Pompano Beach, Florida

Lots of people say that travelling with a little one is never really a vacation, but rather just a trip – you still have all of your regular parenting responsibilities and duties to perform, just in a different place.

I kind of agree…but not entirely.

This was the first time we’ve gone to a sunny destination since becoming parents. Before Boo, we’d spend our sunny travel days exploring the area, repeatedly going to the beach, combing the beach for treasures, relaxing, reading, drinking rum punch (or local beer), and listening to the waves if we happened to be lucky enough to have scored an oceanfront rental.

Palm tree

With Boo, however, it was a very different experience. Much of our time was spent caring for our little man. We had to make sure he was eating, sleeping and safe. We spent far more time in our rental than usual – thank heavens it was large enough (thanks Mom and Dad!) – so we didn’t go stir crazy or trip over one another.

The grounds at the Wyndham Sea Gardens

Fountain on the grounds at the Wyndham Sea Gardens

Some of the grounds at the Wyndham Sea Gardens – our home away from home in Florida.

Because Boo is still refusing to put anything in his mouth, including table food, we generally had to go back to our condo for meals. Just to make things a little more interesting (ahem, difficult), he also decided that every meal had to begin with yogurt, otherwise he just wouldn’t eat anything. EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL.

And since we were already there for lunch, we generally stuck around for naptime, too….which wasn’t all bad since more often than not, Mummy and Daddy napped as well (that hot sun makes you tired…especially when you’re carrying around an extra 20 or so pounds of pregnancy weight).

Boo Boo napping on Mummy

But aside from ensuring Boo had his necessities, this trip was nothing like our regular routine.

Most mornings, while Boo had his initial glass of milk, we watched the sun come up over the ocean. Not routine.

Watching the sun rise

Our view each morning – that blasted building always just blocked the view of the sun rising up from the ocean itself.

Boo on the balcony in the early morning

Still in his PJ’s Boo was happy to wander out onto the balcony in between sips of milk (which happened to be all over his chin in this photo).

After everyone had eaten we all put on our bathing suits, got slathered in sunblock, and headed down to the beach. Our first full day in Pompano Beach just happened to be my birthday and when Boo had his very first experience seeing and being in the ocean. He loved it. He couldn’t stop smiling and giggling. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. Every day following, we all went swimming (well…me and the hubby took turns swimming vs. holding onto the little man and swooshing him around the water). Not routine.

Boo Boo looking at the ocean for the first time with Daddy

Boo Boo smiling at the ocean

Boo’s first real look at the ocean with Daddy – he was delighted, and never stopped smiling.

Boo experiencing the waves with Daddy

Boo sat with Daddy and giggled each time the waves crashed into them…though he was a little less impressed when they splashed his face, he never lost that smile for long.

Family selfie on Pompano Beach

Afternoons were mostly spent on the Pompano Beach boardwalk where we got ice cream (little man still won’t eat it!), explored the park, and played in the splash pad. Not routine.

The Pompano Beach Boardwalk

Boo Boo exploring pinwheels with Daddy

Adjacent to the boardwalk (right near the ice cream shop) there was a very cool kite and novelty shop – Boo loved running around the place, as its owner tried desperately to get his attention, pulling out all the stops, including a giant bubble-maker.

Boo going down a slide head first

Still preferring to go down on his tummy, Boo made sure to make the rounds of the slides.

Boo splashing in a fountain

Half fountain, half mini splash-pad, Boo had a few impromptu runs through the water, trying desperately to catch it!

Heading home after running through the fountain

The first time we stumbled upon the fountain we weren’t prepared with a change of clothes…no matter – we put on a dry diaper and took the little man home as is! He definitely didn’t mind.

Evenings were probably the most similar to our regular routine…shortly after Boo had his dinner we put the little man to bed, and then passed out ourselves. I suspect, were I not pregnant, there might have been a little more time spent on the balcony drinking wine, rum punch or beer…but that’ll be for another vacation. So….kinda routine.

View from our balcony

The daytime view from our balcony.

We spent an entire week together. All three of us. All day long. Not routine – and such a fantastic deviation from our normal lives when Daddy is stuck at work all day long!

I actually believe this past week in Florida has been an awesome bonding experience between Boo and his Daddy. It was, after all, his Daddy who brought him into the ocean for the first time, and who was much better equipped to play with him in the water. I loved watching the two of them together. And with this time together, I think that Boo has formed a much stronger attachment to his Daddy – so much so, that he’s been crying whenever the hubby leaves the house (much to my husband’s delight, as he believes an upset and distraught little man is far preferable to an indifferent one!).

