September 1st, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Melany • Inside Snugabell

Meet the Snugabell Team: Melany - Our Shipping Diva

Melany at SnugabellHi! I’m Melany and I am the newest addition to the Snugabell team. I am in charge of shipping. I started working with Wendy and Robyn at the beginning of June. Truth be told, Robyn the “Office Diva” is my wonderful mother who has introduced me to Wendy and the world of breastfeeding! While I may not live up to my mother's title of "diva", I am learning as I get older, that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Here’s a little background information on myself…

I am 22 year old student currently attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University for a Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology. While breastfeeding does not have anything to do with what I am studying, I am surprised at how fascinating it is and how much I didn’t know about it! I have learnt so much this summer (and I thought I would have a mental break before I go back to school) and look forward to learning so much more. Of course time flew by this summer and now with school starting in a week, my plan is to continue to work a couple days a week here at Snugabell.

When not working at Snugabell, I work as a server at an Italian restaurant - Coza! Tuscan Grill. I have worked there for just about four years. I love Coza not only for the great food and amazing wine, but I also get to work with great friends. When I told them about my new job, I was so surprised at how uninformed they were about breastfeeding and pumping. They had never really heard or seen much about it and thought of it as almost taboo (how unfortunate!). I will no doubt be enlightening them and perhaps even sharing PumpEase with some of my pregnant customers.

Melany & Garrett in NYCAlso in my years at Coza, I have met the amazing man in my life, Garrett. We have been together for just over two years now and it has been nothing short of wonderful. This summer we were able to go on an incredible trip to New York City and Toronto together. While in New York City we were able to see some amazing sites like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building and more! But my favourite moments were seeing the Broadway show "Jersey Boys" and a Mets vs Yankees game (the Mets won!). We feel like there was not enough time to see everything and we want to go back.

Traveling is one of my biggest passions. I love experiencing different cultures and meeting new people. I have been so fortunate to have seen as much as I have and I am realizing that there is so much more to see! If I could go back to Italy, Spain, or Portugal and maybe even live there one day, I would die happy.

However, now that my travelling bug is out of me for the summer, it is time to buckle down and focus on school for the next few years. My plan is to be able to fit traveling in between finishing my degree and starting my own family! I now know that when I come to that point in my life I will be well equipped with knowledge about breastfeeding and being a working mom, as I work with two amazing ones!

July 29th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Jen • Pumping

Pumping While Mowing the Lawn with Jen from Live with Levi

You remember Jen - she is the lovely mama that began as one of our wonderful PumpEase customers and shortly thereafter evolved into a true PumpEase Ambassador of her own accord. Jen first shared with us, the story of her bumpy road to exclusively pumping and pumping in public (PIP) on Black Friday and now with this post, she shows us how she pumps while mowing the lawn. You GO girl!

Jen from Life with Levi pumping while mowing the lawn!

This post is the fourth of TEN in the "What Can You Do While Pumping" video series. Please check back regularly to see where Jen sets up the horns next!

I especially like this "pumping while" video because it combines several tasks: pumping (a must do) with mowing the lawn (another must do), getting some exercise (bonus #1) AND absorbing some Vitamin D (bonus #2). I guess you could even get a bit of a tan! Jen, I hope you wore sunscreen. You may want to add that to your "steps" (I'm the sunscreen police in my house).

I also like the fact that Jen is wearing her PumpEase solo today (no nursing bra underneath). Although PumpEase isn't meant to be a standalone bra, you can see that it does support your breasts to a certain extent. I find that different moms like different levels of support, so it is really personal preference on whether to wear it solo or not.

Thanks Jason and Levi for your help with Jen's latest adventure!

By the way, you can follow Jen on Twitter and "like" her on Facebook if you'd like to catch-up with her one-on-one.

So, would you pump while mowing the lawn? Do you think your neighbours would even know what you are doing (I'm thinking no). Chime in below.

{Photo credit: Jen / Life with Levi}

June 19th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Warm & Fuzzy

Happy Father's Day to My Husband

MikeI originally thought of blogging about *my* Dad for Father's Day. He has been gone almost four years now (I still miss him everyday) and I never did write about him afer he passed like I had meant to... 

