Summer 2019 RECAP!

This year was a huge year for us! For starters I have been off work on maternity leave, and it was a huge adjustment. Going from pregnancy, to recovering from a c- section with a infant and a toddler. It was hard.

But I really wanted to make the most of my summer off work. Since we aren’t planning on having any more kids, I knew this would most likely be my last summer at home with my kiddos. So it was extremely important for me to make the most of it.

I tried to take the kids to do some fun stuff and wanted to put together a blog to share all our fun summer memories, so that we can look back on it, and to share some fun things for our friends to do!

1. 2019 Vancouver Top 30 Mom Blogger.

I want to start off talking about this event because it was incredible. I have discussed lots about how I suffer from Social Anxiety, so going to this event was something I knew would be challenging and rewarding!

The event was absolutely awesome, the women I stood next to were incredible, strong, women, and mothers. I am so blessed to have been nominated along side them. It was so great to step outside my comfort zone and meet with women on the same path as me. The swag bags that http://www.vancouvermom.com put together were incredible! I absolutely loved this event, and hope to attend future events as an alumni.

2. Maple Ridge Park

We went to Maple Ridge park a few times this summer. We absolutely love this park, it has a huge water park, a massive playground and access to kanaka creek. It’s got tons of shade and was the perfect place to bring a baby and toddler that was fun for both.

3.Maan Farms Country Experience

Maan Farms is one of our favorite Farms in the Fraser Valley. Pearce absolutely loves it, we made it there 3 times this summer, one time getting rained out, one was a gifted experience from Maan Farms. We are truly blessed to live such a short drive from here. Our last visit we checked out the Beautiful Sunflower festival they put on this year and it was Pearce’s favorite. He loved running around looking for living room set ups and different things to explore. As always we checked in on our friends the goats, chickens, pigs and bunnies to see they are all doing well. I also finally did a wine tasting and I have to say, there wasn’t 1 bottle I didn’t like! Their wine is absolutely delicious and totally not what you would expect!

4. Fraser Valley trout hatchery

For Pearce’s end of the year field trip at preschool we attended the Abbotsford fish hatchery, which I haven’t done in years! It was so interesting to see him learn and enjoy all the fun the hatchery had to offer. His favorite part was going outside to their man made lake and feeding the fish. He didn’t want to leave he had so much fun!

5.Pender Island

We took a day trip to Pender Island to visit my husbands family who lives there. It was a beautiful sunny day – perfect for taking ferries. We spent the day playing in their beautiful yard and then the moms hoped in the pick up and headed to the Twin Island Cider tasting room and tried their delicious cider made with many of the Pender island apples. From their we jetted off to Victoria to spend some time with more of my husbands family before coming home the following morning. It really was the perfect quick get away.

6. Around our hood!

We did lots around our little neighborhood as well. From many many walks to the horse at the end of the street to walking to see the goats and mini horse near by. We also re-did our fence this year which was a big 2 weekend project that is still not quite done! We had many play dates with friends on the street and even took Pearce’s bike on some adventures around town. We also checked out Music in the Park at the Fraser River Heritage Park.

7. BBQ season!

We had and attended tons of fun barbecues this summer. From our beginning of summer bbq across the street to our end of summer bbq across the street there was tons inbetween. My husbands friends hosted a super fun Canada Day bbq where we go all the guys together for group pics with their kiddos and attended an Italian style bbq where the food was so good you ate all night!

8. Cultus Lake Adventure Park and Cultus Lake Water slides.

We were incredibly blessed to be gifted free passes to both parks so we made 2 days out of it. We attended an event in July at the waterslides and Pearce is still talking about how it was so much fun and he wants to go back! He literally didn’t stop smiling all day, we put a full 6 hours in at the waterslides. The adventure park was fun as well, it was his first time going on rides and he had a blast! It was so nice to go somewhere that had so much for toddlers! It was also super nice because it had lots of shade to hide with Brooks while we watched his brother go on rides! They even had delicious spiral potatoes!

9. Birchwood Dairy Farms

I have been enjoying Birchwood Dairy ice cream for years!! So when I was told how close their farm was we made a few stops this summer. Pearce loved playing on the old tractors and Brooks actually picked grass and fed it to the goats who were extremely gentle with him!

10. Savona BC, Grandma’s 90th Birthday

I am incredibly blessed to have a grandma who is still around to teach me lessons daily! She also created one huge family, that loves and adores her. This year my cousin and uncle planned a huge bash in Savona, BC, for her. We drove up early that morning as my Dad lives there and got to hang out with my step brothers kiddos before heading down to the beach to swim, play, mingle and eat! It was an incredible day and completely worth the drive. It is always so relaxing visiting my Dad and Sophie because they are so helpful with the kids that it was actually okay going up without Chris this time! I can’t wait for our next visit!

