Mom Blog

Town Hall #1: Good Cop, Bad Cop & the “Threenager” Phenomenon

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Click Here to Listen to Town Hall #1

It seems to me like every parent I know is talking about Threenagers these days.  Like, when did this become a thing?  When I was a babysitter, learning about Littles and what to expect while looking after them, I was never warned about the age of 3.  It was always, ALWAYS about 2.  How the 2s are TERRIBLE… Hence: The Terrible Twos.

Bee is almost 3.  And most of the time, she’s great.  Really great.  Fun, funny, witty, blow-my-mind amazing.  But when she’s not great, she embodies the spirit and attitude of a hormonally raging teenager.

Lord.  Help.  Me.

Desperately wanting to talk it out with other parents, and feeling the need to share other parenting issues of the day, one hot July evening I gathered some of my closest girlfriends together in a room, plopped down a mic and recorded the very first Town Hall.

LishAlicia

AlliAlli

VanessaVanessa

In this episode we discuss this Threenager business, and also get into topics such as: the Good Cop, Bad Cop dynamic between us and our husbands, the “Second Child Syndrome,” which is basically how our parenting style has changed since having second and subsequent kids, and what our own personal parenting mantras are.

Click here to download the episode on iTunes

From that link you’ll be directed to my iTunes channel, where you can subscribe and stay up-to-date on future Town Halls and the other parenting series I’ve got in the works.

You can also hear the audio from all my #ASKAMAMA {Mondays} episodes.  If you haven’t had a chance to watch any of them, and can’t spend the time watching a YouTube video – sometimes I can’t! – then you can still enjoy by downloading and listening on-the-go!  Bonus!

I hope you enjoy the podcast.  And if you have any ideas for future episodes, or would like to get involved, feel free to contact me via the form at the bottom of the page.  I’d love to round up a fresh bunch of ‘rents for the next session, which I’ll be scheduling soon!

Until then, listen on!  And to all you Moms and Dads: be kind to yourself.  You’re doing the best you can.

*****

Just a note:  Alli demonstrates her mantra to us with her hands around 30:40, here is video of that.

Updates… and VLOGS! What Fun!

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Things have been pretty quiet here on the ol’ bloggeroo lately.

It’s summer, Bee is home Mondays and Fridays, and I’ve been spending as much time soaking up these Littles as I can before I head back to work {*SOB*} in the fall.

So for that, my writing has taken a bit of a hit.  And that’s not to say there hasn’t been anything noteworthy happening around here!  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post, but for now, here are the bullet points:

– Bubs is nearly 10-months old and crawling around like a wee speed demon.  Well actually, he’s more butt-scooting than crawling.  He pushes himself on his bum while pulling himself forward with his legs and supporting his chubby upper-bod with one arm.  One arm, so he can hold something in his other hand.  Natch.

– He’s also still not sleeping through the night.  Which means no one is sleeping through the night.  Except for Bee, actually.  She sleeps like a dream, thank God.  But at nearly a year old, I’m still getting up with him around three times a night.  Ugh.  We’ve tried “sleep training” him, but you know what?  I really hate the sound of my baby screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.  It feels wrong to me, so we threw the whole Cry It Out business, OUT the window.  Call me crazy, but I’ll probably keep going to him until he just one day, MIRACULOUSLY, starts sleeping through the night.  And perhaps it’s just my sleep-deprived, exhausted brain talking here, but for now, I’m sticking to that statement.

– Despite the sleepless nights, he is one of the chattiest, happiest little babies I’ve ever met.  He has dimples for days and shows them off to anyone who looks his way.  His blonde hair is fluffy and growing into one badass mullet, it’s pretty spectacular.  Those two, nasty bottom teeth have finally poked through, and now we just await… the rest.  Sigh.  Teething SUCKS.  But thank goodness for hacks like THIS 😉

– Bee has entered the dawn of the Threenager, and a few months early at that.  Hooray.  “What is a Threenager,” you ask?  What, you don’t know?  You poor fool!  A Threenager is a JOY to have around!  Um, not.  A Threenager is a toddler who is prone to being moody, judgemental, and stubborn as hell.  The power struggle is real, and it’s CRAZY.  I am definitely revisiting my mantra a LOT these days, and constantly having to remind myself that, “she’s two.  She’s two.  She is only TWO.  And you are the Mama.  You Are The Mama.  What YOU say, goes.  Jeebuz…..”

