Crib to Toddler Bed

From the moment I felt the first movements of Pearce inside my belly, I knew I was going to have a child as wild and crazy as his father. He was always moving and super crazy when I was pregnant. Once Pearce was born and we had discovered that we had a boy, I knew he was going to be just like his Dad. This is where my story will begin.

When I started dating Chris his mother, father and grandparents had told me a bunch of stories about how he was an escape artist, always getting out of bed and going outside to play in the middle of the night, or having to be tied to the tree when camping because he would run away. Well when Pearce was born he was just as eager to get on the move. He rolled over at 7 weeks, started crawling and 5 months and walking at 10 months. Basically since he could walk he could climb, it has been many months of owies, bruises, and little cuts all because our son is always moving faster than he can prepare for.

A little over a month ago it was nap time and Daddy had a few of Pearce’s favorite friends over and Pearce didn’t want to nap, I put him in his crib and he climbed out immediately. This happened about 4 times before we decided okay its time to change his crib into the toddler bed. Pearce had escaped once or twice before this when he had woken from a nap but never like this. So Daddy and his friends adjusted his crib into the toddler bed. We attempted nap time again by putting Pearce in his bed and he climbed out and cried by the door, he ended up falling asleep by the door after about 20 mins and then I went in and moved him into his bed.

For the rest of the week we kept Pearce up a little later at night so that when we would put him in his bed he would be tired. Bed time was a success and nap times got much better. After a month I can gladly say we have only had him fall asleep by the door 2 maybe 3 times and he has gotten into a few things. Yesterday he woke up from his nap while I was in the shower and when I grabbed him all of the diapers were all over his room, he sat there pulling them out individually from the plastic.

For being so good at sleeping in his bed for the month I took Pearce to the book store, for him this is much more exciting than the toy store. Pearce picked out 1 book, much to my surprise he picked out a paper back book, it was the a golden book version of Moana, and for the last few weeks he has slept every night cuddling his Moana book. While we were away in Kelowna Moana hugely helped us get through our 7.5 hour drive home while the Coquihalla was closed.


I have a few tips for parents transferring to toddler bed:

  1. Make the bedroom safe, if your child can get out of their bed they can also touch everything in their bedroom so do a quick check to ensure its all safe!
  2. Be prepared to have them sleep by the door a few times to get the hang of things
  3. Putting your kid to bed when they are more tired will keep them from getting out of their bed.
  4. Ensure you have a guard rail, if your waiting for one to come in the mail, grab a large pillow and place it under a blanket and lay your child on top of the blanket.
  5. You may also find them sitting in their bed while you make dinner reading a book — this will melt your heart!

I promise to share all the details of Kelowna, our Air B and B stay, the winery, the restaurants and all about Chris’s hockey tournament on an upcoming blog!

Happy Mothers Day

I knew for Mother’s Day I wanted to write a special blog. In my life I am surrounded by many amazing mothers. I have my own mother who is my best friend, my rock – basically my first call for everything. Then I have my mother in law, an amazing woman who I have gotten to know over the 10 years I have been with her son and whom has taught me many important things; how to love her son, how to knit (I am not very good), and how to show unconditional love from a distant place. Then I have my Step Mom, who is a strong, caring woman who takes very good care of my dad, and who brought with her 2 amazing men with their own families. Most recently we also had Chris’s dad re-marry and I was given a Step-Mother in law, who brought with her a son and who has helped my father in law make more time for himself and his family (He has always been a crazy workaholic). Plus I have a sister and sister-in-law who are amazing mothers, grand mothers, grandmother in-laws and many friends who are also great moms!

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I am truly blessed by my surroundings, all the mothers in my life are strong, caring, and who are always there to lend an ear, to share some advice and to simply let me vent. This blog is going to be all about the mom’s who influence me the most – my moms. I will start with my own Mother — Felisa Craig, known to most as Lisa. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be my Mom. I would have all my friends over and play “office” and I was Lisa the Successful real estate agent who had 4 kids and who could do it all. That’s who my mom is, the one who does it all; She puts food on the table, she worked long hours, made sure all the bills were paid and that we all had new clothes, shoes that fit and all the permission slips were signed. Four kids is no easy task, I struggle daily with just 1. There were so many things I wanted to ask my Mom about being a mother, So here goes :

  1. What were your biggest fears when you were about to become a mom?
    Whether I would do a good job, having all the little voices in the background telling me how I should do it — if I didn’t listen would it be okay?
  2. What was the biggest challenge for you being a mom?
    Having enough time for each kid. 
  3. If you could freeze time and go back to an age with each of your children what age would you choose?
    Under 3, best time, best giggles. 
  4. While raising your children what was your favourite thing to do in our absence?
    Enjoy the silence – it was rare. 
  5. What advice do you give expecting mothers?
    Do not wish for the milestones, they will come, just enjoy each day. Don’t compare your children to others or books, no 2 children are the same. 
  6. If you could go back and change anything what would it be?
    Allow my children to follow their passions and not what we wanted of them
  7. What was the experience like becoming Nana?
    Amazing, overwhelming, gratifying that one of your children gave you a precious gift to share with you.
  8. What is the best part about being Nana?
    Love the hugs, the kisses, the giggles, each one is a gift from someone who you love, who gave you something new to love back.

