Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How To Get Vomit Smell Out of a Stroller (The Long Way)

I am going to tell you how I got the stench of puke out of my son's Britax B-Agile stroller. It took roughly a week, if I am going to be perfectly honest with you. If anyone promises you a quick and easy vomit smell-removal tactic, they are probably either lying, or do not have very finely tuned olfactory senses. Your first step will obviously be to make sure your child is comfortable, clean, and feeling well, but once that is established, you really need to clean the fabric before the vomit settles into it. This is my "If I had been equipped with better knowledge abridged version":

Day 1:

1. Get gloves

2. Remove all chunks/hunks/liquid from the stroller using a paper towel (so you can throw it away), or even baby wipes, or an absorbent kitchen towel, anything you have on hand.

3. Rinse that sucker down. If you can hose it off in the yard, I would do that, if not, you can soak a kitchen towel in water, wring it out, and wipe your stroller down as much as you can. Repeat as many times as you feel it is necessary.

4. Scrub your stroller with dish soap and water using a damp kitchen towel. Rinse, rinse, rinse.

5. Spray the entire affected area with a hydrogen peroxide/baking soda mixture (Thank you L-M.G!). Let that sit for a bit, and wipe it down again with a new, clean and dampened kitchen towel.

6. Take an old toothbrush to scrub out the little nooks and crannies the vomit may have gotten into using more of the hydrogen peroxide concoction. (including the buckle, straps, etc)

7. Blot your stroller with a dry towel and let the stroller dry overnight, preferably outside. (if it's not too cold, and in a place it won't get wet)

Day 2:

1. If it still reeks, take a small pray bottle, and fill it with a mixture of half vinegar, half hot water. shake it up and spray it all over the smelly parts. Leave it on or 30 minutes.

2. Rinse with water, blot with a dry towel, and dry in the sun.

Day 3:

My friend T.W., kindly gave me her vomit-removing remedy of using Lusa Baby Wipe Juice! She told me to add a capful to a spray bottle filled with water, shake it up and spray down the stroller. I completely saturated it and let it sit for a few hours, then sprayed it again and wiped it off with a dry cloth, letting it air dry outside, and it worked like a charm! Next I am going to spray it with BuggyLove's Fresh Love organic fabric freshening mist, so that it will smell like rosehip, and we are good to go!

What took me 6 days, can take you only 3. I basically skipped the days where I just uselessly washed it with soap and water or sprayed it down with rubbing alcohol, and let it air dry again and again. Soap and water thoroughly cleans off the germs and bacteria, but the vomit smell really permeates the fabric and stays trapped. It needs to get overtaken with more potent, fragrant stuff.

May you never, ever have to use this Vomit Smell Removal Tutorial, but please pin it/bookmark it just in case!

-Lilibeth the Mommy xoxo

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Mei-Lei Incident

As much as we like to believe that everyone lives their lives equally, without judgement, and with no preconceived notions or assumptions, it simply isn't true. To be more specific, I am talking about women of roughly the same age and socioeconomic backgrounds. An incident occurred last week at Small Human's toddler/parent class that left me feeling like my exoticism stuck out like a sore thumb in an unnecessary way. I'm really not talking about human rights violations or anything, but just the subtle differences in the way that a woman of colour lives life in America in comparison to how a white woman would live.

Since it was the first day of class, we all had to wear name tags, which one of the three teachers was in charge of making. I told her I was "Elizabeth" and she made it for me easily, and then asked me for my child's name. "Noah", I said, while she started to write out the name "Mei-Lei". I am quite certain I never said anything that sounded like that, so I repeated, "Uh, Noah? N-O-A-H." She looked a bit flustered and then wrote his name out for me, paused, and asked me if I had another child named Mei-Lei. I assured her that I didn't, and went to put Small Human's name tag on him.

There was nothing malicious in her intent, but the fault was that she couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that the Asian sounding name somehow didn't belong to the woman with the Asian face. For the record, Mei-Lei belonged to a white grandma.

I thought I was just another mommy of a toddler. I didn't want to be reminded that other people didn't see me as just one of the other mommies, but as the Different mom. It made me sad, annoyed, and honestly a little defeated. I felt like the little girl in the playground all over again, being cruelly teased and getting called a Ching Chong by the mean kids. It hurt because to the rest of the moms, it was just another class, but to me it was an exercise in restraint and drove in the fact that ignorance still exists and persists.

I love being Filipino Canadian. I love being a woman who was raised with French Canadian influences by immigrant parents with an Italian sounding last name, and grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood. You can't put me in a box. I am uniquely me, just like you are uniquely you, and that's the way I like it. The world ends up being a more beautiful place when you can see things that way.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What Kind of Relationship Is This?!