Then I heard yet another giggle and squeal from the other room as my husband Mike horsed around with our two little girls and knew I needed to share with you what a wonderful Daddy my two daughters have.

There isn't a day that goes by that Mike doesn't tell me, after checking on the girls before heading to bed, how much he "loves those two little girls". And they certainly know it as he probably tells them at least ten times a day.

He has taught them all about vegetarianism and nutrition (I am the only carnivore in the house). I have to admit it is pretty impressive listening to Antonia, our six year old, reading nutritional information on packages. She really considers what she eats, sometimes even passing on something sweet because she had a peanut butter and jam sandwich for lunch. Not to mention the way she wolfs down her veggies and hums and haws over her french fries "because they are not that good for you".

He has also taught them how important being active is, how they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, the importance of music in our culture and the difference between a Porsche and a BMW. ;-)

My daughters' Daddy is loyal, intelligent, good looking :-), honest and talented...

AAAAAND he drives me crazy most days, but hey, I probably drive him crazy too right?

You want details? Really? OK, twist my rubber arm...

Mike having some skin-to-skin time with Antonia because the nurse said her temp was a bit low.

Mike is the king of corny jokes (G-R-O-A-N), hoards food (he had 14 boxes of cereal when I moved in with him). Actually, I take that back - I don't think he is a hoarder, he is just not that organized in the kitchen cupboard department and so couldn't tell that behind the 32 cans of soup that he actually had petrified Christmas cookies - a gift from a friend five years previous, 12 cans of cranberry sauce and 14 boxes of cereal. I am poking fun here, but be warned, there WAS 14 boxes of cereal.

Then there is his other annoying habit of leaving 1/2 teaspoon of product in shampoo bottles, peanut butter jars, coffee creamer and cereal boxes (yes, the cereal boxes rear their ugly head again). So you go about your routine taking notice of the shampoo/peanut butter/coffee creamer in passing (yes, we have some as I see it in the shower/cupboad/fridge) and then all of a sudden the ka-ka hits the fan because you can't wash your hair, eat breakfast or drink coffee (I don't *do* black coffee). How much effort, I ask you, does it take to put that bottle/jar/tetra pak in the recycling so that I can say, "Hey, we're out of _____.", and write it on the grocery list?

OK, so enough of the teasing. Now comes the gushing part...

Mike is always thinking of me and the girls no matter where he is. He is an amazing provider and is extremely generous of his time which sure comes in handy considering the crazy number of hours I work. After Michaela was born, he picked-up even more duties to help keep this house running. He is always willing to help you out and after he does, a simple thank you will do. There is no keeping score.

Mike is also the most sensitive man I have ever met. He cried at both of our daughters' births, the first time he fed them each expressed breast milk out of a bottle and at our wedding. In fact, the marriage commissioner congratulated him for making it through the ceremony. When we flip through pics of the girls when they were babies, he is often blubbering away. <--- I don't have a hope in hell of having dry eyes once he starts I tell ya!

He is also a total worry wart. It warms my heart to listen to him fret about the girls doing this and that. And he worries about me too. Mike is also passionate about making this world a better place for our children.

Mike, Michaela and myself minutes after she was born. And yes, his eyes are red because he was crying.

Other stuff about Mike that you may not know? He plays both guitar and bass, has a beautiful singing voice, went to recording arts school and has worked as a landscaper, painter and in a pottery studio, at Coca Cola, Happy Planet and StupidStore. Here's a good one - he looks 12 years old when he shaves off his goatee (he has done it once since I've known him and is now forbidden to repeat the offense). He also has an uncanny ability to reproduce animal noises - he doesn't even practice, it just comes out of his mouth "perfect". On that note, he can also reproduce the sound of trains, planes and automobiles, with the latter even distinguishing between diesel, four, six and eight cylinders (no, I'm not kidding). Oh and he is a veritable walking encyclopedia when it comes to cars and motorcycles. You ask him - any make, model or year and he usually knows the answer. This trait, he shares with my Dad. Too bad my Dad was already so sick when they met.

