Parenting 2.0

Posts Tagged ‘Ottawa


  • 3 bottles of Green Works cleaner. ($1.99 each) CHECK!
  • 5 tubes of Crest toothpaste. (1$ each) CHECK!
  • 7 Colgate toothbrushes. ($1 each) CHECK!
  • 36 rolls of Royale toilet paper. ($4.99 per double roll 12 pack) CHECK!
  • 50 bottles of ketchup. NEVER!

This is my stash. No I don’t have a separate room for a stockpile (and I don’t think I want one), but so far so good. Inspired by my friend, (who shall remain nameless for privacy’s sake – she only shares her couponing tricks with a lucky few, and otherwise prefers to keep that facet of her personality hidden with her 2 years supply of laundry soap), I have a newfound time waster money saving strategy.

After talking with “said” friend, and watching a couple of episodes of Extreme Couponing, I was hooked! The reason why this works for me? I have an addictive personality, I’ve always loved a good deal, and these days I have A LOT of time on my hands (I’m off work, due to my high risk pregnancy). Who knows if I’ll keep this up once reality sets in: when our baby girl arrives and I am at home with her and my toddler son, but for now, I’m on board. I have become a couponer. I dove in headfirst and haven’t looked back. While I don’t think it’s possible to coupon like our Statesy neighbours to the South, I’ve found I certainly can save a few bucks by scouring flyers and organizing my shopping lists around coupons.

Am I going to go from store to store, just to save a few cents on peas? No! But, will I create my shopping list with the flyer and then use coupons on sale items! Yes!

So far I’m just a rookie. But in the few weeks that this has been a part of my life, I have grown my stockpile of coupons and am becoming more and more invested in this newfound hobby. That’s what it is sort of seems like right now: a hobby. I enjoy it! I get pleasure from the savings and am not ashamed of it. Time will tell how long it lasts. But for now it’s fun. Below are a few of my couponing strategies.

1) Buy a small photo album (they have inexpensive ones at Michael’s) to organize your coupons.

This was my first step. And looking at the empty album, I was wondering where all the coupons were going to come from, but slowly, I discovered websites and hidden places where the coupons lurk. Now my album is more than half full – hip hip! Tip: Carry your album in your purse, just in case you spot a deal while you’re out and about.

2) Coupons By Mail

Create an alternate email address just for couponing, and sign up at the following sites: use the same password for all the sites, to make it easier to remember. These sites will mail you your selected coupons for free.

3) Printable Coupons

4) Flyer Coupons

5) Blogs – Showing You Where the Deals Are

  • Smart Canucks – This site is a bit overwhelming at first. Start by checking the Coupon – Coupon Database tab and the Forum – Forum Home tab. Then when you’ve got more time, just browse the site and it will start to make sense.
  • Simply Frugal – Again a bit overwhelming, but check out the Coupon tab as a start.

6) Free Online Flyer Comparison

Flyer on Fire – Find deals from weekly store flyers in Ottawa, ON. Let’s you compare flyers at the hit of a button. Could be used for price-matching from store to store.

A few final words: Don’t let couponing consume your life. Start off small and see where it takes you.

Know of any good sites or coupons? Please let me know! I am always looking for a good deal.


Last weekend we took a family road trip to Toronto to meet up with Ciocia Ola, Uncle Bruce and to finally meet Little Emi. They were all in town for Bruce’s sister’s wedding.  So we trekked down on Thursday night and spent the whole day with them on Friday as well as a good portion of Sunday, before we drove back to Ottawa.

And didn’t Niko and Emi become fast friends. They started speaking in Polish the minute they saw each other and overall got on quite famously. Or maybe they were just cooing in baby-speak, either way I couldn’t understand a word of it. Anyway, it was great to see them all, and have the whole family together. Emi even celebrated by completely pooping all over her clothes and her mommy shortly before we left (or is that the reason we left?).

Note Picture Titles: 1) Daddy’s Shoulder 2) First Encounter 3) Proud Dziadzio 4) Strollin’


In all my years of living in Ottawa (and there’s been a lot of them – 14 in total!), somehow Sue has never seen downtown Ottawa (a.k.a. The Market) or Parliament in the summer. Weird. So, to remedy this pitfall Niko, Sue, Frasier and I headed downtown the other day to do our duties as tourists and see the sights of our beautiful downtown.

