My Top 8 Favourite Baby Items

Now that Mr. HU is officially a year I’ve had some time to look back at what we loved and didn’t love during that year! Yes I can not believe how quickly time has slipped past, it’s a never-ending cycle.

I have to say my number 1 is.. Como Tomo Silicone Baby Bottle.
From the moment I seen a friend using the Como Tomo at the park I was in LOVE with this bottle. I knew I wanted to breastfeed HU and the fact alone that the bottle was “squishy” like a breast made it that much more appealing. I took the plunge and bought a couple and never looked back! Since we breastfeed and bottle feed we purchased 4 of the 150ml and 4 slow flow nipples. Even at 13 months we are still using the slow flow nipples. For anyone interested in the formula we used; it is the Baby’s Only Organic Formula, purchased from Lucky Vitamin. (We purchased ours from Well.ca if you’re a new customer use code “HLPWife”)

2. hmm next.. what could be just as amazing? Oh yes.. Euphoric Herbals.
The herbal super-food blends to increase your milk supply! Have you noticed everything that made the first year amazing had to do with feeding my son? haha After trying several different companies and types I will always recommend Euphoric Herbals blends. After speaking to the owner Cindy numerous times and taking the quiz on their site I decided to go with Lush Leche. For me it was perfect! For anyone who doesn’t know back in 2010 I had a breast reduction which meant I had a much lower chance to actually breastfeed. I had an amazing surgeon (thankfully) and was able to experience the rewards of breastfeeding my son. Let’s talk about Euphoric Herbals for a moment… it started as a small business YAY, the owner has nursing mother’s interest at heart YAY, she runs monthly programs where you can actually get a gift card to her store for promoting her on social media (seriously who does that? Cindy does, that’s who!), I fell in love with this company for the quality of her products (also vegan friendly) and was blown away by her positive attitude, amazing staff and ability to make you feel like the most important women at that moment.

3. Probiotics… I feel like my life wouldn’t have been the same without them for myself and my children. Have you ever stressed over their shit? Or lack of it? haha Well give that little one some probiotics (for their age) and you’ll see a huge difference! I learned this trick with my daughter and kept it going with my son!

4. Video Baby Monitor.
I’m going to be honest here, everyone has their own opinions on what they like. Our first video monitor was shit but Motorola replaced it with an amazing monitor with two cameras and I’m beyond in love with it! I have one camera setup on HU’s sleeping area and the other one moves between Gryphen’s bedroom, the play area & the backyard. Our’s can be found at Amazon.ca or Amazon.com. I love with ours you can tilt and swivel the camera around the room, on the screen you can either have 1 camera or both in a split screen.

5. Bibdanas.
Who wants just regular old bibs these days? (I actually have a handful of amazing ones a family friend made for the kids that I absolutely love). Once you see your little one in a bibdana you’ll be hooked. I made a few for our niece and loved how they looked so I made several for HU. How could I not? You can purchase them from several stores, finding them isn’t a challenge. But finding the design on them might be! If you can sew you can save a lot money and make your own! One things for sure, these little drool catchers are a must have.

6. Baby Carrier.
Ring Sling, Ergobaby, Tula, Sakura Bloom, who cares who makes it just as long as you and your little love it. I feel like this is one major item I couldn’t live without from newborn onward. I wouldn’t have survived a few days without my ring sling. It was such an essential when HU was tiny. Now with Gryphen taking a bus every morning it’s so easy just to put HU in the Ergo on the chilly mornings and walk her to the stop.

7. Lil’Kingz handmade booties.
I’m a firm believer that it’s better for children to feel what’s beneath their feet and with the Lil’Kingz soft sole booties they can do just that. When searching for a Canadian brand I came across Lil’Kingz on Etsy and instantly loved Kim’s design. They don’t just cut off at the ankle they protect it giving a little extra coverage. After a few messages I was very excited to be expecting a custom pair for HU. I’m sure you can imagine the design.. Planes! I followed her ordering guide and purchased them slightly bigger then his foot to allow for growing and they’ve fit him perfectly throughout the summer and into the fall. Every time HU wears them he receives a compliment on how adorable and original they are. Damn right!

8. Oball Sink ‘n’ Spill Whale.
You fill it full of water, put your finger on and off of the hole on the top and make it rain!! HU adores it in the bath, I would say one of his top toys to play with in the tub. And apparently to him nothing is off-limits in there! We purchased our whale from Marshall’s, but I also found it at Toys’r’us for the same price.

