Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some Thoughts on the Eve of the 2012 Apocalypse

So, I woke up this morning and I was all "'s almost the apocalypse. I wonder when the world will end? Is it at midnight? But midnight in which timezone?! I am so confused!!" I knew the answer would not change my plans for the day, which consisted of staying in my pyjamas and dreading going to the grocery store so that I could make something for dinner and eventually feel guilty enough to tidy the house. But I was still curious. So I did what any logical person would do and asked Facebook. 

Well, I was pointed to a few videos from Mayan elders on YouTube, and also to one crazy video of some guy saying that Gagnam Style is the harbinger of the anti-Christ (I do concede the point that the song is beyond catchy though...maybe he does have something there). Needless to say I learned nothing from that one. BUT, the other videos (well, the first 2 minutes of them anyway...I didn't have the patience to watch ALL of them. I mean, time is precious on Apocalypse Eve) told me that the Mayans don't even believe it's the apocalypse tomorrow. 

You read that right. They don't even believe it. They are getting all this flack for saying that the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 and they are all like "Dude. We never said that." It is the end of their time-cycle but there have been 3 other ones before this, and the world still exists. They think it will just be the beginning of a new time-cycle. So basically, a time for celebration.* 

*Please note that I am not a Mayan scholar and all of my interpretation comes from the reading the Wikipedia article on 2012 theories and watching the first 2 minutes of YouTube videos.

Basically, all this hullabaloo over the apocalypse was started by some anthropologist when he interpreted their writings and he was all "OMG! The end of the world! It's happening December 21, 2012!!". One crazy dude made this theory and then a bunch of other crazy people expanded on it, and now it's all Apocalypse-mania up in here. So when the world doesn't end tomorrow, everyone is going to blame the Mayans and say they were crazy. And I feel bad for them because they are getting a bad rap because of this one crazy white dude. But really HE should be getting all the blame (unless of course the world DOES end, in which case we should be saying how smart he is instead of how crazy, but we won't be here anymore, so I guess he doesn't get his day in the sun). 

So there you have it. The Apocalypse in a nutshell. I bet you feel very relieved right now. And if the world doesn't end tomorrow, don't blame the Mayans. Blame the crazy dude. 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Weird Things That Happen in the Third Trimester

It seems I now find myself in the third trimester. How did that happen so quick?!
My 28 week belly
Yes, this is my second time around the ol' pregnancy block, so you would think I would be pretty used to it by now, especially since my first experience is so fresh in my mind. Nope. There are still some things that totally weird me out. Here they are: 

When your tummy growls and you realize that it's now under your ribs 
Dude. It's so strange. I know logically that now that this big baby is displacing my organs that they have to go somewhere and the logical place is up. But it is so weird to feel your tummy rumbling all up in your lungs business. It's like they are best buds now. It's just bizarre to not have things where they are usually supposed to be. 

When the baby kicks out his leg and then slides it to the other side of your belly and it's like a scene from 'Alien'
This goes in the 'unsettling' category. Most things about babies are cute. This particular trick is not cute, it's just freaky. There is something about seeing your belly move completely on it's own that is very creepy; it's proof that there is a living thing growing inside of you. Other things that grow inside you besides babies? Parasitic alien life forms. Maybe it's because that movie always scared the pants off of me as a kid, but I just can't shake that image every time baby goes all kung-fu. Which brings me to my next item...

The acrobatics and gymnastics that occur in-utero
It is pretty clear to me that I must be giving birth to an octopus. There is no other rational explanation for the amount of crazy movement going on in there. I mean honestly, how can such a tiny little thing cause so much of a ruckus?! Just when I think that the one lump must be a butt and the movement I feel on that one side must be a leg...BAM! I get a crazy kick on the other side. Unless this baby can do the splits, the only logical conclusion is that he has 8 limbs. That, or he has a very strict Tai Chi and yoga schedule he sticks to. 

When you are pretty sure that climbing that one flight of stairs is equal to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
It is amazing that one little flight of stairs leaves me huffing and puffing like I just ran a marathon. I blame this one on decreased lung capacity due to the aforementioned organ squishing and the extra weight of the baby. Definitely not on MY extra weight or complete lack of physical fitness. Definitely not...

That in 3 months that inside-baby is going to be an outside-baby
Yeah, this one never ceases to be weird. That little thing growing all snug-as-a-bug in there is going to be a crying, squirmy little human. It seems like 9 months is a long time, but honestly when you are in the home stretch, it feels like no time at all to prepare for your new little babe. It's exciting and intimidating and strange all at once. 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Maternity Fashion: Staying Warm

I have been trying to write this post for foreverrrrrr...but I don't have the skill of taking self-portraits on our DSLR (just can't ever seem to get them in crisp focus...I suck). And that means I need to wait for Hubby to help. But since we live in the Great White North and it's winter, that means it is dark before he gets home from work. That leaves only the weekends for photo shoots. So basically, they never get done. 

Well, imagine my excitement when my parents offered to take Peanut for the weekend and give us a night, child-free (well, outside-child free...we still had the inside-child ;) ) in the mountains. WOOHOO! This also meant we could get these amazing shots out in the mountains for this post. It would be awesome and gorgeous, and gee am I so glad we never found the time to do them before! 

Best laid plans. 
The weekend was a picture-perfect winter getaway. The town of Banff is so cute and quaint and it just so happened to be their Christmas parade of lights that evening, so we got to see the town all lit up and festive. We drank candy cane hot chocolates (with marshmallows!) and wandered down the street looking at all the shops hand in hand. Really, it was perfect. Even the weather was festive: snowy but slightly warm. We had just finished a cold spell, so it was a nice change. 

