Friday, December 28, 2012

Buying Cloth Diapers in Canada

We chose cloth diapers because they not only save money, but they also save waste. The ones we decided on were Bumgenius Elemental One Size All-in-Ones. I chose these partly because they are easy to use (no stuffing), organic, last your baby through pretty much the whole time they are in diapers and because Young House Love swears by them and their word is pretty much gospel. The problem is that buying these in stores in Canada is virtually impossible or super expensive. I knew I had to get them online and in a multi-pack rather than individually. has an 12-pack of neutral colours for $250 while has the same for $350 (pretty crazy when the Canadian dollar is currently worth $0.01 more than the US). I also found a website called where you can get 12 for $362.75 and one called who offer a discount based on how many you buy so that 12 cost $328.61. These were both Canadian websites so I wouldn't have to deal with duty or crazy shipping charges and I could feel good about supporting a Canadian company. I could have orderd from and had it shipped to Ship Happens in Sumas, WA, just across the border and saved money. However I would have ended up saving only about $42, having to deal with a middleman and not getting to choose the colours of the diapers. I opted to go with New and Green and placed an order for 12 diapers in specific colours (white, noodle, butternut, mirror, grasshopper, albert and lovelace). I got my automated confirmation e-mail and all was good. However, the next day I got a personalized e-mail from Collen at New and Green apologizing profusely that they did not currently have all the colours I wanted. She outlined my options and offered a free diaper to make up for the inconvienience. I opted to have her ship what she had then and the rest when she got a new order in. TWO days later there is a knock on the door and 6 diapers (including our free one) have arrived. Inside was a handwritten note apologizing again and reminding us to prewash them. This is some of the best customer service I have ever received! I am so happy I chose to order from them, especially since with the free diaper we spent less than $20 more than we would have ordering from amazon. Thanks Collen and New and Green! I can't wait to get the rest of these diapers!

P.S. Speaking of online Canadian companies with great, personalized customer service have you ever shopped from They are awesome and practically a one woman show!

Weeks 21-25

I guess I have abandoned trying to do these in 4 week blocks, life gets in the way, etcetera.

25 Weeks

How far along? 25 weeks
Baby's size and development? Baby G is a beast! The size of a papaya or an eggplant depending on the app. 13 inches long and nearing 2lbs in weight. Little guy/gal is starting to open their eyes and learning to tap dance while wearing ice skates everytime I lay down to go to sleep.
Best moment? Both Grandmas finally getting to feel kicks. Getting baby stuff for Christmas! I tried to ban shopping for baby before the New Year but knew that realistically this would only limit the number of things bought, not elimiate it entirely. I was happy to get things though as the more time passes the more I realize this is coming quickly.
Symptoms/Changes? Dry skin like crazy, super runny/stuffed nose, not liking chocolate anymore!! Also, my belly is starting to look pregnant from the front instead of just the side. My belly button is stretched but far from an outie. I have finally starting gaining weight! Whoo Hoo up 4lbs at 25 weeks!

What I miss? My sister. (Get to see her tomorrow though!) How easy conversation flows after a glass or two of wine. I find myself zoning out a bit at social functions where others are drinking. My sweet husband is going to try not to drink from January until the baby is born.
What I'm looking forward to? Painting the baby room (which we are doing in the next couple days). Getting more baby stuff! So far we have a cradle, pack'n'play, a couple litte onesies, a bib, two blankies, a pacifier clip, a toy, some books and 6 diapers. Stay tuned for my experience ordering cloth diapers online!

Christmas House!

That "JOY" canvas was a super easy DIY. It's actually an abstract canavs that was already hanging there that didn't go with my Christmas decor. So, I wrapped it in a graphic wrapping paper and made some letters of out of printer paper. EASY! It will all come off when our decorations go away after New Years and I can make a new one next year. :)

Jack the Christmas Dog

If our child ends up with an "S" name we will need to rearrange our stockings a bit...

Finally hung some blinds in this room after 4 months of living on display. We will still need some solid curtains before trying to birth our child in this room in April.

Feather tree from Value Village!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weeks 17-20

Weeks 17-20

How far along? 20 weeks

Baby's size and development? We are half-way there! Baby G is the size of a Banana, weighing about 10.5 ounces and measuring 7 to 10 inches long. Poppyseed has tastebuds now and can share the joy of Salt and Vinegar chips! Hopefully it will be kicking hard enough for Andrew to feel it in the next little while!

Best moment? Reaching the 20 week mark! It is very satisfying and exciting. Also, discovering the wonders of maternity pants.

Symptoms/Changes? Remember what I said about being over the indigestion? I have gotten it a few times in the last couple weeks so bad that it makes me nauseous. It is one of my absolute least favourite symptoms. I am finally starting to look more pregnant than pot-bellied so that's good! I continue to be tired all the time but this might be more closely related to working than to pregnancy itself. Maybe both. I have felt some movement for sure but it's rare and not obvious.

