Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Yesterday marked the last Monday of my maternity leave.   My internal dialogue went something like this  {AHHHHH!!!  Holy Sh*t!!!   WTF!!!  When did that happen!!!!}  Next week I will rejoin the work force and spend my days in the office, and not rolling around on the floor with my kids.


Always on the floor playing.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve gone from this….


Big Mac minutes old

To this….


Big Mac 4.5 y; Little Mac 2.5 y, Small Fry 11 mos.

Agh.  {goes to find some tissues}

I remember a conversation I had with my husband when I was on my first mat leave about the misconception that mat leave is a “vacation” and that I don’t in fact have loads of time in the day to do all the extra little things.  Like get dressed.  Or eat.  At the beginning, you are basically in survival mode – keep this new little creature alive and hopefully thriving.  Even when you are dead on your feet from not sleeping, and frustrated because it won’t eat, and your arms are about to give out from rocking it all. the. time.

Oh, but then they smile.  And actually make eye contact.  Or stretch out after waking up and give a little toot.

And then you’re like “Oh my gawd it was so worth it”

Each day is a challenge.  Some days are more challenging than others.  Some days can even be classified as shit, and literally be full of shit when it feels like you’ve changed a gazilion diapers.  You have to laugh, otherwise you will most definitely go cah-ray-zee.    Just make sure if you are crazy laughing no one can hear you; tends to raise some eyebrows.

But then seemingly all of a sudden… they aren’t so helpless anymore.  You realize that this tiny human being can stand to be without you for a minute while you pee, or just stare at them from the other room, on edge, waiting for the crying to start.  You can just give the kid some puffs and a sippy cup and he’s content to sit there and eat.  Feed himself.  By himself.  Play in the sand.  By himself.  Push cars across the floor.  By himself.  Smile and giggle and pull all the tupperware out of the drawer.  BY HIMSELF.  No need for mommy to intervene.

And let’s not forget that with 3 kids, they are all up in each other’s business.  Everyone has a major case of FOMO [fear of missing out].  So basically we can now sit back and relax and let them go at it.  Until the yelling, crying, scratching, grabbing starts.


It is not lost on me how lucky I am that I got to spend 3 years of my life with my kids.  And it is doubly apparent how lucky we are to have such a supportive family who is always willing to come and rescue us from the chaos that is THREE f-ing kids.  We would surely be lost without them.   Which is also making it easier for me to even think about going back to work.  Which is why it will actually be a seamless transition as my dear, kind, lovely, too generous mother will be taking care of the kids.  Those with kids know what a relief it is to have reliable day care, and we are so blessed to have someone who loves the kids as much, and probably sometimes even more, than we do.

So really, I’m only really worried about two things when going back to work:

  1. What will I wear?  (seriously, what do ‘adults’ wear these days???)
  2. Crying in the conference room because I miss my kids



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It’s been awhile… this blog has definitely gone by the wayside.  Life is just too much right now.  With 3 boys under the age of 5… my free time (read: after bedtime) is spent with Wine and TV and Instagram.  Or sleeping.  But mostly wine.  I do not have the capacity to form coherent thoughts and put them down in a coherent way, as much as I wish I did.


Look at these guys.  Trouble.  But goodness me do I love them.

Today though I am breaking my blog silence.  My dear, lovely, kind, too-generous mother has taken the 2 younger ones to kinder korner and the oldest is in school.  Peace.  Hot coffee.  Quiet.  I can think.

And boy have I been doing a lot of thinking lately.  My 3rd and final mat leave is coming to an end.  Just 2 weeks left before I go back to work – for good. So a lot of thinking, and a lot of emotions.  As parents we crave those “firsts” – first time the baby smiles, rolls over, sits up, crawls, walks… etc.  But lately all I’ve been doing is dwelling on the “lasts”.  This is the last time that I’ll have the freedom and opportunity to spend ALL day EVERY day with my kids.  And that makes me sad that I didn’t do enough with them.  And we did a lot (thanks again mostly because of my dear, lovely, kind, too-generous mother).

