Dear Postman,

I'm amazed at your ability to remember me at Christmas, that you know how much cards and parcels from family and friends mean to me for my birthday, and just what we'd need brought to our doorstep for our upcoming baby.

Thank you for knowing how to make my day.



a sign I've lost my mind

I've decided to go with (trying my best to use) cloth diapers.

You're right, I totally don't realize what I'm getting myself into... but I at least want to try.

At first it was the environmental appeal that really sparked my interest. I very much don't consider myself a tree hugger environmentalist (if I did I coulnd't get as much joy of collecting frequent flyer miles as I do) but I do whatever I can whenever I can to reduce our 'carbon footprint'. So that's what started this whole venture, and as such the gDiaper system was the one I was most interested in. A lovely marriage between disposable (biodegradable, compostable, or flushable) liners and reusable covers. Beautiful! The cost? Not so beautiful! A friend's comment in this post, where I included a starter pack in my 'day-dream list' of items, encouraged me to really cost things out and compare against disposable diapers.


She was right, if I were to use only gDiapers (purchased new) and always use disposable liners, over 2.5 years it would cost me approx twice as much as using disposable diapers. And that's just absurd. I calculated that if I could cut down on costs by purchasing second-hand covers and used reusable liners while at home (instead of the disposable ones), the cost would be the equivalent to disposables.

Phew, now that's better!

But in my research and number crunching, I realized that if I was willing to wash the liners and covers, why wouldn't I consider different kinds of cloth diapering systems that are much more economical???

And if you know me, you'd know that I love being economical... I find it quite joy-inducing, really. And most of all, I. love. Bargains.

So I headed over to Kijiji to see what the lovely people of Montreal had to offer and cross referenced the options available against product reviews, feasibility, and cost calculations.

All I can say, is that there's a tonne of options out there! From cheap and simple to cute and complex, there are many different ways to wrap your baby's bottom in cloth.

Tom encouraged me to go for it. Fully supported, I dug deeper and surfaced with a few options that could really work for us. I began my bargaining with the sellers, and now we are the proud(!?!) owners of a previously used lot of (cute!!) cloth diapers to fit a child 4 months to 3 years, plus 5 unused small-sized (8-18lbs) gPants for the gDiaper system. All for a great price.

Although I still don't own any great options for newborns and am lacking a few small covers for the first few months (thus still wishing for the gBaby bundle from gDiapers), I think this approach is a great combination; we will be eased from 'disposables' (biodegradable, flushable or compostable liners plus reusable cover ~ minimal yuck) to cloth (large quantity of yuck, at times) over the first few months and own a range of styles/types to figure out which system does work for us. If we really do love the gDiaper system that much more, then I'll sell the others and purchase larger sizes of the gPants as needed (and as the bargains arise) and we'd come out even (finance wise) with disposables. However, if the cloth does work for us, then we just saved a tonne of money on diapers!!

But on the other hand, if we decide that cloth diapering really isn't for us, then we'll sell everything and just go to disposables, recouping most of our money invested in these bargain lots and knowing that we at least tried.


Sorry, I've been busy blending...

This year (or should I say last year?) my Christmas gift came early, unwrapped and sitting in our Costco shopping cart.

I squealed with delight.


When we were living with friends between our time in Costa Rica and Ecuador, we were introduced to the VitMix, one amazing blender. It could make some pretty cool stuff and our friends still loved theirs after 3 years of use. This peaked our interest. Then we tried a few fit-for-a-restaurant side dishes that came out of my cousin's (she lovingly refers to hers as The Obliterator) and we became even more interested in becoming owners of the two horsepower machine.

Unfortunately, these blenders are impossible to purchase used (believe me, I tried) and the price on the website was outrageous for a kitchen appliance. Fortunately we heard that the company occasionally does shows at Costco and sells them at a discounted price.

On November 20th, they came to a Costco in Montreal and Tom stuck one in our cart.

I squealed with delight.


Now, after 2 months of (continuous!) use, I can definitely say that this blender is as cool as it was made out to be. In just a few short minutes I can make a steaming hot soup, frozen dessert, killer smoothie, fresh juice, smooth alfredo sauce, or anything else imaginable... And I have. Everything's made with whole ingredients and clean up has proven to be super easy (I was a bit skeptical about this point, considering the container isn't dishwasher safe.)

It's been fun using whole ingredients to make home-made dishes. Probably the same feeling that some get from harvesting their own garden to make dinner. You feel all I. Made. This. like.

I can hardly wait to make baby food!!

And my favorite line to use in response to Tom's compliments on dinner "Oh, it's nothing really. Just a little something I whipped up."

Yes, I am lame.


6 Diet Myths That Will Not Die

I love this list my friend Candice Comtois (a Registered Dietitian) published in her latest newsletter she writes for her community. I can only imagine how hard it was to limit the list to only a few and not go on and on about why they're untrue!


1. Carbohydrates (or sugars) are fattening—limit them

No matter what food group you choose, if you cut out or reduce the items from that group, you will reduce your calorie intake and lose weight.

2. Food eaten after 7 or 8 pm cause weight gain

It makes no difference what time you eat. What matters is how many calories come in versus how many calories go out – period. The equation is not affected by the time of day.

3. Eating _________(insert newest trend) will make you gain weight

No one particular food causes weight gain. Eating more calories than what you burn is the only way weight gain occurs – regardless of what you eat.

4. Snacking will make you fat

Snacking will not make you fat. Again, the total amount of calories matters but it is best to eat a minimum of 3 times day.

5. Drinking water helps to “flush fat” out of your body
Water has no real impact on weight loss, although it is important to overall health. Drinking ice-cold water also does not increase calorie burn.