What I miss? RED WINE. Girls Mayne Island. Feeling truly attractive.

What I'm looking forward to? Second ultrasound on Tuesday! Getting to see our baby looking more like a baby, less like a tadpole-baby. Getting our Christmas tree! Christmas-time and a full week off to sleep!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dear Santa 2012

For me:

(Still on my list from last year. Classics!)
(Always get a new pair of these each year, they are perfect!)

(Serious lack of selection worldwide but these are cute as they come with a matching onesie!)

 (Any colour other than all black or pink and grey to avoid confusion with others. My current case is slowing falling apart.)

(French parenting. Sounds good.)

(This is my dream diaper bag. No substitutions. I will probably end up having to buy it for myself. They had it in black or taupe on sale on zulily but I am that picky that I will hold of for brown...)

(In "Light")

(Because new mascara is always the best you have ever had for about a week, then it gets old)

For Him:

Wooly Socks

For Us:

(For taking pictures of Baby G.)

(A craigslist find would do nicely!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pregnancy: Weeks 13-16

Weeks 13-16

How far along? 16 weeks

Baby's size and development? Baby is the size of a delicious Avocado, weighing about 5 ounces and measuring 5 inches long. It can sense light, begin to hear outside noises and riverdance on my bladder.

Best moment? Telling our families and having that weight off our shoulders. Lots of happy tears and wine (for the future Grandma's, that is)/eating so much stuffing and gravy
Symptoms/Changes? No more nausea or indigestion! Still tired and easily dizzy. Bump noticable but I retain the use of my stomach muscles and will continue to suck it in until I can't anymore. Somehow, despite pregnancy books saying that I should experience a temporarily reduced urinary frequency it seems only to get worse. I get up at least twice a night (up to 5 times) and can't make it through one art class without abandoning my students to pee. I also have an increased appetite and eat an incredible 5 tacos in one sitting after a particularily terrifying, wet and muddy evening lost in a corn maze with my husband and in-laws.
What I miss? Having red wine with turkey dinner. The point in my pregnancy when I had a flat stomach from nausea and huge boobs from hormones, they are less cool when the belly starts coming in. Eggs Benedict. Sleep.
What I'm looking forward to? Our housewarming party next weekend! Seeing adorable preschoolers dressed up for Halloween at work! My next midwife appointment (finally one Andrew can make it to!).
Holding our tiny little baby for the first time and getting to put tiny onesies on it. Being able to stop calling the baby an it. Labour, breastfeeding, everything!

Our new house

When we moved in to our new house it was both creepy and smelly. We took a chance and got very lucky. We were able to have stinky carpets removed and replaced with laminate, our kind parents helped us clean the whole house and paint half of it, and we made a few furniture purchases that made it functional.

Some before

Some afters (in progress, really)

Ikea Ektorp corner sofa, craigslist $400
Coffee table, from my childhood home (dad made it)
Rug, Winners $79.99
Throws, Ikea $10-30
Knit grey pillow, Ikea $20
Faux Sheepskin, Ikea $15
Wall colour: Crystal, Home Depot

Lamp, Winners $17
Cardboard side table, my own silly art project

Painting the fireplace made the biggest difference of all!

Lack Sofa Table, Ikea $59.99
Yellow Chair, London Drugs $20

Table and chairs were a $150 craigslist find, rug was a hand-me-down. We will eventually paint the table all white and the chairs a different colour or shade.

The bedroom hasn't changed much from what my bedroom looked like in high school.

Instead of hating the ugly countertop I tried to find a complementary colour to make it work.

Not a pretty picture (not a pretty kitchen) but it illustrates how we made the kitchen functional by adding much needed storage and counterspace.
Pantry, Ikea $15!
Island, Ikea (hand me down)

Not pictured are the laundry room, backyard, office and second bedroom. We also painted the front door black to cover the peeling brown paint. Obviously everything is decorated for halloween so I will redecorate a bit and work on some other projects.

House to do list:
  • De and Re-Caulk the bathtub
  • Hang bamboo blinds in the living room
  • Finish unpacking the random, leftover boxes
  • Paint the upper half of the kitchen, the hallway, the closet doors and the baseboards
  • The Nursery! (paint, window coverings, light fixture, furniture, decor)
  • Fix the two, ugly, scratched up kitchen drawers (possibly cover with fabric or wallpaper)
  • Organize the laundry room
  • Organize and decorate the office a bit
  • Hang more artwork on the walls
  • Work on the backyard, salvage the yard-waste-stuffed compost, garden, get some patio furniture for spring, clean up the shed a bit
  • Trim some branches on the many trees and shrubs in the front yard
  • Paint exterior (property management company to do it they said in a few weeks, but something tells me we will be waiting until spring)

Pregnancy: Weeks 9-12

(We were too busy moving to take a 12 week photo)

Weeks 9-12

How far along? 12 weeks

Baby's size and development? From grape to plum little baby grew a lot during this time. :) Now weighing almost half an ounce and measuring about 2 inches long, we have come a long way from a poppy seed. You can kick and make faces now, I see problems with these skills arising in the distant future.

