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Showing posts from 2017

Playtime Paediatric Dentistry - Our Rave Review

Little L isn't exactly a fan of dentists. Her first one, from a popular paediatric dental clinic, was opinionated and fairly forceful in his attempts to count her two-year-old teeth and shame us into weaning (we didn't listen). We switched to a local mom-type dentist in the hopes of a better experience, but that dentist was a nightmare; she refused to give Little L a toy (after dangling that incentive to elicit her cooperation) when my kid didn't want to have air sprayed into her mouth.  Traumatizing on so many levels, and unacceptable considering we had warned them in advance of Little L's anxiety. We returned to the first paediatric dental clinic and saw another dentist, who was actually very patient and kind with Little L, but whose availability at our local clinic was so limited that it was darn near impossible to get scheduled in without several months' notice.

Then my blog friend Jen (from Mama.Papa.Bubba.) IG'ed her experience at Playtime Paediatric Dent…

Lying in Bed Thinking About Beds

Do you ever have one of those nights where you wake up after just three hours of sleep, and the sky is still black and the house is dead silent and the clock is blinking 2:47 am, but you feel as awake as though you'd just clocked in a solid 10 hours? It's that kind of night around here.

Little L (who is still co-sleeping and the snuggliest bed-buddy around) roused at 2:30 am and insisted that I:
a) immediately put in my mandibular device - I guess I was snoring, and
b)surrender my right arm for her use as a pillow.

I'm not a big fan of back sleeping, but when your big little kid is lying on your right arm and cutting off circulation, that's like the best option of having a decent sleep. It's also the only optimal position for arm extraction.

Just as I had a feeling that weaning was near (even if it came years after most kids wean from breastfeeding), I am starting to get that inkling in my gut that our co-sleeping days are drawing to a close. Little L has develope…

Thanks Thinx - A Review

***WARNING: TMI Graphic girly content ahead. NSF kids or guys who don't discuss menstruation with their ladies on the regular ***

When I learned that there was such a thing as period panties, I got excited. Let's just say that when I cruise the crimson sea, it's always high tide. The idea, then, of a leak-proof and comfy option for the likes of me was beyond appealing, since I hate the sensation of feeling as though I'm sloshing around in diapers.

There are apparently several brands of menstrual underwear out there on the market, but I decided to be swayed by the one that popped up on my social media with a savvy marketing campaign. Thinx is a New York-based women-founded company that helps girls and women in the developing world. Good idea and good deed, too? Sold. So I broke the bank and bought three pairs: two hip-hugger and a boy short. And I waited for them to arrive, and then for an opportunity to test them out.

Now that I've had a few (heavy) days to try the…

On Viewing Limits

When it comes to sensitive themes in books or videos, Little L is a very easily-concerned and anxious child. She sees fictional characters getting ill or injured or separated from their parents, and she massively overreacts to these imaginary situations to the point of ugly tears. Basically, her empathy sensor is set to maximum at virtually all times.

With a kiddo like this, we have to be uber-careful about what she watches on her iPad or on TV. Thankfully, our lack of cable spares us not only from commercials, but also from programs with mature content or triggering themes. Mostly, Little L watches PlayKids or Sid the Science Kid videos on her iPad. We also have a few Miffy & Friends seasons on iTunes, and a Netflix subscription that gives us our Peppa Pig fix. Finally, whatever videos she'd like to watch, that can only be found on YouTube, we usually download via AwesomeTV so that she can watch it on her iPad without automatically gaining access to other videos.


And Just Like That...*Poof*

..she likes to be a princess.

When we visited Disneyland 1.5 years ago, calling Little L a princess would have resulted in violence. Today? She's all about frilly twirly skirts, tiaras, fairy tales and fancy shoes.

What. Just. Happened?!!?

Of course, she is now *begging* to go back to Disneyland. We haven't made promises but I have a feeling that a return trip is looming on our horizon. Understandable, really. Age 5 truly is the ideal age to be roaming the Magic Kingdom in search of Minnie Mouse and Cinderella. Mine was even enthralled by the generic high-school-aged princess she spotted at the school carnival. The picture doesn't do her excitement justice, but trust me, she was fairly entranced. Her favourite fairy tale du jour? Alice in Wonderland. Closely followed are Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty (aka Briar Rose). 

While I'm not some extremist feminist, I do have pretty clear boundaries on matters like consent, and frankly, Sleeping Beauty (and even …

Flying with a Big Little Kid

I was inspired by EastVanBaby's most recent account of their family trip to Mexico, and thought I'd share a few thoughts of my own on how we travel with Little L. We have taken her on over three dozen flights in the past 5 years; most of them were just interprovincial trips, although we did do a handful of flights to Hawaii and Palm Springs as well.

