Icy Shuffleboard

 It was our friend Jeff's big 3-0.  To celebrate we all went curling.  Here's Andrew with broom, curling away.
I tried to throw the stone twice, and ended up with a good bruise on my knee.  Knee pads would have been helpful.
Happy Birthday Jeff!!!

Sleep Training

We have finally had it with Castle waking up in the middle of the night.  At first we thought he was hungry.  Sure he can eat.  But getting up every two hours?  That's a little excessive.  Then we thought he is over tired.  But he naps fabulously during the day without a fight.  So what is the matter?  We read over the book again.

We are in the parenting camp of letting our child cry it out.  Some may say we are insensitive and harsh, but this is the way I see it - we need our rest as much as our baby does and picking him up every time he cries does not give us rest.

The theory is that he will eventually learn to soothe himself back to sleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night.  We are on our second night and it's already working.  I finally got my first full night of sleep in 7 months.  It feels great!

Freezer Paper Stenciling

When I was pregnant I took up a hobby entitled Lets Make Baby Stuff!  So after some internet searches I found a way to turn that boring plain onesie into something fun - Freezer Paper Stenciling.  I found this Boba Fett Graphic at Red Bubble.

I reinterpreted it with a line drawing.
I then further simplified it, made a stencil of my design and transfered it onto a onesie by following this tutorial.
There it is.  Baby Boba Fett, worn by one chubby baby Castle.  
See the length on that onesie?  This is a 9 month-er.  Castle is no where near 9 months.  See how the bottom of it comes up to his waist like a regular shirt?  Bulky cloth diapers aside, he is getting way too long for all of his clothes.  I'm not sure if it's just a flaw in baby clothing design or Castle is out of proportion for his age.  If it's the right width it's the wrong length.  He now wears his sleepers like a gown, without the feet tucked in.

Red Pocket

Chinese New Year is coming up.  Other than Christmas, this is when I miss my family the most.  Good thing Vancouver is filled with many Chinese things, so I can get a little dose of Chinese New Year.
Thank you Gung Gung and Po Po for sending us our red pockets.  
Happy early Chinese New Year to you, we love you.

Dining Out: RauDZ Regional Table, take 2

We Simply cannot get enough of this place.  If someone were to ask us what is our favourite restaurant, we would complicatedly say RauDZ.  Complicatedly because it is not simple at all for us to name a favourite. We like to try all different kinds of restaurants, all different cuisines, all different price ranges.  Yet if we was forced to choose a favourite, it would have to be this place.

This is the BEST calamari dish I've ever had, grilled with an olive stuffing.  Andrew detests olives, yet he couldn't stop eating it.

RauDZ is so good because it serves absolutely scrumptious food in a beautiful yet unpretentious way.  The ingredients are organic and local, which means they are fresh, fresh means good flavour, good flavour means delicious.

The dishes are creative, so we are never bored with the menu.  And everything we've tried has been great.  The staff is friendly and courteous, very respectful yet fun to be around.  We love it so much that the last time we were in Kelowna, we went there to have dinner two nights in a row.  And that's how great this place is, we went back for a second night without feeling like uncomfortable embarrassed dorks.

It's just too bad that our favourite restaurant is in Kelowna, a 5 hour drive away.  Maybe that's a good thing, because if it was closer to home we would eat out ALL THE TIME.
Panna Cotta (not a stick of butter)
Our server told us that he had a table not too long ago with patrons from Vancouver, and they drove all the way to Kelowna that day just to go there for dinner.  Sounds a little extreme but I wouldn't be surprised if we make a getaway to Kelowna with RauDZ as the main event.

first flip

Today turned out to be a very nice day.  Vancouver is magnificent when the sun comes out, especially in the winter.

Castle managed to flip himself from belly to back for the first time during tummy time today, he was a bit elevated with the blanket roll so it helped.  Here he is trying to get himself from from back to belly.  He usually gets stuck in this position, and after a minute or two he screams for help.

Here he is doing a little reading.  He was more interested in eating the book.

