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. 



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