Peanut ready for his sleepover at Grandma and Grandpas, delicious hot chocolate, and the beautiful (hidden) mountains of Banff. 
BUT, that also meant the weather was just about the worst weather for photo-taking ever. It was cloudy and foggy due to the weather change, and the snow was coming down pretty heavy, but not in nice fluffy flakes that look gorgeous in photos. If this had been our first visit to the mountains I would have been sorely disappointed as we basically didn't see any mountains at all through the gloom. Lucky for us we only live an hour and a half away, so it was great for us...but horrible for photos. 

So, please imagine the following photos in much better light, and imagine those blurry snow patches to be big, fluffy flakes of awesomeness. Thanks a ton. ;)

Anywho...I will tell you now of a pregnant woman's dilemma. It is this: I want to be warm, without feeling like a whale, and without spending $400. This should be something easily accomplished, but oh my friends, it is NOT. I truly would love to own a fabulous maternity coat, but it's just not in the budget. What is in the budget are those chain maternity store offerings: wool coats or puffy jackets. Neither of these will do in the chilly weeks when we have freezing temperatures. There is a reason those puffy jackets are so affordable: they skimp out on the insulation. Enter a genius product from Boob, and a bit of creative thinking! 

Boob Ready-Flex Fleece Nursing Hoodie: c/o Posh Mommy
Jeans: Old Navy Maternity
Hat: HauteTots from Posh Mommy
This pregnancy I am trying not to spend too much money on maternity clothing. If I do spend the money, I want a quality product that will last me as long as possible, which means most of the clothing I have been buying doubles as nursing wear as well. My solution for keeping the chillys out is to layer. This Boob fleece hoodie is perfect! It's a nursing hoodie, so there is a flap that sits under the bust and you can lift that up for easy nursing access. It also has little zipped flaps on either side of the torso to accommodate this growing belly of mine...which means I can wear it throughout my entire pregnancy and well after without having to change sizes. Perfect. Basically I just toss the fleece on when it's nice and temperate (like our Banff weekend) and when it gets insanely cold, I layer it under one of the not-so-warm maternity coats and voila! Snug as a bug in a rug (and comfy). Plus, since this babe is coming by the end of February it will be perfect for nursing on the go. I absolutely hated getting all undressed to nurse. What a pain. This way I don't have to struggle with taking off sweaters. Woot! 

I love how long the back is, so it covers my (growing!) bum when I sit down. Plus, it keeps it warm and toasty. ;)

Here you can see the nursing flap. Discreet and practical. It also has those little hand warmer thingys. I love those.
Boob is (an ingenious) Swedish company, which means for those of us in North America the shipping and the duty usually makes it difficult to order from them. But, there is a local (in Calgary) shop that carries their line, offers free shipping within Canada, and has a ton of other gorgeous, stylish and practical maternity and nursing wear and accessories: Posh Mommy. If you are interested in the Boob fleece, check it out here: Boob Fleece . It also comes in a gorgeous red. Warning to pregnant and nursing women: if you click through to this shop, you will have a very difficult time restraining yourself from purchasing pretty much everything they carry. You have been warned! ;) 

Please Note: I was given the product featured in this post so that I could write an informed review. In this case it was provided by Posh Mommy. But, all opinions (as always!) are my own! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

VBAC: A C-Section Mommy's Dilemma

If you have read my birth story you will know that we ended up having a c-section. Which was not how I wanted things to go after over 48 hours of active labour. But, that is the way it went, and I have done some work to come to terms with the emotions that brings up. 

Now that we are expecting #2, a question that has been on my mind (and on my OB's mind...) is whether or not I would like to try for a VBAC (which stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). 

Oops! I just said the V word...ACK! Please spammers stay away!! 

I knew that this would be something I would have to think about, so it's not like it snuck up on me. I have been thinking about it for a long while. But since I just had my first appointment with my OB, he asked what I want to do so that they can book the surgery if needed. So yeah, it's very real now. 

It's a question that is fraught with emotion, with logic, with uncertainty. I honestly don't know what to do. I am not a person that deals well with unknowns. I like knowing "all the facts" and making informed decisions. But in something like this, there are no for-sures. There are just a ton of what-ifs and could-bes. 

My OB said that since I was fully dilated for a long time, and 2 vaccuum attempts failed, that it was a case of Peanut's head just being too big to actually pass through my hips (the correct term for this is Cephalopelvic Disproportion or CPD). There is some debate out there if many cases of CPD are just baby being in a non-ideal position, and not truly CPD. In my case, I don't know. Peanut's head was indeed very large, so I tend to agree with my OB's assessment. With this "diagnosis" he said the statistics for me having a successful VBAC are at about 40%. 

40% is an interesting number. Depending on who I have mentioned this to I get either "oh, that's awesome! Totally go for it!" or "40%? Yikes. I would go for the section". It's all in how you look at that chance. Personally, I look at it sort of like a 50/50 thing. A flip of a coin. 

In addition, my OB says that while I have the minimum 18 months between my deliveries for a VBAC, the ideal is at least 24 months. We have 19 months. This puts me at a slightly increased risk for uterine rupture. 

Ahhhh uterine rupture. This is the issue I think most people are worried about in the whole VBAC decision. Basically it is the chance that your previous scar will open up under the strain of labour. This is a very serious thing if it occurs, and can put both mom and baby in serious jeopardy. So yes, it is a very big concern. However, while I do have an increased risk, the risk is still sitting at about 1% according to most sources I can find. Which seems to me like it is a pretty rare occurance. So while I don't want to gamble with safety issues, I still feel like VBAC is a pretty safe option for us. 

