May 31, 2010

A Day in the Life...

Was thinking this morning as I took care of one of the hundreds of things I do during the day... perhaps I should share this. For the Moms-to-be (pregnant or not) - so you get an understanding of your life post-baby. The more experienced Mommas may enjoy reflecting back on the craziness that was the first years as well - although, I imagine that your lives are just as crazy now, just in a different way!

Here is a typical day in the life of this Mom:

  • 5:50am - Hear Jane chatting through the monitor
  • 6:00am - Crap, she's still chatting through the monitor... not going back to sleep. Becoming more of a Two-Second Whine by now (click here to read about the crying types).
    • Wake up, get dressed, wash my face, brush my teeth, deodorant, etc. Basically get the basics of "me" ready
    • This is dependent on the level of crying... if she's still chatting or whining, I take care of me first. If she's escalated to drama queen cry, I go get her first. It's not because I don't want her crying, it's because it's not enjoyable at all to wash your face while someone yells at you.
  • 6:10am - Greet my sweet potato. She's all smiles, bouncing up and down every morning. 
    • Pick her up, open the blinds and sit in the rocking chair where we have a good morning chat and snuggle a little before the wrestling starts.
    • Time to change her diaper. DING, DING, DING. I only wish there was a chance for a tag team effort on this one. 
    • Button her PJs back up and head downstairs
  • 6:30am - Hit the basement to let the dog out of her crate and let her out to pee. 
  • 6:35am - Make Jane's breakfast. 
    • Usually she has blueberries for breakfast which is why I keep her in her PJs for breakfast - it took several stained outfits before I caught on to this trick. 
    • Cut up some banana, pear, etc. 
    • Some mornings I get ambitious and make multi-grain pancakes for her - of which 99% of ends up on the floor... really makes the effort feel worthwhile
  • 6:50am - Make breakfast for myself. 
  • 6:55am - Eat breakfast with Jane. 
    • Check email
    • Catch up on the news if I can
  • 7:10am - Collect bottles to organize and clean for the day. 
    • Clean up kitchen and livingroom while Jane plays
    • Taking breaks to play with Jane as she often ends up holding on to my leg while I slowly walk around the kitchen with her
  • 8:00am - Water garden if it's going to be sunny.
  • 8:10am - Make Dan's lunch
  • 8:20am - Jane hanging off leg yelling at me. Time to make her AM bottle. 
    • Upstairs to feed Jane her bottle and put her down for her AM nap - sometimes she'll actually go, sometimes she decides it's not nap time but usually this works
    • Grab monitor from bedroom
  • 8:25am - Work time.
    • Check email
    • Job hunt
    • Write blog post
    • Usually have previous night's shows on in background while I do this. I, literally, cannot just sit and watch TV. Dan hates this. I have to be doing something else too - on the computer, cleaning, etc.
  • 10:00am - Jane wakes up. 
    • Change diaper. Wrestling match #1.
    • Get Jane dressed for the day. Wrestling match #2. 
  • 10:20am - Put some laundry on. I feel like I'm always doing laundry. If I'm not collecting it and putting it in the washer, I'm staring at 2 full baskets full of clothes ready to be folded that I usually leave sitting around until I need the baskets again to do more laundry.... I hate laundry.
  • 10:30am - Get mommy ready. 
    • Get shower if necessary. Daily showers not required for new Moms. :p I realize I could have done this while Jane was asleep but she likes playing in her playpen (which I leave up in our bathroom) so it's a treat for both of us - I leave her Wish Bear in the playpen and it's one of her favourites so she loves it!
    • Get myself dressed. Yes. I realize I already did this at 6am. However, the 6am dress was throwing on whatever I was wearing the day before so that I'm not doing everything up to this point in my nightie or, worse, naked.
  • 10:45am - Snack for Jane. Fruit, veggies, cheerios - basically whatever she'll eat. 
  • 11:00am - Get ready for a walk and/or the playground if the weather's nice. 
    • There are several girls in my neighbourhood who take in kids as a home daycare. So, at 10:30ish, they all hit the playground and it's awesome - there are tons of kids for Jane to play with and tons of adults for mommy to chat with! 
  • 12:00pm - Back home to make some lunch.
    • Make Jane's lunch - veggies and beans or tofu or chicken - again, whatever she'll eat. Sometimes it's just strawberries and a muffin!
    • Make my lunch - usually a whole wheat english muffin, with some cheese and a piece of fruit. YUM - super exciting eh?
    • Turn on the Today Show and see what's going on in the world... truthfully, at 12pm, that's the hour with Hoda and Kathy-Lee... so what's going on in the world is too half-drunk, half-crazy chicks gossiping and talking about wine.
  • 12:45pm - Clean up the mess that was "lunch"... in other words, tell Molly (dog) to eat all the stuff Jane's thrown on the floor and dump most of her lunch into the garbage.
  • 1:00pm - Playtime. Go outside if it's nice. If not, make a mess inside. 
    • Includes, but not limited to, floor time, climbing the stairs over and over again, singing, dancing, bouncing, reading, playing piano, pressing buttons we're not supposed to, etc. Basically, me chasing Jane around while she is up to no good.
  • 2:00pm - Make another bottle for Jane as she climbs my leg yelling at me. 
    • Time for another nap
    • Upstairs to feed Jane bottle and put her down for her afternoon nap
  • 2:10pm - "Playtime" for mommy.
    • Work on my projects - websites for friends, photography, etc. 
    • This is usually when I remember that I put laundry in this morning
    • Take laundry out and hang on the line - Yes. I realize this takes five times as long as the dryer (in work and dry time) but (1) it's enviro friendly and cheaper and (2) it makes the clothes smell like heaven
    • Take care of any cleaning, errands, etc. that need to be done (appts, emails, etc.)
  • 3:30pm - Jane wakes up. 
    • Wrestling match a.k.a. diaper change.
  • 3:40pm - Snack time for Jane. Same as all meals - whatever she'll eat. 
  • 4:00pm - Time for The FEUD! :p We turn on Family Feud and play for a little bit. 
    • If it's nice out, we sometimes hit the playground again with the daycare gals.
  • 4:30pm - Time to make supper. 
    • Usually give Jane a bunch of mixing bowls, or let her into her cupboard (full of baking things that aren't dangerous) so she can play while I prepare dinner. 
    • John Mayer usually goes on the iPod or, depending on the mood, we turn on our dance tunes (lately, the Glee Soundtracks) and dance, sing and cook.
  • 5:10pm - Daddy's home. 
    • Pick up Jane. Pick up water bottle. Spray dog with water while she continues to bark anyways because the garage door opened... although it's starting to work more now that I added the hydrochloric acid to it... ha ha ha, just kidding OBVIOUSLY! I'm sick, I know.
  • 5:20pm - Supper time... kind of. Usually, I get Jane's supper ready (usually just cutting up our meal for her) first and then we eat. 
  • 5:45pm - AHHHHH, mommy's break time. Daddy's usually happily on duty for an hour or so during this time.
    • Check email. Fart around on the net. Watch Daddy and Jane play.
    • Make Jane's bottle for bedtime so the air bubbles will calm down and not make her gas-y at night.
  • 6:45pm - Bed snack - if she'll eat it. Oatmeal or toast with a little butter.  
    • Warm up bottle
  • 7:00pm - Bedtime rountine.
    • Upstairs for bedtime.
    • Close blinds, turn on lamp, fill humidifier, collect nummies, and get the crib ready. 
    • Strip down my filthy rotten child (wrestling match) and let her have some nuddie time while I get everything ready for bed.
    • If there's clothes to fold, this is usually when I do it. I leave the baskets in Jane's room so I can fold while we "chat" and play before bedtime... usually makes folding take twice as long as Jane always grabs my piles and unfolds everything, but it's worth it. 
    • Fill the bath while I chase my child around preventing her from climbing into the bathtub on her own and face planting into the water and squishing her fingers in the toilet lid... which usually fails and there is usually at least one finger crush every few nights (I know, I need to get those clips that keep 'um closed, on my to-do list). Yesterday, she had the lid just up, fingers underneath and the stupid cat jumped right on the lid, squishing her fingers... F. Seriously? Obviously I didn't notice the fingers under the lid... stupid cat. Stupid mommy.
    • Lay pj's and sleepsack out
    • Bathtime - wash, play, etc. Usually when I wash my own face and brush my teeth - the art of multi-tasking. I've brought all of my bedtime needs into her bathroom so I can do this while she plays.
    • Quick massage post bathtime with lotion
    • Put on diaper (hmmm, what? Yes. Biggest wrestling match of the day as guess who's starting to get cranky now?)
    • Put on PJs and sleepsack while I sing "you are my sunshine" as it's the only way to prevent her from struggling through the entire thing because she's cranky and she wants her bottle
  • 7:15pm - Bedtime bottle and bed.
  • 7:30pm - freedom. FREEdom. FREEDOM!!! :p Night time is the only time, as a Mom, that you really, truly, get a break. You know, if you wanted, you have as many hours to do whatever you want as you like. 
    • Check email. Work on projects. Try to convince Dan to watch TMZ instead of that annoying Jim Cramer on CNBC. 
    • I definitely do not clean up after supper at this point. Either Dan does it before bed, or, if he has frisbee or something, I do it the next morning. The mess can wait!
  • 9:30pm - Get ready for bed. Yes. I'm an early to bed girl. Always have been. I'm a morning person, what can I say. Plus, I never know what kind of night's sleep I'll get.
    •  I always play a game of sudoku before bed. I don't know why. It's like my little brain challenge for the day. I try to beat my times and everything, I'm a total geek. I think it also gets my mind off all the to-dos and worries as well before bed.
    • Usually when I realize that I've left the clothes out on the line and pray that it doesn't rain over night.
  • 9:45pm - Pass out cold and pray Jane has done the same.
  • 4:00am - Usually up for a quick breastfeed with Jane. 
  • 4:05am - Back to bed. Ideally. This is, of course, hoping she's not teething and decides that she'd rather yell at me while jumping up and down in her crib for 30-45 minutes. 
  • And, then, the day starts all over again. :) 
In summary, days are packed. With that said, two notes... (1) I choose to make my "break times" busy. I like to be busy most of the time. I like to have things to do always. When I don't have something to do, I create something to do. (2) Even on the "worst" days... every day is the best. Just sayin'. :)

