Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Design!!!

I now have brand, spanking new header and button images thanks to my awesome and talented friend Chris at altovenue.com! If you've previously added my button to your blog, pretty please take a moment and update it with the new one on the left sidebar. Thanks!!

"S" @ 4 months: Tasty Toes!

I can't believe our sweet li'l girl is already one third of a year old! (Not only that, I was just thinking yesterday how I've been on mat leave for 5 months now. What????!?! How'd that happen? But anyway, this post is about S, not me, so I digress!)

Official weigh-in at the doctor's office (along with her 4-month shots, which she handled like a champ) came one day shy of her 4 month birthday. She clocked in at 12lb 6oz (25th to 50th percentile) and 25 inches (50th to 75th percentile). Looks like she's going to be long & skinny like her parents - no surprise there!  

I was determined to get another smiley shot for her 4-month pic. After about 10 tries, we got a gem!



















(Compare to her one month, two month and three month pics!)

S's motor control continued to improve this month. Now she can easily reach out and grasp objects she's interested in. I need to be careful when she's sitting on my lap at the table as she has nearly flying saucer-ized my Cheerios a couple times now! She loves to pull the rings off of her Fisher Price "Rock-a-Stack" (a baby staple), and she's getting much better at spin spinning her Alphabet Zoo! Check it out:

video

And, of course, EVERYTHING goes in her mouth at this stage. Toys, teethers, blankets, her hands, my hands, your hands, and the latest and greatest...... her toes! As soon as her diaper is off during a change, her legs kick up and her toes are in her mouth.  I swear this girl's going to be a contortionist when she grows up as I can't believe how flexible she is! (Then again, she did spend her last few months in my belly assuming this position, so it shouldn't be too surprising.)


I'm sure it goes without saying that she now gets a little pissy when it's time for the diaper to go back on! ("What - I have to give up my toes? This is bullsh*t!!!!") She has even developed a new sound to voice her displeasure over the last few days - a combination of a grunt and a growl. She can't help but smile if you do it back to her, though!

A big milestone this month - she has learned to roll onto her tummy! However she hasn't grasped the fine art of rolling back yet, so she'll get there and become frustrated as she's now facing the daunting prospect of perpetual tummy time! (Unfortunately no video of this yet; will need to snap one stat!) Apparently most babies are the opposite, learning the front to back maneuver first. Our DD just has to be different!

Her neck and back continue to gain strength and control. She's now pretty steady in the bumbo chair and just about ready to join Mom & Dad at the table in her super-sleek 'n' modern Boon Flair pedestal high chair! (Or the "hair cutting chair", as Maryana calls it!)



She's also loving the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo she borrowed from her cousin Avery (though she can't QUITE touch the floor yet!)














Now that she isn't quite as "breakable", we've been starting the activities which let her experience movement - airplane, bouncing games, pseudo-inversions, etc. She loooves this stuff!

Socially, she continues to be a happy little camper! Lots of smiles for everyone and laughter is pretty much guaranteed upon making funny kissing sounds around the sides of her tummy!

video

She has also become intensely fascinated by "the baby in the mirror", as my 3 month, 2 week update from babycenter.ca promised she would be!

video

Finally, I like to put people on speaker phone as she so she can hear voices on the other end. She gets totally spellbound by this, widening her eyes, grabbing at the phone and cooing. She's probably (and understandably) a little baffled as to how her Granda Mary is talking to her from inside that tiny black box!

A few other noteworthies from this month:
Shara tells me that the changes are a mile a minute during Month 5, so expect even more pics and vids next month!! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Memorable Monday: The Inaugural Edition

I've invented (I think) an alliterative weekly blog event! Yay me!

What I'm going to do each week is showcase recently read blog posts in other journals which were, well, memorable to me in one way or another. Perhaps they were hilarious or touching, they hit home in a personal way, or they revealed an excellent tip which I plan to incorporate into my own life.

I thought of naming the event "Memorable Mama Monday" to extend the alliteration, however I wouldn't want to exclude the daddy and child-free bloggers I'm following as you guys rock too! :)

(And yes, I realize it's no longer Monday, however I came up with this idea late last night just before hubby & my snuggle / Ally McBeal time. :) )

Without further ado, here's this week's listing!

The Mrs - a newly discovered (for me) Canadian mommy blog, Mrs makes the list not only for having an incredibly engaging and hilarious writing style in general (she manages to work in her maple candy addiction every three sentences or so) but also for her bare-it-all documentation of Project Grocery, in which she strives to stay under $120/week on grocery-related expenditures. Her Oatmeal Time installment in particular was memorable, as I didn't realize you could make oatmeal ahead and refrigerate it for up to a week! I'm totally doing that. :) Finally, she reminded me to do the laundry late at night - surprisingly, this'll save us some $$$!

Hobo Mama (another new blog on my reading list) for her frank synopsis of post-partum sex. Without going into detail, I can certainly relate! I highly recommend this one if you've recently had a child and are disheartened at the resulting changes in this area.

Mommy Only Has 2 Hands! just wrote an excellent tutorial on how to continue with Blogger after purchasing your own domain name. This is something I'm considering, so I'll definitely reference her article if I do take this step.

The Connected Mom for her compelling article on Elimination Communication (EC) myths. I've been intrigued by the idea of EC, especially since I have good friends who practice this with their son. I'm not sure we'll take the plunge (no pun intended) with S, however it would more likely be something we'd look at for child #2 (assuming he or she "happens"!)

To round things out, Everything Cloth earns comic relief points with her graphic EBF blow-out story. :D She had me LLOL (literally laughing out loud) several times with that one!

Feel free to join me with your own Memorable Monday posts - let's let those bloggin' gems out there really shine!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's our daughter in the water!

S had her first swimming "lesson" on Friday morning! She is enrolled in the 11-week Starfish program at the Waterloo Rec Complex. Ange 'n' Sam and Liz 'n' Luke are also in the program - yay for Mommy and Baby playdates!

S seemed to enjoy the experience, though she was more curious and pensive about the whole thing than outright thrilled. Lots of new sensations for her!

Here's a shot of me dipping her in for the first time!












