Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from Hannah Banana!

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

More Tricks than Treats

Happy Halloween!

Today Hannah and I were supposed to go to our weekly music class with Sonshine & Broccoli. I was so excited Halloween fell on a Wednesday this year, so that Hannah could be around other kids who were dressed up and show off her super cute Banana costume that her Auntie made for her.

Booyah is actually holding a tomato toy,
but let's pretend it is a pumpkin for Halloween.
Instead, Grandma is at the mall with Hannah (not dressed as a fruit) and I am at home in my PJs on the couch eating many freeze pops because my lymph nodes decided to get all swollen.

After waiting an hour to see the doctor, I got told to drink lots of liquids and not kiss baby. I am contagious. :(

I'm obviously more disappointed by today's events than Hannah because she has no idea. In some respects I guess I should be happy she's not old enough to realize she might be missing out on anything. When Daddy gets home Hannah will parade her costume around for us, we will take lots of photos and then maybe watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." (We live in a building, so will have no Trick-or-Treaters coming to our door.)

I will spend the rest of the night cuddling my black cat Booyah. Not because he deserves extra love today (being a black cat on Halloween can be tough), but because I can't pass the on virus to him.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween and stays safe, and hopefully dry.

What are your kids dressing up as for Halloween?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Snorkeling and Dolphin Watching in Oahu (#hnlbambina)

My favourite day in Hawaii included swimming with a wild sea turtle.

Chris and I did a tour with Hoku Nai'a that included dolphin watching in the morning, lunch on the boat, and snorkeling in the afternoon. We left Waikiki early in the morning, and boarded the brand new 149-passenger two-deck catamaran, custom built for eco-friendly dolphin watching around 9 a.m.

The dolphin watching was so cool. We saw a pod of at least 15 spinner dolphins, and they lived up to their names. As I remarked to Chris, I had to stay on the top deck of the boat or I would have been too tempted to jump in and swim with them.

Around lunch time, the boat got quite rocky and a lot of people started to get sick. The crew apologized for the rough ride and blamed the winds. I don't know if it was riding the subway while pregnant that made the boat ride a walk in the park for me, or just the fact that I was so excited to get in the water but thankfully I was fine.

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for arrived. I got to enter the water! As soon as we got in, one of the tour guides pointed out a sting ray swimming beneath us. Then a sea turtle was spotted. I tried to take photos with an underwater camera we purchased at the ABC Store, but it was so hard to see through the view finder. At one point Chris wanted to go back to the boat, so I swam back with him and then back out to the group. Those few moments when I was "alone" with the fish were amazing. I swam with a school of fish going the same direction as me and I felt a part of their pack.

When we got to the second snorkeling location, many folks decided to stay on the boat. I was the first tourist in the water and the last out. This time there was another turtle who was quite active. He swam by me, maybe five feet away. I think he was OK with getting closer to us because there were less people in the water. Our tour guide made sure we kept a good enough distance as not to startle him. Of course, by this point, I had no more film left in the underwater camera. A part of me was actually thankful for this - it made me truly experience the moment rather than attempting to capture it on film.

While it was mostly adults on the boat, and at least half only boarded to dolphin watch, one family who had a four-year-old daughter entered the water and she was quite happy to do so. I can't help but hope in a few years Hannah will be interested in joining me and seeing wild sea life up close. Being able to snorkel with my daughter would be the ultimate highlight of any vacation I could ever take.

YYZ Bambina is tagging all Hawaii-related posts #hnlbambina.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Looking Back on Baby's First Year with Natrel Baboo

Sometimes I can't believe Hannah is almost a year old already. This has easily been the fastest year of my life (even if some teething nights seemed to last forever).

Where did all this time go?

Looking back, I can't believe all the weird things Chris and I did. Case in point: when Hannah came home from the hospital we created a spreadsheet to document when we fed her, how long she slept, and what was in her diaper when we changed it. Parenting in the digital era much?