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When I was a kid, my favorite memories are of all my family together, whether it be sitting at the table on Sunday with our friends who had slept over, or just the family. Mom making her special pancakes, Dad entertaining everyone with the story of how they met. Or going to Stanley park, and Gastown, walking around going to the old spaghetti factory, and going to the CD shop and getting a new CD. My parents always did their best to give us their full attention, they didn’t talk about work or talk about politics, they talked to us about our week, or our challenges. This is something that I know is a struggle for my husband and I as there is so many more distractions now than there was then. I am thankful for the childhood to which my parents gave me. I am thankful for the memories. It’s funny because reading my Mom’s answers I really feel like her struggles like having enough time are what holds me back most about having more, Will there be enough time for more? But my parents always gave us time and though the time alone with our parents wasn’t as often it was deeply cherished. I am so thankful for my Mom, I can’t imagine my life without her. She is truly the strongest woman I know, determined and methodical, with always more to give.

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Next Mrs Laura Vaughn, My mother in law. Where do I begin? Laura lives in Ontario so we do not see each other too often but we talk at least a few times a week. I think seeing my husband and my mother in law together is what made me know I would love being a mother to a boy. The bond seems to never go away. My husband and is mother have a strange bond and I am sure it leads back to the hockey rink, he has an intense desire to not let his mother down and to make her proud. Each thing he does he calls his mom to tell her about. At first I didn’t understand their bond, I often thought maybe it’s because she’s far away. Then Pearce was born and I understood it, he’s her little boy, her first-born. I imagine I will be the same, always holding on to my little boy.  Laura is a strong woman who works incredibly hard, her two children live in BC so she is constantly making trips out here, or bringing us out there, spoiling us with presents and sending a card for each occasion. She never forgets a birthday, a housewarming, an anniversary, there is always a card in the mail. Laura and I are very alike in that way, very thoughtful. When I married her son this summer, Laura was meticulous about the details, she made our invitations, our programs, our wine labels. She kept me on track with all of the tasks sending me reminders. Then when she came to town, she took me to a florist and she bought me the flowers for my bouquet. When your planning a small wedding these things seem pointless or they did to me, I thought why waste money on flowers, they just die. But the truth is I will probably keep my bouquet forever and Laura knew this. Laura is like me in that all the small details matter, when you go to visit you have a basket of toiletries, from the luffa, to the travel deodorant. I asked Laura the same questions I asked my mom knowing that these questions would bring us closer and give others some understanding of what the mom’s before us thought.

  1. What were your biggest fears when you were about to become a mom?
    I never feared becoming a mother, I feared doing the job properly and childbirth. 
  2. What has been the biggest challenge being a mother?
    I was extremely lucky when I had both my children that I could either take them to work or stay home with them till they went to school. When my son was born I had to balance keeping him quiet and entertained as my husband was a short-haul truck driver and worked odd hours. When my daughter was born my biggest challenge was trying to juggle my time and love between the two  of them.
  3. If you could freeze time at any age for your little ones which age would you choose?
    Frozen 4 and 2 and living in Ontario surrounded by love of a very large extended family. I still look back at this time and consider it the best time of my life. 
  4. What challenges have you encountered while raising your children?
    My biggest challenge raising my kids was being in BC away from my family. In a time with no social media, crazy long distance prices. This was a very hard adjustment. 
  5. If your children were to name something you say often what would it be?
    I need a coffee
  6. When raising your children what was your favorite thing to do in their absence?
    reading a novel or a good soak in the tub
  7. What advice do you give expecting mothers?
    Read everything you can, take advice as it is given and forget it all. No one person is right, no one is wrong. Only you know your child, Trusts your instincts but remember the advice givers mean well. 
  8. Seeing your children now as adults what things are you most proud of that you did to help them become the person they are today?
    I am very proud of how strong and independent my children are. When they were growing up we allowed them to make decisions for themselves. We felt we provided them with the tools to make the right decisions. They did make some wrong decisions along the way and we never punished them per say, but gave them support they needed to turn things around. 
  9. What was the experience like becoming Grandma?
    I have never in my lifer been so emotional as I was when my grandchildren were born. Each experience very different. I refused to leave my Daughter when she was in labor and spent every minute waiting and worrying. When young Sawyer debuted I was overcome with tears of joy and exhaustion. Worried for Colette, There is nothing more upsetting than knowing your child is in pain and you can do nothing to help. When my son’s son was born earlier than planned I missed all the text messages because of the time difference. I woke up to 30+ messages and I cried my eyes out for the fact that I wasn’t there when he needed me to be. And also for missing one of the biggest moments of his life. My daughter is due with her second and I am sure it will be very different as well 
    ** since this was written Sadie May Clarke was born and was 3 days early, Laura also  missed the birth of Miss Sadie who came very quickly. Colette did an amazing job giving birth after arriving at the hospital only 1 hour before. We couldn’t be happier to have our first niece** 
  10. How do you feel about being a grandma?
    I love being a Grandma almost as much as being a mom. My children and grandchildren are my world. I love watching them grow before my eyes and I see so much of my children in my grandchildren. I wish I was closer so I could be more involved. Maybe one day!