Aaaand here's Daddy and S emerging from the water at the end of the lesson:

video

The actual pool time was awesome, however I found the before and after overhead a bit intimidating. S hasn't even had a bath in the big tub yet, so trying to shower myself and her at the same time was sort of nerve-wracking. Plus, I had to rely on feel rather than our trusty li'l temperature turtle to make sure it wasn't too hot for her! I also learned that less is more when it comes to pool-time organization. Chris and I brought a cumulative total of 5 bags - my backpack, his backpack, my purse, the camera bag and S's diaper bag. Next time we're going to cut that down to 2 or 3. (We nabbed our requisite "first time in the pool" vids so that's out of the way, and as cute as her pink hooded terry "swim robe" from Nana and Papa is, it is more appropriate for a leisurely day at the beach!)

Does anyone out there have any tips to help activities with little ones such as swimming lessons go as smoothly as possible? I can only imagine how much more complicated things would get with 2 or more kids!

Family-Friendly Giveaway Roundup for Canadians - 03/27

Here is this week's roundup! A couple changes this week:
  • I've expanded the listing from a baby roundup to a family-friendly roundup as some of the contests I will begin to include are for toddlers/older children or even for Mom & Dad!
  • I've added a few helpful bits of info this week - # of daily entries per person and # of winners.
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03/21: The Great Cloth Diaper Line-Up (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Crunchy Beach Mama
Mandatory entry: Depends
Current # of entries: Depends
Note: This event consists of multiple cloth diaper giveaways, most of which are open to CAN/US but a few of which are open to US only. The first ended on 03/21 and the last will end sometime in April.

03/27: 2 Itti Bitti Diapers (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 292  

(NEW) 03/27:  Thirsties Duo Wrap (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Crum's This N That
Mandatory entry: None
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 220

(NEW) 03/27: A Very Hungry Caterpillar (book) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Busy Mommy
Mandatory entry: Personal experience comment
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 1; current entries: 68

03/28: Bummas Wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Love You Always and Forever
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 6; current entries: 226

03/28: Best Bottom Diaper System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Six in the Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 3; current entries: 258

03/28: Charlie Banana sized diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 193

(NEW) 03/28: Doopsy insert (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Knocked Up and Nursing
Mandatory entry: Product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 1; current entries: 212

(NEW) 03/28: Kawaii pocket diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: I Love Cloth Diapers!
Mandatory entry: Product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 6; current entries: 285

(NEW) 03/28: Charlie Banana OS Diaper (WORLDWIDE)
Hosted by: Everything Mom and Baby
Mandatory entry: Product selection; website visit
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 36

(NEW) 03/28: Doopsy insert (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Oh So Savvy Mom
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries:129

03/29: Kawaii Cloth Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: West Coast Mama
Mandatory entry: Product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 1; current entries:297

03/29: BabyLegs and matching socks (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: One Smiley Monkey
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 3; current entries: 96

03/29: Best Bottoms diaper system (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama on a Green Mission
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 4; current entries:702

03/29: Best Bottoms diaper system (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama B
Mandatory entry: Website visit
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 4; current entries:1028

(NEW) 03/30: Green Works prize pack (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Glimpse Reviews
Mandatory entry: Personal experience comment
# winners: 3; daily entries pp: 2; current entries: 302

03/31: 1 Thirsties Duo Size 2 and 1 Happy Heiny (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama B
Mandatory entry: Website visit
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 4; current entries:1088

(NEW) 03/31: AMP Duo Pocket diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: None
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 2; current entries: 650

(NEW) 03/31: Oh Katy OS diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mom's Take
Mandatory entry: Product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 226

04/01: MiniMaestro pocket diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama to 4 Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 353

(NEW) 04/02: Crane humidifier (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Glimpse Reviews
Mandatory entry: Product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 2; current entries:268

(NEW) 04/03: Cow Patties Famous Pocket Fitted diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: None
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 2; current entries:331

(NEW) 04/03: Charlie Banana prize pack (worth $300+!) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One Smiley Monkey
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 3; current entries: 478

(NEW) 04/04: Boba Carrier (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Gal Time
Mandatory entry: FB likes
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 1; current entries: N/A

(NEW) 04/04: Leahn Wonderland custom diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: SAPsMaMa
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: N/A

(NEW) 04/05: Sugar Plum fitted diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Knocked Up and Nursing
Mandatory entry: Product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 1; current entries: 250

(NEW) 04/05: Wean Cubes (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Everything Mom and Baby
Mandatory entry: Website visit
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries:59

(NEW) 04/06: 1 Econobum Kit OR 2 Thirsties Duo dipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama B
Mandatory entry: Website visit
# winners: 2; daily entries pp: 4; current entries: 953

(NEW) 04/07: Sweet Pea OS Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries: 106

(NEW) 04/09: Best Bottom diaper system (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Lindsay's Family Reviews and Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 2; current entries: 77

(NEW) 04/07: Mud Butt AI2 diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 0; current entries:67

(NEW) 04/10: Cow Patties Famous Pocket Fitted diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Sophie and Momma
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 4; current entries: N/A

(NEW) 04/13: $150 Chalie Banana gift certificate (CAN/US)
Hosted by: {Natural} Mommie
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
# winners: 1; daily entries pp: 1; current entries: N/A

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Notes:
  • Giveaways are listed in chronological order by closing date
  • Most of the giveaways I'm currently scouting out are for cloth diapers and related products, so there is a heavy lean toward these
  • All giveaways I post will be open to Canadians; some exclusively. I'll indicate whether a particular contest is US/CAN, CAN ONLY or WORLDWIDE beside each listing.
  • To help you decide which giveaways to enter, I will list the mandatory entry, the number of winners (# winners), the number of daily entries per person (daily entries pp) and the current number of total entries at the time of this writing (current entries).
  • Giveaways which have just been added to the list this week have a NEW tag.
  • If you know of a great baby product giveaway open to Canadians which is missing from my list, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Day in the Life of M2M!

So The Mrs (a fellow frugal Canadian mommy blogger, who is awesome and hilarious I might add - go check her out!) inspired me to document "A Day in the Life of Manager to Mom" thanks to this guest DitL post on her own blog. What a cool idea, I thought. As one who revels in comprehensiveness, this little project seemed right up my alley! Plus, I thought it would be illuminating in a couple ways. First of all, these days tend to go by in such a blur that at the end of each one it's hard to remember what actually took place and got done! Secondly, it might help me identify bad habits or inefficiencies which could be improved upon. So without further ado, here are the nitty gritty details of my life on March 24, 2011!

(Note - unfortunately no pictures here to jazz things up. I'm not sure how Lannis managed this in her post amid all the activity in her day and written documentation of said activity, but I digress.)

