Sunday, July 1, 2012

I've been feeling especially creative this past week, so when I had reorganized the pantry and removed all the white pasta (we are only supposed to give our daughter whole grain stuff from now on), I thought one of the big bags had pasta shaped just the right way to be beads for lacing.

I actually didn't Google this at all and didn't know if it would work, but I took some stainless steel bowls out and divided up some of the pasta into three bowls. Then I squirted a little bit of food colouring into each bowl - just enough to mix onto the dry pasta. It seemed to work quite well. It was really hot and sunny outside, so I decided to dry them out in the sun.

I didn't do anything to set the colour, so I would definitely not have used them anywhere I was worried about colour transfer. And sure enough, the red ones did dirty up the play mat a bit. But no big deal. I unlaced one of my shoes and gave A the go-ahead to start stringing.

She started out by dumping all the 'beads' onto the floor and then rolling around in them :)
She did like trying to string them, but also liked destroying her necklaces after stringing only 10 beads at a time, so we definitely didn't get anywhere near completion, but I wasn't worried about that.

Other things we did:
- Used some plastic egg shells to scoop up the 'beads'
- Used a real egg carton to separate the colours and also mix the colours randomly
- Stick 'beads' in between A's toes and then she would squeeze them out, resulting in a lot of giggling!

All in all a really great afternoon craft. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Health Matters

It's been a hard few weeks at our house with Cubby, our 10-year-old bichon, going through loss of limb function from what we thought was a ruptured disc and then a very expensive surgery.

Also, my grandfather in California has also been suffering angina pain and general decline. He's 93 years old! My mother is out there now from Australia, helping out while they figure out how to let him continue to age at his own home with his wife. Not an easy thing to do with a willful professor who believes he's completely capable of walking around and doing his own thing.

As to Cub, luckily he has pulled through quite well and now has back his use of his back legs almost 100%. The past few days he has been wanting to play and get around as before, but we have to keep him from climbing stairs and jumping up and down. Sadly, we found out that it was not a ruptured disc, but a tumour. The vet didn't even know until after he had done the X-ray (which was 'inconclusive') and actually started the operation. The tumour was wrapped around a spinal nerve and so the vet cut out what he could see. Then the tumour went on to some diagnostic centre in the States.

Today we heard back and it seems that the type of cancer is neither aggressive nor slow-moving, which tells us just about nothing. He has somewhere between 6 to 12 months to live. The vet says the cancer will come back in the same place (20% chance that it could spread) and we will see the same kind of effect in that Cub will lose his ability to walk in the hind legs. The vet did say that in all likelihood there would be no pain the second time 'round and that Cub "doesn't need that part of his spine"! He also talked about radiation in Ithaca, NY for $5K to $8K (!) and the possibility of a doggie wheelchair.

We'll have to see how he goes and take it one day at a time.

Poor little dude. He's had a rough few months. He had bladder surgery in February for bladder crystals that were blocking his urethra. The recovery from this surgery has been so much better than the first surgery. I'm very thankful for that. Looking after a 6-month-old and a recovering bichon is a lot of work!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

So many things on my mind...

I've been up to a lot lately, but just haven't found the time to write about it and now I feel as though there are so many things circling around in my head that it will have to be laid out in point form:

-Finishing up my 4 week Booty Camp class (ended this past Thursday)
-Spring cleaning and de-cluttering (going well, but ongoing)
-Buying way too much online, including many many cloth diapers that I am very excited to receive!
-Organizing all my photos on my computer via Picasa (what a powerful program!)
-Getting ready for a street-wide garage sale 2 weekends from now
-Buying our first ever bedroom set that arrives next weekend. :)
-Watching and being continually amazed at how quickly Anika is growing and learning new skills (she's learning to sit and starting to giggle more frequently).

Meanwhile, there are some family stresses in my extended family:
- My step-father is having a pretty big operation this Thursday down in Australia and I wish I could be there for my mom
- My grandfather is undergoing heart issues and the family is not sure what to do with him - if he should be moved into a long-term care facility, hospice at home, undergo another surgery (he's 93). He lives in Northern California, so I can't very well help out out there either.
- I haven't seen my father in well over a month or two and he doesn't seem to really be trying to see us or Anika (he's seen her maybe 5 or 6 times since she was born), even though he does live in town.
- My in-laws are out of town for a month and I'm realizing how much we depend on them day-to-day for help with Anika, help around the house and just general family socializing.

Add to all this that I got a head cold last Thursday and I feel totally exhausted, though surprisingly motivated to continue with all the de-cluttering and spring cleaning.

I'm also feeling drawn to taking up jewelry making again even though it's been over a year now that I sat down to make anything.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Finding my mommy groove

I think I may have finally found my groove as a stay-at-home-mom in the past week or so.

I don't know if it has to do with starting to whip myself back into shape with Booty Camp two nights a week or if my daughter has gotten easier to handle (yeah right!) or if I just have finally relaxed into it, but I'm starting to feel good and it's showing in my attitude and around the house.

