Baby/Toddler Products I Love!

Baby/Toddler Products I Love!

As a first time mom I wanted my baby to have absolutely everything he needed, so I went all out! Most of the products were really helpful, but then I also bought a lot of products that he didn’t like, so never used!

For When Baby Sleeps

It took us a lifetime to get Zayan to sleep on his own. I tried moving him to his room when he was fast asleep but even then, as soon as I would lay him down – he would wake up, very unpleased. Zayan was sharing our bedroom for quite some time. The Ingenuity Smart and Simple Playard was perfect because it had a bassinet and changing table attached to it, but then he grew out of it. I absolutely loved this product for when Zayan was younger. It was so convenient. We used the playpen until he was 1. Once he grew out of the bassinet we moved him to his bed.

Motorola Video Baby Monitor  Zayan still wakes up every few hours during the night for milk, and I rely (heavily) on this monitor to make sure I know he’s up and moving. The high sensitivity microphone makes sure I can hear him even though our rooms are very far apart. Sometimes he gets fussy or starts moving around and I just soothe him from where I am with the two way communication feature.

For When Baby Dines

Baby Brezza Formula Maker Pro Some may think that moms who buy this product are lazy – I beg to differ. Moms do enough as it is, so having a product that helps minimize some of the work, is – well, helpful. Plus cleaning this machine every day, and then deep cleaning it every week, is anything but lazy. The reason I came to know about this formula maker was because Zayan had a lot of acid reflex, mostly caused by the air bubbles in his bottle. This Formula maker helps reduce the air bubbles and prepares a warm bottle in seconds! Although the machine warms the water, I still boil it before adding it in for my own satisfaction!

Baby Bullet Yep! The infomercials got me! Prepping baby food has never been easier. I make a few different meals at once. I end up having enough for the entire week and enough to freeze for later. A bonus – the Baby Bullet is so easy to clean!

Tommee Tippee Bottle Warmer I love all things Tommee Tippee! I’ve been using this product since Zay started drinking homogenized milk. He still has Enfagrow A+ formula during the night to make up for any nutrients missed during the day. The bottle warmer takes less than 3 minutes to warm a hungry babies bottle!

Fisher-Price-4-in-1 High Chair I’m assuming every toddler likes their food on the ground rather than in their plate, because mine does! When you’re a mom you have to find products that are easy to clean for your own comfort. This product is easy-to-clean and comes with built-in storage for baby wipes.

For When Baby Travels

We’ve traveled a lot since Zay was born and there are so many items I depend on when travelling with a baby.

Bily Stroller An easy to fold stroller is a must-have when travelling! So I bought this one. This stroller has a lot of storage space and the seat reclines all the way. Perfect for baby naps on the go!

Before our trip to Mexico my husband kept trying to talk me out of buying this stroller. He wanted to use the one we already had (which is much bigger). His theory, the hotel has elevators. Much to his surprise, the hotel only had elevators in the main lobby. The only way to get to our room on the third floor was by a flight of stairs. And so everyday for the 7 days we were there; my husband carried the stroller up and down the stairs, multiple times a day. He’s so lucky it was lightweight.

JJ Cole Diaper Bag I’ve had this bag since Zayan was born and I don’t go anywhere without it. Zayan is almost two and its still in near-perfect shape. It has so many components, and holds everything I need when travelling. Convenience is key for moms and this bag is just that.

To warm bottles and food on-the-go I use the Tommee Tippie Bottle Warmer which is ideal for long trips.

bblüv Travel & Play Tent When we went to Mexico, this tent was literally what Zay would live in when we would go to the beach. He hated the sand so much that he wouldn’t even step out. The tent was perfect for blocking out shade and keeping unwanted pests out. The best part? We didn’t need to leave the beach for nap time because he would fall asleep in the tent.

Plane rides are always easy-peasy for me * Thank God * but if there is one thing I’ve learned when travelling is that you should always carry toys. Babies need entertainment too, especially during long flights.

For When Baby Is Sick

There are five main things I use when Zay gets sick. (Other than medication)

1 –  Safety 1st Forehead Thermometer So easy to use and my little Zay doesn’t get annoyed with the tool either.

2 –  Ultrasonic Humidifier Not only does this product help soothe a stuffy nose, I’ve noticed it helps with Zays’ Eczema. Provides quiet, cool mist throughout  the night!

3 – Munchkin ClearNose Nasal Aspirator A baby with a clogged nose is a nightmare. And so I deal with his clogged nose the best I can.

4 – Before I use the aspirator I use Hydrasense Nasal Spray to help assist with breathing better.

