Pumpkin spice coffee
I didn't always love pumpkin, it actually decided to take over my brain last year when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter. I couldn't justify driving to get that expensive delicious Latte that was so sweet it almost put me in a coma, so I made my husband walk for an hour each way so that I could indulge. We only had to do this two times before my daughter decided to evacuate my uterus. I had to get one more fix in before I had her though, so I remember standing in the lineup, waiting to order my delicious PSL from Starbucks in the hospital lobby. My contractions were one minute apart and I was going from crying out in pain and having trouble breathing to claiming I was "alright" in between the contractions. The barista was scared that I would deliver in front of her espresso machine, I was afraid I wouldn't get the PSL in time. My latte was still warm when I delivered an hour later, success! (although I would have drank it ice cold)
After I had the baby, I didn't want to leave the house, so I had to come up with a way to satisfy my love of pumpkin and my need of coffee.  After some serious time on Pinterest where all I found were hacks for the PSL (didn't want all of that sugar or fat anymore now that baby was around) I decided to just go to the coffee pot and start playing around. Pumpkin Spice Coffee was born sometime in early October 2013, when I finally made a huge pot of coffee that had ribbons of pumpkin spice and nutmeg wafting out of the pot. It makes my home smell divine and I love that I can control the intensity of the flavour.
Pumpkin spice coffee
I use my favourite coffee beans, and adjust the amount of the spices as I go. My husband is not a huge fan of flavoured coffees so I sometimes appease him and dial down the spices, but they can be adjusted to suit your likes. My coffee needs to be a double double unless I am eating a sweet with it and then I skip the sweetener completely. My husband on the other hand loves his sugar and lactose-free milk It is easy to adjust to everyone's needs and likes.
You will need:
Your favourite coffee ready for the coffee maker
1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

  1. Set up your coffee maker as you would to brew on any other day.
  2. Add the spices on top of the coffee grounds
  3. Turn coffee maker on and enjoy the aroma that takes over your house
  4. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy as you would your regular coffee.
  5. You can add some whipped cream on top with a dash of the pumpkin spice if you are fancy like that
Pumpkin spice coffee
 
 
It is almost back to school time and I for one can't wait. I love the routine of school, the opportunity to work on DIY's in peace, and the chance to regroup myself when the house if not full of noise. I love my kids, they are such a pleasure to me, but I like them (and myself) a lot more when they are in school.
I love my kids but I LIKE them (and me) a lot more when they go back to school
I love my kids but I LIKE them (and me) a lot more when they go back to school
Some people are dreading routine of school but for me it brings a sort of peace. I know I have to wake up at 6 in the morning to make breakfast and lunches. I don't mind this, by the time my husband takes the kids to school at 8:45, me and the baby are ready for our morning nap. The next hour or two of sleep is a lifesaver. When summer vacation started, this nap was robbed from us, by loud children who had to be entertained. I loved having dinner on the table every day at 3:30, after school activities filled our days and their was a sense of stability. Lately, our days have been going at a snail pace and I am ready for a change. To top it off, that 8 pm bed time that I have enforced for most of the summer somehow went out the window the past couple of weeks, and that was MY time. I feel like when my husband lets the kids stay up past 8 he is basically telling me that my interests and happiness are not important, but I have been fighting back and although it is a tear filled bed, they are in it by 8.
Secondly, I love to do DIY's, they are something that I can do in peace and they offer me such a sense of accomplishment. I have been collecting the supplies to do many, brainstorming up a storm, and with the little helpers I have, it is impossible to start them. This is my fault because I have taught my kids to be handy, but I would rather just do it by myself quickly than spend the time explaining everything to them. Coming up in the next few months I hope to refinish my computer table, make a upholstered, tufted headboard for my daughter, and a couple of Halloween costumes and decorations for the kids. But for now, the tools lay scattered in my basement because I have no time to organize anything. I used to rely on the warm summer months to get out of the house to cut wood and spray paint, now it seems I will be spray painting in the shed.
Lastly, as a parent who struggles with mental health and health issues, I find that I need the time to myself so that I can work on my emotional well being. My husband knows when my moods are crazy from my bipolar or thyroid acting up. I can tell myself and I can give him a heads up that I need to be left alone in my head for a few hours to fight my demons. You can't tell a 5 and 6 year old "sorry, mommy is feeling touched out right now. Please don't touch or talk to me for a few hours" they just don't get it. Thankfully my husband helps out by taking the older kids to run errands with him so that I can get some time to recharge. I am glad that even though the mental up-and-downs happen, I have become very good at spotting them and have a process of getting back to a happy place.
I love my kids but I LIKE them (and me) a lot more when they go back to school
To some I may seems selfish in admitting this stuff, I don't care. It is the truth. I love my kids and all three of them bring me an intense amount of joy and love, but having them home for the past 2 months has been the hardest, most trying times in my whole life. I can honestly say that I am thrilled with the idea of getting up before the sun does to make breakfast and lunches if it means I will regain my sanity. I can't be the only one that just wants summer vacation to end, and the chaos to end. What are your tips to make it through the last week of summer?
 