I think the biggest thing that is weighing over me is the "what-if" scenario of me attempting the VBAC, going through labour and ending up with a section anyway. So basically, a complete repeat of last time. Undergoing a cesarean section after such a long and trying labour left me exhausted and sore and the experience itself was just not pleasant. My body was in complete shock, and I couldn't enjoy the birth at all. I really don't want to experience that again. Hubby asked me if he thought I could handle it emotionally if I attempted a VBAC and it failed. And it was a question that really made me think. In the end, I just want my baby to be born healthy, and so of course I would be ok with however that occurs. But it would be a huge disappointment to experience it all over again, and to not be able to do it. Again. Add to that the harder recovery with a toddler and a newborn and, to be honest, this option is not looking very good to me. 

If it was guaranteed that I could have a successful VBAC, then I would be all over it. But the ax hanging over my head of what if I can't do it is really hard. 

There are some positives to going for a repeat c-section. A lot of them are sort of superficial and make me feel silly for even considering them, but nonetheless, they are there in my mind. 

-I know what to expect from the surgery
-It would most likely be a calm, happy birth. I should be able to have the baby fairly quickly for skin-to-skin and to attempt nursing
-There is something nice about knowing the exact birthdate. Mostly it helps ease the logistics of getting Peanut looked after while we are in the hospital. We can arrange everything ahead of time and organize and prepare. 
-Honestly, I am a little scared of labouring in this hospital. I think I was spoiled with labouring in the small hospital last time. We were 1 of only 2 couples in the hospital. We had 2 rooms to ourselves, it was nice. This time we are at a very busy main hospital, which means most spaces will be shared. Superficial, but still something I think about. 

But, there are also negatives. 

-This is, realistically, probably my last chance to have a vaginal birth. If we have more children, they will most likely be cesareans if I have already had 2 cesearean births. 
-There is an increased risk of placental problems in subsequent pregnancies due to uterine scar tissue. If we do get pregnant again, the placenta can attach very close to the cervix (placenta previa) or it can grow too deeply into the uterine tissue, which is much more serious (placenta accreta) and can lead to hysterectomy. 
-The recovery is going to be difficult. I assume it will be more difficult than if I had a vaginal birth. This is a much bigger issue this time. Now I have a toddler and a newborn, and Hubby can't take as much time off this time, so his support (which was so amazing last time) will be absent during his work hours.
-It's surgery. 
-I will always have that question of "what-if" in my mind. What if I could have done it? What is it like to have a successful vaginal birth? Will I feel like I took the easy way out? 

So what's a c-section mama to do? It's such a personal thing...every person I ask has their own reasons for their advice they give, and they are all right. I can think of equally compelling arguements for each choice. The only thing I know for sure in my mind is that if it comes down to a choice between inducing labour for attempted VBAC or a repeat cesarean, I will choose the surgery. Hands down. I feel like induction will guarantee me an end in surgery, and I don't want that. I don't want to go through a horrible labour to end up in surgery again. However, if I go into labour naturally, maybe I want to try. 

Which is leaving me with the current plan of scheduling the surgery, and if I go into labour on my own beforehand, attempting the VBAC. The only question now left is when do I schedule the surgery? 39, 40, 41, 42 weeks?? I don't know. 

It's something I wish I didn't have to decide. But the reality is that it is on my plate. I am thankful to have a say in the matter, and to be in (relative) control of my birthing choices. It's just hard to make those decisions for yourself. Especially when there are so many unknown factors. 

Any other c-section mamas out there who are faced with or made this choice? What were your reasons? Looking back now are you happy with your choice, or would you have chosen differently? 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Behind-the-Scenes at We Day

Wow. I really don't even know how to begin this post. I suppose I should start by filling you in a little on what exactly We Day is, for those of you who aren't aware. 

The WeDay stage
We Day is an event that is aimed at engaging today's youth to be aware of and take action on social issues. It's put on by Free the Children. It's an event that brings celebrities, music artists, inspirational speakers and youth together. You can't purchase tickets; you have to earn your way to WeDay. Each school must commit to taking one local and one global action in order to be able to attend. Which means that the whole event is made possible by some amazing sponsors. How awesome is that? 

One of the main sponsors of We Day is TELUS, and they arranged for me and a few of my fellow local bloggers to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of the first We Day in Alberta. They also provided us with a Samsung Galaxy SIII to capture our experiences in video and photos. In addition to being a sponsor of We Day, TELUS is currently running the Phones for Good campaign. So if you purchase a TELUS Samsung Galaxy SIII (an amazing phone!) or an Ace Q, TELUS will donate $25 to Free the Children. 

Honestly, I am so lucky I was able to attend. We got to see how the whole production is put together, and meet a ton of inspirational and passionate people from Free the Children. There is nothing like meeting people who are so incredibly passionate about changing the world to inspire you. I just felt so uplifted and inspired the whole day. It really sticks with you and makes an incredible impression.

In today's society we are so socially plugged in. It's ironic that even though we are so globally connected through social media, we often use it for such personal trivia. We update our friends on what we did that day, we Instagram our dinners, we Tweet about the tough days we had. It's all about ME! I am definitely a culprit of this...she says while typing on her personal blog...sigh. I think it must be hard for the youth of today, who have been immersed in this technology from the get-go, to move beyond this culture of ME. So to find an event that really focuses on changing that ME to WE is amazing. Nothing in this world will change without our youth. That is the most exciting thing about Free the Children: it focuses on youth helping other youth. 

One of the speakers we met is Spencer West. He is truly an inspiration. Despite having no legs, he has accomplished amazing feats, such as climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, and has dedicated his life to Redefining Possible. 

L-R: Me, Spencer West, Heather from, SamiJoe from
We also met Molly, who lost her vision at age 14. Her story of how she overcame bullying is one that I am sure will resonate with so many of today's youth. 

What an amazing young lady. 
Right now there is a lot of focus on bullying in the media with the recent tragic suicide of Amanda Todd. So it was particularly poignant to hear Spencer and Molly candidly speak of how growing up "different" affected them, and how they overcame it and how it shaped who they are today. 

