Monday, November 4, 2013


Every year, Burford,Ontario holds a town wide garage sale. I found this chair for $20 and my husband bartered it down to $13. I am terrible at bartering. if it had been me bartering for this item, I would have ended up paying more than the offered price! But for $13 this is an amazing buy. Both my husband and I wanted a rocking chair, but I never wanted one of those typical know which ones I'm talking about. Then I found this and got it for very little. All it needed was a little TLC. 
I purchased some fabric at Ikea, some tacks at Walmart and some new staples for my staple gun at Home Depot. I mixed some old paint colours (pewter grey and a greenish teal). I started painting the chair and then came across a smallish problem. thepaint was covering fine on the entire chair except for one arm.... this red colour kept bleeding through...I swear I put like 20 coats of paint on that arm before it stopped bleeding through. I should have used a special oil primer first I guess but I got the job done and that's what's important...maybe.

Anyhow  I stripped the chair of the existing fabric,but kept the original padding, weaved some fabric for the back and this is the finished product. the tacks at the top are not quite symmetrical which is a little irritating but those darn things are so difficult to tack in without destroying each and everyone of them . 

I have also been busy working on somebaby/nursing gear for Simply Yellouw Designs.Those can be found here

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Wearing At Its Thriftiest.

Everyone is really big into baby wearing these days. I find that a really odd term to be honest; it sounds like you wear your childlike a piece of clothing. Finding the right carrier/wrap is almost as difficult as finding the cloth diaper that works best. Some carrier/wraps work for you and baby, some don't.  My first carrier was and ergo soft structure carrier. I still love this carrier, especially after I made the heart to heart insert for it so that my baby actually fits in it. but it's bulky, the type of bulky that gets in the way of trying to do work while cuddling. I also had a ring sling. I could not figure this thing out to save my life. I probably watched 25 different you tube videos showing detailed instructions on how to use a ring sling, but for some unknown reason to me, it wasn't working. I also have a Little Star sling that I found at a garage sale. I still haven't quite figured this one out either,but I don't dislike it as much as my ring sling. 
I really loved the idea of the Moby, but oh much fabric and it seems so complicated. Then I discovered the K'tan baby wrap/carrier: 2 loops and a sash, as simple as that. The K'tan is about $60 on line, but I like to make things for my self, so when I stumbled upon this great chunk of leftover fabric in the good ol' VV boutique (Value Village), I went for it and made my own K'tan style wrap,and it works great. it's comfortable for both myself and little Hans. In fact, he's asleep in it as I type. The wrap cost me a total of $1.50 and maybe an hour of work...but work that I enjoy.
for the loops, I measured the length from my shoulder to my hip X2, finished the edges of the fabric and sewed the narrow (20 inch wide) ends together and connected the two loops with a smaller loop. Then I made a sash which I did out of three one yard pieces of fabric, gradually narrowing the ends after I sewed all three pieces together. I also had a bit of left over fabric so I made a bag to hold the wrap when not in use. 
Here are some pictures, selfies in a mirror to be exact (at least it's not a bathroom mirror, give me some credit!)


I also started my family photo wall. I don't think I really need to describe it. Here's what it looks like so far:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Ergo Abyss

 A friend of ours generously donated her no longer needed Ergo  baby carrier. Three weeks after my son was born, my family wanted to go for a short walk by the river close to my parent's house. What a great opportunity to try out this new carrier. So we strapped the Ergo onto my husband and proceeded to place little Hans inside. it was like he disappeared far down into the abyss of this carrier. It's like those giant purses that some women carry around; you put your wallet in them, you know it's in there but you you can't see it and you'd have to reach quite far in to the bag to find it back. Somewhere in this carrier was my son.
We got home and you tubed the proper way to use the Ergo. It turns out that I needed an insert to properly hold a tiny baby. I went on line to see how much it costs/where to buy the insert for the Ergo baby carrier. Babies R' Us sells the Heart to Heart insert at a website price of $32.99, with tax ...~$37.00 so let's round that to $40. Do I want to pay that? No.
I searched kijiji and found several people selling them for roughly $25. Do I want to pay that? No. So I began to search the world wide web for a de-constructed view of this insert so that I could figure out how to make it myself. My searches seem to have brought up nothing but videos on how to use your Heart to Heart insert with your carrier. Then I hit the jackpot. I tried one last search because giving into just propping a rolled up towel under him ( which apparently will work....but I wanted the insert!). I searched up the measurements of the inserts and lo and behold I cam upon this blogger. I don't know much about her, except that her name is Meryl (assumption) and her blog post solved my carrier problems. Using her instructions and measurements, which were drawn out and explained amazingly, I managed to make my very own Ergo Heart to Heart style insert. The one difference between mine and the real deal is that I don't have the swaddle strap. Hans doesn't like being swaddled to tightly anyhow so it wasn't a necessity. I had all to materials lying around so it didn't even cost me a (extra) penny. If you want to make your own, I recommend checking out Meryl's blog and using her instructions.