 
Best Jamaican curry goat ever. I like to serve it with fresh bread so I can dip it into the sauce, Yum!
Best Jamaican curry goat ever. I like to serve it with fresh bread so I can dip it into the sauce, Yum!
There are some foods that I would travel far and wide to eat, and a great Jamaican curry got is one of them. My husband and I have been known to drive for over an hour for a good dish and with 3 kids I started to ask around for a recipe so that we could make it at home. I must remind you, I am not a professional chef, just a lover of food that loves to share her recipes with other. After many fails we have combined many recipes and methods and I don't mean to toot my own horn but this recipe is phenomenal. So good that when I make it I make 10 pounds at a time and my family devours it within 24 hours. There are so many layers of flavour in this dish that your palate will be thanking you for days. If you are concerned about the heat, don't be:) I feed it to all 3 kids, the youngest being 10 months and they don't complain at all, actually they come back for seconds (and thirds)
There are so many layers of flavour in this dish that your palate will be thanking you for days!
There is a difference between the curry powder that you see in stores and the one that is marked "Jamaican Curry Powder". The Jamaican version has allspice in it, which gives it an earthier taste than regular curry. I usually can't find Jamaican curry powder so I make my own by mixing 8 tablespoons of regular curry powder with 2 tablespoons of allspice. You may have left overs but it will keep just fine for next time you make this dish.  I serve this over basmati rice and I like to make an easy coleslaw as well.
Also, when I picked up the coconut oil to pour some in the frying pans I spilled 500 ml of it on my counter and floor. I don't recommend you do this, but if you do, pour a ton of salt onto it and let it sit till it absorbs all the oil (15 minutes) then just sweep it up. I have many kitchen fails, I will always share them so you don't make the same mistake :)
Clean up spilled oil with a ton of salt. Wait till the salt absorbs the oil (15 minutes) and sweep it up. Easy Peasy :)
Clean up spilled oil with a ton of salt. Wait till the salt absorbs the oil (15 minutes) and sweep it up. Easy Peasy :)
Best Jamaican Curry Goat Recipe


Ingredients:

4 lbs of stewing goat-cut into pieces (the bigger the pieces the longer it will take to cook)
10 tablespoons of Jamaican curry powder (see instructions above)
1 large white onion-finely chopped
1 head of garlic-finely chopped
2 inch piece of ginger-finely chopped
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper(optional but highly recommended)
1-2
cans of coconut milk
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 large potato-cut in cubes

Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut oil to brown the meat (can use vegetable oil as well)
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1. I like to sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of the curry mixture on the goat when I take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before I start to brown it, this is completely optional.
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2. Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and hot pepper into small pieces. I am lazy so I use the mini food processor for the last 3 :)
Onions, garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet pepper and Jamaican curry ready to make curry goat
Make sure you have all of this ready before you start browning the meat. Makes the whole process faster!
3. Heat the oil in the frying pan and a tablespoon (or 2) to the oil mixture. Add the meat and brown on all sides making sure you don't burn it. Work in batches if necessary, I just use 3 pans and go to town. When done frying transfer to a large pot.
4. When you are done frying the meat, add the onions and peppers to the pan to brown, using the same pan that you did the meat in. I add salt at this point so that the onions cook faster. When they are almost cooked I add the garlic and ginger so that they heat up slightly. 1-2 minutes should be fine, being careful not to burn them as they become bitter. Pour this into the pot with the meat.
5. Add the can of diced tomatoes, coconut milk, fresh thyme sprigs and enough water to cover the meat and cover the pot.  Turn on the stove to medium and cook for 1 1/2 hours making sure to stir every 30 minutes or so so that it doesn't burn at the bottom.
6. At this point I like to check the goat to see if it is almost done. If you can put your fork in the meat without much resistance it is time to take the lid off and continue to cook. This will help the sauce thicken as it cooks down.
7. When the goat is ready it will fall of the bones very easily when you put a fork in it. I like to add the potatoes right at the end when there is 15 minutes left. This ensures they don't fall apart in the cooking process. Make sure you remove the thyme sprigs before serving, I hope you enjoy and let me know how if you have any questions, I will try my best to answer them.
Best Jamaican Curry Goat Recipe
Make sure you Pin this image so you have this recipe on hand :)
 
