The Domestic Dork has a new baby! Posting may be sporadic, and your patience is appreciated. Be sure to subscribe so you won't miss a thing!

Get Your Flu Shot

I’ve had the flu for what feels like three years now (OK, so just over a week). I can’t kick it. Of course, every time I start to feel better I do a million chores, or go run errands, or get out and do something fun with the family which may hinder my recovery process. Despite MiniDork being the one to bring it home and share it with the rest of us, I’m the one who’s been hit hardest. You don’t want any of this. Trust me. Get your flu shot and cross your fingers.

In other news MicroDork is five months old! I would show you all the adorable monthly photos except that ManDork’s computer is non-functioning at the moment which makes it difficult to access and edit photos. I finally have a computer of my own that works well, so I may try to get my files transferred and etc. etc. etc. Look, things have been crazy around here. When UncleDork moved into his own place and we took over the entire house we switched rooms. His old family room is now our master bedroom. His old bedroom is now MiniDork’s. The craft room/office became MicroDork’s room (or, rather, it will become his room). Our old room is the new office and MiniDork’s old room is the playroom. But at the same time that happened, I took the kids to Ohio for a month and ManDork started medical school. So to say the moving and painting process has been slow going is an understatement. Upon our return to Calgary MiniDork started kindergarten at the German Bilingual school, I started a floral design certificate course, and last week marked the beginning of my own, weekly, evening German class.

There’s a lot going on. And none of it is really worth blogging (or ready to be blogged).

So I haven’t posted. But then I feel bad for not posting…so I put off blogging so I don’t have to think about how crappy a job I’ve been doing and the cycle continues. So this is me, just saying hi, just forcing myself to post ANYTHING.

In fun news, I’m registered for a “virtual” 5K in honor of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary! Wheeee! You can register too, and get yourself a shiny Doctor Who-themed medal (multiple race distances available, including a kiddy race for which MiniDork is registered). Check it out!

Baby Nurseries and a GIVEAWAY! #SearsBabysRoom

We recently got permission from our land lord to pain the walls in our home (GOOD RIDDANCE UGLY YELLOW)! So I’ve been hoarding ideas on Pinterest for MicroDork’s nursery. I wavered between doing a Canadian wilds, puppy dogs, and travel themes (and for a minute or two a Doctor Who theme which would be totally awesome and you know it). I decided to go with a subtle travel theme. Between travel and the start of med school, the nursery hasn’t gotten started yet. But here’s my inspiration board:

 

Travel Nursery

Obviously plans may change as we go based on what we can find within our budget. But this is my starting point. And we were given a used crib so that saves us a lot of moolah. It seems like most people tend to use white cribs for girls’ nurseries, but I think it’s a beautiful choice in any room (especially if in contrast to darker colours like dark grey).

And if you’d like to save some cash on your baby’s nursery, I’ve got two bits of good news.

Firstly, the Sears Newborn Nesting Event is September 6-18, 2013. When you spend money on baby items (including gear, furniture, and clothing*), you get “cash cards.” Cash cards work like gifts cards but can only be used October 7-31. This event is happening nation wide with the exception of Vancouver (where you instead save 15% on baby items*).

Spend $200 and get a $25 card

Spend $300 and get a $50 card

Spend $400 and get a $100 card

So this is a great time to purchase nursery furniture if you’re going with new!

But what’s the second bit of good news?

A giveaway!

How would you like to win a new 3-piece nursery worth approximately $800? Yeah, I thought so. And hey, even if you’re not expecting, you may have friends or family who’d love a crib, change table and side table/chest. You have until September 15th to enter! Just fill in the entry below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You may enter across multiple blogs, but can only win on one. And sorry, you must be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec) to be eligible.

*Excludes items ending in 0.97, Carter’s and OshKosh

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears The Baby’s Room Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Back Home, and Back to School! #SearsBabysRoom

I’ve been out of the country for a month, visiting family and showing off the new little dude. It was so good to see everybody (though I missed ManDork very much, as he had to stay home for school). During the time we were away ManDork managed to get MiniDork registered for a German bilingual kindergarten program! It’s about a five-ten minute drive from our house (though we’ve applied for the bus to pick her up). I’m very excited for her, jealous even.