As a parent, it's so valuable for me to see these sort of events being held. It really brings home the fact that I need to ensure that my children are aware of what is going on in the world around us, and to talk about it openly and discuss how lucky we are to have the life that we have. I am so lucky to have participated in this event. It's something that will stick with me for a long time. 

TELUS is also encouraging youth to upload a video describing how they would make a positive change in their own community by partnering with a local charity. TELUS and Free the Children will select the top idea and they will receive $20,000 to help bring their idea to life! Videos can be uploaded at 

*TELUS provided me with a Samsung phone to facilitate the writing of this post. However all views and opinions are my own (as always!). 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Safeway Open Nature Products

Things that bug me: eating food with tons of preservatives in them, but feeling you don't have much of a choice because it's more convenient. 

This is my dilemma. I wish I had time (and motivation!) to make an awesome, healthy, delicious dinner from scratch every day of the week. Some weeks I do. But most weeks there are at least a few nights (if not all of them) where I just can't swing it. So I usually end up getting a frozen pizza or lasagna or something similar. And then I feel bad about it because usually those things are full of ingredients I can't even pronounce. And they usually don't taste anywhere near as good as their homemade versions.
So, what's a busy person supposed to do? It's a fine balance between finding something quick and easy and finding something that you can feel good about eating. This is especially relevant to our family lately as Hubby is trying to lose some weight. And since diet is an important part of that, we are striving to be a bit more natural with our food choices and trying to eliminate processed foods as much as possible. 

Enter Safeway's Open Nature products (to a heavenly chorus of ahhhhs!). A line of products that is 100% natural. That means no artificial preservatives, flavours, colours...none of that ickiness! And if items are vitamin-fortified, it's all from natural sources. It also means no added nitrates, nitrites MSG or fillers in their meats, which is awesome. And their animals are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones and are fed a vegetarian diet (which to me is a no-brainer and one of the creepiest things about the meat industry, if you ask me *shudder*). So basically, it's food that I feel good about purchasing without losing the convenience of just popping into Safeway. 

This doesn't mean that it is "diet food". It's not low-calorie, low-sugar or low-sodium, for example. But, the choices are better. For instance, the frozen pizza is made with a multi-grain crust. Which is delicious, by the way. 

I sent Hubby to the store to pick some of the products up so we could try them, and he returned with ice cream sandwiches, frozen greek yogurt and a frozen pizza...I can see his diet was far from his mind.

 Note to self: don't send a hungry man to the grocery store. 
Although, as a pregnant woman I was secretly ecstatic. 

But since then we have also tried a wide-range of their products, as they can be found in the bakery, deli, dairy, meat, frozen and pantry sections, so it's not like I have a limited choice.

In any case, I was super happy with the taste of the Open Nature products. I am usually skeptical of purchasing something that claims to be a better choice, since I have it in my mind that all those creepy chemicals they use are actually what makes things taste delicious. Which is a little silly, since when I make delicious food from scratch I don't use all those weirdo ingredients. But regardless, my fears were unfounded and everything has tasted delicious. Actually, our only complaint was we wish the pizza was was yummo! 

I love being able to shop at a regular grocery store and feel better about my choices. I hate having to sacrifice quality for convenience, so I am so happy that I no longer have to do that.  Pretty awesome, if you ask me. 

*Please note: I recieved compensation for this post in order to facilitate an accurate review, but all words and opinions are my own (as always!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are You Upset It's Not A Girl??

Since announcing the gender of our little guy, I have to say one of the most common things I hear is "Are you upset he's not a girl?" 

I don't really know how to answer this question, to be honest. 

I mean, sure there is a part of me that wanted "one of each" or to have the experience of raising a girl, or even the superficial part that wants to buy cute little outfits and accessories. 

But honestly, it's pretty awesome to be having another boy! I mean, we have so many clothes from Peanut that we really don't have to spend too much money on buying new clothes, which is awesome. Plus, having 2 so close in age I think it's awesome that they are brothers. There is a bigger chance they will have the same interests, and that means that most likely (but not necessarily) we will get to avoid a lot of fights over whether or not we watch a princess movie. It means having a house full of my boys to take care of, to hang out with and to love. Well, Kitty is an exception, but honestly she doesn't really count...

I do understand that some people do experience disappointment. And what I really think they are experiencing is the loss of that possibility. Finding out you are expecting a little boy means that girl you've imagined in your head or in your dreams or in your prayers is not going to be at this moment. And that can be tough, I know. But while I may have felt a tinge of that this time, it was not really the big deal that most people assume it is for me. That may have been because I had a pretty strong feeling this new little one was going to be a boy so I had less of those dreams...I don't know for sure. 

I know that it would have been awesome to have a little girl. But I also know that it is equally awesome to be having another boy. Gender matters so little with children. What really matters is that they are mine. And that they are healthy and happy. And it's impossible to imagine wanting my family to be any different. 

And for those of you who missed our gender reveal on my Facebook page, here it is! 


Friday, October 5, 2012

The One Where I Have a Meltdown

Before I get into the less awesome stuff, I am having a good ol' gender reveal for New Baby© over on my Facebook Page. Head on over if you want to see! Part 1 is posted now. :) Check it out here: Up Mommy Creek on Facebook

Today was not a good day. It is one of those times when I know that there was no real reason for me having an emotional meltdown of epic proportions, but I still did it anyway. And there was a reason, but I think I should have been able to deal with it better, perhaps. 

Anyway, it was just one of those things. We had an appointment with the dietician for Peanut. He started to get upset at being in the room and being bored listening to this woman speak and the door was closed and he wasn't free to roam about and get into whatever little boy trouble he was wanting to. But it was sort of weird, since he started to thrash about and started head butting me. I say it's weird because he doesn't do this sort of thing normally. But we just so happened to be talking about the tantrums he throws while eating right at that moment. The same moment when he was doing all this flailing and head-butting and so it really looked like he was quite the problem child. And, while I admit he is sometimes very spirited and difficult to deal with, I wouldn't exactly say he has issues with behaviour. He is, after all, a 14 month old boy. It sorta comes with the territory. I was not blessed with a sweet and quiet child. 

