Why I #babywear @sakurabloom

A few weeks ago, I saw on Sakura Bloom’s instagram page that they were holding a contest for ring sling / outfit style mood boards.  Although I didn’t get a chance to create my set in time – I loved the idea of doing one (or a few hehe).

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When I was expecting with Miss S #BabyWearing was the first thing I researched (in regards to parenthood) and the Sakura Bloom ring sling was the first thing I bought.

I completely fell in love with having my baby close to me and realized early on that the ring sling (as opposed to a buckled carrier) was more my style.

I started wearing Miss S when she was about 2 weeks old and continued to wear her until she was almost one and half.  I would wear her to grocery shop, get things done around the house, on vacation/out and about or just when she wanted to be held.

Once she become more independent (and around the time she stopped nursing) she and I both realized that it was time to fold up and store the sling (seriously this sling rolls up so tiny and takes up no room at all).

Best thing about #BabyWearing…how AWESOME it is to hold your baby but still have your hands free.

Now that Miss El has joined us, our sling has taken on a whole new meaning.  I started wearing her when she was 2-3 days old (using the newborn carry – tummy to tummy with legs “froggied” in).  I can give more time to my toddler without putting my newborn down.  I can go for a quick neighbourhood walk, prep dinner, get the house in order and put my make up on with her close to me.  Lastly, we use the sling during the evening when everyone is hangry and tired and this momma doesn’t have enough hands to go around :)

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If you haven’t tried a carrier I would definitely recommend the Sakura Bloom Ring Sling. That said, there is a bit of a learning curve in wearing your baby in a ring sling, but with practice it becomes second nature.

Cold Shoulder and Grace

I love that time of year when the weather is starting to warm up and I look to my closet to see what summer pieces I can bring out again.  My eyes usually go to my shoe closet because I am most excited to put away my boots.  However, this year I am all about the “cold shoulder”.  I was really into it at the end of the summer but a growing belly only makes you long for clothes you cannot wear LOL

I used to be pretty embarrassed of my “swimmer arms” but over the years I’ve come to accept and appreciate them.  Learning new ways to work out/resistance train them and finding outfits that flatter those areas also helps.

The tops that work best for me have spegetti string straps and I don’t have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction :)

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Shoes (similar) | Bag | Jeans (similar) | Top (similar) | Necklace | Rings (similar) | Watch

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I hope my girls can look towards my confidence and understanding of self so they too can learn to love all of themselves.

Our Saturday Go-To Activities

For the last 6-7 months Miss S and I have spent every Saturday morning together #MotherDaughterSaturday.  The mister has had his MBA group meetings every Saturday which meant I was on solo parent duty.  I think back on the last 7 months and I am thankful we got to spend so much alone time together, but of course it didn’t come without some parenting stress.

Looking to the future, I think I may be a little more SELFISH when it comes to my Saturday mornings with my fambam: brunch out or a lazy morning of pancakes at home, doing something fun together or just lying in bed in our PJs, getting some work done around the house #HoneyDoList or running errands at the market.

So as the Hubz Saturday meetings come to an end, I thought I’d put out a little reminder to myself of the things Miss S and I did to spend time together (while we anxiously waited for our man to get home!)

Park Sesh:  The park is my best friend (and she loves the park too).  We’ve been going in the best of weather and even the colder fall days #ThankYouSnowPants

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screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-9-53-03-pmArt and Crafts:  Thanks to the dollar store I have tons of toddler friendly art/craft supplies.  Currently she’s into the “gue” stick (glue stick), playdoh and water/water colour painting (by far my fav).  I love when she is doing something creative because being creative is very important to me.  But also because it’s more or less and independent activity (ok, she ate playdoh ONCE…that I know of) and it lets her focus on her art work but also fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.  Plus she creates some BEAUTIFUL masterpieces!!

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Library Visit:  Another thing we both love is the library.  There are different toys, puzzles, kids and new activities (see Miss S on the “coputer”) and of course books!  Plus the new library by our house has a big open kid space with activity centers so it helps get out some  toddler energy!

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Toddler Book Favs!

Like any parent with babies or toddlers in the house – we are reading a lot of books.  And some books are read over and over and over and over again.

So for us we make a lot of trips to the library (sometimes twice a week) and pick up 5-10 books at a time!

I was actually kind of surprised with the variety of books we find there.  Of course there are the silly rhyme books/tongue twisters, the books that have the best pictures, the numbers, letters, days of the week etc practice books, tons of seasonal books (teaching us about Summer or Christmas etc)

But then there are books that just fun to read (but also teach a lesson or have great pics/sound effects that are just really entertaining!)

