Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Appetizers

I haven't done a food post in a long time - mainly because I find cooking with a baby in the house is a quick and dirty affair. With my husband home for the holidays, we're getting a little time in the kitchen as we spell each other off on daughter care!

My husband made these rockin' Vegetarian Chick Pea Pot Pies (a lot of work, but they are so worth it... delicious!), and we were left with about a quarter package of extra puff pastry. Hmm!

I made some Stuffed Mushrooms -
  • 2 dozen large button mushrooms, of uniform size, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried roasted garlic, if you have it handy (or the real thing, or none)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Pop the stems out of the mushrooms (and reserve for another use!). Lay the mushrooms bottom up in an ungreased baking dish with a rim - or, better, on a cooling rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. These lose a lot of liquid while baking.
Drain the chopped peppers and tomatoes in a sieve to help keep the moisture down, as you don't want your mixture to be too wet. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese with the grated cheese, and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Spoon cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes and then broil until browned. Try not to forget about them under the broiler like I did (oopsie!) - unless you want dibs on the burnt ones! - give them about 4-5 minutes tops for broiling.
With the red, white and green filling, these are pretty at Christmas (or any time)!

Now, what to do with those mushroom stems and leftover puff pastry?? How about another appetizer?

Chipotle Mushroom Puffs

1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms (stems work just fine!)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated cheddar
1-2 tsp of chipotle sauce OR 1/2 chipotle pepper, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 package of puff pastry (225 grams)
1 egg


Saute the mushrooms and onions in a bit of oil (I used oil from the sun-dried tomatoes - why not!) until soft. Allow to cool. Mix in the remaining ingredients. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out into a rectangle and cut it into 2" squares. Drop a dollop of mushroom mixture onto each square. Brush the edges with water and bring up corners to make a pouch. Pinch the edges together to seal. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with 2 tsp water and brush over the pouches. Bake at 425F until golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes.

Yum, yum!

I will not tell on you if you sip Baileys and chocolate milk while cooking. I may have had to do a little of that myself.  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meals for a non-eater - help!

Two blueberries, three Rice Krispies and a half teaspoon of yogourt. 

No, it's not some crazy fad diet - that's what my 10 month old daughter ate for breakfast, refusing all else.

Lunch? I am not sure but I think she may have swallowed a minute amount of egg salad, possibly a teeny bite of bread and definitely the juice from a clementine segment (but not the solid part of the fruit).

And this is why she's still up at least 3 times a night to nurse and nursing so frequently during the day.  It's not that she's a picky eater per se - she loves pizza, pasta, and will try anything we give her - tonight she tried sushi and tempura (vegetarian of course), and she doesn't balk even at spicy food. She just doesn't eat much. And yes, I've tried the blander foods too - rice cereal, applesauce, banana, whatever... She'll eat a little but not much before she starts refusing it.

I know that "food is fun" for the first year, and I'm not concerned about her weight (at all.. she's still in the 90's, percentile-wise and moving on up to 18 month size clothing at just 10 months!), but I would be happy if she would sleep longer at night and stop nursing quite so much at night. Nursing at night means she also needs diaper changes twice during the night. I love our cuddle times at night, but... I'd love some sleep too.

She loves playing with food, tearing it apart, and completely understands how to get it into her mouth and eat it, though sometimes she spits it out and sometimes she just plays or tosses it to the floor and doesn't put more than a bite or two into her mouth. She will sometimes take a spoonful or two of softer stuff (yogourt, applesauce, cereal, soup, etc) but it's rare for her to eat more than, say, a tablespoon of anything. She will happily take small bites of things we hold out to her (banana, sandwiches, pizza, etc).

I don't want to force it on her and usually stop when she starts turning her head and pressing her mouth closed. I will try again a few minutes later, and again, and again - with different foods sometimes - but never make her eat or shove things in her mouth. My husband is more likely to pop things in there when she's not quite expecting it.

She is teething, but I am not convinced it's a teething issue as she's never eaten very much, especially compared to the other babies I know.

So, faithful readers... hit me up with some advice on getting Mia to eat some more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas!

It's coming so fast! Where is the time going?! I have so many gifts yet to get, stockings to stuff, and haven't done cards at all this year... I am not sure I'll get to it.

We went out to the tree farm this weekend and picked out our Christmas tree - a lovely Balsam Fir. My husband cut it down and we enjoyed a hay wagon ride and a cup of hot chocolate. Then we stayed up late, even Mia, to decorate the tree. The whole house smells lovely from the aromatic tree! Mia keeps pointing at it. Maybe "tree" will be her second word. (Her first is "dog!")

< Here we are, all bundled up for a cold winter walk at the tree farm!

And, having found our perfect tree... >
A little snow on the ground. Mia's in her Deuter carrier, the dog's there hiding behind the tree, and my husband is getting ready to cut that tree down!
Staying up late, decorating the tree - sleepy Mia in the Boba carrier.

The result! We have an eclectic ornament collection which we add to every year. This year's additions include a Pinocchio that we picked up in Italy, and a ceramic schooner ornament my husband got on his recent trip to St. John's. More presents are appearing underneath daily. I love Christmas and it will be fun to watch Mia's reaction on Christmas morning when she realizes some of those pretty packages have toys inside for her!

There's just one more day to enter to win a Sozo Nap Sak for your little one... they are so super cozy, I kind of wish they were available in my size! Go over and enter! (hit "read more" if you don't see the entry form!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hexbug Nano Review!


This is a totally fun and unique toy! We got to try out some of the Hexbug Nano products and I think they're really cool. They are tiny robots that scoot around, change direction when they hit something, and can even flip themselves back over if they get overturned.


They look like cool little bugs and act like them too... enough to almost give me a creepy feeling when I first saw them skittering around the floor (they really freaked the dog out, too!). They come in a whole bunch of collectible formats with different designs and colours ("mutations"). The glow in the dark "specimens" are my favourite, and there is even a glow in the dark "habitat" for them. Each Nano has a special code where you can register online and keep track of your Nano collection, and learn about science as well.  I like the interactive educational aspect of this.


The habitats are easy to put together and create a contained area for the Nanos where you can race them or even just watch them make their way through doorways, over bridges, and through gates. (It's amazing to see these things move.) What I also like about the habitats is that you can have several different ones and connect them all together to make one big, awesome habitat with lots of variations.




The Hexbug Nanos are battery powered, and they do have an on/off switch on the bottom. I'd definitely recommend deactivating the Nanos when you're finished playing with them, though spare batteries - or, "bug food" - are available.

