Google+ Adventures with Baby Boo Bear: June 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Canada Day Weekend!

Happy Canada Day weekend to my fellow Canadians!!
I will be taking a long weekend from the blog and of course will return for Tushie Talk Tuesday!

Whatever your plans are this weekend be sure to play safe!

Canada Day Flag

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Not so Wordless Wednesday

I had my Wordless Wednesday ready to go.  Complete with pictures of our fantastic day of picnic and play at the beach today.

Things change.

 I just read a news story that truly broke my heart.  If you choose to you can read it here (warning: contains content that may offend/be sensitive to some readers).

Stories that would have upset me prior to Emmett now have a significantly different impact on me.  As a parent I cannot fathom why anyone would want to hurt their child or allow any harm to come on them. 

I stopped what I was doing and had to grieve for this loss.  Whether it was an accident or mishap is irrelevant.  A beautiful and unknowing child was the victim. 

I posted on Facebook yesterday that a pet peeve of mine is when people that are uneducated or unread in an area see it necessary to post endless I leave you with simply my feelings about this and some reading to help educate yourselves or others.

Consumer Reports, 2009

United States Department of Transportation, 2010, 2001

The Learning Community, 2011, pediatrics

Until next time...please put your children (and pets) safety first.

Product Review: Sling Sisters Wetbags - Not just for the CDing family!

Disclaimer: I did not receive free product in exchange for this review nor was I asked to write this review.  These opinions are my own.

When I was purchasing my initial stash of CD and gear I hadn't done much research into the wetbags that we would be using to store dirty diapers.  Why?  Everything that I had read suggested that Planet Wise were the way to go. 

Done.  The store we were buying the starter stash from sold them.  Perfect.

Well.  We got there and checked out the large wet bags from Planet Wise.  Most of the prints were girly, very girly - think flowers.  Nope, these were not going to match Emmett's room at all.  So I grabbed one that was the least offensive to my liking and figured I'd buy more later.

Then I glanced over to the next row of bags and saw monkeys, owls, swirls and loops.  Fun prints and colours, lots of options for boys too!

I grabbed an owl printed bag.  I was hesitant because I hadn't heard about this company before.  I asked one of the girls working and she told me that they just started carrying them and they hadn't had much feedback yet. I loved that it was a Canadian company that made it and I loved the print so I figured we would take our chances.

So glad that we did!

My Sling Sisters wetbags are the BEST!  No, seriously they are!

Almost all of our Sling Sisters
What I love about these bags?
Firstly, they are Canadian made.  Yay!
Second - I LOVE the designs and colours.  They help make CD even more fun! 
Lastly - the functionality.  Obviously the most important feature. 
The extra large bags are huge and hold 3-4 days of cloth diapers (from their website and my personal experience).  I love the straps on the top with the snaps.  Most other bags don't have this snap.  They make it simple to attach anywhere you want to store you dirty diapers.
You could even take these bags camping, to the beach, on overnight trips etc. 

Regular sized wetbags (we own 3!).  These are great for on the go!  When we CD outside of the house we take one along to store the dirty dipes.  We just snap it onto the diaper bag.  I think I've stuffed about 7 CD into this guy.  If we are using disposables for whatever reason while we are out I still bring along a rolled up regular bag.  Just in case I need to store clothes that have been spit up on, had a diaper blow out etc.  I also take along a regular sized bag to swimming lessons to keep mine and Emmett's bathing suits away from oh I don't know...say my cellphone!

One of our regular sized is also their double duty bag.  It has a stay dry zippered pouch to keep the wets and the dry stay dry. 

Double duty bag and small/large snack bags

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a fun, online auction the Sling Sisters held on their Facebook page where they offered slightly imperfect, yet still functional items at a discount.  Auction style.  I was determined to get a double duty bag.  In the end I did not.  I did end up with 2 reusable sandwich bags which I am super excited for but I should have been smart like my friend Megan, she bought her stuff earlier in the day on their website to ensure she got what she wanted.  The auction offered bigger lots of items for ultimate discounts so I opted to try my luck.  It was 2 hours of FUN.

Since I bought our first Sling Sisters bag I have heard much more talk of this great Canadian company.  Their product is great and at a better price than their competitor.  They also offer more than just wetbags.  Be sure to check out their website!

I give their wet bags 5 stars!

Next on my list...I need to get my hands on some of their ninja prints!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tushie Talk Tuesdays: Our dirty laundry

We...okay I...spent some time researching all the options on dirty diaper storage.  I didn't realize how many choices I had when it came to stinky, dirty diapers!  Wet pails that lock or don't lock.  Wet bags, dry bags, dry pails, plain ole garbage can, can with a liner, specially designed pail for CD....the list goes on!

This was the area I feared would lead me to ditching the cloth.  I am very sensitive to scents and the last thing I wanted was to be constantly smelling dirty diapers.

