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Disney Wrap Up: Things I Hope to Do Next Time

Disney truly has so much to offer, it is impossible to do everything in one vacation. I was both surprised and pleased with the amount we were able to do and see, especially with two small children in tow, but there are so many things I wish we could have squeezed in even if I knew time and the patience of the kids weren’t on our side.  Besides the rides and attractions we missed out on in each park, there were many side things I had wished to try out but we never managed to do. So I decided to compile a list of those fun extras for a future trips.


(via urbanspoon)

The Kitchen Sink Ice Cream - Beaches & Cream is an ice cream shop at the Disney Beach Club Resort, and the Kitchen Sink Ice Cream is a huge pile of ice cream and toppings  placed into container resembling a kitchen sink. It’s pricey (around $25 I think) and enough to feed a family. I wanted to do this to see Drake’s face when such a huge bowl of ice cream was placed in front of him. I also think it’s just one of those fun memories kids will never forget because of the novelty and whimsy of it. You can find the recipe here!

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Choosing A Primary Care Physician in Canada

The first decision I had to make when I found out I was pregnant was which type of primary care practitioner (PCP) I wanted to see. Typically in Ontario, women see their family doctors; many of the doctors in our area also have delivering privileges at the local hospital. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city with a large team of midwives as well, so I was quickly faced with a pro-con list.

First on the list was my family doctor. I’ve been seeing him fairly regularly for the last ten years or so, and he’s got a general idea of who I am and the types of health concerns I’ve faced. His wait times are fairly short, and I knew that I could get an appointment within a few days if I needed one. The lab for bloodwork is right downstairs, and the ultrasound clinic is down the hall. It was convenient, close to home, and sounded like a good choice. The problem was that he doesn’t deliver babies. I could see him until 26 weeks, at which point I would be transferred to whichever OB in the area was accepting patients. I didn’t like that level of uncertainty; I’d much rather have someone who could follow me throughout my entire pregnancy.

My other choice was the midwives clinic. I would be assigned a group of three midwives to follow my case; with each appointment, I would see one of the three. There would be a midwife on-call 24 hours a day, reachable by pager, for any emergencies that might happen. Because the midwives are licensed, they could requisition any of the blood work I might need, and they have a great relationship with the ultrasound clinic in the building. If anything were to happen, they have a few OBs that they work with, so my care could be transferred and I could be seen by the midwives at the same time. They operate on the principle of informed consent; all of the tests, scans and treatments that are offered during pregnancy are carefully explained and detailed before they are done (or not done). They also encourage natural birth, either at home or in the hospital.

The problem with the midwives group is the transfer of care aspect. Say I went into labour and wanted an epidural; I would need to have my care transferred to the OB on call at the hospital, and the midwives would be done with my case. After following me for nine months, I would now be the sole responsibility of the OB and the hospital nurses.

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Why I Might Be “One and Done”

Growing up, I was never the girl who thought she would be the traditional “get married, get a kid-friendly job, have kids” type. My first dozen years were spent in a fairly traditional family environment in Russia, where that was pretty much exactly what women did, and had I stayed in Russia, I probably would have ended up on that track. But my subsequent and most formative years were spent in the US, where women could be anything they wanted and having kids was an option, not a given.

When I met Mr. Carrot, I met someone who shared my love for travel and exploration, and living in a major metropolitan area, we had plenty of adventure to pick from. With enough planning and saving, we managed to take some amazing overseas vacations, and our jobs were demanding and engaging enough that we generally felt like our lives were pretty complete. We bought a condo right outside our city, we formed a circle of friends that gave us plenty of weekend plans to consider, and we fell into a comfortable rhythm of being our own people and a young professional couple enjoying the kid-free life.

Mr. Carrot always wanted to have kids, but let me set the pace on that question. And for a long time, the answer was “no.” Not “not right now” or “I’m not ready yet”  - it was a solid “no.” As much as I loved kids, I didn’t feel any twinges to have my own. I could come up with a litany of reasons why I didn’t think we were ready logistically, but I was also always rational enough to know that you never really can be ready. My deciding factor wasn’t readiness, it was my own instinct – I just didn’t feel like kids were something I wanted to do. A lot of people rolled their eyes when this subject would come up – “you’ll get there eventually” and “insert name of commonly uttered phrase about having kids here.”

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Super Simple DIY Nursery Letters

I have developed an obsession with Paper Source and seek out excuses to pick out beautiful pieces of paper whenever I can. My favorite craft project so far has been these letters for the nursery. It’s so very simple, takes no talent, and with all of the gorgeous paper to choose from, you can easily create something quite special and lovely!

What I used:

I chose this quilt paper because it offered so many designs in one… making the letters look far more involved then they really were.

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Life with a Feeding Tube

Before D, I had never given a thought to feeding tubes, and most of my exposure was sensational – like, hearing about prisoners being force-fed during a hunger strike. I had a tour of the NICU when I was in the hospital before D was born, which was my first exposure to feeding tubes on anyone (specifically nasal-gastric or NG tubes). D had his NG tube placed on his first day of life – it started out going through his mouth, and later they switched it to his nose – both of which just went down the back of his throat to his tummy.


10 days old

Most infants will either get breastmilk or formula through their feeding tube, and some families choose to switch to a diet of blended food when their LO is bigger. The formula is either put in the tube through a syringe, or using a pump to give the dose at a slower rate. Often, babies/kids on feeding tubes need to eat at a slower rate to better tolerate the food, and for a while D was “eating” 20 out of 24 hours every day – a “bottle” given over 5 hours, with a 1 hour break before the next one started.

When D failed his 2nd swallow study and it became clear that he would need to eat via a feeding tube for an extended period of time, we had two choices:

  • Keep the NG tube
  • Get a G (gastrostomy) tube surgically placed

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Breastfeeding: Weaned at 16 months

If someone told me, during those early newborn months, that I would breastfeed Julia until she was 16 months old, I would have cried. I know the tears would’ve fallen, because hearing that would have felt like a horribly cruel joke. Our journey was so rough at the beginning that I’m still shocked we made it this far.

I wanted to talk about this earlier, but it would’ve meant saying that I was pregnant, and I wasn’t ready to let that cat out of the bag quite yet. I’m not sure being pregnant was the reason she stopped breastfeeding, but I definitely think it contributed to her weaning.


When she turned one, I introduced whole cow’s milk and gave it to her in a straw cup after she woke up and after she nursed. Little by little, I started offering the cow’s milk before I nursed her, and little by little, she stopped asking to breastfeed after those naps. She was too interested in playing instead of nursing—who can blame her? Toys are fun!

I was 10 weeks into my pregnancy, and Lil’ Bunny was 16 months, when—out of the blue—she didn’t ask to nurse at night for the first time ever. I knew that was the beginning of the end.

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Getting ready for the first day of preschool

For the last three years I have sent each of my kids to their first days of preschool. I was talking to a mom who was recently sending her triplets off to college, and she called it their launch. I laughed a bit at the term she used because I really felt those first days of preschool were our own little mini launch. I was sending my kids onto their next adventure, and it was one that they would have without me nearby. I can only imagine what this mom, who is sending her now fully grown “babies” off into the world, was feeling. I know the beginning of preschool was enough to give me butterflies in my stomach and feel that bittersweet twinge of our children growing right before our eyes. I feel like those early days are a huge transition for our little ones and us (I won’t lie, there may have been some ugly crying in the parking lot after dropping of my youngest for her first day). So here are some of the things we did to prepare for the big day.

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