Value of time…

Today, a boy of maybe 12 or 13 came to our door and asked if we’d like our driveway shoveled. I, of course, definitely did- shoveling is pretty much the last thing I want to do lately, and even though Trevor is home on the weekends, he was feeling pretty lazy too. So we jumped at the chance.

Here’s the interesting part though- he only wanted to charge us $3.

Now, our driveway is not huge, it’s maybe 20 feet by 40 feet or so tops. However, I think $3 is way too low for something like shoveling, even if it is a quick job- I totally would have paid $15 or $20. He wound up taking $10. I don’t like to see kids/teenagers undervaluing their time or their work- I think it just sets them up to let themselves be taken advantage of in the future.

Then I wondered- maybe I over-value these type of manual-labour services because I totally don’t want to do them myself? So I thought I would look at babysitting rates (a non-manual-labour type of odd job)- I figured, people probably pay babysitters about $10 an hour, right? Well, it seems not, because lots of places online seem to mention rates around $5-$7 an hour for this area.

Am I crazy? Are kids/teenagers doing these odd jobs not worth as much as I think?


Last weekend, Trevor’s parents came down and Trevor and I went out to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I wanted to see it mostly because of the actors who were in it- I often like spy movies, as well. Well, this one was a hard one to watch, for me. The story was good, and the acting and costuming quite good, but I had a hard time watching the more violent scenes. I don’t know if that’s the postpartum hormones talking, but it was rough. There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie (which is revisited several times) where a nursing mom basically gets caught in the crossfire, and her tiny baby survives. Talk about difficult. Oy.

Last night I went out to help with a stage management workshop that KWLT was putting on. It was good! Nice to get out for something other than choir, and nice to go to the theatre- I hadn’t been there in ages. The workshop itself went well, there were lots of questions, which was nice. I hope it sparks people’s interest and gets them learning more about stage managing.

In other news, it’s snowing today. It hasn’t really been properly snowy yet this winter, so it’s a bit weird to have it be actually snowy outside (though it looks like sleet at the moment). I’ve gotten used to it being unseasonably warm. And I guess I don’t have to abandon that feeling, because it looks like it’ll be 5 degrees on Monday. There we go then. It’s almost March, after all.

February is the longest shortest month.

I think I’d like to write more often, and with a little more structure. So I think starting next week, I’m going to start writing a post each weekday. I’d like to avoid turning this completely into a mommy-blog, so I’m going to do my best to keep my baby/parenthood/omgpoops etc. related posts to one day a week. For now though, I’m going to do one last big roundup of what’s going on in my life, and then I’ll start fresh on Monday. 🙂


I know what you’re thinking… Work? She’s not working right now! And I’m not. But I did just get properly in touch with people from my work team in the past week. I wanted to see how things were going, and get a few things that I left behind at the office, and also look toward planning a visit! It’s crazy, it’s not even been 2 months yet, and things are already seemingly quite different. There are several new people on my team, and a bunch of new projects, and I am already missing it. I am glad that I enjoy my work enough that I want to go back to it so badly.

Home, Life

Wesley and I (and to a lesser degree, Trevor) are all getting over what seems to be a second (and far worse) cold. Wesley and I were pretty miserable. I lost my voice completely on Sunday (not the best timing for that, since I was supposed to sing a service that morning) and have been pretty stuffed up. I think we’re finally properly on the mend now though. I had a couple days where I pretty much just set up on the couch or at the computer and didn’t do a whole lot other than do the basics to take care of Wesley, and he mostly slept.

Being sick has meant that I haven’t gotten back into the gym routine yet. I did find out how much child minding costs at my local gym, so I know now that that’s not at all cost-prohibitive. I’ll probably start taking advantage of that in the next few weeks.

Things are starting to get into a loose routine around the house, which is nice for me, since I like routine. I’m still not quite finding time for everything I want to get done yet, but (when I’m well) the days are a lot more enjoyable when they’re less unpredictable. I am sure once the basement project starts, there’ll be some upheaval, but we’ll get there when we get there.

Trevor got me flowers for Valentine’s Day, which was super nice. 🙂


Wesley is 8 weeks this week, and he’s going for his 2 month doctor visit next Tuesday. He’s getting bigger! We took him in because of his cough last week (due to the cold) and he came in at 11 pounds (with clothes/diaper/cover on) so he’s gaining weight nicely, which is good.