5 – To wipe his nose I use Boogie Wipes soft, non-irritable saline wipes.

For Baby Safety

My child is an explorer and he’s always getting himself into trouble. To be honest, I’ve tried a lot of baby safety items and they all work… until he figures out a way around it. For example, all of my cabinets, drawers and doors were child-proofed until – they weren’t (If you know what I mean). I also bought a Safety 1st Gate for the stairs and the gate was great but it worked for about two months until he learned how to climb over it.

He climbs. That’s his thing – he climbs over things, in things, out of things. And he never gets tired!

For Baby Skin

Zayan has Eczema so I am super cautious about what I use on his skin. All of the products I use on him are always fragrance free – including the wipes I use for his little bum. Scented products just make his skin irritable and make the Eczema a thousand times worse. Thankfully there’s Aveeno to help! I’ve used Eczema care wash, moisturizing lotion, shampoo and nighttime balm. AVEENO works like a charm!

Penaten Diaper Rash Cream This cream comes in a smoother consistency than their original product.

Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes The only kind of wipes I use! Sensitive and perfume-free!

These products work for me and my baby, but some of the products may not work for yours. Every baby is different! I wasted a lot of money on baby items that other people had that I thought Zay needed, but now I wish I didn’t. I should’ve listened to my mommy friends when they warned me!

#helpingamommyout

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Mexico Travel Diary

Mexico Travel Diary

It’s Been A Decade

To celebrate a decade of marriage, my husband and I planned a trip. We both agreed that we didn’t want to celebrate without our son and because jet lag was not part of the plan, we chose to fly to Mexico.


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Grand Sunset Princess

The resort was located in Riviera Maya and from the moment I entered, I was in LOVE. This resort was exactly what I expected it to be, and then some. The beauty, cleanliness and ambiance was mesmerizing. The weather was EVERYTHING, especially for us Canadians hailing from -3 temperatures.

Lets not forget how incredible the food was. My husband, son and I are all very picky, and so I was extra impressed with the fact that we had 12 restaurants to choose from — all of which offered different international cuisines.

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As we were travelling with a toddler, I wanted a family friendly resort and the Grand Sunset Princess was just that. The resort was fully equipped with everything we needed, and there was really no need to leave — although we did leave to go shopping in the city and went on tour to Xenses Park, (where physics, gravity and logic don’t apply) which was quite the experience!

ZayFish SpaXenses

Back at the resort, there were a handful of helpful services (especially for parents), such as a doctor on-call 24/7, babysitting services at $15 USD/Hr, and a entirely separate family/kids club which Zayan really enjoyed!

Our trip was a huge success. All we planned to do was relax and enjoy our time together (just the three of us), and I have to say, mission accomplished! The memories made will be remembered forever.

My On-Going Struggle With Postpartum Anxiety

My On-Going Struggle With Postpartum Anxiety

One of the reasons this Blog came to be was because I wanted to share my experiences, and struggles as a new mom. One of my major struggles started the day I found out I was pregnant. Antenatal anxiety started its course and from there it became full-blown postpartum anxiety.

During my pregnancy I was always in my head. Thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Not once did I have any positive thoughts. Having dealt with a miscarriage before, it became my biggest concern. It was hard, and mentally tiring, but it became a routine to always think negatively. I would sleep longer so the days would end sooner, I was obsessing over disturbing thoughts, and don’t even get me started with my mood swings. I once cried because my husband forgot to bring me breakfast. (How dare he?)

When my son was born I thought I could finally let my brain breathe. Now here he was, a beautiful, healthy little boy Masha’Allah (with God’s will) and for the shortest time my head was clear. I was sent home 24 hours after and I was overwhelmed with fear. I was constantly afraid, there were so many what if? questions that were racing through my mind. All of the scenarios going through my mind at this time all ended with the worst possible conclusion.  I was now obsessing to keep him safe, I stopped trusting my family to care for him, and as a result I couldn’t sleep, eat or rest properly.

A few weeks went by and I have now completely isolated myself. My family started to realize that I had a problem and tried to help as much as they could. Anything they tried, failed. I felt as if was the only one who could protect him and care for him and no one else knew how to. (Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it)?

There were so many times I would lay in bed and just think about all the things that could harm him. I remember when Zay was 7-months-old and I was getting ready to go out for my birthday, I was holding him while walking down a flight of stairs, in heels. I didn’t think of it as a problem then, but as soon as I hit the bed that night, all I could think about was what if I had fallen? I stayed up for at least 2 to 3 hours just thinking of all the things that could’ve happened to my son if I had fallen. Never again did I walk down a flight of stairs in heels again.

