Saturday, 30 March 2013

A little Easter bark...a little egg hunting

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It's Easter weekend. You know what you should make??

Oreo cookie bark, with those perfectly placed Easter M&M's. OH MY GOODNESS, it's delicious.

I posted this recipe last year, so to find it click here. It's so easy. So yummy. So Easter(y).

Also, a little Easter tip:

If you like to make any kind of chocolate dipped stuff, buy the 1lb bunnies this Easter and put them in your freezer. It's a much cheaper way of buying chocolate and you can pull them out and use them all year long. My freezer is full of them.

P.S. If anyone has seen the white chocolate bunnies anywhere this year can you please let me know? Do they not sell them anymore??

 And how sad is it that we're doing Easter egg hunts in the SNOW???...geeze.

At least the sun came out this weekend and we got to pretend that it was bike weather.

At the first sign of sunshine, we raced over to mom and dad's house where the kids' balance bikes were being stored and let them try them out for the first time...

Mya and Oliver are both now obsessed.

And since mom and dad were away this weekend when we went to their house to get the bikes, we sent them this lovely family pic of us...from their liquor cabinet.

Sometimes we think we're hilarious.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

To be a good mom:

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I've realized a lot since having kids.

One of the things though that I've unfortunately learned is that there's a lot of pressure to do what others think is correct in order to feel confident that you're being a good mom.

Mya--first moments home from the hospital 2 yrs ago (and beautiful blanket courtesy of the amazing Jane P!)

Mya in Dominican -5months old 
Before I gave birth to Mya I wrestled with the idea of reading a million books on child-rearing before she was born because honestly, the pressure was on. 

With a round belly quickly growing, I was constantly approached by others with "Have you started reading yet?" "Have you read this book, or that book?". And I hadn't read any of them. Not one.

So I started reading. Casually reading...but reading nonetheless. Because that's what I was supposed to be doing, right? To be a good mom. Yes, read the books, everyone said. 

But the problem was that every time that I pulled that baby book out to scan through another opinion from another expert about how to raise my babies/kids, I came back to the fact that I really believed that mothering should come more naturally to me--that my maternal instincts would be stronger than what any book could provide. And that if I was really at a loss at some point throughout this whole mothering experience, I would talk to other mom's and/or my doctor, get their advice, maybe pull out a certain section from a book and just figure it out, as mothers have done for years. 

So I stopped reading. I didn't even get through one whole book. I just stopped. 

And you know what? We made it through all of those crazy first few months of having a new baby at home. And we're still alive as we're currently attempting to conquer the wild world of two year olds (along with introducing a new baby into the mix as well). All without having read all of the books that everyone told me that I should be reading.

Carter-first few days in the NICU

But you know what else? There have also been a few times when I've thought to myself  "Man, maybe I should have read up on this ahead of time". 
(So all you parents out there who are avid readers--I think you may be on to something!). 

Carter-a couple weeks old  

So my point is that even though everyone might do things a little bit differently, everyone is just trying. Trying to do their best as a parent. Trying to make the right decisions for their family. Trying to give their children their all. Trying to be the best parent that they can possibly be. 

Because, to be honest...

Moms who read all of the books are great moms.
Moms who don't read all of the books are great moms.

Moms who strictly breastfeed are great moms.
Moms who strictly formula feed are great moms.

Moms who put their kids in daycare are great moms.
Moms who keep their kids at home with them are great moms.

Moms who sleep-train their babies are great moms.
Moms who co-sleep are great moms.

The reality is that every good mom is simply trying her best. 

Aren't we all??

That's the beauty of motherhood. As long as we're trying, we're all doing a great job.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Princess Merida Cake

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A good lesson learned today:

Never bring your 2yr old daughter to deliver a princess cake to another little girl. Ever.

Through many toddler tears, I explained on the car ride home that mommy made this cake for another little girl's birthday party, so we couldn't keep it. But come on...I get it. Not fair mom. Not fair at all.

Sorry Mya. I'll make you one for your next birthday...promise.

Princess Merida (from the movie Brave) and her little baby bears.

Happy 5th birthday Lochlan!

Friday, 15 March 2013

A bit of play and an organized linen closet

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I've had a headache for two weeks straight now. I wake up each day aching for a Tylenol and I go to sleep each night hoping that it will be gone by the morning. But it never does. Stress headaches are tricky like that. It's like your body is just maliciously reminding you that you're stressed out, just in case you forgot for a moment.

They say that job loss is considered to be one of the top stressors in life (others including death of a loved one and divorce). I had no idea what that felt like until now.'s stressful. But it's not the end of the world, I keep telling myself. Just a bit of a big unexpected shift in our lives. 

We're feeling it though. We're living it. We're fighting it. 

I remember last summer I wrote a post about switching your thinking from I "have to" to "I GET to". Ironically, I used an example of having to get up for work every day. 

Months ago I wrote:

"For others, it might be that you get to wake up early, pack a lunch and get ready for work every day--can you imagine the amount of people who would literally do anything to have a job that they have to get up for each day?"

Damn it. We're living out my own words right now.

