making gift-giving easy with the toy academy

*This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Toy Academy program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Before Luca was born, I bought him a handful of wooden, neutral toys (you know how I love my muted colours!), as well as a few teething items. I tended to steer clear of colourful plastic toys, but I soon learned that this little boy would have strong opinions about what he liked to play with, and how could I deny him a world of colour? And I know it is all too easy to go overboard with toys for our favourite little people, so it’s important to me that the few that I do select be ones that I know he will enjoy.

I know I have already started thinking about gift-giving. This holiday season I have partnered with Walmart to tell you about the Toy Academy, a new program to help make it easy and fun for parents and loved ones to find the perfect toy for children, at various price points. Simply click on a category such as “Top Toys 2017” or “Top Toys Under $20,” and you can order online or check stock of your local store. These are toys that have been proven to be beloved by children: in fact, when we visited drop-in play centers, he would make a beeline for this zebra (the Fisher-Price Learn with Me Zebra Walker), which is in the Toy Academy as a top toy in his age range, as soon as he was mobile. I loved watching him start to toddle while pushing it, and he could spend long periods of time playing with the buttons and levers on the front. It sings little songs, and it also has two volume levels, which I personally love (the lower level is not super loud!).

Another one that we picked up from the Toy Academy list was the Playskool Friends Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo. I remember when this was the hottest toy a few years ago, selling out at rapid speeds, but I had never seen one myself. Luca has had some exposure to Sesame Street, which was one of my favourite television shows when I was a kid, and he LOVES Elmo. I find myself singing the Elmo’s World theme song and it makes him dance. We’ve also picked up a few Elmo books along the way after I showed him the cover of one and he laughed hysterically for about a minute. I was so excited to show him this Elmo toy, but sadly, he seems to be a little wary of it! He doesn’t seem to like the way it shakes. But we turned it off and it’s perfect for a cuddle (or for pretending to take photos, as he is doing above!).

Maybe one day they’ll be better friends!


what i've learned: year one of motherhood

I continue to marvel at the fact that every single member of our species has been born and brought to independence by so arduous a route. 
-Rachel Cusk, A Life’s Work (I love this book)

A friend who is due to have her first baby in October recently asked her friends about personal experiences with labour and those first few months after having a baby. At first I hesitated, thinking, I am no expert. I only have one, and I have only been at this for slightly over a year. As I thought about it, though, I realized that I have learned so much. Mostly I learned that you will never quite understand the things people tell you will happen until you’re in the thick of it yourself. All those things you never quite believed would or could happen to you: they will happen. We took a class and I read all the books, and I was prepared for sleep deprivation, cluster feeding, and how to heal, but so much was trial by fire, I suppose. I spent a whole year asking “How do people manage more than one?” Here are a few key things that I have learned; this is all old news to experienced parents, but everything here took me by surprise. Also, that thing about it being the deepest love you will ever know? That is true.

They do sleep! Also, we love our Maxi Cosi Jool convertible seat! It’s a comfortable ride for him and I love how I can throw the cover in the washing machine. (This is the Sparkling Grey model to match the infant seat we had—oh boy, tiny Luca).

1. Fear is powerful.
Luca was about ten days overdue when we went in for an induction. I didn’t have any expectations for labour and delivery. I thought I would go along with whatever happened, although I was aiming for the so-called “natural” birth everyone holds up as the ultimate experience. I read the books by Ina May Gaskin, I did visualizations, I wrote in journals, I practiced the yogic breathing, and I didn’t get this experience. I was induced using four different methods and after all of it, I was no further ahead than I had been the week before. A few other complications along the way, and I ended up having a c-section. I was 100% okay with it. That said, looking back, I think that my fear of losing the baby was a powerful force in leading me to have this birth. I didn’t regret it in any way, and the c-section was fine and I recovered quickly, but afterwards I did want to burn the Gaskin books, and felt crushed every time I encountered the term “natural birth.” The weeks that followed were an even more fearful time for me. I didn’t feel confident in my new role because I hadn’t known that much about babies, and wasn’t I supposed to be wearing a swimsuit on a beach at 6 weeks postpartum, holding a baby above my head and laughing like everyone (everyone!) on Instagram? Why was the Explore page always showing me tanned blonde beautiful women in Australia nursing three week old babies while wearing bikinis? The postpartum period was deeply dark and terrifying for me, but luckily I had access to some helpful resources (not everyone does, and this is a terrible fact). The fear eventually subsided when I became more confident. But I wish autocorrect didn’t change “basket” (as in Moses basket) to “casket” and “grace” to “grave” (a pretty good way to make a new mother weep).

