Hey everyone! I know lately I’ve been posting pretty sparsely but I am still here. I’ve been suffering from pretty constant migraines and experiencing Braxton Hicks, so I’ve been laying low lately. I now have a modified work schedule so hopefully with some extra time to rest I’ll get my second wind and be back posting regularly. Thank you for still following and visiting!
It comes to no surprise that having children can be expensive. It is estimated that to raise a child from birth to 18 (before university) can cost $243,660. Now that Hubby and I are expecting our first son, the need to start buying baby supplies. We were VERY fortunate to be given lots of gifts which ultimately limited the amount we had to buy for the Princess. We are now fully aware of the true costs, both up front and hidden, and are prepping for the arrival of our Rainbow. Here are just a few ways to save money on the initial costs.
- Buy on Sale. Seems pretty obvious but some people leave shopping to the last-minute and end up paying full price on things that routinely go on sale. Monitor stores that carry the items you are looking for and watch for them to go on sale.
- Coupons. There are many sites that you can sign up for coupons that are mailed to your home. In Canada, it’s much harder to Extreme Coupon but you are still able to save money on things such as diapers, clothes and baby wash. Many of these same sites will send you free samples. Also, feel free to email your favourite brands directly. I LOVE Johnson & Johnson products and wrote to the manufacturer explaining that I really love their products and in response, they sent me free high-priced coupons as well as a voucher for a free pack of their assorted products. The worst thing they can say is no and at the best, you receive free products and coupons. Also, to maximize on the savings, apply coupons to items that are on sale.
- Baby Item Swaps. As Mommy’s and Daddy’s, we have a group of fellow parents who like us, keep our baby stuff “just in case” we come to expect another baby. So why not capitalize on free stuff while making room in your closets. A friend of mine is expecting a girl and only has boys and I am expecting a boy and was elbow deep in girl stuff, so we met up and did a swap. We were able to trade items at no cost. A little piece of advice, don’t include clothes that are stained or torn.
- Donation Parties. In lieu of baby showers, a new trend is Donation Parties. Women who are expecting make a list of the things that they need and ask close friends and family who have baby stuff and go through the list and see who is willing to give you which items. This may not be for everyone, and that is why it is best to only invite people who you are VERY close with and not your neighbour whom you only see occasionally.
- EBay or Kijiji. These online sites are great for purchasing baby items at a lower cost. Babies and children grow really fast and only wear items for a short period so most of the clothes are in great condition. Be aware of what you are buying and ensure that it is the correct season for your child. Also, ask to see pictures and know if the items come from pet or smoke free homes. I wouldn’t recommend buying certain items, but clothing is usually pretty safe. Be sure to wash it before you put it on your baby.
- Buy What You Need, Not Want. You can find lists in every parenting magazine of things that you “NEED” for your little one. Everyone would love those wipe warmers and new fangled gadgets, but your baby doesn’t need them and more often than not, they are money traps. When we brought the Princess home, I dressed her in dress clothes, and what a disaster. I have learned that less is more. Sleepers and onesies are the best clothes in the first few months of life. Babies eat, poop, sleep and repeat and do not care what they are wearing. They have no preference for which items get stained in their latest diaper assault.
- Keep Stock of What You Already Have. If you already have children, keeping essential items is always a great money saver. Hubby and I kept our crib, breast pump, glass bottles, play pen and bedding (as it is gender neutral). Do keep an eye on certain items that may be too old such as car seats as they expire after 5 years.
I love family and what better way to spend Family Day by spending time with those you love. I have family coming in from out-of-town and Hubby, Princess and I will be spending time with them. Here are just a few things that are happening around Toronto this Family Day Weekend.
- Woofjocks Canine Performance. On Monday, February 18th, Toronto’s Waterfront will be hosting Woofjocks Canine Performances for free. Times are 11:30, 1pm, 2:30 and 4 with photo opportunities at the end of each show. Come enjoy!
- Free Crafts & Family Movies. From 2-4 on Family, the Queen’s Quay Terminal has a fun packed afternoon of family fun with crafts, face painting and movies.
- Fantasy Fair. Woodbine Fantasy Fair is open this Family Day from 10 – 6. Come enjoy an indoor fairground and all the fun that goes with it.
- Family Day Weekend at Toronto Zoo. Fur family meet human family! Come see all the animals and their cute babies.
- Kids Fest Toronto. On the 17th and 18th, come by Kids Fest, Canada’s Largest Indoor Inflatable Show. Enjoy as your kids jump, bounce and play!
