Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eco Freak Dryer Ball Giveaway

Sorry for the delay in posting! I have had a teething baby that will NOT sleep!

No need for random.org... Diane you are the winner! I think everyone is hibernating!

More posts to come soon!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Eco Freak - Wool Dryer Balls Review and Giveaway!


In my quest for making our lives around here greener, about a year ago I purchased a set of dryer balls from a company. They were a rubbery-plastic and I found that they did absolutely nothing... money well wasted. Once my journey in cloth diapering was well under way I read many stories of wool dryer balls. I mentioned them to my friend, owner and creator of Eco Freak, and she went with the idea!

Shortly after she made them and tested them out for herself I purchased a set to use with the cloth diaper stash. I had never been more amazed with anything in my laundry room ever. All of the diapers were completely dry in under 20 minutes. And the ultimate test- I have a Bottom Bumper diaper that is made with a bamboo soaker, (all of the other diapers are microfiber or prefolds) this is a diaper that NEVER comes out of the dryer dry. I can hang it out over night and it is still wet the next morning. The dryer balls turned this into a drying miracle, the bamboo soaker was dry! Needless to say I was VERY impressed!

After this I decided to try them out with towels and was again very amazed at how quickly they dried. They were also very soft. I now use them in every load of laundry and no longer need fabric softeners.

Eco Freak dryer balls come in sets of four for only $16.00! Which just happens to be an awesome price when compared to other companies. I ordered mine with a lemon fresh scent, which lasted for about a month. The balls them-self are going to last for years and can be re-scented at anytime. Another great thing about them is that they are purely Canadian! Even the wool used to make them is made right in our own backyard!

Eco Freak Dryer Balls can also be found at one of my favourite retailers, Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop and will also be found on Canadian Co-op from November 1st to 15th at a discounted rate!

Would  you like to win a set?
Mandatory Entry: Head on over to Eco Freak and tell me what else of her products you would like to try.

The giveaway will be open until Tuesday November 15, 2011 at 7pm CST. Winner will be selected via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize.

Additional Entries:

Like Eco Freak  on Facebook

Like Definition Of A Wife on Facebook

Follow Defintion Of A Wife on Twitter

Follow Eco Freak on Twitter

Tweet about this giveaway! Make sure to tag DefOAWife so that I know about it :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Journey With Baby-Led Weaning

Maybe you have heard of the term baby-led weaning and maybe you haven't. Baby-led weaning, or what our grandmothers would have called "feeding the baby" is simply allowing your baby to try the day to day foods that the rest of the family is enjoying.

When I began solids with Ella I went to the store and bought all kinds of baby foods and cereals and she ate them happily, for quite a long time too. I wasn't too adventurous about making my own foods but I did try to find foods for her that were organic. My kitchen became full of baby food jars that I wound up finding someone to take off of my hands. When it came time to start solids with Dillan I followed the same plan, only he had a different idea of what solids should be. He refused to eat anything purred, he wanted the real deal. I have noticed with him that even from early on he has wanted whatever his big sister has. So I began to feed him whatever we were eating. I had another friend that was doing baby-led weaning with her baby who is also Dillan's age and it seemed to be working quite well for them.

Needless to say Dillan thrived from this and has been eating anything and everything ever since. I really don't mind that I didn't have to go through the whole pureed stage but it does make him seem older and like he is growing up quicker than I would like.

Have you tried Baby-led weaning? How did it work for you? Do  you plan to try this?

MIA- I'm Still Here!!

It's been a while since I have written a post! TOO long. I guess life has just been busy for a while but I will be getting back into the swing of blogging, more reviews and of course more giveaways!

Over the later half of the summer and the start to fall I was assisting with the first ever Warman Run Walk and Wiggle event along side some pretty major sponsors, including Running Room and one of our local radio stations, C95. The event went quite well and everyone was impressed. Ella is still talking about how she went running and won a ribbon.

As soon as that event was over we began a new adventure buying a new home and selling our current home. So I have been busy packing, this week especially, we are moving next Tuesday!

Without any further a due I shall get into a new post!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bug Out! by Eco Freak Winner

Sorry for the delay in posting the winner for the Eco Freak Bug Out giveaway. The lucky winner is..... #11, Tara, as selected via random.org! congrats to Tara and thank you to all of those who participated. Stay tuned for another giveaway from Eco Freak in the near future.

Tara, please contact me via the Contact tab up on this blog within 48 hours to claim your prize!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cloth Diapers Not Just For Crunchy Mamas

This past Wednesday I really wanted to do another "Wordless Wednesday" post but I really had more to say about the photo than letting the "picture speaks 1000 words" rule fall into place. (And I noticed another blog had done a WW that day and I didn't want to steal her post!)

Maybe you have already seen the photo that I am talking about, it has been circulating around Facebook and various other sites, and if you haven't seen this photo you really need to!




This is 5000 disposable diapers, which is on average what it takes to diaper ONE baby for two and a half years. This is what people throw into landfills all over North America (if not a good portion of the world) every day. I am guilty of this myself. We used disposable diapers for our oldest child the entire time she was in diapers. I am sure many of you feel the same way that I do about this photo, shocked and upset.

Cloth diapering is NOT just for the "crunchy" bunch of us, it should really be for anyone who even has the slightest bit of care for the planet that they live on. These diapers are going to take thousands of years to biodegrade and its only going to destroy the planet in the process.

I don't know where this photo came from. I have no idea who took it but I am sure glad that they have put it out there for everyone to see, because people NEED to see the daily impact that they are making.



How does this photo make you feel?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bug Out! by Eco Freak - Review {Giveaway!}

The season of the West Nile Mosquito has arrived. Thankfully none of them have been found where I live yet, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been attacked by the nasty little buggers! Even with an abundance of dragon flies swarming my house the mosquitoes still seem to find their way to me, and to my kids.

I have never been a fan of bug spray. It stinks and if you have ever accidentally gotten some in your mouth, well it doesn't taste good at all. Having two small kids I don't want to load them up with chemicals either. When the summer started I was discussing this situation with my dear friend and owner, creator of Eco Freak. Being that she was in the same boat (our not-so-little baby boys are 8 days apart) she decided to do something about it and add a bug spray to her company. It was then that Bug Out was born.

 As soon as the Bug Out was finished I ordered some. Eco Freak sent me the product (along with a few others that I wanted to try!) right away. I opened the box to find the best smelling package I have EVER opened. As I took each item out of the box trying to figure out which one it was the smelt so good, I discovered that it was the bug spray! Finally!! A good smelling bug spray! My husband had a differing opinion on the scent of the bug spray, but this is coming from the guy that uses Muskol and thinks that the disgusting smell of that is fine.

I applied the spray to the kids and myself, and my husband applied the "trust worthy" Muskol and we set off for a walk. I still made sure to keep my eye on the baby. I didn't want to spray the Bug Out on his hands (just as the instructions on the bottle say) and I also didn't put any on his face.

Guess who came home with the bug bites? Yep, the man who applied the "trusty"- deet filled Muskol spray. We'll stick to the natural version thanks!

Because I think that this is something that everyone should try, I am going to give one lucky winner that chance!

Mandatory Entry: Head on over to Eco Freak on Facebook (her website will soon be up and running!) and find the album of available products, come back here and let me know another Eco Freak product that you would like to try.

Extra Entries: *Remember to leave a comment for each entry!*

Like Definition of a Wife  on Facebook

Like  Eco Freak  on Facebook

Follow Definition of a Wife on Twitter

Tweet about this giveaway and don't forget to tag @DefOAWife to so that I know that you did!

Follow this blog via Networked Blogs >>>> Over there on the Right! :)

The giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the United States. The winner will be selected via Random.org August 15, 2011 @ 4pm CST.  

Want to hear more about products from Eco Freak? Stay tuned for another review of some more great products including another giveaway!! 





Friday, July 22, 2011

Sweet Pea Pocket Diaper Winner!!!

Wow!! My most entered giveaway yet!!! Thank you to all of the participants and to Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop for the giveaway!

The winner is............ Leah!!!

Leah please contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize. After 48hrs a new winner will be selected. 

 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!