Now, Ottawa hasn’t been the coolest of places these last few weeks. In fact, we’ve been having a record breaking heatwave and it really just hasn’t been bearable to be outside for too long. But, despite the heatwave, and considering that it was a touch cooler on this particular day, we braved the Parliament trek. And as you can see from Frasier’s tongue, the heat was still pretty tough to handle. Good thing we had lots of water because all four of us were pretty thirsty by the time these pics were taken.

PS – Niko officially started crawling today! More on that later…


What I learned today:

1) Always keep extra wipes in the car, as you never know when you may want them.

2) And when I don’t have wipes? (Or even if I do…) Keep this mantra in mind: He’s building his immunities.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to say things to certain people. Here’s the situation…

Niko was in need of some new cloth diapers. There’s a shop in Ottawa that supplies them, so we made our way there this afternoon. I parked close to the shop and seeing as there are few steps upon entering, I left my stroller in the car and hauled my not so little babe in, in his car seat.

When we got into the store the clerk was on the phone, another customer had a bawling newborn and there were two toddlers roaming around barefoot. The clerk told me she would help me in a minute, but actually another clerk showed up instead. Niko was acting a little fussy, so I was asking questions about the diapers while rocking his car seat at my feet. At one point I stopped rocking it, got into a convo with the clerk and when I  looked down again Niko was being invaded by one curious little toddler (a girl of about three). She had crept up quietly and was intently looking at the little guy, crouched just a few inches from his face. I didn’t even know where she came from, but smiled and told her his name was Niko. Then her sister showed up, probably about two years old, and they were both gazing in at little Niko.

Meanwhile, the clerk continued to help me while the other one still gabbed on the phone, with a customer I think (hope). By this point I was only half listening as I also wanted to supervise what was going on underfoot. The little girls ended up touching his toys and holding his hands, to which I responded in the nicest voice I could muster, “Please don’t touch his hands, because he puts them in his mouth.” All I was really thinking was, “Who the heck is their mother and where is she?” The girls continued to fondle Niko and I continued to get internally annoyed while staying outwardly calm and trying to tell them nicely to back off. After about five min. their mom finally came over, she was the other clerk in the store, and she was still on the phone, but she grabbed the girls’ arms and pulled them away. However this did nothing to deter them from continually creeping up. I was getting increasingly annoyed, and the clerk that was helping me, well it was her first day, so she was just learning and really slow at the whole sales process!

By the time I left I was livid (maybe I was overreacting, but that’s just how I felt). Why were this woman’s kids touching my baby? (Well, because they were curious and it’s natural!) But more to the point, why was this woman at work with her kids and why wasn’t she getting them away from my baby?!

When I left the store I called Borys to vent my frustrations, and while he was a willing ear he also gently reminded me that we can’t shield him from everything. True, true. But I was still annoyed and wondering why I didn’t speak up, again? I mean babies can’t speak up for themselves, so the parents are left to do it. I just didn’t know what to say, or how to tell this lady to keep her kids off. I was just there trying to learn about cloth diapers (and trust me there’s A LOT to learn – a million options to be exact!), and while I was trying to learn I ended up being super distracted by these little urchins fondling my baby, not to mention leaning all over his car seat.

Am I overreacting? I know he needs to build his immunities, but I was there (with limited time) as a paying customer not for a play date!

Note: Today I left my condo, for the first time without a diaper bag. I pretty much know Niko’s routine now and I figured we were safe to leave the house without this cumbersome accessory. But you know what? I would have loved to have some wipes in my car post store visit. Seeing as I had no diaper bag, I had no wipes. On the way home I stopped at Shoppers and bought a supply for the car. They are now in my car awaiting any future hiccups, that will inevitably occur.

Click to support my blog


We’re moving! Well, at least we’ve got the process started. We’re going to look at our first place tomorrow night and we’ve even got a real estate agent to help us along the way. Now we just need to decide what we want. Ideally: four bedrooms, a fenced yard, a garage, a finished basement, a relatively quiet street, preferably in Ottawa (as opposed to suburbia hell). Oh, and move in ready, it has to be move in ready. We are not signing on for a remodeling gig here.