One of the things that I have done consistently over the years of pregnancy and maternity leaves is attend FITMOM classes – all the Fitmom classes: Prenatal, Baby, Stroller Strength and Bootcamp.  The owner of Fitmom Ottawa is Sue.  Who I have now had the pleasure of knowing for 5 years.  Sue.  Sue. Sue. What can I say about Sue.  What can I say about Sue without getting too emotional.


Sue is… she is the one that is always in your corner, and you don’t even realize when it happens, when you don’t even know you need someone in your corner.  She is the NICEST person ever (she even said nice things about me {https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFITMOMOttawa%2Fposts%2F1203354873009132%3A0&width=500” target=”_blank”>here}, so you know she has to be THE nicest).  Sue has been there from the beginning and has helped me in more ways than just the physical.  Although she will kick your butt big time at class.  90 second wall sits, while 38 weeks pregnant, oh ya, she makes you do those, no excuses.  Burpees.  Ugh.  I think Sue secretly enjoys watching our faces after she says “And now burpees!”.

Sue has created something special with Fitmom Ottawa.  A wonderful, safe, fun, challenging space that is disguised as a fitness class.  While you work out, you get the added benefit of being surrounded by amazing ladies, and before you know it you are sucked in to this community of support.  And usually with the added benefit of feeling stronger, faster, more fit, more beautiful.  Sue has done what few can do, she has provided somewhere for women to go and feel completely at ease, while working out!  I have met some incredible women through Fitmom, some whom I am privileged to now call my friends.  Who can see by the look on someone’s face that they need some extra support, or to vent, or have questions.  Sue is judgement free.  Her classes are judgement free.   No topic is off limits, no question too silly, no conversation too repetitive.

The success of Fitmom Ottawa, why we all keep coming back for more, is 100% Sue.  It is ALL her.  You can tell by how she leads the classes that she LOVES doing it, and truly cares about you, as an individual.

So while I am sad that my days of prenatal, and baby-wearing, and strollercizing classes are over, I look forward to continuing with the Fitwoman bootcamp classes.  And spending at least one evening a week, and maybe the odd full pint, with the magical Sue.  Who I am so lucky to call a friend.

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Sunrise over Paris. A little more impressive than my view this morning. One can wish, right…

It’s so funny.  Just when you think that you have turned a corner and things are going to be on the up and up… you find yourself doing laps around your house at 4 am with a screaming baby.  The sunrise was beautiful this morning.  Little Mac has slept through until 6 am the past 4-5 nights.  SIX AM.  Now, this may seem early to some, and it is, but when you are sleeping from 10:30 ish – 6… that is a full SEVEN (ish) hours!!!  To parents, this is more sleep than we deserve sometimes.  I was starting to feel real good about things again.  Then bam.  Little Mac was awake at 3:30, breastfed for approximately long enough to give me hope that he would just peacefully fall back to sleep, then instead decided to perform some opera and intricate back bends.


What do you do in these situations?   He was fed, fresh diaper.  I guess just overtired?  Couldn’t get back to sleep?

Babies cry.  That is what they do best.  Well, besides filling their pants right after they have a fresh pair on :S  A baby doesn’t know any other way to communicate with us except by crying.  What really sucks though is when they are crying and you have done absolutely everything you can think of to make them stop but they KEEP. ON. CRYING.

The crying has really been getting to me lately.  And I am not sure how many more laps around the house my arms can take.  Little Mac is not a little baby anymore (really, was he ever?).  I see some major physio in my future.

I just keep telling myself “this too shall pass”.  And have another cup of coffee.

Finally asleep in his car seat post-daycare walk (on the floor by the front door)

Finally asleep in his car seat post-daycare walk (on the floor by the front door)

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Disciplinary actions

Discipline is a hard thing to do.  There is a fine line between “good” discipline – that which is effective without the trauma – and “bad” discipline – that which is not effective but traumatic.  Now, I just came up with those two definitions myself based solely on my own  experience.  I am in no way going to tell anyone how to discipline their kids.  You do what you gotta do.

Let’s be honest, kids can be little shits.  Well, mine can.

