It’s A Girl!

Well, it’s official! We’re going to be a family with two little girls, three if you count the dog. Baby #2 is a little girl and we are so excited. Surprised, but excited. Let me explain. 

Through this whole pregnancy I have been so sure I was having a boy. I felt so different from the last pregnancy and I had multiple dreams I was having a boy. How do you not believe it if you’re dreaming it? I had such a strong gut feeling I was literally already thinking of it as a boy. We’ve had a boy name picked out since we first started talking about kids, and I thought I was finally going to get to use it (before anyone else did).  

We decided to do a low-key gender reveal just for the three of us. On the day of my 20 week ultrasound, I sat in the dark room watching our baby on the screen. First of all, I was a bit sad because with this particular place and the current COVID-19 restrictions I was there by myself for the first time. It was emotional I’m not going to lie. Still, I sat there looking at the screen thinking to myself, “Yep, that definitely looks like a boy.” 

When it came time for her to look, she turned the screen off so I couldn’t see. Rightly so, because if I had seen anything that resembled a ‘you know what’ I would’ve written the answer down in the envelope myself. She turned the screen back on and continued to show me our baby. Then she said, and I quote, “There is the umbilical cord, once it falls off that’s where HIS belly button will be”. So obviously I thought she’d slipped up and that was it, it was a boy. 

I took the secret unopened envelope to the nearest Party City Store. I picked out a gender reveal box (which I can link here) and asked the clerk to please fill it with whatever colour was in the envelope, which I was sure would be blue. I said I would be back in half an hour but would call first so I wouldn’t walk in while they were doing it. Didn’t want to risk seeing those blue balloons before my husband. 

Nearby was a Home Sense so like any woman I went to browse around while I waited. I saw in the book section a Star Wars book. A little back story to this, I grew up with my brother watching Star Wars. I love and have always loved Star Wars and I just happen to be the only one within 100km of my home who feels that way. So I’m of course thinking if I have a boy I will get him all these Star Wars things and he will be my Star Wars baby (without telling my husband who can’t stand Star Wars). Here was this Star Wars book, and I thought, I’m so sure it’s a boy I’m just going to go ahead and buy this. I did buy it and hid it in my work bag so my husband wouldn’t see it and think I peeked in the envelope. 

Fast forward to around dinner time the same day. The box is in our house with the answer inside that we and our families have waited for. We take it outside and set up our cameras to document our reactions. After convincing Adds that the box is not scary, we countdown to the big reveal. Again, I was 1000% expecting to see blue, and what popped out? Well you can probably guess by now it was not blue. 

I don’t think shocked even covers how surprised I was. We were so happy but obviously there’s the realization that you feel like your body was tricking you this whole time. Not a cruel trick of course because two girls is just as good, but like a ‘ha ha I got you!’ trick. 

We both said after, we were happy we decided just to do it the three of us because we took the whole evening to process the surprise and let it sink in. Here’s the thing too, I’m only planning on having two kids. So this obviously means there will never be a boy in our little family, unless there’s a big oopsie in our future (if we do have an oopsie, and you’re my third child reading this in the future I do love you very much but yes you were an oopsie). It was very bittersweet. 

Once things settled though, we thought about all the fun it will be to have two girls, how much easier and less expensive it will be since we already have everything for a girl, and how much she is going to show us that this is exactly how our little family was meant to be. One day we’ll look back and laugh thinking that there was no way a boy could ever replace our beautiful second baby girl. 

Oh and I will teach them both to love Star Wars as much as I do. 

Camping With a Toddler

As many of you know I was recently converted to being a camper.  That is, a trailer camper.  Meaning I still need A/C when it’s hot, a heated mattress when it’s cold and somewhere to pee that doesn’t involve squatting up against a tree. At the end of last year we purchased our very own camper trailer. 

This year, with us not being able to travel outside of Canada, it’s been the perfect getaway to hitch up the trailer and drive to different Provincial Parks in Ontario. Everything you need is right there and there’s so much fresh air to enjoy. It’s also ridiculously easy to pack when you can take a week to do it with the trailer sitting right in your driveway. 

