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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mini Series: Can't afford it? Make it yourself! (Part 1)

As many mommies know, being on maternity leave isn't the easiest thing, financially.  Luckily enough, I have this weird child who doesn't care for any of his toys, and prefers household items.  For example, K was very late to start army crawling.  We tried every single toy to motivate him... Nothing!  What finally got him moving is a straw wrapper from our Tim Horton's Ice Caps.  Very weird...

I found myself getting a little envious of the mommies getting fun things for their babes for the summer, for example a WATER TABLE.  They're so beautiful and fun looking, and I'm sure could keep my little K busy for the five minutes of attention he has before he moves on to something else!

There I was, shopping online on the Babies R Us website, staring at a cart full of things and leaving that screen open on my laptop for a very long time, contemplating, but deep down knowing I'm never going to buy all or any of it.  Staring at that cart and pretending to buy a pile of new goodies is still thrilling, right?  Come on, we all do it, but sometimes, we just can't. push. the. "purchase". button.

That was me.  Unable to justify spending my money on that oh so wonderful, mesmerizing water table!  I instead decided to build my own, and make it a mini project to do with my husband.  I'm sure every one knows how limited your mommy and daddy quality time is now that another little human was thrown into the mix!  So, learning who to use the power tools and bickering over measurements was our quality time.

Voilà!  Here it is!

All we needed was:

4 short pieces of 4x4 posts
4 pieces of 2x6s
2 short pieces of 2x4s (joists underneath the container)
1 Rubbermade container
Drill & screws
Sand Paper
Modge Podge

Chances are you already have most of this at home!  Always keep those scrap pieces of lumber around.  You never know when you'll need them!  Note that the Modge Podge is baby safe (I did my research!), and will stop any paint from chipping off when the table gets wet!

I'm learning that babies aren't picky or judgemental!  They will love no matter what we give them/make them!  Why not make it a family project!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Final Quarter

In my profession a year is divided and referred to in quaters, month 9-12 being referred to as the "final quarter". So when my son turned 9 months a wave of sadness came crashing over me. I was in the final quarter of my precious mat leave. The thought of that is simply unbearable to me.

Yes, I know that we are so lucky to have a year off in Canada. Yes, I also know that I'm lucky to have a wonderful job to return to but in my heart, I want to be a stay at home mom more than anything. Unfortunately, it's not financially possible for our family. So I have to make the best of it. 

My son is almost 10 months old and as my return to work date creeps up so does my anxiety level. I find myself lying awake at night worrying about it.(what if he takes his first steps on my first day back to work?)  One of my main worries right now is that lil E is still nursing so much during the day, what if I can't wean him in time?  Our breastfeeding journey ( despite the frequent nip lash and biting..ouch!) doesn't feel done to me and he is showing no signs of being ready to wean. We are still struggling with one bottle per day. 

I am beyond thankful and relieved that my Mom is retiring in June and will be lil E's full time care provider. I just couldn't imagine leaving him anywhere else. It helps in reducing my anxiety levels immensely! But nevertheless, I'm still hoping to win the lottery over the next couple of months so that my dream job of being a full time mommy can come true. 

XoXo -C 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Be Grateful!

I admit, I can be a high strung, at times stressed (for no real reason) person!  My husband will most definitely agree!  I am very hard on myself, I always want to do everything perfectly, and I always want to out do myself.  My hubby, in some ways, also benefits from that.  I always have to get him a better Christmas present than the previous year!

When we found out we were going to have a baby, I wanted to make sure I was calm, cool and collected, not only in order to have a healthy pregnancy, but to then be a calm mother.  I don't remember when we started this, but it was husband's idea.  We were going to start saying what we were grateful for every night before starting dinner.  I got my hand slapped a few times for forgetting and taking a bite of my dinner before we shared what we were grateful for.

Who knew this small and simple addition to our daily routine would make such a change in my attitude and outlook on life.  No matter how s****y my day, I HAD to share something that was good.  It can be as simple as "I got to take a shower today!".  That was enough, and I could eat my delicious dinner!  Although I still have work to do, I do find myself to be a more positive, calm and grateful person.  I am grateful for the life I have, and now I take the time to remember that EVERY DAY!  Kingsley now witnesses his mommy and daddy show happiness and gratitude every day for what they have, and just like us, he will do the same...  When he can talk, of course!

Take the time every day to share what you're grateful for. If not with another person, maybe write it down or just think it. Over time, it will have an enormous impact on your life. I promise.

