Online Canadian Children’s Consignment (2016 Version)

Back when M was a fetus I posted about finding children’s consignment clothes online. The world of online consignment has certainly expanded since then, particularly in the USA, and there are a few more Canadian options now, too. Unfortunately, my favourite (Perfect Threads) shut down quite some time ago, but I’ve managed to keep M in a lot of inexpensive consignment clothing over the years, and now that I have to ditch all my beautiful baby girl clothes and go shopping for a boy, I’m looking in an all-new section!

My reasons for shopping consignment haven’t changed much — it’s less expensive than buying new, I feel better about it morally and financially (especially given the clothing messes that happen at daycare!), and there are more options. This is especially true for boy clothes, I’m finding, because I’m trying to avoid the whole “Daddy’s Little Sportsball Player” theme as best I can.

Kids Consignment

 

1. Flipsize - Flipsize has some great kids’ stuff, super cheap. I found it when I was looking for PJs for M about a year ago. The prices are extremely reasonable, and if you spend over $100 it’s free shipping. I haven’t run into any issues with quality, here, and there’s a good range of brands. I got 24 items for $72.50 for M (about $3 a piece), and 38 for $101 for both kids but mostly baby boy (about $2.65 a piece).

2. Boomerang Kids - Boomerang Kids is one of my favourites, for all sizes and for maternity clothes. A lot of my maternity wardrobe is from there, this time around. Again, they’ve never sent me something of poor quality, and they have a large selection. The only annoying thing is that each store location ships separately so you can’t do a massive order.

3. Changeroo - I’ve never ordered from here but they have some really cute things! Orders over $65 have free shipping which is lower than a lot of the other stores’ minimums. The selection is a bit smaller, but the things they do have in stock seem to be carefully chosen for style.

4. Minitrade - Minitrade is another one of my go-tos, although their clothing is a bit higher end so it’s priced accordingly. They often run sales; I just got a bunch of really nice things — think GAP, Chaps, Tommy Hilfiger — all at half-off of the consignment price! They also have maternity clothes and women’s clothing, and they’re one of the few online stores that accept clothing mailed in for consignment. Be aware that their standards are quite stringent if you’re going to attempt selling.

5. Betty’s Consignment - I placed my first order from here and it hasn’t arrived yet, but the prices and styles were promising. They rank their items by quality and specifically note any issues (stains, pulls, etc.) so you should know exactly what you’re getting. Shipping was a bit steep at $10, but I paid $52.38 for 15 items so it’s still fairly low per piece (about $3.50). That snowsuit pictured is a Columbia for $9!

6. iSpy Clothing - Another one I haven’t tried yet; like Minitrade they have higher end items with slightly higher prices. Everything they have is ridiculously cute, though.

7. Merrily Merrily - Merrily Merrily appears to have an extensive stock; I haven’t shopped there because I’m too scared to find out what shipping would be outside of the GTA — it’s $15 within. If you’re in Toronto or braver than I am, though, there are definitely some treasures to be found!

Posted in Parenting & Baby, Pregnancy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It’s a…

A few weeks ago, I had a telemedicine consultation with a geneticist visiting Thunder Bay, as well as the genetic counsellor in Thunder Bay with whom I’ve been working for several months, trying to get as far down to the bottom of my genetic risk for hemophilia as we possibly can. Here’s some background info on how hemophilia has factored into my health care, from when I was pregnant with M.

This time, I was set up with genetics right away thanks to the OB/GYN specialist I saw early on, and with their help I managed to get access to some family medical records earlier on. Those, surprisingly to me, turned up a mostly dead end — turns out that nobody in my family was ever actually DNA tested for hemophilia, and now they can’t be (all of the hemophiliac men in my family have passed away). So the geneticist was doing her monthly visit, and they booked me in for a consultation to see what we could do in terms of next steps.

Verdict: genetic sequencing for me, to see if the scientists can find a mutation without a familial target, factor testing (to determine how much clotting factor is in my blood at present — a low level would point toward carrier status, usually, but factor naturally increases with pregnancy), and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). I had read up on NIPT when I became pregnant this time, wondering if it’d be useful given my history of miscarriage, but couldn’t stomach the $550 price tag. Turns out if a geneticist books it for a valid medical reason, in this case, determining the sex of the baby because of the possibility a sex-linked disorder, it’s covered by the Ontario government. Thanks, OHIP!