Having a toddler is like being in an abusive relationship. One minute, they want you and you are the love of their life, the only person in their eyes. You get kisses and hugs and giggles. Then the next minute you are getting bludgeoned with a sippy cup and pushed away violently, while receiving looks of passionate, furious anger. All this because they have just decided that long sleeves are evil and someone must pay.

There seems to either be a growth/development spurt, or molar teething going on. Either way it is making me bonkers and very tired. Small Human's latest phase is throwing tantrums in public. We are talking real tantrums here, with fake crying, lots of screaming, and body-thrashing that sometimes results in injuries. I have a feeling he's getting frustrated with himself for not being able to communicate, but I also think it's because he's not into structure. He always seems to lose it when he is forced to do something, but he has to learn!

The last couple of days have been tough for us, my sweet little boy has been acting like a really big a-hole. It's breaking my heart because I know something is up and I want to help him with it, I just don't know what it is. All I have for him is patience, but I think that will be running out before too long if this weird personality-shift doesn't correct itself. It doesn't help that the Seattle winter rain has decided to show up early, and is killing me slowly.

I miss sunshine and my sweet little man. Have a great, non-whiny, tantrum-free weekend everyone!





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

B is for Barf

Our beloved Brtiax B-Agile stroller had a bit of a catastrophe the other day. We were out shopping and I thought I was being a superstar mommy for changing Small Human's diaper before he leaked through it. This is something that happens nearly every time we go shopping. Sometimes it's pee, sometimes it's poop, but this time everything seemed to go smoothly. Go me! Until I gave my baby a new type of snack that he didn't enjoy the taste of, that made him vomit up what seemed like The World.

The poor kid was upset but somehow quite composed. I, however, was horrified but thanked my lucky stars for the extra wipes I decided to pack before we left. This all happened in the middle of getting stuff done, so we still had to make a few stops around downtown Seattle, while reeking of vomit and garnering strange looks.

Anyway, we got through it, because there was no other choice. Over and done with! Only now our main stroller is a vomit-mobile. I sprayed that sucker down with anti-bacterial spray, washed it with soap and water, and even let it air dry outside overnight. It remains incredibly malodorous. I lathered, I rinsed, I repeated. I just sprayed it with rubbing alcohol and plan to scrub it with an old toothbrush and wash it down once more, but I am not hopeful.

I found some organic stroller cleaning products online called BuggyLove that I might try out because I refuse to use Febreze and other things with scary chemicals, but seriously, how is vomit so pervasive and stubborn?

I know I say this a lot, but isn't my life so glamorous? Just another day in the life of this Momie. xoxo By the way, today is my 4 year anniversary of living in Seattle and true to form, it is raining. Now it's time to go have some coffee and wear plaid. ;)

Poor kid, but ick.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Surviving 2 Plane Rides and 1 Road Trip With a 19 Month Old

I'm going to try my best not to mince words here. We took a 5 hour plane ride with Small Human to Canada and back again. While there, we also took a 5 hour road trip. We must be crazy, but it had to be done. How did we survive? Distraction, distraction, distraction.

What We Brought With Us:

1. A set of small nesting cups. I have no idea why toddlers are into these, but they are.



2. Travel-sized magnetic doodler. It cost $8 and bought us lots of time.



3. One brand new electronic toy. You might thing it'll be obnoxious for other passengers, but keep in mind how loud planes get, as my friend Amy reminded me. His laptop even saved the sanity of one of the other mommies on the plane! I share happily but always keep non-toxic sanitizing wipes on me.

4. Snacks! I brought cheese and crackers, peanut butter cracker sandwiches, and Chex Mix. Crunchy things take longer to eat, are fun to put into nesting cups, and can't get smushed messily into hair and clothes (yours and your toddler's).

5. A plush buckle toy. Seriously, this thing was the best twenty bucks I ever spent in my life. Small Human loves this toy to this day, and it has saved our sanity many a time since acquiring it. If your kid is into snapping buckles and doing up zippers, this is the toy for you. He will sit with this turtle, who we have lovingly named "Snap", for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. It's amazing. There are many different variations of the same type of toy, but I liked the turtle because it also has numbers on it, hidden under the straps.