Some of the places we’ve been this year include Port Burwell which has nice private sites and a private beach, MacGregor Point which is a beautiful spot in Northern Ontario (also where my husband was born so obviously the place of legends), and Sandbanks in Prince Edward County which had pristine facilities and one of the best beaches I’ve been to in all of Ontario. 

It’s hard to pick favourites but I’d say MacGregor Point was the best in show for beautiful surroundings and Sandbanks had a lot to offer in the neighbouring towns such as breweries, wineries (not that I can drink wine right now anyway) and restaurants. We personally visited Kinsip Liquor Distillery, Crimson Cider Brewery, Midtown Brewery (absolute favourite because they had amazing garlic parmesan fries and wood oven pizza) and of course Slickers Ice Cream. 

The best part of camping is honestly Baby T, although she’s actually more of Toddler T.  So let’s just call her Adds which is as close to her name as I’m willing to get so I can still sleep at night with privacy. As I was saying, the best part of camping is Adds. I’m not a big fan of saying things like “living my best life”, but when we’re camping, Adds is 100% living her best life. 

She has the majority of her favourite people within walking distance 24/7; she gets to stay up a little later than usual for campfires; and most of our camping days involve sitting at her favourite place in the world, the beach. 

She legitimately couldn’t ask for anything more in life. When we get home from camping she’s her own mini version of depressed as we all start to get back to our daily routines.  We all kind of are though, so I can’t really blame her. 

We will be getting the trailer ready for winter storage this week so it will be time to say goodbye for the year. Next year will be a different story with a toddler and a baby but we’re sure it will be just as much fun, if not more so.

Mom Friends

I recently sat down at a table full of young moms (and one first time mom-to-be). The dads were all in charge of the kids which meant they were on the couch watching Cocomelon and we were trying to share our “mommy” wisdom with the new mom-to-be. 

Through the conversation I came to the realization that there’s a lot of things moms don’t openly share with each other. I don’t know if it’s fear of not holding up to the social standards for moms, otherwise known as the ‘Instagram Mom’, or that we feel like these less than stellar moments of mom hood are ours and ours alone. 

The truth is, most moms struggle. It’s not always easy to have the full-time responsibility of little humans being dependant on you for everything. We all get frustrated, we all get worn thin and we all lose our patience sometimes. It’s just a part of life. But spending time with other moms helps me realize it isn’t just me who gets burnt out and needs a break more often than I’d like to admit, and it’s not just me who feels like I’m walking a thin line between sanity and insanity during sleep regressions. It happens to the best of us, and we all feel bad about it. 

It’s important to me to take the time to acknowledge this, to know that things won’t always go perfectly. Each day is a new day with Baby T and sometimes all we both need is a little reset. 

So one thing I will always recommend for new moms is get some mom friends who you can have these chats with and bring each other back to your middle grounds. Being a mom doesn’t necessarily get any easier as time goes by but if you have your mom friends by your side you feel a lot more understood and normal. 

Raising A Toddler

There are few things in life that give you equal parts joy and frustration; one of these things is raising a toddler. Baby T is 21 months and has settled into her spunky little personality. Independence is her new favourite activity and most of the time it’s pretty adorable but sometimes it’s a whole new test on patience you didn’t even know you had. 

Temper tantrums are not for the faint of heart and every child is different so dealing with them is different for everybody. I like to think we handle Baby T’s tantrums well but then sometimes they go on and on I start to doubt my abilities (and sanity). We just make sure she’s in a safe space where she can let it out and we stay close by without giving the tantrum the attention she’s looking for. 

We try to let her know that being upset it normal and okay, we all do it we just express it a little differently. Once she’s calmed down we’ll get her some water and give her a little cuddle. Kids are still humans with feelings they just don’t have the vocabulary to express them yet, so they express being upset and frustrated the only way they know how. 

Sleep regressions can also hit hard at this point. It feels like Baby T hasn’t had a normal sleep (by normal I mean going to sleep on her own and sleeping through the night) in over a month. Unfortunately camping once a month through the summer has definitely not helped as she doesn’t go to sleep on her own in the trailer. By the time we build up to sleep training it’s time to go on another trip. 

