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For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve been very into a new workout sensation that has hit Hong Kong. BounceLimit is the first rebounding studio in Asia, located right at the heart of Sheung Wan. Their modern studio is so convenient, featuring a schedule of fun cardio classes as well as pilates, bootcamp, and pre and post natal courses. If you need encouragement and something fun to keep you going back this is the absolute best place. The instructors and founder, Lucia, are so nice, enthusiastic, and helpful.
After months of back pain from constantly carrying, chasing, and nursing Ever, I decided to sign up for their post natal course to help with my posture, rebuild my stomach muscles, and learn tips on how to stay fit after pregnancy and being a busy mummy.
Here are a few tips from the knowledgeable crew at BounceLimit about how to correct your everyday movements with your baby for less pain, and more strength and toning.
what not to do
Who else is guilty of this stick out your tummy to support the baby pose. This my go to stance when holding Ever, especially since I carry her in the baby carrier often, I find it easier to arch my back and support her with my stomach.
To correct this I am attempting to tilt my pelvis back and realign everything to a straight line. I am also going to try carrying Ever on my back rather than always on my front. The guys at Bouncelimit have advised me to make sure not only to switch from front to back, but always side to side. Make sure to not always put your weight in one place when you are carrying, nursing, or rocking the baby.
what to do
what not to do
Here is another habit of mine. Bending over to pick Ever up, or bending over to stand while I’m holding her. Now that she’s learning to walk I am also constantly bending over to hold her hands. All the pressure is put on my lower back and I have an annoying ache.
In post natal, they have taught us to use the all familiar but so effective squat. Yes those same squats you do at the gym to tone your butt and thighs. Before standing up with the baby in your arms, sit up straight and then squat to standing position. When you have to lift the baby out of the crib, off the floor, or from the playpen, make sure to squat and then lift with your legs. Imagine how much better your legs will look after a few weeks of switching to this method. If you think squatting is a bit awkward in public and only for home use, you can lunge to pick up the baby instead of squatting. Also instead of bending down to hold Ever’s hands I’m trying to get used to squatting down to her level and moving in a circle with her. Make sure to switch sides when lunging. Now all the pressure is off your back and you are constantly toning those legs.
what to do
Yay, how easy was that?! Just a few easy adjustments and you are on your way to becoming stronger and with less pain. I’m finding it’s all about habit building, within a few weeks it’s second nature and you automatically correct yourself. In postnatal we have also been learning different abdominal exercises that you can practice daily at home. I can really feel it the next day and my tingling muscles tell me we are on the way to a flatter stomach. I was in a tennis league near me before I had Ever so I could keep my fitness up that way, but now I’ve found post natal, Bouncelimit is the way to go. The instructors at Bouncelimit help you build techniques into your lifestyle making it a way of healthy living. Not only do they whip you into shape with their cardio classes, where you can burn up to 1000 calories, but they also teach you how to work your abdominals in daily activities making it a lifestyle rather than a quick fitness fad.
Check out BounceLimit for their prenatal courses which are taught in small groups over a six week period. You get lots of one on one attention and if you dedicate yourself to attending twice a week they will get you back into shape. You will start feeling the difference after only a few classes.
Join their membership and receive discounted classes and exclusive members workshops which allow you to get more in depth tutorials about different health and fitness topics and exercises.

The Pemberton, 13/F, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
T: (852) 2441 0021