2. Oh, so that’s why people are obsessed with napping schedules and baby sleep.
Before I had a baby, I honestly thought babies slept all day. Well, some of them might. Mine did not. Nap time is the only time during the day that a caregiver has to unwind, to clean, check email, to pick things off a to-do list, maybe eat some lunch while sitting down, to take a breath. But when you have a cat-napper as I did/do, you can do your best to try to cram everything into a 30 minute slot (or even 5 minutes sometimes?), but there isn’t much that can be done in that short a time. I tried not to get too wound up, tried to convince myself those things could wait, and just went with the flow, but there were many days where I spent all of his naps sobbing because I was overwhelmed and tired, and I had work to do. When baby is awake, you spend every moment meeting that baby’s essential demands: feeding, changing, reading books, playing, keeping the baby safe, etc. Maybe that sounds like fun? But it’s exhausting, especially when they get mobile and you literally have to follow them everywhere. Some babies are happy to chill out in a swing while you do dishes or make dinner, or to sleep on you while you get your hair cut at a salon. I did not have one of those babies! We ended up going out for a lot of walks, which was actually really nice, and sometimes on those walks he would sleep for longer periods of time. Sometimes once he was asleep all I had the energy to do was stare off into space, which made me feel so guilty for not being productive. It all wreaks havoc on you.

3. Babies will fundamentally alter your relationship with your partner.
Whenever people I know have babies and immediately gush on social media about their partners, I despair a little bit. In a few months, in the fog of exhaustion, with your nerves completely frayed at the sound of a baby crying inconsolably, you will snap at each other. You will bicker more than you ever have. You can have the most supportive and helpful partner in the world (and I do!), but when you can’t take your frustrations out on a tiny, helpless baby, and you’re so sad that you can’t seem to help, you will look to the closest human and unleash. Maybe this doesn’t happen for everyone but it certainly has been the case for nearly every new parent I have confided in. People don’t talk about this openly because maybe it’s embarrassing, or because it portrays a less than perfect image. I had always been so proud of the fact that we had great communication and didn’t fight, so maybe this made it harder to accept. But I can’t think of something more human than a full range of emotion shared across a partnership. Also, much of this is because...

4. Your self-esteem will most likely take the most enormous nose dive it ever has.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who felt amazing during pregnancy, but it seems that often, around the time that the baby is six months old, women start to feel awful about themselves (this article states that self-esteem is lowered for THREE YEARS). This has definitely been the case for me. I still have a hard time looking in the mirror. I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy (I did run a 5K in the early days, but couldn’t keep up with exercise), my chest has never been so enormous (not a look I like for myself), and I just don’t have time to worry about my appearance. Breast-feeding was not the magical weight loss tool I was told it could be, mostly because on hard days I could devour a box of donuts. I tried going to a yoga class, but I had a four month old baby who wailed the whole time because the class was during naptime, and my wrists were way too sore for many of the poses (that’s another thing that happens! Your wrists get really messed up). I’ve never felt like a great beauty, but it really isn’t pleasant to feel that you would prefer to be invisible. I see women on social media who look amazing post-baby but I wouldn’t be surprised if even the most perfect-looking women still feel a little badly about themselves. When I started back at work I felt extra vulnerable because I didn’t have a stroller to hide behind. Never mind catching glimpses of my tired face in the reflection of the windows on the subway. Oh and then you feel guilty for being vain. We can’t win.

