Williams Syndrome Wednesday: A shout Out to the Villiage

by , on
May 23, 2014

If you know me at all, you know that I am currently hounding people for silent auction donations and silent auction bids. I am a pain in the ASS. But I’m also committed to raising awareness for little Obi and that commitment requires funds. In this particular case, funds to help cover some of the costs for a 1-day educational day at Sick Kids in Toronto for WS families. A noble effort and a huge ton of work… but I see it like this: When you’re new to the neighbourhood – or in this case, a rare genetic syndrome – you’re not gonna meet people sitting in your house. You gotta throw an open house, invite them over and make some new friends. Or in this case, plan a work shop, raise a bunch of money, invite all the other people walking in your shoes and (hopefully) make some new friends.

I know, great idea right? But where is all this money going to come from? Enter “the village.” All the folks who are happy to step right up and help me raise my child. Not in a ‘change some diapers’ way, but in a “help me change the world” way.

People have been saying over and over again how amazing this is. I see myself as a Mum, perhaps a pretty proud of herself mum, doin’ what I gotta do for my little. But the rest of you…you’re not biologically programmed to help little Obi no matter what. And yet, you’ve stepped UP. Local stores where we shop regularly and businesses we interact with on a daily basis, big companies I have some kind of connection to (the whole 6 degrees thing), and random places I emailed out of the blue have been so very generous, and more than that, so gracious.

People have told me they are interested in her unique story, they are ‘taken’ by the video I shared with a number of kids, I’ve touched their hearts and it’s stories like ours that give them purpose. Wow, that is a whole lot of nice things to say. People I know have reached out to their contacts, pulled in favours, pulled strings, and donated out of their own pockets.

They have just helped. And of course I am grateful for the donations, but more than that, I’m grateful that this process is introducing me to a world that is embracing Obi. People are taking the time to ask questions, do research and learn more about Williams Syndrome. I could never have imagined the response I’m getting and it makes me feel good, deep in my Mom heart. I love that little chicken, and I want her to be able to find her way. But I almost feel that with so many people lighting the path, everything is going to be ok.

That is, above all, what I am most thankful for. Thank you to the village that is not just helping my child, but helping me in the process.

There are now too many sponsors to mention – some of which haven’t even been added yet. So if you want to see who all the great people and brands who are participating in Obi’s silent auction, head over here.

Maybe you’ll even find something that makes you smile.

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The long overdue review of Stokke Crusi

by , on
May 18, 2014

I’ve had the Stokke Crusi for about a year now, give or take. Which is a long time to take to get around to a review. I discovered the Stokke brand in 2009 when I was preparing for the arrival of the Bubble and googled best stroller for bad back. Up popped the Xplory. I was instantly sold, despite the hefty price tag.

Fast forward to April 2013. After a long winter of being stuck inside with obviously not typically developing Obi hiding out from RSV season, I set about getting a new Xplory. I already had an upgraded seat so I thought I’d go and buy a new chassis.

When I arrived at the store, there, in all it’s Black Melange glory was the new Stokke Crusi. It was a vision. I pushed it around the store, doing laps past the new version of my much loved Xplory and decided to forgo the stroller I had already owned for the new one – complete with sibling seat (with the intention that it could be used later when Obi started a nanny share like we had done with Bub.)Stokke Crusi 1

It is a wonderful stroller. It really is. It’s lovely. Turns well. Is easy to push. Sigh. But it’s not the Xplory, my one true love.

That being said, there is much to love and I’m certain that if the Xplory was not the one that got away, I would be wholly sold on the Crusi.

Crusi Blue

It really is an eye catching stroller, even though it has a more conventional look than the Xplory. It does have a large storage basket. (You can see my amazing Epiphanie Camera Bag in there) And it has a nice high handle.

Crusi Feet

Babes, especially those with low tone like little Obi do better when their feet can touch. The Crusi and the Xplory share the same seat design with the one hand foot rest adjust you can see here.

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Like the Xplory, the Crusi is one of the Stokke Connection strollers and I think you can see from this photo, the seat is HIGH. Obi loves to look people in the eye and this seat means she never misses an opportunity… except when she’s sleeping, like in this picture. It’s easy nappin’ because of the super easy adjustment of comfy seat positions.

Crusi Adjust

As you can see here, Stokke makes it easy to figure out how to make the stroller work by making all the parts that do something a different colour. The top push button adjusts recline and the lower one collapses the buggy for transport.