These would make a great Christmas gift for the kid on your list - for ages 3 and up (they're a choking hazard for really little kids). I think they'd be most ideal for ages 4 and up. If you know a kid who likes collecting things, robots, racing or competitive games, science, constructing raceways, and so on - they'll love these toys. And you can add on later with different robots and habitats!

I discovered there is a whole world of Hexbug robot creatures available. We didn't have toys like this when we were growing up! Can you believe these things? Amazing. Toys of the future...


I received some Hexbug Nano products to try out, but was not paid for this post.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shopping, and what retailers can learn from WalMart

With Christmas approaching, and being on most-time maternity leave still (I'm working very part-time), I've spent some time in the stores lately. Time with Mia in the stores, I should say - and her Big Enormous Stroller. I've learned a few things about shopping.
The only store I have found lately that has reasonable aisle widths, no aisle clutter to speak of, and requires no elevator... is WalMart. Now, I'm not really a WalMart fan. Sure, their prices are low, their stores are clean, they have reliable family washrooms, but it seems to be at the cost of small business, employees, and results in the homogenization of the world (I was going to say North America, but I saw a WalMart in Mexico a few years back. I suspect they're stealthily taking over the world, McDonalds style). Okay, Old Navy is pretty decent as well for stroller-friendly layout.

Here's the thing: I WANT to shop elsewhere. I don't like big box stores. I have money to spend on Christmas gifts and time to spend it at the mall, or wandering down main street and popping into shops. And I'm not alone.

So, dear retailers, please take a lesson or two from WalMart - you are losing customers left, right and center, I'm sure! Just take a look at the clientele at the mall on a weekday. Do you see what I see? About 70% mums with strollers. Mums with time on their hands and a yen to shop, and a very small person in a very big stroller who seems to "need" lots of stuff. Stuff that could be purchased at your store. Here's what you need to know. It's pretty easy. 

Your store needs to be stroller accessible. I'm not talking about the first three feet of the store. The whole store.  

If I can't get in to see your stuff, I'm not buying. If I can't reach the cashier, I'm not buying.

Worst offenders? Abercrombie and Fitch decided to give their store a porch of sorts at the mall near me: three steps up to get through the door, then three steps down to get into the store. I tried, really I did. We went up the first steps with the stroller, I saw the next set of steps, peered into the gloomy darkness of the store, and said, "Forget it!". Wrangled the stroller right back down the steps and walked away. BAD MOVE, A&F. The Children's Place, Gap Kids, and Gymboree - I spend more time trying to maneuver around the racks, which are scattered in some awkward non-grid system and placed way too close together, than looking at the wares. Even Toys R Us has aisle clutter issues. These are stores for kids! People who shop there pretty much all have strollers. What are you thinking?? Stores like Bombay, Pier 1, Benix (the worst!) - I get that your stores are full of non-child-friendly stuff. But they're so darn crowded I have to walk sideways when it's just me shopping. No way am I coming in with the stroller.

And this is why the big box retailers and online shopping are winning my money over the small stores. Not because I prefer them. Not because I support their style or ethics (or lack thereof). Not because I even particularly like the stuff they have. It's because I can't come in with my daughter in her stroller.

I also have to add... If I can't even get in with a stroller, it's clear that you all really suck in terms of wheelchair accessibility too. So uncool.

Am I the only one this bugs, or are others frustrated too?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The best toys

Just a quick post today to share Geek Dad's 5 Best Toys of All Time. I like it.

Mia is napping -:yay:- so I have a minute for a hot cup of tea and to catch up on my email. Hopefully it's not like yesterday's debacle, where it took me an hour and a half to get her to sleep and then twenty minutes later, a courier rang the doorbell, and the @#$ dog set off barking which woke her! Love the dog, hate the bark...

Don't forget to enter the two amazing giveaways I've got running now for my Canadian readers. I spotted the Sozo nap saks at Winners yesterday and they are SO fuzzy and cushy. Someone will be lucky to win one of those for their little one! And the Bright Starts toy looks super fun, I can't wait for Mia to open hers at Christmas, you can win one of those too!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bright Starts Having a Ball - Review and Giveaway!

Christmas came a little early for Mia as she has been testing out the Bright Starts Having a Ball Get Rollin' Activity Table!

It comes with six coloured balls, just the right size for little hands, and textured (with animal faces) so that they are easy to grab. The center has a ramp and a hole where the balls swirl around and drop down to one of four legs with catchers at the bottom. I have found that with one ball in the catcher, if another goes down that leg it sometimes bounces out and rolls away.  Here's a ball in action - you can see how focused Mia is on it! I like that the balls are light enough and small enough for her to have no trouble picking them up. They're very rolly, though - on our wood floors I find I'm chasing them around!

You can also see here the gears for turning, and the fish, which has coloured beads in it that tumble when it's spun. Each activity triggers a different song or phrase.

The table has two modes - play and learn - which switch back and forth depending on what page of the book is open. Mia LOVES flipping the page of the book (we read together a lot and she helps turn pages). She flips it back and forth, so we hear "Let's play!", "Let's learn!" over and over! Here she is with that page... you can see the look of concentration on her face!

Here also you can see the alligator, whose mouth flips up to reveal a hiding spot (sized just right for a ball or maybe a treat!). The alligator triggers sound effects, or "open/closed", "up/down", depending on what mode the table is in.

There's also an orange spinner, which can hold three balls - a red lever spins them madly around and they fly off in all directions. I'm SO glad Mia hasn't figured this one out yet, as she's not got the focus at her age to go around picking up the balls!

There's also a cute caterpillar that is also a shape/colour learning tool and acts as a musical keyboard, and the 1-2-3 numbers pop up and make sounds or say numbers when pressed.

The last great thing about the Activity Table is that it is the perfect height for Mia to use as a walker. She's at the age where she wants to walk all the time, but is unable to balance yet - she's been using my fingers, which is hard on the lower back when it's all day long. However, she can lean on the table and push it along while walking - it's not meant to do this specifically, but on wood floors it works a treat. Here she is on the go!

You can use it without the legs for younger babies as well.

If there were anything I would change about it - the alphabet song that it sings says "zee" instead of "zed", and I wish for the Canadian market they would have changed that. I also wish that for Canada they would give a French option. **Edit: the French versions of all the Having a Ball toys should be out in the New Year!** And I wish the balls would always catch in the legs, and not occasionally roll out.

