Highs & Lows – Week of April 2nd

I am soooo glad it’s Friday. Anything fun planned this weekend?

Here are my highs & lows for this week!

Highs

Celebrating my 6 month blog anniversary. The whole idea is still very surreal to me. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments and emails on my blogiversary post this week. I’m so blessed that you’ve kindly given me space in your readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

TTBH’s new look. After wanting a cleaner and neater looking theme I decided to give TTBH a little overhaul. So far, I’m loving the simplicity of this new look and I’m hoping it’s here to stay for awhile. For those of you who are interested I’m running the Rosalie Theme and my new header was created using the chasing embers font available for free from dafont.com

Swimming lesson success. I’m so incredibly proud of this little girl! I totally had a proud momma moment when Mer was able to dunk her under water not once but twice during her lesson. This kiddo was terrified of getting her face wet so, we’ve made an enormous amount of progress!

Lows

The cold bug is making its way through out house. My mum is down with a cold which means the rest of us will probably catch it too. Crossing my fingers that we were able to avoid spreading germs by segregating ourselves.

So much rain. We’re going on day 6 of continuous rain. Not sprinkles or drizzle – rain. I’m just so over it. Hauling a toddler in rain gear sucks. Trying to get the rain gear on or off sucks even more. Gimme all the sunshine!

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Anxiety. My good friend anxiety decided to pay an unwelcomed visit this week and it’s probably been the worst flare I’ve had in a good while. Nothing in particular set it off but I’ve been on edge, flustered and dealing with feelings of being rushed in basically everything I do. I’ve made it a point to meditate a little before bed which seems to be helping. If this persists I’ll put a call in to my doctor to discuss a new plan.

Have a wonderful weekend folks!

QOD

What are your highs & lows for this week?

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Highs & Lows – Week of March 27th

Happy Friday folks! Busy weekend ahead?

Ours is shaping up to be pretty quiet except for Margs’ swimming lessons. Mer has been working evening shift all week and we’re all extra tired from the change of routine. We’ll be spending the weekend eating good food, relaxing, taking walks, watching movies and resting up for the coming week.

If you’re just catching up here are the posts that I published this week.

Highs

Surviving a complete change of schedule. Our little family was thrust into a night shift this week. Every few months, Mer works a 3 pm – 12 am shift for a couple of weeks. Well, it’s the first time he’s on this shift since Margs has developed a little bit of separation anxiety. She’s super excited to have her dad home during the day and we were really worried about how her nighttime routine would go since he usually puts her to sleep for the night. This little girl is a rock star and has been adapting like a champ all week!

A few small home reno projects are being discussed. When we bought this house last year it was pretty much in move in condition. There were a few things we wanted to change but agreed that they weren’t pressing issues and that we’d hold off. Mer and I have been discussing tackling each project and I’m really excited to get started. Our list includes: removing wallpaper from our foyer and painting it a neutral color, repainting the powder room which currently has a black ceiling and landscaping the front of the house to give it a little more curb appeal. I’m looking forward to taking this on!

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Lows

Rainy wetness most of the week. It rained on and off all week which meant Margs and I didn’t get the chance to play outside much. Thankfully her father was home during the day and she thought it was the coolest thing ever. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous and I’m crossing my fingers for nice weather this weekend because all this rain is a real downer.

Baby blood work. It’s done and I guess that’s what counts but oh man the process sucked. I’m crossing my fingers her results are fine and we wont have to venture down that road again anytime soon (routine anemia work up). In a nutshell it took 2 phlebotomists and Mer to hold her down. It was just awful.

QOD

What are your highs and lows for this fine week of March 27th?

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Highs & Lows Week of March 20th

Morning! Got fun plans for the weekend?

Looking to read previous installments of Highs & Lows? Here they are: March 13th, March 6th, February 27thFebruary 20th, February 13th, February 6th!

If you’re just popping in, these are the posts I published this week.

Highs

Snow fun! Massive amounts of snow aren’t all bad! After spending an entire day digging trails and building slides in our back yard, Margs enjoyed zooming around in her sled! We went round and round and round again. In all, I think Mer and I dug out over 3km of trails for her to enjoy. Now, as the weather slowly warms up we’re hoping that the trails will keep at least for another week so baby girl can get a little more enjoyment out of them!