So was our trip the ultimate experience in relaxation? No. Not with a toddler to run after, keep busy, and care for.

Private beach

Was it a nice break from reality? Absolutely.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Lately No. 12

It’s been a busy and hectic few weeks.

We decided to have some work done to the house and surprise, surprise, the contractor had an availability IMMEDIATELY, followed by a many months long wait. So we jumped on the availability and basically turned our lives upside down for the following few weeks as our house became a construction zone. As bad as I felt to do so, we deserted the hubby in the mess, and I ran away to Kemptville with Boo to a) keep him out of the workers’ way, b) keep him out of the workers’ stuff, c) keep him out of the workers’ work, and d) keep him from inhaling any noxious paint or varnish fumes.

Also, because the house was just a disaster with half of it taped off with plastic, and living there with a curious toddler would have been next to impossible.

So Boo and I escaped to my parents’ house in Kemptville, where we probably out-stayed our welcome by at least half a week…I’d say by that last day when Boo sprinkled vinegar all over the kitchen floor, spilled most of the contents of a spice jar, and then unravelled a whole roll of toilet paper…it was time to go!

Boo in the closet under the stairs

Channelling his inner Harry Potter, Boo was a frequent visitor to the closet under the stairs, where he would unload the recycling bin of its contents.

Boo lounges with Nana's iPad

Boo easily found his Nana’s iPad, and effectively claimed it as his own as he brushed up on his alphabet.

Boo and Gramps watch Sesame Street

Sitting on his Gramps’ lap watching Sesame Street.

The forecast for our stay wasn’t particularly wonderful….rain and cool temperatures. The rain mostly held off, though, so we got outside as much as possible to explore and (let’s be honest), get in the way of my dad’s projects:

Boo running from the barn

Boo running on the gravel – he did a LOT of this. I think he liked the crunchy sound it made under his feet.

Boo gets a ride in the trailer with Nana

Going for a ride with Nana in the trailer…

Boo sitting on the John Deere with Gramps

…sitting on Gramps’ knee at the steering wheel….

Boo in the dirt

…and finally getting dirty in the trailer itself.

Eventually, my parents put the little man to work, and got him to help move rocks:

Boo playing with rocks

Boo taking a close look at some individual rocks….

Boo and the rock pile

…and finally throwing rocks into the big pile (amidst much examination, of course).

IMG_3044

It was an impromptu and a looong visit, and I’m so so thankful to my parents for providing Boo and I a safe roof over our heads and for being so understanding of a less than ideal situation that kinda dragged on. On the upside, it was Boo’s longest visit with his grandparents, giving them the opportunity to spend some extended quality time together.

So it wasn’t all bad.

And though the renovations are now mostly complete in the house, the re-organization and settling in isn’t. Once we’re all set up I’ll share a little peek into what we had done.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Diaper Covers

A little while ago I confessed to being a pretty crummy cloth diaperer – but a cloth diaperer nonetheless! In that same post I promised to share some of my thoughts on the products I’d used so far in my first year-or-so of semi-successful cloth diapering. So here goes:

Two-size diaper systems

Thirsties
These were the first diaper covers I tried. Before Boo was born I’d done some research and liked the idea of their duo wrap 2-size system. Not being sure how this whole cloth diapering thing was going to turn out, I also really liked that they weren’t too expensive. So I bought a few velcro as well as a few snap covers to see which I liked best. And that was it. As a novice cloth diaperer, I didn’t want to get in too deep.

As mentioned previously, it took awhile for me to get the hang of cloth, and to be satisfied that it actually fit my Boo Boo (I know I keep saying this, but he was so small…he wore the newborn sized disposables for several MONTHS before we moved him up to size 1). Once I had the hang of things….I liked them. I liked how the Thirsties never had blow outs. I liked that I could wipe down the interior. I liked that his prefolds could be soaking wet, and not a drip leaked out.

And I still like them. We’re now using size 2 and, with other covers to compare, I can also claim to like them for being among the most trim, and fitting really well but not seeming tight (Boo has comparatively few elastic marks on his skin when I take them off).

The only things I dislike about them? Sometimes the excess material that isn’t snapped (basically, the fabric holding the too-big snaps) shifts out of the diaper. And the white fabric covered elastic around the legs and top of the diaper is a little prone to staining. That’s it.

Two thumbs up.

Applecheeks
Another two (actually now three!) size system, I inherited a pile of these from friends. I was excited to try them out, as they’re a local company, and get very good reviews (I never bought their size 1 diapers because the price tag scared me away at the time).

