Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Eve Dinner

I'm 9 months pregnant, and just made this Christmas Eve Dinner. HUZZAH! 

Tried to make a small dinner but apparently around here it's go big or go home around these parts. On the plus side, lots of frozen turkey meals will be in the freezer when baby comes.



 
 
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sarah's Stitches: Awesome Stuff!

So this isn't a product review, and it's definitely not a sponsored post.  I've just been thinking lately about this shop and I wanted to get the word out there about it.

It's on my mind because these just arrived in the mail:


Four beautiful, well-made, hand crafted snack (or makeup, or whatever) bags from Sarah's Stitches. I first learned about Sarah's shop on Livejournal years ago.  Before Aias was born, I ordered a bunch of fleece soakers from her.  I still have them, all ready to be used on Baby #2.  They, too, are beautiful, well-made, hand crafted and awesome (see pics below).

I guess what I love about this site is um, everything.  First off, you can tell Sarah is a good hearted,  hard working, and honest person.  Her prices are *beyond* fair. For the most part, I don't think you could make these things yourself for her prices.

These snack bags were (and are) on sale for buy 3 get 1 free, and the prices are just $3-$4 each anyhow. I've made a buttload of snack bags... trust me, if I had known I could have gotten them for $3-$4 each, I would have made zero. Her fabrics are adorable and these things are durable.  The shipping was also free.

Second, her wet bags are pretty famous. No, seriously.  Most of my friends online have purchased their wet bags from Sarah.  She makes them in tons of prints, tons of sizes, and once again, they are beyond affordable.

Third, this sort of makes my heart swell, but Sarah makes weighted blankets for kids who had Sensory Processing Disorder or who are on the spectrum.  These are expensive, time consuming, and difficult to make.  Not only does she make them, but she sells them on a sliding scale because she wants to make sure financial trouble doesn't keep your child from having one.

Fourth, you can buy items on her site for donation, so that people who want to cloth diaper can be given items. You can either purchase items that you want to be donated, or if you are in need, you can order them for your family.

Finally... this is probably my favourite product of hers even though I don't own any (heh).  I have a family child care and often have kids with cloth diapers. I know it's a policy in most child cares and day care centres that if your child uses cloth diapers, you have an individual wet bag for EACH soiled diaper.  Sarah sells small wet bags for individual diapers for only $6 each!  Your child care provider will thank you if you purchase these, even if they aren't required.  Small wet bags are also super convenient to stuff in your diaper bag for trips out.

Please check out her site first if you are shopping for any of the following baby items; she's a work-from-home mom who hand crafts these items herself and buying from her is really and truly directly supporting a small business.

Sarah's Stitches also sells:

- Snack bags
- Zippered Wet Bags
- Pail liners (these are hard to find!)
- Fleece soakers, pants, and shorts
- Naked time mats
- Quilts
- Wool play food
- Ribbon lovies
- Fleece liners for cloth diapers

Here are some pictures of the soakers I ordered for Aias in 2009.  They have endured MANY MANY MANY washes and dries.  They have been used over fitted covers, but you can get Sarah to add snaps or velcro for an extra bit of money and they would be great for over prefolds as well. 

They'd also actually be pretty good as training pants on an older child.





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Friday, December 20, 2013

DIY Belly Casting

My friend Charlotte messaged me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted her to come over and do a belly casting before the baby was born. I said yes!  I had always wanted to do this but I thought it would be too much work or too expensive. I was wrong on both counts!

All you need to do a belly casting is to purchase two easy to find things:

- Plaster gauze
- Vaseline

and you'll also need  a bowl of warm water.

That's it.  I keep reading other DIY lists and they have things like rubber gloves, powders, etc, but nope... you can do it with just these two things (and the water!). 

