Change is on the Horizon

As some of you may have noticed, I was a little absent from my blog the past month – but I promise it was for a good reason! I recently accepted a new job starting in September, and took most of August to spend as much time as I could with my little ones before starting school, daycare, and work…all in one week. Needless to say, we are in for a lot of change this coming week.

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We’re big on group selfies around here

August has been full of emotion for me. Just the choice to go back to work has been a big one, and it didn’t happen without a lot of thought and consideration. I have always been torn between staying at home with my kids and going back to work. I love being with my kids more than anything, but for me, there was so much more to it. Other than the obvious financial benefits of a dual-income household, there were a few other big issues going through my mind.

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Soaking up the end of summer at the waterfront

I love my profession. I’ve never really written about my work on my blog, but I am a social worker. Over the years, I have worked with kids and their families in different capacities, and I truly love what I do. I consider myself so fortunate to be in a profession where you often get the warm fuzzies at work, and see heartwarming stories of success. But to me, it is more than that. I have worked so hard over the years to get to where I am (not to mention the years of schooling!), and being a social worker is a big part of me. It is a huge part of my identity, and it is something that I am incredibly proud of. I know that as much as I love being with my kids, giving up that part of me isn’t something that I am ready to do.

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Another big factor in returning to the workforce is that (and please don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me-hear me out!) I truly believe that daycare played a huge role in preparing Andrew for school. I’m not putting down stay-at-home mamas at all, all kids are different – but for me and Andrew, it was definitely the right choice. He needed the time away from me to learn to be him and he flourished socially and intellectually at his daycare centre. With that being said, I had the best of both worlds. After I had Andrew, I only went back to work for a few days a week, so he had the benefits of the daycare centre and we both had the luxury of extra time together just the two of us to explore, play and learn together. I believe that daycare has been an amazing experience for him.

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Lily has started phasing into daycare to prepare for next week when she starts full-time, and unfortunately has not gone as smoothly as I had hoped. This is my first time having a child in daycare full-time, and I have experienced a tremendous amount of guilt, although I know I’m lucky to have spent the extra time at home with her (Lily is 14 months now). With that being said, I have confidence in the daycare staff. I trust that they are going to do an amazing job getting her settled, just like they did with Andrew. I feel bad for Lily, and I feel bad that her teachers (and probably everyone else in the building) is going to have to listen to my little angry bird Lily shrieking for the first couple of weeks. With that being said, the staff at the daycare are absolutely phenomenal – I don’t have enough words to write how grateful I am for the love and patience they showed Andrew over the past few years. I was in tears on his last day – I don’t think those wonderful women know just what a big impact they have had on our family.

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My decision is not without anxiety, guilt or worry. Far from it. Every day I have been worrying about everyone in our household – What if Andrew is scared and lost when he starts kindergarten? What if Lily is miserable and hates daycare? What if Ryan feel overwhelmed when he needs to take on more things around the house when I’m working? What if I regret my decision and would rather be at home with my kids? The worries are endless, but I’m slowly learning that these worries can help make me a better mom. I can prepare myself and my kids for different outcomes. They can become a little more independent and experience new things that I can’t teach them. They will be exposed to new people, things, and concepts every day.

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Thankfully Ryan has taken next week off to help us all transition into this next phase in our lives – Andrew is starting a new daycare and starts junior kindergarten, Lily starts at her daycare, and I start a new job. I am so overwhelmed with emotion and anxiety (and there have been enough tears to flood the Sahara) about all there is to come, but I know in my heart that I have made the best decision for my family and I. As I’m writing this now, I have begun to cry, so I know it’s time to wrap up this novel of a post. Change is hard, but change can be good. Somehow my sweet babies have started to grow and it is time for momma to give them a little push to spread their wings. Time to fly my sweet babies!

Last-Minute Summer Planning with Groupon

*This is a sponsored post , however all opinions and love for Groupon are my own!*

Somehow, it’s already August and the end of summer is too close for comfort. Am I the only one that looks back and wonders where the time went? I always have these big ideas about all the things I want to do and places I want to see with the kids in the summer.

So…now here I am, trying to cram as much fun as I can into the last few weeks of summer before school and work start up. An easy way to start planning and looking for places to go is with Groupon!

