Let the Adventures continue!

We have news. We are picking up our lives and moving to a new city. Not around the globe, but a 5 hour drive away. It may as well be the other side of the world with the amount of planning it takes: preparing and selling our home, packing, hiring movers and a storage space (because we are still looking for a house on the other end), looking for a new home and finding temporary housing while we wait.
We’ve also decided to add one more wrench into our plans: we’d like to take the opportunity without a mortgage to take a dream trip.
I’m still baffled at our decision to do this. Throwing caution to the wind, as they say. I thought we’d want to lay low and play safe with a baby. But, it turns out the wanderlust is calling, and we want to answer it with baby in toe!
We figure our expenses are low, we will be temporarily between jobs, and Chris didn’t really get a parental leave, so this gives him a chance to spend real, quality time with Evey while she is so young.
So we will be leaving for Thailand at the end of October, right after the closing of our house (less than a month away, I know!).
Moments of packing are now speckled with trip plans, passport application for baby, and making sure our vaccines are in order. It’s going to be an adventure of a lifetime, and we can’t wait to share it with you!
Here’s to new adventures and capturing moments in life. I can’t wait to spend the next few months with the two loves of my life.

I am your best friend


These years when I am your best friend.
You turn to me with joy, sadness, pain.
You look to me for excitement.
You feel safest in my arms.
Being your familiar in this big world,
Where you rest, play, learn.
In these years I am your best friend.
Though you will not remember them at all.

You’re 6 months old today, baby girl


You’re 6 months old today, baby girl.
It sounds cliché:
Where has the time gone?
Feels like yesterday.
But today you are half a year old.
1/2 a year wiser.
You’ve learned more skills in these months than I have in 10 years.
You’ve captured my heart with those 6 months of yours.
You’ve endeared me to you, eternally. There’s no letting go.
These past months are a whirlwind.
So much change and growth.
I think of how fragile. How squirmy and cold.
I recall the days you slept.
We wondered if you would ever wake up!
I remember the tears. Yours and mine.
I remember the pain. Mostly mine.
And today, on your 6 months, I am witness to a person.
A little person with a strong will, a growing sense of humour, a smile that makes people stop and stare.
You’ve been in our lives for 6 months, baby girl, and somehow it feels like life didn’t start until we had you.

6 Tips to Survive Road Trips with Baby


The Car: My child’s most hated place to be. Strapped to a car seat, facing backwards into a grey abyss of fabric.
At first we thought we were lucky and our baby loved the car. She would fall asleep immediately, and be well rested when we reached our destination, smiling and bright eyed.
Then, something happened to her around the 3 month old mark. Our sweet little cherub no longer liked the car. No, she HATES the car. Sleeping turned into blood curdling screams. No matter how much we sang to her, spoke to her, pet her, she would not stop crying. We started becoming hyper-aware of her comfort when putting her in the car.
Freshly fed? Check!
Freshly changed? Check!
Loose-fitting, comfortable clothes? Check!
Not too hot? Not too cold? Check!
Soft toy for entertainment and comfort? Check!
We had been told in our parenting class that you shouldn’t put anything in the car that you wouldn’t be willing to have hit your baby in the face in case of an accident. There are very few things we’d like to hit our baby in the face, so this limited our possibilities quite dramatically.

Despite being hyper-vigilant about her comfort, Evey still lost her mind in the back seat. We were losing our minds. As a new mom, I couldn’t be tethered to my home. Further, we live 1 hour from city centre, so pretty much every car trip is a trek.
So, we got serious about trying to make the car more enjoyable for baby. Here are some of our tips:

1) DVD player: I know, I know. The rule from our parenting class said not to put something in the car that could become a projectile. But we needed a distraction, so we compromised. We got a seat-rest mounted DVD player and mounted it to the left of baby’s carseat. It has been a lifesaver. We turn it on as we are strapping her in, and it usually distracts her well enough that she doesn’t put up much of a fight. For us, DVD’s with lots of singing help. She’ll be glued to it, and it will calm her 60% of the time.

2) Soft toys: these are surprisingly hard to find without some hard plastic on them. Since we compromised on the DVD player, we try not to have any other hard items back there. We opted for soft teething bracelets that attach to her wrists so she won’t drop them (you know, in case the tears are because she dropped her toy where she can’t reach).

3) Human Companionship: I figure it must get lonely back there. A child, who is naturally sociable, stuck by herself in a bucket. So now when we go on long trips (over an hour or so), one of us sits in the back with munchkin. I’ve found it especially helpful on road trips. We can identify why she is crying and judge whether it is time to stop.

4) Drive at night: for long trips, we have been driving in the evening close to baby’s bedtime. This works for the obvious reason: she sleeps most of the way. We end up at our destination in the wee hours of the night, but more rested than driving with a screaming baby.

