April 11, 2009
Experimenting with cloth diapers

Our first big shopping expedition today to Loblaws to restock our extremely bare cupboards and replenish our diaper supply.


Elizabeth is well over eight pounds, so we've been experimenting with the cloth diapers.  It's been less successful than we hoped.  As you can see from the picture, they are still huge when compared to the disposables.  The smallest diaper on the right is the newborn size.  It's apparently good up to 10 pounds, but was starting to look a bit tight on Elizabeth.  They also cost $14 for 36. The next size up (featured in the middle) cost $15 for 84, and are good between 8 and 14 pounds. 


We decided to get the cheaper disposables.  Frustratingly, the amazing wetness sensor is only a feature of the "Sensitive" Pampers line of diapers and the larger size was not available.  Not that we learned this from any of the packages - I had to look it up on their website.  Diaper websites are rather bizarre actually.  Both Pampers and Huggies would like their visitors to become members to their "network".  I have no idea who wants to join a diaper brand network online, but I declined.  I did take Huggies up on their offer for a free sample of their latest and greatest.  No mention of a moisture sensor so I rather doubt we'll buy them regularly. The sample should arrive in 4-6 weeks, by which time I'm really hoping the cloth diapers are working out!



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April 10, 2009
Dying our countertop

We made it to church for the first time on Good Friday, and only a few minutes late.  Since the service was half an hour earlier than usual, we've decided to count it as being "on time".


Elizabeth cried all the way to church (she's not a big fan of the car seat), so we hesitated a bit at the back trying to decide where to sit.  We usually like to sit right up front, but decided it might be prudent to sit somewhere more condusive to a quick getaway.


My fears were unfounded though as Elizabeth was a model baby.  She fell asleep shortly after we walked in and slept through the entire service. 


Later in the day we decorated eggs for Easter with Erika, while Elizabeth mostly slept.  We colour our eggs with natural dyes - tumeric for yellow, cabbage for blue and yellow onion skins for red / brown.  Erika had fun colouring on some eggs with a wax crayon, while Yukiko and Janice drew intricate patterns using our Ukrainian egg kit supplies.  I had a bit of trouble this year with the yellow dye coming out rather muddy, so we didn't get a successful green.


Somehow we didn't think to take pictures of the process - I was too busy trying not to dye our countertop yellow for the fourth year in a row...  So I dyed it blue instead!  We'll have to see whether cabbage dye is easier to get off than tumeric.

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April 8, 2009
The Basement soothing technique
Normal kids are usually frightened of basements- particularly unkempt ones like ours... Elizabeth, on the other hand, regards the basement as the ultimate in soothing techniques. When she's been changed, fed, burped, and is still wailing... when all else fails... wrapping her tightly in receiving blankets, taking her downstairs into the basement and watching Daddy sort through piles of hardware is guaranteed to have her out like a light in 15 minutes. (You know you're from a family of renovators when...)
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April 6, 2009

A few days after Elizabeth came home from the hospital, Brendan and I began the process of filling out the reams of paperwork that is required when you have a new baby.  The actual amount of paperwork is actually not so bad; it just seems like a lot when you are really sleep deprived and prone to entering your mother's maiden name instead of your own when you see a field labelled "Mother's maiden name"...


The online process for submitting said paperwork is both streamlined and completely clumsy.  In theory, you can submit your "statement of live birth", request birth certificates and apply for a social insurance number all in one shot.  In practice it turned out that we had to print out part of the application and mail it to our municipality, because although Ottawa calls itself "Silicon Valley North", it is not one of the municipalities that can accept birth certificate registrations online.


Regardless, the process did work and we received two extremely large shipping envelopes from Purolator this morning.  Each large envelope contained a much smaller envelope with official proof of Elizabeth's birth!  I'm not quite sure why they didn't combine both into a single package but I guess the system isn't designed to save on envelopes and shipping.


We opted to get both long and short forms just in case Elizabeth ever needs to prove her citizenship (yes, we did learn something from the "Brendan is a dangerous criminal or at least not entitled to a passport" saga). 


Back in the day the short form birth certificate used to be a laminated card.  New birth certificates are much flimsier because they are made of paper.  There must be some kind of new security measure that doesn't work well with lamination because the certificate has a stern warning against do-it-yourself lamination, which would apparently void the birth certificate altogether.


We were slightly unsure about what to put for "Birth attendant" since we were given the choice of "Obstetrician" or "Midwife" and we actually ended up with both.  We ended up putting down our midwife since she was in charge of the baby - this was the correct choice because the person who processed the certificates added the obstetrician "as per hospital records".


Since I'm criticizing the registration process, I do have to say that it was much less convoluted than the tax credit application, which required us to fill out forms online, register for a government "epass", wait for our user name and password to be mailed to us in two separate mailings and then fax CRA a form swearing that Brendan and I are actually married.  The last requirement was the silliest in my opinion - CRA has processed eight tax returns that claim we are married without batting an eyelash.


So we now have a health card and birth certificates for Elizabeth, and we're still waiting for a social insurance number and for the paperwork pertaining to various child tax credits to be processed.  Somehow the social insurance number doesn't seem very urgent :)


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April 3, 2009
You known you're real parents when...

Apparently all this eating has been doing something (other than the obvious).  Elizabeth has moved up from the 10th percentile to the 25th for weight and from the 5th to the 50th for length.  Someone who didn't know better might think that she has some tall genes somewhere in the mix...  The photos show her at 2 weeks and 4 weeks.


We know we're real parents now because when our daughter peed our bed, we considered letting it dry instead of doing yet more laundry.


For all would-be visitors - don't worry - we won't let her pee on YOUR sheets... 

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