The Ergo                                                                              My home made Heart to Heart insert

Here it is all put together, baby and all. HAns No longer disappears into the Ergo abyss. About two minutes after I put him in here, her fell asleep, so we went for a walk around the neighbourhood to check out some garage sales.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dirty Laundry

For the last two years or so, I have been fiddling with my own laundry detergent. I tried to find the most simple recipes and first ended up with a giant batch of liquid soap that did't stink, but didn't smell like fresh laundry.
Here is a quick and simple recipe that I have been using for the last year:

1:1 ratio of borax and WASHING soda

add either:
1 grated bar of natural soap, the kind you find in the organic section of the store. I personally like lavender because of it's calming effect
a couple drops of essential oil in whatever scent you like.

Personally I like the grated bar of soap more.

Just mix it all together in a  big jar. I use a large glass storage jar that holds at least 12 cups, and I make about 10 cups at a time
When it's laundry time I use about 2 Tbsp in a load, sometimes less sometimes more, depending on the size of the load.

This recipe works great for me, I even wash my cloth diapers in it. Most times a recipe calls fro Fells Naptha soap or Ivory, but I have skipped out on that product and just used the organic chemicals and it smells nicer.

Diapers...take 2

Some day I will get this right. I feel like this might be pretty close though. A while ago, in May, I did a post called Little Diapers for Little bums where I shared my design for newborn sized diapers. These diapers worked great...for about one week. Then they got a little snug, and thus started leaking. I ended up having to make a whole new set of small liners for these diapers but eventually they just seemed so uncomfortable on my poor baby's teeny bottom.
I thought to myself " well if his newborns are too small, then perhaps he will now fit into his regular flip diapers." Nope, way too big. He squirmed and wiggled and cried the entire day he was in one of them. So against all my will, I put him in a disposable and kept doing so until I came up with a solution. I first made some quick fleece pocket diapers from some old fleece laying around, and although it kept my son feeling dry, his pee soaked right through onto his need very good quality fleece for this or covers.  I went online, ordered some more PUL, snaps and softer elastic, waited 4 days for it to arrive in the mail and began sewing immediately.
( PUL in fabricland is $33 per metre...on line I paid $3 per metre)
Again I made flip style covers. I think the system is great. Here's how I did it:

I made my own pattern, based off of the measurements of a pattern I found on line, but my pattern looked basically like this:
*The gussets are 8.5" long and 2.5" tall

I cut the entire thing out of PUL, including the two gussets ( moon shaped things)  and then the green area I cut out of fleece or PUL, in this case I used PUL but some of my others have fleece.
All the parts. This shows fleece strips, although I
 used PUL  for this particular diaper.

The first step to sewing it all together is to sew FOE, or fold over elastic to the straight part of each gusset using the 3 step zig zag stitch. You want to tack the elastic onto the end (making sure you folded it over the edge of the fabric)  and then pull it as tight as you can so that it wrinkles the gusset up.

2 gussets
Next I added all my snaps (look at my pattern drawing, see the purple dots? that's where I put snaps). I use little scrap squares of pull to double the fabric, just to give it a bit more strength.
These pics ended up sideways.
 the top one shows the
reinforcements on the back
of each snap. 

Sew the gussets in place by lining up the round edge plastic side in along the leg curve. I use a straight stitch for this.

one gusset in place
Once all the snaps and gussets are in place, I sew the fleece/PUL strips on using a straight stitch. I did this because it's soft against the babies skin. you don't have to make these out of fleece, in fact on the flip diapers, they are made out of PUL, The main purpose of this is that they are the pockets to hold the insert in place. I just thought fleece pockets would be nice and soft.
front pocket sewn on

The diaper is almost complete. Next I sew on the FOE all around the outside of the diaper using the 3 step zig zag stitch. Start at the back but off to the side ( so not the centre of the back) because you need to create a gather at the back. Sew the elastic up to where the gather will start and once you get to the spot where the gather starts, pull the elastic tight and sew it in  place until the gather needs to end. Then stop pulling the elastic and continue to sew until you need to gather around each leg.
Top: start FOEjust before you need to gather
Botton: FOE complete

The last thing you need to do is put two snaps on each of the long ends to create closures. And you're done. Just put an insert in and pop it on you baby.
Open diaper

All buttoned up

The diaper on my son, who is yawning away. 
 left: flip cover seems a little too big for my 8 pounder
centre: my version/Simply Yellouw diaper only slightly smaller
than the flip, but fits.
right: my first diaper, with umbilical dip, only fit for a very short while

So far these new diapers are holding up much better than the last ones. If a wet baby sits in them too long, then yes, some leaking will occur along the seems or maybe a little by the snaps, though leaking by the snaps has only occurred with my first attempt at diapers, not these ones. Dampness along the seams can occur though.
I've have also started making these nursing cover ups:

MY next step is to have a couple extra diapers and nursing covers made to sell at a fair or a mom to mom sale. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Birth Story.

