It’s Baby Time At The Babytime Show! Lil Miss Dress Up Review

Little Magician sat me down the other day with a most serious face and told me she wanted to “add a new name” to her name. She didn’t want to change her name, but she wanted another one that people could use.

Curious, I asked her what she wanted her new name to be.

“Danger,” she said.

“Danger?” I repeated.

“Yes! Danger!”

She didn’t really have a reason why she wanted to be called “Danger” – she just liked how it sounded. By her description, her alter ego Danger is a karate-chopping, hair-styling, cake-baking, big sister African princess (combining all of her current fave activities/identities) – and when she asked me if she could have a new dress to wear as “Danger,” the perfect one had just arrived in the mail from Lil Miss Dress Up.

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Lil Miss Dress Up is a Toronto-based boutique specializing in custom special occasion wear for kids.

With approximately 100 dresses in a variety of colours in store at any time, we focus on a smaller, more carefully selected collection of dress options, but one that encompasses a variety of styles, textures and silhouettes.

They’ll be at this weekend’s Babytime Show in Mississauga (get your tickets here with the code TINYHUMAN for $3 off), but Little Magician-I mean, Danger-and BB were lucky enough to get custom dresses from the boutique this week!

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The girls looked gorgeous in their gowns! Made of soft, shimmery satin with a sturdy back zipper and puffy crinoline, these dresses will be perfect for our upcoming family photos and next formal event. My kids were made to stand out, not fit in – so it’s awesome that they’ll be able to do just that in their new Lil Miss Dress Up dresses!

However,  I have to keep an extra eye on little girls named Danger who like to karate-chop all over the house in their dresses, and little sisters who watch (and will likely soon try to emulate) their moves. Pray for me, y’all.

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Learn more about Lil Miss Dress Up on their site, or come see them at this weekend’s Babytime Show!

Lil Miss Dress Up provided dresses in exchange for this review post. All opinions are mine.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

It’s Baby Time At The Baby Time Show! Tidy Tot Bib Review

BB (aka “Ice Cube” for her expressive eyebrows; aka “Madness Badness” for her feisty attitude) is firmly into solid food exploration, and we really haven’t found much that she doesn’t like to eat. From slurping up pureed fruits and veggies to snatching pieces of plantain and bread off of our plates, she’s into anything edible, so life is fun—and messy.

It’s really cool to see her not only enjoy the taste of food, but the experience of touching it—playing with the various textures and putting it in (or somewhere near) her mouth—but the messiness is just something I figured is an unavoidable part of the process.

Until now! Meet EIO Baby’s Tidy Tot Bit & Tray Kit!

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Created by a mom of 3, Tidy Tot is an all-in-one barrier that does what regular bibs generally don’t. We all know of the basic bibs that help keep the front of your child’s clothing clean, and the ones with the little catch-basin roll at the bottom—but these still leave a gap between your baby and their eating surface. When Little Magician was in this phase, I resorted to essentially wrapping her and her high chair in garbage bags with newspaper underneath in all efforts to keep her and the house tidy without restricting her exploration.

Luckily for BB (and me), Tidy Tot takes away all that work, with its flexible bib + tray combo—and we love it!

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The tray itself is wide enough to cover your high chair table and more – and comes with handy suction cups to secure it to the surface. I didn’t realize the bib piece actually has sleeves – so not only was BB covered fully, but the bib will protect her clothes when she’s eating messy or saucy foods. Genius! It was great to not have to pick up anything off the ground (well, other than what she threw there herself), so this product is a win.

You can order a Tidy Tot Bob & Tray Kit here, or if you’re in the GTA, you can see them at this weekend’s Babytime Show!

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Get $3 off tickets with the code TINYHUMAN!

EIO Baby provided the Tidy Tot Bib & Tray Kit in exchange for this review post. All opinions are mine.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

It’s Baby Time at the Babytime Show! Posh Gal Leggings Review

Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve popped up around these parts, but for a few good reasons!

Having a 3-year old and 8-month old means life is extremely hectic, and developing my writing career only adds to the whirlwind. There’s so much to update on in the Adventures of the Quammie Girl Gang, and I’ll get to it – but first, I want to share some exciting news!

