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DIY Thank You Cards November 12, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep, design.
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It took me quite some time to make these cards as I gathered the material for it. Since the baby shower theme was pink and brown, it was only appropriate that I use the same colour scheme for the Thank You cards. I bought the card stock and stamps from Michael’s and the recycled paper were Doris’ contribution. She makes and demonstrates recycled paper making at the Ontario Science Centre here in Toronto, where she works.

Anyway, they are finally done and were sent out last week! I hope to have time to make my own birth announcements too 😛


Nurseries that inspire me November 5, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep, design.
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We won’t be able to have a nursery for lil’ Madelyn just yet, seeing how cramped we are with space at the moment while we camp out at Andy’s parents house. This does not stop me from poring over other people’s nurseries online on Ohdeedoh and taking a flight of fancy on how our nursery would be when we are able to have one. Here are some pictures that inspire me at the moment. I’ll post more of them whenever I see one that strikes my fancy.

P/S: Click on the images to see the nursery tour (if available).

I like the play of the bright yellow against the dark grey walls in this nursery by a creative mommy and fellow blogger from Toronto. Not to mention the nice flower painting on the wall. very modern and yet suitable for a child. The crib looks similar to ours, which was a very inexpensive item compared to other things that we have bought as we prepare for Madelyn’s arrival. Looks like the Ikea’s Sniglar or Gulliver (we have the Gulliver). This proves that inexpensive items can still make a room looking fabulous!

This nursery is awesome because it is in the attic. I fell in love with this crib (the Ouef Sparrow) because of this nursery. We will never be able to afford this crib, and for a moment, we were going to paint our Ikea Gulliver grey because of this crib. I love the pink with the grey of the crib, and the bright yellow-green color on the walls.

If only we were able to get this crib in Canada. It is Walmart’s Baby Mod Park Lane crib that doesn’t cost much and has a drawer under the crib. I love this nursery because it is so mod! I love the nursing chair/glider (which we don’t have because we couldn’t afford one and there isn’t any space for it), and if you check out the nursery tour by clicking on the picture, you will see the Nelson bubble lamp, old school bookshelves, and the vintage wall clock. The sasquatch poster on the wall is also very cute withouth being nauseating 😛 I love the mix of old and new in this nursery!

Here’s the Oeuf Sparrow crib again. The fact that it is grey makes it look oh-s0-mod, don’t you think? And here’s the yellow wall again on the left of the picture. Love the pink bedding against the grey of the crib.

Once Upon a Child: Baby Shopping on a Budget October 8, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep.
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Last night, Andy and I were around Dufferin and Steeles area in Toronto to attend a baby expo that was organized by Welcome Wagon (more on that later), and we found a really cool store that has become one of our favourite place to look for baby stuff.

Once Upon a Child is a franchise that buys and sells gently used (a.k.a. “pre-loved”) or new items for babies and toddlers in the U.S.A. and Canada. Understanding that kids outgrow their furniture, clothes, toys and gears rapidly, Once Upon a Child is a pretty cool concept for parents on a budget like us.

The children’s resale store pays on the spot for the things that you bring in to sell instead of making you wait until you sell the item before you are able to get your money (such as a consignment store). The items bought/sold are inspected for quality, safety and value so you can be sure that the items that you find here are in fairly decent condition.

The items vary from store to store, so if you don’t see what you are looking for, you can always check out another one in your area.

We were in a rush, but we managed to find a cute onesie for lil’ Madelyn that Andy insisted on getting. I wonder why… 😛

I also own a shirt that says the same as this onesie in green and the alphabets in pink instead, so I had to get this:

Sling Review: Maya vs. Zolo vs. Sakura Bloom October 7, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep, product reviews.
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It so happen that I will be taking a look at two “pre-loved” ring slings end of this week, and they are from Zolo and Sakura Bloom. I found this review helpful, and I’m posting it here for those who are interested.

Ring Sling Review

DIY Ring Sling October 6, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep, tutorial.
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I am still  very keen on baby wearing, and so far, I think I will be getting a ring sling. I have been searching on craigslist and kijiji for a “pre-loved” one but meanwhile, there are plenty of information on the Internet to make your own ring sling without a sewing machine.

