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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Optimize Your Child's Development with My Baby Compass.

My Baby Compass Photo from Their Website My girlfriend is pregnant with her first child. Like any Mother (first time or not), she is concerned about doing everything she can with respect to her Child's Development.

In turn, I was really excited to receive "My Baby Compass (Birth-Two years)" in the mail. I hoped that Kathryn Thorson Gruhn's 35 years of child development experience would be useful to her as she embarks on this wonderful journey.

I Was Impressed!

The "How" and "Why" sections on Baby Development contained some really interesting information. For instance, did you know that Nine out of 10 children will experience ear infections that cause temporary hearing impairment, but only three of those will be diagnosed? This is an important point because even mild hearing loss can affect a child's development of speech and language skills.

While the background information sections are worth informative, things really pick up at Chapter Five: Age Appropriate Toys and Playtime. For my own kids, I like the idea of having a Daily Activities Picture Calendar that helps to demonstrate the schedule and order in which we do things every day. Such as eating breakfast and getting dressed.

Chapter Six includes Music and Rhymes for Fun and Learning. If you don't know the melody for something, the best part is, neither does your baby. You can either make it up as you go along, or check out sites like YouTube to help you along.

My Baby Compass Checklist and Activities

The first Appendices include common vocabulary and sign language for use when interacting with your child. Lots of these words appear in common children's books and the world around us so you are likely using them on a daily basis as you go about your day. Did you know that "Some theories state that a child needs to hear a word, on average, 800 times before it is ingrained"? That explains a lot!

Further Appendices include information on developmental screening and support, a list of terms and definitions, recommended websites and additional reading resources.

My absolute favourite part of this book are the removable (read: portable) booklets for different age ranges (within the first two years). These booklets include developmental checklists and age-appropriate activities.

The My Baby Compass series contains lots of useful information and handy tools. I'm sure that my friend will love it! The series is broken up into three editions: Birth to Two, Two to Four, and Four to Six. I would be very interested in reading the other books in the series because,

My Child's Development Is Important!

Find out more about My Baby Compass by connecting with them.
Website (,
Facebook ( and
Twitter (@mybabycompass).

Besos, The Zoo

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Crafty Zoo is Guest Posting at Journeys of The Zoo.

My Friend Kaycee who blogs over at Crafty Zoo with Monkeys is guest posting at Journeys of The Zoo and sharing something that you never see over here and that is... Craftiness!


Hey Everyone! I am so excited to be joining up with my fellow Zoo Keeper today! I've got my own Zoo, Craft Zoo with Monkeys and would love for you to stop by and visit! Our Monkeys always love comments! Anyway, a little about me and then I'll get to an adorable project for ya.

Our Zoo is in Arkansas. We call it our Zoo because my daughter is nicknamed Monkey, we have a roommate named Bear, two chihuahuas, a great dane, 1 frog, 3 koi, and a goldfish! Monkey is pushing for a cat, but she is losing, and Chief Zoo Keeper (my hubby) is wanting an African Grey.... He is also losing.... I wanted a horse.... Yep, I'm losing too! Not quite enough space around here!

Aside from that, I am getting ready to start my first class on my way to obtaining a degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. I think those are the big things! Oh yeah, my Zoo is kept up while I deal with Narcolepsy. I'm always looking for people who deal with it to visit with, so hit me up! :D

Crafty Zoo, Luau Project 1

Now, on to that project! I made an adorable little decoration for a Luau party, but it could go with any beach theme you'd like.

Here's the how-to:

  1. Find a fish bowl or any sort of bowl you'd like to use,
  2. Fill the bottom with sand,
  3. Add in beachy decor,
  4. For the tiki guy, I used 4 tiki confetti pieces and glued them to each other around a toothpick, then stuck it in the sand,
  5. The 'message in a bottle' was made by simply rolling up a piece of paper in a small bottle bought at a craft store. I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but I'm sure they have them at others. Don't bother writing, that sucker is SO not every coming out! I chose paper that coordinated with my ribbon. Specifically blue because I wanted it to bring thoughts of water,
  6. Tie a ribbon around the rim of the bowl, preferably a coordinating color,
  7. Enjoy!!!
Crafty Zoo, Luau Project 2

You could do the same thing with candles or almost any theme you'd like. It was a huge hit and everyone loved it. I will admit that sometimes I love getting those little compliments from people. LOL.

Thanks for taking the time to visit today and Sarah, thank you so much for allowing me to host my little exhibit at your Zoo!!!


Tough finding things for you and your kids to do this summer? Get these few items together and A-Luau to your next party. Or, better yet, send them off in search of the items and it could take all day. Be sure to send me pictures of your completed projects so that I can post them.

And compliments you should get Kaycee! Thank you so much for infusing some creativity into this blog. Just what the doctor ordered. Be sure to send Kaycee some love by leaving her your comments at the bottom of this post. Better yet, let us know what other crafty ideas you'd like to see and hopefully Kaycee will come back!

Besos, The Zoo

Friday, August 24, 2012

One of My Dislikes. Guest Post by Insane Mamacita.

Welcome to another addition of my Random Fact Friday! 

Please join me and create your own Random Fact Friday post each week!

Random Fact Friday at Insane Mamacita

Today's random fact:

I am not a fan of cheese.

