Wednesday, October 30, 2013

...and the winner is!

Amber Rickey!

Everyone please stay tuned for some future giveaways from AppleCheeks and some other fabulous companies. Thanks so much to everyone who entered and for liking my page, please share with your friends so I can get some more interest and get some more swag for you guys. Love you all <3

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Girl Guides of Canada History

 
This weekend I had the honour of participating in Girl Guides of Canada ceremony and that has prompted me to go in a little different direction with today's post. Today it is all about me, my past and honestly, Evie'e future. I have been a member of Girl Guides of Canada for dozens of years and don't see an end to my membership.  This is more of a pictorial essay as it is difficult to recall specific memories from that far back. Evie has about 4 years before she can be officially registered, but she has already attended countless meetings and camp.


I joined GGC as a Brownie as soon as I could, when I was six. and though I remember very few specifics I do remember it was the "done" thing back then, as almost every girl in my class joined as well. We did all the typical things including camping and service and I earned badges by the dozen and filled the outside of my badge scarf completely on the outside and even had some sewn on the inside.



Then at nine I progressed to Guides. Again it is pretty fuzzy in my memory, but my experience continued as before with program material, camping, community service and fun. I had the honour of being first s circle seconder and then leader and as before earned a ridiculous amount of badges.





















Pathfinders followed in suit. I easily remember a lot of the fun I had at Pathfinders. As a girl directed program it allowed us to plan some awesome events and generally plan some awesome stuff, while of course earning all the required badges. It was at the completion of the program that I was awarded my own Canada Cord over 10 years ago by the Lieutenant Governor.











As a Cadet I served with 3 different younger units so it was an easy transition to a leader when I was old enough. I have so far lead groups of Sparks, Brownies and am currently with a group of Pathfinders, and this is what lead me to the ceremony this weekend. I proudly got to take my first Pathfinder to receive her own Canada Cord. I thought I remembered little about the ceremony, but once we got there it all rushed back to me. It was so strange to be on the other side this time. I am looking forward to the next few years when I will hopefully be returning with other girls.







I am so excited to register Evie for Sparks in a few years, but until then she will have to remain a future member <3

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sleepsacs/Spoil her with Aden & Anais


When she was really small Evie NEEDED to be swaddled to sleep. However she was a little Houdini! She broke every swaddle that a nurse put her in. We ended up using various Velcro swaddle sacs, if only we had known about swaddle blankets. She used to worm and worm and try to pull at her soother if she got her hands out (she didn't understand that once it came out it would be gone!) we use to have to hold her hands down in the swaddle to get her to calm down. Bedtime was a real fuss and ordeal for everyone involved, very unpleasant.

Thankfully we eventually transitioned her out of a swaddle and into a plain sleep sac. It seems that just about every association recommends a sleep sac these days over a blanket for safety reasons. Obviously we were not so strict about having blankets in bed, but I like the reassurance that she will always be covered no matter how much she moves.

 Last winter we had a really pretty polyester one that seemed to work well enough, but was nothing to get excited about. However recently Evie has been overheating in her fuzzy pyjamas (I don't blame her, I hate polyester too) so I knew we needed a new solution.

I had looked at the Aden & Anais sleep sac last winter, but an immediate need caused us to buy local instead of placing an order. The winter weight model (cozy slumber) is made with 4 layers of breathable muslin, so it will keep her warm without overheating. This year I planned ahead! I spied a sale in august and ordered. Since I was getting a good deal I also splurged and ordered her a dream blanket.

Now I am soooo jealous! I knew I wanted a Daydream for myself, but now I am sure, it is sooooooo soft and comfy. They say that Aden and Anais only gets softer as it is washed, but it is pretty amazing right out of the packaging too. Mommy may be stealing it from her when the opportunity arises!

If you are like me and have been bitten by the Aden &Anais bug, you can find them on their website or at  many baby stores.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flashback: First foods

As some of my real life friends have babies approaching the six month mark, I am reminded of our own introduction to food. I am have done a layman's amount of research, and there are some seriously different opinions out there! As usual I lean towards a more natural opinion but am definitely not an extremest, so here is our story laced with one woman's opinion.
Evie was breastfeed exclusively until 6 months and was then fed whole foods. I have a strong opinion about the uselessness of rice cereal, but it was long ago that I did my research, so I cannot directly quote, but this is the gist: Our culture is rife with people craving sweets and refined carbs (guilty!), and it seems logical that we would be drawn in later life to that which we first tasted. Refined carbs are essentially empty calories and provide no great amount of nutrition for babies or ourselves. We chose to feed her superfoods instead. Her first foods were avocado which is rich in vitamins and "good" fat and sweet potatoes which are also vitamin rich, she loves both of them still. She then progressed to eating fruits, vegetables, meats, and yes carbs in balance.

Thankfully however her days of purees were short lived. We used what I affectionately called "baby-led weaning light",  basically she was spoonfed a portion of something before dinner and was then offered pieces of whatever we were eating to amuse herself while we ate. Very quickly she wanted nothing to do with the purees and fancied herself grown-up enough to eat whatever we were having. Honestly it was a great relief, no more babybullet!

Our only setback came when we introduced dairy. We eventually determined that she was most likely intolerant of the cows milk proteins. The defining clue between this and a lactose intolerance, was that she tolerates breast milk well. Apparently there is are different proteins and different levels of proteins in cow vs human milk. Happily though, at 20 months she is now able to tolerate well milk products, it was as the Doctors suggested, a temporary problem.

