Friday, November 30, 2012

Frankenweenie - Available on Blu ray combo January 8, 2012

Disney and Creative Genius Tim Burton (Creator of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”) Proudly Announce the Home Entertainment Debut Of


Including an All-New Short “Captain Sparky vs The Flying Saucers” and Burton’s Original Live-Action “Frankenweenie” Short!


gifts for the holidays

I much prefer to give gifts to others, than to receive them myself. Below you will find some great ideas for your loved ones - and if you like to give back to your community, think about purchasing the tin of cookies. National Bank donates to Breakfast Clubs of Canada for every tin sold. I was provided with one, and have included it with my donation box for the food bank this December.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Walking in a winter wonderland

Today was our first REAL day of snow for the season. We have had a few days with minor flurries, but when we awoke this morning - the ground was covered in fluffy white stuff.

The boys had breakfast and played around a little bit, then they got rangy. When that happened, I ordered both of them downstairs, got their winter stuff on and sent them out onto our back deck. They had so much fun playing out there - on the slide, with their trucks - Mr. K had fun just picking up the snow and licking it off his gloves!

Mocktails & More

My friend Julie has published an e-book, Mocktails & More; she is hosting a twitter party on Tuesday, December 4th 9:00pm..

The book has some delicious themed drinks - The Grinch, Sleigh Bell Smoothie, and hey - who wouldn't want to try out a Candy Cane Warmer?

Great prizes available, RSVP below

Peanut Butter Balls

recipe originally from Kraft

This is a Kraft recipe that my mom has made for as long as I can remember. They are a recipe that immediately transports me back to childhood. They were my favorite Christmas treat, and I recall how eager I was whenever my mom made them - which was only at Christmas.

When I was 16, I discovered just how much of a pain they are to make. I wanted to help with the Christmas baking, and decided to attempt these. I was no stranger to baking, but had never made anything quite so "sticky" before.

I called my mom in tears, they weren't rolling properly and I was so upset - - my favorite recipe, and I was failing.  She calmly walked me through it and I managed to get them done.....when they were finished, I vowed to never make them again.....

Then the next year came and I forgot my "vow" and called my mom in tears took me quite a few years to "perfect" the art of making peanut butter balls - but now, I can safely say I have my methods down and they are easy for me to make.

Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups rice krispies
2 tbsp melted butter
chocolate to coat (I am not sure exactly how much is needed, as I tend to use more than is recommended. I would say a small bag of chocolate chips should be good - but if you haven't made them before, you may want more just in case)

Mix the first 4 ingredients together with a hand/stand mixer; chill (MIN 1 hr, but I prefer to do this in 3 steps, so overnight)

Roll dough into small balls (size is up to you); chill (again, MIN 1 hour, but I do overnight)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler; quickly roll balls into chocolate and place on wax paper covered baking sheet to set (I use 2 small forks for the coating, you need to be quick because the chocolate is hot and will melt the balls)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas crafts for kids

This is a guest post - please welcome Alice to Tales of Mommyhood!

As of yet I don’t have any children of my own that I need to entertain 24 hours a day, however I do have quite a few nieces which I see on a regular basis who constantly fight for my attention.

School holidays, birthdays and any family occasions normally result in them getting overly excited and usually end in tears. However, overtime I have I found that around the Christmas season they seem to have the most energy. Whether it is due to excitement or the sugar they are consuming with all of the Christmas treats, I can never get them to settle.

Despite this, I have managed to find that the best way to keep them entertained and extremely happy is to give them something fun to play with, whether this be a puzzle, a game or something craft related.

As it is the season to be jolly I have decided that the best way to keep our little monkeys amused would be to help them make their own Christmas cards. Relatives love homemade cards as it is obvious that lots of thought has been put into producing them, however it also means your children have created something that they are proud of, and it lets them use their creative imagination.

Making your own cards doesn't have to be expensive, there are different ways you could make your own cards in a bid to save some money this Christmas period. You could either buy all of the supplies yourself from a craft outlet, or you could alternatively purchase Christmas cards from online companies such as Vistaprint, who help you design gorgeous Christmas cards which you can create and make your own. You don’t need to be technical to make Christmas cards online ( In fact it usually is less messy and involves little glitter which normally gets stuck in the carpet)

I think Christmas is the time of year where we as adults get the opportunity to find the child in us and join in with all of the creative opportunities Christmas can bring. Use your imagination, think outside the box and get involved in the festive spirit. The kids would absolutely love it, and it’s a time for the whole family to come together and do something as a group.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to help friends/family when their child is in hospital

My latest post is up over at the CHEO Moms and Dads blog - head on over and have a read!

Unwanted Gift Cards in your wallet?

I love buying gift cards. I love receiving gift cards. It's always nice to be able to go on a shopping spree, and NOT have to foot the bill!  However, there are times where I receive gift cards to stores I don't shop at - on those instances, they have stayed in my wallet for months (sometimes even years) hoping that I will eventually see something to purchase.

That doesn't need to be the case though. With CardSwap you can SELL your unwanted gift cards. It is super easy - you register with them; enter the card information you have and wait to see what they offer you (up to 92% of the card value).  Once you have completed the sale, you mail them your card (with their free shipping label); they will verify the balance and either mail you a cheque or credit your account with swap points.