Everyone seems to have a deep love for this milk product.

People are extremely shocked when I tell them I do not like cheese.

How can you NOT LIKE CHEESE they say?

I do not know.

I just do not like it.

Never been a big fan.

I have never really liked milk either.

I only pour enough into my morning cereal so that it coats the cereal so that there is none left by the time I finish the bowl.

I am strange I know!

But I love yogurt!


I will not eat cheese cut straight from a block.

I will not put a cheese slice on my toast.

I will avoid it at all costs.

I cringe at the smell of that nacho cheese dip.

That slimy, gross, fake, and disgusting smelly dip.

It's one of my most dreaded smells.

I also don't like the smell of cheese flavoured chips or nachos.


It makes me gag about as much as the nacho dip.

My dad and brother love both the slimy dip and smelly flavoured chips.

I had to leave the house to get fresh air when they had it.

However, I will eat some cheese.

But only if it is melted.

And on pizza or in a quesadilla.

Preferably mozza cheese.

Yes, I am a cheese snob.

I used to eat grilled cheese sandwiches (made with cheese whiz) but only when heavily drenched with jam on top to try to eliminate the cheese taste.

Now don't make that face!

That's how I grew up eating grilled cheese!

It may sound weird but it's tastes pretty OK!

Better than eating them with ketchup like some of my friends do. Ick!

I remember my Grandma H used to make us melted cheese in a fry pan on her stove top every Sunday after church.

I never really got the appeal but once I had a bite, I thought it was not too bad.

I also like cream cheese.

Especially cheese cake!

Who can say no to that?

And sometimes, SOMETIMES, I will eat the shredded cheese on top of a nacho dip.

But often I fancy myself to be quite crafty by digging underneath all that shredded cheese for the cream cheese and salsa.

Further, I have not let my personal distaste of cheese influence my children's feelings towards it.

I have always given cheese to them and encouraged them to eat it since they were able to.

And they love it.

Unlike their mother.

The cheese snob.

Brandy is a stay at home, work at home, study at home mom to two very active boys (some may call them insane). She spends entirely way too much time on social media but also loves to read and go for walks for mommy time outs.

Brandy can be found blogging at She tweets at insanemamacita and she would be pleased if you "like" her Facebook Page.


Thank you so much for Guest Posting Brandy. I love your writing style!

As for the topic, I can absolutely, completely and totally NOT relate because like Nanna, I LOVE CHEESE. Every.Single.Kind.You.Mentioned.Above. I remember when I was 14 that when I got home from school, Nanna and I would watch Oprah in the Den while eating Cheez Wiz with a side of Celery (that "levelled" things out calorie and health-wise). Wow, Oprah's been around for a looooong time.

Interested in Guest Posting?

No matter the topic, I'd love to have you. In fact, I'm specifically looking for people to post about things that I know nothing about such as crafts, recipes, tips and tricks, humour, kids...

Besos, The Zoo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bucephalus Gets Some New Horseshoes {Travel}

One of our van's is called Bucephalus, the other is Bessie. Yes, we name our vans.

But not our cars.


For those of you that don't know, Bucephalus was Alexander the Great's horse. He was super sleek and famous. Just like our van.

Bucephalus Alexander The Great's Horse
The Body that Only a Mother Could Love

When we began the first leg of this years summer vacation, we couldn't have been more excited. Our enthusiasm was not dampened by the four-hour torrential downpour or the "Poltergeist-Like" activities of the door locks.

They would lock/unlock, or lock/lock/lock or unlock/lock/lock all by themselves. Seriously, it wasn't me. In the end, we just figured that all the rain had caused a short circuit in the wiring.

The juries still out on that one.

With some MacGyvering (new verb?) we managed to successfully complete our first mission by picking up and stuffing fitting Uncle Andrew into the van. This was no small feat considering there were three adults, two kids, three dogs and a cat. Not to mention all our gear and you've heard all about that.

Since darkness was quickly approaching, and our second leg involved a two-hour drive North, we decided to fill up with gas and get on our way.

And that's where the story begins or ends depending on whether you see the glass as...

Glass Half Full

Half Full or Half Empty?

After filling up, Ed couldn't get the car to start. The battery wouldn't charge. No problem, these things happen. And for just such an occasion, The Zoo carries a portable battery booster pack.

After a little bit of this and that, the van started but something was up with the "altinator charge" dial.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, it's the dial right below the "thing-a-ma-jingie" dial and to the right of the "where-did-that-one-come-from-never-seen-it-before" dial.

Ours was in the Red. At Nine O'clock. Should have been at Midnight.

No matter how optimistic you are,

This was not good.

Ed figured that it was best to turn around and head the three kilometres back to Nanna's house and he couldn't have been more right because,

At the top of a small hill,
With Nanna's house in view,
And only one stop sign to go...

The engine died,
On a Sunday,
Of a Long Weekend.

With the skill of a Great One, Ed managed to guide Bucephalus over the curb and onto Nanna's front lawn.

And that's where it stayed for two days. Until we could get a mechanic to replace the battery and altinator.

All was not lost as we learned a very important lesson. Never travel on a Saturday or Sunday, especially over a long weekend.

Except for this past weekend.

