Canada Day 2012 in Pictures

1 Aug

Nana & Isabella getting ready for the parade

Dominic & his God Mother

Sharing Kisses!

Nana, Daddy & Bella

Canada Day Spirit!

Another shot of our Charlie Banana Canada Day Diaper!

Dom’s cousin carrying him in the Onya Baby Carrier

Somebody’s a little tired and wanted to get wrapped up!

It all started with a monkey & Ergo Doll Carrier……

30 Jul

SSSHHHHH monkey is sleeping while Dom plays cars!  It looks like Bella may be a little jealous seeing Dom give his attention to his “baby”.

At least he knows to protect the “babies” head. Maybe he didn’t get the notice about not laying on your baby while in the carrier?!

Monkey woke up. He had to bounce and sway him gently to encourage him to go back to sleep.

Hugs feel so good! And look at the placement of the “baby”, great height and use of the carrier ensuring he can kiss babies head at all times!

Wordless Wednesday

25 Jul

Finding Your Tribe

24 Jul

Having a new baby can bring a whole lot of ups and downs.  Whether it’s having your first child, second, third, or fourth (fifth?! sixth?)  the changes it brings to the family unit can be big….life changing big.  A new human being, a new child, a new sibling, a new love.  One thing I have found since becoming a mother with my first child is you need to find your tribe. Your support group(s), friends, meet-ups, playgroups and outings where you can be surrounded by others going through a similar experience.  Finding those special groups who totally get you and totally get, or at least show support towards, what you are striving for as a family.

I have found many tribes and even after 2 years of being a mom I am still finding new ones while continuing to grow familiar ones.  I have built tribes from online relationships discovered through twitter and Facebook. I have nourished tribes I had previously from the yoga community, nannying gigs and existing friendships. I have been a part of powerful tribes that have come together over breastfeeding, attachment parenting, fun playgroups and baby signing and much more.

With social media being mainstream in society I continue to enjoy my tribes who I have made initial contact with through Facebook groups and twitter conversations.  Creating conversations within a closed Facebook group with women who just “get you” and then taking those online relationships offline to coffee dates, park playdates and dinners is a wonderful experience.  I think of how blessed I have been in being a social media enthusiast, blogging and tweeting and the relationships with people who I probably would have never of met if it wasn’t for social media.  I have created relationships through these channels and with some of those people they are some of the people we enjoy spending a lot of time with.  Some of the people who know the most about me and my business I have met online and took those relationships offline and watched them grow.

When it all comes down to it and you haven’t even managed a shower in a day or two you know that your tribe will still be there for you, with open arms.  So I want to thank my tribes for always being there for me.  And to all the mama’s out there who are feeling alone. Reach out. Find a tribe, maybe you need to try out a few first, but once you find the one that is right for you you will be knowing it is the right fit!

And if you are on twitter then come on over and let’s connect! Tweet me at @amandadegrace

Who is your tribe and how did you connect with them? Through a local playgroup? Childhood friends? online?

What To Expect When You’re Expecting- Movie Review

30 May

I am in that stage in my life where I seem to be fully immersed in the world of baby, toddlers, snotty noses, poop, crushed cheerios in my car and you know what?? I am LOVING it! I should really saw “we” as my husband totally rocks the daddy card and could not imagine having our life without our sweet babes.

We attended the screening for “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” last Wednesday thanks to Alliance Films.  Many are familiar with the book of the same title that details your pregnancy journey from the moment of conception through to delivery and life in the immediate postpartum.

Those who know me know that this book is not in my top picks of books to read for the mom to be.  I always suggest reading some Ann Douglas, Penny Simkin, Ina May Gaskin and Jack Newman for parents to be looking for some educational and informative reading material.  I find the book too generic and quite often makes a new mom panic-stricken with the scenarios that play out and the repetitive answer of basically “call your doctor.” However, I had seen the movie previews and if a preview catches my attention enough to stop and watch it then I know it’s a must see. The fact that my husband actually expressed interest in coming with me (something we haven’t done in over 5 years together!) because he had seen the previews and said it would be funny, was a bonus for me!

The movie follows the experiences of 5 very different couples on their journey to parenthood.  These journeys are quite realistic and ones I have seen various friends experience over the years.  It continues to amaze me the different experiences women have trying to become pregnant and while they are pregnant.  My pregnancies are even more extreme then Wendy’s (one of the movie characters) but growing up and dreaming of having a baby I always pictured my experience would be more similar to Skyler’s (with my personality though…not hers….and a younger husband).

