Thursday, February 10, 2011

Matching Cards

I'm especially proud of my creative mommy skills today. I've been feeling a bit sad about finding ways to engage Ethan's mind. Being pregnant, feeling tired or nauseous and now having a bad cold, the poor child gets more TV than I ever imagined I would allow.

So I decided that I could make him a matching game. He loves holding little cards and he loves naming animals. What could be easier. I browsed the internet for images of animals he was already familiar with and saved them, sizing them to fit 4 on a page in Word. I printed them on some thicker card stock paper, cut them all out and then cut each animal in half.

Voila - we have a matching game. I didn't want to overwhelm him with choices so I would put out the parts to 4 or 5 animals at a time and encourage him to match them. He did great.  It was such a simple game to create but I forsee hours of fun for us. And as he gets older, I can add more & more animals out at one time to challenge him. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


They grow so fast!

Ethan is very into "helping" with everything he can right now. He loves "helping" me fold laundry by flinging stuff around while I speed fold and keep him out of the folded piles.

I have let him "help" with baking a few times too. This usually consists of tasting the batter or giving him a bowl, a spoon and some wet flour to muck around with.

And today my big helper decided he needed to help with dishes so he pulled his chair over when I was at the sink and I wasn't sure how he could help. He wanted to touch the bubbles and the warm water. So I filled up a sink of warm soapy water just for him and let him go to town with some old plastic containers.

I finished the dishes over half hour ago and he's still there splashing away, getting soaked and having fun! There is a small flood around him and everything in a three foot radius is splashed but he's loving it.

Good incentive to wash the floor today anyways!

Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sleepless Nights

Ah the joys of pregnancy! Insomnia! Couple that with headaches and night time nausea and I'm one tired mama this morning.

We also started Ethan in his Big boy bed lastnight but fortunately he did fine and slept well. He's growing up!

Pregnancy is far from glamorous for me. I'm in my 22nd week and still waiting for the morning sickness to go away and hoping that some energy will return. The January Blues probably make it all worse cuz it's too cold to go outside and dark more than half the day.

Every January I get antsy and ling for sunnier skies or exotic lands and new adventures. I do believe there are some big adventures in store for our family in the future but first we need to figure out what to do with our present. We still aren't sure how long we will stay up north here or where we want to live when we return home to BC.

But we're only granted one day at a time thankfully and try to focus on the moments we are in, which happens to include those sleepless nights but also enjoying a growing up toddler and his very kicky baby brother to be!

- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 7, 2011

Teeny Tiny Diapers


I know that I still have MONTHS to go before this little guy makes his grand appearance but the other night I had one of those dreams that he was here and we didn't have anything ready. I was panicking about clothes & diapers. We were trying to put a disposable on him in the dream and those flimsy sticky tabs kept ripping off. So I rumaged thru my bag of newborn cloth diapers knowing that there were a few I had already washed cuz I tried them on my friends baby.

And then, I was waking up to my 2 year old saying "Baby! Baby! Baby!" from his crib! How did he know what I was dreaming about?

So, I decided I needed to pull that bag out and check out what I actually had. I have to admit I was surprised to see that I already have 36 newborn diapers! (um, and two more in the mail somewhere) OK, I guess in that department I'm a little more prepared than I thought. I will probably order a few more cheap prefolds and a couple covers to go over the prefolds & fitteds in case I need to have a few extras or have a few days where I just don't want to do the laundry but other than that, I'm all set.

We didn't cloth diaper Ethan from birth, we didn't start till he was about 7 months old so I am really excited to experience the newborn phase with cloth. I remember that Ethan was a super pooper so I definitely want to have lots on hand so that I'm not doing the wash every day.

So many people seem so grossed out with cloth diapering, saying I'll have to "deal with poop" more. Um, hello, how many times did your newborn have poop up his back & down his legs that escaped his disposable? The extra bonus with cloth, is that it will contain all those explosive newborn poops, hence saving me more laundry, and in this sense, I really will be touching the poop LESS than the non-CDing mommies.

