3 1/2 months old

It's amazing how much she's grown already!!

Loooooooooong time!!!

Okay, I know it's been forever, but it's astounding the amount of time Claire takes up! TV and the computer feel like things of my past! (Also, our computer is screwed up and we had to hook up an old one for now - anyone know any good/reasonably priced computer techs in Fredericton?)

Claire is growing like a weed, and she's very interactive now, smiling and laughing a lot. She's generally a pretty happy baby, but when she doesn't like something, she'll let you know, and let you know loudly. She likes it when we sing to her, she likes new people, and she seems fascinated by the TV, so we try not to have it on when she's in the room, or at least not when she's in view. She hates getting in her car seat (but she falls asleep once the car or stroller start moving), and she doesn't like being near the computer (not sure if it's the buzzing, typing or mouse clicks that bug her). And the answer to the most frequently asked question: yes, she's a good sleeper (yay!).

Hubby had a few weeks of paternity leave off with us, and we've had a few visitors, but most of the time now it's just us girls at home. I act like a dope to entertain her, and she laughs at me. She probably thinks I'm crazy, but at least it's a funny crazy, right? Right?!

I hope that I'll start to get some time to catch up on friends' blogs soon - I'm curious about what everyone's been up to, and what's going on in the world! Until then, hello, and I hope all is well with everyone! :)

Introducing Miss Claire!

Born February 14, 2007

Parenthood fun to look forward to...

Early baby

Due to some newly discovered complications with my pregnancy, the baby will likely be arriving early, so you probably won't hear much from me for the next little while. I visit my OB this afternoon, so I'll get more information then.

Everything seems to be ok so far, so don't worry!

For the curious, my affliction is Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy, a.k.a. Obstetric Cholestasis.

If YOU were Prime Minister...

I think this is fantastic.

David Suzuki is going on a cross-Canada tour to find out what average Canadians want the government to do for the environment, and when the 30 day tour is over, he's planning to bring our concerns directly to politicians.

The environment is becoming an increasingly important issue, and if anyone can make our politicians finally listen and hopefully do something, it's David Suzuki, armed with an army of voters.

From the official press release:

"We have an amazing opportunity to ride the current environmental momentum to real change and real action."During the 30-day tour, Dr. Suzuki will visit more than 40 communities, speaking to Canadians from St. John's to Victoria. Many Canadian celebrities will join Dr. Suzuki throughout the tour, from musical performers like Sarah Harmer and k-os, to TV personalities like Rick Mercer, to NHL players like Andrew Ference and Robyn Regehr of the Calgary Flames.

"Canada is a great democracy, but the process fails if we just complain about issues, without doing anything about them," Dr. Suzuki says."If Canadians really want environmental change, now is the time to demand it because with so much support, our leaders will have to listen."

Dr. Suzuki is also turning to the web and pop culture to engage the masses. Canadians are encouraged to make 20-second"If YOU were Prime Minister..." videos and upload them to the tour's YouTube group through davidsuzuki.org. Celebrities such as Randy Bachman, Raffi, Anne Murray, and winter sport athletes Sara Renner and Thomas Grandi have already left their own video messages.

To see when he'll be visiting a location near you, check out the tour schedule. Tickets are going fast, so get yours soon (I'm hoping the one in my area isn't sold out yet)!

If Raffi were Prime Minister...

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"IIIIII'm like a birrrrrrd..."

Actually, that Nelly Furtado song rather drives me nuts, but it seems to fit these days. With less than 5 weeks to go until my due date, the "nesting" instinct has kicked in. So far today I've done several loads of laundry, made a dent in the neverending basket of ironing, cleaned out the catalogue bin, reorganized a bookshelf and closet shelf to fit some of the pile of kids books Mom & Dad brought over last weekend, measured the bathroom window for blinds, and shredded a whole pile of old receipts. Whew!!

Tomorrow and Tuesday we have contractors coming in to install tile in the downstairs entryway, and Thursday that upstairs bathroom's being painted. If this kid comes early, the house will be ready!

We may not actually have a clue how to take care of the child, but that's another story.

The best and worst marketing campaigns of 2006

The Packaging Girlhood blog has created a list of the best and worst marketing campaigns of 2006. The list focuses on campaigns that are directed towards girls, or ones that girls were very exposed to.

There are so many negative and stereotypical images encompassed in marketing campaigns for girls; it's really disheartening. If you're interested in this topic, the organization See Jane has done some really interesting research on gender portrayals in children's media (for both boys and girls).