The dad group strollercise adds great hilarity and character to the movie as it greatly reminds me of my friend Jules (no not the Jules in the movie but just as awesome!) strollercise classes. A wonderful environment for parents to come together, get out with baby, get some physical fitness in and best of all a time to be surrounded by others who are also knee deep in poop, snot, baby smiles, giggles and endless laundry.

This movie kept me intrigued with fun comedy and laugh out loud moments.  A few tears were shed along the way- both of happy and sadness at a few points.   It caught a place in my heart, my mommy heart, and it reminded me how blessed I am to be on this amazing but sometimes rough rollercoaster ride called parenthood.

I really hope that this movie is part of Stars & Strollers or Movies for Mommies as I know the theaters will be packed with moms and their babes.  I know I will be seeing this movie again in the future!

Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated for this review other than the movie tickets to attend the Ottawa screening.

Disclosure 2: I love love love chick flicks and any movies with relationships, families, kids, etc.

A Whole Bunch of Awesome

24 May

This post from The Leaky Boob is a whole bunch of awesome. I have read it a few times over the last few months and I continue to love every word of it. How true it is!  If a newborn could speak this is what they would share with us!

http://theleakyboob.com/2011/08/baby-explains-normal-newborn-behavior/

Breastfeeding Moments & Tandem Nursing

21 May

It is amazing how different breastfeeding experiences can be for each child you have and the journey that happens along the way.  I have been breastfeeding for exactly 2 years and 4 days now and I don’t see the end in sight for a few more years.  It is magic to see your child nourished by breastfeeding, soothed, comforted and content.   Dominic still breastfeeds a few times a day and of course it is Bella’s only food at this time.  But it is not just her food. It is her comfort when she is sad, it is her quiet snuggly time with mom, it’s her protection against all the germs her cute brother may bring her way and it is security while she begins to explore this great big world around her.  We have never breastfed on a schedule and have always allowed our children access to the breast to feed and comfort at any time needed while they are young.

Breastfeeding an infant and toddler can be quite different and I had forgotten the little experiences that come along when breastfeeding an infant.  Our little Bella is a breastfeeding champ and had a great latch within the first few moments of being born.  It is so warm and enjoyable when you lock eyes with your little one while they are feeding.  Knowing that at that moment in time you are their everything. Their food, warmth, comfort, security, and they feel the love radiating around them.

There are several moments that are unforgettable and I treasure each and every time they happen with my children while feeding. With Bella they are all new, moments we are discovering together and creating memories.  Watching her eyes start to droop and blink as she gets sleepy.  Fighting sleep because she wants to continue to suckle and enjoy the warm milk flowing into her mouth.  The eyes become heavier and heavier, open less and less, until they are fully shut and the suckling soon stops but her mouth is still on the breast taking in the warmth and smell of being close to mom.

Then there are the times when she is full and is breastfeeding strictly for comfort. When she wants to be able to soothe herself through a sucking motion or by being close to her mom but doesn’t want anymore milk at that time.  When she makes noises, hands in a fist, pulling at the breast because the flow is too much and not what she wants.  Other times she has the same actions but it is because she wants milk but flow is not as strong so she grabs at the breasts, pulls her head back and makes noises.  Sometimes it is hard to figure out whether it is because there is too much milk or not enough and she is waiting for another let down. Usually with a rhythmic pat to her back or bum you can see whether she is just really tired and not hungry because she starts to fall asleep.

It continues to amaze me how she can be crying and the moment I pick her up she knows it is her mama that has her.  She smells the breast milk as I move her even slightly towards my chest and her mouth opens ready to feed.

I love at night time when she is exhausted and we lay down to breastfeed.  She falls asleep, lets go of her latch and rests her check on my breast, warm little body snuggled up against mine and we drift off together. It’s her security blanket that will always be there for her as long as she needs it.

More than anything right now I love the moments where I can tandem breastfeed in a quiet space with both children. Looking at both of their big blue eyes looking into mine and knowing that the love we all have for each other continues to grow every moment of everyday.  Knowing that the breastfeeding journey we are on is what is best for my children and they will decide when it is time for the journey to change course or pace.