If you want to BUY a card, you view the available cards they have and make your selection. You then can either purchase the card using existing swap points OR pay with your visa/mastercard, interac online or paypal account.

I was given 5000 points (equivalent to $50.00) to use for my review of the site. As I have written above, it is super easy to use. I haven't sold a gift card with them, but when I bought mine (2 chapters cards worth $25.00 each) they arrived super quick (4 days later). The first thing I did was verify the balance on the cards - and they were fully loaded to $25.00 each as they should be.

This will be an awesome way to buy gift cards for stores that are not in your area (I have friends/family that don't live near me, and they have stores which we don't)

I definitely recommend using the site if you need to purchase cards (you get "bonus" swap points when you purchase - they depend on the retailer/amount of the card). If you find yourself with unwanted cards this Christmas, then you know where to look!

Want some great news? Card Swap is offering one of my Canadian readers a credit of $40.00 to use! That's right - one of YOU will be able to shop from their site - my question to you is: would you gift the card you choose, or keep it for yourself?

Giveaway - Ice Age: Continental Drift

Daddy & Me Time

The Extraordinary Family Adventure Floats to Blu-ray™ 3D, Blu-ray™ and DVD on December 11

In Ice Age: Continental Drift, Manny and Peaches butt heads as Manny becomes over-protective of his daughter. In this feature, we will offer some tips on how dads and daughters can spend some time together and help create a stronger bond between the two, including going to the movies, camping or creating a DIY project for mom.  

Sub-zero heroes Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon a high-seas adventure after their continent is set adrift.  Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they try to reunite with their herd.  In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home.
Go to the Movies

The movies are a fun outing for any day of the week. Choose a new movie that interests you both, or check out a theater that plays classic family favorites. Depending on the time of the movie, you can go to lunch, dinner, or dessert afterwards to talk about your favorite characters.


Camping is a great way to take a break from everyday distractions like texting and Facebook and enjoy the great outdoors instead.  It provides the perfect opportunity to teach your daughter how to pitch a tent and start a fire. Many campgrounds also offer great hiking trails and rentals of canoes and paddleboats if near a lake.

DIY Project

Everyone has a creative side and a DIY project is perfect for showing it off. You can try a large project such as sprucing up an older piece of furniture. Or maybe try a smaller project such as a plant holder for the back patio. Whatever you choose, make sure mom approves and consider all safety precautions. 

Day Trip to the Zoo

Even though the chances of seeing a wooly mammoth are slim, the zoo is a perfect place to take your daughter for quality bonding time. You can walk around in search of your favorite animals or take a guided tour to learn new and interesting facts. Make sure you bring a camera along so you and your daughter can take plenty of photos with the monkeys! 

Shopping… Dad’s Don’t Be Scared

A great way to bond with your daughter is to let her roam in her natural habitat… the mall of course! In order to keep things from getting out of hand, make the time about picking out the perfect gift for mom or another relative. And to balance it out, you can bring your daughter along the next time you are shopping for the latest gadget or sporting equipment.

For your chance to win a copy of Ice Age: Continental Drift on Blu-ray (and an added bonus, an Ice Age 4 ice cube tray), simply answer the following question(leave the answer in a comment, and don't forget to fill out the rafflecopter form) :

In Ice Age: Continental Drift, what do the pirates use as a ship?
·        An iceberg
·        A rock
·        A tree

Friday, November 23, 2012

New products from Kellogg's

Have you heard what is new from Kellogg's? They have some exciting new products on the shelves - check your local retailer and give them a try! Being a Kellogger is great - I received some FPC's in the mail to go out and grab a few boxes of the new products.

I picked up the Cinnamon Toast Eggo Minis for the boys (they DEVOURED them immediately) and the Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich for myself.

They also have regular Eggo's in a mini version, and their are 3 varieties of Flatbread Sandwiches to choose from.

Another new product they have is Breakfast Shakes that come in Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate  - I am excited to give them a try, but my local store doesn't carry them, so I am on the hunt....

What's your favorite Kellogg's product?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dempster's Sandwich-It!

Between hubby's lunch for work, toast at breakfast for me and the boys, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch - we definitely go through a lot of bread. Within the last year or so, I have switched over to whole wheat bread to try and get in some extra whole grains. I love the fact that Dempster's has 100% whole grain bread.

One of my favorite ways to use Dempster's bread is to use up leftovers. I Sandwich it! I make a turkey sandwich....a REAL turkey sandwich....every few weeks I roast a turkey breast and have a whole turkey dinner with mashed potato, stuffing, gravy and carrots. I always make sure that there is enough left for lunch the next day.

the fixings for my favorite sandwich
**I am part of the MLF Connects program - I have received compensation for taking part, all opinions stated belong to Tales of Mommyhood - yours may vary**

Monday, November 19, 2012

Steam Whistle Brewing - Holiday Packs available

One of my hubby's favorite beers is Steam Whistle; he has been drinking it for awhile, and last St. Patricks Day we even managed to snag a few "boot" glasses from a local pub we frequent (we paid for them)!  Of course, when he found out that they had come out with a holiday pack he was wanting it!