It all started in the fall of 2011. My husband and I decided to start a family. Little did we know the problems we would encounter along the way, and the struggles that we would have. But God is good. Just over a year later, we found ourselves pregnant with our first child.

My pregnancy went very well. I craved cereal, not for the cereal, but for the milk that accompanied it...and lots of it too! every week we would purchase about 2 4-litre bags of milk, so 8 litres of milk, Fritz would drink about 1 litre of it and the rest I would consume within the week. I also craved fruit. I hated pizza, and to this day I still do. I loved it pre-pregnancy. I got connected with an amazing midwife whom at this moment I am still seeing. That's the amazing thing about having a midwife...they keep you in their are for a whole 6 weeks after, and at each meeting, you spend at least a good half hour just hatting with them about anything...sometimes it's not even baby related, in fact I think I spent a large portion of one of my earliest meetings talking about vegetable gardens!

I spent a large part of my pregnancy making diaper covers, designing the nursery, and figuring out how to do everything as frugal as possible but still have it looking good. I researched the best strollers, what things are necessary and what things are not, fretting about whether certain things are worth spending the money on or not.

At the beginning of June I noticed that the baby had dropped low. I was not the only one who was convinced that he would make an early arrival...probably mid July just as I would hit the 37 week milestone. Well week 37 came and went, as did week 40...but this is where things got interesting. At week 40 I had a stretch and sweep done. This is where the midwife or OB has rummage through the money box, as another blogger had put it, and literally stretches the cervix while separating the membrane sack from the cervix. My midwife was surprised to find that I was already 5 cm dilated. Normally this would kick start labour within 24-48 hours. I left that appointment feeling very hopeful and anxious that labour would indeed start. We sent our dog off with the in-laws expecting her return in about three days. One day went by, and eventually another and then a week.
I went to yet another appointment to see my midwife, and once again we decided to try another stretch and sweep and was suggested to try castor oil. Now if anyone has ever had to use castor oil, you know the side effects of just a teaspoon of that stuff. well I had to consume one and a half bottles of it. The point of it is to get your intestines empty and then in turn, from your guts cramping up, it should make your uterus start contracting. Now keep in mind I just had a stretch and sweep, and I'm already 6 cm dilated and now I'm about to consume twice as much castor oil that is normally recommended to induce labour. The results: I had a really shitty day. Pun intended. Once again, the hours passed and turned into days. So after 2 stretch and sweeps, multiple ultrasounds and a heavy dose of castor oil (plus every old wive's tale known to(wo)man), my midwife suggests a consultation with a doctor to discuss induction options. Now if you know me, drugs are not the way. My lone Tylenol bottle is collecting dust as I type. However, I also know that at some point I need to give in, and do what is safer for the baby, and although no drugs is safer, cooking too long could also be harmful and I need to weigh the odds.
We get to the hospital at 9:30-ish, I get monitored for about 20 minutes or so to see what the babies movements, heart rate etc. are like and at 11:00 I meet the doc. Little did I know (not against my will of course) that I would actually be getting a gel induction before we leave. As we leave the hospital, I'm feeling when you have a period...but a bit worse. We get home, have lunch, and eventually start watching a movie. I believe it was Despicable Me...the second one. Half way through the movie, I start to feel uncomfortable and as a precaution, I call up my midwife. She decides that she will drop by to check on me. Not too sure if I'm actually in labour, she decides to stay for an hour to see how things might progress. I'm feeling rather uncomfortable at this point and thus I am told to go on all fours in hopes of shifting the baby's head. Well I can tell you that certainly did the trick and contractions set in. It is about 4:15 and active labour finally sets in and my midwife gets her bags.
At this point I get into my birthing pool. I just purchased a nice sturdy kiddy pool rather than renting an actual birthing pool because it's about a tenth of the price. Between contractions, my husband would boil water and pour it into the tub to keep the water quite warm. However, at a certain point contractions were just mere seconds apart and there was no way I was letting him go anywhere.
I was surprised the most at how the body just takes over. I always though that labour was something that you could control, that when the [doctor] tells you to push, you are doing all the work. However that's not the case. Your body does the pushing, and you just help it along a bit by bearing down. And oddly enough, bearing down, was actually relieving some of the pain, rather than adding to it. I was quite vocal during contractions, making low sounds really helped, my husband told me I sounded like a cow, and I felt like it too. I have been told that labour will turn you into an animal...I just didn't realize the animal it would turn me into was a cow.
One of the hardest things to do was change positions. I was facing the edge of the pool and hanging over it, at one point even gripping my husbands toes. I was told it would be easier to crouch and so I had to not only turn myself around but then get off my knees and onto my feet. I ended up getting shifted and turned by my husband because I felt no ability to move myself like that. within minutes the head was visible and all I could think was that it would be quite a while still until this child was out. I was able to feel the head emerge with my hand, and what I felt seemed so small that I thought it would require hours of pushing to get the rest out but the midwives kept saying " almost there, almost there" and " push through the burn, don't stop" Let me tell you, there is a burning sensation and that sensation is probably the worst part of labour...and it only lasts a couple of seconds and then suddenly the head just popped out and a couple seconds later and one push the shoulders and the rest of the baby. It was a mere 3 hours later, 7:28 to be exact.
That moment when your child is out and placed in your arms is incredible. The sense of relief, and shock and joy is overwhelming.