In the end we decided to use hanging wet bags.  The bag hangs on Emmett's dresser, zipper open, and we just chuck the dirty dipes in as they come!  That's it.  The wetbag contains the smell for at least 2-3 days.  Although, there have been a few times I've had to zipper it up because we've had a particularly poopy day....word to the wise - when you have to open up that zipper don't take a breath...just don't.  Trust me.

Our wetbag collection

We have 3 large wet bags.  We started with 2 but I found I had to use the dryer more often because they didn't line dry fast enough in the winter.  So we added our 3rd.  Now we have 1 in use, 1 drying and 1 ready to go!  We use Sling Sisters and Planet Wise bags.

We also have 3 small wetbags to take on outings.

Recently we have started using a great product from Rockin Green (go figure).  Shake It Up is a powder you just sprinkle into your wetbag or pail to help freshen things up until laundry time.  We have the Bare Naked Babies scent (because that's all the store had) but will be getting a scented version next time!  I <3 Rockin Green.

The nice thing about the wetbag storage is you just throw it into the wash with the diapers.  No rinsing out diaper pails here!

That's it....our dirty laundry all aired out.

Until next time friends!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Outdoors with Baby: Part II

Last time on Outdoors with Baby I talked about my concerns with taking my 6 month old outdoors for playtime.

Now that I have conquered my fears (sort of) it's time to explore!

I spent most of Emmett's early weeks healing, adjusting to involuntary sleepless nights and learning my way around this thing called parenting.  Fortunately it was -20 degrees Celsius and I was happy to be stuck in the house, snuggled and snowed in with my new baby boy.

I didn't have to worry about entertaining a baby to small for most outdoor activities.

Now that the sun is shining and Emmett and I have a routine we are always looking for new ways to get out and have fun!

1. Have a picnic!

Whether it be in your own backyard, at the beach or a park!  Emmett & I often throw a blanket down under a shady tree and play, sing and dance.  Sometimes both or one of us has a snack.  He loves the change of scenery from his highchair!  Bubbles are fun at picnics too!

Picnics are more challenging now that Emmett can crawl!
2.  Play at the park!
It may seem like the park is not designed for a 6 month old but we make it work!  Emmett loves the baby swings!  Mom or Dad help him down the slide.  He loves sitting on a teeter totter with us!
I still steer clear of the sand though!  Emmett's current mantra is hand meet mouth....don't need hand meeting sand!
Big smiles in the swing!
3. Water fun!
Emmett is a little fish!  He loves the water!  We bought him a 4 x 4ish hard plastic pool with a little slide for those hot, hot days!  Once the weather is a bit nicer we will start taking him to the splash pads too!  On crummy, rainy days we often head to the community pool for a swim!
Loving the water!
Don't forget even the smallest amount of water can cause a small child to drown.  Make sure baby is within arms reach or in arms (depending on age) at all times!
4. Go for a walk.
Good for baby, good for Mommy!  No further explanation needed.
Walking with Annie (our dog) and Emmett was a learning curve but we have mastered it!
5. Bring indoor toys outdoors
Exersaucer at Grandma & Grandpa's house provides lots of entertain in the shade!
The blue blob in the background is an awesome pop up shelter I got at Walmart for around $30!  I keep it in the car just in case we decide to have a spur of the moment beach or park day!
It has 3 walls so we can check out what is going on but keep the sun off Emmett's delicate skin and a floor to keep us out of the sand and dirt.
Remember to pack snacks, bottles, wipes, sunscreen, water, hat and change of clothes for your outdoor time!  Have fun!
Until next time...the adventure continues!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Outdoors with Baby: Part I

Today is the first official day of summer!  Yippee!

Now that the weather is FINALLY starting to get nicer here in Ontario I have been trying to find ways to keep Emmett busy outdoors. 

Not only is the fresh air great for him but I find he sleeps considerably better at night when he has spent a good portion of the day outdoors.

Of course, like any new parent, I have some major concerns about our outdoor time with my 6 month old!

1. Temperature. 

In Ontario you just never know!  In early summer morning and evening can be cool, requiring pants, sweaters and jackets!  Yet during the daytime you need to sit around in your underwear you are so hot!

Emmett is a pro at wearing just his underpants...or diaper in his case!

So we dress accordingly!  I usually throw an extra bag of clothes in the car (mostly in case of a blowout) but also in case the weather changes.  We also have a couple of blankets in there too.
Enjoying a walk on a cooler day
On really hot days I always worry about his temperature.  Especially when he is in the stroller.  Fortunately Emmett is old enough now that we can give him sips of water to help stay hydrated. 
When we went to Florida in February and March Emmett wasn't even three months old.  Water wasn't an option yet.  We made sure to offer him extra breast milk/formula often to keep hydrated.  We also spent a lot of time in the shade.  We used the pool to cool off too. 

2.  The sun
Craig and I are both very fair skinned and burn easily.  We can only assume that Emmett has the same sensitive skin. 
I don't like to load him up with chemical laden products.  Generally we cover him up with light, breathable clothing or outfits with SPF in them.
Emmett in Florida hiding from the sun!
If clothing or hanging out in the shade are going to cut it we can count on Badger Sunscreen as a safe, natural option.