Truth be told, we didn't learn a thing.

Are you prepared for all the hiccups that travelling can throw at you? Any tips and tricks?

Besos, The Zoo

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It wouldn't be Monday without Drivel, Except it's Wednesday.

It wouldn't be Monday without Drivel from Journeys of The Zoo except that it's Wednesday. Same drivel, different day.
  1. As usual, on TUESDAY, I opened up my Facebook Wall for people to post their Family and Canadian Friendly Giveaways. Head on over and enter to win! Be sure to stop back here and let me know if you won, just like Ellen did.

  2. While you're over there entering (and hopefully winning) giveaways, it would be great if you could "Like" our Facebook Fan Page.

  3. I posted a new giveaway for a Four-Pack of Movie Tickets to Empire Reel Babies. Hope that you'll enter to WIN!

  4. Speaking of movies, while on vacation, Aunt Liz and I went to an advanced screening of "The Odd Life of Timothy Green". Thanks Disney! We thought that "Timothy" was adorable and liked the "funny-happy-sad" plot, sniffles and all.

    Artemis and her Soother

  5. For the past week, Artemis has only slept with her soother one night. Not necessarily because she's getting too old for it, but more like she's getting more set in her ways. If she doesn't want to do something (like her bedtime routine), then she She is her Dad's Daughter.

    Note that this picture was set-up (hard to believe that I would do that) as the kids only get soothers at night.

  6. And the answers to the International Left-Handers Day Quiz:
    • 1. James A. Garfield (1881) 20th, Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) 31st, Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) 33rd, Gerald Ford (1974-1977) 38th, Ronald Reagan (1981 -1989) 40th (actually a right-handed writer), George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) 41st, Bill Clinton (1993-2001) 42nd
    • 2. Émilie
    • 3. Unknown.
    • 4. Pencils, golf clubs, helmets, door handles, guitars, baseball mitts, computer mice and so much more.
    • 5. False. Generally on the right.

  7. Since I was away, I forgot to mention that the lucky winner of our Copy-Kids Giveaway was Gemma, Congratulations! I hope that she will come back and let us know how things are going. As for the rest of you, check back in a few weeks for another great and even sweeter giveaway from Copy-Kids!

    Baylea The Dog

  8. Seeing as The Zoo is not busy enough with two dogs and a cat, we've decided to add another dog to the mix and are looking after Uncle Andrew's Bichon Frise "Baylea" until Date Undetermined.

    I Like to Whine.

  9. In case you didn't notice, we were gone to The Farm for two weeks, but now we're back for one week and then off to Algonquin Park on Friday for five days of camping. Never a dull moment at The Zoo.

  10. The house flies have been HORRIBLE. I Hate Flies.

  11. Want to be mentioned in my Weekly Drivel? Contact me and let's talk about what makes you "drivel-worthy". You might be surprized.

What's your Weekly Drivel?

Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Love Movies? Have Kids? Win Empire Reel Passes (4), CAN, 09/05

Do you love movies but haven't been to one since the kids were born? Your excuse, no babysitter with a side of don't want the looks that come with having to leave mid-movie. Too frugal to pay for something you didn't see?

You're not alone and the solution is just three simple words,

Empire Reel Babies.

Until I received these tickets, I hadn't heard about this program. Amazingly, it's offered in seven provinces (AB, BC, NB, NL, NS, ON, and PE) and their website describes the unique experience as:

Twice a month, you can see a new release 'grown-up' movie in a baby-friendly environment. We keep the lights on dim, and lower the volume so you can watch the film while caring for your little one. Each Reel Babies auditorium is equipped with a change table, bottle warmer, play mat, exersaucer and baby swing so you can attend to your baby without missing that crucial kiss, diss, or explosion.

You can even have an influence on which movies make the cut by becoming a Reel Babies member and casting your vote.

Want to get in on the Fun? Find the Empire Reel Babies Theatre nearest you and,

Empire Reel Babies Four Passes Giveaway

Enter to Win These!


Prize: Four Movie Passes to Empire Reel Babies.
Eligibility: CANADA ONLY.
Duration: The contest will run from Tuesday, August 21 until Wednesday, September 5, 2012, inclusive.
Shipping: Included in the prize.
Entry Method: Rafflecopter Form.
Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo received a copy of this product. No other compensation was provided.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was posted to Win Free Stuff, Blog Giveaway Directory and ContestGirl

Besos, The Zoo

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Vacation. Everything and The Kitchen Sink.

The Zoo has been "The Zoo" since January 2001 and during that time, we've travelled a LOT.

This year alone, we spent three months in Mexico. In April, we spent four days in New York City. In July, two days in New York State and I haven't even included summer vacation or our return trip to Mexico (in December).

Speaking of summer vacation, while the timeframe varies, it's never been shorter than three weeks and always includes five nights camping in Algonquin Park.

It also requires me to pack for at least two seasons; summer and fall, two lifestyles; sleeping bags and beds, not too mention items for seven beings; two adults, two kids, two dogs and "Aries the Cat". In turn, it should come as no surprize that we,

Have a LOT of Stuff.

We've also driven to Mexico AND back six times (so technically, 12 times) so we've got the routine down pat.

Right down to the "discussions".

There is no disputing that Ed is responsible for packing the van and I am responsible for filling it.

