Wednesday, December 24, 2008

There is much to do today, and though I know this, I am not feeling stressed or overwhelmed. In fact I am pretty relaxed and very happy because I finally have most of my family with me for Christmas.

I have always loved Christmas, I love getting together with family, having a huge meal at 1am on Christmas Eve right after we open our presents and staying up until 4am. I love it and for a very long time our family had been apart at Christmas.

With that said, I will have to sign off and tackle the kitchen and get things ready for the preparation of the turkey.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2009!

K

Friday, December 12, 2008

Huge Toy Sale on at BabyThoughts.ca!

Just thought I would share with you the great sale we are having on right now until December 14 at BabyThoughts.ca.

If you are still looking for a special toy to give your little one, stop by and check out what has been marked down.

Cheers,

Karla


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted here. Time sure is going by incredibly fast, November is a blur to me and I am trying to get things in order for the madness that will be December.

I finally have time to breathe and relax after the three trade shows that I did this fall. They where a great deal of work to put together, but I really enjoyed myself at all three of them. I have to say that I really enjoyed the Today's Parent BabyTime Show, I was a little worried about it because I had never done a big trade show before, but it was a great deal of fun and we got to meet really great people. I was fortunate to have Sara Bingham from Wee Hands as my neighbour. She is a really cool person. I also got a chance to stop by my fellow friend exhibitors to say hi and chat a little. A fun and exhausting weekend.

Needless to say my house looked like a toy bomb exploded in it. I had boxes everywhere, it took me an entire Saturday transporting boxes from my place to the storage area and taking stock of things. I was so happy when it was done and the threat of being crushed by toys was gone. To be honest I wanted to cry from the joy of being able to see my floors again.

Isa was amazing through out this time, she spent two whole weekends with my mother and you can well imagine that she had a blast. I was so grateful that she was able to help because we had no one else who could do it.

One very exciting thing that happened at the Healthy Kids Expo is that we discovered this really cool guy named Hans who makes these beautiful wooden blocks. His company is called Ukoonto and he makes the blocks from his home in St. Catharines. You can check out the BabyThoughts.ca blog to read more about them.

We were able to introduce them at the Children's Trunk Show and the BabyTime show and the kids just loved them. To be honest both Frank and I had fun playing with them. Hans was able to stop by on Friday at both shows and be there to promote his toys. We are very excited to finally be able to offer a Canadian Made toy.

Well, enough for today...hopefully I will get myself in order and upload the pictures I took at the shows.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

BabyThoughts.ca in the Media!

I just had to share the exciting news....we have our first magazine coverage. Two of our fun and vibrant grasping/teething toys are in the What's New section of the November/December Calgary's Child magazine.

They are featuring the Tiny Love Andy Apple and the all new Manhattan Toy Winkel (Citrus Burst). Both are great toys to help young babies develop their fine motor skill, hand-eye-coordination and to sooth them during the uncomfortable teething period.

The great news does not stop there, we are having a contest...Register and WIN a $150 shopping spree at BabyThoughts.ca. The contest is open until the end of November, so stop by and register for your chance to cross your toy purchases off your holiday gift list!

Cheers,
K

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beautiful Fall Day

Today in Toronto, it is a beautiful(or as Isa says bupipal) autumn day. I absolutely love days like today, cool, crisp and a little over-cast. Before Isa, I would love to spend days like today in my bed with a cup of tea, something sweet and a good mystery book. Now I can only do this on the weekends, when the Husband can entertain her.

Today, Isa and I spent some time at the park before lunch and collected some bright red leaves to use for arts-and-crafts. I figured I needed to do something autumnish(certainly not a word) with her.

At first she was not very interested in bringing the leaves home, she wanted to leave them at the park, but as soon as I said that she can put sprinkles on the leaves she was picking up as many as she can hold in her little hands. Now I have to figure out a way to not get sprinkles everywhere. This is what happens to me when I try to be all crafty and stuff.