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May 28, 2010

Sold On Second Hand

I admit it. Prior to the past year or so, I was a second hand snob. I never would have considered buying anything used. I blame my mother. Who else can you blame? I mean, basically, she gets all the credit for the good and the bad! ha ha ha. :p As far as I know, we never bought anything used growing up - even our houses were brand new!

Anyways, I'm a changed woman. This year has changed me in SO many ways - not even mentioning the whole most beautiful daughter in the entire world factor. :p I went from spending without thinking to thinking before spending. Went from never having had to save a penny in my life to having to save every penny possible and, I found myself, quickly becoming a saving addict.

So, when Jane's birthday came upon us, I had two options. Of course, I had a budget. It's her first birthday, she doesn't need much. I wouldn't spend more than $100 on gifts. One. Hundred. Dollars. Crap. That gets you diddly-squat these days. EXCEPT second hand. YEEHAW! Kijiji here I come (kijiji is a Canadian craigslist - although we have craigslist as well but not so popular here on the east coast). In addition to kijiji, I have checked out a few garage sales and made some GREAT purchases.

To give you an idea of what you can do with your money when you buy second hand, here are the gifts I got for Jane for $100:

Fisher Price Little People sets - they are plastic people, I cleaned 'um off, their like new: $35
I got the farm set, the airplane, the zoo, the racetrack and the school bus - "little people", animals and such included. Even some came with batteries! ha ha ha. At Walmart, each of these sets is well over $30 each and I got them all for $35.

Radio Flyer Rock and Bounce Pony - $10 at garage sale, perfect condition, literally.
Jane is in love with this. It's like a big girl bouncer. And, being that I'm a rider myself, it makes me happy to have gotten her her first "pony"! :) Retails for over $100 here in Canada.

Little Tikes Outdoor Slide thingy-me-bobber - $5 at garage sale, perfect condition.
Ok, so obviously Jane has already been given some bday gifts (as if she knows). She loves this outdoor slide. She is all over it soon as she hits the patio! Bonus that we can put it in the pool and she can slide into the swimming pool. Retails for over $100 here in Canada.

Little Tikes Kitchen Set with shopping cart, food and other accessories - $50 on kijiji, perfect condition.
My blog-mommy friend Lindsay sold me on this when I saw a pic of her little guy Andrew (same age as Jane) lovin' his big sister's kitchen set. I bought this from the same girl who sold me the Little People sets and it was awesome - her things were in great condition. A few scratches and what not but no more "damage" than Jane will have caused within seconds anyways! Retails for almost $200 here in Canada.

So, if I haven't convinced you yet... give it shot. My recommendations is to demand pictures of the actual items and to not pick things up alone. You never know what kind of creepy people are out there. If I've ever have to pick something up alone, I ask the person beforehand to meet me out front because my husband will be in the car (complete lies) but at least that should scare off most of the crazies (I watch too much A&E to be one of those "it'll never happen to me" people).

Want to know what's even better? Dan and I have made well over $1000 off kijiji selling nonsense stuff we don't use anymore from our basement this year. Just this week, we cleaned out our storage closet and made $615 so far selling things we weren't using anymore! Guaranteed you have more than you think you do!

Happy hunting!


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May 27, 2010

Blog Birthday

Yesterday's post was a less than ideal celebration of a year's worth of "work" on the blog. I say "work" because it's not truly work. It takes a lot of work but I enjoy every minute (well 90% of the minutes) so would you call it a hobby? Hmmm... doesn't seem to give the time and effort the respect it deserves. Regardless, a year's worth of sharing my experiences, good and bad, with all you fabulous ladies has been fabulous.

Writing this blog has kept me sane throughout the last year. It's been like my little conversation with my girlfriends everyday - bragging about things I've done well, whining when things have gone wrong, fessing up when I've royally screwed things up, and laughing with you all when I've been just plain crazy! I have met so many wonderful women from all around the world because of MOmMy bRaIn and that's definitely made all of the effort worth it. There are many of you who have become great friends as we have bonded through sharing the steps and stages we go through as Mommas.

When I started the blog, I was nervous about it, shy about sharing my feelings and experiences, and absolutely not thinking anyone would be interested in hearing about it but my immediately family and friends. Two hundred followers, and 5000 hits per month later and I'm thinking that I'm not the only one out there who likes to feel like they're not alone! :) Thanks for all the support and encouragement over the past twelve months.

Obviously, things will slow down on the blog in the next little while (hopefully, fingers crossed). I'm really looking forward to getting back to work. As much as I have so cherished every minute with my sweet Jane, my career has always been a priority to me as well and I am excited about getting out of the house again, getting back a little more "me". 

In honour of my blog "birthday", I thought I would re-share some of my favourite blog moments over the past year.

Here goes:

One of the posts I had the most fun writing was my "Top 10 to Make you Laugh" where I shared actual things my husband had said to me while pregnant that very nearly got him murdered (hormones + stupid comments = justifiable cause). Think "maybe it's because you're eating so much..." or "you're huge".

Two of the posts that cracked me up the most were my "Dear" body series - where I wrote letters to my boobs and brain discussing some of the issues I had with each at the time. Check out "Dear Boobs" and "Dear Brain" - they are short and funny. I swear I wrote both of them in the middle of the night in between feedings!

One of the posts I'm most proud of is "A Changed Perspective". I write almost everyday. That's hundreds of posts within the last year. Every once in awhile I write a post that I truly love. Every once in awhile I write a post that I think is great. This was one of them. Not saying you're going to love it. Just saying I did! :p

If you're up for a good laugh, check out my MOmMy bRaIn Mondays... thank goodness my MB moments have decreased so drastically that they aren't worth writing about anymore. Some of those were just bad!