 3. Bug bites/stings.
Fortunately we haven't had to deal with these yet!  We are going camping in a few short weeks and I know we will have bug encounters.  My plan of attack is to research natural, baby safe bug spray options and homeopathic remedies if they end up being required.
4.  DIRT
Yes, I am a mother to a boy.  Dirt is inevitable....that's my advice to myself.
Stay tuned for Part II of the adventure of my favorite outdoor activities with baby!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sadly I haven't taken many pictures since last weekends recap!  Bad, bad Mama!

So I decided to highlight some of the work I have been doing in the Boutique lately!

Lots and lots of bibdanas in stock!  These guys are great and getting lots of compliments!

New!  Newborn starter kit!

Loving the Berenstain Bears quilt!  The Berenstains found it on Twitter and asked to use it on their Pinterest board!

Required Baby Boo photo op!  Modelling his construction bibdana!

Lots of toy leashes being cut!
My goal for next week?  FAMILY photos on Wordless Wednesday!  I have been majorly slacking and need to step it up!
Until next time...the Adventure continues!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tushie Talk Tuesdays: LilHelpers Cloth Diapers Review

Disclaimer:  I did not receive free product or compensation from the company for this review.  I was not asked to write a review  These opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the company.

A few weeks ago I discovered Lil Helper cloth diapers...purely by fluke!  You can read all about my decisions to try out these diapers here. 

Here is a quick recap on WHY I decided to purchase, invest, had to have these diapers:

1. 2 words - charcoal bamboo
2. Funky, hip, adorable prints

Moustache and Unicycle, Glasses & Bicycles and Chevron could I resist?!

3. Good, honest, philanthropist company (and funny too!)

Okay, but how did they hold up?

You know that moment when Carrie Bradshaw sees an amazing pair of shoes and exclaims....
"Hello lovers".

Yup.  That was exactly how I felt.  I have had these diapers for just over two weeks now and I LOVE them.

They are an AI2 (all in two) diaper.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that as long as the inner fabric of the shell stays dry you can just pop off the inserts and keep the same cover.  Excellent if you are out and about and need to save space in the diaper bag!

Soakers just snap onto the shell - no stuffing pockets required!

Each diaper comes with two liners.  1 small and 1 large.  You can use them together or separately as required.  Emmett is a pretty heavy wetter and we can still use the small liner (although not at nap time!). 

Shell without a soaker, shell with large soaker and shell with both soakers.  The white diaper is the organic bamboo.
I purchased 2 Charcoal bamboo and 1 organic bamboo diapers.  I love them both equally.  They are super soft.  I do notice that the charcoal wicks the moisture away from Emmett's skin better.  You can tell there is a lot of moisture in the soaker because of the weight.  I also find the shell on the charcoal stay dry longer.
These diapers get a great fit!  At 23 lbs and 31 inches Emmett is still on the smallest length snap and the 2nd (on each side) waist snap.  So we have lots of growing space in these dipes!  They also have a great lower hip snap that keeps the sides from winging (extra fabric for size adjustment moving around).
Baby Boo photo op!
Prep was super easy also!  I did a lot of research on prepping charcoal bamboo.  I was even prepared to write a post on it.  Guess what??  Didn't need it!  These diapers are pretty much ready to go!  Just 1 pre wash and you are ready to go. 
I e-mailed back and forth with Mohammed a number of times with questions I had and promptly received a super pleasant and helpful response!  I couldn't believe how fast I had these guys in my hands after purchasing!  They also included 2 bamboo stay dry liners and a lovely smelling bath bomb!  The great customer service is never ending!
These diapers sell for just under $25 each - but you get what you pay for!  You can also purchase just the liners which I imagine would work with any other shells you have and you still get the Lil Helper quality!
I give both of these diapers 5 stars.  The price isn't even enough to remove a half star here! 
They also carry change pads, pail liners, blankets and more!  I can't wait to try out more of their wonderful product line! 
Be sure to check these guys out....even if you just need a laugh or a good read!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekend Recap

We had a very (unintentionally) eventful weekend!

Craig finished working nightshift Saturday morning....and so did I!  Emmett decided to revert back to his newborn days and was up ALL NIGHT LONG.  Not so fun.

I couldn't be mad for long because this happened Saturday afternoon....

Emmett's 1st hospital visit - outside of birth!
He had been having an unusual twitch, almost like a convulsion randomly for a few days.  I didn't think it was anything to be concerned about at first.  If I touched him or said his name he would respond and smile at me.  It would be over.
Finally, Saturday afternoon Craig saw what I was talking about and said he also thought it was just a twitch, nothing to be concerned about.
About an hour later he started doing it and shaking.  He wasn't responding to us talking to him but was alert.  We decided to play it safe and took him to the Emergency Room. 
The nurses and Doctor were able to see first hand what we were bringing him in for (relief - I was afraid he wouldn't do it).  They immediately eliminated a seizure (huge relief for us as that was our initial thought).  After checking his vitals, etc., they determined he was not in danger or distress.  Again, huge relief for us!  The Doctor said that it could be anything from something he has learned how to do, an involuntary twitch that will go away on it's own or it could be small seizures. 

