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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Guest blog post #2: Marie from Why not moi

I've met Marie a few months ago in a little "mommy event". We've only had the chance to talk a few minutes, but she seemed like such a genuine & lovely person, I decided to get in touch with her afterwards. After reading a bit of her blog, I knew that, once again, I had find another cool mommy with whom I would probably get along pretty well! Not so long ago, Marie made a big career move & decided to jump head first in the freelancing world, and God do I admire her for that! I'm really glad she accepted my offer to do a guest blog post for me! Here she is with a few tips that might come in pretty handy!

 Hi folks! or should I say ladies? No offense Vaness, but for sure there can’t be that many boys reading our mama blogs. ;)

When Vaness asked me to write a post for her blog during her “maternity leave” I was super happy and honored! Our kids have the same age difference (my kids are 25 months apart, hers 27 months). So I thought I’d talk about something relevant to both our situation!

When my baby was born, my toddler (aka Mr. Stubborn) had a REALLY hard time dealing with it. Even if we had done lots of different things to prepare him for the new baby’s arrival… (Btw, we tried not to go overboard. Some days, your toddler just doesn’t want to hear AGAIN about that stupid new baby arriving ‘soon’. lolol)
So when I was breastfeeding the new baby, my toddler was: a busy/needy toddler AND also a real jealous big brother.

Here are tricks to help manage a toddler when you are breastfeeding a newborn. I didn’t try everything but hope you can find something useful in there! If they don’t work that great the 1st time you try it, don’t despair and try again!

Before baby is born
  1. Talk with your child about newborns. Tell them that they are pretty freakin’ boring and that they pretty much just nurse/sleep/cry! That they need to be held all the time!
  2. Toddlers (and big humans sometimes too, HA!) are SELFISH creatures: Tell stories about what he was like as a newborn and how you took care of him and nursed him all the time.
  3. Toddlers are selfish (see point 2) but they LOVE to help. Talk about the things that the child will be able to help you with, while you are feeding: bring your bottle of water, the baby’s blanket, his plush toy, the TV remote (!). Tell him that he’ll be able to sing (softly… hahaha) to baby.
  4. If possible, get your child to see really young babies and nursing babies: in person or on youtube! Read books that show newborns and nursing babies.
  1. Make a special ‘breastfeeding toy basket’ that comes out only when breastfeeding. Toys he hasn’t seen before. Easy puzzles, toy cars, stickers, a shape-sorting toy, a couple of new books. They can all be used things, as long as he hasn’t seen them (don’t spend too much $$). And you can rotate the toys in there.To be bluntly honest, I though this was the best tip EVER! I heard a few moms saying it worked well with their kids. Unfortunately, my eldest is so stubborn and he was in his tantrum phase, BAD. Taking away the basket when the feeding was over created just more problems for me! I really hope this will work for you!!
  2. Nurse sitting on the floor in a small safe play area where he can play, but can’t escape.
  3. If you and the baby are comfortable nursing in a sling that’s great! Also your toddler won’t try to brush the baby’s hair or, pinch him in the face(!) while you are trying to nurse.
  4. Read books, snuggle and talk with your toddler.
  5. If he is old enough, play games like “I Spy” and “Simon Says”.
  6. Breastfeed during your toddler’s snack time. He will be busy eating!
  7. Get a fresh toy out of the toy box that he hasn’t seen in a while.
  8. Allow “special” TV time. Hey, I don’t like my kids to watch TV either but sometime you just need to let go!
  9. iPad anyone?
  10. I’ve read that some toddlers like to pretend-nurse their dolls or stuffed animals while mama is nursing baby.
  11. SELFISH, I TOLD YOU: Look at your toddler’s baby book or baby pictures. Or tell stories about when your toddler was a little baby, when he was born. I have done this in other situations but talk to them about them to diverse the situation and abort a tantrums and it has worked well!
  12. If you have the energy, go to toddler groups some mornings. They keep busy and don’t even want to hang out with you!
  13. On a really bad day, don’t be afraid to ask for some H.E.L.P.. A neighbor, your sister-in-law, a friend. The worst that can happen is that people will say no!
Good luck and congrats Vaness!
Marie xxo

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My heart might have burst...

Yesterday was like a little picture extravaganza! I got so emotional, you have no idea.

First, I did an itsy bitsy homemade photo session with my kiddos (because Logan is already one week old & we all know how time can simply fly by, especially when it comes to kids...) This particular picture makes me quite proud... I have to pinch myself because I can't believe that (at almost 27 years old) I'm the mother of 2 and that THESE 2 gorgeous are MY kids!
Then, in the afternoon, I received a message from Audrey, the photographer from the lifestyle family session we did about a month ago. My pictures were ready! I got so excited!!! And I was totally mind-blown when I got to see them! She is one talented woman! It's like she understood exactly what I wanted...everything about these pictures is perfect  & just looking at them makes me so freakin' happy! This below is only part of it...there are so many pictures, I've picked out a few favorites! :)

(if you ever live in the Montreal area & would like a session of your own, you can check out her website & facebook page to get in touch with her.)

