Tag Archives: parenting

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?


Take a Breath

10 Feb

Sometimes life happens. Something comes up that was unexpected and can throw you for a loop. Tonight was one of those nights. Something came up, something very small in the grand scheme of life, that threw me for a loop.  I was supposed to do something tonight for my company and it didn’t turn out as planned.  As a friend and client tonight said “Sh** happens.” Yes, yes it does and when things do happen my advice to others is always to take a moment and notice your breath. Is it shallow and rapid or deep and full?  

Well I didn’t find or notice my breath for at least 5 minutes but once I paused to notice my breath I realized that what happened was now out of my control. It happened. Was now in the past and really in the grand scheme of life really didn’t even matter.

So I challenge you the next time you find yourself faced with something unplanned that the first thing you do is stop and notice your breath. I promise that I will also try to do the same. Invite your breath to continue to flow slowly, deeply and fully.  Your breath is what you need to survive and thrive. Everything after that will fall into place.

Unintentional Sabbatical!

6 Feb

EEK, so apparently I took a small and unintentional sabbatical from my blog.  However, it was needed. Needed to refresh my mind and more importantly take care of my mind, body and spirit as I nourish the little human being growing inside me and the little man who runs around the house everyday with a smile from ear to ear.   But…I’M BACK!

December was a busy month full of ups and downs. For various reasons we decided to take D out of his daycare. A decision we had been contemplating for quite some time and finally said enough is enough. If we were thinking of taking him out of daycare that meant that we weren’t truly happy with having him there and therefore needed to do something about it.  It was torn emotions as we loved the lady who worked directly with him everyday but the daycare management needed some extreme work and this mama was done with the uphill climb it had been over the past few months. He loved his friends at daycare and one little girl he still gets to see when we have playdates.  It was a few weeks of unknown after that. We visited a few other daycare centres but none really met my standards. Yes, to some I may be a little picky, but after working as a nanny for years I have full right to be. I saw children in a lot of different childcare situations and I believe I am a pretty good judge of character.

We decided to go the nanny route as it would be nice to have D at home for the most part and we would have our options of activities for him to go to throughout the week.  Another added benefit for us was having him at home and the assistance of a nanny when the new baby comes in March.  So the new nanny is hired and currently on day #2, my fingers are crossed that things work out for all of us!

Despite our intentions of having a quiet Christmas with lots of downtime it ended up being full of activities and events. They were fun for all but left us needing a vacation from our time off!

Baby Girl will be here before we know it and WOW does my body ever feel different this pregnancy. The second time around it seems much more difficult earlier on.  Already at 33 weeks I am getting mild contractions, pelvic pain and I am soooo tired! Not to mention the non stop nausea that still visits each and every day.  Thankfully it is getting a little better and I am really starting to eat more!  The poutine and beavertail at Winterlude was delicious Friday night 😉

So it seems we are finally back into a routine with childcare some what sorted out. My business is thriving as I begin to step back a little bit, let it grow and nurture it in other ways. My “day job” is continually busy but we have come up with a common ground for me to take some time off and work most of my hours from home.

I have come to realize that sometimes unintentional sabbaticals happen for a reason and we need to embrace them!

With the days flying by and the to do lists always there I always come back to this picture….my two favourite men in the whole world!

And the Bad Mom Award Goes To….

15 Feb

Baby boy got a beautiful wooden sleigh from his Nanny & Poppy (his great grandparents) for Christmas with a gorgeous plaid blanket.  We had yet to take it out for a ride as its been sooooo freaking cold in Ottawa this winter whenever we had an opportunity to go.  Usually he is snuggled up against me in a carrier or protected under the strollers wind/rain cover warm inside his sleeping bag.

