Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 9th 2017

TTT

  1. I am so behind in my blog reading!  I really need to find some time to catch up.
  2. We’ve been dealing with the consequences of floods caused by the unrelenting rain around here.  At our house, we’re fine, but a few blocks away, roads are closed because of flooding.  One of the two bridges that lead to the island of Montreal is closed so traffic is horrendous.  Luckily, the road I take to drive the kids to daycare isn’t affected.
  3. Today is supposed to be the worst day and water levels are supposed to start receding starting tomorrow.  It’s hard to believe, though as this is what is forecasted for the next week.
  4. Despite the crappy weather, we managed to get some time outside when it was nice out (meaning just super cloudy).  The kids went to the park and had some fun.
  5. We had a really busy but super fun weekend.  On Friday, my husband and I managed to go to the restaurant just the two of us.  Then, on Saturday, we went to see our friends to celebrate their son’s birthday party.  Charles, Amélie and Elliot had a blast.    Finally, on Sunday, after going to the pool (Charles and Elliot) and gymnastics (Amélie) classes, we went to my parents’ house for a lovely family brunch.  Afterwards, I went to a ceramic cafe with my two friends for some girls-only time together and they all stayed for supper.
  6. The neon noodles I made last week turned out wonderfully!  My kids gobbled them up.  Well, except Elliot.  He wasn’t impressed and just threw them on the floor.  I just tossed them in garlic butter and served them with sweet and sour chicken and steamed broccoli.IMG_3278
  7. I’ve recently discovered a love for matcha tea.  I went to David’s tea about a week ago and bought some peach matcha.  It is so delicious!  It’s great as a hot latte, just plain hot and is amazing as iced tea (not that I’m drinking much iced tea these days).  I’ve yet to try it as an iced latte, but I’m certain it will be awesome.
  8. I recently read an article on the Dirty Dozen on the David Suzuki website.  I checked through my makeup and realized that everything I own (not that I own much) contains at least one ingredient from the dirty dozen.  Since I’ve been wanting to wear makeup more often, I started researching brands that don’t contain any of the offending ingredients, but I keep coming up short.  I think I’ll just give up and go back to my au naturel look.
  9. I haven’t gone out for a run, or a swim, or done any type of physical activity since last Thursday when I played some squash with my husband.  I am going totally nuts, but I’ve been feeling under the weather recently (thank you dear children and husband for kindly sharing your colds with me) and have been faced with rain and cold temps outside (did I mention that yesterday, it snowed!).
  10. Tonight, I’m planning on making some oven-baked crispy skinned chicken thighs with steamed green beans, pearled barley and an acorn squash puree.  It’s going to be yummy!  What are you eating tonight?

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

 

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: May 2nd 2017

TTT

  1. We have been having absolutely horrible weather (complete with flooding and the like) around here.  It’s cold and windy and rainy and grey.  Bleh… On the bright side, the grass is green.
  2. On Saturday, we made the most of the beautiful day (despite the 50km/h winds) and went to the park in the afternoon.  Then kids then decided that they wanted to take a walk and so Amélie and Charles took turns pulling the wagon while Elliot tried desperately to touch the turning wheel despite being securely strapped in.
  3. I decided to take a play from Elizabeth’s book and make some neon spaghetti noodles.  The plan was to eat them yesterday evening, but we ended up stuck in some horrible traffic because a streetlight was out of commission, so I ordered some pizza instead.  We are going to have it tonight instead.  Look at how awesome the noodles look though!

    IMG_3275
    The kids are going to go nuts once I plate this tonight.
  4. Sunday we had our movie night.  I made some brown sugar & sriracha chicken wings, homemade oven-baked fries and some popcorn shrimp.  We decided to watch Brave.  I found it entertaining, but it’s not the best (animation) movie I’ve seen.  The music was absolutely amazing though.
  5. Charles is getting really good at MarioKart Wii.  He races at 50cc, but he’s almost always placing top 5 now.
  6. I’m really happy because I’ve started playing the flute again.  I hadn’t realized how much I was missing it.  Oh boy, though, my mouth gets sore really quickly, I have to relearn to loosen up my lips and right hand a bit.
  7. I went swimming on Sunday and it went really well…except my butterfly lap.  It’s hard to believe that when I was a teen it was my favourite stroke!  Oh well, I definitely have something to work towards!
  8. I’ve finally finished the mesh for my crocheted scarf.  Now, I have to get working on the chains to weave through the mesh.  I’m planning on doing that while I watch my daily tv show with my husband as it’s not something that requires a lot of concentration.
  9. I recently discovered the joys of audiobooks!  I listened to The Chemist last month and it was pretty good.  I started listening to The Fifth Season recently and was wowed by the imagery.  The description and vocabulary used are really wonderful.  However, this book is definitely more complex that The Chemist and I’m having a lot of trouble following what is happening.  I might have to read it instead.
  10. INCOME TAX SEASON IS FINALLY OVER!!!!!  And I finally get my husband back *woot*woot*!