Another bonus, with newborn poop, is that its water soluable, until you introduce solid foods. As if breastmilk isn't wonderful enough, I don't even have to RINSE breastfed poop out of the diaper, it can go straight into the wash and will COMPLETELY rinse away. Some find that hard to believe but its true.

And really, can these tiny things GET ANY CUTER than these fitteds?! I have stripes, sheep, giraffes, duckies, ooga boogas, pirates and more. I have solid greens, yellows, reds, & blues. I have a fleece cover with a snowman on it, a minky soft dalmation cover and one with frogs & lily pads.

And all of these are just for the first few weeks of his life. Once he hits around 10 - 12 lbs then he can move up into the one-size-fits-most diapers that Ethan has been using for the past 2 years. Hello diaper savings!!! And I know that purchasing all these tiny newborn diapers were so NOT a waste of $$ even though he only fits them for a month or two, because newborn diapers re-sale on the internet like hotcakes. So not only did I buy all of these diapers when they were on various sales, but I will make at least 50% or more of my money back when he's done using them. Can't say that about a disposable now can I.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year of Another Baby

That about sums it up!

2011 will be the year of another baby...another baby BOY to be more exact.

While I've left the world of blogging for the last 5 months, its a new year full of new hopes and I want to make it memorable.  (New post on Words of A Wolfe also)

We left the relative comfort of our life in Osoyoos and are now living the wintery life in northern Alberta, on my in-laws property in a cozy trailer.  While it feels like we've spent the last 5 months, moving & settling in, with the entrance of a new year, the Christmas stuff all put away, I finally feel like I'm ready to blog again!

So, today I'm 21 weeks pregnant. I'm still suffering with nausea every morning, smells make me gag and I'm dealing with the typical joys of sore hips, tiredness and aching back. But we are now on the count down to baby instead of the count UP!

I'm thrilled to be giving Ethan a brother to play with and grow up with. We had the most amazing Christmas season, experiencing it all thru the eyes of our precious 2 year old and we can't wait to add to our joy and experience it more through 2 rough & tumble, loving precious brothers.

I have many changes planned for our lifestyle in 2011, most of them consist of health changes *hint: new blog coming* and changing the way we live, eat, consume, etc. While I'm not a big "go green" activist, there are many things we've been researching in the past few months that make us excited for the changes to come.

But the biggest change will be adding another son to our family and I just can't wait! 19 more weeks to go tiny man. We love you to bits already, just as much as we have & do love your big brother!!

Blessings to you all in 2011!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Busy Packing

Blogging is on hold for a bit... big changes coming up for us and I'm busy packing. Be back soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Boy

Mr. Big Stuff turned two today? How did that happen so fast?

Happy Birthday Ethan! Thank you for making me a mommy!

We took him out for his very first icecream cone. Messy, melty, gooey fun!

I've been a bit pre-occupied this week and we're having a small get together with some grandparents tomorrow to celebrate. After that, I will be back to blogland!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baby Bargain Websites!!

Who doesn't love a bargain? Especially when it comes to our babies & kids because they grow so fast, its hard to want to spend money on the good stuff, especially if you want to be getting more natural, healthy or quality products. Those are pricey.

Well say hello to the bargain websites!!

I've brought a few of these sites up recently to mom friends and I figured it was time to do a blog entry about these great sites. In turn, if you know of any that I've missed, please share with me.

Most of these deal sites feature a new product every single week day (some of them also on weekends) of a great product that is 40-50% off its regular retail price. The trick is to check the sites in the mornings. Because most of them have limited quantities and if its a popular item, especially when its cloth diapers, they sell out fast. I think almost all of these sites also have facebook pages so you can see what the deal is right from your facebook page and can decide there if you want to go further to check the products that day.

The forerunner of all these is Baby Steals:   
This is what they say in their "about us" page: At we sell one quality baby or maternity product every day at 50-80% off until it sells out. It's not just a deal, it's a steal! A 'BabySteal'!
Recent "steals" have been: diapers bags, sleep sacks, stroller liners, Robeez shoes, and organic baby washes, just to name a few.