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Baked Oatmeal. This turned out so well! Margs, Mer and my mom all enjoyed eating this for breakfast all week. It’s a great frugal breakfast idea! Not only is it delicious but I used up some apples that were on the mealy side so it cut down on some food waste too. Such a great, easy and delicious breakfast that warms up so well in the microwave!

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If you’re interested the recipe can be found right here: Healthy Baked Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Bargain toddler clothes. Margs has managed to outgrow basically all her pajamas (again!). I headed over to the consignment shop and I was really disappointed to see that the owner is now splitting up the 2-piece pajama sets. At 3 or more bucks for each piece I decided to shop around and sure enough I found pajamas for 4$ a set at a local liquidation shop.

The material is super comfortable and soft and they fit her quite well so I’m pleased!

Lows

Margs got pushed. More on this next week but yeah my kid got pushed (intentionally) for the first time and I was heartbroken. I honestly thought I had at least another year or two until I’d have to deal with this sort of thing. In a nutshell, older kid pushed Margs down because she didn’t want to share her toy at play group. Kiddo just wanted to play so it was disappointing to see her excluded like that. #mustgrowthickermomskin

Stranger Things spooks me a little. I don’t really do well with sci-fi, horror or thriller. Mer decided that he wanted to watch so we’ve been watching a few episodes every night. Um, anyone else a little freaked after watching? I mean, parallel universes? It’s really good but it plays with your head a little no? Maybe I’m just a wimp?

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QOD

What are your highs and lows for this fine week of March 20th?


Giving credit where credit is due:

1/ http://www.kimscravings.com/2016/10/healthy-apple-cinnamon-baked-oatmeal/

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Highs & Lows – Week of March 13th

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Hi there and happy Friday! Have anything fun planned this weekend?

We’ve got a few family commitments in addition to toddler activities to keep us busy! If you haven’t had a chance to pop in this week and would like to catch up, here are the posts that I published this week:

Highs

Margs’ swimming lessons were a success. Overall, it went quite well. She was a little apprehensive when the instructor asked me to help her float on her back but when it came to jumping in from the pool ledge or using the slide she was super excited! We’re hoping that as the weeks pass she’ll get more comfortable in the water and really love her lessons. I don’t think it helped that both grandmas were there watching! Margs would look for them instead of concentrating on what we were doing in the pool.

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Having my mom here! She’s given me a morning break almost every day this week. Margs has enjoyed napping at “Bubbies” so I’ve taken advantage of my time off to do things for myself – blogging, reading, tidying. It’s really amazing how an hour of alone time changes my perspective. I’m so so grateful to have her here.

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Apple cinnamon pork chops! This meal was delicious. I ended up loading up my freezer with pork chops because they were on sale and beyond baking them in the oven or grilling them on the BBQ, I don’t have any great pork recipes that use time and time again. This was delicious, easy to make and husband, bubbie and baby approved. I’ll be adding this to our rotation for sure. Do you have any really great pork chop recipes to share?

Lows

Margs took a nasty fall. Poor little girl scraped her nose when she face planted into the pavement on Monday. We had just come back from the grocery store when she spotted the neighbors son who she “plays” with (chases him around more than anything). She got so excited that she stumbled and fell face first into the road. Her nose is pretty banged up but once she calmed down she was oblivious to what had just happened and just continued to play. Kids are amazing like that aren’t they?

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Heaps and heaps of snow. Stella came to pay us a visit! Mer commuted for over 3 hours on Tuesday night. The storm hit us pretty hard and Wednesday was an inside day. Mer worked from home and we slowly dug ourselves out. Our issue here is that we have nowhere to put the snow. Technically, we aren’t allowed to dump it in the street but the volume of snow made it difficult to dig out. We put half on our property and the rest on the street. Thankfully, our sweet neighbor brought out his snow blower and gave us an enormous hand by clearing the entrance to our driveway. I’ll be baking him a batch of cookies as a thank you. Kindness is truly a beautiful thing.

My good friend was stuck on the highway overnight because of the storm. I knew she commuted that stretch of high way and around 7pm I sent a text to check in on her when news reports started reporting that there were hundreds of commuters stuck on that stretch of road. She got back to me and let me know that she was in fact stuck and that emergency response wasn’t  coming to help people get out. At one point we were trying to coordinate a way to head down there and pick her up. We live a few hours west of Montreal and because of the weather it was impossible to get out there and help her out. We kept in touch throughout the night by text message and I was so relieved to hear that emergency crews finally made their way to help these poor people out in the early morning on Wednesday. If you’re interested in reading the article about this disaster go here. So glad she was safe but so disappointed by the lack of response. Unacceptable.

