parenthood

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.

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AlliAlli

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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.

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

How to Make the Most of an Hour

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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.

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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…”

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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!

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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.

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.

 

#ASKAMAMA Monday with Madeleine Somerville: Rubbing Alcohol vs. Vinegar & Cleaning a Mouldy Compost Bin

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On her final #ASKAMAMA episode, Madeleine answers not one, but TWO viewer questions!

  1. Is there a difference between using rubbing alcohol vs. vinegar to kill germs when cleaning around the house?
  2. How can I keep mould out of my kitchen compost bin

Thank you SO MUCH to Madeleine for taking part in the series during such a busy time in her life (book tour, interviews, house purchasing, moving)!

For more tips & tricks from Madeleine, click HERE to purchase her best selling book All You Need Is Less: The Eco-friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity!

And of course you can follow Madeleine on her adventures through her blog Sweet Madeleine, which has gained a large following thanks to it’s no-muss, no-fuss approach to eco-friendly endeavours, as well as her relatable, honest and humorous take on family life.

Other ways to get in touch with Madeleine:

Email:  info@sweetmadeleine.ca
Twitter:  @MadeleineSix
Instagram:  @Sweet.Madeleine
Facebook:  Facebook.com/SweetMadeleine.ca

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Starting next week, writer/blogger/small biz whiz Kat Armstrong will be joining us for 4 weeks as the next Mama on the #ASKAMAMA series!

When she’s not freelance writing, she writes her own blog This Is The Place. When she’s not writing this or that, she’s the co-owner of Toronto boutique This Little Piggy where she manages social media, the store’s blog and various other fun things!

There’s still time to submit a question, so here’s how!

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 (link in sidebar) & either drop me a private message or post the question to my wall

Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com

Fill out the trusty ol’ form below!

#ASKAMAMA Monday with Madeleine Somerville: Is It All Worth It?

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead 

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Is it all worth it?  Are my tiny environmentally friendly gestures really helping in saving the planet?  How can one person truly make a difference?

We’ve all been there, we’ve all had our doubts.  And on this week’s #ASKAMAMA episode, Madeleine offers her thoughts on the bigger picture and suggests that by simply changing the way we think about it, we can get our eco-confidence back one recycled coffee cup at a time.

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If you missed last week’s Top Three Toddler Tantrum Tips, click HERE!

And click HERE for the previous week’s DIY Natural Body Lotion episode!

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Here’s how you can connect with Madeleine:

E-mail:  info@sweetmadeleine.ca
Instagram: @sweet.madeleine
Twitter:  @MadeleineSix
Facebook/SweetMadeleine

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Don’t forget that starting in a couple of weeks, the effervescent writer/blogger/small biz owner Kat Armstrong will be joining us for 4 weeks as the next Mama on the #ASKAMAMA series, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

Here’s how you can submit a question for Kat:

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 (link in sidebar) & either drop me a private message or post the question to my wall

Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com

Fill out the trusty ol’ form below!

#ASKAMAMA Monday with Madeleine Somerville: Toddler Tantrum Tips!

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It’s Week Two with author and eco-blogger Madeleine Somerville!

In today’s episode she gives her Top Three Toddler Tantrum Tips, and passes along some sage words of wisdom she once received for us parents to keep in our back pockets at all times!

And if you missed last week’s DIY Natural Body Lotion episode, just click HERE!

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Here’s how you can connect with Madeleine:

E-mail:  info@sweetmadeleine.ca
Twitter & Instagram:  @MadeleineSix
Facebook/SweetMadeleine


And of course, here’s how you can ask a question for an upcoming episode:

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

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

Head to my Facebook page (link in sidebar) & 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’ form below!

 

#ASKAMAMA Monday with Madeleine Somerville: Natural DIY Body Lotion!

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Welcome Madeleine Somerville, eco-blogger and author of All You Need Is Less: The Eco-friendly Guide to Guilt-Free Green Living and Stress-Free Simplicity (currently #4 on Amazon.ca‘s Green Housecleaning list), to the #ASKAMAMA series!

Over the next four weeks, Madeleine will be answering viewer’s questions on everything from DIY Lotion (this week’s episode) to keeping mould out of our kitchen compost, and even to whether or not our seemingly tiny green endeavours are actually making a difference.

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THIS WEEK!  Are you searching for the perfect “natural” body lotion for your sensitive skin?  Ever wonder if you can trust those “organic” claims every high-end moisturizer seems to be making these days?

Madeleine shows us all just how easy it is to whip up your own using just THREE ingredients!  How’s that for witchcraftery??  Click HERE for the recipe, and watch the video above for more info!

Here’s how you can connect with Madeleine:

E-mail:  info@sweetmadeleine.ca
Twitter & Instagram:  @MadeleineSix
Facebook/SweetMadeleine


And of course, here’s how you can ask a question for an upcoming episode:

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

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

– Head to my Facebook page (link in the sidebar) 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’ form below!