However, those are minor complaints. Mia spends more time playing with this than a lot of her other toys and I like that it has functions that entertain her now (at 9 1/2 months old), and she can grow into other elements of it. What she loves now are the book, alligator, fish, and banging it randomly to see the lights and hear the sounds. What she will grow into are the learning elements - numbers, alphabet, relating the sounds and songs to what she sees, as well as the more complex actions of the ball ramp, spinner, and gears. I think it will be fun once she realizes where the balls go once they drop through the center - and that they could fall into any of the four legs. I also like that it's not huge, it's a reasonable size.

The Bright Starts Having a Ball line has a bunch of fun toys (Santa's bringing Mia the Swirl and Roll Truck for Christmas! Shh!) and they are available in Canada (and the US) exclusively at Toys R Us. Visit Bright Starts for more information about the toys!

Bright Starts has generously sponsored a giveaway for my Canadian readers as well! They have sent me a Swirl and Roll Truck to give away! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sozo - Review and Nap Sak Giveaway!

There are fresh new fashions for little ones hitting the market, and I was happy to test out a very cute outfit for Mia from Sozo Canada! I chose this simply adorable giraffe print dress with matching capris. Made of a soft, printed cotton with ribbon flower embellishments, it's super cute and comfy for her! She was fascinated by the flowers. I love that the cotton is prewashed - no shrinking!

Mia's just over 9 months old now, but wearing 12-18 month clothing. We tried the dress in a 12 month size and it fits wonderfully. Her super chubby legs mean the capris are a little snug at the elastic around the calves, but they do comfortably fit her big cloth diaper booty which is great! She didn't have any complaints! I love the length of the dress. It even looks cute with jeans underneath for the cold weather that is coming.

What stands out about Sozo clothing is the bright colours and the fun designs. The cuteness is available in jammies, rompers, dresses, buntings, swaddles, hooded towels, nap saks, and accessories like hats, gloves and mittens, as well as 'WeeBlocks' for little boys! You can see all these products in their Facebook albums, and be sure to like their Facebook page for the latest news (hint: they post current giveaways there as well!)!

The Sozo Nap Saks are super cute. They come in 0-6 and 6-18 month sizes. I have Mia in sleep sacks now for the cold winter months and I can tell you they are great - nice and warm, safer than a blanket as there's no way for them to ever cover baby's face. 

Sozo clothing is available online at Amazon.com and if you do a search you will find lots of other online retailers as well! (You can also contact them to ask about stores in your area! There are lots of stores now carrying this line.) The clothing comes in these sizes: 0-3m, 3-6m, 6-9m, 12m, 18m, 24m, and the loungewear is available in 12m, 18m, 24m, 2T, 3T 4T

Sozo Canada has generously offered to give a soft and cozy Ladybug Nap Sak to one of my Canadian readers!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Starlight Toy Drive

I think in the hectic consumer madness of the season (a friend mentioned today that Christmas is only five weeks away!), we sometimes forget what it's really all about. Here's a little reminder that the gifts which mean the most need not be found at the shopping mall.

From now until December 9th, Starlight Children’s Foundation is hosting their Annual Starlight Toy Drive. You can help spread holiday cheer to a Starlight Child or Family by donating as little as $20 to sponsor a holiday stocking. For children dealing with serious medical conditions, holidays often take a back seat. Many parents also don’t have the means to celebrate as most time is spent caring for their ailing child. Starlight’s multiple giving opportunities make it easy for people to donate and help make a holiday wish come true.

This program helps Canadian children who are seriously ill and their families celebrate the season. You do get a tax receipt for donating, and you can even donate in someone else's name, as a Christmas gift. Last year for my parents' birthdays, they requested donations be made to local food banks in lieu of gifts - they have enough 'stuff' and wanted to give instead. What a fabulous gift this would be for both the people who have everything, and for children who are truly in need of a little cheering.

The Starlight Children's Foundation Canada has been helping children with chronic, life threatening illnesses and life-altering injuries for more than 20 years. For more information, visit their Book of Smiles website.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Free poster!

I wanted to share a freebie with my Canadian readers... Posterjack.ca is giving Facebook fans a free 8x12" poster - starting tomorrow, November 15th! 

Just head over to their Facebook page, click Like, enter your name and email address, and you will receive a voucher code to redeem your free poster at Posterjack.ca. The process is pretty quick.

Then head to Posterjack.ca, upload your photo, select the product, choose the size and you’re done! And it’s shipped right to your doorstep. They have lots of other products that would make good Christmas gifts, too.  

A nice 8x12" photo of family in a frame sounds like a good gift to me. I have absolutely no Christmas shopping done yet, and no ideas on what to get people, so any little things I can get going on are at least a start! 

Tomorrow we have Mia's 9 month check-up. I can't wait to find out what her height and weight are now! I never weigh or measure her in between appointments, so it's fun finding out her new 'stats'. Not that it matters, really, as she's quite healthy and happy, but it's fun keeping track of these things.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jolly jumper (your thoughts?)

I just picked up a Jolly Jumper on a stand for Mia. It was only $20 secondhand! She's having the BEST NAP EVER right now (an hour and 40 minutes so far!), so I've assembled it and am waiting for her to wake up. It is so big - my husband told me it was, but now that it's in our house I really get it. The footprint is about 4x4'! I hope she likes it.

My aunt gave me an aghast look when I mentioned I was thinking of getting one. She said it places a lot of pressure on the groin area. The baby carriers I have (the Boba, the Deuter Kid Comfort III, and the Sleepy Wrap - love them all for different reasons), I chose specifically because Mia's weight goes on her bum, not on her groin like certain carriers do. And when I look at the Jolly Jumper, I can see what she means.

At the same time, Mia's getting tired of the exersaucer that we borrowed from a friend (yay for borrowing baby gear - we can give that sucker back and don't have to store it or try to sell it), and I need somewhere I can put her while I do stuff.

Her most favourite thing these days is to walk holding on to my two fingers, and sometimes I need my hands! This morning she was crying at all times unless she had those fingers and was on her feet. I can't get anything done at all that way!

I don't plan on sticking her in there for hours on end, of course!

What are your thoughts on the Jolly Jumper?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Night waking

Okay, last night Mia woke NINE TIMES. Five times - every hour for the first five hours. Then every two hours. And, she wanted to nurse every time. What is up with that? She's nearly nine months old now. Tonight, she went down at 8:30 (bedtime is 8, she wouldn't or couldn't go down for 8), and 9:30 rolls around and she wakes, crying for me... I went in, tried to get her back to sleep in her crib without picking her up, she'd fall asleep and then wake repeatedly. After 15 minutes of this I checked her diaper... soaked! So she had a good reason. BUT - I got her back to sleep quickly after a diaper change, and 5 minutes after being in her crib she's up, crying again! WHAAAT?!! These are long nights.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Neglect and progress

My poor blog is sorely neglected these days! I keep thinking up posts and then not having the time to write.

