Author Archives: wanderpiggy

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 – Lillebaby Carriers

In Part 1, I talked about the first two must-have items for baby: properly fitted breast shields and the Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit. If you missed the post, make sure you check it out!

In this Part 2 post, I would like to talk about carriers. Beanie gets very fussy sometimes, and when he does, he wants to be carried. When I first got pregnant, I wasn’t too keen on the thought of carrying him all the time. But I came across this article that totally changed my view. It was about a mom who vowed to sooth her daughter to the best of her ability because of a missionary’s story. To summarize the story, this missionary visited an orphanage in Uganda, and found it strange that none of the babies were crying. When he inquired about it, the host told him the babies learned that no one would come for them even when they cry, so they stop crying altogether. It was a heart breaking moment for me when I first read it. I don’t want my kid to think that he is all alone and can’t turn to anybody for help. So I also try my best to attend to him whenever I can. He gets clingy sometimes, and it is difficult to hold him in my arms all the time. I read that there are many benefits to babywearing, so I did some research on baby carriers. In this post, I would like to share the two carriers that I use and are in love with.

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 - Lillebaby Baby Carriers

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 2 – Lillebaby Carriers

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products below. I’m sharing them with you because I love the following products.

Lillebaby All Seasons – TokiDoki “Rebel” Baby Carrier

I have both a structured and a soft carrier. Both of them are by Lillebaby. The first carrier I recommend is the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons carrier. I picked the Tokidoki Rebel version and received it as a gift. I personally LOVE this carrier, especially on Anthony. I am not joking. Anthony uses this carrier to wear Beanie around. See how great Anthony looks wearing this!

 

Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Carrier

There are many reasons why I love this carrier. First of all, I love the pattern! I adore Tokidoki. There is a lumbar support which doesn’t give you back pain. The shoulder straps are well padded. The back panel (in the front) can be zipped down to allow for air circulation during hot weather. There is a nice neck support, and a sun shade. The carrier can be converted to carry your child in 6 different positions. No infant insert is required, and you can carry your baby between the weight of 7 lbs to 45 lbs. There is a little zipper pocket for you to put small things like key, money or card. One tiny detail that I love a lot is there are these small elastic bands attached to the end of the straps. So after you make the adjustments, you can roll and wrap the extra straps with these little elastic bands. Last but not least, this carrier is evaluated by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, and is considered to be hip healthy for all babies. It means that the seat keeps the baby’s hips and legs in a comfortable “M” position, and promotes proper hip development at all ages. This is by far one of the most important reasons why I chose this carrier.

There are a few cons to this carrier. First of all, this carrier takes up a lot of space due to the heavy padded straps and rigid waist band. So this carrier is fairly difficult to store/carry around when not in use. Second, I personally cannot use this carrier because I have a petite frame. Even when I adjust everything to the tightest setting, it’s still too big on me. Also, if both Anthony and I use the same carrier, then we’ll have to keep readjusting the strap settings, which can be a bit annoying. Lastly, when Beanie was younger, even when he was over 7 lbs, the carrier felt a bit too big for his frame. On the instructional video, they put a rolled up towel on the bottom to prop up the baby. But we still found it too roomy for his small frame. When we put him in, it felt like there wasn’t a lot of support, and he would end up sliding to the bottom of the carrier with his body slouched over. We didn’t use it too often when he was younger, and when we used it, we constantly kept an eye on his body position. Now that he’s bigger, we have no problem using it. Other than these few cons, we don’t have other negatives things to complain about.

LILLEbaby Tie the Knot Baby Wrap

Before I talk about my next carrier, I want to side track a little bit. I actually debated long and hard whether or not to get another carrier for myself. As I said before, I can’t use the All Seasons carrier because it’s too big for me. And when Beanie gets fussy, he wants to be carried all the time. A few weeks after he’s born, he gained weight fairly rapidly and my wrists started hurting a lot. I looked into many babywraps. When I went to the babyshow, I tried out the Human + Mother’s wrap. They made theirs with 100% Lenzing Modal, which is a very soft fabric. But I find it a bit too pricey. My friend recommended the Baby K’tan. It’s supposed to be very easy to put on, but it’s size specific. I was going through reviews, and a girl with a petite frame (5’4 height) said she found the small size Baby K’tan too big on her. I’m even smaller than her, so I was worried that the carrier would be too big on me. If that’s the case, then I would not be able to tighten it. So I started looking around some more, and ended up getting the Lillebaby Tie The Knot baby wrap in teal.