That was on a Wednesday, and when I dropped into our hospital lab to inquire about whether or not they actually had the NIPT kit on hand, I found out that they did have it (yay!) but that they only ship blood out to Toronto on Wednesday mornings (boo) so I had to wait a week and come back late Tuesday to get it done. Genetics also had my factor test blood drawn, and the blood for the genetic sequencing. NIPT basically works by taking the mother’s blood, separating out the baby’s DNA from it, and then testing those chromosomes — it gives the boy or girl answer, as well as a risk level for common chromosomal disorders. I was anxious about the disorders more than anything, honestly.

Two weeks after the blood landed in Toronto the counsellor called me and asked if I was ready to hear the sex. Let me back up and tell you all that there has not been a boy born on my mom’s side, in which the hemophilia genes run, in over 40 years. Four decades of no boys. I thought M would be a boy, she was a girl, and as soon as I found that out I was like well, I am not the special boy-haver, we’re only ever having girls. So much so that when we had three miscarriages, I bounced around a few ‘maybe they were boys and we can’t have boys’ theories. When this pregnancy stuck it only cemented my girl-having belief, and we spent three months arguing over girl names. M would not entertain the idea of a baby brother either — she was quite insistent that we were having a girl. Obviously, we were having a girl.

So the counsellor says, “It’s a boy!”

And I said, “WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. … Really?! No way.”

Forty-something friggin’ years later, we’re having a boy.

download

More importantly (to me), the chromosomal testing all came back low risk. Now they’re trying to rush the genetic sequencing, but they have to sequence the entire gene because they don’t know what to look for so apparently it is going to take quite some time. The other thing is that even if the genetic sequencing doesn’t turn up anything indicating carrier status it’s really more of an inconclusive answer than anything, because without the target mutation there’s not a lot of certainty. So I think they’re going to have to go ahead and pretend I am a carrier either way, in terms of delivery.

What that means, I don’t know for sure, yet — the geneticist is supposed to explain the precautions to my local practitioner(s), but I’m currently seeing my family doctor, not the doctor who will deliver the baby. My understanding is that it’s generally a matter of avoiding long/traumatic delivery, avoiding instrumental delivery, and possibly doing some factor testing on the baby when he’s born. The hemophilia that runs in my family tends to be mild, at least, so that’s reassuring.

So now I’m here, trying to wrap my head around a BOY! We’re starting over with names, which is crazy because I’ve never really even looked at the boy name section seriously. I’m also gonna have to get rid of some old girl clothes which is a bummer, but I do get to go shopping for boy clothes. It also occurred to me that I’m going to one day have a teenage boy which is terrifying me already. But it is super cool to be on track to welcome the first boy in ages!

We would have been happy either way — I’m just thrilled that the baby is healthy thus far, and delighted at the novelty of a boy. M is not quite as thrilled but is coming around to the idea of a baby brother instead (she broke my heart when she cried about it being a boy — I so badly wanted to give her what she wanted, but that’s not exactly a situation I can control).

I’m hugely grateful to already be in the care of the genetics program because if we had found this out via anatomy scan in a few weeks, I would be panicking right now. I’m really impressed with how knowledgeable and responsive they’ve been, and how easy it has been to work with them even though I’m five hours away.

Part of me still isn’t going to believe it until I see the boy parts on an ultrasound screen, and I also want to pass that anatomy scan hurdle in terms of baby’s health and my own anxiety — it should be requisitioned if my doctor did it when she said she was going to, so sometime in the next few weeks, we’ll hopefully be getting a peek!

Posted in Pregnancy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Not a Book Report: Lean In

I went on a reading tear at the beginning of the year, into spring — I’ve stopped but should really get back into it (the honest truth — I lost my Kobo charger and all of my library books have been checking out without me).

I read Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead on the flight back from Myrtle Beach in March, finally giving in to it despite the fact that I am not and will likely never be a high-powered executive because that’s just not the way my career path is going to go. Turns out this book has a lot in it for women who are just trying to balance life and family and work, not just those who are on track to the top of the corporate world.

LeanIN

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 

This part had me mentally fist pumping on the airplane. I am so, so sick of woman/female/LADY (ugh) being added as adjectives to everything, and I have been doing my best to combat this in my own workplace when it crops up in news articles. Heck yes, Sheryl Sandberg.

“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.” 

Again, heck yes Sheryl Sandberg. No knocks against women (or men!) who stay at home, if that’s what they desire — I am not a participant in the mommy wars. But I fully, 100 per cent agree that all parental parties of a household need to be sharing that emotional labour, the background work that keep things running smoothly, the domestic duties and the work duties. Everyone’s work needs to be equally important, and that’s not some ‘modern fatherhood’ ideal, that should just be real life. Balance for everyone. Support for everyone, personally and professionally.