Sleep training a toddler who can say “no” when you tell her to lie down and go to sleep is one of the most frustrating defeating things I’ve ever done. I can’t even say it’s been successful or that it works because honestly it hasn’t yet. It’s been a lot of sleepless nights, sitting in her room or rocking her until she falls asleep and being so tired we just bring her to bed with us because she falls asleep faster which means we get to too. 

I feel like I had pretty good patience before, even better when she was a newborn, but the patience you have to develop and force yourself to use with a toddler is way more than I even though possible. 

Like I said though, equal parts joy and frustration. The joy we get from Baby T learning a new skill, learning new words and phrases or even just seeing her thriving and smiling far overshadows the frustrations. So even on the days where it feels like I’m on my last thread of sanity she does something that makes me laugh or smile and it’s like hitting the reset button. Every day is different and gets even better than the last, and that’s what raising a toddler is like. 

The Differences Between Pregnancy Number One and Number Two

We’re officially twelve weeks into my second pregnancy (pause for applause). Baby #2 is now the size of a kiwi and according to my baby app is starting to develop reflexes in it’s little fingers and toes. Hopefully with this new week comes some relief from some of the symptoms I’ve been having which is all part of this post listing the differences between my pregnancy with our first baby and this pregnancy. Let’s get started! 

Morning Sickness (Evening Sickness?) 

With Baby #1 I definitely had morning sickness throughout the day. I had some relief from soda crackers and arrowroot cookies, but after a few bouts of throwing up I went to my doctor for the prescription the that helps with this. It was a lifesaver with her, I managed to have somewhat of a normal life for the first three months. 

Baby #2 I started having really bad nausea all day, I started taking the medicine as well but it doesn’t seem to be doing the trick this time around. I’m fine most of the day but right after dinner, no matter what I eat or do I have terrible nausea that forces me to just go to bed early every night (not the worst thing in the world I know), but it’s definitely put a damper on these first few months. 

Energy Levels

It does feel like I have a lot less energy this time around but when you think about it; with Baby #1 I had no obligations other than work and keeping the house tidy. Now I have both of those things on top of taking care of a one and half year old, it’s no wonder I’m more tired. I think Dan is more tired this time too, probably for the same reason dealing with a one and a half year old and his pregnant tired wife. 

Excitement 

With the first baby it’s a totally different ball game as far as excitement. It’s the first time for everything so it’s all so new and exciting. I used to look at the baby apps everyday learning about everything going on inside, we had the nursery planned and registry done within the first few months, and posting the announcement on Instagram was the most exciting thing. 

Of course it’s still exciting knowing that there’s going to be a new baby in the house but I don’t feel like I really enjoyed being pregnant the last time so going into all that again while taking care of Baby #1 is a lot. There’s also more distractions like finishing our new deck, taking our trailer out for summer camping trips and again, making the most of the time we have left with Baby T as an only child. 

There is guilt that comes with not being quite as excited but it’s not that Baby #2 is any less wanted, it’s just so different. It’s also kind of nice because I did pop so early this time around but thanks to Covid Lockdowns (never thought I’d say those words) we haven’t been seeing anyone other than our family and close friends who we told right away anyway. It’s been the easiest secret to keep and it feels like posting about it on Instagram isn’t as big a deal this time. That being said, of course we are posting it because then if anyone does see me they don’t have to be scared to ask if I’m pregnant for fear it’s just the extra covid 20. 

Gender Reveal 

Like I said, we did a big Gender Reveal with Baby #1 and it was great. We popped a balloon over our heads in front of our closest friends and family and pink confetti fluttered down around us. 

For Baby #2 we do still want to find out the gender, I’m way too much of a planner to not know even though I think experiencing both ways would be pretty cool, I just don’t think I can bring myself to do it. I don’t want a big Gender Reveal for this one. Not only because who knows how many people will even be allowed in one room by that time, but also because I like the idea of something more quiet and intimate. 