 

Lillebaby Tie the Knot baby carrier

The teal colour is super gorgeous, and the fabric is so soft! Plus there is an elastic band on each end to tie up extra material, so if you have to put on the wrap outside, this can keep the extra material from touching the ground. I love this wrap, it’s so easy to put on! The only complaint I have is the wrap is way too long for me. Especially because I have a petite frame, there is a lot of extra material left over. In terms of learning how to put this on, it took me a few tries to learn how to get the tension right. There is a bit of a learning curve, but there are a lot of excellent instruction videos online. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to put together. It does take a bit of time to put the carrier on (compare to Baby K’tan), BUT the carrier is definitely worth it!

We have gotten great uses out of these two carriers within the first three months. So I consider them to be excellent investments! What about you? Do you have a carrier that you really like? Why do you like them? Share them with me in the comments down below! Also, don’t miss out on Part 3 of the special items for baby!

 

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 1 – Breast Shield & Activity Gym

Happy 3 months to my sweetheart, Beanie! I can’t believe 3 months flew right by! I’m happy that Beanie is growing up quite fast, he now manages to stay up a bit longer, and is more alert when he’s up. Also his smiles and giggles are infectious! But truth be told, not going to lie, he can be a royal pain in the behind. Really, only cute when not crying, as I always say!

In this post, I want to talk about some of the items I use all the time within these 3 months. I’m not going to talk about “common” items, because there are so many articles and videos about what you need for babies. The two videos I found really helpful are from DafneMeBella and  Muniza K. The first video is more of an overview of possible items that parents can consider to get for their babies; while I find Muniza’s list to be the ultimate essential items since her video is geared toward the parents who are on a tight budget. I am a minimalist, so I didn’t acquire a lot of things. But there are a few items that I find to be extremely useful. I either bought them myself, or they were given to me as gifts. I want to share these items with you.

Special (And Very Useful) Items For Baby: Part 1

Special (And very useful) items for baby: Part 1 - breast shield and activity gym

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the products below. I’m sharing them with you because I love the following products.

Since I can’t really sit for too long to write long posts, I am breaking it down to three smaller posts. This is part one, where I will talk about properly fitted breast shields and activity gym.

Properly Sized Breast Shields

Special (And very useful) items for baby: Part 1 - breast shield

I am one of those mommies who pump. I did a lot of research on breast pumps while I was pregnant, because the idea of having someone attached to my breasts and chew out my nipples 24/7 (okay fine, 8-12 times a day for 30 min each) do not appeal to me, AT ALL. I read up on which breast pump to get, how other mommies increase their milk production, how they store their milk supplies, etc. Then I came across the topic on properly sized breast shields. If you only pump occasionally, the size of the breast shield shouldn’t matter too much. But if you want to pump constantly, you MUST get a properly fitted breast shield. Or else your breasts will not be effectively and fully emptied, and your nipples will be rubbed raw.. OUCH.

To side track a little, the breast pump that I ended up buying is the Medela Pump In Style double electric pump. I actually wanted to get the Spectra, but they don’t ship it to Canada, so sad, but that’s another story. Anyway, I was able to get part of the breast pump covered by my insurance, so make sure you look into yours to see if it is covered. Okay, going back to breast shield, the breast shield that comes with the Medela package is 24mm in size. To find the proper shield size, you need to measure the diameter of your nipple, and then add 2-3mm to it. On Medela’s website, they specifically said, “a correctly sized breast shield is essential for successful pumping.” They offer the following sizes to “suit various nipple diameters”: 21mm, 24mm, 27mm, 30mm, and 36mm. Really, Medela? 21mm is the smallest shield you offer? Let me tell you, I was super distraught. When I first tried the pump, the whole areola was being sucked into the pump. So I bought the 21mm. NOPE! Same thing, and the friction on my nipples was getting unbearable. Luckily, while I was doing my research, I came across this company called Maymom. They sell smaller size breast shields. And I was SOOO HAPPY when I found out they sell their breast shields on Amazon! The following is Maymom’s sizing chart.