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in fitness, Parenting

Losing the Pre-Baby Weight

IMG_3091

One thing I’ve noticed since starting to blog some 4.5 years ago (and this is probably because I read a fair amount of blogs written by mothers) is that there seems to be this desire to lose the baby weight and try to regain as much as one’s pre-baby body as possible.  That’s great, really (and no, I am not being sarcastic)!

In my case, I’m super happy with my post-baby body.  Ah, but now I hear you thinking: “But why is she talking about losing weight, then?”

Let me explain.

I am well aware that three pregnancies and deliveries have wreaked havoc on my body.  Let’s talk, for instance about:

  • my droopy breasts (nope, cannot even think of going out of the house without a bra anymore – as for strapless bras…useless!);
  • the road map of stretch marks on my belly;
  • my plumbing problems (oh hello unexpected flow of urine accompanying laughter!);
  • the scar(s?) along my perineum.

Need I say more?

Anyways, like I said, I’m totally cool with those.  I’m happy with all of the changes that have occurred in my body in the last 5 years.  They are the reason I have three beautiful children.  I would go through it again.  Heck, I want to go through it again!  But I digress.

The simple fact is that I don’t want to go back to my pre-baby body because, for me, that would mean regressing.  To be honest, even though my pregnancies took a toll on my body, it’s is my years of sedentarism before pregnancy that have caused the most damage.

For years, I convinced myself:

  • that I didn’t need physical activity to lead a balanced life;
  • that I just didn’t have time to work out;
  • that I was more of a bookworm and gamer;
  • that it was absolutely fine to spend so many hours sitting each day, every day.

If I could go back in time and talk some sense into myself, I would.  Of course, if I could do that, I probably wouldn’t listen to myself.  I’m, hum – how can I describe it…pridefully independent?  I don’t like receiving unsolicited advice.  I don’t like asking for advice.  I suppose I take it as a challenge to my self-reliance (“what, you think I can’t figure that out on my own?!”).  I like to be in control.

The good news is that I’ve taken control now.  I’m already fitter than I was five years ago.  And though it’s tough sometimes, I’m determined to get my body in decent shape.  In the past, after an injury (as has happened to me recently because of running), I would have just stopped.  Now, I found an alternate activity while I wait to get back on my feet.  In the past, I never would have even considered working out in the evening.  Now, I’ll take the time I have to exercise, even if it is in the evenings.

It’s no secret that to make any change three things are needed: a catalyst, a plan and a great deal of perseverance (at least, in the beginning).  I’ve always been super organized, so making a plan isn’t super difficult for me.  I’m also very stubborn, so perseverance works pretty well for me.  What I was lacking, was a catalyst.

As it turns out, my kids are that kick-in-the butt I needed.  I realized one day that I want to be able to run alongside them with ease as they learned to ride a bike.  I want to be able to play and run around with them without becoming out of breath within 30 seconds.  I want them to know that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.  Most of all, I want to do everything in my power to be here, in this world, with them for as many years as possible.  That requires a healthy body.

I’m still a gamer.  I still read.  I find time to crochet and play the flute.  But it’s not all I do now.  Now, I don’t only try to eat a balanced diet (which is something I’ve been pretty good with overall), but I am also working to have a healthy body.

Have you made any major changes to you life recently?  What has been your catalyst?

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: February 21st 2017

TTT

  1. Yesterday, Elliot hit the 8 month mark.  What!?!  This is my third child and I still can’t get over how quickly they grow.  I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to it!
  2. The little guy is working SO hard on crawling.  He just really wants to be able to explore and follow his big brother and sister.  But because of his determination, he face-plants very often.  His head has quite a few bruises and prunes and over the weekend, he got a bloody nose after a particularly hard face-plant.  Oh well, he keeps at it despite it all. fullsizerender-23
  3. Last weekend’s tame weather has me optimistic that I’ll be able to go run outside soon(ish).  In the meantime, the indoor track has reopened so that’s where I’ll go this evening!
  4. My house is a mess.  I really need to get it under control.  I don’t suppose anyone could send me some motivation?
  5. Yesterday, I received some cloth panty liners I ordered from a Canadian Etsy shop called Harp Diapers.  They look and feel seriously amazing, I can’t wait to try them.  Be on the lookout for a review post in a couple of weeks.