Of course, Sandberg also voices her support and encouragement for women to step forward and pursue opportunities without doing the ‘but what about my children?!’ thing, which is a lot of where that balance between two partners comes in. Whether you’re a high powered executive or not, I think that that is quite applicable. It’s an interesting book to read, with a lot more nuance than I had expected, and it’s a book I encourage everyone to read, at least to understand the Lean In perspective that is being talked about more frequently.

And, as a side note — Sandberg specifically addressed the shortcomings in her book regarding single parenting, in this post, which is interesting to read as an addition to the book.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Toronto Trip

A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with a group of friends I had never met before, in Toronto, for a long weekend getaway. Because I was travelling domestically I didn’t have the awkwardness of telling the border guard that I was going to meet my internet friends, but about halfway through my five hour drive to Thunder Bay I kind of caught myself like, what the heck am I doing?! Luckily, they are not axe murderers.

I’m all about food so a big highlight of the trip was, of course, food. Any time I’m out of my teeny town I love to eat, and I ate a lot. Enough that I came home looking several weeks more pregnant than I normally would! It died down after a day or two of regular life, and it was well worth it.

Let’s talk about Bannock. Not the food, the restaurant (though the restaurant serves the food — as the northern Ontarian of the group I explained bannock the food a few times!). I had a grilled cheese and it was phenomenal and I want to eat it again. It had apples and bacon jam. The virgin Caesar, I’d skip.

TO1

Fran’s had lots of breakfast choices but I had already scoped out this croissant with scrambled eggs and hollandaise and goat cheese and avocado because all of those things combined = love. It did not disappoint.

to6

In non-food related news, I finally went up the CN Tower. I’m generally okay with heights, but I do not like elevators and a glass elevator going up the side of the friggin’ CN Tower is not my idea of a good time. I stuck with ‘don’t look down’ and survived, and it was cool to see Toronto from above. The guy sitting next to me on my flight back to Thunder Bay told me all about the Edgewalk deal where you are harnessed onto the tower and lean over the edge, and that sounds like a nightmare.

to16

Back to food. St. Lawrence Market is somewhere I’d like to go, maybe next year, when I can fully enjoy all the soft cheese and deli meat (okay, I ate both) but mostly the booze. Mostly the wine store, where I sampled No Boats on Sunday cider, and want to sample a lot more. It’s from Peller and I want to stock my fridge with it post-baby. Anyway. I had haddock and chips for lunch and the long line was mostly worth it.

to7

We hit up the Toronto Islands very briefly, where I neglected to get a Beavertail. And then we went back and went axe throwing, which is a legitimate thing, and if I lived in Toronto I would totally join an axe throwing league.

TO12

Dinner was at Cafe California; I had some kind of stuffed chicken that was decent, and carrot cake that was extra-good. So good that I basically had to roll myself back to the hotel and was super jealous of everyone who made it to Momofuku Milk Bar later.

to8

to9

The next morning we had plans to find an Aroma for breakfast but it didn’t work out and we luckily stumbled across Over Easy instead. Best breakfast poutine ever. So good I didn’t take the time to take an in-focus picture. ;)

to5

After breakfast we dropped into Kensington Market, which is one of my favourite parts of Toronto. We ducked into a lot of weird little stores, I bought socks and popcorn and chocolate bars, we found a grocery store but no water (?!), I took a streetcar for the first time. I also spotted Soma Chocolatier from across the road and basically went running. I managed to snarf five truffles on my own (I loved everything but the balsamic vinegar flavour) and brought a big bag home so you’ll see some of that stuff popping up here shortly.

TO4

We eventually made it to Wvrst for lunch. Good lord, people, go to Wvrst. I am still craving the rosemary-maple dipping sauce and the duck fat fries, and I promise next time I go to Toronto I’ll be eating a vat of them. I also had a bison sausage, and amazing pickles. By far my favourite meal of the entire trip, and I had a lot of good food to choose from!

to15

We broke off into smaller groups to fill the rest of our time between lunch and dinner — I joined the Eaton Centre shoppers and hobbled my way around, becoming progressively more ridiculously pregnant and sore until I was straight up whining (sorry, friends). A visit to Momofuku made it better, despite the stairs involved. I bought a bunch of stuff home but two of the cake truffles disappeared on my drive back from Thunder Bay.

My last dinner was at Bar Italia, where I jumped at the chance to have a caprese salad because my husband and kid hate tomatoes. I also indulged in a delicious ricotta, olive, garlic, capers, delicious pasta concoction. And I drank a Shirley Temple because why not. I did manage to skip dessert.

