Friday, 15 September 2017

Wear and Tear

 I have been using my cloth diapers for over two and a half years, and for ten months I have been using them on two kiddos.  So this is 3 years of constant use, washing every few days, lots of pee and poop touching the diapers.  And although I love cloth diapers, all this use is hard on them.  If you had a shirt that you wore once every 3 days, and washed every time you wore it, it probably wouldn't stand up for 3 years.

So then why do I get so sad when my diapers start to wear out?  Plus, I can't forget that half of them were bought used.  When I think about all this it's actually amazing that they haven't completely fallen apart.

The diapers that I bought used, which the above two were part of, had the elastics replaced when I bought them.  Well those elastics have stretched out a bit over time.  They really needed replaced awhile ago again, but although it's not a difficult process, it's a time consuming one.  And ain't nobody got time for that.  Well now I'm trying to find the time.  The diaper on the left is before I changed the elastics and the diaper on the right is afterwards.  Look at the difference!  It makes me so happy when the legs are tight again and poor little Parker's pee won't run down his leg anymore!  (Cooper doesn't have this problem cause he has thunder thighs.)

So the process is just starting but I'm really hoping that over time I can get all of these elastics replaced.  The photo below (although blurry) is an elastic that I pulled out of the diaper, and a new elastic that I cut to the right size to put into the diaper.  What a difference!

So here's hoping that this prolongs the life of my diapers! 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

August Books

I technically finished 5 books this month, but since a couple of them were read on our holidays, I included them in last months book list.  

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Lucy Lang comes from a long line of widows.  She lost her husband at the age of 24 after 8 months of marriage.  6 years later, she thinks that she's ready to move on.  She wants to get remarried and have kids.  She wants someone that she can basically tolerate, no passionate love, because it hurts too much when you lose that.  But is that enough?  

This book was great.  It's a good chick lit book and was easy to read, but entertaining.  I really enjoyed the characters and could understand the hesitation that Lucy had about certain relationships.  I've heard good things about Kristan Higgans and look forward to reading more of her books.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

A boy is killed by a hit and run driver.  Jenna's world has changed.  She runs away and is clearly hiding from everything.  She starts her life over again, but can she really start over when she's hiding her past?

I didn't know where this book was going for the first half of it, but it still held my interest.  There were a couple of parts in it where I was shocked.  This is one of those books where I can't say much more because I don't want to give anything away!  It was really good though and I would definitely recommend it!  I wouldn't say it's a heavy mystery where the who done it is all consuming, that's more just a small part of it.

All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark

Maybe I have just read a lot of good books lately, but Mary Higgins Clark isn't thrilling me like she used to.  Or maybe it's that I've read like 30 of her books an they start to get to be the same.  Or maybe it's that she's like 85 and slightly losing her touch.

I definitely didn't hate this book.  It's kind of like The Woman in Cabin 10.  A bunch of people are on a high end cruise.  The main character is working on the cruise as a lecturer (much like in The Woman in Cabin 10 where she was a journalist).  Somebody dies.  Who did it?  It was good.  I read it in like 2 days.  Typical Mary Higgins Clark!  If you like her, then of course you are going to read this, and you will enjoy it.  But it will quickly leave your mind when you start your next book.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Lions and Tigers and Bears

On Labour Day weekend, we went to the Brantford Zoo as a family.  It was something I had been meaning to do all summer and never ended up finding a day that worked for me and somebody to go with me.  Then all of a sudden I realized that Ryan could go with us on a weekend!  I get so used to doing activities during the week that Ryan doesn't always get to go places like this with us.

The Brantford Zoo is pretty small, so it really only took us a couple hours.  But it was great for a kid Parker's age.  Much more doable than the Toronto Zoo and closer for us too.

We packed a picnic lunch and ate it while watching the animal show.  We saw lions, baboons, monkeys, kangaroos, zebras, deer, tigers and more!  

Friday, 8 September 2017

Preschool - Here We Come!

Parker started preschool this week!  It's a big deal and it's not I guess.  I guess it's a big deal because it's larger class sizes than he would get in daycare and probably a bit more structured.  But he has been in daycare before and will be going back, so it's not like he's never left my side.

That being said, there was a little bit of a separation issue when I was dropping him off because for the past 10 months he has either been with me or family that he knows well.  So he seemed very confused that mommy and Cooper weren't staying with him.  He wanted me to play on the slide and with the diggers.  Then the teacher got out some trikes and he got on and he could care less about me.  

When I was talking to him about going to preschool the other night he would say "ride school bus".  I don't think anyone told him he was going to ride a school bus, so he put that together on his own.  Luckily he forgot about it and didn't seem too upset that we got him to school in the van.

When I picked him up (2.5 hours later...see it's not a huge deal!) he was sitting nicely in the circle and was excited to see me.  

I can't wait to see where this year takes him, the friends that he makes and the things that he learns!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Cooper at 10 Months

Oh my baby boy, how did we get here.  10 months is just so darn close to a year old.  You have learned so many new things this month and are really becoming a kid.  This month has been a blast for you as you become mobile, and a mess for mommy and daddy as you destroy everything in your path!