Mike is also one of the luckiest people I've ever met. He won a car at the PNE years ago and then a couple of years ago won a dirt bike at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show. When we were at Fort Langley last summer with friends, he panned for gold and got a nugget in the first pan (and yes it was real gold). I know he has won other things too, but can't recall at the minute. We're still waiting for the lottery though dammit!

He is open-minded, well-spoken, out-going and genuine. Mike Bell - you are an original!

I know I'm missing some things I wanted to say. I had hoped to post this last night, however ran out of time as I was prepping for the course I'm taking in Seattle this week. Therefore, I am going to post this now while Father's Day is still Father's Day (at least in our time zone).

Happy Father's Day Mike. You are loved very much by the three ladies in your house. You make us feel special and loved and for that we thank you.

Wendy (and Antonia and Michaela too)

June 16th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Jen • Pumping

Pumping While Working Out with Jen from Life with Levi

You remember Jen - she is the lovely mama that began as one of our wonderful PumpEase customers and shortly thereafter evolved into a true PumpEase Ambassador of her own accord. Jen first shared with us, the story of her bumpy road to exclusively pumping and pumping in public (PIP) on Black Friday and now with this post, she shows us how she pumps while working out.

Jen and Levi

This post is the third of TEN (woot!) in the "What Can You Do While Pumping" video series. Please check back regularly to see where Jen sets up the horns next!

There was quite a bit of interest on our Facebook page this morning about this particular "Pumping while..." video. I was chatting to Robyn, our Office Diva, about it and I wondered out loud if it is because it was combining two things that a) we are not that jazzed about doing, b) we procrastinate about and c) we never seem to have time for. I think it is the ultimate in multi-tasking when you can double-up on the "less-than-desirables" in your calendar.

And we should also mention that the handsome man in the picture this post is Jen's rockstar husband Jason, who is also the one behind the camera filming all the vids.

By the way, you can follow Jen on Twitter and "like" her on Facebook if you'd like to catch-up with her one-on-one.

So, would you pump while working out? Do you think combining these two "ugh's" would motivate you?  Chime in below.

{Photo credit: Jen / Life with Levi}

June 1st, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Robyn • Inside Snugabell

Meet the Snugabell Team: Robyn - Our Office Diva

Me and LucyHello everybody! Wendy says it’s time to introduce myself. I’m Robyn, the Snugabell Office Diva.

Who am I? I’m a born and bred Burnaby, BC girl. After I grew up (still working on that), I moved to Langley and raised three wonderful children. I have one boy and two girls, who are all in their 20’s. I breastfed all three of them and had nothing but problems - I had very little milk, no support and an archaic breast pump. My how things have changed!

I look back now and wonder how I managed to make it through the early, middle and teenage years with sanity intact. Maybe I didn’t - you would have to ask my kids.

I’m a firm believer in me; I do things that make me happy, keep me sane, and fulfill me. That may sound selfish but when I’m happy it rubs off on all the people around me. I attribute a large part of who and what I am to my running. I started running when I was forty; it was my BIG present to myself. I refused to give into the age and ageing thing; I wasn’t winding down, I was winding up! I started with 5 km, then 10 km and by the time I was 50 (last year), I had five marathons under my belt - Vancouver, Kelowna, Portland, Boston and New York. A marathon is 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometres. Yes it is a loooong way and the intestinal fortitude it takes to finish is amazing. When life gets tough I imagine myself running across the finish line; if I can do that I can do ANYTHING. Running or any exercise is not just about physical fitness but mental fitness as well.

I've been working with Wendy for over two years, starting with first doing her bookkeeping once a month. When the opportunity to work with her on a regular basis presented itself, I jumped in with both feet. I love working at Snugabell; the environment is casual and fun. I bring my little dog, Lucy, to work with me most days; the meet and greet as Wendy’s children head out the door to school is loud and exciting every time! Wendy and I try to take the time to go for a run most days; it clears both our heads and gives us energy to finish the day.

I read all the tweets, Facebook messages and blogs about pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and parenting. There is so much information out there that I will have lots to share with my kids when they are ready to have babies.

(And I told Wendy I had nothing to say... LOL!)