Speaking of the digital era, the first time she does things we always try to capture it with a camera - photo or video. The first time she laughed. The first time she rolled over all by herself. The first time she grabbed a toy. The first time she held her own bottle. The first time we offered her solid food.

Now that she has started to eat off our plates (mashed potatoes and bread when we are out at restaurants are her faves) while proudly sitting in a high chair all alone, I must face the fact I have an almost toddler in my midst. I still remember going to restaurants and leaving her in the bucket car seat, fingers crossed she wouldn't wake up so I could finish my meal while it was still warm.

She's also started to eye our beverages. I let her drink out of my water glass, but her taste buds are getting wise.

Enter Natrel Baboo. As a Natrel drinker myself, my ears always perk up when this commercial comes on TV. Baboo is the first Canadian dairy product especially designed for toddlers aged 12-24 months to ensure a smooth transition from breast milk or infant formula to regular milk. Rich in five essential nutrients, Baboo contributes, as a complement to a balanced diet, to the development of toddlers. Baboo is easier on the toddler’s system than regular milk because it has a lower sodium content, and is easier to digest than regular milk. They also don't have to be refrigerated until they are opened - so they are great on the go!

To learn more, please visit the Natrel Baboo website.

Natrel Baboo is excited to share that they are giving away 50,000 free coupons. You can try Baboo for FREE, simply visit

Disclosure – I am participating in the Baboo Blog Tour by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Natrel. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Top 5 Ways Pregnancy Prepared Me for Motherhood

Hannah is 9 months old today. That means she spent as much time as a resident in my body as she has on planet Earth.

To celebrate that, here are my top five ways pregnancy prepared me for motherhood.

1. Your Life Changes Dramatically and It Is No Longer About You

Me and Booyah, 30 Weeks
In the simplest way, your body is no longer your body - it belongs to the baby growing inside you. This obviously makes drastic differences on how you choose to live your life.

The hardest thing about being pregnant was giving up sushi. I LOVE SUSHI. But the baby's needs came first, and I was happy to do anything to ensure she would be the healthiest baby she could be. Not being able to consume a beer on a patio last summer was also difficult. But, it's not like I was able to do it this summer either.

You also feel this weird sense of purpose in creating the healthiest baby your body will allow, and then being the best mother you can be to the child you are blessed with.

2. The Opposite Sex Reacts Differently To You

Once my pregnancy was announced on Facebook, it was almost enjoyable to see all the messages pour in from guys I dated in the past...their messages read, "Congratulations! How exciting!" but what they were really saying is, "Whoa, if we were still dating I might have been this baby's father. Glad it's not me!"

One day, when I was past 5 months pregnant, I was waiting for the subway at Union Station. I had my earphones in but my iPod had died. (I do this in hopes that strangers won't talk to me...). Anyway, there were two university-aged guys waiting for the same train. One of them was pressuring the other to talk to me. The pressured guy was like, "What would I say dude? She probably has a boyfriend, and I'll just look stupid." I wanted to kiss said boys. I never felt so great in my life. Five months pregnant, and still being checked out. (I clearly was not showing too much at this point, but an ego boaster nonetheless).

I'm not checked out when pushing a stroller, and that's the way I prefer it to be. I guess most people are fine with cheating, but don't want to be a home wrecker? I can't judge, I myself consider all celebrities fair game until they become Dads.

3. Your Friendships Change

As a 20-something living in the big city, once I couldn't drink my social life changed drastically. No longer did I want to go to bars, where people pushed and you had to stand on your feet all night. I just wanted to go for dinner (not sushi :() or see a movie. Where I could wear comfortable clothes and shoes, sit my growing ass down and enjoy.

Those friends who texted me constantly the week before my due date are still the friends who text me on a weekly basis if I have yet to reach out to find out how I am and how Hannah is doing. They are also the friends who happily dined with me and now happily dine with me and Hannah.

How your friends treat you while you are pregnant is the greatest indicator of how they will treat you once your baby is here. My three best friends are all childless (so far!), but are just as excited as me when Hannah reaches a new milestone. There are many stages in life that show you who your true friends are, and becoming a Mom is certainly one of them.