I’ve been using Groupon for years, and it’s always been a great place to buy products, and find great deals for local attractions, restaurants, spas and getaways. Not only is it a great way to save, but you can easily discover new places to visit locally that you’ve never heard of before! I’ve discovered quite a few new restaurants through Groupon, simply because it looked like a great deal so I decided to try it. They always have new deals, so make sure you check back often to see what they have added. As an added bonus, if you sign up for their emails, you can get new deals emailed to you daily, and they often send discount codes to save even more money!
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The website is really easy to use, and you can quickly browse and sort through the different categories to see what is available in your city. I really can’t emphasize enough how great the deals are on local attractions – I’ve used it SO many times. We’ve even bought tickets before to see the Wiggles when they were here! Andrew was Wiggles-obsessed at the time, so he was thrilled to see them and Budget Master was pretty impressed with the killer deal I got!

Pop over and check out Groupon Things to Do to see what is available near you to cram in some last minute summer planning, and visit them on Facebook and Twitter too!

Project Stand For Love

You guys! I am seriously one proud momma over here – my son literally brought happy tears to my eyes! Let me back up a bit and give you a bit of background….

A few weeks ago, in the wake of all the tragedies across the world, Bethanie from The Garcia Diaries started a new movement called Project Stand For Love. She voiced what many of us moms are currently feeling – with all the terror, the tragedies, and the sadness surrounding us, how are we supposed to raise children in this world? How can we cope as mothers? How can we fight back? The answer is simple. By spreading love and kindness. By teaching our children that love will always win. That love is the most powerful thing out there.

She asked some of us bloggers to print out a little note that she created, and use it when executing an act of kindness. The goal is to spread kindness, hope and love, hopefully that person will pay it forward.

I took this as an amazing opportunity to teach Andrew (who just turned 4) about kindess to others and giving back to our community.

I began with a few small things right in my own neighbourhood. I left freshly picked raspberries on a neighbour’s doorstep. Next, I took homemade cupcakes to a new mom on my street. I explained to Andrew in very simple terms what I was doing and why.
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A few days later, I asked Andrew if he would like to bake some cookies to take to the local firestation, police station, and EMS station. He was thrilled with the idea, and we spent the afternoon baking cookies, packaging them up, and making thank you cards.

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Our homemade thank you cards

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Andrew excited and ready to go with his bag of treats

We invited his cousins to come along with us on our little adventure, and we couldn’t have asked for a better reception at each visit. The paramedics spent time chatting with the kids, giving them little ambulance cars to take home and offered to take them in the trucks. The police officers thanked them and assured Andrew that he would share with all the other officers. The firefighters took all the kids in each of the trucks, gave them firefighter hats to take home (with the option of pink hats as well!), and showed them the jaws of life. The kids had a blast, which made me happy…but I wasn’t sure if Andrew really ‘got it.’ Did he really understand why we were doing this?

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That brings me to the point of this post. We were driving home from a morning outing a few days ago, and Andrew and I had an interesting conversation:

Andrew: Mommy, it’s really hot out.

Me: Sure is, buddy.

Andrew: Do you remember when took cookies and cards to the firefighters and paramedics and policemen?

Me: Yup.

Andrew: Maybe we could give the garbage man some cookies and water because it’s so hot out. I bet he would like that.

Annnnnnnd cue the tears. I could not have been more proud of my little man. For real.

So, we rushed home and made cards and got bottles of water ready to go, because I had no flipping clue what time the recycling and garbage got picked up. Then, we headed outside to wait. I had no idea how long we would have to wait in the blistering heat, but gosh darn it, I would wait however long it took for him to finish his own act of kindness. He stood there eagerly waiting with the card and bottles of water with a huge smile on his face.

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Eagerly waiting for him to get to our house

Thankfully, karma was on our side and the recycling truck pulled up in less than two minutes. The “recycle man” as Andrew called him, was visibly shocked when Andrew shyly handed over the water and card and told him it was hot and he thought he might like them. And you know what? Kindness really does breed kindness. After he put the water and card in his truck, he picked up our recycling bins and said gruffly, “Let me get these for you” and carried them up to our garage. Kindness makes the world a better place. I think we brightened each others day.

 

To learn more about Project Stand For Love, check out the hashtag (#projectstandforlove) on Instagram, and pop over to The Garcia Diaries to get the free printable and join in this amazing movement.