5. Those post-partum hormones are no joke.
When I brought the baby home, I found myself being very careful never to complain about any of the difficult parts. After all, it was something I had wanted so badly, had dreamed of and wished for, and I used to feel upset when new parents would complain about lack of sleep, etc. I thought, you don’t know how lucky you are. Once I had the baby, I felt guilty because I had a baby when so many people I knew were struggling (let me just pause that for a second: I felt guilty for having a baby, even though it had not been easy for me at all). I tried to be so careful because I knew other people were hurting. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, and I didn’t want anything to be less than perfect (the idea of perfection is an obsession, it would seem). I didn’t let myself release any of the difficult feelings I was grappling with, and ended up needing treatment.

6. Everyone is different. Everyone is different. Everyone is different. 
What’s that joke about how I was the perfect parent before I had kids? Yeah. Once you have a kid you realize how little other people’s choices matter because they don’t affect you at all, and most of the things people judge others over have nothing to do with imminent danger (it’s almost always something trifling). Also (and this is something I have to keep reminding myself about still), some people can make it look super easy, and some people are just graceful and elegant no matter what. They have babies that sleep all day, they are able to get out of the house every single day for some alone time, they get together with their friends and bring their chill babies who just sit there and look around, they have a few kids and they always look impeccable. But again, this doesn’t mean anything. Maybe that is merely the image they’re sending out into the world. Maybe they have a lot of help. Maybe they don’t have post-partum depression. Or maybe they do! None of us has any idea what happens behind the seemingly-perfect scene. I did my best at all times, and if that meant that I was too nervous to nurse my baby in public, fine. If that meant that I didn’t take him on a plane, fine. But again, I do have to keep reminding myself of these things because seeing what other people are capable of with newborns or even older babies STILL makes me feel awful. I should have done better, etc.! But survival mode is very real, and I truly did my best.

7. Your baby may end up being your little barnacle.
To this day I still don’t know how to find a babysitter. I didn’t realize just how hard it would be to be apart from the baby as a nursing mother (pumping never worked for me). When Luca was just five days old, I had to go to the emergency room. It really struck me then that I couldn’t go anywhere without him, since he was nursing every few hours and I had no idea how long I would be there. I was so scared to take him to the hospital with me, with all its germs. Luckily the nurses found a small room with a bed for me, and he was so tiny he curled up on my chest and slept there the whole time. I was lucky in that I could take advantage of the one year of maternity leave Canada provides, so I didn’t have to pump at work, but I did have to take him everywhere I went for a long time. I was okay with this, but it meant that I didn’t get any alone time for quite a while. I could occasionally leave him with Geoff for an hour or so, but I didn’t do this very often because I actually didn’t love being away from him, and if I got a text that the baby was fussing I would head back. It was a learning process for all of us, and this part certainly got easier with time.

8. In the absence of a village, having a core group of friends you can text or email for advice is invaluable.
If you find a friend who can text you through baby’s first fever, hold that friend tight (thanks, Lauren).

9. You may lose yourself, even momentarily.
This was another one that I truly didn’t understand until I was there. I didn’t even really know what it meant. People give parents such a hard time for posting photos of their babies; I lost literally thousands of followers on Instagram once I had a baby, which really hurt (I know I shouldn’t take it personally, but how could I not? I also found myself having conflicting feelings about posting his photo at all, but that is a whole other discussion). The truth of it is that we don’t have TIME for anything else. It was a year of the me & Luca show. Some women are able to balance a lot of things at once and they can continue indulging in their hobbies and whatever they’re interested in. Doing this when children are young requires a lot of help, often hired. Not everyone has this option. Some people do make it a priority to have time to themselves, even while being the baby’s main caregiver, and they are really good at this. I never really was. I’m slowly making my way back now that he’s a little older and slightly more independent, and picking up little enjoyable projects (knitting, sewing, reading, etc) goes a long way.

