I have a confession to make.
I LOVE Christmas.
I love most everything about it, from decorating, to baking, and most especially christmas music. One of the great things about having a young child in the house is the ability to enjoy christmas with the new, exciting fervour that makes the season so magical.
So yesterday we started a new christmas tradition. We went to a local farm and picked our own christmas tree. It is a wonderful tradition because, not only is cutting your own tree more environmentally-friendly than a plastic one (especially from a local, no pesticide tree farm!), but the entire experience is special. PLUS, we get to pick a tree in the middle of a field and make my husband saw it down and carry it for over 2 km. So, it’s a family affair 😉
Nothing beats that fresh pine smell and the endless pine needles lingering around the house until you have to drag the dead tree out of your house to be burned in the firepit next summer.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and tradition filled holiday season spent with family and the many happy shrieks from delighted children.
Yes, we did.
We weren’t sure if we should. We almost didn’t. Then we decided: yes, we will bring our 4 month old to an outdoor NaS concert. If it’s a disaster, we’ll come home. If it’s not, we will have successfully attended a concert with our baby.
Seriously, though, I was so nervous about what other people would think that I almost cancelled the whole outing. I put off purchasing the tickets and nearly talked myself out of it. I thought we would appear to be irresponsible parents, bringing our baby to a loud environment way past her bedtime. Further, I had no idea where we would change her, much less breastfeed her.
In the end, we decided to take the chance. We wanted to go to the concert, and our daughter is exclusively breastfed (read: refuses to take a bottle), so if we were going, she would have to come too.
All of my fears were completely unfounded. We were happy to find out from one of the help desks that we had unfettered access to the museum next-door for access to a change table, and, turned out, a breastfeeding room, as well! To top it off, it provided a much needed air conditioned break where we could care for our baby in comfort.
We were then able to make it to the concert stage we wanted, no problem. Everything was accessible for our stroller, and baby kept her sound-cancelling headphones on the whole time. We knew they were working when the show started with a BANG and she didn’t even flinch.
We got so much attention for having baby in tow, but it was all positive. People stopped what they were doing to come over and shake my husband’s hand and congratulate him. It was pretty unexpected!
Most importantly, our child had a blast! She was all smiles the entire time, and wasn’t phased by the crowds.
We were very proud to have gone and to have had the opportunity to see the concert, even with a newborn.
I sense it is just the beginning of unconventional activities with baby…
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.
Last Saturday we were invited to attend a friend’s Great Gatsby themed 30th Birthday party. We LOVE to dress-up, so naturally we accepted and planned our outfits to match the theme.
Chris was working in the garage until about 30 minutes before we had to leave, so I kept busy inside getting ready. This included showering with Evey on her play mat in the bathroom, then showering with Evey so she would be fresh for the party. It also meant some fancy time management skills as I balanced entertaining her, feeding her, and somehow doing my makeup, hair, and getting dressed. It was a 3 hour marathon. I should have asked for help, but Chris hadn’t had alot of time in his garage lately, so I wanted to give him that time.
We all looked amazing when we left the house. I was wearing a flapper-girl style dress, a feather fascinator and lots of perals. Chris had on a black suit, bow tie and fedora. We were QUITE the dapper couple ;).
By the time we were ready to go, I tried to time Evey’s diaper change and feeding so that she would be content for the 45 minute drive to our friend’s place. I dressed her in this adorable black dress with swans on it and white tights with roushing on the bum. She had a pink flower headband on and was so ready for her first dress-up party!
On the way, we realized we needed to stop for gas. Evey had fallen asleep, and immediately woke up when we were at the station.
Then we had promised to bring a veggie tray. We drove over to the grocery store to get the veggie tray and some sandwiches because we didn’t eat dinner and there would only be snacks at the party.
Somehow, when we came out of the store, it had already been 1.5 hrs since we left home, and we were only 10 minutes from home!
We hoped Evey would fall asleep in the car again, but no such luck. She began wailing. We figured it would be wise to pull over to feed her and change her before continuing on. So we stopped at a park up the street from the grocery store.
I fed her in the back seat, then Chris changed her in the front seat. As he was changing her, she peed and got it all over her pretty little outfit. I searched her diaper bag for clean clothes. We dressed her in a Minnie Mouse Onesie. Not 1920’s garb, but it’s all I brought. We didn’t even get a picture of her in her pretty outfit.
Slightly defeated, we got back in the car and kept on track to the party.
Evey wailed the whole 45 minute ride, and I sat in the back trying to distract her. Needless to say, we were worn out when we got to the party. Evey’s mood improved the moment we got out of the car.
In the end, we had a great time, and Evey slept in the car on the ride home. Chris took off the fedora and bow tie, and I took off the fascinator that was pinching my head. When we got home, we realized we didn’t get ANY family photos of us all looking dapper in our costumes. At that point, we were exhausted and happy to have gotten out of the house, figuring at least we did it and at least we were dressed!