Enough said! 

This cartoon always has me nodding my head along with it.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Charlie Banana Mama Cloth Review


** Disclaimer** If talking about your monthly friend makes you in the least bit squeamish stop right now and do not read ahead. No I am not going to get into a whole lot of detail here, but this will be nothing but honest. Thanks!  

When I began my research for cloth diapers I came across the idea of cloth pads, also known as "mama cloth." At first I thought the same thing as I once had about using cloth diapers... Eww. Low and behold I found out that I loved to cloth diaper and thought that giving cloth pads a shot would go over well too.

For the time being I set the idea aside having no idea when that unwanted month visitor would return. After all, some women are lucky enough to go over a year without good ol' Aunt Flo returning while they are nursing. I on the other hand, was not so lucky. When the uninvited visitor decided to show up I was just outraged! My little baby was 100% breast fed and only five months old. Somehow I felt that this was my body's way of shoving in my face that we weren't going to have anymore kids and saying, "Here  you go! Get busy!" Setting all of those raging hormones aside I decided to revisit the whole "mama cloth" idea.

Visiting my favourite cloth diaper site, Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop, I found the Charlie Banana cloth pads. Without much more thought I decided that I would give these a try. I had looked up the prices and they were the most cost effective, varying in price from $15.99 to $18.99 for a box of three. Most other companies that I had visited were that price for one cloth pad.

My Stash!
Deciding how many to buy was not an easy feat. Being that I hadn't really had this "problem" in quite a while I had no idea how long it would last or how heavy it would be. I decided to start off with one box of liners (3 liners), two boxes of regular pads (6 pads), and one box of super pads (3 pads.)

Wet bag and Purse-Sized Wet Bag
Within a day or two I ordered another box of the regular, and another box of the super, as well as a Charlie Banana wet bag for storing the used pads in.

Charlie Banana cloth pads are made just the same as their cloth diapers, a PUL outer layer (bottom) and a microfleece inside (top.) They are an all-in-one pad, so no stuffing is needed. The snap on the wings of the pad allows you to attach them to your underwear or snap them shut for easy storage and portability. Each box comes with a purse-sized wet bag for when you are on the go.

I have found them to be very absorbent, durable and comfortable. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would describe a pad as comfortable! The best part about them is that they don't smell and are really easy to clean. Give them a rinse in the sink, then throw them into your wet bag/pail until you are ready for wash time. Any detergent that you would use on your cloth diapers will work for the cloth pads. The biggest surprise with these pads is that they will not stain. Even the pads that I was not able to rinse right away have not stained. The cloth pads can be washed with your undergarments or even with your cloth diapers.


Here are some images of the varying sizes: 
Panty Liner
Regular Absorbancy

Super Absorbancy
All wrapped up and ready to go!

 I think these are well worth their money. I love that I wont have to run out to the store because I am almost out of feminine products, or that I wont have to watch for pads/tampons to go on sale and collect coupons for them. And I also love that once again I am doing what I can to help the planet!


Have you tried any "mama cloth?" Let me know what would make you want to try these or not!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sweet Pea Pocket Diaper Review {Giveaway!!}

If you have never heard of Sweet Pea Diapers you should! Sweet Pea Diapers carries a variety of cloth diapers and accessories, including the Sweet Peat Pocket Diaper, which I believe is a new class of cloth diaper all in its own.

The Sweet Pea Pocket Diaper design is common, while unique at the same time. Like many other cloth diapers it is made up of a PUL outer layer, a micro fleece liner, and a micro fiber insert. While this may sound identical to other one size pocket diapers there are some unique twists to the diaper that make it superior. The first major difference is the front AND back pocket.


This allows you to remove the insert or stuff the diaper with easy access to either side. The great thing about the insert though is that you don't have to remove it. Just throw the diaper into the wash and the insert(s) will come out on it's own. The diaper comes with two inserts, one new born insert and a larger size adjustable insert. That's right, I said size adjustable! Just like the shell of the diaper uses snaps to change the size of the diaper, the insert does as well.

The PUL and the micro fleece are made very well. This diaper is high quality and for a great price ($16.95 CND at Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop.) This one size diaper also includes cross snaps to ensure that it will fit your baby from about 8 to 35lbs. Sweet Pea Pocket Diapers also stand behind their product for longer than most other companies that I have seen. The elastics, sewing and any manufacturer dysfunction come with a six month warranty, while the snaps come with a one year warranty.

The absorbancy of this diaper is amazing! I have never had a single leak. To really test out the diaper I put just the infant insert into the pocket. (Please keep in mind that my little one is just about seven months old.) He lasted a couple of hours in the diaper with just the infant insert before it was time for him to go for a bath. I am sure he could have gone longer, the trim insert just held up that well! This diaper is perfect for night time. The infant insert can be added to the front or back easily for extra nighttime protection.

While there are many places to find this diaper, my favourite online shop to find Sweet Pea products is Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop. The store owner really believes in what she sells and that helping her customers is always most important. The shop has a great, and ever growing variety of cloth diapers, cloth diaper accessories and other child-mom friendly products. She ensures that she tests out each and every product and will always give an honest review of how she feels about the products.

Sweet Lil Dimples would like to give another set of lucky parents the opportunity to try out a Sweet Pea Pocket Diaper! Here are the contest rules:

Mandatory Entry: Go to Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop and tell me of another item from them that you would like to try.

Extra entries:
Like Definition of a Wife   on Facebook

Like Sweet Pea Diapers on Facebook

Like Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop  on Facebook

Follow Definition of a Wife  on Twitter

Follow Sweet Pea Diapers  on Twitter

Follow Definition of a Wife via Networked Blogs

Follow Definition of a Wife via Google Friend Connect

Place an online order with Sweet Lil Dimples Baby Shop and let me know that you did. (worth 5 entries!) Be sure to let her know that I sent you!


Please leave one comment per entry. (Just one comment for the last entry) Winner will be selected Friday July 22, 2011 at 7pm CST via random.org. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me regarding their winning or a new winner will be selected.

Good luck to everyone!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Funny Fathers With Baby Gourmet {WINNER}

The winner of the Baby Gourmet prize pack is.... comment number 2, lilmissie! Congratualtions on your win! Please contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize.


Due to the low entries on this prize (Only TWO contenders! ) I have decided that both will win a prize! Monica, please contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize as well!

Please stay tuned for more topics, reviews and giveaways!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Simply On Board Toy Strap {WINNER}



The winner of the Simply On Board Toy Strap is............................ comment number 5, lilmissie!!

Winner was selected via random.org. Please contact me within 48 hours to claim your prize! Thank you to everyone who participated. Feel free to check out the Baby Gourmet giveaway that ends on Sunday and stay tuned for future reviews and giveaways!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Funny Fathers With Baby Gourmet {Giveaway!}

Baby Gourmet and Definition of a Wife would like to send out a salute to fathers all around the world for Father's Day!

Growing up with my father was a lot of fun. He always had something to say that would make us laugh, and later when we were older, make us groan. His corny sense of humor has rubbed off on us over the years. One of the funniest stories from our childhood would have to be when my brother was born. As my Dad was changing him my brother pooped. It went flying across the room nearly hitting my dad's best friend that was there to see the new addition to the family. As a man with no kids he was quite scared!


We want to hear you funny stories too! One winner will be selected to win a gift basket courtesy of Baby Gourmet!! The best story all sites participating will be chosen from Baby Gourmet's Facebook   page and given a year’s supply of Baby Gourmet!!

Contest will run until Sunday June 19, 2011 at 7pm CST. Winner will then be selected via www.random.org and be notified. Winner will have 48hrs to respond or a new winner will be selected.

How to enter:

Mandatory Entry : Tell us a funny "Dad taking care of kids" story either from your own child hood or something that has happened with your significant other.

Extra Entries

"Like" Definition of a Wife  on Facebook

"Like" Baby Gourmet  on Facebook

Follow Definition of a Wife on Twitter

Follow Baby Gourmet  on Twitter

Follow Definition of a Wife  via Google Friend Connect and leave the name that you are following under

Please leave a separate comment per entry! Good luck to everyone, I can't wait to read your stories!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Simply On Board Toy Straps {Review and Giveaway}



The other day I was at the mall and in front of me a mom is walking with her little boy in the stroller and before she knows it out comes the sippy cup and onto the mall floor. I smirked to myself remembering those days with my now three year old and thinking "Thank goodness I know how to avoid this now!"

