6 tips to baby proofing your home

Is your baby crawling and you are looking at baby proofing your house! Here are 6 amazing tips to help keep your baby safe.

So you have a new crawler in your home! Congrats! Me too!!  I thought I had done a decent job of baby proofing the main areas E will be in, but when she started to crawl, I knew I had to go through it all again!

Babies can move fast, and boy, do they love to get into stuff they shouldn’t! Cheeky little things!

Here are 6 tips to help baby proof your home and keep your heart at ease. Please pay special attention to tip 4!

 

 

1. Get down to their height

All the small things!! You really don’t’ realize how many small items you have on hand, down low and everywhere, until you have a crawler! Get down on your hands and knees, or belly even to be the same height as your newly crawling babe. Look at what you can see that is within their reach and remove it, put it higher, or PURGE!

 

2. Cabinets and Drawers

I have two sets of these cabinet slide locks from Safety First. I use them on my sink in the kitchen and in the bathroom. These are the only two places I really don’t want E to get into. They have been cleaned out, all the chemicals have been purged (I am all about making my own – who knew I would be so granola! LOVE IT!). But it is where the garbage and recycling are located along with garbage bags, my hair dryer/straightener and feminine products are. Just not safe.  

The other cabinets and drawers hold stuff that is fine for E to get into. My Tupperware drawer is the bottom one that she can access, pans are in another (for sweet banging) and I emptied the open shelf in my kitchen.  Things are a bit all over right now, but I will get my groove on!

 

3. Electricity

I purchased plugs to put in all the sockets. They have been in place for ages. I just feel so much safer with them in. She hasn’t tried to go for them yet, thank goodness, but there is still time.  She does LOVE wires. My entertainment area is a mass of wires. I have put the power bar into an open weaved basket and placed it on top of my sound woofer thing (yes technical terms only…) E can’t access those wires, but I swear she knows they are there.  MOve those wires out of the way if you can. Or block access to them. Also let your little one know that NO they cannot play there, and redirect.

 

4. Chargers

We all know that chargers are HUGE power sucks. They should be unplugged when not in use to save money. Well, they really should be unplugged now, because if your child puts that plug into their mouth they can get electrocuted! The charger is LIVE and pulling electricity from the wall. So please, please PLEASE unplug those computer, phone, tablet chargers and store them out of babies reach!

 

5. Purge time

Use this time to purge. We have so much stuff that just sits in piles, underneath coffee tables and out of the way shelves (to name a few) because they really don’t have anywhere to go. I have the perfect location for you. The garbage/recycling/give away pile.  You are going to find that once you have gone through the above list, you have a ton of stuff and nowhere to put it. If you use it, then it is time to find a home for it. If you sometimes use it, or you are thinking well, I might… then it might be an item to get rid of.

 

6. Leaving some things

You can’t baby proof everything. Well, you can, but I am not that mom. I have purged all the necessary safety things, but there are certain things that are just going to stay where they are.  E is always reaching up for my DVR and PVR, but I am not moving them. So I tell E a firm NO, and I redirect her. Sometimes 10 times in 5 minutes, by then I sometimes will then put her in the jolly jumper or exersaucer to take her mind off it. Babies need to learn the word no. It’s a safety issue and when they are older a consent issue. So I have no issues teaching little E now that there are sometimes she just can’t touch, no matter how awesome looking.  It is more work than if I moved the item, but I am being real here, that isn’t going to happen.

 

There you go, a simple and concise list of how to make your house safer for baby and you!  Comment below and let me know of ways you baby proofed your house!

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4 things I wish I knew before starting to feed my baby

So, I had a grand idea of how feeding baby E would go. We were going to do vegetables, and she was going to like and try so many different kinds. I would feed her with a spoon, she would open her mouth. Some would spill out and she would have that cute food face. She may even blow a few raspberries while eating just because. But she would eat. Food would be chewed and food would go into her stomach.

Well, that didn’t so much happen.  E has a bit of food aversion. I totally think it stems from the fact that I had to give her medication. I started giving her the meds through a syringe but that was NOT going well. She would hold it in her mouth and then forcefully spit it out, no matter what I did (hold her cheeks together like fishy lips, push the plunger far back and into her cheek) nothing worked. So I gave it to her off a spoon, it was the only way I could get even HALF the dose into her.  And of course, the medicine started out sickly sweet but had quite the bitter after bite.