 
I love to win, I think everyone does, whether they want to admit it or not. I always thought I had bad luck until this year when I started to enter contests and win. Then I realized that you can only win if you enter the contest and so now I enter like crazy. I am also enjoying hosting giveaways on the blog and the most recent one for a $25 prepaid Mastercard is over sadly, but one of my lucky readers will get to buy her son some new school supplies.
Also, one of my favourite mommy bloggers Jessica is having a giveaway over on her blog 4TheLoveOfMommy for a $25 Starbucks gift card. I don't know about you but I have a deep love of coffee (so does Jessica) and I hope you all go check it out. Finally, I have a new giveaway starting this coming Sunday to help everyone out with Back to School, so make sure you come back and check it out and enter. If you entered this giveaway you will pretty much be set for the next one.
Without further ado, the winner of the $25 MasterCard is:
2f9c220f6f530e4078afc310387e0cad6c72b3428ea02e42c4
If you are Lori Jackson please email me at homewithaneta@gmail.com and I will have the GC sent out tomorrow. Also, if you are a Canadian lady have the answer to (2x5)+6= ?  when you email me. Congrats again!
 
 
My love letter
Love letter to my guilty pleasure
Hello,

        I don't know when it happened. When you became such a guilty pleasure in my life. Whatever the case may be I am glad that you are here.
        I constantly wonder whether my husband knows how good you make me feel. The way our encounters leave me renewed and refreshed. I can barely look him in the eyes when I leave you. All I know is that I have never felt like this with anyone.
        I have never been the type to let others close to me, let alone to touch me the way you do. It seems that your hands have found spots I didn't know existed, you have brought me to such levels of pleasure that I feel as if I am melting at your very touch.
        There are moments when I want to scream for you to stop as the pain is unbearable but then that satisfaction courses through my body and I lay silently enjoying it. You are a master and I am your slave. I will keep coming back for more because after 3 kids I need this more than you know it.
        I hope you don't mind that I am silent in our encounters, I force myself to just close my eyes and enjoy. I am scared that if I try to talk a moan will escape my lips and we will both be left embarrassed, and there is nothing I want to do to jeopardize our relationship.
        I have had similar encounters in the past but none of them compared to the level of fulfillment I feel in our meetings. I sometimes find myself drifting off in a trance-like state only to be awoken with the realization that I may miss a moment. I don't want this to end...
        When my husband sees you, I wonder if he has the same feelings. I can see that he is relaxed and happy, but I wonder if he is reeling inside from the same satisfaction as I am, does he also feel as guilty as I do. I hope that we can talk about our experiences with you together one day, but for now I am completely satisfied with my guilty pleasure.

Sincerely,

Aneta
(Your Massage Therapy Patient)
I have recently discovered massages. I have spent my whole life trying to keep people from touching me (it hurts) until I met my current massage therapist. She is crazy good, like I leave their with the craziest bed head ever (yup she even gives me a head massage!). When I walk out the room the receptionists and my family just stare at me because I must look crazy, but I don't care. I feel great! I can't very well give her this letter because that would make things weird but I will share my thoughts with my readers. Have you ever had an experience like mine, where you just felt brand new? What other types of therapies do you find help with relaxation? I would love to know as I may be hooked on this euphoric feeling.
 