Hope you are all having a nice week!
Things are pretty busy over here, but everything is going great! I couldn't be happier! :)

Take care!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Guest blog post #1: Elisabeth from Ruban Cassette

I've talked a lot of my love for social medias around here...
More than once, I told you I've connected with great people with whom I share similar passions & interests! Elisabeth is one of these amazing, talented mommies I've met through Instagram. I immediately fell in love with her blog filled with authentic pictures...She is truly one talented woman! You definitely need to check it out, even if you don't understand French! (because who needs to understand French to look at gorgeous pictures, really?!) ;)

Hello awesome Cutiful’s readers!
I am so happy to be here! Let me introduce myself: I am Elisabeth, the girl behind the blog ruban cassette. I am a happily married amateur photographer and the mother of 6 month old baby Henri. Being a bit of a crafty girl, I love to share diys and bits and pieces of our little life. I try to inspire people (and myself!) to live a more simple, ecological, handmade and less cluttered life. I feel like beauty is everywhere, especially in all those small details that constitute life. But hey, enough about me!
As you may already know, Vanessa is having a second baby (congrats!) so I am more than pleased to jump in with this little guest blog post. I’ve decided to share with you some of our favorite baby books, because we do love books around here!
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Our mothers introduced us at a really young age to the pleasure you get from reading and looking through books. A few months ago, we started to read a lot of books to Henri. We try to read a couple of stories in the morning and a couple more before bedtime every day. H listens carefully and looks at the pictures with a lot of attention (and then goes back and forth between looking at us reading and looking at the book. It is so cute). It is such a precious moment. We feel so lucky to share with you some of our favorite baby books. Thanks again, Vanessa!
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A Book of Sleep.
A Book of Sleep.
A Book of Sleep.
A Book of Sleep.
1. A book of sleep by Il Sung Na. The story behind a book of sleep is really simple but so good and cute: an owl explains how other animals sleep at night. Big cardboard pages, one or two sentences per page and really pretty drawings. It is the perfect recipe! H is always really interested when we read this book. Something fun is that the author also created an app of his book! You can download it on you iPad or iPhone and show it to your kid if you’re out and don’t have the book with you. I thought I’d share here the video to show you how pretty the book is. I love the app but there is nothing like holding the book in my hands while reading and watching Henri trying to grab the images in the book.                 
2. Another favorite of ours is the Dr. Seuss's beginner book collection that Henri's auntie Dom gave him. Dr. Seuss books are classics (The cat in the hat was written in 1957!), I know, but having grown up in a french speaking background, they were new to me. What a great discovery! This collection includes The Cat in the Hat, One fish two fish red fish blue fish, Hop on Pop, Green eggs and ham and Fox in Socks. These books are a bit long for Henri's age, but I really enjoy reading him some parts. These books were written to motivate kids to read and to have fun doing so. They are full of rhythm and tongue twisters and the stories are super creative and kind of crazy!
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3. Harlem's little blackbird, by René Watson. this book is unbelievably great. Not only the book itself is beautiful, but the story is heart warming and positive despite a very negative and heavy subject: racism. A true story, about an unknown (or lesser known) individual (Florence Mills) who was positively impactful. Born to former-slave parents, Florence loved to sing. She had a sweet, bird-like voice and she sang and dance on the stages of broadway in the 1920s, where she inspired songs and plays. This is the kind of book that i want my boy to be surrounded with as he gets older. Beautiful, strong and inspiring.
 4. Over and under the snow, by Kate Messner. Wow! This book is all about the secret kingdom under the snow. A little girl goes cross country skiing with her dad where her father talks to her about all the life and beauty that lives under the snow. I live in Quebec city and we get A LOT of snow during winter. I think this book, as H grows older, will inspire him to love snow as much as his dad does!
I cannot wait to sign up H to our local library! I think it's good to have a couple of great books at home, but also to go regularly to the public library. Not only because it is economical and a great way to reduce our consumption, but it is also good that kids get to chose their own books, share with other kiddos and learn to take care of something that is shared and that belongs to the community. 

And you? What about your favorite books and your book ritual?
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

We were 3...and then we became 4!

It all started on Tuesday night, around 9 pm...
My water broke, 2 weeks before my due date, exactly like when I was pregnant with Livia!

Logan is born on Wednesday August 14 at 1:11am and we couldn't be happier!
We came back home Friday afternoon, about 36 hours after delivery & so far, everything is going just great!