10. A year goes by in the blink of an eye.
All of this said, I cannot believe how quickly it went by. I remember having moments where I thought “please let me never forget this, this moment right now,” but sadly I don’t remember what it was that I was trying so hard to remember. If I didn’t have an archive of baby photos on my phone I would forget what it was like to have a baby with the tiniest hands and feet I had ever held. These moments are so fleeting but they are the greatest things in the world.

Oh and also: 11. If you take the batteries out of noisy toys, they might never know they’re supposed to make noise.


mayana geneviere

For National Breastfeeding Week, I wanted to tell you about my favourite nursing bras (and currently my favourite all-around bras!). They’re by a local company, Mayana Genevière, and what makes them special is the patented ALUXTRA™ Clasp-Free Technology that allows for the cups to be pulled down without getting stretched out. No clips, no bulky cups, no wires, and they even fit me (at my last professional measuring I was a size H, cripes). You can slide the decorative indicator to the left or right as a reminder of where you left off. They are made of the softest, finest lace, and you don’t have to be nursing to appreciate them. I haven’t felt glamorous in a long time but these bras certainly go a long way towards making me feel a little fancier under my clothes.

I visited Mayana Genevière’s owner and founder, Nadine Woods, at her studio in the Junction a few months back and it was such a wonderful visit. Luca was a little cranky that day and she was so lovely with him. The seamstresses even took turns carrying him so we could chat!

Mayana Genevière lingerie is available online and at select specialist stockists.



a sparkling cherry beach morning

Last weekend my little fam had a photoshoot with one of our favourite local photographers, Arden Wray (you may remember the Boots & Pine project she started five years ago!). I’ve been feeling a bit tender about having my photo taken lately, and I was nervous, but I knew that if the only photos I had with Luca were selfies, I would regret it. Luckily Arden is the sort of photographer that I trust implicitly: she knows how to take a flattering photo, and she won’t even show me photos that she knows I won’t like and that will make my self-esteem take a hit. She’s magical (she even turned these photos around in one day).

We also had the privilege of borrowing the Long Weekend’s VW bus for the shoot, the sweetest little restored pale blue bus in town. We went down to Cherry Beach and it turned out to be the most beautiful morning. I am thrilled with these photos!

I didn’t bother doing much with my messy hair or my makeup to keep it as natural as possible, but I wore my new Mildred Handmade dress for the occasion. I love this dress. Speaking of women that I trust implicitly: I went to Laine’s studio and tried on a few of her samples, and we settled on a few different elements from different pieces which she then made into something just for me. I also ended up with this sand-coloured linen, which was unexpected but which felt right. It’s not visible in these photos because of my hair or because of the baby, but she made it nursing-friendly with a line of buttons at the neck. I haven’t treated myself to any new clothes in a long time, so this felt really good. If I only had linen tunics and dresses in my closet, I would be pretty happy. They are great uniform pieces.


my updated baby essentials (and not-so-essentials)

This post is sponsored by PlaytexBaby, as I explained in my post announcing the #PlaytexMoms partnership!

Back in November, I wrote about my baby essentials, and I am happy to say that most of it still holds true! We still adore our stroller, our carriers, and I have the white noise machine whirring away at this very moment. Now that Luca is nearly 10 months old, though (how!?), we’ve outgrown a few things. We no longer use the Solly Baby wrap or gripe water, for example, and Luca is more interested in board books than cloth books, but we’ve also added a few things. I thought I’d update the list. I’ve also decided to write about a few things that I personally found totally useless, because I am the queen of going overboard and I learned my lesson(s).

Skip Hop DUO Convertible High Chair: We love this high chair! It’s stylish and modern and actually matches our dining room chairs pretty nicely. It’s not too large, and it’s also not too complicated to use. Best of all, it converts into a toddler chair for later use! I love baby items that have a long life span because those are quite rare. I thought high chairs were just for mealtimes but it’s a great place to put the baby while you make your morning coffee, or make dinner. Luca likes to sit in his and play with toys or eat some snacks. This chair is so easy to keep clean.