4. Your Relationship with Your Mom Changes
Our First Photo (That I Look OK in)

Once I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't help asking my Mom questions about her pregnancy with me. Hannah loved to kick, especially my rib cage. Apparently I was the same way in the womb.

Now that Hannah is here, I understand a little more why my Mom has treated me the way she has over the years and why she will do everything she can in her power to make me happy. Until your life is all about someone else, you don't really realize your Mom's life became all about you the second she found out she was pregnant...and you also realize the sacrifices she has made for you and appreciate her that much more.

I'm also very grateful that my Mom has a wonderful relationship with Hannah - her eye's light up as soon as Grandma enters the room. If Chris has to work and I am sick or have an appointment, my Mom will use vacation days to watch Hannah. My brother and I like to joke that my Mom loves Hannah more than us, but I am really grateful that she shows Hannah so much care and affection.

5. Your Relationship with Your Partner Changes

One of my married friends who gave birth to her second child shortly before Hannah arrived told me that having children is the ultimate test when it comes to your romantic relationship. I couldn't agree more.

Chris was great at bringing me home stuff I craved (mostly those little white donuts and pepperoni pizza). He was so excited to finally feel Hannah kick in the womb. He always checked in with me throughout the day to see how I was feeling, and tried to attend as many as my doctors appointments as he possibly could.

It wasn't all sunshine and butterflies as we got closer and closer to my due date. Sometimes I was upset he could still go out to bars, grab a drink with friends and do pretty much whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. It really irked me when he would come home and greet me with a kiss and all I could taste was alcohol on his lips. I was just jealous that his life didn't change immediately like mine had after I peed on that stick.

Once Hannah arrived, his life changed drastically too. His social life is now about as happening as mine (that is, not happening at all).

Regardless, having a baby has thankfully made our relationship stronger. Having a child solidifies the fact that this person will always be in your life. Even if you break-up or get divorced, you will have to co-parent with this person for the rest of your days on this planet. I believe that having a child together is the biggest commitment you can make to someone.

Chris and I still fight and upset each other, but now that there's another human involved we try to be less petty and focus on her needs before our own. This has really helped put mundane things in perspective. Even if it does annoy me that his dirty socks can't seem to always find their way to the laundry hamper, I know that if he smells a dirty diaper he will change her and make sure it finds its way to the Diaper Genie.

So those are my top five. I'm sure there are many more - how did your pregnancy prepare you for motherhood?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Honolulu Zoo (#hnlbambina)

I was in love with the Honolulu Zoo. And the animals at the Honolulu Zoo were in love with Chris' camera, he got lots of great shots (it was really hard to determine which ones to post).

Again, before we went my Mom warned us the Zoo hadn't gotten the best reviews online. I have no idea what these people expect for $14 admission, but our trio (and our free baby visitor) were quite impressed.

It's not as big as the Toronto Zoo, and there's no huge hill to check out the animals who are indigenous to the island (thank goodness). The exhibits are big and beautiful (although slightly odd when you can see a Waikiki hotel towering in the background), but they aren't so far apart you feel like you are walking for days until you reach one animal from leaving another. We saw everything the Zoo had to offer in about three hours.

There are more than 1,200 mammals, reptiles and birds that call the Honolulu Zoo home. There are elephants, lions and chimpanzees. Hippos, tigers and meerkats. If the animal showed up to Simba's introduction in the "Circle of Life" in the Lion King, you can most likely see them here. Like one of the dolphins at Sea Life Park, Hannah attracted many of the animals to come close so she could get a better look.

With all the controversy surrounding the elephants at the Toronto Zoo, I think their new home should be the Honolulu Zoo. And I think for coming up with that idea (although, not offering to foot the cost to fly them to Hawaii - perhaps Bob Barker could do that?), I should get a free trip every year to visit said elephants in their new paradise home.

Located quite close to the Waikiki Aquarium and across from Waikiki Beach, the Honolulu Zoo is a must for all visitors - with or without children.

