Saturday, March 28, 2015

Motherhood Through Instagram {#instamomclub}

There was a time when new moms lived in neighbourhoods, homes, and communities filled with other moms. There was a sisterhood. Spare hands to rock the babes, extra plates to stretch the family dinner, stories to entertain, advice to encourage tired eyes. Lodes were lightened with a good cry over a glass of wine or laughs over too much coffee.

Many of us now live away from our families. Our neighbourhoods may be isolated or host to families who are out of the kid game. Or maybe we just haven't put ourselves out there to find some great mom besties. Many of us turn to technology to find this maternal sorority. It's been said that in our day and age life is being lived online (and you know I'm not even a little bit sorry about being online).   

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Mom No Matter What

I didn’t pay attention to most of the prenatal classes. Though the eighties videos had my husband’s eyes pried wide with various uncomfortable emotions. I glazed over the major content like the pain-relief drugs, the epidural, the c-section. I wouldn't need to know it, I was sure. 

Rather, I made a totally necessary delivery playlist on my iPhone. I set a packed bag by the door. I downloaded the contraction timer app. I was ready to birth 'without a plan', birth isn't about 'being a hero', I'll 'take what comes'. All lies of course, I tried to play it off as cool but I really, really wanted a natural delivery and never expected a c-section.
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After my firstborn, Levi, was an emergency C-Section I was left with this deep confusing gap. It was a two-month long chasm filled with all the expectations I had of how my birth should have gone. Drowning in disappointment in my body, quickly followed by feeling ashamed I would entertain such thoughts when I have a beautiful baby boy from it all. I wanted a shadow over the time I had to spend recovering, hours passed while my family cuddled my new son before he would ever rest in my unfamiliar arms.  I would well up with tears in the middle of the night, feeling sick with myself that I didn’t immediately splash into the pool of love and bonding over the life I had brought into this world.  'Like all moms should'.

I felt overwhelmed by the presence of a new baby I was responsible for. I felt exhausted, clueless, like I was faking motherhood and just going through the motions (spoiler alert, we all feel this way).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The 'Two-Week' Grocery Shop {Simple on Purpose}

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The Simple Step: Less Grocery Shopping

The fact is I do not enjoy grocery shopping.
I don't mind the meal planning or making an exorbitantly detailed list for my husband, who - God bless him - shops for us, even it means navigating the 'suitable substitution pop quiz portion' of the shopping.
I do dislike having to shop every week (sometimes more). All the packing and unpacking. All the readjusting meal plans around the mystery 'substituted' food item'. 

So when we brought in this new year with the plan to budget our butts off, we thought a monthly grocery shop to the big city would save us time and money.  After reading up on monthly shops (doing all your shopping at once to last for the whole month!) it seemed pretty daunting and we thought a two-week shop seemed like a better place to start out.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Is A Third Baby Harder Than The Second? Fellow Moms Tell Their Hardest and Easiest Baby Transitions

siblings, more babies, which baby is hardest, should I have more babies, what is the hardest child, Although I felt anxious and overwhelmed as a new mom, my first born was a happy, adaptable baby who made us think we were awesome parents. High Five US! Now, let's judge everyone on their crappy parenting because obviously have this one in the bag. 

Then we had a second and realized we knew nothing about being parents. Sure she was a higher needs baby but, real talk, I didn't want to leave my house and a portion of our budget was diverted to marriage counselling. It was one of the most anxiety-ridden and difficult times in my life, but I'm grateful for it now.

When we brought up the idea of a third baby some people said things like, "it's like the third was always there"; "there will be so much love"; and "everyone finds their place in no time". I promptly unfriended these people as they were obviously well-rested liars who developed Momnesia over the years. 

Then we had our third (and last!), and in our case, found these expressions to be true. Sure, the personalities and age gaps of each kid dictated some of the difficulty but three seemed easier than two. Maybe because it wasn't a small dependent toddler and newborn vs me. Now it is two 'more' independent toddlers vs naps and a newborn who sleeps in my closet. I don't have to monitor the older two as closely to make sure they aren't eating paint and dumping oats down the heating vent. They still do it, now I just LET IT GO! So obviously I've loosened up on my 'Rules for Perfect Parents'. The older two also have each other as frenemies. The onus is not all on mom to be a playmate and entertainer. Example, I could be in one room putting baby down and listen for alternating screams and grunts between the older two to know they were making a mess and therefore still alive.

This is what was true for me, but I wondered if other moms had a similar experience. I asked some fellow Canadian Moms what they found to be the easiest and hardest transition of adding a new baby to the family.....

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hope on Overwhelming Days {or something like that}

It was shy of 930 am and I nearly posted an Instagram of my overcrowded lap with a teary toddler and a caption that announced I've already given the official desperate plea for two minutes alone from my kids. To which they dryly replied, 'no' and interrupted my explanation of what a rhetorical question is. Then I remembered, Instagram doesn't want to hear the same worn story about the stay at home mom who willfully had three kids in four years and now never gets a moment alone. That's what the blog is for! Here I can unfurl my exciting stay at home mom life in all it's suspenfully monotonous play by play with the inevitable conclusion that no day is hopeless, it's filled with joy, family is the best blessing, blah, blah, blah.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Just Enough Stuff {Simple on Purpose}

The Simple Step: Slowly purging and reorganizing the house

I grew up in a home where it was the norm to see boxes piled up against a wall; stacks of paper on every horizontal surface;  collections of mismatched items in nooks and crannies. 'Clutter' makes my whole body feel knotted just under the surface. For various reasons, 'stuff' took over my childhood home to the point where all the useable space was exhausted as storage.

Then I turned 18 and moved off to college. My belongings were limited to tacky posters and christmas lights strung across my dorm room.

These were all the dishes I owned. I bought this 'matching set' to impress my boyfriend when he came to visit me at college. He obviously married me for my taste in kitchenwares and my collection of AllRecipes conquests.  
Then I graduated college and my possessions were upgraded to things like milk crate bookshelves, a bed with no frame, handme down couch and that 4-seat pine dining set every 21 year old had because it was the cheapest form of saying 'Hey, I'm a grown up'. My husband (then boyfriend) and I had little money, little possessions, but we did lots of living.

Fast forward ten years and we are in a house with more than enough space but also more than enough stuff. The creeping storage of boxes in closets all over the basement is giving me that same knotted feeling that comes with a team of trash talkers.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Simple Vegetable Side Dishes for the Frugal Foodie

I am not a food blogger, or a chef - but I do love eating and I could talk about food all day long. We are also trying to keep our meals healthy and frugal, hence all the veggies.

Roasted Veggies are a great go to (tips and meal ideas here), but these are some other ways we use to
pimp our vegetables.......

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