The weather was cooperating with us and we decided to use the sleigh to run a few errands in the neighborhood.  Daddy decided he wanted to pull babe on the sleigh.  We usually take a short cut to the bank and butchers, which involves using a path that is not taken care of in the winter.  One of us carried babe down the path and the other carried the sleigh on the way to the errands. On the way home it was my turn to pull the sleigh.  I decided that we could slowly pull the sleigh through the path on the way home. As I approached the snow bank at the end I continued to pull the sleigh, carefully manipulating it.  I was thisclose to getting the sleigh back onto the street and WHAM the whole freaking sleigh tipped over. Yep, I face planted my child on the street.  He was in the star position as we had shoved him in his snowsuit with so many layers.  I quickly picked him up, wiped the gravel off his face and kissed his teary face.  I went to put him back in the sleigh and he immediately rejected. No shit. Would you want to go back in a sleigh that just catipulated you? Hubby had a few words to share with me, but all were probably well deserved.  Babe finally got back in the sleigh and he happily enjoyed the rest of his ride home.  I haven’t took the sleigh out since!

Okay, come on, spill…….have you won a bad mom award?!

Tommee Tippee

3 Nov

So before I even start this post I will say that this post is not about how breastfeeding or formula may be better than the other and you are wrong if you do one over the other! My husband and I chose to breastfeed for a variety of reasons and even with all the mountains we had to climb we stuck with it.

I have started going back to work to teach a few yoga classes and there are times when my baby boy is given a bottle of breastmilk I have pumped for him.

My concern early on was nipple confusion and therefore we did not introduce just any bottle or any pacifiers. When we had to supplement we used a bottle from a company that allowed my son to feed with much imitation as the breast as possible. The milk would not flow unless his lips were flanged and he worked the milk out with his jaw. I didn’t like the fact that he had a bottle but it did comfort me to know that he was getting as close to the breast as was possible with a bottle. Well this bottle has seen it’s day and we needed to retire it for another.

Thankfully Tommee Tippee offered to send us their Closer to Nature line of bottles. At first I was skeptical. Would it really live up to its imitation of the breast as much as a bottle possibly could? I filled it up with water and played with it a little and you did really have to “work” the nipple to get a lot of the liquid.

So I left the house the first day we had the bottles not knowing what would happen or how baby boy would like it. My husband happily reported back that the moment the bottle went into babes mouth his lips flanged, he opened big and worked that milk out in a similar manner he would have to the breast. We have been happy with these bottles ever since! They definitely live up to their name and we are going to continue to use these bottles whenever babe needs fed and I am not around.

Various flow levels for the nipples are available and Tommee Tippee are sold at all Babies R Us stores. Because of their unique valve your baby can feed leak free and the ultra sensitive valve prevents air ingestion preventing gas and colic. Of course this bottle is also BPA and phalate free, a point many parents now look for as a minimum standard for their family.

Baby boy has now moved past the slow flow nipple and we will be going out to get him the next level.

So if you are in the market for a bottle whether you are supplementing with pumped breastmilk or formula I recommend you try out Tommee Tippee. Having worked as a nanny for many years I have used many different kinds of bottles, varying in brands, shapes and sizes. So even though I breastfeed my son I know my bottles and for my lovely husband to say that he liked it too then I know it’s a great product.

Do you, or did you, bottle feed your child? What were the deciding factors when choosing a bottle for your child?

