Valentine’s Day Fun

We had such a fun Valentine’s Day this weekend! Gryphen has been asking if she could have a party so I invited a couple of her friends over so they could decorate some crowns and do other kids activities! The night before Gryphen & I baked the cutest red velvet cupcakes. Yum!
Even though weren’t using these she was very obsessed with holding them for photos! Haha oh

Kids ?After Captain Gryphen was done working hard on her crown she decided that the kids should take to drawing our dry erase board we use for learning. I really love how her crown turned out!  On Sunday I decided it would be a great idea to take some family photos; I called in my good friend which turned into a very funny 15 minutes and some tears. I was very happy with the results and glad that we got a couple good shots of the four of us! Still hard to believe there’s 4 of us now. Yikes! 0096 Family Photo 0097 Family Photo 0098 Family PhotoI hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s Day & Family Day long weekend xo

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.
0091 Duty Diaper

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.

Let’s Talk Potty

Whoever said that potty training comes naturally to some children.. It does! It’s us parents who either hinder or encourage our children. Sadly I’m admitting Devon & I hindered Gryphen from reaching her full potential of no diapers. Gryphen was beyond excited that she was using the toilet on her own and we encouraged her, we would hangout with her in the bathroom for several minutes waiting for her to pee/poop BUT here’s where we f’ed up. When we were went for long drives; diaper, activities; diaper, bedtime; diaper. See the pattern pretty much we taught her she didn’t need to diaper at home but our and about she did so she regressed. Shit..

To that point we rarely rewarded her for going to the bathroom in the toilet well now she knew our game and she was now an active player and was winning. We set out a set amount of diapers (I think 10) and told her that once they were gone there would be no more. Step one for us was NO MORE MILK AT BEDTIME. This was I think tougher for us at first, it was a comfort to her and she loves milk but after her falling asleep within 5 minutes without it I know she could do this! Then came sticking strong to no diapers after the 10, it was beyond tough. She was crying, screaming, demanding a diaper. All I had to offer her was a large kinder egg with a toy inside. She ran to the bathroom, pee’d and was eating the egg once she was all washed up.

That was it, we resulted in bribing our 3-year-old with candy and toys to get her to do what she’s been doing for months. So now instead of leaving on time we start getting ready 30 minutes before we need to so she can pee since it’s a 5 to 10 minute process at times. Now I’ve just mainly talked about pee… well poop does happen and when it does she gets a sucker! But that has turned into a lengthy process with several tantrums. But after some time she does go. I have found that making sure she gets daily probiotic help as well as “Constipation Candy” which are very simple to make and she really loves them.

Constipation Candy Recipe
Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lemon juice (mix & taste as you go along)
  • 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or with a handheld mixer; once everything is very well mixed pour into candy moulds. Store in fridge and enjoy as required. (source: Mommy Potamus)

If I can give any advice or tips there would be it!

  • Get rid of diapers
  • Buy a manufacture approved dry seat insert for the car seat
  • Say goodbye to the bedtime drinks.
  • Put a mattress protector on the bed (buy two if you can afford it)
  • Have bribes.. I mean rewards on hand. You might not need them at first but better to be safe.
  • Bring extra changes of clothes & shoes EVERYWHERE.
  • Encourage your child and create a fun song for bathroom time!

I wish you the best of luck! Sometimes kids just aren’t ready and you need to respect that but if they are stop hindering them 🙂

0084 Let's talk Potty

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.
0078 DIY Pants

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).
0081 DIY Pants

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 🙂

DIY Nursing Cover

I’m very excited about this little project! After making an infinity nursing scarf earlier in the year for my sister-in-law it really had me thinking about what I’d like out of a nursing scarf. Since realizing that I’m in my third trimester now I’ve been starting to organize and prepare things for the baby (yes for this entire pregnancy I haven’t been focusing on any sort of time frame, just enjoying everything slowly happening to my body). Have you seen the Nuroo nursing covers? I fell in love once I watched the video and learned how versatile they actually are. Sadly though they don’t come in many colours so I went to work on deciding what fabric I’d love for my own.

