From Bean to Sprout

a first time mom's forray into parenthood

4 years ago… September 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:30 pm

Chris and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary today. And by celebrate, I mean, we ate our dinner at the same time. My hubby, ever the romantic brought home some flowers which was a nice surprise. Most people remember our wedding due to the fact that our wedding officiant fell in my moms’ pond right before the ceremony started. I remember it as the day I married my best friend (awwwwww!!). Ok, I also remember mostly the officiant falling in as well. I can still vividly picture him carrying on with the ceremony as his notes are dripping wet and seaweed clung to his knee high socks (he was wearing a kilt).

Henry decided he wanted to upstage the whole anniversary thing by pulling himself to a standing position in his crib. I should have known he was going to do something crazy. I spent the morning at my friend Courtenay’s place and every time I go there, the twins do something that Henry observes and then he copies it within 24 hours. Well this time he kept checking them pull themselves up on the sofas. Problem his he wasn’t paying attention on how to get back down so I left him in his crib for a nap and he started crying which I ignored but eventually his cries were getting more and more panicky so I went in to see what was happening and found him standing there in a panic not quite sure what to do. I ran to him and picked him up. The second time he did it after his nap, I made sure to bring my camera:

HELP!! I did it again!!!


Speaking of celebrations, last night we went out to my grandparents place in Hull to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. We had an amazing meal prepared by my aunt Odette (this woman can COOOOOOOK!!!). We brought Ginger as well who played with my aunt Brigitte’s miniature snauzer Tarzan. Henry thought the whole thing was hilarious. I’m beginning to believe he’s inherited his father’s bias towards little dogs.

Henry playing with my aunt Brigi


My grandmother going in to kiss Henry thanking him for coming. A tad blurry but I like how it looks.

We also had a playdate with my nephew Niko yesterday were Henry showed off some new moves.


Watch me do downward dog


Who are you? Why do you kind of look like me?


Niko is a gentle soul. He lay down and chatted amiably with a cloth storage box for a good 20 minutes. This was the first time Igot to see him awake as well. Little fellah will be 2 months old tomorrow.

I'm a spoken word artist... let me recite some of my work


yeah well I'm a bruiser! Let me gouge your eyes out!


I can be charming as well mama!


Spirit Animal September 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 9:54 am

I discovered Henry’s spirit animal last night, around 12am. The crocodile. I looked it up online this morning to confirm my suspicions. The spirit animal of the crocodile is a symbol of primal energies and survival. Henry was pretty much using up all his primal energy to fight me last night as I tried to stick the nasal aspirator up his nose.  He even did the trademark crocodile death roll to get away from me. Now that’s channeling!

So I guess this is my way of using humor to diffuse the tension of tending to a sick baby last night. He was up pretty much the entire night just wanting to comfort nurse.  Today we’re taking it easy. PJ party time and pretty much hanging in the bedroom. No fitmom for me today since I don’t want to pass this on to the other babies. Hopefully it was a one night thing.


Sorry about last night mom... It was a survival thing


Let the PJ party commence.


I don’t know how babies do it but even when they’re sick, they want to play and move and steal the laptop away from you…


Sweet Tooth September 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:05 pm

Chris and I indulged our sweet tooth this weekend by having dessert every night. We hadn’t planned it that way, it just sort of happened and who are we to deny destiny?

Friday night we decided to walk to our local pub for dinner. I love how close the Barley Mow is to our place. Even better, because it’s in a suburb, it’s family friendly as well. Chris and I split this delicious brownie/ice cream concoction while Henry ate some apples and blueberries.

Saturday morning we got up super early to drop into the Outgrow Outplay sale in Kanata. I had picked up a pass allowing us to get in 30 minutes before the general public and what a difference that made. It was an absolute mad house. Most people were glamoured by the play structures and baby chairs/swings/strollers. Chris and I made a beeline for the baby gates and snatched up the two best ones that normally retail for around $60 to $70 each. Ours combined were $55 which was a huge steal! We also got a little toy truck that helps babies walk ($10), a keyboard piano in the shape of a crocodile($12), a lullaby aquarium thingy for Henry’s crib ($10), a snow suit, a winter jacket, a hoodie that comes with a puffy vest (combined $15) and two 18 month sleepers ($6). I also picked up a sleep sack for my sister (well really for Niko) that was $3. We saw a Quinny stroller, brand new that was $60 (they’re usually $300). I was telling Chris “We have to buy this because it’s so affordable” but he wouldn’t budge on that one. For those kicking themselves for having missed this sale, there’s an even bigger one this weekend in Nepean. I’m thinking of going again to see if I can find a travel crib for Henry and maybe some 12 month sleepers since we realized we have all of two of them 😦

Chris brewed some beer Saturday afternoon while I tried to do a photo shoot with Henry wearing some clothes that Gill and George bought him in NYC. I tried having Atticus in the photo shoot as well but it was a no-go.