I am very happy and relieved that I was able to do a home birth. Many people have asked me how the home-water birth was, I can tell you I wouldn't have it any other way. I cannot compare it to any other birth since I have only experienced this one type, but I know that the water birth was for me. I loved being at home, knowing my surroundings, having the option to still consume food and drinks while in labour, not having medical staff push pain meds on me.
Speaking of pain, I did this completely drug free (with the exception of an antibiotic due to testing positive for GBS) Although it was the worst pain I have ever experienced, it was tolerable. I ended up with about 5-7 stitches, and they were all surface tears, so having a water birth does not prevent tearing, but perhaps it might prevent serious tearing.
I think being Dutch has a large part to do with why I chose a home birth. We, as in Dutch folk, seem to think that since home birth worked well for my mother and her mother before her, it will work for me. We don't need to medicalise birth and should keep out of a hospital, what needs to be kept out. Or we are just stubborn. But here is a good article that basically explains why the Dutch cherish their home births
If you are thinking of doing a home birth don't let anyone discourage you. I've had a couple odd responses when I said I was doing a home birth, the most common one being "ew" and "she shouldn't do that for her first one" . These are the types of comments you need to ignore. There is nothing "ew" about birth whether at home or in a hospital, and you should do your first birth in whatever setting makes you most comfortable, for me that was a home birth. Remember that as long as your pregnancy is normal, then a home birth, attended by a midwife is completely safe. So if you want to do a home birth, at least know you've got me on your side, and probably a large chunk of The Netherlands.

Monday, August 12, 2013

12 things a very pregnant/overdue woman doesn't want to hear (as much of)

Let me confess something that several women have confessed before, and was some women want to confess but might not want to out of politeness.

I am officially overdue with this baby. That's not the confession. Everyone knows that because everyone is excited ( though probably not as excited and my self and this baby's father) about meeting this little guy. But frankly, as much as I have enjoyed being pregnant, the last couple weeks ( roughly weeks 34 and onward) suck. I can't seem to do anything for myself, I feel like a ticking time bomb and my crotch is in pain, like I've been kicked down there by a steel toe boot.
But most of all, the questions. This is the confession part. Although, I know that people are being polite, and are just curious and generally caring about our well being, a pregnant woman can only handle hearing the same questions for a certain period of time...40 weeks worth is a bit exhausting.
Now I know that I'm not the only one who feels this me I Googled it.Being largely pregnant and irritable is apparently normal, so don't take offence. Here is my own list of well meant questions that I am simply getting tired of answering:

1. How are feeling? 
This is such a common question that gets asked by everyone to everyone, not specifically pregnant women. It's a general question that starts probably 97% of conversations, most people don't even think about asking this, they just do. I generally just tell you I feel fine. I do. I am uncomfortable, incapable at times and rather sore, but I don't want to share all the details all the time to everyone. I'm not miserable, or upset, just tired. I don't know why this question bothers me so much, maybe because I assume you should know how I'm feeling, but for some reason, probably pregnancy hormones, this questions irritates me more now than when I'm not pregnant.

2. No baby yet/why is he still in there, etc?  
Yes in fact we had him days ago, we just decided no to share with a single person. Rather we decided to leave him at home while we go out and about and do our own thing. 

3. Have you tried...? 
Oh frig. Seriously??? You think we haven't? None of them work people and don't you dare tell me they do because you went into labour the day after eating a pineapple. That's just a coincidence. I'm not going to go into labour today because I ate fish sticks for dinner last night.

4. Maybe your due date was wrong?  
I had someone tell me that they can be off by two weeks. I know when I ovulated. I did the tests to get my self to this point. my dates are not wrong, especially not by two weeks. 

5.Sleep while you can/enjoy the rest because after the baby arrives...blah blah blah. 
 I am aware of the life change that will occur. I wake up multiple times in a sweat with sore back muscles, having to pee, unable to roll around in my bed let alone get out of my bed to go pee with out looking like a beached whale. Having to pee while being largely pregnant is a different sensation than in a normal body. When I have to pee now, I get a constant braxton hicks contraction where I am unable to walk properly. As for resting, I can only rest so much, I can only watch so many shows/movies. I can only read so much. My house got organized before I was due. what is enjoyable about that?

6. Most first time mom's go over due.
 Thanks for the new information. I am in fact aware of this, but like every pregnant woman, I was simply hoping it wouldn't apply to me.