Here’s a good tutorial with pictures: http://crafts.sleepingbaby.net/no_sew.html

Here’s another good tutorial if you can read German, otherwise the pictures are pretty straightforward too: http://www.didymos.de/html/ringtrick.htm

You can also search for tutorials online on YouTube.

If I really like the ring sling, I will most likely order get one from Etsy. This seller makes some nice ring slings with linen, tencel and luxurious dupioni silk: Lil’ Peeper Keepers

Didymos sells some really reputable slings/baby carriers, and this link here shows you several positions to wear your baby with their ring sling.

I also read that the Zolo sling is better than the Maya. What have your heard?

Baby Wearing October 1, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep.
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Baby wearing is something that I had wanted to do with my little one even before we got pregnant. I just love the idea of having my baby close to me just like she used to be in my belly. However, there are so many choices out there that I have no idea which is best for me and my baby.

At our shower, we received a Baby Bjorn Air carrier which Andy really look forward to using. He knew that Baby Bjorn is what is wanted from the moment I explained what baby wearing is about and the what choices are. Me on the other hand, is still confused with 8 weeks left in this pregnancy.

A long time ago, I remember seeing a ring sling called the Maya Wrap. I love the idea of the ring, which makes it easily adjustable, and the fabric patterns are vibrant and attractive. The excess fabric can be used as nursing cover as well. Because it is adjustable, I should be able to use this wrap until our baby is a toddler. My only concern is that since I will be wearing the wrap over one shoulder, this means that I will be prone to shoulder pain.

Early in the pregnancy, I found Hot Slings and Peanut Shell. These are used to carry the baby on one hip as well, but is non adjustable. Because they are a fixed size, I was told not to buy it until the baby is born so that I get a sling that works with me and my baby. I would like to wear my baby ASAP after she is born, but I will not be able to make it to the store until 30 days after delivery since that is when I will be observing a confinement period, which is a Chinese tradition. I am not allowed to leave the house until the confinement is over. I could send Andy out and get me one in every size, but I’d rather be there to make the choice myself.

A little later, I read about the Moby Wrap. According to BabyinASling, this is the best baby wearing choice out there, but the instructions are uber-complicated for the various options of using the wrap. This is an 18-foot long piece of fabric that you would fold, wrap and tuck to form the appropriate method of wearing your baby. I am a bit intimidated by this, and reviews also mentioned that this wrap is best used when assembled in the house rather than when you are out and about. Because of this, I am still leaning towards the Maya Wrap, or Hotsling/Peanut Shell since  I can take it out at the mall when I need to nurse or when our little one wants to sleep on my chest instead of the stroller.

Mei Tai’s or Asian Baby Carriers (ABC) are also one of the choices out there. This is a modern version of what my grandmother and great grandmother used. I have not researched too much into this but it looks like it has comfortable padding for the baby and the wearer.

What are your thoughts? Are you an avid babywearer and if so, what did you choose and why?

Hypnobirthing, anyone? September 30, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep.
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Andy and I (or rather just I) had been toying with the idea of hypnobirthing after hearing about it from the doula who teaches my Aquafit Bellies class for moms-to-be. She had suggested this to me since getting a doula is out if the question cost wise for us. The purpose of taking this class is to equip Andy, who will be my main support during delivery, with knowledge and skills to help me reach or remain in a state of calm when the baby is making its way into this world.

We all have heard some things about hypnosis, and truthfully and ignorantly, I thought hypnobirthing is about having someone in the delivery room with me who will transcend me into a state of trance. I don’t think that’s what I want during the delivery, so I didn’t look much more into it until recently.

So what is hypnobirthing? Apparently, hypnobirthing is about learning how to give birth naturally just like our ancestors and learning to trust ourselves again that as women, we are able and equipped to get the job done without fear and medical intervention.

I am not sure if I have the courage to say at this moment that I’ll forgo the epidural when the contraction starts, but I find it true that over the years, women or human in general have lost trust in themselves and cultivated a great sense of doubt and fear due to the over saturation of pharmaceutical agenda that tells us that we need to depend on medicine rather than healing and helping ourselves naturally.

The five 2.5 hour classes  teach the mommy and her partner hypnobirthing techniques so that the mommy can bring the baby into the world without fear, tension and pain.

You can read about Hypnobirthing – The Mongan Method here.