Mia's new hobby is to get on her feet and run - but she needs my two fingers to hold her up, as she can't stand, walk or run on her own yet! She absolutely squeals with delight when she is on the move! I should really get a video of this stage as it's very cute :)

Other than that, I've been trying to work a little - I'm getting about 9 hours a week in the studio and would need about 10 times that to keep up with the demand for my work at the moment. Good and bad!

And, reading a great book (Neal Stephenson's Reamde: A Novel )... mainly while nursing. Mia's still not that interested in real food, so we're still nursing a LOT! And, she's been up 5-8 times a night lately for comfort/diaper changes/nursing, so we're both rather tired and I'll admit, a little cranky these days! Last night for the first time in WEEKS she only woke twice - I'm hoping it's a new era. That said, she's cut 6 teeth already and with the time changes, and my husband being away for a week last week, and learning all these new skills... it's no wonder she's up at night.

Anyway... I have a few minutes while she's napping now (phew!!! many days she simply declines to nap!) so I'm going to take a well-deserved BREAK!
...ah, noooo! she just woke up!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting out with the baby

We are back from our trip - more on that later (I'm trying to get a quick post in while Mia sleeps!). 

I'm trying to get out more - for my own sanity and for Mia to see some new things and meet some new friends. We already go to Mum and Me Aquafit, a Baby Goose program at the library, and a Mother Goose program run by a community group. Her dad takes her to Parent and Tot swimming as well.

Yesterday we went to one of the Baby and You cooking classes put on at the Real Canadian Superstore and sponsored by Huggies. (As you know, we cloth diaper, but we do use Huggies when we are travelling - did you know you can buy them in Spain?). It was a free, drop in class where we made two recipes, had coffee and tea, and some fun with other mums and their babies.

The recipes were for quinoa pancakes (delicious - though the recipe called for too much milk! oops! and too much baking soda, in my opinion - they had a salty flavour), and for a sweet potato bake that was also yummy. Mia loved them both and we had fun trying to do one-handed mixing and egg-cracking with the other mums - with a baby in one arm, you really only do have one hand to cook sometimes!

Huggies provided cute tiger ear headbands for all the babies, and Tigger stuffed toys for some. They held a draw at the one we went to for the Tiggers, since there weren't enough for everyone. We also took home a couple of the new slip-on diapers to try out. I'm not convinced it's a good idea... that could get really messy, in my opinion.

Anyway, it was a nice way to spend the morning and I recommend checking it out if you feel like getting out with your little one. There's a list of the locations here on their Facebook page.

I really love things we can do together that are free and fun. What do/did you do with your baby?

(this is not a sponsored post!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tropical Traditions Powdered Dishwasher Detergent - Review and Giveaway!

I've had the pleasure of reviewing a number of different Tropical Traditions products and not once have I been disappointed (some of my favourites: the laundry detergent - great for cloth diapers!, flaked coconut, and organic honey!). This time I got to try out the Powdered Dishwasher Detergent and once again it's a great product!

The Powdered Dishwasher Detergent is natural, safe, and eco-friendly. It is also unscented, which I love - I cannot stand the scent of some of the big brands which adheres to my dishes (especially anything plastic!). You have to wonder what chemicals are in those and how much gets in your food, considering that it leaves enough residue on the dishes to smell like that. Tropical Traditions Powdered Dishwasher Detergent rinses clean and leaves dishes residue-free.

Besides being unscented, this detergent does not contain chlorine, phosphates, or fillers. All you get is clean dishes without the environmental impact of chemical-laden detergents.

I also like the packaging. It comes in a large recyclable (or reuseable) jar with a scoop for measuring the right amount. No more pouring powder out of boxes and making a mess - with the scoop it's more accurate and simple. The jar is a bonus for me. We have a problem once in a while with leaks under the sink, and in the past cardboard detergent boxes have ended up soaking up the water, rendering the powder unuseable. Plus, those boxes aren't recyclable. The Tropical Traditions plastic jar will keep the powder dry in case of leaks!

I'm thrilled that Tropical Traditions is sponsoring another giveaway, this time for a jar of the Powdered Dishwasher Detergent just like I received! I assure you, you will love it (and the jar lasts a long time!).


Friday, September 30, 2011

Zippy Doo Diapers - Review and Giveaway!

I'm so thrilled to introduce you to Zippy Doo diapers!   
Warning: lots of pictures for this review. There was too much cuteness and I didn't have the heart to edit any more photos out.

For the past year and a half - or maybe more - I've been a part of an online forum for mums that took us from TTC to babies! It's been such a pleasure getting to know all the mums from all over and sharing our experiences. One of the mums in my daughter's due date group started making one size fitted cloth diapers. Soon all the mums were asking her if she'd sell them, and Zippy Doo was created!

With a background in fashion design, Natalie's diapers have a professional approach to construction and design. And Natalie really has an eye for a fabulous print! I had a really tough time picking a print for the diaper I was sent to review. In the end, she sent me two so that I could compare the knit to the woven fabric. Both simply adorable!

Tied with a pretty ribbon, and accompanied by a super sweet and soft cloth wipe, the diapers also came with care instructions (it's easy). Mia was thrilled when we opened up the package!
She spent a while just playing with the diapers. And so did I! They are super, super SOFT! Like you wouldn't believe. The inside is a cushy cotton velour, colour coordinated with the outer print. The print fabric is also soft, no stiffness at all. 
 The insert snaps in and has the soft velour on the exterior and an organic bamboo fleece on the inside. Very absorbent, very convenient. I have washed and dried the diapers a couple of times, and the dual layer allows the insert to dry quickly, both on a clothesline and in the dryer. And I should mention, the diapers stay soft even when dried outside on a line - no stiff and crispy feeling at all. Natalie's designed the diapers to allow for any shrinkage in the dryer as well.
The one size diaper has two rows of colour coordinated snaps. A fold down top allows you to adjust the rise for a smaller fit. This pink diaper with the Stormy Weather print is a knit, so it's roomier and has some more give (great for chubby babes like Mia).
 Mia briefly stayed on her back so I could get a shot from the front. She has such chubby thighs, but the fit is just fine and the soft fabric didn't leave red welts on her thighs like some diapers do.
 I absolutely adore the print on this diaper and Mia was fascinated by it as well! She spent ages staring at the cute storm clouds! She kept staring and touching the clouds. I think she was trying to pick them up off the diaper at one point :) Cute!
 Here's the second diaper - the Little Lamb print in a woven fabric - in action. Once again a great fit and super soft!
I know, this is basically a gratuitous cute baby shot. But if you look, you can see the cute Zippy Doo label on the diaper. So professional! I am in awe of Natalie's workmanship! And, you can sort of see that the velour is the part touching Mia at the leg elastic, which means it's soft and cozy, not cutting into her chubby thighs like some diapers do.