The wonderful staff at Steam Whistle were kind enough to deliver a Holiday 6 pack to me today, along with a Steam Whistle bottle opener - he is going to be VERY happy when he gets home from work.

If you have a beer lover in your life, check out the holiday pack as a gift option this Christmas!  Great to bring with you if your attending a Christmas/New Years Party!

Give the gift of craft beer this holiday season!

(Toronto, November 16, 2012) – Steam Whistle Brewing, craft brewers of the Gold Medal Pilsner at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards, are stocking shelves for the coming season with their vintage-inspired holiday gift pack.
Craft beer has become the new favourite of foodies interested in buying all-natural beverages from upstanding local producers. In the LCBO’s 2011-12 annual report, Ontario craft beers led all product segments with almost 45% growth. “The sales performance of Ontario craft beers are all the more impressive given they are achieving growth on top of previous strong sales growth,” states LCBO President & CEO, Bob Peter.
Gift-giving, holiday parties and festive menus all call for craft beer and Steam Whistle’s seasonal packs are wrapped and ready for the holidays including festive graphics and a box-top gift tag, great for personalized gift giving. Now in-store at Ontario LCBO & Beer stores: Steam Whistle’s Holiday 6 Pack ($13.25) and Holiday12 Pack ($24.65).

“Good beer is a meant to be shared with good food and good friends”, offers Steam Whistle Brewmaster, Marek Mikunda, “and the holiday season provides many opportunities for such celebration”.

About Steam Whistle
Steam Whistle, an independent brewery housed in Toronto’s historic John St. Roundhouse, has a passionate focus of making just one beer of exceptional quality that Canadians can be proud of. A 2012 Gold Medal winner at the Canadian Brewing Awards, their refreshing Pilsner is crafted with traditional European brewing methods and only four, natural (GMO-free) ingredients under the watchful eye of their Czech Brewmaster. Steam Whistle Pilsner is packaged in signature green glass bottles, cans and draught, and is shipped fresh across Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and BC to Beer and Liquor Stores as well as licensed bars & restaurants. Steam Whistle welcomes more than 100,000 visitors to the brewery each year to the on-site retail store, for a tour, or to attend one of the many on-site events, concerts and art shows. Highly awarded for its premium beer, its business success, community support and environmental practices, Steam Whistle Pilsner is one of the premiere craft beer brands in Canada. To learn more about what they do really, really well visit
Become their fan on Facebook Follow them on Twitter

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 Santa Claus Parade

Today was the annual Santa Claus Parade in our area - it's a small parade, and really isn't all that great - but the kids love it and that is what counts. We always go to my brothers place (they live directly off the parade route) we park there, get ready and then grab our spots. Afterwards, we go back to their place so the kids can play and have lunch.

my little guys waiting for the parade to start

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wendys High School Heisman Award

Honoring the top high school scholars, athletes, and citizens in the country.

If you have a child in high school in the US, then you will want to read about the Wendy's High School Heisman Program.  The program is in place to help recognize the hard work and community involvement of students.  It awards those students that have excelled in school, sports AND involvement throughout the community. Not only does it award those students that have shown integrity through their choices, but it also offers an incentive to other high school students to reach toward the same goals.

The committee presents the awards in December at the same time as the Heisman Memorial Trophy, during Heisman weekend in New York City.

Since 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program has honored over 400,000 of the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy® Committee. The leadership award-honorees are well-rounded young men and women who excel in learning, performing, and leading in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.....(to read more, follow the link above)

This is a sponsored post - opinion stated belongs to Tales of Mommyhood; yours may vary

#holidayshowcase Outset Media GIVEAWAY

Do you like boardgames - or have someone on your shopping list that does? Then this is a giveaway you will definitely WANT to enter!

Outset Media is offering a prize pack worth $250.00. They are  a Canadian company and market their products throughout North America, Australia, the Caribbean and Europe.

While browsing the website, I came across the Canadian Trivia game - for ages 9+, it's a great way to spend some time with your family AND learn facts about our Country. The cards have questions on both sides (one harder than the other) making it great for the whole family.

To get the word out on some of these game, Outset Media has headed out On The Street - check out the YouTube video below

This giveaway is open to Canada and US, and closes at midnight December 2, 2012

Thank you to Kidsumers for organizing this giveaway.

Kernels Popcorn Virtual Charity Gift Cards - Giveaway

I am really excited to have partnered up with KernelsPopcorn again. This time, I want to tell you about the Kernels Popcorn Virtual Charity Gift Card.

Kernels Popcorn virtual gift cards make great gifts. They are easy to use - print it out and take it to your local Kernels location; show your virtual gift card on your phone at your local Kernels location; use it to shop online. Now, they have made it even more appealing - you are able to choose a Charity Gift Card.

What does this mean?

When you purchase a Kernels Popcorn Virtual Charity Gift Card - Kernels will make a donation of 10% of the card value towards the charity* you choose (you can see the charities *HERE)

Press Release
Kernels Popcorn is thrilled to announce a new, exciting and engaging
program to support a number of great causes! The Kernels Virtual Charity
Gift Card makes a meaningful gift AND Kernels will donate 10% of the card
value to the charity chosen.