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When I first met Laura, She called me and told me she had searched my entire Facebook page, (I will probably do the same to any girl in Pearce’s life) and that she wanted to meet me. It wouldn’t be for a few years till we met. But Laura was very welcoming of me, we have shared many memories over the years, from me helping Laura get dressed in her wedding dress at her wedding, to decorating the hall for Chris and My wedding. Laura’s is a loving and expressive mother. I see so much of me in Laura and I know that’s why Chris loves me. I know that Laura is always only a call away for us and I know we are incredibly blessed to have such amazing mothers in our life.

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Our two steps mom are also amazing mothers, amazing cooks, and always make us feel very welcome in their home. They take the time to stay up to date on our life, and to make our dad’s extremely happy. Chris and I are blessed to have so many people in our lives who love us and love our children as their own grandchildren. Mother’s day isn’t just for our moms, it’s for our step moms, for our all the other moms.

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I want to take a moment to tell all the mothers who have lost a child, no matter the circumstances that just because your child is no longer with us, doesn’t mean you should not celebrate today, You were a mother the day your child was conceived, whether you never met your child, you spent a few days together or you had years. You were a mother, you are a mother, and your incredibly strong, empowering and I have so much respect and admiration for you and all that you have gone through. Remember that we think about you, we celebrate you as well today. Happy Mother’s day. This video was shared by Today’s Parent, I urge you to watch it so that you can better understand what these mothers go through.

 

To lighten the mood, I will also share a video about what us mothers are looking for this Mother’s Day. I hope you all have a fantastic day, remember that today is all about your love for your child and the incredible things you do for them. May today be a day for you. Video By Whats Up Mom’s

xOx Chelsea

Breaking the Habit

I had a pretty happy childhood. The second eldest of four children. It was a lot of work for my mom and dad. They both worked full-time jobs and did stuff on the side. Their lives were extremely busy. Did I mention they had four kids?

When I think about my childhood I don’t have bad memories. I have memories of playing in my back yard in the pool with the neighborhood kids and my siblings. Family day trips to Gastown and Stanley Park. Running around outside and getting dirty. A childhood most people dream their children to have. But I also remember always having to do my chores, ensuring they were done by 5:30 when Dad got home from work. My sister was often the “mom” around the house till mom got home around 6:30-7, telling us kids what to do, dividing the chores up and making sure our younger siblings helped out. With that many kids our house was loud, it was fun but it was strict. My parents as I have previously mentioned in previous blogs were “yellers”.

Dad would round us kids up on Saturday morning for us to get our chores done while Mom was off hosting open houses or helping families find their dream home. When Dad came home and chores weren’t done we would all be scrambling around the house getting them done while dad yelled and Uncle Davey made dinner. I know now this is how my Dad was raised in a house with 8 kids I KNOW my grandparents must have yelled. I have no grudges towards how I was raised or how my parents treated me — AT ALL! But I do see how yelling now makes me feel. When I am yelled at a trigger in my brain goes off; I immediately get upset, get defensive and get super emotional.

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But here is where my story begins; I catch myself all the time, raising my voice at my son. Now when I am discussing yelling I mean yelling “No”, or raising my voice when I don’t necessarily need to. I need to stop this, My son is just starting to really push boundaries and test me. So I know better than anyone that I need to grab this habit by the reigns and get a hold of it. But how? I have been reading so much about how to talk to a toddler, and how to control your frustrations. But how do you get rid of a habit that has been passed down generations?

I realize that some parents parent in this manner I have nothing against it, I just feel so sick when I am yelled at and I can’t grasp why I am yelling at my son. I know it happens most when I am frustrated. Hold on, I need to stop and explain I am not yelling super loud or getting crazy or harming my child, but I do raise my voice more often than I want to. I want to be able to speak to my son and respect him, be his #1 ambassador. I want to take no shit but not raise my voice so much. I feel like now is the time to grab a hold of this habit before he gets older and crazier and I decide its a good idea to have another.