- 3:45  - S crying. Get up to feed her. (Note - she had her 4-month shots yesterday which likely explains why she woke for a middle-of-the-night feed. Most nights lately she makes it until at least 6 AM.)
- 4:00 to 6:45 - Sleep. Weird dreams.
- 6:45 - S hungry again. Feed.
- 6:55 - Put S back to bed, head downstairs, grab a bowl of cereal.
- 6:59 - Realize internet isn't connected; go up and plug in router (we’ve been unplugging at night). Check on S again who’s fussing a bit. Head back downstairs to start “day in the life” logging.
- 7:04 - Check on/soothe S again (still fussing)
- 7:07 - Check email, respond to a couple
- 7:13 - S STILL fussing. Go up, change her diaper, put her back in her SleepSack and try one more time to get her to finish sleeping! (She almost always sleeps until 8-8:30 so don’t want to veer from the routine if possible.) Have my “morning constitutional” (as my Mom says).
- 7:25 - Finish (soggy) cereal. Scan through blogroll.
- 7:34 - Start giveaway tweets
- 7:48 - S crying; get her up. Rock her, read a few books, take her in to wake up Daddy!
- 8:21 - Put S in one of her chairs with a soft rattle. Finish giveaway tweets.
- 8:35 - S has fallen asleep. Enter some new giveaways.
- 9:28 - Feel a bit dirty from spending too long on giveaways. :/ S still sleeping. Reboot computer.
- 9:30 - Deal with paper items lying around - credit card activation, dormant account close, hospital donation & a couple others
- 9:55 - Clean out receipts and random paper bits out of purse
- 10:00 - S awake; change; bare bum time; “fly” her around the house a bit!
- 10:24 - S in jumper; put in cloth diaper laundry
- 10:30 - Make scrambled eggs w/ red onion & jalapeno havarti for brunch!
- 10:49 - Eat brunch; make funny faces at S
- 10:57 - Nurse S; give her a vitamin D drop; read blog posts while nursing.
- 10:59 - One of my giveaway wins arrives. New books for S! (Chris gets door).
- 11:17 - S in her gym. Open books, send email to giveaway host, show Chris, file in her bookshelf. Take pictures of books and my Driline baby prize pack which I received last week. (Plan to blog on this later.)
- 11:29 - 2nd cycle of CD laundry; feed fish and show S for a few minutes; fill up jugs to refill tank (water constantly evaporates 'cause it's super dry in the basement); take hanging dipes from last laundry day upstairs
- 11:37 - Change S; dress her; kisses & peekaboo; quick visit with Daddy!
- 11:52 - Quick twitter feed check
- 11:58 - Play with ring tower; S has learned to take off each ring one by one!
- 12:02 - Change S outfit (puke)
- 12:12 - Phone call w/ Mom
- 12:22 - 3rd cycle of CD laundry
- 12:25 - Put S down for nap. (Takes some time getting her down as we’re just starting to put her in her crib for naps.)
- 12:43 - Mix more cloth wipe solution; file paperwork; wash brunch dishes & wipe counters
- 1:04 - S awake. Let her chill in crib while I go through boxes of borrowed clothes to find onesies & sleepers a size up (she's quickly growing out of her current rotation!)
- 1:14 - Take her out of crib for tummy time
- 1:18 - Nurse S
- 1:32 - Load of baby laundry downstairs to wash; CD laundry in dryer; empty water jugs into fish tank
- 1:46 - Quick email/blog/twitter check. S goobing on my thumb.
- 1:56 - Call Diapers 'n' More to check if they have swim dipes in stock (they do!); call (great) Grandma Catherine to check if we can come visit
- 2:05 - Songs and airplanes w/ S
- 2:11 - Diaper change; take "official" 4-month photo of her for her monthly growth gallery
- 2:28 - Set S in chair with stuff to do; shower
- 2:42 - Out of shower; floss, brush teeth and comb hair. S sleeping in her chair so decide to wait until after her nap to head out on errands.
- 2:51 - Realize I haven’t eaten anything since brunch so grab a pickle, carrots and crackers. Plan to grab a snack wrap or sumpin from Tim’s on the way out. Another 15 minutes on dryer to finish CD laundry.
- 3:00 - Take the opportunity to trim S nails
- 3:05 - Accidentally clip her fingertip as I’m finishing her left hand. :(((( She wakes up crying but then goes back to sleep.
- 3:07 - Clip nails on her right hand. She wakes up again, this time for realsies - POOO!
- 3:14 - Do a bit more online-y stuff. DH comes down  and makes a snack platter. Asks if I’m still planning to head out, noting that “It’s 3:30”. Yes I am, I reply. I'd been planning to make dinner but since the day's getting away from me we agree to rock the leftover chili instead and save cooking for tomorrow night. (Note - I'm sure there are organizational / time management efficiencies to be gained here!)
- 3:22 - Baby laundry in the dryer; cloth diapers finish. Fold CDs while playing peekaboo with S.
- 3:36 - Nurse s. Scan Twitter feed. Cuddle with S a bit, who is snoozing post-feed.
- 4:00 - More giveaway tweets; enter a couple more contests; comment on some blogs. Have to yank myself away in order to get ready to head out. (Note: my proclivity toward "online inertia" is definitely something to work on!)
- 4:37 - Call Grandma and Mom; Grandma's up for a visit but Mom won't be coming out as she needs to make cream cheese pinwheels. (?)
- 4:46 - S up. Change her, ready diaper bag, get her into carseat.
- 5:05 - On the road
- 5:12 - Timmy’s - pick up snack wraps, fritters and coffees for Grandma and me!
- 5:40 - Arrive at Grandma’s for visit. Grandma is happy to see her GGD. S tries icing sugar for the first time.
- 6:30 - Nurse. Grandma's seen my boob a few times now. She tells me I am a "good cow". :D
- 7:00 - Kisses to (Great) Grandma. Head out.
- 7:15 - Diapers N More. Let S pick out a Monkey Doodlez swim diaper; she chooses Lil Quacker!
- 7:35 - Starbucks drive-through. Get Random Act of Kindness’ed - customer ahead of us pays for Chris’ mocha!! *warm and fuzzy*
- 8:00 - Home. Guessing game with Chris while he changed a very wet S diaper: "Why was your mocha free?" (He needed a big hint.)
- 8:05 - Check online stuffs, post about RAoK incident.
- 8:17 - Head out for groceries, cash cheques at ATM, check mail (another UCCB cheque from the federal government. It pays to procreate!!!)
- 9:12 - Get home, change into comfies.
- 9:20 - Night diaper; feed; S to bed.
- 10:00 - Some online financial stuff; recharge camera batteries.
- 10:30 - Fold laundry; watch Jeopardy on time shift. (Chicky has won over 100K in three days - nice haul!)
- 11:00 - Put away boxes of borrowed clothes & clean CD laundry in nursery; S fussing so spend a few minutes soothing
- 11:10 - Back up recent photos/videos on external drive.
- 11:35 - Wash swim diaper
- 11:41 - Chill with Chris on the couch, The Office in the background and post-ize this “Day in the Life”!
- NOW (too late) - BED!!!!