 
Today our invoice came from Progenics, we have finished paying off the storage fees for our babies cord blood. This decision was one that we decided on early in my last pregnancy and it was probably one of the easiest choices we made in our parenting journey.
Cord blood is essentially the left over blood in the placenta and umbilical cord and usually gets tossed when you have a baby, but it is extremely rich in stem cells, which have the power to transform into many other types of cells and cure it of many malignant and non-malignant life threatening illnesses. For us the decision to spend the $2000+ was a simple one, although it also filled us with guilt.
Doctors prefer perfect match cord blood over a bone marrow transplant in malignant cases.
When I initially told my husband that I wanted to bank Aria's cord blood, he was excited at the extra step we were taking to safe guard our kids health and future. Very soon after he started to ask why we didn't bank the other kids, which got me thinking. I think at the time they were born (2008 and 2009) we were still young and naive. We were excited to become parents and we were not thinking that anything could happen to our children. It was only after we had kids that we became aware of all of the terrible illnesses that plague children and I decided to be proactive when it came to ours. It was to late for the first two, but with baby # 3 we went in early to get the kit so that we would be prepared. Guilt over this issue has now been pushed to the back burner.
We chose Progenics because it was very close to home, a 5 minute drive to their offices or storing facility if we wanted to go. They offered a great payment plan that made it affordable, we did it in monthly installments and it worked out great. I love that they offer you a quality certificate that says there was a yield of over 85% total nucleated cells. If they don't get that percentage then the whole process is free and they will bank your cord blood for 20 years, FOR FREE!! You can't go wrong with those numbers. Also, we had bedside pick up by Progenics staff, they arrived the morning after I had Aria and picked up the cord blood to be rushed to processing. Another perk is that if by any chance my husband, kids or I get sick with a life threatening disease and we are a match to Aria's cord blood they will donate her blood to us free of charge. There is a 33% chance that her blood will be a perfect match to our other kids, that is still better than none.
Cord Blood Banking Invoice
Breakdown of the costs involved with Cord Blood Banking at Progenics
I don't believe that any of us will have to use Aria's cord blood, neither will she. I would like to think that in 10 years when I receive a phone call from Progenics saying my time is up, I will have forgotten about it and just smile, smile because we made a proactive choice regarding our families health. Peace of mind has no price, and we gave ourselves an extra dose of it.
Did you bank your babies cord blood, why or why not? If you have any questions about my experience with Progenics and the whole process I would be happy to answer, or you can check out their website and contact them directly,
 
 
Tonsils and adenoids, who needs them? Not us! Tubes in the ears, yes please. This was today's motto. It was also a long time coming for our middle child Emma.In her short 5 years on this earth she has experienced more ear, throat and airway infections than I can name. She has stopped breathing during sleep due to inflamed airways, had her ear drum burst to relieve the pressure, and could sleep for 16 hours without being rested. I have asked my daughter countless times if she was "deaf" (I thought she had selective hearing like every other kid out there), and just recently we have discovered that she indeed does have limited hearing. *parenting fail*
Getting ready to head to the hospital for surgery
Still smiling at 6 AM (mostly because we surprised her with smelly markers, remember those?)
The morning was hectic, 5 AM is not a good time for anyone, especially this momma who spent the night tossing and turning. I got to put my new coffee mug to good use yesterday, it is a beautiful powder pink that holds 5 cups, yes you read that right, 5 glorious cups of almost tar like java that morning. Emma packed her markers, colouring book, and Pom Pom (her surgery bear-you can read my review here) and we were ready. Tucking my family (minus the boy) into the car, we embarked on the 5 minute drive to the hospital, so that my darling daughter could lose a part of herself (not an important part) and gain some great little tubes.
Waiting for surgery
All ready for surgery, playing house in the pediatric waiting room
This hospital is not new to me, I spent a few months volunteering there after college because I needed some experience in the health care field. My last daughter was born at this hospital and my husband has gotten countless bones set there over the years. So why have I never noticed how sterile it smells. It was almost like I was engulfed in antiseptic, it was probably just my exhaustion taking over but all I wanted to do was cuddle my little girl and smell her freshly washed hair.
Power nap in progress
Daddy took a power nap, I don't blame him, he didn't sleep all night he was so worried
Arriving 2 hours before surgery gave us time to register, take all of Emma's stats and get changed. Luckily the paediatric waiting room was pleasant enough. There was video games, kitchen sets and even blocks for the baby to play with. It made the wait bearable. Emma did not show any fear and was happy to chit chat to her ENT and the anesthesiologist. My husband and I were drained and he managed to get in a quick power nap while we waited. The good thing about our hospital was that there was a monitor set up in the waiting room with statistics on each patient. We were given a number and we could see the progress on the screen. Thankfully our doctor was whizzing through surgeries and we were called in on time. I walked my little girl to the OR and watched her walk away hand in hand with the OR nurse. She was fine, I was shaking. It may have been a small surgery but their were always freak accidents and they all seemed to be bombarding my brain at that moment. Almost ran after her and took her home at that point.
Waiting to go for surgery, trying to figure out what the sign says
She stood there looking at the door, waiting to be picked up by the OR nurse
After 30 minutes (yup that is all it took) our surgeon came and got us. Emma's surgery went great and than a whole bunch of rambling I failed to comprehend. Within minutes  I was being walked through the doors to the Pediatric After Care Unit (?) and when I saw my baby laying on the stretcher, still passed out, with a ventilator mask on, all these wires and IV's coming out of her body, little marks of blood in her ears and around her mouth, I started to cry. And than they turned me around and told me I had to leave, so I stopped and promised I would behave. When it comes to your babies, they can make you weak but you will always be strong for them. I didn't want her to freak out because I was crying (or the half dozen other kids there who had their stuff removed).
So my Emma took her time to wake up, she would come back to me for a minute and fall back asleep for an hour. She only really regained consciousness at 12:30 and her surgery was at 9:15. First time she passed out on me I freaked out because I thought something happened, but at the end the silence was golden because it gave us a chance to fill her prescription at the pharmacy and finally get some food and coffee into our systems.
Now it's a day and a half later. Today she woke up in pain, I have been giving her morphine and Advil all day, and hopefully by tomorrow I can just give her the Advil. I have been watching her all day (like a hawk, not even lying) and there is something amazing going on. When I speak she looks at me, she can actually hear what I am saying. When I asked her about she said that we all sounded fuzzy before and she can hear us "different" now. Kind of breaks my heart that she has been suffering for so long and we didn't think anything of it. Also, she is not screaming anymore. All kids scream, my boy does not shut up, but she has been talking quietly all day, the TV is not blaring, our house seems a little bit calmer and more relaxed all of a sudden. I am already seeing the positives of the surgery, and I am sure as she continues to heal there will only be better and better results.
For now, I will be drinking coffee and feeding my baby ice cream when ever she wants.

