a month of kaitlin marie.

Our daughter, Kaitlin Marie Hamilton, was born at 5:32pm one month ago.

0b/365: Hello, world

It’s amazing to watch her grow over the past 31 days. She’s gone from being awake just long enough to eat, burp, and poop to spending her mornings and late afternoons tracking our faces and realizing she has hands. Kate’s vocabulary is no longer limited to crying; she talks and sighs while she eats, as if she’s giving a running commentary of her meal or trying to share tasting notes. In the past few days, we’ve noticed tears running down her cheeks when she cries, and have even caught her fake crying when she just wants to get our attention.

7b/365: 1 week birthday

Not a trace of her Filipino heritage

31/365: One month

And we’re growing just as rapidly as new parents. She’s made us learn the true meanings of sleeplessness and multitasking. Tasks that were once theoretically repugnant, such as changing a baby that has soaked her clothes through with an exploding poopy diaper, have become a reality to deal with and get desensitized to. We’ve started to differentiate between her various sounds and expressions. The endless cycle of feed-burp-change-nap is getting handled more efficiently (despite looking out our window at the Olympic celebrations and wishing we could have timed her birth a little differently). I’m sure there is more to learn and that she will continue to wrap us around her little finger as her first year progresses.

Proper family close-up

Thank you to everyone that has supported us thus far with gifts, food, advice, and assistance. We welcome your help and experience…and most definitely your babysitting skills!

Another update next month. For now, look at the 365-day photo project we have on Flickr (month 1 below). Each photo describes any milestones in its caption.

0a/365: D-day...labour pains in full force 0b/365: Hello, world 1/365: Blue 2/365: Donor milk 3/365: Time to go home 4/365: Cluster feeding 5/365: Please sleep... 6/365: Bath time 7a/365: Tinier bits 7b/365: 1 week birthday 8/365: Bruce visits 9/365: Nap time 10/365: Working lunch 11/365: Bouncer 12/365: Grandma Lynn heads home 13/365: New toy 14/365: 2 weeks 15/365: No more ties to the womb 16a/365: Great-grandmother Lucy 16b/365: Strawberry 17/365: Family self portrait 18/365: Winter baby 19/365: Personalized blankie 20a/365: Whimper 20b/365: Fussy 21/365: Three weeks 22/365: Stroller coma 23/365: Dead asleep 24/365: First bath at home 25/365: Napping with Daddy 26/365: Wide awake 27/365: Spit monster 28/365: Made in Canada 29/365: Latch 30/365: Canadian beauty 31/365: One month

T-minus 1 month.

Hard to believe that Kurt and I will be parents in the next month! We’ve done a pretty decent job of preparing for the upheaval…reading the baby books, taking prenatal courses, eating well and keeping active. My side of the family has thrown a couple of baby showers and all sets of parents have helped us secure the big ticket items, so we are comfortably set up with a car seat, bassinet, stroller, and newborn diapers to last us the first few weeks.

The next few weeks will be busy with wrapping up work before I go on maternity (well, as much as a small business owner with a client base can go on maternity) till the end of May. We also started the process of painting the nursery. Although we originally wanted to paint the room yellow, we’re now thinking green would better complement the size of the room, the decor within it, and the Classic Pooh wallpaper stripe that I fell in love with at Home Depot. Hopefully by this weekend we’ll have narrowed it down to 2-3 shades so that we can paint samples onto the wall and have ‘er done by New Year’s.

Our hospital duffel bag is partially packed thanks to my paranoia that the little one wants to get out early. Based on the checklists that parenting resources have suggested, I’ve attempted a custom list that Kurt can go over while I’m in the throes of early labour:

  • Pen and paper for taking notes
  • Birth plan (several copies for doctor, Kurt, nurses)
  • iPhone and charger
  • Stopwatch for contractions (yes, there’s an App for that!)
  • Baby oil
  • Extra pillows
  • Hair ties
  • Sugarless candies or lollipops
  • Back massager
  • Snacks and drinks for Kurt
  • Swim trunks for Kurt (if I decide to use water therapies)
  • Diversions for a long labor: music, puzzles, magazines, books, a deck of cards, laptop, handheld electronic games
  • Who to Call list
  • Camera and charger
  • Video camera and charger
  • Thank-you goodies for hospital staff
  • Baby books and labour / delivery notes
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
  • Hairbrush and comb
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, makeup)
  • Maxi-pads
  • Snacks for after delivery
  • Bottle of bubble to celebrate with
  • 1-2 days’ worth of postpartum clothing
  • Underwear and nursing bra
  • Nightgown
  • Bathrobe
  • Wool socks and slippers
  • Going-home outfits for baby
  • Cap, mitts and socks for baby
  • Receiving blanket(s) for baby
  • Newborn diapers and change pad
  • Baby sling

It’s a ton of stuff, but from what we’ve heard, lots of stays are 1-2 days long.

Wish us luck!

Our baby registry round-up.

