Monday, January 26, 2015

Don't Wanna Turn It Around


Little L is 37 pounds. In Canada, regulations state that her awesome Clek Foonf and Fllo car seats can only remain in rear-facing mode until 40 pounds. In the U.S., the very same car seats are permitted to remain in RF mode until 50 pounds. While I don't understand why there is such a large gap between the two countries, I can say unequivocally that I am absolutely gutted about having to turn her around.

It's not a big deal, some of you are probably thinking. I would not have thought so either, except that I have learned over the last few years that RF is infinitely safer than FF.

Car Seats for the Littles: RF Car Seat Myths Busted

Safety Benefits of RF

Car Safety.Org on Rear-Facing

Rear-Facing for Best Protection

So yeah, I'm sick to my stomach with the thought that Little L will have to face forward. Thank God that we have a Foonf, though; at least its beast-mode structure is the best one I've see on the market for safety and peace of mind. However, I am jumpy because I've been in two collisions in the past 6 years, neither of which I was at fault for. Thankfully both were low-impact and did not cause me physical harm. I just hate the thought that despite my many attempts to keep Little L safe, I simply have no control when it comes to other drivers. I have no idea if we will one day be in a collision, and whether it will be a high impact hit. If so, would she suffer neck injuries because of her relatively giant cranium?

I know that many parents have already forward-faced their babies, far sooner than age 2 sometimes. Knowing what I know, I just feel a million times safer with Little L in RF mode. I may want to stop driving altogether when/if she has to start front-facing... at least until age 4. The anxiety of even turning her bloody car seat around might just kill me before that, though.

When did you switch your babies to FF? What made you decide to do so? Does this information change your mind about your decisions? 


Friday, January 23, 2015

This That and the Other Thing - Ramblings and Readings and Getting Ready for 3!

Just a girl and her balloon
Little L turns 3 in a couple of weeks. We just ordered her a "Tigey" cake (like from the TV show - the one that gets shmooshed), and I'm trying to get her banner completed. We are low-keying the party, since every time I ask her what she wants for her birthday, she lists (without fail) balloons, flags (the banner), a cake, and candles. She doesn't care about having presents or guests. LOL. I'm sure next year will be different, but for now I'm relishing not having to overextend myself planning a party for a kidlet who doesn't give a rip about all of those trappings that we grown-ups fuss over. Big birthday bashes, crafts, gift/goodie bags, fancy decor, fancy food... who are we impressing anyway? In our household, only the birthday girl needs to be impressed.

Strangely enough, we have not yet broken in this umbrella despite the rain
Speaking of her birthday, I've decided not to get her the balance bike and helmet until the summer. There is a rainfall warning for the greater metro area as we speak, so winter isn't exactly ideal biking weather. If I bought her the bike now, I suspect she'd be chomping at the bit wanting to take it out, only to be regularly disappointed by the schizo forecasts of the lower mainland. Also, I still haven't done enough research to determine the best bike to get Little L, who isn't exactly the most coordinated kid on the planet; the one that I really wanted is only sold in the UK. Instead of the bike, we are going to get her a pet fish. I'm thinking a Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) since those things are pretty tough and can survive well as loners. 


I've also started selling off some of the gear we have amassed for our lone child. The caveat is that I'm only selling to make room for more. We currently have a Maclaren umbrella stroller that we paid way too much for, to use as a travel stroller. While it's a fantastic stroller for lightweight kids, its alleged 50-pound capacity doesn't actually hold up in practice with a 37-pound preschooler. So, I'm now seeking a buyer so that I can recover a bit of the cost and apply it towards our new travel stroller: Baby Jogger Citi Mini Zip. Does anyone have experience with this particular buggy?

Bye bye until December, my festive friend
It has taken forever but the Christmas stuff is finally down. Yay me! I blame it on Little L's weird flu bug and our nanny coming down with a sinus infection. When do you take down your Christmas decor? Pre-baby, I used to want to keep it up well into January. This year, I wanted everything down by the end of the first week of 2015. Not sure what's up with that. 


So I've become one of those FB article "sharers." I'm trying to be judicious but there is a lot of interesting stuff out there to read. A few recent pieces that have caught my attention and/or my heart:

Quit Pointing Your Avocado at Me
Man, this author totally nailed it.

Why Young Children Protest Bedtime
 It's an interesting perspective. While I'm not an evolutionist, I kind of agree.

When None of It Mattered
I've walked this road before, and come out on the better side.