Healthy Eating Meal Delivery with Miss Fresh + Discount Code

In most aspects of my life, I’m a planner, and meal prep and planning is no different! At the beginning of every week I sit down to plan the meals for the week and make my grocery list. Hands down, the worst part isn’t grocery shopping with kids in tow or cooking every night, but actually deciding what to make. It takes a lot of effort to make fresh, healthy meals for a family every night. That’s why I was thrilled to try out Miss Fresh, a new meal delivery service that simplifies every step of the meal planning process.

Miss Fresh is a Canadian company that aims to help people lead a healthier lifestyle by making it easy to eat delicious food at home. They really do simplify the meal planning process – you just go online and look through the menu for the following weeks, choose the meals you would like and the size.

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For our first week, we chose the Mahi Mahi Burgers with Spicy Mayo, Lemony Chicken with Salsa Verde, and Lemony Broccoli Rabe with Sausages. As promised, the box of ingredients is delivered to your doorstep in an insulated box. One of our boxes was left out in the heat for a few hours before we got there, and everything was still cold inside when I got home! The first time we had ours delivered, the box came pretty late in the evening, after the advised time frame, but the second box we ordered came midday, within the time frame, and was delivered by UPS.

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Along with the ingredients, you get a recipe page for each recipe with ingredients, and step-by-step instructions on the other side to follow along. Although you do have instructions, you do need to have basic kitchen skills to make the recipes. I felt a bit like a Masterchef contestant preparing the mahi mahi, as I’m not used to preparing fish. I love having the recipes so I can repeat the yummy ones on my own!

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All the ingredients are divided up by recipe and labelled to make it really easy when it’s time to prep. I have a particular fondness for teeny tiny things, and the bitty bottles that some of the ingredients came in make me strangely happy!

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The days I tried Miss Fresh made meal prep so easy – not a lot of time spent trying to plan and prep meals, and we ended up with meals that were healthy and yummy – food I was happy to serve my family.

The first meal we tried was the mahi mahi burgers – I am happy to report that the entire family ate the burgers, even Lily!

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Next up was the Lemony Broccoli Rabe with Sausage – another hit with the family. It was super easy to prepare, and very quick from start to table.

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Last up in this delivery was the Lemony Chicken with Salsa Verde. I wasn’t sure how the kids would feel about it, since the salsa verde was made with anchovies and capers, among other things – but Lily actually ate it plain with a spoon. Everyone polished off the chicken in no time!

My top reasons for loving all over Miss Fresh?

  • Easy – you just pick your meals online, and the ingredients and recipes are delivered right to you.
  • All the meals can be made in under 30 minutes (perfect for when I go back to work!)
  • The meals are healthy, and use flavours that are a little different so it encourages the whole family to try some new flavors
  • The meals are more upscale for a meal delivery service (have you ever seen mahi mahi on the other sites?)
  • All the seasonings and herbs are fresh – I find it makes such a difference in cooking

There were only a few downfalls to Miss Fresh. The first was the portion size – they are probably appropriate portions, but if you have a big appetite you might find them on the small side. Secondly, it is intended to be used as a regular meal delivery service – meaning you have to enter your credit card number and the service keeps repeating until you cancel. With that being said, you can easily skip as many weeks as you want with no penalty – you just have to remember to do it! We skipped quite a few weeks and then I ordered another week of meals to try (Ryan’s favourite meal so far was in our second order – the pan seared beef and papaya salad. If you get the chance, give it a try!). I wish you had the option to just log in and order meals whenever you feel like it – instead you have to either keep skipping weeks or deactivate your account.

If you want to give Miss Fresh a try, you can hop over to their website and use promo code BRAWCRAW25 to get $25 off your first order!

You can also check out Miss Fresh on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

 

Summer Road Trips with KidloLand + GIVEAWAY

I’m going to be a braggy mom right now, but…for the most part, my kids are pretty good in the car, which makes road trips pretty painless. I do plan ahead and pack lots of snacks and toys, along with Andrew’s tablet, which was a great investment for us! I am always on the hunt for new apps that will keep Andrew engaged for plane rides and road trips, so I was thrilled when KidloLand offered to let us try out their app. KidloLand is an app (available for iOS and Android via Google Play Store, iOS or Amazon Appstore). It’s designed for kids 5 and under, and has 300+ nursery rhymes, songs and 100+ educational activities. The app is free to download and you pay for different packages or you can purchase a yearly subscription that allows you access to all current and future packages (they’re constantly adding new content). This app was a huge mom-win for me for a few big reasons.