7. I/ my__________(insert mom, sister, aunt, friend) was late too. 
Great. That doesn't help me.

8. Are you ready for labour/are you nervous?
 This question I really don't get. How can a first time mom, be ready for labour? what have I got to compare it to? I am about to push a ~7lbs person out of my body which is already hurting...Yes I am nervous, telling me I'll be fine won't help nor will explaining your birth experience. It just needs to happen.

9. Are you excited/your parents must be thrilled.  
No we/they are not. This is the least exciting thing that will ever happen. Of course we/they are excited.

10. How is the baby? 
I would ask him, but, well to be honest communication with an in-utero child is a little difficult. So on his behalf, I'll give you the typical answer anyone gives when they ask "how are you"...he's fine.

11. Is the baby moving lots?
 (and then proceeds to touch the belly/make the baby move). Yes the baby moves. He's a living child...they wiggle, they kick, punch and shift around. At 40 weeks these violent movements can be very uncomfortable and the moments of inner calmness are nice. Please don't poke or prod my sleeping child so that I can sit/lay comfortable for 5 minutes.

12.  You must be feeling the heat.  
Well, when its over 30 degrees C, I think everyone feels it.

It's not that pregnancy is a terrible thing for me, I love being pregnant and feeling this little person moving around, especially after the struggle of trying to get pregnant. I'm glad people care about us, and want to know how we are doing, how they can help us and show concern for our well being.
So if you ask me these questions, and I give you a blank stare or don't respond immediately, I'm just tired, mentally, physically tired. I'm anxious, impatiently twiddling my thumbs while waiting and sore. And sometimes a woman who has been pregnant for 40 + weeks, simply doesn't want to answer these questions anymore, they were answered multiple times already to multiple people multiple times per day.

The baby is fine he will come, and you will know. We are excited, but mostly, I'm okay... just tired and waiting.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Time off, Projects, Paint etc

*** this post is from  6 weeks ago.... turns out I never published it. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I forgot about, maybe never really finished it, not really too sure. Either way here it is, 6 weeks late I guess. Or did I publish it and now I just duplicated a post? Who cares, I'm really pregnant and anything goes and everyone least those who have been in my shoes does.***

At  33 weeks pregnant, it gets difficult doing many things. Things such as walking at a normal pace, breathing, or not peeing while doing the previous two to the best of my ability. But I am still able to craft and work on some DIY projects. And now that I'm on Mat leave, I have a little bit more time also. 

Our house number and mailbox were placed most inconveniently on our house. When there is mail in our mailbox, the lid of the mailbox hides our house number, but it's nearly impossible to get the mail out of the mailbox because of the light hanging in the way above the mailbox.  I want to change the whole front side of our house but for a start, I changed the house number display.

First I cut some planks and nailed them together for a base, which I stained using homemade wood stain
side recipe:
home made wood stain:
place metals of your choice into vinegar. different metals create different colours. Coppers create a bluish green stain while iron creates a redish-brownish colour. I used iron shavings from my dad's workshop, and added old coffee grounds to darken it a bit. Let this mixture sit for about a week. You might want to seal this stain once it has been applied to avoid residue from rubbing off onto clothing.
Next I found n image of a key silhouette, printed it out, taped it onto the wood, and then traced it with a pen to create an imprint of it onto the planks. I then traced in filled in the imprinted image with my wood burning tool. 
I removed the numbers from the house so that I can reuse them and nailed them onto the board.

 My only mistake in this project, is that I should have bought a new "7", since mine looks too much like my "1"

I also decided that the orange doors in my kitchen, though a bold statement, never really satisfied my style. so I changed the colour to a minty blue-green. Opinions?

this was the colour before.

the new colour.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writing Outside of the Box

So this post is not what I would normally write about, but it's important to share this.  A little over 4 years ago I got married, and had 4 girls stand by my side as I said my vows. Well technically I had 5. You see my friend Lyn who is a childhood friend of mine was pregnant during my engagement, and I knew the risk of asking her to be my bridesmaid could end up in her not being able to make it to my weddingbut I did ask her anyway. Lo and behold, Lyn went into labour shortly before my wedding. The problem was that this was also several weeks before she was actually supposed to have her baby. Lyn's premature infant daughter Ayla had to be hospitalized for several weeks and hence was unable to even attend my wedding, though she supported me all through the engagement and helped with my bridal shower, went to my engagement party and did everything that a bridesmaid could do
Ayla was in the hospital in London, Ontario, several km away from home. Driving back and forth is not something a new mother of a premie is wanting to do. Fortunately London (amongst a couple other cities) has a Ronald McDonald House. This place has supported my friend Lyn so that she could focus on her daughter, Ayla as she grew stronger and healthier.
Now Lyn is doing something amazing to show her support and gratitude for the London RMH. She is going to do a run to support this amazing place. She will be running from the RMH in London, ON, to the McDonald's in Listowel, ON. That's a whopping 108 km!!!