That more or less sums up the items that we couldn’t live without! What are some things that you loved??

Hunter’s New Kicks!

I have to admit I’m a sucker for an East Coast brand! Many people know that Gryphen was born and spent her first two years living the East Coast lifestyle before being whisked off by Air Canada to Ontario. When I began my search for Hunter’s new shoes I turned to Etsy to see if I could locate someone local who handmade some badass shoes. Well turns out I found an amazing company, Lil Kingz; in the lovely Prince Edward Island! After a few messages we settled on an amazing aviation print and HU’s booties would be here in a few weeks! Everyday I’d check the mail to see if they might be early (you just never know with Canada Post) and sure enough they arrived 3 days early! I was beyond excited to open the package to get the first look at these little bad boys!

All I can say is I was NOT disappointed!! They turned out perfect. HU of course was super excited to no longer be wearing Gryphen’s pink Robeez and instantly was grabbing at the tongue.

With all the excitement over I decided to take a very close look at the quality of the booties to make sure they were up to my standards. I flipped the bootie inside out; all of the stitching is perfect! You can really tell that attention was given when the booties were created.

Looking over the entire boot I didn’t notice any flaws with the stitching and everything looks superb. I will defiantly be ordering another pair of booties for HU (and maybe Gryphen) from Lil’Kingz. Now where should we go to test these booties out??

If you’re interested in getting your own check out Lil Kingz on Etsy and get the behind the scenes look on Instagram!

The Yummiest Lactation Cookies

Today’s experiment… Oatmeal Chocolate Chips Lactation Cookies. As you might already know I will try anything to increase my milk supply and while I was shopping through well.ca I noticed that had Boons lactation cookies for a nice $9 on sale; I had to order some! Well they were delicious! I ordered a bag of the Cocoa Quinoa & Oatmeal Raisin. I must say I really preferred the Cocoa Quinoa, it was the right amount of chocolate to kill a craving while assisting with my milk supply 🙂 Win win in my books!

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I wasn’t about to pay for another bag of those bad boys so I turned to Pinterest to seek out the most pinned lactation cookie recipes and wow there were A LOT! I settled  on 4 different ones and played with ingredients from all making the yummiest cookies! I personally used all organic ingredients but if you don’t have them don’t get hung up, just use what you have.

Ingredients

3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons brewers yeast
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar (I buy mine at Costco)
2 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips/chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F
  2. Whisk in a large bowl oatmeal, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.
  3. In your mixer bowl beat butter with coconut oil until creamy.
  4. Add sugar and beat until “fluffy”.
  5. Add eggs!
  6. Add vanilla extract.
  7. Gradually add dry ingredients.
  8. Hand mix in chocolate chips so they’re evenly dispensed
  9. Place desired amount on to lined cookie sheet and bake! Mine took 12 minutes but each oven is different I suggest setting your timer for 10 minutes and checking them.

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These cookies have been a family favourite in our house and we hope you and yours love them as much as we do! Hashtag #HappyLifePilotWife with your cookies! Can’t wait to see how they turn out 🙂

My Breastfeeding Experience

Every where I look these days I see an ad or photo promoting breastfeeding so when it came to feeding Hunter I knew I wanted to breastfeed him. Sadly it wouldn’t be “that” easy for me. Six years ago I decided to have a breast reduction. Because of that, breastfeeding Gryphen just didn’t happen for us. I was beyond devastated and suffering from postpartum depression at that time so I pushed myself to move on. Fast forward to getting pregnant with Hunter and I knew that no matter what I’d do anything to breastfeed him.

It’s been a long LONG couple of weeks with Hunter. Everything started so perfect. Hunter had a perfect latch and we were pushing through the soreness with some Dr. Newman cream. Then his weight didn’t change. He just stayed at the same place for a few days. Bad news for me. I was back to being devastated. I just felt so successful and then the midwife told me I needed to start supplementing. I couldn’t stop crying. Here I am sitting on the sofa with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, my husband and the midwife and my world felt like it was just falling down. HELLO EMOTIONS.