I've learned so much this year. I think the biggest change has been in my confidence. I have always been a confident person but I am proud of myself for everything I've accomplished this year. As women, we rarely give ourselves much credit. But, I'm a great Mom. I've handled all the challenges of motherhood better than I ever could have expected and that makes me feel like I can do anything! :) I'm sure if you take the time to reflect, you'll realize the same about yourself.

My favourite part of this blog is that, in 20 years, Jane can look back and (if she wants to) read about all the details of her first years. It's like the ultimate baby book! And it's very likely I'll be re-reading these moments for years and years to come.

Thanks again for everything. I promise to do my best to continue to post regularly, even if it's just a quick update...

It's been awhile since I posted a video of my little monkey. Last week, I'm chopping watermelon up for her when I hear this echo-y voice... I'm like WTH?!?! I turn around and this is what I see - the NEXT American Idol! :p



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May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog #1

Well, I kinda missed my blog birthday (it was on the weekend).

Regardless, because I have no time today, I thought I'd re-post my very first blog post... and, tomorrow, when time isn't crunched, I will reminisce a little more!

Here goes:

My 38 Weeks Preggers Update:



Hi Everyone,

Almost there! Here's your update for this week...as I'm saying this, in the corner of my eye, I'm seeing my right side do leaps and bounds as baby kicks the heck outta me! She's definitely NOT doing the whole "less movement because I have no room in here anymore" thing that everyone keeps warning me about.

Baby and I had an "interesting" visit to the docs this week (during my regular weekly appt) that resulted in me being hooked up to the fetal monitor for 30 mins...when they laid me on my back to check baby's heart rate it was quite low - around 104 bpm. So they had me lie on my side and re-took the heart rate a few mins later and it was on the low side of normal, around 120 bpm. SO, just to be careful my doc sent me up to the "early labour" room (which was slightly exciting) to get monitored to make sure all was well...I love my doctor for being super cautious and taking good care of me. Soon as the nurse hooked me up to the monitor, she started watching the heart rate and saying that it was "textbook" and everything looked fine...that baby may just have a lower baseline at this point and may be more sensitive to me lying on my back...which makes me feel justified for forcing myself to sleep on my side every night since my first trimester! I watched the monitor the whole time and her heart rate ranged between 115ish - 147ish - I could see it skyrocket when I felt her kicking and moving around in my belly, kind of cute! Majority of the time though it was in the mid-high 120s so I knew that everything was ok. Thankfully she actually kicked the docs hand a few times during my checkup so everybody was very calm about the whole thing and, as a result, I didn't get nervous or stressed. Honestly, I think I'm more nervous now, after the fact, and suddenly paying closer attention than usual to make sure she continues to move a lot. I figure if this is the only "hiccup" I have with this pregnancy, it's a blessing! Anyways...that was this week's "fun" ha ha ha. Can't imagine what next week could bring ;) Sooooo thankful everything was ok. Of course, Mom and Dan are now further convinced this is just another sign I'm going to have this baby before my due date...both now convinced it's happening next week! I hope they're right but I refuse to buy into it :)

As for everything else, as the babycentre.ca update says - "you may be feeling huge" - I'm not FEELING huge people, I am HUGE!! ha ha ha. Apparently I'm measuring right on and my weight is good, but seriously, I'm a giant person! Most days I'm really not uncomfortable. I found that, during my second trimester, a lot of my mom-friends were telling me how horrible the third trimester is and how you are sick of being pregnant, so uncomfortable and blah blah blah...I've felt like that on occasion because of a little discomfort, but honestly, it isn't that bad! Don't tell anyone I said this but I think sometimes, only sometimes, us women exaggerate to get a little extra sympathy, a few extra foot rubs, etc. ;) ha ha ha. I've been telling my pregnant girlfriends who are just in their first or second trimester that it's really not bad and they are appreciating the more positive view as, like I said, everyone seems to be telling them that's it's awful! On the other side of it though, I am completely ready and excited to meet this baby! YIPEE! It's so close...every day now I'm wondering if today's the day!?!?! I could have a sweet little baby this time next week!

We've officially got two weeks left now until my due date! Can't believe how quickly the time has gone by...I sat in the nursery today just thinking about how much time has passed since we found out we were pregnant in September and how far away it all seemed to be at that point. Now it's here!

If I am so blessed to have this baby next week...then considered yourselves notified that next week's update will be nothing except gushing... "i love this and i love that and she's so cute and she's so special and i love her so much and i can't believe how beautiful she is and did I mention how cute she was?...." ha ha ha.

Jen


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May 25, 2010

My Life Update

First of all, what a beautiful long weekend we had! Yesterday was easily 30 degrees out - not a cloud in the sky, it was awesome. We had Jane's pool out both days and yesterday I even hopped in, dress-schmess, to have some fun. Biggest complaint about the sun? Having to worry about sunscreen on Jane. I picked up Aveeno Baby SPF 55 which was the closest thing to "all natural" I could find at our local drug store and I'm sure it's fine (despite the $15 price tag). However, getting it on Jane 30 mins before "exposure" and making sure it's all over is an interesting challenge. I mean, how do you tell a 1 year old "no, you have to stay inside for 30 minutes now because your sunscreen has to dry"... even I didn't want to stay in yesterday for 30 minutes. I think I have to get her one of those SPF bathing suits. Her current bathing suit is more fashion than function. And, yesterday, not thinking, Dan and I were so excited about getting her in the pool that I applied the sunscreen and immediately plopped her down in the pool and watched this milky water float away from her skin as all the protection washed away. So, then, I worried the entire time she was swimming that she was burning to a crisp but, alas, she was fine. Noted for later though. Second complaint... Jane hates sunglasses. SHOCKER. I think we'd all hate sunglasses if they didn't strategically cover up the fact that I'm not wearing any makeup and look like I have two black eyes under here. I bought her those Baby Bandz to try and keep them on her and instead she just pulls on them so they are sideways on her face (resulting in a tantrum) or around her neck - choking hazard much? She's half-good at wearing a hat so that's been a fairly decent alternative, except that usually expires after 20-30 mins and then the hat goes in the pool.

FAB news - Jane finally slept through the entire night. She's been sick with a head cold so my expectation of her sleeping through the night right now was about as high as expecting someone to drop a million bucks on my doorstep. Regardless, Sunday morning I woke up... it was 6am. I didn't have to look at the clock. I knew that I had been asleep for a long time. I knew it was passed the usual 3-4am wake up. When I saw 6am, I was shocked. I searched my brain as hard as I could to try and remember if I she had woken up or not... I mean, sometimes I'm literally not conscious when I go in her room. But I hadn't. Shock. WOOHOO. Of course, I was not about to brag about it. No telling everyone. No posting on Facebook (Nancy :p). And, of course, after a full day of play, sun, exhaustion, I made mistake number one - I expected her to sleep through the night again. Ha ha ha. The Goddess of sleep bitch-slapped me last night. Jane woke up at midnight and didn't, literally, didn't fall back to sleep until after 4am. She's never done that to me ever. An hour or two, yes, but four hours... I even took her into bed with me, thinking, "ahhh, she's sick, maybe she just wants her Mommy" and it worked for about 3 minutes until she woke up, sat up straight and started laughing at the fan. Awesome.

Hey want some more good news? Those damn ants found a new home and a new way into my house. Last night, I'm sitting in my livingroom and feel this tickle on my arm and YUCK ant. Look down and there's at least 5-6 of those buggers crawling around my feet. I can still feel them all over me. So, I made my little borax ant killer crap and set out outside. Finally, we found their home last night and I poured my mix all over the suckers. As opposed to my previous guilt about killing them, this time I said "hasta la vista baby" and I hope those creepers die for good. :p Anger much? I'm tired, obviously. Don't cross me when I'm tired. Worse? Tired and hungry. My husband practices evasive maneuvers when I'm tired and hungry.

