Preparing For Baby

So I’m having another baby…. does it sound like I’m terrified? No… well I am.  It’s not that I’m not happy or excited, because I’m over the moon.  A couple weeks before my son was born I felt absolutely ready, that I was unstoppable and I just wanted him to be here. Then a week before he was born I had some concerns because my Braxton Hicks contractions became really intense and I was unable to feel my usually extremely active little boy.  So when I was in the hospital and got sick and my midwife said I might be in labour, I started to panic. As ready as I thought I was, I wasn’t. I don’t think it’s possible to really be fully prepared before the baby arrives.

That being said, there’s still a lot of things you can do to make it a little easier once they do make their grand arrival.

Preparing the Home

Get the baby’s room ready. This part can be the most fun, picking a theme and decorating your child’s future bedroom. The big staple pieces can really make a difference in the look and feel of the nursery, so even though everything baby related is crazy over priced, remember you have 9 months to save up and buy good quality items. On top of the nursery I also put together a little baby station in the corner of the living room. I have the playpen set up with the bassinet attachment and organizer hanging on the side. This will be used for day time naps and diaper changes so that I don’t have to constantly leave the room and leave Clark by himself, then he can be included more. In the organizer I put a bunch of diapers, wipes, diaper change essentials (Vaseline, baby powder, lotions), receiving blankets, and sleepers.

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Baby proof. This won’t be a huge issue until baby is mobile, but it doesn’t hurt to get those outlets covered ahead of time so you don’t have to rush around once baby is on the move and more curious.
Keep the house warm. This more applies for winter babies. Babies are accustomed to a certain way of living being tucked in all nice and warm in mommy, so coming out to a cool house can be a shock. Yes they spend a lot of time in warm jammies, but for those naked times like bath time and diaper changes. For some it’s just simply bumping up the thermostat some, but for others (like me) we have to make sure our oil tank is full so we don’t run out in the middle of winter and get stuck in the cold.
Laundry! Give baby’s clothes a nice run through the wash as close to due date as you can. Going through, organizing and folding little ones clothes will keep you busy for a bit, and seeing it all will really help it hit home that you’re about to become a parent. This usually gets lumped in with the nesting feeling moms-to-be get within a week or two of baby showing up. Also, put on a big load of moms clothes, the less she has to worry about (like running out of shirts, pants, or worse, underwear) the better. She has enough on her mind.
Pre-cook! Just like getting moms clothes nice and clean, think about preparing some meals ahead of time. There are plenty of things that you can prepare, even cook, and then freeze to save for later. A few things that I plan on making are a couple pasta dishes, stew, even a meatloaf. All of those can be put together, frozen, and just have to be thrown in the oven, or even better the crock pot, and you’ve got a meal all done with no preparation that day, which also means less dishes!

Preparing siblings

This part can be a bit more difficult and time consuming, and can completely get thrown out the window once baby arrives, but at least working on it might help avoid some jealousy once the younger sibling arrives. I have a few things that I’m trying with Clark, and also have been given some advice from friends that I’ll share as well.
– Bring them to appointments. My son has come to pretty much every baby appointment we’ve had. His favourite part is when we listen to the heart beat, he’ll climb up on the bed beside me and cuddle up to me, then lifts his shirt and wants it done to him.
Let them help decorate. When it comes to the baby’s room let them help set up, obviously not putting furniture together or stuff like that. But decorate. I’m going to get Clark to colour or paint a picture specifically for his little sister, he’s also picked out a special stuffy that will sit in her crib till she arrives and he can give it to her.
Pick out some clothes. I took Clark out Christmas shopping for his new baby cousin. While we were looking through the baby girl clothes for her, he picked out a nice warm sleeper and said “For sister?” So of course we bought it. That sleeper that he picked out will be the first piece of clothing she will wear, which will help connect them a bit since he picked it out himself just for her.
Buy a baby. My friend bought her son a baby doll, and told him that it was his baby, and showed him how to swaddle the baby, and take care of it. He took that baby EVERY where and looked after it so well. Changed diapers, fed the baby, everything. So when his sister arrived he was so ready. When mommy needed a diaper he ran off to get it. He was a huge help, and absolutely adores his little sister.
– Include them in pictures. This one is optional. For us since we were so excited about being pregnant the first time around we blabbed the news as soon as we found out. So this time we decided we’d have some fun with it. Our families didn’t find out until I was about 11 weeks pregnant, and the way we announced it was we had a special photo session and included some props to announce baby. So when we told my in-laws we gave them a picture of Clark holding a sign that I made up that said “Every superhero deserves a side kick. Arriving February 2015.” Once my mother-in-law realized what it meant she instantly started bawling, it was fantastic reaction. This time around we also did maternity pictures with lots of shots of Clark giving my tummy hugs and kisses, adorable! And once she arrives we’ll be getting newborn pictures done, and I have a few pictures ideas for him with his new sister.

