a year for the books

Just like that, we blinked twice and suddenly we have a toddler on our hands. Even as I type this, that seems SO insane to me. How?! HOW is my once, teeny tiny 7lb bag of milk now a one year old? I cringed when people would always tell me “enjoy every second, the baby stage goes by so quickly!” but boy, were they ever right! While each stage is obviously an exciting, incredible and joyful one – there is something extra special and magical about having a baby in your arms, who relies on mommy to be nourished all day and rocked and gently “shuuuuushed” to sleep every night. As exhausting as those days and nights were, I will never forget the pure bliss that they were. It’s funny, we wait so long for our babes to start sleeping through the night as they continue to grow but the bittersweet part of that is, they no longer need us in the night. I honestly never thought I would miss waking up in the night but those precious, sleepy newborn cuddles are pure magic. Hunter has been sleeping through the night on and off since he was 4 months, and then consistently since about 10 months. But, don’t let this fool you. Our world was rocked with some brutal sleep regressions in between to keep us on our toes. The 6 month regression is a rude little number that I will never forget. It lasted a long few weeks and I think my spine is forever damaged by all these nights I spent sleeping in the rocking chair with Hunter in my arms or sometimes on the floor next to his crib. Full disclosure here, I don’t think I put a bra on for a week straight during this time, or even washed my hair. It was just brutal and I remember the last night of sleeping in the rocking chair (basically resting my eyes on and off as I was so scared of him rolling out of my arms) that I thought I literally didn’t know how I was going to survive the next day after two weeks of virtually no sleep. During these tough times it’s so important to remind ourselves that this too shall pass. Sigh…Sleep, you beautiful, beautiful thing you. Don’t ever take it for granted! What I learned from this is that sleep regressions happen, they’re inevitable. These precious little babies of ours are going through SO many unbelievable changes mentally and physically, of course they are going to be rattled and confused and out of sorts. I always joke to Hunter that he has suchhhh a tough life being a baby. But it’s true, the amount of things their teeny little minds process is something most adult minds couldn’t even handle. It’s important to guide them through these difficult times and don’t get in your head too much, just do what feels right for you, your little love and your family. At the end of the day, everything and everyone is better when they have slept, so you do whatever it takes to get that. Whether that means sleeping in a rocking chair, sleeping on the floor, letting your baby cry,  or my husbands go-to, midnight car rides just so peanut and mommy could get an hour of sleep; okay this only happened once. It was a ROUGH couple weeks!

I feel like as a new mom I definitely overthink everything but honestly, don’t we all? I used to second guess myself so much, even after a diaper change in the middle of the night. I would change his bum, put a fresh diaper on and think to myself restlessly in bed “but did I flip it down? What if I didn’t and he gets wet and cold?” I would try to sneak my way through his onesie with him asleep, to make sure that bad boy was flipped down (boy moms, I know you can relate!) But seriously, this is classic me – overthinking everything. I am relieved that I have gotten much better at this over the last few months, I feel like around 9-10 months I really loosened up and started to realize that this little human wasn’t going to break, he wasn’t going to ruin his nighttime sleep if he didn’t get his afternoon nap, and he wasn’t going to NOT sleep through the night if he missed his bath that one night before bed. Like really? Babies are obviously such creatures of habits and it is so crucial for them to have routines but these routines can’t define 100% of your life 24/7. We do keep his nap schedule high on the priority list as we have fluctuated with this MANY times and it just doesn’t go well BUT we have definitely mastered how to make it work, pretty much anywhere.

Nursing; something that was very important to me for Hunter. And something that I am grateful for that my body was able to do for us both. I started out thinking I’ll just go to 6 months, then I read more and more about all the benefits  and thought you know what, I’ve been pregnant for basically a year (I mean, it felt like it) and nursing for 6 months, what’s another 6 months? So I made it to his first birthday, March 23rd and couldn’t be happier or prouder. I would have loved to go a little longer but my body let me know it was time. After going back to work, and missing all those daytime feeds, my supply quickly diminished. While I was completely heartbroken for a little bit, I realized Hunter didn’t miss it at all. He was more than content without it – surprisingly! Just like that, I had weaned him and I didn’t even realize. Again, I read so much about following a proper process for weaning your baby but it totally just happened on its own, completely naturally. It was time, for both of us. Nature just does its thing with these amazing, baby making bodies of ours!

