Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's a Boy!

Although I love the painted eggs, chocolate and candy that Easter is known for, in my family its simply an opportunity to spend time enjoying the company of our loved ones over plates full of delicious food.  After this year however, Easter Sunday will never be quite the same.  Even though the date changes from year to year, how could I possibly forget that in 2011 we missed Easter dinner because we were busy welcoming our newest little family member to the world?
Welcome Baby Boy

Here are the quick and dirty details:
  • It's ANOTHER boy!
  • Born Sunday April 24, 2011 at 4pm
  • 7lbs 9.2 oz
  • 20 inches long
Although this was my second time around, I still had some concerns about labour expectations, but I need not have worried, we were at the hospital with more than enough time to spare.  In fact my contractions weren't coming strong and regular enough to get me dilated and we ended up needing to break the water and introduce a little oxytocin into the picture (FYI - both were required when the boy was born too).  That being said once the oxytocin started, an hour and ten minutes later the pushing began and about 5 minutes after that I had my little bundle of joy in my arms.  And because we are perhaps a little crazy (in many people's eyes), four and a half hours later we were home from the hospital, ready to settle into our new reality.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

labour expectations

All you momma's out there, please don't hate me for what I'm about to write.

For me, labour with the boy was easy.  I don't mean skipping in the park easy, but I do mean totally manageable and not anywhere near as intense as I was prepared for.  Granted I have an incredibly high pain tolerance, which I attribute to a near-death episode with meningitis at about 8 months, but the truth is, for me, labour was easy.

If I hadn't already been at the hospital due to a positive group B strep test and a small leak in my membranes, I wouldn't have even considered calling my midwife or going to the hospital until I suddenly found myself pushing.  I never actually felt my contractions at the intervals that warrant a trip to the hospital; I only felt the peaks of my contractions.  In fact when the pushing started two hours later, I seemed so in control that the nurse grabbed the gas, positive that there was no way that I could be ready to deliver. 37 minutes later, the boy made his grand debut.

I promise you I'm not bragging, in fact its almost the opposite.  Given the fact that second labours tend to be considerably faster than the first and that active labour barely registered on my pain scale, I have what I consider to be a very valid concern that I may not make it to the hospital in time to deliver.  I absolutley don't want to have my baby alone at home or in the car en route to the hospital.  The boy didn't breathe immediately after delivery and I lost a lot of blood - I want to be at the hospital, surrounded by people well equipped to take care of us.

Granted, my awareness of the issue and the fact that I live about 10 minutes from the hospital makes it unlikely that we wouldn't make it on time, especially since my midwife has consistently urged me to go to the hospital as soon as I feel 'funny'.  Logically, I know the whole thing is a bit irrational; I did know I was in labour last time, I just anticipated more intensity, but this time around I'll know what to expect.  Yet I still can't seem to shake this niggly little worry that I might miss my window of opportunity to make it to the hospital with time to spare. 

Did/do you have a somewhat irrational worry about your labour and delivery?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hallmark Press Pause Panel

I don't think it matters who you talk to, we all wish there was more time in the day; more time for friends, for family, for ourselves.  As a society we are so focused on meeting goals and moving forward that our lives sometimes seem to be slipping through our fingers like grains of sand.

Hallmark Canada has initiated the 'Press Pause Panel' to remind us all that 'Life is a Special Occasion' and sometimes we just need to pause all those other aspects of our to just enjoy the moment.

As a member of the Press Pause Panel I received a number of great items to try out in my home, all designed to help us savour the moment.  Here are a few of my favourites.

The Totally Ticklish Duck was a huge hit in our house; not only is he super cute and soft but after pushing the button on his foot, physically tickling the duck under his wings causes the duck to burst into adorable bouts of laughter.  Which of course resulted in toddler laughter in my house; is there any sound sweeter?
I must admit that I love books, so when I tested out Watson the Raccoon, I was more than a little bit enthused.  Once activated, Watson becomes an interactive part of storytime.  As you read the book, Watson responds to specific phrases in the story and blurts out fun statements that enhance the experience for your child.  I love that in addition to 'Watson and the case of the Sneaky Stealer' which comes free with the purchase of Watson, there are two more books that can be purchased to read with Watson and the boy.

Finally, although the boy is a bit young yet, I can't wait until he's ready to share in the Mom and Me Recordable Book; each page has an open ended question or two to facilitate discussion with your child, all of which can be recorded with the press of a button.  How amazing to record not only their favourite experiences, but also their voice, inflection and expressions all within a well constructed keepsake book.  With Mother's day just around the corner, this is a perfect gift to treasure for the long term.  In addition to Mom and Me books, there are also recordable books for grandparents and Dad's.