– Yes, Bee can be a challenge.  A perplexing puzzle of a little human.  But she really is, at the end of the day, the greatest achievement in my life.  She is remarkable – brilliant, funny, polite and kind, and I know I totally sound like one of “those” parents, but if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll see I’m not full of sh*t.  She is the light in our lives, and manages to charm everyone who crosses her blazing path.  I’m loving every second watching her become the person she’s meant to be, and consider it a privilege to be her Mama.  *SOB*

– I’ve launched my newest podcast series through my iTunes channel!  Well, I’ve published the intro to the series.  You can check out what’s to come HERE.  Make sure you subscribe so you get the updates as they happen 🙂

Although the writing has been thin, I’ve been spending more time vlogging for my YouTube channel.  Head on over to check out the latest, but for your immediate viewing pleasure, please have a laugh at two of my recent contributions to the internets!

So there you have it!  This is what we’ve been up to lately around these parts.  I’m going to be a bit more diligent with the writing – I can feel I’m a bit rusty and would like to get my “voice” back. Until then, I’m gonna keep up with the vlogging and podcasting so you can join me in any way that suits you best.

Don’t be a stranger!

It Takes a Village: #ASKAMAMA Monday with Bria Evenson

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It’s BACK, guys.  And with a whole new format, to boot!

The old proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and at it’s core, that’s what #ASKAMAMA is all about.

I’m seeking out Mamas (& Papas!) to offer advice and tips and stories and tales and misguided adventures to any and all of you who are looking for answers and/or anecdotes outside of your immediate circle of peeps who you lean on regularly for such things.

The goal is to expand your Village because, really, raising the next generation – and the next, and the next… – we’re all in this together, don’t you think?

#ASKAMAMA is on Youtube & the Podisphere, so going forward you can reach out to The Village on all your fun, fancy mobile devices and submit questions however suits your needs!  The podcasts will be the full, unedited interview with each Mama (& Papa!), and the vlogs will stick to the original format in that they will focus solely on the submitted #ASKAMAMA questions!

Bria was so gracious and patient with me as I took my time to work out all the kinks, and I’m so grateful to have had her as the first Mama to kick off this new series and… phase?  Chapter?  Let’s say both.

I’ll be announcing the next Mama in the coming days, so stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, here’s how to reach Bria directly:

Email:  briaevenson@beachbodycoach.com
Instagram:  @bria_evenson_fitness
Facebook.com/BriaEvensonFitness
Twitter:  @FitBria

And again, here’s how to submit your questions on parenting, lifestyle, cooking, the great Big Questions of the Universe:

  1. Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA
  2. Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post
  3. Head to my Facebook page and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall
  4. Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com
  5. Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page

This is going to be SO much fun, guys.  I’m really excited!  And I hope you all stick around and have your Village grow with this series.

All Hail the Glory of the Nap!

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Here’s the thing about struggling with getting your baby on a schedule: you succumb to the exquisite rareness of the quiet moments and get so lost in them, that the laundry doesn’t get put away and the kitchen remains a mess from breakfast.

“Oh, well,” I tell myself during these complete blips-of-life (because surely these 45 minute+ naps are blips, right?)  “I’ll just do it all tomorrow, in-between his multiple 15-minute naps.  While wearing him.  And shushing him.”

Now, though – in this meditatively still moment –  I will take it minute by minute, lap up the ongoing quietness and stillness, finish this coffee, and write and wait until I hear him stir on the monitor.

***Note:  he woke up two minutes after finishing this post.  Literally.  Whatever.  I’ll take what I can get.

 

August & Everything After

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Oh, hey there.

It’s really good to see you.

Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve last hung out.  But, you know, it happens.

Everyone gets busy, and most of us have to unplug occasionally.  To check out from time-to-time and reset…

…and for the scary New Post button on your blog to become less cumbersome that it has been over the last 5 months.

FIVE MONTHS.

Over the last 5 months, my Life has filled-up with everything.  Overloaded with an abundance of good news (my sister, her husband and baby boy are moving home from the UK in July), exciting things (we bought a house…. AAAAAA!), nerve-wracking moments (…um, buying a HOUSE) and devastating heartache (saying goodbye to our beloved family dog of 14 years).

Of course, the first, and probably the most important thing, was the much anticipated arrival of our son, Li’l Bubs (formerly known as Pelé).  He roared into our lives in the early morning of September 17th, and has completed our family in the most amazing way.

I knew I had a small handful of people eagerly awaiting his birth, almost as much as me.  But as soon as we got home from the hospital something kind of shifted, I guess.  I decided that this time, these immediate moments that were directly in front of me, one after the other, happening at lightening speed yet slow as molasses, needed to be savoured.  I wanted to protect them and coddle them and hold them lovingly in my arms – from Bee meeting Bubs for the first time, to the first diaper change, the first (of many) sleepless nights, adjusting to a new body taking up space in our bed and home… all of these things, I decided needed to be just for me.  Just for us.  Our family.

I didn’t unplug completely, mind you.  I popped up on Instagram and the Facebook now and again.

But I did make a conscious decision to step away from the blog for a while.

And now?  Here I am.

*****

Full disclosure:  I’ve been working on this post for a few days now, writing and re-writing everything.  Thinking, “maybe it’s too flowery.”  “Should I elaborate on this?”  “Perhaps a bit about the birth?”  “Is anyone going to care about that??”  “WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!”   So I apologize if it feels a bit all over the map.

I had such a nice little rhythm going with this blog all those months ago.  I was having so much fun with it.  But then, over the last 5 months, the notion of “getting back to it” weighed on my mind – I found it starting to feel like a chore I had to get done.  Just the thought of having to sit down and plunk out my thoughts, when it was just so much easier to nurse Bubs on the couch while watching Vanderpump Rules The Bachelor Canada The Great Interior Design Challenge reading.  I had a million-and-one excuses to leave it be.

Now, though.  I don’t know exactly why I chose today of all the days, to clean it up and hit publish.  To dust it off and send it back out into the world.

There’s nothing particularly special or different about today.  The kitchen is a pig-hole mess from hell, there’s a mountain of laundry to do, there are boxes everywhere because, even though we bought the house, we have yet to move.

Maybe it’s because of Bubs.  Day in and day out, he is proving to be the sweetest, most jovial, dimply baby, excited to be a part of it all.  He has a shock of fuzzy blonde fluff on his cradle-capped head (which was a shock because Bee was born with a mass of BLACKBLACKBLACK hair), chubby thighs and the happiest demeanour I could ask for.  Maybe today because he’s growing faster than I can handle. Maybe today because I’m finally ready to shout out to the world that he’s here, he’s wonderful, look at him go.  To start recording all the awesomeness, as I tried to do with Bee.

Or maybe… no.  Okay.  Not maybe.

I think, actually, it is because of Bee.

Excuse me while I sob for a minute.

Bee.  My Bee.

Our wonderful, intelligent, caring, sensitive, outgoing, introverted, thoughtful, excitable, wondrous, curious, imaginative, inquisitive bundle of everything that is good and Holy in this crazy, scary, amazing world.  She is 2 years and 3 months old, but when I look at her, I see the big girl/young woman/lady she is to become.

And she is perfect.

In every which way.

She loves her brother with such… fury.  If that makes sense.  She squeals with glee when he wakes up in the morning, “HI, my little monkey!”  She bounces and crouches and reaches for him whenever he’s around.  She consoles him when he cries, “It’s okay, my little monkey!  It’s okay!  I’m here!  Your big sister!  You so BWAVE!”  And I can see in her big, twinkling eyes when she smiles at him that she is secretly counting the days until he is big enough to play with her.   He’s already smiling at her silly faces, as is everyone else.

