Monday, November 23, 2015

Let it Snow!

After an EXHAUSTING day of a craft at Home Depot, 2 birthday parties and a dinner, Josh and I decided we needed a date night for just the two of us. So, my dear friend and the best neighbour in the world came over to watch our girls for a few hours.

Well, after a delicious burrito and a movie, we walked out of the movie theater and into a winter wonderland! I have never been so excited to see snow! After a wonderfully romantic kiss in the snow, I promptly picked some of the marshmallow fluff off the ground and threw it directly at my hubby's back! And so truly began our night!
When we made it home hello Mr white SUV, at night, in a snow storm, with your lights off...both girls were awake and playing. Even though it was 9:30pm and WAY past there bedtime, I could not resist the urge to bundle them up and play outside in our own private snowy paradise!

Now, of course all the snowsuits, boots, hats, mitts...everything piece of snow gear was MIA. Apparently, my seasonal organizational skills need some revamping. But that is childhood urge to play in the fresh untouched snow, have those soft flakes fall on my eyelashes as I watch my girls giggle and play in the snowy streetlight was stronger than
So, Evelyn's snowsuit was a size to big, Sam's mittens weren't waterproof and she's wearing my winter hat. My winter boots are still missing and Daddy had on his baseball hat...but none the less, it was the best 20 minutes ever. It was quiet, there was no wind, it was above freezing and the snow was still falling lightly.

Daddy and Sam made a snowman, with cookie cutter eyes and a carrot nose.Which Sammy promptly turned around and snacked on...little rabbit! Evelyn played and ate the strange cold rain and I enjoyed the moment.
Then, I remembered an old sled I had bought that summer! I pulled it out, put both girls on and pulled them around. The sound of their laughter was the only sound that evening.
Evelyn refused to get off the sled, so Sam happily pulled her around with a huge smile on both of their faces.
That will truly be a night I will never forget. What a perfect way to start off the Christmas season!
Now, bring on Christmas and that crazy old elf! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lest We Forget

Well, the day has and gone, but has not been forgotten.

Samantha is now 3 and a half and full of questions and inquiries. Remembrance Day was another one of those days.

But how do you explain what Remembrance Day truly means to someone so young...with a craft!

So, we made our own poppies out of red paint, coffee filters, buttons and glue.

The craft was easy, fun, messy and the perfect way to talk to Samantha  about what the poppy stands for.

1) Paint your coffee filters red and let them dry. 
(I had a very surreal moment as Samantha decided to paint her hands in the red paint 
to finger paint the poppies. Little does she know, the true significance in her actions)

2) After they have dried, crumble the coffee filter into a ball
3) Glue a black button to the middle and let dry.
 *Alternatively, you could put a pipcleaner through the coffee filter and button to act like the stem*
4)We glued the poppies to a piece of construction paper to bring to a war memorial. 
Now, the hard part, explaining to Sam what the poppy stands for. Here was our conversation.

ME: Men and women wear a poppy on this special day to remember the men and women who fought for you to be free. A long long time ago, a lot of people had to leave their mommies and daddies and go really far away for a really long time. While they were gone, they got into a big fight and some of those people didn't get to come home again. These flowers are our way of saying Thank You to each and everyone of those men and women and rembembering the sacrifice they each made for us.

SAM: These flowers are pretty mommy.

ME: (Kiss Sam on the forehead) Yes, sweetheart, yes they are.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teal Pumpkin Project

As a child, I LOVED Halloween! Nothing better than dressing up as a scarecrow (because that's the only costume that would fit over a snowsuit) and getting free candy and staying up way past my bedtime on a sugar high!

But, times do change and now with Evelyn's allergies, I'm very concerned that she may end up eating something that could cause her to react. 

So, when I heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project that FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) started in 2014, I jumped on board! 

FARE's Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

This year, we purchased a bunch of cases of glow in the dark mini water bottles to hand out. I figured it was something that they could drink right away if they wanted or save for lunch the next day. But here is a great list of other alternatives. All of these can be found at your local dollarstore, party store or even online for a low cost alternative to candy and snacks. 

  • Glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or toppers
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noise makers
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Spider rings and vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Bookmarks
  • Playdough
  • Stickers

The Ways We Parent

So, have you heard of the blog, The Ways We Parent yet? If not, you definitely need to head over and indulge in some real life parenting articles.

The hope, with The Ways We Parent, is to create an extension of your “parenting handbook” by sharing with you interviews of everyday parents and topic specific blog posts with commentary from you, the parents about issues that affect you. Rebecca truly knows how to ask the right questions, and keep her readers involved using both tears of laughter and sadness. 

I was recently honored by being featured on Rebecca's blog, focusing on Evelyn's allergies, the struggles our family faces and my postpartum depression

I hope you enjoy it and thank you Rebecca for helping to normalize everyday and not-so-everyday parenting struggles.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Baby Bumpkins

As many of you know, I not only LOVE to take pictures of my family, a trait that seems to be passing down to Sammy! If you have yet to see her blog, Snapshot Sammy, it is a blog dedicated completely to pictures taken exclusively by her!

Another thing I LOVE to do with my girls are crafts! Anything from a monthly baby hand or foot print to a fun and creative bum print. Yup, that's right, you ready that right. I said bum print!
A friend of mine originally sent me this pin as a "challenge"...well friend...challenge accepted! I grabbed my orange paint, grabbed a blank canvas (because clearly this will need to be hung on the wall), and jumped on the opportunity while at a KW Moms Club Baby Basics art day.