Where our opinions differ is regarding what exactly it should be filled WITH. As the saying goes, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". Here is an example of a discussion that we have every.single.trip.

Note that the following dialogue might be slightly skewed in my favour.

Ed: Everything won't fit.
Me: Yes it will, you haven't even tried.
Ed: It won't fit. Is that really necessary (pointing to my undergarments).
Me: Yes, I need those.
Ed: I don't.

Like every other year, Ed will make everything fit.

It's what he does.

That and the roof cargo carrier and trailer will help...

Besos, The Zoo

Friday, August 17, 2012

Can You Believe What They’re Teaching Kids These Days…

Seeing as I've been using this blog to spew random nothingness document the kid's greatest achievements, I feel that this important milestone should not go unacknowledged.

Wait a minute, this is exactly the kind of thing that should be swept under the rug. Especially since Ed thinks that you'll think that we're bad parents or something. However, that's not the way we do things at The Zoo. Around here, it's all about integrity.

Yesterday, while swimming, one of the kids toys fell out of the kiddie pool. At the ripe old age of two years, seven months, what did "Kid Who Will Not Be Identified" say, well, I can't write it.

Seriously, it was the worst of the worst. I was appalled. Where could the kid have learned it from?

Sure, we go to playgroup but that is only once a week, and it's summertime so there are not a lot of kids there. Uncle Eric is just an all-around bad influence saint so it can't be him. We don't have cable so it can't be any of those shows trying to sell themselves off as being educational.

And then it came to me, it was ME, that pretty coloured extinct animal!?

Can you believe what they're teaching kids these days...

Besos, The Zoo

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ants Go Marching One by One Million...

Today, Rene (my BFF) is Guest Posting at Journeys of The Zoo. Please give her a warm welcome and comment love. Given her current situation, she could use the support.


So I'll start by saying that I am not the world's most fastidious housekeeper. You will at any given time find dirty laundry, used glasses and tufts of dog hair, not to mention numerous toys and shoes strewn about my house. I will say, however, that I am not a total slob. There are not piles of rotting food or garbage in view. I like to think that most people have houses in a similar condition to mine, it's just that they clean up when company is coming and we never seem to have company coming...

That said, I was a bit perturbed when I started to see the occasional ant. I figured that they were likely coming in through the patio door (we live in the country and it's always open) and I attempted to be a bit more on-the-ball with the cleaning of the house, especially the kitchen counters. Crumbs and tidbits can be very enticing.

That was going well, until Saturday morning when I took my 20-month daughter into her playroom for some quiet weekend-morning playtime. I spotted what looked like a pile of spilled rice. And a few ants. Then I looked closer. Ant eggs. Many, many ant eggs. I was mortified, disgusted, appalled. Grossed out in general. I cleaned up all that I could see and disposed of the mess in the nearby garbage. When I returned, there were more.

Where were all the Ants Coming From?

It turns out that for some reason the ants were coming out, one by one, out of the top of the window frame, and dropping eggs from a great height to the floor (raining down from the heavens as my husband put it). Where they were planning on moving them, and what else was in the wall that caused them to choose evacuation, I wish never to know. When I prompted my burly husband to remove the window trim to get to the root of the issue, he admitted that he was 'kinda scared to do so'. I was frightened enough of the situation to hide in bed most of the day. Trooper that he is, hubby pulled out the shop-vac and hammer and went to work.

I'd say that over the next three days we must have sucked up 100 ants and somewhere between 1,000-2,000 eggs. Yes, that's thousands. You can thank me for being too bothered to stop and take photos for y'all. I can't even think about what would have happened had we not found them. Visions of the wall bursting open and spilling a pile of wriggling crawling chaos haunts my dreams. Between the Shopvac action and last-resort ant-demise-juice and I have only seen the odd errant ant for a couple of days now.

Who is going to empty the shop-vac is still up for discussion.

Anyone else willing to share a tale of infestation? Or are you all too embarrassed? If Sarah can post photos of her toes and toilet...

Wasn't that hilarious! Well, not the ant part.

Have a story that you want to share? Contact me to discuss a Guest Post. You're always Welcome at The Zoo!

Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Story About Poppa's Ill-fated Spanish Lessons.

I've had this post written for a while but in honour of Poppa's birthday today, I thought that I would post it.

Happy Birthday Poppa!

Poppa has a lot of funny stories that I get him to tell me at least once a year. They never grow old and I think I laugh harder every time I hear them. There are an awful lot (more) that I ask him not to tell me again. This is one of the former stories.

I know that I can't make it as funny as him telling it (he gets pretty animated) but I think it's that funny so I'll give it a shot. I'll let you be the judge on the funny factor.

Way back in 1914 the day, Canada had this funny rule that in order to graduate from High School you had to have a foreign language credit.

Not to be rude, but it's safe to say that Poppa has a hard enough time with English to make learning another language pretty near impossible. However, if he's anything he's a crazy schemer hard worker so he and a close friend came up with a plan. In the summer of their Senior year, they would take a six-week summer course (offered at a University four hours away) and have the necessary credit by the end of August to graduate with all their friends.

These guys were serious. They left for "Destination Habla Espanol" one week before classes started. They wanted to find a place to live, get oriented and most importantly,

Spanish Books 101

Get Studying Before Classes Started!