What a great way to celebrate a milestone or event, or to say thanks… I’m
thinking of you. Or maybe you’re a Kernels Fan who would like to lend
your support. Now you can treat yourself and help others!
For the launch on the Kernels website
the new Virtual Charity Gift Section
allows the customer to choose from a list of national charities. Pick the
charity that is close to heart, load a desired amount on the card and have it
delivered virtually.

It’s quick and easy and you’ll be supporting a great cause.
You’ll feel warm all over!

And now for MORE exciting news - Kernels is offering a giveaway for my readers. 2 of you will each win a $25.00 Kernels Popcorn Virtual Charity Gift Card - leave me a comment telling me which charity card you would choose? Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter - and good luck!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toys R Us Moonlight Madness Sale

I just received word about a great sale coming up at Toys R Us - in store AND online! If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet, it's a great time to get it started (and maybe finished!) You can read the press release below!

Black Friday deals arrive a Week early at TOYS“R”US CANADA’S MOONLIGHT MADNESS SALE
Canada’s Greatest Toy Store hosts evening event to provide Canadians with holiday deals

(TORONTO) November 14, 2012 – As more and more Canadians join in the Black Friday shopping excitement north of the border, the crowds grow thicker and the shelves empty sooner. To provide gift-givers with an alternative to shopping with the masses while still ensuring some of the hottest deals of the season, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, Canada are hosting a holiday Moonlight Madness sale on Friday, November 16, exactly one week prior to Black Friday.

Moonlight Madness will take place at every Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, Canada retail location (excluding Express stores and where prohibited by local by-laws – check local stores for hours) and online at The sales begin in-store at 6 p.m. local time and online at 6 p.m. EST. In order to provide Canadians with the best prices on the most products and ensure an easy shopping experience, Toys“R”Us has divided Moonlight Madness into four separate event times (outlined below). This way, regardless of what is on a customer’s gift giving list, they will find great prices on a broad assortment of toys and baby products.

On top of the savings, customer’s will earn 100 Bonus AIR MILES® reward miles when they spend $100 or more during the event, in-store or online.

Following are examples of select deals available during the Moonlight Madness Sale on Friday, November 16, while supplies last (no rain checks):

In-store: 6 p.m. to midnight (or until supplies last)

Online: 6 p.m. EST to midnight EST (or until supplies last)

· 50% OFF Step 2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen – Reg $199.99, Now $99.97

· 50% OFF Westin Convertible Crib – Reg $399.99, Now $199.97

· 50% OFF Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing Along Choo Choo Train – Reg $54.99, Now $27.47

· 50% OFF Step 2 Wagon for Two Plus Tag Along Trailer – Reg $139.99, Now $69.97

· 40% OFF Barbie Three Storey Dream House – Reg $199.99, Now $119.97

In-store: 7 p.m. to midnight (or until supplies last)

Online: 7 p.m. EST to midnight EST (or until supplies last)

· 50% OFF ALL $19.99 Play-Doh – Now $9.97

· 50% OFF Nerf Raider – Reg $39.99, Now $19.97

· 50% OFF Air Hogs Hyperactive – Reg $59.99, Now $29.97

· SAVE $50 on the Graco Playard with Newborn Napper Station (Montego) – Reg $229.99, Now $179.97

In-store: 8 p.m. to midnight (or until supplies last)

Online: 8 p.m. EST to midnight EST (or until supplies last)

· 50% OFF Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper – Reg $149.99, Now $74.97

· 40% OFF 22” Retro Board – Reg $59.99, Now $34.97

In-store: 10 p.m. to midnight (or until supplies last)

Online: 10 p.m. EST to midnight EST (or until supplies last)

· FREE $20 Toys“R”Us Gift Card with purchase of Halo 4 Videogame

· 30% OFF Skylanders Giants Legendary Core 3 pack (Jet-Vac, Ignitor, Slam Bam) – Reg $24.99, Now $17.47

· Save $20 on ALL Nintendo DSi Systems (excludes DSi XL) – Reg $99.99, Now $79.97

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Littlest Pet Shop: Little Pets, Big Adventures

Available in Stores January 15, 2013 from Shout! Factory Kids

On January 15, 2013, Shout! Factory Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will release Littlest Pet Shop: Little Pets, Big Adventures , the first DVD collection based on Hasbro’s popular LITTLEST PET SHOP brand and new animated series . Delivering five fun-filled episodes and captivating entertainment the whole family can enjoy, the DVD will also feature bonus content including coloring sheets and the all-new featurette “A Look Behind The Pet Shop Doors.” Littlest Pet Shop: Little Pets, Big Adventures DVD also includes an offer for a virtual Collectable Pet on the Littlest Pet Shop App, and has a suggested retail price of $14.97.

Littlest Pet Shop is an animated half-hour comedy series that follows Blythe Baxter and her father as they move into a Big City apartment above the Littlest Pet Shop store - an amazing day-camp for pets of all kinds including a doggie diva, dancing gecko, a sweet, adorable panda and others. Her real adventure begins when she discovers that she alone can miraculously understand and talk to all of the pets. Blythe joins them on fantastical adventures that include uproarious song-and-dance sequences featuring all-new original music by Daytime Emmy® Award nominee Daniel Ingram and the vocal talent of Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain, Nicole Oliver and Peter New. Littlest Pet Shop premieres on Saturday, November 10th on The Hub TV Network in the US. Fans can pre-order the collection by visiting

Episodes Include:

-Blythe’s Big Adventure – Parts 1 & 2
-Bad Hair Day
-Penny For Your Laughs

DVD Bonus Content
“A Look Behind The Pet Shop Doors” featurette
Coloring Sheets

The Watch - available today!