Hearts on the mailbox,
Hearts on the door,
Hearts on the window,
Hearts on the floor.
Hearts on the cake,
Hearts on the box,
Hearts on the shoes,
Hearts on the socks.
Hearts on the table,
Hearts on the chair,
Hearts on the wall,
I received the best birthday gift today. Not only is Hubby and Princess cooking me a delicious steak dinner and I’ve got movie plans with family, but today I found out the sex of our baby. Being 21 weeks and 2 days along, I had the standard 5 month test. It ran about an hour as my doctor wanted to measure all the organs and check for other things due to our past complications. Of course the baby did not want to cooperate and kept flipping over and refused to have its picture taken. I was put in every position possible and told to go for a walk and “talk” to the baby and get it to be cooperative. After all the measurements were taken they asked if I wanted to know the sex.
“Yes, I want to know.”
“It’s a boy,” she informed me.
“Are you serious?!”
They looked perplexed. “What? You don’t want a boy?”
“No, a boy is fine. Everyone kept telling me I was having a boy. I thought I was having a girl.”
They then brought in Hubby and asked him if he wanted to know. They told him and he is so very happy. For my birthday I found out what we are having and for Father’s Day, Hubby will receive a son! Turns out all those Gender Myths were right, I’m having a boy.
I am fully aware that hormones are totally normal during pregnancy but OH MY GOD this is ridiculous. If I’m not laughing, I’m crying. I can burst into a big case of the giggles then turn bat shit crazy the next second. Even at some points I have had to stop myself and say “Oh my, I am acting like a crazy person, what the hell?”
Hubby has taken the unfortunate brunt of these hormonal tirades and missed all this with the Princess as we didn’t move in until I was 7 months pregnant. I’m really not trying to be crazy but I feel some days I have little to no control. The other night Hubby and I decided to watch a movie and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” was on. It wasn’t his first choice and I’ll be the first to admit that it won’t be winning any Oscars, but it was good for some laughs…and tears. I have to say Elizabeth Bank’s character was my favourite. She’s super funny and when she goes to the baby show and gives her speech, I was dying of laughter. My favourite part;
“Gar Bear, I’m sorry, all I want to do is punch you in the face.” Priceless.
At this point I break into this awkward mix of laughing and crying at the same time. Hubby is just staring at me with complete shock and awe.
“Maybe this wasn’t the best movie to watch right now,” he says patting my hips lightly.
And I wish this was the only time I lost my mind. On the weekend I went to buy yarn so I could knit myself a scarf. Anyone who lives remotely close to the Greater Toronto Area is aware that scarves are more of a fashion accessory than an actual need but I wanted to knit a scarf. After I was done shopping, I decided that I wanted McDonald’s. I sat by myself, enjoying the delectable nastiness in all its greasy wonder when some so-called “health nut” approaches me to inform me of the complete and utter mistake I am making.
“Do you know what that is doing to your body and your unborn child at this very moment?”
My teeth are clenched, burger grease coating my lips and a dirty burger in my hand. My gawddddd, why today?
“I’m sorry, do I know you?”
“No but you are eating garbage and I thought I should inform you.” Cue my sarcastic wit.
“Shit, you’re telling me this isn’t Jugo Juice and this isn’t a vegan burger with soylicious dressing?” I announce. It’s time to get to the point. “Listen, I am aware when I walked through those golden arches that what I would be ingesting is probably the worst thing for me next to nuclear waste or a bullet, but guess what? I don’t care. I don’t eat this everyday and I am not going to beat myself up about it. I’m hungry and wanted a burger. I know this burger right here has been sitting under a heating lamp and is likely made from a hormone injected, cloned cyclops mix of pork, poultry and beef. I also know that by drinking this coke, that it is turning my blood into jell-o. I made the conscious, informed adult decision to purchase it and stuff it in my mouth.”
“It’s going to kill you, you’re eating poison,” she tried to justify.
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret, everyone dies. I can guarantee that 100% of the people in this entire restaurant will die at some point or another. You will too. So continue to eat your goji berries and organic pomegranate juice and I’m just going to go back to eating this burger in peace and not bother complete strangers who cannot stand insufferable know it all’s. Okie dokie artichokie?”
Usually I would simply nod and turn away but I feel that if you walked into a McDonald’s for the sole purpose of informing its patrons of the horrendous nature of its food, you are really asking for it. Not to mention you decided to inform a hormonal pregnant woman of her food choices.