If you have any tips on how to make recovery go faster/easier please let me know as every little bit of info helps at this point and others may find it helpful as well.
 
 
With my maternity leave end date looming over me like a dark cloud, I decided to do something that has been at the back of my mind for months, I sent in my letter of resignation. It is not a decision that was easy to make, their will be sacrifices but their will also be benefits that far outweigh those sacrifices.
"Making the right decision is not meant to be easy,

 but it is meant to make your life easier
"

Some back ground of my job, it was a desk job, pay was good, benefits were phenomenal (so important with kids), they paid for me to go to school so I could advance my career, and they promoted from within fairly regularly. The work culture was a fun one, their were deadlines to meet and the Social Committee made sure their were great activities planned so that the employees stayed happy and refreshed, but it just wasn't enough for me to want to go back to a 9-5.
I have not made this decision easily, there were many factors that I though about, childcare being one of them. At this stage I have three children, ages 10 months, 5 and 6. Because of the limitations in the childcare system where I live, they would have to be placed in 3 different daycare's, with no guarantee for at least one of my older children of a bus to school. We are already driving our kids to school because their old daycare put them into a school that is not in our district, to have them have to switch schools or be separated is just not an option we are willing to entertain.
Another factor in my decision to not return to work outside the home is my families emotional well-being. I have a serious case of mothers guilt when I am have to leave the kids at daycare from 7 AM till 6 PM. Don't get me wrong, when I was going to college and working I gladly dropped my kids off because I HAD to. There is no way I could have finished school or gone to work without the option of someone watching the kids, and for that I am thankful. No matter how great our child care providers have been it sucks to have someone else raise your kids, and I am going to pull the selfish card and witness them myself.
As a mom, I have found it very difficult to keep up with all the housework, groceries and doctors appointments. I am a bit scatterbrained and I found that when I worked this just became a huge issue. I could never stay on top of the cleaning, laundry and household chores, and then my weekends became hell because I was cleaning up a weeks worth of mess. There was just not enough time in the day to stay on top of everything, and instead of enjoying my weekends with the kids I was scrubbing toilets and doing endless loads of laundry. 
Another factor is that I am not ready to stop breastfeeding the baby. In no way is she expressly breast fed. I have had her going from bottle to breast seamlessly from day 1 and I also introduced solids at just 4 months. I have a baby that eats everything we do but I enjoy our time together laying in bed, her trying to rip my nipples off while she feeds herself to sleep. When she is ready to wean we will stop, but currently we are happy running away from the craziness of the house and taking a few minutes to reconnect together.
great kids photo idea
I will be embracing my role as "Stay At Home Mom"
Finally, I found when I was working my kids were always sick, and although my husband is a great caregiver he has no idea how to administer medication and what it is they need to feel better. Our house was basically a sick ward with my husband getting sick from the kids all the time an me being at work getting calls from the school and daycare that our kids had the flu (once again) was to much to bear. Getting angry at my husband over the phone because he would call every time he had to give the kids medicine is too much for me to handle.
We are lucky in the fact that I don't have to go back to work. Presently we can afford for me to stay home and raise my kids. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have right now to be with my family. There is nothing to say that in 6 months time my situation and feelings may change and I will be ready to join the working mom world, but presently I am going to enjoy my "Stay At Home Mom" title (in my pajamas with a semi-clean home).