A few words of advice about the plaster gauze.  It looks like regular gauze except with white powder in it, and it comes in a roll.  Here in Canada (where things are way more expensive than everywhere else, it seems) a single roll is about $3.99 at a medical supply shop.   You will want to get the thickest roll you can ( I bought 3 inch wide rolls).  Depending on how much space you want to cover, you will probably need 3 to 5 rolls total.  So the cost of the gauze will be roughly $20 which is a lot cheaper than any belly casting kit.

When I asked them if they had it at the medical supply store, they said no.  They barely knew what I was talking about.  However, I went over by the gauze and sure enough, there it was. I don't think they sell it very often because people probably don't do their own casts at home too frequently. 

Get the tiniest thing of Vaseline you can find as you won't use much.  Even a travel or sample sized container is going to probably be enough.

Here's how we did it:

1.  Set out a bowl of warm water.
2.  Open and unroll the gauze. Cut it into 10-12 inch strips.
3.  Take off your shirt and bra. 
4.  Cover your chest and stomach liberally with Vaseline
5.  Dip a single strip of gauze into the water, drape it on you.  Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you've made a thick cast that covers all the spots you want casted.
6.  Keep it on until it's dry (about 20 minutes)

Use all the gauze you bought; the more gauze the stronger it will be. 

Seriously easy.  Strangely relaxing!

Eventually it will be obvious that it's time to "pop" the cast off.  When it's completely dry you can decorate it!

I'm so grateful Charlotte offered to do this.  I wouldn't have done it myself and probably would have regretted it.  If you want a really meaningful and thoughtful gift for a friend, offer to do this for them.  They will be so happy you did.




 Pictures taken by Charlotte Watson.
 
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Food Doula Came!

Some of my amazing friends arranged for The Food Doula to come over to our place and cook us some food to eat once the baby is born.  Today she did!  She was here for four hours and prepared butter chicken, daal, shepard's pie, and a root salad.


In total we will have about 12 meals in the freezer from this visit!


 
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Twinsies

I don't care what genitals the baby has, matching outfits will happen whenever possible. Aias loooooves this idea.


 
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

OMG a Stuffy!

I did an out of character thing yesterday and bought a stuffy. Aias wanted it and I think it's the cutest ever because it is Garfield the cat's bear Pooky.

My parent friends are lucky that I know parents hate to get stuffies as gifts because if I didn't know that I would have bought one for all of my local friend's kids. It was hard to resist, anyway, for $1.99.

You're welcome.




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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Avon Minis Photoshoot

Some Avon arrived at my place today. It's actually supposed to go to And Mommy Makes 3 but I don't know, should I keep it and just cut contact off with her ;) Just kidding.

But seriously, I thought these bottles were going to be way smaller. They are a decent size and I almost want to eat them.  I am so happy I ordered my own set of the minis.  I was going to give them as gifts but I'm a little scared they are all going to become gifts for myself.

THEY ARE SO CUTE! And the lip balms... I know first hand they are tasty!

Edited to add: Ok, the Apple Pie bubble bath is AMAZING.  I'm going to order hoards more for myself.  I was going to use the bubble bath to wash my floors but I'm not gonna lie, it's coming in the tub with me.  I couldn't help but drink the Avon Kool-Aid apparently!

If you want to sell Avon or buy Avon or learn about Avon, please contact Chris at Comfort and Beauty. 
 
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Things to Appreciate Before Baby Comes

Baby #2 is due in 6 weeks 3 days (only 45 days!).  At this point with Aias, I was losing my mind. I was totally ready to meet my baby.

This time around, sure, I'm excited.  I'm going to be super happy to meet this new mystery person.  But this time I have a way better idea about how it's going to be, so for now, I'm just enjoying these last several weeks as a parent of one.

I've made a list of things to really appreciate in the next 6 (or however many long) weeks.  I strive to think about these things often, because soon enough, they will be gone. Sure, they will be back... but goodness knows after how long!