Baggu Nylon Bags: These are perfect to use as wet bags! A good way to bring home wet or damp things without messing up everything else in your bag. Plus, so cute.

Playtex® Diaper Genie® Elite: A classic for a reason! We had an (expensive, I should say) enamel can when Luca was first born and even though those early exclusively breastfed poops (sorry, can’t talk about diaper disposal without bringing up poop) were almost sweet-smelling, sometimes his nursery had a not-so-sweet smell that lingered. Since we got the Diaper Genie®, we haven’t had to worry about odours. These days Luca is crawling and tries to get into everything, but there is no way for him to get into the Diaper Genie® (believe me, he has tried). I love the gentle pastel colours it comes in! It’s also so easy to use and change. Easily available, it can be purchased at Amazon or Walmart.

Bamboobino baby washcloths: A friend gave these to us as a baby shower gift, and they are the best! So soft. I tell friends who are putting their registry together to basically buy 100 soft tiny washcloths. They come in so handy for a variety of messes.

Loulou Lollipop pacifier clips: I bought a few of these and ended up making some as well, but they are so useful! Luca used a pacifier for only a hot minute but these are good for attaching all manner of small toys to your stroller or car seat.

Ikea Kladdig sleeved bib: Whoa, are mealtimes ever a disaster. A smock-like bib is the best kind of bib. These are inexpensive and easy to clean.

Skip Hop Explore & More Activity Center: Okay, I know people refer to these as the “Circle of Neglect,” but it was great when I needed a minute to prep dinner or use the washroom. This one has a lot of wonderful things going for it: it isn’t too huge, it isn’t ugly, and best of all, it turns into a table (once again, I love baby gear that you can use for a few years)! Luca was pretty self-regulating when it came to this piece of equipment and he didn’t want to be in it for more than a few minutes at a time, so I didn’t have to worry that I was neglecting him. The first time I put him in it he went right for the little trees and was so happy. Now he mostly cruises around the sides.

Special mention: books, books, books! I’ve been posting some of my favourite books on Instagram with the hashtag #fieldguidedreads. I don’t know how interested other people are but it’s fun for me!

As to the things I found we didn’t need:

-Fancy swings. We bought one that cost a small fortune and looks like it’s from the future, and it most definitely did not work miracles for us. He rarely fell asleep in it and once he hit about 4 months, he started trying to sit up in it, which was kind of scary! We got the best results from bouncing him in our arms while sitting on a yoga ball. We also probably could have gotten away with one of the inexpensive swings, if we really wanted one. Every baby is different, of course, but I regretted that purchase, especially since I had to buy the infant insert to go with it (silly since it’s only used for infants!).

-SOOOOOOOO MANY SWADDLES. I don’t know, we just didn’t swaddle him that much? We swaddled him when he was overtired in the first few months, and some babies really need to be swaddled, but I had been lead to believe that we needed so many swaddling blankets and we could have gotten away with owning maybe two swaddling blankets.

-Teething toys! Luca just isn’t much of a chewer. I have purchased so many cute things that he can chew on (a marbled heart, a wooden moon, frozen teethers, teething pads for the carriers, etc.), and he really only chews on his fingers, if anything at all. This one really surprised me, I thought it was mandatory to own a Sophie la Giraffe! Maybe it will change but he’s cutting his top teeth now and still no chewing. So maybe hold off on buying every cute teething toy until you know how much your baby likes to chew.

-Adorable and tiny baby sunglasses! He pretty much laughs at me when I try to put them on him and he pulls them off in an instant. Serves me right!


sleep in heavenly peace: the dock-a-tot

I have mentioned this on Instagram (over and over, it seems), but the world of baby sleep and baby naps is one that threw me for a loop. I somehow, naively, thought babies slept all day long, with adorable breaks for playing and eating. I suppose some do, but mine sure does not. Sometimes he’ll nap for 30 minutes and wake up laughing and ready to party. I try not to worry about it, since he’s been meeting his milestones and isn’t a particularly cranky baby, but it means I get so little downtime that I am usually feeling pretty rough. I fully expected to be sleep deprived, but I thought I would have time for some tidying and reading. Nope! I also thought he would go from the bassinet next to our bed to the crib, no problem. Nope!