She recently asked if I would help her with advertising her run so that others will support her in this feat. I think it's absolutely amazing what she is doing. So I made some posters which can be found around various areas in Southern Ontario as several friends have been spreading the news

you should all check out the facebook page  where you can find links to support her run/ the RMH and where you can read Lyn's story.
Or check out the RMH webpage to see what they are all about.
But most importantly Support Lyn, support Ayla and Support the RMH. The poster will tell you how.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Place for Baby to Sleep.

In about 12 years, girls everywhere will be swooning over Prince George, the way my generation swooned over Prince William. Sure his hair line has receded quite a bit, but he's still a rather hansom chap if you ask me. Prince Harry of course has become the better looking one over time, but I remember my days of dreaming to be in the place where Kate is now. I bet their nursery looks beautiful with pieces picked out from all kinds of exotic places.
Though picking out nursery furniture has been described to me as being stressful. And I don't doubt it, I mean all those things are expensive and can really add up. I searched through some stores to see how much it would cost to set up a nursery and here I have provided one example of a lesser expensive store (Ikea) and a more average to expensive store (Sears)
If I go to Ikea and pick out average priced items, plus a can of paint, the average cost of a nursery would be roughly $800-$900.
If I went to Sears and picked out the same average priced items it would cost around $1500
Of course I'm not saying that everyone spends this amount of money on a nursery, but if you were to purchase all your basics brand new, these are roughly the costs.
 This includes the following items:
  • crib
  • mattress
  • sheets
  • bumper pad
  • change table
  • mobile
  • curtains
  • glider/chair
  • dresser
  • change pad
  • diaper pail
  • rug
  • some decor items such as pictures
I think we can agree that these items are the basics a parent would put in a nursery. I have put all those items in my nursery but I have thrifted/refurbished as much as I can ( though there were a one or two items that I bought brand new):
  • crib- free
  • mattress - $70
  • sheets- $10
  • bumper pad- $10- second hand
  • change table- $50 and mine doubles as a dresser
  • mobile-not there yet, plan to make one out of an embroidery hoop and some left over fabrics.
  • curtains- $6
  • glider/chair- $50 on reupholstering 
  • dresser...included in change table cost
  • can of paint- $18
  • change pad- $5
  • rug- $25
  • diaper pail- $8
  • decor- $7
Total: $261

And here is what I ended up with:

Let me tell you a bit about what is in each picture starting with the top left (yes I did just look at my hands to contemplate my lefts and rights)
Top Left:
The crib was free. A friend at work no longer required it, and gave it to me. Often you can find free cribs on Kijiji also. The bedding was a gift too, a very beautiful gift. I originally made my own bedding. The chevron quilt which hangs on the back of the crib and the dust ruffle which is now a ruffle on the bottom of my glider stool. The feeding pillow was purchased second hand and I sewed a new cover for it.
Top Right:
Curtains: I bought the fabric for these curtains at the Fabricland on Upper Ottawa st in Hamilton. The top floor is full of discount fabric, and I always tell people to get their fabrics there. I paid $3 per metre for that fabric and the hoops I had laying around the house ( they were a Value Village purchase from a while ago...I knew they would come in handy!)
The glider: This chair was left in my house when we purchased it just over a year ago. I thought it was an ugly chair. However, I made use of it by reupholstering it with a bright fabric to add a bright pop of colour to my nursery. The fabric once again, from Fabricland on Upper Ottawa, and cushioning which was the more expensive part, from the same street, different store. I feel like I could have done it cheaper with different cushioning, and so this project cost me $50 plus $6 for the stool, after reupholstering cost,  which still isn't terrible considering a new glider and stool would cost around $200
Bottom left:
The dresser/change table: This is by far my favourite nursery transformation. I purchased the dresser for $40 at Value Village, more than I would normally pay for a furniture item, but I saw great potential in it and I knew it wouldn't be a toss out item after the baby grows. It used to be bright white with a honey stained top and ( I don't know if you can see it) a decorative strip of wood between the top and middle drawers also stained in a golden honey colour.  While purchasing this item, another customer also interested in the item suggested that I should leave the honey coloured as is, and then paint the rest black with an antiquing /whitish crackle...Of course I smiled and said that I would consider it, but seriously... that would look terrible, it's a good thing I purchased the item and not him, I just saved it from time travel to 1995!
I ended up painting the entire thing to an antique white and got rid of that horrid honey colour, and then added some grey stripes and a touch of colour to the knobs. I wouldn't have done it this way if it wasn't going in a nursery, But personally I think this is more nursery appropriate than honey and black.

Bottom right:
The basket on top of the dresser, which holds my diapering stash, is a diaper basket that has been passed down and used by multiple generations in my family. 
As for the diapers: ( I think I already covered a lot of this in a previous post, but here is a quick summary)
The average cost  (according to this blog)to start up is about $450. (not including laundry costs). 