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Crusi is totally suited to our big city life. Obi’s caregiver pops on and off the transit, it has a cup holder for trips to cafes and for water bottles required for long beach walks. It’s easy to maneuver, did great in the snow this winter and has an adjustable handle making it easy for me to push and for her caregiver who’s quite a bit shorter.

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And of course, as with all Stokke products, the attention to detail and design is top notch.

There are a few little things that get on my nerves. While the 2 stage fold works for me because of the whole bad back issue, I find it doesn’t get super flat and doesn’t lock in the folded position. Not all that important because we have a big enough car but still not perfect. Also, I kick the crossbar when I walk.

Which I didn’t with the Xplory. Which folds flat. And locks. And well, is my first and one true love. Sweet Obi will likely be in a buggy for much longer than a typical kid, and with the latest version of the Xplory hot off the press, I may bite the bullet and buy that frame I was considering last year. No I am not made of money. But I have that second seat. And sometimes you just have to do crazy things for the things you love.

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If you like a slightly bigger basket and a slightly less avant garde but still high design look with the same amazing connection, quality and customer service you expect from a premium brand like Stokke, go for Crusi. And don’t forget the option for the sibling seat…(which I didn’t even touch on but we did use a few times when I brought the stroller home and found it would be great for 2 kids around the same age or close in age but was only so-so for my 3 year old who couldn’t understand why the baby got the top bunk and he had to be on the bottom. As this was my original intention – to have Obi have a nanny share before we knew she would do better with one-on-one care – it was a great feature and selling point, just not one that has been used to full potential) which is a nice addition to the Stokke line.

If you are me – loving the look, not needing that much space, not gonna use a sibling seat, have a slightly longer stride, knowing you did the right thing by letting your last Xplory go but wondering why the heck you didn’t just get the same thing over again, go for Xplory.

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At the end of the day, no matter what, if you choose a Stokke stroller (and I’ve had all three at one time or another) you will not regret your decision to go with Stokke – even if you pine for another model, late at night. You can read more about Stokke strollers here.

And, although I am an embarrassing super fan who writes on their facebook page a lot, all opinions here are about strollers our family has purchased and used.

Lusting

by , on
Jan 18, 2014
Lusting
I’ve had more than a few conversations about things I’m lusting after the last few days so here’s a little collection of all I currently covet. A cashmere tunic, a slouchy knit hat (touque), a kick ass Canadian Made Diaper Bag, some crazy Japanese denim, a sweet necklace that might make me look more together, my fav stroller that I used to own and should have replaced, the camera bag I’m thinking of getting with some birthday money, and the boots I fell in love with after hearing about someone else’s trip to a Camper store. How I love nice things.

Fall Style 2013

by , on
Oct 6, 2013
Fall Style 2013

Joie blouse

joie.com

Hunkydory knit shirt

farfetch.com

Dorothy Perkins cream camisole

dorothyperkins.com

LOFT knit legging

loft.com

Frye boots

$480 – gravitypope.com

Tiffany Co necklace

tiffany.com

Stokke Baby ‘Scoot’ Stroller

nordstrom.com

Stokke Baby ‘Xplory’ Changing Bag

nordstrom.com

Sac polochon Balzane roots

$625 – longchamp.com

Nike Air Max Fusion

$120 – footlocker.eu
I happened to be on Facebook yesterday when Chatelaine Mag popped onto my newsfeed with this: Hello, friends! Welcome to our fall fashion Facebook hour with our stylish host, our Asst. Fashion Editor, Tyler Franch. Send us your questions now!
So I asked: As a work at home mom, I tend to slide into yoga pants…which in turn make me feel sloppy (but oh-so-comfy). What would you recommend as the staples for an on-the-go-working-mom who spends as much time on the computer with clients as she does on the floor with a baby. I want to look a little more put together when I step out into the world.
And the response was: Lucky for you nothing is cooler right now then mixing in some athletic touches to your wardrobe. Find yourself a great pair of runners (Nike, New Balance, Lacoste… all street worthy right now). I would try a nice stretch denim or 4 pocket legging. A boxy knit could replace a T shirt or sweat-shirt and cozy up in some of falls best knits.
Then this was added a short while later: Black cigarette pants with a navy blue silk would look great! That colour combo for fall is huge.
So I did a little digging and created the combo above to remind me what kinds of things to look for next time I have the funds and opportunity to shop. (I added the boots, as I love, love them.) The Stokke stroller is just ’cause. And sadly, everything needs to work with every mom’s accessory, the diaper bag.
Wish I was showing off actual purchases. Sigh.

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