11. Rolley Lake, Mission, BC

This year we took a few trips to Rolley Lake, it’s one of my favorite lakes in the Mission area and is only 15 mins from our house. It was so relaxing to spend time with friends on the beach watching the kids play and stopping Brooks from eating sand every 2 mins. This is definitely something I will really miss next summer!

12. Whistler, BC

We took a quick trip to Whistler, which was supposed to be kid free however things happen and we ended up with Brooks. While Pearce was at Chris’s dads for the long weekend, going to movies, playing in the ocean, riding trains and getting all out spoiled. We went to whistler with Brooks, our by the pool. Had dinner at the keg – which is my favorite in the summer because it’s lobster season! We also just walked around the village which was super relaxing! We headed back the next morning but stopped in Squamish at a cool little cafe for brunch.

13. Pearce Turned 4!

This year by Pearce’s request we had his birthday celebration at Play abby. This meant that mom couldn’t go crazy because I had to pack everything and it was in a small room. But we made it work, keeping things pretty minimal we had a Secret Life of Pearce theme, a play on secret life of pets. He had an absolute blast and all the kids played and ate cake, and enjoyed snacks. The best part, we didn’t have to clean up! For Pearce’s birthday he got a trampoline, so much of the summer has been spent jumping, putting the sprinkler underneath or hanging in our little pool.

14. Castle Fun Park

We went to Castle Fun Park twice in one weekend. The first day we just played games before Chris went to work. The second day we went back and played mini golf which we realized is probably best done before or after a nap! Pearce was pretty cranky and didn’t want to be the best participant but we made do, and went to birchwood farms after!

15. Agassiz, BC

My sister works at an adorable little shop called Blue Dandelion Gifts and Collectables, it’s a cute little gift shop in Aggassiz, BC. We went and visited her and got ice cream next store. Then checked out the train museum across the street and spent the majority of our time running around Pioneer Park which had amazing views of the surrounding mountains. I am already planning our next trip!

Now that summer is over we are full blown back into busy schedule of junior kindergarten, swimming lessons, hockey practice and me trying to function while being a chauffeur. It was a great summer and it’s incredibly sad that it’s over but I am going to make the most of our fall together before I head back to work! But I’ve gotta know what did you do this summer? Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite thing was this summer!

xOx Chelsea

10 Things I Want to do Before Mat Leave is Over

It hit me this week that I go back to work in 2.5 months, and I am emotional about it – but that’s a topic for another blog. What I want to talk about today is the stuff I want to do with the boys before I go back to work. I have spent a lot of the summer being anxious and not doing as much as I wanted to with the boys, but it is turning into fall which means our little 4-year-old gets really busy! So, I have got to squeeze in some fun before I go back to work and here is a list of all the fun things I want to do with the boys before I go back in November.

img_0799
Vancouver Aquarium October 2018
  1. Science world – I think Science world would be so much more fun with Pearce now as he is older and would probably really like exploring it.
  2. H.R. MacMillan Space Center – When I was a kid it was called the Planetarium and it was actually one of my favorite field trips, I also think Pearce would really like this place as he is super into the moon and stars and learning about Earth. I think he would be mind blown to learn there are more planets.
  3. The World of Kidtropolis – I have been wanting to check this place out for awhile now it looks so cool and I think any kid would love this place.
  4. The Vancouver Aquarium – I usually take Pearce to the aquarium every year he absolutely loves it, we went last October while I was pregnant, But I think 1 more time before I go back is needed.
  5. Cultus Lake Adventure Park – I have never been to this adventure park not even when it was mini golf! So, I am excited to do this – I think we may try to do this on September Long.
    img_0374
    White Rock,  Aug 2016
  6. White Rock Beach – Pearce absolutely loves playing at the beach and Brooks is really starting to like it too. One of my favorite things to do with Pearce was to take him to White Rock and play on the beach and get ice cream and fish and chips after. Think we definitely need to take Brooks.
  7. All our Favorite Farms – We are big farm visitors and we are blessed to live close to so many, here are the ones we plan to visit: Maan Farms, Taves Farms, Birchwood Dairy Farms, Chilliwack Corn Maze, Krause Farms, Laity Pumpkin Patch.
  8. The Drive in – I would love to take my hubs truck, throw a mattress in the back and sit and watch a movie under the stars with all 3 of my fav guys.
    img_1094
    Mill Lake, September 2018
  9. Mill Lake in Abbotsford – Its so funny this spot is so close to me and I never go! I would love to take the boys and do a picnic and spend the day there, maybe bring Pearce’s bike so he can ride all around
  10. Stanley Park – When I was a kid one Sunday a month my family would drive into Vancouver and we would spend the day in Stanley Park, or Gas Town and these are honestly my favorite memories I would love to take my boys to Stanley Park for the day – I think they would love it!
img_1228
Laity Pumpkin Patch, October 2018