With all the stuff we’ve been bombarded with as expecting parents, it sometimes feels like we have to spend a fortune on stuff that is being marketed to us as baby necessities. We’re doing our best to wade through the BS and locate the key pieces that would last us through two kids. Unfortunately, no one retailer has all the products that we have settled on, so here’s a blog post to link together the items that we’ve got our eyes on.

Thanks to a tip from Luciana, we discovered myregistry.com and placed all the items described below into it. You can now see whether people have told us that they purchased something from the registry. This is a LOT easier to update!

Click here to visit our page on myregistry.com >

We’ll still use this post to add notes for stuff we might add in future and to tell you when we hear about sale pricing.

What we already have

Pink clothing. To date, we’ve been gifted with more than 50 pieces of clothing in pink. Please try to pick another colour for our baby’s wardrobe! We like gender-neutral colours best, like green or yellow or white, and newborn-6m clothing that Child #2 can use again.

If you’d like to get us girly-girl stuff, how about choosing purple or red as a girls’ colour or getting girl styles (ie, dresses, frills, flowers / feminine patterns) in colours other than pink?

Bassinet / mobile crib. My dad and Lorraine bought us the Arm’s Reach Mini-Convertible Co-sleeper.

Stroller. Kurt’s parents bought us the BOB Revolution stroller in Blue Chocolate.

Infant car seat. My mother bought us the Peg Perego SIP infant carrier.

BOB stroller car adapter. We have the BOB stroller and the Peg Perego car seat already, but to use them together, we needed this car seat adapter that is placed on the stroller for when the baby is too small for the stroller. It converts to a cup holder and food tray for when the baby is big enough to sit up in the stroller.

Baby carrier. Kurt’s office got us a Baby Bjorn Classic. Could use accessories for it like a weather shield or some sort of pouch to hold a facecloth / soother / wipes.

Camcorder. My mom bought us a Sony Handycam DCR-SX41 for Christmas.

Bouncer and swing. Dave and Michelle loaned us their bouncing chair and musical swing now that Alden has outgrown them.

Bath supplies. We got a tub as a giveaway at one of the baby events we got invited to.


These are the things that would definitely be lifesavers now that we don’t have time to do anything but cater to Kaitlin.

Meal service or made-ahead meals

Kaitlin feeds so often that I don’t have time to fix myself anything to eat, let alone cook or go grocery shopping. Our family has been helping us by bringing food whenever they visit, but it would also be lovely to have a stash of single-serving, simply-microwave meals to have in the fridge or freezer without resorting to processed foods or junk. Best foods are things I can prep and/or eat with one hand – finger foods, forkable bits, or pasta.

A lot of the meal services have closed their doors in 2009 but Indishpensable on Arbutus is still alive and well.

Cloth Diapers: New and Green Baby

After consulting with New and Green Baby, we’ve specified the type, size, colour, and quantity of the items we’d like knowing that we’ll re-use them for Child #2 (and who knows whether that one will be a boy or a girl). We’ve already purchased the sizes we’ll need for the first 6 months but we still don’t have the hose that attaches to the toilet so that we can (ugh) rinse poop off of the diapers before throwing them in the wash.

Sleep Bags

The most indispensable items in Kate’s wardrobe are her microfleece SleepSack and her cotton SwaddleMe. We only have one of each. Because she is such as spit-up machine, we wind up having to clean them on a daily basis. It would be lovely to have a few more of each kind so that we can be less crazy with the laundry loads.

Baby Incidentals

All the little things add up, and we are shocked how much of our budget is drained by these seemingly innocuous household needs:

  • Baby wet wipes (we like Seventh Generation or other hypoallergenic, non-alcohol options)
  • Formula (currently using powdered Good Start with Omega 3s)
  • Playtex bottles (the hockey stick shaped kind designed to minimize burps, gas, and spit-ups)

Crib: Gluckstein Crib in White

We’ll be using the co-sleeper for the first 6 months but eventually the baby will get too big for it. We already have partial Bay credit that we can use towards this Gluckstein crib. The white colour will better match the nursery’s colours but espresso is okay too.

Nice to Haves

These are things that we’d appreciate getting, but if we never get them, it’s probably not that big a deal.

Baby Bjorn Accessories

Kate loves hanging out in her carrier but she is still susceptible to rain. Would appreciate a weather / warmth shield, as well as something that attaches as a spit-up cloth or bib, and perhaps a pouch or attachment that can be used to store a soother and facecloth.

Flu frustration.

When you first decide to start a family, the last thing you expect to sift through in the deluge of new-parent info is a pandemic. The H1N1 flu bug has finally landed in BC, causing a lot of stress for me and my husband as we socialize with friends and family this season.

Personally, I didn’t think much about the whole issue until Thanksgiving. I had a vague idea that people were starting to come down with it in Canada and had heard whisperings here and there that pregnant women experienced more severe symptoms than the average person.

When I arrived in Kelowna to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws, the risk of coming down with the flu got a little more real. My brother-in-law was still in the throes of the fever he contracted from my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law was over the worst of it but was still feeling weak.