It was time for me to go back to the drawing board and start more research on breastfeeding. Once the midwife left, I grabbed my phone. Time to email. I sent so many emails and read way too many forums. It was time for us to drive over to babies’r’us to get some bottles and formula. I must have looked like shit and that’s all I could think about because I did not want to think about how I was “selling out” and buying formula. I actually couldn’t bring myself to feed Hunter formula so Devon did it. Then Joanne fed him for me. Finally I had another midwife appointment and low and behold Hunter was up to 8 lbs! I was reassured what I was doing was working and I needed more direction.

I met with the local breastfeeding clinic. Turns out my one breast wasn’t producing much milk BUT the other one was! Finally I was able to logically process everything. My next step was to rent a hospital grade breast pump & start taking domperidone (on top of the herbal supplement I was already taking). Start calling around. Found one. Rented! Now to start pumping as much as possible. HUGE FAIL. Who knew pumping actually took so much time! This is how a feed for Hunter went. Breastfeed, bottle feed, change diaper, get Hunter to sleep or relaxed THEN pump! It would take 2 hours every time I fed him. But for me it was worth it. He was getting the breast milk I really wanted him to get.

Fast forward to Hunter being 6.5 weeks old and guess who has a tongue tie! Yup that’s right some how it went undetected for so long blows my mind BUT it did. We celebrated Hunter being two months by bring him to Sherry Hill in Brampton to have his tongue tie “released” it’s a fancy word for cutting the skin under his tongue and the poor little guy screamed so much. Completely heart breaking. But it wouldn’t end there, 6 times everyday we had to do a range of exercises with him opening the cut and stretching the skin under his tongue.

Our journey is far from being over but it seems to be on the right track! I’ve included a list below of herbal supplements we’ve tried. 0089 Duty DiaperFenugreek & Blessed Thistle – was okay but gave Hunter HORRIBLE gas.
Euphoric Herbals Lush Leche – AMAZING! Sucks it’s an American brand with our dollar so low but well  worth the money.
Domperidone – it’s a prescription but well worth the money.
MumMa MilkStream – LOVE this tincture. I was hesitant to try it but so happy I did.

Don’t mind me as I scream!

I love my son I really do! He’s beyond amazing but something has changed. This darling little gem has taking to being “colic” and now screams all day and night.

I would actually be going crazy if it wasn’t for my ring sling. The only way to stop Hunter from crying is by holding him upright and moving around! If I sit he screams, if I lay him down he screams, if I put him in the ring sling and clean and do housework he’s happy and sleeps!

What did you do to settle your LO when they hit that “colic” stage? We’d love to hear what worked for you.

 

Duty Diaper Review

I received the most amazing diaper cover “US Special Forces – Multicam” in the mail while I was pregnant with Hunter from Duty Diaper. I’m so in love with this little cover & the incredibly story behind this company. Like many diaper companies Duty Diaper started on the kitchen table with many late nights and now all of their covers are assembled by a Disabled Veteran Company in Florida. They have a variety of covers made with very high quality materials.

0089 Duty Diaper

At first glance we just loved these covers. Jennifer has done a wonderful job with the unique packaging which has come in handy when we’re out & about and need a small bag for a dirty pre-fold. Instead of having the fasteners attached you can un-velcro move and adjust them to fit your infant’s body. The velcro on these Duty Diaper covers is so tough! When we were removing the nametape we really had to pull that baby off! haha Oh and how much do you love the custom nametape. Gryphen has taken to clipping things to Hunter’s diaper whenever he has this one on! It’ll come in hand once he gets moving.
0093 Duty Diaper The fabric is incredibly soft to touch, slim fitting and holds up very well to our heavy wetter. In the four weeks of having this cover in our circulation we’ve had 1 leak. One leak which was because someone (Devon) didn’t make sure the pre-fold was on correctly so I nicely got covered in pee! Thanks Devon 😉 The only con I have with this cover is that it doesn’t have a double wall on the legs. 0090 Duty Diaper This is a perfect diaper cover for babes but another thing I love is it makes a wonderful photo prop! Being active in photography we’re always looking for new items to add to our collection and this diaper cover was spot on for our new addition. If you’re a newborn photographer and shoot for service members, or anyone in the emergency services the Duty Diaper covers are perfect for your clients and a steal at $39.95.
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Hunter just loved having tummy time in front of the warm fire-place on his bear rug from From Way Up North while we snapped photos of him. This rug is perfect for all ages (Gryphen just loved it).