So, we get out of there and (FOOLISHLY) think it will be a good idea to go grab some dinner instead of going home to cook. Last time we had this brilliant idea, we ended up asking for our food to go and having to leave. Why we thought this would end differently, I have no idea. Especially as Peanut was already giving us many cues that he was not in the mood. I guess we thought that food might solve the problem. It did not. 

As soon as we entered the restaurant (a family restaurant...not some fancy nice one. We aren't THAT crazy) he became a demon-child. I have never seen him act like this. He was the stereotypical "spoiled brat" that you see in movies. He was screaming and screeching. He was throwing things around. He was grabbing for things he has never grabbed for before and losing his mind when we said "no". It was like some one replaced my kiddo with someone else. Immediately I just felt so overwhelmed and frustrated. I felt like everyone was judging us and thinking what horrible parents we must be to have a child who acts so spoiled. Like it's common place that he would be allowed to drink Diet Pepsi, since he seems to be so intent on having it, and when he can't he loses his ever-loving mind and throws the biggest fit in the world. 

And I know that if this was happening to the other family that was there, I wouldn't have judged them or rolled my eyes or think they were bad parents. I would have probably thought "Oh honey, we've been there" and felt bad for them. And I didn't see or hear anyone making comments. For all I know they probably were thinking "Oh honey, I've been there." But, I just felt like at that moment it was all too much. I literally burst into tears at the table. It was too late to order the food to go, so instead Hubby and I sat and ate our chicken while tears rolled down my face. And trust me...I am NOT a pretty crier. There are some women who look all sad and have tears roll down prettily and you think "Awww! She's crying! :( " Not me. I get super red and puffy and I start gasping and sobbing and you think "Ewwwww! She's crying!" Hubby just sat there not sure what to do. His previous experience probably told him that doing anything was futile. Especially when dealing with a pregnant woman. So he just tried to keep Peanut occupied and relatively quiet. This involved Peanut throwing rice around the table with his spoon. It looked like a rice bomb exploded. 

So there we are: me, sobbing hideously while defiantly eating my chicken, Hubby nervously picking at his chicken while watching Peanut out of one eye and me out of the other to make sure we don't explode, and Peanut gleefully tossing rice at the neighbouring patrons while intermittently screaming in anger. Worst. Dinner. Ever. We barely even had the last bite in our mouth before we were asking for the bill and were out the door. 

I lost it in the parking lot. Sitting in my car and sobbing seemed like the only solution. I mean, what else could I do? I honestly felt like the absolute worst parent at that moment. I felt like there was nothing left in my parenting arsenal that I could whip out. I was not one of those moms who is fun and never disciplines and has the most well-behaved kids. I was the mom who gives her kid crappy snacks as bribery to get him to stop screaming instead of eating dinner. Who will let him do almost anything just so he won't throw a fit in public. And I just felt like this is so NOT ME, not HIM, not US, but that no one in there knew that. And so I had a meltdown.  

A few hours later I feel slightly better about the whole thing. I am no stranger to random meltdowns. Sometimes things just reach that point where you can't take it anymore, and it has to blow somehow. Well, it blew today. It blew a whole heck of a lot. 

So, on to a new day! Although, I don't think we will be eating out any time soon. I think we all need a bit of recovery from that one. Yikes. 

Not an hour later we are sitting on the floor folding laundry and Peanut is in the middle of it all, piling socks on his head. How can you not just want to squish him to bits?! I am one lucky mama, even when the going gets tough sometimes. 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Return of the Tummy

With my first pregnancy, I was so excited about my new baby bump that even the awkward bloating stage was exciting for me. I am super lucky (not) and get very bloated the second I become pregnant. It makes me look way farther along than I truly am. The first pregnancy, I thought it was sort of cool. It was evidence that I was actually pregnant! This time, it's not so nice. 

We had a bit of a rocky start with this pregnancy, and so I wanted to make sure everything was ok before we told everyone our awesome news. This meant I was trying to disguise my belly. It is impossible. 

The one awesome crappy thing about this second pregnancy is that I still have that spare baggage from Peanut's trip to get here. I gained a whopping 60 pounds with him. Ugggghhhh. And I sure as heck wasn't back to my trim and slim pre-baby body (at least I feel like I was trim and slim in my memories pre-baby. Much trimmer and slimmer than post-baby, anyway). I have this nice little inner-tube of the dreaded "mom pooch". It's a lovely little companion that just won't go away. I lost a lot of the baby weight, but not from there. So I have a little saggy pooch-ness that just hangs awkwardly over waistbands of pants. It's very attractive, let me tell you. This was a challenge before we became pregnant. Now? It's the bane of my existence. 

As my tiny little uterus is growing, it pushes all that loveliness up into the mom pooch area. Which makes me look HUGE. Which meant that trying to disguise this new development entailed wearing muu-muu-like dresses and tent-like shirts. These are NOT flattering silhouettes, contrary to what you might think. 

The first time around when I started to show it was cute! I had this little baby bump that looked awesome in tight shirts, and I was super proud of it. This time, the bump is not as adorable. It's a little bumpy and misshapen from the stretch marks and stretched-out skin (isn't this the most attractive sentence ever?! You must be so happy you are reading this...). Plus, I figured that the emerging bump would replace the mom pooch and smooth out into a cute bump. Makes sense, right? Instead, it has just exaggerated the mom pooch even more. It looks ridiculous wearing pants. The only saving grace is the new pairs of maternity pants I have purchased from H&M. They have this very low band that allows the top of my belly free reign while making the transition a little more even to my (quickly disappearing) waistline. It sort of smooths out the poochiness and makes it less noticeable. Thank goodness. The problem is, I only have 2 pairs of these pants (one in black and one in mint!). Which means I wear them They will probably disintegrate next week from the amount of wash and wear they are getting. It's a little bit depressing, actually. 

