Category Archives: Baby

Snow-Day Hot Chocolate

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Snow and a hankering for hot chocolate go hand-in-hand. So, yesterday while we enjoyed looking out at the winter wonderland outside, Frankie and I made hot chocolate with candy-cane marshmallows. Thank goodness my mom was over because making anything with a toddler is always a bit bonkers.

*Not pictured: our chocolate covered hands, faces, hair, and walls and Frankie’s fountain of toddler tears from only being allowed one marshmallow.

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We dunked the marshmallows into semi-sweet chocolate melted in the microwave, dipped them into candy canes that I had crushed using our coffee grinder (mental note: I need a food processor), and put them on parchment-lined trays to dry. We made our hot chocolate to taste using roughly a 1:2 ratio of cocoa to sugar, mixed with a bit of cold milk, then topped up with hot milk. We stored leftover marshmallows in the freezer for when we have another hankering for hot chocolate, which will probably be later today, and every subsequent day until the marshmallows are gone.

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4 Things That Have Surprised Me About Motherhood

Motherhood

So far, motherhood has surprised me at every turn. These surprises have been both good and bad…

Good Surprise: It can be unexpectedly funny, absurd even.

Since becoming a mom there have been times when things have become so precarious, ridiculous, or insurmountable that all I can do is laugh. In many situations, I only get the chance to laugh quietly to myself, like, when I’ve had a prolonged, unintentional, “nip-slip” while ordering coffee from an unsuspecting barista.

Bad Surprise: It can be tedious.

I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but I find that being a mom can be a tad (quite) tedious. I feel a twinge of guilt even writing that, but I suspect that I am not alone in finding it difficult to always match the mindfulness of children. Maintaining patience/sanity can be a challenge when your 2-year-old insists on walking slowly through EVERY SINGLE puddle on his way to the park.

Good Surprise: It can make you less judgmental.

I like to believe that I’m not an overly judgmental person, but, then again, maybe we all like to believe that about ourselves. Either way, I definitely feel that becoming a mother has made me less likely to judge others. I think this is because motherhood has made me guess, second-guess, and triple-guess myself. It’s hard not to feel humble when the only thing you’ve managed to figure out is that you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing. When you find that you have suddenly become the mom in the grocery store who is giving in to her screaming child, you reflect on times gone by when you may have passed a quick judgment or made an assumption about such a scene.

Good/Bad Surprise: It can make you more empathetic, but somehow less friendly.

Since having my first child, I have felt a deeper love and understanding for the people around me, strangers included. I find myself thinking a lot more about the fact that every person was somebody’s baby once. Remembering we were all babies makes it so much easier for me to see the sweetness and fragility in us all.

On the flip-side, having children can make you fiercely protective and this can sometimes mean being less friendly. Recently, my friend made me laugh when she described her system of keeping strangers at bay while riding the bus with her baby. She keeps her stroller covered at all times and wears headphones (with no music). This helps her avoid having people touch her baby, ask to hold her baby, or engage in a line of questioning about her baby. Apparently, before she started doing this, the frequency of all of these things happening was driving her bananas.

Mindfulness

If you’ve chosen to embark on the crazy-train called parenthood I’d love to know what has surprised you…

 

Packing For That Important Hospital Trip

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I’m 40+ weeks pregnant, so there really is nothing left for me to do, but wait around and write about things like what I have packed in my hospital bag. After having Frankie, I realized that packing a bag for the hospital to give birth is kind of like making sure you have a security blanket on hand. It brings you comfort and helps make you feel ready, but at the end of the day you don’t absolutely need it. As much as I pack, I’m likely going to wind up partially or fully naked in a room full of a few knowledgeable strangers and the people I’m closest to. Giving birth is a humbling experience and it makes you realize that during the most difficult and exciting moments in life all your really need are people by your side.

Having said all this, here are a few of the things I packed last time and this time that I think are useful. Most of these items are likely come in handy after your little bundle has arrived…

Clothing

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  • an old nightgown and robe
  • some warm socks and Uggs type shoes or slippers
  • an easy dress to put on when you’re ready to head home
  • a bikini top (in case you’re considering going into a birthing tub to have the baby)
  • old undies (not pictured for everyone’s benefit)

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Baby Number Two’s Nursery

Surfer Nursery

The Calm Before the Storm

For me, preparing for our next baby has been both exciting and calming. I’ve followed a predictable course in my preparations: pack a hospital bag, gather supplies, and put together a nursery. All of this organizing has been a soothing preamble to the chaos I know is coming in the form of a tiny human.

Arranging the nursery has been my favourite part of preparations so far. Here’s a little bit about how it turned out, if you’d like to see…

Surfer Photograph

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Do You Tell Your Children Lovely Lies?

FullSizeRender (16)I realized the other day that I tell my son quite a few lies in a day. I actually call them “lovely” lies because I’ve convinced myself that they aren’t full-blown lies. My “lovely” lies are things I say in tenuous times that could possibly be true. The thing is, I don’t know if they are actually true in the moment I’m saying them.

When my son asks me if we will see a digger while we are out I always respond with a yes. Truthfully, I never have a clue whether we will or not, but I say yes because (a) he loses it if I say no and, (b) given enough time, there is a good chance we will see one. Most times we manage to see a digger on our travels and I feel relieved knowing it’s been crossed off the list. In the off chance we don’t see a digger, I will excitedly tell him how something else is pretty much the same thing as a digger. If we see a shovel, I explain that this is a smaller, more convenient version of a digger. In more desperate times, I simply show him how his hands can act as a digger.

When I’m tired, I will sometimes bribe my son to get him into his stroller. Oftentimes, I find myself empty-handed on the bribe front, so I make the promise of a treat that I know doesn’t exist. Even though I have no treats to speak of (i.e. raisins, goldfish, etc.), I find myself dealing with the situation by using a rogue cheerio left at the bottom of his pushchair or a dandelion picked from the grass. With enough enthusiasm, I can convince him that the stale piece of cereal or ubiquitous flower he’s been bestowed is both an honour and a treat.

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Pregnancy Update

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I’m now 28 and a bit weeks along and starting to feel pretty darn pregnant. After wanting to keep this little one’s sex a surprise, I found out at the ultrasound…again. I saw his “bits” on the screen and just knew that my feeling this baby was another boy was correct. Joe tried to convince me that I’m no technician, but I told him I definitely knew what I saw, so we had our midwife confirm it. I’m pretty excited (and a tad nervous) about having two little brothers running around. I loved having sisters, so it’s neat I will be able to see how a brotherly relationship works.

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Father’s Day Ideas

 

Father’s Day has almost arrived and I’m still sorting out what I’d like to plan for Joe. As I’ve written before, here and here, I like to plan three components to special days like these so they centre around giving that special someone time for themselves, time with family, and a gesture or keepsake.

Gesture/Keepsake:

The items above all caught my eye for all those special dads:

Or, want to buy him a book? You could just get it out of the library for him! I was going to buy Joe this book because he’s a World War II buff, but decided, to get it on loan for him instead.

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