It won't be easy, but it can be manageable if you are prepared! Schedule those naps accordingly, and we highly recommend getting bulkhead seats, even if it costs a little bit more. That one foot of extra space is a lifesaver when you have a squirmy Little.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's That Time of Year Again

Hello all, happy Monday to you. Today was our first day of Toddler/Parent class which was both exciting and stressful. I have always been one to really embrace Back-to-School, from enjoying my brand new school supplies (new erasers are the best!), to meeting new kids and seeing old friends. However, things are a little bit different when you are a toddler.

What's great about my Small Human is that he is far from being a clingy kid. He is fine going off on his own without me and always has been. While that makes me a little wistful for the tiny baby days, I like that I have full use of both my hands and can actually talk to other mamas now.

I am sadly still feeling a bit anti-social, but I still enjoyed myself, it was nice to see friendly and happy faces. My little guy did so well and had a lot of fun until 30 minutes before class ended. He decided to try his new "thing" of hitting his forehead on the floor on purpose. Repeatedly. And then crying. By the time we left, he was screaming and wriggling his little body with all his might. It was so much fun. My poor kid was a little overstimulated, I think.

Even still, I look forward to the next class. This is a challenging age but luckily it is also a very adorable one. I don't think I had this many activities before I was 2, it's crazy!

He wasn't pleased about having to wear pants, socks, AND shoes for class.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Miscarriage: The Forbidden Word

You're not supposed to talk about it, and it feels almost forbidden. As if talking about it will jinx things or somehow call attention to your existence and you'll find it choosing you. It's like a real life monster or boogie man for adult women. It makes you feel like prey when you're at your most vulnerable, and you never want that barrel trained towards you. But then it happens, it does point your way, and for a brief moment it feels like your life is going to end.

You can't breathe, and it feels like the floor is falling away beneath you while the walls are closing in on you. There is so much emotional and physical pain, and you feel like you might get washed away and drown in a sea of your own tears. It isn't supposed to be this way, it was supposed to be happiness and light and laughter, the beauty and celebration of new life.

Why doesn't anyone talk about miscarriage? I realize that it's a very personal subject, and makes some people extremely uncomfortable, but it makes it even more difficult to deal with when women going through it think that they are the only ones. The thing is, we aren't the only ones. You are not the only one who feels like you've failed. You're not the only one who feels horribly devastated. You're not the only one who excitedly calculated her due date the second she saw that positive pregnancy test, and dreamed up names for the little one she thought she was going to hold in 9 months.

You're not alone. It happened to me too. My first pregnancy happened like a fairy tale dream. I wanted a baby, so we made one. I had the easiest and most fun pregnancy, and gave birth to the healthiest little boy, so naturally I took it for granted that we could do it again the same way. Unfortunately it just doesn't always work that way.

If you look up the statistics, they say that 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, but my OB informed me that the number is more realistically 1 in 3. If you think about it, that is a lot of women having miscarriages and yet nobody talks about it. You absolutely know multiple women who have lived through them, I can guarantee.

I miscarried at 9 weeks, and I had what is called an incomplete miscarriage. After 16 days of bleeding I still hadn't naturally passed all the pregnancy material (such a disgusting term), so I had to go in for a D&C (dilation & curettage). My experience has felt like a nightmare that keeps dragging on. I just wanted it to be over and done with, I didn't need a constant reminder every time I went to the bathroom.

So now I am healing, physically and emotionally. You don't have to feel sorry for me, but please know that you can live through it and there have been so many of us in the same situation. You are not alone.

I knew that becoming a mother would be the hardest thing I had ever undertaken, but I never anticipated how strong and powerful it would make me feel to live through such a traumatic experience. Miscarrying my second baby only reinforced my love and appreciation for my healthy and incredibly sweet and energetic first born. Children are miracles, as my friend Junko told me.

To memorialize my second pregnancy, I now wear a crescent moon around my neck. It's to signify the natural process of the waxing and waning of the moon. I may be a crescent moon right now, but I don't doubt that I will be a full one once again.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Four Years Strong

Today, I celebrate my marriage to a wonderful human being. Nobody annoys me or can make me as angry as the people I love the most, and my husband is certainly no exception. That said, no one has ever stood so solidly by my side, truly for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, than Brendan Michael Wilson.

I am proud to call him my husband. He thinks I have no idea how hard he works for our son and I, or how he struggles to make sure we won't want for anything, and how he's always on the lookout for the perfect home for us to grow into. I watch you every day, my love, I see it all, and I am so grateful for it.

My husband is my rock, without whom I would have completely fallen apart this summer. Marriage isn't always about romance and grand gestures, it's about caring for someone's well being more than you care for your own. It's about being equals and partners in a life together. I could not have chosen a more perfect partner, and I am so glad that he also chose me.

