Browsing archives for 'Baby Love'

The Best Christmas Gift I Gave Clara This Year

27 December 2015 | 0 Comments


Clara, age 4.5, received a few great Christmas presents this year. But the one I was most excited about is Buck, her Toymail toy. Buck looks like a cartoon deer crossed with a mailbox, and she connects to WiFi and “delivers mail” (aka voice messages) to Clara from family members who have the Toymail app installed on their phones (and are approved by me, of course… no strangers can send Clara messages).

Buck only has two buttons – one to receive messages, and one to reply to messages, so she’s really easy to use. I installed the free Toymail app on my phone, Ian’s phone, my Dad’s phone, and my sister’s phone. Everyone loves sending Clara messages. Buck checks for messages throughout the day, and makes a sound when she has a message. Clara can respond by pressing a button to record a reply message, and it’s sent out for her. She loves sending messages to her family.

Toymail was made by two female entrepreneurs who wanted to create cool technology for kids that doesn’t put them in front of another screen. This family totally approves!

(I got Buck at the AGO store where I get a discount by being a gallery member, but you can get one on the Toymail website or Amazon if you want). 

Clara’s First Day of Kindergarten

8 September 2015 | 0 Comments


Big day today!

Clara’s First Camping Trip

15 June 2015 | 0 Comments







Before Clara was born, Ian and I went camping a few times each summer. We really missed it, and now that Clara is 4 years old, we figured it was time to go as a family.  So this past Friday, we packed our car to the max and headed for Pinery Provincial Park for a couple nights under the stars (or more accurately, a couple nights on an air mattress inside a huge tent – don’t judge).

Despite nasty weather (overcast and cold), Clara LOVED camping. Playing in the tent, cooking outside, building a campfire… even filling a bucket from the water tap was fascinating to her. She is a city kid after all, so camping was quite the novelty! Of course it wouldn’t be a camping trip without s’mores, which Clara called “outside sandwiches”. I told her it was like a sandwich with a special cookie cracker, marshmallow and chocolate, and you eat it outside… so “outside sandwich” it was!

Pinery is a gorgeous park with lots of hiking and biking trails, and beautiful beaches (including fresh water sand dunes that reminded me of the East Coast). It’s too bad that the weather was so gross. Overall, we think the weekend was a success, and can’t wait to go camping again in July.

I’m Jealous Of My Daughter’s Play Tent

28 January 2015 | 0 Comments


We picked up this tent from Ikea for Clara’s room, and she adores it. She puts her stuffed animals in with her, pulls the flaps shut, and reads books (often out loud which is hilarious and adorable). Did you have a tent or a special spot as a kid? I had a treehouse, which was just the best. Even as an adult, I’m kind of jealous of Clara’s special place.

Four Years of Santa Photos

9 December 2014 | 0 Comments


Earlier tonight, we took Clara to have her annual photo with Santa. Every year, a wonderful coffee shop in our neighbourhood, Tango Palace, hosts an evening for the neighbourhood. They have a great Santa and encourage you to bring your own camera for photos. They give out candy canes and hot chocolate, and it has a wonderful neighbourhood feel (instead of the expensive and synthetic-feeling mall scene).

I realized this is our fourth year (!!!) with the same Santa, and thought it would be fun to put the pictures next to each other, to compare. Note the photo from last year, when she was so upset by Santa, I had to sit next to her or she wouldn’t allow any photo at all!

I love that Clara is giving Santa the exact same look this year as she did when she was 9 months old.  Side-by-side evidence is below. What a little boss. Thank you Tango Palace – we love being in Leslieville with you.


A Mother’s Day Card from a 3-Year-Old

9 May 2014 | 1 Comment


3-year-old Clara came home from preschool with this gem today, tucked inside her Mother’s Day card for me. I think “drink some juice” is a euphemism for wine. I also like that I’m apparently 5 years old.

Happy Mother’s Day!

PS – My blog post from my first Mother’s Day, when Clara was an infant.

The Cutest Thing You’ll See Today

5 December 2013 | 2 Comments

Clara, 2.5 years old, singing Santa Claus is Coming To Town. Don’t tell me that’s not the cutest thing you’ve seen all day.  (Okay, I know I’m a bit biased on this one).

Beloved Teddy Bears, Stuffed Animals, and… Guy

6 November 2013 | 4 Comments


I smiled when I saw this post on Twisted Sifter, about photographer Mark Nixon’s new photo book of children’s teddy bears, “loved to bits” by their owners.

It made me think of Clara’s beloved lovey/transitional object/security blanket, aka “Guy”.  Seriously, that’s what we call it in our house (for the longest time, it didn’t have a name, so I started calling it “her guy” and the name stuck). Guy is a green elephant security blanket that we deliberately picked for her when she was 6 months old (after reading The No Cry Sleep Solution, which encourages loveys as as sleep aid). Now Clara won’t go far without Guy – he is a must for sleeping and travelling. She doesn’t need to have him around while she plays, but whenever she gets sleepy or feels a little needy, out comes Guy.  I feel like he’s a part of our family!

Photos above of Clara with Guy, from 6 months (top left) to just last week, at Halloween (cat costume). Yep, Guy even went tobogganing last winter!

Posting Kid Photos Online (Means Your Parenting Sucks?)

6 September 2013 | 0 Comments


I wrote another piece for Bunch, this time about posting photos of your kids on Facebook.  Enjoy!

PS – the last piece I wrote for Bunch.

Awesome Toddler Travel Bed Solution

17 July 2013 | 0 Comments


We travel a fair bit with our daughter Clara, and she does lots of sleepovers away from home.  Up until she was 2 years old, we swore by the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib – we took it everywhere.  Grandparents’ houses, friends’ houses, on the plane to NYC, on the plane to Florida… it was THE BEST.

But then Clara outgrew it.  And we were a bit baffled as to what to do next… she’s still too small to sleep in a big bed all on her own, but she’s too tall for her travel crib.  Solution – The Shrunks!  Silly name, I know, but they’re an amazing company that makes inflatable toddler beds and inflatable bed bolster/ bed rails.  After much hemming and hawing about which one to get, we decided to get two inflatable bolsters, instead of the full inflatable bed.  That way, we can put them on any bed (think: hotel room, guest bedroom, etc). We might even start using them at home.

Also, the bed bolster/ bed rails are small and easy to pack.  If we’re going somewhere that doesn’t have a bed that we can use, we bring a normal air mattress, and put The Shrunks bed bolsters / rails on that.  The picture above left is of Clara, totally passed out, sleeping on a normal blow up bed with the bed bolsters on either side.  When you put a fitted sheet over the whole thing, they don’t move. Clara is so cozy – she loves it!  (that’s not Clara in the picture at the right – that’s a promo image from The Shrunks website, to show how the bed bolsters work)

We bought two bed bolster/bed rails from Snugglebugz online, and got free shipping.  Done and done.  Note: the packaging looks like there are two in the box, but there’s only one.  So if you want two, get two boxes.