April 8, 2015 0 comment
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I have been blogging about baby Ever Tai over on another blog, but after a great response and lots of support from you guys I have decided to move it back on here.  My blog is fast becoming everything that encompasses my life and Ever is such a big part of that  so I want to share it all with you.  I’ll continue to post Ever diaries here with tips, experiences, and general life with the munchkin type stuff.  If you want to read any past posts click over to read the archives about my pregnancy and first year with her.  
Ever’s first birthday is now less than a month away, so after locking in a location this afternoon, I have started a Pinterest browsing marathon to seek inspiration and ideas for my little princess.  Since she’s pretty much as girly as it gets, we are going with a pink and silver theme, and incorporating plenty of florals.  Ever is a big fan of flowers and anything shiny, so we’ll make sure there’s copious amounts of both for her to get giddy about.  
To be honest, I’m not loving the pre-made birthday signs I’ve found on the party websites, so have looked to Etsy for some options.  I have ordered a fabric name sign from Cheeky Stitches to hang at the party, and the best part is it can be used as decoration in her room afterwards  Pinterest has an insane amount of ideas for DIY decor options and I’ve pinned a few of my favourites.  I love the idea of DIY lace crowns, tissue garlands, and you must see this fairy tea party which may be the cutest thing I’ve ever witnessed.  I’ll be visiting Artland soon for a supplies run and will Instagram my progress as we go along.
I haven’t quite decided which cake we will be getting for the party, and I am partial to the cupcake idea as it’s less messy and easier to share around.  I also found great recipes for marshmallow lollipops and rice crispy treats both using pink striped paper straws, which I thought would be tempting as snacks and party favours.  
Ever’s dress will be her first couture, custom piece by one of my favourite local designers, Melissa Bui.  How ridiculously cute are her sketches?!  Melissa doesn’t usually do children’s wear but I heard from a little birdy she may begin soon, so keeps your eyes and ears open.  Can you imagine all the amazing embroidery and princess worthy gowns on your little ones? Too perfect.
Ok that’s all for now.  I’ll be back with another Ever Diary soon.  Keep up with her adventures on Instagram under the hashtag #EverTai.
March 26, 2015 0 comment
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I’ve been missing in action from this blog (has it really been three months?). Partly because I’m not sure why I signed up to have another hobby when I don’t have many hours in a day for my existing life. I really respect mummy bloggers who prioritize updating as I can barely find the time in between chasing around Ever to actually do my real life, money making work. I feel like I should get back into blogging, as it was something I really enjoyed. With this being said, now that a friend of mine recommended I should check keyword rank software which could help with the SEO side of my blog, I should have more time to focus on the content.

I hear many mummy bloggers tend to make use of social media to get more eyes on their blog. I’ve heard instagram is a good place for it so if you have an instagram you should grow your instagram for free with great support services online. Either way, it’s nice to share and hope there are others feeling like me. While Blogging can be time-consuming, it can be enriching part of life; there are a lot of free blog platforms that can be found online if you are interested in starting a blog of your own.

Ever is 10 months now and it amazes me each and every day how smart and beautiful she has become. Do all parents feel this way? Her mind is working like a fast absorbing sponge and she’s learned so many words in the past few weeks. She loves to point and can locate her milk, bananas, fish, stars, and shoes by name. She’s also loving clapping her hands, singing songs, and food. Her sense of smell is far better than our dog’s and can spot my stew slow cooking while she’s napping in the other room. She’s pretty close to walking, can stand unassisted, and loves to hold our hands and walk through the park. This stage has been the best for us as a family. We are constantly laughing and playing as a little threesome and can’t imagine it any other way. Her smile somehow wipes our worries away and we find ourselves scurrying home to see her. The obvious stresses have been she is far more mobile now and baby proofing is more important than ever. I’m always in fear of her safety and as much as I want to encourage her, I do wish she would slow down a bit.
Here is a little list of things we currently cannot live without:
1. i-angel hip seat carriet. Ever is way too heavy for me now and the hip seat has taken all the pressure off my back. I love love love it, and as much as the Ergobaby with newborn insert was essential in our first few months I’m very glad we’ve switched.
2. Sippy and straw cups: We gave Ever water from a sippy cup at 6 months when she started solids and started using the straw cup at 8 months. I actually sometimes just give her a bottle of water with a straw in it now. She uses the straw really well and even takes her formula from it during the day.
3. Pull-ups: Ever cannot sit still and pull-ups are essential to changing her. She can stand instead of lie on her back which she hates. Makes life so much easier, especially when we are on the go.
4. Walker: We picked one up from Toys’ R Us and also really like Walking Wings as well. She’s so eager to walk and these options are easier on our back than constantly holding her hands.