Breast shield size

It’s not shown on the chart, but Maymom carries 19mm, 17mm, and 15mm breast shields!  I am soooo glad!!

I ended up purchasing the 17mm shield, I probably should have gotten the 15mm, but at least they’re fitting way better than the 24mm and 21mm breast shields. So ladies, if you want to pump constantly, do yourself a favour, and get yourself a pair of well fitted breast shields!

 

Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit

Special (And very useful) items for baby: Part 1 - activity gym

One of my colleagues suggested for me to get an activity gym for Beanie, because it’ll keep him busy. At first I was thinking, do I really need it?  I did some research, and I ended up putting the Infantino Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit onto my registry. I asked for it because I LOVE BALL PITS! When I was young, my mom would bring me to this mall. There was a Toys R Us in the mall, and right beside it was, you guessed it, a ball pit! I LOVED IT! Every time we passed by, I wanted to go in! Sadly, my mom only allowed me to go in twice. Now that I’m older (and being germophobic), I understood why she didn’t let me go in. Anyway. So when I saw this activity gym, I MUST HAVE IT!! So I put it on my registry, and my best friend got it for me. We had been using this for a month now. We don’t have a lot of space, so we either put this on our bed, or inside Beanie’s crib. (What do you know! Yes it fits into the crib!) We would either put him on his front for tummy time, or on his back so he could look at the hanging toys. He’s not old enough for the actual ball pit yet. Anyway, in the beginning, when we put Beanie on his back, we would wiggle the bar to move the hanging toys to get his attention. He would happily kick his feet, and laugh or smile and look around. A few days in, I found that he was kicking so much, I ended up placing his feet on one of the bars. He ended up kicking the bar, which moved the toys above, which fuelled him to kick the bar some more! OMG! We got us an awesome self-entertainment unit!

Infantino grow with me activity gym

See how much fun he is having on his own! I still try to talk to him or play with him while he plays. But it definitely gives us some relaxing time while he entertains himself. I can’t wait until he is old enough to play with the ball pit! Maybe I’ll end up playing too!

So that’s it for this post. I will have part 2 and part 3 coming up soon. Part 2 will be on baby carriers, and Part 3 will be on apps. In the mean time, what about you? What items did you find extremely useful for your baby? If you have any useful items, share them with me in the comments below!

 

 

Work in Progress: The Adventures of Ricky and Riley Logo

I’m now working on my newest children activity book. It is called The Adventures of Ricky and Riley. Ricky and Riley are twin brother and sister, and they love to go on different adventures! But they also need the readers help in solving problems. In it, there are various activities for the little ones to enjoy!

So far, I have this as the logo!

Ricky and Riley logo

So much to work on still! But I am very happy with the result!

If you’re interested to follow Ricky and Riley’s progress, subscribe here!

Will write more later!

 

Wander In Colour Review and Giveaway

I am super excited!  Adult Coloring 101 did a review on my Wander In Colour: With Cats – A Colouring Travel Journal. She also coloured a few of the illustrations, and they look awesome! Here’re two of the pages.

Wander In Colour With Cats

 

Wander In Colour With Cats

I always love seeing how people end up colouring my illustrations. I’m happy when people enjoy what I have to offer, it makes me feel that all the hard work I put in is worth it.

Also, Adult Coloring 101 is doing a giveaway of my book! Deadline is Aug 6th! Check out the page and enter for a chance to win! 😀  While you’re at it, make sure you check out her site for articles on coloring techniques, book review and book giveaways!

5 Steps To Get Back Onto The Bandwagon

I can’t believe it’s been 7 weeks since we had Damien! So far, Anthony and I have been handling things as best as we can. Now that he’s getting older, he definitely wants to stay awake longer. And when he’s awake, he wants someone to hold him or play with him. Sometimes, I want to do a bit more work, but I also feel guilty that I’m not giving him enough attention, so I spend more time with him. But by the time he falls asleep, I feel so tired and drained, I end up not doing anything. I know that I end up making excuses, and this happens to me all the time. The process usually goes something like this: I decide to do something, I do it for a while, then something happens and I get interrupted… then I come up with excuses and don’t go back to it. It’s frustrating, because deep down, I get upset and I feel like I failed even though I know I shouldn’t be so harsh on myself. It can become quite a vicious cycle, and I end up with nothing to show.