A quick update on the breastfeeding. Jane's basically weaned herself off the boob during the day now. She just will not take it. I think this is common as it's easier for babes to get milk out of the bottle vs. the boob (which they often have to work hard at to get the "let down"). So, she gets bottles throughout the day - two formula, two half-formula, half-homo (full fat) milk). Is it ok to mix formula and homo milk? Cause I have and so far it's not seemed to hurt. Jane definitely didn't jump right on the homo milk train and still refuses a little when I give her those half-n-half bottles. But she's getting there. She still takes boob if she wakes at night. FYI for those ladies still suffering from engorgement. At this point, for me, not an issue. Because we have weaned so gradually, my boobs have slowly adjusted and I've yet to have any discomfort.  

Jane officially starts daycare the week after her birthday (June 5th is her birthday). We take that week to "transition" - so day one we stay together for an hour or two, day two she stays alone for an hour or so, day three she stays alone for a few hours, etc. etc. By Friday, she is there all day. Honestly, for those of you who are "newer" Moms and are still thinking you'll never be able to leave your baby again and go back to work. You likely will. Some of you won't want to and won't do it and that's fine. But, trust me, when Jane was 6-7 months, I was still not ready but I am now. Of course, I feel mommy guilt in saying that. Obviously, I would love to spend every day of the rest of my life hanging out with Jane. But, I'm ready to get out of the house. There's a few girls on my street who have home daycares, so we meet them and the kids at the playground during the day. Jane plays with all the other babes and kids and doesn't even notice if I'm there or not... she loves it. This definitely gives me peace of mind for the transition. Although, I know it will still be hard. God help me if she cries when I leave. I think the key will be, making it as I do at home - when Mommy leaves, no big deal - kisses, waves, an "I'll be back" (not Arnold S style) and gone. No biggie. We'll see how that goes. I'm likely to sit outside the daycare for the entire two hours in case she hurts herself or I can hear her crying! :p tee hee hee. Not really. Maybe. Hopefully not.

Ok, gotta go. Jane napping. Mommy going to watch 24 finale.

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May 21, 2010

Ant Beater

I hate bugs. Hmmm. Let me be clear. I hate bugs in my house. Yes, I was one of those weird kids who had a bug farm...

Sidetrack. Two funny stories about my bug farms...

(1) I had gotten a "bug hotel" for my birthday or something (basically a "fancy" screened in bug holder). So, immediately, I captured my first bug hotel guest, named him and bonded. It was going to rain that day so, to protect my new friend, I put him in the BBQ. Long story short - my Dad cranked up the ol' BBQ for dinner and POOF, bug hotel and new best friend fried. My Dad has the worst memory but he'll never forget that story because I was totally traumatized... I mean, the poor bug. He didn't have a chance! :p

(2) My sister decided to hop on the bug farm train... she was totally not hard core though and only joined the club because she found this really cute fuzzy black and yellow caterpillar. She bragged and showed off that caterpillar like crazy. So, we're sitting in our shed and she's got her fancy caterpillar out crawling around. She has to pee. She basically warned me if I hurt her caterpillar, I would die. Over and over, before she ran to the house, she reinforced not to touch, pick up, step on, squish, etc. HER caterpillar. Running back into the shed from the bathroom, she steps on it. ha ha ha. Priceless.

Ok, back to the topic of the day... Ants. I hate ants. Oh, I hate them. Just when you kill one, another one appears. Then, I think, hmmmm, if I leave some ant carcasses around maybe their friends will find them, realize this is a bad news type of place and tell their friends and they'll all leave. I hate killing them. Every time I kill them I think of that sweety Anty from "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and my heart hurts a little. Regardless, I squish them every time.

Here's my problem. We've always got food on the floor. I have a 11 month old baby who LOVES to clear off her highchair with one swoop of her arm. It's ant heaven. So, how the heck do you get rid of them?

I did some research. Obviously, I was not going to use pesticide. Would kind of defeat the purpose of using all natural cleaners and such if I decided to spray pesticide all over my house, non? I found out some interesting things about ants. Apparently, there are hunter ants or some crap that go out looking for food or water and leave a trail for the other ants to follow. So, first of all you have to get rid of the trails. WTH? I used vinegar. Apparently vinegar (or a vinegar-water mix) is good for this. I thought, POOF, gone, done, finito (sp?). Not the case. Next day, anty and his friend are back. YUCK!

Then I went outside and found their home. Please be advised, the following paragraph contains content that may be disturbing to some viewers. :p So, I researched and found out that if you mix borax (my favourite laundry detergent ingredient and great household cleaner) with a bunch of sugar and leave it in a "dish" for the ants, they will bring the sweet borax back to the nest and it will kill them all. So, I got an old sour cream container, filled it with 1/2 sugar, 1/2 borax and put it next to the ant hill. An hour later, I decided to check and see if the ants had found my sweet treat yet and nothin'. Not one ant was near my trap. So, in typical "I have no time for this nonsense" style, I poured the mixture over what looked like the top of the next. POOF. I haven't seen an ant since. I know. I feel guilty just saying it. Perhaps, because I blocked off the top of the hole they just found somewhere else to go and didn't actually all die a horrible death?

Regardless, wanted to share these little tips as I know I can't be the only Mom out there with a crumb covered home.

Happy weekend! :)
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May 20, 2010

Smooth-ease

Finding nutritious and well-balanced meals and snacks for Jane is one of the hardest things I have to do during the week... especially considering she (1) will only eat finger foods (2) hates all vegetables besides sweet potato and peas and (3) never seems to be hungry.

My solution, this week, is smoothies. I got this idea from a playdate friend, Kathy-Ann, who is always full of great tips and who I'm always stealing recipes from. Previously, I had never considered making a smoothie for Jane but DUH, awesome idea! My first thought, similar to the homemade purees I was making, is that I could "hide" veggies in smoothies by masking their flavour with sweet fruits. And that's just what I've done.

Basically, the first batch of smoothies I made, I just threw in whatever frozen fruit I had in the freezer with some steamed carrots and homo milk. Then, I threw in some infant cereal... I remember hearing "don't mix infant cereal with milk and put it in a bottle" when I was first introducing solids to Jane. Don't ask me why not, I have no idea. Regardless, this gave me the idea that adding some infant cereal to the smoothie might be a great way to sneak it in and, also, to fill her up (in hopes of a good sleep - the ultimate goal of everything we do some days :p).

The results? Success. Jane loves smoothies. YIPEE. She's eating. Food. Nutritious food! YIPEE! And carrots - even better!

So, now I'm thinking about recipes!

Here's one I made yesterday that she loved (dragged her sippy around with her for a half hour):
1 Banana
2 Oranges, peeled (obviously)
1 cup frozen mango, thawed
1 cup steamed carrot
1/2 cup canned pineapple, in juice
1/2 cup infant cereal, dry
3/4 cup homo milk (or as much until you get a good consistency)

Blend it all up, and make sure it's not too thick. First, I tried giving it to Jane in a regular glass but that was a pain because I had to stand there feeding it to her and it would have taken forever. Then, I took one of her sippy cups, took out the "no spill" thingy-me-bobber and filled it up. Does the trick and the smoothie is thick enough that unless thrown (which it likely will be) it doesn't spill every where anyways. If you're lucky enough to have a dog, like me, you don't have to worry about spills - this is basically the only reason my dog is not on craigslist right now! :p

The recipe makes a ton - so I just saved the rest in a ziploc container in the fridge. I wouldn't use it past a day or two because I have no idea how long it's safe for - any ideas?

I know Kathy-Ann and, hopefully, some others probably have some pretty fab recipes - so please share by commenting! So far, I've only experimented by sneaking carrots into the smoothies but I'm sure there's lots more ideas I've yet to realize. :)

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May 19, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

It's over. Almost a year later, it's over. I never thought it would take me a year. I mean, I heard that old saying "it takes 9 months to put it on... blah blah blah" and I was like YEAH, HAH, 9 months to take it off my a**, I'll have it all gone in a few weeks. Arrogance is beautiful isn't it.