What initially threw me off about AppleCheeks was that there are no snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper. It’s just a matter of how tightly you snap it on. I thought this might be a problem….but nope. They do a great job holding everything in. The “ruffles” around the waist and legs – which I originally thought were kind of girly – actually seem to help accomplish this. They also seem to keep things snug without being too tight.

These were also the first diaper covers I tried with a micro-fleece lining which I worried would require more frequent laundering. And though you can’t wipe the insides down, if Boo has only had a pee (or a well contained poop), then it isn’t an issue and I can reuse them several times (I should note that I just place my prefold on TOP of the micro-fleece – I don’t stuff it into the pocket).

As for dislikes? They aren’t particularly trim. As Boo gets bigger, I’m sure this will become less of an issue – right now he’s still at the lower end of the size 2 weight range. Also, I’m not so sure how durable the elastics are. I had to retire all of my inherited diaper covers, as the elastics gave out (you know…when you stretch an elastic, you hear a crinkly sound, and it doesn’t stretch back?). I’m not sure if it’s because they were getting old, if it had to do with how they’d been previously washed, or how I washed them? Or maybe if they’d been stored near a radiator (before or after they came into my possession)? But they’re dead. I still went ahead and bought two news ones.

Thumbs up.

One size diaper systems

Bummis
I really wanted to like Bummis so that I could support another local Montreal business…so much so, that I went to their physical store location on St-Laurent Street to check them out. But as soon as I walked in there, with Boo strapped into the ErgoBaby, I felt….out of place. Like I somehow wasn’t cool (or crunchy?) enough. When I spoke with a saleslady to ask a few questions, her answers were short and curt. She also gave me the impression she didn’t like talking to me. It was not a nice shopping experience.

But because I’d make the trek out there, I still went ahead and made a purchase. Only I bought less than I’d anticipated.

Impressions of their physical store location and salespeople aside, I’ve had one Simply Lite one-size diaper cover for a few months now and…I barely use it. It’s the second-to-last cover that I use when all of the other covers are dirty. Though I love the pattern (Elephant Tales), the fit isn’t particularly trim. I chalk this up to it being a one-size diaper cover and Boo being particularly slim – but that’s not really why I dislike it. I dislike it because the tags are on the front inside of the diaper – not particularly soft tags, that rub against Boo Boo’s belly. I also can’t stand how the diaper curls in upon itself. As soon as there’s no Boo to hold it open, the tabs immediately curl in and land in whatever happens to be on the prefold. Which means I either have to be extremely fast to catch them (and as an inept diaperer, we know that doesn’t really happen)….or else they get dirty and I have to wash what was a mostly clean and totally reusable cover. Finally, of all the diaper covers I have, the material on the Simply Lite seems the least breathable of them.

So yeah. Thumbs down on the Bummis.

GroVia
These are another one-size diaper cover, and what I initially noticed about them is that their overall shape is different from all of the other diaper covers I’ve tried. The wrap-around tabs that snap in front are much longer – making the sides of the diaper less bulky – and contributing to their being another rather trim cover.

Like the Applecheeks they have an interior lining – only theirs is just that – a lining. There’s no pocket. Rather, GroVia makes their own inserts that snap into place. I can’t comment on the inserts, as I don’t use them – I just use a prefold. The lining does seem to add a little extra friction, though, and helps keep the prefold in place.

The GroVia Snap Shells don’t have any leg gussets, ruffles or anything special to keep everything in….but they do (keep everything in). I sometimes worry that they’re not fitting tight enough at the belly, as there can be a slight gap when I’ve got a thick and folded over prefold in there. But so far, there’ve been no accidents, so I’m not complaining.

I quite like these ones. Thumbs up.

Blueberry
Yet another one-size diaper cover (yeah….I bought a bunch of one-sizes…I really didn’t want to have to keep buying larger diaper covers as Boo grew), the Blueberry Coveralls look very much like the Thirsties Duo Wraps…..only bigger. Much much bigger. These are probably one of the least trim diaper covers I’ve used. They tend to be pouffy, as there always seems to be a little extra fabric at Boo’s bum – even when they were snapped up to their smallest.

But apart from how big they look, they actually fit Boo pretty well. He has very few elastic marks on his skin when I remove them, and he’s had no accidents while wearing them.

Not an enthusiastic thumbs up, but thumbs up all the same.

Rumparooz
And finally the last one-size diaper cover in my stash. I have only one Rumparooz, and it is currently the very last diaper cover I use in my pile. It seems to have too much fabric. When I snap Boo into it, there’s always a bunch of folds bunching up where the cover is folded over to make it smaller.

And that’s just annoying. It also makes it feel bulky.