They also have two sibling sites: KidSteals which has some great steals for the toddlers & older kidlets  and ScrapbookSteals that you scrappers might want to avoid check out to spend your money on more great scrapping stuff!! Customer service is great & shipping fees are usually reasonable, even to us Canadians.

My next favourite site is Baby Half Off
They say about themselves "At Baby Half Off, we are constantly searching for great buys for moms and dads who love precious brands for their little ones. No more paying full price!"
Recent deals here have been: eco friendly lunch boxes, Fuzzibuns diapers with matching leggings, organic cotton hooded towels, diaper bags, safe sippy cups, and more.

Green Baby Bargains is next on the list
What they're about: ... where we dish out one incredible, eco-friendly bargain per day!  As moms ourselves, we know moms (and dads!) want the safest and most natural options for their children, and better yet, we know moms LOVE bargains! So, we have combined the two into an entertaining and addicting place to shop!
Recent bargains have been: organic t-shirts & onesies, Umi shoes, Bumkins diapers, natural cleaning supplies, organic crib sheets & blankets, shopping cart covers & more.

Eco Baby Buys is yet another great deal site.
And they say: When we set out to create, we had one principle in mind. Our mission was to discover manufacturers that offered non-toxic, eco-friendly and fairly traded baby products. As urban mothers, we thought a little bit of style wouldn’t hurt either.
Recent buys here have been: organic stuffed toys & blankies, UV safe swimwear, and safe sunscreen products, diaper bags, Bumkins diapers, organic clothing & shoes, leggings, wipes, maternity tops & more.

Hippo Bargains is a deal site I've just recently discovered
What is : Basically, we sell cool stuff cheap. It's really rather fun, especially because it doesn't cost you a fortune. Everything we sell is a ridiculously amazing bargain...cheaper than you can find it anywhere else, so cheap that it might take us a long while to actually make a profit ;-) We don't mind. We want good people to have good things, regardless of how much money they have in their pocket. We aren't completely selfless though. We like games. This is a bit of a game. You have to be on top of it to win. If you miss an item.. It's gone..can't play the game over...until of course, the next day, when there is a new item to buy. Just stay on top of your game, and you'll win.
Recent bargains here have been: nursing necklaces, envirosax, Blueberry Minky diaper covers, flower headbands, hooded towels, diaper bags & much more.

Mini Bargainz is another of the same. I'm starting to sound like a broken record...
About Us: At mini bargainz, our mission is simple – To offer high quality baby products at an affordable price. As new parents ourselves, we understand that you are looking to stretch your dollar and baby products can be expensive. Our passion for finding great deals - as well as sharing them - has led us to create a place where you too can get great deals.
Recent bargainz: organic socks, backpack buddies, photo keychains, changepads, bibs & more.

This is all I have for now. I'm certain there are more. There are also many blogs & websites that can point you to individual site & retailer sales like "Deal"ectible Mommies and Baby Cheapskate to name a couple. But I think I could go on & on searching out sites like these to list. So this is my gift to get you started. If you have more deal websites that you can notify me of, I'll happily add them on. I'm always looking for a deal when it comes to quality products like these sites offer.

Happy Bargain Hunting!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Me" Time & the Family breakdown...

Its Haircut Night for me tonight! I have a tonne of hair and the summer heat just makes it feel heavier so tonight I'm getting a cut. Its a big deal for me. I have to plan most of my 'me time' for evenings when the husband is home. Its a little bit easier to get out now because Ethan is almost done breastfeeding. 98% of the time he doesn't need one before bed anymore so my freedom is starting to grow. But I have to admit that I am a bit jealous of these mommies that can make appointments and go out whenever they want to because they have friends & family available at their elbow for quick babysitting opportunities. They really don't know how lucky they are. But I do know that many of us are NOT near our family and so 'me time' and 'date nights' are a very rare & special event when they do happen.