With him being sick, I’ve become a snot sucking connoisseur. We had a bulb aspirator, which has been nice for cleaning out his mouth, but not really all that effective at getting snot out of his nose. So I got a Hydrasense nasal aspirator (where you suck on the one end to provide the suction, and the other end goes in his nose. It’s a ton easier to use (especially since you can keep the sucking end in his nose inbetween sucking) and really works well. There’s little filters that keep the snot where it should be. These type of aspirators are way better than bulbs for noses.

Okay, done talking about snot now. One thing that we need to do soon is get Wesley a passport- we’re planning on going down to see my family in Texas in a couple months, and he’ll need a passport by then. So that means getting baby passport photos. We haven’t done that yet, but hopefully will soon- should be an adventure.


I haven’t actually done any theatre in ages, it has been 10 months now. I was set to work on a show this spring before I found out I’d be working on a newborn this spring instead, so I’ve been missing out on that. I just agreed to do costumes for a show in the fall though, so that should be nice. Costuming is my favourite, and it’s a little less structured schedule-wise than stage managing, which is good for someone who doesn’t always get to decide her own schedule anymore. I’m looking forward to it.

Newborn Must-Haves

A friend of mine posted a list like this recently, and I was interested to see that her list was massively different from my own. So I’m going to make my own personal list of newborn must-haves based on my own experiences.

Pregnancy wedge – Why is this a newborn must have, you ask? Well, not only is it useful during the final stages of pregnancy to make sleep a tiny bit more comfortable, but I have used it tons since- at first during feedings as a head support, and now it is under the mattress in the bassinet to keep his head a little elevated because he’s congested. It’s come in surprisingly handy.

Onesies with mitten cuffs – He lived in these things, but is too big for them now- they’re perfect for layering under anything, and the sleeves make a little mitten at the end to keep his hands warm and keep him from scratching himself. Love these.

Diaper Service – I wanted to use cloth diapers, but was a bit wary of the amount of laundry. Using a service has made using cloth diapers the best and easiest diapering option. I don’t have to go out to get diapers as they are delivered to my door, my diaper costs stay constant (and less than I would have spent on disposables), and they’re easy to use. We just have to wash covers, which means we’re doing laundry no more often than we would have been for baby clothes anyway. Awesome.

Flat Diapers – Best burp cloths ever. We have them all over the house.

Bouncy chair – This thing is awesome. He hangs out in it at various times during the day so I can keep him within reach but have use of both hands. It bounces (there are various settings) and it plays music (actually nice music!) or white noise or nature sounds. It keeps him upright, which is nice after feedings if I’m a little worried about him spitting up. It’s pretty sweet, I’ll be sad when he gets too big for it.

Baby Timer – This thing is great. It’s a good way to have an idea how long it has been since his last feed or change or nap or what have you. You can set alarms as well to remind you- we don’t have alarms on anything except the asterisk one, which reminds me to pump. It also has silent alarms that just flash a red light. It has a night light and a back light and yeah. It’s pretty sweet and means I don’t have to try and remember exactly when I fed or changed him last.

Netflix, BBC Canada, Grooveshark – Awesome for during a feeding or pumping, I can just put on a Buffy or some Brandenburg Concertos, or Top Gear whatever and Wesley and I can watch some vampires get slayed/listen to some Bach/watch supercars while he’s eating. I am in love with the Graham Norton show nowadays as well.

WIPES. We use disposable ones, and they’re definitely critical for us. We go through lots of them wiping him and cleaning up little messes.

Nursing tanks – I’m wearing these instead of bras most days. I do have nursing bras as well, but these are slightly more comfortable. I’m pumping/bottlefeeding rather than nursing, but these still make pumping a lot easier and me a lot more comfortable. I have several.

Breast pump – Has made all the difference in feeding for us, since nursing didn’t work. When the cats chewed part of mine so that I couldn’t use it, I seriously almost flipped out because I use the thing so much. Thankfully I had a replacement part.

Baby sling/carrier – makes it easier to tool around the house if he’s fussy, hang out while Trevor’s making dinner, do laundry, or go down to the mailbox, etc.

Laundry bag – This thing is lightweight and super easy to tote up and down the stairs, and cheap as heck. Perfect for baby laundry.

There are other things that are useful- receiving blankets (good to cover the change table pad, put down on the floor when we’re hanging out there, as burp cloths, etc), extra warm blankets for soothing him to sleep or for going out, the stroller, etc. But the things above are the first things that come to mind.

