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Monday, February 28, 2011

Have passport, will travel.

We're getting a passport, for my little guy!  I love to travel, and since
passports are at least a month long process we better get started now.

This is just one more learning experience for me.  Did you know that you have to go to a special photographer to get infant pictures?  I'm sure that you could use one of the other places, but it could delay your application if the photo gets rejected.  I was recommended a photography studio to go to, although they charge  $20!  But they have a reputation of not having pictures returned.  They have the ability to take a picture of a child lying down, which is convenient when they are still learning to sit.  

Infant passports only last for 3 years, but if you get pictures done under 1 year of age...you do receive one update for free before the 3 years.  This is all for the Canadian passport...now I have to figure out how to apply for a British passport.  Lucky baby! His mom's a dual citizen.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coupons, coupons, everywhere!

Maybe I have too much time on my hands (but I think not), maybe it is because I have to purchase copious amounts of disposable products for my baby, or maybe it's my way of contributing to the household since I am on maternity leave.  But I have started becoming quite good at the coupon game. I don't bother with small coupons, but $2, $3, and $5 definately interest me.  A few weeks ago I ordered Tide coupons off PG Brandsaver, I have also used Websaver.  They entitled me to $5 off any two Tide products, I kept my eye on flyers and saw a special at Pharmasave at $5.99 a jug.  So I headed down with my coupon, I picked up my two jugs and headed to the checkout where I discovered that it was Double Coupon Day! That means I picked up laundry soap that was normally on sale $11.98 for two jugs, for only $1.98 plus tax! Yay!! 

And an extra bonus!  I found out that London Drugs allows you to stack coupons.  As long as they are different types of coupons, they will let you use them both.  Bonus savings!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gai Lan: A spin on the traditional broccoli

If you have never tried Gai Lan "Chinese broccoli", you should give it a try.  It has a very similar taste to broccoli, and if you enjoy the heart of the broccoli (the stems), you'll love this veg!   To make it in a traditional Chinese way, it's super easy and healthy. 

Wash and trim the ends of the gai lan.
Using a little cooking spray in a frying pan. Toss in the cleaned gai lan, stir frying on high.  Add a touch of water to steam the veg, and then cover for a few minutes.  Then add oyster sauce, stirring the gai lan to cover completely...and it's ready!

Friday, February 25, 2011

How Clean is too Clean?

We live in a world of anti-bacterial soap and disinfectants.  When you have a newborn you develop a new appreciation for cleanliness.  However, when is too much? 

I agree that when your baby is tiny, it is important to boil and sanitize all their equipment.  But after a while, once baby is out and about, where do you draw the line?   Now that my little one is ready to sit up by himself,  a lot more things are going in his mouth. There are so many products available to help keep baby clean, and I am trying to decide which ones I need.  But I think that we shouldn't over sterilize items around him, or he won't build any immunity. 

And while occasionally (before I can stop him) the dog will lick baby in the face.  My latest purchase to protect baby is a shopping cart cover.  There should be more concern with the germs on shopping carts because of the risks from raw meat present in supermarkets. Salmonella, Ecoli, and others are bacteria that can be very dangerous to children, a great reason to protect them.  I ordered a Babe Ease from http://www.babysteals.com/, that also doubles as a high chair cover for restaurants. I can't wait for it to arrive to see how it works!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's time to get serious about exercise!

For a year now, I have taken it easy with exercising.  Partially from medical advice but also from physical limitations.  Now that my little one is pushing 6 months old, I need to buckle down!  They say it takes 9 months to put it on, so expect at least 9 months to take it off. That means I only have 3 months to go!  I have been good about going on walks both pre and post natal, but I do need to push it now.

I have signed up to play soccer again this year.  And I am really looking forward to it. I have also contemplated joining bootcamp again.  But this is where I am a little leary.  Is it because I am sooo out of shape, or is it because I have new priorities in life? Oh, probably a little of both.  I'm sure that being a mature mama doesn't help...all you post 40's know that you don't bounce back physically like you used to. 

I really should try something half way.  Through the local rec center there are some classes geared to new moms.  Not only are they designed to ease new moms back into fitness, but several of them allow you to bring your baby to the class.  There are also a few local fitness instructors that specialize in postnatal exercise.  The only challenge in bringing baby to a fitness class is that they might not always be in the mood, and sometimes you attend a class only to spend the whole class feeding/changing your baby. 

If you want a listing of all the Recreation Guides in the Okanagan, Okanagan4Kids has them all listed in one place.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winning an online contest can happen!

I've entered tonnes of online contests, and my husband loves to tease me about it.  But I figure, you can't win unless you enter.  I started off entering contests through large companies, but have slowly gravitated towards entering blog contests as well.  Not only do I get a chance to win, but learn some great information too!  Recently I entered the Ju-Ju-Be contest that they held on their blog...and I won my choice of accessory!!  Yay!!  I decided on the BeSet, what do you think of the Shadow Waltz pattern?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mommy Movies...coming soon to a theatre near you.