1.  Sleep!  Aias sleeps all night long.  I sleep all night long. Well, except for peeing every hour (thanks baby bump).

2.  No diapers!  Aias does the whole toileting thing on his own.  No diapers for me.

3. No diaper BAG.  We do cloth diapers, and even though we use nice, flat, contoured pre-folds, we have to carry a pretty big diaper bag. 

4.  No breast feeding!  Aias is weaned, so I get to keep my boobs in my bra all day long.

5.  Taking a bath, using the computer, doing my hair.  Yeah.

I'm super excited to meet my baby, but I know that this time will fly and before I know it, I'll be a mom of two.  Until then, I am feeling very patient and just enjoying life with a 4-year-old.



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Thursday, November 7, 2013

You Know You Are Best Friends with the Avon Lady When...

You know you are best friends with the Avon lady when...


W00t w00t w00t w00t w00t!

My order has arrived! Here's what I got:

- Avon Bubble Delight in Peppermint Vanilla and Cucumber Melon
- Avon Naturals Kids Shampoo & Conditioner in Banana and Apple
- The holiday minis!  4 hand creams, 4 lip balms, and 4 bubble delights!
- Avon Speed Dry 30 in a bright red colour
- A GIANT bottle of Skin So Soft (because I intend to do experiments with it hehehehe)

There's also a hand soap wrapped up like a cute penguin to put up in my co-op common room.  I totally want to steal it but I won't ;)

The Bubble Delight is because I want to try the things on this list and the Skin So Soft is because I want to try the things on this list.

Remember, if you want to hear more about buying or selling Avon, please contact Chris at the Comfort and Beauty blog!


 
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Inappropriate and Tasteless Pregnancy Halloween Costume

When I was pregnant with Aias I was only a week away from giving birth on Halloween but I didn't dress up my bump at all.  This time around I swore I would.

I decided on a simple inappropriate and tasteless costume made from a clearance long sleeved shirt, a doll from a thrift store, a bit of thread, and some hot glue.

Hilarious.




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Monday, October 21, 2013

Home Birth Supplies

I'm finally sorting out home birth supplies!


From left to right:

- A gender neutral padded muslin blanket and bunny I bought for the baby
- The towel Aias was wrapped in when he was first born
- A stack of receiving blankets
- Aquaborn pool liner
- Rubber gloves
- 4x4 gauze
- Large green waterproof pads
- Medium blue waterproof pads



From left to right:

- 2 Rapid Cold Packs
- Arnica tablets
- Rescue remedy spray
- 5 pairs of really huge pads
- 4 pairs of disposable gauze underwear
- 4 large black plastic bags
- 2 large clear plastic bags
- 2 packs of super maxi pads
- 2 "water proof sheets"
which don't look like sheets at all
- 1 peri bottle
- 2 plastic painting tarps
- straws
- more 4x4 gauze
- A 450mL bottle Chlorhexidine gluconate solution
- A shower curtain
- Absorbant blue bath robe

 

Everything in one picture.

 
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Avon Party with And Mommy Makes 3

Tonight I went to my first ever Avon party!

I know, I know. An Avon party sounds really out of character for me.  We do "no poo" in this house and we clean everything with natural substances using cleaners we make ourselves.  We barely use bath products and I think I can count on one hand the amount of times Aias has had shampoo and soap on him. I seem like a really unlikely person to attend an Avon party.

I hadn't actually given Avon a thought since I was about 10 years old, sifting through the bottles of Skin-So-Soft in my Oma's bathroom cabinet.  She used to rub it all over us instead of bug spray, and even now if I take a sniff of it and close my eyes, it's like a summer night and I'm 7 years old sitting around a bonfire at our beach house.  I also remember the seasonal lip balms and earrings from my childhood, not only from around my own home but in the homes of childhood friends.  But had I thought about Avon between then and now? Definitely not.