PTPA Award Winning Sleepy Wrap

1 Nov
Okay people I have a confession….I LOVE BABYWEARING!  Well, if you read my blog you probably already knew that 😉 Babe is 5 months old and we have one carrier that we are still using and have been using since Day #1!  Know what it is?? It’s the PTPA Award Winning Sleepy Wrap!  Baby Boy was in the sleepy wrap just a few days old and is still snuggling in it daily with his mom and dad 🙂  This carrier is a one size fits all, meaning that it can be worn by various people in your family and it will accomodate everyone.  It’s a great solution for those who are looking to purchase a carrier before the birth of their baby and also don’t want to spend lots of money on various types and sizes of carriers/wraps.  I know many people will recommend that you wait until after the baby is born to try out carriers and see what you and the baby prefer but this is the one carrier that I highly suggest you have for immediately after the birth of your baby.  You will want to use it from day 1 and trust me….after giving birth going shopping for a carrier or wrap is not high on the priority list.
The Sleepy Wrap has enabled me to continue to work, type (even type this blog post as I wear baby in the Sleepy Wrap!), nurse while walking, grocery shopping, and do many other things all while keeping baby boy comfortable and secure against me.
The Sleepy Wrap is made of a stretchy material which ensures that no matter how tight you happen to tie it you can always fit your baby inside comfortable, after nursing it will go back to its original shape and size and you can take your baby out of the carrier numerous times without having to retie the whole thing.  This is what makes the Sleepy Wrap stand out from its competitors in my opinion.  I was also drawn to the Sleepy Wrap since the babies hips and legs are supported which ensures there are no pressure points on their developing spine and hips.
Dominic enjoying his sleepy wrap Dominic enjoying his sleepy wrap
Most days I wear my son instead of lugging around the stroller everywhere we need to go. It is so handy when I want to go grocery shopping or to run in to a store to pick something up.  I throw the carrier on when I get to the store or when I am wearing the Sleep Wrap I can  leave the carrier on while I am driving as it does not impede what I am doing or interfer with the seat belt.  I quickly put him in the carrier, if he is asleep he usually stays asleep throughout the transfer, and away I go. I then have hands free to pick up my groceries, carry the bags to the car, etc.
Oh, and did I mention that most days it doesn’t matter what shirt I through on, or if I have spit up all over me? Since I wear my baby you usually don’t see the front of my shirt. My carriers are fashion accessories 🙂  With all the spit up babies bring this carrier has been washed several times with no fading or change of shape.

Dom & Daddy catching some ZZZZZ's

I get many questions when I am wearing babe out and about.  Most common question is when I am wearing the Sleepy wrap is people want to know if it’s complicated to put on.  It really is not hard to put one.  Read the instructions the first few times and after that you will be able to whip it on in no time!  I also receive very curious looks when I pull out a large piece of fabric and quickly tie it up around my body.  I love the questions that people ask and showing them how easy the Sleepy Wrap is to put on and how much baby boy loves it 🙂
At almost 16lbs baby boy is starting to get a little heavy for the Sleepy Wrap as it begins to sag at times when he has been in it for numerous hours.  They do show the Sleepy Wrap being used with larger sized babies but I find it best worn on younger babies.   However, if you feel comfortable wearing a larger baby the sleepy wrap can accomodate it! I am so glad that we had the Sleepy Wrap to use for our baby and can’t wait to use it for baby #2 too! (no we are not planning another one quite yet!)
If you are expecting a baby, or have a gift to buy for somebody who is expecting I would consider purchasing this wrap.  It really should be something that is handed to new parents after leaving the hospital.  At times it was the only time we got to sleep or  have a calm baby the first few days home where they are frightened and wondering what happened to that warm, cozy and dark place they lived for the past nine months went to.  It’s a great $50 well spent!
Have you tried out the Sleepy Wrap? What did you think? Already own a baby carrier? Would love to hear what you use and why you like it!  Share your thoughts and experience by leaving a comment below.
GIVEAWAY!! A big thanks to the wonderful people at Sleepy Wrap who are offering one lucky reader a Sleepy Wrap!

To Enter: 

1. Comment below, after visiting Sleepy Wrap, and tell me what colour you like the best and what you like about the sleepy wrap.

leave a comment for each extra entry) 

*become a fan of Sleepy Wrap on facebook and leave a comment to inform me.

*follow Sleepy Wrap on Twitter and leave a comment to inform me.

*email subscribe to my blog and leave a comment telling me that you have done so (or that you already do!). 

*become a fan of Little Lotus Yoga on facebook and leave a comment to inform me. 