5. Books: We have so many books and they’ve helped Ever learn so many words. She now recognizes fish, stars, pandas, apples, and so much more just through a picture. We can tell it really intrigues her and is amazing for her language skills.
March 8, 2015 0 comment
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I’m not going to post about essentials this month because she actually hasn’t really required many new things.  Ever has jumped and leaped through a few baby milestones just before hitting the seven month mark and we’ve been finding her so much more fun.  Now that she is crawling around like a little rascal and standing with support we have to keep a super close eye on her.  She has started saying “Mooom” and “Mama” when she’s upset or doesn’t want to part with me, which really just tears up my heart.  We’ve been travelling pretty frequently with the little one and she’s is a pro flyer now.  I make sure to nurse during take off which knocks her out for most of the flight.  Otherwise she likes to watch movies or chew on things.  She’s at that stage where everything goes into her mouth so sterilising is out the window and we kinda just wipe things off when she drops them.  I am one of those moms. She loves eating with her hands, so we give her broccoli florets, apples, and lots of bread.  She wants anything we are eating.
Ever’s new favourite thing to do is swim. We’ve been to Thailand a lot and she loves the pool and ocean equally.  We use Huggies Little Swimmers which are great and never leak.  They dry really quickly too which is helpful as she always falls straight asleep after swimming and I barely get a chance to change her.  Ever isn’t even scared of her head going under water so I’m really looking into some swim lessons once the weather heats up in HK again.
We’ve had a few first time parent scares recently as Ever’s temperature reached 39/40 degrees.  We went to hospital for that and then the next day she broke out in a red rash that covered her scalp and eyebrows.  Looked so freaky we rushed back to the hospital, but luckily it’s just all a result of a pretty harmless virus she has caught.  48 hours later all is back to normal.  The general consensus we got from the doctor is if they are still feeding and playing it’s not too bad.
That’s all for now but I’ll update you on the little one again soon!
November 26, 2014 0 comment
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Ever is half a year old now! Seriously…six months since she entered our lives.  That is just crazy to me.  She’s big now.  Her cute chubby legs getting longer by day and that smile is pretty much always present.  I am absolutely loving the fact that she looks so much like me.  Still a mixture of us both, but she does kind of resemble a little caricature of me.   We are a family of foodies (even our dog is obsessed with food) and she is following her in parents footsteps. We’ve started solids and it’s the most fun process.  

Along with starting solids, Ever is pretty much on track with her developmental milestones. She’s sitting up with very little support, can stand with support, and we have some clumsy crawling too.  Breastfeeding is still going very well and I don’t see it stopping for at least another two months, but I could easily go on until she is a year old.  No forcing her, I’m hoping we come to a natural halt together.   

This month’s essentials:

1.  Weaning supplies such as plastic spoons, storage containers, blender, plastic bowls, and sippy cup.  We also got teething rusks, biscuits, and organic baby rice to mix in with her veggies and fruits.  Ella’s baby food is organic and amazing if you don’t want to make it yourself.  I really recommend Bumps to Babes for all this stuff.  The brand isn’t important, but they have the hugest selection of baby food and supplies.  You can’t go wrong.  

2.  High Chair.  We went for Mamas & Papas for this one.  We were tempted to go more budget as we didn’t know if we would start using a booster seat soon, but I’m so glad we got this one.  It’s suitable for up to 4 years and Ever spends more than just her meal times there.  We often put her in when she’s watching tv with us or just hanging out.  She loves playing with her toys and snacking on finger foods off the tray.