This has to be the reason she mistrusts spoons, and me.  We are working on eating now. E will allow me to feed her a bit of rice cereal, and she likes to try and eat

About to start feeding baby solids? Such an exciting time! Except when it's not. Read on for 4 tips to keep in mind when starting solids.

 Mumums herself.  I am feeding her all the things I told myself I wouldn’t. But it is plain, bland and the only things she will eat.  My nurse made a good point when I was upset by this whole thing. She said, “If I line up babies who ate store bought and babies who had homemade, would you be able to pick them out?”

No, no I would not. So while it isn’t what I wanted, it isn’t bad for her. She is learning to chew and to feed herself and to trust me with a spoon. So that is a win.  We will get to vegetables soon enough.

Because of this experience, I thought I would share 4 things I wish I knew before I started feeding Miss E.

4 things I wish I knew before starting feeding baby solids

  1. They may not want to eat what you are offering

Like I said earlier, I planned on feeding E vegetables and fruit first. I started off strong. I gave her avocado and that went okay. Then we did butternut squash and she wouldn’t really open her mouth. Same thing with applesauce, and sweet potato and blueberries… It got to the point where I would sit her down for food and she would clamp her mouth and squeal when the spoon came near her.  She did not want what I was offering.

I had to change my mindset about food. While I was dead against store-bought stuff, that is all that E will eat.  Baby Mumums for the win! I am also trying her with rice cereal. While she still will clamp and refuse, I can sometimes get a spoonful or 2 in before that happens.  Slowly, I am regaining trust with E and food. My plan is to going back to vegetables and fruit but for now, I have accepted that she isn’t there yet.  

  1. Throw that plan out, or at least be prepared to

Like I said above, I planned on fruit and vegetables. I ended up with store bought baby Mumums. Quite a difference. But I had to do what is best for baby and me. As they say, ‘the best-laid plans go awry.’

If I was able to have no birth plan, then having a no food plan should be easy.  Surprise, this was harder. I want E to be healthy, I want her to eat all the food. My vision was of us going to eat at restaurants and her eating off my plate. My friends and family being impressed that she ate such a wide variety of foods. Of never having purchased store-bought things! So this plan was very hard for me to drop, or even adjust.  I knew I had to and it is a work in progress. Fed is best and right now she is eating, even if only a small bit.

  1. Follow your baby’s cues

E has a slight aversion to foods because of the medicine I had to give her. I don’t want to make that a big aversion by forcing food on her. So I listen to her cues. When she pulls her head back and clamps her mouth shut, I don’t try and shove food in her mouth. If she opens her mouth I put a bit of food in. She clamps shut and squeals, I take that as her sign that she is done eating off a spoon.

I laugh and talk to her, I act calm and don’t get irritated with her when she refuses to eat. Mealtime shouldn’t be a power struggle or a place of stress for either of us. I want to enjoy eating with my daughter and I want her to enjoy it too. She eats what she eats. At 7 months old she is still getting all her nutrition from breastmilk.

  1. Have fun!

Be prepared to get messy. I feed E  3 times a day so she will get used to sitting at meal times, plus it gives me 3 times to try and get food into her.

At breakfast, she only gets rice cereal which I feed to her. I give her these blocks to play with to occupy her hands.

At lunch and dinner, E gets a different cereal, buckwheat and chia, some puree vegetable or fruit, a Mumum and a few strawberry flavoured puffs.  I always start with the cereal then the puree and E likes to try and help with the spoon. And by help I mean pull the food off and play with it. She is exploring and learning so if she takes it all off the spoon every time, then she takes it all off every time. No big deal.

Once she has explored with the cereal, and hopefully had a bite or two, I give her broken pieces of Mumum which she devours. I take the soggy leftover bits from the palm of her hand and see if she will let me feed them to her. I am trying to earn her trust, show her that I also will feed her yummy food too! Sometimes she lets me, sometimes she helps me, sometimes she refuses. It is what it is.