Cloth Diapering

Before our baby was born, we decided that we would do cloth diapers.  People around us were skeptical when we told them.  It was a general consensus that once our baby comes, we were going to change our minds.  It made me rethink our decision, but in the end we stuck with it and we are glad we did.
There are many benefits to cloth - no diaper rash, better for the environment, and less costly (in the long run, especially if you are going to use them for more than one kid).  I though, if my parents did it, why couldn't I?  The cloth diapers available now are very different than what our parents used.  It was a daunting task deciding on which kind to purchase, after extensive research on the internet, we decided on the one size pocket diaper.  It's a fleece lined waterproof shell with a pocket that you stuff for absorbency, each diaper come with 2 stuffers.  We use one for day time and both for over night.  They are one size fits all diapers with an adjustable elastic around the legs and different snap positions around the waist.  It took a few tries before we got the hang of adjusting them so that they didn't leak out the sides.  There are a few brands out there with similar features, we went with FuzziBunz.  (Why FuzziBunz? below.)
We initially bought 6 diapers to try out before taking the plunge, we now have a total of 24 diapers.  Averaging 6-8 diapers a day, having 24 diapers mean we only need to wash a load of diapers every two to three days.  The soiled diapers are stored in a waterproof wet bag until wash day.  Washing is very simple, we dump all the soiled diapers into the washing machine, including the wet bag flipped inside out, run through a soak cycle on cold, and a wash cycle on hot with a cold rinse.  They all come out sparkling clean every time.  I like to hang dry, but they can also be dried in the dryer.
What about the poop, you ask?  Poop from breast fed babies can go into the wash no problem.  Once baby starts solids, try to remove as much solid poop into the toilet as possible before a wash.  You can use flushable liners in the diaper to make that task easier.

Update:  We are still using cloth!  Castle is now 6 months and has been eating solids for a month, washing is all the same, everything comes out nice and clean, we are not using liners.  He needs a diaper change every 3 hours or else he leaks, sometimes more than that because the inserts only hold a certain amount.  They hold in poop really well but pee not so much.  He rarely has a poop-up-the-back, he had more of those when he was wearing disposables.  He now sleep 12+ hours through the night and they don't hold out for that long double stuffed.  So we use a regular diaper at bed time.

FAQ:  Why did you choose FuzziBunz?
We liked the adjustable elastic leg opening to adjust the rise.  Some other brands just have snaps with three positions.  But the elastic adjustment is more custom.  The drawback, it's a pain to adjust all of them in the beginning.  We were advise not to get the brands with Velcro close tabs.  They wear out much faster than snaps from washing and since we want to use these for more than one kid we went with the snaps.  The absorbent stuffing comes apart for washing, meaning they will dry faster.  The drawback, we've added re-stuffing diapers to our chore list.  We could buy them in the USA for much cheaper than in Canada.  (We saved $7 / diaper) We found an online store in the US that gives discounts for purchasing multiples, plus no sales tax.  We were traveling in the US so we had the diapers delivered to our hotel.  If not we would have gotten them shipped for free to the border, and we go pick them up.  And, I love all the different colours!

FAQ:  Do you recommend FuzziBunz?
Yes and No.  Yes because they work, with its perks and drawbacks.  No because I believe any other kind of cloth diaper would have done the job.

new adventures in food

Castle had his first taste of solids today.

He was not too interested as more of it landed on his bib than in his mouth.  I think he managed to ingest two tiny mouthfuls.

We will give it another go in a few days.  Speaking of yummy solids, we made oatmeal raisin cookies.  They are not too pretty to look at but yummy none the less.  My new wooden doll pendent is more visually appealing.


Citrus and Toes

It's a rainy Monday morning so here are some of my favourite things right now.

Meyer Lemons.  I racked my brain about what to do with these golden yellow beauties.  Meyer lemon bars? Meyer lemon cookies?  Meyer lemon cupcakes?  After going through almost every possibility, I ended up making meyer lemonade.  It should have been my first thought but I always make things so complicated.  What else would capture the sweet floral goodness of a meyer lemon other than lemonade?

Cara Cara navel oranges.  I had to get them because they were in a pink packaging with a smiley orange that said "Pink Oranges".  Pink Oranges?  I just couldn't wait to get into them to see what it looks like.  Not as orangey tasting as a regular navel but just as sweet and juicy.  As for the pink, it's more like orange red.

And these toes.

I love these toes.

Sleep Sack

I decided to make Castle a sleep sack after convincing myself that I'm confident enough to sew a zipper.  I went to town picking out some gender neutral fabrics in my favourite yellow.  I made a pattern following another sleep sack that I borrowed from a friend. 

The zipper was challenging but not as frustrating as my sewing nemesis - bias tape.  I found a fun video tutorial at Angry Chicken that gave me some optimism.

Cute toes.

Trying to Remember

Castle was born 3lbs 2oz.  When we finally took him home, he was 5lbs.  Other parents would tell us, "I don't remember when my baby was that small."  I used to think to myself, how could you not remember?!  Looking at him, he is so teeny!  The feeling of holding his head in my hand, and it would fit in my palm.  His limpy body draped in my arms, so fragile and soft.  Now that Castle is 6 months, I have a hard time remembering.  

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