    fullsizerender-53
    Zelda, Star Trek and Dr. Who cloth pads.  It doesn’t get any better than this!
  6. This coming Saturday will be our monthly movie night.  I saw that Finding Dory was on Netflix so I’ll try to convince the kiddos that we should watch that.
  7. It’s so great to see the kids growing up with so much love between one another.  This morning, I walked in on them playing choo-choo.img_2904
  8. Tonight, we’re eating chicken breasts.  I’m not sure how I’m going to prep them or what I’m going to serve them with yet though.
  9. This morning, my daughter decided to wear he favourite purple shirt and her Thomas the Train pyjama pants to go to daycare.  Because, why not… LOL.
  10. We’ve started having fun with bath time again.  On Valentine’s day, I decided to put some pink food colouring in the bath water and the kids were totally nuts about it.  Now, I let each of them choose the bath water colour and they love it.

What’s on your mind this Tuesday?

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: January 31st

TTT

  1. Today is a run day.  I can’t wait to get out on the track once the kids are in bed!
  2. Elliot is currently nursing a cold and teething (yay…).  His upper right central incisor is working on poking through right now.  He’s been in a pretty good mood despite all this and we’ve been getting by on saline drops, the snot sucker and some Advil at bedtime to get through it all.fullsizerender-6
  3. I’m working on a new series called “My Favourite Things” in which I will write about some of the things that make the different aspects of my life easier/more pleasant.  Look for the first post coming up next Monday!
  4. Tonight, I’m planning on making a casserole with yesterday evening’s leftover rice and italian sausages.  I’ll probably heat up some delicious leek soup that’s sitting in the freezer to go with it.  What are you eating for supper tonight?
  5. After a weird couple of Winter months, we’ve come back to normal Québec winter temperatures.  I have to say, though I could do without the freezing rain, I wouldn’t mind getting back to the milder temperatures.
  6. After reading Valerie’s post about and Etsy shop that makes pocket cloth pads, I decided to look into getting some cloth panty liners for myself.  I found a Canadian shop on Etsy that makes cloth pads that make the geek in me happy (think Star Trek, Dr. Who, Legend of Zelda).
  7. This Saturday, my dad’s going to be accompanying Charles to gymnastics while I go out with my mom and sister (Elliot will be tagging along).  Charles is going to go absolutely nuts when he sees that he’ll be going along in his grandpa’s pickup truck!
  8. I think I’ve finally found a solution to my itchy scaly psoriasis laden scalp: castile soap!  I used it first a few days ago as a last ditch attempt at trying to have a non-annoying head and again today.  So far, so good.
  9. The morning routine went surprisingly smoothly today.  No tears, no exasperated mama.  Heck, I even had time to take a shower!
  10. Since doing our movie night last Saturday, Charles has been asking me every day if we can watch a movie together.  Tonight, I’m putting stickers on the calendar with him so he can know when to expect them.

Care to share your thoughts this Tuesday?

Posted in Parenting

Finding Family Time

We live in a hectic world.  I’m lucky this year as I’m off work for maternity leave, but when I work we find ourselves with a family of two full-time working parents, one of which is also studying to gain another degree.

My days are pretty hectic.  Wake up, nurse Elliot, fix breakfast for the kids and myself, remind the kids a gazillion times that they have to brush their teeth and yada yada yada,  get all three kiddos in the van (this is especially fun during winter), drop off the kids at daycare and come back home (1 h round trip).  Usually, I’m back home around 10am and I spend the day caring for Elliot and the house (and myself when I get a nice nap out of him!).  By 4pm I’m back in the minivan to go pick up the kids.  Once home, I get supper running, my husband generally arrives once I’ve gotten everything going.  After that it’s bedtime preparations (which sometimes, sometimes not include a bath).  By 7:30pm, the kids are generally in bed.  Whew!  Then, there are weekends: groceries, laundry, gymnastics for Charles and swimming for Amélie.  It just.  Doesn’t. Stop.

I’m sure this is pretty indicative of the average family’s day.  Sometimes, I feel like a temporary parent.  I see my kids for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening.  It’s hard to balance family life, personal life and marital life.  Yet, it’s important to try to find a way.

So, in an effort to maximize our together time (beyond just meal times), we decided to try out the movie night concept.  On the last Saturday of every month, we’re going to have our supper downstairs and watch a movie of the kids’ choosing together.  We tried this last Saturday and, though I wasn’t too sure what to expect, it was great!