Once We Become Parents, We Don't Wanna Hang Out with You Anymore...
So, so true. I think my single or DINK friends are certain I've abandoned them, but really, that's not the case.

Obviously I am no crafty genius. Look at that mess! But we had fun...I think
By the way, do you like the phrase mompetition? When I first heard it, I fell in love with the word, partly because I'm a cheeseball and I love puns, but also because it is so, so true. Like, why do parents compare themselves to one another? Or try to outdo each other? Or "humblebrag"? I'm guilty too, but I hope that my awareness of my own weakness gives me the perspective to avoid doing this all the friggin' time. I've been noticing, on several blogs I follow, the level of defensiveness that moms have expressed when other moms espouse a practice or opinion that is contrary to their own. I've read it in lengthy rebuttals and justifications and arguments that they post "in response." Moms don't let other moms have their own opinions. We are the worst. THE. WORST.

The big spats I've most recently seen have been about liberal "free-range" parenting versus keeping kids safe "in a bubble," and between those who are for and against parents being Pinterest-y, crafty, and going the extra miles to "make childhood magical" for their littles.

I'm sure you and I have opinions on both of these issues. We probably fall on opposite sides for some of them, too. But the mompetition of it all seems to be this undercurrent that flows through every one of these issues. It's, at its root, a question of what makes for a good mother. What makes for a better mother? What kind of mothering is best of all? Because every mother wants to be the best, and to give their kids their best, and the threat of not being the best is very difficult to accept. Hence the defensiveness and the mompetition.

But why? In hindsight, in perspective, isn't it all ridiculous when there are babies starving and dying in the world and people being sold like slaves and global climates waging war with our food supplies? #firstworldproblems


So lately, Little L has been protesting the use of Hubbs' bathroom for washing her hands. She has designated our ensuite the "girls' bathroom" and Hubbs' as the "boy's bathroom." I have never described them that way, but at the library they do, and somehow she has transferred her understanding of the library bathrooms (they have private bathrooms for boys, girls, and families) to our washrooms at home.

And can I just say that Hubbs has been a bad influence on Little L? While we used to refer to the bathrooms as "potties," she now prefers to say that "I have to go to the can." :S

Friday, January 16, 2015

Lessons from a Long Long Weekend

No, I don't mean long weekend as in a holiday. I mean, it felt like it didn't end because the days seemed to go on forever when Little L came down with one of the worst non-GI bugs she has ever had. We are talking near 40'C fevers, non-stop nursathons, hacking coughs, runny nose and 48 hours of lethargy and listlessness. And she kept coughing and sneezing right into my face, too; it's a miracle I'm still standing.

Here is what I learned from the experience:

Finally asleep. She's such an angel when she's passed out cold.

1) Breastfeeding saves lives. Okay, maybe not quite, but it kept my girl from coughing all night (read: I actually did manage to get some sleep despite being her soother all night long), and kept her hydrated when even cupcakes and ice cream had lost all their appeal. It was weird, you guys. It's always weird when your little girl turns down her favourite sweet treats. That's when you know it's a big bad bug.

Post Tylenol, her eyes didn't look like she had been smoking up.

2) Tylenol Chewables to the rescue! The liquid version was apparently "too sweet" for Little L, but she wolfed down the fast melting tablets like candy and was much more alert and herself within the hour. It actually had me convinced that she was better, until I skipped a dose and she went right back to being dopey.
Like the days of old when I'd selfie from the LazyBoy while she snoozed on my chest.
3) TV is good for something - entertaining my kid and taking her mind off her misery during those rare alert hours when she didn't have the strength to move, and only wanted to cuddle and watch the Tigger Movie on Netflix. I think we viewed that movie a dozen times since she fell ill. And now I hate it.

I can't remember where I bought this, but it's the best saline EVER. And grapey.

4) Always stockpile cold and flu reserves. The things we needed and had on hand included: Aleva Natural Nose n' Blows wipes, Boogie Mist saline spray, Vicks Vaporub, Natural Factors Echinamide Quick Blast capsules, liquid honey, lemons, chicken broth, and of course copious amounts of cracker-style snacks. I'm adding Tylenol chewables to the list now! Did I mention that during this weekend of hellish suffering, we were out of Nespresso capsules? That, too, should be stockpiled. Lesson learned.