There seems to be quite a number of moms out there who are curious and or have used hypnobirthing, and together they exchange views and information on the site’s forum.

What are your thoughts? Have you or anyone you know been through hypnobirthing?

Leachco’s Snoogle Total Body Pillow September 21, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep.
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I broke down and bought one of these from Amazon.com a while back when I was getting sleepless nights due to backaches. I was not able to sleep comfortably through the night on my back, and I got some relieve from sleeping on my left. However, I could not remain asleep on my left as I would roll over on my back and wake up in the middle of the night with a backache over and over again.

Snoogle was a lifesaver! Despite a hefty pricetag for a body pillow (US$49.99 on Amazon + free shipping to USA, but they can be had for CAD$50 at Babies-R-Us in Canada when they are on sale, otherwise it is CAD$80 normally), there are actually many uses for this weird-shaped pillow which I thought would justify the cost. Click here to see the many transformations of this pillow from being a body pillow, to nursing pillow and a mini-lounger to prop yourself up when sitting in bed.

The positions that I am using now with the pillow are back-to-back, tummy tuck and mini-lounger.

It takes up quite a bit of room on the bed, so don’t be surprise if your partner complains that he/she needs more room on their side of the bed, but also beware that they might take your Snoogle hostage once you leave the bed because they too will find this body pillow very comfortable, LOL!

My only complaint with this pillow is that the cover could be made of softer material, and while Amazon does sell covers for it, I read that the cloth is coarser that the one that it came with… so if you are good with the sewing machine, make a cover for yourself to truly enjoy this pillow 🙂

Britax Car Seat Sale in Toronto September 21, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep, news.
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I have just been made aware of this sale at a baby store in Toronto. Britax makes one of the safest child car seats in the world, so take advantage of this sale if you need to buy one. We happen to have bought the Boulevard CS in Cowmooflage (pictured here) in Michigan, so we will pass on this sale.

Here are the details~
Location: Dear Born Baby (72 Doncaster Ave. Toronto, Ontario)
Date: Saturday, Sept 26 2009
Time: 10:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.

Store blogsite: http://www.dearbornbaby.blogspot.com/
Store website: http://www.dearbornbaby.com/home.php
Sale website: http://www.britaxcarseatsale.com/

Medela Pump-In-Style Advanced (Breast pump) September 18, 2009

Posted by chrislsx in baby prep.
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The Medela PIS Advanced breastpump is one of our very first purchase for this pregnancy. This unit costs a bomb and luckily, we had Marcus and Christable in Michigan who were so kind to help us make this purchase on our behalf using Toys-R-Us coupon at BuyBuyBaby (yes, they accept competitor coupons). There was no way we are able to buy this in Canada at the full price.

I’ve heard and read so much good things about this breast pump, and how the Medela brand is widely used in hospitals, so we decided to make the splurge. I can only hope that I have enough breast milk for the baby to justify this purchase. In fact, I hope that I am able to produce milk, period. My mom told me that she was not able to breastfeed us because she was fatigued and had no milk, and my grandma told me that she and my aunt didn’t have much milk either but they were still able to breastfeed for a few months. I am hoping and planning to breastfeed for at least 1 year, although 2 years would be ideal. I am counting on the support and information that we are able to obtain these days compared to my parents’ and grandparents’ time to make sure that I am able to breastfeed my child. They also lived in poverty before and didn’t have much food or nutrition, so perhaps that’s why they didn’t have much milk, who knows. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and see how goes.

Anyway, here’s what the Medela PIS Advanced includes (I got the backpack instead of the shoulder bag):

  • Microfibre bag with breastpump
  • 9 volt AC adapater
  • Battery pack (batteries not included)
  • Removable cooler carrier with contoured cooling element
  • 4 collection container and lids
  • 1 double pumping kit (includes 2-24mm PersonalFit(tm) Breastshields with connectors and 2 tubings)
  • Breastfeeding info guide
  • Bonus samples

I have no idea what the samples are since my unit is still in a sealed box. Apparently, the store will not take it back if the seal is broken and the box had been opened because breast pumps are considered personal hygiene items. I’m sure we all don’t want to buy a “new” but used breast pump.

If you have any experience with this breastpump or any Medela breast pumps in general, advice, tips and trick about using Medela for breast feeding, please let me know!