So for the uninitiated, a one size fitted is basically a cloth diaper that adjusts to fit small to large, and does not have a waterproof outer layer. Now I am accustomed to using diapers that have a PUL (polyurethane laminate, aka waterproof) layer and was a little intimidated by the fact that these diapers didn't have it. Worry for nothing. You can use a cover if you are going out (or paranoid), but I use these diapers on Mia at home without a cover. You can tell when the diaper is wet because you can feel the dampness. I had her on my lap and the wet didn't soak through at all, I just could feel it when I touched the diaper. Absorbent, for sure! I have covers I could use but I really hate to cover up these diapers. They're just too darn cute to cover!

Natalie has offered one of my readers a $10 gift certificate towards Zippy Doo! The hardest part will be choosing a print!

Monday, September 26, 2011

BumbleWee Nursing Wear - Review!

I've had the pleasure of reviewing a transitional top from BumbleWee Nursing Wear before (back when I just had a little bump!), and it's a top I still wear and love now that my bump is a baby! BumbleWee is a Canadian company that really cares about pregnant and nursing mamas, and helping them look and feel their best!

For their 3 year anniversary I was sent another fabulous nursing top to review. I received the Majamas Bramble Top, which is marked a "personal favourite" of Denise - the mum and cofounder of BumbleWee. That's a good endorsement as she has access to so many different brands and styles!

The style is a pull-aside overlayer with an underlayer for discretion. I really like this style of nursing top as there are no flaps that end up falling in Mia's face as with pull-up nursing tops. It also leaves very little exposed if you are nursing in public. It's super convenient, and a flattering design.

The fabric is a heavier weight, stretchy knit made of 95% modal and 5% spandex. Those fibers mean it hangs nicely and stretches comfortably. I like that it's heavier weight, because I find that nursing pads tend to add some (sigh) lumpiness. A very thin fabric just emphasizes that. I also like the detail at the shoulders, a bit of a gather with a detail of black and white patterned fabric. It's just a nice touch.

I think the fit is pretty flattering (forgive the wrinkles - I put it right on when I got it! Soon after, the wrinkles "fell" out.). It is the kind of top you could wear in early pregnancy as well - the empire waist is good for that. I think my bump was too big to have fit in this top during the last months of pregnancy (then again I loaded on 50+lbs -gasp!- and had a particularly big bump), but if you are looking for a transitional type top for early days and then nursing, this would be a good one. Denise tells me it fit her throughout her pregnancy, so it is possible! Not only that, but for her the fabric recovered beautifully from the stretch and went right back to the shape it should be! Is it weird now for me to say that I wish I could test that out for myself?!

As always, shipping from BumbleWee Nursing Wear was quick and I got the exact size and product I ordered - the helpful sizing guides for each garment mean I'm pretty sure before I order that it will fit. I love the quality of the fabric and stitching too. I have a nursing top from another company *coughExpressiva* where the stitching fell out and the fabric developed holes along the seams within the first couple wears. That is so not going to happen with the Majamas Bramble Top - it's well-constructed and high quality fabric.

You can check out the many different nursing tops available here, and keep in mind that BumbleWee also has lots of other products: maternity dresses and nursing dresses, pyjamas, nursing bras and accessories, and postpartum products, along with cute photo albums and such for kids. Shipping on orders over $200 is free to Canada and the continental US!

Do check out their big 3 year anniversary sale on now!

Like BumbleWee on Facebook for the latest news (and sometimes they have fun contests too!). They also keep a blog with breastfeeding articles and info about current events at BumbleWee. And you can follow BumbleWee on Twitter as well!

Disclosure: BumbleWee Nursing Wear provided me with a product to review. I was not paid for this post. My opinions are honest. Yep, I really do like it - and I'd tell you if I didn't.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Food, glorious food!

Today I want to direct your attention to The Muffin Myth, because I just came across it (thanks to Everything Mom) and once there spent a blissful half hour reading old posts. Beautiful, friendly writing and inspired recipes.

I made the Chickpea Salad from Katie's blog last night and we devoured it on bread with soup for dinner; now I'm gobbling it on crackers for lunch. So. Good.

ps try it on homemade crackers - I promise, they're so easy to make - and so yummy you'll want to make them often!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today

In case anyone had the idea that life over here is perfect... This is my sweet, charming daughter today:
She would NOT nap no matter what I tried (really... I even did the vacuuming with her in a carrier. That's desperate.), until finally she basically collapsed from exhaustion at 2:30.

Yesterday was similar - first (and only) nap at 2:05 for an hour. Then she woke every hour from bedtime to 1:00 am (and was up at 3 for nursing and at 7:30 for the day). I am exhausted. She is exhausted. 

I'm guessing I have another 15 minutes to myself before she wakes. Guess I should try to eat/drink something and go pee.

AAAAAUUUUUUGHHHHHHH


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Stink. (and what to do about it)

I'm a big cloth diapers advocate (and proud of it!) but lately I've had a battle on my hands.

The Stink.  (bom-bom-boommmmmm!)

We had ammonia buildup and we had it bad. It's not just the solid foods poop that can cause stinky cloth diapers, ammonia can be a big stinky problem. I have a feeling - and I hate to blame Calgary* - but I have a feeling that the hard water we were washing diapers in at our apartment while we were there this summer was a big contributor to the problem.

So I tried all kinds of things:
  • different detergents (less, more, etc)
  • sunning the diapers and inserts (according to my husband, UV rays break down ammonia)
  • rocking a soak overnight with Rockin' Green (btw, the scent I have is Rage Against the Raspberry and I can't smell a darn thing. I'm not talking about after the wash is done because I get that the scent is not meant to stick around. I mean, the soap doesn't even smell like anything. Huh??)
nothing. worked.

Aughhhhh, stink!

Finally, I tried the Blue Dawn solution that I'd read about online. I was hesitant to put dish detergent in my HE front loader but I just couldn't take the stink any longer. I was desperate. In Canada - at least where I am in Canada - you can find the original Blue Dawn at Dollarama. A teaspoon in a front loader's detergent drawer, a hot wash and several rinses later (until there are no suds), and - no stink!