How I did it:
7 flip style covers: (some were on sale)  $80
2 king sized 100% cotton bed sheets from my local thrift store cut up and sewn into 44 inserts -$10 
5 6-pack stay dry liners, I sewed mine directly onto the inserts  $30
total: $120

add on the costs for my home made newborn diaper covers (I made 7): ~ $50
new total $170

I know it probably doesn't compare to Little Prince Georges new room, but I absolutely LOVE my nursery. I think that if I had bought the big pieces brand new, it wouldn't feel the same, and wouldn't match anything in my house or my lifestyle. If I could change anything about it, I would paint the glider and the crib both antique white to match the dresser, but I simply don't feel like it, not at 9  months pregnant.


I got around to making the mobiles! Hoorah! I used a cardboard loop for one, and an embroidery  hoop for the other, some ribbon I had laying around, scrap fabric and buttons. I hung one mobile over the crib and the other over the change table.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

35 weeks and I can't "relax"

I'm due in 33 days. At my last appointment, my midwife, though I'm not supposed to quote her on this, said that there is a chance I could go as early as mid-July. This gives me about 14 days left to prepare! I'm pretty sure that we are ready to go. We have all the basics, put the nursery together although with one key thing (though not instantly necessary) not quite ready yet, I am unable to blog about it, but I am truly excited to share my nursery with you.
I don't think that I have really processed the fact that I am going to be going through a birthing process yet. I always get asked if I'm nervous, but in all honesty, I can't really tell you my feelings about it, because I have never experienced anything like it, so I can't really process that idea. I think I just processed the fact that I'm pregnant...and that took me 8 I have about 2-5 weeks left to try and process the birth? I don't think that's going to happen, so I'll just let it be. I bet that as soon as that first contraction happens, I'm going to panic. There's no turning back. But I am excited of course!
35 weeks and counting!

 Things that I look for ward to after pregnancy (aside from the obvious of getting to see/hold/get to know our new little boy):

  1.  sleeping on my stomach.
  2.  having the use of my stomach muscles again
  3. not looking like a beached whale/ turtle stuck on its back, whilst trying to get out of bed
  4. no more leg/foot cramps on a morningly basis (hopefully)
  5. room for my guts
  6. being able to breath
  7. being able to work properly in my garden
  8. being able to bend over
  9. breathing
  10. reaching my toes
  11. walking at a decent speed again ( this one is especially frustrating when you are used to being a fast walker)
  12. being able to shave my legs in a comfortable position
  13. fitting into more than two pairs of shorts. 
I tried "relaxing" the other day. Supposedly it's best to just put your feet up and take it easy during the last little bit of pregnancy. I'm usually out gardening or working away in the work shop with my power tools, but the other day I thought that I would try out this whole relaxing thing people keep telling me to do. So I spent an entire day lounging around the house, watching a movie, drinking some tea, soaking in the bath, looking up everything that exists on Pintrest, and anything else I could think to "relax". Let me tell you, I had never felt so exhausted in my entire life! I don't know how people do that?! so the next day, I harvested a bunch of veggies, prepared and froze those veggies, made dinner, bathed the dog and did a bunch of other things and I felt a tonne better! I need to accomplish something in my day in order to not feel exhausted.

Our most recent baby purchase was our car seat. We finally got one. We really wanted the Baby Trend and then we discovered that the Baby Trend car seat is not compatible with our Phil & Teds stroller.... no worries though, I come from a handy-man family, and my dad made an adapter than would attach the car seat to our stroller. Yay!
What I love about the Baby-Trend car seat, is the handle. Most car seats have a fairly plain straight across handle bar, however, the Baby-Trend car seat has a triangular handle so that you can hold it at multiple angles for an extra comfortable hold. 
Baby-Trend with triangular handle grip


Phil & Teds sport stroller bought off kijiji (with dad-made adapter)


A great combo!

I have also prepared everything for our home-water birth. At least I am hoping we have everything. I decided this week would be a good week to test the kiddie pool that we purchased for the occasion. Since it was 38'C with the humidity, and I was getting rather irritable, it seemed like a good time to soak in my new pool. Let me tell you, it was great. It felt like what a hot tub feels like on a cold winter night, but the opposite I guess. 
Did you know that it costs $250 to rent a birthing pool, not including the liner which you have to purchase? My midwife told me to just buy a kiddie pool for $30 instead, because they work just as well, and you can reuse it as a regular pool before and after the baby. Why would anyone rent one??
This is the pool that I got. That's not me, nor do I know who those kids are.
  My pool was covered with a tarp today because it has been so rainy for the
 past two days so I couldn't get a good picture of mine. This will have to do.