Because, she is silly.  And sneaky.  And temperamental.  And loving.  And so smart.  And oh, so, so beautiful.

And my heart fills up with so much pridelovehappinessworrydoubtexcitement when I look at her or even think about her that I feel like it’s going to explode all over the walls.

Which, would be bad.  Because, this place is a rental.  So….

ANYWAY.

I could wax on for a thousand more words about how amazing my kids are.  About how they have changed me for the better.  But I don’t want to be THAT parent.

But I do want to start writing again.  I do want to start blogging again, to get back to sharing my stories, and maybe even shooting off a vlog or two.  The wheels are turning, the routine is slowly falling into place, despite being perilously close to falling off the tracks in the shadow of this big, crazy move (which happens in a WEEK, by the way).

So I’ve dusted it off, shined it up, given it a new look to boot.  I’ve re-plugged, if that’s even a word.  I’m glad to be back, and I hope you all come along for all the new adventures to come.

And for now, I get back to packing.  Bubs is sleeping, the radio is crooning, and I’m feeling good about just jumping, all over again.

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#ASKAMAMA Monday with Kat Inokai: How to Manage the Grandparents

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How do you manage the grandparents when they have very different, and possibly objectionable parenting views from yours?

Whether it’s your parents or your partner’s, Kat shares her thoughts on the matter, and fights off a BUG while she does it!

I want to thank Kat from the bottom of my heart for opening herself up to this project, offering amazing advice to everyone who watched, and for being the very first Mama on the #ASKAMAMA series!

If you want to get in touch with Kat, you can email her or connect with her via social media through the following channels:

E-mail:  kat@spintheidea.com
Twitter & Instagram:  @bumpandhustle
www.thebumpandhustle.com
Bump & Hustle TV
Facebook/SpintheIdea

#ASKAMAMA Monday will tackle any sort of quandary you have, anything from parenting to lifestyle to health & wellness – you need to know?  We’ll get you the answer!


You can submit a question at any time through one of the following methods: 

– Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA

– Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post


– Head to my 
Facebook page and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall

– Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com


– Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page!

Thanks for following along, and make sure you tune in next week for the debut of the next Mama in the series, author and eco-blogger Madeleine Somerville!

Great News & UGH! News: 28 Weeks Pregnant

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My 28 Weeks Pregnant vlog, featuring a special guest towards the end.

How far along?  28 weeks, officially in the third trimester!  Holy sh*t…..

Baby’s size:  Pelé is now the size of a large eggplant and still around 1.5-2.5 lbs.  I kinda feel like he’s been through a growth spurt, which is why I was feeling queasy the other week.  That’s all gone now though, back to eating like a horse.  A massive, hungry horse whose appetite cannot be satiated with mere single portions alone.  Give me two of everything or give me your heart on a plate…

….woah.  That got dark really fast.  Sorry about that.  I get super hangry these days.  Just a warning.

Total weight gain: 19 pounds, so I was one pound off from my guess of 20!  But really that’s only because I didn’t eat breakfast before my glucose test.  If I had had my usual oatmeal/scrambled eggs/toast/sneaky croissant slipped into my purse I would have been over 20 for sure, forsureforsure.

Maternity clothes?  Yes… except for the bathing suit I had to wear at my in-laws over the long weekend.  I dug and I searched and combed and scanned and tossed and overturned everything in this house, and for the life of me could not find that damned maternity suit I am still convinced I have somewhere!

I’d been dreaming of floating in the pool for weeks, so I had no choice but to sift through the bikinis from my previous lives (because why would I own a ONE PIECE before having kids?! Like, hell-OO!) and pick out the least flimsy, tissue paper-esque, stringy one I had, one with actual support – which was basically this one:

VSSuit*Sigh* I did not look like this while wearing it.

All I’m going to say about squeezing myself into this contraption is that I’m grateful there was only close family there to see it. The end.  Moving on.