3. Baby jail or play pen.  She’s crawling and we have a little dog so we’ve had to contain her.  She actually loves being on the ground so we’ve purchased a bunch of foamy floor tiles and a guard rail for her.  I recommend Tao Bao for the biggest selection and affordability.  The Skip Hop Playmat is tested for chemicals and suitable from newborn, and friends have told me yoga mats or purchasing those huge foamy pads from the gym works too.  

4. Books.  Ever loves colourful books.  The more textures and colours the better.  They are perfect for before bedtime and make her really interactive.  She’s already turning the pages herself and gets excited when we bring them out.

5. Organic Coconut Oil and Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.  Ever has had a few dry patches on her legs and face that wouldn’t go away. We used both coconut oil (make sure it’s pure and organic) and Cetaphil which have worked wonders.  She also bathes in a bit of oatmeal which is really helping the dryness.  Just wrap some quick cook oatmeal in a muslin cloth and swish it around the warm water pre-bath.  Her skin is now softer than before and smells amazing.

And that’s it.  I’ll try to update more on here as she’s changing so much lately.  Keep a lookout for posts about the food we are feeding her and adventures in baby play dates.
November 2, 2014 1 comment
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Travelling with a baby, especially your first, can be one of the most daunting tasks as a parent. I envisioned angry passengers glaring at our screaming baby and explosive diapers stinking up the entire plane.  Not to mention embarrassing experiences with public breastfeeding and selecting the ideal baby friendly restaurants.  We went through all of this and more on our recent three week excursion to Europe and although it wasn’t as bad as we had feared we managed to learn a few invaluable lessons along the way.

Airplanes, Trains, Cars, and more.
Not only do you have to board the outbound flight and spend the rest of your trip worrying about the return journey, chances are you will also have many other modes of transport that will be mandatory on any vacation.  This was my biggest fear, how to keep a baby occupied for 12 hours on a plane,and on every subsequent bus or train journey after that. 
-Make sure the baby has her own carry on and it’s very organized.  We always had a travel change mat, full pack of wipes, one diaper for every two hours including five extra in case of delays, anti bacterial gel in case we have to clean dirty changing stations, two of her favourite toys, extra clothes for both us and baby, plenty of muslin cloths, and two blankets.  
-If you don’t have an airport lounge you can use then it’s worth it to go into one of the ones you can pay to use. We used Plaza Premium Lounge at HK Airport.  This means helpful staff, bigger couches and private corners for nursing, and larger cleaner bathrooms for changing.  Plus you will have plenty of drinks and snacks to keep you going…you won’t be getting much sleep during the flight.
-If you are breastfeeding, nurse during take off and landing.  This made Ever fall asleep during every take off and helped with her ears. At least I was able to get two hours of peace, since her first nap was right at the beginning of the flight.
-Sleeping on a plane is hard, and Ever basically refused to sleep in the provided bassinet.  We used it as a place to put all her things and she hung out in it for a little bit, but mainly she slept on my chest.  I found night flights to be amazing. She slept most of the way, and the back of the plane has the most white noise if your baby needs to be rocked to sleep.  
-Bring your sling (we use the ErgoBaby) in case you have to walk the baby up and down the aisles.  Makes it much easier on your back and safer in case of turbulence.  
-Book a taxi in advance to pick you up from airport and make sure you specify the car seat you will be needing.  This made getting to our hotel or apartment infinitely easier, and private car services tend to have a variety of car seats so you don’t have to crate around your own.  You also have someone in arrivals all ready to help you with luggage.
Naps, Accommodation and Baby Friendly Dining

-In between travelling we found nap times to be essential.  If she was tired our lunch, beach, drinks, shopping excursions would be nightmares, so we ended up being far more strict with her schedule.  For her afternoon nap we would walk her in the stroller until she slept and then head to lunch once she was snoozing. This meant we could have a quiet and enjoyable meal without any baby interruptions. It was also essential for us to stay in apartments rather than hotels, as we needed a kitchen and more space.  It was pretty impossible to take Ever out at night, but she went to bed each night at 7pm so we made sure to have a nice dining space where we were staying and indulge in a romantic dinner at home instead of going out.