Whew - there you have it! As it turns out, I definitely Do Stuff over an average day but there are also areas where productivity and organizational improvements are certainly possible. Now time to pass the baton to anotha blogga - who wants to do a DitL next?? I'd love to hear how you mamas with multiple kiddos manage to get things done AND rock out some excellent blogging and giveaway hostin'!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eco-friendly shower curtain giveaway

Rachel's Reviews and Giveaways has a contest open to win an eco-friendly shower curtain from Rock Candy Life. I'd love to win this as our current curtain has been mended more times than I can count and is in dire need of a replacement! Plus, RCL shower curtains are 100% recyclable, chlorine and PVC-free, and they do not emit 'off-gasses' as traditional shower curtains do. (You know that smell when you first open up most new curtains? Well, that's the bad stuff - we don't want to be smelling that!!)

I thought of adding this to my weekly lineup, however decided against it as I'd like to keep that to baby & child-related products for now. So this one gets its own entry! If you'd like to enter as well, here's the link. Hurry as it ends tonight! (Open to US and CAN.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giveaway Enterin': A couple tips!

Here are a couple valuable tips I've discovered re: entering online giveaways:

TIP 1: Keeping your personal and giveaway action separate on Facebook

When liking a Facebook page, you MUST like with your profile rather than your page (if you have one) in order to increment the fan counter of the recipient page. If you like with your page, the recipient page merely shows up in the "Likes" section of your own page. If you think about it, this makes sense as otherwise a business could create a bunch of bogus pages in order to artificially inflate its fan count. That said, it's a bit of a pain if you're into entering giveaways (like I am) but don't want to clobber your personal news feed with updates from all these pages. So here's what I do to keep the two feeds separate:
  1. Create a Friend List for all the pages and personal profiles related to entering giveaways. To create a Friend List, click Friends on the left side of your Home page, click the Edit Friends button (top right) and click the + Create a List button (top right). Label your list something appropriate (e.g. GIVEAWAYS / BLOGS). Then, add all of your giveaway-related pages and personal profiles to this list.
  2. Create another Friend List for all your personal friends using the method in 1) above. 
  3. Click the dropdown list beside the Most Recent option in your news feed. This allows you to filter the feed via one of your two lists, so you can see personal and giveaway action separately!
  4. When you add a new friend or page, don't forget to add it right away to the appropriate list! 
In addition to the above, I wanted to ensure I wasn't spamming my friends' news feeds any more than necessary with giveaway-related comments and updates. So what I do here is use my Manager to Mom page to comment on photos and posts (for fan milestones and flash giveaways), give shout-outs and share giveaways. In doing this, however, I also make the point of mentioning that I've fan'd a page using my personal account as well so it can be verified that I helped increment the counter. Now one issue with this is that it's easy to mix up whether you're currently using Facebook as your profile or your page, since you'll need to switch back and forth. Easy solution - use two browsers! For example, use Firefox for your personal profile and Internet Explorer for your page. Done!

TIP 2: Entering blog comments more quickly

Do you ever find yourself wishing that you had a second paste shortcut on your keyboard to help submit blog comment entries more quickly? Prototypical situation - you have a tweet URL to paste, but then you also need to enter your email address. Sound familiar? Early on in my giveaway-entering, I kept my email address highlighted in a second document and I'd ALT-TAB over, re-copy it and paste it for every comment. That was a bit of a PITA, however, so I looked for an alternative. And voila - Clipomatic to the rescue! This handy dandy tool allows you to keep multiple pieces of text in a buffer accessible via CTRL-ALT-V. Much easier than constantly changing screens! Give it a try yourself - super easy to install and use!

So there y'go - I hope you found these tips useful as well!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Giveaway Roundup for Canadians - 03/20

Here is this week's roundup!

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03/21: Thirsties Duo Wrap & Prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries:320

03/21: Jolimini OS Pocket Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Heart For Home
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 171

(NEW) 03/21: SoftBums Diapering System (Worldwide)
Hosted by: The Nurse Mommy
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 437

(NEW) 03/21: The Great Cloth Diaper Line-Up (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Crunchy Beach Mama
Mandatory entry: Depends
Current # of entries: Depends
Note: This event consists of multiple cloth diaper giveaways, most of which are open to CAN/US but a few of which are open to US only. The first ends on 03/21 and the last (which hasn't been announced yet) will end sometime in April.

03/22: Thirsties wrap & prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Marni's Organized Mess
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries:558

03/22: Best Bottom Diaper System (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 277

03/22: Thirsties Duo Wrap + Prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries:385

(NEW) 03/22: Thirsties Fab Fitted Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Geek
Mandatory entry: Website visit
Current # of entries: 462

(NEW) 03/22: Joli Mini OS pocket diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: My This N That Life
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries:173

03/23: GroVia shell + soaker pad (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Glimpse Reviews
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries:146

(NEW) 03/23: Bum Covered Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Makin' It
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries:81

03/24: A Lil' Fluff giveaway (multiple items!) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Bottom of the Sixth
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; multiple FB follows
Current # of entries: 261

03/24: SmartiPants Diaper (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 214

03/24: Bravado Sublime Nursing Bra (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 221

03/25: Blissful Booty Wipe Water Sampler (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One More Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 222

(NEW) 03/25: HuggaBuns + Mother-ease Wipes (from Maine Cloth Diaper Co.) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 418

03/26: Mother-ease Sandy's System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Addiction
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: N/A

03/27: 2 Itti Bitti Diapers (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries:184

03/28: Bummas Wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Love You Always and Forever
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
Current # of entries:161

(NEW) 03/28: Best Bottom Diaper System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Six in the Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries:82

(NEW) 03/28: Charlie Banana Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 141