I had to seek medical help a few months in because my anxiety was just getting in the way of everything. I couldn’t sleep because of the racing thoughts, I couldn’t drive because I would imagine getting into an accident, I couldn’t shower because I constantly heard him crying when he wasn’t. I couldn’t leave him for even a minute afraid that he would stop breathing. I was exhausted. I knew something was wrong and I knew this “something” wasn’t depression, depression was the complete opposite of how I felt. I just knew that I needed to get help, not just from my friends and family but from a medical professional.

After getting medical help I was taught some techniques to help me relax. Most of the techniques had to do with sharing my experience with other moms, meditation, and or exercise. My doctor suggested I start leaving my son with trusted family members for an hour a day. And so, I began spending an hour at the gym, leaving my baby home with my parents. The first few days were tough, i was anxious to get home to see if Zay was okay, and he was. And so, I continued going to the gym everyday. And everyday, I came home to a perfectly healthy, happy boy. Within two months I was healthier, mentally. All those obsessing thoughts diminished drastically.

Zay is now a year and 5-months-old and I won’t say that the anxiety is 100% gone, but I am proud of how much of it I have overcome. I still can’t leave him with my parents or other family members overnight, (even though my mom lives 2 blocks away from me) but they can now spend as much time as they want with him during the day. I still bombard them with text messages or calls every hour on the dot to ask how he’s doing and they hate that lol, but I can’t help myself.

My anxiety got to the point where it left reality behind. And for the longest time I thought it would go away on its own, but it just kept getting worse until I spoke to someone about it. I didn’t think anything or anyone would be able to help, which is why I didn’t reach out sooner, but there are medical professionals out there that know what they’re doing and they can help.

To read and learn more about postpartum anxiety, just click here.

DIY Baby Boy Nursery

DIY Baby Boy Nursery

Let me just start off by saying that I am never, ever painting again. The level of commitment and patience required was just too much for me. Thankfully, I had help painting the room.

I knew from the very start that I wanted a light, sky blue colour for my sons room. The house I moved into had rooms that were painted dark purple (Seriously?). We started off painting the walls, then I went on to paint the chest, and crib. I decided to paint my nephews old furniture as it was in good condition (what was I thinking?). Painting the panels on the crib, front and back had to be the hardest part. I wanted to quit. It was torture. Having OCD didn’t help either because everything needed to be painted, perfectly. But, I do have to admit, as hard as it was, I was really proud of how it all came together in the end.

27744495_1875920372438196_1265615464_oChanging Station:  | Shermag Lancaster & Serta Changing Pad | Wipe Warmer: Munchkin. | Diaper Pail: Playtex Diaper Genie Elite | Laundry Basket: Evita

In order to achieve this sky-blue colour I had to prime the walls with a white primer, I used Behr Premium Plus Primer & Sealer. This helped get rid of the dark purple paint. Once the entire room was primed I then used Behr Premium Plus Ultra with Satin Enamel finish in the colour Peaceful Blue S470-3. It was exactly the colour I wanted.

It was never my intention to paint the furniture. But now that the room was painted, the cherry wood furniture looked absolutely horrendous with the colour of the walls, and so I started with sanding the furniture down to remove any bumps or dust. I then primed and painted the chest and crib with a white oil-based paint with semigloss finish. I used the wall colour for the knobs on the chest to add some uniqueness.

Crib: Delta 3-in-1 | Mattress: Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams  | Bedding: Disney 3-Piece Bedding | Musical Mobile: Disney Musical Mobile  | Pillow: Baby Works Baby’s 1st

Painting the crib was extremely time consuming. I think it took me about 4 days in total from priming to painting and then putting it together. Not to mention I was working around the schedule of my 4-month-old baby. I couldn’t have the nursery ready for when my son was born because we were in the process of moving.

White Book Ledge: Ikea – Ribba Picture Ledge

This is my absolute favorite part of his room. His library. I started buying books 6 months into my pregnancy because I just knew I wanted him to have a library. At this point in time I’m reading to him every night but soon enough he will be reading on his own. I got him these First Little Readers Pack A, B & C.

Play Mat: ProSource Kids Puzzle Alphabet & Numbers Mat  | Vehicle Storage Organizers: Clever Creations Storage Organizers | Wooden Dog: Rock & Ride Wooden Dog

The last thing I had to do was paint the wooden louvered closet doors the same colour as the furniture. This entire task felt like it was never going to end. I had to remove every slat, paint it front and back and then reinstall it. To add some more colour to the room I found a superheros poster at Walmart. I was just going to mount it to the wall but then I thought of cutting it into squared pieces to attach to the closet door, with the help of translucent push pins. Once complete, everything turned out flawless.