-Baby friendly venues were essential as I needed to breastfeed her and we didn’t want her laughing, squealing or maybe even crying to disturb any patrons.  We would generally peer into any pub or restaurant before entering and search for other strollers.  Certain areas such as Notting Hill and Marylebone in London were amazing for baby friendly venues.  These venues are also more likely to have changing tables and high chairs and are more understanding about noise.

-Bring walking shoes and be prepared to walk…a lot.  Public transport is just plain inconvenient with a stroller and baby in tow so we loved staying in the centre of town and walking to all our destinations.  This also kept Ever occupied and she generally fell asleep in the stroller which gave us a good amount of quiet time.  
Hope all of this helps.  Although our three weeks without a nanny were some of the hardest during parenthood I would not give up our family vacation for anything.  Looking back at Ever’s first swim in the Mediterranean Sea, walking and dining in our old neighbourhood, and just general bonding with her are memories we will always have.  Planning for another trip soon, so stay tuned for more 😉

October 7, 2014 1 comment
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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an Ever Diary post with you guys.  Lets say travelling for three weeks with a four month old baby, traipsing around Europe, and leaving behind our nanny was a challenging task.  Although it is probably the hardest I have worked at being a mummy, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences as a parent.  Both the boy and I bonded immensely with Ever, learned all her little quirks and signals, and basked in the fact that she would only smile and snuggle with us.  Ever showed her fear of strangers, increasing interest in stroller rides, curiosity and cravings for solids, ability to giggle, laugh, and coo, and her charmingly fun personality.  She is now a few days away from five months old and can turn from back to front, front to back, grasps her toys, and places everything into her mouth, so we have to watch her far more closely than before. She seems like a completely different baby from the one that embarked on our journey.  Not only has she vastly grown in size, but her cute personality has really started to reveal itself.  We’ve loved to hear her funny laughs and endearing baby talk and are so happy she is genuinely such a happy baby.  Ever loves the camera and poses on demand, which made documenting the trip that much easier.  
I have combined both four and five months essentials together and wanted to share with you guys what she currently loves and also what was useful to us during our travels.  I’ll also add a few of our favourite shopping spots while in France and England 🙂
Maclaren 4 Seasons Stroller:  Ever loves this stroller.  She’s so curious when riding around town, it folds up so easily for airports and taxi journeys, the basket underneath holds plenty of shopping, and I love the nude colour palate.  It is also insanely durable which is very important if you are checking it in and throwing it constantly into the back of a cab.  
Water Wipes:  These are so cheap in Boots and are really pure.  Basically just water and a little fruit extract.  I always had a pack on me to wipe Ever if she threw up, for on the go diaper changes, and just general cleaning of her teething toys in case she dropped them.  It never irritated her skin and doesn’t have any fragrance so perfect for sensitive skin babies.
Mischa Bucket Tote:  This was the ideal baby carry on, beach bag, and baby bag.  I could fit everything I needed for Ever and even a few of my own items.  Comes in plenty of colours and you can monogram it with your baby’s name.  Makes a great gift too!
Mustela Physiobebe:  I absolutely love this product.  It’s a no rinse cleanser which was perfect for cleaning on the go, or when there wasn’t a suitable bath for bathing.  Left her skin silky smooth everytime and is very gentle.  It’s safe to use on babies from birth and very natural.  Mustela is one of my favourite baby skincare brands.  We also love Hydrabebe for her face and the cold cream.  The sunscreen didn’t irritate Ever either and worked great throughout our Cannes trip.  If you are in France stock up at the local pharmacies, much cheaper than HK prices.
Hot Water Bottle: Ever was great at falling asleep every night and sleeping through the night during our trip which made dinners for the boy and I very enjoyable.  We would eat on the balcony with the door open, and placed Ever next to a hot water bottle so she felt like someone was there.  The key to keeping her asleep was keeping her warm.  Make sure the water isn’t too hot for the baby.  We loved the fuzzy cute ones available at Primark, and the prices are pretty enticing too so you can’t really lose.
Fanta Bottle:  This sounds crazy, but Ever’s favourite toy is a Fanta bottle.  We discovered this by mistake but this never fails to get her to stop crying or make her smile.  Get a Fanta bottle, drink most of it until there is two inches of liquid left at the bottom, then shake it or move the liquid from side to side.  Try this!  Ever loves watching the liquid move around, plays with it herself, and since she’s teething she chews on the cap.  We don’t leave it with her unattended but it’s an amazing find and got us through a few rocky patches on the flights.
Shopping spots:
Little White Comany– for the cutest soothers, clothes, and blankets.  I loved the layout and great quality of products.  
Primark– I usually hate Primark.  It’s busy, just plain annoying, and low quality but the packs of 100% cotton onesies and bibs are so affordable and easy.  Ever throws up all the time so we stocked up on a few sizes.
Mothercare– We got tons of weaning supplies as it’s cheaper in the UK than in HK and we’ll be moving Ever onto solids next month.  Also great for toys, strollers, and general baby stuff. 
Boots– We stocked up on organic baby rice and food.  There are always two for one offers and they have a great variety of teething toys.  We also liked their selection of wipes and diapers and it was a great spot to pick up anything we forgot for Ever.
Topshop– Less for babies but they have my favourite maternity range.  Stylish leggings, loose blouses, and flattering dresses.  Their nursing bras are even pretty. 
Pharmacies– Stock up on Mustela and all other French brand baby stuff.  I was there for hours browsing.  The no rinse cleansers and lotions are ideal.
Monoprix– Really affordable baby clothes that kind of resemble some more expensive brand’s styles.  I love French baby clothing, the style is so sweet with petite florals and peter pan collars. I stocked up on neutral toned floral dresses, tartan dresses, and cute knit cardigans.  Their toddler stuff was amazing too.  Think boho dresses and fringed moccasins.  Can’t wait to go back when Ever is one for more 😉
Petit Bateau– So much cheaper in France and lots of choice.  We stocked up on tons of sizes as we probably won’t be back for a year.