(NEW) 03/29: Kawaii Cloth Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: West Coast Mama
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 205

(NEW) 03/29: BabyLegs and matching socks (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: One Smiley Monkey
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
Current # of entries:28

(NEW) 03/29: Best Bottoms diaper system (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama on a Green Mission
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries:383

(NEW) 03/29: Best Bottoms diaper system (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama B
Mandatory entry: Website visit
Current # of entries:676

(NEW) 03/31: 1 Thirsties Duo Size 2 and 1 Happy Heiny (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama B
Mandatory entry: Website visit
Current # of entries: 653

(NEW) 04/01: MiniMaestro pocket diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama to 4 Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries:272

*******************************************

Notes:
  • Giveaways are listed in chronological order by closing date
  • Most of the giveaways I'm currently scouting out are for cloth diapers and related products, so there is a heavy lean toward these
  • All giveaways I post will be open to Canadians; some exclusively. I'll indicate whether a particular contest is US/CAN, CAN ONLY or WORLDWIDE beside each listing.
  • To help you decide which giveaways to enter, I will list the mandatory entry as well as the current # of entries at the time of the posting. The fewer the entries, the better your chance of winning!
  • Giveaways which have just been added to the list this week have a NEW tag.
  • If you know of a great baby product giveaway open to Canadians which is missing from my list, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

Not so happy baby :(

S hasn't been her normal, happy self the last few days. :( She's not nearly as smiley, she isn't responding to our voices or faces as much and she isn't really babbling or cooing. There's probably a good explanation - perhaps she's feeling a bit under the weather (lots of sickness going around recently), she may be starting to teethe or she might just be focusing on honing some new skills. Or perhaps a combination of the above. But as a mommy who's used to her little girl smiling and cooing at kisses, silly songs and goofy games, it tugs at the heartstrings a bit when these "old standbys" instead produce wary looks or no reaction at all.

I just talked to my mother-in-law who said that I worry too much, and that if I'm feeling down that li'l girl will pick up on it. But it's hard not to be affected by this sort of thing. I can't help but have some concern that I've inadvertently "withdrawn from her emotional bank account" or that she's sick or experiencing some sort of developmental regression. And I hear that this is not only natural, but a neverending process. Even when your children grow up into adults, they're still your kids! I feel a lot of sympathy for my grandmother who has lost 2 of her children. She said there isn't a day that goes by when she doesn't mourn for them.

Well this was a bit of a downer post! Time to pep things up a bit and get this week's giveaway roundup going! S's asleep right now and it's her short nap period of the day so I probably have another 20 or so minutes - let's see if I can pull this out! (Likely will need to finish during her next nap.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A week away for our eldest "daughter"

The firstborn in our household is Lucy the Tuxedo Cat. She was actually my parents' cat waaay back in the day (she's 12 now), but then I inherited her several years later when my parents split up and my dad sold his house. When Chris and I started dating almost 5 years ago and he found out I had a cat, he thought that might be a dealbreaker as he is quite allergic, however for some reason Lucy didn't bother him. She very quickly won over his heart with her lap snuggles, "bread making", love of cardboard boxes and willingness to be the butt of jokes. We've given her many appropriate as well as random nicknames (such as Socks and Rosemary), created songs about her ("Black cat in a little suit....black cat, nine lives!) and endured several hefty vet bills. She ticks us off at times (for example, when we find her lapping at one of our cereal bowls when we've left the room for 30 seconds) and she's basically our "dead-beat roommate" (as Chris lovingly refers to her), but she's our eldest "daughter" and she's a member of the family!

We wondered how things would change once our first real daughter came into our lives. How would Lucy adapt to having a needy, often loud little person around all the time? Would she want to be around S, or would she begin to retreat into the background? What would S think of Lucy? Would she inherit our allergies? (Indeed, something we are concerned with now.) We had lots of questions about the two of them together, however not so many about our own attitudes toward Lucy. It turns out that this may be the biggest change of all, at least for me. She has gone from being my baby to being "just a cat". That's not to say I don't love her anymore, however her prominence and the amount of time I actively spend with her has certainly diminished. I don't hold her as much, I'm quicker to lose my patience with her and I don't notice her endearing and quirky little qualities and actions as much asI used to. I feel kind of bad about this when I think about it, however my guess is that this sort of transition is extremely common if not inevitable when a woman becomes a mommy. I was chatting with a friend about this and she said she went through the same thing with their family dog when they had their little girl. (Perhaps this is how the expression "Man's Best Friend" originated...?)

We recently found out that Lucy has hyperthyroidism, which is quite common in older cats. We've been managing the condition daily with medication, however recently we learned about a procedure called radioactive iodine therapy which is safe, effective and relatively affordable, and results in a permanent cure. The one downside of the therapy is that the cat becomes radioactive for a period of time, so must be quarantined until radiation levels are accepable, which is usually about one week. Chris and I discussed the pros and cons and decided to go for the treatment, which is offered at the Thames Valley Veterinary Services in London. We're taking her there this morning.

I haven't really worried too much about it. Sure, it won't be the kitty equivalent of a 4-star hotel she's residing in, however they'll take care of her, we'll get email updates and she'll have her special food and a couple familiar objects from home. Plus, the TVVS employee I've been speaking with says that most cats go back home physically and emotionally just fine. I even went so far as suggesting that things would be "easier" during the week Lucy's away, as she won't get into S' gym and other gear that we have spread out on the main floor. Chris, however, has felt a lot more anxiety and sadness over the whole thing. He admitted yesterday that he might be depressed today after we drop her off, and he's worried that the experience might "break" her. Again, the difference in our attitudes is likely reflective of the change that S brought on, as in the past I may have felt more similar to Chris.

Right now, S and Chris are still sleeping and Lucy's lying on the couch with me as I write this, purring away. It's moments like these when I feel the closest to her and I feel a bit wistful for the days when she was our baby and she got all the love and attention. I do feel that she's a resilient cat, however the upcoming experience will certainly be trying. Good Luck little TuxCatSox, and may you dream of butt pats and big bowls of Cheerios while you're away!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Added follow options - FB, Twitter, RSS and email!

Facebook page is up! Appreciate any and all follows; will be sharing great giveaways on the fly as well as other steals 'n' deals, news, blog posts, discussion topics, etc.! Will also look to host giveaways when I hit particular follower milestones.