On a side note, I posted a blog at the BabyThoughts.ca blog about a great offer we are having on the Haba Walker Wagon...check it out if you are in the market for a fabulous walker for your toddler.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Introducing Vilac Wooden Cars

I just love the new wooden vehicles from Vilac that recently arrived at BabyThoughts.ca. It was a long process trying to get them here because I discovered them in late July and the company was closed all of August for summer holidays. You have to be just a little envious of the French and their full month of vacation.

Well, they are finally in and I am sooooo excited to have the toys up on the site. For those who may not have heard of Vilac, they are a French company that has been around for 97 years. I kid you not. They have a large selection of beautiful toys for young children.

I fell in love with their wooden vehicles, for their abstract quality, modern design and their high gloss lacquered finish. They are just the right size for toddlers and preschoolers and encourage children to develop their creativity and independent play.

All the cars are made in France using the same methods of toy making developed by the founder of Vilac, Narcisse Villet in 1911.

I hope you like these beautiful wooden cars as much as I do. You can stop by BabyThoughts.ca and click on Vilac to see the entire collection.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Howdy Partner

Isa's first ride on a horse!

video

I was the only unlucky one to not get to ride the horse because I did not bring appropriate foot wear...sucks to be me.

At times she kept yelling faster faster, only to get freaked out when the horse would actually go faster. We all had such a blast and we were pretty happy to be able to give her this special memory.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Roughening It in Quebec

Isa and I are in beautiful Wakefield Quebec visiting with the in-laws. We have been here since Saturday morning...1:00 am in the morning to be exact. And thankfully we are going home tomorrow.

I have learned something very very important while spending wayyyy too much time here...don't spend too much time here. Don't get me wrong a get along very well with my MIL and I LOVE her place but there is just so much that one can be away from one's bed, kitchen, routine, and blissfully quiet home. I could go on and on but I think it best to not.

The important thing is that both Isa and her 'Bella" have been having a blast. And she has been able to spend quite a great deal of time outdoors with nature (you should see the bites we have) and bond with her grandparents. As for myself, I have been getting pampered with awesome food, lots of free time to spend on the sunny deck with a book and a cold beer, but more importantly great company.

We have also had the opportunity to go twice to the lake, check out some beautiful horses, eat like it's winter and we don't have to try to look decent in a bathing suit and drink like only people in the country know how.

As soon as I can figure out how to upload the pictures onto our new computer I will post some up.

Well, I am off...there is a nice cold beer waiting for me :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's All About The Stickers

Last week I began potty training Isa, in fact I had started writing a post on her first day's progress and I never got around to finishing it. Lets just say that after spending a good part of an evening Googling "potty training" and reading all the advise, as well as the dos and don'ts I was prepared to take on the challenge.

That first day, she went through three of her new pretty 'big girl' underwear in 10 minutes. But I did not freak out, no, I was prepared. I knew that this would happen and I made sure that I explained what happened and got her to sit on her potty and went with the motions. We were able to make it to the potty one time that day. You can imagine the commotion I made when it happened. After all they tell you that you have to make a big deal of the thing so that they feel proud of their accomplishment. And believe me I did.

That was our first day, on our second day things where pretty much the same in the morning. Thankfully I had bought enough underwear to last me for some time before I had to do a wash. I had also prepared the house by rolling up the carpet and making sure that she did not play in her carpeted room (though it did not escape unscathed). A good friend told me that she would reward her daughter with one sticker every time she made it to the potty. So given that Isa LOVES stickers I decided that I would use this as well. All is fair in potty training.

With the promise of a cool sticker as a bribe, potty training turned into the easiest thing in the world. By the third day, she was doing very well and there were only a couple of accidents. Now after one week she is almost fully trained. It is just amazing, she pulls down her own pants and underwear and sits down. When she is done, she does her little cheer and dance, she oversees the flushing of her efforts and chooses her sticker. I ran into a small problem at the beginning of the sticker implementation when she wanted to get two every time. I did not give in and she eventually stopped crying and accepted her one sticker. Nice try on her part though.