I am curious what struggles other moms (or dads) felt when making the decision to go back to work after the maternity/parental leave was up. Did you regret your decision or do you still think it was the best one?
 
 
Canada's Wonderland
Starting the day at Canada's Wonderland
After what felt like an eternity of celebrations for my son's 6th birthday, we ended at Canada's Wonderland to finish the festivities off. I am at my wits end on what to do with these kids recently. Our bucket list of summer activities is almost complete and there are still many days to fill so we opted to get a seasons pass. his is the first time the kids have been to Wonderland and until we got to the parking toll booth they thought we were going to Centre Island for a day of fun (we are not above lying to the kids).
Canadas Wonderland
1st ride of the day, a slow one to gauge their bravery
The moment we entered the gates, my senses were awakened with the intoxicating smells of funnel-cakes and fresh bread (Subway). It took every ounce of self restraint not to allow the kids to eat deep-fried goodness doused in ice cream and strawberries for lunch but we managed to make it to Planet Snoopy to begin the fun. Since this was their first time at a huge amusement part we wanted to start them off slow (they wanted speed) so the swan ride was perfect. As the day progressed we got more and more adventurous and our son (who was terrified of the kiddie rides at Centreville last year) was going on roller coasters without a care in the world (actually, we bribed him with $50 the first time but he continued to go on for free.
Canadas Wonderland
Beware of Emma's driving!!
I am last minute to the core so it was no surprise that I forgot my bathing suit at home, but you can buy bathing suits at Wonderland so no problem right? Wrong! Kind of, the bathing suit I snatched up so that we could spend some time in the water park happened to be cut crazy high at the bottom and extremely low in the top. I decided to own the moment and enjoy the day, all the while re-adjusting so no lady parts pulled a J LO or Britney Spears. But on the plus side, there are tons of life jackets available for the kids, and they even had the chance to go on some water slides.
Splash Works
Swimming at Splash Works/Wonderland
My son was whining for Dinosaurs Alive the whole day and on our way back out of the park we decided to go through the interactive experience with moving, life-size dinosaurs. This was not around when I was last at Wonderland and it was a great experience. It actually opened my eyes to how much my children actually know about dinosaurs, they were naming off names like it was nobody's business. The tour ended off with a sand pit where you could dig for fossils and my husband and I happily sat on the benches while the kids went to town digging and brushing.
Dinosaurs Alive/Canadas Wonderland
Being little paleontologists
Wonderland still has the ability to turn me into a child, I went through so many emotions while there, even tears of joy when my kids first ran into the park.

If you are on a budget here are a few tips:

1. Buy water, they are 4 bottles for $12, and refill the bottles as you go through the park. We were there for 8 hours and I am lucky I remembered this tip from when I was a kid or we would have easily spent over $100 trying to stay hydrated.

2. If you want sugary drinks-we wanted ICEE's- get the refillable cups as well. It is cheaper to refill than keep buying more.

3. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy outside of the park. There is an area to eat outside food and if you pack well it could be just another fun perk of spending the day at Wonderland.