I think letting her explore the food is important, but messy, which is why I only do it at lunchtime. But every lunch and dinner she gets to try and feed herself with the Mumum.  She is learning about different textures and eventually, I think she will put her finger in her mouth with food and be pleasantly surprised! Or not. And that is fine too!

I know there is a lot out there on food. People have very strict beliefs and ideas about how babies should eat when they should eat, the type of food they should be eating. I don’t want to get into all that. I think you have to do you. You need to do what is best for you and your baby. Be as healthy as you can be but don’t stress yourself out or feel guilty because it isn’t all homemade. Well, try not too. I know it’s hard.  No one said having a baby was easy.  You got this.

Do you have a picky baby? Was feeding a disaster for you too? Or were you lucky and your baby took to eating like a duck on water? Let me know in the comments!

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New mom? Stressed about feeding solids? Check this out for some helpful tips and tricks for feeding solids to baby.

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My mini shopping ban, week 1

As a way to get my finances in shape, I have gone on a mini shopping ban. Read on to find out what my plan is!

 

 

I am nearing the end (sob) of my maternity leave. While I go back to work in April, I won’t be receiving a full pay. My job holds some of my money to pay me over the summer. In essence, I will work 2.5 months but get paid that out over 4.5 months.

Money

I need to tighten the money reigns over here.  While I did a great job saving before my mat leave, knowing full well that I would need a cushion, but I am feeling a bit nervous about running out.

Now, I don’t think I will run out but I would rather have money ‘left over’ then be scrambling in the end.

But shopping…

I like to shop. There I said it. I am a shopaholic. It is bad. Online shopping is just so EASY! Who doesn’t love shopping in their PJs, lounging on their couch and sipping wine! Honestly.

Well, this brings us here. To my decision to go on a shopping ban.

Yes, a shopping ban. (I may have cried a bit writing this)

Now, Cait Flanders inspired this shopping ban. Check her out and see her reasons for the ban. She, mind you, is much more motivated than I. I yearlong shopping ban freaks me out a bit, and with a baby… well, I am sure it is doable, but I am not there yet.

Mini Ban

So I am going to do a mini ban. I find the thought of long-term no shopping a bit scary, which goes to show you how much of a problem I have….  But I also think that saying I can’t shop for a year, will make me impulse buy like crazy right now, because I ‘need’ it or will ‘need’ it in the future, and since I can’t buy anything for a year… Which totally defeats the purpose of a shopping ban!

That is where the MINI part comes in. I am going to do my shopping ban for a week. One week. 7 days, 168 hours… You can do anything for a week. It isn’t so long that I feel like I need to buy buy buy before the ban, and yet it is long enough that I will feel good about not shopping!

WIN WIN!

Rules. There have to be rules. Things to help keep me in line. But because it is only for a week, the rules aren’t too in-depth or scary.

What I CAN buy for the FIRST WEEK*

  • Groceries
  • Toiletries
  • Modge podge with a coupon
  • Christmas tree that is prelit (if it is a good deal)
  • Birthday gift

What I CAN NOT buy for the FIRST WEEK

  • Clothes for myself
  • Clothes for E – this will be hard
  • Toys for E – also hard
  • Anything on Amazon (so sad!)
  • Junk food/candy
  • Fast food
  • Alcohol

*I have some renos coming up that haven’t been booked yet, but they need to be done. So those I will allow as it is not just some willy-nilly purchase, but a pre-planned need.

See easy.

Well, the nothing on Amazon may be difficult… I love Amazon.

Next Week

I plan on starting this next week… Yes, the week of Christmas. Kind of a cheat week really… I will be with my family for most of it and won’t really feel the need to shop! Even on boxing day (well except a new Christmas Tree).

My plan is to reassess on Saturday, adjust the rules if need be. Things come up that are not planned for (car repairs, birthday you forgot, etc) so these rules are not set in stone, I can adjust if need be. I think what will help make this work is being flexible when needed, and rigid the rest of the time. Obviously, I can’t adjust it to fit my shopping needs, that would defeat the purpose, but small adjustments if necessary are allowed.

Stay tuned to find out how I did for my first week!