Let's just be honest here; traveling with children is no vacation. At least, not for most parents. You still have little people to take care of, and feed and dress and entertain. You have their schedules and routines to take into account. However, you've now removed all of the comforts of home; you must somehow keep everyone happy and healthy without having your usual things to rely on (like the Disney channel or Netflix) or the conveniences of knowing where everything is. Favourite toys? Couldn't pack all of them. Favourite foods? Turns out they don't sell them at the destination's grocery stores. Playgrounds? …

New Wheels: Preschooler Edition - S

Up until two weeks ago, Little L preferred her scooter (a Globber Three-Wheel My Free Scooter) to her bike because her bike was "too hard to pedal." We had bought her a Huffy Cinderella-themed one that came with fancy streamers on the handles and a carriage basket in the front. Super cute, and it matched her bike helmet. Unfortunately, since she didn't have the leg strength or coordination to pedal this bike, I was constantly having to bend down to guide her feet in the direction it should move. It sucked for my back and also for my girl; constant starts and stops made her biking experience less than enjoyable.

And so, the bike sat for months without any use. Thank God for garages.

Then, one day, while browsing through our junk mail, I happened to come across the Supercycle Kickstart bike ad in the Canadian Tire catalogue. I immediately did a Google investigation on the bike, only to discover that it was a CT exclusive item, meaning it had no Amazon reviews, and no other…

Size is Relative

Something fishy is afoot with clothing sizes. I mean, there has always been some inconsistency from brand to brand, store to store and style to style. However, here's what I have noticed:

When I was an eating-disordered teenager, I recall weighing in at a trim 107 pounds, which is pretty thin for my build. I mean, I was straight up fainting some days. By then, I had almost (if not already) reached my adult height of 5'2", give or take an inch. Anyway, despite being skinny enough to be told I was looking unhealthy (and actually being unhealthy), I recall shopping at Bootlegger and Ricki's -the "cool" stores - and still needing a size 8/10, or a 28" jean (which was considered size 10 at the time). I honestly don't think I wore anything smaller than a 6. Keep in mind that as an adolescent who had just shed her baby weight (and then some), I didn't have a lot of muscle tone. I was just skin and bones, but I consistently fit sizes 6-10. I was a soli…

A Vision to Behold

We recently took the little miss to the developmental optometrist (Dr. Randhawa) because a) this optometrist is amazing with little kids, and b) she is well-versed in vision therapy and visual processing issues. While I'm fairly certain that Little L had no need for vision therapy, I did want her to see someone who knew how to look for these kinds of things.

Up until this point, Little L had only seen one other optometrist, and for a mere 10 minutes. She was quite young back then, and had neither the patience nor the desire to sit through even the most cursory eye exam. This time, however, our visit was prompted by my kiddo, who must have been reading some books about getting glasses on her Epic Books or PlayKids Stories subscriptions.

Anyway, I've never seen someone so excited to go in for an eye exam. It was unreal. Little L *skipped* into the corner office, and tried her very best to be patient (which is a huge feat if you know how she normally is) while she waited for her …

The Thing About My Trauma

I had an entire post written about a traumatic set of experiences that I had during my sophomore year of teaching overseas. It involved workplace bullying, and the kind of psychological/emotional/social alienation and abuse that you'd see in junior high or the Mean Girls movie. It was dramatic and ugly and every bit as devastating to me as a twenty-something as it was when I was 14 and dealing with it.

I'd love to regale you with tales of how unjustly I, and some others on staff, had been treated by this group of female workplace bullies, but it serves little purpose except to assuage my still-bruised ego and self-esteem. A decade and a half later, bringing it up just to elicit some sympathy from my online friends seems kind of petty. Really petty.

But the trauma remains. It doesn't go away. Somehow the name of the "ringleader" of this group crossed my social media yesterday, and even the mere sight of it made me freeze. A lump started forming in my throat at ab…

A Little Older, A Little Thinner

It's my birthday today, so I get to enjoy some personal time doing things that aren't the least bit parental. I took a bubble bath, had Starbucks delivered by my sweet family, and soon we are off to a play cafe (more coffee for me, and some play time for the kiddo). I will be making some cream cheese icing later today so that Hubbs and Little L can ice my cake (you know, the one I won't be eating because of carbs), but otherwise I'm washing my hands of all mundane life chores today, with the exception of doing laundry, because when am I *not* doing laundry?!

I also get to reflect on the last year, which was the first one I've had in this decade of life. You know, the season oft-referred to as middle age. I have to be honest, I don't feel like I'm in middle age, and as my numbers go up, I keep thinking that middle age is a different phase of life far, far down the road. Like, maybe it refers to people in their 50's, but it certainly doesn't refer to…

Outgrow. Outlast. - The Finale of Our BF Journey

To be completely honest, I almost didn't write this post. While I'm usually fairly open about my opinions and parenting choices, I've held this one pretty close to the vest in recent years, because it is a more controversial - and personal- decision than most others. Sadly, it is one that many Western mothers are also unfairly judged for, despite it being completely natural in many other parts of our world.