This is one of my most insecure feelings as a mother. Since becoming a Mom I have never felt more in my own skin, more secure, more happy. I just want to be the best mother for my son. So I am reaching out to fellow mothers. What do you do when you get overwhelmed? How do you stop yourself from raising your voice? Also.. am I alone in this world where you have a habit and you feel like the worst person in the world for it? I hope that I have explained myself right for people to understand what I mean.

My son has been sleeping so crappy the last few weeks, My husband and I are literally running on 2-4 hours a night of sleep some days and I know my little monster is just having a really rough go with getting all 4 two year molars early. So I am little bit more irritable that I wish.. But how do I nip this habit in the butt? I am going to continue to read my book “Happiest Toddler on the Block” and just get back to taking time for myself so I can hopefully feel a little less stress.

Anyways I have finished ranting about my parenting failure. Let me know if I am not alone, because I feel like I need to hear someone else’s struggle, to give me sanity. Being a mom is tough, its the hardest job I have ever had but oh gosh is it not the most rewarding.

PS. I have got some really exciting stuff coming up, I am going to be featuring some local vendors, Going to be doing some Easter Weekend Recaps from Pearce’s First Easter Egg hunt. So Stay tuned lots of fun stuff coming up for April.

xOx Chelsea 

How I built my Mom Squad

When I announced my pregnancy on Facebook – (my husband thought it was a silly thing to do) – We had very few friends who had children. I had a few girlfriends message me that they were pregnant and keeping it quiet still, and I had a few girlfriends who had already announced.

So I was blessed in the fact that I had people to talk to about this, some of these people only had me. These people became my safe place, a place for me to go to with my concerns, my insecurities and my anxiety about motherhood, pregnancy and everything in between. For me it made my pregnancy experience so much better, sometimes in pregnancy your feelings aren’t all wonderful beautiful thoughts. Sometimes your scared and overwhelmed and knowing someone is going through that with you is probably the most reassuring and settling feeling you can feel.

When my son Pearce was born we lived in New Westminster with my father in law as we searched for our first home. I have never felt so alone, secluded and overwhelmed in my life. Don’t get me wrong I have a loving partner, my husbands family came to stay when our son was first born, but at the time my car was broken down, we lent our car to the family visiting and I was so far away from my family and friends. The Fraser Valley is a weird place, people don’t tend to venture from mission to Vancouver or new west regularly so I didn’t have many visitors. So I reached out to my support system I had created through social media and it really got me through those first 3 months with Pearce in New West until we moved. 

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It was during this time, I created my network, my support system my mom village, The Squad. My mommy group was vast, it was widely distributed and it grew really quickly. I am not sure if it was the age I had reached in life, how small my home town was, or maybe something in the water but everyone I knew started to have babies. But it seemed we all connected through this new stage together!  I often talked to moms, had them ask me a question and then I would message other moms for answers or vice versus. Finally I thought why not make a Facebook group where we can all talk privately about our concerns, in a respectful manner and bond with each other. I started “From 1 Mom 2 Another” Its a private group on Facebook that you have to be added into (this makes it so that outside members can not see and giving privacy to moms and allowing them to be open and honest!) I started by adding 25 of my mom friends, that I already knew, met at the hospital, met through friends and then they added their friends – I am sure people have left feeling the group gives them nothing – But we currently have 193 members and I lean on these people for more than they know.

This group is my strength on a hard day, my high five on a good day and my back bone when I feel weak. I don’t know what I would do without this support system, there is something about listening to a voice of someone going through the same thing at this moment that is so much more comforting then advice from people who did it years past sometimes.

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While I was on Maternity leave many of the moms were also on leave, so we planned a few outings to meet one another and put some faces to the names. Our first few outings were just the ducky swims in mission. Then we did a few walks in the lower mainland with babies and dogs. A few us even had a few wine nights at each others houses where we brought food and our tiny toed kiddos and talked and played games until Mom bed time – Aka approx 10 pm.

In this group, I have seen kindness in a world where kindness feels rare. I have watched Mothers build their small business and be able to stay home and provide for their family. I have watched mothers on their weight loss journey. I have gotten a million ideas on how to be a better mother to my child. But most importantly, the Mom Squad I am surrounded by has been there for me when I felt nobody else was, or could be.

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If you are a mother and wish to be a part of this group, please message me so that we can add you to our squad/village of mothers.

xOx Chelsea 

Pea’s Nursery

As many moms know creating the perfect nursery is probably the most stressful but necessary thing to do to complete the nesting process for motherhood. Our story is a little different!