And (some of) the nominees are...


Dora's makeover from explorer to Princess

Bratz dolls, makeup, clothes, TV show, etc.

Dove campaign for real beauty (watch)

Maria Sharapova “I feel Pretty” Nike Ad (watch)

To read the commentary and see the rest of the list, click the links above.

Kevin Bacon launches website based on 'his' Six Degrees game

Kevin Bacon has launched SixDegrees.org, a social networking site for charity, loosely based on the ever-popular game 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon'.

SixDegrees.org accepts donations toward the favourite charities of participating celebrities, among them Kanye West and Nicole Kidman. Anyone can link to the "badges" of celebrities, or make their own badge to sponsor a favourite charity, illustrated with their own stories and photos.

Bacon will match the top six non-celebrity fundraisers with grants of up to $10,000 each.

Yahoo article

How to avoid plastics in your kitchen

By now I'm sure everyone has heard about how unhealthy using plastics to store and heat food products can be. While the results aren't 100% conclusive, there are tons of studies linking the chemicals in everyday plastics to cancer, hormone disruptions, and other nasty health problems.

I have my concerns, but so far, I've found few concrete suggestions of how to avoid using plastics in the kitchen, and even when products are recommended, even fewer that are available where I live! That's why I was pleased to see this SavyMom.ca article about reducing our reliance on plastics in our kitchens. It not only gives tips, but links to products and retailers! I'm going to have to work on this list - I'm a big user of Ziplock bags, and we have a lot of plastic containers too.

Since I know some of you won't click on the link (but you should, it's a great article!), I'll summarize some of the tips here.

  1. Hand wash your plastic containers. Yeah, I hate to do dishes too, but heat breaks down the plastic.
  2. Don't reuse one-use plastic watter bottles. And even better than plastic Nalgene bottles are aluminum Sigg bottles.
  3. Use glass or ceramic food containers instead of Gladware/Tupperware/Rubbermaid types. (Click for suggestions of brands and where to buy)
  4. Use wooden cutting boards. Not for meat though - the bacteria can stay in the wood.
  5. Use glass baby bottles, or look for plastic bottles with fewer chemicals.
  6. Avoid plastic wrap. Use wax paper to wrap sandwiches. Use glass or ceramic food containers. Take the plastic wrap off your food when you microwave it - use a paper towel or wax paper to cover your food, instead.
Read the article for more great tips!

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Politicians are polluted too

Here's an interesting news tidbit that showed up in my inbox this morning. I wonder if seeing their own bodies' toxin levels will strengthen any of their commitments to the environment?

Toxic Nation on Parliament Hill: A Report on the Pollution in Four Canadian Politicians

For the latest round of Toxic Nation body burden testing, four federal politicians volunteered to be tested for over 100 different chemicals.

Toxic Nation on Parliament Hill reveals that our politicians are polluted, just like the rest of us.
The participating politicians included Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment; Tony Clement, Minister of Health; Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP; and, John Godfrey, Liberal Environment Critic.

The group was tested for a slew of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals used to make flame retardants and stain repellents.
For many of the chemicals tested, the politicians had the highest levels detected so far in the Toxic Nation studies. Of the four politicians, the highest number of chemicals was detected in John Godfrey, but Health Minister Tony Clement had the highest levels detected in three out of the seven groups of chemicals.

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Be a part of Canada's first 'human flag' at Base Gagetown, NB

Show your support for the troops and the families of the men and women of the Canadian Forces.

Friday, January 19th
12:00pm (noon); flag formation at 1pm
Base Gagetown, Oromocto

Complete information (PDF)

For more info call 455-0923 (FRED-FM)

I think this is a worthwhile event, and Hubby and I plan to be there to support the many soldiers and their families that we know. Bonus: The Irish Descendants are playing that evening!

Spanish website promoting anorexia banned

There really are some sick people out there. As if girls don't already see enough images promoting unhealthy thinness...

Spanish authorities have banned an internet site which was about to run a competition for young women suffering from anorexia.

The [Porcelain Princesses] competition, which would have run for a fortnight from January 13, offered points to those reducing their calorie intake to a minimum, with starvation rations of 50-150 calories a day worth nine points while "the honour of a podium placing" and a maximum ten points was offered for not eating all day.

Prior to its closure the website said in a disclaimer it advised visitors to "not follow" advice they might read there.


Just a quick note to say that I AM alive; I've just been extremely busy since the holidays! I'll be back in the swing of things soon. :)

Happy New Year