YAY. So don't bother with the other stuff if you come across this problem. Don't hesitate and muck around like I did. Head straight to the dollar store, spend a buck on a bottle of Blue Dawn and get the stink out.

Unfortunately, poop is still stinky and there's not a whole heck of a lot you can do about that. I'm aiming to toilet train the moment she hits 18 months and has sphincter control.  
Yes, I just talked about poop and sphincter control on my blog.  I have become that blogger.

*despite my weird things about Calgary I and II posts, I developed a soft spot for the city and totally miss my friends there!! I'm not sure I miss the creepy giant rabbits though. just sayin'.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Teething - a question for you!

Mia is finally cutting her first tooth. It started two days ago, at a couple days past 7 months old. She's been fairly good with it, just extra clingy and a little extra whiny, but still in a happy mood overall. She's been wearing an amber teething necklace for ages (we've been expecting a tooth since we first saw little white dots 3 months ago). Whether it really helps or not, I'm not sure, but it is cute!

My question for my experienced readers is - does teething bring barfing? Mia got over reflux (finally) at about 5 months old, and hasn't really had a problem with bringing up since. However, the last few days she's been throwing up a few times a day and I'm not sure if it's related to teething or if it's what I've been feeding her, as she is eating more solids now.

Not to be too graphic here, but I got barfed on today. In the FACE. As in, I picked her up and held her up to my face and she promptly lost it on my face. Barf was coating and dripping off my nose and chin. I'm yelling, "I need HELP! Get a CLOTH!" and my husband is spending time looking for an appropriate cloth, saying, "what cloth?" (as if I cared - how about whatever's at hand and fast!). It was so gross.  When he saw me, he said, "Don't look in a mirror when you wash it off!" It was really that bad.

I haven't been keeping a food log for her, so I've made it hard to try to connect any particular food with the barfing. Or perhaps it's something I've eaten, as I'm still breastfeeding her often. I've also got a cold (getting more miserable by the hour) and although she hasn't shown signs of getting it, I guess she could have a version of it.

I'm not looking forward to the first big chomp during nursing! She's bitten down a couple times with just the razor edge of that tooth poking through the gums, and it hurts. I've read the advice to bring baby close when that happens, so she opens her mouth to breathe, but I guess I don't have big enough or squishy enough boobs or something, 'cause I haven't had luck with that. I've instead broken the latch with a finger.

Can't wait to see how cute she looks when the teeth are up and out! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fairhaven Health Breastfeeding Multivitamin - Review and Giveaway!

Another great product from Fairhaven Health has made its way to my cupboard. I am currently using the Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin (yes, both nursing and breastfeeding are on the label!). Like it says, this one's for nursing mamas - specifically designed to help supplement your and baby's health after the birth and during breastfeeding.

I can't even begin to paraphrase all the good information about Vitamin D and B being so important for breastfeeding women, so I recommend you go check out the product page. It's interesting information (honest)!

They even have another option for mamas who need a little help with milk production - the Nursing Blend version contains herbal extracts for just that purpose. As I've mentioned before, I'm like some kind of crazy milk machine so I definitely don't want MORE milk! That one's not for me! But it's awesome that they are helping out mamas who need it.

The Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin (phew...) dose is two capsules daily. You can take them both at once, or space them out for optimal absorption. Because I don't think I'll manage to remember to take them both if I space them out, I've been taking both in the morning. I was able to remember to take the FertilAid three times a day back when we were TTC, but then my mind was completely focused on the task at hand (like a crazy woman. I had the baby fever and I had it bad!) and it was like second nature to remember things like that. These days I'm scatterbrained enough trying to manage baby care with keeping a relatively clean house, trying to work a bit from home, cooking, you know... the zillion things women do every day and seem to manage in a capable fashion that have me scrambling.

Another plus - it's vegetarian-friendly. No gelatin in the capsule. Yay! 

I've had the pleasure of reviewing several products from Fairhaven Health over the last couple of years - here are some of my previous experiences with their products:
As you will see, I have nothing but good things to say about Fairhaven Health. Their products are consistently appropriate, safe, health-conscious and great quality.

Fairhaven Health has generously offered one of my readers a one-month supply of the Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin! I know I have a bunch of lovely nursing mamas reading - this one's for you! 
click read more if you don't see the Rafflecopter form! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Keurig Review

I recently had a chance to try out a Keurig machine, thanks to BzzAgent. I've seen these types of machines in the stores and at friends' houses and been curious. I'm a hot beverage NUT so I really wanted to try this out.

The machine is good looking, silvery and black, and fit in just fine in my kitchen. I did find it was fairly large, but that's all relative. It's around the same footprint as my Krups machine (I've talked about that here), but much bigger than the Sunbeam Hot Shot that I had been using to make hot water (until it died after several-times-a-day use for three years. Psst, Sunbeam, I need a new one and I can't find it in Canada!)

The Keurig can do coffees, teas, hot chocolate and even cider - it all depends on the cartridge you put in. And without a cartridge it does a quick cup of hot water (perfect for random stuff like nursing teas and the salted caramel hot chocolate I like to make). You can select a small or large cup size to fill. I did notice that the amount of water it dispenses seems to vary - a small cup can be 2/3 or 3/4 full, seemingly at random.

The machine comes with 12 samples of assorted cartridges. I'm not sure if they're all the same in each box but mine included 11 different coffees and one tea. In the spirit of giving it a good try, I tried each one. I am a super picky coffee drinker and had switched to decaf nearly three years ago so having caffeinated coffee was a bit wild for me. Honestly, I was not crazy about most of the coffees, but I did find one or two among the selection that I liked. And with hundreds of different varieties available, there is sure to be something for everyone.

I have to say I really didn't like the tea sample. I found it bitter. I'm something of a traditionalist when it comes to tea. I need steeping to bring out the flavours. So that for me was a disappointment. I actually tipped it out after tasting it and made a new mug with a tea bag instead.

And the whole cartridge thing leaves me cold. I mean, cute packaging, and it's SO convenient, but what a lot of waste. They can't be recycled or composted, so with every drink a big chunk of garbage is created. I have talked about that before.  I would feel better about these if they were biodegradable, at least.




