Friday, July 24, 2009

our baby's Baby Bjorn

Since becoming rather constrained in the wrap, Miya is stepping out in a new style.

Kindly passed on to us from another family, the Baby Bjorn is perfect for Miya's 3 month size.

She loves that she can look around - and often gives beaming smiles to people she meets. She also seems to like that the cloth is just the right height to gum on - yum, yum, nothing beats the taste of a Baby Bjorn.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

walking in Westboro

Nearly everyday I take my daughter for a walk. For her first month, I used to wrap her up and carry her against my body. The rhythm of my footsteps, the sway of movement would inevitably put her to sleep.

Now, as she is older and heavier, I lay her in the stroller and push her all around the neighbourhood. Sometimes I wonder if there is any street in a 3 km radius of our house that I have not yet covered.

Yet even though the scenery may feel repetitive at times, I constantly feel fortunate to live in such a lovely part of town.

We live in an old neighbourhood, less than two kilometres from the river which separates Ontario from Quebec. Many of the houses around here, especially those closer to the river, used to be cottages. However, as the city expanded and this neighbourhood grew popular, many have been renovated and upgraded. Indeed, to walk around this area is to constantly pass construction sites, most of which are additions being added to old houses.

I also pass cafés and restaurants, boutique shops, lovingly tended gardens and many parks. Often I go down to the river where the breeze off the water is refreshing and urban noise is replaced with songs of nature.

Miya peers out from the stroller, captivated by the play of sunlight and wind in the trees. She'll nod off to sleep; I'll slow my step and lazily drift through another summer afternoon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

mon amie Sophie

This year, all the cool babies in Ottawa have Sophie, the French giraffe. And of course, Miya did not want to be the only one at the well-baby group without the cute little teething toy.

Sophie is popular with parents because she is made from natural rubber and decorated with non-toxic paint. She's popular with babies since she is soft and light to hold and her feet and face are just the right size for their mouths.

Although tulip man is still Miya's favourite toy, Sophie is a pretty big hit. Not only does she squeak when squeezed, she also speaks French and sings French children songs. Miya, in turn, bestows beaming smiles at her little French friend (which unfortunately are very hard to catch with the camera).

Sophie is also quite a forward little animal, always encouraging Miya to touch and hold her. But this is a developing skill for Miya, so Sophie is often dropped or awkwardly dangled, but she doesn't seem to mind. C'est un jouet très amicable.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ottawa's youngest marathoner

With help from her dad, Miya recently began training for Ottawa's busy marathon season.

Miya shows promising form, despite requiring some assistance.

Her exclusive breast milk diet, though unusual in marathon runners, obviously has some benefits as her strength and level of fitness is superb.

Established marathoners are rumored to be concerned about this new challenger.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Being Anne Myles

I don't know when I first started being Anne Myles - maybe a couple of years ago when some internet survey or whatnot asked for my name and I didn't feel like giving my real one. Since then I've been giving the name Anne Myles to various consumer reports, online surveys etc. When I receive mail for Anne Myles I know not to get too excited, even if I may be promised the chance to win $10,000.

But Anne Myles has always just been a name, an alias... until yesterday.

Yesterday I did a mystery shop at a high end bank. I was asked to go in with a certain scenario, essentially act as a person who has over $150K in assets and is looking for a 'better banking experience'. So Anne needed a back-up story.

It turns out Anne got her masters in English Lit and has gone on to work at the Canada Council for the Arts. She enjoys her job since she is tapped into the up-and-coming Canadian arts scene. She is married to a man who has been a director at Nortel for the past 7 years, but whose division recently got sold to Nokia. Turns out she also has a daughter named Miya, (but that was only because I couldn't trust Miya to keep a poker face during the shop).

And let me tell you, as Anne I got treated pretty nicely at this bank. As Anita I probably would have been politely told that perhaps this wasn't the best place for me. As Anne, I was wooed and wowed with promises of "red carpet treatment", special rates on investments, attractive rewards packages with credit cards. Want to bank off-shore, not a problem? Open an account in Germany? They'd have it for me in 3 days. Want to buy a 2nd house in the south of Frace? They can take care of the mortgage and all the credit approvals necessary.

I got a little nervous when at the end of the interview, the "Relationship Manager" I was speaking with fired off an email to Anne's account to make sure I'd have the details of her contact info and the website when I got home. I was worried she'd get an error message right there... then Anita would have had some explaining to do.

But it seems the email went through, so to the other Anne Myles out there, I apologize for cluttering up your inbox. But it sure was fun being you for an hour.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Canada Day

To celebrate Canada Day, this year Miya got up for an early stroll around the block. She then met with the Governor General for a morning breakfast and dropped by Parliament Hill to check on preparations for Canada Day festivities.

She hosted a luncheon for foreign diplomats, showcasing exciting new Canadian cuisine from some of Ottawa's up-and-coming chefs.

In the afternoon she was back downtown to welcome some of Canada's best musicians to Ottawa and take in their performances on the open air stages.

After such a busy day, Miya chose to spend the evening with her parents, enjoying a back-yard bbq then taking in the fireworks from the island not far from their home.


On Canada Day Miya napped, fed, kicked her legs, sucked on her hand, laid on her back, had her diaper changed, was pushed in a stroller, waved her arms, was walked in a wrap, sneezed and spit up, in no particular, but often repeating, order.