Fully completing the nursery took me around 3 months. My son was 7 months before he got to use his room. But he loves it. My OCD kicks in when he destroys his room but I guess its okay.

My Go-To Drugstore Products

My Go-To Drugstore Products

My life is absolutely chaotic and I’m sure most mommies can agree. Today my husband spontaneously decides it’s date night. Yes, date night on a weekday. What has my life come to lol. I was not up for it because that would mean, getting my son ready (yes, he went with us lol), getting his diaper bag ready and then getting ready myself. But he insisted, I complied and I began getting ready. Meanwhile, my toddler is running around me in circles.

I finished doing my eye makeup and then I decided to try something different. Instead of using my go-to makeup products, I used drug store products. And I’m glad I did. I’ve used most of these products before but some I’m using for the first time. I was very impressed with how perfect these products turned out. Definitely worth every Penny.

The final look. Below is a list of everything I used.

Beauty doesn’t have to be expensive. And these items prove that.

Zayans Birth Story

Zayans Birth Story

Readers discretion is advised. Lol.

All jokes aside, my labour and delivery was not what I expected. I obviously didn’t think it would be all sunshine and rainbows but I also didn’t think it would be as traumatizing as it was.

Let’s get to it shall we. During the last month of my pregnancy the palms of my hands and soles of my feet were achingly itchy. But I didn’t think much of it and didn’t mention it to my doctor.

After sleepless nights, and all the discomfort I figured this isn’t normal. I needed to tell my doctor. Right away she ordered some blood work and it was confirmed that I had this condition called Cholestasis. A liver disorder that happens only in late pregnancy. Thanks hormones. With this condition there’s a risk of stillbirth and it wasn’t a risk I was willing to take. So at 38 weeks as soon as I was considered full term I decided to get induced.

Just a suggestion : I strongly urge pregnant women to just communicate with their doctors. Even if you’re experiencing the mildest discomfort. Just say it. When it’s about you or your baby, there is no holding back. There shouldn’t be.

Moving along. At 38 + 4 weeks on August 24th, I was scheduled to be induced and of course my doctor was on vacay. The on-call doctor was sure I was going to deliver the same day. That, did not happen.

WEDNESDAY 10:00 AM: I was administered the Prostaglandins gel to start induction. An hour later I was sent home and asked to come back at 7pm that same day. When I returned to the hospital there was no change in my condition and therefore was administered a second round of gel and then sent home again. (Honestly, I hated being sent home. As a first time mom I would’ve felt safer just staying at the hospital. I was stressing about my baby, how this was all going to unfold, and the fact that I didn’t know who was going to help deliver my baby).

WEDNESDAY 11:30 PM: I started to feel such intense pain and by 5:30 am Thursday morning the pain got so bad I couldn’t take it anymore. I was timing my contractions and they were just shy a minute so I knew I wasn’t contracting. But if I wasn’t contracting what in the world was this pain? Gel pains, that’s what it was. 1cm dilated I was sent home with some Tylenol 3 to help me sleep. I was sent home again and told to wait for them to call me in.

THURSDAY 2:00 PM: At this point I am still 1cm dilated. My doctor (Still no idea who) decides to use the Foley Bulb method for induction. By the way, the Tylenol wore off and I was dying. I had to wait until I was 4cm dilated to get the epidural but baby Zay just didn’t want to budge. At least one of us was comfortable *rolls eyes*. I was contracting every 2-3 minutes but they just wouldn’t last the 60 seconds.

THURSDAY 7:00 PM: I am about 3 cm at this point so my nurse suggests I try walking to help induce labour. So I did a few laps. I was having so much trouble standing through my contractions that I couldn’t walk much. After about an hour the Foley Bulb fell out and that meant I was finally 4 cm dilated! It was time for the epidural. Or so I thought.

THURSDAY 10:30 PM: It took 3.5 hours for someone to come and give me the epidural. It took 20 minutes for the epidural to work and it was such a relief. But it didn’t last long. At about 2:00 am I was having spotty pain relief. My catheter drifted and needed to be reinserted but I didn’t know that at the time.

FRIDAY 3:30 AM: So here I was feeling everything on my left side but nothing on my right. When I told my nurse she just gave me more medication because she thought it was just wearing off. So now my right side is even more numb and on my left side I feel this gush. I buzz my nurse and tell her, ” I think my water broke” and she says, ” It’s probably just your mucus plug”. Okay, she’s the expert. She would know better.

