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Thursday, 24 May 2012 20:15

CLARA!!!!

There! I've said it! After months of calling my daughter 'Celia', I'm beginning to go crazy trying to steer away from name conversations when I LOVE talking about names!!! I was starting to get confused in real life, and was beginning to refer to her as 'Celia' in all text or online contexts.  I would send my Mom a text and she'd be like 'Who?'.  Oh yeah... only on my blog...

Also, although I've been trying to be sensitive to the fact that my kids might grow up to be highly sensitive people and not want their personal information known to the world, I have to realize that they have me for a mother.  Or maybe they have to realize that, but either way, these kids will have no secrets.

So, my daughter's name is Clara.  Clara Faith. 

And here is a bit of her 'naming' story...

Years ago, long before I was pregnant, my husband and I were randomly discussing potential baby names while lying in bed one night.  He suggested we name all of our kids after famous composers.  He is a classical music nut, and we both play the piano, so it was an amusing train of thought.  He started listing names...

Heinrich.... No.

Friedrich.... Frederyk? Freddy? Maybe...

Hans... No.

Carl... No!!! (One of those bad-people-associations)

Johann... No...

Suddenly I said "Wait?? Where are all the girls' names?"  So he continued listing...

Harriet... If you can promise me it will NEVER be shortened to Harry? So, no.

Vittoria... Not really a fan, no.

Camille... My aunt had a cat named Camille once... it was kind of crazy.

Clara...

                  Wait....

                                         I like that!

It's old-fashioned (which is cool now - Sophia, Emma, Olivia, etc.) while not being in the top 100 list (although I've met a lot of little Clara's since, so it's more popular than we thought, which is ok too).

-- How's that for geeky, Mama G? :)

Faith is an important virtue to us, and it sounded good with 'Clara' (we thought, anyway), but we have no great story for that one.

As it happened, we had initially chosen a different name for her, but immediately after she was born we switched her name to Clara Faith.  I'll tell that story in another post...

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:10

What's in Our Diaper Bag?

First, I'll talk about my diaper bag...

It's looking a little bit worn by now, but I love this diaper bag - except for one thing - it's a bit too small for cloth-diapering families.   It's great for us now that we don't bring along as many blankets and extra clothes anymore, and it has a ton of different pockets, so it's still super-useful.

It's by 'Lillebaby' who I discovered when I was researching the 'best' baby carrier (it's just like the ERgo, except it has forward facing as well as rear and hip carry).  While I was browsing their website, I came across this bag also, and since I was frustrated with the lack of any pockets in the bag we were using - it was big enough, but I was always hunting for things at the bottom of it - I ordered it as well.  I won't go into all of it's many features now, but one of the greatest ones is that it straps to your stroller so that it doesn't swing and hit you while you're walking and you don't have to take up space in any baskets for it. 

Ok, so on to the bag's contents...

This is not actually complete, because while I was taking these pictures, Celia was napping with a few necessary items in her room.

Here, we have (clockwise from top left) 2 Charlie Banana diapers, my camera, a spare outfit for Celia including a soother strap and a strap for 'Bo' - her famous pink bear (who is currently being snuggled in her crib and was not available for a photo shoot).  Bottom right, we have a few tiny books because Celia loves flipping through any kind of book she can get her hands on, a pack of wipes and a few different kinds of snacks. 

Also missing from the picture is a wetbag for dirty diapers, and depending on where we are going and how long we'll be away, we sometimes include plastic cutlery and a bib and facecloths, as well as a set of small, quiet, toys that Celia has acquired for bringing along.  Her Nana made her a knit 'church purse' and gave it to her with a few tiny stuffies inside.  We also bought her a 4 inch tall baby doll with it's own spoon and fork that fits inside her 'purse' also.

Oh, and a sippy cup with water.

And lately sunscreen and a hat because the weather is FINALLY warm!!!

Published in Blog
Thursday, 19 April 2012 09:56

Pregnancy Update - Week 12

This week we went in for the down syndrome screening ultrasound - which I'm not overly concerned about, but I always like to see extra pictures of my baby!  This image isn't really clear, but the head is on the right and at the top I think you can see baby's left elbow, and maybe even a couple of little fingers.  Baby is kind of curled inward facing down - the larger white area in the face is baby's mouth and we could see it opening and closing in the ultrasound, as if baby were trying to talk to us!

