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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

DockATot Review



DockATot

I'm sure you have heard all the hype about the DockATot by now. It's a multi-functioning dock that babies can use for lounging, playing, and resting. 

When we first received ours, it was recommended on the website that the dock only be used for co-sleeping. Our bed isn't very big so we didn't use it for co-sleeping. We did use it several other ways. It was an extremely handy item that proved to be quite useful the first few months of Alder's life. 

DockATot

We did use it as a resting place for him to sleep in while supervised. It was so nice to have a safe place to set him in so I could look after Emery. He loved hanging out in it, and snoozing. They have changed the safety regulations for the DockATot in Canada since I received it. I would make sure to read all about it here before purchasing one. Do what works for your family, and what you are comfortable with. 

DockATot

The DockATot is made up of 100% breathable material, it's machine washable (which is awesome, especially when you have a newborn who likes to spit up a lot), hypoallergenic, harmful substances free, the perfect micro-climate (non-heat harboring), and they are made in Europe. There are tons of cute patterns to pick from.

DockATot

DockATot

I think my favourite feature of the DockATot is what a great tool it is for encouraging tummy time. Alder loved hanging out in this and watching his big sister. They can see a little bit more doing tummy time in the DockATot, which helps it to last longer. 

DockATot

We also found the DockATot very handy for traveling. We brought it to the cabin in the summer and it worked out perfect. I used it for co-sleeping there. The bed there had enough room for Alder and I to share. It was also awesome to have it for meal times, as he had a place to relax and play in. 

The DockATot was definitely an luxurious item for us to have, and we really enjoyed using it. If you are in the local area, Max & Maude carries them. 

Have you tried out one of these for your babies?

<3 Kastles 


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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Baby Brezza Steri-Dry Sterilizer

Baby Breeza Steri-Dry Sterilizer

Alder has finally been sleeping longer stretches at night, yay! This means that my boobs get pretty full by the time I feed him early morning. According to my lactation consultant anything after six hours means you need to pump to keep your milk supply up. I had no idea! She also suggested giving Alder a little top up bottle right before he goes to bed as well.  Now every night before bed I have been pumping. Which I find kind of a pain having to wash all the parts and then sterilize them. I use to sterilize them in a boiling pot, which I would sometimes forget about. I would always splash myself with hot water, and it just took forever for the parts to dry.

Enter the Baby Brezza Steri-Dry Sterilizer. Definitely a baby item I wasn't excepting to need or love so much!

Baby Breeza Steri-Dry Sterilizer

This awesome little machine not only sterilizes all of my breast pump & bottle parts, it also dries them! You just pour a little bit of distilled water into the bottom try, then pick your cycle. It kills the germs in 8 seconds, and then you can pick a 30, 45, or 60 minute dry cycle. It's super quiet, and I can just leave it and go about my day. It beeps when it's all done. 

Baby Breeza Steri-Dry Steam Sterilizer

The only issue I really have with it is trying to fit all the parts inside and making sure the lid is closed properly. I think you just have to really find a system that works for you and what you are sterilizing. 

Baby Breeza Steri-Dry Sterilizer

It's super easy to use and set up, with a pretty basic control panel. It's a 4-1 machine, as it can sterilize only, dry and sterilize, dry only and it can be used as a storage system. 

Baby Breeza also has a bottle warmer with Bluetooth, which I think would be super awesome and convenient. That's what I really love about all the Baby Brezza products is how they make your life as a parent so much easier. We are just starting on solid foods with Alder, so I definitely have my eye on their One Step Baby Food Maker. 

The Baby Brezza Steri-Dry Sterilizer is available online and in stores at Babies "R" Us. Have you tried any of the Baby Brezza products? Which ones are your favourites? Let me know!

Hope you are having a lovely week so far!

<3 Kastles 





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Monday, 13 November 2017

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller


Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller

Before little Alder came along, Emery and I would go for a walk almost every day. It's such a great way to get some exercise, enjoy some fresh air and hang out with my girl. I knew that when this next baby came along, going for walks with both of my kids was high on the priority list. So finding a double stroller was high on the to-do before baby came list.

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller

 Enter the Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller. This double stroller has been such a hit with our family. 

Emery and Alder can ride together, which they both love. Emery has the option to either sit, or stand on a platform. Alder loves watching his big sister, and Em loves to make him laugh. I love both options because Emery can sit facing me and have a snack, but then when she gets a little bored or Alder gets fussy she can stand up and entertain him.

For Alder, his Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat clicks right in with an audible click. It makes it so easy to transfer him from the car to the stroller if we are out running errands. When he gets bigger, he can sit in the front with a traditional padded stroller seat with a five-point harness, a large adjustable canopy and removable tray with two cup holders. 

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller

It's super easy to fold up, with a one-hand ultra-compact quick fold which makes it easy to put away. The front wheels swivel and have full suspension which makes for a smooth ride. There is also a one-touch brake to the keep the stroller in place when parked. 