When we found out we were pregnant we were renting a condo in Coquitlam and had a roommate! We eventually found out they were selling and we would have to move! So we made the tough decision to move back to my father-in-laws till after Pearce was born since we were ready to make the big purchase of our first home.

The Bassinet we prepared in our fathers home, in the 1 bedroom we shared with 2 dogs, 2 humans and 1 tiny baby.

We welcomed Pearce into the world 2 weeks after moving back. Soon after Pearce was born we started looking for our first home. Once we found it we wouldn’t move for a few months. We ended up Moving in Nov 26, 2015, Pearce was just over 3 months. At this time Pearce was still sleeping in our room, in his bassinet. I knew that I wanted to make a very special room so I started gathering ideas and in January 2016, we created his nursery, here’s the process.

As we plan on having another baby/babies ( if my husband caves) we knew that creating a nursery which was unisex was important to us as we would eventually move Pearce to the larger bedroom and have a new baby in the nursery.

When I had Pearce, we had chosen to keep the gender a surprise so everything was gender neutral and we had grey and yellow everything, with chevron grey as a strong part of the baby’s things. So we kept these colors as our colors for the nursery.

I scowered Pinterest for months, I tossed around the idea of doing chevron stripes on the wall however I found one picture that really stood out to me. 

When I showed my husband he liked it to! So we had our plan! I went off and got the paint and we spent a weekend painting the bedroom.


For me, from the beginning I knew I wanted white furniture, it just reminded me of my first childhood bed. My first bed was a white daybed which I absolutely loved! So we got our beautiful crib at sears, it was a gift from my sister Laken.

When we brought home the crib we actually ended up getting the wrong one and we had to go exchange thankfully sears was really good about getting me a white crib it wasn’t the one I had originally picked out but I liked it better, this crib is now discontinued. But similar styles are available on sears.


After getting the right crib, my mother in law and Mumma my husbands grandma purchased our beautiful bedding from Carousel Designs . It fit our theme perfect! We have also been featured on their instagram @carouseldesigns . I have been super impressed with the quality of the products we received, I think Pearce has too!


Next I re-finished my old dresser for his room (still need to get more knobs), and we purchased a change table off an old bidding site, to me it was not important to spend money on a change table due to the limited time you actually use one, and we got a wicked deal on one that fit perfectly with our nursery! I also picked up a glider chair at a local garage sale that I still need to re-finish!

 


A few of my favorite items that I purchased:

Levana Baby Monitor

was our Levana Baby Monitor, we purchased the one with 1 camera, that can have additional added for later so that we can have just 1 monitor with future babies. We have the Aria monitor, it records video, and allows us to talk back to Pearce

Owl Night Light

I am absolutely obsessed with Pearce’s night light, it is also a sound maker, it comes with 8 different sounds, 4 white noise sounds and 4 musical sounds as well as a star projector onto the ceiling and the belly lights up for a night light.

humidifier

When I first set up Pea’s Nursery I didn’t think a humidifier was needed but as each cold came and went, we decided to get him one. This one works great and also has a night light feature. The humidifier runs for 10 hours.

Baby Mobile

I absolutely love the baby mobile I got for Pearce, it matched his room perfectly. Purchased from Target, it makes noise and turns.

Something I definitely don’t think worked out for us was the soft fold away toy box you see featured it’s by Skip Hop and Pearce always leaning on the edge bent it pretty bad!

Hand painted by Moi
Artwork by @bonnysalami on instagram
The next Project 
Artist work by @chrystalized_artz on instagram

6 Things to save a mombie from the apocalypse of motherhood 

This week has been, rough to say the least! My almost 18month old has been having a rough go with sleeping, we just got over being sick and it seems like the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and stress are taking over my mombie body! (Mombie = zombie mom) so I have been doing a few things that always make me feel better on a run down week, which I thought I would share because it can be extremely hard sometimes being a mombie!

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1. Wash your face in the morning and at night with a hot wash cloth!
I recently started this one when I read how good it made people feel and how it was also a celebrity skin secret! The truth is I have had such a rough week, that I probably spend 10 minutes washing my face with the hot wash cloth and it’s almost just nice to spend 10 minutes not thinking and just feeling the warmth on my face! After I feel clean, refreshed and a little stronger!

2. 10 push ups & good stretching before bed. 
A) So the push ups really started when I lost a tremendous amount of weight a few years ago and went from not being able to do 1 push up to being able to do quite a bit! So when I got pregnant I never wanted to lose my ability to do push ups so I did 10 before bed and when I got to big I did angled wall push ups and this really just made me feel strong and accomplished. Something about being able to do a mans push up makes me feel like I can take on anything!