So, it’s exciting. We’re excited. But, we also have to think about what else we will consider if we can’t get everything on our ideal list. So I guess…three bedrooms, no garage, a partially finished basement? Hmm… Ideally, I just want the ideal. But three bedrooms wouldn’t be so bad, especially if the basement was finished because then we could get a pull-out for guests. It would be nice if this finished basement was finished with a full bathroom.

And we want a place that will be good for Niko. Most likely we’ll be living in this house for a while – so basically it has to suit the needs of everyone in our family. Poodle included. Time will tell on where this adventure takes us. But like I said, we’re looking at our first place tomorrow! And judging from the pictures it’s beautiful inside! But, it’s only got three bedrooms, it’s on a busy street and it’s a semi-detached. I don’t recall have busy or semi on either my ideal or somewhat ideal list – so I don’t know. But it is in my absolute FAVOURITE neighbourhood in Ottawa, so that goes a long way. But I just don’t think we can settle for a busy street – too much exhaust might be exhausting after a while.

Of course when I saw this place online, I wanted to buy it right away. But then my father-in-law came over and in his words of wisdom and with a sparkle in his eye, said very slowly “Dont rush. Don’t rush.” Yes I know this is wise. And I don’t want to settle for anything that I’m not happy with. But you know I’ve got this instant gratification personality trait, that does sort of force me to do things quickly at times. I just have to remmeber that this is major purchase. The biggest one I’ve ever made. So I will keep those words in mind. Besides, with Borys as my buying partner, there’s no way we’ll be rushing into anything. It’s sort of like a ying and yang combo really.


According to the radio station I’m listening to this morning they say this March has been record breaking in Ottawa. The station said something like this: “Since the 1930s (which is when temperature began being recorded in O-town) there has never been a March with so little snow – 0 cm”. Can you believe it?! Zero snow in March: this is literally unheard of. And not only has there been no snow, but the beginning of April which also happens to be Easter weekend this year, is forecast to be up to 25 degrees, with a few warm days leading up to that 25 as well! Yah!

Then it donned on me: seeing as Niko’s a mid-September baby and he spent the first two weeks of his life in the NICU he has never experienced natural Summer heat on his face or felt the joys that warm winds and weather can bring to the mind and body. So he’s got a lot of firsts coming his way this weekend: a Summer day in Spring and the Easter Bunny. What a way to ring in April! No joke.


We’ve got a little fish on our hands! Today Niko and I started baby and Mommy swimming lessons, with Traci and Eli. The lesson lasted half an hour and to get there on time, with one errand thrown in beforehand we left our house an hour before it started. I find anything with a baby takes longer – it’s such a process – but if I give myself enough (or more than enough) time the stress levels go way down.

All in all the lesson was a great experience, despite the fact that Niko cried when he first felt the water, but who could blame him? Up until now the only water he’s really been exposed to is the warmth of a bath. Anyway, once he acclimatized and I put on and used my best “let’s be happy and enjoy this” face and voice, he was good to go. He floated on his back with his ears in, he was on his tummy with his chin in and then we got to end off our lesson in the hot tub where the instructor encouraged us to dunk the babies – if we felt comfortable. I remembered from my lifeguarding days that this was encouraged for babies, that apparently they don’t mind it, and it helps them to really get used to water. So, after a round of Ring Around the Rosie we all fell down, and Niko was completely submerged and back up in a second. And how did her react, you may wonder? Like it was no big deal! He just blinked back the water from his eyes a few times in a row and we continued on our merry way. I figure if he does one good dunking per lesson then he will really get used to the water – and who knows maybe we’ve got a mini Michael Phelps in the making!

With registering for swimming lessons followed the purchase of a teeny tiny bathing suit for little Niko. When I first looked the only one I could find him was for 12 month olds, although post purchase I found another one that was for 6 – 12 months so picked it up as well – I mean I just have tonnes of time to make returns, right? It turns out that I went with the bigger size anyway, because then he has a little room to grow, and it didn’t appear that the shorts were swimming on him too badly.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 354 other followers

Like this blog? Vote for it! Just click on the brown box below for one vote. Thanks!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

  • Borys: You go girl!
  • alliwaw: Thanks Marion! Back to bball this Tuesday, so we will see how the wrist feels. Running, is a weekend thing...
  • Marion: Impressive, Sista! Always an inspiring one ... you are to me!! 10 km ... Not too shabby at all! Keep it up - does that mean the sore wrist is not

Categories

Alli & Baby Niko

Top Rated