One of my favourite parts is the parent tray which has two cup holders, perfect for my coffee! It also has a huge storage basket underneath which you can access from the front or back. When you are lugging around two babies you need a few things, haha, so the large storage space is awesome. 

Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Double Stroller


You can find more information about the Chicco BravoFor2 Standing/Sitting Stroller on the Chicco Canada's website, and more of their awesome products!


<3 Kastles








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Friday, 10 November 2017

Our Newborn Family Photoshoot


Edmonton newborn photographer

One thing I deeply regret is not getting family newborn photos taken when Emery was born. I took lots of photos of her, and did a little newborn shoot but didn't get any photos of us with Emery. I don't think we had a family photo till she was 4 months old. As soon as I got pregnant with our second, I knew we had to get photos taken of us as a family when the baby came.

Enter the amazing Karly Ford. Her work is ridiculously beautiful. Every time she posts a photo on Instagram, I literally swoon. Her style is so unique, gorgeous and you really feel the moment she captured in each shot.

Initially I was nervous having her come to our house because hey it's not perfect, we were running on no sleep and who knew how our spicy little toddler was going to act. It was so silly to worry about it. Shooting with Karly was a dream, it felt like we were hanging out with an old friend. I still can't believe the magic she captured in these photos. These are pictures we will treasure for our whole lives. Thank you Karly from the bottom of our hearts for these photos.

If your in the #yeg area, you need to book her for whatever photo op you have planned! You will not regret it!

Now enjoy this incredible spam of teensy tiny Alder, and a much chubbier Emery. I'm crying over here missing that little newborn. 

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot













newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot

newborn photoshoot



Thursday, 9 November 2017

Alder's Birth Story

I don't know why but I have been putting off writing this down for quite some time. Perhaps it's because things didn't go exactly how I would have wanted but that's ok. Warning, there might be a few things in here that might be a little TMI for some people, so you might want to stop reading now, haha!

For the last couple weeks of my pregnancy, I kept thinking every night when I went to bed that it would be the night this baby would come. I'm pretty sure I was driving my husband crazy! I did have some random contractions here and there near the end. 

 The night before I had our baby, I went to go get my hair cut because I was panicked that the baby would be here so soon & that it would be a long time before I got a hair cut again (for the record I was right, and haven't had a hair cut since!). After I got my hair done, I decided to go run a few errands and shop around a little bit. Once again, I had this funny feeling that the baby was going to come that night so I thought I better enjoy the tiny bit of somewhat freedom I had left, haha! I was also paranoid that I was leaking amniotic fluid. I decided if I didn't go into labor that night, I would go get it checked out in the morning. I went to Home Depot looking for a snake plant because like any sane pregnant lady, I was dead set on finding before this baby came. I just had to have this snake plant for this baby. Totally rational, right? 😉

I went into HomeSense to look around, and came across the most beautiful wood shelf in the shape of the letter "A". Funny enough the only name we had picked out was for a boy, and it was Alder. I took this as a sign from the big guy that we were going to have a little boy named Alder, and that this baby was coming tonight. When I got home, my husband had been in full nesting mode frantically cleaning all the dishes, and I was totally relaxed. Which was so opposite, haha! I went to bed pretty early, knowing I was probably going to get woken up rather unpleasantly.

I woke up around five and got up to use the bathroom, as one does quite frequently when pregnant. I woke up again 40 minutes later with contractions. They were about 7 minutes apart. We started gathering all our stuff, made a phone call to my best friend, and woke up Emery. We drove over and dropped off Em at my best friends house (thank you Ali and Vince, total life savers), and made our way to the hospital. At this point the contractions were about 3 minutes apart but still manageable. Funny fact, on the way to the hospital I did my make-up in between contractions. I mostly just did it to distract myself from the contractions. I also had a Safeway donut for breakfast, that I grabbed from our counter on the way out the door. Healthy, I know but obviously I had to milk my pregnancy for all it was worth till the very end, right?

We parked the car in the parking lot and waddled on in. When we got inside we had to register downstairs before going up to the L&D. The lady at the front wasn't super pleasant, and we had to wait for a Porter to come take us upstairs. This drives me crazy, haha! I remember with Em, the guy took foreeeever to take us upstairs. Once we got up there, I got checked out right away in a little triage room. They checked to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid but they weren't entirely sure. At this point it was 7:30 in the morning. She did a check to see how things were progressing, and I was 6 cm and thin (90% effaced).  We stayed in the triage room for a little bit and then worked our way down to the Labor room. It look us awhile to get there, as every time I had a contraction we stopped. At this point I was digging my nails into Aaron's hands every contraction. Thanks babe!

We finally got settled into our room. There was a speaker dock for an iPod in our room, and I made Aaron plug in mine and put Hanson on. That's right, I was in labour listening to Hanson (they are my all-time favourite band). Things were progressing pretty fast for me (Emery's labour was the same) so they said if I had wanted an epidural that I had to get one now. Around 9:20, I got my epidural. If you know me, I'm not very good with needles, hospitals or anything medical. When I got my epidural with Emery, it was no problem. This time for some reason, I had a hard time. First the nurse couldn't get my I.V in so they sent in another nurse to do it. It took a little while for the anesthesiologist to place the epidural because I had a hard time staying still. I felt quite nauseous and faint during the procedure. Afterwards, I felt much better. I am always so so impressed by the women who don't have an epidural, I don't think it's in me, haha! So we just chilled out for awhile, I sent Aaron to get some breakfast.