I do make it to my last diaper cover every once in awhile, though, and once I don’t need to snap it up so small, I’ll have to reassess how much extra fabric there is. I’d love to use it. It’s got to be the softest diaper cover I own.

So….I guess a temporary thumbs down until I can re-asses.

And that’s it as far as diaper covers are concerned. Because I’ve always seemed to struggle with the overall bulk/size of the diapers, I’ve never really used any of the boosters I’d purchased. They felt like overkill. I will, however, try to share my thoughts on the prefolds I’ve used, as well as cloth-friendly rash creams and detergent!

Stay tuned! (Well…only if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess.)

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Boo Boo loves Sesame Street (1)

Once upon a time Boo Boo’s favourite Sesame Street character was Elmo. He loved listening to Elmo’s Song so much that he’d cry when it ended. He loved Elmo’s bright red fur and seemed to respond to Elmo’s high-pitched voice. It was cute. Very cute. But truth be told….Elmo is a little annoying.

So when Boo started to lose interest in Elmo, I think we were a little bit relieved. Though his Hug Me Elmo is still a favourite, Boo has recently started leaving him in the cupboard…all alone, sometimes for days at a time (previously Boo would climb in there with him and play for God knows how long). Instead of focusing on his furry red friend, Boo now has a new Sesame Street favourite:

Cookie Monster.

When he’s eating, Boo stops and listens intently to Cookie Monster songs and stories that are playing in the background. If he’s in another room and hears certain favourites begin in the kitchen or living room, he’ll stop what he’s doing, run to where he can hear better, and just stand there….listening. Enjoying. Smiling.

And when we play a Cookie Monster video? He giggles whenever Cookie Monster has a close-up:

(Ermm….please ignore the mess in the background…exactly one week ago it was spotless as I prepared to have guests over for Easter….I’ve since succumbed to Boo Boo’s housekeeping philosophy, which is something along the lines of “spread everything everywhere”)

His favourite so far has been “The Cookie Touch” – an episode in which Cookie Monster is granted a wish that turns everything he touches into a cookie. We don’t even have to watch the video anymore to elicit a reaction – I just have to chase him saying “Me got Cookie Touch, Me got Cookie Touch…” or just “Cookie Touch, Cookie Touch…” and he erupts into smiles and giggles and, if he’s in a position to, tries to run away.

Boo smiling and giggling

I got Boo Boo running and smiling in his crib just by saying “Cookie Touch” over and over, and threatening to touch him with my (Cookie Touch) hands.

It’s so cute. And I love it…..I also love that I can totally get into Cookie Monster in a way that I just couldn’t do with Elmo. So now it’s fun for both of us!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
1

Makeup fail: my eyebrows

I’ve got pretty good eyebrows.

Sure I plucked the hell out of them in high school (didn’t everyone pluck their eyebrows down to nothing in the 90s?). And I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with them throughout my 20s and early 30s due to the fact they took so long to maintain.

Since I had Boo, though, I kinda eased up on their maintenance, and allowed them to grow out….and I love them! They’re thick (but not ridiculously so), quite full, and have a nice natural shape to them. Apart from trimming them every two weeks, plucking any unibrow-threatening hairs and the odd hair below their natural/reasonable line, I can mostly leave them alone.

But it somehow got into my head that I could make my great eyebrows even better. Maybe even amazing! How? With eyebrow makeup….just to fill in those few sparse areas and better define them overall.

Green super macro eye

(these are not my eyebrows – image courtesy of Courtney Rhodes)

I went to Sephora one weekend to see what I could come up with. I was initially thinking an eyebrow powder would work best, just because I read about powders online and am apparently quite impressionable. But the lady at the store told me no….a gel would be much better, and last throughout the day, whereas a powder would wear off. Seemed reasonable to me. So she sat me down in a chair, and found an eyebrow gel colour that worked with my brows, and applied.

My eyebrows looked GREAT! The same, but better!

I bought the gel and an angle brush to apply and went on my merry way.

Fast forward a few days to when I decided to try applying the gel myself. Hmmm….it seemed to take me much longer than it took the Sephora beauty consultant lady – but she’s had lots of practice, right? I seemed to keep needing more from the tube, whereas I couldn’t really remember her needing so much. It seemed darker than I remembered.

When I stepped back to look at my brows, my worst fears were confirmed. I looked silly. I mean, completely and utterly ridiculous. I washed it off immediately, and began pondering what I had done wrong. Too much gel? Applied everywhere rather than only where I really needed it?

I’ve decided to try again. Repeatedly if I must. But only when I’m home alone and Boo is down for his nap, so that NOBODY can see me.

Until I get it right, that is.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0