What are your highs and lows for this fine week of March 13th?


Giving credit where credit is due!

[1] http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/apple-cinnamon-pork-chops/

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Life behind the blog – a day in the life at 15 months

behindtheblog

Good morning!!!

Hope your week is going well so far!

Some of my very favorite blog posts are ones that give me a peak into what a bloggers day to day life is like. I guess it’s part curiosity and part wanting to compare my own lifestyle to others that make them so fun and entertaining to read. So, today I’m giving you a peak at what my life is like behind the blog – a day in the life sort of post.

Please be warned that my days are pretty boring. As a stay at home mom I thrive when Margs and I follow a routine so there’s absolutely nothing spectacular going on most days. Generally, we stick to the same routine to keep things flowing well.

Here we go:

6:56 am – Margs wakes up for the day. Mer and I snuggle with her in bed for about 10 minutes before we take her downstairs into the living room. Mer changes her diaper while I put on a strong pot of coffee.

7:30 am – Mer and I enjoy our coffee and chat about the days plan while Margs’ plays independently in her pack n play. Currently she’s obsessed with puzzles – she can play with the pieces for hours. Mer and I usually discuss things like dinner plans, errands and any pressing issues we need to take care of.

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8:00 am – I give Margs her breakfast – I rotate between french toast, scrambled eggs and whole wheat waffles. She usually has one of those with a yogurt and a few pieces of fruit. While she eats I check my email, WordPress notifications and do other blog related things like answering comments, emails or twitter notifications.

8:15 am- Margs drinks some water while watching some cartoons. In the meantime I unload the dishwasher, wipe down the counter tops, sweep the floor and tidy up after breakfast.

8:30 am – Margs and I read books, play with puzzles and practice walking running.

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9:00 am- Margs gets a morning bottle and hopefully takes a nap.

9:30 – 11:30 am – I pull some ground beef out of the freezer to make a meatloaf for dinner. I open the package and let it rest on the counter to defrost. I start laundry, clean the powder room and fold a batch of clothes that were in the dryer. I then sit down and and catch up on blog reading with a cup of tea. At around 11, I make Margs’ lunch – minestrone soup with egg noodles is on the menu today.

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12:00 pm– Margs and I eat lunch.

12:30 pm – I get Margs dressed in her winter gear and we head out for a walk. She’s not a huge fan of her stroller but once we get moving she settles down and enjoys the ride.

1:30 pm – Back at home. After undressing Margs and putting her snow gear away I prepare a bottle and we snuggle on the couch while she drinks. Today she decides she doesn’t want to nap.

2:00 pm – I work on dinner while Margs zooms around the house. I take breaks to chase her and she runs around giggling.

2:30 pm – Margs and I have a tea party, play with dolls and play with more puzzles.

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2:45 pm – Margs is extra fussy and should nap but wont. I put on a Teletubbies episode on Youtube so she can relax.

3:15 pm– She’s a little less fussy and we get back to playing. I haul her upstairs to put away the laundry. She watches me from her pack n play in our room

3:30 pm –  I put her winter gear back on so we can play  in the driveway. Her “friends” get home around this time and she loves “playing” with them.

4:00 pm – We’re back inside – I pop dinner into the oven and give Margs a snack (Cheerios and a slice of pear) While dinner cooks we play with crayons. She hasn’t quite understood that she needs to color with them – she continues to try and eat them.

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4:15 pm– Margs pitched all the crayons on the floor. I pick them up and she laughs. I put her on the carpet with a bunch of toys and she plays alone. I check on dinner.

4:30 pm – Margs is getting fussy, she’s likely hungry but dinner isn’t ready yet. We play with her giant rubber ball to pass some time. She loves when I throw the ball up in the air and it hits the ceiling.

4:45 pm – I put Margs in her high chair and I give her some veggies that were left over from the night before. She’s really hungry and getting more and more upset.

5:00 pm –  I pull the meatloaf out and slice Margs a piece. I teach her to blow on her food when it’s too hot.