Teeth: 5 teeth now! Cooper cut 3 in the past week and a half.

Clothes: 6-12 months, although I think I'm stretching it and he could probably wear 12 months more comfortably.  How can he be wearing the clothes that Parker wore just a few months ago though?  I haven't even taken those clothes out of Parker's closet yet!

Diapers: Size 4

Sleeping: Good thing mama can some how run on very little and interrupted sleep.  He had a 5 day stretch where he only got up once, that was great.  Other than that he's been the typical 3-4 times a night.  Once again I will say that I really need to get him sleep trained...but I hate listening to him cry...

Eating: We've made huge progress in the eating department!  I was so worried that he would never eat solids and then he just started doing it.  He wants to eat everything he sees!  2-3 small meals a day.  If you can call them meals.  I usually just give him a little bit of what we are eating, or grapes, bananas, fries.  Still just getting him used to different food.  He likes yogurt as well.  

His nursing is all over the place now that he's eating more.  I would stay he more snacks and has short little nursing sessions throughout the day.  

He crawls!  He was very close when we were at the cottage a couple weeks ago and I said he would be doing it within the week, and sure enough a few days later he was crawling across the house.  It's a whole new world for him and as scary as it is having to make sure that he's safe and not getting into trouble, it's really fun to watch him discover everything.

He can sit himself up.  I think that's new this month...haha.  We've had a few nights where he sits up in bed and just cries, I don't think he knows enough to lay back down.  But it's really nice to generally not have to sit him up when he falls.  

He pulled himself from sitting to standing on a table once and hasn't done it again since.

-making noises with his mouth
-the bath
-when Parker sits on him - what a weirdo

-putting himself to sleep
-mom leaving the room

Sunday, 13 August 2017

My Little Sitter

If you have me on Facebook you've likely seen these.  But I need to share them everywhere, because I'm absolutely in love with them!

I had these Little Sitter pictures taken of Cooper at the end of June.  I have always loved the look and classiness of little sitter pictures.  Plus I love this stage that he's at where he sits up and can't move (far), and I wanted to document that.  

They turned out so well and I'm so glad that we have captured this moment in time with this dimply bummed boy.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Book Reviews Part 2

As promised, here are my next book reviews.  We were on holidays this month and I read 3.5 books while we were away, in 9 days!  

Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
I really enjoyed this book.  It's about a woman whose life is seemingly perfect.  She has the perfect husband, perfect marriage.  When they have company over everything goes perfectly.  But things aren't quite how they seem.  I don't want to give anything else away!  There were some plot holes that didn't really make sense, so if you are someone who woul be bothered by that it's maybe not the best book.  Other than that it was a really good read.
Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie, #7)
Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
I'm a big Lisa Gardner fan!  She brings Quincy and Rainie back for this book.  Quincy and Rainie are in the process of adopting a foster daughter, Sharlah, when a number of murders take place in which the main suspect is Sharlah's brother who she hasn't spoken to since he killed their parents (in defence of himself and Sharlah) years ago.  So not only are Quincy and Rainie trying to solve the crime and find the brother, but they are also trying to protect Sharlah as they don't know his motives and if he's coming for Sharlah next.  

This wasn't my favourite Lisa Gardner book and it took me a little bit to get into it.  However, if you like Lisa Gardner then it's still worth the read.  And if you haven't read Lisa Gardner before but like Mary Higgins Clark then I highly recommend them.

The Woman in Cabin 10
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
I knew absolutely nothing about this book before reading it, just that it was a Gone Girl type novel.  It's not really... This is about a journalist who is travelling on a small high end cruise line for a story.  Part way into the cruise she thinks that she witnesses a murder.  She then tries to figure out what happened and puts herself in danger in the process.  It wasn't as great as I was expecting it to be, but it was fine.  I'm always going to say that about a book if I finish it, because if I really hate it I likely won't keep reading it!  So this book was good, but definitely wasn't Gone Girl or Girl on the Train but I suppose is similar in style to them if you like that type of mystery book.

Before the Fall
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
I loved this book.  It starts off with a plane crash of a private plane leaving Martha's Vineyard.  There are 2 survivors, a man who swam to shore carrying a 4 year old boy.  Much of the book is from his perspective, but also goes into some detail about each of the people on the plane.  Why did the plane crash?  Everything seemed to be fine until it wasn't and so they are trying to figure out whether somebody wanted the plane to crash.

This book kept me interested from beginning to end and kept me guessing as to who had done it.  This was probably my favourite read of the month.

Forever, Interrupted
Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Definitely chick lit, but with a sad story.  Elsie married the love of her life and 9 days later he was hit by a car and killed.  So although it's a light read, it's a bit darker than they normally are.  The book alternates between Elsie and her mother-in-law's grief and the love story of Elsie and Ben.  I found the love story slightly annoying because it was a bit too perfect.  Real life isn't like that, is it?  I think that was the point though, they had a love like no other and it was taken from them so quickly.  I read this one in about a day though, so it kept me interested and was an easy beach read.  I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

The Matchmaker
The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
This is my first Elin Hilderbrand book.  I had heard that they are really nice, easy summer reads.  At first I thought it was a bit too fluffy for me, but then I got more into it.  