YYZ Bambina is tagging all Hawaii-related posts #hnlbambina.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Top 5 Things I Learned at ShesConnected 2012

As previously mentioned, last weekend I attended ShesConnected Conference, a two-day blogging conference in Toronto.

I met lots of awesome people - bloggers and brand representatives. And I'm still in awe of all the swag (favourites in my house - Hannah loved her Telus stuffed animal, I loved the gift certificate from Molson Canadian 67 and Chris really likes my "Baconista" tee from Maple Leaf Foods).

However, the most important reason I went to the conference was to LEARN how to be a better blogger (and in some cases, a more law-abiding one).

Without further ado, here is my top 5 things I learned at ShesConnected.

  1. When uploading your posts to Facebook, use a picture. Pictures get more real estate in people's news feeds and Facebook users are more likely to interact (ie "Like") a picture than they are a status.
  2. Brands follow bloggers on Twitter to check them out. Make sure your Twitter account is a true reflection of who you are. If you want to work with a brand, like them on Twitter and engage them - that should get you on their radar.
  3. If you approach a brand (which was highly encouraged by many of the speakers and panelists), detail exactly what you want from them AND exactly what they will get for sponsoring you. Highlight uniqueness.
  4. If your blog earns more than $10,000 a year the government wants to know about it. Bad news - ANYTHING you received for free to review is included in your annual income. Good news - anything you review which you purchased can be included as an expense. The speaker of this session was excellent, you can follower her @shoeboxbegone.
  5. It is illegal to ask people pay to enter contests. The legal session definitely scared me the most, and I left with more questions than answers (we only had 45 minutes after all), but if you do giveaways on your blog I would definitely check out the Competition Bureau website to make sure your giveaways are legit.
Additionally, I learned that no one looks like their cartoon avatar. Glad Chris, Hannah and I aren't alone. :)

Did you attend ShesConnected? What did you learn if you did? If you haven't attended a blogging conference, what would you hope to get from it?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Waikiki Aquarium (#hnlbambina)

The Waikiki Aquarium is right on Waikiki beach. It's a short walk from the Honolulu Zoo, and a great place to cool off and see some really colourful fish.

Adult admission is $9, but we found a coupon for $1 off in one of the touristy magazines - and they honoured it for both Chris and I. As always, Hannah was free. My Mom had already been, so she decided to spend the couple hours at the hotel pool.

A couple hours was less than what it took. We walked there from our hotel, saw the Aquarium, and walked back.

It may have been the smallest aquarium I've ever visited, but it was the cheapest admission-wise and you definitely get your money's worth. It's the third oldest aquarium in the United States, and one of the coolest - almost all the indoor tanks have access to natural sunlight.

Hannah's stroller was the perfect height to check out the big fish, small fish and jellyfish. The aquarium houses more than 3,500 marine animals in their exhibits including the famous Hawaiin State Fish - Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (see photo at right). Seeing that fish is worth the admission price alone. The aquarium also has a touch tank (Hannah touched a shell) and two Hawaiian Monk Seals.

The Waikiki Aquarium is the perfect place to spend some time out of the sun - and learn about the fish you can snorkel with on the island.

YYZ Bambina is tagging all Hawaii-related posts #hnlbambina.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Space Chums! (Review and Giveaway)

Watch out earthlings, there's a new kids band on the planet and they hail from Outer Space.

The Space Chums! consist of Disco-Cosmonaut Nickolai, Space Ninja Linda, Galacto-Fashionista Gussy and Bleep Bloop their robot drummer.

Hannah and I got a chance to listen to their EP Blast Off, and we have become huge fans. When the song "I Love It" comes on, Hannah's face lights up and she starts to clap (her ultimate sign of approval). As for me, I love "Crazy Moves" and have been singing it in my head (and to the annoyance of Chris, out loud) for the past three days. Chris has nothing against the song - he just doesn't like my singing voice.

The songs are fast-beat and popish, daring you not to dance along. They sing about acceptance, support, friendship and being positive. They also teach how to rhyme. And of course, they sing about their space adventures. All of their songs are out of this world!