So right now we still don't have an answer and have been referred to a Pediatrician for follow up.  The good news is that it wasn't life threatening.  Now as we wait for follow up I am struggling to avoid Dr. Google who warns of early warning signs for illnesses.
Saturday night with Emmett still his usual happy self, soundly sleeping I decided to get some work done for the Boutique.
Lots and lots of bibdanas!
I have also ALMOST perfected the shopping cart handle covers!  So excited to try them out this week!
Sunday was Fathers Day.  I sadly forgot my camera at home AND my cellphone battery was pooched.  Boo. 
Craig enjoyed some alone time with Emmett in the morning.  Opened his cards and got a book on baseball.  He's also getting his Emmett inspired tattoo as his gift. 
We had a visit with my Dad in the early afternoon.  Sat around and chatted.  We ate some delish cupcakes from Sugar City Cupcakes and Craig and my Dad enjoyed some of my Dad's new homebrew.
Then we were off to Orillia to celebrate Dad # 3!  Can't forget my brother in law, so Dad # 4 also!  We spent the afternoon swimming and eating.  Emmett loved playing with his cousins Chloe & Sophia.  Sophia is such a ham with him.  She is almost 6 and just loves playing with him!  He of course loves the attention!
They also just got two new puppies!  Who are super cute and curious at just 8 weeks old!  I wish I had my camera to capture the looks on Emmett's face when these fluffy creatures ended up in his lap, kissing his face, trying to eat his diaper (yuck!).  Hopefully my BIL got a few good shots!
Well that's it!  What should have been an uneventful Saturday and relaxing Sunday turned into a trip to the Emerg and some fantastic Father's Day celebrations!
As always...the Adventure Continues!!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
and of course I can't forget...
Happy Father's Day to my hero, friend, role model and more!  Love you Dad!
Happy Father's Day to all Dad and Dad Figures today!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Munchkin Easy Squeezy Spoon Review

Munchkin Easy Squeezy Spoon
Have you ever seen this guy?

Craig & I were first introduced to this neat little feeding contraption while we were waiting at the Passport Office this past winter.

The lady sitting in front of us was using one to feed her baby.  We were fascinated!  What a great idea!  A bowl and spoon all in one, could it get any better?

As we watched her, discreetly of course, we noticed she was shaking it too get the food forward and on more than one occasion it ended up splattered on the floor.

We forgot about it until we were in Florida.  Target sold them for around $6 (at home in Canada they were over $10).  We decided to buy it.

I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have used it.  The lower portion holds ALOT of air and doesn't have a great seal. The spoon slot is very have to push, hard, to get the food through the teeny, tiny opening.

The result?  Air pushes everything forward and fast and next thing you know everything and everyone is covered in sweet potatoes!

You have better luck just taking the spoon off and using it as 2 pieces. 

I do still carry it around with me though because you just never know when you may need it and it doesn't take up space.

This is a product that has major potential - just a few design flaws!

I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this product but I wouldn't tell someone not to purchase it either!  For that reason I give it 3/5 stars!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shop Local

I am definitely not a rock star in the shop local movement.  However, there are certain stores in or near our city that we try to frequent for certain items. 

It is so sad to see your favorite little businesses go under because the big, evil box stores (Walmart I am looking at you) can offer a much more competitive price or selection.  At what cost though?

Customer Service?
Product Knowledge?

Don't think so. 

I was going to include annoying customers (think... but I suppose this is beyond the control of any company...and my purpose of this post is not to bash Walmart!

On Tuesday Emmett and I made the short trip up to By Nature in Orillia.  A friend referred me to this store while I was pregnant with Emmett and starting up my CD stash.  At first I spent lots of time on their website browsing, filling and emptying and filling my cart again with cloth diapers, pregnancy teas and lotions and other random things.

Finally, I decided I need to take the trip to Orillia and check out the store. 

We've been back many, many times.

It's a small and simple shop on a side street in Orillia (just off Memorial if you are familiar with the area!).  The shelves are filled with natural and organic baby products, pregnant and Mommy products, toys and more.

We have purchased probably close to 1/3 of our diaper stash here.  As well as all our laundry detergent, wet bags, swim diapers, teas for during and after pregnancy, our baby carrier and more from this lovely shop!

I could go on and on and on.

The shop owner, Tamara, is a wonderful lady.  She and her staff are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the products that they sell.  They are never to busy to answer your questions and if the shop isn't busy you might just end up with all the ladies working helping you to answer your questions.

Tuesday Emmett and I, okay mainly I, went in with a purpose.  I needed more Hard Rock, a medium sized Sling Sister wet bag with dry pocket of course and I needed advice on a new diapering system for our outings.  Especially since my goal of disposable free by September is getting closer!  