Also see the top right for additional ways to follow me via Twitter, RSS and email!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: Charis Designs diaper cover wraps

I've planned to begin reviewing some of my cloth diapering (and other baby-related) products for awhile now, but my current addiction to entering giveaways has made this challenging. :) Soooo in order to get the ball rolling on this, I thought I'd sacrifice sleep for one night. The wisest idea? Perhaps not. But hey - I'm a new mama. I'm resilient!!!!

So, where to start? Well, remember these covers? I've been using them on S now for a month and a half and have yet to comment on how they're working out. Plus, the seller has a cool story which I think would be great to profile! On that note, here we go....

Background:

Charis Designs is an Etsy shop owned and operated by a WAHM mom named Kim. She and her family sold their small homestead in order to move onto a sailboat and cruise around. In order to help make ends meet, she decided to sew cloth diapering products and other accessories. She sews using a solar powered machine, so her products are truly made "green"! Charis is the name of their sailboat, so she decided to pay homage to this in the name of her Etsy shop.





The Transaction:

As I mentioned in my previous post, I did not work with Kim directly on the transaction; rather, I purchased three of her wraps from another local mama who was no longer cloth diapering. However, Kim's feedback rating is 100% positive on Etsy, so I would feel extremely confident doing business with her!

Technical Details:

Kim's wraps are made with 1 mm PUL waterproof fabric and fold-over elastic, and close with aplix loop velcro. They come in 4 sizes (small, medium, large and extra large) and each lists very precise measurements and weight recommendations to help the prospective buyer. For example, the medium size (which I purchased) has the following specs:

- Fits 10-19 pounds
- Waist adjusts 13 inches to 18-21 inches
- Rise 15 inches

Wraps are made with leg gussets for added protection.

Laundering recommendations are to wash in cold or warm water and hang to dry.

My Review:

When I first saw these wraps listed on Kijiji, I thought they looked super cute! I especially loved the blue one with the stripes. It turns out that Kim accents many of her wraps with ribbons on the crossover tabs; a very nice touch!

The three wraps I purchased are in traditional "boy" colours - blues and greens - however my husband and I feel that sticking to girly pinks and the like for our DD is limiting. Heck, we even painted her nursery a shade of blue! That said, the vast majority of her clothing is still pink, so it's nice to mix it up with some dipes in "stronger" shades:



















My first observation upon receiving the wraps was that they're really lightweight compared to others I own. My second was "Wow, check out those leg gussets! Nothing's getting by those babies!"




















My final thought was that I couldn't wait to try them out on S!

So how do they fit? Very well, I must say! S was about 10.5 pounds (low end of recommended range) when I first tried one on her and I was able to get a snug fit over her skinny waist & legs. As I suspected due to their weight, they also result in a relatively trim fluffy bum over her Bummis prefolds. And hey, S seems to like wearing them!



















The gussets are as awesome in practice as they look! The wraps have yet to leak since we started using them, even with some of her most plentiful EBF poops. Look how nicely it hugs her leg:















The only thing I was initially somewhat concerned with in terms of comfort was that the fold-over elastic felt a bit stiff. However, this doesn't seem to bother S and the elastic doesn't leave any red marks, so this turned out not to be a problem.

I should also mention that despite the recommendations, I actually wash the covers in hot water with the rest of my CD laundry (tsk tsk) for convenience. Regardless, they've held up exceptionally well over the last 1.5 months and I have no reason to think they're going to degrade anytime soon.

If I could make one constructive criticism, it is that the wraps do not have laundry tabs. Due to this, I attach the tabs to the regular velcro in order to avoid diaper chains. So far, they're getting clean using this method, though I wonder if there'd be enough agitation to remove all the grime with a really bad blow-out on the cover. In any case, tabs would solve things here.

Also, I'm not sure they'll last up until the suggested 19 pound upper limit as they strike me as having similar measurements to my other covers which fit up to 16 pounds, however time will tell here!

All in all, I'd wholeheartedly recommend these wraps to anyone looking for a high-quality, reliable, trim and snazzy cover! Plus, it's always nice to support other mamas, isn't it?

Buy It:

You can buy these wraps from Kim's Etsy store here. At prices ranging from $9.50 to $12.25 USD (depending on size and style) plus shipping, they're a very affordable addition to your stash!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baby Giveaway Roundup for Canadians - 03/13

Here is this week's roundup!

*******************************************

03/13: Bummas wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 539

03/13: Sprout Change Diaper Set (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Triple Duty Momma
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 480

03/13: Knickernappies Onesize Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Geek
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 508

03/14: Rockin' Green (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 339

(NEW) 03/14: Thirsties Duo Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Keeping up with Kynlee
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 490

03/14: Cheeky Diapers fitted diaper & cover (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Knocked Up and Nursing
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 457

03/15: GoGreen Pocket Diaper and Wet Bag (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Life With Levi
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 351

03/16: Sprout Change diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 268

03/16: Amber Teething Anklet (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One Smiley Monkey
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 105

03/16: Blissful Booty Cloth Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One More Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 490

(NEW) 03/16: 2 Itti Bitti Cloth Diapers (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Biehl Adventures
Mandatory entry: Facebook like
Current # of entries: N/A

(NEW) 03/16: Zookies Cover (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Obsessions of the Trophy Wife
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 313

03/17: Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit OR Blueberry Minky Pocket (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama on a Green Mission
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; email subscribe
Current # of entries: 552

(NEW) 03/17: $15 to Sweet Violet's Mama (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Knocked Up and Nursing
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 191

(NEW) 03/17: DinkleDooz pocket diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 644

(NEW) 03/18: $20 to Sandbox Lane (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Lindsay's Family Reviews and Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 225

03/19: SoftBums Omni Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: The B Keeps Us Honest
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 540

03/19: BeFelt Fleece Soaker (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 86

(NEW) 03/19: Halo SleepSack Swaddle (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mom's Focus on Cyber World
Mandatory entry: Website visit
Current # of entries: 101

(NEW) 03/19: Drybee's AIO Hybrid Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Instinctual Mamas
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
Current # of entries: 82

03/20: Best Bottoms Cloth Diaper - shell & 3 inserts (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Happenings of the Harper Household
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 1042

(NEW) 03/20: AppleCheeks Cloth Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Because it's Fun to Win!
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: N/A

(NEW) 03/20: $25 to Bright Star Baby (CAN/US)
Hosted by: The Small Town Mom
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Product selection
Current # of entries: 98

(NEW) 03/20: BabyBond Nursing Cover (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Because it's Fun to Win!
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: N/A