B) Stretches before bed well, for me sleep is everything! I often joke that if I dream about lunges it means I worked out? Haha well why I think it’s important to stretch before bed is that sleep is incredibly important for functioning. Your body needs good rest, the day has been long, and hard and you need to unwind. After a work out you stretch to unwind, relax your muscle. Before a work out you stretch to loosen things up and prepare for your workout. Think about it this way sleep is your workout and you must prepare! Try a few stretches maybe add one each night, I really like to touch my toes, stretch my arms out backwards, reach as high as I can side to side… I find on nights I stretch I sleep a little better!

3. Read a book! 
Something about reading has always relaxed me, takes me to a place outside of my problems and allows me to just go somewhere else. Staring at a tv can be exhausting on your eyes, and if your like me your brain can feel overloaded after a day spent on the computer. I am reading a few books right now that I am really enjoying, I spend my nights when Pearce has his night time snack reading “The Happiest Toddler on the Block – Harvey Karp M.D.” Which I am learning so much from and am spending so much more time analyzing my frustrations in a more positive way! when I read on my lunch and before bed I am totally sucked into “the Girl in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware” its incredibly suspenseful!

4. Get outside! 
My days our spent inside on a computer screen so by the time I get home I feel mentally drained like technology has sucked me dry! So I find if I don’t get outside my mood is like sink into the couch! But if I go outside even just to walk my two crazy dogs, or take sweet Pearce to the park, it makes my mood much more positive. I like the nights I can take Pearce to the park before I feel like I actually spent time with him, learning and watching him grow. Tonight we went to the park and for the first time he was interested in picking up leaves. Which to me was so neat, it may seem small but it’s exciting to see his interest in nature and not just toys!

5. Hug your partner. 
Life is hard, it’s exhausting and well sometimes you just need physical touch. Sometimes your partner needs it, so after work come home and hug your partner, tell them you love them, and ask them about their day! That moment might be the only moment you spend with them because your exhausted and after you fight your toddler to bed all you can do is sink into dream land.

6. spend time with friends and family. 
When I am feeling overwhelmed I like to hide. I don’t like to see people or talk to people or even do anything with anyone I just like to be in my world. But that’s probably because I am a huge home body, who really needs me time. I look forward to nights alone spending time with myself. But when I feel overwhelmed it’s important for my sanity to speak to my free counselors aka my friends and family! So I force myself to go on small outings or have small visits with friends, like going to the park with dogs, having a friend over for a play date or even just talking on the phone!

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These few things have been really helping me these last few weeks which I have found to be overwhelming. When I feel this way I become a huge secluded loner. I don’t leave my house and I don’t usually want to talk to humans. So forcing myself to take care of myself and get out, always becomes a challenge! The important thing is to remember that we are the biggest influence in our children’s lives so being happy, healthy and present is our job! If you have anything you do for yourself that helps at times like this please share!

xOx

C

5 things fellow moms really need to hear from one another 

It’s been a rough few weeks first my sweet little pea was sick and now I’m fighting a horrible cold and have no voice so last week we took a much-needed hiatus from the blog and rested and hopefully we will be 100% next week!

Seeing how I am writing this on Bell Let’s Talk day I thought it would be a fitting topic; depression is real and post par tum depression is very real, I felt I should write a blog about what us moms really want to hear from one another!


1. You are doing a great job!

Not only do we need to hear this from fellow moms but we also need to be sure to tell moms when they are doing good job! Being a mom, a new mom, a mom of four, any mom is hard work! It’s the most selfless job we can do and it will drain you, bring you to tears and basically make you mental, so be sure to give credit to others who are working just as hard as you!


2. What you’re doing is right! 

We live in an era where giving criticism has become a natural and daily occurrence that we do sometimes without even thinking. It’s important to understand that no 2 children are the same and that mothers really do know best! Even if it’s not what you would do recognize that if she’s not asking for help and it’s working for her, she’s doing it right!


3. Thank you for teaching me_____! 

It’s important that when someone has a great idea you let them know! If it helped you, you should tell that mom! Not only does it feel amazing to receive a compliment, but knowing you helped another mom with this super hard job called motherhood, will make her feel like a million bucks!


4. It’s okay to not be happy everyday! 

So much of being a mom is people asking you endless questions. How’s breastfeeding? How’s your baby sleeping? How are you sleeping? How’s your body bouncing back? When’s the next baby? It’s exhausting, not only that but being a mom is exhausting! When you haven’t gotten any sleep and you really just want to cry – cry! You deserve a good cry it will help! Not everyday is good, not everyday will be the best! Being a mom is the hardest job you will ever do, recognize that! So remember that even though the expectations people have for being a mom is that it is the most rewarding best thing ever, it is also a selfless hard task that you can’t exactly give up on! Having bad days are okay! So if you don’t feel happy, talk to someone because chances are they have been there!