A week later, we are on the mend. But just in case we are still contagious, you might want to stay away from us for a week longer ;)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Worst Seller in the City

So I belong to a local FB baby buy/sell/trade group. I've used it along with our city's CL to try to sell some of the stuff Little L has outgrown. We have sold her travel crib, Orbit system, and a few other things this way.

I have to admit, I'm probably a terrible salesperson. I might even be the worst. When I set a price on one of our items, I don't usually budge or negotiate. I deliberate what I believe is a good, fair price for the baby gear, and I hold firm to those numbers when a potential buyer tries to whittle it down. While I don't consider myself to be particularly attached to these things (I am getting rid of them, after all), I guess deep down I must cherish them somehow, because I am utterly unwilling to lower my price to benefit others. Just today I turned down a $15 offer for our $35 really great condition leather Pediped boots.

In fact, I'm so against bargaining that I would rather give these same items away for zero profit (yes, free!) to Baby Go Round (a by-referral non-profit that distributes stuff to needy parents) than let someone try to buy it for less than what I deem it to be worth. We have probably given away a few hundred bucks of stuff at this point, and we don't even get a tax receipt. Does that make any sense? Not really, not even to me. And yet I just can't bring myself to be bargained down. It straight up feels wrong.

Maybe it's because I sometimes judge people on these groups, like the ones who attempt to sell *free* samples of formula, or those who try to unload things that really aren't worth anything, like weathered, filthy, moldy strollers. The other day I even read about a woman who, under the guise of "helping another expectant mom," was collecting free donations that she then turned around and sold online for her own gain. So dishonest and a horrible way of profiting from others' goodwill!

So maybe that's why I have a hard time with it. I dunno. Places like Baby Go Round have processes that vet people before they qualify to receive stuff, so I feel a bit more justified in giving to them; I know that these folks really are in need, and aren't just trying to "scam the system."

Am I the only weirdo out there like this? What do you do with your outgrown baby gear? What is your policy on bargaining, and what do you sell vs. give away? 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sorry Not Sorry?

After intentionally splashing paint water in my face after a rousing painting session:

Me: That was not nice. You intentionally splashed the paint water at Mommy! What do you say?

Little L: I'm sorry Mommy.

Me: Do you mean that?

Little L: No. (Observes my expression). Mommy is not happy. You do not look happy. 

Me: No, I'm not. It did not feel nice to have water splashed at me after we had so much fun painting. 

Little L: I want to give Mommy a hug. 

Mommy: You can hug me after you apologize.

Little L: I'm sorry Mommy.

Me: Do you mean it?

Little L: Yes.

Me: Are you going to splash me again? 

Little L: No. I want to hug Mommy.

Me: Okay, you can hug me now.

Little L clings to me with a big bear hug, then laughs again and says: Yay! Mommy is happy now!

And proceeds to crawl around the floor spreading paint water everywhere. *sigh*

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Kid Says the Darndest Things, and A Little L Update

On examining a crusty nose booger in front of the mirror: "It looks like a pakora!"

After pooping on the potty, Little L exclaims very excitedly, "I know I had enough fruits and veggies!"

During our potty training adventures, she had moments when she didn't really want to use the potty.
"I don't want to use the potty! I don't want to be a big girl! I just want to be a little girl."

Me: (to Hubbs) She's using her stool as a foot rest!
Little L: (to Hubbs) And she's using her chair as a bum rest!"

On calling her a snow princess, Little L balks: "I don't want to be a princess! I just want to be a monkey!"

Little L (to Hubbs): I wanna do something cool with Daddy.
Hubbs: Is sleeping on the bed cool?
Little L: No! It's uncool!

Me: Oatmeal is good for your tummy!
Little L: Oatmeal is good for my stomach! You said tummy but you meant stomach.

Me: It's time to brush your teeth!
Little L: (in a whining tone) I need nye-nye! (Then she catches herself whining, stops, and restates solemnly and quietly) I'm *preferring* to have nye-nye.

"I don't know how to do it because I'm just a little girl."

As we cuddle in a big family hug on our bed, this conversation occurs:
Little L: What do we look like?
Hubbs: A Little L sandwich with Mommy and Daddy bread!
Little L: What am I?
Hubbs: You're the Little L meat!

 (Little L pretends to take a piece of Daddy bread off his shoulder, nibbles it, then pretends to take a piece of Mommy bread to nibble, and then turns to me and away from Hubbs)

Little L: No, I don't want a sandwich! I'm just gearing up for nye-nye!

