Happy 1st Birthday, Duncan!

first birthday

[Photos by Happy Days Photography TO]

Our sweet baby boy is 1 year old today! And what a year it has been. At one year old, little Duncan is well on his way to becoming a toddler. He was sick for a week, and during that week it reminded me of our early days with him. Lots of snuggles, lots of crying, lots of sleeping and very little moving around. Poor little guy. I did enjoy the snuggles though.

first birthday airplane

Now that he’s well again, it’s as if he’s taken a big leap forward in his development. He’s walking more than he’s crawling and he understands more than ever before. When we ask, he’ll give toys, or nibbles of his snacks, or hugs. I ask for lots of hugs. And he gives the most wonderful hugs with a big squeeze. And his kisses. Big, open mouth, wet kisses. Often when I’m putting him to bed, he’ll grab my face and eat my chin and cheeks in kisses. It’s cute because he’s a baby.

first birthday airplane

After Duncan goes to bed, no matter how long and tiring the day was, Mike and I inevitably say to each other, “He’s so cute!” And he is. And he’s fun, and he’s funny. Since he has been able to smile, he laughs easily.  And since he started laughing, he’s so quick to laugh. He has several different laughs, and I love them all.

first birthday

There’s the little giggle that emerges when he finds pleasure in the most ordinary of things. The chuckle we hear every single time we carry him down the stairs of our apartment building. I like that he thinks it’s something special we’re doing just to make him happy. It’s the chuckle I hear when I’m feeding him, and I know that our cat, Josie, must have come in behind me. He adores Josie, and she tolerates him. He loves to rest his face in her fluffy fur, and I’m certain he’s so determined to walk solely so he can better chase her.

cake smash photoshoot

There’s the laughter of tickles, or being flown through the air, or when daddy blows raspberries on his belly. The laughter that goes on for so long and gets so hysterical that I sometimes have to intervene, “Give him a break, he can hardly handle it!” But then the shrieks of laughter continue and we laugh with him, saying “No one’s even touching you!” And the laugh I find most hilarious is his forced chuckle that is purely for our sake. The laugh he gives when he doesn’t find us at all funny, but want to acknowledge our efforts. Thanks, Dunc. Continue Reading

Northern Ontario roadtrip with baby Duncan: From Toronto to Iroquois Falls

baby with paul bunyan

Last week we headed up north for our first roadtrip with baby Duncan. Loaded up with sleeves of diapers, stacks of wipes, a borrowed Pack ‘n Play, and every bib we own, we took our little family from Toronto up to Sudbury, Timmins, Iroquois Falls, New Liskeard and North Bay. I’d never been north of Sudbury, so I was happy to see some more of our beautiful province.

roadtrip with baby

fall in sudbury ON

On the drive up, the trees had just turned yellow, but by the time we were making our way south again, the trees were in full autumn reds and oranges. When we were up in Timmins, it was a cold 5C, so it was a surprise to come back home to unseasonably warm 25C weather.
fall in northern ontario

the big nickel sudbury ON

roadtrip with baby

We were a little bit apprehensive of taking a 6 month old on a 1-week roadtrip. Would we be stopping every 20 minutes to deal with a screaming/wet/hungry baby? Would he be able to nap on the go? Would he keep us up all night?

baby in hotel

Fortunately, Duncan did great! We went with the flow and kept the car rides as short as possible, stopping when we could.

We took turns sitting in the back with him on the drive so that we could give him a bottle or keep him entertained. A couple weeks ago we moved him into a convertible car seat since he had outgrown his bucket seat, so that definitely helped keep him more comfortable.
mom and baby in hotel

Sometimes naps were skipped and bed time was a little later than usual, but Duncan actually slept better than he usually does at home, sometimes sleeping through his usual 4am quick feed.

