Friday, October 27, 2017

Our Baby Girl arrived!

I know I have been away for a while, that's because our little princess arrived!

Isabella (ou Bella) was born on May 29th  after a long labour. It was wonderful having baby Bella on my arms, it was love at first sight.

My husband and my sister (Isabella's Godmother) stayed with us the whole time going above and beyond to help and comfort us during labour and delivery.

The beginning of our life as a new family was full of love, challenges and learning - discovering each other each day. Grandma flew in to help us and spent the first month with us - sweet moments!

We are really blessed to have this little bundle of joy. She is a calm and sweet baby (really cute!!!!!).

I received a lot of questions regarding Kiara's reaction towards the new member of the family. The first time they met was so peaceful - Kiki was so curious when we got home with the baby. She "investigated" and we explained to her that her little sister had finally arrived. During this time we were petting her and reinforcing the good behaviour.

 Since then, Kiara has been around checking on her little sis all the time. They are adorable together.

The day my mom flew back to Brazil, we took this pic and shared with our family: "Since grandma is going back home, mama needed to find another helper" :)

I am truly thankful to our family and friends for all the love and support during this time and specially to my sister and my mom for everything they've been through with us.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Where to buy Baby stuff & Registries

So, this is one of the questions I get asked all the time. Basically prices in Canada are way different from prices from the US. But it is possible to find good deals without crossing the border.

Ron and I keep monitoring prices in our favourite stores/websites and we purchase the things when they are on sale. Honestly, I don't think I paid full price for anything so far!

Creating a registry is a great way to list the things you wish for your baby and most of the stores give you up to 6 months after the due date to return the merchandise in case you don't use it or change your mind - as long as it has not been used!!!!

Here is a list of the stores we decided to create a registry:

Buy Buy Baby: this store has a great variety of products and it is the same store as Bed Bath and Beyond. Their customer service is awesome. We had an appointment with a specialist from the store who helped us to create our list. She was great! I really like the quality of the products they have. On my perspective, they are not the best with sales items, however they price match* any advertised price and sometimes they have 20% discounts that you receive by email.

Once you set a registry with them, you will receive a goody bag with some samples and discounts. It is not big, but definitely helps! Click here to visit the website.

*price match policy is a little tricky, make sure you are price matching the same product, manufacturer, and even colour.

Babies R US: this one of the biggest baby stores in Canada, and it is pretty easy to find them around Toronto and GTA. Their customer service is ok, and you end up doing everything yourself. They have items going on sale on a regular basis, so price wise they are really good. They also price match and accept coupons (and sometimes you can combine offers). Click here to visit the website.

From time to time Babies R US has the following offer: if you make an online purchase and pick up in store (no fees for shipping), they give you a $10.00 off coupon for your next purchase :)

Every week they have a new flyer with offers as well as sales that happen in store only (not advertised).

You can delete and add products to your registry online (convenient, eh?!) and also monitor its status. The store also gives you a goody bag with a few samples when you start a registry with them.

One advice: decide the best moment to create your registry with them. Sometimes they give you $25.00 off of a purchase of $50.00 (and it can be combined with items that are already on sale). we already used Amazon for other purchases, but then we decided to create a registry to better monitor prices and sales. We didn't buy a lot of baby things from them so far, but they have competitive prices, and some articles that we can't find in stores. For example, we just received baby hangers - all other stores had 10 velvet hangers for 12.00, and at Amazon we got a box of 25 pink velvet hangers for $10.50.

I also like to price match with Amazon!

Regular Stores (meaning: did not create a registry with them)

Walmart: they have a whole section for babies including diapers, food, toys, gear, furniture and clothes. I was impressed when I realized they sell Carter's there. It is worth taking some time and walking around. I also like their own brand.

Walmart is really good accepting coupons and price matching.

Winners, Homesense and Marshalls: for any of these stores you need to have time to search for what you want,... I may say that some luck also helps! I have been there and found nothing at all,... on the other hand, sometimes I want to take a lot of things. They have clothes at a discounted price, toys, baby gear, books. I definitely found good deals there.

If you have their card (TJX Style), you will have up to 45 days for returns or exchanges. If you change your mind after that time (up to six months) you can have store credit.

We purchased some clothes, Aden+Anais swaddles, and other things.