Tamara helped us figure out what we needed and even helped to save some money by using the stash that we have at home!  I will be blogging about our new system soon!

Each of the three ladies working that day helped us out with something!  From finding products on the shelves, to explaining the benefits of certain creams and finding a new diaper system!

They even made funny faces at Emmett, which of course was his favorite part, other than the giant fan they have on the ceiling.

Okay, this is getting long.  I'm probably going to have to do another post on this wonderful store...okay, I know for sure I will be doing another post on this store!

Make sure you check them out either in Orillia or online!
My haul ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Pinterest Project

like, love, am ADDICTED to Pinterest

A few nights ago I didn't even realize how much time had I had spent, wasted pinning and pinning and pinning.  It really got me thinking about how often I actually USE what I pin!  Rarely!  Even though I have pinned some really awesome stuff.

I am still trying to develop regular features for the blog based on what my readers want to hear about and obviously I have to have enough to say and enjoy writing it!

I am going to try a new pin once a week for the next few weeks and see how it goes and come back here and tell you all about it!

I haven't done this one yet but I will today and tell you how I like it next time!


This guy is pretty simple but functional!  I wish I had a freezer on the bottom, fridge on the top fridge.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  To late now. 

I always forget about the crap I throw into the back and then it ends up going back.

This is a great idea!  Using a lazy susan in the fridge to make everything access!  Perfect since I have one sitting on my kitchen table that never gets used!

Are you on Pinterest?  Feel free to follow me!

Until next time...the adventure continues!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tushie Talk Tuesdays: Regular laundry routine

One of the biggest hesitations from parents that I have heard about choosing cloth diapering is LAUNDRY!!

I am here to tell you today that it really isn't that hard! 

This is how we wash our dirty cloth diapers.  We wash on the largest setting possible to avoid stinky diapers and repelling issues!

1. Cold rinse - no detergent
2. Hot wash - 2-4 TBSP Rockin Green
3. Cold rinse

1. Ummm nothing.  This rinse is essential to removing crap (literally) from your diapers prior to washing

2. Some diaper companies will tell you warm wash only.  Some people will tell you cold will suffice.  The reason you need hot water is to kill the bacteria in the diapers.  Plain and simple.  BUT do not use a sanitizing setting.  This is too hot and can ruin the PUL.

3. The rinse ensures that all the detergent is removed from the dipes to avoid residue which can lead to repelling.  A lot of advice I received prior to CDing was to have two final rinses.  I did start with 2 but learned that my machine performs just fine on one rinse cycle.

I have the benefit of having a top loading washing machine.  It is old and dingy and ugly.  I don't care.  I love it.  If I have to buy a new washing machine while I am still using CD I will likely buy another top loader. 


Front loading machines are usually energy efficient.  What that means for CDing families is less water.  Generally, this is a good thing!  As far as washing CD it is not.  One of the top rules for washing is lots and lots of WATER.  Essential to getting those diapers clean, clean, clean!

**If you DO have a front loader and find that you are having trouble with build up/diapers not getting clean enough even though you are using the largest setting try placing a wet towel in the load.  It can help to trick your machine into thinking there is more stuff in there sending a message to give more water!**

Finally, the drying process.  I try to hang dry my CD as much as possible.  Usually outside but if that isn't possible inside in a sunny place.  The sun will bleach your diapers naturally!

Occasionally I throw them into the dry on a low setting to help reseal the PUL but this isn't necessary.  If you are running low on liners (which I never am because my stash is HUGE so I omit this step) you can throw them into the dryer regularly. 

So that's it!  Super simple right!

Here is a quick recap in pictures...because pictures always make learning more fun!

1. Bring your dirty dipes to the washing area.  Simple.


2.  Set your washing machine to the correct settings for your first rinse cycle

Please excuse the lint on the machine...I wasn't cleaning it just for you guys

3.  After the first rinse set your machine for the wash cycle...still with me?

4. Throw in all your crap along with some CD friendly detergent!  Almost done!

5. Finally, 1 or 2 more rinses (see # 2).
6. Hang to dry and you are done!!
Until next time...the adventure continues!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Great Wolf Lodge with One under One

Craig and I have wanted to take a trip to Great Wolf Lodge (GWL) in Niagara Falls for a few years.  We almost went last year but decided a pregnant gal probably shouldn’t be cruisin down water slides or cooking in hot tubs!

True to the laws of nature two fish shall produce a fish.  By nature Emmett is a water baby.  We thought it would be a blast to take him.   At just 6 months old though would we be wasting our money?
The Google junkie in me decided to do some research.  Search as I might I found very little on taking a child under the age of 1 to GWL!  Many posters side noted that their youngster was in tow and had fun but nothing specific that would suggest this was too early to take him and just him or if it was a great idea.

So here we have it:

Location Review: Great Wolf Lodge and 6 Month Old Emmett
Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation or free product for this review.  These opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the company.

