6 Ways Costco is Great For Minimalists

6wayscostcoisgreatforminimalists

It might seem blasphemous that I could even suggest that shopping at Costco could fit in with a minimalist lifestyle, but hear me out.  I have been trying on a ‘minimalist mentality’ lately and doing plenty of reading on the subject, some decluttering and organizing too.  It feels AMAZING when a once cluttered area is cleared out and in order, almost like my brain is breathing a sigh of relief. Continue reading →

I Finally Took a Vacation!

vacationHaving been a mom for upwards of 5 years at this point, you’d think that this post would have come a lot sooner.  But as it turns out, the more offspring you have, the more hectic life gets.  And so I found myself with 3 kids in 5 years and not having been away alone with my significant other AT ALL within that time.  I’ve been ready to get away on an adults only trip for a long time!  However, the mom/milk lady is pretty popular at our house so I was definitely feeling the pull to stay close to home, and also just dreading (procrastinating) having to figure out who would take care of all my progeny if I were to skip town with my husband.  All these questions swirled in my head: Who was competent enough to take care of THREE kids?  It’s a lot (of screaming).  What would this type of service cost me? Would I be traumatising my (super clingy) baby?  Would I need to spend all my time pumping at my destination?  What would I do with all that vacation milk anyways?

So I thought I would share how it all went for me, in case you are contemplating doing the same thing.

I was able to coordinate my mom and sister to both come and stay at my house with my kids for that weekend.  I definitely think this was a great idea as I didn’t have to worry about forgetting to pack something that one of the kids might need.  Plus there were two adults there to help corral the 4 children (my niece came too), and take shifts if needed.

My sister snuck into bed with my baby (age 1 yr) after my mom had given her a bottle on Friday night, and when she woke up in the morning to my sister’s face she apparently thought she was similar enough to me that she was cool with the situation.  She refused to leave my sister’s side the whole weekend, but was otherwise happy and took a bottle no problem.  We had been working for many weeks on getting her on a bottle more consistently, though she had never been exclusively bottle fed up until this point.  She was fine!  We use Aptamil Follow On Milk 2, which I find tastes a lot better than the usual formula options here in Canada (Nestle Good Start, Enfamil, etc all kind of smell/taste gross to me).  I had them try to get her to drink the equivalent of 3 8oz bottles per day.  She napped in the stroller as usual, which is also great because it means that the older kids get out and about.  I stocked our house with baby food pouches and rice rusks and was actually surprised that I was not too stressed out being away from my littlest one.  The bigger girls (ages 5 & 3) had a blast with their cousin, auntie and nanny just like I knew that they would.  I’m so lucky to have family that would stay with my crew because it really took a lot of worry out of the whole thing for me.

Now, the one thing that I would do differently in the future is look up exactly how much I should be pumping when leaving my little one.  I just packed up the pump and some plastic milk baggies and figured I would pump whenever I felt like it.  Unfortunately, after the long drive to  our destination I had to run out of dinner in the middle of it to pump off a bit because it was getting a bit uncomfortable.  Pumped again before bed, and slept all night.  I feel like this may have been a mistake, but a full night sleep was way too tempting to pass up!  I normally nurse 2-3 times during the night though so things started to get a bit more uncomfortable the next day, and after relaxing in a hot tub/sauna/steam room for a few hours I was in pain.  Even though I had brought my pump and used it half way through our relaxing afternoon, the pump was just not removing enough at that point and I fought off a touch of mastitis the rest of the weekend.  After that I had to pump every 2-3 hours until I got home, which was a bit annoying.  I figure there must be a guide about how to do this the right way somewhere out there, so next time I will do my research!  I do not recommend pumping in the car though, we got pulled over because of that suspicious activity! Thankfully no ticket, I think I looked miserable enough already to satisfy the officer.

Our return to the kids was lovely, we missed them for sure.  The baby’s face was the funniest of all because I think she had convinced herself that my sister was actually her mom, so she was a little confused when I showed up!  All in all the trip was a huge success and it was so nice to get some time alone with my man and some alone time for myself.  Us moms need a break sometimes!  I wish I had done it sooner.