Up to no good...

Up to no good…

We are a family that uses the dreaded TIME OUT.  A typical meal time goes like this:

Hubby/me (to 2 yo):  Sit properly please

2 yo slowly slides down the side of the chair

Hubby/me (sternly): Sit properly or you go to time out

2 yo gives his little bratty grin and keeps sliding down the chair (the bratty grin makes it so much worse)

Hubby/me (very sternly): That’s it, you’re going to time out.  [picks up 2 yo who is now frantically trying to climb back in to his chair to sit properly]

2 yo (yelling): No time out!

He goes to time out (which is the landing on our third floor with all the doors closed, lights off and the gate shut).   After about a minute his angry crying gets quieter and starts sounding pitiful, so we go up to get him.  We remind him why he is in time out and ask him if he is ready to come back to the table and sit properly.  It usually works as he does come back and sit properly for the remainder for the meal.  So… win?

Discipline is easier at home, when you don’t have other people watching you.  No one wants to be “that parent” that is yelling at their kid at the playground.  We all want little angels for kids, but that is not going to happen.  The hardest thing is what to do when other people’s kids are being little shits to your kid.  Do you step in and yell at that kid?  Thereby bringing on the wrath of that kid’s parent/caregiver/whoever brought them to the park.  How dare you yell at my kid.  Well, how bout your kid stops pushing my kid.  If my kid is being a shit, I will take ownership of that and we will get the heck out of there.  BUT.  But what if said shitty kid’s parents/caregiver is not around?  Or is around but is blissfully unaware of how shitty their kid is being?  What do you do?  I believe that you have to stand up for your kid – WHEN THE SITUATION CALLS FOR IT.   I do not condone retaliation.  That is the worst.  And just breeds more shitty kid behaviour.  I think it is a good thing for kids to figure things out for themselves.  Which makes not stepping in harder.

The other day at the playground, Big Mac was doing his thing, climbing up one side and sliding down the other, while Little Mac (in the stroller) and I looked on.  As with most playgrounds, there was a base of sand.  Now in walks (or rather twirls) a shitty kid – probably 7 or 8 yrs old.  You know those kids, you can tell they are going to be shitty kids from the get go.  This kid did not disappoint.  He starts to kick and throw sand.  It wasn’t close to Big Mac or us, so I just let him do him.  And kept a close eye on what Big Mac would do.  He looked at the kid warily, but kept playing.  Then the shitty kid threw sand AT Big Mac.  In his face.  His FACE.  Ok, now sand in the face is not the end of the world, but he did start to cry.  I happen to believe that throwing sand in people’s faces is not proper playground etiquette.  And this happened about 2 feet from me.  Close enough for me to step in.  “Hey.  It is not nice to throw sand in people’s face.  Please don’t throw sand.”  I said it sternly, but not yelling.   Making sure I got my point across.  I looked for the shitty kid’s parent/caregiver/responsible adult.  No one ran over, so I just gave him another “look”.  We brushed the sand off of Big Mac and he continued playing.  And the kid didn’t thrown any more sand in our direction.  So… win?

On the way home from the playground I tried to talk to Big Mac about how throwing sand is not a good thing to do.  That it is not nice.  He seemed to get it… he did say “That was not nice”.  So maybe that kid throwing sand in my kid’s face was a good thing as now my kid will not throw sand…?

Who really knows the right way to discipline.  There are so many little nuances to it.  It’s hard to stay consistent, when it happens in the privacy of your own home vs. in the grocery store vs. at a friend’s house.  I guess the important thing is to ensure that the kid understands why what they did was wrong, and to make sure that the “discipline” fits the crime.  And of course that the bad behaviour is not repeated.

Happy moment.

Happy moment.

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I get it. Babies are cute.

Case in point:



BUT!  But, if you are a stranger, please don’t stick your face in to my baby’s face in the grocery store/mall/bagel shop/waiting at a cross walk.  I don’t know where you’ve been. I don’t know your dental hygiene routine.  You could have come from an H1N1 infestation for all I know.