We made some nachos, spread a tablecloth on the floor in front of the tv and the five of us (yup, Elliot hung out with us too!) had a “picnic” whilst watching Kung Fu Panda.  I put Elliot to bed at around 7pm, the my husband, Charles, Amélie and I cuddled on the couch to watch the remainder of the movie.  The kids had a blast and it was fun to spend some real quality time all of us together.  We are definitely going to do this again next month.

It’s so easy to get caught up in life to neglect family time.  Between work, fatigue, the need for personal time and those darned screens (y’know, tablets and smartphones and all the jazz), it’s easy for everyone to be physically together in a room (or in the house), but not make the most of that time.

How do you spend family time?

Posted in Parenting

Write For Me Wednesday:

Today, I have a great guest post on travel with kids.  I was so eager to read this because I haven’t found the courage to bring my son along for a long-distance trip yet and this post doesn’t disappoint!

We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday… With Kids

It’s almost summer and you may be planning on taking a trip. Not everyone has a passport, so if you’ll be needing one, now’s the time to get it. But it’s not always smooth sailing from there on. You want to have the time of your life, and your kids do, too… but they’ve probably got other ideas about it.

Handling Your Money Worries

Saving for that dream trip was hard back before you had kids, now that they’re here? It can seem almost impossible! It’s tricky, but it can be done. Once you’ve got it altogether, you’re going to want to spend it wisely! There are some great deals out there, for example, Kayak is amazing, because it allows you to opt for comparing just hotels, airfare on its own, or a package deal. You can even get car hire!

When you’ve chosen where you’re venturing, you’ll need to order currency. As a rule, most countries are different, so do your research! Take credit/debit as back up, but remember, using ATMS or charging things overseas could be costly. It sucks but, if you get really stuck, you can ask people back home for help. Companies like Azimo allow you to receive money anywhere you find yourselves in the world!

The Resort

The last thing you want to hear when you’ve shelled out so much to take a vacation is ‘mommy… I’m bored’. Before you go, scope a variety of place out online, and read recommendations and check out candid (not just brochure!) pictures. Websites like Trip Advisor should help immensely with this. What are you looking for? If you’re less experienced, you’ll want to pick somewhere kid-friendly from the outset. Perhaps there’s a fun day-care where they can make friends? Or nearby attractions that cater to young people, too? They’re the sorts of places you want. Unless you’re going somewhere wildly obviously, like Disney Land. I can tell you now, without you even checking it out – your kids will LOVE it, and as a bonus, you will too.

Getting Over Plane Fears

If you’re taking an airplane, your kids might be a little afraid. In fact… you might even be a little afraid. Don’t be. Statistically, there’s almost zero chance of anything bad happening. Now of course, kids can’t unfortunately always be reasoned with by using facts! So the key thing you need to do is not to show your own fear. They’re perceptive, and you need to give them credit for that. A lot of fear of flying is enforced by others – it’s called ‘vicarious fear’. So keep positive, pack plenty of books, games, toys and snacks and make sure they’re way too entertained on their little adventure to worry!

Freaking Out About Health & Safety

‘Stranger Danger’ is scary as anything when you’re at home, but when you’re elsewhere? It can be heart-attack inducing! You want your kids to have a great balance, so if they’re interested in making new friends in exotic lands, that’s great – but make sure you’re there to supervise.

In terms of health, you’ll need to be completely organized. Take a trip to the Doctor way in advance of your vacation to pick up medication, epi-pens, asthma inhalers and anything else your kids – or you – are going to need. Check if you need shots, and get them, if need be. Yes, even at risk of tears and tantrums. Remember, foreign healthcare is going to differ to what you’re used to, so try and prepare yourself. Hopefully, you’ll never need know the difference, but if something does come up, just please, please check you have insurance to cover you.

About the writer

Kimberley Watson is an aspiring writer who loves the freedom it provides as an outlet. As a proud mother and wife, family always comes first, but she loves the little things in life, too. She attended the University of Manchester in the UK, and now enjoys nothing more than travel and seeing the world and all it has to offer. Including the food. Allll of the food! You can find her on twitter – @kim_watson25

Posted in Blogging, Write for me Wednesday

Write For Me Wednesday – Tips To Throw A Kids Pool Party

This guest post comes at a great time for me.  We’re seeing more and more grass around here and today is an absolutely beautiful day.  It is written by Kaitlin Gardner who writes for AnApplePerDay.  She currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend.  In her spare time, she loves to go hiking and enjoy nature.  She has just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.  If you haven’t had time to check out her blog yet, I strongly suggest you go take a look, it’s really great.