Here is an update on my pregnancy so far - almost through the first trimester!

How far along? 12 weeks, 4 days

Feeling: I really can't complain - I feel nauseous usually in the evening, right before bed, and I'm extremely tired but other than that pregnancy is pretty easy on me...

Maternity clothes? For a month now! Since my last pregnancy was pretty recent, and I never really lost the belly weight, so I couldn't gain an ounce without needing bigger clothes.  Not that I minded - maternity clothing is really quite comfortable!

Sleep: I lie awake at night, unable to fall asleep but when I finally do, I'm like the dead.  If Celia cries in the night, poor Brian has to get up to deal with her because I just don't hear her - or anything!

Food cravings: The other night at about 10pm I had a sudden craving for Tomato Soup (Campbell's, of course), so I made a can, thinking I would save the rest for lunch the next day - but no, I ate the entire can... which was crazy because it was 10pm and I'd NEVER eaten an entire can before.   Typically, though, my appetite isn't nearly as good as it was when I was pregnant with Celia - and I'm guessing this baby will be a pickier eater because suddenly many things that I used to enjoy are no longer enjoyable...

Movement? Nothing yet, but I keep lying very still and focusing...

What I miss? Being able to eat anything! Meal planning is much more difficult when almost everything turns your stomach...

Best moment this week: The ultrasound, and watching my baby touch her/his face and knees!

What I'm looking forward to: It's finally starting to look like not-winter outside (seriously - it snowed here two days ago...) and Celia LOVES playing outside!

Next Appointment: I probably should have written that down...

Milestones: Baby's liver is making bile and kidneys are secreting urine in the bladder. Happy yucky stuff!

Thank you to Growing Up Geeky for letting me steal your format for this... I'll probably personalize it a bit overtime, I was just so excited to post my latest baby 'pic'!

Published in Blog
Thursday, 12 April 2012 09:35

Pregnancy Update

With all of the chaos in my life right now, I frequently forget that I'm pregnant at all, which is actually nice in some ways considering how obsessed I was with my first pregnancy.  The less I think about it, the faster the time goes by.

So, the first trimester has almost slipped past me already, and I'm just a few days passed the 11 week mark. 

Image from www.babycenter.ca

If my baby were a cartoon, he/she might look something like this.  I had a doctor's appointment this week on Tuesday, and heard the heartbeat for the first time.  It was beating at 176 bpm, which is pretty much exactly where Celia's heartbeat was at this time. Next week I have my second ultrasound, and I'm excited to see my little bean look a little more like a baby!

So far I'd have to say that pregnancy is fairly nice to me all around.  I've had a few moments of extreme-run-to-the-bathroom-to-throw-up nausea, and my energy level is severely depleted, which isn't helped by the fact that my family seems to undergo all levels of crisis whenever I'm pregnant, but that is really all I can complain about.  This baby seems to be a much pickier eater than Celia was, and there is a long list of things that make my stomach turn right now... I really hope that changes after the baby is born.

Published in Blog
Friday, 06 April 2012 11:54

Pre-Parenting Exercise

Recently I was browsing through some old documents on my computer, and I came across an exercise that Brian and I did together when I was pregnant with Celia.  I'm sure I found it on the internet, and I didn't keep the 'instructions', but I think the basic idea was for each parent to rank the following parenting areas from most important (10) to least important (1) individually, and then to come back and compare each other's lists and discuss any discrepancies.

I don't remember how our discussion went here either, but here is the list, and our ranking.

     Samantha's Ranking                        Parenting Area                           Brian's Ranking         
10 Moral Values 8
9 Religion 9
8 Education 10
7 Nutrition 2
6 Activities 4
5 Manners 6
4 Grooming 3
3 Friends 1
2 Chores 5
1 Money 7

I think I want a re-do, because I'm not sure this is how I would rank all of these things now, and I think Brian might want a second crack at this also. 