Today, I am grateful for this moment:

Today, I am also grateful for our new home and that my husband has the space to do what he loves!  He has quite the green thumb!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Meal Time Messies!!!

We have all swooned over those adorable pictures of babies covered in their meal! They are stinking cute to say the least, but what's much less cute is the clean up! I thought my dog would be super helpful in cleaning up the floor but as it turns out he is much fussier than Lil E. Bananas and blueberries smushed into the ceramic tiles are not easy to clean! So I tried to come up with something to make my life easier. I didn't feel like spending a fortune on a special floor mat. So I decided on a cheap dollar store table cloth. I spread it under Lil E's high chair for meal times, shake it outside or in the trash when he's done and voila! My floors stay clean and I am one happy Momma! I also thought a shower curtain would do the trick as well! What are your mealtime clean up tricks? Leave me a comment below! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Solo Parenting

My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years and together for over 7 years, so by now I know the drill.  Every spring when the snow melts and the ground dries, the tractors and planters come out and it's goodbye to my husband.  It has been this way since we met so the incredibly long hours he works this time of year shouldn't surprise me.  Heck I used to joke that I was a "crop widow" during springtime. 

However this year is different.  This year it's not just me that's at home missing my husband.  This year we have J.  We are going on almost 2 weeks now of barely seeing daddy for longer then a few minutes at a time every couple days.  He leaves before we are up in the morning and comes home long after we are asleep.  I found myself referring to my life these days as single parenting.  I wasn't bitter about it.  I know my husband is doing what needs to be done and I admire how hard he works.  But it's still hard and lonely to be taking care of J alone day in and day out, so I joked about being a "single parent".  Then someone on Facebook pointed out to me that this wasn't really the case.  I wasn't a single parent.  Yes the day to day care of J was falling solely on me but I wasn't a single.  I have a partner who is working hard to provide for us,  I have his emotional support.  Even though we barely have time to talk I can send him pictures and videos of J throughout the day.  He usually doesn't even have time to respond but I know he will see them and celebrate the little milestones with me.  I also know that this is temporary.  Come July, things will slow down and he will be home for dinner again.  He will spend weekends with us again and we will get to enjoy the rest of our summer together (until Fall harvest starts!!)

So thank you Facebook friend for changing my perspective on solo parenting and thank you to my amazing, hard working husband.  Although it's hard and we are counting the days until this busy season is over, I know I am lucky to have you and so is J.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Bubbly Review!! (And I'm not talking about Champagne)

These Fubbles were a Giant hit with Lil E! They are a spill proof bubble made for tiny hands! It provides us with 30 minutes of non stop entertainment which is HUGE!!  No, he cannot do this all by himself! But...he can take the bubble wand out and pass it to Mommy to make magic bubbles! He then watches them with wonderment and excitement! He was able to catch some and was mesmerized when they popped! Lil E is doing a couple of signs right now. (On his terms) and he loves signing "more" for me to blow some more bubbles! I purchased these at Target (RIP 😂)  for .59 cents at the year end clearance! Keep your eyes peeled they are a great find! 


*product was purchased by me, all views and opinions are my own* 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Welcome to the World... Wide Web (Part 1 - Baby Selfies)

I've spoken to a lot of people since becoming a parent about their fear of raising children today.  Yes, it's a fear of mine too, with Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, etc. being so present in children's lives.  All I can picture is K, who is almost 8 months old, doing the upside down "peace" sign, with his lips puckered out, taking a selfie.  This makes me cringe!

My students are at the age where they take selfies left and right and post them all over Instagram.  Then, they comment on everyone else's posts: "you're cute bae", "love ya bae", "tbh, i don't really know you, but i see you around at school and your pretty".  (Yes, the typos are intentional).  What the heck does "bae" mean?  Is it short for "babe"?  Where'd the other "b" go?

Seeing all of this and having taught students of that age before going on mat leave has motivated my husband and I to make a conscious effort in the last few months to not be on our phones, iPads or computers very often when little K is awake and around.  I don't want him to think that those things are so incredibly important and crucial that 1) he will be asking for a phone at like 6 years old (You never know!), 2) he thinks we put our phones before him, and 3) electronics become his addiction and PLAYING is something so foreign to him.  Don't get me wrong, it's HARD, like really HARD sometimes.  I hear the "ding" signalling that I have a new message from my mommy friends and I just want to check.  I eye that phone seductively.  Just one little peak...  And then I think "No, resist!" This may be partly because the last living thing I spoke to, other than my child, was Bernard the squirrel while I was doing the dishes.