Simply On Board toy straps are not just for toys. They size large enough to fit around most sippy cups as well. They are made out of a high quality cotton and heavy duty velcro. So far my little guy hasn't pulled the velcro apart like he has with many of his other toys so that is a good sign! Simply on Board is a Canadian company, which is always a thumbs up with me.
In this photo the mom has the toy strapped on to the Ergobaby Carrier, which is actually my favouite way to use this toy strap!
If you'd like to try out these awesome toy straps here is your chance!

Enter to win! 
Contest Details: Contest will be open to residents of Canada and the United States only. Contest deadline is June 16, 2011 at 4pm CST. Winner will be selected via www.random.org Thank you for your participation! Leave a comment per entry please :) 

Mandatory Entry : Head on over to the Simply On Board website, then come back here to tell me your favourite colour set of toy straps and why you would like to win. 

Extra Enteries

Like Definition of a Wife on  Facebook

Like Simply On Board on Facebook 

Follow Definition of a Wife on Twitter

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Power of Sunshine



Sunshine just seems to be a reoccurring theme around me lately. So I'd like to talk about some of the uses for the sun.

1. Vitamin D:  Isn't it just better when you don't have to take a pill to get this?! That you can just step out your door into the light and warmth of the sun and feel refreshed? I just LOVE this feeling! Personally, I'm not a fan of winter, especially a Saskatchewan winter, but spring and summer, count me in! I can't think of a better way to brighten my mood!

2. Musical lyrics: Ever heard of You Are My Sunshine? How about Pocket Full of Sunshine?  These two songs are magic to both of my children's ears. If either of them are crying or fussy I know that I can start singing You Are My Sunshine to them and they almost instantly calm down. And on more than one occasion Dillan has been freaking out in the backseat of the car and you throw on Pocket Full of Sunshine and he stops and goes right to sleep. (Thanks to the hubby for figuring that one out!)

3. Photos: Sunshine just makes photos look great! If you're not sure what I am talking about have a look at photos by the amazing Tracey Tomtene. Now there is an artist of a photographer if I ever saw one! (And I'm not just saying that because she's family!)

4. Cloth Diapers: If you haven't cloth diapered long, or maybe never have, the sun is a cloth diaper's best friend. Wash and hang out in the sun and out come the stains. Because I had been diapering Dillan all winter I wasn't really able to do this yet and WOW am I ever impressed! I put out the yellowest of yellow diaper inserts and diapers and voila! Back to white... I mean white like I had just taken them out of the package!

5. Mother Nature: That's right if you didn't know it the big yellow thing in the sky is what keeps this whole world moving around. If you're having one of those days just stop and remind yourself that the world revolves around that and not what's bothering you and all of those little things that seem like such a big deal right now. (Not to minimize anyone's problems but sometimes the reminder is nice and humbling!)


What uses can you think of for the sun? Leave a comment and let us know!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day with Baby Gourmet Winner...

is #18 Tirrie Dobos Mcdonal!!!! :)

Please contact Baby Gourmet  and let them know that you won the giveaway at Definition of a Wife within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.




Happy Mother's Day everyone!! Stay tuned for future giveaways! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day Moment Part II

While looking back at my previous post I'd like to share my favourite moment of Dillan's first year as well. Now his first year is not yet over, we aren't even half way through it yet.

My relationship with Dillan started out much different than my relationship with Ella. I was able to hold him and nurse him right away. That bonding moment was something that I really longed for. My and Ella's nursing relationship was very rocky which only made me more determined when it came to nursing the next baby. Thankfully that determination worked my favour and Dillan and I have had a very good nursing relationship. I have never seen a happier baby, he is always smiling and even while nursing that doesn't stop. I love when he is in my arms and smiling away up at me, its really one of the best feelings in the world!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mother's Day with Baby Gourmet {Giveaway!}

Any time someone asks me what my greatest achievement in life is I just respond that I have two of them and that they are the most wonderful little people that I know. Don't get me wrong, they sure know how to get to me some days, and I am sure that is something that will not change as they grow but I wouldn't change my life with them for anything else in this world. Before you become a parent you know that is is a blessing to have children but you really don't grasp what that means until they are in your arms.

My first year of motherhood was sure interesting. I had this tiny little girl that needed me for absolutely everything. I would look at her and had no idea that I could love someone so much. I would protect her with my life from anyone and anything (and still would!) but ultimately I was most afraid that I would be the one to mess up and do something wrong.

Recalling her first year there are many moments that stick out in my mind, and even many that don't, (I'm so glad we have a video camera!) the years just seem to slip away from us before we know it. But if I have to pick a single moment in that first year that is my favourite I would have to say that it was not the first time that I held her but the second. This may sound strange but the second time I  got to hold her was the first time that I really got to hold her. It wasn't until she was over a day old. They took her out of the isolate in the NICU and gave her to me, and she looked at me like she had known me for years. After starting my first hours of motherhood terrified that something was wrong she made me feel like everything would be alright.

In honour of Mother's Day Baby Gourmet would like to know what your favourite moment during your first year of mother hood is. If you haven't heard of Baby Gourmet  before read my review or check out their site.



To enter the giveaway: Comment below about your favourite memory from your first year of motherhood. Please leave your email in the comment so that I can contact you!

How would you like more chances to win?

Follow Defintion of a Wife  on Facebook



Follow Baby Gourmet  on Facebook

Winner will be selected via random.org on Friday May 6th at 4pm CST. Giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the United States only.

I can't wait to read all of your favourite moments! Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Holy Facebook Giveaways!

When I first joined Facebook (later than most I might add) it was mostly to share with my friends and find old friends that I hadn't seen or heard from in a really long time. I remember being so excited to find people that I knew from grade school and see what they were up to. Most of which was really exciting, and a couple of more upsetting things (that an old friend had passed away at much too young of an age.)

Then I got married and had kids and you would think that that would be cause for less time on Facebook but I find myself sitting there nursing at the key board (nak as us online moms like to call it) engrossed in this world of Facebook pages. I am still paying attention to what friends of mine are up to and how cute their kids look in the posted photos and videos but mostly I am wrapped up in all of these online companies and blogs and all of their online giveaways!

For the longest time I would have called myself "unlucky" when it came to entering something and actually winning. And then came CPO and it seems that my luck of winning had taken a turn for the better. CPO was the first place that I really won anything. This site has won me numerous books, a kitchen scale, a Crayola prize pack, clothing, and I am sure there are even other things that I am missing right now, but it seems that that would not be where my luck would end.

Before I knew it I was entering giveaway after giveaway on Facebook. Am I winning things? I sure am! Diapers, hair clips, leggings but as in most things there is a catch. Entering most of these giveaways is really quite simple, like the person's fan page, enter a comment on the photo and check back to see if you've won.

In the last week I have entered so many giveaways and "liked" so many different fan pages that now my whole news feed is loaded up of their status updates that I can hardly see what my friends are doing! I feel like the people on <em>Extreme Couponing </em> only its extreme giveaways. I'm not the only one on my friends list to see positive results from entering giveaways either. So if you have posted something on Facebook and I don't happen to comment on it, please, do not think that I am ignoring you, its more likely that my news feed has now been over run by all of these companies with oh-so-cute baby and children's items!

Did you know you can fan this blog on Facebook?Check it out HERE to keep up with my own updates, reviews and giveaways :)




Post written April 19 2011 moved from previous blog

Monkey Doodlez Swim Diaper Review


It is getting to that time of year where everyone is starting to think about warm weather activities. While it is still too cold to go and swim outside people are beginning to get prepared for their summer vacations and often that means making sure that their children have all of the appropriate swimming gear.

When Ella was small we took her swimming for the first time around 6 months. Remembering back to that time I honestly had no idea that a cloth swim diaper even existed, keeping in mind that she was completely diapered in disposables. We went out and bought her a bathing suit and some Huggies Little Swimmers, and never thought a thing of it.

