Toddlerhood: And so it begins

It’s also known as “the terrible twos” but I like to think of it as “the inquisitive twos.” This is the time my little guy is curious about everything; he wants to try what I’m eating, climb furniture, open every drawer, eat crayons, pick things off the ground, and study new people.

Baby J is no longer a baby. He’s 15 months, going on 3 years. He’s very active and has his own personality. This new phase of his has emerged over the past month and is noticeable by his sense of curiousity and adventure. It’s tiring, but extremely fun and interesting.

It’s just the beginning of this phase but so far, I’ve noticed significant changes throughout our day:

  • Reading books – J would pick up certain words while I’m reading to him and react to them. It was pretty cute when I said the word ‘dance’; he stood up and started dancing.
  • Mimicking – Whether it’s a big sigh, expressions like “yuk” or animal sounds, we have a little parrot at home copying what we say.
  • Conversations – Although one side of them isn’t in English, there’s a lot of back and forth exchanges and I’m really enjoying it.
  • Mealtime – Utensils were simply used as toys during mealtime until J figured out that it was another fun way he can feed himself. He’s great at getting the fork/spoon into his mouth, but keeping the food on the utensil is another story. I keep having to remind myself that the cleanup is all part of the learning experience. Sigh.
  • Bedtime – We have a pretty consistent routine but I had no idea that J really knew it until he ran to the bathroom and reached for his toothbrush from the counter.
  • Playtime – Whether it’s Peekaboo, the ‘put-it-back’ game or ‘where’s your <insert body part here>?’, playtime requires much more interaction and stimulation. It’s been fascinating to watch the little guy figure things out.

I was recently told that a child this age has more energy and stamina than a top athlete. Whether that’s true or not, I’m in for quite the ride if I want to keep up. Coffee, please.

water adventures

Cute Little Socks Giveaway

For the first 6 months, I didn’t have nor use many socks for Jarvis. It was warm out and when we did use them, they would never get dirty. Now that it’s winter and he’s on his feet a lot (learning to stand), we use socks every day. With all kinds of socks available, baby is warm and mommy has fun accessorizing.

Here he is wearing a cute pair of socks by MyLove Gear, a Toronto-based company founded by parents Keteh and Zeze.

Check out their fun infant/toddler collection here.

Want a free pair? Who wouldn’t?! Fill out the form to enter the contest.

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The kind founders of MyLove Gear are giving socks to ten (10) lucky readers. Value up to $12.90CDN. Winners will be selected at random. Contest ends November 29, 2014 at 11:59PM ET. Open to Canadians only.

Note: Your name and email will not be used for any purpose other than for this giveaway. I promise.

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Being an Audience Member

I’ve been lucky to be able to leave the baby at home to attend tapings of The Social, The Marilyn Denis Show and Cityline. Getting tickets to these daytime shows is as simple as filling out an online form.

The Social

the-social-logo

social-break

They asked us to get there at 12:00 for the 1:00 live show. So, we get there at noon and line up outside CTV Studios on Queen St. and are let in to wait in the audience standing room, where there was coat check, music playing, and mirrors for some final touchups. The audience coordinator greets the audience and we “practice” how we should cheer and laugh. It was like a cheerleading session. We’re called by name and let into the studio at 12:50, and there’s more cheering practice and final instructions. They encouraged us to tweet, take photos and post during the show.

Being at the show was obviously different than watching it on TV; it was hard to hear the hosts and sometimes difficult to see around the cameras. I felt like I couldn’t really immerse myself with the content. During commercial breaks, the audience coordinator had little contests like “whoever shows me the strangest thing in her purse, wins a prize.” After the show, a few of the hosts stuck around and took photos with everyone. After the photo op and picking up our gift, we were out of the building by 2:15.

  • Topics: They talked about the Brangelina wedding, workouts and handbags. It was light and enjoyable.
  • Audience: Twenty- and thirty-something women (~30 people)
  • Duration: 2 hr 15 min
  • Gifts: Handbag from French Connection
  • Prizes: Books

The Marilyn Denis Show

marilyn-show

We arrived at the studio at 9:00 for the 10:00 live show. The Marilyn Denis Show is filmed at the same studio as The Social and it was the same audience co-ordinator, so the pre-show experience was exactly the same.