FRIDAY 4:00 AM: I buzzed the nurse again and told her that there was something wrong with the epidural. She comes in and when she lifts to check the catheter she notices that indeed, my water did break. And so she pages the doctor (whom I haven’t seen this entire time btw) to come and check to see how far dilated I am. The nurse then turns to my mom and husband and says ” You guys should go home, the baby isn’t going to come until tomorrow afternoon, or maybe in the evening”. My husband stayed but my mom went home.

FRIDAY 4:40 PM: As soon as my mom left, I felt so much pressure, I told the nurse that I need to push. She looks at me like I was lying or something and that’s when the resident doctor walks in. She’s just about to check to see if I’ve dilated and she stops; her eyes are wide open and she looks at the nurse and tells her to page the doctor right away. A second later she says prep for labour, the baby is crowning. My husband knew how important it was for me to have my mom there so he called her and told her to make her way back ASAP.

The labour room is all prepared for the delivery now, but there was still no sign of the doctor anywhere. I couldn’t control it anymore and I just had to push. My epidural wasn’t working so I’m feeling every sensation. The resident doctor and nurse decide to start the delivery process without the doctor. And as soon as I’m about to push, my mom walks in.

I’m exhausted, I haven’t slept, and I haven’t eaten in days and I had no energy to push. My body was giving up on me and then the nurse says “the baby’s heart rate is dropping, bring in the vacuum for extraction”. As soon as I heard that, I have no idea what happened to me but it was a rush of adrenaline. I told them the vacuum was not happening. And so I tried one last time.

FRIDAY AUGUST 26th, 5:07 AM my baby boy, Zayan Ahmed was born. 6 pounds and 10 ounces of pure bliss. I remember my thoughts of that moment so vividly. I was overwhelmed with happiness, he was perfect. My entire pregnancy I wondered how that moment would be and all I can say is, it was not what I expected. It was a million times better.

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Isn’t he just gorgeous!

 

 

 

Now let me talk about my experience and how it would have been better if I had pleasant people around. I was stuck with nurses that were so uptight. They were rude, they wouldn’t listen to me, one was actually too busy on Facebook to answer my call. It was really disturbing. I had no doctor. A nurse and resident doctor delivered my baby. That to me, is a big no no.

I had a second degree tear and the resident doctor stitched it up. That’s 32 stitches which, ahem, were NOT done right. They were supposed to dissolve if properly stitched but, they didn’t. I had to go back 6 weeks after to get re-stitched. Everything they did in regards to me was careless and could’ve been prevented. To say the least I was scarred. I think I still am lol. But was it worth it?

Yes, it was.

New Years Eve

New Years Eve

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I can’t believe it’s 2018. Time is just flying by and I decided to make a comeback for New Years Eve this year as I was in hibernation mode for the last two years. I’ve been so busy with Zayan (my son) that I deserved a night out!

My friends and I have this New Year tradition where we go to the Thompson Hotel in the heart of Toronto every year. They always have a different party theme every year and this year it was the White and Black Ball. The hotel is clean, spacious, luxurious and the view is breathtaking!

Thompson hotel is the perfect location to celebrate the New Year. The venue is classy, elegant and CONVENIENT! The ball was set up in another area of the hotel, which meant that we didn’t have to step outside, in the cold weather with our sheer dresses, bare legs and high heels on.

Onto my outfit deets! It took me forever to find something I actually liked, I had to find an outfit last minute and it wasn’t easy! Anything & everything I wanted was either sold out or not my size! I was looking for a dress the entire time but then I thought, I should just put something together myself. And so I did. After roaming about a million different stores I finally came up with this.


All black, everything! Bodysuit and necklace from forever 21, velvet skirt from Dynamite, shoes and clutch from Le Chateau. I loved how this ensemble came together. Not only did it look good, it helped hide my love handles. *smirk smirk* Special shout-out to my husband who is also my photographer. You have no idea how many times I say “no, no not this one, take it again”

Everything was perfect about last night, except for my hair. *crying face* I legit spent 30$ getting it curled because I wanted it to look perfect! But the curls came out before I even got home which took less than 15 minutes. Such a disappointment. Thanks mama for the thin, straight, flat and unflattering hair.

My makeup on the other hand though! It was ah-maze-ing! I wish I had a close up shot but unfortunately I don’t! You’re just going to have to take my word for it. I went for a soft brown look. Details are below!

I found a Snap, does this count?

Face

Eyes & Brows

Lips