5:30 pm – Margs has finished eating. I clean up her high chair and the floor around her.

5:45 pm – I give Margs a bath and wash her hair which makes her really upset. She splashes water everywhere.

6:00 pm – Mer gets in and we sit and eat our dinner. Margs sits in her high chair and eats her dessert – usually a piece of fruit.

6:30 pm – Mer makes Margs a bottle while I load the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. I collect bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers from all over the house so they can be sterilized. They read books and cuddle before bed.

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7:00 pm – Margs is asleep in her cot.  Mer comes back downstairs and makes sure the baby monitor is positioned correctly. We sit on the couch and catch up on our day. Mer always asks me “did Margs do anything new today?”.

7:45 pm – Margs is sitting up in her cot crying. I head upstairs and try to soothe her back to sleep. She isn’t having it.

8:00 pm – Margs is back to sleep but on the couch with us. We turn down the t.v so we can hear what we’re watching (The Kindness Diaries) but not wake her up.

8:30 pm – Mer carries Margs back up to her cot. We’re crossing our fingers that she wont wake up again. I sit behind the computer and start drafting a new post for the blog.

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9:30 pm – Mer tells me he’s off to bed. I opt to keep writing a little while longer because I’ve got a bunch of ideas I want to get down before I forget about them completely. He kisses me goodnight and heads upstairs.

11:00 pm – I shut down the computer, close all the lights, check that all the doors are locked and head up to take a shower before bed.

11:30 pm – I crawl into bed and cross my fingers that Margs will have a good night.

12:00 am – Margs wakes up screaming. Soothing her isn’t working so I carry her into our bed. She falls asleep quickly and we sleep snuggled together until morning.

When do you squeeze in blogging time?

 

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My real experiences with LuLaroe clothing

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Do you own any LuLaroe?

If not, let me briefly explain what this company is and does. Essentially, LuLaroe is best known for making incredibly soft and comfortable leggings in a variety of fun, unique and creative patterns. Additionally, they make comfortable shirts, dresses and kimonos that can be mix and matched to create comfortable yet put together looks for women.

Roughly six months ago, I was in the market for a few new pieces of clothing. A few of my tights were badly frayed and as a result I was in desperate need of new pants that were both comfortable and appropriate to venture out in. I especially love wearing tights because they feel less constricting than jeans and most of the time wearing a long shirt over top makes for a cute outfit that is perfectly acceptable to venture to the grocery store or play group in.

Usually, we buy our clothes used. But, Mer had a Visa gift certificate that he’d won at a work raffle and after being invited to a LuLaroe pop up, Mer suggested I spend the money on myself.

I ended up spending it on LuLaroe leggings (I drank the koolaid unfortunately) which I now regret.

I wish I could recommend their clothing but I just can’t.

Not only did I spend a good chunk of change on these leggings but the quality is proving to be very sub-par.

In all, I owned 6 pairs of LuLaroe leggings, 1 Irma and 1 Randi.

lularoe

Although these leggings are attractive, they do not hold up well when washed, fall down repeatedly throughout the day and most recently have started tearing despite washing them inside out and by hand as per manufacturer instructions. Additionally, there is a huge size discrepancy depending on where the leggings were produced. Apparently, I fit into leggings made in Vietnam but not China. One is far larger than the other making it impossible to know if the tights you think are your size will actually fit you correctly.

The shirts are equally disappointing. The Irma has piled horribly after only 4 hand washes. It’s gotten so bad that I cannot wear it out because it looks like something your average person would sleep in. At over 50$ (exchange & shipping included) I’m horribly disappointed by the lack of quality.

The Randi which looks something like a baseball shirt was ill fitting from the moment it arrived. One sleeve was longer than the other (I only noticed weeks later) and like the Irma it piled horribly as well. Unfortunately, I ordered this shirt in a dark color so the piles are incredibly visible which means I never wear it.

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It’s all very disappointing. I’m fully aware and realistic that clothing will experience a certain amount of wear and tear which is only normal. However, most clothing I buy which is likely mid-range quality will always last me well over 6 months if not a few years. After only 6 months of having purchased these pieces they are virtually unusable and certainly not appropriate for going out (one pair has developed a hole on the front thigh region). The pieces are now boxed up and I’m trying to decide if it’s even worth donating them since some of them are in such bad condition.