During commercial breaks, we played the same contest as we did at The Social filming. (I should have expected this and carried something strange in my purse, but I had nothing.) After the show, we took photos with Marilyn, picked up our gifts and were out of the building by 11:15.

  • Topics: Decorating small living spaces. I wasn’t particularly interested in the topic, but there were a few decorating tips I picked up.
  • Audience: Women of all ages (~30 people)
  • Duration: 2 hr 15 min
  • Gifts: Measuring tapes
  • Prizes: Leaf blower and a set of pots

Cityline

cityline-logo

cityline-audience

They asked us to arrive at 9:30. It isn’t a live show, but I assume filming normally starts around 10:00. (They film one week in advance.) We’re let into the audience room where there are tables and chairs. The audience coordinator introduces herself and plays a video of the host, Tracy Moore, explaining the process. They were running behind that day because part of the set didn’t arrive yet so instead of waiting around, Tracy joined us in the audience room and took photos with everyone. Once the set was ready, we were brought into the studio and were seated row by row.

Even though the show wasn’t live, there were still commercial breaks. During these breaks, they would blast music and the audience coordinator would get everyone in the mood to dance. It was like a dance party. The speakers in the studio were loud and clear, so we were able to hear the show perfectly. This definitely helped me get into the show, compared to The Social and The Marilyn Denis Show where it was sometimes a struggle to know what the hosts were saying.

After the show, we picked up our gifts and we were out by 11:50.

  • Topics: Cooking, festive entertaining, home decor. I don’t do a lot of cooking, festive entertaining or decorating, but I still really enjoyed the show and I think it’s because of the host. She kept things light and fun.
  • Audience: Forty- to fifty-something women, and two men (~50 people)
  • Duration: 2 hr 20 min
  • Gifts: $50 The Shopping Channel gift card, $25 Kitchen Stuff Plus gift card, 2 boxes of Ferrero Rocher, Kitchen Aid vegetable crisper, pass to Whole Life Expo
  • Prizes: Rowenta iron with ironing board, [huge!] Ferrero Rocher gift basket, health food basket

Overall, I enjoy watching The Social on TV, but I had the best experience at Cityline. It was fun and natural; I didn’t feel like I had to be “on” and overly cheerful, as I felt at the other shows.

I’m My Own Person, Really

I played with my old volleyball team yesterday–a group of young, employed, single and childless guys and gals. I felt slightly out of place and realized it’s because I’m usually around other mom friends on mat leave or family members, all of who love to talk about the baby and baby topics.

So, there I was, being asked how things are going by one of the young’uns. I wanted to have an interesting answer, so I quickly recapped my day in my head, then yesterday (which turns out to be pretty much the same), and realized I couldn’t offer anything that wasn’t baby-related! Instead of telling him about this cool baby app I found or Jarvis’s crawling adventures, I quickly turned the question around on him. Phew.
Here’s my plan to make sure I don’t come across as being that mom who only talks about her baby:

  • Stay up-to-date with news and entertainment gossip (Note to self: review who I follow on Twitter)
  • Only have lengthy conversations about babies with other moms or with (some) family members
  • Do at least one thing every day that isn’t baby-related
  • Use this blog as a mommy outlet
  • Ask others questions

I managed to get through pregnancy the same way–only talking about my pregnancy if asked and keeping my answers fairly short.

I love being a mom and all things Jarvis, but I am also my own person; I’m trying not to forget that.

“Fitbit” for Your Lady Part

Especially throughout and post pregnancy, you’ll likely be encouraged to work out your pelvic floor muscles by doing kegels. I admit that I only did them when I randomly remembered to do them, but they are pretty easy to do very discreetly. I’m sure a lot of women forget about these muscles, so you’re welcome for the reminder; you’re probably doing kegels right now :)

But how do you know if you’re doing them right? Thanks to smartphones and wearable technology, these can be tracked! Crazy, right? kGoal is an “exercise tool” that you insert and communicates (wirelessly, thankfully) to your smartphone to give you real-time feedback.

kgoal Image by Minna Life blog

What will they come up with next??