Friday, April 29, 2011

Home Made Baby Wipes

In my quest to go 'green' and 'non-toxic' when my first child came along, I put her in cloth diapers. I also made my own home made baby wipes. I plan to do the same with our second child. I found a great recipe that I thought I'd share with you. It's pretty easy and rather inexpensive. Surely this will be a cost savings in the long run and I'll be sure to know I'm not rubbing chemicals on my baby's bum.

2 Tbsp Baby Wash (Natural / organic baby wash)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (I have also used Grape Seed Oil)
2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
2 Cups Water

Mix well in spray bottle.  When you are ready to wipe the bum, spritz homemade solution on the cloth wipe and spread around on the cloth wipe.  Clean your baby's bum and toss the wipe in the diaper pail with the dirty cloth diaper.  You can also pre-make wipes with this solution and keep them ready in a container or in a wipes warmer container.  Just make a days worth at a time to avoid the wipes drying out or getting a musky smell.

Why Tea Tree Oil:
Tea Tree Oil has great disinfectant properties and will also give this solution a nice aroma.

Monday, April 25, 2011

There's A New Kid In Town

We are pleased to announce the newest arrival to our family. Benjamin Thomas Raftis was born April 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm. He was a big boy, weighing in at 10.3 lbs and 21.5" long.

Mommy & Benjamin

As most deliveries, our delivery did not go as planned. After several ultrasounds showing his shoulder in the way and the prediction that he was going to be at least 10 pounds (big for my little 5 foot frame), the doctors recommended a c-section. This was also recommended because our first delivery with Isabella ended up with shoulder dystocia, which lead to a rough delivery and lots of blood loss.

In the end, our ultimate goal was to have a healthy mom and baby. So we agreed to the c-section. I was definitely nervous. But I had great doctors and nurses looking after me. They did an exceptional job, and my husband kept me calm through the procedure. I also have an awesome doula named Becky from Birth Roots Doula Collective. She has been such a support for both my husband and I. She has been supportive, kept us calm, kept us informed of our options pre and post delivery, and is still there for us whenever we have questions.

Proud papa!
Surprisingly I've been recovering much better this time around, even though I had a c-section. With our first child, I had a 36 hour delivery and was in recovery for over 8 hours before I even got to see my daughter due to the blood loss. I pretty much had no energy and was on bed rest for over a week. This time around I wasn't tired from a long delivery, they kept my blood loss under control and I never had any nursing issues. He latched right away!  Anyone who's had difficulty with nursing will know how frustrating and emotionally draining this can be.

So even though things didn't go as planned, it all worked out in the end. I have a healthy baby boy who his big sister adores! It's hard to believe it's been a week and a half already. It just seems like yesterday I was counting down the days on the calendar waiting for his arrival.

Big sister Bella visiting her baby brother for the first time.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm Ready When You Are

Due date has come and gone. I'm now 8 days overdue. I'm now ready. Psychologically, emotionally, and physically. The baby room is ready. I'm checking off my 'to do' list. But there's just one problem, baby isn't quite ready.

I was really anxious a few weeks back. I wanted him out. I was tired, moody, and disappointed that I was going to have another baby past my due date. But then I realized that this 'attitude' wasn't helping me at all (or those around me). I was fortunate to come across an article in Lamaze Magazine called 'It’s (Not) a Date'. After reading this article I decided to adjust my attitude. I had to stop focusing on the 'date' and more on 'it will happen when we are ready.' I reminded myself that I was anxious with my first pregnancy, took the castor oil, did the sweep, got induced and took the drugs..... and after 36 hours of labour, I saw my daughter for a minute before getting whisked away because of my excessive bleeding, only to see her again 8 hours later. I always had a gut feeling that I rushed something that mother nature probably had a handle on, and if I would have stayed patient I could have had a whole other labour experience.

I post a lot on momstown Winnipeg's Facebook fan page about being pregnant and asked mom's to share their delivery experiences. I love hearing stories from other moms. A few mom's recommended Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. I have been reading up a lot on Ina May but never read the book yet. So I decided to run out and buy the book this past Friday. I figured I had time to read it since it didn't seem like baby was coming any time soon. I highly recommend this book to any expecting mom. Some stories are extreme and not my 'style' but overall the message is about making childbirth a positive, natural and joyous experience. This book has reassured my decision to let nature take it's course, and is really helping me to see labour as a positive experience. Not the dreaded, painful labour that we Westerners have come to expect.

