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What to Bring to Your Kid’s First Day of Preschool

Little CC is getting ready to start his second year of preschool (what?!). Since we’ve done this before, I thought I’d share what we’re stocking up on and sending with him on the first day. This time last year, I was so lost and confused as to what he would need, and I felt a bit blindsided by all the costs that racked up. Hopefully this list will help you out if your kid is going to school for the first time.

Here are the things we’re sending with our kid this year. As always, check with your school to see what they require/recommend before making any purchases you’re unsure about.

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1) 2 kids’ Thermoses, 1 for water, 1 for milk. Make sure to choose a water bottle that keeps drinks cold all day, like this one from Thermos. Also, you may want more than two if you don’t want to have to wash them every single night.

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Posterior Tongue Tie – A Year Later

Little Bug was born with a posterior tongue tie and at 16 weeks, he had a corrective procedure done to release the tie. We are approaching the one year mark of finding out he had the tie, and I wanted to update how we are doing with the tie now.

We have now passed one year of breastfeeding and we are still going strong. He nurses once in the morning, sometimes at lunch time, once when I get home from work, once after shower/bath and before bed. He usually still nurses at least twice during the night, although if he is teething, sick, or just upset, he will nurse more often overnight. His latch is still not as great as I would like, but he does well transferring the milk, so I am not too worried about it. One of the classic signs of a posterior tongue tie is a heart shaped tip of the tongue. Little Bug still has this, and it took him until a month ago to really start using his tongue a lot. He is finally blowing raspberries and using his tongue to make other noises. It almost seems like he is finally figuring out how to manipulate his tongue around in his mouth.

There is some concern about his speech being affected, and so far we would have no idea because he refuses to actually use words. He communicates with us with a series of grunts and squeals, but he gets his point across. He definitely understands what we are saying to him, so I do wonder if his tongue is making it difficult for him to form some words. I have a standing appointment scheduled with a speech therapist at the end of the year to check him if he still hasn’t started talking yet. I’m not really that worried yet, and I think that if nothing else, having some extra help will not harm him if we end up taking him to the speech therapist.

As far as eating solid food goes, he is an absolute champ. He seems to have no trouble whatsoever with moving food in and around his mouth. He tackles just about anything we give him and doesn’t seem to be struggling at all with eating. He has learned to use a straw and a Munchkin cup, as well as a standard sippy cup. In looking at where the tie actually is, I can see that there is some reattachment. Again, I am not too worried about it and it doesn’t seem to be affecting anything at this point, so we are just going to watch and see how it goes. If he shows signs of struggling with eating or drinking, I will not hesitate to take him back in to the doctor.

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Part Time WOHM-Daily Routine

I’ve seen a couple of these on here recently from some of the other bloggers, so I thought I would throw my hat into the ring! Currently I’m working out of the home for 30 hours a week from 8am to 2:3o pm. Here’s what a week day in my life looks like!

5:45am – My lovely alarm goes off and Mr. Pbj and I head to the kitchen to grab some coffee and breakfast. A couple of times a week I’ll get up a bit earlier and run on the treadmill, but today is not one of those days.

6:30am – After drinking my coffee, checking my email and social media, and sometimes doing a bit of blogging, it’s time to hit the shower and start getting ready for work.

7am – Mr. Pbj goes in to wake up Mini Pbj and get her dressed. By this time I’m usually finished with my make up, and I’m getting dressed.

7:15am – Mr. Pbj gives Mini and me a hug and a kiss and leaves for work. Then I go to Mini’s room to straighten her bed, get her shoes, and pick out a hair accessory. We go to the living room and I fix her hair and help her with her shoes. Then I grab my shoes, finish fixing my hair, and then if I haven’t already packed my lunch, head to the kitchen to do that.

7:35am – I grab my purse and anything else I need, and Mini Pbj are out the door and off to Grandma’s house. We are fortunate to live really close to my parents so the drive is pretty quick. They are also sweet enough to feed Mini breakfast every morning!

Ready for the day

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Leave for Self-Employed Mothers in Canada

This topic is loaded for me. I have worked really hard over the last seven+ months to shift my perspective from bitter to grateful on this one… but there is still a part of me that sees a flaw in the system.

The topic? Maternity leave for small business owners in Canada.

I’ve been working as a consultant from home for seven years now, and the majority of that time has fallen into the self-employed window. There was a small pocket of two years where a project became so large I was actually employed through it, but when it came to an end I was left with a fork in the road. Would I look for a job or start my own consulting business? I actually applied for several perfect-for-me jobs, but in the end, felt like the consulting world chose me.