Around 11 a.m, I had a small leak of amniotic fluid. Ten minutes later my water broke. I actually felt it, it was kind of like a pop. Such a weird sensation. Last time with Emery I didn't notice that it had happened. When it burst they discovered meconium in the waters (meaning the baby had pooped in utero, this usually happens because the baby is in distress). When this happened, I was sort of freaking out but trying to remain calm. During the whole labour I kept repeating this bible verse in my head , "I sought the Lord, and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, their faces are never covered in shame." Psalm 34:4-6. Praying that verse over and over really helped me so much during this labour. So after they discovered the meconium, the baby's heart rate was normal so they were just going to keep an eye on it. My blood pressure started getting quite low so they gave me some medicine for that. The doctors came in around 11:45 to check how things were progressing. They discovered that the baby was sunny side up. They sent in a resident doctor who attempted to turn the baby but had no success. We hung out for awhile waiting to push. I found this so stressful, I was never quite sure if I felt ready to push or the pressure to. The nurse got me to start pushing around 12:20 p.m, we pushed for awhile. The doctor on call came in and tried to flip the baby again. Every time he would try and flip the baby, it would just flip back. The Baby's heart rate was dropping so the Dr decide we had to go in for an emergency c-section.

It was very scary, it all happened so fast. The doctor really rushed all the nurses, and everyone who was working. It felt like I was on an episode of Greys Anatomy as they were pushing me down to the O.R. I closed my eyes the whole time just praying that verse in my head over and over again. I got separated from Aaron till they prepped me and the room for surgery. While they were getting me ready, I asked a couple of nurses if I could hold my baby right after. I could tell the one nurse was going to say it was ok but the other nurse piped up and said no. Finally Aaron got to come in and it was pretty emotional finally getting to seem him again. We were both so scared. They started the procedure. I couldn't feel anything but just a tugging/pulling sensation. It was pretty uncomfortable and made me pretty nauseous. It happened really fast, and we heard the baby crying. I yelled out "What is it?", and the doctor replied "it's a boy!" I mean the hubby and I were already crying but I'm pretty sure we were both sobbing at this point. Also it turns out the cord had been wrapped around his neck three times which is why he kept flipping back every time they tried to turn him.

Birth Story

marble baby swaddle

Birth story

Birth story

The nurses took him over to the little bed to wipe him down, check him out, etc. It was really hard for me to him. Aaron went with them to meet him. He was born at 1:46 p.m, 7 pounds 14 ounces, and 20 inches long! Born exactly one week early, just like his big sister. Aaron then brought him over to me. He was beautiful with a head full of dark hair! At this point, Aaron got to hold him skin-to-skin. I am so grateful that Aaron was able to do this, but I also to this day still can't understand why I couldn't have held him. The very nice anesthesiologist took pictures with my phone which was so awesome. While Aaron was holding him they they discovered he was having trouble breathing. So they rushed him up to the NICU, Aaron went with him. The anesthesiologist thought that the phone he was using was Aaron's so he ran after him to give him my phone. I was to doped up and exhausted to say anything. It felt like it took a very long time for them to stitch me up. When they were finally done, the doctor told me that if I ever wanted to have more kids that I would have to have a c-section. He said they had discovered something or something along those lines that meant I would't be able to have a v-bac again. I was so drugged that I knew I wasn't going to remember exactly what he said. I finally got wheeled to my recovery room with the sweetest nurse. I was in there for a couple of hours and had no contact with Aaron & our baby since he had both of our phones. This was so incredibly hard being separated from them, and still not holding my baby. The nurse kept calling for me to check in on them. Finally Aaron & our baby made their way back to where we were. Turns out that he didn't need any intervention that skin-to-skin with Aaron was the right medicine. I'm so glad that Aaron was able to do that. Little man was so hungry, and thankfully latched right away. That was something I was so anxious about as Emery had lots of trouble. We finally got to head down to our room in the postpartum ward.

Birth story

Birth story

marble baby swaddle

baby going home outfit

With both of my babies, I never really had a birth plan. I just planned to go with the flow, and knew that anything could happen. In the back of my mind, I did not want a c-section. As I previously mentioned, I don't do well with anything medical so a c-section seemed like something I wouldn't be able to handle well. I'm still coming to terms with how things played out, and it was very hard the first couple of weeks. I kept replaying everything in my head and my heart just ached not being able to hold Alder right away. I'm just so grateful to God for protecting both of us, and getting that sweet boy out safely.

Alder Harland, you are our sweet little baby and we can't imagine our family without you. I could spend my whole life kissing those cheeks of yours. We love you so.








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