Ina May Gaskin
I also have a Doula this time around.  She's wonderful. She is already helping me stay calm, reminding me to relax and enjoy the pregnancy and my time with the little baby inside me. Between her and my wonderful, supportive, patient husband I think we have a handle on things.

I have had a lot of people comment on how relaxed I am. I'm not complaining about the pain, I'm not as moody, not full of anxiety about being overdue, and I look and feel great. I wasn't like this a few weeks ago. I'm a strong believer that your mind and attitude are more in control of your body then we give ourselves credit for. I'm happy, healthy, excited for delivery, more full of energy, and ready whenever he is.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last Trip As Family of Three?

The momstown mama is known to have severe 'Mama Guilt' syndrome.  I feel guilty when I go out at night for a few hours (and my daughter is usually already in bed). I feel guilty if I don't take my daughter outside on a beautiful sunny day. I feel guilty when daddy tries to put her to bed and she's crying for mommy to do it. And I feel guilty that my daughter will no longer be the 'only child', the 'centre of our universe'.

I'm really happy to be expanding our family and can't wait to meet our little guy. I know my Bella will love her little brother and he will love her back. But I'm also pretty certain she'll be a little jealous. She won't even let me hold my nieces without crying to be held too. She's a mama's girl and I secretly love it! Half way through my pregnancy I started feeling guilty and a little sad that my daughter will no longer be the centre of our universe. Is this normal? I fight these feelings all the time. I have days where I think she'll be so excited to have a sibling, and days I think about how we'll never be just the two of us. She is attached to me by the hip. As a stay-at-home / work-at-home mom she is with me 24/7.

So our due date has come and gone. The day after our due date, I thought it would be great to enjoy a family outing, our last outing as a family of three. I wanted to ensure Bella spent some quality time with us before our attention shifted to a newborn baby boy. We had so much fun!

So what better way to spend the day in Winnipeg then go to one of our great city's most popular tourist attractions, The Forks. We started off with breakfast at The Pancake House. Good food as always, and we couldn't resist but get the Giant Apple Pancake to share (on top of our own breakfasts).

Then we walked around the shops, letting her push the stroller and wander around without holding our hands like a 'big girl'. Then we went to the Johnston Terminal to check out the "Explore Manitoba Centre'. This was her favourite part and we spent a good hour there.

Silly Bella Bop loved watching us take turns putting our heads on different bodies.

Singing one of her favourite songs 'row, row, row your boat' while she sat in the canoe.

A true prairie girl, riding the tractor. 

Checking out the big Polar Bear with daddy, growling back without fear!

We had a great time and I feel much better knowing I spent some good quality time with my daughter. I'll always remember this day. What seems to many as a typical Sunday morning meant so much to a little prairie girl and her mom.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Egg"stravagant Easter in Winnipeg

March has come and gone and still no baby. Looks like he'll be an April baby. Hard to believe it's April with all the snow still on the ground!

But that's okay. April is one of my favourite months! It's all about spring cleaning, flowers, and of course Easter! And what better way to start teaching my daughter all about Easter then with some Easter crafts!

So I checked out's blog for some inspiration and ideas. I found a craft that was perfect for my 2 year old toddler and was absolutely adorable! It's called the 'Egg Carton Easter Chicks'. You can find the instructions for this craft and lots more on the arts and crafts blog

Some other great craft ideas to check out:  

Cotton Ball Bunnies
"Stained Glass" Egg window hanging
Old Fashioned Egg Painting
Easter Egg Mosaic
101 Uses for Plastic Eggs 

We can't wait to launch here in Winnipeg. Look out for our Easter Egg Hunt next April! But until then, here are some great local events around Winnipeg to celebrate spring and the Easter season as a family: 

Fort Whyte Alive has an Easter Craft taking place Saturday, April 23 from 1 pm - 3 pm. They are also putting on an Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 24 from 12 pm - 2 pm. The cost for the Egg Hunt is $3/child, Members: free. They also have a brunch before hand that cost $26.50, Members are $23.50 and children under 10 cost $15.

The Western Canadian Aviation Museum is putting on an "Egg"stravagant Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 23 from 10 am - 12 pm. $5/adult, $2 for members, children under 2 are free. 

Some more great events that I wanted to share with you:

West Portage YMCA - When: Sat, April 16 from 11am – 1pm 
Elmwood YMCA - When: Sat, April 16 from 1pm – 3pm 
YMCA Downtown - When: Sun, April 17 from 6pm – 8pm