First reason it was a hit for me – BOTH my kids loved it! I had originally planned to download it for Andrew, as it is perfect for a pre-schooler but with all the music and bright colours, Lily loved it too! Being able to entertain both kids in the car at once? That’s what I call mommy heaven. Another great aspect of it is that it is educational! I don’t even think the kids know that they are learning. It introduces a number of concepts (such as sorting, sequencing, mazes, shapes) with bright and colourful activities while the kids are having fun.

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Another bonus of KidloLand is that you can use it without internet, which is crucial for road trips! I love that I can play nursery rhymes and songs without the internet…because if I’m being honest, I don’t actually know the words to half the nursery rhymes out there and I have to Google them. Once you buy your subscription, you can download whichever games/activities you want and hit the road without worrying about ads – there are zero popups or ads in the game!

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Quality of the app is great – bright, colourful, games and activities that are highly interactive. Kids can even touch the screen during songs for little pop ups and ways to interact. It is easy to navigate; Andrew had the hang of it within a few minutes.

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Hands down, my favourite part of this app was the fact that it entertains multiple age ranges. Andrew loved the activities and some of the songs, and Lily was in awe of the nursery rhymes – she loved listening to the music and watching the animations.

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You get serious bang for your buck with this app. I know it seems a little more expensive from the beginning if you are paying for a subscription as opposed to dropping a few dollars for an app, but there are SO many activities included in the app. I don’t even think we’ve gotten through all of them! You can download as many parts of the app as you want, and just delete the ones they don’t use. If your child gets bored easily, then this is the app for you. Andrew was more than happy to relax in his carseat on the road and jump from one activity to another while we were in the car. He loved all the choices he had, and could jump from listening to a song to doing a learning activity all within the same app (which meant I heard less of “Mommy! Mommy! I want a new game” which I appreciated).

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If this app sounds like something you think your kids would love, then it’s your lucky day! FIVE lucky readers will win a 3-month subscription to KidloLand! It’s available on iOS or Android. Head to the Bawlers & Crawlers’ Facebook page and let me know on the pinned post who you would like to win the app for! (Contest is open to US and Canadian entrants, 18+ years of age.)

Legoland Toronto Visit + Giveaway!

I love hearing family stories, and stories of items being passed down from one generation to another. This past Christmas, Andrew inherited one of Ryan’s favourite toys from when he was a child – a huge Rubbermaid bin filled with Lego. Ryan’s mom kept his Lego from his childhood for all these years, and Ryan passed it onto Andrew at Christmas. It was Andrew’s first time with Lego, and he was a fan from the start. It is so sweet to see Ryan and Andrew bonding over the Lego. Over Christmas vacation, they spent hours building elaborate structures together. I knew at that moment that Legoland would be in our future!

When we had the opportunity to visit Legoland Toronto as a family, we jumped at the opportunity – we knew it would be an unforgettable day for Andrew, and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. We told him where we were going, and showed him a few pictures online, but I don’t think anything could have prepared him for the sight of it when we walked in.

Due to the fact that we were going on the weekend, we planned to arrive early, as I had heard that there were lineups to get in, and there was limited capacity. It does get busy early (there were lineups when we got there), but it is very organized, with lineups for seasons pass holders (now how much would Andrew love that?!), prepaid tickets, and a line to buy tickets.

Andrew’s head was spinning from the moment we got in line – the exterior of the store looks like it is built out of Lego, and there was lots to look at as we were waiting inside the store once they opened. Downfall of waiting in line is that it is inside the store – meaning I heard tons of “Mommy I want that!”