(NEW) 03/20: Signing Time (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Because it's Fun to Win!
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: N/A

(NEW) 03/20: Fuzzibunz Diaper & Bummis Fabulous Wetbag from diapersupply.ca (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 232

(NEW) 03/19: Best Bottom One Size Diaper System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 145

(NEW) 03/21: Thirsties Duo Wrap & Prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 224

(NEW) 03/21: Jolimini OS Pocket Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Heart For Home
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 141

03/22: Thirsties wrap & prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Marni's Organized Mess
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 411

(NEW) 03/22: Best Bottom Diaper System (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 205

(NEW) 03/22: Thirsties Duo Wrap + Prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 291

(NEW) 03/23: GroVia shell + soaker pad (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Glimpse Reviews
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 83

03/24: A Lil' Fluff giveaway (multiple items!) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Bottom of the Sixth
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; multiple FB follows
Current # of entries: 229

(NEW) 03/24: SmartiPants Diaper (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 117

(NEW) 03/24: Bravado Sublime Nursing Bra (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 159

(NEW) 03/25: Blissful Booty Wipe Water Sampler (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One More Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 118

(NEW) 03/26: Mother-ease Sandy's System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Addiction
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: N/A

(NEW) 03/27: 2 Itti Bitti Diapers (Worldwide)
Hosted by: Your World: Healthy and Natural
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 65

(NEW) 03/28: Bummas Wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Love You Always and Forever
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; Facebook like
Current # of entries: 71

*******************************************

Notes:
  • Giveaways are listed in chronological order by closing date
  • Most of the giveaways I'm currently scouting out are for cloth diapers and related products, so there is a heavy lean toward these
  • All giveaways I post will be open to Canadians; some exclusively. I'll indicate whether a particular contest is US/CAN, CAN ONLY or WORLDWIDE beside each listing.
  • To help you decide which giveaways to enter, I will list the mandatory entry as well as the current # of entries at the time of the posting. The fewer the entries, the better your chance of winning!
  • Giveaways which have just been added to the list this week have a NEW tag.
  • If you know of a great baby product giveaway open to Canadians which is missing from my list, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

New design & FB page coming soon!

I've decided that my kludged together blog & button images have gotta go, so a multi-talented friend of mine is helping me redesign these elements. Can't wait til they're finished and live, as they'll certainly give my blog a more polished look!

Also will be firing up a FB page shortly where I'll list great giveaways as they come up, post new blog posts and discussion topics, etc. This'll help segregate my bloggy, giveaway, mommy presence from my regular FB profile so I'm not spamming those who don't want to see all this stuff! Now just need to find some time when I'm NOT entering giveaways, heh!

Stay tuned!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cloth diapering overnight woes

S has recently taken to sleeping on her side at night. It's cute, but it has also introduced a pesky problem - diaper leakage! Boooo.

Up until this point, we have been using mainly Kawaii snazzy minky OS pockets stuffed with a single microfibre insert as her night time dipe, and this worked well when she slept on her back. She's not a super-heavy wetter so the single insert generally contains everything just fine for 8-10 hours. Now that she's sleeping on her side, however, some of the pee simply runs out the leg hole rather than absorbing into the insert. Now, one thing we've noticed with the Kawaiis is that the leg openings tend to be somewhat loose on her. This is more pronounced on some of the diapers than others (odd, huh?) which has led us to only use the 5 tightest ones unless we're in a real pinch. However, it appears that even these cannot reliably prevent leakage when she's on her side.

At 5 AM this morning, she'd leaked yet again but unfortunately I was a bit late on the laundry this round and the tight-legged Kawaiis were still in the dryer, unstuffed. So I reached for one of our two AMP one-size duo pockets, which have unfortunately been sitting unused because they have leaked as well, but in this case out over her waist. I checked and double-checked the fit, and it appeared that it was fastened as intended. But nope - another leak out over the waist, a mere 2 hours later! (I'm currently emailing with a CSR at AMP who is helping me troubleshoot the problem as it's perplexing indeed!)

So now I'm wondering a couple things:

1) Am I missing something key with the AMPs? Here are a couple pics of her wearing one early this morning. Does something look totally wrong? I really want these to work as they're so cute & trim!






































(Hmm - it appears from the first picture that the left leg gusset is a bit wonky, but she must have done that in her sleep as it was pulled around nicely like the right one when I put it on. Plus, the issue with these isn't in the leg hole - it's the waist area! Does this part look odd to you?)

2) What are the best overnight diapers for side-sleeping babies? I found a couple forum threads on this which suggested fitteds and extra-stuffed pockets as good options to try. So I'm going to see how a double-stuffed Kawaii holds up, and also explore the fitted option. Now the question is which one(s) to try, as I don't currently have any. I'd love to win one or two via giveaways first before splurging on a bunch of them!

Welcome any thoughts...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do they make Baby Claritin?

It appears that S may have an allergy. Worse, I suspect it is to our cat. :(

While I was still pregnant, Chris and I wondered if this would happen as we're both mildly to moderately allergic to cats. (Then why do we have one, you ask? Well, I "inherited" Lucy after my parents split up, and Chris "married into" her. Plus she's pretty much the Best Cat. But she'll definitely be the last cat we ever own!) We did some research into allergy inheritance and various sites suggested that if the parents have allergies, it is very likely that the child will as well (especially if both parents have them - chances could be as high as 75-80% in this scenario). However, the child will not necessarily be sensitive to the same allergens that the parents are.

The research also indicated that allergies probably wouldn't emerge until baby is at least a couple months old. Fast forward said couple months. Over the past few weeks, we've noticed S sneezing and rubbing her eyes a lot (though in the latter case, we thought it could have just been sleepiness). We wondered a little bit what this was about, but didn't think too much of it. Then, last night while changing her diaper, I noticed that she was scratching the top of her left leg. A closer looks showed redness and a little bumpy patch - very reminiscent of what I occasionally get on my hands and arms when Lucy's been licking or rubbing against me. Hives, I suspect. :( S had been lying in her Baby Neptune gym in a onesie shortly after Lucy had gotten into it to investigate, so the logic adds up here.