Regardless, I'm done. No more WIW posts. I'm over it and I'm sure y'all are tired of hearing me go on and on about a few pounds and how I need to exercise more and how I am addicted to chocolate and all things bad for me, and so on and so on. I will say that the three biggest weight lose busters for me this year were (1) being home all day without a car (most days), (2) exhaustion and (3) stress. Combine any of those and the result, for me, is a binge-fest where I contemplate the possibility of eating so much that my stomach explodes. Is this possible? I mean, yes, your stomach obviously has some heavy duty stretching power - but what if you just kept eating? Where does it all go? I wonder this about Jane sometimes because when you look at those stupid baby books, they say that baby's stomach is the size of a grape at this age, and then the size of a plum, and so on... well, if my baby's stomach is only the size of a plum, why is she drinking an 8oz bottle? :p I'm crazy, I realize. I'm pretty sure my life would make a fabulous reality tv series if, and only if, they could somehow manage to pull the thoughts directly from my brain with some super mind reader thingy-me-bobber. The things that go through my head are ridiculous sometimes.

Anyways, back to the weigh-in nonsense. I put on my old favourite, black dress pants (size 5) today to see how I was doing (pre-scale) and, well, they fit. Are they appropriate for work? No. More like appropriate for hitting up the clubs and there's no way I could sit down in them or I'm pretty sure the butt-seam would rip but, hey, there's like a bazillion girls wearing pants like this walking around thinking they look great, so why not me! :p ha ha ha. Hey, there's even guys (Jonas Brothers much?) wearing too-tight pants nowadays. Perhaps it's just my bodies way of telling me to be more trendy.

Here are the final side-by-side shots of week 1 and goal reached.

And for my hubby, a butt pic... :p
Ok, I have to go take a break now. My life is incredibly insane right now - I have no time (thus, neglecting the blog) and I need to force myself to take some time for me today.

xoxo

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May 17, 2010

Are You Ready to be a Mother?

I was sent this yesterday. Usually I don't even read these types of emails but, this morning, I was bored and I'm glad. This is so true. I've often felt it was strange that we need licenses to drive, hunt, etc. but any crazy can have a child?!?! What's with that?


If you're a responsible human being, you should put yourself through several of these tests to see if you are ready for parenting... trust me, these lessons are more true and relevant than anything in any book. For me, the following would have helped prepare me:1, 2, 3, 5, and especially 8.

ARE YOU READY FOR MOTHERHOOD?


Lesson 1:
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the newspaper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2:
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their.
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breast feeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behaviour. Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

My addition to this one is to get used to people doing the same to you - because very often parents who have kids older than yours (and forget the "early days") or parents who have kids younger than yours (and don't know what their in for) will do this to you as well.

Lesson 3:
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel.
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

My addition? Have someone wake up with you each time and tell you "my baby has slept through the night since day one", bragging to you as they go back to sleep. That'll help you from hitting people in the future. ha ha ha. :p

Lesson 4:

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out.
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favourite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5:
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

My addition... all morning? Fine when you're one maternity leave - but time allowed when you're back to work is much less, I'm sure. Try doing it in five minutes. 
Second to that? Fill a diaper with a jar of baby food prunes. Try to put it on your dog or cat. This is what it's like to change a poopy diaper on a 10 month old plus. Trying to get a poopy diaper off a wiggling, flipping, moving baby is more impressive than cirque du soleil.

Lesson 6:
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7:
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8:
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

My addition: Take a jar of baby food, a flexible spoon and sling shot some food onto your ceilings and your walls. Leave it there for two-three hours (which is how long it would probably take you to get around to it with a baby). It will dry. It will be impossible to remove without stripping your paint. I still have dried prunes on my wall from 6 months ago.

Lesson 9:
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10:
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11:
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.



Hope you enjoyed! Mom's to be - if you find this scary... here's the truth of it. All of the above "challenges" and "annoyances" are wiped out within seconds by any of the following:
(1) One big smile
(2) A giggle
(3) A hug or kiss
(4) An "I love you Mommy" 
etc.


Happy Monday!

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May 14, 2010

Time for Milk?

When is it time to transition from formula/breastmilk to cow's milk? I've read on babycentre.ca that after baby's first birthday, it's fine to start introducing Homo (full fat) milk and transition off the iron-rich formulas/breastmilk. 

Right now, Jane usually has four feedings of milk per day. Two (breakfast, bedtime) are formula and two are breastmilk. Any nighttime feedings are breastmilk because I don't have the energy to go make a bottle at 3am. :p Even with only half-formula (and I'm using powdered Nestle Goodstart) it's not cheap (in all fairness, I'm used to spending $0 on baby milk). Typically, I go through one large can every three week-ish, and it costs about $30-ish CDN. Once I am working again, Jane will be on 100% formula... or cow's milk? This is my question. I was thinking, instead of switching the two breastmilk feedings to formula feedings, could I transition those from breastmilk to cow's milk? Then, I could move the formula feedings to cow's milk. This would be a whole lot cheaper - I think? 

What's everyone's experience with this? What do you recommend if you've done it? Did you also switch to using only the sippy cup or are you using a bottle still? Or, are you using something else altogether? What brand are you using? HELP! :p 

"Weaning" is going a lot easier than I expected. I thought it would be harder on me but I've been doing it so gradually that, both physically and emotionally, it's not been a challenge. My boobs are hilariously smaller than 6-8 months and I'm pretty sure they haven't kept up their end of the bargain (see here) and I'm going to need some serious help from Victoria's Secret once this is all said and done. I will say that the smaller tah-tahs are making me feel skinnier... bigger bosoms definitely don't work on me (although Dan would disagree).
Your tips-n-tricks, as always, are appreciated. Who needs "experts" and books when I have you guys!

Two things - did you see Oprah yesterday? Yes, I know, I'm one of those embarrassing "Twi-Moms"... every time I start to forget about my love for those novels, a new movie comes out and I get crazy again. Oprah is really speakin' my language this week - Tommy Boy's on Friday (I know he's crazy but I've loved him since I was 10 in Top Gun, you never forget your first love) and Will Smith next week! :)

Having a Date Night this weekend? Check out Date Night... Literally. Movie with Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. Aside from several minutes of Marky Mark shirtless, there's a scene in that movie (involving a strip club) that almost made me lose control of my weak-post-baby-bladder. I have not laughed like that in a long time, uncontrollable. It may have been the glass of wine beforehand but, regardless, priceless.

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May 13, 2010

Party Planning


Y'all know, I'm a planner (technically an over-planner) and that I love projects. I probably spent two-three times more time planning my wedding than the average bridezilla. I love planning parties like that - decor, creative foods, coordinating everything. I'm a total geek.

As we began to near Jane's first birthday (yeah, for me, "near" meant 4 months in advance), I started researching ideas and thinking about planning her birthday party. It was then that I realized that I will get to do this every year! Every year I get to think of themes (or, when Jane's old enough, she'll pick the theme) and go all out with creativity and nonsense! This is awesome! And, in three or four years, I'll get to do it twice a year (assuming we have another baby sometime). YIPEE!