The choice: full-term, aka "extended," breastfeeding. Little L and I chose to continue our nursing journey beyond age 2, and 3, and even 4. In fact, we only weaned a couple of weeks ago. We had already stopped nursing in public and nursing on demand several years earlier, but it was only recently that Little L was ready to completely wean from her nighttime and early morning sessions; she had finally outgrown her need to drink from my milk. The most clear signs of this were her growing desire for "privacy" and alone time, and her "nye-nye"

Creature of Habit - Shoe Edition

I just pressed send on my most recent online order for Little L: two pairs of Pedipeds in larger sizes in anticipation of her feet growing again. She has outgrown nearly every pair of her shoes, versus having worn any of them out. Her hands and feet are, IMHO, unusually large. 
This is probably the 20th pair of Pedipeds I've bought for her in the past four years. She didn't need them for the first non-mobile year of her life, but when she finally figured out her steps, I was desperate for some good shoes for developing walkers. I mean, she wasn't very stable back then, so I needed to get something that would support her as she figured out how to walk and run; this kid has my piss-poor coordination genetics, after all. That is where the Pediped habit began. 
Since 2013, I've kind of stuck with this company despite not really needing to. I mean, Little L's current favourite shoes are her rubber boots from Superstore, which make her feet smell like pungent pickles. Her …

(S)P(l)urge - The Book Dilemma

As you know, I've been Konmari-ing my home for the past year and a half. Old clothes and shoes are being sold or donated, clutter is being cleaned up, toys are being Varage'ed and the whole goal has been to purge excess and try to simplify our stuff. You know, in case we ever move again;

Fewer boxes = easier, cheaper, and faster move.

Anyway, I'm getting to be pretty adept at this purging business. However, there is one area that has been a very fatal weakness for me: books. Specifically, Little L's books. I'm a bibliophile at heart, and I have been amassing a fairly decent library of books for my girl since before she was even born. Add to that Hubbs' collections of books from his own childhood days, as well as birthday and Christmas gifts that tend towards beautiful hardcovers, and the collection grows quickly. I'm also a sucker for cheap books, so whenever the Scholastic flyer comes a-callin', I answer with an order, even if it is just a minimal one.…

OnAnOff Buddyphones - a Review

**(I composed this post almost a month ago, but due to recent events with our extended family, the publish button didn't get hit until now).**

We accidentally stumbled upon some awesome kiddo headphones recently. After arriving at the airport for our Christmas flight, we discovered that we had forgotten to pack Little L's Panasonic headphones. She had taken them out of the Stella & Dot Getaway (my fave travel bag) earlier, and I had forgotten to put them back.

Anyway, we ended up at the airport electronics store, desperate for a quick replacement. Originally, I would have opted for the cheapest pair possible, but who are we kidding? Airport mark-ups are insane, so it was a better value to get the good ones since either way, we'd be paying out the wazoo for them.

They had a huge selection of OnAnOff Buddyphones headphones in a multitude of colours. I grabbed a fuschia pair, which set me back $75 after tax, and promptly removed the packaging to get them flight-ready.


Good Grief

Sitting on our bookshelf is a Charlie Brown Christmas book that Little L received from her Nana for Christmas a few years ago. What makes this book extra super special is that it forever preserves Nana's voice as she reads the story. When you turn the page, some transitional music plays and then you can hear Nana narrating the classic tale of Charlie Brown's search for the true meaning of Christmas. 
This is our second copy of the book. Little L read and reread the first one so often as a toddler that it came off its spine and no longer played the correct page when you opened it up. Nana and YeYe searched high and low to secure a second copy for their first grandbaby; I suspect they were secretly delighted both by her love of reading and also by her enthusiasm for their personalized gift.
Anyway, when I open the book now, and hear Nana's expressive retelling of the story, it seems particularly poignant because it points out focus to what really matters at Christmastime - Jes…

Fab Fit Fun - Winter 2016/2017 Editor's Box

I did it. I splurged and subscribed myself for a FabFitFun box. I'm no C-list celebrity but I've seen the ads on FB and IG and I knew I wanted my own box, and I even taped my unboxing:

Sorry the light and audio were suspect; my kid was napping and I was so excited I didn't even bother to find a well-lit location (or fix my ghetto make-up). 
The items in my box were:
An engraved Jook & Nona necklace ("happy") - $65 Zoya 5-free nude nail polish - $10 Marrakesh Argan & Hemp hair serum - $23 Anderson Lilley Winter in Manhattan Beach Beach Butter body cream - $24 Good Morning Gorgeous! Coffee mug - the Created Co. $19 FabFitFun penci crayons and colouring book - $14 Modcloth Lock and Key blanket scarf - $35 Manna Kadar lip gloss stain in Lucky - $24 O.R.G. skincare mineral peel for face - $44
Total retail value: $258USD Paid: $39.99USD + shipping
Verdict: totally worth it! I can't wait for my spring box, although I'm not a preferred member and so I won…