Have you ever done a shopping ban? How did you do? Let me know in the comments!

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A look back at my first trimester

First Trimester

During the first 3 months of my pregnancy, I had morning sickness. (Check this link out to see a few ways to combat this!)

Well, that isn’t really true.

For my first month, I felt AWESOME! I even went on a rad trip with a friend of mine. You can read all about our great lake adventures here.(to be added soon)

Second Month

But once that 4 or 5-week mark hit, I started to not feel so great. Perfect timing too… I was heading back to work. At a new school. Where I knew no one. To say I was a bit stressed is an understatement.

A single moms journey through her first trimester. Click to read about her experience.

 

It started with 24/7 nausea. That was fun. I would wake up feeling sick and go to bed feeling sick. Nothing ever came of it, just that constant nauseous feeling. Smells started to bother me too. I wanted to paint the baby’s room (a lovely grey since I didn’t know what I was having) and I had to stay at my parent’s place for like a week. Every Time I went home the smell would overwhelm me and I would feel worse. But I had to have it done!

 

Oh, food…

Then food started to gross me out. Meat was the first to go. The smell of it cooking really turned my stomach. All meat too, which was super sad! I went to some car races with some friends and for dinner, we went to this delicious burger place. Instead of having a yummy burger I had fries and garlic bread.

For my meal.

Yay carbs!

As the days progressed, ALL vegetables started to gross me out. I was eating a stir fry that I made and I put a mouthful in and then I spit that mouthful right back out.

I couldn’t stomach it. Brutal. Eating became a chore.

The nausea slowly turned into morning sickness. I was blessed in that, I was sick in the mornings only now. But my stomach was still not accepting all food. Even my staple of oatmeal and fruit was now out the window.

It was like my stomach had turned into a cow’s stomach that could differentiate between food groups! I would have my oatmeal with blueberries and strawberries, then 10 minutes later be sick, but only sick with the fruit. The oatmeal stayed down. HA.

Giving up orange juice was hard. I LOVE my OJ in the mornings but man did that make me sick.

I swear, for the first 3 months I survived on carbs and carbs alone.

Also, I had really low blood pressure, I felt dizzy often throughout the day and I would see stars and have to sit down (sometimes in the most inopportune spots and times).

I was super stoked when I hit 3 months for so many reasons. This had to mean that my morning sickness would stop and then and I could tell everyone I was pregnant!

Third Month

My 3-month mark was around Halloween, so I bought this super cute shirt to make my school announcement and my facebook announcement (it’s not real until it is on Facebook right! HA). I was totally bummed that only one grade 5 class got what my shirt was saying! No one else commented. My FB post, however, was a hit!

My nausea, morning sickness and blood pressure, however, didn’t get better. It didn’t get worse, but no improvement.

How were your first three months of pregnancy? Were you lucky enough to not get morning sickness? Let me know below.

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As a Single Mom sometimes I wish I wasn’t alone

 Being a single mom by choice is the best thing I ever did. Sometimes though, it is hard to be alone. It can be the simple things that cause some frustration. Okay, that isn’t fully true, I love my life with E. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But there are times when being alone is frustrating, or sad or just plain hard.

E has been doing a lot of discovering lately. A few months ago I got to watch her discover her hands, then her feet. It was such a joy to see! She looked so perplexed at first. (I have it on video and I snapped a photo.) Just last night she discovered reflections. We were laying on the ground and her mirror caught the light from the ceiling and reflected it onto the ceiling. We lay there for 20 minutes just watching it move (as we took turns moving the mirror). I didn’t capture this in a photo or video. I was just with my daughter.

I enjoy just being in the moment with my little girl. Being beside her when she is discovering new things and becoming engrossed in what she is learning. I am making memories that I will be able to share with her later.

I sometimes wish that someone was there to capture the photo that I decided not to take. I chose to live in the moment, to create the memory to be present with my daughter. I do not, nor have I ever regretted it. That is what life is about. But it would be nice to have someone to snap the photo that I didn’t take. Even if I have to tell them to take it.

In the moment photos, candid photos, are something I won’t have many of. I am okay with that. I have come to terms with it. I am REALLY good at taking selfies with my kid, so that I too, can be in the photo with her. So she will have photos of me too.