Out on Blu ray and DVD today - I haven't had a chance to see The Watch yet myself, but I am definitely looking forward to it!

The WatchBen Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade take male bonding to hilarious new heights in this outrageous, no-holds-barred comedy that gets funnier every time you watch! There’s trouble brewing in peaceful Glenview, Ohio. That’s why four civic-minded citizens, armed with flashlights, walkie-talkies and spiffy new jackets, have teamed up to safeguard their community. But the guys find more than they bargained for when they uncover an alien plot to destroy Earth, and now these bumbling heroes are Glenview’s only chance to save the neighborhood — and the world — from annihilation.

Special Features:
● Deleted Scenes
● Gag Reel
● Alien Invasions & You
● Casting the Alien
● Theatrical Trailer
● Sneak Peek

Blu-ray Exclusive Special Features: 
● Jonah Alternate Takes
● Watchmakers
● Digital Copy

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Great Mystery Boxes Giveaway

Enter The Great Mystery Boxes Giveaway: Secret Santa Edition today!

Today I am happy to bring you a fantastic giveaway for you to enter! Maybe you will win some goodies to use as Christmas gifts - or maybe stuff for yourself. From November 12th to the 26th, you can enter for a chance to win one of six amazing mystery boxes filled with goodies that we know you're gonna love! Each box contains specially themed-filled, brand-new goodies (save for media reviewed items, such as books and DVDs,) including: Baby ($200+ value), Kids ($230+ value), Beauty & Fashion ($200+ value), Health & Beauty ($250+ value), College Care Pack ($240+ value), and the Box of Intrigue ($270+ value).

These prizes are made available to you by our giveaway hosts:,,,,,,

Simply enter by completing one or more tasks in the entry ballot below (each task fulfilled gives you at least one entry into the giveaway.)

Prematurity Awareness - Julien's Story

November is Preemie Awareness Month - seeing that I have a sweet little boy, now 5 yrs old, that was born 4 weeks early - I thought I would join in on the topic at hand.

First off - I thought I would touch on what is a preemie? A lot of people don't consider Mr. J to be a preemie because of his original calculated due date (putting him 36w6days at birth) - but technically, ANY baby born prior to 37 weeks gestation IS considered a preemie - so even without adjusting his gestation due to my ovulation date (which was CD21, not the "standard" CD14, which would have made him 35w6days at birth) he is a preemie no matter how you look at it.

Mr. J's story is a bit of a complicated one; when I got pregnant, I did not follow the typical 28 day cycle - I ovulated on CD21.  I mentioned to both my GP and my OB - but they both said they would go by CD1 to calculate the due date.  I didn't really think about it much, until Mr. J was born.

Around 24 weeks, I developed pregnancy induced hypertension; at 32 weeks I was told I was developing pre-eclampsia, I was taken off work and put on bed rest - with weekly NST appointments to monitor the baby. At approx 36 weeks, I was at one of these NST appointments and the on call doctor told me I needed to be induced. My urine protein was high, BP was high and my blood work was not coming back favorable. She was worried the situation would turn quickly, and wanted to be pro-active with mine and babies health.

We went home, packed our things and headed in for baby day!  The induction took approx 36 hours, and my sweet little boy was born.  They knew he was early and expected that he may have some breathing difficulties - he was taken to the special care nursery immediately. For being almost a month early, he was a great weight 6 lbs 3 oz!

The pediatrician on call, and the nurses in the special care nursery were adamant that he was NOT 36w6 days like my chart says....after a few questions and me telling them that my O day was at CD21, they had their answers - he was only 35w6 days - which explained most of their suspicions.

When he was transferred to CHEO at 22 hours old, we were pretty much told the same thing - he was NOT more than 36 weeks gestation.

His right lung had collapsed and a chest tube was inserted; he was intubated to help him get the proper oxygen and he was attached to all sorts of machines.  I was still in hospital, and when I got my day pass to go visit him I was shocked when I walked in. Even KNOWING that I would see wires and what not, it doesn't really prepare you (and my niece and nephew were born at 32 weeks....I had visited them in the NICU and knew what it would be like, but when it is YOUR baby, it is different)

Having a child in the NICU (well, in hospital at all I imagine) is extremely emotional. Add in your post-pregnancy hormones and you have a very complicated situation even worse.  Stress levels are high, family members are on edge and it was just not a good time. My hubby and I fought - he was annoyed with my mom, I was annoyed with his parents and it was just a mess. Everything worked out - but it was definitely rough.  Adding in to the mix I had delivery complications (I couldn't pee - I had 7 catheters while I was in hospital - over a 3 day period) and was sent home with one....they removed it at 7 days PP and I ended up having to go to emerg to have a new one inserted because I still couldn't was not a fun experience and made for a much more difficult recovery.