This time around, wanting to remain green, I began to do some research on cloth swim diapers, and then my opportunity came around to try Monkey Doodlez. First off my favourite part about the cloth swim diapers is all of the different patterns you can get. Here we were killing two birds with one stone. I don’t have to buy swim diapers and a swim suit because the diapers are really fashionable. Monkey Doodlez has a wide variety of patterns for boys and girls and they come in a variety of sizes.

The first time we used this swim diaper was also the first time we took Dillan swimming so it was quite the memorable experience.  I got him dressed in his swim wear and then handed him to my husband so that I could get dressed. The next thing I know Matt is hollering at me that Dillan is peeing all over him. Lesson learned; keep a towel on him because cloth swim wear doesn’t keep the pee in the diaper. At first I was a bit put off by this but it seems that it’s not just Monkey Doodlez swim diapers that are like this but all cloth swim wear.  What is important is that if your baby does happen to have a bowel movement that will be staying in the diaper.
I found that the diaper fit Dillan nice and snug around the waist and legs, while remaining comfortable for him. That being said, I have a chubby baby. At only four months old he is 17lbs. This may be an issue for a slimmer baby.
Personally I wish there was a way to open the swim diaper. Because the diaper slides on and off like underpants I would think that it would be difficult to take off the baby if they did happen to have a bowel movement while wearing the diaper. If the swim diaper was made with an aplix or snap closure that would prevent this from being an issue and also help with sizing on a slimmer baby. This might not be an issue for a lot of people; my little guy is a poop machine. I think that this swim diaper is great if your little one is in the potty training stage because it is not going to seem like they are wearing a diaper but you are still going to get the benefits of using a swim diaper.

Overall I do like the swim diaper, and out of the few times we have taken him swimming it hasn’t caused us any issues.  I think Monkey Doodlez has done a great job with this product yet again!

Want to get your own Monkey Doodlez swim diaper? Check them out HERE and use the code Canadian15 for 15% off! Valid for the next 14 days :)

***I just wanted to add that Monkey Doodlez does have new snap swim diapers coming soon!!


Post written April 18 2011 moved from previous blog

Common Courtesy No Longer Common

Over the past month or so I have been faced with countless times where someone has said that they would be here at a certain time and to have them show up late or just not show up at all. This isn't just people who said that they were coming by at said time to pick up whatever item I have for sale on kijiji, its also interviews and people that I know personally. Saying "okay, I will call you back." Means just that, call back.

 I understand that people have lives and families that they are busy with, I am too. I also understand that sometimes people just plain old forget, I am guilty of that too. You just really have to wonder, are people SO busy that they can't pick up a phone and make a phone call to let you know that they will be late or wont make it?

As a friend recently put it when we were discussing this topic "Why are people so sketchy?" I really have to wonder this. In today's world where there are SO many ways to communicate with someone (Facebook, email, web chat, phone and cell phone) why is it so difficult to let someone know that you wont make it? You can't tell me that its because you weren't near a phone, not when everyone and their dog has a cell phone. ( Except for my husband and I, we actually don't have them, but that's a whole other rant.)

It doesn't just end with not calling either. How about holding the door open for someone? Letting people off the elevator before you rush into it? Letting the people who actually need to use services like an elevator use them. I am sure I could go on and on. Are people today just really that involved with how busy their own lives are that they can't stop and take the time to show someone else a nice gesture? I really hope not.



post written April 7 2011 moved from previous blog

The Great Soother Debate

No matter how many times someone tells you that every baby is different it seems you always forget. When Ella was a baby she was attached to her soother almost 24/7 Matt and I were thinking that we would have a heck of a time when it came time for her to no longer have it.  As it turned out it was much easier to take it away than we had expected.
Before Dillan was born I wanted to make sure that I was prepared for every possible scenario.  Because Ella was such a good baby and because all we had heard was how different babies are from each other we were expecting to have a much more difficult baby. I didn’t want to have to run out to the store for anything. I made sure to have soothers, bottles, gripe water, ovol drops, Tylenol and all of those other little baby care items that you might not think about with your first baby.
When Dillan arrived we were surprised to find that we have another really easy baby. (I know, I know, we’ll pay for it later!) Things with Dillan were a much smoother start than they had been with Ella. Other than a bit of latch issues in the first week, things with Dillan were easy peasy.  Eat play and sleep, but every now and then a feeding doesn’t come quite fast enough for him.  Maybe we are driving or out and about. With Ella she just would have had her soother to calm her and she would wait or fall asleep. At night time feedings I would nurse her and pop the soother in her mouth to keep her sleeping and then I could put her down.  Dillan will have none of that.  Put the soother in and he just spits it out.  He will take it for a few minutes every now and then but very rarely will he take it from me. He knows I have the good stuff!
Most of the time this doesn’t bother me, but every now and then I just wish he would take it! While Ella was attached to her soother, I needed it just as much as she did. Not only did is soothe her it calmed my own nerves when I couldn’t get to her fast enough.  I’ve lost that with Dillan not taking one and to be honest I think I needed him to take a pacifier more than I needed Ella to take one. When you have two kids sometimes they both have to take turns waiting. Before I feed Dillan I have to make sure Ella has gone to the bathroom, has a snack and a drink all before I can even start feeding  him or I know that sure enough I will have to stop mid-feed to help her with something.
Yes there is a flip side to this; He doesn’t attach himself to a soother, I don’t have to take it away.  Sometimes I have to wonder which would be worse, toughing through it for now or trying to take one away later.  I just have to remind myself that it is a short while that they have these things and the fussing and needing soothing in that sense wont last very long. And maybe that is another reason I wish he would take one, babies grow up too fast!




Post written April 3 2011 moved from previous blog 

Last Baby

Well as of a couple of weeks ago it is "official" that Dillan is our last baby. There are plenty of reasons why we decided that two children was a good number to have. They have their own bedrooms, we have a boy and a girl, and the world just seems to be made for multiples.

I had always planned that I had wanted four kids. Matt had a differing opinion on that though! He had only ever seen himself with two kids, and would often tell me "When you have more kids than parents you just end up with trouble." I'm sure that there are parents out there who agree with that and many parents who would suggest otherwise. My grandmother had eight kids, I really couldn't imagine living in today's world with that many kids and I have a lot of respect for those who had/ have that many. It would take a lot of patience and a lot of work to make a family like that run.

I am still coming around to the idea of two kids. Mostly because I am so aware that he is my last little baby. Everyday I see how quickly he is growing up. The pile of clothes that he no longer fits just keeps getting bigger and bigger! Today I was holding a friend’s baby who is only six days younger and she still seemed like a baby. Even though Dillan is only three months old he seems much older. Already has around 15 pounds and fits anywhere from size three months to size 9 months clothing. Most of his shirts are 6 to 12 months on the tag. It makes me sad to see how quickly he is growing.

Yesterday I told a friend that I thought she was lucky that when her little one was a baby that she had no idea that he was her last. She begged to differ with me on that, and now I can understand her point of view. In a way I AM lucky that I know because I can pay extra attention to the moments that I want to remember and the keepsakes I want to make sure not to let go of. I'll just have to make sure to hug both of my kids extra tight, before I know it they will both be all grown up!

A friend had this posted on their Facebook page and I had to share:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow; for babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep; I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep. 



post written March 9 2011 moved from previous blog 

Baby Gourmet Review



Alchemy Communications asked me to review Baby Gourmet Organic Baby Food. Now I know what you're thinking, my little ones are either not at the baby food stage yet or are beyond that stage, however, I decided to accept their request and Ella and I, and a few babies of a test panel decided to give it a go!