*blog about this giveaway with links back to this post and leave a comment to inform me. 

*tweet about this giveaway (after following us all) using the following: @amandadegrace & @littlelotus yoga are having a @sleepywrap #giveaway! enter here:  http://ow.ly/32sLA

Contest closes Friday November 26th  at 11:59p.m. a winner will be drawn via random.org and announced the next day. The winner will be notified via email and it will be announced on this blog.  Giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents.  Winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond. If no response with 48 hours a new winner will be drawn.  Product will be mailed directly to you from Sleepy Wrap. 

I would like to thank Sleepy Wrap for providing me with the product for review.  All opinions in this blog post are 100% mine and no money compensation was received in exchange for this review

Baby Mel Tool Bag

18 Oct

**contest closed** Congrats to #28, Linda.

I had the opportunity to review the fantastic Baby Mel Tool Bag. I have been using this bag exclusively for the past 2 months and it has travelled to doctors appointments, overnight trips, many car rides, swimming, libraries, shopping, yoga classes, breastfeeding groups and many many more places. Our Baby Mel Tool Bag has been attached to the stroller, worn while I babywear, thrown in the car when it’s pouring & we need to get going, set on the sidewalk to attend to a crying baby and has been everywhere else we have been in the past two months. This includes surviving the move to a new house with an infant 😉

The bag comes in 3 different colours- black, red & army camo. We received the red bag and are also happy how vibrant of a red it stayed after a wash. It features a multitude of pockets on the inside and the outside of the bag ensuring you stay organized at all times. I always know what pocket has the burp cloth, my business cards, keys, babes favourite toys, baby wipes and everything else we need when going on an outing with an active baby.  For a Type A like me organization is key, and this bag allows you to do that and more!

At times I took it to fitness classes, to teach yoga and out with friends. I never felt like I was carrying a frumpy bag let alone a diaper bag. It does not replace my need or use for Prada but I don’t rush to change my bag because I’m afraid others will see it’s a diaper bag. I was able to put my change of workout clothes, iPhone, iPod touch & speakers, make up and more all in the Baby Mel tool bag too!

I would like to see the change pad replaced with a more sturdier option.  I found it quite flimsy and did not use it in the diaper bag.  I put our Patemm Pad inside to use or would just use a receiving blanket as a quick fix.  The change pad obviously does not make a diaper bag, but it is something I always look at when purchasing a diaper bag.  I would love if the change pad also reflected the style and class of the bag.

Any spills can be easily wiped up and I have yet to have any tears or fraying and I throw this bag EVERYWHERE!  I will continue to use this bag on a daily basis and look forward to its years of use!  With 10 outside pockets, 6 elasticized inside, 2 insulated bottle pockets and easy to wipe clean this is a great diaper bag that I recommend to others.

The fantastic people at Baby Mel bags have offered our readers a lovely giveaway of their Sammie bag.

To Enter: 

1. Comment below, after visiting Baby Mel, and tell me what you like the most about their products.  

Extra Entries (remember to leave a comment for each extra entry) 

*email subscribe to my blog and leave a comment telling me that you have done so (or that you already do!). 

*become a fan of Little Lotus Yoga on facebook and leave a comment to inform me. 

*follow @babymelbags on twitter

*blog about this giveaway with links back to this post and leave a comment to inform me. 

*tweet about this giveaway (after following us all) using the following: @amandadegrace & @littlelotus yoga are having a @babymelbags #giveaway! enter here: http://ow.ly/38HSD

Contest closes Friday November 12th  at 11:59p.m. a winner will be drawn via random.org and announced the next day. The winner will be notified via email and it will be announced on this blog.  Giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents.  Winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond. If no response with 48 hours a new winner will be drawn.  Product will be mailed directly to you from Baby Mel. 

I would like to thank Baby Mel for providing me with the Tool Bag for review.  All opinions in this blog post are 100% mine and no money compensation was received in exchange for this review