Some people (maybe most) are not into it. I get it. However, I have a little Martha Stewart in me (I wish that little bit was also just a little bit loaded rich like her too). I've already showed you pictures of the "cake" I plan to do for Janers. I also designed my own photo invites as well (combining my party planning geek with my computer geek). Part of the fun of planning for me is that, if you're good (and start early), you can save a ton of money! I started the whole bday planning process because I came across a huge sale at the grocery store on Disney Princess Party supplies (plates, cups, streamers, etc.) a few months back. Then, Easter hit and, just like last year with my baby shower, I waited until post-bunny to pick up a bunch of pink and pastel-coloured candy (M&Ms, etc.) that will perfectly coordinate with my Princess theme. Will anyone notice? Who cares! I will, and that's all that matters! It's like when you lose 5 lbs - does anyone else notice? Probably not. But you know and you walk taller and feel like a million bucks because of it. This is exactly how I feel about coordinated decor (I know, I'm SOOOOO cool). ha ha ha. Perhaps, I have a little more "Monica" (Friend's reference) in me than just the whole anal-cleaning thing.
My biggest challenge so far is who to invite? I was thinking just my family, a few close friends and that's it. It's hard - because it's a "party", I'd like to invite all our friends (with kids or not) just to hang out but I don't want to invite them and have them bring gifts. Not that I assume they would... but you know what I mean! Obviously, my family would bring gifts and we'd have Jane open them. So, I don't want two things to happen (1) people to feel like they should bring a gift or (2) people to not bring a gift and feel like an idiot when she's opening her gifts. Maybe I'll just write an extra note in those people's invites and say just that... don't bring a gift, don't feel stupid, just come if you want! :p ha ha ha.
The other thing I'm curious about is the "birthday dress"... I have the cutest birthday dress for Jane (will obviously post pictures once the day arrives). So, during the party she can wear that. BUT, during the cake eating time, there's no way in heck she's gonna wear the dress - if she already doesn't have it stained by that time I'll be in shock. So, I figure I'll just change her into the "Birthday Girl" T-shirt that I already got her and let her go mad.

As far as gifts for Jane, I'm trying to keep to a budget so I'm buying a lot of second-hand stuff. I'd rather get a bazillion second-hand things within my budget vs. getting only one brand new thing. I mean, she'll have it filthy rotten by the end of day anyways. So far, I've taken your advice and gotten a bunch of Fisher Price Little People sets. Any other suggestions? I want to get her things that she will enjoy now and in a few months. I feel like she's really bored of all her Christmas toys at this point.

Thanks for the tips in advance!

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May 12, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Mother's Day. Ate pasta three times. Made cupcakes. Ate cupcakes. Ate several cupcakes. In one day. For several days. Promise to end this nonsense next week.

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May 11, 2010

Updates

Because I'm exhausted and about to have a nap while Jane's napping, I thought a quick post giving you updates on some of the products and such that I have recommended is in order...

Numero Uno... The Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent recipe. Still one of my favourite finds. I have gotten so many questions from you gals about this and a lot of questions about whether or not it's ok for HE washers. Honestly, I don't have a yes or no answer. I did a little research on it and it seems the key to HE washers is that the detergent needs to be low-sudsing (I made up that word). I will say that the recipe I use (find it below) is definitely low sudsing. Basically, when added to water, it dissolves and just turns the water a little cloudy. My recommendation, if you are interested in trying it out with your HE washer, is to try one tbsp of detergent first and see how it goes. It's definitely worth a shot - SUPER easy to make, super cheap and works great. I just made my second batch this week. I made my first batch in February, and had used 3/4 of it as of this week. It cost approx. $2.62 to make twice the recipe. So, using my trusty calculator (definitely not my brain), my laundry detergent cost me $1.96 ($2.62 x 3/4 used) over the past 14 weeks, assuming I do 4 loads of laundry per week, ha ha ha ha, OMG it cost me less than 4 cents per load of laundry. Is that right? That seems too good to be true. Yup, checked it. It's right. So, at this rate, for the entire year's laundry, it will cost me $7.28 for laundry detergent... let's be a little more generous with it and say $8. I used to spend more than $8 for a container of liquid Gain detergent that was 64 loads, which according to the 4 loads per week assumption, would have lasted me 16 weeks. I'm basically spending a third of what I used to spend. That's not even mentioning the fact that both of the main ingredients, washing soda and borax are environmentally safe products, packaged in cardboard (vs. plastic), not full of chemicals, dyes and perfumes, and I save myself the annoyance of having to buy separate detergent for myself and Jane. AND, both borax and washing soda have a bazillion other uses in the home - I sprinkle washing soda on the carpets 30 mins before I vacuum (it smells awesome and has baking soda so it deodorizes). I also use either (both are stain removers) with some warm water to soak any of Jane's stained clothes if I'm not doing laundry right away. Both are great household cleaners, stain removers, etc. Click here for some other uses for borax. Click here for some other uses for washing soda.


Here's the laundry detergent recipe again for the newbies:
 1/2 bar of grated bar soap (Fels Naptha is best but we can't get it in Canada so I used Sunlight Laundry soap and it's fab)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm&Hammer Washing Soda
(all ingredients can be found in the laundry aisle, just look hard - up top or down low as, surprise surprise the cheap stuff doesn't get prime shelf space)
Grate the laundry soap using a cheese grater. I tried not doing this and just using the food processor and it didn't work as well. After it's grated, throw it in the food processor and make it into a finer powder. If you don't have a food processor, you can leave it as grated - no biggie!
Mix in the borax and washing soda and VOILA.
I had an old coffee grinds measuring spoon that I use to put two tbsp of detergent in with each load.

Second thing on my list (my list is in my head so this could be a short one :p)... homemade all purpose cleaner. I have made this recipe a bazillion times since the first try because I use it everywhere, all the time, and love it. It's super easy to make. SUPER cheap. And there appears that there's not extra germs floating around because I am used enviro-friendly, baby-friendly, natural cleaners (vs. chemically nasty crap) as we're not all getting sick all the time or getting food poisoning or anything! It definitely gives me peace of mind now that Jane's eating 100% finger foods to clean off her high chair with something I made and know every ingredient. Not to mention, like the laundry detergent, the ingredients in the cleaner have many other uses... the castile soap can be used for basically everything - I got the lavender scented and have used it all bubble bath, baby wash, shampoo for myself, etc. It's awesome. And don't even get me started on the bazillion fabulous uses of vinegar!

Another update - SkinFix Buttocks Paste. I wrote about this product back in February after I had been using it for a few weeks on Jane's mild-moderate diaper rash. Still in love. Still use it at every diaper change. I have learned since that you can find it at most Sobey's (Canada) and is rolling our to Superstores/Loblaws in the next few weeks. You can also get it online at well.ca (free shipping). I wanted to update as I had mentioned in my initial post that the jar would last me a long time and it did. I got it mid-January and I just ran out last week... so about 16 weeks, with at least 6 diaper changes a day - that's around 672 diaper changes baby! Seeing as I had gone through 1/5 of my Zincofax jar in a weekend, I think that's a pretty long lasting product (not bashing Zincofax, it works for some I know).

Pampers Dry Max Diapers - Mommies beware. Apparently some babies are having a bad reaction to the new Dry Max diapers (getting a burn on their bottoms). Personally, I still love them, only use them and have never had any issues (and Jane has sensitive skin). If you're using them without issue, I wouldn't worry. If you've yet to give them a try, don't buy a giant box - buy a smaller sample if you're interested. I'd be curious to know what the "burn" is. After reading this article, I see that parents are complaining of "diaper rashes and chemical burns"... well, to me, how do you know the difference? I wonder (and I'm not an expert) if, because of the nature of the diapers - dryer, thinner, more absorbent), if parents are changing babies less or not noticing when the diaper is wet because of those attributes... thus, baby is getting a diaper rash? Definitely interested to see where this goes. Like I said, love 'um and have had no issues myself. Anyone have a different experience?

K, gotta go - Jane's awake. Remember how I said I needed to have a nap? Yeah, this is why I love and sometimes hate blogging. Nap? HAH! Blogged for an hour instead! :p

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May 10, 2010

The Art of "No"

Since Jane's become mobile, we've been practicing our "nos"... and by practicing I mean that basically all day I chase after my little monkey saying "noooooooo", "Jane, no", and so on and she ignores me, laughs at me, or stops what she's doing only to do it again five seconds later.

Everything becomes a game. Yesterday, she started trying to turn the tv-audio-thingy-me-bobber off and on and pressing all the other buttons (no idea what these buttons do). So, I started with my "nos". "Jane, no". Jannnnneeeee, no", and "Jane, noooooooo" while pulling her hand away from the buttons. Yeah. Not so effective. Initially, she'd reach for a button, I'd say no, grab her hand and and she'd start cracking up laughing. After 3-4 times, she was laughing evilly even before she reached for the button. That's when strategy number two comes into play... distraction. Distraction is the key to parenting after your baby passes the six month mark. Once distraction is possible, life gets easier. Baby falls, baby cries, Mommy dances like a nutball, baby laughs, the end. Simple. Baby gets grouchy in the car seat ten minutes from home, Mommy sings a crazy song, baby laughs, the end. Distraction is your best friend.