Believe me when I say that I was soooo dreading starting this thing. Now the only thing I am unsure off is how to wean her off the stickers. They are like a drug to her. I will ask my friend how she did it...thank goodness for friends.

So, if you are reading this post and are thinking about potty training your little one...use the stickers. Get yourself some cheap ones at the dollar store and bribe your way through.

Good Luck!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Back to Normal

I am putting myself and my house back to 'order' after the chaos that was last week. Now that the Children's Trunk Show is behind us (thank you to all that stopped by) I can relax and spend more time playing with my little Isa.

I felt like the world's worst mother last week for not being able to play with her for too long, not being able to go to the park and lets not even talk about the meals that I prepared. And don't get me started on the state of the house....and the laundry.

Well, today we spent some quality time together at the park digging holes and making 'polar bear' mountains (from Dora saves the day) and I am thinking of making some yummy treats for both of to enjoy later (banana bread anyone?) .

Well, till tomorrow...enjoy the gorgeous day.

Oh, and Isa got herself an adorable haircut. Stay tuned for pictures and the drama filled experience.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In the Name of Safety

For some reason I woke up this morning at the beautiful hour of 8:00am (thank you Isa) to the following thought: Safety. I don't really know why I was thinking about this, sure, Isa has had some safety training, but most of the lessons on safety have had to do with potential hazards around the house...you know, the usual ones. Don't jump on the bed. Don't stand on chairs. Be careful with drawers. Don't bother the cat.

When it comes to street safety, the only one she truly grasps is that she must hold my hand or the stroller before she crosses the street. She hates doing it but she has NO choice in the matter and so she has given up fighting with me on it. Well the other day, a good friend told me that she has taught her daughter to only answer to a special name when in public. This means is that she is only allowed to go with people who call her by her special name when in public, a name that only family members and special friends are privy to.

I thought it was a great idea and started thinking of the special name that we could use with Isa. I have come up with many possibilities but they all sound strange when said out loud, specially since I only think of her as Isa or her other cutesy names that I have for her which I cannot ask my family and friends to say in public.

And so, I have yet to implement this, though I don't worry too much as my daughter does not even answer to her own name as it is, even from me. Though it does concern me that she will answer to ice scream. Maybe there is another safely lesson that takes priority...don't take candy from strangers. This will be a hard one.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Petit Litigator

I recently read a a short chapter from the new book Toddlers Gone Wild! by Rebecca Eckler, where she talks about what a poor litigator her child is. Isa on the other hand is a great litigator, in fact she has learned to negotiate her way into getting more time than we anticipated.

A typical negotiation with her goes something like this:

Me: Isa, it's time to ....(insert activity, ie. change diaper, eat, go home, have bath)

Isa: FIVE MINUT (holds out hand while shouting)

Me: Ok, five minutes
(wait anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes, depending on what I have going on and how in a hurry I am)

Me: Isa, five minutes are up. It's time to...

Isa: TWO MINUT ( again holds out hand with two chubby fingers sticking out)

Me: One minute!

Isa: ok, mama. (point goes to Isa)

After these negotiations she is very responsive, I think that she feels like she got her way and is very proud of herself, which we all know she has.

All this success at the negotiating table has encouraged her to pull out the 5 minute card again on us. Sometimes she gets away with it and sometimes we catch it in time, it all depends on how on the ball the mother is.

Friday, May 09, 2008

FYI Friday

I hope you will forgive my self-promotion for this edition of FYI Friday. But if you are in the market for new toys for you little one, stop by BabyThoughts.ca and take advantage of our great sale!

You can't go wrong with 20% off on selected items and an additional 10% off if you register.