Baby Gourmet sent me a case of baby food to try. The nine flavours that they happened to send me are the most interesting flavours I have ever seen in baby food;

Harvest Pear, Pumpkin &amp; Banana    

Orchard Apple, Carrot &amp; Prune

Juicy Pear and Garden Greens (greens were broccoli and spinach)

Apple Sweet Potato Berry Swirl

Baby Sweet Potato Pie

Vanilla Banana Berry Risotto

Tropical Banana Bliss

Apple Crisp

Roasted Squash &amp; Fruit Medley

The Taste

First off, yes I tried a few myself. I have always thought "Why would I feed my baby something I think is gross?" I can recall opening a jar of nameless baby food in a meat flavour and thinking that the smell was just putrid... Ella did NOT like it and I certainly did not blame her! By far my favourite of the ones that I tried was the Apple Crisp. It tasted just like homemade! Ella hasn't eaten baby food in quite some time and she loved them. Now that they are gone she is asking me for more!

Lets Talk Packaging

This is the part of the product that I think my little lady loved the most. She liked that she could squeeze the product out right into her mouth; which makes for a great nutritious on-the-go snack. What I liked about the packaging was that it is easy to toss into the diaper bag and you don't have to worry about a heavy glass jar breaking in your bag. I found that the size, 128mL was a good size; enough for a small baby to have two meals and an older baby/toddler to have as a meal or snack. What I don't like about the packaging was that I'm pretty sure that it’s not something you can recycle, and definitely something that cannot be reused. In today's world where going "Green" is a big thing I found that to be a bit of a turn off. At least a glass jar you can take to a recycling facility, make a craft or use it for storage of small items. Please correct me if I am wrong on that though! I just couldn't find anywhere on the package or the company website that said you could recycle it. That being said, the packaging is BPA free.

What's in it for Me? (Or rather, your little one)

I think when it comes to baby foods the better question is not always "What is in it?" but more or less "What isn't in it?" No thickeners, fillers, nuts, added salt or added sugar. Sounds good so far doesn't it? So what is it made of? One hundred percent organic ingredients. Even better is that it’s made right here in Canada.

Cost and Where to Buy

One thing I had to do a little bit of research on was the cost. I checked their site and went to Wal-Mart to find the price. Ordering from the site is by far the best solution... who ever would have thought to order their baby food online?! Sure nice in the winter when you don't want to leave your house! The reason I say it’s a better price is because the more you buy the cheaper it becomes. Baby Gourmet also offers a points system that in the future will help lower the costs of your baby's food. Similar to Huggies points. The buyer receives 50 points per package at the time of online purchase and after receiving the product can go online, enter the product code and receive another 50 points. At $1.47 a package it seems to be in line with other organic brands of the same size.

What did the babies think?

The two test babies’ mothers have told me that their little ones love this product, with the Juicy Pear and Garden Greens mentioned as a top favourite. Both mommies loved that you could squeeze the product right onto the spoon and recap, and refrigerate it when baby is done.

Overall?

Once Dillan moves on to baby foods I will for sure buy this product. It is very easy to tell that the folks at Baby Gourmet put a lot of thought and care into their product! Way to go Baby Gourmet!



post written February 18th 2011 moved from previous blog

Keeping Up With the Joneses

I'm sure we have all heard the term "keeping up with the Joneses" and lately I am finding that this is falling into my life more and more and I have to remind myself that it is okay to NOT keep up as well.

Recent topic among my circle of friends has been about house prices, since a friend has listed their house and is planning to move. Mostly I sit back and listen to the others and their stories of what they paid for their first house, and even how a few of them still own that house and have renters now. I'm just baffled at how much gain there is in their homes now. Next thing I know a friend pipes up, “you know, you really have to feel bad for anyone just starting out now; how on earth does anyone have the money to buy a house. They keep talking about it on the news about how young couples are buying these houses they can hardly afford."

I just sat there for a minute, and suddenly it becomes very apparent to them that I myself am likely in that situation. The majority of the friends I spend my time with are ten years older than I am. And while that usually goes unnoticed, sometimes it becomes as visible as white on black. Everyone is talking about their Kitchen Aid mixers and their Kreiug (Tassimo) coffee makers and I'm sitting there going "I WANT ONE TOO!!!" I feel like a little kid at the birthday party allergic to the cake having to sit and watch everyone else enjoy theirs. And then I stop and say to myself, "I'm twenty three.... they didn't have those things at twenty three either, they are thirty three getting them now." Does that mean that I have to wait ten years before I can finally get a Kitchen Aid mixer? Probably not, but I do know that it’s not in the cards right now. I have to remember to be frugal where I need to be. Had I gone out and bought a mixer last week when they were on sale, I would not have been able to go out this week and buy much need clothing for my kids. I constantly have to remind myself of priorities.

What I do have to remind myself is that those friends of mine don't care if I have a Kitchen Aid or a Tassimo. In fact they tell me that they are baffled by the fact that I am twenty three and how "together" I am for my age, that when they were twenty three they were working just to pay for going out to the bar on the weekend. Hearing that does make me feel better. It seems so silly that all I can think about it is how I wish I were ten years older so that I maybe would have been able to buy a house for a lot less than they go for now, so that I could get those little luxuries. Most people complain about getting older and here I am thinking I'm not old enough!


post written February 14 2011 moved from previous blog

Transitions

I have been meaning to write about this for a while and finally am able to!

Transitioning from life as a family of three to a family of four has been quite the journey so far. The first four weeks were the most difficult and things seem to be getting better each day. Now it wasn't difficult because Dillan is a fussy baby, but difficult based on where attention was being given. The only difficult thing about Dillan was that when he was sleeping he wanted to be held. Not really a problem until your two and a half year old wants some attention or until you want to flip the laundry or load the dishwasher. The biggest challenge for me was (and still is) getting and keeping things around my house clean!

Christmas certainly through a wrench in our day to day life too. Just as I had been getting used to having the two of them on my own Matt was now at home for more than 10 days. Not that I didn't love having him at home though :) The last few weeks have been going a lot smoother though with things back into some form of a routine. Mondays Ella has dance in the afternoon, Tuesdays usually leave us with a play date at someone's house, Wednesdays and Thursdays we go to play group. Every day other than Friday seems to have some kind of schedule to it and I have to say I just love that! I find the less time I have to clean things up, the more effort I put into getting it done. I also really like to get out of the house and talk to other adults and to see Ella playing with other kids. She really needs something to do to burn off energy! I'm very thankful for our routine and that I have some pretty easy going kids, the two go hand in hand for making this life transition that much easier!


Post written January 25 2011 moved from previous blog

More of the Cloth Diaper World

I am really enjoying cloth diapering!! It just seems like I should have always been doing this and how was there any other way to diaper?! Part of what makes cloth diapering so wonderful are some of the accessories to diapering that I have been using; Monkey Doodlez cloth wipe cubes, Mother Ease diaper pail and sprayer, and Bummis diaper liners.

The Mother Ease diaper pail wins hands down against any other diaper pail. When I was using disposable diapers with my daughter I had a Diaper Genie. Despite what the box may say her room always smelt like dirty diapers. The Mother Ease diaper pail doesn't have any smell until you open it, and even then it doesn't seem to be as bad, mostly it just smells wet, though I use this as a dry pail system over a wet pail system. Both sides lock over the top of the lid so no little ones can get into it and it has a filter on the top. The filters are really inexpensive to replace. While this pail is more costly (I paid $36CND, which is not bad when comparing it to a Diaper Genie) I find it is definitely worth the money!

For the first week of cloth diapering I was rinsing the diapers in the bathroom sink (I would only suggest that with newborn diapers, otherwise make sure to do the dunk and flush method!) because the sprayer was not connected yet. My husband found this really easy to install. It didn't take him very long at all. I find the pressure of the sprayer is great for getting the mess off the diapers. My only complaint about it is the knob to turn it on and off; the little plastic cover comes off when turning it on, it would have been better to have made it with a plastic coating over the metal. A pretty minor complaint! I had seen online tutorials for making your own diaper sprayer, which was initially the route we were going to take. Many of the tutorials had claimed that you could make your own for around $25.00 but when we went to the hardware store just the spray head alone would have been around that price for a decent one. The Mother Ease sprayer had everything altogether already and was under $50.00. It seemed worth the money to go with something that was already put together than to potentially leave our bathroom underwater.