Most of you know, I love cooking and baking. I always try to cook and bake healthy but delicious food for my family. This became especially important to me after becoming a mom and really realizing the power of healthy food, and the power of not so healthy food. Once Hunter was ready to be introduced to solids, at 6 months, I hit up the organic aisle and went to town on veggies and fruits to make him the most delicious, totally organic food purées I could possibly think of. Some he loved, some he hated. As soon as he devoured one, I would go back to the store and get everything to make a nice, big batch to find out that he changed his mind. Surprise, mom! After all that hard work and money spent…seriously kid!? How did your taste buds change their minds that quickly? After months of doing this, I realized that organic pouches were the way to go. I’ve never given him a pouch that he didn’t absolutely devour and you know what, they’re just as good for them even though you didn’t work up a sweat making them. You can buy all organic ones now, from pretty much anywhere, so why not? I hated the waste that came along with all the experimenting of flavours for him so this just became a quick, easy and healthy option for him. Once we grew out of purées, I was able to get a little more creative with him and giving him finger foods and this was the best – and still is! He is always open to trying something new but we always have his favourites on hand just in case he pulls one of his “get that thing away from me” episodes. At the end of the day, it’s obviously most important our little ones are fed, and that we do our very best to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they can from healthy foods.

I’ve learned that the saying “mom knows best” is mosttttt often true 😉 BUT dad knows pretty damn well too! I feel like dads aren’t giving as much credit as they deserve when a new baby is born. In our household, both mom and dad are awake every time the baby is awake; whether that looks like a feeding, a diaper change or some rocking around the house in the middle of the night. There hasn’t been one night that my husband has slept through the night while I was up with Hunter, and he has to get up and go to work and pretend like he wasn’t up with a crying baby 80% of the night. They deserve serious props and sometimes I feel like they don’t get the appreciation and recognition they deserve. Thank you for being such an incredible father and husband, Ben! We are truly blessed to have you.

Last but not least I’ve learned that nothing can fix a sleepless night better than taking the time to lounge and cuddle the entire next day, in your pajamas. Take the trip, even on maternity leave – you deserve the getaway more than ever before. Leaving your child for the first time overnight is absolutely HEART WRENCHING but you will BOTH be okay, no matter how much you cry leaving him (mommy & daddy deserve little breaks too, even if it is just 24 hours once a year) Don’t sweat the small stuff, ENJOY the small stuff, the little things – the simple things.  Enjoy every stage, and remember it’s okay to be tired. So. incredibly. tired. Life is good, children are absolute blessings and we should never miss an opportunity to show them how truly loved they are. Last but not least, always keep a newborn swaddle unwashed and stored away, that newborn scent is still lingering an entire year later. 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

making it work

My absolute biggest struggle in motherhood so far…going back to work. So many people tried to prepare me for what I was going to be going through during pregnancy and life as a new mom but why do I feel like no one dared to tell me what it would be like as a working momma? Seriously, is it just not talked about because it’s that hard and no one wants to be the bearer of bad news? Or am I just crazy? Maybe no one could comment on how TRULY difficult it was going to be for me to be working full-time (along with my husband) while having a pretty much stranger care for the little love of my life. All I know is, these past 5 weeks have been an absolute BLUR. My dear father-in-law (hi Bob/Grandpa!) retired at the end of February (congratulations again, we love you!) and he ever so kindly flew out in early March to take care of Hunter while I started work as his daycare began a couple weeks later. Fortunately, I work from home full-time so these first 9 days of being back to work and having Hunter just upstairs with Grandpa, was amazing but still pretty hard on me. After all, I wanted to be upstairs enjoying the fun with them and making those special memories too. My lunch breaks consisted of me racing upstairs, grabbing Hunter and quickly nursing him before racing back downstairs to work. Grandpa daycare went by WAY too quickly and these are 9 days that we will all remember forever but unfortunately, they came to an end and Grandpa had to fly back to the motherland! I remember laying in bed at night time thinking to myself, “how am I going to do this? I can barely keep it together when Hunter is here, just a few meters away? How the hell will I survive with him being a 5 minute drive from me ALL DAY, 4 DAYS A WEEK with a daycare provider I barely know?!” I missed him so incredibly much.  I mean, I had grown this little guy and baked him to pure perfection for 9 months before he became attached to my hip (or boob) for a year straight. How on earth would I function all day without my trusty sidekick? I had to suck it up and realize that this was my reality. This was best for me and even better for Hunter. I chose to go back to work full-time and chose to have Hunter enrolled in daycare because my husband and I both know how important it is for him; the social skills and mental development that goes on at daycare is incredible, and was a must for our little guy.  It took me a few weeks of crying my eyes out after dropping him off in the mornings and basically crying to my husband every night before I realized I was okay. Hunter was okay. In fact he was more than okay, he was doing incredible. Our daycare provider is absolutely AMAZING and I couldn’t be happier that we found her to take care of him while we are working during the week. He has an absolute blast every day, eats like a champ, naps like a champ….and poops like a champ (seriously, this kid doesn’t stop!)

