The end of Maternity Leave has Come

Its official, the end of my maternity leave has come and I didn’t think I anticipated being emotional over it, but today (Tuesday, November 12th) I was a complete wreck. I think up until now it felt surreal to be going back, like a day that would never truly come. Until today I spoke to my boss and am all set up to be returning and to put it bluntly SHIT GOT REAL! I cried to my husband, my bestfriend, my mom, basically to anyone who would listen, and then Pearce came up to me and hugged me and he said Mommy I love you, it will be okay. It felt so great to see that together my husband and I have raised such a great compassionate little boy who recognized my sadness and wanted to make me feel better.

9T6A4787

The past year has been absolutely amazing, due to some complications at the end of my pregnancy with Brooks, I went off work 1 month before he was born so I have been out of the office for 13 months, and 13 days when I go back on Monday. I feel so blessed to have gotten to spend so much time with my boys, made so many great memories, as I know some countries some women never receive this time, or this amount of time. I think what is hard for me is that I won’t have Pearce wake me up by asking me to make him breakfast, and asking what our plan is for the day. That we won’t get our daily snuggles in the morning with my coffee and his cartoons. Yes I know I get these on the weekend, But I am a hockey mom now so on the weekends its out the door early to Hockey.

img_5206

There will be less play dates with friends, less time to get things done, less time for slow mornings and busy afternoons. But for as long as I can remember I have been an ambitious woman who loves to work. I strive to succeed at something outside of the home, and to be perfectly honest when I went back to work after Pearce – I was a better a mom. The time away helped me to make our time more quality, we cherished our time together more and we made it work.

img_4568

I don’t worry about the kids, we have an amazing daycare provider who was my provider when I was a child – My children love her. I worry about how the house will stay clean, how the lunches will get made, how dinner will be on the table in time, and how I will make time for my workouts which help me to be a better person mentally. It seems every parent just wants more hours in a day, more energy to get things done and a few more cuddles from their babies.

img_5504

At the end of the day I know that we will do what works for our family. That it will take adjusting to see how everything will work and that I have 3 big supporters behind me everyday (My Helm Clan) Not to mention all our friends and family who support us. I spent last night going through pictures of the last year and CRYING a lot! But it was such happy tears, I truly had the best year off work!

img_6315

So Back in August I wrote a blog post about “10 things I want to do before Mat Leave is Over” and I thought it would be fun to share how much of it actually got done in the last 2 months!

  1. Science World: Never went – I sat down and thought this might be more fun when we can go as a family in a year or two and Brooks can enjoy it just a little bit more!
  2. H.R. Macmillan Space Center – Never went! – We are still planning on taking my son as he is SUPER into space, he talks to us all the time about the planets, the solar
    system and the moon! He will definitely be getting some space stuff for Christmas!
  3.  The World Of Kidtropolis – Never Went! – I might try to go this weekend before I go back on Monday but who knows if we will make it! Definitely need to check this out soon though!
  4. The Vancouver Aquarium – WE WENT! – This one we definitely got done, my girlfriend Crystal is a Marine Biologist who grows Jelly Fish, so Pearce got to feed the jelly fish, and go behind the tanks and he really enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun!
  5.  Cultus Lake Adventure Park – WE WENT! – We spent the last day of Summer (Labor Day) at Cultus Lake Adventure Park it was so much fun, I loved how stroller friendly it was, and how much Pearce could actually go on for being 4! It was super family friendly with lots of bathrooms, kid friendly meals, and lots of benches around to take seat on, my only complaint – Parking was a bit hard to find, but again we went on the last day of Summer when everyone was trying to squeeze in the last bit of fun!
  6. White Rock Beach – Never Went – I am really sad about this one, because when I was on Mat leave with Pearce I went a few times, and really enjoyed it. However living in Mission we are so lucky to be surrounded by beautiful lakes, that it just made more sense to stick close to home and enjoy some of our favorite beaches a short drive from home.
  7. Enjoy all our favorite Farms – We Went to 3/6! I am pretty bummed I didn’t make it to Laity Pumpkin Patch or Krause Berry Farms as those are two of my favorite places to go and I haven’t been to the Chilliwack corn maze since I was a kid! However we did go to Taves Farm and had an awesome time with a bunch of our friends, we even lost a few in the corn maze. I enjoyed ALOT of Birchwood Dairy Icecream, even at home sometimes! But of Course we went to Maan Farms a lot, this is by farm Pearce’s Favorite Farm, we go to them for their amazing Easter Egg hunt every year, their pumpkin patch and for the first time this year I attended the Sunflower Festival which was absolutely stunning!! I Can’t wait to make a lot of memories at all these farms for years to come!
  8.  The Drive In – Never Went! – Aiming to do this in August was wishful thinking. I think our kids might be a little too young for this still yet, but I definitely wanna take the kids, put an air mattress in the back of hubbys truck and just enjoy the family and the movies outside!
  9.  Mill Lake in Abbotsford – We Went! – So last month we had beautiful weather and my kids were driving me up a wall, and I thought how can I get Pearce to burn some serious energy? Lets make him ride his bike all around Mill Lake in Abby. Well lets just say he did not enjoy himself, he now calls it the really long lake, and it has made his feeling about Abbotsford a little bit sour. I told him he should be proud for riding his bike all the way around and hes only 4!! I made some cool videos of it too!
  10.  Stanley Park – Never Went – I really should have taken advantage of Stanley Park while at the Aquarium but to be honest my kids were being giant jerks that day, I know not nice to say Jerks but they were! So I just headed home. But Stanley Park holds a lot of really good family memories for me so I know my husband and I will take the kids, and that its not going anywhere!