There were some notes in the document about our discussion surrounding some of these items - where I had ranked 'money' low, and Brian had ranked it relatively high, our discussion indicated that we were translating 'money' to meaning very different things.  It is not important to me that my child is wealthy someday, and I hope they choose a life path that is more in line with their beliefs and happiness than with what will profit them financially.  Brian was viewing this as being related to 'self-sufficiency', and so I had to agree that although I don't want my children's lives to be 'ruled by' money, I will certainly expect that they are able to be self-sufficient as adults. 

The discrepancy on nutrition is still a point of some contention... Since I struggle with PCOS and how that effects my body image, it's important to me to try to eat healthy and give my children the best chance in that way as I can.  Also, Diabetes is rampant in our family, so I want to avoid excess sugar to try to ward off this illness as much as I can with myself and my children, but my husband seems to feel as though it's really 'no big deal'. Sigh.

This was a fun exercise though - if you're like me and enjoy this sort of thing.  How would you rank these areas? Does your spouse agree or disagree?

Published in Blog
Friday, 23 March 2012 11:32

My Picky Eater

There are a few people in my family (grown-ups, even) who are picky eaters.  Really picky eaters.  Honestly, my Grandpa still refuses to eat anything with onions in it.  And my Grandma tells stories about my uncle and how he would sit at the table refusing to eat until bedtime. He hasn't really grown out of his picky-ness either...

When I was pregnant with Celia, I could eat anything.  I was vaguely nauseous occasionally, but it didn't really have any effect on what foods I found appetizing.  There were, however, a number of foods that I had never enjoyed before that I all of a sudden craved - like ribs and chicken wings (I had never before liked eating meat directly off the bone).  And as I could have predicted, my daughter eats everything and anything.  She even likes a degree of spice that I have only recently worked myself up to.

This next child, I don't think will be the same.

I think I am carrying my picky eater.

In this pregnancy, every bit of nauseousness is directly related to food.  Looking at food.  Smelling food.  I have had to pick onions out of soups because the thought of eating them made me want to puke.  Foods I used to love I simply can't stomach anymore.  There was one day I took some leftovers out of the fridge and had to run to the bathroom to throw up because I just couldn't handle the smell that I had enjoyed only the day before.  

I am not excited about this.  I have this theory that if you simply expect a child to eat everything, they will.  I may be wrong on this count.  But I still don't intend to indulge this child's picky-ness.  At least not when it can no longer make me physically ill...

I'm going to fight with this one, I can see it already...

 

Published in Blog
Sunday, 11 March 2012 09:11

Choosing a Legal Guardian

I get regular emails from the 'Parents' Magazine website, and today their topic was choosing legal guardians.  I was intrigued, since my husband and I put a lot of thought and prayer into choosing legal guardians for our daughter and was interested to see if the article reflected the same considerations we had.

Unfortunately this particular article seemed to be more about informing the person already chosen of the guardianship and what comes along with it, which was disappointing.

Legal Guardianship is particularly important to me since I was taken into foster care as a child due to a large misunderstanding.  Due to the nature of the event, it may not have made a difference if I had a designated guardian, but I wanted to make sure to give my children what I didn't have so that even in an event like the one I experienced, they would not have to spend time living with strangers. 

So here is my own list of things to consider when choosing a Legal Guardian for your child.

1. Religious Beliefs and Worldview

It is extremely important to us that our children are raised in a Christian home - particularly one that closely reflects our own beliefs.  Along with that comes a number of perspectives about how we should live and act, and it was important to choose someone who emulated these things.

2. NOT Grandparents.

I was largely raised by my Grandmother, and although she and I have a closer relationship than we ever could have had otherwise, she was robbed of the ability to be 'Grandma'.  We do not want to do this to our own parents.  Also, then the question of 'Who?' is an issue that can do nothing but cause pain to someone...

3. Proximity to Family and Friends

Because Brian's family and mine are not close friends, it was important to consider a guardian who was either not too close to either family that our daughter would be brought up with a bias as to which family she spent time with (which would be unfair to the other family), or somehow equally close to both families and willing to ensure that she would spend time with both families.  Also, if she happens to have many friends in the area we live in, we hoped to find someone who lives close enough to make sure she can still see her friends, or has ties to the area so even if they moved away would likely return regularly for visits. 