Baby #1 agrees with me on this wholeheartedly since she screams and cries whenever she sees the video from her cousins gender reveal, she is not a fan of the exciting balloon pop. Or people to be honest. So since I have her vote, we will most likely be doing something small at a dinner with our parents and siblings. I’m thinking something that involves a cake or cupcake mostly because I would just want to eat it after. 

We still haven’t decided whether Dan and I will find out beforehand and surprise our families or if we will wait for the cupcake too. 

It’s Just Different 

Obviously these two pregnancies have been very different physically and emotionally, but we’re still so excited for everything Baby #2 will bring into our lives. We know that Baby #1 will be the best big sister and a huge help to us, or at least she will be after she adjusts to having a new baby. 

Now, next thing on the list is what do you buy for a second baby when you already have so much baby stuff. Once I figure it out for myself I will pass on this helpful information. 

The One Where I Get Pregnant Again

Well, it’s official! We are having Baby Number Two! If you’ve been reading for a while you know I had a lot of apprehension about having another baby (see my blog post When Your First Labour Leaves You Unsure of a Second), but I honestly knew that we definitely wanted a second baby and I had a feeling my apprehensions wouldn’t get any better the longer we waited. So with that said, even though I’m a little nervous, we’re very excited to be adding another little one to our family. 

By the time I post this I will be a few months along since I didn’t want to announce to the internet something we haven’t announce to all of our friends yet but that’s okay, I’ll catch you up. Today (May 25th) I am five weeks and one day so still a bit early. My due date is around January 24th. I definitely knew very early that I was pregnant again. We were obviously trying so I was looking for early signs and it’s hard to describe but even within the first week I knew; the same thing happened with Baby T. I took the pregnancy test as early as I could and got a positive right away. 

So far I have already popped quite a bit, I’m actually thankful we’re in a pandemic and aren’t really seeing people in person because it would be a tough secret to hide. Not going to lie I thought I might be pregnant with twins because I had to undo the top button of my jeans before I could even take a pregnancy test. We’ve already shared the news with our families and a couple of friends and the rest we will wait another month or two before we do the official announcement. 

My favourite pregnancy apps that I used the first time around have been re-added on my phone including Ovia Pregnancy (the best articles and tips) and Pregnancy + (the best size comparison, and visuals of progress in the baby’s growth). According to these apps, Baby T # 2 is about the size of a smartie and has a little tail.  

As far as symptoms, I’ve just been exhausted and have to pee a lot more (including once during the night that I try to ignore but we all know how that goes). I feel like I’m more tired with this pregnancy than I was with Baby T but that could also be because instead of resting at the end of a work day or taking it easy on a day off I’m still taking care of a one and half-year old. Not that I’m complaining, because she’s honestly a good distraction from the tiredness and occasional nausea I’m already developing. She also motivates me to keep moving which is obviously good for you when you’re pregnant. 

I feel like it’s a boy but I also felt the same way with Baby T, I ended up changing my mind about a week before we did find out she was a girl so we will see if I stick with it this time. We would honestly be happy with either a boy or a girl this time around. I would love to be able to use all of Baby T’s clothes again and I would also love to have one of each in the family. We won’t find out until September so we’ve got some time to sit on it for now. 

Some other exciting news is that my sister-in-law is also expecting her first baby and is due in October! Once again I get to have a pregnancy buddy and our little babies will get to be only three months apart. I’m very happy to share my ‘wisdom’ and already-too-small maternity clothes and bras with her and she’s very happy to share her own new wisdom that I didn’t have before.

We’re going to be making some changes around the house including moving Baby T into a bigger bedroom to open up the nursery for the new baby and creating a kids playroom in our basement. Right now the play area is behind our couch which works good for now, but there are some toys in the bigger upstairs bedroom that will need to be moved downstairs to make way for Baby T’s big girl room. I’ll try and share some of the before and after of these changes as they happen and be sure to share some tips and tricks for Baby #2 including things we’ll be  replacing or changing and old things we’re happy to use again. 