You read that correctly, before classes started. Their dedication was impressive and beyond that of the average 18-year old. But these guys weren't your average guys. They read, took quizzes, practiced around the house and generally immersed themselves in all things "Spanish".

The day came for the first day of classes and they couldn't be more proud. They had read the first 10 chapters and were well on their way to ordering beverages and getting directions in a foreign language.

The first few hours went famously. By the first morning break, they were keeping up but by the afternoon, the cracks were starting to show. And, by the end of the day, they were pretty near in tears.

What had taken them one entire week to learn, with barely a meal thrown in was done and old news by 2pm. Their homework for the night, read chapters 10 through 20! Oh, and they needed to buy the other NINE books in the series.

Needless to say, that was the end of the beginning and the boys packed up that night and headed for home.

Through some twist of luck fate, Poppa managed to bribe get his Foreign Language Equivalent and obtain his High School Diploma.

Besos, The Zoo

Monday, August 13, 2012

Are you a Southpaw? Happy August 13th Day!

Journeys of The Zoo would like to wish all of our fellow southpaws a Happy International Left Handers Day! Didn't know that the day existed? Never heard of a Southpaw? Here are some fun left-handed facts...

The term southpaw is widely accepted to have it's origins in baseball. Ballparks are often designed so that the batter is facing east, in order that the afternoon or evening sun does not shine in his eyes. This means that left-handed pitchers are throwing from the south side.

Studies suggest that 10% of the world population is left-handed. Left-handedness is more than twice as common in males than females.


I Am Left Handed.

Research into left handed statistics has concluded that where both parents are left-handed, there is a higher chance (around 26%) that they will produce a left-handed child, than two right-hander's (9%).

In turn, the likelihood that Ed (right-handed) and I (left-handed) would create a left-hander is just below 19%. Max is left-handed.

Identical twins share handedness 80% of the time proving that handedness is not solely genetic.

Want to be an honourary leftie? Already are one? See how well you do with this quick quiz...

  1. Besides Barack Obama, can you name a left-handed American President?
  2. Which one of the Dionne Quintuplets was Left-handed?
  3. True or False. Alexander the Great was left-handed.
  4. Besides scissors, what's an item that they make specifically for lefties?
  5. What makes scissors left or right-handed?
  6. True or False. Left handers generally part their hair on the left.

If you know anyone that is Left-handed, be sure to shake their left hand when you wish them a...

"Happy International Left Handers Day"!

Besos, The Zoo

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Second Peek Maternity & Undercover Mama Review

Second Peek Maternity Logo When my friend Sarah learned of my second pregnancy, she so graciously bestowed upon me a gift certificate to Second Peek Maternity Boutique.

Excited to get something new for this time around (I'm even more frugal than Sarah), I immediately went to check out their website. I was impressed by the wide range of products (over 20 categories), for pregnancy and beyond.

First, I perused the "Pre-Loved Maternity" clothes to see what was available. I was pleased to see that there was a good range of options in all sizes. Even better was that each item was photographed on a mannequin, which allowed me to see how the item would drape on a pregnant form. In addition to maternity clothing, the boutique carries a wide assortment of mom-invented gear (how cool is that?!) for babies, kids, and moms. All the prices were clearly marked and in CAN$.

After much difficult decision making, I decided on the "Undercover Mama Nursing Tank". I ordered a medium in a practical black (it came in Black, Brown and White). The site recommends ordering a size smaller than your normal size, which I did, and I'm happy to report that the medium fits!

Undercover Mama Nursing Tank I got out my stash of nursing bras to prove the theory that it will attach to any nursing bra. The tank has two methods with which to attach and I had no trouble hooking it up to the different styles of bras I have. It was a cinch! I suggest you do what I did and view a video of how to use the tank on Second Peek Maternity Boutique's website.

The package was sent expedited service and it only took a few days to arrive. Seeing as I was paying for shipping, I would have liked to see two shipping options; expedited and regular ground mail. For me, time is not of the essense as I'm not due for another six months.

I am so pleased to have this product because I don't relish the opportunity to have my belly hang out while nursing in public, especially in Ontario in February! For the many reasons that I am ready to have the baby (the excitement, an end to the nausea, the visits from family), I can now add nursing in public to that list. Thanks to Undercover Mama and Second Peek Maternity Boutique, I am...

Ready for Baby at Second Peek!

Rene is a regular Contributor at Journeys of The Zoo and received a copy of this product that enabled her to complete this unsolicited review.

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Joys of Raising Multiples Guest Post at Creating Comfort.

NOTE: This post was originally written as a Guest Post for Creating Comfort.

Below is what I posted to my site and below that is the text that I Guest Posted. I am including both here in order to have a record of all The Zoo's writings.


A big thanks to nobody all my followers for providing me with so much blog fodder for my "Raising Multiples" guest post today over at "Creating Comfort".

In case you didn't know, my short bio states "Canadian Mom to a litter..." and while I'm no Cat* I figure that having three kids at one time permits me the use of the term.

* defines "litter" as: a number of young brought forth by a multiparous animal at one birth: a litter of six kittens.

So as not to confuse myself, allow me to set the scene for my guest post.