September 21, 2014 19 comments
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I never truly understood the simple things that would bond me to my daughter and I’m still dicovering the amazing ins and outs of our relationship each and every day. .  Many say it’s giving birth, the first time they gaze in wonderment into your eyes, but one of the main elements for me has been breastfeeding.  Nursing Ever has been the most fulfilling and magical experience I have been lucky enough to be granted.  From the first time in the hospital to her latched to me as I currently click away on my phone, I know it’s when we are closest and it’s a bond that nobody else can share.  

I can still remember her expectant face staring at me with longing eyes each time the nurses placed her into my arms those daunting first days. I savoured her sweet smell and revelled in the fact that I’m supplying her with just what she craves and needs.  Our first two weeks, while both of us unsteadily learnt the natural art of breastfeeding, were equally heart wrenching and emotional. I naively thought this process would be so natural and simple but little did I know it was also a learning process for us both.   The funny thing is after two weeks we found our stride and haven’t looked back.  During the newborn stages feeding is such a necessity and the only factor in her life aside from sleep, so she fed vigorously and often.  Now at twelve weeks she engages with me each time she is hungry.  Ever constantly greets me with a smile, seldom breaks eye contact while feeding and even pauses to beam her happiest grin.  She jostles with excitement when she spots me and snuggles against my breast for comfort and safety.  She still reluctantly drinks from her bottle, and patiently waits as I rush home to her.  It’s our special moment each and every day and I’m fully aware that until I stop nursing, it’s impossible for her to seek comfort or bond with other adults, including her Daddy, the way she does with me. We sleep beside each other, breathing synchronised, and at times it feels she may have never left the womb.  With each month our dynamic changes and I feel myself pulling closer to her, noticing her quirks, comforting her moods, encouraging her determined personality,and creating a unbreakable relationship through this amazing experience.