Recently I got overwhelmed, and had a little meltdown. I told my husband that I have so much to do, but I feel I have no time to do anything. Luckily, Anthony was very supportive. He told me not to dwell too much on the end result and focus on each day. We just have to do a little bit each day. Even though it is a very common and simple piece of advice, it seems strange that my brain tends to reject it when I give this advice to myself, but would accept it when it comes from someone else. I have to say that it is wonderful to have a brand new website up and running (thanks to Anthony). It really is a great way to kick start my work process again.  In addition to this, I have taken a few steps to get myself in gear, and I want to share with you what I’ve done.

5 Steps To Get Back Onto The Bandwagon

1) Reorganize the work space

Anthony always shakes his head at me when he looks at my desk, that’s because it usually looks like a bomb has exploded in my work area. Cleaning out my desk is one of the first things I always do when I feel I need to get back into the groove of things. The motion of cleaning out my work space is a way of letting my brain know I’m getting down to business, which makes me a little more productive. Also, the cleanliness and extra space make the work area more calm and inviting.

2) Treat yourself to a little something upfront for motivation

I am brought up to believe that rewards are meant to come after hard work (and sometimes, it’s not even necessary, since you’re supposed to work hard anyway). So I rarely treat myself to something as a pat on the back. However, I recently found a notebook I bought a while ago. It’s an Alice in Wonderland Edition Moleskin notebook. It’s brand new and I haven’t written in it. I thought it would make a great tool for my book ideas and research.

5 steps to get back onto the bandwagon

To get this notebook started, I tried to decorate the inside with my limited doodling skill.

5 steps to get back onto the bandwagon

It seems so easy when I watch other people doodle! But it’s actually quite difficult haha! At first I wanted to fill the whole page, but it took me a long time just to do the bottom area, so I will leave it as is for now.

This notebook made me realize that it’s quite nice to get something new for myself before I tackle work. Even though I bought this notebook previously, the act of cracking open a new tool makes it seems like it’s an official start. It definitely gave me a boost of encouragement and motivation. I love stationary, especially cute notebooks. I believe this treat doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just something that can give you the motivation to get things started.

3) Set deadlines for the goals

I know that setting an actual date for the deadline is very important, especially when none of the projects are considered “urgent”. But I know without deadlines, nothing will happen. This year, I would like to get two children activity books out by the end of the year. I set the first one to be September 30th, and the second one on November 30th. I don’t know if these will happen, maybe a little too ambitious? At the end of the day, if my projects don’t get done by the deadline, I won’t be extremely upset. I mean I have to keep it realistic since I have a baby to take care of. But I hope the actual days won’t be too far off from the deadlines I set. We’ll see how things go!

4) Breakdown the task list to small manageable chunks

One of the things I spent time on is to figure out what kind of activities I need to do, and how much time I need for each, to achieve my goals. That’s because, unlike before, I can’t sit for a long stretch to do one task now. If I’m lucky, I get to spend 15-30 min on a task before I’d get interrupted. This is by far the biggest lesson I have learned from the past few weeks. But it is what it is, and we have to adapt to it. So I have listed different tasks I need to tackle in 15-30 minutes increments. Every night, I would look at the tasks, and list out what I need to do for the next day.

5) Get an accountability buddy

I am blessed to have met Maureen from Adult Coloring 101. She is a wonderful lady with a lot of great ideas. We talked about the projects we’re working on, and I proposed we become each other’s accountability buddy! I think it’s a great idea because I don’t like to make empty promises and disappoint other people. So even though we didn’t set specific times to check in with each other, in the back of my head, I know that I’m being held accountable for my actions. Even though it’s only 1 person, I want to be able to deliver what I want to deliver.

 

And that’s what I did to get myself back onto the bandwagon. I’m sure I’ll fall off again from time to time, but I will also keep trying to get back onto it. What about you? What do you do to get yourself back onto the bandwagon when you fall off? I would love to hear your tips and tricks!

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