You follow a set path throughout most of Legoland, and as we were there early, it moved pretty well, although I wonder if it gets crowded at peak times. I was actually surprised that it wasn’t busier – on a Sunday morning. It might have something to do with the fact that entry is delayed, so only one group starts at a time. The design is actually pretty smart – your visit begins with a group photo before you enter, so you enter with peopleabout a minute ahead and behind you, so there aren’t mass crowds piling in at once. You can see your photo when you go inside – they are a little on the pricier side (smallest package is $18), but you can pick whatever background you choose as the photo is shot on a green screen.legoedit3

Once you do your photo, you go through the Lego Factory, where you can see how Lego is made, and see your height and weight in Lego bricks. Following from there you can do the Kingdom Quest ride, and look at Mini Town. That was my personal favorite – they have built some of the most well known areas and attractions from Toronto. It was pretty cool to see!

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Once you get into the main area, there is SO much to do! Andrew and Ryan loved the Mini Racers, where you can build your own car and race it down different ramps. The cafe is there too, although we didn’t try it, as we went shopping and out for lunch afterwards (what can I say, if I’m at Vaughan Mills, I’m going to shop!). The Fire Training is great to burn energy – it’s a big play structure that is enclosed so kids can only get in/out through an entrance manned with staff.

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Another bonus was that once you get into the main area, it is pretty stroller-friendly. I had no problem navigating my Britax throughout Legoland. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of seating throughout, but we just plopped down on the floor a few times when we needed a break, and saw tons of other families doing the same thing. If you’re nursing a baby like I was, I found curling up on the ground outside the Fire Training was perfect, as I knew Andrew was contained and I could just relax while I nursed Lily.

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The one thing I loved the most about Legoland was that there is tons to do – there are bins of Lego and baseplates everywhere, so if Andrew had a creative urge, he could wander over and start building. The decor was great – Lego structures everywhere, there was even a Lego motorcycle that Andrew particularly liked.

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The rides were pretty fun as well, although there are only two, so I could see the lines getting long if it was really busy. I liked how interactive they were – in one you shoot at objects throughout the ride, and the other one you have to pedal to get your carriage in the air…so at least I got some cardio in while I was there! Andrew loved both rides.

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The 3D movie was really fun – it’s not too long, and Andrew was pretty excited by it. A bonus is that the movie changes every fifteen minutes, so you could go more than once.

Next time I go, I would like to take advantage of the classes they offer. They happen fairly often in a classroom in the main area. It looked pretty cool and a few different classes are offered throughout the day. Maybe next time when Lily isn’t so little!

They even had a play area for little ones, Lily’s favourite part was the big foam Lego bricks, where she killed some energy crawling and climbing.

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The one thing that I didn’t like about Legoland was the passport that they sell when you buy your ticket. It is a lanyard with a booklet of Lego information with spots to collect stamps. We were told that you collect stamps at each Stamp Station throughout, and they get a reward if they got all the stamps. We figured the reward would be some type of Lego, like a Mini-Figure, but it was a little plastic badge to put on the lanyard. Andrew (and us to be honest) was pretty bummed about the prize. There was Lego trivia and activities to do within the passport, but Andrew was a little young for it. It might be fun for older kids to do, but not really worth it for a 3-year old.

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All in all – a great way to spend the day as a family. Although it is all Lego-based, there is such a variety of activities that I’m sure it would entertain any kid!

Check out Legoland Toronto’s website, and visit them on Instagram, FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

Do you want to spoil your family with a Lego-filled day of fun? Enter below to win a family pack of passes to Legoland!

 

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Ziggy Baby Muslin Swaddle Blankets


So….I have this thing with baby blankets. I love them. I currently hoard them in Lily’s closet. I have way too many – I don’t even think I’ve used half of them. But I love them. They are always so pretty and soft, they smell like babies, and you can use them for everything!

When LaLune Naturals contacted me to send me a few of their Ziggy Baby Muslin Swaddle Blankets, I was thrilled! I was even more excited when I got them because they are gorgeous! They sent me three blankets in gender neutral prints. Now, since having a daughter pretty much everything has been pink and sparkly, but I really did love the grey and white patterns on the blanekts for a change! They are clean and modern – there is a chevron print, a cross print, and an arrow print

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The first thing you will notice when you take these out of the package is that they are SO soft. I just wanted to wrap myself up in them. They got even softer after being washed. They are the perfect summer blanket for babes, as they are very lightweight.