I’m so excited to be able to document this pregnancy and the changes that come with going from a family of three (plus dog) to a family of four (still plus dog).

Summertime in Ontario

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Summer is in full swing now in Ontario which brings a whole new list of fun activities to do. We just finished a huge renovation on our deck in our backyard. The original plan was to keep the structure and redo the deckboards and railings, but upon pulling those things down we discovered we were fortunate the whole deck didn’t crumble down on its own before now. So after having to blow the budget a bit on that project we’re left with a beautiful deck that we can’t wait to make good use of it for the season. 

We’re big fans of smoking meat like pulled pork and ribs, and doing up some good old barbecue food, so one of our plans for the summer is to host some dinner’s for our friends and family in our backyard. 

Another exciting thing we go to do last week was go strawberry picking at a local farm. Baby T of course did lots of sampling and taste testing during the process. She was a very happy girl and we got a ton of strawberries. Needless to say our desserts for that weekend consisted of strawberry themed treats. I did make a delicious apple and strawberry crumble that I found on Pinterest, I will link it here for you as it’s definitely one I’ll be saving for future use. 

There is a small zoo about twenty minutes away from where we live so we went to visit last week as well and ended up getting a seasons pass. We already went back a second time this morning. Baby T loves seeing all the animals but her absolute favourite part is the ‘birdies’ which is a big collection of colourful budgies. She will stand there and stare at them for hours. 

Of course we’re doing things at home too like filling up the paddling pool on a regular basis and eating most of our lunches and dinners outside on the over-budget deck. Last year I also mentioned that we bought a trailer so we have already gone camping for a weekend and have booked places to go once a month from now until September. On our last trip my husband kept saying, “I know you didn’t always like camping but thank you so much for liking it now”. I really do though. It’s easy to pack up the trailer and it’s a very simple relaxing vacation which is what I always prefer. 

That’s all the updates I have for now. I hope your summers are off to a great start too! Kids are just finishing up school so I’m sure there’s lots of planning and activities to be done. They deserve a break after this long year, and so do their teachers! 

Little Humans with Big Personalities

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com

Something I think we all look for as our babies grow up is the physical similarities to people in our families. Baby T came out looking exactly like her daddy at the start, but as she’s gotten bigger I see a little bit of her Nanny, some of her Papa, she even makes one face that reminds of my Uncle. She doesn’t too often look like me and I still have my fingers crossed that her hair will go curly like mine, but one thing I find we’re pretty similar on is her fiery little personality. 

I recently said to my husband that most of the time she’s a happy, caring, loving and fun little girl but man oh man can she turn on the sass when she wants to. She will make it very clear when she doesn’t want to do or eat something and look down her nose at anything green and ‘healthy looking’. As soon as I said this, I realized she is me. I get that some of these qualities are a lot cuter on a one and a half year old than a  twenty eight year old but I swear I do it all politely. 

As the days have gone by I’ve seen more and more similarities; she takes a long time to wake up in the morning, she’s very shy and will be quiet for the first twenty minutes or so around new people, and she doesn’t like dirt and grass on her or her clothes. One day, one of our couch cushions was not in its usual spot so she went up to it, straightened it and continued on her merry little way. She loves books, music, dancing and quiet time to watch a show. 

Watching her settle so well into her big personality is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. The similarities help me to understand her and her needs a bit more, and give her the space and patience that she needs to work things out for herself. I don’t know why she does half the stuff she does but she’s always very determined to do whatever it is so we just let her go at it. 

One day when she’s older and knows more words, I’m sure my lovely stubborn personality will shine through even more and I’d like to hope that I’ll continue to give her the same space and patience that she needs. Whether that’s a cuddle on the couch watching her favourite show, dancing in the kitchen together or straightening all the cushions in the house, I’ll be there for her. 

Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – One Year Later

As you probably know already, I started this blog shortly after I was diagnosed with Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in March 2020. It has definitely been a year of learning and growing since then and I thought it might be helpful to reflect and see how things have changed. 

