity when the snotty sales girl assured me that the small (which was the largest size they had left) would not fit me.  I took my chances (it was final sale and I had the babe with me thus preventing any trying it on and rubbing it in her face when it did fit. Sort of. Well I made it work). Loving the grunge revival going on these days.

Me and my favourite men's plaid shirt. Oh and that's a Henley under there as well. And I guess that baby's kind of cute too.
So that's what I've been living in. I have to say though, as the days get longer and warmer I'm wondering what to wear while nursing in the summer. Any experienced nursing mamas out there have any advice?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mom Jeans Part Two

Continuing with my countdown of my favourite new/nursing mom clothing items, winter edition (the first couple items are found here):

3. Henley shirts

Orange Henley from H&M

Ahh, the Henley. Where would I be without you? In the weeks after H came home with us I bought not one but 5 Henley shirts and it's no exaggeration to say that I've baisically been living in these since then. I know in theory that any shirt could be lifted up to nurse, but I just don't have the patience for that. I much prefer the easy access of henleys when paired with a nursing tank underneath.

4. Sweaters
My favourite sweater this winter - don't let H's face fool you, he loves it too.

Specifically cardigans and sweater coats. Our house is cold. And even though we gave in and cranked the heat to 20 degrees (ensuring that upstairs reached at least 16 deg) I was still reaching for something to warm me up. In the past lounging at home always meant sweatshirts, but cuddling a soft baby made me shy away from anything with zippers. I mean, can you imagine how gross it would feel to have you face mashed into a zipper while you nap? So sweaters it is.

As a side note, since all H has known is our cool house I think his internal thermostat is set for that. He never seems cold in our place but whenever we go somewhere that's a bit warmer he's cooking! His cheeks get flushed and I end up stripping the layers off him. It's too funny.

For Rebecca - this pic kind shows my rain coat a bit better, as per your request. Also please note that I'm tromping through a puddle. This one was huge!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012


These were supposed to be a pair of leggings made from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac. But I decided to use some leftover yarn from my stash to make them and half way through I realized I didn't have enough. After James pooh poohed the idea of one pink and one grey leg, I decided to make shorts instead. And now that they are finished I'm SO glad I made them shorts. I mean it is March after all and the season for wool leggings has passed.

These fit a bit large which is nice since I totally winged it (wung it?) on the gage. No sissy measuring for me! Luckily it turned out.

I've been fascinated with the idea of wool diaper covers for a while. Totally waterproof, breathable AND antibacterial? That sounded too good to be true. Plus they are cute! I put these on over a prefold diaper and it was amazing how great they work. Now to get to the yarn store so I can make a dozen more of these bad boys.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Tough days

We've had a string of them lately. Actually mostly it's tough nights. H has been up almost every hour it seems and during the day his naps have been a struggle. Today he was clingy and whiny. Lots of crying if I tried to put him down, but sometimes I'd be able to distract him a bit with a song so that he'd be crying and laughing at the same time. Teething? A growth spurt? Who knows. Whatever it is I hope it passes soon.

I've been just trying to roll with it with chocolate for breakfast, lots of naps and taking myself out for lunch. By late this afternoon though I was feeling pretty frustrated and just needing a break but there is no break coming. Then all of a sudden, H decided to turn on the charm and we proceeded to have the best hour laughing and playing. A nice reminder that no day is a complete write off.

Friday, March 02, 2012

The swing for the win! Finally!

Almost six months old and he's finally liking his swing. And to think I was just about to pack it away.