  1. I had a set of frateral and identical twins at the same time. Two + Two = Triplets,
  2. Fraternal twins can be hereditary, however, I do not know that part of my family history because I was adopted.
  3. The cause of Identical twins is unknown, however being over the age of 35 increases your chances,
  4. I found out early on. At eight weeks gestation, I went in for a midwife appointment and she sent me for an ultrasound. I just thought everyone was in maternity pants at six weeks!,
  5. I had no morning sickness. Multiples does not equal more morning sickness,
  6. I was HUGE! I measured full-term at 24 weeks gestation and went on to carry for another 6 weeks. In the end, I weighed 193 pounds (up from 125),
  7. By the end, I couldn't walk. Unless waddling 10 feet counts.
  8. I went into pre-term labour at 30 weeks, 3 days. Average gestation for Triplets is 32 weeks. They don't know why some woman carry longer than others. Height has nothing to do with it. Regardless, I'm of average height (5'5"),
  9. It is possible to exclusively breastfeed a litter. I ended up pumping for 17 months.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, hop on over to Brooke's blog, Creating Comfort and see what I had to say about "Raising Multiples".


Journeys of The Zoo thought that it would be fun if we shared all the nightmares joys that are Raising Multiples so that Brooke and her Family know what to look forward to in a few years.

I'll start out by saying that I don't know if it's harder or easier to raise muliples. This was and is my first and last pregnancy and

Triplets are all I Know.

  1. Support helps! For the first two months I had full-time support from my parents and they continue to be regular visitors,
  2. I'm thankful for pictures. I hardly remember the first 18 months. Breastfeeding, and dealing with the loss of Alexander kept me busy,
  3. Life gets easier, I get busier. Before, I had to transport them everywhere, now, I have to keep them from transporting themselves off the top of furniture on opposite ends of the house,
  4. Twice the amount of scheming creativity,
  5. I do not have two of everything. Sometimes I wish I did,
  6. They share everything. Except one item each,
  7. Every night is a sleepover. They love to share a bed (and do almost every night),
  8. They have their "own" language. I do not understand it,
  9. They can relate to each other. Turning in circles until you fall down and then repeating for 20 minutes is h.i.l.a.r.i.o.u.s. to someone the same age,
  10. They are each others best friends.
  11. Twice the number of hugs and kisses.
Maximilian and Artemis Wearing Sunglasses

Besos, The Zoo

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Guest Post: The Knit Wit Shair Does Her Part for Cancer

Lets Cap Cancer Knit Wit Shair
Today, for a change of pace, I have Shari from "The Knit Wit Shair" guest posting.

Shari is a mother to three small boys aged 6, 4, and 2, a wife to a wonderfully handy husband, a knitter, and NASCAR fan. She owns The Knit Wit by Shair blog, and a craft business on the side. Her life is crazy busy, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Without further ado, here is a chapter of Shari's story.


Recently my family has experienced something that no family should have to experience, but so many do.

My Mother was diagnosed with cancer.

After her surgery to remove the tumor, they told her that she would need to have chemo since there was a high risk that it had spread or would come back. It is very common with the type of cancer she has, so she was expecting it, but not fully prepared for the declaration.

The first thing she did was call me, her knitting daughter, and in tears told me she was at the doctor today, and she might need me to knit something. She was having a really dark moment and couldn't even say the word chemo.

At that moment, I jumped on the internet, and searched for chemo cap patterns. I asked on my Facebook Fan page, if anyone had any good patterns as well. That prompted a friend to say she was glad that I was going to make them and asked how much I would charge as her Mom was dealing with the same thing.

That's when a thought hit me.

I knew I could never make money from someone else's suffering, but I couldn't exactly offer my products for free. Hoping that only cancer patients requested the hats. So what I came up with is this.

My chemo caps are priced at $10 per hat, and the full price of each hat will be donated to The Canadian Cancer Society.

I am accepting donations of yarn, or knitting supplies so that I can make these hats at little or no cost, so I can continue to donate the entire purchase price to Cancer research. You most certainly do not need to be a cancer patient to use these hats, either.

Check out my current listings at my SHOP.

If you would like to read more by Shari, be sure to check out her Blog, and on Facebook.


A big thanks to Shari for sharing such a personal journey with us. I am so impressed by her generous spirit and know that you will support her by sharing her initiative with others.

Let's Put an End to Cancer!

Besos, The Zoo

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thought Last Months Drivel was Bad? This Weeks is Worse!

If you thought last months Journeys of The Zoo drivel was bad, this week's is way worse. Get comfortable and

Bring on the Pepto!

  1. I dolled out The Liebster Award to 11 Memorable and Outstanding Blogs,
  2. Did you notice that I changed my banner and title layout? Do you like it? There's no charge to comment around here...
  3. Max and Artemis have decided to use the washroom for most of their urinary requirements. They're waking up with almost dry diapers at night. We've managed to schedule a "first thing in the morning pee". Perhaps diapers are a thing of the past or have I spoken too soon...
  4. Yummy Pocket Moustache Necklace Etsy I received this leather "Moustache Necklace" in the mail from Yummy Pocket (a Canadian Company). Note the cute little red heart hanging off the end.