Check out their YouTube video below.

If you live in the Toronto area, the Space Chums! are touching down on Sunday, November 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a Dance Party! They will be landing at 3030 Dundas West (the address and name of the venue).

To keep up with the Space Chums!, make sure to visit and like their Spacebook page.

One lucky YYZ Bambina reader can win the Space Chums! CD and a t-shirt. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below!

Open to Canadian Residents only. Valid entries only. Contest ends Sunday, November 11, 2012. For further contest rules, refer to the Terms and Conditions within the Rafflecopter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was not compensated to review the Space Chums! CD. As always, all opinions and language are my own.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

YYZ Without Bambina

For the past two days I was an attendee at the ShesConnected Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I networked with many other bloggers and learned loads from the panelists, speakers and keynotes. I also got a LOT of great swag from generous sponsors who I hope will work with me someday. I know my attendance has made me a better blogger, and in turn, will make YYZ Bambina the best blog it can be.

But I really missed my daughter. A LOT. There were a few babies at SCCTO, and every time one of them fussed or giggled my heart hurt a little.

Chris was nice enough to switch his days off so he could be home with her. Secretly, I think he was just excited to have two full days of Daddy-Daughter time. Therefore, I wasn't worried that she wasn't being taken care of. I tried to keep the texts and calls to a minimum, and thankfully there was so much going on at the conference I didn't have too much time to dwell on my MIA mini-me.

Baby checks out Mommy's blog
I have no idea how I will handle going back to work in less than 3 months. I like my job and have amazing coworkers, but that doesn't mean I'll miss my daughter any less. I carried her for 9 months and by the time I go back will have spent almost every waking moment with her for 12.

Equipped with this new blogging knowledge from SCCTO, perhaps eventually I will be able to support my family with income I earn from home. While being with my daughter. One thing I learned from networking this weekend is that this is possible.

Former Cosmo Editor-in-Chief and New York Times bestselling author Kate White, a keynote speaker at SCCTO, shared one of her tips for success with us - "Go Big or Go Home." I'm going to personalize it to work for me. I'll Go Big TO Go Home.

 How do you deal with missing your kid(s)?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Healthy Halloween

This year, for her first Halloween, Hannah is dressing as a banana. Her Aunt is a fashion designer and making her costume. We will be making an (early) appearance at her Aunt's Halloween party, we have a music class to attend on Halloween, and we may drive to her grandparents houses to collect candy, so hopefully her super cute costume will get some mileage.

But because she'll only be 9 months old, I don't need to worry about any candy she might collect. Because Chris and I will fight over it, and then gorge on it ourselves (not that I expect she'll be collecting much).

How do you make sure your child(ren) doesn't go overboard with all the treats Halloween can entail?

Baby Gourmet Founder & President Jennifer Carlson Broe has a favorite healthy Halloween tip that both parents and children will love. The Halloween Witch is a household tradition for Jen's children Eamon and Findlay. Trick-or-treating is an experience that children love and Jen knew it would be very difficult (and disappointing for the kids!) to convince them not to participate - yet she was concerned about them eating big bags of candy. So...she told them about the Halloween Witch.

Eamon and Findlay have fun picking out their 10-15 favourite treats to keep and then they leave the rest of their candy next to the fireplace. The Halloween Witch visits their home each year and takes away the candy in exchange for a new present. Jen's children enjoy the whole of experience of Halloween without the lingering damage to their nutritional plan.

Fifteen pieces of candy and a new present sound pretty good to me. When I was younger, my brother and I would stay out for hours trying to get as much candy as our bags could possibly hold. Then, when my Mom was making us clean our rooms as part of spring cleaning, we usually found the dusty bags hiding under our beds - still 75 per cent full and having to be thrown out due to grossness.

Near the end of my trick-or-treating days, people had started to give out stickers, pencils and plain popcorn (slightly healthier than other goodies).