4. Demonstrated Ability to Guardian

In our case, we chose a family who has raised a number of children already.  Our hope was to find someone who had already demonstrated parenting ability to us somehow, as well as showing signs of having a similar 'parenting style' to ourselves.

5. Financial Ability. 

Although our daughter will be well provided for if we kick off in her childhood, we wanted to know that any legal guardian we chose would not be financially encumbered in any way by an extra child.  In the event that it takes awhile for life insurance, etc. to come through - we wanted to be certain that any guardian we chose could handle it.   Also, in the event that our daughter requires a guardian, it would be nice for the family to be able to easily have room to give her a bedroom of her own.  We also didn't want to put our child in a situation where - if she were to receive a significant inheritance - her Guardians might find it tempting because of their own financial standing, to take her money. 

6. Age Considerations

Ideally the person chosen to Guardian would be of a similar age to ourselves, however we found this consideration to be less important than many of the others.  It was important, however, to choose a couple who would still be young enough to parent even when our daughter was reaching adulthood. 

These were the big things we discussed when choosing a guardian, and thankfully we were able to find someone who fit nearly all of this criteria perfectly.  Thankfully also, they were willing to accept the role of guardianship for Celia. 

What are your thoughts on these considerations? Do you agree or disagree? What considerations would/did you consider that I may have missed?

 

Published in Blog
Friday, 02 March 2012 09:55

Crappy Cloth Diapering

If you haven't already, check out the blog post by Crappy Pictures called:

cloth diapers, the good things and the crappy things

I seriously laughed out loud - which doesn't happen to me often while reading blog posts...

I've been thinking a lot about cloth diapers lately, since I will inevitably be diapering two babies at once when October rolls around, and I'm not certain I have enough diapers for that.  The nice thing about my diapers, is that I have been biased towards one-size diapers and so in theory, my newborn can share diapers with my then-to-be almost two year-old.  I also have a number of tiny diapers that Celia used when she was much smaller to use on the new baby.

Currently she uses mostly Charlie Banana one-size pocket diapers.  I love the elastic in the leg which helps keep 'stuff' in around her small legs.  We have about 14 of these in various colours.

As well as a few Kawaii baby diapers that we mostly use at night because they're bulkier and have a tendency to leak around the leg holes.  I guess Celia has thin legs...

Largely because I like shopping, however, I will inevitably buy a few more diapers  for the newbie just to make sure we have enough. 

Spoiler Alert: This is me fishing for comments...

What are your favourite cloth diaper brands?

What would you recommend I buy for our new baby?

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:29

Celia's Nursery

I'm linking up today with 'Growing Up Geeky' and 'ELF: A Family Blog' for Toddle Along Tuesdays.  Clara is currently sleeping, so these are all older pictures of her nursery, some as we were setting it up...

We painted the nursery this green, after choosing a colour that could compliment either pink or blue after the baby was born, since we didn't learn the sex beforehand.  I found these stick-on decals at Zellers for something like $10, and thought they were simple but cute.  Clara has fun pointing at them now, also...

Her messy bookshelf with all of my Little House, Narnia, LOTR and Harry Potter books still on it... :)  The top and bottom middle squares were left 'empty' until after Clara was born - they now have pink baskets in them that are the same as the two green ones on the sides. 

The blue hanging thing was from IKEA - it is now so full of stuffies that it has fallen from the ceiling from the weight and has had to be reinforced.  I painted the wall hangings - they weren't as nice as I'd hoped, but I guess they turned out ok.  You can see the pink baskets in the bookshelf from here.  We got this crib from Walmart for $150 or something like that - it was actually nearly identical to a $450 crib from Sears, and honestly just as stable...

 

This room is just under 8 feet wide by about 11 feet long, and in less than a year we get to figure out how to fit two children in here! Wish us luck!

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 09:07

Wordless Wednesday

It's early yet, but I'm so excited!  We've decided to wait a little while before announcing this one to our friends and family - none of whom (I believe) read my blog.  If you do happen to know me personally - please don't say anything!

The line is there - even my husband can see it, this time!

Published in Blog
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