I strongly encourage mothers to breastfeed for as long as you are comfortable.  Many circumstances can make this difficult and we all know our bodies and what’s right for us, but if it is out of convenience or discomfort, I hope that we can start breaking those boundaries and help breastfeeding become more socially acceptable in public.  Women should feel comfortable and at ease feeding their children for as long as it is right for them and their baby.

It is currently Global Breastfeeding Week, and in celebration Mayarya are presenting a great breastfeeding campaign to raise awareness for breastfeeding mothers.  Hong Kong’s breastfeeding rate remains low and research has shown that this is partly due to mothers not feeling confident about nursing in public. To help break these boundaries, Mayarya are sponsoring an exhibition that artistically depicts mothers nursing in public spaces in Hong Kong.  Go check it out along with their comfortable and stylish range of nursing friendly clothing.

Photo exhibition details:

Dates: 9 to 14 August 2014

Location: Outside the Mayarya boutique, at Level 1 Stanley Plaza

Opening hours: 11am-8pm

August 3, 2014 0 comment
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It’s hard to believe Ever has already been in our lives for three months.  Seems like only yesterday, our tiny fragile little girl was riding home with us from the hospital.  Her delicate limbs have transformed into chubby, kicking legs and she’s discovering her hands and smiles more and more each day.   This month was the month where we’ve started to notice a strong personality form between all the feeding and sleeping.  Ever is determined, sweet, funny, and happy.  She enjoys music, funny faces, and loves having conversations.  She’s incredibly vocal and observes our lips closely when we speak, responding with her own sounds and tones. We are absorbing every laugh and sparkling smile with awe and amazement.

Her essentials this month.
Sophie La Girafe. This simple iconic toy is one of Ever’s favourites.  She instantly smiles when she spots Sophie’s face and finds herself having conversations and laughing with her on a daily basis. It was actually the first thing Ever has grasped except for our fingers.  She is almost to the point where she can grasp Sophie and raise it to her mouth for a good chew.  We know she’ll be playing with her well into her teething stages and it’s an ideal toy to take out with us if we want to keep her occupied for awhile.
Stuffed animals.   Ever loves any toy with a smiling face, especially teddy bears.  She has a few we have hung from her play gym and she loves laughing at them.  We find it’s an easy way to keep her busy while we work or do stuff around the house.  She’s content lying in the playgym on her own staring up at the variety of stuffed animals.
The Wonder Weeks.  There’s a book many mother’s swear by, but I’ve only downloaded the app which has been very helpful in predicting Ever’s changes and moods.  The Wonder Weeks charts a baby’s changes in “leaps” and lets you know when to expect the next “leap” and whether your baby will be difficult during this time. They inform you if it’s a “cloudy” developmental period, or a “sunny” happy stage, making it easy to understand what your baby is going through, what changes or new skills to expect, and helps with planning vacations.  Anything to help us understand her even more is a plus in my book.
Tummy time cushion.  There are plenty you can get at any baby shop which is a semi circle nursing pillow which doubles as a tummy time cushion.  I use mine to help Ever sit up and for her to practise tummy time.  It’s soft and easy to move around the apartment so she always has something to sit against.  She isn’t loving lying down constantly anymore so this is a great alternative.
Manual Breastpump.  I purchased a switch kit for my Unimom Forte pump which transforms the parts into a light manual breast pump.  After I figured out how to effectively use it, I actually find it easier than the electric one sometimes. It’s fast, light and easy.  I take it in my handbag so I can pump and dump if I have been out for too long. It’s essential for a night out or busy days without Ever.
Nuk nipples and pacifiers.  We switched to the Nuk, brown 0-3 months nipples and pacifiers and Ever is finally taking the bottle without crying.  They are softer so she’s finding them easier to handle and won’t fight the bottle as much as before.  She still prefers to breastfeed, so won’t take the bottle from me or if I’m around but that isn’t too much of a problem.  The pacifier is useful for bedtime when I’m not home.  Our nanny gives it to her after her bottle and she finds it helps her drift into slumber.  Ever prefers to nurse when I’m with her so I haven’t used the pacifiers before, but I’m happy she has a comfort tool for when I’m not around.
July 25, 2014 0 comment
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“Is she sleeping at night?” or “How many times does she wake up at night?” is one of the main questions we are always asked since having Ever.  Lucky for us, Ever is an amazing sleeper.  I’m not entirely sure if it’s genetics or just all the great advice I received before her arrival but apart from a few bad weeks in the beginning she is more or less snoozing through the night at less than 12 weeks.  Yay!  