Here is a list of our fav books of the moment!  Links to these books are below (amazon.ca or chapters.ca)

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We Are Going on a Bear Hunt This was a recent buy for us (something to add to her new room) but I read all about this book online and on #MomBlogs – didn’t realize what all the fuss was about until about the 5th time I read this book.  It’s a fun read and the sound effects are addictive (Miss S loves the snowstorm sound)

Baby Be Kind
This book has been checked out at the library (and renewed) by us for what feels like 2 months.  Such a sweet book and easy to read.  PLUS the message is super important especially for kids in daycare/preschool or where they are constantly interacting with other children.

Little You
This book was gifted to us for Miss S’s 1st birthday by a dear friend.  The meaning to parents is relatable and shows your kiddo how much they mean to you.

Being Thankful
This is definitely for the older kiddo age group and it’s a longer read which might make it harder for your toddler to keep focus.  Buuuutttt the meaning is too sweet to not read several times a week. :P

How we dine out with the kiddo #TipsAndTricks

We celebrate a lot of birthdays and anniversaries in my family.  And for us…that means a lot of meals outside of the house. When I was little, I was always so happy to go out for a treat meal.  When the mister and I got married, we ate out a lot.  Mainly because we lived downtown and it was fun to try new places.  Now with a little one in tow, we don’t go out as often, but we do enjoy it and try to go often (read: at minimum twice a month).

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When we do go out for dinner, we plan and “early bird” dinner usually and pick family friendly restaurants.  That isn’t always the case when it comes to celebrations with the extended family (being out way past bed time and sometimes the kiddo doesn’t get a complimentary distraction aka crayons with her paper menu).

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After becoming a mom I quickly learned that kids between the ages of 1-5 aren’t designed to sit quietly and respectfully for 45 minutes.  They want to explore, run, say hi to strangers – they get easily distracted and just want to be kids!!  (And who can blame them!)

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I used to be way more strict about it, but I’ve learned let it go and go with the flow because #MommyNeedsAGlassOfWine and it’s easier to have one when there are other hands to help.  That said I have a few survival tips when dinning out with kiddos.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-9-24-33-pm1. Try and choose a family friendly restaurant outside of sleep times – this is an obvious one but not necessarily something you can control if you have various ages dinning out.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-9-24-49-pm2. Bring a distraction – for our family it’s a small toy (or a few), these awesome activity packs or even the sugar packs at the restaurant lol.  We tried to limit use of our phones/technology at dinner time (at home or at a resto) we don’t encourage it for Miss S either…..But if your kid has a fav ipad game or show, bring it along!  (I’ve been known to give her my phone when she needs a quick distraction).

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-9-25-22-pm3. Bring a stroller – we bring our umbrella stroller.  It’s small but comfy enough for her to nap in.  Of course this depends on the age of your kiddo, when Miss S was younger, we could use our ring sling.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-9-25-32-pm4. Take help! – This was a big one for me but if I am out with my family and my toddler is willing to be entertained by someone else that means I can use both hands to eat my 25 dollar meal :P

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What are your tried and tested tips for dining out with your kiddo?

Being Present vs Memory Keeping

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Top | Jacket | Glasses

I more often than not feel sooo guilty for not having every moment of my little girls life documented.  I never took those cute monthly pictures with a sticker on her belly indicating which month of age she was.  I know I have pictures of her first smile, her crazy army crawl, then her “normal” crawl and her first steps — but they are lost in a sea of iPhone/iPad photos, screenshots and snippets of low quality video #NeedToOrganizeThat.

…Besides I am ALWAYS running out of space on my 16gig phone #SmartPhoneFail and I hate it when she sees us on our phones #WillSheRemember?

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Bag | Sneaks

And so now I try to take photos on my “big camera” so that at least I’ll save them in an organized manner in the hopes that I’ll create cute photo books or at least simple photo albums.  #HaventDoneThatEither.

Other than that, I constantly have an inner dialogue with myself “Self should I or shouldn’t I share photos of the kiddo online/on my blog/on my Instagram”  I can just hear her saying #MomWhyAreYouSoEmbarassing

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I’ve ended up settling on a few things:

  • I will JUST BE with my daughter when we are together
  • When I take pictures of her (with my iPhone), I will IMMEDIATELY email them to her email account – and let her know what I am doing (in hopes she’ll have a sweet pile of photos to view when she’s older)
  • I will invest in a video recorder and make the Hubz the official family videographer
  • I will continue to use my big camera (lol) and lenses to take lovely photos of my family :)

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Do you feel you take too many photos of your kids?  How do you find balance between being present with them and recording precious memories?