Best moment this week:  Just as I’d hoped, being in the Valley for Canada Day long weekend, hands down.  As I mentioned in my 26 week update, we weren’t sure how Bee would take to the pool.  Much to our delight though, after a bit of time spent watching everyone else splash around – and possibly a bribe of a pickle (a “pickle bribe”, if you will) – she went in!  She was eventually comfortable and happy in the water, and even did some kicking and bubble blowing with Hubs!  It was the cutest thing and we have such incredible photos of the day… it was one of my Top 5 Bee Moments, for sure.

Since having her, I’ve imagined Bee as a wild, nudie, hippie baby, running free around my in-laws barefoot and diaper-less… a dream that was realized over the time spent there.  Most days the only thing on her skin was sunscreen a bit of bug spray, other than that she was free as a bird; nekkid as the day she was born.  It was amazing to see how natural she was in that environment, and I really hope we can get back there again sometime this summer before Pelé comes.

Miss Anything?  Still boooooooooze.  It’s really, REALLY hard being the only one not enjoying a glass of wine or a delicious frosty beer, especially in the Valley.  Sitting in the gazebo enjoying the breeze, listening to the cicadas and just being still with everything around me – what goes better with that than alcohol, I ask you?!

With Bee I managed to convince myself that President’s Choice Red Brew De-Alcoholized Beer tasted exactly like the Muskoka Brewery Mad Tom… LIES!  All lies.  This time around, it tastes like bath water.  Or swamp water.  Or worse:  just really bad beer.  I’m allowing myself little sips here-and-there of Hubs’ pints whenever we’re out, but I’m just not one of those pregnant women who is comfortable drinking her own.  I wish I was, GOD!  I wish I was!  I always thought I would be.  But, alas, just the faint taste of a delicious IPA on my lips is what I settle for, and will for the next 12 weeks.

Movement:  YES.  Pelé is trying to knock my laptop off my belly as I type this, and coming very close to succeeding.  I’m going to try and get a video of it….

Food cravings:  Everything bad for me.  Ice cream, especially.  And chicken wings.  Oh my God, chicken wings… I could eat a dozen right now, I’m telling you.

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Not this week, thankfully.  Or, maybe… not thankfully?  If you watch the vlog you’ll hear about my glucose test hiccup – as it turns out I’d probably be better off with aversions to the junky foods which I hold so dear.  UGH.

Gender:  Boy.  Still a boy.  And even if I didn’t know that he was a boy I would definitely suspect it, since everything about this pregnancy is totally different from the last.  Especially the way he kicks and wiggles and worms around, getting all his little limbs jammed everywhere under everything- exactly what I’d expect from a mischievous little boy.

Symptoms:  Lower.  Back.  Agony.   Sometimes I have trouble rolling over or sitting up in bed, that’s how bad it is.  And I’m not someone who ever had general aches and pains before getting pregnant – before having Bee I was in really good shape, rocking tissue paper bikinis and actually wanting to show off my legs, and now… I huff and puff going up stairs and hate pants and want to wear long dresses and skirts all the time.  And I have back pain.  LOWER back pain, which for some reason I imagine to be worse than just back pain.

Seriously, my next project is to find a good acupuncturist, one who specializes in easing prenatal discomfort.  If anyone can recommend one in the GTA, hollah at me, PLEASE.

Thank you in advance!

Belly Button in or out?  NEXT.

Looking forward to:  Getting my back sorted out – hopefully I’ll be able to find an acupuncturist and get an appointment made before my 30 week update, so I can let you all know how it goes!

Not really looking forward to the second round of glucose testing per se, but hoping the results come back negative so I can go back to eating ice cream guilt-free!  I’ll keep you posted on that!

Author and blogger Madeleine Somerville will be featured every Monday for 4 weeks starting July 14th on my #ASKAMAMA series!  The questions are in and filming starts soon!  A teaser will be up next weekend, so stay tuned for that!

 Hope you guys are liking this version of the bi-weekly update!  Would love to hear your thoughts!