This year, Jen is going to take Halloween to an even healthier level. She will be handing out her brand new Squoosh™ product - the first healthy snack line-up to be launched under Kids Gourmet™, a brand devoted to healthy options for school age children. The Squoosh™ snack product line has four products specifically designed to appeal to children's sense of fun: Orangobango, Squabbleberry, Beetberry, and Banango. The packaging is fun and filled with serious nutrition. These snacks are made from 100 per cent fruit and vegetables, have no added sugar or salt, are kosher, nut-free and gluten-free, and provide a full serving of fruit & veg in every pouch.

Image from:

Hannah LOVES Baby Gourmet, so I can only assume when she gets older she'll love Squoosh™ too. With flavours like Harvest Pear, Pumpkin and Banana, Orchard Apple, Carrot & Prune, and Juicy Pear and Garden Greens, Baby Gourmet is baby food I don't mind tasting to ensure it's the right temperature. It's also a Parent Tested, Parent Approved Award Winning Product. All Baby Gourmet products have 100 per cent organic ingredients, no thickeners or fillers, no added sugar or salt and BPA free re-sealable packaging.

How will you keep your kid(s) healthy this Halloween?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sea Life Park - O’ahu (#hnlbambina)

One of the attractions I was most looking forward to on our trip to Hawaii was Sea Life Park.

Anyone recall the movie "50 First Dates" with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler? This is the park Sandler supposedly works at in the film. And I say supposedly, because most of the scenes I remember from the film I did not see at Sea Life Park (as a big fan, I've watched the movie at least 20 times). I should have done a Wikipedia search before I left. Apparently the park featured prominently in the film is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in Vallejo, California.

Regardless, a park set on the coast of a Hawaiian island is good enough in itself.

Hannah was free, the adults were all $29.99 for admission. People have complained about this entrance fee on travel websites. With the Honolulu Zoo costing $14 and the Waikiki Aquarium $9, I can understand why they are upset with the steep jump, but as a family with a baby it was well worth the price.

The Wholphin is on the left.
My Mom made a list of all the scheduled shows to ensure we would catch all of them. Hannah LOVED the shows (and I'm not going to lie, I enjoyed them too). She learned to clap shortly before we left for Hawaii and the sea lions and dolphins amused her to no end (and got gasps of glee AND lots of claps). Sea Life Park is also the home to the only know Wolphin - her parents are a whale and a dolphin. 

The park itself is quite small - I'd say you could circle the main path housing exhibits in 2 minutes easily if you didn't stop to watch. With a baby who likes to be carried, I didn't mind the park was so small, just as families with toddlers who like to walk by themselves wouldn't mind either.

We also fed the sea turtles for $4 - the cost included broccoli, celery and a cute "I fed the sea turtles" cup. Hannah also got to touch the shell of a baby sea turtle who was 3.5 months old.

Sea Life Park also offers activities such as swimming with the dolphins, feeding the sea lions, "swimming" with the sharks, etc. Most of the older families we saw the day we went had also signed up for one of these activities.

You can tell these animals are well taken care of. There seemed to be as many staff members attending to the animals as there were visitors in the park. There were a few too many sea turtles for my liking in their exhibit, but the other animals seemed quite happy in their homes. I wish there were more underwater viewing tanks - just the sharks and a few of the dolphins had these.

It's about a 50 minute bus ride on TheBus (O'ahu's public transportation system) from Waikiki which charges $2.50 each way for adults - which is nothing considering the amazing views you get riding to the park (a lot of the journey is along the coast).

If I ever get back to O'ahu (and I hope I will), I would definitely return to Sea Life Park. 

YYZ Bambina is tagging all Hawaii-related posts #hnlbambina.

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mabel's Labels Halloween Offer

Happy Halloween! Don't let this fabulous offer from Mabel's Labels scare you! 