    It came in a pretty red bag and recycled paper with green frogs. I like recycling. And the best part, the stamp wasn't stamped. Not that I'd reuse it because that probably isn't allowed...

    Check out her Yummy Pocket Etsy Shop as she has some really cool iPad covers. Hello Commodore 64. Do you think they "tried" to make it rhyme?

  5. Emily from "The Crafty Bees" who designed my website and also kindly offered a giveaway right here at Journeys of The Zoo finished her design for the lucky winner, Ana and it's a beauty!
  6. My kids always have to be colour coordinated right down to their hair clips. Yes, I'm one of those Mothers. They don't have to be coordinated with each other, although that would be sweet. If there happens to be a picture of one of them wearing stripes and plaid or blue and green, call the Fashion Police and/or the appliance repair man. We've either been kidnapped by individuals with no fashion sense or the washing machine is broken.
  7. I found this website and it's totally Momtastic Canada. While the act of viewing physical words (not their meaning) can't convey a sense of feeling, if they could, you would be sensing that I feel so proud of this announcement, it's like I discovered the site myself! But I didn't.

Besos, The Zoo

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I'm Not Here, I'm Over There. Where Are You?

While it may appear that I am here, Journeys of The Zoo is officially on summer vacation! Not that it really matters whether it's summer or not because we lead a nomadic lifestyle and go wherever the wind takes us.

We are so flexible that we were supposed to leave on Friday but as plans usually go around here, they were changed.

I'm not actually sad about that. I mean, it is one less day visiting with my Family at the "Compound" but it gave me some time to wrap up loose ends (which for the record are still pretty loose).

Speaking of which, I'm so busy that I think I need an assistant. I can't believe I'm admitting this but my toe nails haven't been painted all.summer.long and summer is pretty long (93 days and 15½ hours, but who's really counting).

Now don't misunderstand me. I know that assistants aren't supposed to paint your toes nails. No, they are reserved for much more pressing issues like cooking French Fries which incidently I am eating right now with Swiss Chalet Sauce but the stuff out of the pouch not the fresh stuff which isn't as good but I didn't have any caviar so I had to settle.

If everyone had my problems...

Where was I?

I think I say that a lot.

I'm not sure who needs a vacation more; you from me or me from me.

If I had an assistant, they could tell me.

Besos, The Zoo

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Are you One of the Lucky Ones? Check to Find Out.

Today, might just be your lucky day because Journeys of The Zoo is going to announce the four winners of our two recent giveaways. Or is that four...

A big thanks to Melissa (a.k.a. Moey) for letting us experience her latest CD: Princess Revolution. The icing on the cake was that she offered to giveaway a copy to one of you. Double Win!

The confirmed winner of the Moeys Music Party Princess Revolution CD is...

Narathip W. who Tweeted about the Giveaway.

If you didn't win, you can still be a part of the Princess Revolution! Connect with Moey via YouTube:, Twitter: @MoeysMusicParty, and Facebook:

Everyday is a Princess Day!

Note that Melissa is so efficient that she's already put Narathip's CD in the mail! We can't wait to hear what her favourite song is!


We did things a little differently this time around with the "Etsy Cuteness" giveaway by having three winners and letting you choose your prize! Based on your comments,

Change = Amazing!

The UNconfirmed winner of the Sunshine Printables Announcement is...


The confirmed winner of the Birds on a Line Gift Certificate is...

Anne S. who Liked Birds on a Line on Facebook.

The confirmed winner of the SodaPop Designs Beaded Necklace is...

Jennifer W. who Subscribed via Email.

Note that each of these amazing Sponsors will contact the confirmed winners within 5 business days.


You too can get up to the minute details of The Zoo happenings by Subscribing via Email or RSS Feed.

We love to hear what you have to say. Please leave us a comment letting us know what else you'd like to see at Journeys of The Zoo

While you're at it, don't forget to enter the other seven giveaways that we currently have running.

  1. *NEW* 7am Baby Shield~08/23
  2. *NEW* Playtex $250 Package~08/23
  3. *NEW*
  4. Pampers $100 GC~08/23
  5. Advent 3 in 1 Sterilizer~08/23
  6. Mobi Prize Pack ($145)~08/23
  7. Dulce Mio $250 GC~08/12
  8. Copy-Kids DVD~08/04

Don't forget to watch for the post regarding the Winner of the Copy-Kids Giveaway that ends TONIGHT! Don't miss out, enter today!

Besos, The Zoo

Friday, August 3, 2012

7 A.M. Enfant Baby Shield Protection #babyshower, US/CAN, 08/23

Being on hospital bedrest for 6-weeks and then having my Triplets 10-weeks early really limited my ability to research and purchase a lot of great and useful products.

I was further stressed out by having to bring home two babies in February weighing less than 5lbs. Body heat loss was definitely at the TOP of my priorities. I wish I'd had the peace of mind provided by a 7 A.M.® Enfant Baby Shield.

Experts agree that all exposed body surfaces should be protected during frigid temperatures especially the face, head and chest as these body areas are more susceptible to temperature changes. And we all know that...

7 AM Enfant Baby Shield with Baby

North American Winters Are Cold!

In case you're unfamiliar with the product, the award winning Baby Shield is a two in one product with two interchangeable covers to protect against different weather conditions. One zippered cover protects from the extreme winter weather while the second zippered cover shields from the windy and moderately windy spring and fall days.