Cloth diapering = cloth wipes. Makes sense doesn't it?! I had come across an add on kijiji for some home made cloth wipes. Now anyone who has a sewing machine and knows how to cut a square could have made these wipes. They were made from receiving blankets. While I know how to cut a straight line, I don't own, nor really know how to use a sewing machine so I bought 50 from the lady who had posted the add. For something so simple they sure made my day! She sold them for $0.50 a wipe. Much cheaper than continuing to purchase disposable wipes (not to mention filling landfills with them.) I use them all the time, and not just for cleaning bums but for wiping up spit up and even in the bath tub. I have a multitude of wipe containers and read up on how to get the "pop-up" effect with cloth wipes using a wipe container.

Now I have never been great at making anything of my own. I had heard of the Monkey Doodlez wipe cubes and decided that I wanted to give them a try versus making my own wipe solution. A local online baby shop Sweet Lil Dimples carries them and had a sale. Again this is an area where I really wonder why I wasn't doing it this way before. I find the cloth wipes with the solution works so much better than the store bought disposable wipes that I had been using. I'm using less wipes than I would have normally, which is great because I'm the one washing them! They leave my son's bottom soft and clean. The wipe solution is very easy to make. Take one wipe cube and put it into 2 cups of warm water and let it dissolve. Then you can pour it on top of your wipes or put it into a spray bottle and use. The directions say warm water but I found that warm water wasn't dissolving the cube very well. I just boil some water in my kettle and pour over the wipe cube and that seems to work.

I have been using a biodegradable and flushable diaper liner by Bummis. At the moment I'm 50/50 on them.  For a while I thought they were the perfect thing for inside of the diaper to help with clean up. It would stop a decent amount of poop from getting directly on the diaper. Just pull it out of the diaper and flush. Though now I am finding that it is just as easy to use the sprayer and rinse the diaper. This liner doesn't stop the diaper from becoming yellowed, just helps with clean up when changing. I think the liners might be something I start using just when I am out. I've also found biodegradable diaper wipes since I still use disposable wipes when we take the kids out. Far better for the environment!

Well that’s all for reviews right now.  I will be reviewing more products in the future for different companies thanks to Alchemy Communications based out of Calgary.



post written January 21 2011 moved from previous blog 

New Years Resolutions

As cliche as this is.... lose weight. I have about thirty pounds to lose after having Dillan (already lost 21!) I have signed up for a Zumba class for January and Matt  just bought a new exercise bike so I really want to work with those things and shed the weight. Eating better is a huge part of it. Making better meals for my family on a consistent basis. Eating out should be a treat and not an alternate. Don't get me wrong, we do try to eat well and I make sure to feed Ella lots of fruit and veggies but there is still room for improvement.

Building better relationships with those in my community. This is something that I started doing in 2010 and would like to see progress in 2011.

Saving money and paying down debt is a goal for our family this year. I'm really hoping that we can open school funds for both kids.

This will be in the later half of the year, but I am finally going to open my dayhome! I am really hoping that will be successful for us and finally be doing something that I know I enjoy and am good at. I have been waiting years for this. I knew that I wanted to be done having kids before opening. I really didn't want to open up and and then close on parents because I was having another baby.

Getting into a routine with the kids. I know that this is going to happen once things start up again. I have Ella registered in Dance class again starting this January and play group will start again. Having those as part of our routine was really good for us before, now we just get to add Dillan to it :)

I also want more of a cleaning routine. Not so much cleaning certain rooms on certain days, but more so maintaining a clean house. I think I need to go back to the Clutter Control Club emails and re-do those and then work hard at maintaining the house and laundry from there. It doesn't seem easy right now as both kids are wanting/demanding so much attention so I'm trying to focus on them first. Hopefully this is something that will get easier!

Continue blogging I have really been enjoying it! I have always liked writing and really haven't done much of that since highschool/university and it feels good to write again. I just love when people leave me comments. I feel like what I have to say is valid.


Post written December 31 2010  moved from previous blog

Cloth Diapering: KaWaii Diaper Review

I was so excited to find affordable cloth diapers. When  you are only going to be cloth diapering one child it seems ridiculous to spend $20+ for ONE diaper. I purchased my cloth diapers on Ebay, through the folks at www.theluvyourbaby.com. I have since found other retailers for KaWaii diapers and while I have 36 already, I find myself addicted and wanting more! There are so many different kinds of diapers!

I have to say I am very happy with the KaWaii cloth diapers and I really wish I'd have known about them sooner. For the first two weeks of Dillan's life we were using disposable diapers, soon enough those started to leak and I was left with over 30 diapers that I couldn't even use. Previously this would have caused me to go out to the store to buy the next size up, instead I pulled out the cloth diaper that just looked so huge next to him and put it on him. Putting the diaper on him vs. putting the diaper next to him was a huge difference.  Dillan has been in diapers a week and we have not had a single leak. I was originally worried that there would be some leaking out the legs since his legs aren't too chubby yet but we have had no issues.

The ones I purchased are with a aplix closure. So far this has not caused any issues, but I do worry a bit about how the velcro will wear over time. It would be interesting to compare this to a snap closure so I might get a couple of them.

Before using the cloth diapers I had done a lot of reading and asking questions to find out which laundry detergent to use. I have been so worried about staining and keeping the diapers looking new and maintaining their absorbancy. So I went out and bought Country Save. I have to say I was not a fan. Now maybe it was the cycle I used, because I have since tried a different cycle, but the diapers came out yellow still and even the diaper cream was not off of them. I had done my reading as far as diaper creams go too. I decided to try the Method Baby soap that I use on their clothes and I was very impressed.  Method soaps are all plant based so I wasn't worried about it containing anything that should cause issues for the diapers. Nearly out of it though so I went to London Drugs to get more, and Method has changed their baby soap from a Rice Milk and Mallow scent to a Sweat Pea scent. I decided to get the method Free and Clear and see how that goes. My laundry room is full of so many different detergents right now, it would be nice to get it down to just one or two kinds!

Today I found out that I won a Charlie Banana diaper in a contest :) I should hopefully get it in the next couple of weeks. It is also a one-size pocket diaper but it has cute construction print! Currently all of the diapers we have are solid colours. I'd love to get him a few that are cute little prints. After all, that's part of the fun of using cloth! I'll be sure to post a review of what I think of those too!


post written December 28 2010 moved from previous blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sleepless Nights??

When you have a new baby one of the most common questions is "How does he/she sleep?" I usually follow this with "Oh, just fine. He's a good baby." I think the biggest reason we have been getting a decent amount of sleep is because hes been sleeping cuddled into me all night. I'll be honest, I love co-sleeping. It feels so nice to have a little baby cuddled into you for the night. When he wakes up to nurse just lay there half asleep and half awake as he nurses, change him if needed and then go back to sleep.

While I love to sleep with my little guy, there are some down sides for me as well. Matt really has a hard time sleeping through the baby noises, which has him sleeping in the basement. As much of a blanket hog as my husband can be I really do miss sleeping with him. You grow accustomed to it, having them there and the bond that goes with that.

Another downside is now Dillan just wants to be held anytime he is sleeping. Which would be fine if I had a house that cleaned up after itself! His wanting to be held while sleeping also takes away from doing anything with Ella, and she needs to have time with me that is just her own too. She loves Dillan and has been really good with him but you can tell that she misses her mommy time. Once he falls asleep shes asking me to put him down, then as soon as I do he wakes up and you can tell this frustrates her.

With a bit of work tonight I have managed to get him to sleep in his room. I'm not sure how long it will last tonight, and I might be really tired tomorrow, but it will get better each time. At about the same point in Ella's life we moved her from our room to her room and it worked well so I'm just going to go with what I know. Hopefully Dillan and I will get some naps in where we can be all cuddled together, they are only so small and wanting to cuddle this way for such a short while, I'll have to make the most of it while I can.



Post written December 26 2010 moved from previous blog

Gadget Mamma!

This past Saturday I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish out of the house. Matt happened to be really sick so leaving the house was part of my to do list. I don't need to get sick, the kids don't need to get sick (for the first time or again) and he needed rest. My to do list for the day wasn't exactly a huge list of things to do I just knew that it would take some time with a two and a half year old and a new born on my own.