Ok, I got side-tracked as usual. Back to "no". Dan, God love 'um, is sometimes less than fabulous as practicing his "nos" with Jane. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that he needs to start using it more. His response? "Jen, she's 11 months old, she has no idea what I'm saying". Seriously? Duh! That's why we're saying it nutball! I'm definitely the disciplinarian in the house which sucks because that means I'm always going to be the "bad guy". BOOOO. :p I'm sure I'll probably get a few "that's not right" or "it should be balanced" comments on that sentence but this is life - it's also not fair that I'm not loaded rich and don't have the metabolism of a 13 year old boy too. C'est la vie. :p Not helping my cause AT ALL was the fact that last week, Jane was chewing on the edge of our magazine table and Dan started saying "no" and Jane cried. ha ha ha. Definitely did not help.

Regardless, I'm holding firm on the "nos". One of my pet peeves is undisciplined kids... you know them. They come over to your house, run all over, grab things, break things, go places they are not allowed, and no one says anything... WHAT? The parents say nothing. WHAT? They ignore the misbehavior. WHAT? I know. Drives me mad. You're left disciplining another parent's children which is just uncomfortable and inappropriate. When I was growing up, we didn't do these things. Why? Because we knew my Mom would have killed us. Not literally, obviously. But, we would have gotten one "no" and, if we pushed it, that was it. Say bye, bye. We're going home. Fun's over.

I am going to try to get a video of my "no" games, if possible, this week. Because it really is hilarious and, let me just say, the hardest part is not cracking up laughing yourself. Most of the time I'm biting my lip as Jane laughs mid-way through my disciplinary "session" so she doesn't see me laugh. My parents tell a great story about heading to church one Sunday, my sister and I in the backseat fighting about something and I called her a "slut". I was probably ten. My Dad started laughing until my Mom hit him, asked me if I knew what a "slut" was (which I didn't) and proceed to tell me it wasn't a nice word. HAH. Can you imagine? I'd have a hard time keeping my composure as a parent during that scene.

Good luck with your "nos"... another fun part of parenting! :)

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Be Right Back...

Hey Gals,

As I mentioned last Thursday, we have family in town this weekend until Wednesday. Things have been crazier than usual.

I promise to write today, just give me a few hours - I'll likely have time during Jane's nap this afternoon! Bare with me, I'm still here, I'll "be right back"...

xoxo

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May 6, 2010

Life is Crazy

I'd be lying if I said that I hated being busy. I love it. I love having tons of things to do and, when I don't, I create things to do (like my crazy mommy projects).

So, added to my photography course, my TWO (yes, now two) wedding websites that I'm doing for friends, job hunting, and, oh yeah, that whole being a Mom thing :p, I have had company for almost three weekends straight. That is not a complaint by any means, we love the company we've had and are about to have... what I am complaining about is the cleaning. Oh, the cleaning. It's never ending. Just when I get the entire house cleaned (which takes 2-3 days because of the whole not wanting to neglect my child factor), I technically need to go back and re-clean the first rooms because they are already starting to get dusty and dingy again. Awesome. Oh, and let me give you a little tip, don't ever get dark hardwood floors! Especially not if you have a white cat and if you like your sanity. As soon as you vacuum them (the swiffer sweeper vac is a godsend), you turn around and there is another dust bunny or crumbs or something. Useless. Also, you inevitably buy dark wood furniture to match which proudly displays dust like Pamela Anderson does cleavage.

So, I have to go clean. My mother-in-law is coming tomorrow and, for my own pride, this place will need to be spic-n-span. Does anyone else feel like "mother-in-law" is a bad word? It's funny, maybe because on tv and such there are such bad depictions of mother-in-laws that whenever I say it, I feel like I'm insulting someone! :p I think we should create a new word that doesn't have such a negative association with it. I know a lot of "texters" and internet-savvy mommas say "MIL" or "M-I-L", which isn't bad but too close to MILF for me, which is just weird and, with my mommy brain, I risk typing MILF which will be even weirder!

Have a great Thursday! OH, I just realized there was a new Shemar Moore show last night (a.k.a. Criminal Minds)... now I'm even crabbier about having to clean while Jane naps. Hmmm. Maybe I can put it off for another hour. If I turn on music and dance with the mop, Jane will think we're playing and she won't even notice.

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May 5, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

God, for the sake of my sanity and not writing anymore of these stupid WIW posts, I'd like to say that it's over. I'd like to say that I'm there and I'm done, THE END! However, I'm neutral this week.

I also made the mistake of trying to put on my old work clothes again and boooooo... if you can't figure out what that means then you're new. Everyone I say that too says "ah, your body changes". Yeah. Tell me something I don't know. My body definitely does not look like it did 2 years ago. With that said, it doesn't look that bad either! :p

On a brighter note, my sister and family (with my little niece Lucy) are moving to my city! YIPEE! It's so exciting. Jane and Lucy are two weeks apart, they are basically like twins. It's going to be so fabulous to have them grow up together! We're so excited. They were in town this weekend house shopping (which is one of my favourite things to do) and we just loved having them around - maybe Dan less than me, just because it seems every time he and my bro-in-law get together, they drink too much and don't feel so hot the next day.

I need to start working out. I was running for a few weeks there and then Jane started sleeping even worse than usual, and BAM, VOILA, hasta la vista baby! My fabulous, properly fitting, new running sneakers have become play toys for Jane over the past few weeks. I need to start working out. I know. I've been saying that for 11 months now. I hate working out. Healthy eating I can do. Working out I can do also but I don't want to do.

Anyways, life is insane these days and, along with mommy guilt, I'm feeling bloggy guilt... I feel like I've been completely neglecting the blog and half-a**ing it lately. I wish I could say that it's over and that I'm going to be back 110%, but that's just not realistic. And, I hate to say it, but it may not be getting any better... once I get a job, it's going to be even more difficult. However, I will continue writing because I love it. Whether I'll be able to write daily, I'm not sure I can keep up with it. Some days it's just all too much!! :p

I promise to do my best to write as much as possible. I'm hoping that by fessing up and coming clean about not having the time, you will be willing to give me a little slack in the daily posts department. As a result, I hope to provide you with more entertaining, better quality posts when I actually do get the time to write.

Whatcha think? I just don't want to lose all my blog "friends" now that I have you... it may sound crazy but y'all have been a good "friend" to me over the past 12 months! :)

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May 4, 2010

Baby Proofing, Baby!

Prior to Jane's arrival, I remember Dan going around the house pointing out things that "had to go". I, literally, was looking at him like he had three heads... WHAT? What are you talking about? Why do we have to get rid of that shelving unit, it looks perfect right there and, yeah, it's a little dangerous but we have to teach our kid "no" right? I don't know if I was in denial about the fact that having a baby would turn my well-put-together home into a giant play pen or if I honestly didn't think it would be a danger (like an 11 month old would know that wasn't a ladder). Fast forward 12 months later... I, personally, dismantled the shelving unit and put it away. I, personally, got rid of the quaint little sitting area in the kitchen/dining room to make room for pink and purple foam flooring and toys galore. I, personally, screwed our hallway tables into the studs. I think I'm more anal about this stuff than Dan now! :p

But, there were a lot of things I never even thought of that, when I learned of them, I realized how dangerous our homes can be for our babes, without us even knowing it. You can practice your "nos" all you want but, fact is, when I take Jane to the playground, I cannot take my eye off her for a fraction of a second because what does she do? She puts pebbles in her mouth. Literally, just when I think she's "getting it", she grabs a pebble and starts towards her mouth. So, don't for one second think, that because your little one is starting to learn and starting to seem like he/she is "grown up", that they realize what is food and what isn't.