At 10 days old, Mr J was released home to us - with a clean bill of health.  We were so incredibly lucky to have our little boy with us - healthy and happy. There have been no lasting effects - he does have asthma, and the doctor mentioned that it COULD be related, but there really haven't been studies done.  From speaking to respirologists and other doctors - apparently it is VERY rare for spontaneous pneumothorax to occur in a newborn.

Even though Mr. J was technically a preemie (born before 36 weeks) we really didn't have a lot of the obstacles that many do.  He met all of his milestones on time (or early) and other than asthma the only thing really was a speech delay (and there is no way of knowing whether or not that was because of his premature birth)

That was our experience - a great friend of mine is also a Preemie mom - her son was born at 31 weeks - and she is guest posting on here for me. You can find that post HERE

I am participating in the Preemie Awareness Blog hop - check out the links below to read more preemie stories.

Blog Hop Participants

Frugal Mom Eh - Keira's Story
Journeys of the Zoo - Born at 30 weeks, the ZOO's NICU story
Number Crunching Momma - Being a Parent of a Preemie
Ask Mama Moe - What It's Like to Have Preemies
Life on Manitoulin - What It's Really Like to have a Preemie
No Holding Back  - Tiny and Kathryn's story
Simply Suppa - (Some) Things You Need to Know About Preemies

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Elli & Nooli blanket - review and giveaway (US only)

When my boys were babies, I wished for a great blanket that I could use in the stroller. I tried many, even made one or 2 but they always managed to kick them off. I was constantly worrying that they were going to get cold.

I was recently contacted by Elli & Nooli and given two blankets to review - the Padi blanket and the Loopi blanket.

Padi Blanket
The Padi blanket is different than any of the blankets I have come across. You place the blanket in the stroller, thread the safety straps through the slits that are in the blanket and then place the baby in the stroller and connect the harness. Once baby is secured in the buggy, you can "wrap" the blanket over top of them.

I wanted to see how easy it was to use, so when it arrived I attached it to our stroller. It was super simple to place in the buggy - my 2 yr old is too big for it, so I don't have a picture with him in it - but this is what it looked like in my own stroller.

The Loopi Blanket is a large receiving blanket that has a velcro "loop" on one of the corners. You can then attach a soother or a lovey for your child to the blanket, making it easy for them to find.

Here are some pictures to show you the sizing of the Loopi Blanket
the full size of the Loopi Blanket
Up close of the velcro loop on the Loopi Blanket

The wonderful folks at Elli & Nooli want to give you the chance to try out their products also! You can enter below to win either a Padi Blanket or a Loopi Blanket. Don't forget to check out their website and view the other products that are available too! You can connect with them on twitter and facebook also

Lest we forget

Today marks remembrance day - a day that we remember all the soldiers that have fought, and are fighting now. A day to thank those veterans that are still alive, and celebrate the ones that have passed on.

Do you have an veterans in your life? Both of my grandfathers were in the military. My maternal grandfather was a fighter pilot during WWII, and my paternal grandfather was a flight instructor. They have both since passed away, but I remember them today.

My hubby's grandfather was also overseas during the war - he is 90 years old now. Every year I call him to say thank you.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Guest Post: Preemie awareness

I am really happy to have a guest poster today - she is one of my great friends, and is also a preemie mom - please welcome Lara from Parenting with Heart.

I am honored to be guest posting on Tales of Mommyhood in celebration of being the mama of a preemie!  Every November we celebrate our first born not because it’s his birthday but because he was born early, by early I mean 9 weeks.  He was born at 31 weeks 4 days gestation in December 2007.  I am the proud mama of a preemie. 

Being the mom to an early baby means your family grows tremendously in those first few hours of your new baby’s life.  This family isn’t the traditional nuclear family of relatives, grandparents, cousins, it is a village that continues to grow as you share your story and meet people who have also had early babies or kids with complex medical needs.  In those early morning hours we learned firsthand that it takes a village to raise a child. 

Lara and stinky monkey as a newborn

Our village is much different as it involved dieticians, doctors, scientists, prayer groups, online forums, preemie playgroups, regular playgroups, and HAND SANITIZER (and lots of it).  Our preemie story is a bit unique in that our little man was born with a life threatening illness and then subsequently his heart showed signs of two congenital heart defects (CHD) about 10 days after birth.  So our road and village became CHEO and services offered through CHEO, then services offered by Sick kids in Toronto and now an online community of international families with kids like our son.  It is amazing how much information and knowledge our village has given us and how much it has helped us in parenting our two healthy heart kids. 
One of the biggest “helps” we have had through the last 5 years was the Infant Stimulation Program that runs out of OCTC.  Every six months we were followed by a development specialist, in our home, who gave us tips, pointers and an ages and stages evaluation.  They also provided us with resources that helped with post-operative complications when our boy had an open-heart procedure.   Their information and support has not only reassured us that he was on target with milestones, but has increased our awareness and abilities as parents to two healthy heart kids. 

I wanted to use this blog to reflect a little bit on the hardest part of our first year with our preemie AND also that these struggles actually became our source of strength and benefits to him. 
He was a December baby so right in the middle of cold and flu season.  This meant near isolation for us when he came home from the hospital.  The immune system doesn’t fully mature until the age of 2 ½ , Preemies are at a high risk for viruses and flus, something simple like a sneeze can turn into a 48 hour+ hospital visit (thank you RSV).  Isolation meant: no playgroups, grocery stores, shopping malls, no visitors that had a cough, runny nose, or kids…all of the above were harboring terrible germs!  But this isolation also meant lots of rest, lots of cuddles and because it was an exceptionally snowy winter that was all good with this new mama! 