I'm not complaining, I'm just stating a fact. I do wish that we lived closer to family for that reason (as well as for visiting & just having family time)  We live in a town where there is a large population of East Indians. Lawrence and I often find ourselves a bit envious of their family units. They build amazingly huge homes because there are so many of them living there. Grandmas & Grandpas, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, etc. The whole family pitches in with the work in the orchard or vineyard, the child care, and the household duties. We used to laugh at them, but now, we GET IT! They really take care of their own!

I don't know what happened to the North American Family? We're spread out from east to west, we put our parents in care homes because we can't or won't care for them, we let daycares raise our kids because we're forced back to work, we can't even share resources to those whom we share blood. I'm not judging, I'm just sad that this is the way it is. I know its like this in many other countries & cultures too, I just seem to think that deep down, it shouldn't be like this. I wish I could herd all my family closer together, so we could share resources and look after eachother, but we are an independant nation, desperately trying to prove we can make it on our own, without help from our friends or family. Months and years go by without contact between some families. I hate that! It is what it is, but I'm saying that ideally, we'd all be nearer, looking after eachother, providing the needs as they arise, sharing the load, and making sure none of us go hungry, lonely, weary, or lost.  That's my ideal world! I don't care if its unrealistic!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cloth Diapers -First Steps

Let me begin this by saying I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERING!!

There, now that I've said that, I will tell you about how I got into this love, this addiction, because I wasn't always a believer. I had the same notions that most people do. Pins & plastic pants, dealing with poop & diaper rash. I had no idea how WRONG I was going to be.

I didn't really get introduced to cloth diapering for noble reasons. I wasn't overly concerned about all those disposables going into the landfill, even though I was putting two full garbage bags out the door every single week, not realizing that those diapers probably won't decompose EVER, barring a nuclear blast.

Neither was I concerned about the cost saving factor. I didn't do the math to see how much money I was spending on disposables and had no idea that there was a cheaper alternative. I didn't even realize that cloth diapers could be re-used on multiple babies, or sold in used condition to other mamas who will get months or years out of their uses after I'm finished with them.

I also didn't know about the yucky chemicals that are put into disposable diapers that would be touching my babies delicate bottom & reproductive organs 24-7 for the first 2-3 years of his life.

And, I didn't know at the time that cloth contains those explosive breastfed newborn poops WAY better than any disposable does. (And the disposable mommies are arguing that they don't want to have to deal with, how about that onesie you just soaked in the sink because your babe was head-to-toe in poop... yeah, you're still dealing with LOTS of poop when using disposables)

Also, I didn't realize that diaper laundry would become my favourite laundry EVER, that it would relax me, that I would squeel with delight at all the adorable fluff that I'm lovingly folding for my son, or the domestic peace it brings me when I hang it on the clothesline to dry in the sun.

I definitely didn't realize that there was a CUTE factor to cloth diapering either. I expected I was going to be getting white diapers with white covers that I would have to bleach all the time. It blew my mind when I started to see all the adorable colors & prints. Yeah, its still just a poo catcher but so what. Do you only buy plain white cotton underwear for yourself? No way, Victoria's Secret wouldn't be in business if we didn't go for the hot pink, the leopard, the plaid and the polkadots for our own underwear, so why should diapers be different?

So, all those great things that I didn't know about before I looked into cloth diapering. What prompted me? The economy! No, I wasn't worried about affording diapers, I was worried about the possibility of such an economic crash that the stores would be out of diapers or something like that. (seriously, I had these thoughts, that there could be a global economic meltdown) So I figured I needed at least a handful of diapers that I could wash & dry, even if we were living in a tent or something like that.

Little did I know what the researching was getting me into. I couldn't believe, not only all the options, but how easy cloth diapering would be, how much I would love it and how much BETTER for him, for the environment and for our wallets it was going to be.

So, now I have all sorts of brands & options, and I am a passionate advocate of cloth diapering, more than I ever could have imagined. I'll write some future posts on the different types of diapers we use, how we care for them, and some links to some great sites that make or sell diapers & diapering accessories.  I just hope that I've been able to educate someone new that cloth diapers are no longer just your mama's pins & plastic pants and that there are MANY benefits for using them.