Mom Wins + Video of 5 Minute Makeup!


* I received my Yalmeh Foundation Brush for free in exchange for my honest review.  See my disclosure policy here.*

In the spirit of my ‘word’ for the year (gratitude!) I have been trying to find little things each day to be grateful for.  I have found that recently I’m most grateful for my ‘mom wins’ (or should I say #momwins?).  Those little things that go right each day that make me feel weirdly triumphant.  Do I sometimes give a silent victory cheer to myself throughout the day? Perhaps!  As an introvert I’m basically my own best friend, so if I don’t do it nobody else will.  So I thought I would share a few of my recent #momwins to help inspire you to find gratitude each day too!

Successful Sleeping Baby Transfer

I was able to get my sleeping baby into a sweater, snowsuit, hat & mitts and transferred into the stroller WITHOUT WAKING HER UP!!  Honestly I almost went out and bought a lotto ticket after that because it was such a lucky break.

Muslin Blanket Hack

It has been super windy and cold around here lately and my baby loves cruising around town in the bassinet for my Uppababy Vista stroller.  I refuse to shell out for the bassinet weather shield, so I ended up figuring out that an Aiden+Anais muslin swaddle blanket is the absolute perfect size for creating a wind (or sun!) shield on a bassinet buggy!  I just flip out the UV sheild and tie two corners at the head of the bassinet just below where the canopy starts and tie the other two corners around the bottom of the bassinet at the foot end.  Works so well!

IMG_9914 (1) Continue reading →

Word for 2016: Gratitude

gratitude

So this thing that we all do in blog land is choose a word to represent our focus in the new year.  At first I was like, “This is just sooooo overdone, I refuse!”, but then I realized the reason why everyone is doing it is because it’s great.  It’s a great way to try to first of all, reset after the crazy holiday season, and second it’s a great way to help you improve yourself in the new year that doesn’t involve buying spandex.  I’m barely pulling off black legging at this point. So this morning, in a glorious shower while my littlest was napping, I thought about what I wanted my ‘word’ to be this year.  I came up with one that I am certain others have chosen, but that doesn’t make it any less important to me.  This year my word is:

GRATITUDE

I just feel like SO much changes in your life when you express gratitude and frankly it’s sometimes easy to forget to be grateful for things when you are in the thick of stay-at-home mommyhood since nobody is ever thanking you for anything.  This is why I chose the word, because I want to constantly remind myself to be grateful.  I started this practice before the new year and immediately felt happier.  So now I’m making it official!

One thing that I am grateful for today is this blog.  Now, I had been feeling a little bummed out about my blog for a while.  I had zero time or motivation to write.  I had given in to so many modern day, non crunchy granola conveniences in my life over the last 6 months or so (starting with when I gave up cloth diapers) and I was feeling like the name of my blog no longer represented me very well.  Then after deciding on my ‘word’ this morning I realized that the name of the blog actually does still represent me just fine.  The thing is I still value those eco-friendly options that I had given up to make the mental space for caring for 3 kids ages 4 and under.  I am grateful to live on this beautiful planet and in the beautiful city and home that I do, and one way I can manifest this feeling is to try and hop back on the eco-friendly train and try to make some changes.  Note how I say try.  Over the next year I am planning to take some of my biggest offenders (the disposable/convenience items) in my home and switch to the eco-friendly version for 2 weeks and see how it goes.  If after 2 weeks (the time it takes to form a new habit) it’s going well, then I can stick to it and rejoice!  If I’m pulling my hair out and it’s causing me more stress then I may switch back, I have to be realistic because there is a lot going on around here and my main goal is to have things running smoothly.

So, next week I will begin the ‘Eco Change’ series, so stay tuned!

What is your ‘word’ for 2016?  What does it mean to you?  Share with us in the comments below!