What a great idea.  These are movies held once a month, at noon.  Best part is that you can bring your babies to the movie, and no one cares!  Our local theatre plays all their movies and it only costs $6.  Kids 2 & under are free, but from personal experience these movies are best enjoyed when the children are under 6 months as they usually sleep through it. Non parents are welcome to join too, but should be aware that there will be children in the theatre.  The link to our local theatre is http://www.westkelownamovies.com/, and the next movie is on Feb 24th.

They used to offer these movies every week, but I guess some people were complaining about the children in the theatre.  I guess they didn't get the concept of "Mommy Movies". :)  Check with your local theatre if they have something available in your area.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Adventures of Flying

Flying with a little one always evocs the same reaction from people. "How did it go? How did baby fly?". Having flown with my husband, stress free, across the country with our little one when he was 10 weeks old...I thought-I can do a one hour trip with 5 month old baby by myself!

All was good at the airport...although I am still in the learning phase of what I can and cannot manage. I only had the diaper bag, my purse, my jacket, the camera, the stroller and the baby. Why couldn't I pick up the two bottles of wine at the airport? And manage I did!

My little guy was great when we were on the plane, he actually looked a little excited to be flying. We laughed and played, and then he started to get a little tired. And I realized, how do I get him to sleep on a plane? Well we never figured that out because then we started the descent. And then...

I hear a little rumbling in baby's tummy and we have a diaper explosion! Being so close to landing, I'm thinking we can manage. But then it starts to become uncomfortable for baby and he expresses his dissatisfaction, loudly! All the way down, taxiing to the runway, and while we were waiting to get off the plane. Oh, and you know how people with small children get to preboard. Well its the opposite when dissembarking..we were the last to get off...all the while with baby screaming at the top of his lungs. After negotiating the plane with the diaper bag, my purse, my jacket, the camera, the wine and a screaming smelly baby. All the while apologizing to the passengers we finally made it off. And with a quick diaper and full clothing change, peace was restored.

I can't believe I was the one with THAT baby! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Pear Tree is Sharing the Love

I've discovered this new website "The Pear Tree"...and I'm quite enjoying it! They are all about showcasing all that is beautiful in the Okanagan. Right now they are having a contest giving away a cookbook Prairie Feast: A Writer’s Journey Home for Dinner, by Amy Jo Ehman. Enter to win by telling them about your favorite locally sourced food (local to you!). If you would like to enter here is the link, tell them The Mellow Mama sent you! http://thepeartree.ca/2011/02/sharing-the-love/

Monday, February 14, 2011

I love my Boobs!


My Boobs nursing top that is!  I bet I got your attention now...

Nursing in public has been a hot topic in the past.  But I must say, maybe because I am surrounded by new moms, that I have noticed much more acceptance than I expected.  There has been a lot of public education lately, which has probably helped the cause.  Recently, while I was at a coffee shop with a girlfriend, a man came up to us with our babies and told us that he didn't mind if we breastfeeded our children there.  Ok, while the acceptance was cool, he was a little creepy. :)

It's interesting how breastfeeding is treated around the world.  Many years ago, while travelling through Egypt, I was taking a ferry across the Nile and was sitting across a women in a full veil breastfeeding her baby.  What was so interesting, was that in a country that believes that women should show modesty by covering up fully, she had no qualms about breastfeeding in public.  I think this is a perfect example of how other cultures view breastfeeding...as a natural process needed to raise our children.

I want to be able to breastfeed in public, but I have a level of modesty that I would like to protect (along with many other women).  So I have become the queen of nursing tops.  Nursing tops are those with discreet
access to make nursing in public easier.  I have tried Bravado, GlamourMom, Thyme Maternity, Immature, and Boobs.  I picked up my Boobs shirt when I was in Ottawa, they are from Sweden and so well made!  Immature came a close second.  Boobs were never available here, but I just discovered that ToysRUs has picked up the line...yay!!   So I highly recommend that if you are in need for nursing tops, check out Boobs!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CBC News - Consumer Life - Baby monitors recalled in U.S.

CBC News - Consumer Life - Baby monitors recalled in U.S.

Nearly 2 million baby monitors were recalled after the strangulation deaths of two infants! They were strangled by the cords on the monitors. Wait...don't all baby monitors have cords? Oh my goodness, how could they make such dangerous products. Can you believe that the company had to recall these items due to parents leaving the monitors too close to their babies? 

When are people going to be responsible for their own actions?!  While it is very sad that these parents have lost their children.  Responsibilty helps us develop our critical thinking and ensures we take the proper precautions where necessary.

Do you think the manufacturer should be responsible?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Making Chocolate Hearts

Open Chocolate Hearts

Do you want to be able to make these chocolate hearts for a special valentine?  Chipits has the instructions to make these, and it couldn't be easier.  The recipe is available here http://www.hersheycanada.com/en/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=7002#
Make something beautiful for your loved one!