(Sorry mom and dad...damn it. I know. I know).

So, as Terry continues to spend hours each day diligently searching for and applying to jobs, I have been trying to keep life moving for us as well. You know what I do when I'm stressed out? Clean, organize and play. Not necessarily in that order. 

So we've been playing a lot. 

 A little fake baking is always a hit in this house. I just fill up some little bowls with flour, sugar, egg shells (and of course water, to make it feel like real baking) and she goes to town making her own little creation.

Stirring with a turkey baster?...Don't we all? 

And a little real baking too of course...

(Apparently her babies had some dry skin and needed a bit of moisturizer).

And a day trip to an indoor play gym with Jen and Jeff and all of the kids was a huge hit.

Along with a trip to the museum with some friends the other week...

(gotta love being a teacher and getting into these kinds of places for free!).

And a trip to the sugar bush with the whole gang was a blast.

And organizing? always makes me feel so much better.

I figure, if we have no say over Terry's job situation at the moment, at least we can have a say over what our linen closet looks like. Ridiculous, I know. But a clean house means a clear mind. And in this case, a clean linen closet simply thrills me.

It's the little things that make me so darn happy. 

So after working away at this little project, I finally finished it up this week. 

From the HUGE disaster that it once was...a major dumping ground (what is even IN there??!)...I can't believe I'm even showing you this--honestly, what a mess.

 But look! This is what it looks like now.

I used the same method as to how I organized our kitchen cupboards last year.
This is how I did it: 

I put Carter down for a nap, and Mya and I got to work making a huge mess. 

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you have to make a big mess to get organized.

I organized all of our products into different piles on the floor (ie. hair products, body products, etc). I purged A LOT. Got rid of anything that we didn't use regularly and I donated a lot of our bedding and sheets. Each bed in our house now has only two sets of summer sheets and two sets of winter sheets.

Then I used baskets and bins that we already had in our house, made little labels, stuck them on with packing tape and placed each item back into the closet.

A little ribbon wrapped around facecloths keeps them all together and adds a bit of (completely necessary) sparkle...

And sheets folded and placed in pillow cases keeps all of your linens organized and neat (thank you for the idea Martha Stewart!)

In the midst of some instability right now, it's so darn calming. Thank you linen closet. Thank you.



Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Confessions from a mom of 2

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Mya: To be honest...

1. When I put you down for your afternoon nap, I tell you that Carter and I will be going for a nap too so that you don't think that anything fun is happening while you're sleeping. But to be honest, I sometimes crack open the junk food and snack on all of the unhealthy things that I don't want you to eat. I never nap. Ever.

2. I'm scared that a boy will one day break your heart. Then I will have to break his legs.
Okay, so I might not actually break his legs..but I'll want to. Secretly. 

3. I tell your dad that I'm sneaking into your room at night while you're sleeping to make sure that your blankets are on you or that your room isn't too cold. But to be honest, I really go in just to get one last look at you before bedtime. Especially if I've had a stressful day. Seeing you snuggled up, blonde curls sprawled all over your face, all cuddled up to your blanket and bunny is calming and beautiful to watch.

4)  There's no poop on your tutu. I only told you that so that you would finally let me throw it in the washing machine, without putting up a fuss, since you want to wear it every single day. Sometimes moms have to lie like this for your own good. Sorry.

5) Sometimes I'm shocked at the amount of responsibility that I now have. I still feel like I'm a kid playing house some days. Even with two kids, I still don't feel like a real adult yet. Don't know if I ever will.

6) When you're doing something inappropriate, your dad and I get all serious and let you know that it's not okay...but then sometimes we secretly laugh when you're not looking, cause seriously..some of the stuff that you do is freakin' hilarious.

7) Sometimes motherhood makes me cry. A lot of happy tears, but occasionally some tears of feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.

Carter: to be honest...

8) I'm so scared that you're growing up too fast. I already miss your squishy baby legs that used to curl up every time that I held you.

9) Sometimes I worry about the fact that I'm not granted the same time with you that I had with Mya when she was a baby, to just sit and soak up every moment of you all day long. I try though, and I absolutely love those moments. But the mommy guilt still finds me as I have to share time between both your sister and you. Mommy guilt is the worst.

10) When I hold you late at night and watch your eyes close as you drift off into dreamland I feel like I'm the luckiest mama in the world. Even when it's 3am.

11) Sometimes I worry that I don't know enough about raising boys. I'm gonna try my hardest though...I can guarantee that. I want to teach you how to be a gentleman, to hold doors open for people, to offer up your seat, to be kind, to be generous and to give. And you can be sure that you'll know how to cook. Every man needs to know how to cook.

If I let her get any closer she'd be cuddled right up to your face I'm sure. Thankfully Meika loves you and your sister just as much as we do.
12) Sometimes on those bad nights, after being woken up for the millionth time in the middle of the night, I think to myself that two kids is just enough for us. Then I wake up in the morning, and immediately I switch right back to wanting four of you little monkeys. Every single time.

13) You, your sister and your daddy own my heart. I love you all so much that it hurts.

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