When Breastfeeding Hurts

breastfeedingBreastfeeding.  It’s been on my mind a lot lately.  With a 3 month old baby it’s hard not to think about breastfeeding.  The funny thing is, with all the articles out there about problems, troubleshooting, and solutions (and having read them again and again over the past 4 years and 3 babies), I still feel like nobody has written an article that I can relate to 100%. Continue reading →

36 Week Update & Why I’m Not Having a Home Birth

Soooo, I’ve been very bad with updating this pregnancy’s progression!  Here I am with a quick update and a little bit more about why I’m not having a home birth.  The photo is not great quality, but it’s what I have to work with!

36 Weeks Pregnant!

Feeling:  Excited and also feeling a strong nesting urge!  I am enjoying doing laundry (weird) & prepping all the baby related paraphernalia.  Swing: washed! Swaddles: ready to go! Car seat: all clean and ready to install next week!  I also tested out using the car seat with the travel system I am planning to use this time around which consists of the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller and a Maxi Cosi Mico car seat.  Looks awesome & so lightweight, I’m so excited to use it.

Showing:  Seriously showing at this point!  Getting a lot of “WOAH, when are you due?!” comments.  Despite my feeling very large, baby is measuring on the small side (50th percentile), but still is normal.  Baby’s movements have not been hindered by her growing size either.  I keep reading that I can ‘expect movements to slow down’ during this time but that has definitely not been the case so far!  My husband is convinced the baby is trying to put on lean muscle mass by working out so feverishly in there…LOL!

Wearing:  I am still wearing mostly dresses, as our summer seems to be going on forever here.  I love dresses, they are so comfy and easy to wear.  On cooler days I have been wearing a couple of loose fitting pants that I was able to get on clearance from Motherhood Maternity and t shirts.  My maternity t shirts are starting to get a little small though, so I’m hoping that it will cool off so I can wear the long sleeve, larger versions that I got in preparation for fall.

Excited about:  Obviously. LOL!  Excited for this baby to be born!

Thinking about:  My place of birth has been on my mind and I think I have finally come to a final decision!

There is a lot of ‘discussion’ these days about the safety of both home and hospital births.  Everyone has their opinion, most of which are based on loads and loads of studies and facts.  Of course, everyone is entitled to those opinions, but what I have a little issue with is when pregnant Moms are put in a position where they feel like they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.  Birthing location isn’t even the only parenting realm where I’m seeing parents put in this tough position (vaccines?!).

The good news is, I recently came to a very unscientific realization that I know the perfect place for me to have a baby.

Due to non emergency complications with my first, my planned home birth ended up taking place at the hospital.  And that went fairly well.  I discovered the joys of nitrous oxide and planned to have my second baby at the same hospital.  The birth of number 2 was a great (quick! nitrous fuelled!) success at the hospital.  And now, to me, the hospital just FEELS like the place that I want to do the whole birth thing.  I like the cozy privacy of the L&D rooms, and feeling like I can do anything I need to do to get the baby out.  I’m not worried about messing up the place or scaring any neighbours (or my kids).  Have I mentioned that they also have nitrous?  Luckily, I would also have access to nitrous in a home birth or birth centre situation as well, but I am certainly glad that they have a hospital size supply of the gas waiting for me at the hospital too.

I seriously mulled over having #3 at a birth centre this time around because we recently got our first, government funded, free standing birth centre and truly it is amazing.  The only thing that held me back was the possibility of having to transfer for non emergency reasons which would entail getting back in the car and driving to the hospital.  Since this situation did happen with my first, I realized that I would rather be guaranteed only one car ride while in labour since I really am not a fan of being in the car during contractions.  Bonus of this situation is that the hospital is half the distance that the birth centre is so it will also be a relatively quick car ride.

What really sealed the deal for me, and made me feel extra happy about choosing the hospital as my place of birth, is that the whole L&D has recently been renovated and even includes birth tubs.  I am certainly thrilled to have another non pharmaceutical method to manage labour.

So, I guess the point of this post is that, maybe it is helpful to step away from all the research, blogs, opinions, etc and really think about where YOU feel comfortable getting down to business.

Are you pregnant too? How far along?  Have you chosen your place of birth?  Share with us in the comments below!