Obviously when I first wrote about Postpartum OCD back in Spring of 2020, the hardest thing to overcome was the intrusive thoughts. After finishing some counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as recommended by my family doctor, I found the way to tackle these disturbing thoughts. 

If this is something you’re struggling with, definitely reach out to your doctor and get some help for yourself. I’m living proof that it does work! My intrusive thoughts started getting fewer and farther between since doing these treatments. Now I can even say I rarely have them, if ever. 

Of course as a mom you can always imagine the worst thing happening to your child in the moment, like them tripping and hitting their head off the corner of something (which DID happen to Baby T the other day and she joined the goose egg club), but not having the really scary disturbing thoughts I’ve mentioned before is such a weight off my shoulders. 

As far as the obsessive compulsive tendencies like cleaning rituals and routines that I mentally cannot deviate from, I would say these kinds of things are definitely worse than they were before having Baby T. Most moms who end up having Postpartum OCD have had obsessive compulsive tendencies before having their babies, but they can get a lot worse even for the long term afterwards. 

Returning to work in the middle of the pandemic was and still is a big struggle sometimes, especially working in a financial institution where we see different people all day and have to handle cash and cheques. I find me sanitizing my hands and work station three times more than everyone else around me. Thankfully though, I’ve been open about this struggle with the ladies I work with and they’re very understanding and respectful even though sometimes I know I go overboard. 

Routines that I don’t deviate from are part of my entire day. There’s a specific list and order of things I do every morning (take thyroid medication, check my phone, get Baby T ready for breakfast, make the bed, get ready for work or for a day at home) and every night (nighttime face moisturizer, dimmed lamp in our bedroom, vitamins, essential oil diffuser, read a book, go to sleep). If the bed is not made up just so and the laundry isn’t folded neatly and perfectly it just doesn’t sit right with me. Just ask my husband Dan. 

Even though sometimes the OCD cleaning can get a bit daunting and overwhelming, I still feel like I’m in better shape than where I started a year ago. 

I tried to google “how long does postpartum OCD last” and I didn’t really get an exact answer. Some say that the OCD tendencies can last long after postpartum so I suppose I’m in that category.  On the plus side I do feel that over the past year I’ve learned a lot about postpartum mental health and myself and have definitely grown from my experience. Now I take everything one day at a time knowing that I have the support and tools I need to help me along the way. 

Building Confidence as A Mom

Something I’ve always struggled with is being a confident mom; confident in my choices as a parent and my abilities to give her a good upbringing. There’s days where it feels like everything I’m doing is wrong and doubt all the decisions I’m making, doubt whether I’m good enough to even be her mom. I definitely thought motherhood would come naturally and that I would fit right into the role but that’s not always the case. 

Is It Even Possible to Be a Confident Mom? 

I’d like to hope it is. There are some days where the confidence is definitely flowing, I can kind of feel invincible like if anything tries to mess with me and Baby T, I would definitely win. The day goes by quickly with lots of laughs and smiles and no friction or pushback. These are the perfect mom days and they do come around, sometimes they stick around for a little while. 

But of course with all kids things change and there are phases (I wrote a whole post about phases that you can find here). Whether it’s Baby T having a rough time sleeping or having new teeth coming in, or me feeling the pressure at work and not meeting my own expectations as a mom, wife or for running a household, there’s time when the confidence slips away and that can hit pretty hard sometimes. 

What To Do When Relapsing? 

I think of these times as a relapse. It’s something I’ve felt before and obviously come out of okay in the end. It feels like a bit of a slump and if I kind of let myself spiral enough it’ll be a few days of just feeling a bit lost and alone. 

I give myself time to checkout. My husband, Dan, is really good with spending his own one on one time with Baby T and giving me a break when I need it. He can usually tell when I’m a little off and tries to help out a little extra during those times even if I can’t explain to him exactly what I’m feeling. 

Whether he takes Baby T for a bit, or if it’s a busy day for both of us and I wait until she’s gone to bed for the night, I force myself to shut off from my phone, chores and even writing this blog and do something that helps me clear my head. Lately, that’s been bringing out my inner nerdy self and playing some video games on the Nintendo Switch, reading a book, or watching a show. 