The ten of us had rented a house for a few days of family reunion, but with two people sick, the rest of the family took pains to separate me from my ailing siblings. It made for an awkward weekend of supposed reconnecting: careful placement of relatives at the long table, conversations held at 45-degree angles (so as not to breathe towards the bulge), and ix-naying of double-dipping and free-for-all food portioning.

It got worse as Halloween–and my neighbouring birthday party–approached. I felt like a jerk asking my friends to bow out of the party if they felt even a remote sniffle, but when common sense wars with hormonal fluctuations and maternal instincts, you have to know that it has lost from the start.

We knew that we were wigging out about it, so to make fun of our paranoia, we decided to play doctor for Halloween.

Baby, daddy and me at 29 weeks

Hope I regain my right mind soon, and ride through this flu season without endangering the baby or losing friends.

Our baby as produce.

19 weeks into this pregnancy and my torso has become a foreign landscape. Despite looking as if I have swallowed a melon, I still find the mommy industry’s practice of comparing one’s developing child to a piece of produce to be disconcerting. Each fruit or vegetable that our baby can be likened to in any given week gives me cause to boycott said foodstuff until our baby can no longer be compared to it. Here’s an example of the analogies that crop up in every newsletter, website, and iPod application that targets moms-to-be.

Pregnancy Tracker’s weekly size chart:

  1. No size comparison in Week 1: ovulation
  2. No size comparison in Week 2: implantation
  3. Poppyseed: 0.02″
  4. Poppyseed: 0.10″
  5. Sesame seed: 0.18″
  6. Grain of rice: 0.25″, 0.05 oz
  7. Blueberry: 0.53″, 0.07 oz
  8. Raspberry: 0.68″, 0.11 oz
  9. Grape: 0.93″, 0.35 oz
  10. Prune: 1.2″, 0.71 oz
  11. Fig: 1.7″, 1.06 oz
  12. Plum: 2.3″, 1.6 oz
  13. Peach: 3″, 2.3 oz
  14. Lemon: 3.5″, 3.9 oz
  15. Apple: 4.1″, 4.8 oz
  16. Avocado: 4.7″, 5.6 oz
  17. Turnip: 5.2″, 7.1 oz
  18. Sweet potato: 5.8″, 8.8 oz
  19. Mango: 6.2″, 9.5 oz
  20. Grapefruit: 6.8″, 13.4 oz
  21. Cantaloupe: 8.9″, 15.9 oz
  22. Spaghetti  squash: 10.2″, 1.1 lbs
  23. Papaya: 11″, 1.2 lbs
  24. Ear of corn: 11.8″, 1.4 lbs
  25. Rutabaga: 12.6″, 1.7 lbs
  26. Eggplant: 13″, 1.9 lbs
  27. Head of cauliflower: 13.4″, 2.2 lbs
  28. Chinese cabbage: 13.8″, 2.5 lbs
  29. Butternut squash: 14.2″, 2.9 lbs
  30. Head of lettuce: 14.6″, 3.3 lbs
  31. Head of lettuce: 15.4″, 3.7 lbs
  32. Head of lettuce: 15.9″, 4.2 lbs
  33. Pineapple: 16.5″, 4.6 lbs
  34. Pineapple: 16.9″, 5.1 lbs
  35. Honeydew: 17.7″, 5.5 lbs
  36. Honeydew: 18.3″, 6 lbs
  37. Watermelon: 18.9″, 6.4 lbs
  38. Watermelon: 19.7″, 6.6 lbs
  39. Watermelon: 19.7″, 6.7 lbs
  40. Pumpkin: 19.7″, 6.8 lbs

Brahms’ Lullaby

I once owned a pink and red Sanrio jewellry box (something like this). It was my most cherished possession for the magic that it possessed inside: a chime that spun a lullaby whenever it opened.

Later, I learned that the melody was Brahms’ Lullaby, and that English lyrics existed for me to learn and sing to our highly anticipated family addition. Did your parents ever sing this song to you?

Brahms’ Lullaby

Lullaby, and good night,
With pink roses bedight,
With lilies o’erspread,
Is my baby’s sweet head.
Lay you down now, and rest,
May your slumber be blessed!
Lay you down now, and rest,
May thy slumber be blessed!

Lullaby, and good night,
You’re your mother’s delight,
Shining angels beside
My darling abide.
Soft and warm is your bed,
Close your eyes and rest your head.
Soft and warm is your bed,
Close your eyes and rest your head.

Sleepyhead, close your eyes.
Mother’s right here beside you.
I’ll protect you from harm,
You will wake in my arms.
Guardian angels are near,
So sleep on, with no fear.
Guardian angels are near,
So sleep on, with no fear.

Lullaby, and sleep tight.
Hush! My darling is sleeping,
On his sheets white as cream,
With his head full of dreams.
When the sky’s bright with dawn,
He will wake in the morning.
When noontide warms the world,
He will frolic in the sun.