Poor Evey was stripped down, cold orange paint slathered over her bare bottom and shmooshed onto a canvas in one fowl swoop. Not once, but twice!
Thankfully, the Baby Basics group was having a fun edible paint day and Evey was actually able to enjoy herself quite a bit after her bum was depainted and rediapered.
After the paint had dried and Evey was washed clean, I added few finishing touches to my baby's bum print and it was ready to make the perfect birthday gift for her Nana!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Princess for a Day

This has been a very busy summer, and I wish I had had more time to post. But, as I had once written, I'm happy to be spending more time with my girls, as opposed to trying to document every minute of it. I feel like this summer I have actually been able to SPEND time WITH my girls, and I have been loving every second of it!
OK, that's a lie...and every parent out there just called me on it...let's just say I'm loving every second of it as much as motherly possible, though nap time has been wonderful too.

The Princess Tea Party this Queen attended is a great example of our fun this summer!
I'll admit it, I was probably more excited to be going than Sammy. I had the perfect tea party outfit picked out for her complete with Stella & Dot necklace and bracelet! (One of Sammy's favorite pieces) Then, Nana completely rocked Samantha's world with a REAL Princess dress! I have never seen Sammy SO excited and all she kept doing was swinging her dress to and fro smiling as she told everyone "I look like a Princess!"
Well, long story short, clearly Samantha's life-long dream to become a Princess came true as she got to meander with more "real" princesses, meet her Fairy Godmother and dance the day away!
 And after all the tea was drank, snacks devoured and songs were sang, Princess Sammy took off her "glass slippers" and without a single stain on her dress, proudly told me "Mommy, I love being a Princess"! Don't we all my Love, don't we all...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Climbing out of the Darkness

I know 99 Days of Laughter has been dark for a long time now, almost a year to the day, and so much has changed since my last post. The biggest change is that my little Samantha turned 2 and became a big sister to Baby Evey.

It is so amazing to watch how Sam shows her affection to this little baby. Always making sure her soother is near by, that she is wrapped gently in a "snuggle blankie", and the way she "teekle teekle teekles" her cheek. Clearly I am living the perfect life, right?

Tonight, while getting Evelyn to bed, I was putting her cream on (she has terrible eczema, I'll post about that in my next post) and she was crying, and crying and crying. And she hits this perfect pitch of crying that reverberates against my brain and drives me crazy. There is nothing I can do to stop this, except try to finish the task at hand as quickly as possible. Tonight, Daddy finished with bedtime.

With the Bell's Let's Talk campaign coming up on January 28th, I feel like this is a perfect opportunity for me to turn a light onto the taboo topic of Postpartum Depression.

First of all, let me say, I do not suffer from PPD; I am living with PPD.

Just typing those 3 little letters, I can already feel the stigma attacking me, see the eyes staring at me, hear the whispers around me. Excuse me while I climb back into my hole.

Mothers have this "supermom" title many of us feel we need to live up to. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, we feel like we need to do it all. The cooking, the cleaning, the bed times, the groceries, the laundry, oh and don't forget about getting to the gym, eating healthy, and getting a good nights sleep.

I am one of those moms who has tried to live up to that "standard", to that "title".

After Evelyn was born, life clearly got a little busier, especially with a busy toddler running around. As much as I love my children with all my heart, slowly, I began to feel more and more exhausted, more and more disconnected, more and more emotionally drained.

(The next sentence I have typed this 3 times now and erased it every time. But I want those who are living with PPD to feel like they can climb out of the darkness too.)

Then the yelling began, the feeling of wanting to throw objects against a wall, slam a door and just scream in frustration. The feeling of being completely helpless, and crying and crying and crying. Then I'd step on a toy that was not put away and feel completely trapped. Nothing is where it's supposed to be, everywhere I'd look is a disaster. To top it all off, there would be sticky rice from dinner stuck to the bottom of my socks and spit up or puke (quite possibly both) dripping down my my shoulder and stuck in my hair. There is no escape and everyone around me is crying...including "supermom".

I am not asking for you to pat me on the back and tell me I'm doing a good job, that I'm a great mom, that this is normal and "everyone" goes through it. I simply want to know that I'm not alone and that you are not alone. Let's talk about "it" about Postpartum Depression, talk about the Baby Blues, talk about what happens behind the closed doors of "Supermom".

It's OK to ask for help, so let's help each other survive the steep and sometimes dark climb that is called motherhood. Together we can be that normal mom, who is generally happy and smiling, even when you have leftover dinner on your socks and puke in your hair.


One out of every ten women who give birth will experience a postpartum mood disorder.

If you are suffering with some of these feelings, you may need professional help:
  • Frequent crying for no reason;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Changes in your appetite;
  • Feeling that you are unable to cope with daily activities;
  • Mood swings that interfere with caring for your baby;
  • Over concern for your baby;
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby or a fear of harming your baby;
  • More sensitive and/or irritable;
  • Difficulties in your relationship with your partner;
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Feeling very anxious or having panic attacks; and/or
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless (leading to suicide).
You can get help! Help is available from:
  • Your family physician or midwife;
  • The Waterloo Region Public Health Department's Healthy Children Info Line (519-883-2245)
  • Grand River Hospital's postpartum disorders support group at 519-749-4300, ext 2267 (meets every Wednesday from 2-4pm, follow link for details)
  • Grand River Hospitals' crisis clinic (weekends/evenings). Please call 519-742-3611 and ask for the crisis clinic