I’ve seen people singing the praises of the Dock-A-Tot, an award-winning baby sleep pod, made of breathable materials. Even though we were co-sleeping, I didn’t get the smaller size, the Deluxe, for Luca when he was born. I hemmed and hawed about it and didn’t make up my mind in time. Now we have the Grand, which is for use from 9 months to the toddler years, and it has been wonderful! It has many uses: it can be used for lounging, playing, and changing (which is great when they get too squirmy for the changing table). I specifically like it for naps, when and if they happen, because I can put it on the floor and he has a safe place to snooze. I can carry it from room to room easily, and I can travel with it. I know that a lot of people like starting off with the Deluxe because the cushioning makes small babies feel secure so that they sleep better (and as Diana says, it can be great for tummy time), but I think even older babies like Luca enjoy the snugness. Sometimes I put it on the bed since we have blackout curtains in our bedroom, and with my eye on the monitor at all times, he gets a nice long snooze. It looks so cozy that I want one.

This cover is the Mrs Mighetto Night Night cover (we also have the Silver Lining cover). It is so sweet!

Of course, it’s always important to read the safety guidelines of any baby product, and especially of baby sleep products. Find that information here. Click here for $10 off your own dock.


learning alongside baby #forbetterbeginnings

This post is sponsored by PlaytexBaby, as I explained in my post announcing the #PlaytexMoms partnership!

No spills!

There are so many things that I didn’t know about babies, and things books don’t tell you. It’s been an ongoing learning process. For example, when Luca was ready to start solids, I myself was not ready. It had taken so long to adjust from having all the freedom in the world to having an exclusively breastfed baby who had to go everywhere I went and to be fed whenever he wanted, which was often. He didn’t understand that I was having lunch in a diner or driving on the highway. I had finally gotten used to this (yes, it took six months, but six months go by pretty quickly), and now I had to prepare and feed him fruits and vegetables and cereals, and I had to start thinking about giving him water. I had a vague notion that sippy cups existed, but I thought they were for toddlers. You see, I went into this baby game wholly unprepared. Suddenly I had a baby who was eating solids and grabbing glasses out of our hands and putting them to his mouth. It seemed to happen so fast, but it was time for a sippy cup. It was almost past due!

As I do with almost everything, I read up on sippy cups, and learned that babies need to try out a few different types before finding the ones they like. Luckily, we seem to have struck gold with the Playtex® Sipsters® as he took to them right away. We started with the Stage 1 training cups, but have now moved on to Stage 2, although sometimes we mix it up. Sometimes I leave the handles on, and sometimes he holds the cup in his tiny hands. Sometimes I give him a straw cup, sometimes I give him a spout cup. He’s still learning, and it’s fun to watch.

These cups are highly durable, BPA free, and we have yet to have had any leaks! I threw a couple of full cups into a tote when we went on a trip to the art gallery the other day and the spill-proof spout worked a charm. The cups have rubber inserts to prevent leakage, so they’re great on the go! And while I personally like more muted colours, Luca seems to be really drawn to these bright blues and greens (he is forever lunging at green bottles of carbonated water).

Playtex® Sipsters® are widely available through Amazon, and at Toys R Us and Walmart.


highchair hangouts after party at the drake general store

Every Tuesday throughout March and April, the Drake General Store flagship location (1151 Queen Street West) will be holding an “after party” for their Highchair Hangouts, and next Tuesday, March 14th, I’ll be hosting! This event will be from 1 to 3pm and will involve 30% off kids and baby apparel, plus treats for you and the little ones. There are lots of new arrivals from their in-house brands, which we love (check out the blanket above and the little Mountie-print sweater! So cute), as well as Levis, Sways, Fort Kids, and more.