0092 Duty DiaperI was really looking forward to shooting Hunter in this cover and can’t wait to shoot again with it! If you’d like to purchase one for yourself please follow the links below. And for all you crochet lovers out there don’t forget to pick up the Bear rug pattern & the felted infant bootie pattern from From Way Up North on Etsy!

Duty DiaperUS Special Forces Multicam (don’t forget to take a look at their other amazing covers).

The Details of Hunter’s Birth

If you aren’t interested in hearing the details of my labour I highly suggest you just stop reading now to save you the mental images! But if you came to this post to find out what went down.. well you’re in the right place!

Anyone who knows me knows that I need things to work out perfectly how I planned them out or it’s all hell for me (and all the other people around me). Since I gave birth to Gryphen back in 2012 Devon and I discussed what I’d like for our next child and I was very firm on a few things and I knew that I’d do anything to make sure those were achieved.

  1. A water birth – I spent most of my labour in the tub at the IWK and knew I wanted a birthing tub for round two.
  2. Midwife – I remember my SIL Samantha had a midwife and she had all these amazing things to say and after the birth the midwife comes to your house for the first couple visits.
  3. Paternity Leave – The day we arrived home from the hospital with Gryphen, Devon went to work and I was an emotional wreck with a newborn! This time I wanted him to take a month off to help me around the house and with Gryphen. But as our lives alway change so did Devon’s job! He took a job with Air Transat which meant he’d be doing training during my last month of pregnancy until the baby would be around 2 months old. This was great news to me! I knew he’d most likely be there for the birth as well for the first little while to help and make sure everything was going great.

So now you know some of the major details of what I wanted let me tell you about the actual birth and the events leading up to it. Well the last couple weeks of my pregnancy were pretty emotional for me, I was super worried that I was going to have postpartum depression again. Thursday night (41 weeks pregnant) Devon and I were laying in bed talking about how I was concerned that my depression was coming back and I was terrified how I’d handle it with him being gone so much when I started to get some contractions! Thinking I was probably just hungry I went downstairs to make something to eat (time check: midnight). I ate some food, went upstairs and decided to take a bath! Sent my bestie in Dubai a text saying I felt like my labour was starting! Who responded incredibly fast and thought perhaps I should wake up Devon and let him know what was going on.

Devon suggested I should call the midwife (time check 1:30am), after a fun convo during a fairly intense contraction she let me know they’d be here around 2am. At this point I was either on the exercise ball or lounging in my bathtub. Gryphen was fast asleep (or so I left her) and everything was going smoothly. Soon the midwives arrived and we did a check to see how far I was dilated (4cm) and they suggested to Devon that if I planned on using the birthing tub then he’d better fill it up; Devon went to work with a little help from Gryphen! Gryphen was woken up when Devon closed her bedroom door so she wouldn’t get woken up. Ops.

For the next hour or so Devon & Gryphen were downstairs watching tv and eating some cereal, while I breathed through my contractions. (time check: 3:30am) Devon added some warm water to the birthing tub so I could actually get in. During this time I was resting next to the bed and the student midwife decided to check my dilation (8cm). After she check I had a pretty intense contraction and I could feel my cervix dilate the remainder 2 cm’s. Devon helped me into the tub while Gryphen and the main midwife Anne sat on the exercise ball assisting with my breathing. The first contraction in the tub I felt my water break, such an odd sensation. The only way to describe it, its like a balloon popping. The next two contractions I pushed his very hair filled head out. All I remember from this moment was the student midwife telling Devon the baby would be here soon and my response was “yes because his head is in my hand”. The next contraction he was fully out (time check: 4:03am) and Gryphen was right beside me on the outside of the tub checking out her baby brother! The student midwife scooped him out of the water and handed him to me but told Gryphen her sister was here, and Devon’s reaction was priceless! For some reason the student midwife kept referring to the baby as a girl, I didn’t notice it much but I think at that moment for Devon it was pretty shocking. But he was definitely a boy!