If you’re looking at purchasing LuLaroe I say save your money. It’s expensive and the quality is really terrible!

Do you own any LuLaroe? Love it?  Hate it?

 

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Have courage and be kind

 

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Reach out to someone who needs you.

Send a kind email to someone who needs a little sparkle in their day.

Compliment someone randomly without wanting anything in return.

Buy a friend a cup of a coffee just for being an awesome friend.

Leave your partner a post it note telling them why you love them.

Read your kiddo an extra bed time story.

Enjoy the moment with your family. The laundry can be folded later.

Say hello to a complete stranger.

How have you been kind today?

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What surprised me most about being a stay at home mom

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When Margs was born I felt like it was the first time I could really breathe in a long long time. I spent my whole pregnancy holding my breath and crossing my fingers for just one more day, one more week and one more month. By some miracle my cerclage kept me pregnant and we welcomed a 40 week (!!!!!!!) miracle into the world on her due date.

I spent so much time focused on getting her here that I never considered what being a stay at home parent would be like- I didn’t care really, my only focus was getting that precious baby here alive.

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15 months later I’m reflecting on being a stay at home mom and I’m realizing that I don’t necessarily love it all of the time. I wish I did, but, I just don’t. Actually, there are days that I’m angry and resentful and frustrated and tired of it.

I feel horrible even writing these things because I’m a rainbow mom. A rainbow mom shouldn’t ever complain about anything parenting related because well, she’s a rainbow mom. I’ve struggled, I’ve faced repeat loss, I’ve had my heart broken in ways that only other loss mums understand and yet there are days that I struggle with being at home with this little girl I prayed and pleaded with the universe to have.

Some days I resent that my husband can head out into the “real” world and socialize with people and have adult conversation. Some days I resent that he gets a mental break from the constant attention, stimulation and energy Margs demands. Then, I snap myself back to reality and realize that he likely resents me for being home with her and getting the privilege to experience all those moments that he misses while he’s away.

Being home with a young child is difficult. Meeting her needs, caring for her, playing with her and watching over her are not the hard parts. The hard parts include the feelings of isolation, the loss of my identity outside of being “mom” and giving up my career (albeit temporarily).

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Some days I feel like I’m not “Jenny” anymore. I’ve become this version of myself that doesn’t know what do outside of caring for a baby. I’ve lost drive, passion and desire – things that fueled my life in very powerful ways before. Sadly, I’ve given up nearly all my favorite pastimes because quite honestly I’m just so tired that I don’t have the mental energy to devote myself to doing anything consistently. I used to love to read, exercise, knit and take photos – all things I’ve basically abandoned because the passion just isn’t there anymore.

In someways, I’ve lost myself to motherhood.

Life has become routinely robotic – Margs wakes – she gets fed, entertained and put down for a nap. Afternoon are the same. Evenings are the same. My days essentially look like carbon copies of each other.

I sometimes deal with an intense desire to go back to work. I was happy in my classroom. I loved what I did. I loved watching young minds analyze, interpret and question and sometimes I’m frustrated by the fact that I’ve given up so much. That sounds so incredibly selfish doesn’t it?

Having Margs was such a blessing. A blessing that I felt required me to give up my identity, lifestyle and career to cherish. We agreed early on that I’d stay home with her. Partly for financial reasons (childcare is expensive) and partly because we’re loss parents who maybe on some level feel like we have to do this to thank the universe for blessing us with such a precious gift.

On days where I’m feeling especially weighed down by it all I feel guilty. So so guilty. I should love this. I should love being home with her and love the opportunity to watch her grow. I should love these things because getting her here meant losing 5 other babies.

I hate that my perceptions of motherhood are tainted by so much grief and loss. I hate that I often second guess my own needs because somehow I’ve convinced myself that it’s not okay to be not okay and that to truly appreciate my gift I must love every inch of motherhood.

Motherhood is just hard. Staying home makes it even harder.

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I’m slowly working on being gentle with myself and acknowledge that it’s okay to feel this way sometimes.  I’m working on somehow finding an intersection between the analytic, spontaneous Jenny who I used to be and the run of the mill mom I often feel I’ve become.

Does parenting somehow alter who we are? Does it change us in ways that can sometimes make us feel unfulfilled?


Happy Maps Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to thenewmrsm2016!!!!

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