My mom is great for trying to take pictures of me and E, and I so appreciate that. My mom BFF too. She has a significant other, but she wishes she had more candid shots of her and her little too. I get that having a SO doesn’t mean I would always get those shots, but there is a better chance of it happening! Ha!

It just would be nice, sometimes. You know?

Do you feel this way? Do you wish someone was there to take those photos for you? Let me know in the comments!

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My first ‘crisis’ with my daughter

A look at how I (poorly) handled my first 'crisis' with my daughter. Spoiler alert: She is fine. I may have overreacted...

Panic.

That is one word to describe how I felt yesterday.  I was at the mall shopping because the power had gone out at my house, and what else does one do when you have no power! It was crazy at the mall, but that is beside the point.

E and I were returning items, looking for deals and browsing. She is such a good little shopper right now. People just love her!  She was scream talking and laughing at everyone who peeked into her stroller.  It was a great day!

About an hour and a half in she starts to get fussy, so I pick her up into my ring sling and she settles back down, she loves to be carried and check out the world this way.  As we are walking to the last two stores I wanted to hit before heading home, I look down at her and the left side of her face, on her forehead and into her head, is all blotchy. I pull her back to get a good look at her and her eye is all red and watery. She is rubbing it like crazy.

Now I panic.

She, on the other hand, is super chill.

Everything goes through my mind. A piece of fluff, something spicy from my lunch, something sharp that is going to scratch her eye, omg she is going to go blind, she is having an allergic reaction and soon she won’t be able to breath (she was fine, her breathing was never affected). But my mind races from low key to the worst case scenario very quickly.  I basically run to the elevator, shut the door on people coming, rush out of the mall, while holding back tears.

I google clinics, and there is one across the street. Of course, it is Saturday at the mall, so it is a poop show trying to leave, and I am stressing, E is now crying (because she is in her car seat and that is apparently the worst right now), so I am freaking more.

I get into the clinic, a sign says the doctor isn’t seeing any more patients today, I think umm BABY! So I go up, and at this point, I am in tears because I think the worst is happening. I can by see the look on her face that the nurse thinks I am nuts. She says E is fine. She is smiling and doesn’t seem bothered by it. I am like, um her face shouldn’t look like this!!  So she suggests I can go to the hospital.

Now I am trying to calm down because I know I am overreacting, but again, worst case scenarios are running through my mind and I can’t make them stop.  I bring E back to the car, google the hospital and start driving.  I get halfway there and MIss E passes out in her car seat.  Now. I freak some more. Is she breathing? Does she look swollen? Why is she passed out??  So I pull over and check on her (I found a parking lot) and she is fine. She is just sound asleep.  

I text two friends, a nurse and my mommy bff. Both basically say the same thing. No hospital, there are more germs there so unless it is an emergency stay clear and to go home and wait it out. My nurse friend says something that I found very helpful and calming.

“She is a mini you. Think of what you would do if this was happening to you”

That helped calm me down.

Surprisingly I am actually very good in a crisis situation… just clearly not when it comes to my daughter…

So I thought about how it is probably just a fluff, and I would use a wet cloth on my eye, and that I can do that to E if I go home.

I head home and when E wakes up like 1 hour later, her eye is still red, but the blotchiness of her face is gone, and she is happy.

Within the next hour, her eye returned to normal.

I took a bit longer to calm down. I knew she was fine, I could see the red going away, but I was still worried on the inside.  

 

So for my first crisis situation, I was an absolute mess. How were you during your first crisis? Did you remain calm and in charge? Or were you like me, a bit of a hot mess?

 

PS:  E is totally fine today. No redness, no irritation. She is in perfect health.

 

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Tobermory in October? With a baby? Yes!

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, don’t worry, it won’t cost you any extra money – but a small percentage of the sales will go towards our travel fund.

 

Thinking of taking a trip to Tobermory Ontario? You defiantly should! Consider going in the fall over the busy summer. It is just as beautiful!