I thought it was hard to take care of myself properly on maternity leave…boy, I really had no clue what I was in for going back to work full-time! Some mornings are so chaotic that I find myself only eating the crust off of Hunters toast because well, drinking my coffee is usually more important than making myself breakfast most days. We have our fridge and cupboard fully stocked of quick and easy breakfast options like smoothies or even cereal…yet somehow, this seems just so unrealistic most mornings. Can any mommas relate to this? I know it’s so bad but in the mornings my main focuses are getting Hunter fed, myself dressed, Hunter dressed, taking him to daycare, then coming home and getting a quick bite to eat and a few things done around the house before I start work. Where in there is there time to make myself breakfast?! If I think of it, I will put some extra fruit on his plate or an extra slice of bread in the toaster and we’ll just share a plate. I’m trying really hard to give myself a few more minutes in the morning to get myself fed too but I KNOW I’m not alone here in the whole skipping breakfast department!

After a few weeks of Hunter being in daycare, I had to stop nursing as my supply diminished; this was another huge struggle for me. Maybe I will just blame those few weeks of crying on that hormonal shift? To my dear husband, thank you for helping to keep me somewhat sane during this time! But really, what was it like returning to work for you? Were you an absolute hot mess for the first little while too? Please share your stories with me all you working moms!

I’ve been back to work for almost 6 weeks, and Hunter has been in daycare for just over one month, and we have finally gotten into the swing of things and figured out our new normal…for now! 

P.S. To all you working moms, I salute you. You are a friggin’ rockstar!

Thank you so much for reading xoxo

mom life | treat yourself

Us mommas are constantly putting ourselves and our needs and wants on the back burner. This is something I have struggled with since becoming a mom nearly ONE YEAR AGO (seriously time, you thief!) But it is SO important to make time for a little “me” time…that may (and most likely) look like the smallest things that many of us use to take for granted. Never did I ever imagine that something as simple as washing my hair (major bonus if in privacy) would become such a luxury. Seriously though, I can’t even count how many days I’ve dragged the bouncer into the washroom, just so I can enjoy a hot shower and feel human again. My husband works long days so pretty much five days a week it’s just peanut and I flying solo, which is awesome, and what we signed up for as we decided to become parents. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But that doesn’t mean that those days aren’t long (yet incredible and priceless) but often tiring. Living in another province from basically our entire support system (hi mom, miss you!) means that there is no one to casually stop by and watch Hunter while I get myself cleaned up, get laundry done, or tidy up the house, let alone get myself to one of my beloved hot yoga classes. For those of you that have your besties, grandma, grandpa, aunties and uncles close by and are able to take advantage of this…THANK THEM. THANK THEM NOW. And don’t for a second, take it for granted.

I am fortunate enough to have an exceptionally amazing and supportive husband who often has to literally push me out the front door with my yoga mat so I can at least have an hour of total zen and mommy time. I’m usually a bit annoyed at first because there could be a million things I could be doing around the house or for Hunter instead of a little yoga class but I can honestly say when that sweet, sweet, savassana time comes around and the instructor places that icy cold, essential oil infused towel on my forehead….I am SO incredibly grateful for my husband and his persistence. It’s funny how 90 minutes to yourself can totally change your day, decrease your anxiety and get you feeling FULL of energy and positive vibes. As much as I would love to get to sneak out to a class more often, it’s sometimes just not a reality.

Next up for ensuring I get my “me” time…something that is absolutely manageable for EACH AND EVERY MOMMA out there. Treating myself to an amazing skincare routine. Yep, I never thought I could get so pumped up about getting to wash my face every morning and evening but man, am I ever grateful for being introduced to An. Some of you may or may not have heard of it, if you haven’t you will soon as they have just become the #1 selling skincare line in ALL of North America (sorry Clinique!) I cannot tell you how much of a treat it is to look forward to rewarding myself and my skin (boy do I ever owe it to my former sun-bunny self) every morning and evening. Those 5 minutes are pure magic. It’s seriously like getting to experience a little slice of that ever-so luxurious spa life, but from the comfort of your own home. Full disclosure, I don’t look at myself as being old, by any means, and I never thought I would consider needing or wanting top of the line skincare products after all, I could spend that money or something else or just simply save it. Boy, was I wrong. I wish I introduced my skin to R+F products years ago, but instead I listened to my stubborn self and convinced myself that my Body Shop products were working just fine. I mean, I exfoliated every weekend and used a vitamin c serum to help with my aging spots. What more could I need? Looking back at photos of my skin before I started using these products, is crazy to see how run-down, dull and aged my skin really looked. I’m not even 30 yet, when did these pesky 11’s come out full force and HOW did all my years of basking in the sun, lathering up in oil, catch up with me out of nowhere, just like that? Was it the hormones, the sleep deprivation of being a new momma or just time catching up with me, finally? I often wish I could go back to my 16 year old self and say “put the sunscreen on and listen to your parents” but I can’t. Good news is, it’s never too late to start taking care of your skin and rewarding it by using the best possible products that it SO deserves.

