Friday, September 19, 2008

Quilt No.001

I thought I would start including some of my projects in my blog because a) I'm hoping it will help me to get some of them finished and b) I've been feeling very inspired lately. After receiving a great sewing machine as a wedding present three years ago, I decided to start quilting. Although I have done it on and off since then, this is my first quilt I have (almost) finished. I decided to try something a little easier so I wouldn't feel discouraged and give up, like I had so many times before. I still have to put on borders and figure out, basically, how to finish a quilt, but I am very happy with how it has turned out so far. Hopefully I will have some pictures of the finished project long as Odessa keeps sleeping as well as she has been.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

it's the small things...

Odessa has been busy, which, in turn, makes me busy. My days, right now, consist of diverting her away from sharp corners, pulling dust bunnies out of her mouth, trying to keep her safe from Finnegan, helping her to stand on her own, and comforting her when she falls. This constant bustle can be draining and tiring. Anyone with a young child, I'm sure would agree. But, watching them discover new things and seeing just how excited they can become over something you may have never noticed is... wonderful. This busy little bee I have been chasing after has, somehow, made me slow down and see things that I wouldn't usually have paid any attention too. The way she can sit outside and just enjoy the grass makes me want to do the same. Last night, while we were out for a walk, every single dog that walked by made her squeal with delight, and every time Finnegan walks by she claps her hands, as if she has never seen him before. Closely studying fallen leaves is one of her favorite things to do and, earlier today, she waved at a flower...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All Done

Yay! Moving is all over and we are finally settled in. As moving day grew closer, Jeremy kept reminding me how stressful it was going to be with Odessa. I knew in the back of my mind it would be, but I said over and over "We'll manage". We did manage, but Jeremy was right, it was incredibly stressful. Trying to keep Odessa on schedule was hard that weekend, and the following week, she couldn't sleep alone. All the work we had put into getting her to sleep in her crib, all night, had gone down the drain. She also got her first cold that week which has lasted...pretty much until now.

We are back on track though, and I think everyone feels like they are "home". Odessa is back to sleeping on her own, all night, and we have everything organized and in place. We have even found some time to do some painting.

Getting to know the front yard the day we moved in.

Odessa loves to stand at the door and watch people and their dogs walk by. She has even started waving at them. Sometimes, Finnegan joins her.

Odessa is furniture walking now, and the front window is the perfect height for her.

I think she likes it here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good Idea

It's called Green Hour. I came across the website recently and think that if everyone implemented it, for themselves and for their kids, it would make the world a better place. It talks of something called "nature deficit disorder" in children, which has been a growing concern since the introduction of home computers and video games. The idea is to take your kids outside for unstructured play and discovery time at least one hour a day (weather permitting, of course). It's as simple as that. The website states that children who spend more time outside will play more creatively, have lower stress levels and have stronger immune systems (just to name a few). I know Odessa is still very young, but I'm all about trying to start good habits at an early age. I've already noticed that she sleeps better at night when we have had some good outdoor time the day before. 

Well...I better go. I should be outside.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crawling Already?

Odessa finally got so frustrated at not being able to grab everything in sight that she decided to start crawling. Last Saturday, she started pulling herself along the ground which made her a little more happy. The day after, she just picked herself up and started crawling. Every day since then, she has become better and faster. Jeremy and I are so incredibly proud of her accomplishment, and she seems so much less frustrated with the world. Now, I just have to remember to put the cat food on the counter, because, that seems to be the first thing she goes for every morning.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Feed Me was time. I'd been trying to wait until Odessa was six months old to start her on solid food, but this weekend I decided to give in. I must admit, the main reason for starting now is that I'm hoping Odessa will start sleeping for longer stretches at nighttime. Plus, I was getting pretty excited about the big day! Odessa was showing all the signs that she was ready...grabbing food off our plate, immitating chewing motions, and when I am feeding Aidan his food, she has been known to throw a fit when I tell her "not yet Dessi". Giving your baby solid food for the first time is such an exciting moment. Both Jeremy and I had so much fun taking pictures, and Odessa ate way more of her rice than I thought she would. It made me realize that I should watch Odessa and not the calendar.

It was important to me to find organic baby cereal with only the most necessary ingrediants. After having no such luck at numerous grocery and department stores, I made the trek out to Planet Organic, because I knew I could find what I wanted there. I found a line of baby products by Healthy Times which carries a wide range of baby food. I didn't take a good look at the jarred baby food since I am planning on making my own, but the cereal contains no soy or dairy, no alpha-amylase, and is iron and vitamin fortified. Plus, the packaging is pretty cute. It was exactly what Odessa and I were looking for. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy 35th *wink* Birthday Grandpa!

Last Friday was lovely. It was my Dad's birthday and since he had the day off, Odessa and I headed out to St.Albert after dropping Jeremy off at work to spend his special day with him. We pretty much spent the entire day relaxing outside, talking, laughing, and drinking (just juice for me).  Odessa seemed to enjoy her time rolling around on the grass. It is one of my favorite things to do, sitting out in the backyard under the trees with my family. I picked Jeremy up in the evening and we headed back to enjoy a great BBQ. Just to give you an idea of what kind of guy my Dad is...even though it was his birthday, he surprised me with a gift; a day at the spa with my Mom and Sister. In just a few short weeks I will be enjoying a much needed facial, massage, manicure and pedicure. What a thoughtful gift for birthday. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

First Road Trip

Last week, we were able to take Odessa on her first road trip to the mountains. We joined Russell and Megan, and their little Aidan in Fairmont for a couple of days. It rained a lot, but it was so nice to get away.