I have been dying to go to Tobermory for years. The blue waters, the hiking, the shipwrecks! It was just calling my name. I am so thrilled I got to go with my mom and take E with me! I was a bit nervous, her first ‘big’ trip, but I figured with my mom on board, we could handle anything. The weather was perfect for our trip. We went on Canadian Thanksgiving Monday and had warm beautiful days perfect for our adventures.

E did so wonderfully! The drive down she started to cry for the last 45 minutes or so. My mom sat in the back with her and played, distracting her for most of that time. But man, those last 20 minutes were hard. Nothing would stop her crying. I made the decision to keep going. We had a boat trip booked for 1 and I knew if we stopped she would stop crying but would start back up again once she was back in the car seat. Longest 20 minutes of my life, but worth it in the end. Once she was out of that seat, she didn’t go back in the rest of that day and I was right, no more crying!

I was thrilled that the weather cooperated and we were able to go on the boat cruise to flowerpot island. We took the Bruce Anchor glass bottom boat out to the shipwrecks first.

 

That was amazing to see. The water is so clear and so blue, it is like being down south, only cold. You could see the shipwrecks through the glass bottom as well as over the sides of the boat. Great view no matter where you sat.

 

We then went out to the open lake and they stepped on the gas. E was a trooper! She didn’t fuss and just looked confused as to why everything was whipping about her. As we pulled up to the island a deep fog was floating through. That really highlighted why there are so many shipwrecks in that area!

Single mom by choice

Once on the island, the fog had cleared and we were able to go hike, after a quick feed on the beach for the little one. I would definitely suggest a carrier, although we saw people with buggies, it was much easier to carry E around, and she loved the views. It made it easier for me to climb down to see the flowerpots closer up (much to the stress of my mom!)

 

 

My mom and I took the easier hike, along the water, viewing the flowerpots then up to the lighthouse and back the way we came. You only get a certain time on the island as you have to book your tickets there and home for specific times. We left the mainland on the 1:50 pm cruise and came back on the 4:15 pm cruise. It was the perfect amount of time for us. We saw everything and didn’t feel rushed.

There were still a few restaurants open for us we got a recommendation to go to the Tobermory Brewing Co for dinner. The prices are a bit dear, but the food was good and so was their beer.  We did hit up another restaurant for dinner, but it wasn’t as nice and we both wished we had gone back to Tobermory Brewing Co for our second night’s dinner!

After the flowerpots and shipwrecks, I really wanted to hike to the grotto and Indian Head. My mom was more nervous about this hike, thinking it would be a bit rockier and hard to navigate, but again, the trail was smooth and easy to walk on, the rocky bit happened once we arrived at Indian Head. Our hike there was entertaining, to say the least, E LOVES being in the carrier forward facing, and she sang about it the whole hike there. Yes sang. She was so sweet and cute, we were stopped more times then I can count. It actually took us 45 minutes to hike there, and only 15 minutes to hike back as she was asleep!

Single mom by choice

Single mom by choice

Indian head is just stunning. The water is gorgeous looking, the views are amazing, and I convinced my mom to climb down a bit to check it all out. I can see why this place is so packed in the summer!

Single mom by choice

My mom and I climbed out again, and I gave her E to entertain while I looked for the grotto. I struggled at first until I saw the white trail blazes and just followed them up and around the rocks. The grotto is pretty cool to see, and while I didn’t climb down, I still enjoyed the view.

We also spent some time at the discovery centre and took a tour through the museum they have there. It is one of the nicest discovery centres I have been in so far! Worth the visit and hike there!

We stayed at the Bruce Anchor and I was really pleased with the location. We walked everywhere. To dinner, to the discovery centre, to the boat cruise. The only time we had to drive was to get to the Grotto hike. It was nice to be able to get out and about with some ease. I used the stroller to manoeuvre around town and on our discovery centre hike and the carrier to do the actual hikes. While out for food, I used my new Guzzie and Gus Perch high chair. E isn’t sitting on her own, this highchair is a harness strap so it holds her in. She loved being at the table like a big girl with us. The only downside is you can’t sit at a pedestal table. You need a table with legs. But it is well worth it!

E did so fabulously for her first trip away that I can’t wait to go away with her again. What was the first ‘big’ trip that you did with your little one?

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