Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Birth Story from Abel's Mommy

I have been blogging about my pregnancy to birth story to the months afterwards. Now its time to introduce another mommy, Renee!

Renee has been through a bit of a different journey than myself or some of you other mommies out there. Renee had to choose what was best for herself, her family and after finding out she was pregnant - what was best for her little mister, Abel. She is also a 20-something mom, that has fallen in love with a wonderful man who has stepped up and been a great dad for Abel!

Renee was living in Calgary, AB with a "man" she thought was right for her. Over several months he turned out to be someone different - let alone a father for Abel! She was brave enough to move back to Nova Scotia to be with her parents. Not long after moving back she found out she was pregnant! Read her story here. She knew her ex back in Calgary was no fit to be a dad and braved the entire pregnancy basically by herself. Of course her parents helped her along the way - doctor appointments, ultrasounds, comfort, advice, etc. Since it was Renee's first pregnancy, she wasn't sure what to expect! When was she suppose to hear the heart beat? first kick? Read her experience here.

As most mommy's to be choose to do as well, Renee went for her 3D ultrasound! It's an amazing thing to do if you ever get a chance. Not only do you get to hear the heartbeat (if you haven't already) but you get to see you little Missy or Mister moving around in there! Some packages come with a video as well as a few 3D pictures. Renee even opted for a streamed video link for family that wanted to see but couldn't make it to the actually appointment. Read her story about UC Baby here.
Renee shares her story of meeting her significant other, Josh. The man who has stepped up to be Abel's father, dad, her companion, her other half, her....her Prince Charming! They had been friends for several years - going to school together, hanging out together, everything! Reconnecting with Josh was her turning point. Read more here!

Baby Time! Renee went through an unconventional pregnancy so when it was time for baby to come she just couldn't wait for it to be over! Unfortunately, like most new mommies, her due date came and went. Great! she thought. She was induced and sat in the hospital for a WEEK as she waited for Josh to return back to Nova Scotia. He just barely made it through the winter storm on December 23rd and Little Mister Abel was born bright and early on December 24th. Read her birth story here.
For more stories about Renee, Josh and Abel, visit her blog Journey of a Mama*

Do you have an interesting birth story? or a blog that shares it already?
If you want to share your birth story on my blog too - email me here! Or feel free to leave your comments below :)

Her First Trip to the Zoo

Yesterday was Adriana's first trip to the Toronto Zoo! Even though she's still young, she had a blast people watching!!

Yes, people watching. She seemed more interested in watching all the people around her instead of the animals - except for the Hippos. They were splashing water at each other so it caught her attention. She could careless about the elephants 20 feet away or the Giraffes 10ft away. It was all about the people around her. She had big smiles for the whole day!!

My sister and I took her since we both hadn't been to the zoo in a few years. Okay so maybe it was more for Mommy and Aunt Jill's entertainment rather than baby but we all still had fun!I've been sounding out animals for a few weeks now with Adriana. Dog says Woof woof, Cat says Meow meow, Duck says Quack quack, etc etc. She gets a kick out of it! Unfortunately, none of THOSE animals were there! lol I thought she would be all about the monkeys but she didn't even notice them. She did notice the hippos in the water, splashing around and the Tigers. She would rather watch the people who are actually looking at the animals. Funny baby if you ask me.

Adriana and Mommy beside the Gibbons (aka monkeys)
Aunt Jill and Adriana by the Elephants - that she did not pay attention to!
Best Picture of the Day goes to - NOT watching the Giraffes!
Do we even look like Twins? Haha My Twin sister, Jill and I under the waterfall cooling off. Photo credit to the top of the stroller and a camera timer! Yay :)

When was the first time you went to the Zoo?
Do you remember it?
When do you plan to take your baby to the Zoo?
Do you think they will do the same as Adriana (people watch)?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Broken Sleep Kind of Night

For the first time, since Adriana was only a few days old, she woke up in the middle of the night. It wasn't for a bottle, or to have her diaper changed - she wanted her mommy. I am a strong believer that babies need to be able to settle themselves back to sleep; they need to be independent and Adriana is definitely that kind of baby. I normally can hear her fussing and I will go in and give her the pacifier, which usually puts her right back to sleep. This time it did not work. I looked at the clock - it read 4:11am. Great.
I go back into her room and quickly do a diaper change - just in case - lay her down and turn on her glowing seahorse musical thingy. Doesn't work. I stood by the door in the dark waiting to see if she settle herself but it doesn't look good for me. I walk over and she's sitting up smiling. I give in and pick her up with her blanket and start rocking her. I must have stood there for what seemed like forever! She would lay her head on my shoulder then jerk it straight up after 10mins. She laid her head on my chest and she seemed to settle better than when she was on my shoulder. Hallejulah.