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The Babytime Show, the GTA’s best and only show for expecting, new, and toddler parents is back April 27th-29th—and yours truly is an Ambassador for this year’s show! I’ll be sharing some awesome product reviews, doing some ticket giveaways, and getting into some fun stuff live from the show next weekend. There will be a ton of amazing vendors showcasing their products and services geared towards making the lives of parents and children easier. One of the featured companies is Posh Gal Leggings!

Posh Gal offers comfy and stylish leggings for women and children. Since I currently live in leggings (and mismatched socks) much of the time between being at home and going to the gym, I was excited to try a couple of pairs. Posh Gal graciously sent me two—an all black pair, and one with a cool red/white/black/grey graphic “love” design.

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These are some of the most comfortable leggings I’ve ever worn—the waistband doesn’t dig into my skin, the fabric is soft and stretchy, and it’s thick enough that I don’t foresee myself getting any holes or thinning in the seams like I’ve had with others. Being 6ft tall, I was pleased that they were long enough on me, and the sizing is fairly broad—one size fits sizes 2-12, and the other fits sizes 12-18.

I’ll be living in my Posh Gal leggings for the next little while—and if you’re a mom who wants to be comfortable AND cute, you should check them out too!

See Posh Gal and many more great vendors at the 2018 Babytime Show, happening April 27th-29th at Mississauga’s International Centre, Hall 1!

Want to win a pair of tickets to the show?

Mamas:  It’s so easy to fall into a style rut when we’re taking care of little ones. Comment here or tweet me at @beequammie and share what you’ll be adding to your style arsenal this spring. A new lipstick or hairstyle? Or maybe a pair of shoes or jeans you’ve had your eye on? Let me know!

Get $3 off tickets with the code TINYHUMAN!

Posh Gal provided leggings in exchange for this review post. All opinions are mine.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Introducing BB

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I was sweaty, exhausted, and overwhelmed with emotion – but I still had enough energy to whisper “Happy anniversary” and lean my cheek forward for a kiss from HomieLuva. It was our 6th wedding anniversary and our second baby was about 6 hours old, so a hospital celebration wasn’t what I had planned but there was nowhere else I wanted to be.

Plans are funny things. I’ve always had a hard time with change and retaining control in my life, but becoming a mom of two has forced me to face – often uncomfortably – the fact that life gon’ life, and sometimes all you can do is go along for the ride.

Look at my Boss Baby, my moonlight bringer – she came two weeks early. She came pretty quickly, about 3 hours after my water broke. She came without the aid of pain meds, since the epidural that was administered didn’t work. AT ALL. Almost every step of the way, I’d have a somewhat out-of-body experience where I looked at myself saying, “Is this shit really about to happen?” and there was nothing I could do but admit that yes, yes it was.

If I was having out-of-body experiences during labour and delivery, BB’s gift to me was putting me back in my body. That’s the only way I can describe it. Little Magician took me into more spiritual realms with her arrival, and BB has grounded me, earthed me, settled me into my body in a new way.

It started with the experience of giving birth without pain meds and feeling my body do a new thing, even though it was the second time. It continued with the more successful breastfeeding journey we’ve been having (I got teary-eyed when we saw that BB gained weight at her first doctor’s appointment). And it’s kept going with how much I enjoy my post-baby body (I’d like to snatch this waist back and get rid of this back pain, but the extra juiciness can stick around). I just have more moments of being present – taking time to be aware of my breathing, to take note of my posture, to stretch and feel my body pull. LM awakened me to parts of me that I didn’t previously explore. BB reintroduced me to parts of me that I previously took for granted. Balance is a tricky thing, but these two have given me a certain kind of equilibrium.

It’s been two months in, and finding equilibrium in broader terms has been challenging. I’m trying to keep up with LM’s energy and her need to be engaged. I’m trying to nurture BB and keep the breastmilk flowing so she can keep growing. I’m trying to learn how to relax, but the fear of seeing opportunities slip away and losing relevance in my work makes relaxation elusive (that last point is a topic for another post altogether). I’m trying not to be wholly overwhelmed and anxious by the state of the world. I’m trying to be OK with change and understand that right now, loss of control looks like me floating around, grasping at old and new pieces of my identity, and trying to put it all together again in a way that makes me feel good. I’m trying to be OK with the fact that this will all take some time.

But oh, when I look at BB – I’m fine with the discomfort. My beautiful brown baby with the biggest, brightest eyes; the way she looks just like her sister at one glance, then entirely different the next; the calmness that I feel emanating from her; the way her daddy feels so fulfilled with his two girls and the way LM feels so proud to be a big sister – when my heart wants to break because of frustration, overwhelm, and self-inflicted pressure, these things keep it stitched together.