RSVP International Marble Pastry Board 18x18-in.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baby socks are highly overrated!

Kate Quinn Organics CanadaYesterday I wrote about organic cotton, but I just discovered something else available in the Kate Quinn line.  Footed pants!  I've been looking everywhere for these, because baby socks don't stay on!  I don't know why footed pants are not more readily available. I was able to find some as a part of a set, but this is the first time I found them where you can buy them seperately.  Yay!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Organic Clothing for Kids

I'm curious to know how many people actually put clothing made out of organic cotton on their children?  I know that organic cotton is more expensive.  And often they come in trendier styles, but is it a priority for moms?  There is a beautiful line available called Kate Quinn Organics.  You can order online at http://www.katequinnorganics.ca/.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's Census Time Again!

2011 is once again census time in Canada. This is a huge undertaking and requires over 38,000 temporary employees across Canada. The information gathered from the census is used to make decisions for your community and country. Businesses also often look at the information gathered to make educated business decisions. If you are looking for some temporary work, here is a great opportunity. More information is available at http://www.census2011.gc.ca/ccr04/ccr04_000a-eng.htm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Day...a book by David Nicholls

I'm reading "One Day" by David Nicholls.  I had never heard of the book before it became my bookclub read.  And now that I am reading it, it has become an amazing surprise.  The author and characters are about 3 years older than myself.  But so far, it's bringing back some wonderful memories about my time in Europe.  As they are talking about Camden Market & Earl's Court, I think of going to that market and my flat in Earls Court. I even lived there at the exact same time as the characters in the book.  At one point they talk about Tipex, which is the British version of liquid paper.  And I laughingly recall when my boss at the publishing company I worked at asked me to Tipex a form, and I innocently said that I didn't know how to use the Tipex machine. :)  Next they went on a vacation to Rhodes, and that island turned out to be my jumping off point to Israel.  So far I am only 1/3 of the way through the book...and I can't wait for the last 2/3's.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebrity Rehab Apprentice

Have you seen the commercials for the new Celebrity Apprentice!  It looks like they morphed the shows Celebrity Rehab and Celebrity Apprentice together. Whoa, that's some scary stuff going on there.  And what's the deal with Gary Busey?  It's coming out March 6th, enjoy!  http://www.nbc.com/upcoming-celebrity-apprentice/
The Celebrity Apprentice

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Customer Service is a dying art!

Why is customer service becoming more and more rare? It's not difficult, but it does seem to belong in the same realm as work ethic.  I have had some appalling customer service lately.  While I know when it is great, I'm pretty lenient about what level of service I expect.  A smile and being helpful is all I ask! 

Today I went to Buckerfields and received horrible service.  I asked 3 times for help, and kept being told "we only have what's on the shelf".  Normally it's great there.  I left without buying anything and then decided that I was going to call and complain while in the parking lot. The lady who took my call was very empathetic and helped me out properly.  Thank goodness she was there to save their reputation.  Maybe they should get that first employee a  copy of Customer Service for Dummies.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thank Goodness for Book Clubs

I was an avid reader when I was young.  Then university, life, and adventure happened...and somehow I got away from reading books.  I read magazines, text books, and with the explosion of the internet - online material.  Then a couple of years ago, a friend started a book club which I joined. It started off slow and I was reading one book every two months (I can't believe that as a child I used to read upwards of 10 books a week!). But even if I hadn't read the book for that week, I would attend Book Club.  I found that many of the conversations about the books, also addressed common concerns or issues in life and I was still able to contribute.  I'm so glad that I joined, and even with a new child I am pretty much able to keep up with the reading list.  It is great to spend an evening with the other ladies and expand my horizons even more, by reading books that I would not normally choose myself. Book Clubs have definately become more popular of late.  A local online magazine, The Pear Tree,  is profiling book clubs...maybe they will profile ours?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Regrets in life...

Do you ever regret the choices you made?  I'm sure a lot of people do, however, without the choices we made we wouldn't be living the lives we have today. We wouldn't have the friends we do, and the experiences that we have had.

Sometimes we don't always make the mainstream or  popular choice.  Life is far too interesting to do what everyone else is doing. As you get older and more confident, making different choices becomes easier.

The important thing to remember is that you can change your future not your past, so why have regrets?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Today is Chinese New Year!

Welcome to the New Year! I hope you have had a chance to clean your home, pay your debts, and resolve your differences.  On Chinese NY the elders give "lai see" or red packets ("fung bao" in Hakka) to the children of the family. These packets often contain money or chocolate coins.  They are used to symbolize good luck and ward off evil spirits.

Gung Hay Fat Choy! To you and your family...a proserous New Year!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


There is so much controversy with vaccinations (one of the hard decisions a parent has to make).  Here is some more information regarding the report that linked vaccines to autism, and the doctor who produced the report. An interesting watch for those parents or parents to be out there.

CBC Report on MMR link to Autism

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I want to do a flash mob!

I've always wanted to do a Flashmob...but this Mp3 experiment looks really fun too!