By the time I got back into bed it was 5:30am and my boyfriend was just getting up to walk the dog before he was off to work. I decided to turn on the news for a bit and hopefully fall back to sleep while he was gone and it was quiet. Just as I'm about to drift back into LaLa Land....Tyson comes running in from his walk! I love him but he's a big dog which makes a lot of noise (Tyson = Rottweiler,7yrs old) I'm awake again, watching the news. It wasn't until after my boyfriend leaves for work I roll over on my belly, cuddle in with all the blankets in my big empty bed and fall back to sleep.

I am a very lucky mommy to have a really good baby most of the time. She was sleeping through the night after just 2 weeks (6hrs or more) and eats well - what more could I ask for? In the last 6 and a half months, she has grown and learned many things. I'm thankful for the time I have already spent with her and I definitely look forward to the rest of it!!
Adriana, Mommy and Daddy love you more than you will ever know :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Letting Men Become Dads

I came across this great article that really opened my eyes! Courtesy of Disney Baby. It talks about how new mothers are focused on being the best mom a baby could have but it points out that sometimes we don't let the men be the best Dads a baby could have. Throughout most of my pregnancy, I know I wondered what type of parent I was going to be. How I was going to do things, and how I was going to get through it. Selfishly, I never stopped once to think about how my boyfriend was going to be. Its so common when you're caught up with being pregnant - doctor visits, ultrasounds, blood work, eating healthy, exercise, baby shower, setting up the nursery, etc - that you sometimes forget about Dad in it all.
I wasn't sure how my boyfriend would feel about certain things so I kept him in the loop of it all. He knew he was more than welcome to come to the doctor visits, ultrasounds, etc but unfortunately they were scheduled in the early evening when he was still at work. We agreed it was better for him to make the money (so we can save for baby) rather than join me for my 15mins doctor appointment! Some people didn't agree with it, as they thought my boyfriend should be there through every little appointment, every test, everything.
When that big day came, there was one moment when my boyfriend held Adriana in the hospital room. He just stared at her for a long while, quiet. I didn't dare interrupt him during this time. I have made an assumption this was when his reality set in - he really was a Dad.
So Mommies out there....don't forget about the daddies. They are probably just as excited and anxious about the new bundle of joy coming. Those men need to learn how to be dads but we need to let them. Schedule baby and daddy time, whether its just to bathe them, put them to bed or feed them that last bottle. My boyfriend works long hours - starts at 630am and goes til 8pm - so bed time is his time with Adriana. We have a routine that works and he still gets to see his little girl before she's off to bed!
This is also the time Mommy pours herself a glass of wine.............

Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Make Your Home Greener

Have  you been doing your part to help make a greener world? Admittedly, I'm not perfect at it but I damn well TRY to do my part.  We are so stuck in our ways that we sometimes don't realize what impact it makes on the environment. Making these small choices now will also help my baby girl when she's older!

Here are a few suggestions to make your home greener:

1. Cleaners: In Canada, we produce more than 6million tonnes (1ton = 2204lbs) of hazardous waste each year. Lets do our part and buy greener products. Products that use non toxic chemicals such as my favourite - Green Works! by Clorox. This series of dirt fighting cleaning products are amazing around the house - especially if you have children. I ONLY use Green Works All Purpose cleaner to wipe down my daughters highchair after a good feed. For a list of ingredients Click Here.

2. Meatless Mondays: I have preached it before about the wonders of eating no meat for one day a week in my previous post, Introducing Meatless Mondays. Animal agriculture is responsible for a whopping 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. That’s more than all forms of transportation combined – on the entire planet! The emissions come from methane in animal manure, nitrous oxide from fertilizer used to grow animal feed, and the cutting down of forests for grazing land. For more information visit my post or go directly to the Meatless Monday website.