When And Mommy Makes 3 told me she was going to be selling Avon, I was really surprised.  Mostly because she barely ever wears makeup, so I couldn't figure out why she would want to sell it. Turns out Avon sells WAY more than makeup.  No, seriously. They sell makeup, yes, but they also sell bath products, jewelry, clothing, shoes, home products, kitchen stuff, electronics, and toys.  I had no clue.

Since And Mommy Makes 3 is my best friend, I decided I was going to learn about Avon and give her whatever help I could in her quest to be the Avon Lady.  I had no idea I would actually like... possibly LOVE... Avon as much as I have started to!

Here are a few things I want to share about Avon.... keep in mind this is NOT a sponsored post, I'm writing it entirely because I was actually super surprised I took to Avon so quickly.

1.  As I said above, Avon sells way more than makeup.  They also sell bath products, jewelry, clothing, shoes, home products, kitchen stuff, electronics, and toys.

2.  Avon is affordable.  It's nothing like the prices you'll find in a Tupperware catalogue. They also have tons of deals, sales, clearance, etc.

3.  Avon is not sketchy at all, and it isn't a rip-off to start selling Avon. I remember a friend had to pay tons of money up front to sell Mary Kay. Avon isn't like that.  You don't have to buy any stock up front at all. In fact, it only costs $10 to start selling Avon and that's just a registration fee.  Lots of times throughout the year, they even waive that fee. 

4.  Avon doesn't test on animals. 

5.  Avon's nail polish doesn't contain formaldehyde!  I was so surprised when I heard this, especially because Avon nail polish is super affordable; full price is normally about $7, but it almost always goes on sale for around $3 a bottle.  The Avon Speed Dry 30, while it takes about 60 seconds to dry (but who is counting?) is pretty much the only reason why I have time to paint my nails.  And it actually lasts longer than you'd think!

So blah blah blah Avon.  Here are some pictures from the party.  This was actually an incredibly well done party, in my opinion. I know it was my first and only party, but usually when you go to these independent seller parties for a business there are catalogues to look at but no actual products.  And Mommy Makes 3 really outdid herself.





There were prizes and I was thrilled we won one of them. Actually, Aias won one of them :)

A scrubbber brush, bubble bath, bath paints, and lip balm.
Aias had a blast with them. I had to steal away the bubble bath to make sure some was spared (come on 4 year old, bubble bath is not single use) but I was shocked beyond belief that even though I let him go hog-wild on that bath paint, there was tons left when he was done.



You can check out And Mommy Makes 3's Avon blog, Comfort and Beauty, here by the way.  And if you live in Canada and want to sell Avon, please consider emailing her. She's honest, super down to earth, and will be able to chat with you to help you decide if it's right for you.

If you are shy about that, I'll give you a little information to start with. It's actually fairly simple to get started.  From what I understand you pay the $10 registration fee and then you are given support tools, both online and in print, to help you get started.  You don't need to buy a single thing up front, and you start with basic discounts on the products.  So for example it's 25% off health and beauty products to start.  So if a product in the catalogue costs $10, and a customer buys it, you get $2.50 to keep for yourself.  In fact, the amount of money that gets sent to Avon is only the $7.50.  The more you sell and the longer you sell, the higher % off you get, I think up to 45% of something (I'm guessing).  So it's a pretty reasonable commission system.

I've rambled long enough, but I just feel like Avon is pretty cool.  The products are fun and inexpensive, and you may just want to give them a try. 


 
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Aias Vs. New Baby in 3D Ultrasound

Aias Vs. New Baby in 3D Ultrasound:

 They look so similar!!!

 
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

An international wave of light campaign encourages everyone to light a candle every October 15th at 19:00 to stand together in remembrance of babies gone too soon and raise awareness about infant loss.



It is a day of remembrance for pregnancy, loss, and infant death which includes but is not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or the death of a newborn.

It is observed annually in the United States and Canada and, in recent years, in the United Kingdom.


 
In my window. Thinking of friends and family whose losses they have shared, and knowing so many more of you probably grieved alone.


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