Let's be friends


Hells No!!


Saturday night we went over to our friends Caitlin and Brian’s house for a delicious meal (we always get such good food from them!) and had our second dessert of Apple Crisp. Mouth watering!

Sunday morning we went for Dim Sum for the first time in a very VERY long time. I had missed it sooo much. I even decided to straighten my hair and put on makeup for the occasion.

first time wearing makeup in about 6 months


Henry wasn’t so much of a fan(of the makeup or the dim sum).

Wake me when it's over


Finally our third dessert happened at my dad’s place where we went for dinner. We had some great vegetarian lasagna and an awesome lemon/vanilla cake from a local bakery. Henry started laughing almost the second we got there when he saw the two Beagles. I swear he’s going to give them a complex.

Today Henry had another adjustment with his osteopath Elliot Vlad. That guy can work wonders for kids. After an hour of adjusting, Henry was crawling fowards on his hands and knees. It’s amazing the difference you can see in just an hour. It’s great that he’s in Westboro now. Much closer to our place. I also like that he give priority appointments to children and pregnant women since he was telling me today that he’s completely booked for adults until next year but that he’ll open his practice on a Saturday or close later in the day if a child or pregnant woman needs an adjustment.Henry showed off some of his new moves with Lolly this afternoon who came by for her weekly visit.


Watch me sit Lolly


Now watch me stand







We’re Practically The Same Person!!! September 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 8:19 pm

I don’t know why, but I always feel the need to connect somehow with strangers. Take yesterday for example. I went for a walk with Henry to the park and pushed him in a swing. A few feet away there were these two kids (obviously siblings) who were playing a game and arguing with each other. Their argument made no sense to me, one kept yelling “No, I’M the White House, YOU’RE Washington DC” and the other would reply “NO I’M NOT!!!” over and over again until the younger kid got up and said “That’s it, I’m telling mom” and ran over to a woman sitting on a bench and told on the other one. The mom started yelling at both of them in Russian. I recognized a few of the words since a couple of years back, my coworker Julie taught me a few words and sentences. Anyways, because of this rudimentary knowledge of Russian, I felt someone connected to this woman yelling at her kids in exasperation. [Side bar: when I told Chris about these kids fighting and that I had no idea what the argument was about and that I didn’t understand why it escalated so quickly, he said to me “they’re kids, get used to stupid arguments.]

This isn’t the first time this has happened and it’s often happened for less. I’ll be walking down the street and I’ll see a woman pushing her baby in the same stroller as Henry’s and I’ll give her a knowing smile. Or when I used to take the bus to work, if someone was reading a book I had just read, I would feel this strong compulsion to strike up a conversation with them because obviously we’re kindred spirits right? I mean, we BOTH read the Hunger Games?!? Who else has read that? (answer: everyone). I’ll even rehearse how I’ll break the ice with these people in my head and the only thing holding me back is my crippling fear that all that rehearsed speech will come spilling out of me in reverse order and that I’ll look like a crazy person (I know by admitting to all of this, I’m toeing that line pretty closely). Heck, I once almost chatted up a woman on the bus because we had the same umbrella!

Am I the only one who does this? Is it a woman thing? A human thing? Why am I so obsessed in identifying with people?

Henry preoccupied with the argument going on next to him.


Finally caught his attention (well the camera string did, he kept trying to grab it)


You can connect with me anytime mama!


Fair it Up!

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 10:35 am

Last night we would have liked to go to our friend Derek’s film premier at the Mayfair theater however it’s hard to find wet nurses on Kijiji so we had to miss it (bummer). I’m sure it went splendidly though and you should keep an eye out for his films with Say Ten Productions since I have a feeling he’s going somewhere with these.

We still wanted to do something, just not something too late so we went to the first day of the Carp Fair. Given that Chris and I are cheap frugal, it makes sense for us to go on the first night since it was only $2 each. I was so excited to show Henry the fair but he was unimpressed at first:

Why am I here?