Here are a few things that have worked:
1.  Co-sleeping. I read a lot about this during my pregnancy and most articles are very against it due to the risk of suffocation or rolling on top of your baby.  The thought was very daunting when I stared at my fragile newborn. I was far more comfortable with her resting in her moses basket than between the boy and I, but after several expensive bedding options she still preferred to sleep close to me. Most likely it’s my greedy little baby wanting to be near her food source, but I think it gives them an added sense of security which helps them snooze through the night.  I am also more aware of her needs while she is beside me, so I feed her before she wakes and cries from hunger.  Every little sound is a signal for me to either nurse or comfort her which means even if she does wake it will only be to feed and then straight back to sleep.  No need for me to get up and rock her or for the boy and I to fully wake to deal with the situation.  I feel incredibly in tune with her needs since we’ve been co-sleeping, and as I write now she’s happily napping beside me.  Our bond seems stronger and I actually feel she is safer sleeping beside me than somewhere where I can’t see her.
2.  Music and White Noise.  You can get mobiles, cribs, and toys that play music to your baby.  Ever finds light music incredibly soothing and it helps her feel drowsy.   We usually play it for her after her bath while she’s hanging out to make her a bit sleepy and ready for bed.   After she’s asleep we try to keep it on for another hour or so to keep her comforted.  After that nothing could wake her.  White noise is another one that worked when she was a newborn.  She was always calm when she heard the sound of our fan so I downloaded a white noise app on my phone.  “Rain” and “fan” were clear favourites.
3.  Cluster feeding.  Ever tends to cluster feed right before bedtime.  She will nurse or drink from the bottle about every half hour for three hours before she goes to bed for the night.  This keeps her full and usually gives me at least four hours until she needs to be fed.  That means four solid hours of good sleep.  If I’m home and she’s nursing that night she will lightly drink for an hour straight and usually nurse to sleep.  This was a habit she picked up from the first few weeks so now our nanny gives her a pacifier after her bottle to mimic the same sensation.  
4.  Nighttime routine.  We bathe, play, feed, rock, sleep.  Always in that order.  It’s predictable and she knows exactly what to expect.  We are hoping to wean her off the rocking part eventually, but for now it works and we are happy to help her on her way to Z land.
All of these methods have been invaluable to us.  I am late sleeper so Ever usually goes to bed with me at 1am. Although it hasn’t been that hard for us, it can become tiring. So I have a feeling that this might catch up to me soon enough. With this being said, just so I’m prepared, I’ve even taken it upon myself to research Online Dispensary Canada and see what it’s all about, as a friend of mine recommended the idea of trying out medical marijuana to help with sleep issues. She said it worked for her, so if it comes down to it, at least I’ll have a potential solution. But for now, everything is going fine.

She then will wake up to feed at around 4am and 8am and can sleep in with me until about 11am.  This schedule works for my routine as I come home late and love to sleep in, but can definitely be moved earlier for different habits.  The most useful part has been to make sure she doesn’t open her eyes when she wakes up to feed.  I get the milk to her before she cries so she’s dream feeding.  Then she is happy to stay cozily in bed until my wake-up call.

Happy snoozing!

July 14, 2014 0 comment
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