As a Hallmark Press Pause Panel member, products were recieved for the purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Am A Nurturing Mama | Guest Post

I'm guest posting over at Whispered Inspirations today as part of her 'I am a Nurturing Mama' Series and I'm so excited to be able to contribute to the discussion on such a global topic.  Every day we Mama's make difficult decisions for the benefit of our children and sometimes those choices require us to question the information that is present in society, which is exactly what my post is all about.

If you have a moment, head over to Whispered Inspirations and check out my Guest Post: I Am a Nurturing Mama.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Maternity Self Portraits

When I was in university, I was extremely fortunate that my parents were able to cover both my school and living expenses.  My personal expenses however, which included Starbucks, beer, ferry rides home and shopping were all on my own dime, which meant that I needed to work part-time if I wanted to have any sort of social life.
As far as part-time jobs go, mine was pretty cool; I worked in a photo lab, which is where my interest in photography was truly piqued.  Although I've never taken any photography classes, in a single shift I would look at literally thousands of pictures and over time I started to get a feel for photos that never seem to work out as intended, photos that are mainstream and boring, even though they seemed exciting when shot, as well as an eye for the style of photos that intrigued me.
When the hubs bought me a Nikon F55 a few years ago I was both stunned and excited, though I felt a little guilty last year when I decided that what I really wanted was a DSLR.  Now that I have my Nikon D3000 however, I feel like I'm finally really starting to learn about photography.  I read tutorials and have slowly been experimenting with my camera, including making a conscious effort not to use the auto mode whenever possible.
When I was pregnant with the boy I only really got one decent maternity picture, but I was determined that this time around I was going to truly make an effort and do some maternity self-portraits.  Of course as a working mom to a toddler time is scarce, particularly during daylight hours when the light is best, so despite being down and out with the flu last week I decided to slap on some makeup and attempt some photos last Friday when I was feeling a little bit better and the boy was off at his aunties so I could rest.
I ended up taking around 50 photos and these are some of my favourites.  I have to admit, I'm pretty happy with these photos, but I hope its not just selfish pride and that in reality, my photographic skills are actually slowly starting to improve.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Preparing for Baby | Happy Nappy Diaper Service

dress and bonnet - bluedress and bonnet - pinkWith baby number two due to arrive in only a few weeks, I'm proud to say that for the most part I've resisted the urge to purchase oodles of new baby-related gear, since I have rubbermaid bins full of stuff from the boy. That being said, I have done some (non-gender neutral, bad momma) sewing, though I am currently sewing a pair of adorable little overalls, purchased a new miracle blanket (an amazing swaddle blanket) and some super cute AGOO clothing at 70% off (this amazing sale is still on).

I can also say with confidence that I have NOT been perusing flyers, purchasing diapers and filling up my closets with disposable diapers, a common practice before the birth of a child.  Instead I made a simple call to Happy  Nappy, my diaper service provider and a week before my due date my first delivery of itty bitty, super soft, fleecy diapers will arrive on my doorstop.

For those of you that are new to the Momma Stuff Blog, it's no secret that I am passionate about cloth diapering and that I believe Diaper Service is a great option, particularly if your family is divided on the cloth vs disposable debate.  I have written previously about the Environmental Benefits of Cloth Diapering and Our experience with Happy Nappy and have also guest posted about Why we chose Cloth Dipaer Service.

Since my previous post, Happy Nappy diaper service is now available to families in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan (new franchise location) and Ontario.  More details about specific locations and pricing is available on the Happy Nappy Website.

Because I have written about Happy Nappy Diaper Service before and I don't want to repeat myself, I want to respond to a couple comments I frequently hear about diaper service.

  1. Does the diaper pail REALLY keeps the smell "locked in" for an entire week?
    In short, yes.  Newborn poops barely smell, so in the beginning the smell is not even worth worrying about.  As your child begins to eat solids, diaper odours will definitely become more evident but that's just the natural process of things, and at that point disposables are going to start stinking up your garbage too.  In order to keep your diaper pail from getting uber stinky there are a few things you can do and the more diligent you are, the less likely you are to notice any odours.   

