mom life

How to Make the Most of an Hour

Posted on Updated on

My husband just took the kids to the park, he said he’d be back by noon for lunch and nap time. Which means I have approximately ONE HOUR, one glorious hour to myself to do whatever I choose that does not involve cleaning the kitchen {which is a mess}, folding laundry {which is all over the house} or thinking about what to make for dinner {which will probably come out of the freezer anyway.}

Not even the fact that we’re out of the “good” coffee can wrinkle this excitement.   I’ve just put on a pot of the “backup” stuff and will mask it’s mediocrity with coconut oil {thanks for the tip, Lish!} and lots of hot, frothy milk – it’ll be like the real deal in only a matter of moments….

So, “The Thing” I choose to do, since it’s been a while since I’ve done it: write a post.  As quickly and rambly and possibly nonsensically as possible.

Let’s have at it then, shall we?

vscocam-photo-1Me.  Writing.  Now.

*****

SUNDAY MUSINGS
{aka Things That Popped into My Mind Today}

“Damn you, yogurt covered raisins.”

“If I tweeze this white eyebrow hair, will two grow back in it’s place?”

“How long has this wet laundry been sitting in the machine for…?”

“Must remember to Google: getting poop out of shag carpet.”

“God, this coffee is gross.”

“That’s a prune in my shoe, somehow…”

*****

We’ve been hitting up the library a lot lately, I find it’s the perfect way to kill the hours between “after nap” and “baby hand-off when Hubs gets home.”  There are the usual suspects Bee regularly wants to take out, like anything Robert Munsch {“Andrew’s Loose Tooth” is a particular fave} or Beatrix Potter {is it just me, or are the messages behind those books rather dark…?}  But amongst the stacks there always seems to be a hidden gem that sparks her interest, that even pleasantly surprises me.  A few of those have been:

Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer by Kathleen T. Pelley

magnus-maximus-350
Magnus Maximus is a marvelous measurer. He measures wetness and dryness, nearness and farness, and everything in between. When a lion escapes from a traveling circus, Magnus and his trusty measuring tape come to the rescue. Now a hero, all is well until the  day Magnus accidentally breaks his glasses, and he sees—for the first time—that he’s been missing out on life’s simple pleasures.

Lively Elizabeth! by Mara Bergman

elizabeth

Lively Elizabeth lives up to her name – in fact, she’s a bit of a handful. She doesn’t mean to hurt anyone, but one day at school she finds out that one little push can lead to BIG problems!

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

monsters

In this hilarious bedtime story, a monster is licking his lips . . . maybe he’s thinking about eating a bedtime snack? And what if that snack just happened to be you? Gulp! He’s getting closer and closer . . . and his tummy is rumbling really loudly. But all this monster actually wants is a sloppy monster-sized goodnight kiss!

The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra

alphabet

This rollicking alphabet story features the lowercase letters of the alphabet. Like children, they have a trunkful of tricks for putting off bedtime. But ultimately their moms and dads (the capital letters) succeed in tucking them in with a good-night kiss. Melissa Sweet’s watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations enliven these little letters with animated expressions, and Judy Sierra’s brief rhyming story begs repeat readings at bedtime.

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

library_lion

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

There have been quite a few more, but these five are the ones that stand out as having been obsessively read over and over…. and over again.  To the point where, even though yes, I did enjoy them very much, I still could not wait to return them!

What are some your favourite library finds?

*****

I’ve become sort of hardcore for podcasts lately.  YouTube is great fun {I have a channel, by the way.  Didn’t know?  WELL!  Check it out HERE, then}, but for the long errand walks and taking transit to appointments, getting lost in a great podcast is kind of the best.

I’m loving Off Camera with Sam Jones.  Sam is a photographer, director, musician, and skateboarder who now curates Off Camera, which is a website, magazine, television show and podcast all in one… or, as he describes it, a “multi-platform technologically relevant episodic blogpodzine.”  Amazing.

He interviews A-list celebrities {recently in the chair: Will Farrel, Ethan Hawke, Jon Hamm, Laura Dern & Jessica Chastain, just to name just a few} in the beautiful long form conversational style which I love so much.

My own podcast is growing – I’m currently editing episode 1 of “Town Hall” {like, literally.  Garage Band is open behind Safari} which I will get to talking about in a upcoming, soon-to-be post – and any time I can connect with and learn from others doing what I want do be doing, people like Sam, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Are you a podcast fan, too?  I’d love to hear what you’re listening to!

*****

Okay.  It’s noon.  And like clockwork, I can hear my family ambling down the hill towards the house.  Time to put my Mama Hat back on and get lunch going.

What a lovely hour, though.  And no need to worry…

…nap time will be here before I know it.

It’s just too bad about the coffee.

It Takes a Village: #ASKAMAMA Monday with Bria Evenson

Posted on Updated on

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.

August & Everything After

Posted on

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.

IMG_3477