Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How to Make a Cute Diaper Bag out of Your Favourite Purse

Baby vs. Longchamp

When it comes to D.I.Y., I’m more D.I.Why? (ie. Why do it yourself when you can buy it?). However, if the project is simple enough (No drills or hammers for me!), and I'm motivated either by necessity, boredom, or cheapness, I may attempt to do it myself.

This particular project was motivated by necessity- the need to not carry a diaper bag that looks like it was designed for kids. Just because I have a kid doesn’t mean I want to accessorize like one.  I tried to use a regular tote bag as a diaper bag, but it really wasn’t practical.

That’s when I realized that with a little bit of creativity and very little effort, I could turn a tote bag into a practical and cute diaper bag.

This is so easy, that even a D.I.Y failure like me can do it:

1.      Choose a purse. Whether you buy one or use one you already have, I recommend a bag that is large, lightweight and wipeable/washable. Oh, and cute, obviously. I used a Longchamp bag.

2.      Subdivide- This is what brings your bag from purse to diaper bag. You’ll want compartments for the items you need to access quickly. Here is how I subdivided my bag:

a)      Diapers and bottle holder- This is probably the best part of my diaper bag- this little mesh compartment was originally part of a changing pad (I think by Sunshine Kids). I cut it off of the changing pad, and used it to line my bag for easy access to essential items.

 b)      Grown up items- I took this pouch compartment out of my old diaper bag. I placed it in the centre of my purse, it’s where I keep my wallet, and whatever else I need for myself. I also keep the instruction manual to the car seat in there, in case I need to reference it at any time (some may say that's weird. I say I'm just being prepared).

c)      Various small pouches. I keep “emergency” ready-to-feed cans of formula in a little pouch that I got from my old diaper bag. Use little pouches for anything from pacifiers to snacks. You can use pencil cases, reusable snack bags, or even freezer bags- whatever you have!

3.      Use what you’ve got-If your tote bag already has built-in pockets, bonus! Mine just has a tiny pocket at the top, but I find it great for things like tissues or keys or phone that I often need to access quickly.

4.      Enjoy your cute and practical “new” diaper bag!

My daughter approves of the new diaper bag.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Guest Post: "My Dog Loves My Daughter- He Let's Her..."

I am excited to share with you the following guest post from Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and owner of Family Paws, Jennifer Shryock.

My Dog Loves My Daughter- He Lets Her…

Photo provided by Jennifer Shryock (www.familypaws.com)

I always cringe when I hear this.   I often follow it up with, “Describe what that looks like.”  Then I hear all the things the daughter can do to the dog. 

“He lets her climb on him, and pull his ears, and take his bones and he doesn’t care.  He is such a good boy!" To which I reply, “How do you think other dogs might feel if your daughter did this to them?”  I always hear the same thing: “She only does this with our dog.”  Hmmm really? And even if she did only does this with your dog, does that make it okay?
Parents, listen up!  Every moment is a teachable moment!   We are here to teach and guide our children for future success and safety.   We get the greatest opportunity to set our kids up for success with animals by modeling and teaching them in our own home.  Just as we teach manners, we must
teach respect for all living creatures. 

Letting our children climb on or pull on our dogs is teaching our children that having no respect for someone’s space is okay. Labeling our dogs as “good” for tolerating this is only perpetuating the problem.

What if you had a relative come over and your child grabbed her hair and put their fingers in her ears.  Would you say that this is the best Aunt because she lets your child act this way?  Would you be proud of how your child acted?  I bet not.   Why is it different with dogs?  Is it because dogs don’t have a voice?  Well, actually they do speak to us but in a different way. They may be unable to say “Excuse me, please move” like we can, but they do indicate this with subtle signals such as licking lips, turning away, or yawning.

Dogs are very tolerant and put up with much of what we do, but that doesn’t give us the right to take advantage of their good nature. They too have limits and boundaries.  It is my job as a dog behavior consultant to provide resources to educate parents, and it is your job to take a moment to learn more about what your dog is really thinking, feeling and responding so that your dog can truly love your child.


