Posted in Gear, Idle Chatter

seatbelts are not for my kids yet

Not that BKK is the child passenger safety capital of the world by any stretch, but someone passed this link onto me about when a child is big enough to sit in a car with a regular seatbelt only: The 5-Step Test. I really liked it because it uses a lot of photos to show how the vehicle lap and shoulder belts are supposed to sit on a child with and without a booster seat. 

Madeline is only five-and-a-half and a smidge under forty pounds, so the fit of the vehicle belts in our Toyota Fortuner on her small self is abysmal. 

Maybe it's because I've recently been reading Superfreakonomics, but I also wonder why vehicle manufacturers don't make belts suitable and adjustable for occupants the size of children? 

Posted in Gear

made by hand

I'm on the fence about whether it was a good thing or a bad thing that etsy wasn't around when Madeline was a baby. On the plus side, she would have had more really cute stuff, but the minus side is occupied by the negative impact on my wallet.

Sadie's been spoiled by etsy stuff of late. First, I order two pacifier clips from WhimsicalDragonfly as Sadie is quite taken with the Soothies ones that don't appear to be sold in Bangkok. Thus, I live in fear of losing that two that she has somewhere on the crowded and dirty streets. They're fabulous and totally worth the money for my peace of mind. And then, my sister gifted her a pair of terrifically cute slippers from piddies – a pair of lovebird ones like these actually, except that they're teeny-weeny.  Gotta love etsy.

Posted in a-spoiling we will go, Gear, toddler's guide to St. John's

the things you find when you’re lost

This morning, I loaded Madeline up in the car and set out to run two errands – dropping a spare pair of contact lenses off at my husband’s office and then onward to the yarn shop. The first errand was accomplished deftly enough (considering that we drive to this office multiple times a week), but it was our subsequent journey where things went quite wrong. The yarn shop is located in a part of town that I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with, so I was using my TomTom to get there. Only, I must have inadvertently turned the sound off, so I have no idea what kind of directions it was giving me, I kept driving straight for way too long, turned off somewhere, and I suddenly found myself on the highway to the Irish Loop. Ooops. I took the first exit of the highway, and ended up on Topsail Road. Was there anything good on Topsail Road? Why, yes! St. John’s sole baby boutique, coo chi coo. Hadn’t been there before.

Madeline’s not really a baby anymore, but I did think that maybe this place would stock the Mustela shampoo that I’d been recommended for finally banishing her cradle’s cap, so we stepped in.

Lo and behold, they did carry Mustela products. And tons of other nifty things like Zooper strollers, Hotslings, Babylegs, and Bjorn potties, which I had in the past ordered over the internet, and often from the US (hello, duty fees). They carry Snack Traps, an item that I quested after while in Edmonton this past summer. Manhattan Baby toys, which we liked spoiling Madeline with when we were still in Calgary. And other cool things, too. I offered to buy Madeline a Steady Cup, but she turned me down, saying those were for babies (hee hee!). She tried on a few pairs of SKRs, but the Size 9s were an inch too big, and the Size 8s were a squeeze. Boo.

I’m kind of impressed that the types of things are so much more available domestically than they were when Madeline was an infant, and even more impressed that it’s possible to buy a pair of Babylegs without having to leave St. John’s!

Posted in Designated Link Day, Gear, Traveling with Madeline

three cheers

Yesterday, as Madeline and I recovered from our flight across Canada, the FAA issued this news release. Would I have left Madeline’s carseat in St. John’s and bought one of the new child aviation restraints for the flight? In a heartbeat, yes! Toting that little restraint through the airports would be so much less cumbersome, especially for solo-parent travel,  and I would have just picked up an inexpensive carseat for Madeline to use in Edmonton, like the Scenara.  I didn’t notice anything about this new restraint on the Transport Canada website, so I don’t know if this product will be approved for use on domestic flights. Then again, I’m not sure that it has to be. The rules around using any sort of safety restraint for babies and toddlers on planes are rather loose. The CARES device utilizes the regular adult airplane seatbelt, and flight crews just want everyone (except unrestrained projectile lap babies) buckled in, right?