Aden+Anais swaddles

Clothes in general: I like Carter's, GAP and Tommy Hilfiger - from outlets/factory stores.

Am I missing any store? Advices are always welcome!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Nursery - decisions

Hello!!! I hope you are all having a great week so far. Mine is flying!!!

Anyways, today I am back to with another post about the nursery. After a lot of research, hearing advices and visits to stores we decided on the main furniture for our baby's nursery.

Crib: we decided to go with Pottery Barn. It was on sale and I was able to get an extra discount (yes,... I am the type of person who likes discounts and coupons!!!). The crib seems to be sturdy and will last for a while since it becomes a toddler bed. We already assembled it.

Mattress: we have been looking in stores and supermarkets however we could not make up our minds on the mattress yet. We don't plan on spending a lot of money... also, I am a little bit concerned about buying the ones with a plastic exterior (I keep wondering if it makes a lot of noise when the baby moves or if it gets too warm). On the other hand, we already purchased a waterproof mattress cover - I believe we will buy another one. Would 2 be enough?

Still on this topic,... we are aware that it is important to have a firm/ super firm mattress, however should we pick the one with coils - which are really heavy and will make it difficult to make the bed - or should we go with the organic foam ones? We are open to suggestions!

Dresser/ Changing Table: we decided to go with the Ikea one. I like the idea of having a lot of drawers and storage space to organize my baby things. I will definitely change the knobs to something more girly.

We also got a changing pad to have on the top of the dresser. This is a non-allergic foam and comes with stripes to be attached to the dresser. 

Rocking Chair: after a long search, we also decided to go with the Charleston Chair from Pottery Barn. They were having a sale and I was able to negotiate an extra discount. We chose a light grey - to match the theme (pink, grey, white). We don't have a lot of space in the nursery, so I like the fact that this chair is not really big and it is firm. This is a rocking chair, but in the future I can convert it into a regular arm chair - just switch the base.

We didn't buy the ottoman though. If we feel the need to have some support for our feet/legs, I will buy something cheaper.

Blinds: we got the cordless blinds from Levolor at Lowe's and already got them trimmed according to the size of our windows. I preferred to buy two (smaller) instead of a big one considering that only one part of the window is functional. Hubby still needs to install te blinds,... but we have been so busy lately! 

Ideally I will have time to get a pair of curtains,... in my mind it will give a charming touch to the nursery.

I believe these are the most important furniture for the nursery. Am I forgetting something?

I would like to paint one of the walls or have some wallpaper on it - as a feature wall, but I know that time is an issue right now and we are each day closer to the birth of our little princess.

Soon I will be back with a post about stores and baby registry,...

Advices and recommendations are really welcome!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Baby gear - part I

Hi guys,....

We already bought some of the things we will need for the baby. We have been watching videos on Youtube and also had a great amount of advice from friends - and we really appreciate them!!!!

It is difficult at a first moment to determine what will be important/useful for the baby. When you visit baby stores, everything seems to be important,... and after talking to a sales consultant I am under the impression these products are a "real necessity"!!!

That's why I rely more on the advice of my friends that already have babies! They make the process less overwhelming and more real.

I also understand that people can talk about their experience and that each baby is different.

So, here is a list of the products that I believe we will use with our baby and that's why we already purchased them.

1. Stroller
That the first thing we got for the baby. It is a difficult task finding a stroller, there are so many options and price points in the market. We decided to go with a travel system from Graco. It seemed to be good quality and durable. Some features that caught our attention are: the possibility of having the baby facing both directions; the large storage compartment, the click and connect system, the fact that we could use only the car seat. Ron picked the colour, he liked the grey. According to the manufacturer, this stroller can last for a long time, since it "grows" with the baby.

It is important to mention that, if you live in Canada, the car seat should be bought here (and not in the US). The Government has specific regulations regarding safety. We were informed that the day we leave the hospital a nurse will come to our car to ensure that it has the "National safety mark" and it was installed properly. For more information, please visit the Government website.

National Safety Mark

2. Baby Monitor
Since we live in a 3-story townhouse, we thought it would be really important to have a baby monitor  allowing us to keep tabs on our baby while  we are in another room. The model we chose from v-tech has good reviews and comes with 2 transmitters (cameras with night vision and audio) and one receiver (monitor). We bought ours at Babies R Us.