My neat-freak tendencies are coming to the surface again and I've begun to wrestle with getting the house back in order and feeling like I can look after things at home, the dog and my daughter and even have dinner ready when my husband comes home. I am in a huge de-cluttering mood and every bag that I fill to give away, throw out or recycle makes me feel that much lighter and happier.

I have been looking a bit at the Fly Lady website for motivation, cleaning and organizational ideas, though often I find that I'm already doing what the website suggests.

Sure, Anika doesn't always let me finish what I've started and her naps are fairly haphazard, but she's getting more and more independent and that allows me to pop downstairs quickly to finish the laundry, unload the dishwasher and clean bits and pieces of the house whenever I have a few minutes.

I just realized that I it may look as though I have equated feeling like a successful mom with being able to keep the house clean. Really? It's more than that. It's that I'm starting to feel like myself again, like I can get what I want to get done done and feel accomplished, all the while enjoying my little daughter to the fullest. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cloth diaper trial

This week we've been conducting a cloth diaper trial with Ottawa Cloth Diapers. Vicky has been super easy to work with and very friendly and helpful.

It is a bit overwhelming moving from disposable to cloth, with all the options available and trying to figure out what to do to stop leaks, etc. but overall it's been a great week.
I'm loving trying out all the different diapers on A, but more than anything else, I am amazed at how much less garbage we're producing. And the fact that the smell is very minimal, compared to that coming out of our diaper genie!

So far my favourites are:

1. GroBaby - super easy to snap in liners and reuse shells - dry fairly quickly and fit really nicely on A. They're very adjustable and the velcro is easy. They also have enough room in them to add a booster pad for when she soaks a lot in her morning naps.
Oh and they're cute!

2. MonkeyDoodlez. I think this is my favourite for fit, cuteness, and softness/comfort but it took the longest to dry :(

3. DryBees Hybrid AIO. Like MD, love it - fits really well, but it's a size small that we're using and I can't add anything else to it or it'll be too tight.

We also used a Bamboozled fitted diaper (size 1) for overnight with a cover. This diaper was so cute on A and fit so nicely but I don't want to have to deal with covers if at all possible.

I love the idea of the Tots Bots AIO OS too where the pad you stuff into the pocket is sewn on, so it washes and dries faster, but you don't have to go searching for a darn pad.

Still to try:
Flip diaper
FuzziBunz perfect sized opcket (need a medium -small was too small)
Thirsties Duo

Not a fan of Annie Marie Padorie although there's tons of room in them for doublers, etc. I find they leak or I'm not putting them on right.

The other big factor is that although I thought I'd like snaps for adjustability and the OS, I don't like all the snaps and I don't like having to figure out the rise for A. It takes too long. So I guess I prefer sized diapers.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time to think

I was thinking yesterday about how random and wonderful life is. About how my husband saw me on an online dating website one summer and then saw me at the grocery store that fall. He didn't go up to me, but recognized me. Later that spring I was logging onto the site to get rid of my profile as I hadn't really used it and didn't want to try dating anymore in that way. His profile flashed across the screen and in a split-second I decided to email him quickly and let him know that I was deleting my account.
If I hadn't done that, he wouldn't have emailed me and we would never have met.
If he'd come up to me at the grocery store when I was dating someone else, we wouldn't have gone out for a first date.
If neither of us had given it a second try (our first date was blah), well you get the picture.
This never would have happened

and neither would this ;)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Leaky boobs

Before I had our daughter, I decided I would try to be environmentally friendly and bought a few different washable breast pads, knowing that I might be leaky at first. Since she was born (November), I have tried out about 5 or 6 brands - none of which work as well as plain old Johnson&Johnson (eek! Now just Johnson's).

I hope this review will help some new mothers or mothers-to-be out there save some money!

1. Gerber Ultra Thin Nursing Pads: Very thin linen-feel pads. Not very comfy, but fairly discreet. Bright white so their colour will show through some clothes, but not bulky. For me, these did next to nothing. However, I imagine that at this point, 4 months into nursing they might be good for smaller accidents.

2. Lansinoh Washable Nursing Pads: Medium thickness and nicely contoured even with washing (though not as contoured as disposables). No leakage protection though.

3. Bravado Moisture-Wicking Washable Breast Pads: The softest washables ever. Have a great stay-dry outer layer that touches the nipple and terry cloth inside. However, again, no leakage protection whatsoever. Medium thickness and buckle a little.

4. Kushies: The first brand I tried in the first few weeks. They are very bulky and awkward (no contouring), but absorb well. Still leaked through them but after the first few months I do not. I just find them uncomfortable.

1. La Leche League: Soft inner side and good waterproof outer side. Semi-contoured. Medium size

2. Johnson's 60 pack: My winners. Not very soft, but great absorbency which makes up for the fact that they don't have a waterproof exterior. Have only soaked through these once or twice ever. They are fairly small in diameter - that's the only odd thing about them, but they have great contouring. I have gone through at least 4 boxes of these and think this is what I am going to stick with for the most part.