TO3

TO

I had this hilariously anticlimactic end to the trip — we all walked to a bar that had lawn games in it (neat!), got IDed (neat!), walked in… and it was so loud. And crowded. My immediate reaction was to grab the other pregnant friend and yell I HAVE TO PEE and we made our escape plan in the bathroom because it was the only place we could hear. So we Ubered home and felt like we were in that ‘you old, she pregnant’ scene of Knocked Up.

6b6c435a-84a9-4f0f-8035-db5b84127e58_text

And then I packed my stuff and fell asleep in the hotel bed while half of the crowd was still out partying. I had an early flight the next day and was grateful to not be hungover, and also grateful to discover that Aroma opened a new location on the mainland side of the Billy Bishop terminal, so I got that iced coffee in the end.

to13

By the time I got back to Thunder Bay I was wiped, though, and canned my grocery shopping and Persian buying plans to just head home. It poured rain about halfway through and I was very excited to finally open up my front door!

I really enjoyed spending some dedicated time in Toronto, instead of just flying through or connecting there to head to another place. And I’m so glad I finally got to meet some of the ladies who have been my friends for years, in real life!

Posted in Food, Life | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

First Trimester Catch Up

I can’t believe I’m in the second trimester but — I’m in the second trimester!

THREE WEEKS

I found out earlier than some people would, because I can’t resist testing, and I’ve gotten pretty good at reading my body to know when I may be pregnant. I wasn’t shocked by the positive result but it didn’t really sink in until two or three days later — I just shut my mind off of that topic and tried to think about other things. I had cramping and backaches, both terrifying and all too common. I was on and off nauseous, could barely choke down breakfast one day, and generally had that blergh-y feeling that alerts me to pregnancy.

As the week went on I became more and more anxious and started down the “what if this sticks/what if this doesn’t stick” path.

FOUR WEEKS

Welcome to anxiety city. Still with the cramps, the backaches and the twinges, and the occasional nausea. I could not cook food very well — every time I tried to make dinner I felt shaky and sick. And on top of that I was not really hungry this week. Nothing sounded super appetizing, so I had to instruct Matt to just put food in front of me so I’d eat something. I had a bit of bloating but nothing major, some fatigue, and general malaise.

I struggled really hard with my thoughts this week. We bypassed the timing of two previous losses but were still within the window of one, and the further along we got, the more I worried — how much more would it suck to think things would be okay and THEN lose the pregnancy? Every night I went to bed thinking that it would be all over the next morning. I constantly scanned for blood when using the bathroom. Each day further was relieving, but terrifying, too. Then I started thinking about how horrible it would be to get to an ultrasound and find out I had a missed miscarriage. Pregnancy after loss is extremely difficult.

FIVE WEEKS

At the start of the week I was waiting for nausea to kick in — give me something, anything to feel like I am actually pregnant. Halfway through the week I had my request answered. It was hard to navigate the nausea, which kicked in hard. I felt like a pretty terrible mom and wife, and had very little energy to do anything. Matt made all of our food and did bedtime routine, and I laid in bed a lot. I ordered Unisom and B6 from Amazon and waited for it to come in.

Toward the end of that week I had a consultation with an OB/GYN in Thunder Bay, through telemedicine. It was supposed to be my intake for repeat loss, but when I told him I thought I was pregnant he quickly switched gears and ordered me serial beta tests (to ensure the hormone indicating fetal growth was increasing properly), a genetics referral, and an ultrasound. He planned to follow up with me in a month’s time. I felt like things were suddenly moving quickly, and was grateful to be under someone’s care.

We heard the heartbeat at the ultrasound that day, which was awesome. I got progressively more nauseous, which was not awesome. Genetics called me the day after the telemedicine appointment, which was also awesome! So I felt like I was winning even though I was horrendously sick.

SIX WEEKS

Still ragingly ill. I am desperately awaiting my Unisom to arrive from the USA (Canada doesn’t sell the right kind). I’m booked in for another ultrasound when I’m 6+4 by the previous ultrasound’s dating — the doctor who ordered it isn’t my family doctor or the OB/GYN which is confusing, but the results are good. I’m measuring at 7 weeks this time with a heartbeat reading at 115 bpm.

The week goes by pretty quickly. I find out I have another ultrasound ordered and just when I’m freaking out a bit the clinic calls and explains it’s a normal thing the radiologist does with early scans, and there’s nothing to worry about (and the random doctor order was because she was filling in for my family doctor). I’m a bit anxious still, but ok.

SEVEN WEEKS

My skin looks like shit. That’s readily apparent to me. I also look sick and tired no matter what — half the closer friends and acquaintances I encounter around town ask me if I’m feeling ok. I tell them no but don’t expand on that at all. My nausea is slightly under control with ginger Gravol and B6, but I’m still feeling hungry and queasy a lot. My bloating has calmed down, though, and I can eat a few healthier things again.