February is Heart & Stroke Month and everyone is talking about what foods and exercises you can do & eat to help strengthen your heart. But while most people focus on diet and lifestyle, I say we need to focus on happiness to help make our heart healthy too. Over the last few years I have really learned that life is going to throw you some pretty craptastic curve balls and make you want to throw your hands up and say “Forget this!” but you have to make time for happiness even in the darkest of days.
In a culture where you could on any given moment of any given day you can hear about how the world is ending, the economy is in the toilets, there are BPA’s and red dye number who knows now in just about everything, it’s no wonder that depression is constantly on the rise. Hell, who wouldn’t be depressed listening to the constant negative toxic garbage spewing from every media outlet you can name. I always appreciate it when I hear a story that maybe shouldn’t be classified as news but is uplifting. Yes! Thank you for diverting my attention to something that isn’t making me contemplate calling a help phone line. Life is hard enough without the constant inundation of crap.
My New Year’s resolution was to put myself first and make myself happy and thanking the good Lord above I am sticking true to it. I’ve lost 15 pounds during this pregnancy and thus far have only gained 4 of it back. I joke with my friends that since cutting out stress-causing “friends” from my life, that’s the real reason why I’ve lost the weight.
“Oh yes, I’ve lost 15 lbs, it is because I’ve lost 5 assholes since New Years.”
See a joke, haha makes you laugh and happy. Did you know that laughing improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow which can protect you from a heart attack. Make your heart happy by laughing. Laugh it up, watch funny movies, tell jokes, play pranks, get tickled, whatever makes you laugh and enjoy it. Life is short and there must be something behind “Laughter is the best medicine.”
Another way to make your heart happy is by showing love and appreciation to those around you. Whether it is hugging or kissing or even holding hands, show affection and your heart will thank you. Holding the hand of a loved one has been proven to reduce stress levels. It is such a simple, yet intimate and caring gesture that will make you feel better no matter what. Even though you don’t need to speak, holding someone’s hand gives you that little “everything will be ok” reassurance we sometimes need. Case in point. In October of last year, I went to a Baby Loss Memorial without Hubby and during the service I began to cry. Without ever speaking to this woman before, she came up to me, took my hand and held it for the remainder of the ceremony. I do not know this womans name, her story or where she’s from, but she did me such a service by simply taking my hand. She was there to mourn her loss as well and took the time to let me know I was not alone.
So go on people, laugh, love and be happy. Giggle at those funny pictures online, ogle those adorable pictures of cutesy babies and fluffy puppies, grab a drink with a buddy at the bar, eat that giant bowl of ice cream without any guilt and love your friends and family. Have 2013 be the best and happiest year ever!
Pinterest has me hooked. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have made some recycled heart-shaped crayons. The Princess had a huge freezer bag of old crayons plus an entire box. Upon doing a purge of old toys, I finally decided that it was time to get her craft box cleaned up. I had seen a post on Pinterest about recycling crayons but had heard horror stories of over baking them and turning out badly. Here is a method that I used to create perfect recycled crayons.
- Silicone cupcake pan
- Assorted crayons, peeled and broken into small pieces
- Aluminum cans
- Collect all your old crayons and peel them and sort them by colour. Note that the peeling took me over an hour, so patience is needed. Please be aware that soy based crayons don’t melt well, so it’s best to use wax based crayons. I used old crayola crayons. Break the crayons into smaller pieces.
- Take pop cans, wash them out and remove the tab. Using a can opener, carefully cut the top off. I tried using old beer cans, but they wouldn’t cut, so pop cans are the best. Tin soup cans also work well. Be careful of sharp edges.
- On medium heat, heat a few inches of water in a saucepan and place pop cans with the bottom filled with crayon pieces. You don’t need a lot of water, because if you have too much, the cans will float and may tip over, spilling the wax into the pan. Just enough to heat the bottom of the cans.
- Watch the cans and swirl them to ensure that all pieces are melted.
- Using oven mitts, pour the melted wax into the silicone pan.
- Once the pan is full, let set for 10 minutes. Then if you put the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes, by the time you take them out, they will be completely hard and easy to remove. I found if I didn’t let them set for those 10 minutes prior, the outsides were set but the insides were still hot and broke and crumbled upon removing them from the silicone pan.
- Repeat until all wax is used up.
*Side note, the silicone pan cannot be used for food after using them for these crayons. I paid $10 for this pan from Bulk Barn*
By Patricia Scarry
February is slushy and short. Only 28 days to play,
Some of them sunny, most of the gray.
The every four years there is Leap Year with 29 days.
The best on of all is Valentine’s Day.