Zippers and Kids = Awesome!

7 AM Enfant Baby Shield Orange Want to properly protect your baby on a chilly spring day? 7 A.M.® allows you to provide warmth for different temperatures with the new Baby Shield™. Like the Le Sac igloo®, the Baby Shield™ features the patented detachable front cover system. The covers can be used separately as car-seat/stroller blankets, and two different ways. The Low Temperature cover protects from the extreme winter weather and the Lightweight cover shields from the windy and cool spring or fall days. It even comes in "Zoo Orange".


Prize: 7 A.M.® Enfant Baby Shield in your choice of size and colour (depending on availability). Value ranges from $138 to $178.
Eligibility: USA/CANADA.
Duration: The contest will run from Friday, August 3 until Thursday, August 23, 2012, inclusive.
Shipping: Included in the prize.
Entry Method: Rafflecopter Form.
Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo did not receive any products or compensation in exchange for posting this giveaway.

A big thanks to KidSumers for coordinating this giveaway and letting Journeys of The Zoo participate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was posted to Blog Giveaway Directory.

Besos, The Zoo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Playtex/BabiesRUs $250 {Giveaway} #babyshower, CAN, 8/23

Have you ever had to make 20+ baby bottles a day, on little to no sleep and pump upwards of 2L of breast milk at the same time? If you have, you know how you're short on time and convenience is key. In order to simply our lives, Journeys of The Zoo used Playtex's disposable system for our bottling needs.

Playtex Diaper Genie Soothers Bottles Prize Pack

Playtex made sense in so many ways:

  • it's affordable,
  • grows with the child (4oz and 8oz sizes),
  • BPA Free,
  • disposable (boiling water in the middle of August is not fun),
  • tons of choices (with nipples), and the best part,

Playtex is a Name that you can Trust.

Playtex offers tons of product such as soothers (which The Zoo also used) and a Diaper Genie® Essentials Disposal System which is included in this prize pack!

The Diaper Genie has a patented Air-Tite® system with Push-N-Lock clamp and 5-layer refill helps prevent odours from escaping the pail. Its unique features lock in odours. Because a happy nose means a happy baby.

To top it off, this prize pack includes a $100 gift card from Babies "R" Us who is the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys "R" Us, Canada operates nearly 70 stores across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping, visit


Prize: Playtex Gift Basket and Diaper Genie valued at $150 and a $100 Gift Card to Babies "R" Us.
Eligibility: CANADA ONLY.
Duration: The contest will run from Thursday, August 2 until Thursday, August 23, 2012, inclusive.
Shipping: Included in the prize except for the gift card.
Entry Method: Rafflecopter Form.
Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo did not receive any products or compensation in exchange for posting this giveaway.

A big thanks to KidSumers for coordinating this giveaway and letting Journeys of The Zoo participate.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was posted to Blog Giveaway Directory.

Journeys of The Zoo  Besos, The Zoo

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Disney Baby Cuddly BodySuits Now in Canada {Review}

Disney has just introduced their Cuddly BodySuit to the Canadian market and Journeys of The Zoo couldn't be more excited to let you know why you need to get your hands on one. Make sure you read down to the bottom to find out how!

Disney BodySuit Size 6 Months

When I think of Disney, Mickey and Minnie come to mind and of course that loveable Pooh Bear Winnie. You'd think after all those years that he'd learn to moderate his honey intake.

So, when I received my bodysuit, the cute and artsy Pooh Bear on the front captured my eye immediately. My girlfriend Rene liked it too and she's a tough customer. Her comment...

"I'm not one for pink, starchy ruffles and princesses dancing around with flouncy gowns but this is something that I will put my kids in." If she likes it, then it should satisfy even the toughest critics!

My positive impression grew after it was washed because it seemed to get even softer!? Seeing as a bodysuit is the closest thing to a baby's skin, super soft fabric is a MUST!

I liked that Winnie was imprinted onto the fabric, rather than a decal as I find it easier to maintain from a wash and wear perspective. The contrasting-colour safety stitching also added that little extra touch of pizazz. Just because you're a baby doesn't mean you can't,


Disney BodySuit Unique Snaps

The wide neck is key for those of us with big-headed babies. And can I just take a moment to applaud the brilliance behind the double-row of snaps. Whether you have a short or long baby, this product will work for you. It's been awhile since my kids were wearing bodysuits (on a daily basis) but I really wish that this genius design had been available when my kids were young. I don't cloth diaper but I imagine that this feature would also be great as it gives extra room (in the length) without being too large all around.

Really unique design!

The packaging, states that these bodysuits come in a multitude of styles and colours and you can even get coordinating shorts! They're sold exclusively at Babies R Us and retail for $12, which means that it's easy and affordable to add one to your cart while picking from a Friend's registry. More patterns and styles are released for the holiday season so maybe a Pooh Santa is in the works.

It's still a couple more months until my girlfriend Rene has her second baby but I know what she's getting in her "Welcome Home Baby" package. Seeing as the outfits come in sizes 0-9 months (I got 3-6 months), I know that it's something that she can really use!

Remember that you too have an opportunity to review this great product. Contact me for details.

Besos, The Zoo