Happy Shopping.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One Month and Counting


Isa has been with me full time now for one month. At this moment she is sitting at the dinning room table singing to her self and breaking up her play dough into little little pieces.

I have to say that the dollar store is a mom's best friend, I have stocked up on construction paper, tissue paper, crayons, glue, stickers, play dough, Popsicle sticks and much much more. Now all I have to do is google for things to do with all the crap.

It looks like I am going to have to keep this post short as Isa is yelling my name over and over again and I can't concentrate.

I have a call at noon and I hope to have her in dreamland by then.

Friday, April 04, 2008

BabyThoughts.ca's New Look

BabyThoughts.ca has had a Makeover!

I am so excited to finally have the new site up, after many months of meetings, design concepts, enless hours of programing and bug hunting the site is done. Bright, fresh and happy are just some of the adjectives that describe the new design.

The new changes will make your experience looking at our Toy Collection or Staying Connected through our mom groups, parenting resources, blog and articles a very enjoyable one.

You are sure to find a toy that will aid in the development and growth of your Newborn, Infant, Toddler or Preschooler!

Stop by and check out the new look >>

Thursday, March 06, 2008

French Fries and Pizza Slice

You may be wondering whether this is what Isa had for dinner last night. Though that would be a very good guess, that is not the case. Those are the two phrases that I kept repeating in my head over and over as I hurled down a ski slope last weekend. We were fortunate to spend 3 days and 2 nights at Horseshoe Valley with my FIL and BIL. It was my first time ever on skis and needless to say I was quite scared.

In fact I was terrified of going downhill on two sticks, but with the help of the Husband I was able to get the hang of it and actually enjoy myself. Though I have only mastered the bunny hill (my attempt at a larger hill proved disastrous), I quite enjoy it. So much so that I will be looking into getting some more lessons and finding myself some equipment...cause if you have ever rented ski equipment you know that it's ass.

The reason for all of us(especially me) to make the effort of going and learning how to ski is because we want Isa to learn and love to ski. Well, it looks like our introduction to the sport was a success, because she had a blast. We rented her skis and got her an instructor to teach us what to do with her on our own.

All in all, it was an awesome trip. We all had a blast (especially the guys) and I came back not only with a love for a winter sport (never thought it could be possible) but also lots of sore muscles. Isa came back with an association of snow with skiing and 'the magic carpet', this is the special lift for the beginner hills.

Though I wish that I had taken more pictures of Isa, and more importantly myself to prove to all that I did in fact go skiing, I did not. You will just have to take my word for it that I was actually on skis and that I did in fact go downhill on my two feet and not on my bum.

Enjoy some of the shots that I took of Isa, her first time on skis.

You can see the 'magic carpet' behind Isa. She kept asking to go on it over and over.

Isa going down on her own. She found her balance right away. It was incredible to see how
natural it came to her.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Snowed In

Today, Isa and I will be spending a cozy day at home hiding from the snow. On days that are too cold or when a big snow storm is expected I keep her home.

The funny thing is that she declared after she finished having her morning bottle that "Isa, no school". Lately, she has been saying this quite often, we have had to bribe her with the promise of fun toys and activities at school to get her to head out the door. So every morning it is a small struggle to get her to go and when I pick her up, it is another struggle to get her to leave.

At times when I pick her up from school, I have to use the "I'm leaving now" tactic, many times this has absolutely no success. In fact she actually looks at me, waves goodbye and says "bye mama, see you later". What can you do after this?

So then I have to resort to plan B, which is not very nice...I take Bear and tell her that Bear and I are going home. This usually gets her running fast towards the door. I don't like using this because I find it quite mean but at the end of the day, with the dreaded transit ride home in the cold and darkness, I just don't care. But I should not whine, she is usually really good and is great about putting on her jacket, hat and mittens. Small victories is what being the parent of toddler is all about.

I am off to have another nice cup of coffee and turn up the heating. Let the fun begin.