Seriously, though, my kid's speech is really taking off. She's quite a clever girl, and fairly articulate, and sometimes her vocabulary and general language development astounds me. She regularly uses words like actually, and tries to mimic our intonation and use of different character voices when she "reads" (recites from memory) her books. Lately, she has even developed a bit of a mock Brit accent because she watches a few British cartoons (namely, Timbuctoo). And did I mention that Little L has learned how to negotiate and stall? Her skills tend to kick into high gear around the dinner hour, although we've also seen them at work when she wants nye-nye or is trying to postpone something that we have scheduled to do.

I suspect these recent explosions in ability are related to her blossoming imagination. She has a way of combining stories that she knows, and retelling them with goofy details to make us laugh. Little L is slowly getting better at playing independently, mostly because she is creating and recreating stories in her head that my presence and play would interrupt. Her best narrative time seems to be when she first wakes up in the morning. I'm guessing that she is trying to describe her dreams, because the stories can get fairly elaborate (for a near-3-year-old) and sounds sufficiently nonsensical to be the stuff of slumber.

Today, our nanny told me that she felt that Little L has some amazing self-control and an unusual ability to delay gratification. I think she is referring to the fact that Little L, when only permitted one dessert-type "treat" in a day, will choose to wait until supper time to enjoy it (rather than have it early in the day and then try to argue for another dessert later on). I'm not sure if this is developmentally on track or not, but I do like that my girl can wait.

In size news, my girl is now proudly wearing 4T (and sometimes even girls' extra-small clothes). She would probably still be 3T were it not for her height. Given that I'm a paltry 5'2.5" in height, I'm a little perplexed by her long legs and torso; I am guessing that maybe there is some hidden height on both Hubbs' and my sides of the family?

Now that potty training is a done deal, the next hurdle is weaning and transitioning from our bed to her own. I don't anticipate that this will be an easy process, nor am I particularly looking forward to it. However, Hubbs and I both feel like 3 years is a good run where her beloved nye-nye is concerned, and I am quite ready to reclaim my breasts as my own. I haven't ready anything or learned how to approach this yet, so if you have tips, please feel free to pass them along!!

And that, in a nutshell, is my soon-to-be-three year old. Where has the time gone!?!

A Break-Up Letter of Sorts

I think by nature people love to hate. Not sure where this comes from (read: sin nature), but I've come across many (myself included) who intentionally and regularly read blogs or articles written by, or follow people on social media, that they don't actually like. Consuming this content then fuels some serious internal rage or at very least, mild annoyance. And yet, people do this all the time.

Now, while I would be lying if I said that there isn't an element of fun involved in raging on another and feeling that adrenaline rush, in the grand scheme of things I really do find this to be quite a physically detrimental and unproductive practice. 

As part of my 2015 self-improvement plan (because resolutions are made to be broken, no?), I am eliminating the hate-reads and annoying feeds from my life. It's just too short an existence to spend wasted on negative things by people who bring nothing to my proverbial table, and whose "presence" in my life is more a distraction than a blessing. 

I suppose if you find yourself removed, a fair question to ask is, "What good light have you brought into my world?" I'm pretty sure I had enough darkness in 2014, so this year I want to be blinded by goodness and grace and love and faith and all those shiny things that can only exist in light. I am not interested in being exposed to hate, passive aggression, self-aggrandizement, self-promotion, or generally inauthentic or offensive content and people. 

Now I realize I may be on your chopping block too, since I've known for a while that some read this blog or follow me in other realms out of hate for my writing style or my parenting choices or my verbose, opinionated and outspoken approach to life. I actually welcome this un-following, because everyone would benefit from surrounding themselves with goodness, and if I (in an attempt to be my authentic self) somehow contribute negatively to their lives, there's no  reason to keep me around either. 

Do I allow some room for grace in all of this? Of course! We all have off days that end up on our various platforms ranting and wanting to be heard or validated; it's definitely a cathartic thing on occasion, and I fully admit that my blog is one arena where I feel comfortable spouting off every so often. A pattern is different from an occasional anomaly, though, and off days don't usually happen for weeks and months on end! Therein lies the difference, at least to me.

So yeah, I guess I'm breaking up with some (of you) people out there. It's not you (okay, well, it sort of is), it's all me though. For the sake of my health, we have reached the end of our road. Happy 2015 indeed.

And so, the great cull begins. 

Are there any toxic people or things in your life that need to be purged too? 


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