Preparing your pets

This one is really hard. All I know is I did it a little wrong when I was pregnant with Clark. The last month of my pregnancy I did a lot of cuddling with my dog, he would lay in bed with me, sit on the couch with me, he was attached to me and I loved it, he loved it. I felt like it was the right thing to do, give him a bunch of extra attention before my attention would be taken else where. It didn’t work so well. Not like our dog did anything to Clark when he was a baby, he LOVES Clark more than anything. If Clark started crying for whatever reason Thor would start circling or be right up on me trying to give him kisses to make him feel better. During diaper changes Thor would put his front paws on the edge of the change table and stand beside me watching ever move I made. Bath time, Thor would lay on the floor beside the tub, you know after he tried to jump in with Clark. There was never a problem between Clark and Thor, it became a problem between Thor and me. He was mad because he had become so accustomed to the one on one attention he was getting from me, so when that went away he let me know how mad he was by chewing on my shoes. Honestly, he would go out of his way to find a spare pair of my shoes and chew off the heels, then just look at me when I found them with a “yeah well that’s what you get” look on his face. For the first few months I co-slept with Clark so Thor was not allowed on the bed at night, so once we switched Clark to his crib and Thor was back up on the bed, he stopped chewing on my stuff.
Now I’m not saying neglect your pets before baby comes, but I’m saying to go out of the way to give them extra attention and try to over compensate for the time you’ll miss with them.
If you have a hospital birth and stay for a night, or a few nights, however long, one thing you can do once baby does arrive. Send one of the blankets baby was wrapped up in for the day home and let your animals get used to the smell of their new sibling.

While going through these things, getting everyone else and everything else ready for baby, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and confident as the big day arrives. But like I said, you’ll never be 100% ready. My son is almost 3 and a half and I can honestly say I’m still not ready for him. You can’t prepare yourself for when you kids hit the milestones. Every single one will hit you like a ton of bricks and you won’t know what to do with yourself.

My last piece of advice is simple. Moms-to-be listen to your body. The day before I went in to labour I was exhausted. I ended up sleeping most of the day, I had tried my hardest to get up and do things, but I would usually just stop after 20 minutes and go back to bed. At the time I had no idea my body was just stocking up on sleep and preparing me for what I was going to go through the next day. So sleep when you’re tired, and if something feels off, don’t be shy, call your doctor, or go to the ER if you’re really worried. Growing a person is a very complicated thing to do. The last couple weeks before Clark was born I swear I paged a midwife every other day over small things because I was so confused by what I was going through, I didn’t know if it was bad, normal, or a sign for something bigger.

If anyone reading this is going through what I’m going through, then all the best to you, you’ll be amazing. Be confident, even when you think you can’t do it anymore, you can. Trust me, the last thing I said before the final push when Clark was born was “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” Then I was told to give one last push, and he was here. It was amazing, and I can’t wait to do it again.

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Thanksgiving… It’s just around the corner

Bonnie’s Thanksgiving Plans

This past weekend marked an official month until Canadian thanksgiving. And this means I am excited. I have to say I think this is my favourite fall holiday and time of year. (I hate the Winter.)

Where I live it’s already gotten cooler, so fall is in the air, making me think about thanksgiving a lot earlier than I normally would.
This year unlike most, my boyfriend and I are hosting a friends-giving. We normally travel to his side of the family’s annual dinner, but as circumstances have it this year we cannot. I have not been this excited to throw a dinner party in a long time. The weekend is shaping up to be a good one as well. While the boys attend a concert on the Saturday, the girls are having a girls night, hosted by my BFF. Sunday were going to have an early dinner I am making Turkey, stuffing and the potatoes and lord knows what else. Everyone who is invited is to bring a side or can appetizer. And the Monday the official holiday were going to have a Movie Afternoon and a bunch of us are going to watch “Thankskilling 1 and 3. The movie so good it didn’t need a second movie.. ..” Think Jim Henson and killer turkeys.