I could write for DAYS about GWL and how amazing EVERY SINGLE detail is!  How much family fun is too be had at this over 100 000 square foot park of wet, wet fun!!
I won't.  No.  The purpose of my review is through the eyes of Emmett!

Yes, Great Wolf Lodge is designed for older kids.  However, there is plenty for your little one to enjoy!
From the moment we walked into the lobby Emmett was mesmerized.  The sights, the sounds!   Of course, his favorite was the giant fan on the ceiling!  Everywhere he looked something was moving or making noise!

These little critters greeted us at check-in!
Warm, comfy, cozy and real fire scent...even in summer!!
We probably could have spent our entire visit in the lobby and Emmett would have been happy.
**I want to apologize for the quality of photos in today's post!  Firstly, Emmett was too excited and squirmy to focus on the camera and secondly, to request the other guests privacy I did quite a bit of cropping.**
We had a GREAT room!  I glanced into a few rooms as we walked past and they were being cleaned.  I don't think you could have a bad room here!  Ours had a king bed, sofa bed, Jacuzzi tub and fireplace.  It also had this...
Perfect kitchenette with wet bar for travelling with a 6 month old! 
Most of the organized activities are for older kids.  As is the spa and arcade.   If your babe can make it up until about 9 there is a nightly story with Wiley, GWL's mascot.  Unfortunately Emmett made it until about 8:15 so we had to leave but those forest creatures had quite the sense of humour from what we saw!

Now.  Onto the good stuff...

The Water Park!!

Levels and levels of fun!  Each level has activity stations where you can pull ropes and turn wheels to soak those below you!
These levels are all baby friendly!!  Yes, baby will get wet so I wouldn't suggest this trip be your babes first time in the water!
Emmett loved exploring the levels of fun with Mommy & Daddy!  He particularly loved turning the wheels and watching the water fall.
Note: I would suggest testing the water first before you put babe underneath - the pressure in some areas is rough.
We had lots of fun in the shallow activity pool!  Emmett liked pulling the ropes and soaking Daddy.  He wasn't sure about the lazy river but got comfortable after a few laps!
Emmett was obsessed with all the fountains!  He loved trying to capture the water and sticking body parts into it.
I don't have any great pictures but there is also an activity pool approximately 3-4 feet deep.  It has a giant floating snake, toad, acorns and other fun things!  Emmett played in there for a while too!
Waterlogged and lovin it!
We spent around 1.5 hours at a time at the water park.  The water was cool but the air was nice and warm (I think they keep it around 85 F). 
There are so many pros here I can't even being to list them all!  Another bonus?  There are over 25 lifeguards on duty at all times!  Plus, if you don't have a life jacket they have them in all sizes!

The big con is that there are no slides that you can either go down together or help baby go down.  That would be a great addition!
To summarize things Emmett COULD do (remember he was held by one of us at all times):
* Shallow activity pool (Chipmunk Cove)
* Deep activity pool (Otter Lake)
* Lazy river  (Crystal River)
* Wave pool (Rainbow Lake)
* Outdoor Pool (Loon Lagoon) - **No photos because it was RAINING!!**
* Fort Mackenzie - Suspension bridges, spray stations, etc **You will need to be very careful through this area - floors are very slippery and teenagers are relentless**
Couldn't do:
* Slides
* Hot tub
* Frog Pond
Our advice:
* Bring lots of bottle/boob/water into the water park!  The temperature is very warm!
* Bring lotion!  The chlorine is STRONG!  Babes skin will dry out quickly.
* Bring your own towels - the hotel does provide them but they are pretty scratchy for babes skin
* Bring your camera but remember water falls from all levels!  If yours isn't waterproof carry it around in a towel.
* Take turns doing the grown up slides! 
* Get there early!!  Tables and chairs go quickly!
All in all we had a great time with Emmett!  He had so much fun, it was completely worth the money too go!  Craig took extra advantage of Emmett's nap times and ran down to the park for a few extra slides while I enjoyed the quiet of the room!
There are a handful of dining options right on site all with reasonable prices!  Northwoods Pizza Company will deliver pizza, wings and BEER to your room!  We got a medium pizza, 2 lb of wings and 2 beers for about $40!  Great option for those of us whose cubs start to act up around bedtime!
There were babies even younger than Emmett at GWL and everyone was having a great time.  Great Wolf Lodge IS suitable for your little baby!  We will be back in the near future, Emmett's 1st Birthday sounds good, maybe even sooner!!
Play hard, crash harder!
Until next time friends...the adventure continues!!



Sunday, June 9, 2013

My exciting news!

If you are my friend on Facebook you may have noticed a few days ago I made a post about a life changing decision.  If you know me IRL you may have heard me change the subject when talking about a course I am taking....after talking with Craig & my Mom I have decided to post this here.  To hold myself accountable, push me to do better and just to keep you in the loop! 

I am so excited about a program I have enrolled in.  It isn't a career change right now but I am hoping someday to have a full case load and move to this profession full-time!  So here it is friends. 