He also loved swimming at the hotels. It was a nice way to splash away some energy after spending a few hours in the car.

baby with giant moose

Most of all, he loved all the attention he got everywhere he went. People up north are so friendly, and he returned every smile with a giggle and got loved on by everyone we encountered.

roadtrip with baby

roadtrip with baby

After a successful first roadtrip with baby, it’s given us the confidence to try to do some more weekend travels this fall.

lumberjack baby in the fall

north bay ontario waterfront

Travelling with baby: Duncan’s first trip to Kelowna, BC

mom and baby at the lake

Last week we took Duncan on his first flight to visit his grandparents in Kelowna, BC. Mike and I love to travel to Kelowna every summer, and we were excited to share the experience with Duncan. We knew that it would be different now that we were travelling with baby, but it all went quite smoothly and everyone had a great time.

lake okanagan, kelowna BC

We love Kelowna for the beautiful scenery, amazing hiking and great beaches. While we enjoyed all those things on this trip, we didn’t do so as frequently as usual. That was partially due to having the baby, and largely due to smoke from the forest fires. We took advantage of the clear days, and had a wonderful first experience travelling with baby.

mask for baby lol

We were understandably nervous about making the 5 hour flight with a baby, but Duncan was such a great little traveler. We didn’t bring a stroller since Mike’s parents rented a bunch of baby gear for us, so I used my ring sling to carry Duncan through the airport. Although the rings set off the metal detector and I had to remove it to go through security, it worked out really well. It was great to have my hands free to wrangle luggage and documents, and Duncan was nice and comfy and liked looking around at all the people and things in the airport.

baby and ogopogo in kelowna

He didn’t let out a single cry on the flight there, although he became over-tired because he was just so excited with it all that he didn’t want to nap much. He was smiling at everyone the whole time. While airplane diaper changes aren’t ideal, I think Dunc’s favourite part was getting attention from everyone as I carried him down the aisle to the washroom. Continue Reading

My favorite infant products (the 3 month edition)

Life with a newborn can be a blur. I started this post (and others) ages ago and am just getting this 3-month update done as Duncan’s rapidly approaching the 4-month mark.

His little personality is starting to emerge, and he is becoming curious about the world around him. He always wants to see what’s going on, preferring to sit up, only rarely allowing me to cradle him in my arms when he’s at his sleepiest. Along with all this growing up, we’ve moved him out of his stroller bassinet and into the seat (fully reclined) and we recently transitioned him out of the bassinet we had in our bedroom and into his crib.

I previously shared my favorite newborn baby products, but with our growing boy have come changing needs, and new must-have products. So I’ve done a round-up of my favorite infant products (the 3 month edition).

1. The Baby Brezza for hassle free feedings

bottle feeding after mastectomy | favorite infant products

Since I had a mastectomy, I’m unable to breastfeed, so Duncan goes through a lot of bottles. We switched to powder formula from liquid concentrate about two months ago and the Baby Brezza Formula Pro makes prepping bottles a breeze. When Duncan wakes up desperate for a bottle, a push of a button has it ready in seconds, so I’m able to get the bottle in his mouth before he’s even opened his eyes.

2. Toys for grabby hands

sophie la giraffe soft lovey | my favorite infant products (the 3 month edition)

In the last several weeks, Duncan has started to grab things. He doesn’t quite have the dexterity to very purposely grab objects yet, but he grabs onto things that happen to collide with his flailing hands. When he’s hanging out in his bouncy chair or out and about in his car seat or stroller, I give him his Sophie the giraffe lovey, to grab onto. He likes to pull on the ends and I’ve attached a wooden teething ring to the pacifier clip. He’s currently much more interested in grabbing his soft toys than the many rubber ones we have.

3. Bibs for drooly babies

bandanna bibs for hip babies | my favorite infant products (the 3 month edition)

Duncan recently started drooling. A lot. Before, we only used bibs while feeding, but now it seems like there’s always a steady stream (or bubble) of drool working its way down Duncan’s chin. To avoid outfit changes, he’s pretty much always sporting a bib now. I recently purchased these hip bandanna bibs that are really thick and absorbent. Continue Reading