So now the official planning begins on what to make and do, as well as decorate. I want to make my house a fall wonderland, therefore Pintrest has become my best friend as of late for recipes and decoration ideas.

This year I want to do something different as well, I want to make invitations to go along with the dinner….as something different, and a little more formal.

So as I move along with this planning process, I will post some ideas, and recipes that I am going to try out before the big day!

I LOVE FALL!!!

Sarah’s Thanksgiving Plans

Our Thanksgiving is pretty low key. The whole family gets together (generally at my brother-in-laws place because they have the most room) for a big dinner. My brother-in-law takes care of the turkey and a ham, and it’s everyone else’s responsibility to cover the sides and dessert.  I usually make a potato dish, some sort of appetizer dip, and a dessert.  At this point there’s usually about 21 people there (this includes my brother-in-law’s in-laws), so there’s always a ton of food.

The other thing that happens, at least over the past few years, is that my mother-in-law buys each of the siblings their own little turkeys.  So a couple weeks after Thanksgiving we have some friends over for dinner and have another big turkey dinner.  Which is definitely nice, lots of left overs means work dinners are covered for a couple days.

We’ll have a few things going on this year, shortly after Thanksgiving (once November hits) it will be our one year wedding anniversary (and 5 year anniversary), the hubby will be taking a couple weeks of holidays to get some hunting time in, then a couple weeks after that we’ll be making the trip to Ottawa to meet our new niece once she arrives.

Back to School Shopping

It’s that time of year again when the stores are full of paper, binders and different supplies for going back to school. I myself have registered for a class at our local college this year, and am very excited to continue my education. And on that note we’ve decided to put a list of supplies together for the different age groups going back to School in September.

Elementary School

For the early years (kindergarten to grade 2) there isn’t much you need to supply yourself. My nephew is going in to grade 1, and my niece starts her first year in kindergarten so they don’t need much.  They really only need indoor shoes, a backpack, and a lunch bag.

By the time you hit grade 3 you have to start bringing in a few things.

– Pencil case with pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, pencil sharpener, glue stick
– Small 3 ring binder with loose leaf paper
– Notebook with graph paper
– Calculator (this makes me a little sad, by the time kids reach grade 2 they are allowed to bring a calculator to help with multiplication and division)

When I got to grade 7 and we started having separate teachers for each class, each teacher had their own list of things. Like for gym we had to bring a set of gym clothes to change in to. I liked to keep everything extra organized and had a small 1″ binder fill with paper for each class, it made my bag a little heavy some days when I add in textbooks, but it helped me stay organized.

 

High School and College/University

Paper Supplies

  • Binders or a notebook
    • Depending on if it’s high school or secondary school it might depend on what it is that you want to carry. I have always been a fan of binders, as it’s a lot easier to put things like handouts, and course outlines in a binder than it is in a notebook.
  • Post-it Notes, and tabs
    • Be it page marking, or notes, and reminders you can never go wrong with post-its.
  • Pens, pencils and highlighters
    • Both Sarah and I are pen fanatics, this is up to the individual person going to school. But I recommend the FriXion Pens, as they are erasable, and have a wide range of types. OH and there are erasable highlighters too!
  • A small notebook
    • If you are like me, I like to take notes for different things. If there is a test, and I don’t have my agenda with me, the small notebook can act as a catch all for small notes. Or if I am a bonehead and forget my binder, or am coming from work and going to school, I still have something to write in.
  • Agenda
    • I would be LOST without my agenda! I have a Filofax Personal Malden in Grey, which I guess makes me a bit of a snob when it comes to agenda’s, but I promise you I got it for WAY cheaper than retail price. I use this for work, and will be using it for school to keep track of assignments, and testings, and exams.
  • Index Cards
    •  I personally use these for studying, and memorization.
  • Sharpies – or Any kind of Markers
    • For writing on the index cards, as I find pen isn’t bold enough.

Other Supplies

  • USB drive or a portable hard-drive
    • For transporting papers and assignments without having to lug around your laptop.
  • Headphones
    • To study on campus
  • Laptop or Tablet
    • To write assignments
  • Book-bag, backpack, or a satchel
    • To carry all of the above mentioned

The pain in the butt supplies

  • Textbooks
    • For college students, this is the worst part of school in my opinion. I still cannot believe that they charge you $160.00 for a 400 page textbook. And the e-books are getting just as expensive. Unfortunately it’s is a necessary evil in the secondary school world.