This is always quite the week for us, celebrating a date-iversary, engage-iversary, his birthday, and our wedding anniversary! Happy multiple anniversaries to my greatest love.

Always goofballs together


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pet Loss Grief

When my Toby died last Tuesday, I felt not only horribly sad and devastated, but incredibly guilty as well. I guess those are organic reactions to have when you lose a beloved pet and family member.

I felt like there must have been something more I could have done. I could've rushed him to the vet earlier; I could've made sure he didn't eat indigestible things around the house that could've harmed him; I could've made life better for him somehow. In many ways, this post is really just about validating and proving to myself that I was a good bunny mother, and if I'm truly honest with myself, I think that I was.

Brendan and I saved that little bun's life so many times. He ate like a king, was a free range house rabbit, and was given lots of love daily. Toby even had his own eye doctor. Yes, seriously.

I can agonize all I want about the life that we did or didn't give him, but what matters in the end is that he knew he was loved and we really did do our best for him. Not just as a human baby mama, but as a rabbit mama, I always go above and beyond. That said, it doesn't make me miss my little fatso any less.

You can't ignore the living for the dead though, so I am still counting my blessings. I still have my Small Human, my crazy Tidbit, my husband and my whole family to love and enjoy for as long as we are fortunate enough to be together.

The dead may be gone from our physical lives but they will never, ever be forgotten or unloved. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Parent Terror

On Monday afternoon I was treated to a super luxurious and confusing three hour nap from Small Human. I knew it was too good to be true, and was later rewarded with the most difficult bed time of our time together as mother and child. He was so hyper and fully ready to battle for a couple of hours for sure.

After twenty minutes, when I decided there would be no more Mister Nice Momie, I said good night and walked away to let him cry. This is when we heard the terrifying thump of a toddler hitting the ground running. Of course, I prefer that sound to one of a toddler hitting the ground and screaming in pain.

So we lowered the crib to its lowest setting and tried again. There was another thump not even a minute later! He didn't seem hurt, but it scared me so hard I almost cried. Bedtime took nearly two hours last night, and I am not keen to make a habit out of it.

I'm not sure how to handle the crib escapage because he is not ready for a toddler bed. However, I am never going to be ready to make a trip to the emergency room because my baby seriously injured himself, so we'll see what the options are in the days to come. Gah! His travel crib may have to become his full time crib if he keeps jailbreaking.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The perp


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Life

I think that I would like to allow myself time to fully grieve and accept all the loss that has affected my family and I over the last little bit, so I'm going to take a short break for a little while. It doesn't feel right to just go about living life like everything is fine. It isn't fine right now, and that's ok. Somehow, my heart feels violated and traumatized by all the recent events and needs to heal. I don't need to be cheered up or fixed, that's not how these things work unfortunately.

So, I will see you soon. Slowly, but surely, I will feel whole again. At least, I can only hope I will. This is life, after all. Don't worry, I'll be back next week, take care of yourselves. xoxo

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Rest in Peace My Sweet Toby

My rabbit passed away late last night. I'm relieved I was able to be with him for his last moments on earth, but they were very tough last moments.

Toby Lofranco-Wilson came into my life almost exactly 5 years ago. He was a beautiful Dutch Cross rabbit that was found wandering the streets of Toronto, emaciated and with cataracts in both his eyes. I had no idea how old he was, and had only intended to foster him until I found him a good home. However, I saw him for what he was: a gorgeous bunny with a sweet disposition and he stole my heart.

He was a hearty guy who survived near starvation, cancer, eye removal surgery, complete blindness, and an adventurous plane ride to his final home in Seattle. He will be greatly missed by his mama, papa, brother Noah, and sister Tidbit.

My Boby, my Toblerone, my Dutchie, you brought joy into our hearts with your cautious, deliberate gait, drove us crazy by chewing through our electronics and furniture legs, but won us over with your insatiable appetite, sweetness, and that permanent tuxedo.

Thank you for being a part of our family, and for making Noah laugh every morning as soon as he woke up and saw you in the room you two shared together. You were loved so much and you will be missed even more. May you get to eat all the banana you want in heaven.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Noah's Favourite Things Winner!

I know I promised to announce the winner the day after Labour Day, and I am! It's a late post, but on the west coast it's still only the day after. The winner is:

Mimi Yongco!

Ms. Mimi is currently pregnant with her second child and has an adorable little boy in the first grade. Congratulations, expect your prize in the mail soon!

You will be receiving: 2 Siliskin Silicone lids, There's a Wocket in My Pocket board book, 1 package of Honest Company diapers and diaper rash cream.

:) :) :)