The well rested baby


One of the best parts of navigating this parenting thing is having someone who is a little ahead to guide you, and someone who is a little behind you to impart your wisdom on. For me these were a great work colleague living just down the alley and the other is my sister in law, and after talking for hours with both of them we have all come to the same conclusion…

A well resrted baby sleeps best!

Now I know this goes against all the advice you were probably given when your baby first came home… At least it did for us. We had a ton of the “just keep them awake for as long as you can and then they will sleep through the night”, “don’t let them nurse to sleep you will never be able to transition them to day care”, “when my little first came home…..”. Thankfully Michael and I always responded to these comments with “Monkey was premature and has different needs than your child, but thank you for the thoughts”. 

And boy am I thankful we listen to our instincts on that one! At nearly 15 months old our little Monkey still sleeps about 4.5 hours during the day and 11 at night, and what I have discovered is when those naps in the day time don’t go so well, we find ourselves up a few times through the night and it can be a week or so to get us back on track. Leaving this Mama exhausted by the end of the turn around and usually a new tooth on its way to throw a wrench in the routine.

The key to our success was consulting with a sleep trainer in our area and choosing a plan that worked for us, because Monkey was not always a great sleeper. In the beginning he was a I will sleep well if we co sleep kind of sleeper, and this was not conducive to our family unit! In consultation with this amazing support we chose our method and stick to nap routine: 

  • Up at 6:30am
  • Nap 8:30am-11am (max)
  • Nap at 1pm until at least 2:30 but as late as he wants

Rules:

  1. Never wake baby unless it’s past 11am 
  2. Never vary from the routine during the training time

And I’ll tell you after about a week of this we were napping amazingly and only getting up once for a feed at night. Now that night feeds are no longer necessary we have a little who sleeps all night, the majority of nights!

In the beginning all this time sleeping had me worried that something was not quite right but my doctor reassured me that he is fine and to be thankful I have such a wonderful sleeper. What really made me confident about the well rested baby is when we get all our naps and uninterrupted nighttime sleep in we have a little who is happy the majority of the day (no high chair or car seat tantrums), who eats his meals and seams to learn so much so quickly. 

I know every parent needs to do what’s best for their family, but I challenge you to give it a try. Good long naps in the day time, for a few days and hopefully your little will be sleeping through the night too. I know the rule around our house is “never mess with the nap schedule” for a reason… a well rested Monkey means a well rested Mama! 


What are your tricks for a well rested baby? How did you get your little to sleep through the night? Let me know in the comments below!

Advertisements

Monkey at the Market: Frites and Sweets

A tradition I’ve had for almost a decade is waking up Saturday morning and heading to the local farmers market. No matter the city or province, I would wake up, grab a coffee to go, my grocery list and head to the market to pick up a bag of mini done doughnuts and my favourite guac and whatever I could find that looked yummy and local. 

Once Monkey was born it was a struggle to get out of the house on Saturday mornings to keep this tradition alive so this Saturday was my first one back at the market since October 2015!

Not only was this my first time back and at the new location but it was Monkey’s first market adventure ever!

While we were wondering around the market not only did it seem like there are so many more amazing vendors but we also discovered a new (to us) food truck, The Queen Bees Frites and Sweets. Food trucks and the amazing guac options are really what get me out of the house on a Saturday morning so discovering this little beauty made my weekend for sure.

The Queen Bees are twins sisters who love to bake and turned their nightly strolls and conversations into a successful staple in the food truck culture of Red Deer. You can read more about these inspirational women here.

This little gem has a the cutest spin on food truck dining mixing gourmet french fries and fancy French desserts like créme brûlée and macarons. 

The truck itself had a lot of charm and made me feel the way I think Paris would. It’s that perfect Parisian cream colour with the always present stripes that my imagination believes covers the streets of Paris. There is beauty in the details from the sold out sign for the macarons to the cute little prep station. 

We ordered just plain fries, primarily because Monkey and I would be sharing and there is only so much mess I can clean out of the stroller. They come in the cutest cones in the trucks signature colour, over flowing just enough and perfectly salted. 


Monkey actually ate the majority of the fries which is crazy because he is a little judge when it comes to fries and this cone is huge! I really enjoyed them as well and wholeheartedly regret not getting a side of aoli. 

I know we will be back again this summer for more frites and to try some of the sweets! 

Do you attend your local farmers market? Do you have booths you have to stop at EVERY TIME? Let me know in the comments below!

Dessert at the McGills: Turtle Trifle 

A few weeks back I found this great recipe and made sure to tuck it away for Father’s Day. It so quick and easy I managed to make it start to finish during Monkey’s afternoon nap.