So I wanted to share a few pics with you guys to introduce you to our new family member AND I wanted to let you i know that, starting tomorrow, I'll be having some guest blog posts, courtesy of blogger friends who gladly agreed to help me out with the blog for the next few weeks! These guest blog posts will be posted each Sunday, so keep an eye out! ;)

Fresh out of the oven! About 2 hours old!
Little bundle of joy!
Them...what more can I say! My heart might have exploded at this very moment
Heading home!
Our 1st mother & son selfie
Father & son
 (These are pictures I've shared on Instagram over the last 3 days!)

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the 1st guest blog post! :)
Have a nice weekend!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DIY Nursing scarf

When I had Livia, I used a nursing cover from Bebe au lait, which turned out to be pretty useful. But since it's all pink & flowery... I decided to try something new with Logan. I came across these nursing infinity scarves on Pinterest & on Etsy and thought the idea was pure genius! A fashion accessory that doubles as a nursing cover whenever needed... How cool is that?!?!

This model from Stella Bellas Designs can be found on Etsy

So here's a quick DIY post if you'd like to make yourself a nursing scarf... just did mine this morning, it was pretty quick & easy! ;)

First of all, you'll need:
  • Cotton jersey fabric ( 1 or 2 colors, solid or printed, as you please!)
      If  you'd like to customize your scarf by printing your own fabric, you'll also need:
  • Stamp or stencil (ready-made or handmade like mine)
  • Fabric paint ( I used Pébéo Setacolor paint)
 Then you'll have  to cut yourself 2 rectangles of jersey fabric, following below measurements:

If you are printing your own fabric, now's the time to do it. I randomly stamped some arrows here & there on my navy jersey using white fabric paint & my handmade (carved rubber) stamp. Setacolor paint is easy to use, the thickness of the paint is just perfect. Once the paint is dry, all you have to do is fix the color using an iron. Colors will then be resistant to washing! :)

 Once your 2 rectangles of fabric are ready, simply assemble them (right face of both fabrics facing each other) using an overlock machine. I assembled the longer sides first (60 in), then I was able to turn my scarf inside out, fold it in half and assemble the shorter sides last. That's it! Easy peasy, right?

So here's the result!!!

 OK, please bear with me...the lighting in my powder room is REALLY bad & yellowish... and I have absolutely no talent what-soever when it comes to taking pictures of myself... but I thought you ought to see what it looked like when worn...not only folded on my kitchen table! ;)

Of course, right now, there wouldn't be enough space under this cover for my belly AND a baby...but once the belly will be empty, the measurements should be just fine! ;)

If any of you decide to give it a try, keep me posted! I'd love to see some pictures of your creations! ;)

Have a lovely day!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Vanessa Moore Baby... finally available on Etsy!

A few months ago, I bought this cute outfit for my baby boy!

Can't wait to see Logan rockin' this outfit!
I was just so thrilled when I learned that Vanessa Moore (guess I can now call her one of my "online" friends! ;) ) was launching a clothing line specifically designed for the little ones! I've had the chance to go to their launch to buy some stuff (even bought this fun black & white geo patterned leggings for Livia to wear this Fall!) but guess what?!?! Vanessa Moore Baby is now available on Etsy through their brand new shop called "Le Bijou"! Yay!

Here's a sneak peek of their photoshoot (found on their blog)

What's not to love? Seriously? Happy shopping! ;)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Family day at the farm

Yesterday, we enjoyed the nice weather & took Livia to the farm! This little expedition of ours might be our last as a family of three, so I took A LOT of pictures to remember this nice day we had together! And of course, I thought it would be fun to share some with you guys! ;)

We went to Ferme Guyon, a charming place located in Chambly, on the South Shore (I highly recommend this place to anyone living in the Montreal/ South Shore area!) They have a huge garden center with many green houses, a farmer's market filled with local produces...but mostly, we were there for the educational farm & the butterfly house! Livia had so much fun! And us too of course!

Part of the site with the educational farm at the back
Part of the farm
Livia & her baby bunny friend!
Soft little ball of fur
Talking with the pig..."Oink oink"
This white goat was a real glutton!
Feeding the baby goat might have been one of her favorite!
The outdoor's installations
This is the ONLY butterfly Livia didn't mind having on her arm...tiny butterfly!
Our family picture of the day! Us 4 & the pretty butterfly!

Funny thing is, Livia didn't mind petting a huge cow with eyeballs the size of her head...but she was a bit tense when big butterflies were flying too close! Haha! Go figure out!

Here's a little video (the sound is really bad, sorry about that...Iphone issues!) to give you a better idea of what the butterfly house looks like...and where you can see my sneaky girl opening doors she's not supposed too! Little rascal! ;)

Butterfly house from Vanessa Giguere on Vimeo.
Have a nice day!

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