My list was: Go to the mall and have lunch with my mom

Get the kids Santa photos done

Visit a friend who just had a baby three days after Dillan was born

Pick up a few groceries

Before I left the house I had to think about what I would need. For the mall I would need the stroller. I had just purchased a Baby Trend Sit n Stand stroller that needed to be put together still so before leaving I had Matt assemble it for me, his only required task for the day. Then raised my biggest question, how would I get groceries? Normally I would just put Ella in the seat on the cart and get the groceries, but now what would I do with Dillan? There is no way that Ella could walk and not get into trouble so that I could put the carseat on the cart, she would have to sit in the cart. I could put the carseat in the back of the cart but then where would the groceries go?

I thought about what to do for about five minutes and then the light bulb in my head turned on; I could wear Dillan while getting groceries! So then that lead me to the question, which carrier do I take? What is going to be the quickest? So I decided on my Ergo with the infant insert. I'm still learning my other carriers so it’s best to use what I know, even if this is the first time I have ever used the insert and really the first time I have ever used it facing forward. I watched a quick video before leaving the house on how to use in insert and away we went.

Everything ran just smooth! We were gone from 11 in the morning until 6pm. I brought home some supper. While ordering that supper Dillan decided that it was time to eat so stuck in the drive thru line up with him screaming in the back, we get our food, I pull into the parking lot, crawl into the back of the van and sit and nurse him. When we bought our van my brother in law asked if we were only going to have two kids why would I want a van and  not an SUV, well there was one good reason I hadn't thought of among the other reasons I wanted a van, where would I sit and nurse in an SUV?!

There is definitely a learning curve as a mother of two young children! Thank goodness for all of these gadgets that help us moms out along the way!


Post written December 21 2010 moved from previous blog

The Baby is Here! - Dillan's Birth Story

The Delivery

Well after much anticipation our little love is now in our arms.  Dillan Matthew was born on December 8,  2010 at 10:56 Am. His labour started exactly the same (minus all of the predormal labour) as Ella's. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning, went to the washroom, lost what was left of my plug and then contractions started. There was no mistaking that these contractions were the real deal and that we were going to have a baby today. By 6:30 I called my mom. I wasn't sure when we were going to leave for the hospital, I knew it would be soon; mostly I just wanted someone to be here for Ella so that Matt could help me focus on my contractions. We wound up leaving the house before she woke up and I was in a room ready to be checked by 8am.

The nurses in assessment were right on top of things. They hooked me up to the monitors to check the baby's heart rate and my contractions. Before even doing an internal check the one nurse mentioned that they had to get me to a labour room quickly. The resident Dr arrived in my room to check. I was 5cms dilated. It was so much nicer to hear than "Sorry, you're still at 2cms and things don't look like they are progressing." I told Matt I was sure we would have the baby by lunch time.

They moved me to a labour room and as per routine asked if I wanted an epidural or any pain medications. Matt and I had discussed this before so while I was contracting he was able to answer any questions for me. He told the nurse that I did not want an epidural but that other pain medications might be requested to take a bit of the edge off. They later asked if I wanted pain medications again, and even though in my mind I was thinking "okay maybe now I do" I would look over at Matt and respond that I thought I was okay for now.

In the labour room they kept me on the monitors. Baby's heart rate seemed to have some dips after contractions that they didn't want to see. While before my opinion had been that I did not want to be connected to monitors it wound up not bothering me. I wouldn't have been able to be up and walking around like I had maybe thought before anyway. My contractions were really close, one on top of the other at many points. I recall looking over at Matt after a contraction as another started only 10 seconds later and saying "This really isn't fair!"

Everyone around me was so positive. Telling me how great I was doing and many of them finding it hard to believe I was doing all of this without medications. At 8cms the resident checked me again. They asked if I wanted my waters broken and I said that I was fine with that. For some reason I have ultra strong waters that like to hang on, good for baby while they are meant to still be in there but definitely a barrier for delivering. I knew that this was going to make the contractions more intense, but I also knew that this would help move things along.

Feeling the urge to push and having someone tell you not to push has to be one of the hardest things to listen to in the world. Eventually there comes a point when you have to say to the other person "Too bad I HAVE to push." Still connected to the monitors, I'm not 100% sure what was going on them at the time as far as the baby's heart rate goes but they quickly brought in a group of Drs for the delivery. My own Dr had been called but everything happened so quickly that he arrived about a minute after baby was born. Along side a specialist a resident Dr delivered my baby. She seemed very experienced and I had to put all of my trust into her and the other Drs and nurses that were around. It is a situation in life where you want control but are quite vulnerable at the same time.  You end up trusting these people that you have never met to help bring the life you already love so much into the world.

In the matter of 6 minutes I reached 10 cms, began to push and the baby was delivered. They did use the vacuum to help the baby along quickly, again something to do with the heart rate on the monitors. They informed me that the baby needed to come out right then. In all honesty, I think the vacuum going in, hurt more than the baby coming out. Out came the baby, I requested that they not clamp the cord but they insisted that they had to check him right away. So the cord was clamped and off went baby. The one nurse said, "Oh! I think I see boy parts!" Matt and I both asked about a minute later to confirm that he was a boy. It wasn't even the first thought that crossed either of our minds. All we wanted to know was if the baby was healthy.

There was some worry about his breathing pattern. So while I lay there getting stitched up in two different spots, I waited to hear news of how our little love was doing. Finally they brought him over to me. Such a handsome little baby. We were so relieved when our Dr gave him the okay, as well as the NICU Dr, to hear that he would get to stay with us.

By this point the commotion of the room had died down and I was able to nurse him. He latched on right away just knowing what to do. As I nursed him we began to make all of our phone calls. First on our list was to tell Ella that she had a new baby brother. After nursing, eating, and making our top three phone calls. I went to shower while Matt sat in the chair and held our son. He said that he was wide awake and listened intently as he spoke to him.

By 2pm we were in our room in the maternity ward waiting for Ella to come and meet her brother. She comes into the room and says "Whatcha got mom?" Seeing the meeting of her and her brother was so sweet. Thankfully something we were able to record so that I can live it again. She looked at him and said "I love you baby." I think even not just having a baby that would have made me cry!

Birth as a Healing Experience


After Ella's birth I was so traumatized by what had happened. From the cord snapping, to her spending 4 days in the NICU, to the struggle to nurse her. I knew how I wanted things to go this time, and through my knowing, and someone smiling down on me and saying  "Sounds good to me too"  I was able to have the delivery that I wish we would have had with Ella. Every aspect of this labour seemed smoother. The hospital staff was better, more encouraging, and making sure that as uncomfortable as I was, that I was comfortable. I know that without their encouragement, and mostly without Matt's encouragement, I never would have been able to have the drug free delivery that I wanted. I love that we were able to keep him with us the entire time and that any choices made about him were all our own decisions, not someone else assuming and coming to conclusions without our consent; the ability to bring him home the very next morning, only 24hrs old and start our lives as a family of four together, all of these things have just patched over the bad things from our previous delivery experience. I'm not sure how else to explain the way it all made me feel as it is just an incredible feeling to begin with.

Our Little Bundle of Joy

Dillan was born at 10:56 am after 5.5 hrs of labour. He weighed in at 7lbs and 13oz and a height of 21 1/4 inches long. He has hair, looks like his Daddy and is the most handsome little boy around :)

Welcome to the world Dillan!


Post written December 13 2010 moved from previous blog 

Out of Room!

As uncomfortable as I am, I feel so bad for this little, but growing, baby in my belly! I can't imagine its very comfortable in there anymore! How could it be when your head is lodged in someone's pelvis and you can't stretch your legs without your feet getting stuck in some ribs!

Tomorrow is the baby's due date. I have a Drs appointment in the morning and Matt thinks I should request an induction. I think I should wait. I understand his point of view, he is worried that the baby is only going to get bigger and bigger and that I will have a difficult time pushing the baby out like I did with Ella.  That being said, I think we should wait at least a week past due. A due date isn't an expiry date! While I really would love to have this baby, I want the baby to be ready too!