From now until 10/19, or while supplies last, Mabel's Labels is offering a $3 off coupon for Allergy Alert labels, with all Halloween Loot Bag Combo purchases. The Loot Bag Combo was inspired by celebrities who love to include the Mabel's Labels waterproof Sticky Labels and Bag Tags in their children's birthday party loot bags. These sweet combos make great party favours and add a personalized touch to gifts! Best of all, you save $3 off Allergy Alert labels. Perfect for keeping your child safe this Halloween. Don't miss your chance to shop this great offer! 

Disclosure: I am a Mabel's Labels affiliate. 

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Diaper-eez Annual Birthday Sale

On Saturday, October 20th, 2012, Diaper-eez is holding their 17th Annual Birthday Sale.

There will be great deals in store all day, including:
  • 17 per cent off of all cloth diapers and cloth diaper covers 
  • 40 per cent off select sale items 
  • Draw an apple at the cash to win between 17 per cent - 40 per cent off of everything else in store 
There will also be snacks and music all day. Families are both welcome and encouraged to attend!

For more information, please visit

Unfortunately (perhaps fortunately for my wallet?), I will be attending the ShesConnected Conference so won't be able to make it. Hopefully someone can score some great deals on my behalf!

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Digital Diva of Memories

While we were away, my Today's Parent arrived in the mail. They had a ton of inserts this month, including a mini magazine about Milestones.

Reading some of the stories I got teary in a good way - some milestones Hannah has hit, others she is far away from (most notably becoming a big sister).

In it, there was a fun quiz-like chart asking parents, "How do you store your memories?"

I followed it and arrived at "Digital Diva".

As a blog owner, Twitter fanatic and Facebook liker extraordinaire, this shouldn't have come as a surprise. The surprise of the answer is that it made me feel less guilty.

The cover of one of Hannah's unused baby books
One of the first things I bought when I found out I was pregnant was a baby book for Hannah. I decided it wasn't good enough and bought another when she was about three months old. Both of these books sit in different locations. Both collect dust. I have scrap papers all around the house detailing "Hannah's first foods", "Hannah's first teeth". I also have photos of some of her firsts - they not only have image proof, but also a date stamp for years later when Hannah asks "When's the first time I held my own toy?" (If, for some reason, she decides to ask that).

In the beginning, I religiously tried to weigh her and measure her on her monthversary. That stopped after six months. I guess I figured unless the doctor needs to know, we don't really need to know either.

I blog about her milestones a lot. At least I try to blog about her more entertaining ones. In a way, the most important reader of this blog has yet to learn to read. I hope that this blog becomes better than any baby book and that one day Hannah might read my posts and feel like she was there - because she's not going to remember herself the first time she rolled over, sat up without assistance, or clapped her hands. (And um, I now I have three more blog posts to write.)

In my defence, I don't recall asking my Mom what milestones I hit when until I became pregnant. And until Hannah arrived.

I honestly don't know how interested Hannah will ever be in these memories. I think these books are definitely meant more for the parents than they are for the child they are about.

I have a baby book that my parents did for me. Do you know my favourite part? A piece of scrap paper in my Mom's writing with the title "Words Sarah can say at 18 months" at the top. There's about 16 words, one being "Coke" - my favourite soft drink to this day (although my Mom did NOT let me drink Coke when I was that young...). Maybe one day Hannah's favourite will be that scrap of paper listing her first month of foods. Only time will tell.

How do you document your child(ren)'s memories?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

Help Silk Canada plant trees by reducing your carbon footprint

Did you know that buying a carton (1.89L) of Silk instead of milk helps reduce your carbon footprint? It generates 49 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions1 and uses 76 per cebt less water2 than dairy milk. It also has a host of nutritional benefits and a silky smooth taste. To do even more for the environment, Silk has partnered with Tree Canada to help them plant more trees3! 

To inspire Canadians to join this initiative, reduce their carbon footprint and add to our Tree Canada donations, Silk has created a Carbon Calculator on Facebook that: 

  • Asks Canadians to pledge to reduce their carbon footprint by choosing 1 of 7 options, such as avoid buying bottled water, reduce showering time or increasing recycling.

  • Calculates the environmental impact their pledge will make.