Catching up

It has been a while since I wrote a post. I have obviously been busy with taking care of Wesley, but lots of other things have gone on as well. So I think I’ll use this post as a bit of a catching-up point, and hopefully start to write more regularly from here.


Me and Wesley
Obviously one of the main occupiers of my time lately is our new son. After some initial troubles with him eating, and him being jaundiced and losing weight, we’ve started to settle into a bit more of a routine, and his last checkup showed he’s doing quite well. He’s certainly not sleeping through the night yet or anything, but we’re definitely getting more sleep than we were at the beginning, which is awesome. He’s had a bit of a cold this week, which is unfortunate, but he’s doing well otherwise.

Once he is over his cold, I think we’ll start having more adventures during the day. As it is, we pretty much hang out at home unless there are doctor’s appointments, or we’re taking a quick trip down to the mailbox with him in his carrier. But starting next week I think we’ll go out to the library and the Early Years Centre and other places around town more.

I took a little video of him the other day- it’s just him flailing around, and then at the end he sneezes. He’s not really interactive yet, but he can still be fun. 🙂

I’ve been putting together an online baby book for Wesley that I’m sharing with my family (from scratch- I couldn’t find a service that did what I wanted) – I might, at some point, make a public version of it as well. It has been fun to put together!

Maternity Leave

I have to say, being on maternity leave is strange, but not quite what I expected. For those not aware, maternity and parental leave in Canada adds up to a year, and a parent on leave is eligible for employment insurance payments (like unemployment) for 55% of their normal salary, up to a certain amount. I’m about a month and a half in now, and have gotten my first few EI payments.

I think this system is how it should be everywhere. Parents are able to do all the caregiving for that first year if they want, I think it makes women more likely to return to work as well. I feel like I’m able to do what I need to do and still stay connected to my workplace, and I don’t have to worry that my job won’t be there when I get back. It really takes a major stressor off new parents who want to maintain the two-income household. I feel like a shorter unpaid leave would be a lot more stressful.


I’ve been singing, which has been good. I still have to convince my brain that I have my normal breath capacity back- my mind thinks I’m running out of breath a lot sooner than I really am, which makes me breathe more. But things are getting back on track in that area which is good.

I managed to record a track for Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir this time around, which was cool! I always wanted to do that, and I’m glad I got the opportunity this time. I’m looking forward to when the final video is released!

Back to the gym!

I’ve just passed 6 weeks postpartum, which is the time that people generally start exercising again. I probably could have increased my activity before now, admittedly, since I had a pretty decent recovery. However, the demands of a newborn and all that made it easy to hold off.

But today, I’m going to head out to the gym for the first time in a long time. I don’t have any expectation that I’ll be anywhere near where I was last year at this time (when I was training for a half-marathon) but I think a brisk walk and some weights will do me good! I might look into taking up yoga again as well. I still have some pregnancy weight to lose, so increasing my activity will definitely help with that, as well as being a great mood-booster. Definitely excited.


In the past couple weeks, we’ve put the finishing touches on the nursery (and it’s becoming quite nice in there actually, I don’t mind hanging out there for late night feedings). There’s a rocking POANG from IKEA, some printed out pictures on the wall in inexpensive frames, and I hung up a nice quilt we got from a relative. There’s a small hanging drying rack for diaper covers, a bookshelf with a little stereo to play music, a few books and toys. Right now his bassinet is still in there, since he’s not sleeping in the crib yet (we’ll be transitioning him this week once his congestion clears up- the bassinet mattress is slightly angled so he can sleep easier with his cold).

We’ve been planning to finish the basement for a while, and we’ve finally gotten started on that project, in that we’ve picked a contracting company and put a deposit down. Work will start in March, and it will take about 5-6 weeks. I’m hoping the weather is decent during that time so that if it’s loud or what have you in the house, I can head out for a walk with Wesley.

We’re putting in a bathroom and a rec room type area down there, plus some storage space. It should increase the living space in our house quite a bit, as well as make it easier for us to have a proper guest room and a decent play area for Wesley. I imagine once it’s finished, we’ll be spending a lot of our time down there.

The current family room will become a double office for Trevor and I, and Trevor’s office will be the new guest room.

So my office is already moved to the current family room- once the basement is done, the family room furniture will go down there, and Trevor’s office furniture will move in here. I’m actually considering seeing if a moving company would lend us a couple of guys for an hour to move the furniture around our house- I’m not looking forward to negotiating all the stairs with a couch.

I think that’s enough for now! Hopefully I’ll write more often so that this doesn’t become a monthly thing. 🙂