Jennifer is a great resource for all things dogs and kids. I'm always trying to figure out how to facilitate the best relationship between my dog and my daughter, so I sought some advice from her. You can read my interview with Jennifer here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Avocado Woes

An avocado costs about $2 (Yes, food is expensive in Canada).  I figure that my daughter smushes 80% of the avocado into her highchair, hands, and hair. Thus, I have just paid $1.60 for the privilege of cleaning smushed avocado. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Weight Loss After Pregnancy

How awesome is it that my crappy camera didn't pick up the number on the scale!
Weight loss after pregnancy is hard. Really hard. And it certainly doesn’t help that everywhere you look there is another picture of a celebrity with rock hard abs, two weeks postpartum. Well, if I had a personal trainer, a chef, a live-in nanny, and a professional airbrusher/photoshopper, I’d look like that too. But I don’t.  However, I am now finally below my pre-pregnancy weight, and if I wear a loose shirt and squint really hard, I can almost forget about the muffin toppy paunch that’s sticking around like fruitcake in January.

Anyway, paunch aside (because I choose to ignore it), I am happy to have finally shed the postpartum weight.  And because you asked (okay, you didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway), here is what helped me with my weight loss after pregnancy:

No Set Deadline: I’m no good with deadlines. Deadlines make me stressed. Stress makes me eat. You get the picture. So I really didn’t push myself. Like reeeaaallly didn’t push myself. Okay, so this might not have been the best approach, because I probably ended up actually gaining weight during the first three months postpartum (I say probably because I never went near a scale- I’m not that stupid.)  I decided to go easy on myself, because after the trauma of childbirth and the sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a newborn, I just wasn’t up for calorie counting.  When I was ready (and by ready, I mean becoming a major chubster), I decided it was time to bite the bullet (instead of the bagel) and get thin and healthy again.

Coffee and Club Soda: Now before you get all judgey, no, I did not replace food with coffee and club soda. Ew. I love food, and I believe in eating a healthy, balanced diet.  My problem is deserts. My love for deserts knows no limits, and my husband will tell you that I once ate an entire cheesecake in one sitting. I admit to nothing.  Anyway, my philosophy is that I need to have some kind of treat every day. It becomes a ritual, a time to relax, and to be indulgent. I’ve realized, though, that this treat doesn’t need to be desert. So I decided to start having no cal or low cal treats. I didn’t drink any coffee during pregnancy, so sipping my travel mug of coffee every day has become my favourite luxury. And as a fun, fizzy alternative to water, I have Club Soda every so often. Sometimes I pretend there’s booze in it, just to give it that extra kick. Of course, I still do eat deserts (I’m not a fan of deprivation), but I’m trying to learn the art of moderation. I've come a long way since those cheesecake days.

Walks: Since my daughter was born, I have not only developed mom guilt, but also pet-owner guilt, because as anyone with a new baby and a dog knows, the dog suddenly ranks a lot lower in the pack, which is not easy on the dog. In an attempt to alleviate my guilt, and my dog’s self-esteem problem, I have been trying to get out for walks with the baby and the dog as frequently as possible.

Making Baby Food: I’ve always gone through phases of obsessing about nutrition, and then I’ll get lazy and go through phases where I’ll have pancakes for dinner. However, now that I’m responsible for making nutritional choices for someone who can’t make them herself, I’m super motivated to do it right, and to not feed her pancakes for dinner (too often). As a result, I’m in a nutrition conscious mind frame and that’s helping me eat well.

All these strategies aside, I think the main reason that I’ve been able to shed the baby weight is because I am in a positive state of mind these days because of the joy that my daughter brings to my life. So, I attribute my postpartum weight loss to her. But really, it's only fair that she be the one to help me get skinny, when she’s the one who made me fat in the first place.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

I'm Guest Posting at Merely Mothers Today

Today you can find me over at Merely Mothers where I’m guest posting about women (like me!) who exclusively pump for their babies instead of breastfeeding.