See? While being able to still squeeze into my regular jeans seems like a good thing, it actually creates this gross bunchy tummy silhouette (I honestly can't believe I am posting these photos...sigh. Especially since the "After" one is totally out of focus. JUDGE NOT!).
BUT, the mat pants help smooth that out. So, I have fully embraced the mat pants. They really are more comfy as well, which is always a bonus in pregnancy.

I am interested to see where this situation goes in the near future. My belly is only going to get bigger (much, much bigger if my pregnancy with Peanut is any sign of things to come). Will the mom pooch continue to be a stubborn free-loader, riding it out to the bitter end? Will I end up with a 2-part bump (shudder)?? My only hope is that this will not be the case. And I don't even want to think about how much stronger the mom pooch is growing day by day. I am sure when this pregnancy is done, it will be revealed in it's full glory of nastiness. Gee, I can't wait.

Oh, and here is a full view of the mint skinnies...sorta in love. Pretty cool for maternity pants, no? I usually wear them with my black ballet flats, but apparently I am in full-on housewife mode and pregnant. Yikes!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why I've Been a Neglectful Nelly Lately...

Ok everyone, it would be an understatement to say I have been neglecting this poor ol' blog for the last couple months. I feel bad about it all the time, and wish I could find the time to dedicate to it I once did. I am definitely going to be focusing more on it going forward. It's just been a little hard lately, for a couple reasons. The main one being this: 

Yep! That's right! We are the crazy people who will be having 2 under 2...what is wrong with us?!?! I would love some encouragement from other moms of 2 under 2 that it is not as hard as I think it's going to be...right?! 

So, since I haven't been feeling that awesome (unless you define a daily chat with the ol' porcelain throne and feeling so exhausted it's hard to get the energy to raise your hand as "awesome"), it's been a tad hard to round up the energy to blog. Plus, Peanut is a lean, mean, attention-seeking machine. He is a busy little dude, and the days of Mommy getting blogging time while he happily coos in his bouncy chair are long gone! 

And it's been very hard to come up with things to write without sharing my awesome news with you wonderful people. I am positive any post I would have written would have looked like this:

4 chicken breasts, defrosted
1 jar of salsa
1 can of black beans
shredded cheddar cheese

BUT, enough with the excuses! Onwards and upwards! I am starting to feel better, which means no more slacking for me. Well, at least less steps. 

Thanks for sticking through the tough bloggy times with me, dear readers. So very much appreciated. 



Friday, August 10, 2012

The Build-a-Bear Workshop Any Event

I have always wanted to go to a Build-a-Bear Workshop and create my own Teddy Bear, but it always seemed like a lame thing to do as an adult. So I never did it, and avoided the embarrassment of lining up with the little kiddos to blow on my bear's heart to make it start beating. 

BUT, I have my own kiddo now! Which means I can use him as an excuse to build-a-bear! Yesssssss...

Actually, it was a ton of fun, and Peanut was pretty into it. He is too young to get the whole 'making your own bear come to life' thingy, but he certainly found it very exciting to get a new puppy. He was signing for puppy and hugging it like crazy before we even stuffed it. Once he was stuffed, Puppy became the bestest thing in the world for the next 10 minutes, which is pretty high praise from a 1 year old! 

Right now Build-A-Bear Workshop has the Any Event going on, which means you can create any animal, pick out any outfit and add any shoes for $34.99. Which is a steal of a deal for a custom stuffed animal! When it came to picking out the outfit and shoes, Hubby and I had all the fun. It was a toss-up between a hockey outfit of Hubby's favourite team (which I was not on board for!) or a Jedi outfit (which I was more amenable to). The Jedi outfit won, and I have to admit, it looks pretty sweet! The shorts even have a hole for his tail and the hood has ear holes. Sooooo awesome. I was in charge of the shoes, so I picked out some sweet flippy floppies. I thought they were sort of Jedi-like. 

Pretty sweet if you ask us geeky parents! ;)

The Any Event is on until August 16, 2012 so there is still time to create your awesome bear on the cheap! I really wanted to create a Cruella DeVille bear (they actually have the outfit!). Maybe next time...

Disclosure: I received the afore-mentioned product in order to complete this review accurately, but opinions are all my own (as always!). 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Ingenuity Washable Playard: Review and GIVEAWAY!

A play yard has been an essential item in our household for Peanut. When he was born, he slept in a play yard in our room in the bassinet for the first 3 or 4 months. Since then, we use it as a travel crib when we stay overnight with friends or family, or when we go camping. And we use it as a baby containment unit (i.e. a playpen) when we need Peanut to have a safe place to play. Our previous play yard was alright. Nothing to really rave about.  The change table on it was so flimsy we couldn't use it from the very beginning when Peanut was only 10 lbs, as he would roll off the end if we didn't hold him up (and really, how practical is that? Changing a baby with 1 hand? No thanks!). The other thing that really bothered me about it was that I could only surface wipe it to clean up the inevitable baby poops, pees and pukes that ended up all over it. That always sort of grossed me out, really. Sure, you can buy the sheets for them, but really we all know that a mere cotton sheet cannot contain the mess of a leaky diaper, let alone a pooplosion. 

So, when I heard about the InGenuity Washable Playard, I had to admit, I was incredibly intrigued. Could it really be washable? Because if it was, it would be a HUGE improvement on the brand we have been using for the past year.

Mine is from the Sumner Collection. I love how gender-neutral it is!