Dabney lives on Nantucket and is known for her matchmaking abilities.  She has matched 42 couples.  Then her long lost love comes back to the island and stirs everything up.  

As the book went on I definitely got more into it and it was a nice light read.  I will definitely be reading more of her books when I'm looking for something to read.  

Friday, 11 August 2017

Kingston Penitentiary Tour

During our holidays, we did a tour of the now closed Kingston Penitentiary.  This was by far my favourite part and the most fascinating thing that we did on our holidays.  So it deserves it's own post!

When I spoke to the people at the Penetentiary, they said that although kids are able to go on the tour, the groups are big and you want to be able to hear the tour guide.  Since we were in Kingston with my parents, we decided to offset our tours so that we didn't have to take the kids with us.

Basically, the tour was amazing, and much better than expected.  I would highly recommend it.
In the recreation yard

We had a tour guide who took us through the prison.  However along the way we stopped and spoke with 6 different retired prison employees.  There were a few guards, an ex-warden and a lady who I don't actually know what she did!  This aspect of the tour was amazing because you knew you were hearing from the people who really knew.  They were able to explain that area and tell us what that part of the prison was actually like.

While on the tour we saw things like the visitation rooms, the outside of the family visit houses, the main dome, a cell block, the short term segregation area, the shop, the yard and the gym in the Regional Treatment Centre.  We saw the long term segregation area from the outside of the cell block as well, but didn't go into it.  This is where a lot of the high profile criminals that you may of heard of were held.
The shower in Short term segregation - not much privacy
Family/conjugal visit houses

The tour guide and former guards aren't able to actually discuss any prisoners who are still alive, so if that's all you are interested in then this isn't for you!  They did tell us a few stories about escapes and such from prisoners who have died.  So when we saw long term seg they didn't tell us who had stayed there, but most people are aware that people like Paul Bernardo and Russell Williams have been in long term segregation.

In the short term segregation wing, an ex-warden spoke to us and he was by far the most interesting I found.  This was probably just because he really knew his stuff.  

In the dome, the guard talked about the 1971 riot which was also really interesting.
The main dome
Divided visitation room

I don't want to give it all away in case you plan on doing the tour.  I'm not sure how long they will be doing tours for as it seems that they have some plans for what to do with the penetentiary, so if you want to do it then I would try to do it as soon as possible!  If you can make a trip to Kingston there is actually so much interesting stuff to do there and it's totally worth the trip!
The Shop Dome
Inside the main gate
A cell block

A cell


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Touristing in Kingston

The second half of our holidays, we camped at Rideau Acres outside of Kingston.  I had originally planned on taking advantage of all the park had to offer, but we got so busy doing other things that we were barely there.  

The first night that we got there we did a Ghost Trolley tour through the city.  I enjoyed this, Ryan had his reservations.  We made stops at John A. MacDonald's grave.  Parker may of seen a ghost, but we will never really know!  The driver said that sometimes kids wave at a man and a dog at the gate.  So my mom told Parker to tell her if he saw a man and a dog.  A few minutes later as we were driving through the gate he pointed and said man and doggie!  Power of suggestion?  Maybe.  But he didn't really know that it was at the gate that he was supposed to see them, so I don't know!
The scariest stop was at the Rockwood Asylum.  It's an old mental institution that looks terrifying.  Basically anybody could be sent there for things that really didn't make them insane and they would do testing on them.  So they think that it is very haunted.  Whether it was all just stories, I don't know.

There were other ghost stories along the way as well.

The next day we did the Kingston Penitentiary tour.  This was definitely the highlight, but you will have to wait because it's getting it's own post!

After that we stopped at the Rideau Canal to watch the boats for a bit.  Ryan and Parker loved it.  My anxiety about Parker being so close to the canal was through the roof.  I tried to contain it but things like that make me really nervous!

The third day we went to Murney Tower, which are old small little forts that they built a few of around Kingston.  My kind of museum, short and sweet.

Then we did the Penitentiary museum.  We brought the stroller because we assumed that it would be accessible, and it wasn't.  So I didn't spend as long in there as I could of since Ryan had to wait outside.  It was neat though.  Not too big so you could do it fairly quickly.

Parker liked the looks of this moose at first, but once he got close to it he was terrified!
Later that evening we took the Wolfe Island ferry to Wolfe Island for dinner.  There isn't much on Wolfe Island and we were one car away from having to wait an extra hour for the ferry.  Dinner was delicious, but Parker was very unhappy at the restaurant, which is slightly stressful.  Once he got some food in his belly he was better.  But the ferry was fun for Parker, (and us).  It was very windy....

On our last day we did a Boldt Castle cruise with Rockport Cruises.  It was a lot of fun!  It was perfect time wise for the kids.  Half an hour on the boat, 2 hours at the stop and then another hour on the boat.  It broke everything up nicely.

We stopped for a picnic lunch while at Boldt Castle.  We actually probably could of spent another hour on the island as there were things that we didn't see.

The boys had a good time camping.  I love that we have the trailer and can make these summer memories.