And

5. I am here for you!

Being a mom is so hard and sometimes we need a break we need someone to call to talk us off the ledge. Sometimes we feel like we just can’t take another melt down we can’t take another bite on the nipple or another hissy fit. Knowing you have someone to lean on can really help and sometimes that’s all a mom really needs is knowing your there even if she never asks!

xOx

Christmas traditions, old, new and one days! 


Since I was a little girl, I can remember always doing the same thing on Christmas. Doing it each year I never thought of it as tradition but now this year changing it I know it was tradition and my heart is a little sad over it.

In the Christmas season we had many traditions. I remember always going to the tree farm having hot apple cider and picking up my moms perfect flocked tree. Then coming home and setting it up. Decorating at our house was always an art for my mom so helping was left to hanging our own ornaments that she had for us. Then we would watch Christmas movies and have hot chocolate. At Christmas when we were younger we would go and pick out fancy dresses which we would wear to sit on Santa’s lap, but slowly this got harder and harder to do as our family grew.


But for as long as I can remember on Christmas Eve we would get dressed up, and go for Appies at my Kookum and Papas, the feast was always delicious. From meat platters, veggie platters to chocolate and grandmas home-made cookies. When we were younger my uncle would dress up as santa and hand us each 1 gift, then grandpa and kookum would give us one. Santas was always a toy. Kookum and Papa’s a sweater from Eaton’s. (Yes I am old enough that I shopped at Eatons!) Then us kiddos would head into my grandparents huge basement and play while the grown ups hung out upstairs. When it was time to go my dad would drive the long way home showing us all the Christmas Lights, we would get home and prepare our treats for Santa and the reindeer. Once that was done we would all gather around the tree and Mom would bring out our one present, fresh pajamas! We would get dressed in our new pjs and head to bed.


Growing up in a family of 4, it was like an unwritten rule that whoever woke up first woke up the others. Then as soon as all us kids were up mom and dad allowed us to open our stockings while we waited for them to get out of bed. In our stocking always a tooth-brush, magazine, orange at the bottom and other goodies. Then it was time for breakfast, Mom always made her famous pancakes and dad told us tales of catching santa outside and having to help the reindeer and santa get on their way. Then it was present time, everyone open a present at the same time and we showed everyone what we got than next gift, always making sure everyone had a gift. After that we would get dressed and ready to go for our early dinner at our Uncles. Slowly each year our numbers have changed, shrinking and growing as we lose members to unfortunate events and gain them through the growth of family. What has always remained the same is pjs on Christmas Eve and papa and Kookum’s on Christmas Eve.

This year, we are going to my father in-laws on the island. Last year him and his wife bought a beautiful home up in the forest and we haven’t spent a Christmas with him in the 9 years we have been together so this year is his turn! I am sad because there won’t be fresh pjs or treats at papas and kookums or an orange in the bottom of my stocking. But I love that I feel this way, I love that I am blessed enough to have had these traditions instilled in me from my family. So with that it became apparent to me that Chris and I must come up with traditions for our family.

So I started researching traditions, it’s super important to me that Pearce has these. It doesn’t have to be going to the same place each year but just something that we do each year. One thing I will carry on is always giving him fresh pjs on Christmas Eve, which seems to be a pretty common idea. But one thing I did last year and will do again this year is stamping his feet. I love the idea of watching his feet grow!


So my thoughts were to start Christmas traditions with Pearce so I reached out and asked people, what is your favorite Christmas traditions; I got a couple who open reindeer gifts on Christmas Eve, some who open pjs and some who get to pick a small gift. Another was whoever finds the pickle ornament on the tree gets to open the first present. Some it was just decorating the tree while enjoying hot chocolate and baileys as a family. A few friends go to midnight mass. Some people gather on Christmas Eve for games and appies. Some people get all their family together and go on ski trips, or stay in a cabin bundled by the fire before the holidays. Many people make old family recipes of cookies and treats.

I wanted to write this blog to give me ideas of how to create a special holiday season for my family as well to help young families create traditions in their home. But then I realized as I tried to brain storm on how I could make Christmas really special for Pearce that something all the traditions I could find had in common was family. I realized that I was already giving Pearce something that would be a tradition and that was being with our family. Even though each year has been different it has been filled with the people we love. Although there will be tiny traditions each year the only thing I really want to be tradition is that Pearce is always with family and people who love him and maybe a pair of fresh pjs.

If you have tradition that you think would be great for other families I would love you to hear it, Comment here or on our Facebook Page : Chasing My Mini Monster Blog or Instagram @monsterzmama.

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Look forward to hearing from all of you! Merry Christmas from The Helm Clan To all Of you!