I took it out of the box, and I didn't even have to look at the instructions to set it up. It is very simple and takes about 30 seconds. Score! The change table is so incredibly sturdy and snaps on all easy-peasy like. I can even change my squirmy 1 year old on it and it holds up wonderfully. This was enough to sell me on it! It also has a handy storage tray for diapers and wipes, etc. 

The tray folds over the bar so you don't have to remove it to use the play yard! 

But the thing that really flabbergasts me, and has me floating in clean-mommy heaven is that it IS totally washable. And it's completely easy. Everything just unzips and unvelcros (is that a word?!) from the frame and you toss it in the washer. 
See?! You can wash the whole thing!

You can learn from my mistakes and heed this tip: when you are putting the fabric back on the frame, make sure you line up the zipper in the correct corner! Duh! Of course I didn't realize until I had proudly reassembled the velcro on all the corners...sigh. 

For the mattress, you just have to slip out the 4 boards and toss the padding in there too. I have made a little video to show you how easy it is to use this play yard. I hate watching myself on video, so please be forgiving! I definitely say definitely too much...and you can see Kitty and Peanut making guest appearances. Peanut is obsessed with the play yard, so he's giving you a running commentary while investigating it. 

I haven't been able to really test out the bassinet because Peanut is much too heavy for it, but it came already assembled with the bassinet in it, so it is easy to see how it sets up, and it looks a bit sturdier than my other one, actually, as it has straps supporting the bottom of the bassinet to the play yard. AND, you can fold it up without taking out the bassinet, which is also awesome. That was always a huge pain with our other play yard. 

Here's the bassinet all set up
And this is the magic that allows you to fold up the play yard WITHOUT removing the bassinet. Sooooo handy, trust me!

 The only thing missing from this model is a newborn napper-type device. We used that attachment extensively with Peanut in the first month or so, so if we have another little kiddo that would be a feature I would love to see on the InGenuity Playard! 

The folks at InGenuity are generously giving Up Mommy Creek readers a chance to win their very own Washable Playard!!! How awesome is that?! A play yard is a must-have for the little ones, in my opinion, and here's your chance to get one for free! Please note that this giveaway is only open to my fellow Canadians, as this snazzy line has not yet launched in the US. Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. And GOOD LUCK! :) 

Reminder: Giveaway open to Canada only! Sorry my international readers!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclosure: I received a playard so that I could write an accurate review of using this product. All opinions are entirely my own, as always! I truly did love this product.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

MamaBargains: A Steal of a Deal!

I am sure you are aware of all the deal-a-day websites out there. There are a ton of them, covering just about every need you have. I am sort of addicted to baby-related deals. Honestly, I really hate paying full price for baby and maternity items, simply because you use them for such a short period of time. However, that doesn't mean I don't want good quality brands and items. I just don't want to pay for them! 

Enter (How cute is the preggo stick mama??)

They offer one deal at a time for 50-80% off the retail price. The cool thing about MamaBargains is that they offer multiple deals a day, so you have a huge variety of designer items to choose from. They range from maternity items to the most adorable little kiddo items from birth to age 10. Since it switches at random, they have a handy alert tool to let you know when the product switches because, as always, the deals go fast! Check out the alert tool here:

 (I have a Mac so I have to use the old-school methods of following them on Twitter and Facebook, which work splendidly as well!)

They have recently launched a voucher program, so you can score some high-quality items at a sweet discount, and at your own convenience. It also means they can offer personalized items, since you are free to deal directly with the shop offering the voucher. You can find the voucher program at

The other thing I love about MamaBargains? It introduces me to awesome new products I didn't even know existed. Sure, there are some things I wait patiently for to appear (I have a weakness for baby carriers, and I am in the market for a new diaper bag!)...but honestly there are so many cool products out there, and it's a great way to discover them! 

Want to know what else I love about MamaBargains? They are going to give one reader a $25 gift certificate to try out Woo hoo! Entering is easy-peasy. Just head on over to the Mamabargains website and let me know via the Rafflecopter widget which of the past features you would love to snag! (hint: at the bottom of the page you can find the "Past Features"linky). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, and I received compensation. However, I am a long-time customer of MamaBargains, and all opinions (as always!) are my own! :) 

Monday, June 18, 2012


Lately I have been really bad at a few things:

Posting regularly on the ol' blog
Responding to your wonderful (and much appreciated!) comments
Cleaning the house
Going to yoga
Keeping my outfit clean for longer than 20 minutes
Responding to emails in a timely fashion
Getting a full night's sleep
Changing a diaper on a wriggling octopus while trying to avoid a mess (ick). 

But, I have been getting really good at a few things too:

Watching Peanut like a hawk as he climbs a flight of stairs for the 10th time today
Teaching him how to sign "more" and working on "all done"
Cooking some healthy and pretty delicious meals and snacks
Chasing my son around the house and attempting to minimize the damage he will cause to himself/furniture
Tidying up after the disaster "Hurricane Peanut" leaves in his wake
Trying to reduce our spending and stay "on budget" (example: I made our own flour tortillas for dinner tonight instead of buying some, and they were delicious and easy! I am converted!)

So please excuse the bad. All the good is getting in the way lately. And that's just fine with me! 

Here are some other things that have happened lately:

I cut off my hair. I got pretty fed up with the damaged, thinning hair I was left with after having the babe, so I sucked it up and went and chopped it all off. This is the shortest I've ever had it, and it's been an interesting adjustment. It's not long enough to put in a ponytail anymore, which was my go-to style, so I have to learn some new tricks! 