Here are some of the obvious baby proofing to dos:
  • First of all, I'm assuming y'all know the basics like not putting cribs near a window, and keeping your blind cords tied up, covering outlets and so on. 
  • Cabinet doors and drawers - Here's what I did. I put locks on the dangerous cabinets/drawers (cleaning supplies, garbage, anything with sharp things, etc.) but I didn't lock them all. I left some of them (with tuperware and so on) open so that (1) Jane can learn "no" and (2) I can get a break when I'm cooking. I mean, I don't usually let her just sit and play in the cupboard (unless it's a designated play cupboard) but I'll take out a bunch of tuperware and give it to her to play with. 
  • Climbing - anything baby can climb on - book shelves, entertainment units, etc. - make sure they are mounted to the wall or put away. My Mom told me a story about myself when I was just over 2. Apparently, they had put the gingerbread house on top of the china cabinet (which is like 4 feet tall). I saw it and proceeded to turn over a garbage pail and strategically pull out drawers to use as steps so that I could reach the peppermint patty fence... when my Mom finally found me, I was just reaching for that yummy piece of chocolate. Thankfully, it turned out ok (and my Mom did give me the chocolate in the end) but it could have not been so great. 
  • Windows - if you have low to the floor windows make sure that they are locked and open them from the top if you need to. I also fell out a window when I was little... thankfully, it was only 3-4 feet off the ground but, hey, I'm just saying. * To be clear, my Mom was not negligent, she was a single Mom (for a little while) and I was very likely a trouble maker!
  • Gates - OMG, please, please do not ever leave an area without a gate because you think "well, she's always in my sight". Jane is so quick. I could turn my back for a second and she'd be gone. If you can't afford gates (they are super expensive) or you can't make it work, use a piece of furniture, like a cushioned ottoman or something to block the danger zone (yes, a Top Gun reference). 
  • Appliance cords - This is my biggest fear (I don't know why) but keeping appliance cords (especially in the kitchen) out of reach (which basically means, no where in sight). Most importantly, your coffee perk, kettle, and other items that get boiling hot. A cord hanging over the countertop is like a gold mine to a baby. It would be the first thing Jane would go for in a room full of toys, for sure. 
  • Bathtub water - You're supposed to turn your water heater temperature down when you have a baby... this, I did not do. Why? Because I like washing my bottles in SUPER hot water. What I will say, however, is that I will never put Jane into a bath without having checked the water 50 times (I swear, I'm anal). I know there are rubber duckies and such with temp gages but I find even if the water is luke warm, those things scream "HOT" which is a little too strict for me. What you need to know is that testing the water with your fingers/hands is useless and they are not as sensitive as your other skin. I run the water over my wrist/forearm to test and this works perfectly. 
  • Bathrooms - keep bathroom doors closed or buy toilet locks and such. Jane loves the bathroom so we keep the doors closed all the time. 
  • Hot drinks - Oh please do not do this... even when your baby is a immobile newborn, please, please please do not drink tea or coffee or whatever when they are with you. Do not have it on a table. Do not have it near you. It is just about the worse thing you can imagine, waiting to happen. Don't take even one sip thinking, oh she's asleep. Jane's been asleep on my chest before and I went to get a sip of water from a bottle and her hand flew up and knocked the water bottle out of mine... not worth it.

Things I didn't think of myself:
  • Doorstops - on the hinge of our doors, we have little stoppers that prevent the doors from opening to wide... and they are covered (to protect the wood) in tiny, round, white, plastic thingies - basically the perfect choking hazard. I never would have noticed this! They are gone... in a ziploc bag until we sell the house. 
  • Faucet guard for tub and anti-slip mat for tub - I thought we would be fine without these items. No way. Jane slipped while sitting in the tub the other day and ended up on her back... thankfully, the water wasn't high enough for her to go under. I was sitting next to the tub watching her and I didn't have a quick enough reaction time that she wouldn't have gotten a good breath of water. 

There are obviously tons more - here's a link to a great list of essentials!

Baby proofing is a never-ending process. I am constantly moving things and checking the floors as Jane discovers more and more. Don't think because it's done, that it's done. Every day Jane finds something new to get herself into. Get down on the floor yourself and crawl around. Look for things that would be attractive to your baby... it's scary how much is down at that level!

Along with baby proofing, I recommend an infant cpr course. Dan and I took one when I was pregnant and it definitely gives me piece of mind that I know the correct things to do if Jane were to choke or worse...

Lots of love,
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May 3, 2010

The Single Life

One of my best girlfriends just called looking for advice as she has a first date tomorrow night. First of all, I did a little happy dance inside... I'm cool enough to call for date advice? Personally, me thinks this is not the case. Regardless, I'm pretty sure she didn't really call for advice but more called because she knows I LOVE to hear about the single life. 

Remember the single life? Not having to worry about anything or anyone but yourself. Spending the entirety of a Sunday in your jogging pants watching old movies like Overboard on TBS three times in a row. The excitement of meeting someone new and not knowing if it was going to go anywhere. And so on. Obviously, they are cons to the single life too but we all remember those too (sitting home on a Saturday night because it's raining and there's no one to go out with so you're watching romantic comedies and eating too much ice cream). Also, my "mommy guilt" is forcing me to say that I, obviously, would not change or wish for a second that my life were any different... because mommy guilt makes me feel like in saying that sometimes I miss "the single life", I'm suggesting that I am not happy with my current life which means I'm unhappy with my baby which is absolutely, 200%, out of this world INSANITY and, of course, untrue. Oh, mommy guilt.

Anyways, I love hearing about the single life... the excitement of meeting someone new and over analyzing everything, creating a "strategy" for moving forward and so on. It's even more fun now that I have Dan as gives my girlfriends and I the best insight into male behavior... basically, they don't think too much. Women often over-think and men don't think hard about anything, unless they are picking their fantasy football team. It's almost like men and women were created as opposites as some kind of sick joke... like the world is just someone's fish tank and they are on the outside watching us and laughing at us trying to get along and live happy lives together. Some days, I totally get the lesbian thing... I've often said to my best girlfriends that I would marry them as long as we didn't have to have sex. :p I mean, how great would it be some days to have a wife?!?! Seriously!! How nice would it be to have someone else who knew the importance of putting the dishes away, doing the laundry, getting things done on time, etc. I would love to have a wife. 

Again, I got off track... the single life. I think this is why books like Twilight and all the chick-lit out there are so popular with us Moms and married gals. I call it "girly-porn". We don't need all the sex and stuff (not that that's not fun too). What we want to hear about is the excitement of the unknown and usually the standard happy ending. It's fun to escape reality once in awhile... and better to do that through a movie or a book, thank by actually "escaping" reality! :p 

I currently have a stack of chick-lit ready for me to dive into but I have too many projects to take the time right now. My favourite of all time? Bridget Jones's Diary. I read this after I watched the movie and it's soooo worth it. I used to read it on my way to school when I was in university. I'd be sitting on the bus cracking up laughing... out loud. Yeah, so I'm pretty sure the other people on the bus thought I was crazy but I couldn't help it. Hilarious book. Emily Giffin writes a good series of books too and I'm pretty sure they are making a movie of one of them, "Something Borrowed", right now which should be fun and, of course, likely to star Kate Hudson and Matthew (uh oh, I lost my shirt again) McConaughey (I looked up how to spell that) or a similar Rom-Com team. Doesn't really matter though because I'll watch it happily and brainlessly regardless. 

Here's Jane reading the "classics" - 
Bridget Jones, Shopaholic and So on. 


Okee dokes. Mommy guilt requires me (again) to emphasize that as much as, on rare occasions, I allow myself to reminisce of the single life, I do not wish to be single and without my Jane... I know, I'm crazy that I feel I have to say this but that's mommy guilt, that's how I think now. Any time I think about wishing I could spend a Sunday on the couch doing nothing, guilt immediately fills my body because of what I think that may be suggesting when obviously I would never trade my situation for a bazillion bazillion dollars. Crazy.

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