He started to warm up as we walked around.

The Ferris Wheel (invented for the Chicago World Fair… Thanks Book Club!) really got his attention:

That thing doesn't look safe at all!

He seemed a bit more interested in the animals

Take my good side

These don't look like Ginger or the cats!

I love how this horse is starring down Chris while he takes the picture.

We couldn’t stay very long since Henry started crying around 6:30 since it was close to his bed time. I think the lights and screaming from the rides got to him as well. I was able to get what I wanted out of the whole visit by getting some mini donuts!! Damn those things are delicious! I get them once a year (usually at some fair) and could eat a ton but limit myself to a bag. I also got some french fries and Chris said “you know, when Henry’s older and we go to a fair, you’re going to have to show some restraint and we’ll let him get only one junk food item”. To which I answered “I guess I”m going to be the cool parent then” and then proposed to future Henry at a fair “Do you want to go eat carrot sticks over there with your father or do you want some mini donuts and cotton candy with me?”…

Of course I want mini donuts mom!

This is us trying to keep Henry distracted long enough for me to wolf down my mini donuts


heading home


One Less Thing To Worry About September 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 11:08 am

We found a daycare for Henry!! I’ve been stressing out about this for a while. I really wanted to get into a daycare center and not a home daycare. I’m not anti home daycare, in fact, I went to one as a kid and enjoyed it (aside from the daycare providers kids who liked to torture us by locking us in dark rooms and yelling “bloody mary”). We really wanted a center since it would afford us a bit more flexibility. We didn’t want to have to plan our lives around someone’s schedule such as their vacation time or when they’re sick.

For a long time it looked like we’d have to go the home daycare route which killed us since there are 3 centers within walking distance of our house but they all had crazy wait lists like 2 to 3 years and most only take kids at 18 months. I was lamenting this fact on Facebook and a friend mentioned checking out the website which I did. I entered my postal code and found a 4th daycare center in our neighbourhood which I found odd since I thought I was on the up and up for all the local centers. I went to their website and realized that they were just opening. It was a BRAND NEW CENTER!! I quickly called them and found out that they do in fact have space and they take 12 month old babies. It’s called the Children’s Universe Daycare and they have 6 locations across Ottawa with the newest one being Kanata North. They have a twitter feed actually as well and will announce available spots every time they have some.

Chris and I arranged a tour for Monday. We both jokingly said “if there aren’t any rats and it doesn’t look like the kids are being beaten, we’re taking it!” since, again, it’s really difficult to find a center. I think we were both pleasantly surprised by the center itself. There’s an infant room, two toddler rooms, a preschool room and a school age room. These rooms are pretty large and have huge windows that look out onto the play yards (yes plural, one for every age group). They get breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and the infants get to nap in actual cribs (not playpens which Henry hates). Also, they open at 7am which is perfect for early to work people like Chris and I.

This is how I look at 9am and you want me to be up and out by 7am?


So today I went an paid for our registration fee and put a security deposit down for a full time spot in February. If anyone’s looking for full time daycare in Kanata North, they still have spots available but they’re filling up quickly. When I was registering today, the supervisor was on the phone with another parent looking for a spot. I believe there are 3 infant spots left if anyone’s interested.

One cruddy thing is that it’s going to cost us more than a home daycare would. That’s pretty much the case with all daycare centers though. We’re going to have to tighten our belts a little  but at least the price will go down when Henry’s 18 months old. We’re also guaranteed a spot for a second child should we have one which is nice as well. It would be nice if the Government of Ontario could do something similar to Quebec with the $7 daycare. I wish that were one of the platforms in the upcoming election. But enough with the self pity. We found a daycare!!







Use Me Up September 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 7:07 pm

For the past week or so, Henry has been using both Chris and I as climbing tools. If we get within grabbing reach, he’ll put his hands on us and lift himself up to a standing position. We’re proud and all that he can stand up but at the same time we have to be completely focused since he puts his complete trust in the fact that we’ll make sure he doesn’t fall.I wish I had a picture of him doing it however I usually have to keep both hands on him and therefore can’t reach for the camera. You’ll just have to satisfy yourself with this picture of Henry reading:

This is fascinating


Chris walked the Army Run half marathon today. He walked in 3 hours and 16 minutes. Thanks to everyone who pledged money to the families of soldiers (dad, Pat & Marty, Gillian & George, Dawn and whoever else pledged). Chris was able to raise $250 for the charity. He also ran on behalf of  Corporal Albert Storm who was killed in November 2006 due to a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan

Chris ran in honour of Corporal Albert Storm


I took some pics before and after the marathon of Chris and his friend Travis who also walked the half marathon.