She’s still a bit young to grasp the concept of “back-to-school” but I love it. When I was younger I loved getting new school supplies. So I’m almost bummed that the only school supply she needs this year is a backpack (which she already has). She did however need a new wardrobe because she (and her brother) continues to grow despite my explicit instructions. Because her start date and school location were so up in the air while we tried to switch her registrations I got most of her school clothes in the States. I was worried there wouldn’t be time for back to school shopping upon returning home. Since she needed a whole new set of clothes I decided to make life (and laundry) easier on myself and get only coordinating colors. Everything in her closet is now a mix of hot pink, black, and grey. She’ll be able to fold and put away her clothes in her daily outfit drawers, and I know she won’t pair pink plaid with red stripes or something. Basically it’s all the simplicity of a school uniform but for a school with no dress code.

Do they make this in my size? Because "HELLO CUTE!"

Do they make this in my size? Because “HELLO CUTE!”

When we returned to Canada I was able to complete her wardrobe at Sears with under shirts, one more adorable top (pictured above), and SOCKS! Why so excited about socks? Well, all the socks she had were falling apart (including the ones we just bought just a few months ago). So I had been trying and trying to find some new ones that a: would coordinate with her clothes b: not fall apart and c: were not white (they get filthy and look forever dingy because we don’t wear shoes inside).  I hadn’t had any luck until Sears:

 

And this is only SOME of the sock selection.

Aw yeaaaaaah! And this is only SOME of the sock selection.

 

The extra nice thing is that Sears has a Kidvantage Lifetime Wearout Warranty. It applies to children’s footwear and clothes (including snow suits!) as long as a child in the family is wearing it and you kept your receipt you can get worn out (but not outgrown) items replaced or repaired! So if these socks do start falling apart (but they look like they’re in it for the long haul) – I can get them replaced. That is definitely worth having spent a little extra than I would have at a big-box retailer.

Mind you, not everything at Sears costs more than the average big-box store. In fact…

How's THAT for a good price on jeans?!

How’s THAT for a good price on jeans?!

You can get a lot of items for the exact same prices or lower! And for identical items, Sears has a price match guarantee. So you’ll pay the same or less AND feel secure in your purchase knowing that if it wears out, you don’t have to re-buy it! Just be sure to file those receipts!

Because our weather in Calgary will get very cold, I thought under shirts would be a good plan this year. And I went with mostly leggings (and a couple pairs of jeans) for pants since leggings will fit in snow pants so well. So if you want to save money keeping your kidlets warm, you can get layers for a lot less than having to buy a bunch of sweaters once the weather turns nasty.

Layers! Undershirt + long sleeve tee + hoodie + winter coat = WARM! But then layers can peeled off inside when the heat gets turned up.

Layers! Undershirt + long sleeve tee + hoodie + winter coat = WARM! But then layers can be peeled off inside where the heat is on full blast.

And if you’re dragging baby siblings long with you to do back-to-school shopping, check to see if there’s a nursing room available! I didn’t even realize our Sears had one until recently and it’s pretty nice!

Not pictured is a changing table and a table with chairs and a toy for older siblings.

Not pictured is a changing table and a table with chairs and a toy for older siblings.

You can check out the Sears Back-To-School options, and you still have time to enter the Back We Go Facebook Contest!

  • You could win one of five weekly $500 Sears gift card prizes, and 35 daily $50 Sears gift cards to put towards your back-to-school shopping!
  • To enter the contest, “like” the Sears Facebook page and click on the contest tab. Click on the entry form and enter your information! Contest is live from Aug 2 – Sept 5, 2013.

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears The Baby’s Room Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Outdoors Play: A #SearsBabysRoom Post

MiniDork loves to play outside. LOVES. IT. Unfortunately, our rental is designed in a sort of really stupid manner. There is no backdoor. There is the front door, and a sliding door which leads to our little balcony, but no door leading to the back yard. The back yard has a huge privacy fence (which, no, our four year old is not tall enough to open alone). So we try to make the balcony available as a play area as well, since we don’t always want her playing in the front, unfenced and high traffic yard/sidewalk, and she has trouble getting in and out from the backyard alone. It’s also a pretty small backyard. So the balcony is her most used outdoor play area. Though, I’m sure she’d prefer having a driveway for tricycle riding.