Best moment? Seeing you/your heartbeat on the ultrasound/getting to pee after the ultrasound/finally being reunited with Andrew and moving in to our new house!

Symptoms/Changes? Nausea slowed, peeing SO much, exhaustion still awful, indigestion the worst, bloating, huge boobs, aversion to mashed potatoes, desire for soup, food poisoning, high waisted skirts to hide very slight bump.
What I miss? Soft serve, caffeine, being able to sleep through the night

What I'm looking forward to? Finally telling our families at Thanksgiving!

Pregnancy: Weeks 5-8

Weeks 5-8

How far along? 8 weeks

Baby's size and development? Our baby has grown from sesame seed to raspberry during this time! Now weighing .04 oz. It looks less like a tadpole than before. :)

Best moment? Meeting my midwife and being really happy with my decision/when the girl at Victoria Secret told me my new bra size.

Symptoms/Changes? Mild nausea that occurred when I hadn't eaten recently, exhaustion, weight loss, dizziness, mild eczema, sore boobs, going up two cup sizes and down two band sizes.

What I miss? Our apartment, the ocean, my husband (At 8 weeks I moved back to the mainland to start a new job while Andrew stayed on the island to finish classes.)

What I'm looking forward to? My first visit from Andrew!

Pregnancy: Weeks 1-4

I have had the worst case of baby fever ever since we sent off our last "thank you" card from the wedding. I always knew I wanted babies but my goodness when the wedding dust settled a switch was flipped! But, I waited patiently. Sat through lectures while doodling nursery plans, procrastinated writing papers by watching The Bussiness of Being Born and soaked up every bit of pregnancy and baby-related information I could. When I graduated, grad school and a career were the farthest thing from my mind. I couldn't possible spend two more years day dreaming in a lecture on a subject I felt no passion for. Even the direction of my undergrad was skewed by my baby fever. I took courses on infant and child development and wrote every paper I could on fetal brain development and maternal stress levels. I even managed to make my final STATS class project pregnancy realted! I know one day I will go back to school but at that point it was time to do what made me happy. Poor Andrew had been listening to me whine about babies for three years. He didn't need convincing, he wanted it just as badly as I did, despite being less vocal about it. On July 29th 2012 I took a home pregnancy test (only 8dpo) and it came back positive. I took one again the next day with the same results. I told Andrew that afternoon when he got home from school and there was a lot of cardboard (I made a maze, it's a long story), Tragically Hip and happy, shocked tears. :)

Weeks 1-4

How far along? 4 weeks

Baby's size and development? Our baby has been nicknamed Poppyseed, thanks to an iPhone app that compared its size in the first few weeks to that of a poppy seed. You weigh 0 oz and are less that .05 of an inch long!

Best moment? Telling Andrew that I was pregnant

Symptoms/Changes? I didn't experience much in those first weeks, any symptoms I thought I had turned out to be in my imagination once I started experiencing real pregnancy symptoms.

What I miss? Large amounts of coffee

What I'm looking forward to? My first midwife appointment

Looking forward to...

April 2013. That's when we get to meet our baby. :)


Monday, August 20, 2012

The most important bum-realted DIY post of all time

I found this on Pinterest and it has changed my life. I have long suffered the curse of the saggy bikini bottoms, but no more! This takes less than 5 minutes, it is totally reversible if you hate it and it makes your bum look yum. Enjoy.

New Couch

Our loveable Ikea Ektorp couch was run ragged by 10 years of sitting, napping, jumping, falling, moving (it went through 4 houses!) and general couch abuse. I loved it dearly and it was one of the last remaining pieces of furniture from the house I grew up in. (At least we will always have the coffee table, as my Dad would say "That's a good piece of pine.") Anyways, the hunt for a new couch began on, Craigslist and at local furniture stores. I am sad to say that Vancouver Island is NOT the place to buy an attractive and inexpensive couch (unless you dig beige microsuede which I DO NOT.) At long last an ad on craigslist came up with a white Ikea Ektorp corner sofa, in good (read butt not sinking to touch the ground) condition and at about %60 off from the price of buying it new. We took it. It's great! Super comfy, great for napping, could fit two 6' men laying down! Plus, it comes apart into three pieces so it's easier to move than our old three seater. Luckily, we can save up to replace the white (as you know it won't stay white long with a dog and two adults who enjoy snacking on it) slipcover with a sexy grey one! Let's just hope whereever we move to next has a large enough living room....

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lime Soup

Yucatan Lime Soup  << click for recipe

I have been making a variation of this lime soup lately, it's delicious! I don't bother adding chicken, I use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and add all sorts of veggies including celery, carrots, green peppers, avocado, chick peas and even corn and black beans. Enjoy!

photo via