Early Sunday morning before the race


Afterwards. Chris with his new dog tags and Henry wearing Travis' oh and Atticus' butt....


I’ve somewhat started introducing some aspects of Baby Led Weaning to Henry. Today we tried giving him a banana. He liked it ok, didn’t eat all of it. He kept holding it out towards Ginger and then he dropped it and she gobbled it up. We’ll have to make sure Ginger isn’t hanging around too much if we start this method seriously since she’ll gain a few kilos from dropped food.

yes, this is his "I like it" face...




DIY tutorial September 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 7:49 pm

My mommy instincts were on high alert yesterday when I mentioned how cranky Henry was. It manifested itself last night into a full blown freak out that lasted from 10:30 to 1:00-1:30. I have no idea what was wrong with him but nothing was calming him down. I even tried giving him baby tylenol and nada. I could tell he was in physical pain but couldn’t do anything but hold him and whisper comforting things to him. He eventually calmed down and went to sleep… until 5am. This time he went back down more easily around 5:30-6:00 and slept until 8am. I then brought him in bed and nursed him lying down until he fell asleep again (I kind of dozed myself) until 9:30.  Henry got about 6 mosquito bites on his head yesterday from a walk in the woods so I half wondered if that’s what was bothering him…

my poor little guy. Reacts to bites just like his mom

Anyways, short story long, I realized that I have no control over when/how Henry sleeps but I do have some control on where he sleeps and in what. So today to cheer myself up a bit, I broke out the old sewing machine and made him another crib sheet. I bought the fabric on our trip to the Finger Lakes. Chris would be upset if I failed to mentioned that he picked out the fabric. So there you go Chris…

Anyways, while I was making it, I thought, why don’t I take some step by step pics and give instructions on how to make crib sheets in case anyone out there is desperate to make some.


2 yards of  45″ fabric (cotton, cotton blend or flannel)

coordinating thread

3/8″ elastic (about 90 inches of it)

Step 1: Cut a rectangle out of your fabric, 75″ X 45″ ( I usually leave the selvage edge on)

Step 2: Cut out from each corner a square that measures 8 and 3/4″ (I save the squares for future projects)

you can't see it here, but the other two corners are cut out like this as well

Step 3: Match up the two sides of each corner (right sides together) and stitch them up, backstitching at each end. This makes up the fitted  corners. Do this for all 4 corners.

One completed corner

Step 4: Turn under the edge of the entire piece by 1/4″ and press, then turn under again 1/2″ and press/pin into place. This will make your elastic casing.

for the next few steps I forgot to take pics so hopefully I’m clear enough

Step 5: stitch the folded over side of the casing as close to the edge as possible (like 1/8″) leaving open a 2 inch gap (backstitch on each side of this gap).

Step 6: Thread your 90″ elastic into the gap. I use 2 safety pins. I attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and snake it into the casing. I then use a safety pin for the other end and pin it to the material near the casing so as to not loose the elastic inside the casing while snaking it through (trust me, it’s really freaking frustrating losing the other end of the elastic when you finish the threading).

Step 7:  When the entire elastic is in and both safety pins are peeking out of the gap you left, pull the elastic together and sew it tightly. Then sew the gap shut over the elastic.

And voila! A crib sheet!

the colors match Henry's room perfectly.

Step 8: Add a crying baby:

I don't like change!!!

Honestly, this was Henry pretty much all day so it was tough getting a picture of him not crying. The one below is the closest I got.

He went to sleep at 7 tonight. Hopefully he sleeps for a little bit.


Cranky Pants McGee September 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 4:51 pm

Henry was such a cranky pants today. I had a hard time getting him to cooperate for anything. I’m hoping he’s not getting sick and was just having an off day. Chris thinks it’s Henry’s subtle way of saying we’re spending too much time together and that maybe daddy should have the rest of the parental leave…. Nice try Chris.