You’d think a kid would get bored playing in such small square footage, but she loves it. She especially loves water play. She’s got squirt guns and buckets (and bubbles too, because what kid doesn’t LOVE bubbles)! I think she’d love something like this water/sand table from Sears:

 

In a few years, when ManDork is finished with medical school, I hope we can find a house (either to buy or rent) with a better backyard set-up. When I was a kid we had a great backyard. There was a sandbox (though not as fancy as this one), that I adored playing in. But we had to keep the lid on with bricks or the dogs would get into it and chew up the sand toys. And at the house we lived in prior to the one in which I spent most of my youth, there was a little, wooden playhouse (not vastly different from this one). My parents painted it, and even put in leftover linoleum from the real house kitchen and curtains. The final touch was adding a house number (it was our real house number with an added 1/2). I think kids universally love a playhouse. It’s not only a great chance to partake in mimicry play (an important facet of child development), but everything is just their size.

In browsing some of the Sears outdoor play selection, I couldn’t help but think that this awesome mini water park would make a great idea for summer birthday parties (of which our family has none).

 

 

At $499.99 you would spend less than a lot of the on-location type parties, with the added benefit of re-using it for multiple events (BBQs, block parties, and so on). Unfortunately this jumbo water feature would pretty much fill our entire back yard, so this really only works for families with more space.

Outdoor toys are lots of fun, but the most important thing is to just get outdoors, not just your kids, but the whole family. Time in green spaces is good for the soul (and body)! Try going for an after-dinner walk or bike ride. Go explore a nearby forest. Rent a canoe and paddle around a lake. Find some sort of outdoor play that you and your kids can enjoy together and make some memories before the summer’s over!

Disclosure: I am part of the Sears The Baby’s Room Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Geographic Privilege

emeraldlake

Many people who are qualified to speak about the effect space has on the mind and soul insist that time in nature is good for us. Aside from experiences in which mosquito swarms grow to hurricane proportions, I’ve found this to be incredibly true.

But is all natural space created equal? Does a manicured park or prairie field hold the same power as an ocean beach or glacial lake surrounded by mountains? I imagine one’s personal history may dictate that to a certain extent. If you grew up in Nebraska, the sense of home a vast, flat landscape provides may feel equally as majestic as a waterfall in the Canadian Rockies.

This weekend we visited family in the tiny town (and when I say tiny, I mean smaller, WAY smaller, than my high school graduating class) of Field, BC inside Yoho National Park. Fun fact: you can own a house within a Canadian National Park, but may only lease the land it sits on.

We visited Emerald Lake (pictured above) named for the color the water gets from the very fine glacial silt, or “rock flour” that flows into it. We also visited Takakkaw Falls. These sights are only about two, two and a half hours away from our house in the large city of Calgary. It’s not our first time visiting them.

Behold My Geographic Privilege

As I reflected on our mini-trip this evening I thought about how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and also how fortunate to have the means and transportation to visit these sites. While urban living (and the population density inherent in city life) may be the key if the human race wishes to preserve our planet (and these sites so dependent on the currently melting glaciers), it will be time in the splendour of the wilderness that will make environmentalism for environment’s sake worth it. We may convince ourselves to change our ways for the practical concerns of sustainability and our own continued existence on Earth, but an hour in the shadow of a mountain may do far more to motivate immediate desires for preservation.

It is my belief that by preserving such sites we also preserve our own happiness. How much more effective a therapist would be at convincing her patients to see the big picture if counselling sessions were held in national parks and nature preserves! The truth is that even ignoring the sad fact that many people will never have the opportunity to see such locales (perhaps they are limited by means or physical ability or location), there are many people who will never take advantage of their geographic privilege. These places aren’t just for camping-aficionados (you’d be surprised how posh some mountain resorts are) or the athletic (if you can walk around the mall, you can walk to the waterfall pictured). They’re for everybody, young and old.

So take advantage of whatever geographic privilege you may enjoy. Get out and breath the clean air and bathe in the sunlight. Listen to roaring water and birdsong. Lose yourself in a sea of green under a vast ceiling of blue. And find a new perspective doing it.

NO BULLY ZONE

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