I’m a mom of two, reliving the sleepless, stressful, yet blissful days of newborn life. My BB is perfect, and she’s the perfect addition to my perfectly imperfect family. We’re all taking it one day at a time, and I know we’ll all be fine.

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Motherhood The Second Time Around

BSM-bossbaby34I’ve always known I wouldn’t be Team One And Done if I had my way. With two younger siblings of my own, I’ve always loved the connection we have – so I knew that when it came time to start my own family, I definitely wanted to recreate that dynamic with my little ones.

So, here we are. Little Magician is fresh off her 3rd birthday, and her sibling #BossBaby is coming in just a few weeks. This pregnancy has been very different from my first go-round, and my life today looks completely different from what it was even just 3 short months ago. I’m slowly but surely coming to accept the realization that there is no “going back” to anything. Life is drifting me along like a river that washed me from my comfort on the shore, and I won’t ever go back – but I’ll end up somewhere new. And one of the major things about this new place? I’ll be a mom of two.

I wonder how I’m going to love two children equally. So many parents have told me that I’ll be amazed at how my heart will swell to meet the capacity of loving BB, so I figure it’ll be an extension of the phenomenon when Little Magician arrived and love took on new definition.  I wonder how I’m going to continue to integrate the other parts of my life (career, social life, etc.) into this renewed motherhood identity. I wonder how the spiderweb of connections between HomieLuva, LM, BB, and I (and our extended family) will evolve as we welcome a new being into our lives and form new relationships. I wonder how my body will recover after pregnancy #2; if my postpartum depression will come back; if HomieLuva and I will be able to navigate the ripples and waves of newborn life and remember the connection we created when it was just the two of us.

People make me feel guilty about working so much during this pregnancy – my work contract came to an end a few months back, and I’ve been a full-time freelance writer since April. I feel even more exhausted than usual, because May found us dealing with HomieLuva’s ankle surgery and taking LM out of daycare, so my responsibilities at home have heightened. Family and friends have helped in amazing ways, but there’s so much that only I can do. I worry that BB can feel and absorb my stress, so I order myself to not feel that stress, then I stress out when it feels like I’m failing both of us.

I feel like I owe it to BB to make up for the fact that life hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had to think of, manage, and do so much.

When I have a quiet moment to feel the ever-strengthening kicks and punches in my belly, I smile. I talk to BB all the time and let them know how much I love them. When I hum my special lullaby for LM at night, I feel the baby shift and move every time, and I feel like it might become their favourite lullaby too. It’s in those moments that I feel like everything will be OK, and that Boss Baby and I are reassuring each other at the same time.

Change – even change that you set in motion or desire with all your heart – is scary. Knowing that there’s no going back, only going forward, is scary. Realizing that life as I know it is about to evolve again and hoping that I’m ready for what’s to come, is scary. But beyond that fear is the fact that I’m about to gain the ability to give and receive the most love I ever have before – and I can’t wait.

See you soon, BB. We’re so excited for you to get here. <3

Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

“Toddlers & Snapchat Don’t Mix” And Other Reasons To Put The Phone Down

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The wailing and shrieking from Little Magician’s room woke me out of my sleep at 3am the other night.

There’s her usual whiny cry when all she wants is some company or someone to pull her blankets up under her chin (still a ploy for company, since she’s more than capable of tucking herself in) – but this? This was different. Something was wrong.

I found her sitting straight as a board on the edge of her bed, hair bonnet askew, trembling and crying – and when I asked her what was wrong, all she could do was raise a little arm and point at her dresser.

“The monster…the monster is right there with the googly eyes!”

I patted her back and said,  “Baby – I don’t see one. There’s no monster there.”

She nodded furiously and cried “Yes, mommy! The monster is there with eyes like our silly face pictures!”

And that’s when I realized it was Snapchat’s fault that I was up, trying to calm her back to sleep at 3am.

Lately, I’ve been working on limiting the mental noise that comes with excessive social media use. I love the connections that come from it, but recognize when I need to tap out from the constant influx of opinions and discussions and annoyances that exist across the mediums.

I’ll take a week off of social media here and there, but what I’m really working on is limiting my screen time before bed. It’s too easy for me to succumb to FOMO and the “let me just refresh the TL one more time” reflex – but as research has shown, it’s a much better sleep hygiene practice to leave the phone alone for an hour or so before bed.