Okay, so what did I love about the machine? The convenience. If you can find the right coffee cartridge for you, and the whole wastefulness of it isn't enough to put you off, it is so freakin' easy and quick. The water heats up really fast and your drink is ready sooner than you'd ever get it with a traditional drip, percolator, or even a kettle. It's about the same speed as my beloved late lamented Sunbeam Hot Shot, with a slicker look and easier use (no spilly filling of water each time for the Keurig - you just fill the tank on it every once in a while and it lets you know when you need to). It is so convenient and also kinda fun to pick out a drink and make it, just like that. I imagine if a few people in a family like hot drinks it would be even more excellent. For us, I'm the only one (my poor husband is actually allergic to coffee and is not fond of other hot drinks). I can't emphasize enough how easy it is to use.

If you are that person who actually buys a coffee at a shop every day, this would be a money saver for you.  The cartridges are around 50 cents each, from what I understand.

Overall... love the ease, hate the waste. I'm currently using it for hot water only and for that purpose it seems too big (oh, Sunbeam Hot Shot! I miss you). I hear you can get a good deal on the cartridges at Costco, but I look at them and think, "That box is full of landfill" - and can't buy them. If only I could feel okay about where the cartridges go after use, I'd probably be a solid convert.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Baby and You Online Community

For the past three years or so I've been especially active in a few online communities - from trying to conceive to having our beautiful daughter, being able to talk to other women in the same stage of life has honestly made ALL the difference for me. I found that my friends and family weren't at the same point that I was at throughout and while they are supportive, being able to talk to people who are dealing with the same issues as you are is so helpful. I've met some women online who I connected so well with that I count them among my friends. It's been great.

One of the newest online communities is Loblaws' Facebook page Baby and You. It's a place for mums and dads to chat about their babies - ask questions, post photos, even brag a little (guilty!). I am on Facebook quite frequently so it's nice to have it right there. There are discussions and tips as well as exclusive savings. I hear there's even something special coming up related to Joe Fresh (I adore their baby clothes, even if I do always have to buy the next size up).

There are featured Canadian mom bloggers as well: Mommy Moment for the mom stuff, and Lisa from Growing your Baby focuses on the baby side of things. I've just spent a minute fantasizing about taking on some of the 25 Me-Time Ideas for Moms... yeah, right! Maybe if I can do them with Mia in tow - and then is it really Me-Time? More like more Mia-Time! But it's nice to dream... 

I have found online communities to be wonderful and I'm sure some of you have as well. I "Like" the Baby and You site on Facebook and perhaps I'll see you there!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Baby and You program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Loblaw 
Companies. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BumbleWee Nursing Wear's Anniversary (contest & coupon!)

You may recall I had the pleasure of reviewing a top from BumbleWee when I was pregnant (ooh! Just over a year ago. How time flies!). I am looking forward to cooler weather when I can wear it again, as it is the perfect kind of transitional top that goes from bump to nursing. I'm still loving the soft fabric (it's so comfortable), the colour and style.

BumbleWee is celebrating its third anniversary with a fantastic contest! This is a photo contest - you simply upload a newborn or nursing photo to the contest page and the photo with the most votes will win!

The contest runs until September 21st, so there's still a good chunk of time to get your photo up and earn some votes! It's easy to add a photo to the site (I've entered mine already!) and it's fun to see who's getting the most votes.

What's the prize??? Well, how does $350 worth of maternity/nursing goodies sound? Here is the package:
  • 2 Maternity & Breastfeeding Tops
  • 1 Maternity & Breastfeeding PJ
  • 1 Nursing Bra
  • 1 Pumpease  - Pumping Support
  • 1 Breastfeeding Bonnet
  • 1 Nursing Cover
  • 1 Photo Book

Hmmm, yes please! AND, every entrant gets a 30% off coupon towards any product in the 3 Year Anniversary Sale category. Already on sale and then 30% off that... just for entering. Sweet!

Leave a note if you enter, and I'll head over and vote for you myself :) And feel free to send a vote my way if you feel like it! I'm nowhere near in the lead but it's fun to see my picture get a few votes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Busy and unprepared for travel!

I've been keeping busy just being a mum lately. Someone's having super short naps (35-45 minutes) so I'm not getting much done - a little baking here and there to keep me sane. Somehow baking has always been my go-to pursuit when I need some Me Time. There's something so satisfying about whipping up a coconut loaf, muffins or cake. It takes hardly any time, really, to prepare, and you end up with something so yummy!

We are looking forward to taking a Mediterranean cruise next month - Barcelona to Monaco, Rome, Pisa, Sicily, Naples, Palma de Mallorca and Marseilles. Mia will be about 8 months old for her first very long flight (those flights to Calgary and back were just practice) and her first European vacation. Too bad she won't remember any of it when she's older.

The cruise is coming up so fast and we're a little unprepared. So if you have any must-see sights in any of those cities, let me know! We'll be in Barcelona for 4 days, pre-cruise. Here's our list so far:

Barcelona: Sagrada Familia, Park G├╝ell, Mercat de la Boqueria
Monaco: ???
Rome: Colosseum
Pisa: the Tower, of course - from the outside only as children aged under eight are not allowed in.
Sicily: Cattedrale di Monreale, maybe...???
Naples: ???
Palma de Mallorca: Cathedral (Le Seu)...???
Marseilles: ???

Yeah, we need to do some planning! Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Winner - Milk Nursing Wear!

We have a winner for the $30 gift certificate to Milk Nursing Wear! One lucky mama's going to do some shopping!

Congratulations! I know a bunch of girls from my birth 'club' online entered and I wanted to say thanks for stopping by to everyone. I've got some great reviews and giveaways coming up that I'm really looking forward to, so I hope you stick around!

Do Something Little, Help Something Big

I was excited to learn about Energizer Canada and Evergreen joining forces on their “Do Something Little, Help Something Big” initiative. Energizer is contributing $100,000 to Evergreen to make Canadian cities more liveable.

I had of course heard of Energizer before (who could forget that bunny!), but I don't think I'd come across Evergreen before. It is a not-for-profit organization that is "a leading national funder and facilitator of local, sustainable greening projects in schoolyards, parks and communities across Canada". I first thought that if I lived in a bigger city rather than the suburbs, I would have heard of it - they seem to focus on urban areas like Toronto's Don Valley. But a little research proved that this organization does green things all over Canada, including suburbs of the GTA like Richmond Hill (not too far from where I live). For some reason it's just not been on my radar, but I'm going to start looking out for Evergreen projects near me!

I am a big fan of greening cities and communities developing fun, educational and environmentally sustainable sites, so this seems like a great idea to me.

We can all help by doing a little ourselves. The have suggested some pledges that are easy things we can all do to reduce our impact on the environment and spread a little joy as well. I found 10 that I'm happy to add to my day. And for each pledge, Energizer will donate an additional $1 to Evergreen (up to $10,000).