Once we could go to playgroups and out of the house I found it particularly hard to integrate with non-preemie babies.  I tried really hard, and the other mom’s tried just as hard.  It was important for me to be out there with our little boy so that he got to socialize and I got to make memories with him.  But I just couldn’t connect with the other mom’s; our experiences were just so very different.  I could also see how overwhelmed he would become with all the activity.  I kept it going and very quickly learned his cues for when he reached his limits and ultimately for him it was a huge benefit because he is a super social little person.   For me, it helped me learn my limits too, it helped me better understand what I needed as a mother and in terms of support for the birth story that was my first born son. 

The final thing that was a challenge in that first year was food!  Being first time parents we were so very cautious with everything, we also did everything by the book because he was preemie.  We have no solid evidence that being a preemie or being intubated for so long affected his eating or caused his reflux but we also can`t exclude it as a cause.  We had texture issues, gagging issues, vomit issues, social eating anxiety, generally it was all kinds of disastrous meal time memories!   Now, at 5 the only thing we are still somewhat challenged by is pasta…he will now (for the first time in 4 years) eat spaghetti noodles ONE at a time, thanks to his grandfather!  But for all this food stuff, he never had to increase his calorie intake to grow, once we left hospital he never had an NG tube, we have (knock on wood) never had an allergic reaction.  To be honest I have heard worse stories from mom`s with full term babes.  AND I can honestly say that because of these food issues with him lessened the stress when it came time for solids with my other two.
To conclude, this month I celebrate my preemie and all the challenges he has brought to us!  I also celebrate the fact that his early birth and subsequent health struggles have made me a better mother, more knowledgeable and generally a much more relaxed parent.  I take my kids for granted less, I enjoy the present more and most of all I enjoy each one of my three kidlets for who they are regardless of their birth story.  While I sometimes wish my village was much smaller, I am so grateful to have this large village to support us at every milestone, curve and bump in our journey!

Lara and stinky monkey this past spring

Lara is a working mom to three lovely little kidlets (almost 5, almost 3 and almost 6 months), she just reinvigorated her blog, Parenting With Heart , which focuses on staying sane, fashionable and womanly in a world with a cardiac kid and two healthy heart kids.

Read about our preemie story

Friday, November 9, 2012

Keeping kids active

I think we can all agree that it is super important for kids to get their daily physical activity in. Not only does it help with keeping them physically fit, it helps their minds develop too. You can check out my most recent post on the Cheo Moms and Dads website about that very topic

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift - activity sheets

Ahoy, matey! Blue Sky Studios unveils a brand new chapter in one of the most successful film franchises of all time. Bringing together the visually epic and the emotionally powerful, ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT sets sail on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on December 11, just in time for the holidays.

click the picture, save as and then you can print!

So go ahead, print these off for fun with the little ones - and don't forget, Ice Age: Continental Drift will be available for purchase on December 11, 2012 - but keep checking back for a GIVEAWAY later this month!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Canadian Double Stroller Giveaway

I am really happy to share with all of you a SUPER giveaway! You have the chance to win a Double Stroller! How awesome would that be? Keep reading for all the info you need!

Welcome to the Canadian Double Stroller Giveaway! 

An extra special giveaway just for our Canadian fans, shared by Canadian bloggers and sponsored by the ultimate online Canadian baby store!

Hosted by Baby Giveaways Galore and sponsored by Canada's Baby Store.

{Canada's Baby Store}
  • Sells a huge selection of baby products: car seats, strollers, travel systems, playpens & yards, highchairs, swings & jumpers, nursery items, home safety, health products and toys.
  • FREE shipping on ALL Canadian orders over $50.00 
  • Only ships within Canada
  • Online store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Customer Care Experts available by toll-free phone, email or live chat 
  • FREE 90-day product warranty on ALL products
  • Gift Registry
  • Onsite resources: Buying Guides for cribs, strollers and car seats 
  • 30-day money back guarantee  

 WIN: Chicco® Cortina® Together™ Double Tandem Stroller
$395 Retail Value


ENDS: November 20th 2012 (11:59pm EST)



 USE COUPON CODE:  Mummy15 to get 15% off ANYTHING 
in the store even sale items!
(Coupon is good from Nov. 7th to Dec. 18th 2012) 

SALE: The Chicco Cortina Together double stroller is on sale right now for only $229.69

ENTRIES: Via Rafflecopter Below

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ugghhh....daylight savings and my children

I have never worried around the time change; my children have never really shown any effects from it....until this time.

We had a great few months of the boys waking between 730 and was wonderful. I could wake when I wanted and have lots of time to myself in the mornings. I was able to shower without an audience, have my breakfast in silence and catch up on my emails, however - they both wake up at 6:00am. So my nice mornings of waking up alone have gone by the wayside, and I am back to showering with an audience.