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Another thing I noticed right away is the size of it – they are so big (48″ x 48″) that they make swaddling a breeze (as you may have guessed, Lily is not a huge fan of swaddling anymore, so I tested them on a friend’s baby). The size of them also means that they can be used for so many different things – everything in my life needs to multitask. I’ve used it as a blanket for her to play on, to cover her carseat in the sun, as a nursing cover (so lightweight that we’re not covered in the sweat by the end of it), and I can easily throw it over her in the summer to shield her from the sun without worrying about her overheating. The large size of the blanket also has me hopeful that she won’t outgrow it like her baby blankets. I’m hoping she can use it as a toddler – might be a good starter blanket when I’m ready to give her one (yup, that’s right, I’m one of those moms that is a real stickler for not having things in her crib. Her crib looks like a barren jail cell. Mattress, sheet, and that’s it!)

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the blankets, and the attention to detail. The edges are all finished nicely, with no loose threads or fabric coming apart. These blankets would make alovely gift for a shower, or for a mom-to-be to treat herself!

If you want to treat yourself or that new mom in your life, pop on over to Amazon to pick up a set!

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*Although I was provided these items for free for review, all opinions are my own*

 

Ramblings of a Sad Mom

As a mother. As a wife. As a woman. As a person. I am horrified at our world today. Every time I go online, watch tv, or read the paper, I see hate.

In the midst of the Harambe the gorilla tragedy, all I could see was hate. Hate towards everyone involved in what is an awful situation. Hate towards the mother whose son fell and hate towards the zookeepers who made an impossible choice in an emergency situation. There is value in any life, and there was no easy choice. Yet, people are not focusing on just how truly sad the situation is – they are just focusing on anger and hatred.

On the heels of that came the devastating shootings in Orlando. Maybe I am naive and overly optimistic, but I believed that we, as a human race, were past that kind of unfounded hatred towards each other.

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It makes me scared for my children growing up. I desperately wish I could keep them safe and protected forever. I’m sad that at some point their world will be opened up to the tragedy and hate that I see. As parents, we have all of these hopes and dreams for our children, but in this moment, all I hope is for a different world for Andrew and Lily. A world where this hatred in society hasn’t become a generalized part of our everyday lives.

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Like any mother, I want me children to be surrounded by love and happiness their entire life. It makes me think “what can we do, as parents, to change this?” I will try to do my part by instilling love and optimism in my children. To teach equality and kindness, to encourage them to be themselves, and accept others who may be different from them. It may not change things in the world, but it is a start.

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I am a die-hard glass half-full, optimistic, positive-thinking kind of girl, and try to see the positive in any situation no matter how tragic. When I reflect on the Orlando shootings, the first thing I think of is the community, as I did after the Paris attacks. The wonderful communities and supports that emerged in Orlando’s darkest hour. The love, support, and peace that people offered one another. As Fred Rogers’ mother once said to him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” So in this time when I sit here sad and scared for the future and the world my children will live in, I think of those helpers. Those helpers who give me hope and optimism for the future.

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Will There Be Lucky Baby #3? Am I Destined to Become the Michelle Duggar of the North?

Something I’ve been asked many times since having Lily is whether or not we are done having babies. And the honest answer that I always give people is that I truly don’t know. Two seems to be the magic number of kids for many families these days, understandably. The world seems to be built for a family of four – restaurants have a multitude of tables for four when going out to eat, the default number of travellers in a room is four, and the ‘million dollar family’ is one son and one daughter.

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I have been blessed with two healthy kids – one son and one daughter. And I am lucky that I have the ability to have more children, as there are so many women that are not able to. But there is still a part of me that feels sad that this could be my last time nursing a baby throughout a night, my last time dressing a babe in itty bitty baby clothes, or using the infant toys that have been played with by both my children. And those baby snuggles – that is something I will never tire of.  I have a hard time trying to figure out whether these feelings are simple nostalgia or a sign that we’re not finished growing our family.

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I am a woman that is usually very in tune with myself – I trust my gut, and I trust my instinct. But in this case, I just don’t trust my feelings, as they flip flop every other day. The thought of never being pregnant again makes me feel sad (and my pregnancies were far from ideal), and my babies weren’t magic unicorn babies that were easy-peasy (there were actually family members that were surprised we got pregnant after caring for colicky Andrew). So why the confusion?