3. Diaper Pail
After some research online, we decided to go with the diaper genie. I like the idea of having a foot pedal to open and close. It also offers odor control through a carbon filter. There are special plastic refills (bags) required, and they can be pricy, however you can find good deals on them at Costco. We picked the white one to match the furniture.

Plastic refills

4. Nursing Pillow
I read that "nursing pillows work wonders", and honestly, I can see it being pretty useful when breastfeeding in a glider or anywhere around the house. We purchased the Jolly Jumper, however it is not machine washable (my bad!!! did not check that before buying it), but it was a great deal. We are considering buying a second one from Boppy - machine washable, if we find a good deal.

Jolly Jumper nursing pillow

5. Car seat mat:
We thought it would be a good ideia to have something to protect our car. I hope it works!

6. Playmat:

I think this mat is adorable and I hope our baby will like spending time on it. I also think it is easy to take with us to our friends' house.

Any advice on these or other products?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nursery ideas - part I

Hey guys,...

As I mentioned in a previous post, my idea for the nursery is to have white crib and a white dresser. The rocking/gliding chair I am not so sure yet.

I always liked the sleigh crib - the one with the"headboard"that goes against the wall. But right now I am second guessing myself since we have seen one at Pottery Barn that is really cute,... a little more traditional, but cute.

Sleigh Crib

Kendall crib from Pottery Barn

Ikea furniture is always an option, right?,... 

Ikea crib - Gulliver
Not so sure what to do now,... but I know we gotta make a decision soon, since we are 27 weeks pregnant. Another thing to consider is that, Ikea cribs/mattresses size are slightly different from all other cribs.

Also, instead of buying a changing table or a "baby dresser" (the dressers from the baby stores), we decided to go with Ikea Hemnes dresser. I believe it will work perfectly, with great room for storage!

Ikea Hemnes dresser

My plan is to paint the nursery with a greyish neutral color, and one wall (the one where the crib goes) will be a darker grey; and mostly all the other decoration - pillow, throws, crib skirt,... will be in shades of pink.

What do you think of these ideias?

Next post I will make a list of the things we already got for the baby!

Monday, January 30, 2017

It is a ... GIRL!!!!!!!

It is a GIRL!!!!!

As I mentioned in my last post, during our last ultrasound (20 weeks), baby didn't cooperate for us to know the gender. But the most important thing was to know that our baby is healthy and developing accordingly.

However, the technician could not confirm the gender. She said we would need to check during the next ultrasound - scheduled for the end of February.

Honestly, I would not be able to wait until the end of February to start buying clothes and the things I want for my baby. Therefore we searched online for some options, private clinics that perform a 3D Ultrasound and are able to tell you the gender of the baby.

We chose a company that is located close to our workplace, was open after hours and most importantly had good reviews. They have so many options with packages that include live broadcasting, teddy bear with the heartbeat of your baby, pictures, DVD and the list goes on and on. We just got the gender determination special.

And it worked! We are having a GIRL!!!!! Also, it was the first time we were able to see her face!

My husband was more emotional than I was,... it was a very special moment for us.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017: We are having a baby!!!!

I don't think it is too late,... so: Happy New Year!

I know it's been a long time and I have no excuses for you. I was considering to stop with this blog if I can call it like that.

Another year has ended and I can say that 2016 was a year of changes, surprises, ..., it was a year of emotions. Talking about the house, we didn't finish or started any new project, although ideas were not an issue, we had a busy summer! We got the high chairs for the breakfast bar and the pendant lights (I will post pics in a near future).

But the most important thing that happened in 2016 is: our family is growing. Nope, it is not another dog. We are having a baby!!!

We are really excited with what 2017 will bring us. We still don't know if it is a boy or a girl, but according to our last doctor's appointment baby is developing really well and that's what matters, right?!

We have been visiting baby stores, not to mention searching for tips and advices from friends. It is overwhelming, but we are enjoying the whole process. We are reading books recommended by my friend that lives in NY and just had her second baby.

Have you guys seen how many cute stuff there are for babies??????

For now, we decided that the nursery furniture will be white (crib, dresser/changing table, rocking/gliding chair) and the decoration will be according to the gender. Pinterest has been of great help for ideas.

We already purchased the stroller, baby monitor and a few clothes - gender neutral.

Advices are welcome! Please don't hesitate to leave your comment here!

Next post I will show the things that we already have for the baby.