The next couple hours were pretty routine and went by fairly quickly, Gryphen wouldn’t leave her brother’s side until I took her into her room and laid with her until she fell asleep. Friday was a complete blur and lacking in sleep. The next few days after the delivery I more or less spent it in bed while Devon took care of Gryphen and prepared all our meals. I was avoiding going to the main floor as I knew it would be a complete mess (which it was). I had my first contraction just after 11:30pm on Thursday and 4.5 hours later at 4:03am on Friday November 27th we welcomed our second child! I asked Devon later how he felt the labour went “It was really fast, I was expecting to be running and getting you things all night and most of the day but it was over so quickly I didn’t even have time to let it sink in”.

We had such an amazing experience and we’re very happy we decided to use a midwife instead of a general doctor or OBGYN again. I was lucky to have easy labours with both of our children and I’m happy to report that this time around I haven’t struggled with any depression! If you’re expecting or are a new mum I’d love to hear about your birth experience.

Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss my post about my struggles with breastfeeding after a breast reduction.

What’s in my Diaper Caddy?

As today marks my due date I thought maybe i’d post something regarding how i’ve been preparing for the arrival of the baby. The house is in full swing of welcome a new little person, including having these little diaper caddies around our house. They’re perfect to have on each level for quick changes.

0085 Diaper CaddyThis caddy mainly focuses on prefolds as we’ll be using them the most in the newborn stage. We have two American made diaper covers; a Blueberry Capri hook/loop in green & a Duty Diaper US Special Forces custom cover in Multicam. (Stay tuned for a full review on this amazing Duty Diaper cover, we’re so in love with these veteran made diapers). The prefolds we’re using are OsoCozy BetterFit & Thirsties Duo Hemp Prefolds. Can’t forget the adorable Snappi cloth diaper fasteners!
0086 Diaper Caddy Moving on from our lovely prefolds we have two AIO Charlie Banana cloth diapers, a few dozen cloth wipes, a spray bottle for water, some diaper liners and a flat mat to toss down to save our surfaces! We also have a couple disposable diapers in the basket. 0087 Diaper Caddy No diaper caddy would be complete without a change of clothes for those lovely mishaps that happen to babies! We have an adorable drool bibdana, socks, some incredible soft pants (I picked up the material when we were in Hawaii earlier this year) and a custom made onesie designed by Devon’s sister Kana. 0088 Diaper CaddyI hope this helps when deciding what you’ll need in your babies caddy! If you’re interested in purchasing your own custom diaper cover head over to Duty Diapers. If you’re looking at starting cloth diapering check out Lagoon Baby for more information and diapering accessories. Stay tuned for my full review on the Duty Diapers cloth cover after the baby arrives!

Saying Goodbye and Hello to New Beginnings 

It’s hard to believe that after almost 4 years, today is Devon’s last day at Air Georgian! And in true GGN fashion he is being extended 😉 (Photo below: Top: First day of flying in Halifax. Bottom: Last day in Toronto.) IMG_5351    November is going to be a very busy month for us as Devon begins his new job & we welcome our second child. Devon seems to love taking jobs when I’m in my last month of pregnancy, thankfully this time we won’t need to move! Can’t wait to share some of our favourite baby items over the next couple months 🙂
 

DIY Pattern for Kids Pants

I’ve noticed that at least once a week I’m making Gryphen some pants! I either use an old shirt that I’ve come across or some very adorable fabric I’ve purchased but she’s always getting new pants! Unless you’re shopping just sales or lower priced stores kids clothes can really add up. I want to share with you today my very quick way of coming up with a pattern for kids pants! I adore making different types of pants this way and slightly changing them to fit perfectly to my skinny long-legged Blondie!

Materials:
Paper of any kind that’s durable
Scissors to cut paper
Marker or pen
Pants in the size you want to remake.

Step 1
I roll out some paper and tape it to the table to ensure the paper doesn’t move while I’m tracing. Once it’s taped I trace around the folded pants creating one leg.
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Step 2
I like to write all the info on the paper so I can quickly identify the pattern later.
0080 DIY PantsStep 3
Measure the waist band. Then on the paper measure out and cut the proper size. I find if you try to measure the waist band it’s self you will get one that’s too small. 0079 DIY PantsStep 4
Once the pattern is completed I pin all the sheets together for safe keeping (and organization).
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I love these little pants that I’ve created for the baby & can’t wait to try them on. I’ve made them to fit around 3-6 months and used an old pair of roots jogging pants. 0082 DIY Pants0083 DIY Pants

Hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make an easy pattern for kids pants! If you want to see any other patterns please leave a comment below 🙂