There is so much more I want to do, like walks around Hayward Lake, Trips to the Library, Visits to Great Papa and Great Grandma, but I want to know what is your favorite thing to do in the Fall in the Lower Mainland?

XoX Chelsea

28-day Kegel Challenge with The Vagina Coach

After giving birth to Pearce 3.5 years ago, I have often thought things felt different down there. At first, I thought it was normal to feel that way after childbirth. But since I have read a lot about how it isn’t normal – oddly enough I thought, ah I will just wait to figure it out after I give birth to my second, maybe it’ll straighten things out. Funny enough since becoming a Mom I often put my health and my well being second to everyone else’s and given that it doesn’t affect me directly and I am not in a lot of pain. I have now ignored my feelings for nearly four years. When the opportunity came for me to take part in the Kegel Challenge, I was excited. It was finally time for me to make myself and my health a priority.

Something I struggled with previously after Pearce and that I have been hearing woman complain about my whole life is the “Mommy Pouch” all I hear them say is my baby gave me this Mommy pouch and I am never going to lose it, But what if I told you that the Kegel Challenge can help? Kegel exercises can engage your deep transversus abdominis which are the deep abdominal muscles that when activated will reduce the Mommy Pouch. Kegels not only help with the Mommy Pouch; they also help to reduce pain during intercourse. Intercourse should be enjoyable for both parties, and it should not only happen to satisfy your partner. By doing Kegels you will improve blood circulation in the pelvic floor and the vagina, which will increase your sexual arousal and decrease the pain during intercourse.

 

pevic

 

Maybe your problem is a urine problem? Well Kegels got you there too! By doing Kegels you are strengthening your muscles which prevent urination and will make it less likely to have Urinary incontinence. Its also important to note that Kegels are a big factor in helping with Prolapsed bladder (our bladder is held in a position by supportive pelvic floor muscles and tissue – as pictured above. When tissues are stretched and or become week they can bulge through the layer into the vagina). Symptoms of a Prolapsed Bladder: Discomfort or pain in the pelvis, ball type tissue in the vagina, difficulty urinating, frequent bladder infections, and stress incontinence. By doing Kegels when you have a prolapsed bladder you can help to strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and can often significantly improve the prolapsed bladder depending on the severity. Also, by doing these exercises consistently through the challenge you will see better results as many women tend to do Kegels infrequent therefor taking longer to build the strength of their muscles.

Now to give you the goods, Starting May 21st , the amazing “Vagina Coach” Kim Vopni has designed a 28-day Kegel Challenge designed to help you learn how to properly perform a Kegel, which oddly enough 30% of woman aren’t performing correctly. It has also been proven when performed regularly you can achieve the following benefits reduced back pain, reduced pelvic pain, less pain during intercourse, and reduced incontinence – some have even seen symptoms disappear completely. Woman have also found that from completing Kegels regularly they have been able to lift heavier weights with more control, hold their bladder for longer, their abdominal muscles become stronger and their mid section becomes more toned – bye bye Mommy Pouch. The challenge is all through an easy to use App called “Obii” which notifies you daily of your challenges to complete. You also have a chance to win one of 2 Color Gradient Mat Yoga Mats.

OBI_Kegel_instagram_2x_b786364b-b9d4-408a-b6d6-335fb7f04f1c_480x480

I am taking part in this challenge as I have often felt that going to the bathroom is uncomfortable and takes a lot of thought since having my son. It doesn’t flow as easily as it once did, I also am unable to hold my bladder as long as I used to. Not to mention losing the Mommy Pouch, I was unable to lose after having my first son would be a huge bonus. If you want to join me over the next 28 days Starting May 21st on this challenge use discount code Minimonsterz for $10.00 off. With this discount code you get the 28-day challenge for $17 instead of $27, for that low price how could you not put your body first and give yourself the best opportunity to feel like you again! I am so excited to take part in this challenge and will tell you all about it once done, unfortunately the code only applies for the challenge starting on May 21st, so let’s do it together!! Sign up here.

xOx Chelsea