6. Muscle will turn to fat if you stop exercising
Muscle can not turn to fat. It is not physiologically possible.

BOTTOM LINE: When it comes to weight regulation the law of matter and energy prevail. So include a balanced diet to get the nutrients you need.


Lists, lists, lists

We've been getting a number of questions lately as to whether we're registered anywhere or if we are in need of anything for the baby... To be honest, you have a better idea of what we need than we do!!! So, here's a few lists of things we do have, things we still need to get, and a 'wish list' just for fun... PLEASE comment if you think we're missing anything!

  • Baby swing
  • Baby vibrating chair
  • Baby sling (x2)
  • Exersaucer
  • Bedside co-sleeper
  • Crib mobile
Received New (n) or Used (u):
  • Crib (n)
  • Crib mattress (n)
  • Crib sheets (u)
  • Macro lens (for little baby feet :)
  • Baby diary/album (n)
  • Clothes (n+u) {about 3/4 of what we'll need for the first year}
  • Tub (u)
  • Change-pad liner (u) and covers (u)
  • Bibs (u)
  • Hats (u)
  • Receiving blankets (u)
  • Polar fleece blanket (n)
  • Rattles/stuffed animals (u)
  • A few books (n)

Bought New (n) or Used (u):
  • Dresser/change table (u)
  • Armoire (u)
  • Baby monitor (u)
  • Diaper Genie (u)
  • Portable bassinet (u)
  • Newborn/0-3 months snowsuit (n)
  • Tummy-time play mat (u)
  • Breast-feeding pillow

Need to get:
  • Car seat (n)
  • Stroller (u)
  • Bunting bag
  • Hygeine kit (including thermometer, nail files/clippers, etc)
  • Baby shampoo/body wash all in one
  • Hooded towel
  • A large pile of face cloths! (white + coloured)
  • Change pad
  • Diaper bag / Large messenger bag (usually come with a change mat?)

'Wish List' (not needed, but sure would be awesome!)
  • A few more cute outfits. (We pretty much have the onsies and sleepers covered.)
  • A few more receiving blankets/burp cloths
  • Ameda Purely-Yours breast pump (new ~ they sell them at Wal-Mart~ but no need for the pack with the carrying case and all that jazz)
  • gDiaper's gBaby Bundle (cloth/biodegradable diaper starter kit)
  • gDiaper's small gDiaper cloth inserts
  • gDiaper's small biodegradable flushabe inserts
  • Gift Certs to help cover the cost of all the things that we haven't even thought of (hint: I love Zellers' baby department!)
  • Hooter Hiders or some other type of funky breast feeding cover
  • Domestic assistance! (You come over to play with the baby while I rest, make dinner, do laundry...)
  • Gift pass to Belles Mamans, a local moms' support network that offers mom & baby yoga classes, developmental classes for infants, etc...
  • Gift card to Mamaluv, an inovative company that makes healthy, home cooked meals and delivers them to the doorstep of new parents! Too cool!
  • The life saving advice/trick/system that worked for you and your newborn/baby/toddler

For down the road (aka 'Garage Sale List'):
  • High chair
  • jolly jumper
  • Stair gate (x2)
  • Toys (stacking rings, etc)
  • Books
  • Bigger apartment (j/k!!)


8 things that I love right now (besides the obvious ;)

  1. Hydration. Although I barely ever have it. In the constant quest to quench my thirst, heartburn is constantly battling against my efforts. Every time I put something in, it seems to slash back up. Yuck. So the time when my urine isn't the colour of orange juice is time for celebration!
  2. Milk. Running along the same lines as point #1, a large glass of milk seems to be the only thing that can cool my esophagus and calm the stomach. (Such a bonus that it also helps with the hydration issue!) Now I just need to watch that I don't calcify my baby if this trend keeps up.
  3. My pre-natal yoga video.
  4. Kijiji/Craigslist/eBay. I just love bargains. True, patience is a virtue when trolling these places for a specific something, but oh boy, the joy that comes from finding it at a fraction of the price you would have paid new makes me feel so good! Victorious, really.
  5. My phone. Between the unlimited texting, full-featured GPS and constant internet connectivity, communicating, navigating, and killing time in the doctor's office is so easy!
  6. AirMiles. ;)
  7. My workplace. They are so accommodating! And having access to an amazing mid-wife and her childbirth prep classes has eased a lot of our concerns. We both went to one this morning and Tom was really impressed.
  8. An afternoon nap.


10 things I did yesterday

  1. Took the car to work for the first time. I had a LOAD of donations to take in. Not only did I want to get them to those that needed them, but also wanted some of the room in our apartment back!
  2. Had a fantastic meeting at work. It's agreed.... I'll be finished up around the end of January!
  3. Helped a friend with a high school project: Food borne illness. It's strange how much I love food pathogens.
  4. Received a text from my brother, he will be here this weekend!
  5. Made chalupas for dinner. Chalupas are flat taco-type things with beans, cabbage, tomato, salsa, and cheese. Sound terrible, but taste wonderful.
  6. Had my first aqua-fit class. Exercising in the pool did wonders for my body.
  7. Noticed my ticker said 56 days to go...
  8. Spent my birthday money on a portable bassinet that I've been eying... No, it's not my birthday yet, but I found it for a great price on eBay and couldn't pass it up.
  9. Prepped Tom's lunch and morning coffee. I take great pride in packing his lunches.
  10. Had a great night's sleep! (These are few and far between.)


Funny, I consider myslef a cat person...

Excerpt from a Dog's Diary:

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpt from a Cat's Diary:

Day 983 of My Captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...


Thoroughly enjoyed by my family over Christmas and, of course, stolen the web.