4. You can get good deals online if you plan accordingly. If you buy 3 days in advance you can save $20 per ticket. You can purchase tickets online HERE

5. Mac's Convenience stores also sell discounted tickets in store, although not as big savings as mentioned above, $43.99+HST is still not bad, if you are last minute like me.
I loved bringing the kids to a place I went to as a child, is there anywhere you enjoy taking your kids that you enjoyed as a child? I would love to hear :)
 
 
Six years ago I welcomed my son into the world, but he did more then just come into this world, he was my saving grace at a time I needed that little bit extra to get me back on the right track. He showed me that no matter how broken my heart had been their would always be room for more love and his endless talking about Pokemon, BeyBlades, and fire trucks has me smiling like crazy
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So, during my first pregnancy I feasted on lobster, chocolate and ice cream and it totally showed. At my 7 month ultrasound the technician told me my son was measuring at 7 pounds ( I asked them to take him out right then and there) and when I hit my due date he was measuring over 10 pounds. I tried everything to get that baby to come out naturally, walking, teas, got the doctor to stretch my membranes twice and he did not want to vacate. After some careful thinking I went to my OB/GYN appointment prepared with a script and told him straight up that I didn't want a Leo baby and we had to induce. I like to think that is what made him book my induction but it was probably the giant baby and the fact that I was already at 41 weeks.
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Induction day came and I barely slept the night before, anticipation to meet my little man kept me up worried and excited all night. I asked my husband and sister to be in the room with me and my sisters main job was to protect my husbands eyes from what was going to happen to my lady parts when this "almost toddler" decided to finally emerge. She had strict instructions to stay in my lower region and he was not allowed to look anywhere but my eyes. Didn't happen that way but it was wishful thinking at the time, the only birth plan I had devised for that pregnancy.
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My sister was in town from Alberta (where she lives) and brought me "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Piccoulet because she had just finished and she knew I liked to read. So after I got the medication to induce (Pitocin) and my epidural because I hate pain, I was stuck to the bed. They left me around noon to do some shopping in China Town (I think) and to eat lunch. I didn't mind I had this book which was supposed to be amazing and I jumped right in. One thing about me is that I speed read so within the span of their shopping/lunch date I had read a large chunk of the book and was crying hysterically on the bed, attached to all of these machines monitoring baby and I, with the nurses and doctors asking me if I was okay every time they came into the room. I could see them begging me with their eyes to put the book away but I couldn't, it was so good and such a tear jerker, I was sobbing hysterically, probably scaring the other mothers in Labour and Delivery, but I didn't care because I was not dilating past 4 cm, so I just kept crying and reading.
After dinner time, I was cranky and with no end in sight my doctor told me that If I didn't start to dilate in the next hour they would do a cesarean to get the baby out because they didn't think my body was going into labour. Now I was sobbing for myself, the extra day in the hospital after a major surgery, for the long recovery after a c-section, and most importantly because I wanted to give birth through my lady parts. I had invested hundreds of hours of birth videos on the Discovery Channel, made my husband watch "A Baby Story" everyday for the 6 months prior to my birth, and I was ready.
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When the doctor came back after an hour to check me out before surgery he discovered I was fully dilated (I guess my body realized stuff was about to get really serious and went to work). All of a sudden it was time to push and it was at this very moment that I started to feel a lot of pain. I shouldn't have felt any pain because I had an epidural and I was pushing that pain button they give you that dispenses the medication like a crazy lady. Than I started to feel wet, like really wet on my back and the nurses discovered that my epidural had fallen out (right when I really needed it). So I started to push, I had to it was the only thing left to do as they refused to give me an epidural again this late in the game. I pushed and pushed and pushed some more. I'm pretty sure I gave up and swore at the people in the room. I refused to push anymore, my husband and sister kept claiming that they could see the head, I didn't believe them. He shouldn't have been looking down their to begin with but I was certain that they were all lying to me to keep me pushing. Most stressful 75 minutes of my life but we finally got our baby boy. His head was so cone shaped from his destructive journey through my lady parts. The skin was off of his scalp from all of the ins-and-outs he kept making. He was perfect, fat, at 9 pounds 6 ounces he was not that tiny delicate baby, he was our big boy. 
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Best big brother!
My son has never stopped growing at such a fast speed, he has never been on any charts, in any percentiles, for his 6th birthday we asked everyone to buy him clothes, in the size 10 that he is. So happy birthday monkey, hopefully this year you will learn the art of whispering.
 
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    PR Friendly #Toronto mom to 3 kids, wife, lover of good food and cheap wine. My life is hectic, my kids drive me nuts, my house is never spotless, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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