I don't like when people say that they don't want kids simply because of "how the world is today".  Yes, of course, it's scary!  Who knows who the heck my kid is going to meet at school and is going to copy, because he thinks his friend is cool!  Who knows what kind of trouble he's going to get into!  That, however, won't stop me from living the joys of having a child/children.  The way that my son looks at me and smiles with so much love in his eyes, makes all of those fears go away.  All I can do for this little guy is to make sure he feels loved, to do my best at making sure he is safe and being a positive influence and guide in his life.  That's it!  Regardless of when a child grows up - 2015, 1990, 1940 - it doesn't matter!  Life will happen and I will enjoy the ride as much as I can, with my beautiful family!

Stay tuned for the next part of the Welcome to the World... Wide Web series.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

To my Mom


This year's Mother's Day is extra special for me.  Not only because it's my first as a mother, but also because I now understand and appreciate all you have done for me more than I ever have before.  So I want to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for staying up with me at night when I was sick.  Thank you for putting your job on hold and staying home with me for the first 4 years of my life.  Thank you for the countless hours of laundry and cooking and cleaning.  Thank you for putting me in time out when I needed it and saying "no" when I least wanted to hear it, but needed to because you were right.  Thank you for being my taxi driver and spending hours at the barn with me and thank you for being my biggest supporter.  But most importantly thank you for loving me unconditionally and being my Maman. I am so lucky to have you and I am so happy that J now gets to have you as a Grand-Maman. 

I love you, je t'aime, je t'adore à mort!


I had heard it many times before: "You won't know what love is until you have a child of your own."  I kind of understood, but then thought, "Well, I have a husband and family members that I really love!  It should be kind of like that, right?"

Not quite...  Although I do love all of those people oh so much, the love I have for K is inexplicable!  It is greater than I can put into words!  Now that I know what loving my own child feels like, I understand how much my mother loved and (hopefully ;) ) still loves me, and I am so, so, SO grateful to have a mother who loves me that much.

To my mom who has worked hard her whole life for us and who continues to give her time and attention to me when I need it, THANK YOU!  To a caring, loving, generous woman who listens to my long rants over the phone on a regular basis, THANK YOU!   To a new grandma who truly adores my son and spoils him so much, I love you!

To all of the mothers out there, you are incredible for all that you do for your child or children.  You are strong, hard working, giving and pretty much a super hero!

Happy Mother's Day!!!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Life Lessons I've Learned As a New Mommy

How do you “be a mommy”?

Before I had our little one I felt I had that ‘motherly instinct’ – whatever that means!  I always caught myself saying “my kids” at work (being a prep teacher, I had A LOT of kids!) and loved spoiling my nieces and nephew.  At family picnics my husband and I were the babysitters – playing on the water trampoline, chasing the little cousins around until we tired them out and then smirked and high fived!  Adults one – kids asleep!

When time came, I found myself saying “Sure, of course we’re ready for a baby.” in a nonchalant tone.  When the line turned pink… Full panic mode set in.  WHAT WERE WE THINKING?

I asked my cousin a while ago if the constant feeling of fear and worry ever faded or goes away.  Her response was simple.  She laughed and said “no”.

I’m reminded of Rachel of Friends when she has baby Emma.  You read all these books on pregnancy and taking care of yourself, on birth and your growing baby, but somewhere between constantly eating, then throwing what you just ate up, going to the bathroom a gazillion time a day, and trying to find an ounce of energy, you neglect to read what to do when you come home with that bundle of joy!  And in making my way to the bookstore and stock piling an armful of parenting manuals, let me confess that they’re all in mind condition because there’s no time to read them once you have your little one. 

I admit I’m the crazy mom.  I thought I’d be relaxed, calm and collected.  Nope!  I’m that mom who is always late carrying a box of Ritz cheese crackers as a lunch (I found them in the car…  When you’re hungry, you make do!).  I’m the wife that told her husband, “We have to move!  Our house is a death trap” when it came time to baby proof.

Motherhood is a scary roller coaster – one I’ve learned to embrace in all its glory.  I’ve come to accept that I might look and feel like a mess.  I’ve come to learn that if you don’t have it in your diaper bag, someone else will happily hand whatever it is you need over.  And there will come a day when you just might have ‘it’ all together and people comment on how you are so organized (with a smile and relief, you then realize you’re getting better at this mommy thing!).

My lesson number 1:  Never ever leave the house without wipes!  Stash them EVERYWHERE – car, purse, bags…  I mean it, everywhere!