3. Follow the Three R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduce waste in your home like electricity by using fans instead of cranking the air conditioner in the summer. Or purchase a heated mattress pad or heated blanket for the winter months so your furnace can have a little break this winter. Even adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees can do absolute wonders to the environment - and you hydro bill! Reuse plastic grocery bags for lunches, picking up the dog poop, or purchase reusable bags and eliminate the plastic ones altogether! Recycling can be beneficial to everyone. If you're area doesn't have a recycling program, you can call around to scrap yards who will pay for your aluminum cans. It's not much but if you collect enough, it should give you a couple of bucks in your pocket.

4. Diaper Genie: Did you know in the GTA, you can recycle used diapers? Yup! It's listed as a recycled item on the Waste Management site. This is only if they're put in the blue bag or Diaper Genie cartridges.

How do you go GREEN in your home? Let me know some other ways to be greener in the home and I will post them next month!! You can comment or send me an email HERE. I can't wait to hear all your ideas!!!

Happy Friday Humour

It's Friday!! Wahooo

Here's some mommy humour for you to enjoy this afternoon. Only question is....where are the chores for infants?! lol

I hope everyone has a great weekend with friends and family. Cherish these moments whenever you can. As people grow up and move on, they become less frequent. Love, Hillside Mommy :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

*CONFIRMED* Adriana's First Word

A little while ago I posted about the possibility of hearing Adriana's first word. Well not that I'm surprised or anything but I finally have the proof!! Confirmed first word is........Da-Da! She says it loud and clear in the video.
I knew she was always a Daddy's Girl so it was no surprise that this was her first word. She hasn't totally made the connection to WHO da-da is but sometimes she does look at him when she says it. The times she doesn't look - I point to him or if he's not here I will say "Sorry, Da-da's not here hunny" I'm sure it won't take long for her to make the complete connection. Until then, we will continue to let her know where her Da-da is and praise her when she does know!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to Deal with a Heat Wave?

It has been disgustingly hot here! I'm not even sure how to deal with it some days. Between sitting in my underwear, naked baby rolling around in her playpen, big black (rottweiler) dog...I don't know how much we can take! Unfortunately, the downside to living in an older home is the lack of air conditioning. We make due with fans (big fans!) and trips to the mall - where the AC is on full blast. Thank you City of Mississauga lol
Lets see...the weather has been 28+ but feels like 40+. I looked at The Weather Network for my area and it looks like there is no end in site; hardly even rain! I'm not here to complain but more to learn how to embrace this sticky hot weather! Any suggestions from anyone south of me on how to deal with it?
I have a blow up pool for Adriana but its been too hot for us to sit in it! We have a brand new BBQ (bought for the boyfriend on Father's Day) used only once because its been too hot to BBQ! This is crazy. I even have 3 giant trees shading my big backyard and still the humidity is killing it.

There was a short thunderstorm yesterday, which one could assume that would help the humidity, but no. It was still 32C today or 89F. For the pass three days, its been 44C (or 113F) here in the city. We're beating heat records left, right and center!!

What do you do to cool down on a hot day?
Any good Popsicle recipes?
What's your favourite Freezie?
Have you tried to make homemade ice cream?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meatless Monday - Tuna Casserole

The best and probably the easiest way to start your Meatless Monday is with the good ol' Tuna Casserole! You really can't go wrong with this recipe. You can even change most of the ingredients for a different taste every time!

Grocery List:
2 cans of Light flaked tuna in water
frozen peas
Pasta - i used Catelli Rotini Smart pasta
2 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup
Shredded Cheese or bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375F.
Cook pasta until almost al dente - it will finish cooking in the oven. In a 9x13inch greased baking dish, add tuna, frozen peas, carrots(sliced), broccoli (bite size), Soup, and cooked pasta. Mix ingredients so everything is covered by the soup. Top with either shredded cheese, bread crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, crushed Pringles, or whatever you like to get that nice crust on top! Cover with tin foil and bake for about 20mins. Uncover and bake for additional 10mins to crisp the top some more.

Other Variations
You can play around with different pastas like Penne, macaroni, or even Wagon Wheels for the kids! With using different pastas, why not try different vegetables too! Asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant...even kick it up a notch with some things spicy! Add chili flakes or chopped jalapenos for something different!
This recipe beats fish sticks or tufo any day. The kiddies will really appreciate it too.

The bonus: you don`t even taste the tuna...unless you add more!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Her Possible First Words!