I was at Loblaws the other day and Little Mac was sleeping in the stroller, so I had him pretty covered up with the car seat cover thing and a blanket.  I could barely see his face without bending down to look in.  I was perusing some Joe Fresh items and felt that weirdness when people are standing just a bit tooclose.  Like, invading personal space close.  I turn and these two people were leaning over the stroller peering in at the baby.  I had to literally lean back to face them.  So I moved the stroller a bit and then they gave me the “Such a cute baby”. Thanks. Now can you back the f* up.

Am I being too mean about this?  On one hand, it is great to get the reassurance that you have a cute baby (its not just you that thinks that and your family who feel obligated to say your baby is cute – however would people tell you if your baby was ugly?); a sense of pride that you created such a beautiful baby.   Everyone loves babies, they do tend to pick your mood up – particularly really cute babies.  On the other hand, do you really want some stranger cooing their stranger breath in your baby’s face.

Another time at the Superstore (so what, I go there a lot – it is on the daycare route and we tend to need milk every other day) and this man peers in and is all “cute baby”.  Little Mac was sleeping, so I gave my witty “yes, for now while he’s sleeping” response.  Then this man walks beside me staring in the stroller at my baby the length of the store – from the milk section (haha, I really was buying milk this day) all the way to the bread! I had to pretend to get bread just to veer off path from him.  Yikes.

And another time at the bagel shop these two old ladies were obsessed with the baby, so much so that they basically cut me off from the stroller.  I felt bad, but I had to kind of physically move them aside so I could leave.

I am used to it now.  I have my standard responses and have perfected the tone that does not invite any additional conversation.  And I keep moving.  Yeah yeah, that is a bit mean.  I know.  Maybe I should be nicer, or just less mean.  But just beware that I will turn in to dragon lady mom if you get too close.


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Oh. My. Gawd.

So anyone use Songza?  Apparently I am late to the game on this one. It’s a self-described music concierge that has a bunch of lists for how you’re feeling.  I put it on every morning during Little Mac’s nap, while I drink my second cup of coffee and mindlessly peruse the interwebs (slash – not writing my blog).  I am a big fan of the 90’s Summer Dance Party playlist.  So many gems.  Here are a few that have come on this morning:

When the Lights Go Out – 5ive

Gypsy Women (She’s Homeless) – Crystal Waters

Creep – TLC

Feel So Good – Mase (this was really hard to find!  What up with that, where is the Ma$e love??)

Like come on, that is a pretty sweet mix.

BUT, while listening a certain song popped in my head that always reminds me of highschool.  And a dance party with my brothers (yes, we were pretty cool).


Yes.  Just the lead pic there is awe-some.  I love this song so much.  So so much.  It makes me smile, and my head starts bobbing. Not long before I am up and dancing around the kitchen. Busting out my sweet sweet dance moves.

So enjoy.  And try to dance a little bit today 🙂

You. Are. Welcome.

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You are my sunshine, My only sunshine.

You make me happy, When skies are gray.

You never know dear, How much I love you.

So please don’t take, My sunshine, away.

Oh gawd.  This song.  I never really thought about it much before having kids, but now that I have them, this song just pulls at my heart strings.  It is no secret that I am uber emotional and cannot really control my tears, and when this song enters my realm of consciousness, look out.  Floods.   I go to a Mom and Baby Yoga class at One Tooth Yoga, and the instructor has us sing this song at the end of each class to our babies.  I can’t even…  I look anywhere but at Little Mac because I will break down crying. 

Look at that face.

Look at that face.

And when the song sneaks up on me in unexpected places… ugh.  So. Many. Tears.  The most recent instance I can remember was during the movie Trouble with the Curve – a Clint Eastwood baseball movie.  So right away, Clint Eastwood + baseball… I knew I was going to love this movie.  Plus it has JT in it.  Gold.  However, this happened: 

And I was a goner. 

I think the song itself is so powerful because it is so simple.   And it can take on a different meaning for anyone.  A parent, sibling, child, friend… anyone can be your sunshine.  

So now I leave you to go play with my sunshine 🙂

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