  • For every pledge, Silk will donate an additional dollar4 to Tree Canada to plant more trees! 

    Will you make a pledge to help Silk help Tree Canada? I did and reduced my carbon footprint enough to take 156 cars off the road.

    1Based on a U.S. study comparing one carton (1.89L) of U.S. dairy milk and Original Silk soy and almond beverages and applied to Canadian Silk sales. U.S. study: Life Cycle Assessment conducted in 2011 by WhiteWave Foods Company and certified using the ISO 14040/44 framework for comparative declarations by an independent panel of LCA experts.
    2Based on a 2010 water footprint assessment conducted by Silk using the Water Footprint Network methodology.
    4Up to a maximum of $25k 

    © 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Back to Reality...

    Today has been the longest day of my life, at least flight-wise.

    We are finally back in Toronto. When I get back on THIS timezone I hope to post many stories about our adventures in Hawaii and travelling with baby.

    Strangely enough, I am still suffering vacation withdrawal. Even if being on mat leave means I don't have a 9 to 5 job to return to, just being back in my "normal" setting is somewhat depressing. I wonder if I could be the first Torontonian to successfully grow a palm tree?

    Anyway, here's a quick photo of Hannah and I at Sea Life Park. Hope you will stay tuned for my upcoming posts!

    © 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

    Sunday, October 07, 2012

    I'm Thankful for Paradise...

    We arrived safely in Hawaii.

    While Daddy is climbing Diamond Head and Grandma is at the pool, Mommy thought she would give an uber quick update while baby sleeps in the hotel crib.

    Paradise is fabulous and well-worth the LONG flight from Toronto. Thankfully there were babies on both our plane rides, and all the touristy attractions are well-prepared for infant guests.

    Having a great time - can't wait to write some of my first posts about travelling with baby, when I'm back in cold, palm treeless Ontario.

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! :)

    © 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012

    A Fear of Flying

    Tomorrow we are going on our first family vacation. This includes Hannah's first plane ride. We are headed to Hawaii.

    I am not afraid of planes. But I am somewhat claustrophobic and this will be the furthest I've ever flown.

    A part of me thinks I'm a huge idiot for making Hannah's first plane ride also my longest.

    Before I became a mother, I HATED flying with babies. About five years ago I took the red eye to London to visit a friend. There were like 10 babies on that flight! I angrily texted my friends as I waited to board the plane. How would I get any sleep if babies were crying all night?

    While pregnant I flew twice - once to Orlando and once to NYC. I had a lot more sympathy for the parents with babies on those flights. There was even one family who had three kids under 5, who were the best behaved kids I ever saw. I never heard the baby cry once! Those parents became my new heroes. I should have asked them for their tips, but never thought to at the time.

    Now instead of worrying about babies being on my flight, I am worried about how my baby will do on the flight.

    Hannah is a very relaxed and easygoing baby (I thank my lucky stars each and every day). She usually only cries when she's hungry or tired. But she's cries when she's teething. She's started to cry if she's playing with a toy and we've decided it's time to do something else. And she pretty much always cries when I change her diaper in public.

    However, my Mom is coming with us. So there will be three adults for one baby. We have packed lots of books and toys that don't make any noise. Hopefully it will be OK. If we receive under five death stares, I'll consider it a success.

    And if not, I know there is a nice umbrella drink waiting for me under a palm tree once we land. Vacations are supposed to be fun, after all.

    © 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2012

    Book Review: Froggy Goes to Hawaii

    Hannah loves the sound effects in this book. Any time anyone reads "flop flop...splash!" she has a fit of giggles.

    Froggy Goes to Hawaii by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, is part of the Froggy series. The book follows Froggy and his family to Hawaii and the various Hawaiian adventures (or more accurately, misadventures) they partake in while visiting the gorgeous vacation spot.

    As previously mentioned, the sound effects are Hannah's favourite part. She also likes the cartoonish illustrations. The plot is OK, but the ending is somewhat dissatisfying.

    Froggy Goes to Hawaii retails for $6.99 (paperback).

    © 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.