Let’s Get Organized!

Hi all! So, in the last few weeks I have been on a mission to organize my life. I want everything to have its own place, and lists to have check marks on them. I get a satisfied feeling when I can check things off.  I am also one of those people who write things down to just check them off.  But while I am at work it makes things a bit easier, so I can look back at my planner and see what I have done, and what I need to do. And if a new project or mini task comes along, taking away my time from another task on my list I know why the original one didn’t get done, if I have to defer it to the next day.

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This is my planner, yes it’s a Filofax, and one of these days I will do a detailed overview of how I use it, but for now, on to how I plan to organize the house.

Over the next few weeks, I want to participate in the 30/30 challenge, where you have a bag a day of things you either throw out, or give up to goodwill. This is a bit of a challenge for me, because as people like to say I am a sentimental fool.

Some of the things I am going to give away:

–          Clothes

–          Books/Textbooks

–          Candles and kitchen items I have either never used or, will never use again

–          Stuffed animals from my childhood (this is going to be the hardest)

Some things I am going to throw away:

–          School notes, tests, and papers

–          Old journals that have no real thought in them

–          Magazines, newspapers, and general living room clutter

For now, I think this is a good start, by the time I am done all this, it will be time for spring cleaning, which I love and hate at the same time.

Have a wonderful week lovely people!

Bonnie

A New Year… A New Look At Life

Sarah’s New Years Resolution
So my 2014 started out with a bang…well more like a cringe.  By mid-day on January 1 I found myself in the emergency room in a lot of pain unable to get comfortable.  Within the 5 hours of being at the hospital I had had x-rays, been on an IV, had an ultrasound done, taken a double dose of antibiotics and sent home with a prescription for all kinds of medicine.  The final diagnosis was that I had a kidney infection.  Something that can’t be detected until it’s too late and you have an intense pain that wraps around your side (in my case the left side).

Needless to say, my husband and I both agreed that it’s time to start taking better care of ourselves. AKA I need to start taking better care of us since I’m the cook.  So I’m now on the search for new recipes to help ensure that this infection doesn’t come back.  This leads me to my New Years resolution for the year (same as last years but I gave up pretty quickly last year).  This year I’m promising myself, and my family, that I’ll make at least one new dish each week, and with the new need to get and stay healthy.
Here’s a small list of foods to include in your (my new) diet to help cleanse your body and make sure you stay nice and healthy.
– Apples
– Avocados
– Beets
– Blueberries
– Cabbage
– Celery and celery seed
– Cranberries
– Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
– Garlic
– Grapefruit
– Kale
– Legumes
– Lemons
– Seaweed
– Watercress
Want some suggestions on how to include them in your diet, here’s a link with some suggestions of what to do with each of those items.
Top 15 Cleansing Foods

Bonnie’s New Years Resolution
Where Sarah’s resolution is about health, mine is more about mental health. I have a problem with keeping things in, and letting them get to me later down the road. Or taking too many things on, and not knowing when to say it is too much. So therefore 2014 is where I am going to learn to take care of me, and work on the issues I know that I have, when it comes to my mental health.

Some of my goals are:
– Learn to say no. This is one of the biggest issues I have. If someone asks me for a favor, I do it, even if it is an inconvenience to myself, and my boyfriend. I don’t know how to say no to certain people especially. Sarah can contest, my brothers are some of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to saying no, and I do a lot for many people, I need to keep myself sane before I work on everyone else.
– Sometimes there is a thing as too much organization. I over organize, yes, I admit it. My lists have lists, and I have about 10 planners on the go at once. This is getting to be too much, and I know it. So, I have limited myself to two planners, one for work and one for home. My home planner is also a home binder where I keep a bunch of lists, like spring cleaning, car maintenance etc. And just to keep my sanity, I have said I could keep ONE junk journal, where I put everything else. Once I get the hang of everything I will do a post on how I manager all three books.
– Money – this is something I need to get under control. Not spending per say, but just get out of my past debt, and move forward in my finances. I need to start saving for retirement. 32 years, seems a long way away, but it will pass by in the blink of an eye. The boyfriend and I are also planning on getting out of our condo and looking for a house within the next two years, so getting the finances under control will help immensely with this process.
– Last but not least, keep my emotions in check, this will be an on going battle the rest of my life, but I am hoping with making it a goal I will keep it in the forefront of my mind, and work on catching more flies with honey than vinegar.

Here is to a great 2014!