What about you? Are you or your children having a rough time adjusting to the clocks going back?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Christmas and Gifts

When my oldest was a baby - we went completely overboard on gifts. I have no idea how much money we spent, but it was ridiculous. The next 2 years followed pretty much the same.  When he was 3, and Mr. K was a baby - we cut back a bit, but still spent way more money than I care to think of.

Last year, I heard the saying "something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read". I thought that was a great idea to follow and so we cut back to only 4 or so gifts from us (Santa brings them one gift and then fills their stockings with little items).

This year, we followed the same thing - and my shopping is done for the boys; my wrapping is done for them and everything is now hidden away in the basement.

They each have 1 book, 1 outfit, 1 pair of pj's, Mr. J has a board game and a puzzle, and Mr. K has 2 toys. Santa will bring them their most desired gift on Christmas morning and I feel great having it all done now!

What about you? Do you run out on Christmas Eve picking up last minute gifts, or do you buy early to save some stress?

Daylight Savings Time

This morning (at 2am) marked the start of Daylight Savings Time - if your live in one of the MANY areas that partakes in this, then don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour.

I always do it before I go to bed; I find it easier instead of waking up sleepy and trying to remember that I need to do it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ice Age Continental Drift REVIEW

My family are big fans of the Ice Age movies - one of the things I love the most about these movies, is that they show that FAMILY is what you make it to be.  When I received the copy of Continental Drift - I kept quiet. I thought it would be a great family movie night video to watch, and I decided to come up with some themed snacks.

I made an "icee drink" (which was sprite blended up with frozen berries) and we had animal crackers for snacks too!

When I brought up the snacks and drink to Mr. J - I told him what they were and asked him to guess what movie we may be watching - he didn't get it right, but he had fun trying to guess. When I put the movie on and told him we were going to be watching Ice Age Continental Drift - he was ecstatic.

Hubby watched it with us also, and was pretty impressed with it. In this movie, the squirrel dives to the center of the earth and somehow causes the divide of the continents. Manny, Diego, Seth and his granny get separated from the rest of the herd and end up drifting off on an ice berg - while trying to make their way back home they meet up with a "ship" and pirate crew and trouble ensues.

I wouldn't consider it to be scary, but if your children are REALLY sensitive, then they may not take to the pirate captain.

Ice Age Continental Drift will be available for purchase on December 11, 2012 - just in time for Christmas! If you have an Ice Age lover on your gift giving list, keep this title in mind!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Christmas Neighbourhood Watch: A Few Ideas for Christmas Decorations

By neighbourhood watch, we don't mean keeping a watchful eye out for burglaries in the area. Although this type of neighbourhood watch also can be useful.

This particular version is all about coveting and getting inspired by the houses and people living around you. As the sharp and bracing winter winds keep blowing, it's wonderful to see whole streets light up in a joyful chorus of Christmas lights. Nothing can be more cheerful, save for a mulled wine in front of the fire with loved ones: we have had a look at ways to make your Christmas look even better.

Get People Involved

Co-opting whole streets of people into the festive fun can take lots of patience: why not appeal to their competitive nature and get the ball rolling? How you approach this will depend on your good taste. A classic way to decorate your garden is by placing plain, sleek and blue selection of fairy lights and work them into the naked branches of trees. Along with this you can add a plain and tasteful wreath on your door. If you’re looking for something more eccentric instead, go for all the bells and whistles. On the market you’ll be able to find the most outrageous, bright and ostentatious statues, as well as flashing LED lights, Santa and fake reindeer for the roof line. If you’re not taking either side, plenty of decorations exist somewhere between the two approaches.

Oh Christmas Tree!

One iconic piece of Christmas nostalgia that can be coveted and enjoyed by both inhabitants and the neighbourhood is the tree. Head to a sustainable pine or fir forest and pick up the latest family addition for a good price. Then get some high quality Christmas decorations, like golden leaf infused baubles, tinsel, and delicate angels and reindeer. Have fun with the selection of these decorations, they add a gorgeous ambiance to any lounge room. Successively, it’ll be time deck the halls with people for the glorious moment of lighting the tree. Don't forget to open up the blinds and let the neighbours and passers-by enjoy the view every evening.

This year, make Christmas extra special by taking the time to seek out the prettiest and most delicate decorations: the family and the neighbourhood will thank you for it.

Halloween 2012 at the Tales of Mommyhood house

Halloween Vampire costume


With my children getting older, I thought it would be fun if I dressed up with them. Since they were both super hero's, I tried to find a ladies superwoman costume - but I had no luck.  Nothing seemed to catch my eye, until yesterday....I happened to find TWO costumes that I liked, and since they were 50% off, I bought them both - and now have one for next year also

Blow up halloween decor
view from the end of our laneway
I took the boys out at 6pm to the neighbours houses that we know - they had a lot of fun, Mr. K caught on fast that if he held out his bag, treats were put in.

The plan was to do the 6 houses, go home and then hubby and his dad would take Mr. J out to do the rest of the houses....that didn't quite work as Mr. K followed - they all went together, and hubby brought him home after about 20 minutes.

They scored tons of loot, had lots of fun and Mr. K was in bed at 7pm......Mr. J fell asleep on the couch around 8pm with us.

I hope that your little trick or treaters had a safe night and lots of fun!