Soooo now what? Well, we'll start with a thorough cleaning and make a more diligent effort to keep the gate at the top of the stairs closed so Lucy can't get into her room. S has her 4 month doctor's appointment in a couple weeks, so we'll mention it then and see if allergy tests are in order to nail this down. And no more kitty bonding, unfortunately, as cute as it is! (At least until we get some answers.) If it turns out that S is, indeed, allergic to cats, we'll need to make a big decision. :( Here's hoping it doesn't come to that!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mandatory chore time :)

As many of you know, for the past week and a half or so I've become somewhat markedly addicted to reading mama blogs and entering giveaways. And while this is certainly more productive than playing Zuma Blitz or watching Intervention (frivolous favourites I opted for previously in my spare time), it's not a substitute for a clean house, food on the table or folded laundry! Soooooo I've decided to enforce Mandatory Chore Timetm for myself. What is this, you ask? Well every time S goes down for a nap during the day, BEFORE applying to that brand spankin' new cloth diaper contest or checking the 57 new tweets in my feed, I will make myself do at least 30 minutes of chores. I think this will be effective for a few reasons: 1) Stuff will continuously get done, 2) It'll get done more quickly because I am efficient with my tasks when I'm on a schedule, 3) More time in the evenings will be freed up to spend with Chris and 4) I won't feel like a complete contest-cravin' degenerate. ;)

On that note, I just completed my 30 minutes during S's current nap and accomplished the following:
  • Trimmed her nails
  • Fitted the cover back on her bouncer chair
  • Added water to the fish tank (it's currently serving as a humidifier for our basement)
  • Swept the area around Lucy's litter box
  • Washed the dishes
  • Took out some recycling
Not bad, huh?

Now time to finish this post - got some giveaways to enter! :D

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baby Giveaway Roundup for Canadians - 03/06

Here is this week's roundup!

*******************************************

(NEW) 03/06: Halo SleepSack (CAN/US)
Hosted by: 80 MPH Mom
Mandatory entry: Product website visit
Current # of entries: 224
Note from host: Head over to Eighty MPH Mom where you can win a cotton Halo SleepSack ($24.95 ARV)!

(NEW) 03/06: Earth Mama Angel Baby (CAN/US)
Hosted by: 29 Diapers
Mandatory entry: Item selection
Current # of entries: 25

(NEW) 03/06: Family Pack of Tickets to Max & Ruby Live (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Tales of a Ranting Ginger
Mandatory entry: GFC follow, show location preference
Current # of entries: 48

(NEW) 03/06: Apple Cheeks $25 gift certificate (CAN/US)
Hosted by: So Easy Being Green
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: N/A

03/07: Knickernappies Custom Fit Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Diary of a Devil Dog Wife
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product website visit
Current # of entries: 470

03/07: Driline Baby Gift Pack (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 570

03/07: gWipes by gDiapers (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 62

03/07: gDiaper (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 155

(NEW) 03/07: $15 to Peekaboo Bottoms (CAN/US)
Hosted by: ABC's of Life
Mandatory entry: Facebook follow
Current # of entries: 53

03/09: Thirsties Fab Wipes & Booty Luster (CAN/US)
Hosted by: All Aboard (the review & giveaway train)!
Mandatory entry: none
Current # of entries: 249

03/09: Mother-ease Sandy's System (CAN/US)
Hosted by: What Mama Wants
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 525

(NEW) 03/09: Halo SleepSack (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Abby Approved
Mandatory entry: Comment on a must-have product
Current # of entries: 107

(NEW) 03/09: Tot Seat (CAN ONLY)
Hosted by: Everything Mom and Baby
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: N/A

03/10: $25 Gift Certificate to Ottawa Cloth Diapers (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 140

03/10: Oh Katy Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Oh So Savvy Mom
Mandatory entry: 2 GFC follows
Current # of entries: 500

03/11: Blissful Booty cloth diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 254

03/11: $25 Gift Certificate to AppleCheeks (WORLDWIDE)
Hosted by: Sweet T Makes Three
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 422

(NEW) 03/11: Bummas cloth wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mommy and Me Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 296

(NEW) 03/11: AMP Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Diary of a Devil Dog Wife
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 349

(NEW) 03/12: Thirsties Duo Wrap + prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Giveaways for Mom
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 72

(NEW) 03/13: Bummas wipes (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Contests & Giveaways
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 364

(NEW) 03/13: Sprout Change Diaper Set (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Triple Duty Momma
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 277

(NEW) 03/13: Knickernappies Onesize Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Cloth Diaper Geek
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 54

(NEW) 03/14: Rockin' Green (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 251

(NEW) 03/14: Cheeky Diapers fitted diaper & cover (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Knocked Up and Nursing
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 334

03/15: GoGreen Pocket Diaper and Wet Bag (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Life With Levi
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 258

(NEW) 03/16: Sprout Change diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Not Just Baby Brain
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 121

(NEW) 03/16: Amber Teething Anklet (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One Smiley Monkey
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 55

(NEW) 03/16: Blissful Booty Cloth Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: One More Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 310

(NEW) 03/17: Bummis Tots Bots Easy Fit OR Blueberry Minky Pocket (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Mama on a Green Mission
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; email subscribe
Current # of entries: 297

(NEW) 03/19: SoftBums Omni Diaper (CAN/US)
Hosted by: The B Keeps Us Honest
Mandatory entry: Product selection
Current # of entries: 295

(NEW) 03/19: BeFelt Fleece Soaker (CAN/US)
Hosted by: A Mommy's Blessings
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 0

(NEW) 03/20: Best Bottoms Cloth Diaper - shell & 3 inserts (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Happenings of the Harper Household
Mandatory entry: GFC follow
Current # of entries: 539

(NEW) 03/22: Thirsties wrap & prefold (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Marni's Organized Mess
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; product selection
Current # of entries: 298

(NEW) 03/24: A Lil' Fluff giveaway (multiple items!) (CAN/US)
Hosted by: Bottom of the Sixth
Mandatory entry: GFC follow; multiple FB follows
Current # of entries: 141

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Notes:
  • Giveaways are listed in chronological order by closing date
  • Most of the giveaways I'm currently scouting out are for cloth diapers and related products, so there is a heavy lean toward these
  • All giveaways I post will be open to Canadians; some exclusively. I'll indicate whether a particular contest is US/CAN, CAN ONLY or WORLDWIDE beside each listing.
  • To help you decide which giveaways to enter, I will list the mandatory entry as well as the current # of entries at the time of the posting. The fewer the entries, the better your chance of winning!
  • Giveaways which have just been added to the list this week have a NEW tag.
  • If you know of a great baby product giveaway open to Canadians which is missing from my list, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!