For the past few weeks, Adriana has been a non-stop chatter box! Mind you, none of it makes sense; just random baby talk. However, I can swear on my life that today I heard her very first attempt at an actual word. Her usual “Ra ra ra ra” sounded more like “Da da da da” :D

I don’t want to make a big stink over it, but I know what I heard! I’m waiting to see if she does it again and when she does…I will be jumping around, dancing, singing, lalalala! I have to admit that I am more excited to hear her say “Da da” first rather than “Ma ma.”  I want her to be a daddy’s girl – he will be the one to have fun with and make her laugh and I can be the one who teaches, disciplines, and consoles her. I want her to love her daddy, look for her daddy, run to her daddy when he gets home. I want him to have that special “Daddy’s Little Girl” relationship with her.

This is just the first step!

 Daddy and Adriana on Feb 5th, 2012 - Superbowl Sunday - 1mth old

Friday, July 13, 2012

Easy Breaded Chicken Dinner - MUST try!

For as many years as I can remember, I've always enjoyed cooking. Not baking but COOKING. I love finding new recipes but even more so, creating my own easy recipes. I don't watch much TV but when I do its between 3 channels: the news, HGTV or The Food Network!
I know that my ability to cook extravagant meals are probably rare these days since the baby but I promise this recipe will bring that right back...or close enough to it!

Grocery List:
Chicken Breast - Boneless, skinless (equals very healthy)
Minced Garlic (I buy in the little jars)
Italian Bread Crumbs
Knorr Sidekicks (I used Sour Cream and Chives!)

Preheat your oven to about 425F.
In a small mixing bowl, add 1tbsp/chicken breast of mayo and 1tsp of minced garlic - including the juice. Stir together and set aside. Put chicken in a shallow dish (use a glass pie dish if you wish!) coat each piece with the mayo garlic mixture. Pour your italian (or homemade) bread crumbs all over the chicken, making sure to really coat them well. The mayo will help it stick to the chicken :) Place each coated piece in a baking dish, cover with tin foil and put in the oven for about 30mins. After about 25-30mins, uncover and reduce heat to about 375-400F for an additional 10mins to crisp the chicken.

I served with steamed broccoli and Knorr Sidekicks! It was amazingly delicious and the chicken was so moist! Even my boyfriend loved it - and he doesn't like mayo ;)

Try this recipe and let me know how yours turned out! Send me pics HERE or just comment below.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Creative Canvas Idea

Adriana is our first baby, first grandchild on my side and first granddaughter on my boyfriends side! Needless to say in 6 months we have a MILLION pictures of her. At just a month old, we had a photoshoot done with her and ended up with over 350 pictures from that day alone. We are smart enough to keep them digital but have printed a few for frames and for other people.
Why not have those gorgeous first moments printed on canvas? Best Canvas  has quality materials and quick shipping so you can receive you prints in just a few days. They have the best prices I have come across in my shopping adventure!
Its very simple to order your canvas. Simply upload your selected picture (one at a time but order as many as you want!) Choose the available size, even choose to have an effect (like gray scale, sepia, or drawing) and accept. Taken directly from their website:
 If you are looking for versatile possibilities to let your favorite photos get the attention they deserve, you've reached your goal! Turn your most beautiful pictures into canvas pictures and transform them into a masterpiece of art. By choosing our service for canvas prints, you get the best quality for your photos canvas and prints, as we use vividly-coloured and lightfast ink. Additionally we work with artist canvas, which have a high amount of white and give your photos on canvas a natural and briliant look. For a small surcharge we offer, in addition to our 2 cm version, a 4 cm deep gallery stretcher frame. It'll let your photo on canvas look even more high-class. Furthermore you can enhance your photos on canvas by using our special effects, like pop-art, sepia or black and white. Of course you may change the effect anytime before putting the canvas print photo into your cart. Another way to customize your photo on canvas are different sizes of our canvasses that reach from 20 x 20 cm to 240 x 80cm. Our canvas printing is as easy as you can imagine! Just upload your photo, choose the format and print your pictures on canvas. If you have more than one favorite photo, check out our personal photo-calendar, that makes an ideal gift. Here, again, we score with brilliant printing quality, perfect workmanship and premium paper. We have the same quality standards for our photobook. Take a look at our photobook software and make your memories unforgettable! 

Here is their Price List, which has the best prices I have come across while searching for a canvas printing place.

I cannot wait for our picture to come!!!