Category Archives: Maternity Leave

4 months – 4 am

It’s 4:30am as I am writing this blog post.

Katie today is 4 months and I have a lot of wonderful things to say about my 4 month old (she’s pretty spectacular)… but I’m also up at 4am for the 4th time this week.

Please, my little 4 month old, go the f**k to sleep.

Mommy loves you.

Mr. Stork has arrived in Ottawa!

 

I don’t know about you, but it feels like Mr. Stork has arrived in Ottawa. If feels like a baby boom is happening in Ottawa. Don’t you feel like everyone you know has either had a baby, having a baby or trying to have a baby. It’s wonderful news. All of it. Super excited for all of you and your friends. We’re adding to Ottawa’s population people! Keep it up!

I have to admit that when someone tells me their having a baby, I’m eager to tell them about all the cool websites, checklists and forums that they should sign up for.  I’m that guy. Some websites that offered me some fabulous advice and tips that I just have to share with everyone.

When I was pregnant, I was very thankful when people offered their two cents. Of course, you always take what you want from it and leave the rest, which is what I hope you will do with the following list.

Here is my list of great websites and resources that you should pay attention to if you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or have a little one.

Trying to have a baby

Getting pregnant wasn’t easy for my husband and I (I’ll save that story for another blog post). While we were trying to “relax and let it happen”, here are a few websites that I kept my eyes on while we were trying to conceive (TTC).

Baby Centre – Community: They have a great TTC section for those that want to talk with others that are going through the same thing. They also have subgroups for those dealing with more specific and/or delicate situations.

Fertility Friend: A great online tracking tool to figure out your ovulation window. If you are tracking your temperature, this site will be very useful for you. They also have a great app that you can download for free.

Ottawa Fertility Center: I count myself very lucky to have been refered here. This clinic took really good care of us and if you ever have to visit this center, I hope they take good care of you too.

Early Pregnancy Tests Online: Buying all those pregnancy and ovulation tests can really add up. This website has great prices on everything you’ll need TTC.

 

Your pregnant (!*$&!)

Congrats! This is the time to take care of yourself and indulge in those crazy cravings (buffalo chicken wraps and red delicious apples for me!). Don’t worry about how much you’re sleeping. Do it. Take advantage of it. You’ll be surprised how little you’ll get later (unless you have a “angel baby” that sleeps all night from day 1… then I hate you… just kidding.. sort of).

Baby Centre – Community: Once you’re pregnant, move over to the pregnancy section. Baby Centre has also created birth groups, so that you can interact with other moms who are due around the same time as you. Baby Centre also has some great apps that you can download which will track your baby’s progress week by week.

Baby Centre – Baby Registry Checklist: I love lists. This is a great one to get your baby registry up and going. It’s very overwhelming all the stuff you need to buy. This is a great checklist to get you started.

Old Navy Maternity: Shortly after you get pregnant you’ll start to notice that some things that fit loose one day, might be a little tighter the next. In comes maternity clothing. You may be lucky and get a wack load of clothing that you’re previous pregnant friend has and lets you borrow, but you might be pregnant in the opposite season as her or what she’s lending to you really isn’t your style.  Every Old Navy in Canada, I believe as of February 2013, should now have a small maternity clothing section. Old Navy often have sales on clothing (40% off everything!). So keep an eye out for these sales. Thyme and Motherhood Maternity also have good sales too once in a while.

Freebies for new moms: Sign up for ALL OF THEM. So fun!

 

Baby is here (!*$&! x2)

Now let the fun begin. Most of us have no idea what were doing. Just keep in mind, this baby has never had a parent before you, so don’t worry if you mess up, it can judge you.

A Cup of Joe (blog): I love this blog and her writing style. She’s a mom with two boys living in New York. My favorite blog post on her blog, is actually written by her husband. Every new mom and dad should read 8 confessions of a new dad. I have to agree with the 9 month comment. Let me know what you think.

Jenny wears glasses list of Ottawa consignment stores: For everything else that you didn’t get at your baby shower, don’t forget to go to visit consignment stores. You can often find what you need, in great condition and at a lower price.

Sleep Easy Solution: For those parents that might need to sleep train their kid. This book saved us.  I buy it for every baby shower I go to now. I always hope that you will never have to open or use this book, but I always find it comforting to know that you have it in your back pocket.

Information about Breath Holding Spells: Now I’m not adding this here to scare anyone, it’s more for information purposes. I never heard of this before I had my daughter and knew nothing about it.

 

What are your favorite websites/resources/tips? Let me know. I would love to hear them.

 

Survey: Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre

While I was on maternity leave, I used the Western Ottawa Community services a lot for the parents and children classes. I took:

  • Infant massage
  • How to feed your baby purees
  • How to feed your baby solids
  • Musical Playground

All these classes were free and extremely well done. I particularly enjoyed the infant massage class, because we learned something new for the first half and we had discussion the second half.

When I heard that the WOCRC were doing focus groups to talk about community needs, I jumped at the opportunity to give back. I attended the session on Tuesday night and I think I had something valuable to say. I was the only mother with a young child that has used these services (mentioned above) at the meeting, so I think it helped to add my two cents.

While at the meeting they mentioned that there is a survey available online for anyone to fill out. If you are from the West Carleton/Kanata North area (and/or other western Ottawa area), I strongly urge you to fill out this 5 minute survey.

Help the WOCRC gain some perspective on the western Ottawa communities and help them frame their 5 year strategic plan.

Things to do on maternity leave in Ottawa, ON

I’m currently working on a public Google calendar which has a list of things do to while you are on maternity leave. If you have or know of any great events that I should add, please let me know.

maternity leave

DIY Maternity Leave Calendar – Google Calendar

Before I left on maternity leave, I had this romantic idea of all these great things I was going to do with my daughter*. We were going to go to:

I had a super long list of things I wanted to do while on leave. Did I do everything? No! Of course not. I had a baby to take care of! BUT I did do a lot of things. My goal with this maternity calendar, was to put all these great idea of things I could do in Ottawa in one place.

By creating a “maternity leave” calendar it helped give me a good idea on what I wanted to do that week or even that day. Some days are easier than others with a baby. Some days you’re up for bundling them up and heading out the door, while others you couldn’t even be bothered to get out of your pyjamas.

As some of you might know, I’m a huge fan of Google Calendar. My husband and I have used it for years to sync our calendars together. Google also has a great ability for syncing my Google Calendar right to my iCal on my iPhone. It works seamlessly and also helped us avoid a lot of conflicts for double booking events.

This post has two parts.

First, let’s teach you how to set up your Google Calendar and learn how to create an extra calendar with your Google account.

1)      How to set up your Google Calendar (must already have a Google Account) to sync with your iPhone.

2)      How to create a new calendar with your account. I am recommending creating a “maternity leave” calendar that is private, so that you’re husband isn’t flooded with all these great events. 

maternity leave

Second, here is a list of great places in Ottawa (mostly west-end) that I added to my maternity leave calendar:

Do you have any idea of other activities you could add to a maternity calendar? Something that happens once or a few times a week that new moms can do with their little ones (drop in style recommended).

If you have any questions on how to set this up, please contact me.

 

* I think these moms had the same idea (here, here, here and here).