Merely mothers is a gem of a blog written by two smart and sophisticated stay-at-home moms who describe themselves as “modern women in traditional roles”.  I love this blog and you will too.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

What Goes On Inside A Baby's Head

Ooooh, look at that bright shiny object!! Amazing! I love it so much. Better take a bite. MmmmRRaarrr. I was right. This is amazing.  No other object could ever compare. I am going to dedicate a— Oh wow! What is that? Oh my God, no way. It’s Sophie the Giraffe! Holy crap, this giraffe is unbelievable. I need to get that in my mouth NOW! What is that smell? Ugh, the Giant Person with Boobs is pureeing something again. Yuck! I don’t want any stupid food. Gross! Oooh look at that drawer, I bet I could find something dangerous to play with in there. Yesss! Choking hazards! My favourite! Let me just---Aaaaah! Why does the Big Giant Person With Boobs always move me when I’m just about to get the party started? Oooh, I never noticed how totally captivating my foot was before. I----AAAHHHH! WAAAAAH! I AM SO HUNGRY! Whyyyyy is no one feeding me! FEED. ME. NOW. Mmmm, nom nom nom yum yum. Thank you so much, Mommy. This is the best applesauce I’ve ever had ever. No seriously. It’s sublime. Mmmm- HEY! Stop shoving that disgusting apple sauce in my face! I’m not hungry! If you don’t stop shoving that spoon in my face this very instant, I am going to have a Category Five Freakout. Put me down on the floor! Saweeeeet! It worked! The Giant put me down! Yay! Now to continue my search for hazardous household objects. Let’s see if I can find some blind cords or wires to play with. Yipppeee! Ok, hold on, I need to take a quick bathroom break. In my diaper. Aaaaah! Why is that damn Giant picking me up again? I have no tolerance for this ridiculousness. Please respect my dignity, and do not wipe my butt. I am quite content to continue going about my day in my poo-filled diaper. With all due respect, I am very busy and don’t have time for this. Okay, reasoning clearly isn’t going to work with this Giant. I better go the freak-out route. Waaaaaahhhhh! Waaaaaah! (Squirm! Squirm! Kick! Arch Back!) Yessss! It worked. I may have a clean diaper, but that won’t stop me from completing my mission! What was my mission again? Ah well, whatever, I’m just going to crawl really really really fast. Wooohoo! Look at me go! This is aaaaweesssoooommeee!! I’m unstoppable! Look at me---Holy crap, I’m tired. Waaaaahhhh!! I’m tired, but I don’t know it. Whhaaaawaaawaa! What? It’s bath time? Ok, I have a second wind. I LOVE THE BATH! No! No! Don’t take me out of the bath! Waaawaaa- Ooooh! Bottle?! For me? Oh, you shouldn’t have. Okay, you should have. Give me that bottle now. I am SOOO HUUUNGRY! Mmmmm. Yumm! Thanks mommy. This is the best bottle I’ve ever had ever. No seriously. It’s sublime. Noooo! Don’t make me go to bed! I’m not tired! Waaahhh…….Zzzzzzzz….

Monday, 9 July 2012

Liebster Bloggy Love

One of the many things I love about blogging is how supportive mom bloggers can be of one another. We comment on one another’s blogs, we share posts we enjoy, and we get to know (at least virtually) the other mommies who are sitting behind their computers during naptime, just like we are.

One example of this abundant bloggy love is the Liebster award which is not exactly an award in the big fancy way, but is more just a little acknowledgement from one blogger to another (11 others to be exact) to say, “Your blog is great”.  It is specifically for blogs who have 200 followers or less, so it’s an awesome way to give a shout-out to up and coming bloggers.