There you have it, my little mommy pleasure that I get to look forward to TWICE a day – treating myself each morning and each evening to FIVE MINUTES of pure bliss and relaxation. The refreshed feeling after each routine is always surprising and remarkable. I get to step back and look at myself in the mirror, see my complexion improving more and more over time and know that I deserve this “me” time. To some, this may seem like a funny way that I like to spoil myself, but it’s true. I don’t need any new clothes, I don’t need anything fancy, I just like to feel good about myself and to me, that means the little things, like catching that noon yoga class and washing my face.

One of the most surprising and flattering comments I’ve gotten as a new mom is “wow, you look so rested!” Especially after a completely sleepless night (or week!) when I feel like a total zombie and have no time (or desire) to put any sort of make up on.  I have R+F to thank for that because let’s be real here…no new mom is ever rested! These products have helped to conceal these puffy and dark under eye circles like you wouldn’t believe. If by miracle you are a mom who is rested…I envy you and keep doing what you’re doing, momma! Tell me your secrets, seriously. 

I wanted to share my personal results so you can see why I am obsessing over these products so much. Both photos are completely natural, make up free photos. My after photo was taken almost three months after I implemented my favorite R+F routine.

My skin has never been brighter, smoother or firmer. No tired mom eyes over here.

C4089F2A-2676-4EC1-9A33-C7CFF7D4623A

Continue reading

because, priorities

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged on a personal level. I have been getting some questions as to where I have been the past little bit and why I haven’t been posting regularily. The truth is, blogging is hard. Momming is harder. For the first-time ever, multi-tasking has become nearly impossible over the past couple of months. I have always been able to put 100% into everything I do on a daily basis. And the past few months, I have been choosing to put 100% into our son and enjoying these precious, little moments before they become distant but cherished memories. It’s very important to me that I am not glued to my phone or computer when our son is around, I want him to feel like he has my undivided attention which he deserves, especially at this vulnerable infant stage where he is constantly learning and exploring new things. I want to be there for him in every way possible and make him feel like he is the most important thing ever. The past few months he has really started looking at me for sweet little looks of approval or pride, and I don’t want to miss these looks or moments by having my head down, glued to a screen. It has really hit me how insanely quick time is flying by with my peanut as a baby. I enjoy writing immensely. I enjoy cooking, baking, and sharing my recipes and creations with you. But most of all, I enjoy being a mom, and living in each moment with my little love, soaking up all that sweet, sweet baby lovin’.

If you’re going to do it, do it right. Sound familiar? Well, easier said than done my friends! There is no right way when it comes to parenthood, every day we do our very best and that is all we can do. Some days our very best is basically just keeping this tiny little human alive by ensuring he is fed. Some can look like pajama days while others, consist of play dates, Costco visits, library story time, mom & baby fitness classes, having a gourmet dinner (or take-out pizza) on the table. No matter what each day looks like for us, I can rest easy knowing I did my best and I know our peanut has gone to bed feeling healthy and happy and so freakin’ LOVED. Those are the simple things that matter most right now.

Blogging has always been a hobby of mine, key word “hobby.” I blog because it’s fun for me and I love sharing with you guys. But most of all, I am doing this for myself and our son so one day we can look back and read all about our adventures as a family (and all the highs and lows of being his momma…cause let’s be real, being a mom is no walk in the park.) I like to think our son will enjoy picking up a classic old journal to read through one day, but technology is our new reality and I’m doing my best to utilize it in a way that I know will benefit our little guy in a positive way. I hope one day he takes the time to detail all of his favorite memories too!

No matter what kind of day we’re having, it consists of about a million and one things that need to be done and lately, blogging has fallen to the bottom of my to-do list. Between all of the travelling we’ve been doing (Mexico adventure post coming up) being on the Board for the AH-mazing not-for-profit organization, Fundamentals For Change and most importantly, being a present wife and mom…all while starting my own business from home (sharing this soon!) that means putting certain hobbies off to the side temporarily. I seriously am in awe of how all these full-time mommy bloggers do it!?  No matter what you do as a mom, whether you work full-time, stay at home, blog etc. We all owe ourselves a massive pat on the back. Keep doing what you’re doing and what you feel is right for you and your little (and big) loves. You got this, mommas!

 

Thanks so much for reading, friends & family!