This Friday’s links:

  • the Television & Toddlers post at Partners in Parenting. It’s often easier to get Madeline dressed to take Chris to work if her attention is focused on Arthur, and I will admit that she’s a fan of Poko (but who wouldn’t be?), but I’m always wondering if it’s really really horrible that Madeline sees a bit of television on any given day. I found this post to be thoughtful and it provided more information on the research done on this topic than anything else I’ve read!
  • Picture This appears in my Friday links for the second time. The image accompanying the post On Overload just makes me laugh out loud!
Posted in Gear

Searching for TPB

I don’t know when the acronym LBD came into our collective consciousness, probably because I’m not the type of person to make it a point to own a perfect little black dress. The perfect bag (TPB) on the other hand, well, I’ve been re-inventing what I consider one of those to be for awhile.

When Madeline was first born, I had two Land’s End bags (the Do-It-All and the Little Tripper). The big bag was perfect for carrying on airplanes and packing for road trips. The small bag was about the same size as the bag I carried in pre-parenting days, just better organized so that I didn’t have to empty out the entire thing to find my wallet or Madeline’s sunhat. Then I got a little tired of carrying around a diaper bag. Out in public, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone else seemed to be carrying a cuter bag than I was!

Madeline was older, too, so all I needed to carry around was an emergency diaper (it’s rare that I have to change her while we’re out), a drink, and a snack. The rest of the bag could be for my stuff – whee! So, I asked my handbag-designer sister to make me a funky bag for Christmas 2005. I popped Madeline’s diaper stuff into a diaper case, and I was feeling a little bit more like my pre-mom self again. This bag is the one I take out on special occasions.

Next, I saw some Timbuk2 messenger bags in one of the shops here in town, and my dear Chris bought me a Metro. It’s smaller than the other two, but has a zippered pocket that fits a disposable diaper and a pack of wipes perfectly, not to mention an inside pocket for holdling a water bottle (or sippy cup, as it may be). This became my everyday bag. It’s waterproof, and dirt just wipes right off of it.

The only thing about my two newest bags was that they were shoulder bags, and they’d go flying all over the place when I was chasing after Madeline at the playground. Enter the sling pod from MEC. It’s the first bag I read for when I go out solo with Madeline now. It hugs my back closely so I can keep up with her unencumbered. There is a bottle pocket on the outside, and a few zippered compartments on the inside. I wish I’d bought one at the beginning of the summer, as it’s TPB of the moment!

Posted in Designated Link Day, Gear, Milk, etc.

hitting the bottle

May I present the newest member of Madeline’s sippy cup collection?
I hope that this Nalgene Grip n’ Gulp proves to be the answer of our leaky sippy cup woes! In any event, Madeline seems to really like her new beverage containers, and I’m happy because when she outgrows the spouts, we can just buy regular replacement lids! Whee! I love things that grow with a kid! 
Cool stuff for this week:
Posted in Crafty Stuff, Gear, Humour

not-quite-cinderella story

I’ve written before about how pleased I am with those flexible-soled Pedoodles shoes we have for Madeline. Just imagine how excited I was a couple of months ago when a half-dozen or so new designs were unveiled on their website! I didn’t hesitate to order Madeline a pair of the orange runners for her birthday.

Fast-forward six weeks, and a few days after Madeline’s birthday, I try to put the orange runners on her feet for an outing. Visualize my confused expression as the shoes refuse to slip on. I ordered them in the same size as her current pair of Pedoodles! I sent an email to the company, asking if the toe box on the runners are indeed narrower than they are on the shoes that Madeline currently wears, and they did confirm that the runners were narrower and fit smaller. Bummer. I then thought of replacing them with the fabulously cute red mary jane style, when I went to look them up at the retailer I would order them from (free shipping to Canada!), I noticed that they have started to post feedback about the sizing of the new styles on the site. And the Ruby Janes were noted to fit narrower and smaller as well. Bah!

On a more positive note, the stitching on Madeline’s current pair of Pedoodles just gave out last week. This pair lasted a lot longer than her first pair with the decorative stitching. Instead of sending them back, I picked up a curved sewing needle and have stitched them up with strong thread. It worked pretty well, even though it took me forever to understand how the moccasin-style stitching worked.