Keesha from Mom's New Stage passed on this little token to me, which is super flattering because I think her blog is amazing. Keesha lives in Chicago, and is a dancer and a stay at home mom to two adorable little ones. She is smart, witty, and hilarious- the kind of woman I would want to be friends with if I knew her in real life. You seriously need to check out her blog.

Here are the rules for the Liebstering (not a verb?):

Post 11 random facts about yourself.
Choose 11 deserving bloggers and tag them in your post.
Tell them you’ve tagged them.
Answer 11 questions the tagger has asked you, and give 11 questions to the people you’ve tagged.
No tag backs.

Ok, here goes…

11 random facts about me (Oy, 11 is a lot…)

1. I still don’t have a smartphone. I’m kind of holding out to see how long I can go without getting one. I’m weird, I know.

2. I always drink my coffee in a travel mug when I’m at home. I really hate cold coffee and spilled coffee and this prevents both. Not to mention the fact that the amount that fits in my travel mug is perfect with exactly one package of Splenda. It’s just meant to be.

3. I have been known to put peanut butter and chocolate chips in a bowl, microwave it, and eat it with a spoon. It’s not gross. It’s amazing. You need to try it. It’s the perfect I-don’t-have-any-junk-food-in-the-house emergency snack.

4. I don’t have an indoor voice. My husband says I have Outdoor Voice and Stadium Voice.

5. I have a Master’s degree, but my daughter has given me a better education than any university could have. Well, my daughter, and Google.

6. Wet socks really gross me out.  I am always barefoot at home to avoid the unpleasant eventuality of stepping in a water droplet in the kitchen with socks on. Eeeew!

7. I’m a kind of-sort of-maybe-almost-pseudo-vegetarian, and I have been since I was a kid.

8. I have never won a contest or a giveaway, but I just can’t stop entering them. Someone once told me that the definition of stupidity is when you continue to do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Hmmmm…

9. I tape a sign that says “Garbage” over the lock on the inside of my front door every night before garbage day, so that the next morning, I can’t get out of the house without being reminded to take the garbage out. My husband finds this really annoying. I don’t know why.

10. I don’t drive on highways, except when I take a wrong turn and accidentally end up on one. No really. That happened.

11. Clearly, I can't count to eleven, because I wrote the above facts and then posted this list without a number eleven. Thank you, husband for pointing out my mathematical inadequacy.

Here are the questions (and my answers) from the lovely Keesha

1. What's your favorite vacation you have taken?
This is kind of cheesy, but since I live across the country from my parents and brother, my favourite  vacation is going home to see them.

2.Name a historical figure you'd like to be able to interview.

3.What is your favorite holiday?
Any holiday where I don't have to work, and I get to eat a lot. 
4. Store where you'd bankrupt yourself if there were no consequences?
Any baby gear store. 

5.Favorite room in your home?
You would think it was the kitchen based on the amount of time I spend there, but I really love my bedroom when it’s not a mess…which is never. Hmmm.

6. How do high heels make you feel? 
Like a teacher- clip clop clip clop

7.  Most overrated celebrity?  
Anyone who is famous for doing absolutely nothing.
8.  Favorite 80s song?  
"Don’t you want me baby, don’t you want me ooooooooh" (I'm not sure this is my favourite- it's just the one that popped into my head)

9.  Thing you would do monthly if time/money allowed?
 Sleep in.

10.  Your go-to drink? (If you're wondering about alcoholic or not, your call...)  
Coffee and lychee martinis. But not together.

11.  Your current favorite TV show?
I’ve been watching Parenthood. It's pretty great.

And now I’m spreading the Liebster love to these 11 bloggers. If you haven’t already stopped by these awesome blogs, what are you waiting for?!

Here are the 11 questions that you lucky ladies get to answer:

1. Do you bother getting dressed if you are not leaving the house that day?
2. Are leggings pants?
3. How do you keep your little ones entertained while you cook? (Seriously. I’m asking because I desperately need ideas!)
4. Real Housewives shows- love or hate (or hate to love)?
5. What are your goals for your blog?
6. If you were a stroller, what kind of stroller would you be?
7. Do you close the door when you go to the bathroom if no one's home?
8. How many different homes have you lived in over the years?
9. What’s the best part about being a mom?
10. What’s the hardest part about being a mom?
11. How did you chose your child(ren)’s name(s)?