Despite being cranky, I forged ahead with Sandra and Luis for our first play date in a long time. Summer just kind of messed up our schedules a bit but we’re somewhat back on track for playing. The boys are getting bigger. It’s neat seeing them interact more. And by interact, I mean try and gouge each others eyes out lovingly. Seriously, what is it with babies that they want to poke and bite other babies in a non angry way. Henry kept trying to rip Luis’ hair out while Luis (who has two bottom teeth) was trying to bite Henry’s hand.The whole time they were trying to beat each other up, they were chatty and giggly.

The "backwards crawl"... it's all the rage in European clubs

Luis learning how to drive

Henry trying to figure out Luis' game

give me that...

I thought only teenagers could give this look... I was wrong

Our play date was slightly interrupted by an appointment I had booked to have our piano tuned. The boys were mesmerized by the piano tuner has he played around with the piano.

it's beautiful... keep playing

Even managed to coax a bit of a smile out of Henry

The car seat I ordered arrived yesterday and it’s massive. I really really hope it fits in our car.

You shall be named Behemoth! (we'll just have to find another nickname for Atticus)

I’ve been contemplating the notion of Baby Led Weaning.  Baby Led Weaning just means letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning. You don’t use purees or jars, just normal food that you would eat, except cooked appropriately for a baby. Henry has almost zero interest in eating his purees. He’ll eat some from time to time but he’s not invested in the whole process. However whenever Chris and I are eating, he’s always reaching for our food. Has anyone ever tried this method? Does it work well? I’m so worried about choking issues but the method seems to state that choking isn’t a concern. I’d love to hear how people out there got their babies to eat solids.

Henry offering Ginger his avocado this morning since he wasn't having any.

why can't I just eat this? I love eating this!!


Remembering 9/11 September 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — frombeantosprout @ 1:32 pm

I didn’t mention this in my previous post, but I spent a great deal of yesterday remembering the events of September 11, 2001. I wasn’t planning on writing a post about what happened that day  but I figured Henry might ask me one day where I was on that day and what I was doing, I want to put down into words how I experienced 9/11 in case the details get muddier as I grow older.

It was a Tuesday morning and my friend Stephane and I were running late for our stats class. The class started at 9am and we got there at 9:10 and the class was packed. There was no seating available so Stephane and I decided to skip it entirely and go for breakfast at Broadway’s bar and grill near Carleton University. When we got there, the waitress asked if we wanted to sit by the televisions in the bar. Both Stephane and I were like “umm… no, why?” and she answered “didn’t you hear? The US is under attack!” We both simultaneously tilted our heads upwards towards the closest tv and saw the World Trade Center towers and the billowing smoke. I don’t even remember walking to our table and sitting down since we were so glued to the tv. We kept telling each other “this is insane! this is crazy!” over and over again.  We saw images of people throwing themselves off the buildings out of desperation. I still get chills thinking about it.  Right before 10am, the south tower came down and you could hear the panic in the newscasters’ voice. Both Stephane and I kind of stood up at the same time just unable to believe this was actually occurring and then 30 minutes later, the north tower came down.  I can still remember the adrenaline I felt as well. Every inch of my body wanted to run  but where?  People in the restaurant were weeping and just shaking their heads in disbelief.

We sat and watched these images over and over again until we had to go back to school. I had 2 classes left in that day and didn’t feel like going to school however I was eager to find my friend Christian (who was from New York) to see if his family was ok. I ran into his ex-girlfriend in my next class and asked her if she knew if his family was ok. She had no idea what had happened so I explained to her and she told me that he had decided not to come back to Carleton this year and stay in New York.  We were both worried for him (and a few of our other friends from our previous criminal law class were as well). I did manage to get a hold of him via email a few days later and heard that he was alright and had actually been golfing that morning when it happened. It was a huge relief to hear he was ok.

I ended up skipping my last evening class since I couldn’t think straight and headed home to my family who were all glued to the tv. I vividly remember talking with my dad in our stairwell about how none of this made sense and how I wanted to make sure this kind of thing couldn’t happen again. I was studying criminology at the time and wasn’t quite sure in which direction I wanted to go after graduating but what happened on that day somehow strengthened my resolve about what type of career I wanted. A few months later I got a call from the Canada Border Services Agency (then citizenship and immigration) asking me if I wanted to work for them for the summer and I said yes. The rest is pretty much history. I still work at CBSA and although I’ll often complain about my job and how much work needs to be done, I’m glad I was able to find permanent employment in a field I love and able to build my career around a promise I made to myself 10 years ago…