But silly me. I’ve gravitated to Snapchat because it’s a fun way to engage without being inundated by others’ opinions, and Little Magician gets way too much enjoyment out of the filter feature on there. I thought Snapchat was safe, but that 3am wake up call – and other such events – have proven otherwise.

There’s the time she slapped the make-believe flower crown off her head so hard she almost cried.

Then, the time she nearly broke my real glasses because she tried to snatch the Snapchat filter glasses off my face.

Then, the time she had a meltdown because she kept opening her mouth, but her dog filter tongue wouldn’t come out.

Then, there’s the fact that she knows exactly how to get to Snapchat and its filters on my phone, and nearly snapped a (somewhat blurry but still slightly inappropriate) pic of me to my public story.

After these near-accidents and 3am freak-outs, I can see that the effort I put into managing my social media use will help her just as much as it helps me.  We clearly both need the sleep hygiene assistance so that social media doesn’t continue to seep into our subconsciousness the way it so effectively has.

It’s funny how our kids can motivate us to do better for ourselves than our own self-assessment. With that being said, I’ll definitely be renewing my efforts to put the phone, laptop, and any device with access to social media down well before bed. Hopefully I’ll get a more restful sleep, and hopefully Little Magician will too, without the interruption of googly-eyed monsters dancing her her room.

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Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

“Black ‘Oman, Hold Yuh Heart” aka Boss Baby Is Coming

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A few weeks ago, I was at the HERStory In Black event, hosted by How She Hustles and CBC. The entire evening – honouring 150 Black women in the GTA who are doing amazing things – was incredible, but there was one particularly poignant moment for me.

Dub poet d’bi Young Anitafrika performed a piece she wrote specifically for the event – a powerful and emotional poem that had most of the room in tears. d’bi guided us through the recognition and celebration of who we are as Black women, with a constant refrain: “Black ‘oman, hold yuh heart!”

Most of us placed our hands to our chests, but I had a moment of hesitation about where to place mine. You see, I currently have two hearts. One has lived, loved, broken, and mended more than the other, but the newer one beats strong with the rhythm of promise and potential.

All that to say – I’m pregnant with Baby #2!

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This pregnancy so far has been very different from 3 years ago when I was carrying Little Magician, and has frankly been a rougher ride. Morning sickness and extreme exhaustion took over the first trimester, and there were days where I couldn’t raise my head for anything except to take a sip of lemon water. This one also took a hit to my vanity – with LM everything flourished, but this time around my skin, hair, and nails suffered until the second trimester. I had more food cravings with LM, and this time (aside from my never-ending desires for ackee and saltfish), my diet is driven more by my aversions – namely chicken, most juices, and dairy.

It also feels like my emotions have also been on an even bigger roller coaster this time around. One of my biggest sources of anxiety is, how will I love two children equally?

I remember being pregnant with LM and wondering what it was going to feel like to be connected to another human being in such a way. I couldn’t imagine what that love would look and feel like, but it came, in all its beautiful and overwhelming glory.  Now, I’m clearly not the first person to give birth to more than one child, but I wonder how my heart will stretch to give another baby the same quality of love I’ve given to LM all this time, and how I’ll be able to keep loving her so that she never feels like she’s lost part of me.

Personally, I felt so changed when I gave birth the first time, that I’m also a bit anxious about how I’ll evolve after I go through the process of bringing another being into the world again.

Who will they be? Who will I be? How will LM adapt? How will HomieLuva and I maintain our identities as individuals and a couple while raising two children? As has been my trend lately, I have more questions than answers – but I know the answers will make themselves plain in due time. If previous life experience has shown me, I never know what I’m doing, but somehow always figure it out – or at least get by without anyone getting hurt. Lol.

For now, I’m enjoying the smoother sails of the second trimester (though I’m still hella tired thanks to chasing one Little Magician around) and awaiting the arrival of Boss Baby aka El/La Jefe aka Lil Remix. The story behind Baby #2’s nicknames deserves its own post, so stay tuned for that – and for all the fun times ahead as I become a mama of 2!

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Bee Quammie

Big hair+mouth. Word lover. Award-winning blogger. Freelance writer. Media commentator. Wife/mama/daughter/sister/friend. Dancehall Queen for life.

Motherhood in colour. Motherhood with flavour.