Tips To Throw A Kids Pool Party

Your children want to have a party for their friends at your family pool. You are thrilled to hear they want to take advantage of that wonderful entertainment resource right there in your back yard. So what do you need to throw a great party at the pool? Here are some tips and thoughts:

Guest list and invitations. This part is basically the same as hosting a party inside the house – you have to come up with a guest list, and send out invitations. But there is a difference – when you contact parents for addresses, discreetly confirm that their child can swim. Hopefully every child invited can swim, which will make things a lot easier. Then send out fun invitations – kids love to get a real invite in the mail. Invite the parents to stay as well. Be sure to specify date and time, so the parents can put it on their Google calendars.

What time? Do you want to have this party during the day, or evening? That will change your planning. If it’s spring and chilly in the evenings, day is better. If the party will be in the middle of the summer, consider an evening party to avoid the heat of the day. This factor will determine how you plan the party, so decide early.

Set up the pool area. If the party is during the day, you will want to have tables set up for parents to sit and watch their kids, preferably in the shade. Provide a table stocked with sunscreen, so the kids are well protected against the sun. If the party is in the evening, you’ll have to add some lighting around the pool area, and around the back yard as well. After the meal, you’ll want the kids to sit out for a while, and they can play in the back yard with a Frisbee, or a volleyball court if you have room. Here are some great sites with more information about planning for a pool party:

  1. With kids and a pool, burgers would be a great way to go. Dad can cook on the grill, and the kids will love it. Just make sure to cook plenty of food, because hungry kids will eat a lot. Add shrimp or chicken to the menu for the parents. Have chips and drinks available, and you’ve got a basic but solid menu that keeps planning simple for the hostess. Don’t forget the plates and forks.
  2. You might want to consider having some music in the background, but with the noise of a lot of kids in the pool, it might be too much. The beauty of a pool party is that the kids entertain themselves for the most part. When they gather at the community pool, they are very ingenious about creating their own fun. You can have some pool games in mind if they get stuck for something to do. But if they’re enjoying themselves – just let it happen.

Provide a safe environment. Think about what will be going on at the party. Mom will be playing hostess to the parents, Dad will be cooking on the grill. Are those great candidates to be in charge of watching the kids? With kids and water, safety is too imperative to be addressed in a haphazard way. Consider hiring a lifeguard from the community pool. The kids will likely know him, will mind him and pay attention.

Once you’ve got the party in motion, take a moment to just look around – the smiling, laughing kids in the pool will be all you need to see, and you’ll know you’re throwing a great pool party.

Thanks for this great post Kaitlin!  I know I’ll be able to refer to it in a couple of years when my little guy is a bit older.

Posted in Blogging, Write for me Wednesday

Write For Me Wednesday: Couple Time: Squeezing In Some Stolen Moments

Today, I’ve got another great post for all of you and it’s all thanks to Ghezzi.  Ghezzi is a contributor at Pregg.net.  She is a work at home mom doing freelance writing and graphic designing. She has a daughter who is 5 years old and doing pretty well in preschool. Her hobbies are arts and crafts, collecting scarfs and surfing Pinterest.

Couple Time: Squeezing In Some Stolen Moments

Taking care of the kids, going to the office, preparing meals, visiting the doctor, doing the laundry, are just few of the things that keep us busy. Where could we squeeze in some quality time with our partner? Well, here are some ideas to help you out:

  1. Drop the kids off to their grannies. At least once or twice a month bring your children to their grandparents so they can spend quality time too. I’m sure kids will enjoy staying there while you and your husband are out because most grannies are spoil-ers. If your parents are miles away and they get the chance to visit you or vice versa, then grab the opportunity.
  2. Make every time together a quality time. If your husband drives you to work, or when you watch TV at night after a long day, or when you go to the grocery store, you can turn those ordinary days to special moments with him. Add something that can make it extra ordinary like playing your favorite music while in the car, having coffee together before going to the grocery or serve a special wine while watching TV.
  3. Take a shower together. Should I elaborate more?
  4. Hold hands while walking. Sounds cheesy, huh.
  5. Work on a project together like remodeling your living room, or deciding where to go for the next family vacation.

These are just few things to help you get an extra special time with your partner despite the busy schedules. Having these “extra special” moments will not just make you have fun together as a couple but the main point here is to keep the fire burning in your relationship.

Do you have other ideas in mind you want to share?

 

Ghezzi

Momblogger@

http://www.pregg.net

 

Thank you so much Ghezzi for this wonderful post!  It’s so true, finding quality time with your partner once you have kids can seem daunting, but there are indeed some simple things you can do.