It only requires a few simple ingredients and thankfully I can substitute box brownies from scratch ones so which made everything a lot less messy and a little easier. 


I started by making the brownies and allowing them to cool,  then crumbling about half the pan, and divided that half into the bottom of some all purpose glasses.


The covered with a sweet whipped cream, Caramel and crushed peanuts


Then repeat for you finished product 


This was the perfect Father’s Day dessert to go along with our barbecue Pizza!

Recipe 

Sweet Whipped Cream

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons flavoured cream

Trifle 

  • 1 Pan of brownies 
  • Caramel and chocolate sauce
  • Crushed pecans 
  • Sweet whipped cream
  1. Whip together ingredients for the Sweet Whipped Cream.
  2. Crumble bownies and divide evenly into the 4 classes
  3. Divide half the sweet whipped cream into the glasses 
  4. Cover with caramel and pecans
  5. Repeat steps 2-5
  6. Add chocolate sauce

Makes 4 servings 
Fir the post that inspired this treat click here 

When did you bake for Father’s Day? Does the dad in your life have a sweet tooth? Let me know in the comments below!

Lunchtime at the McGills

These past few days have been a little crazy. Michael’s work schedule changed meaning I am working from home on Mondays for the next little while. This change in our routine is a little rough for Monkey because Mondays and mornings are such a special time for him and his Dada.

To make Monkey’s day a little special I decided to make something a little fun and yummy for monkey for lunch. Monkey’s favourite foods are bread, cheese and berries so what better way to combine them than Strawberry Grilled Cheese Sandwhiches!

It turns out they are yummy to Mama too!


And bonus time this light lunch is only 250 cals!

Ingredients:

  • 2 laughing cow cheese wedges
  • 2 slices of rye bread
  • Strawberries 

Assemble grill and enjoy!

This is my new summer go to yumminess, and I am sure Monkey and I will be enjoying it often! It’s making me very excited to harvest strawberries from our “patch”.

What is your favourite light summer lunch?   Do you have a spin on the classic grilled cheese? Let me know in the comments below!

Spring Project Part 4

These past few weekends have been full of projects and updates around the house.  The long weekend we had our fence put up, thank goodness Michael won that conversation! We have been outside more in the last 14 days than last 18 months we have owned this house. Monkey loves it and thinks it’s his Fort, he is constantly checking the walls and peeking through the fence at the neighbors or into the alley. This is the only toy he needed for summer I guess.

After the fence went in Michael and I went on to plan the garden. We hoped to have raided beds but they are so expensive,  take time to build and the plants were in desperate need of being transplanted into the ground. This will hopefully become part of our fall landscaping project but we will see. 

For this year we did a plain old in the ground rows upon rows of veggies garden. It all started Saturday night when Monkey went to bed. Michael measured, steaked and dug up a 7 1/2 x 22 foot rectangle. He even cut the sod up so we could fix a small patch that had died under a chest, and give the rest away on the local Buy and Sell. He really killed it and made it look easy. 

Meanwhile I womaned the Bose, drank Spritz and transplanted the strawberries into lager pots.

On Sunday after mass, Michael hand tilled the garden and incorporated all the extras to help the soil be neutient rich so the plants would hopefully live and and I could fake this green thumb until I make it. I played with Monkey and tried to keep him out of the garden and the strawberries, while still trying to teach him a little about what we are doing. I think all he understood was “plants are yummy” because it took him all of 5 minutes outside to pick a strawberry and eat it.

Once Monkey was in bed for the night it was my turn to hit the garden. So with my Hunters on my feet and Michael’s work gloves on my hands I struck out on a mission to get my plants into the ground before the predicted 30 hours of rain began.

My mission was a success, I finished just as the wind began to pick up, meaning the prairie rain was on its way. 


I am really proud of myself in comepleting this project. I have never been one to do well with plants. I have a history of killing a cactus (from under watering) and managed to do it again even when Michael expressed his theory that people should first need to keep a plant alive, then an animal and then could move on to people… this  theory slowly died as I managed to murder… plant slaughter…. every single plant he had. We moved on to Desmond at the 2 year point point and hey it’s been 3 years and he is still alive, so that shows promise for Monkey right?

I started out this project with 5 packets of seeds and some egg cartons and now I have 20 tomato plants and 4 jalapeños plants. The only ones that didn’t make it is the sweet salsa peppers but that’s ok you can’t swim them all. 

I am really excited to see how they grow and if they make it in the ground!

How are your spring projects coming along? What do you have planned for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

See the rest of the story here:

Spring Project

Spring Project Part 2

Spring Project Update 
Spring Project Part 3