Materials Needed
Fabric – 70in long x 29in wide (I purchased 2 meters)
Thread to match fabric
Cotton Twill Tape – 60 inches
Snaps – 30 total/ 15 per side (I used my Babyville Snap Pilers & snaps)

Step 1
Press and cut pre-washed fabric to length (70×29). The fabric I purchased was 58in wide, I was able to make two scarfs. Which was great!

0072 DIY Nursing Scarf

Step 2
Measure 1 inch, fold & press fabric. I find ironing the fabric assures a nicer seam. Once you’ve done that pin on the twill tape. Make sure to cut the twill take slightly longer.
0073 DIY Nursing Scarf

Step 3
Time to sew! I use two different colours of thread to ensure it blends nicer but you can do whatever works best! Sew the edges of the twill tape0074 DIY Nursing ScarfStep 4
Here’s the fun part; attaching the snaps! This I found took the longest, mainly because Gryphen decided she needed to help. I spaced then just over an inch apart. I used a block plaid which made spacing VERY easy.
0075 DIY Nursing Scarf Since we don’t have a baby yet I’ve been wearing this perfect scarf on the colder days (which seem to be a lot). I can’t wait until the baby arrives so I can put this nursing scarf to work! With the left over material I made a fabulous infinity scarf for Gryphen & some bibdana’s for the baby. Once Gryphen seen my scarf she was asking where her’s was and so excited when I told her she had one as well, Nothing cooler then matching your parents when you’re 3 years old!! 0076 DIY Nursing Scarf 0077 DIY Nursing Scarf

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Nuroo inspired infinity nursing scarf project, we’d love to hear and see how yours turns out.

REVIEW // Shampoo Bar from West Lake Cosmetics

I love shampoo bars and up to this point we’ve been ordering them from the States and shipping them to Devon’s hotel rooms. Well this past week my sister-in-law came home with an all natural shampoo bar from one of our local shops here in Parry Sound; West Lake Cosmetics. For the past few days all I’ve been hearing about is how wonderful this shampoo bar is and how the Rosemary and Lavender blend smells amazing in her hair! Finally having enough a bit of free time on Wednesday afternoon I decided to stop in at West Lake to purchase one for myself!
0055 West Lake Cosmetics While I was there I also grabbed a handful of the soap samples for $2. We’re having a Welcoming Party for Devon’s new niece and thought they’d make great “thank you’s” for everyone who comes.
0056 West Lake Cosmetics After a few days of using the Shampoo Bar I can really feel a difference in my hair. My hair feels much fuller and doesn’t go flat by evening. If you’re concerned that it won’t lather up like liquid shampoo, don’t be! With the bar a small bit goes a long way. If you’re finding that your hair feels a bit tangled and want to use conditioner; spray some Apple Cider Vinegar during your shower and let it rinse out. You’ll notice your hair will no longer tangle and will be very soft. If I blow dry my hair I love using a small amount of  Argan Oil in my hair to give it some extra shine and softens it up as well.

Gryphen really loves the shampoo bar as well, it’s much easier for her to rub the bar in her hair then losing the liquid shampoo in the water! Although I think she does it on purpose. Not all hotels provide good shampoo and soap for their guests and for that reason I cut a bar in half and put one half in Devon’s toiletries bag for while he’s at work. There’s nothing better than using a great product while on the road.

Our family loves the shampoo bar from West Lake Cosmetics and can’t wait until they have more scents for us to fall in love with! Also check out their wide variety of soaps, they have a little something for everybody.
If you’re still looking for a Mother’s Day gift I recommend stopping by their store front on James Street in Parry Sound.

**This is not a paid review, I’m only sharing my personal opinion.**

Does My Face Look Fat?

I love long hair but sometimes we need an update, a new look. I decided it was time for a change and booked an appointment with Jess at Mary-Jo’s in Parry Sound to have my hair cut! 
This is the first time I’ve ever had my hair so short 🙂 at first I have to admit I HATED it! I wanted to cry, I had no idea how to style it correctly or what I was thinking haha 
It’s now been a few days and I’m starting to like it now! It’s incredibly easy to maintain. I have some flare in my hair & I still like it to be perfectly straight! That only takes about a minute to fix up now. Yay! 
I went from long to short in 20 minutes and I’m very happy with my decision! 
Has anyone else ever just cut your hair much shorter? Tell me why you decided to do it!