Lots to see.

First nature walk as well!

It really was beautiful...

First time swimming

Hanging out with Mortimer

At the rest stops, Odessa got to sit in the front seat!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dad's Day

To all the Fathers, soon-to-be Fathers, and Grandfathers...Happy Father's Day.

I really couldn't ask for more. I have a husband who supports me and makes me feel like a good mother whenever I feel a little unsure of myself. Odessa has a father who loves her unconditionally and makes her very happy. Jeremy was there to hold my hand through my long labour, he cried with me when I felt I just couldn't go on, and he didn't let me give up on breast feeding when I was having so many difficulties. During those first scary and wonderful weeks of parenthood, Jeremy slept as little as I did, and worried about everything as much as I did. I never, ever felt alone. Now he seems to look forward to bath time as much as Odessa does and one of his first questions when he walks through the door is "Did she poop today?". Odessa and I are extremely lucky. We are loved.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No More Excuses

I remember telling people while I was pregnant that I would be using disposable diapers only for the first few weeks of Odessa's life. I couldn't imagine adding dirty diapers to the already quickly growing piles of clothes that gathered in the laundry room. Getting sleep was my number one priority. Well, here we are, four months later and I have been getting good (not great) nights of sleep for well over two months now. And, I am still using disposable diapers. . . until today. Today the excuses stop. I found a wonderful company, gDiapers, that sells a cloth diaper which holds a snap-in, plastic-free pad. You can toss the insert in the trash, flush them, or even compost the wet ones. They are  incredibly absorbent, and will break down in 50 to 150 days. When I asked the woman at the store about them, she told me customers were giving her great feedback, however, there was one problem. They would leak if they weren't put on properly. I thought to myself, "disposable diapers will leak if not used properly as well". It is a poor excuse. There are lots of good tips on their online store to ensure a proper fit, as well as a toll free help line. You only need to wash the cotton outer pant when they become dirty, which is great news for people like me (only getting around to the laundry when absolutely needed). Not only is there no landfill necessary, they look super cute as well.

Meet Odessa's New Roommate

Odessa received a very lovely gift, actually a few very lovely gifts, from her Grandparents this weekend from the Princess And The Pea. A beautiful life size (well...not quite life size), plush giraffe now stands in her nursery next to her crib. I love that Odessa's room looks like her own little zoo. I'm hoping she grows up to love all kinds of animals, even the scary ones. It looks like she is quite fond of it already...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Bum

I had been looking around on the internet for a safe and organic diaper cream. Odessa hasn't shown any signs of a diaper rash, and I intend to keep it that way. The red and raw skin, followed by a very angry baby, is not something I want to deal with anytime soon. I'm pretty sure Odessa doesn't want to have to go through that as well. I came accross Earth Mama Angel Baby, a line of natural skin care products catering to pregnant women, new moms, and babies. I read wonderful reviews about the Angel Baby Bottom Balm. It is a certified vegan salve containing organic olive oil, herbs, shea butter, and naturally antibacterial and antifungal essential oils. Not only does it heal and prevent diaper rash, you can use it on cradle cap, bug bites, burns and scrapes. Well, I hunted down a reseller in Edmonton, because, according to one new mom, I HAD to have it. Guess what!? It works! Although it was a little hard to find, it was worth the search. I used it on Odessa's cradle cap one night before bed, and it had cleared up by morning. I even use it as a moisturizer for myself. Because of the strong smell and the tiny size (the largest size you can purchase contains only two ounces), you only need a small amount. Odessa and I do not leave home without it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Unexpected Changes

I know I was expecting huge changes when Odessa was born...a change in sleep patterns, a change in priorities, a change in my social life, a change in my relationship with my husband, a change in the way I love. I never expected such a dramatic change in how I view the planet and what is happening to it. The research I have done in the last few months has truly brought important issues to my attention. From the chemicals in plastic baby bottles to the unnecessary lotions loaded with parabens to the added salt and sugar in store bought baby food. These child related issues have made me take a closer look at organic eating for myself and Jeremy, start reading the labels of shampoo bottles, and have opened my eyes to how much water I actually waste in a day. Odessa has even made me feel incredibly guilty when I forget my cloth grocery bags at home. I hate to say it, but this change in me may have only occurred because I am now a parent. I care so much about what she is exposed to, that it has indirectly made me a healthier person. I must say, it is a lot harder to eat off a styrofoam plate with your little girl watching.

The world is slowly, actually quickly, crumbling and we decided to introduce a child into it. Why? Besides my incredible need to be a mother, I feel as though this is my chance to raise and teach my offspring to respect the Earth and to help heal it. Not only will the Earth benefit, but their little minds and bodies will be healthier and stronger as well. Children are like little sponges and whatever we do, they are likely to follow in our footsteps. What a wonderful way to change the outcome of this one world we have.