Remember how I made all of my own inserts for my diapers? Well I recently threw them in the washing machine to wash off any possible chemicals (from other peoples laundry soap since I upcycled used sheets from the thrift store). Good thing I did that because I discovered that a bunch of them started to fray in the wash. So my next step is to resew all around them using the new cutter edge foot that I purchased off e-bay for my sewing machine. If you don't have a serger/don't want to pay for a serger because they cost between $400 and $1500, then a cutter edge foot is the next best thing. Though not as good as a serger by any means, it can get the job done.  I also think that I might just sew all of my stay-dry liners right onto the inserts. But I haven't fully decided on that yet. 
one of these attached to a sewing machine
will solve a bunch of issues...for me at least.
Well that pretty much sums up the baby update, aside from the nursery....I seriously can't wait to post that!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rockabye baby

This week has been an rather uncomfortable week. Physically that is. I am now just over 30 weeks, and some basic tasks have become rather challenging. For instance, my husband and I were parked in the grocery store parking lot, and before I got out of the car, I realized that my shoe was untied. ( I'm sure you know where this is going) without thinking I leaned forward to tie it up, only to realize that I no longer have the ability to lean forward or tie my shoes while they are on my feet. As Fritz finished tying my laces for me, I motioned to get out of the car ( a challenge on it's own) and I noticed a van full of middle-older aged ladies having a giggle at my situation. This being my first pregnancy, I am learning that many things will be challenging, such a breathing, walking and NOT peeing at the same time. 

This week as a nesting project, I did a small 30 minute project to fancy up my bassinet. I have an old wooden rocking bassinet, a road-side find, that required a bit of tlc. Not so much in terms of sanding, painting or repairs of any kind, in fact it's in perfect condition. It just looked really bare and cold. 
All it really needed, was some fabric and lace for a bumper pad and some bows. I kept it simple, because in reality Hansie will only sleep in it for perhaps 3 months until he moves to his crib in his nursery. 
No I have not yet blogged about the nursery, that will come soon enough though once everything is set up. It's almost done, but I just don't want you to see an unfinished project. There are several  projects in and of themselves in the nursery which I could have blogged about, but I really want to just share the entire room as one thing. 
Back to the bassinet. All I did was cut a strip of quilt insulation, over which I made a sleeve of brown plaid, over which I sewed a sleeve of lace. I sewed some lace ribbon to the ends to tie them together and some at the centres of the long sides to secure it to the bassinet. I weaved the finished product through the corners of the bassinet an then added some large lace bows to the ends of the bassinet and voila! the little rocking crib looks less bare. A simple fix to a naked bassinet. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

$10. Enough Said.

Our new basement is our recreational area. It's where we watch TV  play games, do our office work, and a pub/cafe corner for when we have friends over. It's basically our lounging room. But most important, it's where I do my crafting/sewing. the old basement had a very dungeony craft corner/work bench. Really it had a dungeony everything. Being an avid Pinterest-er, I have seen a plethora of fancy crafting stations, and I wanted one of my own, where all  my things were at hand rather than spread out in different areas of the house, or packed in cardboard boxes. I didn't want to have to take out and put away my sewing machine after every use. With no luck of finding anything I really liked on Kijiji  or elsewhere (at an reasonable price), I put a craft table on my "honey-do" list. 

Side story (sort of...since it's still in relation to the current topic):  
We jokingly wanted to call our pub "the drunken counselor" so I decided that  my crafting corner should be called "The Hookery-Nook".

This past Saturday, the plan was to go to the baby expo in London after my husbands kettle-bell class,(but I don't think going there would have been of much use to me, other than being bombarded with samples I could probably not make any use of...though I'm sure it would have been fun) and then since we decided that we really need to get on this whole "finish a bunch of projects" thing that we have been trying to complete for weeks, we decided that we should go to Home Depot, pick up some lumber and start building this craft table so that I can organize all my crafting crap. 
Instead, my husband woke me up around 8:30 am that morning, and said the sweetest thing: " I'm not going to Kettle-Bell, let's go garage sale-ing instead." Music to my ears! So we went garage sale-ing.

Lo and behold, I found this beauty, an old bureau, which requires no extra work. No sanding, no painting, no gluing. I might change the knobs at some point. 

The hefty price tag that came with it? $10. (I would have been willing to pay $30 for it at least and wouldn't be surprised if someone else sold this item for even more than that!)) I added a little lace curtain underneath to conceal the sewing machine and notions box. The sewing machine I can just lift onto the table, no need to unplug it. I never have to cram it back into it's box and stuff it in a room. It's there and ready to use.  Look at all the drawers! 5 small drawers on top,  3 larger ones at the bottom. 

I hung up a coat hook, a thrift find from a while ago, and attached some small mason jars which hold some sewing/crafting notions such as glue gun sticks, sharpies, and thread spools. 

I placed my giant button jar in one corner and my pin cushion jar in the other along with a fantastic book I got from a friend.

Atop a sheep skin rug that's been in the family for a couple decades, sits a thrifted stool, which once  was a bar stool, but I cut the legs off to make it the right height for crafting. 

Lastly I hung a cork board with a hand stitched bird picture, onto which I can pin ideas, an drafts and what have you. 

Had I gone to the expo, or had my husband gone to his usual Saturday morning kettle-bell class, or had we gone to Ikea the night before to look for a desk as planned, I would never have stumbled upon this cheap beauty. another good deal? I think so. The Hookery-Nook is complete!