My required essay on:

Why I am choosing to become a Labour Doula.
Prior to having a baby I had never spent time in a hospital.  There was never a need.  Perhaps this is why they scared me.   The unknown.  Hospitals were for sick people.  Pregnant women aren't sick so why should they have to have a baby there?

There weren't any birthing centres near where I lived and we didn’t live in a house that would be conducive to having a home birth.   Reluctantly, I chose a hospital birth.   No big deal.  I was under the care of The Barrie Midwives.  I'd be in, have my baby and be back home fast!

Not.  What.  Happened.

Long story short I was sent for a 2nd opinion with an O.B. at 38 weeks.  For the next 10 days I was back and forth to the hospital almost daily, dealing with non-stress tests, biophysical profiles and possible inductions.  Why?  My baby was measuring large.  That was it.

Fortunately I ended up in the care of an amazing O.B. who refused to induce me for that reason alone and I was returned to my Midwives good hands. 

That glorious Tuesday night after 10 days of ordeal my water broke.  Au natural. 

My contractions came fast and hard after that.  I was not prepared. I was supposed to experience small contractions, increasing in length and pain.  Then my water would break.  Not mine.  Mine came fast, hard and with ZERO patterns.  When I was asked to time them by my Midwife we couldn't.  There was no pattern, no breaks.  With each contraction I saw my hopes for a natural birth going out the window.

I wanted to labour in the water.  This was in my birth plan.  My birth plan was never reviewed or discussed during my labour.  When my water broke I couldn't take a bath.  That was my plan.  I didn't know what else to do.  My stress level grew. 

Long and short of my birth story: My husband and Mom went into protective mode.  They couldn't bear to see me in pain.  My sister was there as my cheerleader but having never experienced labour herself couldn't relate to the pain I was experiencing.  Emmett was finally born by Caesarian Section.  I had every drug in the book pumped into my body.  I did not get to hold my son right away (Craig did get skin on skin which I am thankful for).

My Midwives were amazing.  They knew my desire for a natural birth and they supported me.  They also knew this was getting hard and reassured me that if I needed an epidural it wouldn't have been the end of the world.

What I truly needed was a support person.  Someone experienced and trained.  I needed a doula.  Unfortunately I didn't know that I needed one until after the fact. 

I needed resources.  Other options.   Too be more informed of the choices that I had while I was labouring.  Resources my medical staff were too busy focusing on their job – get baby out- to take time to explore.

I won't even touch on my experience with breastfeeding my baby.

While my O.B. was amazing, she was there to do a job.  She had a full schedule.  I truly believe had I not been in the post-partum care of my Midwives I would have suffered from post-partum depression.

I grieved Emmett's birth and the events that followed for weeks.  I couldn't go to playgroups at first because I tear up every time I saw a Mother Breastfeeding her child.  My heart sunk hearing of others natural, drug free births.  Even those that had medicated vaginal births bothered me.  I cried daily to myself, to my husband about something that I didn’t have the power to change.

My son's head was too large for my birthing canal.  There is NOTHING that could have changed the outcome of my birthing experience, nothing.  His head was right there for hours.  It should have been quick and simple according to my nurses.  A Caesarian was the ONLY way to safely get my child out.  Finally, 6 months after his birth, I had accepted that. 

Now, I enjoy telling the story of Emmett's birth.  I enjoy hearing of others experiences.  One day everything just switched.  I could handle this now.  I stopped staring at Mother's Breastfeeding their children.  It was okay that they could and I couldn't.  Having a Caesarian and not being able to breastfeed did not make me a bad Mother.  I was a good one and now I finally knew it.  I wouldn't let anything hold me back from loving and caring for my child.

I had toyed with the idea of becoming a Doula immediately after his birth.  At the time I figured it was a wild idea spurred by my unpleasant experiences.   Still, I bookmarked the pages on becoming a Doula, workshops, trainers, references, etc….just in case.

Jump forward to now.  I know that I need to help women through labour, birth and postpartum.  I need to have references, tools, plans and knowledge to help these women cope with whatever their birthing experience presents to them.  I need to be the woman, companion and support that I should have brought to the delivery room with me. 

I belong to an amazing online support group with other December Mom's.  We come from all over North America.   Their encouragement and support has allowed me to make this decision.  My husband's unwavering love and encouragement of my dreams has led me here.    My experiences with my son have inspired me to do this.

I don't know where this will lead me in the future.  I know it can take years to gain the experience I need to be successful as a Doula.

Yesterday I started the process to becoming a certified Doula.  Yesterday it scared the hell out of me to take this on.

Today I know that it is the right decision.  Today I am excited for what the future holds.   Today I know what I want to be when I grow up…

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weekend Recap - In advance!

I usually do a recap of our weekend events.  Not this weekend! 

We have a crazy busy weekend ahead of us, full of lots of family fun!  However, I won't be blogging about it in a weekend recap.  Instead I will quickly share our plans now!