One of the ten pledges I made for Energizer Canada & Evergreen’s “Do Something Little, Help Something Big” initiative is to do my laundry during off-peak hours. I mean, that's just sensible - with time of use billing in effect, it will also save us money! Another I love is to tell my daughter I love her. Easy... I do that all the time. We are also installing a clothes line this year - hanging clothes to dry is not only a money and energy saver, it is great for all those cloth diapers (sun removes stains!). I let cars merge in front of me all the time (don't you hate those road hogs who speed up when you want to merge? That drives me nuts. Let someone in for goodness' sake!). And giving someone a smile is a great way to brighten a day. I started greeting strangers when I went out for a walk with the stroller and I'm still doing it. A traded "hi" or "good morning" and a smile make me feel good and make our neighbourhood more friendly. It's so easy to do the little things.

A few quick clicks of the mouse and you can check off some pledges for yourself and help this great cause. Head over to the Now That’s Positive Energy site to do so. You can also share your successes on the site, and read what others are doing.


Disclosure – I am participating in the Energizer Canada & Evergreen “Do Something Little, Help Something Big” program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Energizer Canada & Evergreen. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own. While I did receive compensation, I want you to know that I don't promote things I don't believe in. This partnership between Energizer and Evergreen is a really positive thing a big corporation is doing - and I support that!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keeping cool in summer heat

It's another lovely, hot day here full of sunshine (and the accompanying high UV index). I'm hoping for another month at least of summer (fingers crossed)

I got a note from Playtex Infant about ways to keep babies cool and hydrated in the summer and thought they were good tips to share. 
  • Dress alike – If you’re feeling hot, chances are your baby is too, so be sure to dress for the weather. Cool cottons and linens are comfortable and let your skin breathe.  
  • Stay out of the sun – The sun is the hottest from 11am to 3pm so avoid going outside at this time. If you do go out on a hot day, ensure your baby is shaded from the sun as best as possible. 
  • Carry plenty of water – If you run out of water or it becomes too hot to enjoy, pop into a local cafe or restaurant and most will be more than happy to fill your sippy cup with cool water.  
  • Use ice – If it’s a really hot day, try filling one of your sippy cups with ice. By the time your baby is thirsty, most of the ice will have melted, creating a cool and refreshing drink. I have breastmilk frozen in an ice cube tray that works for this!

There are online resources with more information and tips on keeping baby cool this summer such as www.playtexbaby.ca and www.playtexmommyville.ca.

One last tip from me: take a drink for baby so she's not forced to resort to sucking the side of your iced capp for cool relief!  
(I had Mia in my Boba front carrier, and she glommed on to my drink like it was meant for her :) I guess it was soothing on her gums... the teeth are still being reluctant to pop through but I know they're bugging her!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our water baby (and my swimsuit dilemma)

We've just signed up for two classes at the local leisure centre - a Mommy and Me Aquafit, and a Parent and Tot swim class.

My husband was a lifeguard for many years and knows the importance of learning to swim and being comfortable with the water. I love the water too but I'm not a good swimmer... no matter how hard I try, I breathe in water if I go under. It holds me back from enjoying the water as much as I'd like - so I also feel it's important for Mia to learn to swim.

Here's the dilemma... my swimsuits are all pre-pregnancy and while I am about a pound and a half away from my pre-preg weight (yay for breastfeeding!), I am not at all the same shape or tone I was before - and they are all bikinis. I have bulges. My boobs are too big for them (never thought I'd be sad about that but it's a pain), my belly is soft and squishy, and my bum is bigger. The things they never tell you about getting pregnant!

So... buy a one-piece? I haven't worn a one-piece in years, ever since I decided to be confident and comfortable with my body. (This new body I have is taking some getting used to.) A one-piece won't give me much incentive to shape up, either. Okay, I'm just going to say it... I don't the idea that I'm ashamed of my body so much that I need to wear a one piece when I'm really a bikini kinda gal. However, I'm not so happy with the way I look at the moment and might feel better about getting in the pool with strangers if I'm a bit more covered. 

Or, get a new bikini that fits better? Give in to the size up? I've been putting off buying clothing until I'm "back" to my regular body, but I'm not sure that's going to happen exactly the way I thought it would. I think my hips are permanently bigger and the boobs are definitely here to stay, at least until we finish breastfeeding - a long ways out I hope. The bikinis I have I am seriously busting out of (which was a little embarrassing on our recent trip to Tobermory with friends)!

My cutie needs a new swimsuit too, as her 3-6 month is a little tight:
And being the end of summer, where can I find a teeny swimsuit for her?

Lastly, I just got her a cloth swim diaper and the leisure centre specifically requires one of two brands of disposable swim diapers... I'm thinking they can bite me and I'm going to use the eco-friendly, reusable, soft and trim cloth swim diaper I have, but I also don't want to be banned from the pool on our first day!

Thoughts on any of this?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Winner: iQ Eco-Friendly Cleaners - and our holiday

Congrats to Londia for winning the iQ cleaner giveaway!

I am quite happy with the Rafflecopter format, it's easy for me to use as a blogger and I know as an entrant it's easy as well. I'd love your feedback on this format - did you like it?

We spent a really nice week in Tobermory with old friends (my best friend from high school and her family - I've known her 22 years, good grief!). Gotta love Ontario... it's so lovely here, especially once you get up into cottage country. We are dreaming of owning our own, but for now we rented a cottage.

Here we are relaxing on the deck - Mia all bundled up in a muslin blanket to keep off the sun, snoozing in a post-nursing daze. The weather was fantastic, warm and sunny with only one day of rain and hardly any bugs.

And this is one of my new favourite photos... her Daddy can always make her giggle!

Mia loves the water, even the chilly Georgian Bay temperatures didn't hold her back from splashing and hanging out half-submerged. She especially loved the Singing Sands park, which is fantastic for little ones as it's so, so shallow so far out, with warm water (it really is bathtub temperature) and fine sand. Highly recommended for tots if you're headed that way.

Mia had her 6-month appointment today (10 days late). She's weighing in at 18 lbs, 14.5 oz (95th percentile) and measures 71 cm (98th percentile). The weight gain is slowing down but she is still a big girl! Still going strong on breastfeeding and we've started introducing solids as well. She is such a joy. She cried so hard after the two needles (to the thigh... they made her bleed... oh, it's hard) but soon conked out and slept for 3.5 hours, her longest daytime nap ever. Poor little girl!