I have reflux like mad. Every night it’s hard to go to sleep because it feels like there’s fire in my throat and stomach. I’m eating Tums like candy and Matt has propped up the head of the bed on blocks, but nothing seems to be helping.

I’m also seriously craving random foods. With M I had a lot of aversions — this time I’m like, I need that specific thing, NOW. This week it’s a taco from the sandwich place in town. It is so, so good, and all I want for dinner is another taco, but it’s a sporadic special at that place so I can’t go get another one. I want one, just typing about this. The words “awesome taco” are in my iPhone notes.

At 7+1 I am weirdly not sick and kind of crampy. It’s stressful. I see my doctor at 7+4 and she tells me I need an ultrasound because the heart rate from the last ultrasound is too low. I spend the next two days frantically Googling and convincing myself that things are going badly (the stats on a heartbeat less than 120 bpm are… not good). But the scan at 7+6 shows growth and a heart rate of 147 bpm, which seems to be right in range. It’s a huge relief. I also find out I have a posterior placenta this time which hopefully means it won’t take as long to feel movement!

EIGHT WEEKS

I feel like I can breathe a bit, now. The stats generally say that a strong heartbeat at 8 weeks is a great indicator for pregnancy, and the odds of miscarriage are essentially as low as they’re going to get within the first trimester. I know better than to put my full faith in stats, but at least a small part of me can relax.

This is the week I gain a new symptom — throwing up. I hate throwing up. It’s as fun as it sounds. Luckily it isn’t an all day every day thing, but it’s happening and I don’t like it. Plus, by around 6 p.m. every night I am hopelessly ill. I’m also really tired — I can take a three hour afternoon nap and then fall asleep at 8 p.m. no problem, and wake up tired 10 hours later. At night I feel full and bloated, and uncomfortable.

Sometime this week, M apparently goes around to all of her daycare teachers and announces that I have a baby in my belly, which sends me into a panic attack when Matt tells me — I do not want the news out. But it’s too late, and after a few quiet congratulations they shut the door on the subject which is good.

NINE WEEKS

This is a mostly-quiet week. I have some cramps and backache during the latter half, which always stresses me out, but other than that things are going the same. I’m sick a lot, especially at night, and it’s wearing on me. I hear the heartbeat once on a doppler, then can’t find it and am anxious for a few days, then find it again and am able to breathe again. My emotions are all over the place, I’m tired, and I’m starting to get that ‘are we done with this first trimester BS?’ feeling.

TEN WEEKS

We head to Winnipeg for the first part of this week, and I’m worried about travelling while feeling awful but it goes mostly well. It’s hard to try to sleep early when we’re all sharing a hotel room, but that’s the worst of it. My nausea stays mostly under control and I’m able to rest at night when I’m not feeling good. Weirdly, the moment we arrive home I throw up for the first time all week — maybe it’s the house?

I spend the rest of the week bloated and uncomfortable. I feel bad complaining about it, but man, I cannot get myself to feel better, especially when I’m trying to sleep.

ELEVEN WEEKS

Feeling calmer, emotionally. We start telling family and the rest of the need-to-know people… my belly is already getting to the point that hiding it is futile, so as much as I hate being the centre of attention, it makes sense to get the news out. Plus Matt’s coworkers are apparently starting to think he’s really weird for never having time to do anything because his wife is always in bed, and I think there are a few people wondering if I have the plague. ;)

TWELVE WEEKS

This is a stressful week for outside reasons. The bright point/scary point is letting the entire world in on the secret! I’m having some stomach issues — bloated to the point that it’s hard to sleep sometimes. That’s probably the worst of it, this week. I manage to stay up late and walk around endlessly during my Relay for Life volunteer stint and pay for it dearly the next day, being sore all over. I get my hands on some legit Diclectin this week, and it seems to work better than the b12 + Unisom trick. That, or my nausea is slowly, slowly letting up on its own.

I *think* I start feeling movement this week, just ever so slightly, and it continues to be noticeable.

THIRTEEN WEEKS

I’m getting some energy back during the day, during the first part of the week, but as I near 14 weeks I am exhausted all the time. Seriously bone tired. But when I try to nap during the day, I can’t.

On the upside, I’m capable of cooking and eating real food again! And I’m visibly pregnant, at least to my eyes:

13398872_249833605395840_1820140425_n

Anxiety rears its head this week after hearing a lot of late loss stories. :( It’s still hard to navigate pregnancy after loss, even as I get further along. Hitting 14 weeks feels like a good milestone, though.

Save

Posted in Pregnancy | Tagged | 4 Comments