I really am getting tired of all the questions though! "What still no baby?!" "You haven't had the baby yet?!" And then when I say no I get in response "Oh that sucks!" or "Well, it will come when its ready!"  That last one I really hate when someone who has never had a baby says that lol! (Even though I can say it to myself no issues!) Its all a waiting game :)


Post written December 6 2010 moved from previous blog

Frustrated!

When I went into labour with Ella, I KNEW that I was in labour. From the time it started to the time it finished was 13.5 hours and I had my wonderful little girl in the world. This baby has given us a whole other plan.

Almost two weeks ago now (When I was 38 weeks) I started to have contractions at 10:30 on Tuesday Novemeber 23. By 2am my contractions were every three minutes lasting for 30 to 70 seconds each time. Matt called my mom to come over while Ella was asleep. We were tired, I had had maybe two hours of sleep, but excited, we were going to meet our little baby! Or at least we thought that we were. The resident and the nurse come in to see how things are moving along, only to tell me that I am 2cms dialated. By 9am that morning my Dr came in to check and see how things were going to tell us that I was still at 2cms. So off we went home, and the contractions stopped completely. Alright, I'm only at 38 weeks, baby is just still cooking. I was told I could end up there in a couple of hours or it could take a few days, or a week. When it comes to things like this I hate the uncertainty!

A week goes by, mostly I had just been feeling crampy, like when its that time of the month. Monday night into Tuesday morning (Novemeber 30th) contractions pick up again. They feel a lot stronger than the week before and are now 2 minutes apart lasting around 30 to 50 seconds each time. By 5am we once again call my mom to come over and think "This is it!"  Again, I am hooked up to the monitors and the resident Dr and nurse come in to check me. After nearly 13 hours of contractions they tell me that I am still only 2cms! I just about started crying! We decide then that we will go back home and see how the day goes. I had a scheduled Drs appointment for that afternoon, so no point in him coming to the hospital to check me there, I would see him later.

The afternoon gets here and Matt and I leave for the Drs office. He does a check, still 2cms, and then does a membrane stripping. As uncomfortable as that is I was welcoming it. Hopefully that will move things along. He tells me to book an appointment for Friday or Monday, suggesting that I wont need the appointment but that if I don't book it I will need it, you know, Murphy's law.

I booked for Friday, I hate waiting.

He also offered that if I want to be induced that he wouldn't take it off the table, but that he would prefer that I wait until at least after my due date. The baby is fine, he is just worried now that I am tired and how it will affect me. Yes, I am tired but waiting sounds like the better option for our little baby.

Today is Friday. Since my appointment there have been a few changes, like loss of plug. No contractions have resumed though. And I am just very tired!  I'm really hoping that something happens today, though I'm sure I will be saying that everyday until something DOES happen.

I'll have to update later after my appointment. :)

I think for me right now the thing that freaks me out the most is my water randomly breaking. That didn't happen with Ella, it broke at 10cms in the hospital. And while that freaks me out, I'd wish it would happen so at least I know then that this baby will be here and I wont get sent home from the hospital a third time!


Post written December 3 2010 moved from previous blog

The Count Down is On!

Alright, so I have been counting down since I got pregnant, you know with my pregnancy ticker and all, but now my due date is only 2 weeks away!

Most days lately I am just exhausted. My whole body aches all over and the amount of pressure this baby is putting in places, well its not a comfortable feeling! Suddenly today I have this burst of energy! I've been cleaning, doing laundry, baking and all with a sick toddler on top of it. I've been shopping for Christmas and everything in that department is pretty well done, our tree is up and now its time to get wrapping! I'm sure I'd have my Christmas cards finished and sent out already too but I'm waiting to send those once I know what this baby's name is!

It is really strange that suddenly I am starting to relax. While most women are going into panic mode about their baby's arrival I am patiently welcoming it. There are still things that I need to do, like pack my hospital bag and the baby's bag, and a bag for DD for wherever she ends up (its going to be a call the grandparents and whoever is avliable first will take her kind of deal.) Maybe my being so panicked before is what is giving me a more calm sense now.

While my urgency is lessening, Matt's seems to be increasing. He's now worrying about how much work he has to do at work and is wanting to stay late to get it all done. All of those things I had been asking about before were suddenly done in a weekend. He's now saying things like " it could be any day and a baby could be sleeping in that bassinett."

Really now its all a waiting game... I can't wait to meet this little person that I already love so much!


Post written November 23 2010 moved from previous blog

Potty Training and Diapers

When Ella was only 18 months old I was out at Toys R Us and decided, I was going to get her a potty. I can't remember why I then decided I was going to get her one, I think it had something to do with my having a gift card. Originally I was there getting her a new True Fit carseat, (the previous one had been in an accident) which I did get.  Anyhow, I brought that potty home and in two days she used it four times. Now was she ready to use the potty then? Maybe. We never really pushed it though. At the time it was more of a novelty for her to sit on it while watching Elmo than understanding that she was going on the potty.

When she turned two I decided to try it a bit more with her. For a few months she would get SO upset anytime I even mentioned the potty. Naturally, when I would go to the washroom she would come with me (I mean what mom goes to the bathroom by themselves anymore?!) and she would want to sit on her potty but wouldn't ever "go."

All I kept on hearing from other people was "You want her potty trained before that baby gets here!" I thought 'Well, sure that would be nice, only one kid in diapers' but I wasn't going to pressure her. This had to be something that SHE wanted to do. The more you pressure a kid about something like this the less likely they are going to do it I find. And who was to say that she even <em>knew</em> that she needed to use the potty yet? Some kids take a long time to grasp that understanding of "I have to go!"

Almost three weeks ago now Ella comes to me (it was a Tuesday) and tells me that she wants to use the potty. I then roll my eyes and say alright. I have heard this "I want to use the potty" line many times and nothing happens. Are you ever going to say no to them? Absolutely not! It could be that time that they actually use the potty, which in this case, it was! I called this Day one. She spent the rest of the day in panties, wet each and every pair that I put on her, but I wasn't worried about that. I just kept her off any carpet!

Day two rolls around. She gets up and I put her in panties. I have training pants here but I'm not a fan of them. Any time I had asked her about them before she just thought that she was going swimming. I can't say I blame her, Pull ups are exactly the same thing as those little swimmers that we would put on her to take her to swimming lessons. To my surprise she had 4 misses and 4 hits that day! I was so proud of her!

I should mention, I have never seen a kid so hard on themself when they have an accident. Many kids are just like "oh my pants are wet" or they don't even notice. Ella would wet herself and just start bawling! I had to reassure her that it was okay to have an accident, that she was learning, that I wasn't mad at her and that this was something we could easily clean up. That being said, her attitude when she went on the potty was the completely the same, only in a good way. She would get so excited! She'd have to call Daddy at work, then call Grandma at work. She wanted the whole world to know what a big girl she was!

Day three was a step backwards. She wasn't feeling well, we had 12 kids in the house from the construction of the park, so I let her wear a diaper that day. She still wound up using the potty, but only once. By the time Monday rolled around she wore her panties the whole day and did not have a single accident. That was almost two weeks ago and she has not had an accident since.

Everyone keeps asking me how I did it. I just tell them that it wasn't me, it was all her. Other than being there for her to take her to the bathroom and being patient and comforting when she had an accident, I had nothing to do with this!  She knew when she was ready and she let us know. I know all kids aren't going to be like that, some are going to take a lot of work to help along, but I really think that waiting until they are ready and not pushing them is the key component.

Even with the baby on the way I can now say that I will never have to buy diapers again. We just purchased 36 KaWaii pocket diapers. This is one of those situations where I can easily say "I wish I knew then, what I know now." We just spent over the last two years buying disposable diapers, and in two ebay auctions I now have enough diapers to get this little babe through the next two years! Live and let learn right?! I had Matt convinced when I showed him the numbers more than anything. Using a diaper calculator on diaperpin.com, I discovered that in a year and a half we would save $1100!

The diapers arrived in the mail yesterday, and I have never been so excited about a diaper in my entire life! They are even more beautiful in person than they are in the picture! And oh so soft! The humor of my wonderful husband says " I wonder if you'll still be just as excited about them when they are covered in poop."  I am sure I will be when I see them on that cute little baby bum!


Post written November 6 2010 moved from previous blog