5) Stop: this might not always be easy, but stop when you need to. For us, (during waking hours) baby needs to stop every 1.5 hours to stretch her legs, feed and be changed. We stop long enough for her to forget she was in the car, about 40 minutes seems to do the trick.

6) Earplugs…no, I mean patience!
We haven’t resorted to earplugs…yet. We find that by following the tricks above, we have survived 3 long road trips (over 6 hours). We go with no expectation of schedule and we don’t rush. Make the trip about the voyage, not the destination and all will be much happier for it 🙂

We are car-trip people. It is very important to us that our child learn to enjoy the time she spends in the car. We aren’t there yet, but each road trip we have done us better than the last, and I feel it is thanks to some of the coping strategies we have implemented.
Good luck!

My Mother’s Daughter

When I look into my daughter’s eyes with all that affection, I can’t help but see my mother.
I see the total dedication. Countless hours spent caring, doting, nursing.
I see the worry. I see the sacrifice.
Trading personal interest for selfless love.
A need to provide, nurture, help succeed.
I see strength and vulnerability. Giving all of oneself for one little being.
I see sleepless nights, tears, joys, and anxieties.
Endless snuggles.
Closeness, connection, understanding without words.
When I look into my daughter’s eyes, I see my mother.

The Clock, Tick Tock


I hear the tick tock as time passes
What once was faint, now gets louder and clearer
As you grow more independent each day
It becomes clear to me how fleeting this time is
I don’t want to blink or miss a second
How do I keep this feeling going?
How do I capture it in a bottle and savour it forever more?
I put aside the pain, frustrations and want for solitude
Because I know one day I will regret rushing
Through this first year, you and me
Through this bond we’ve tied so close.
I’d like to slow the clock, like syrup
To keep time from pouring away.

Hip Hop is for the Children


We just got back from the 12th annual House of PainT Festival in Ottawa, Ont.
We’ve been to the festival for the past 7 years, but this is our first time taking Evey.
We love House of PainT because it represents all 4 elements of hip hop (Graffiti, Breakdancing, DJ’ing, MC’Ing), and is a true grassroots festival focused on uplifting the community it is a part of.
It occurs under a bridge and next to a river. It’s actually a legal Graffiti wall designated by the city, and artists come from all over Canada to participate in both the Graf and BBoy/Girl competitions.
The vibe is so unique, and it always feels like you’ve stumbled upon a little gem of a street party.
It was raining most of the day (I can only remember 1 House of PainT it didn’t rain), so we bundled Evey up in her warmest toque and sound-cancelling headphones and braved the weather. The saving grace for the festival is that it is under a bridge, so no matter the weather, you’ll be mostly dry.

Evey was quite relaxed and the headphones did wonders. She loved watching the breakdancers, mesmerized by their foot work and rhythm. We might have a mini breakdancer in training!



Movies with Baby

Movies with

I feel lucky to have a movie theatre nearby that hosts Wednesday movie days for parents and babies. It’s a great opportunity to get out of the house, watch some current movies and eat some movie popcorn ( because who doesn’t like the popcorn they have at the movies, am I right?).

Here’s a confession: I was anxious to go to the movies with my baby. The thought of carting ourselves out to a dark, loud place with my newborn was daunting. I didn’t want her to disturb the other movie goers. I didn’t want to have to leave half way through because she was having a fit. I certainly didn’t know what she would do for 2 hours while mommy tried to enjoy a movie.
Still, wanting to experience it at least once, and coming to terms with the possibility of having to leave the theatre if things got too bad, my mom and I packed up and headed for the theatre.

Our theatre does pretty well by us. They have 2 films to choose from every Wednesday. Droves of parents and grandparents come out. The theatre sets up change tables, microwaves, kettles and stroller parking.
The movies they play are geared to the parents, not the babies, but they play them less loudly and they dim the lights as apposed to turning them off completely ( because you have to at least be able to SEE baby!).

So, there we were in the theatre. Evey was happy to be out (as usual), & sat on my lap very attentively. She mostly looked around at all the people, but occasionally stared at the screen, too.
Then the movie started. Everything was calm in the theatre. Most babies were content and sleeping. Evey quickly fell asleep on my lap.
Within about 20 min, though: different story. All of a sudden it was baby orchestra! I don’t think there was 1 baby in that theatre that wasn’t fussing. Not crying, but just being noisy. You know what? It didn’t matter! The more someone else’s kid made noise, the less guilty I felt about mine. We were all parents of young babies, out at a theatre in the middle of the day. We understood each other’s situations, and we were having a great time.
The last 20 min of the film were probably the toughest. The movie was maybe a bit long for most of the babies, and they all started to get restless. But when the movie ended and we all pilled out of the theatre, I felt good. I felt proud of having taken that step and even better about having worried for nothing.
This baby thing can be tricky. It takes confidence and a little risk-taking to get out there, but the rewards are there. I’m slowly getting my baby confidence, and these baby-friendly events are just the beginning.