Working from home and being self-employed certainly has its many perks. I have a very flexible schedule, and while it’s kind of the perfect job to have with older children, I knew it would be challenging in the early years. I spent a lot of time soul searching before I decided to take a leap and start my business.

Now, many self-employed business owners do have access to the oh so lovely one year Canadian maternity leave… if they have a corporation and are employed through it, or decide to opt into Employment Insurance (EI)*. Without going into a big lesson on EI, as a self-employed business owner you don’t have to pay into EI like every employee does, because you can’t access the same typical benefits. This program is mostly used by those who get laid off seasonally or lose their jobs suddenly. It’s also the program that pays for maternity and parental leaves.

The issue is, when you decide to opt in to EI as a small business owner, you are opted in for the remainder of your career. And, unlike those who can leave their jobs for a year and return to the same position… after a year, I’m not sure if my business would still be there (or it would take a long time to rebuild). If I decided to work part-time I would have to pay back my benefits. So, in an ideal world I would likely take something like 8-12 weeks off, and then go back to work.

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Lion’s Birth Story: A Placental Abruption

This post is an edited version of something originally written in August 2014.

After having a partial placental abruption at 32 weeks, staying in the hospital for several days, being put on bed rest for several weeks, and having three doctors appointments a week for more than four weeks, I finally hit 37 weeks and was cleared for normal activity (minus any exercise).

T H U R S D A Y  –  3 7  W E E K S 

At my 37-week appointment on Thursday, my OB and I celebrated making it to the magical week where little Lion would no longer be considered premature. We chatted a bit more about options going forward and confirmed an induction date for 39.5 weeks. Although I did not want to be induced for a variety of reasons, my OB and MFM convinced me that it was the safest option having had the placental abruption. Still, I hoped I would go into labor prior to the induction date.

S A T U R D A Y  –  1 : 3 0  A M

At around 1:30 a.m. on Friday evening/Saturday morning, I awoke feeling a gush of liquid. I went to the bathroom and when I turned on the light, I saw bright red blood. I opened the door, flooding the bedroom with light and waking Mr. Dolphin. “I have to call the doctor,” I explained. “I’m bleeding again.” I crossed my fingers that my OB was on-call that weekend (he is a solo practitioner and switches coverage of weekends with another practitioner) and breathed a sigh of relief when he answered the phone. After explaining what had happened, he directed me to go to the hospital.

Once there, the nurses hooked me up to the monitors, the nurse examined me (I was only 1 centimeter dilated) and told me that the OB would be there in the morning, assuming no changes in my situation. I was contracting every seven minutes or so at this point, but I honestly had no idea that I was having contractions. Having never been in labor before, I had no idea what a contraction felt like and had mistaken this feeling for the past 15 weeks for baby movement (I thought the baby was pressing his entire body up against the front of my stomach). It sounds ridiculous now, being on this side of childbirth, but I didn’t know how to recognize a contraction.

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DIY Super Simple Hooded Towels

A year or so ago, my best friend made a hooded towel for Jackson. He fell in love with it more or less immediately, and ever since he has requested it at every single bath time. He gets very upset if his towel doesn’t include a hat, and we’ve had more than a few arguments about it right before bedtime when he wants to run around with the hood on his head and pretend like he’s a superhero but the towel is dirty. My friend swore up and down it was the easiest thing to make ever, but I absolutely hate sewing so I put it off for a long time before I decided to give it a shot. Recently, though, I finally got tired of the nightly arguments over the towel Jack would use post-bath, and I decided to give it a go.

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It really is incredibly easy to make these towels, and I was able to get them both done in under an hour with absolutely no cursing. That’s a record for any project with my sewing machine. Here’s how it’s done:

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A surrogate delivery from the perspective of an intended mother

I’ve written a little bit about Baby Audrey’s surrogacy birth in this post, but I wanted to put together a list of tips as well as my thoughts about the birth experience from the point of view of an intended mother. There were a few things that caught me by surprise, and also a few things that I’m extremely happy we did beforehand to make things go more smoothly.

Magical moment. All photos by Sweetly Cherished Photography.
Magical moment. All photos by Sweetly Cherished Photography.

Preparing for the hospital

At the half-way point of our surrogate’s pregnancy, Mr. Starfish and I toured the hospital where she was set to deliver. This is absolutely necessary in my opinion. We learned a lot of things during this tour, including the fact that our surrogate needed to register for delivery beforehand, how to gain entrance to the delivery floor, and the maddening discovery that the hospital didn’t accept our insurance. We also were put in touch with a social worker at the hospital to ensure that they were aware of our special circumstances and to confirm that we would get our own room post-delivery separate from our surrogate.

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