Today is my Birthday - yay!  Happy Birthday to me!!  I don't actually get excited about my birthday.  This year isn't any different...butttttt....we are heading to Great Wolf Lodge and Niagara Falls tomorrow!  So I guess I'm excited about that ;).

Today we are heading down to the waterfront (weather permitting of course) for some fun at Twelve Ladies in a Tent.  Maybe a visit with my family too!

So why am I not blogging about my weekend and telling you about the things we are doing now?  I have a few good blogs coming up this week that's why!  I just won't have time!  You can expect:

1.  My review on bringing a baby to Great Wolf Lodge. 
2. How to strip diapers (it isn't as dirty as it sounds I promise).
3. I got my notification that my new dipes are enroute!!  I will either be reviewing them, writing on how to prep charcoal bamboo dipes (also not so scary) or maybe both!!

Of course, no blog is complete without a few pictures.  So here they are!

FINALLY prepped Emmett's new Tots N Bots CD!  How cute is he?!

Emmett walking with his Aunt Marianne (loving known as Aunt M) at Craig's ball game last Monday.
And now I'm off to enjoy my delicious smelling Birthday Breakfast Craig is cooking...smells amazing!!  Happy Weekend Friends!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Even MORE fluff mail is coming my way!

I don't want to make this blog entirely  about cloth diapers but I am so excited I just couldn't wait until Tuesday to share!

I say it all the time but I truly do have too many cloth diapers!! 

And now...I have 3 more on the way! 

In pursuit of a diaper that would stand up to Emmett's 10-12 hour, heavy wetting nights I ended up here. 

My initial attraction was to the Charcoal Bamboo cloth diaper.  These little babies are supposed to offer mammoth sized protection overnight! 

Next, I feel in love with this print...of course Emmett had to have one!


Thirdly, these guys are fricken funny!!  Their wicked sense of humour is plastered all over their site!  We all need a chuckle when dealing with poop! 

They are local to me, well close enough.  I love me a good local diaper!

Finally, and this was the clincher.   For every 3 diapers purchased at the end of the month they will donate 1 diaper to a family in need.  They also hold themselves accountable in their blog.  Amazing.  Best reason to shop there!

Now...I sit and wait for my dipes to show up so I can review, review, review!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Product Review: Glowbug Cloth Diapers

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation or free product for this review.  These opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the company.

This citrusy sweet diaper holds a dear place in my heart...a diaper really??  Yup.  It was our very first cloth diaper.  One lovely, one sized, pocket diaper.
I had hear so much about this local company but no one I knew had tried them out.  I was hesitant to purchase such a large quantity of diapers (they are sold in package of 12 for $150 which includes a coordinating wet bag and inserts) without first trying one out.  Fortunately a limited edition diaper came out around that time so I snatched one up!
The day my very first fluff mail arrived I was over the moon.  I took that diaper everywhere to show too people.   Yup, the crazy pregnant lady and her diaper.
I immediately fell in love and ordered a boy package!
Just mere weeks after my diapers arrived Glowbug announced that they would be dropping the old patterns and releasing twelve new boy designs!!  I patiently waited each day for close to 24 days as they showed  a new print a day on facebook - and cursed each day a girl pattern was released!  I should note - I was still just pregnant at this point and already obsessed with fluff mail!
As we had purchased the remainder of our stash from other brands I decided I didn't need another 12 diapers no matter how cute they were.
Fortunately Glowbug knew the way to my heart!  They soon had a promo - buy a package and get a booster pack (6 dipes) free!!  Heck ya!!  This Mama put in her order!
My Glowbug stash is now 26 diapers (and growing)...
I am so passionate about these guys, I could gush about the company all day.  Okay, now onto the review!
Glowbugs are an All in One, One Sized Pocket Diaper - the blue monkey dipe is set on the smallest setting, the robots are on the largest.

Amazing design feature on these pocket dipes - the snap!
You simply unsnap the liner from the dipe and it will agitate out in the wash!  Most pocket diapers require you to stick you hand in and pull out the soiled liner prior to washing.

This picture shows a Glowbug vs a Bumgenius 4.0
Each is stuffed with 2 liners for added overnight protection.
Note how much bulkier the Bumgenius is. 

The Glowbugs are open at each end which allows for easy stuffing as well! 
I forgot to take a picture but the new design also features a hip snap!  This keeps the diaper from "winging". 
They are a great deal at $150 for 12 boy or girl patterns (and I've read on their facebook page that they are coming out with a unisex pack!).  Including a wetbag!  That is only $12.50 a diaper!  For a great piece of fluff that compares (and I prefer) to a $25+ Bumgenius!
Prep is super easy!  One wash and dry to increase absorbency and seal the PUL and you are ready to go.
The ONLY negative is I find the back flap moves up easily when the diaper is on the smallest setting pushing the liner up onto babies skin.  However, as he got bigger I find this isn't a problem anymore (or I've figured out how to fix it!).
These diapers are truly amazing as are the kind, friendly women behind this great company!
Make sure you check them out!