The Highchair Hangouts event on that day sounds really fun too: baby photoshoots! Maybe I’ll see you there?

Photos by Louisa Nicolaou.


goodbye, oreo

Since our cat Oreo was such a big part of my blog when I was updating it more regularly, I felt as though I should write something in honour of her. If you follow me on social media you will know that she passed away on Monday. She was really quite ill, although her illness came on quickly. We had a mobile vet come over and it was all very peaceful and respectful, with the (amazing) vet saying a little prayer as she injected the euthanizing agent. Oreo hadn’t been herself in a while, and she was about 14 or 15, so I thought it would be easier to say goodbye. It’s been wretched. She was a part of my life and Geoff’s life for 12 years, and there through so many of the most significant events of my life: moving in with one of my best friends, Annie, into the cutest and shabbiest apartment in the Annex; moving in with Geoff for the first time; getting married; having Luca. In the end she had lost a lot of weight, had a tumor in her mouth, and she was blind. Continued treatment might have bought her some time, but her quality of life would have suffered. Forever the food lover, she still managed to have a good-sized meal before she went.

Annie adopted Oreo from the Toronto Humane Society in 2004. Oreo had been there for almost two months, looked over. I found the document Annie was given that was filled out by her original owners; she was born in 2001 and was surrendered because they were moving. Oreo moved to new  apartments once with Annie and twice with us. We were originally going to look after Oreo as Annie got settled in New York City, but she became our cat.

Before I met Oreo, I thought of myself as a dog person. She was my little shadow, following me from room to room. She was quiet in her affections, but always a comfort to have around in difficult times. When I was hospitalized in 2014, I wanted someone to sneak her in for a visit and morale-boost. I didn’t know how much I would miss her presence. I keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye, I still sleep with my knees bent to accommodate her at the foot of the bed, and I still reach out my foot to see if she’s there. I keep expecting to hear one of her sneezes or funny little sounds that we called trumpets. I still say (like a dork) “We’re going home to kittens!” until I remember that there is only one now. When Luca came home for the first time she kept her distance, but occasionally came over to lie next to him. I worried about this, but it was always fine. I wanted him to know her as he got older. I got her paw prints in the mail yesterday, sent by the vet, and while it was the most thoughtful gesture, I definitely sobbed when I saw them. She and Pony were never friends, but Pony has stepped up the leg-rub game.

I am a little rusty in the meditation department but I have tried a golden cord meditation to try to tell her how sorry I am. Goodbye, original dream cat. I love you.


this is my happy: the happy baby carrier

I recently said that while Geoff has his thing that he spends money on (plants), I have mine, and that thing is baby carriers. I never thought I would get... addicted (?) to them, but I kind of am! I have already written about how I find them absolutely essential in the city (or otherwise!), but I also love having different styles on hand to suit my mood, or the situation.

Shortly around the holidays, Happy Baby released their linen soft structured carriers, and it was love at first sight for me. I was able to take advantage of an amazing Black Friday deal to try out the carrier in Charcoal, although I later couldn’t resist the carrier in Flax as well (a classic natural neutral). Linen is one of my absolute favourite fabrics ever, so this was very exciting.

What I love about this carrier is that it is so minimal in appearance but also in design; you can carry an infant in it without an insert, and there is a small hood that is tucked away in a pocket at the front. It’s incredibly lightweight, and because it’s made of linen, it will soften up with time. It is really unlike any other carrier I have tried! It can be used from newborn to 45 pounds. Luca is about 17 pounds at the moment and I carried him around the Royal Botanical Gardens for about an hour with no pain (and I am prone to back pain).

I feel like it is definitely one of the more stylish carriers around (when so many of them can look a little... granola), and it comes in so many amazing colours. I don’t need another but I have been admiring that marigold for ages! They’re also handmade in the USA, which is nice, and they have AMAZING customer service.

The images below are from Happy Baby. Ooh I just love that Charcoal!