    • First wash down your diaper pail weekly; at the least wipe down your pail with a couple of baby wipes on delivery day (I tend to do this most weeks, as I'm lazy), in the summer I often hose them down in the backyard and occasionally I use some good quality environmentally-friendly bathroom cleaner and give it a good scrub.  Obviously the latter works the best, you need to figure out what works for you and your family.
    • Happy Nappy Diaper Pail
    • Happy Nappy Diaper pails come with two clamps to firmly hold the lid in place - use them.  A tight fitting lid keeps odours trapped inside.  End of story.
    • Finally, each Happy Nappy Diaper Pail comes with a replaceable charcoal filter; replace it often, they are cheap (~ $5/filter) and effective.  If you call Happy Nappy and order your filter couple days before your delivery, a new filter will arrive at your doorstep with your next diaper delivery.

    Keep in mind that with pungent toddler poops (which we now have at our house) the diaper pail will smell when you open up the lid, but if there was a way to avoid that altogether I think it would require either some serious nose plugs or a magic wand.

  2. I wish I'd heard about that when my baby was born, maybe next time...
    I admit it, this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, but I don't like pushy people and have no desire to be one, so I tend to be non-responsive when I hear this comment.

    The truth is, unless your child is on the verge of potty training, its NOT too late to try out diaper service.  The price is at least comparable to disposables and although there may be a small administrative fee to get your account setup and arrange for your first delivery, I figure that one time fee is probably pretty close to the amount of 'incidental' shopping that would occur on only one or two trips to the drugstore to buy diapers.  Because seriously, do you EVER just buy diapers?  I always walk out of the drugstore with way more than I intended.  Plus every disposable not in a landfill is a good thing in my books.
Anyways, long story short, at our house, we will be using Happy Nappy Diaper Service until the boy is potty trained and when our newest little bundle of joy arrives his/her little tushy will be covered in fleecy, environmentally-friendly goodness from there on in.

Let me know if you have more diaper service related questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

This post was not sponsored by Happy Nappy in any way, I am a loyal customer who frequently recommends their services to friends.  No compensation was received in any way and opinions are my own.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Taming the Toddler Party | UBP11

    Ultimate Blog Party 2011

    There's a girl in my office whose son is about a year older than the boy and she's always talking about the birthday party, superbowl party or holiday lunch that she's hosting.  She talks about her parties with such excitement, that in the moment I start to find myself thinking I should host events at my house more often.

    It's not that I don't like to have people over, nor that I lack the organization, I just lack the drive to do all the work that having people over entails.  I love impromptu visits from friends and family, but the cleaning and re-organizing, decorating and general preparations for a 'party' just aren't my gig.
    birthday 2011

    In fact the boy just turned 2 and I didn't start getting organized until about two weeks prior.  The event was small and simple with no meltdowns by the boy or the momma.  So if you're like me and like to keep your parties on the downlow, here are a few things I did to tame the toddler birthday party.

    Schedule it right - Although birthday parties are generally in the afternoon, the boy tends to be cranky after his nap, especially if you have to wake him up, so we instead opted for a 10am-1pm party, not because it was convenient for us, but because it was the best option for the boy.  Remember its a toddler party, make it about the toddler.

    Count the kids - I'm a fan of the method where you limit the number of kids to the age of the child.  Fox example a 2 year old party, requires only two additional children.  The kids aren't really big enough to remember and seriously how many two year olds do you really want running around your place?  We actually only invited one friend again this year and it worked out great.

    Count the adults - Kids parties have a lot of obligatory guests, parents, aunties, uncles and close family friends; the number of adults can multiply quickly.  Depending on the size of your house, this means that your home can fill up quickly too.  Remember, you need enough room for the kids to run around, play and keep themselves otherwise occupied!

    Keep the food simple - There's no need to go all out making a fancy spread, things like hot dogs and kraft dinner are almost always a hit with kids.  We had organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free chicken hot dogs, some boiled and some barbequed, homemade potato salad (courtesy of my mom), crackers, sausage and cheese, chips and of course birthday cake and everyone seemed satisfied, kids included.

    Stay flexible - Toddlers barely do what we want them to do in the best of circumstances, so it seems unreasonable to expect them to behave in a specific way or follow a specific schedulue when their home is full of people and abnormalities.  We opened presents throughout the entire event and since there was only two toddlers present if they wanted to open the toy up and play with it for a while, we let them.  Happy toddlers are a definite requirement for a successful party.

    Thanks for stopping by my Ultimate Blog Party 2011 post; I participated in the UBP 2010 and was amazed by the amazing sense of community and all the great new blogs I discovered in the process.

    If you have a few extra moments, please stop by my current giveaway
    for a machine washable Degraaf Designs Diaper Bag
    to celebrate my Ddrops Sponsorship to Blissdom Canada!