 

The Transition back to work…

In Canada we are EXTREMELY blessed to have 1 complete year off work. This year is spent bonding, teaching, learning, all while still in your jammies if your me. But in all seriousness, it is a great experience.

My year was extremely busy, immediately following our sons birth we were busy house hunting and buying our first home. Then moving from the City to the Country I like to say – New West to Mission. Then after Christmas we flew to Ontario so that Pearce could meet all my husbands extended family, in an extremely jam packed 5 days. We got engaged, planned a wedding in 3 months and got Married. It was a HUGE year for us, that I wouldn’t change. Of course all of this made the year go by fast, counting down from one event to the next.

Other than our big trip to Toronto with a 6 month old, we also went on some mini vacations. We took Pearce on his first camping trip in Squamish which was a lot of fun and I will definitely blog about. We went on our honeymoon with our son to Whistler. We went on a day trip to whistler when Pearce was first born with his great grandma. We went to the Island 3 times, twice with my husband to visit his dad and once with my mom. It was a GREAT year, which I will cherish forever.

But as the saying goes, all good things must end. As did my maternity leave, so quick it felt. Returning to work ever lingering over my head, what would work be like. Will it be hard going back and having Pearce so far away.

So one thing you should know is that I literally spent the year with my son. Only being away from him over night 1 time – our wedding night. To me that year was meant for My son and I. Plus I literally miss him 10 mins after I put him to bed.. so imagine being away.. its HARD!!

As previously mentioned in my breastfeeding blog I had made the decision to return to work and continue to breastfeed. There are a few things I wish I had done to better prepare myself and Pearce for the transition. I wish I had pumped and saved milk more while I was off work because pumping at work I am barely able to keep up. I wish I had started waking up at the time I go to work to get him used to it, we had a few really rough weeks. I wish that I had moved his nap time to the time of daycare, so that it wouldn’t be so tough for him to stay up till 1pm.

But oh well you live and you learn. Anyways in order to get ready for back to work I got a spot in my daycare 5 months before my return to work, I had been put on a short wait list. One thing I looked for in a daycare was someone I could feel comfortable with. I wanted it to be somewhere where the kids had a stable figure where there wouldn’t be people coming and going. I wanted somewhere where there were activities such as field trips, crafts, and walks. Pearce and I spent so much time walking around Mission that I didn’t want him to give that up. I lucked out running into my old daycare lady at a baby show in October. She is great, and does all those things, not to mention I went to her as a child. I love seeing the pictures she posts of the kids all playing together.

Next we transitioned Pearce into daycare, starting by Pearce and I going a few times together and playing, then by me dropping Pearce off for an hour, two hours, 4 hours, and then 6 hours. I picked him up Early on the 6 hour one because I was going out that night and wanted to spend as much time with him as I could with my monster. Once I felt good about him in daycare, It settled me a bit. I didn’t want Pearce to be at daycare from the time I left till I got home because I felt it was just such a long day for the little guy, So my mom helps us out by taking Pearce from 6-8:30 then dropping him off. It also gives her time with her grandson.

One thing I was really worried about was my wardrobe. Most of my office attire doesn’t fit still. My body has changed and I have accepted that. All of my office attire was from me losing 20 lbs, so its a little scary to jump back into. So I was overjoyed by my husband and family gifting me money for my birthday and gift cards to go buy a new wardrobe. Which I did. Many new staples to create a great work wardrobe it was nice to have clothes that fit properly again. I even bought a few pairs of jeans, which is crazy if you know me! The last couple days before work were spent with many cuddles, and good memories I will cherish for always.

The night before I packed all our lunches cuddled Pearce extra hard before going to bed. Went in 10 mins later and watched him sleep, then went to bed. The next morning woke up at 5, got ready, walked the dogs, got our lunches all ready and loaded up the car. I work for a great company who was awesome about my transition, my first day was getting my desk together. I had started in a completely new region, so it was basically like starting a new job. Before I had left I was working for our american side of the company and now to the Canadian side which is very different. But with good coaches and co-workers I am slowly losing the baby brain, and getting back into the groove. There are days that are really hard and I miss Pearce a lot. But then there are days and I am being honest that I am so exhausted I am kinda glad I can go to work and escape for a few hours.

Going back to work has really made me cherish my time with my family, and make the most of my time with Pearce. Some people think of day care as allowing someone else to raise your child, but I love how much Pearce learns daily, new words, new actions, he is learning so quickly. He loves playing with all the other kids and coming home and being our crazy little monster. And I enjoy being able to go to work and have adult conversations, as well as start learning again. Good luck to all the moms going back to work, it isn’t a easy decision but so many moms do it. Supporting one another is key!

 

P.S. Next Week I’ve got a Christmas give away for you! Stay tuned xo