 

img_5751-1

I love making lists for the future and taking time to review how I actually did on it. I have to say 4/10 is a pretty bad score, and I should probably try to slam a few of these in before the end of the year! Anyways, wish me luck on the journey of going back to work with two little babies, because this is a whole new world I don’t know if I am ready to enter!

xOx Chelsea

Advertisements

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I think it is incredible that we have dedicated a day to this. Mental health is a invisible illness that is currently affecting 1 in 5 adults and countless children.

9T6A4532

I have tried to be very open about the struggles I currently face with my mental health. But this topic is so vast and effects so many people around us without us even knowing. This week I took part in the #okaymovement – A movement designed to show people that just because we put a smile on our face for a picture does not mean we are happy. Something that unfortunately has become our norm. The past couple weeks have been very hard for me and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that because I am trying to build my following, I am spending more and more time on social media. Looking at others highlight reels and questioning my life. Am I a good mother? Do I have a good bond with my children? Do my children know everything they need to know?

We are living in a society where the norm is to pretend, we live perfect lives. To not share our struggles, to tell everyone we are FINE. The truth, I’m not fine! I feel good today, but 2 days ago was another story. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to spend time with my kids, I didn’t want to workout, I didn’t want to shower or see anyone.

img_4393

Below are a few tips on how I get through the days when I feel like this:

  1. Open the curtains and let the light in
  2. Get outside – even if its raining, or if its too hard to fathom going outside, open a window for fresh air
  3. Have a nice hot shower or bath, as long as you need just let yourself soak
  4. Talk to someone, anyone, even if you do not feel comfortable, more people than you know are also suffering.
  5. Get off social media, take a break from the highlight reel.
  6. Journal

Motherhood is hard and all I was seeing is these pictures of these beautiful mothers, and their perfect children. But you know what I too post these pictures, where my life seems great! So how do we fix it? How do we make people see that it is okay to not be okay?

We talk about it, we normalize it, we tell people we aren’t okay, we ask for help. Today I want to challenge each and everyone of you to join the #okaymovement. You do this by simply taking a piece of paper and drawing a smile, place it in front of your mouth and take a selfie. Post it to your social media taking @okaymovement and using hashtags #letstalk #talktoday #okaymovement and sharing your story about why mental health is important to you then challenge 3 friends to join the movement with us.

Let’s end the saga of being FINE. Lets stop sharing just beautiful pictures and lets start being real raw beautiful people even on our highlight reel.

If you want to help further you can make donations to Canadian Mental health association.

I am going to end by sharing a quote that I shared earlier this week, because I think it may help you to see that sharing the bad times is just as important as sharing the good. 

“The Comeback is Always Stronger, then the set back.”

xOx Chelsea

 

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