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I have spent a lot of time chatting with other moms about this, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer or consensus. Some moms I have talked to say that ‘they just knew’ when they were finished having babies, whether it was at one kid or four. I haven’t gotten “that” feeling yet, so does that mean I’m not finished with baby-making? I worry that I’ll never get that feeling, so I just keep popping out babies – what if I just become the Michelle Duggar of the north? Or even worse – what if I regret not having more children?

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I realize that living life and making choices sometimes comes with regret, that you made the wrong choice. And I’m okay with that. I think of it as a learning experience if I made a decision I regret. But I don’t know if having more kids is a type of regret that I’m okay with having.

There are SO many reasons I can think of to have more children – more love, more giggles, more fun, more family! I love being a mom. My kids are hands-down the most amazing and rewarding thing that I have done with my life, and seeing the bond growing between Andrew and Lily makes my heart burst with love. Knowing that Ryan and I created these two incredible little beings, and that I grew them in my belly seriously takes my breath away when I stop and think about it. But – and this is a big but – there are cons too. So, bear with me as I work through my crazy!

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My concerns about having more kids are:

  • financial constraints of adding a third: more kids = more money. I probably wouldn’t end up working, because three kids in daycare (even before/after care) adds up pretty fast…and I’m a social worker. Not a profession known for their large salaries. We would need a new car, new house…and kids ain’t cheap.
  • the worry that I will be spread too thin: I already have moments where I feel like I’m not giving both my children enough attention, and that Andrew has lost a lot of my time since I’ve had Lily. Those feelings would probably grow and become more intense if I feel like I’m letting two children down.
  • changing family dynamic: we have a boy and a girl, and it just seems so equal, so balanced. With a third child, someone would always undoubtedly be left out, regardless of gender.
  • we are blessed to have two happy, healthy kids: I know this seems dark and doomsday-ish, but…both our kids are healthy. What if there was something medically wrong with potential baby? Not only would that be absolutely heartbreaking, but it would undoubtedly take time and attention away from the other kids.

Sigh. After all that rambling I still don’t have any more clarity on the issue. Maybe we need to sit down and talk about it some more. Maybe I need to just trust my instinct and see where that leads me. As of now, I’m waiting for that ‘feeling’ or ‘sign’ that leads me in either direction. How did you know that your family was complete?

 

Pink Blush – Plus-Size Spring Dresses + GIVEAWAY

Although these lovely products were given to me for review, opinions are all my own!

It is time, my friends. Time to put away the leggings, nursing tank tops and cardigans that I’ve been living in and put on some real clothes. With spring slowly arriving here in Ontario, it is the perfect time to slip into some beautiful plus-size spring frocks that Pink Blush sent to me!

Any curvier gal can attest that trendy, unique, plus-size fashion is a little harder to find – especially at prices that won’t break the bank. Because of this, I can safely say that Pink Blush is an absolute jackpot. Pink Blush is usually known for their maternity wear, and even their women’s wear, but their plus-size clothes are absolutely beautiful AND affordable. Shipping is also affordable, only $10 to Canada (free in the US, you lucky Americans!).

I ordered two dresses, and was pleasantly surprised! They are both great quality, cut appropriately for a curvy figure, and fit pretty true-to-size.

The Little Black Dress

The first dress I got was a classic black dress (you can never have too many little black dresses, right?). I loved it for it’s versatility, it is so easy to dress it up or down.

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It is SO comfy – light, loose, and flowy. For those that are a little more self-conscious of their arms, the flowy material provides a bit more coverage. It is such a light breathable fabric that it is perfect for this in-between weather, and could be paired with tights and boots for colder weather as well.

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The Wildcard Dress

The second dress was a bit out of my comfort zone – it is a little more trendy, and so fun! It’s different for me, as it is navy and peach. Now, the vast majority of my wardrobe is black and pink (and usually flowy) – so this is seriously outside my comfort zone, as it is colourful and form-fitting.

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I tend to shy away from patterns, as I have this fear that they will make me look bigger, but I threw caution to the wind, threw on some Spanx, and went for it. I paired it with nude Cole Haan heels (because nude goes with everything, obvi!), and am so happy I took a chance!

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You can take a peek at all the gorgeous clothes on their website, and connect with them on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Do you want to win $50 to spend at one of the trendiest plus-size boutques online? Enter below to win (may be used for any of their lines, not just plus-size!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Although these lovely products were given to me for review, all opinions are all my own!