My Mother's Day gift from Hubby was a cooking course with Chef Xavier Lacaze from Top Chef Canada!!! He's also the executive chef at Muse Restaurant here in Calgary. I am a Food Network addict, so this was the best gift ever! I went with my momma, which was awesome, and we cooked and drank wine and ate until we almost burst. It was phenomenal. The menu was right from Muse's kitchen, so we learned how to make some deliciousness that will now be in my regular rotation. And Chef Xavier was amazing! Also, I tried escargot. Honestly, they looked like the hideous little snails they were, and that was pretty tough to get over. But they just tasted like the butter and cream sauce they were cooked in. I doubt I will be eating them in the future. But glad I tried them! 


Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: The Taker by Alma Katsu

I have been reading a lot lately. Which is weird because I am so busy with a little one getting into absolutely everything possible! But I have trouble falling asleep at night, and if I stay up on the computer, Hubby gets annoyed with the "tap tap tap" of the keyboard while he is trying to sleep. So I read. 

I was interested in reading The Taker by Alma Katsu when I heard it was similar to The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I really enjoyed The Gargoyle, so was looking forward to this one. 

I was surprised to see that The Taker is the first book of a trilogy, which was intriguing. To be honest, the cover really didn't appeal to me, and I wondered what I was getting myself into. But, you know the old adage about judging, so I cast my doubts aside and dug in. 

At first I found it a bit slow, and had some trouble getting excited about it. But once the character of Lanore started telling her story, it reeled me in. The story begins in present day, with a weary doctor encountering a mysterious woman (Lanore) who is being arrested for murder. Lanore tells him an incredible, and unbelievable tale; that she was born in the 1800s, and is immortal. She then tells him her whole story, full of love, adventure, mystery and danger, and how she came to be in her current predicament. 

I was a little worried that it might turn into some Twilighty-vampire-esque tale, especially upon looking at the cover, but it really doesn't. It's technically sort of a "paranormal romance" tale, but I would really not classify it like that. And it's definitely not a vampire book. Sure, there are immortal characters, but they don't seem to be vampires.  Katsu does a great job of hooking you in with a love story, and adding enough mystery and suspense that you want to keep reading to find out what happens. 

Mild spoiler alert: I should mention, though, that I was a little annoyed at Katsu's handling of a scene of rape. At least I assume it was rape. But judging from the character's passive acceptance and complete lack of distress at what happens, it's hard to tell. The book is by no means graphic (it occurs while she is drugged, so no details or anything), but I find it disturbing that it was just sort of glazed over. So you have been warned. 

All in all, it was a pretty good read. I am definitely interested in reading the second book in the series and seeing where it goes! She does a really good job with the characters, and Lanore's story sucks you in. It's not too difficult a read, so it's great for reading on the deck in the summer sun. 

Want to check it out? I have an extra copy of the book, so why not give it to one of you lovely people??

Just tell me what book you are reading now in the comment section (I'm always looking for new reads!), and then enter using the Rafflecopter widget. I will ship the book out at the end of the contest, and you will have a new summer book to read. Woo hoo! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: a copy of this book was provided to me by Simon an Schuster Canada free of charge. However, I chose the book, and all opinions are my own, of course! :) 


Thursday, May 31, 2012

10 Months!

At 10 months Peanut:

~ weighs about 20.8 lbs
~ is about 30 inches long

~Is a crawling machine
~Has started standing every now and then (while holding on to something). He's a little wary of being on his feet though
~Can climb stairs. EEP!
~ Has now become a picky eater. If he could, he would only eat yogurt and pears. Ever. For all time.  
~ Has started signing "milk" but instead of using it for milk, he uses it for whatever item he wants at the time. So it's more like the sign for "gimme that!"
~ Gets into EVERYTHING. 
~ Loves bath time, and chasing Kitty
~ Still loves singing and music and Hubby's guitar. 
~ He also loves books, but mostly to pull them off the shelf/out of the box/make a mess with them as opposed to reading them. 

He is such a little man! I can't believe how big he is getting! 

The photo session was cut short due to grumping. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kitty and Peanut: An Analysis

We have discovered that Peanut and Kitty are at about the same mental development level at the moment. This means that Kitty has the approximate mental ability of a 10 month old infant. We have always suspected it was low, we just were never able to quantify it until now. 


Peanut is obsessed with paper in general, but he has a special place in his heart for toilet paper. Especially if he can get his hands on the roll, and then pull it all off and rip it into tiny shreds. This is also one of Kitty's favourite pass-times. 

Kitty has long been obsessed with boxes. Mostly sitting in them and purring. But also scratching at them and tipping them over. Peanut also is loving to tip over boxes, and loves to bang on them to make noise. 

Can you find Kitty? (Surely she is plotting his demise...)
Both of them get the general mechanics of how a door works, but are unable to get past the obstacle if it is closed fully. 

Both are currently obsessed with yogurt. 

Peanut has also recently become fascinated with Kitty's god of idolatry: the bath faucet. While he is not as enamoured with it as Kitty is, it is still rather interesting. 

They both enjoy racing around and attempting to destroy anything that we own of value. Kitty is working on the furniture. Peanut is working on electronics and glassware. 

They both (for some unknown and disturbing reason) love to try and eat the tufts of cat hair that get missed by the vacuum. Blech. 

They have both figured out that the phantom screen we have over our front door can be used for escape if you push it at the bottom. And for now, the baby gate in front of the screen foils both of their escape plans. 

Yes, that is Kitty in a Bumbo...sigh

Kitty still has Peanut beat on the agility scale though. She can leap over baby gates like they aren't even there, and is much quicker at escape than Peanut is. She also beats him on the annoyingness scale as well; yowling when the baby is sleeping, crawling under the covers to cuddle in the middle of the night, racing around like a herd of elephants the second the clock strikes midnight. 

In some ways I feel sorry for her, being so dumb. But in others, I know she gets by on her looks, and she knows how to work it. Lets be honest, we only put up with her antics because she is so darn cute.

 And I suppose we could say the same about Peanut as well... 



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