Thanks for bearing with the longest post ever. If you actually read the whole thing, you deserve an award (which you can then post on your blog, and bore other people with a really long rambling post).

Friday, 6 July 2012

Five Reasons Why Today Sucked

Every Saturday, Melissa from the Mommyhood Chronicles hosts a Top Five Laughs blog hop.  I will be linking up, as usual, except the following is only funny if you are laughing at me.

1. So I was at Walmart today, and I needed to go to Costco, which is in another part of the same plaza of big box stores. I got in the car to go to Costco, took a wrong turn, and somehow ended up on the highway.  I have no idea how this happened. Did I mention that I am terrified of driving on highways, and avoid them at all costs? So here I am, trying to merge onto the highway that I accidentally ended up on, freaking out because it’s so foggy and rainy that I can barely see a foot in front of my face. Oh, and my little girl was in the back seat.

2. I planned to exit off of the highway the first chance I got, but I was so angry and scared that I missed the first two exits. When I finally got off at the third exit, I was so far away from Costco that it took me 40 minutes to get back. The drive from Walmart to Costco should have taken about 40 seconds, had I just driven over there like a normal person.

3. For whatever reason, my daughter did not take her afternoon nap. She just didn’t fall asleep for it. This was super annoying because had I known she was not going to nap, I could have left for Costco much earlier in the day.

4. Because of my stupid highway detour, in addition to the fact that everything already takes eight times as long with a baby in tow, I got home later than intended, fed my daughter dinner later than intended, and did not get her into bed until an hour past her bedtime. If you know me, you know that my daughter’s bedtime is serious business. Mommy and baby both get very grumpy when it doesn’t happen on time.

5. To top it all off, my brand new stroller that I was sooo excited about that I just got yesterday is defective. Great.

I think today was one of those days when I should have just stayed in bed.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Worries

When I started this blog, I decided I would not post any pictures of my daughter (tempting as it was) due to concerns about privacy. I am an extremely paranoid cautious person and I just felt that posting pictures of my family for the world to see would not be the most prudent decision.

Several people mentioned to me that my blog would be so much better if I included pictures of my baby girl. I was initially very resistant as I have concerns about privacy and safety. But the more I thought about it, I wondered if my fears were reasonable.

The more personal information you put out there, the easier it is for your identity to be stolen, for someone to stalk you etc (yes, I know I sound really paranoid right now), but since we live in such a public world, is privacy even real anymore, or is it just a concept we cling to in order to convince ourselves that the world is safe?

When discussing my concerns about privacy, a friend of mine pointed out that anyone can Google anyone else and find tons of information.  My husband pointed out that I regularly post pictures of my daughter on Facebook, so why not do it on my blog? I argued that only my friends can see my pictures on Facebook, and so it is still private, but is it?

What is stopping any of my Facebook friends from showing my “private” profile to one of their friends, or from posting my “private” pictures on the internet?  Even if I decided to be really private, by shutting down my Facebook account and retreating from social media altogether, anyone could still snap a picture of me, write a bunch of personal information about me, and post it online. Not that anyone would - I mean, really, I’m not that interesting- but the point is they could.  (I’m actually better off continuing to participate in social media, because at least that way, I might at least find out if someone posted something about me.)

I’m not sure if all this is scary or reassuring, but I don't want fear to be my main motivator, so I'm now going to have fun showing off photos of my ridiculously adorable daughter. I will continue to be cautious, and I will refrain from posting my bank account information on my blog, but I will also recognize that we live in a very public world, and I am going to try to accept and maybe even embrace this.

What do you think?  Is privacy an illusion in the digital age?

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