Overall I thought we had a great first foods experience and would do it exactly the same the next time! Now just for fun a flashback picture to messy Evie enjoying her first meal of sweet potatoes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Evie 12-18

Every 6 months I try to make a photo book for Evie. I am a self proclaimed Shutterfly master at this point. They of course offer the drop and go style auto placement book, but that is not my style! I love to twiddle and fix and change everything to my taste and the customize option allows you to literally do anything with your book!
My number one tip is to follow them on Facebook, almost everyday they post a short term coupon code, and it is usually a great deal. I usually make up my books ahead of time so I can pounce on the deals.
Anyway, please enjoy a photo journey through the first half of her second year!

Shutterfly offers exclusive layouts and designs so you can make your book just the way you want.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What is it going to be!!!!

Sooooo the amazing AppleCheeks month is coming to a close :( . Tonight's reveal is the last one for a little while. I must admit I am way more excited about this one than the last two, I have no good reason to be but I am. Maybe I have a psychic premonition of it's fabulousness! It is driving me nuts to see the package, even more than the others, I had to put it away (after I took one last picture!)

So far the hints I have heard are
-It is going to "go" with winging it
-It might just be Ilana's new "favorite"
-It is probably not girly ( I understand why, but I can still hope right!?)

I am also being a crazy lady and am all prepped for a stash shot as soon as it is open! I can't wait until it is released on the 21st so I can even out my stash! Having only one of a colour throws off the whole balance (also my sz1 EC is at my friends house :( so it will be absent)
Also this whole ABC shizz is killing me! Everytime I see a pic I get these giddy belly butterflies! I swear it must be mommy heaven over there, my life for a flight to Vegas lol.
Anyway this post has just been one big belch of excitedness but maybe if you are as excited as me you might have made it all the way to the end! And because you did I will reward you with a teaser pic:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Giveaway!

As I am sure you know my favorite brand ever is AppleCheeks. Well now it is time to make it your favorite too! One of the most universally useful products they make is the all-purpose storage sac. Small enough to fit almost anywhere, you can use them for a million different uses. My personally favorite use is to organize my diaper bag, 4 different colour bags fit nicely in the 4 pockets and lets me find everything in a moments notice.

However there are a ton of other uses:


-they fit a single AppleCheeks diaper nicely








-snacks



 
-wipes and spray carrier














-take-along toy carrier














-extra clothes










So if you think you might have ever need a something to organize any of these things, you should enter my giveaway! This is for one al-purpose storage sac in a surprise colour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 3, 2013

First post on my own domain! Our breastfeeding journey


Here we are... at a big milestone! Reset your favorites, because I am movin’ on up to my own domain name! So welcome for the first time to www.ekesmom.com! I hope that I will have some very exciting stuff going on around here soon!


In honour of  “World Breastfeeding Week” I am going to share with you our breastfeeding journey. We had a very rough start but with lots of persistence and tears we made it through that first month and everything has been uphill since then.


If you scroll waaaayyy back to my oldest posts you will find sprinkled in the day-by-day updates on our breastfeeding progress, but here is the cliff notes version. Our breastfeeding challenges began when Evie was about 4 days old.  My milk had not yet come in (most likely due to the anesthesia I was given during her birth) and this was a contributing factor in her admission into the NICU. She was diagnosed with a 12% weight loss, mild dehydration and jaundice. This in itself might not have become a breastfeeding problem, but within 24 hours she began to prefer a bottle. She was released and we brought her home along with a hospital grade pump. The root of her problem was that she would immediately work herself into a frenzy because she didn’t want to wait for let-down. We persevered and thankfully after a few weeks we were able to return the blasted pump as we were finally having success breastfeeding! While we were struggling, I remember being incredibly confused and angry. It seemed viciously ironic that I, a strong advocate for breastfeeding, might not be able to make the relationship work. But I can say that I now have a massive respect for pumpin’ mamas! I hated it!

After the first month things became MUCH less dramatic. We have had very few problems. She went through a short biting phase after the appearance of each of her first few teeth. It was very frustrating for a little while but after seeking some help from friends, we got it sorted out. Beyond that it has been pretty smooth sailing.


We are now 19 months in and I realise she is slowly weaning herself. She rarely breastfeeds anymore, except at naptime or during night. But I am not too worried about her dropping it completely anytime soon as she it seems to be the only way she can calm down enough to allow herself to fall asleep.

I always wondered how I would feel nursing a toddler, but honestly I think I would feel strange not nursing her. Why would we stop something that she likes so much and is not hurt (on the contrary it is helping!) anyone? I have been seeing mixed support for full term breastfeeding lately. For example my Doctor, while not overtly against, is somewhat puzzled by our choice. But the public nurse breezed right by the subject as if it was completely unremarkable. I was very pleased and proud to be a Canadian today when I first saw this ad circulating around Facebook.
I have recently been seeing a wonderful shift in society’s feelings towards nursing of any duration. Of course there will continue to be naysayers, but I feel there is an overall improvement in public awareness.

Our breastfeeding journey has such a great experience. I am sooooo thankful that we persevered through our difficult beginning and stuck it out. At the risk of sounding cliché, it has been such a powerful experience that I would gladly repeat over and over again taking both the good and the bad.