Taking the time to do this helps me to reset, let go of the low self-esteem I’m holding onto, forget about the things I’ve been obsessing over that I feel like I’m doing wrong. Of course treating myself to a nice glass of wine and a sweet treat to relax always helps as well. 

Another thing I do is spend more quality one-on-one time with Baby T and reconnect with her. I let her take the lead with this and choose what we do, because we all know that me planning fun activities and her refusing to do them is not the kind of progress we’re looking for. It’s perfect now the weather is getting nicer in Ontario, she loves to go outside and wandering around our neighbourhood and backyard. 

I try to leave my phone somewhere out of reach so I don’t get distracted (this sounds familiar, I might have stolen it from my blog post about Making the Most of My Time With My One Year Old, practice makes perfect I guess). I’ll put some of our favourite music on instead and just enjoy our time together. 

Instagram Is Not the Be-All and End-All of Motherhood Standards

I’ve talked recently about making sure that the content I take in on Instagram and other social medias is positive and upbuilding. The moms that I follow (outside of people who are actually my friends) are all moms who are open and honest, even more open and honest than I am if that’s even possible. 

An example is Sarah Landry, or The Birds Papaya. I recently came across her profile (after doing my post on My Favourite Influencers) and right away appreciated her candid content. I think the first week I followed her she talked about having a clogged duct and mastitis and I completely felt her pain because I’ve been there, done that about a dozen times. 

There are people out there on social media that can make me feel like I’m not alone in my struggles, like I’m not the only mom with low self-esteem  and those are the people I actually enjoy following on social media. Sometimes though, I’ll be scrolling through the popular page and come across those posts that tell you what you should and shouldn’t do as a mom, these are the ones that really get to me. 

Here’s an example, I saw one of those new trendy Reels saying that when you’re watching your child try to figure something out, give them time to figure it out on their own. I thought, fair enough that’s a valid point. But then it said that when they do figure out not to make a big deal about it or clap for them. Excuse me, if I want to be my daughters in-house hype woman I am going to do that, thank you. I’ll clap when she sneezes if that’s what makes her smile. 

In my opinion, things like that just aren’t worth posting or paying any attention to. It doesn’t matter what the person’s credentials are in child psychology, I’m still going to ignore you and raise my child the way I see fit. Sorry, rant over. 

I try not to let things like that get to me and sometimes just taking a break from Instagram as a whole and the mindless scrolling through the popular page is the best thing I can do to get out of the slump of low-confidence. 

We Get Through It

At the end of the day, no matter how I’m feeling in my abilities as a mom, I am still a mom. I care for a beautiful baby girl day in and day out and it’s bound to be a rollercoaster. In the moments when I’m least confident, I just try to do the next right thing, get out of the slump and get through it. And I always do. 

Saving Money as a New Mom

I found that when I was pregnant and trying to make sure I had all the newborn supplies just perfect and ready for Baby T, that I got extremely overwhelmed with not only all of the options but also how much they cost. Having a baby is expensive! But there are a few things I learned for saving money and stress along the way.

First was that the most important thing you can give a newborn is love and attention. All they really, truIy need in those first weeks is to be held and fed whether that’s breastfeeding or formula. The only absolutely essential purchases were diapers, wipes and pjs (for Baby T and for myself). 

Second, I saw all over Pinterest and Instagram the fanciest most expensive strollers and baby cushions you can buy and of course it would’ve been nice to have an unlimited budget and get those things. But the stroller we chose (and were gifted, thank you to my in-laws if you’re reading this) that was half the price works just as well and the $20 cushion we bought off of Amazon, which I can’t seem to find again to link, was only used a handful of times and worked great. 

Third, we were fortunate enough that we were gifted a lot of clothing. As tempting as it was to just go crazy and buy more, I found that having just the right amount was perfect. Baby T spent most of her time in pjs anyway. I didn’t have to buy any clothing for her until about three months and even then it was a couple of pairs of pants. It meant doing laundry a little bit more often, but hey, at that beginning I wasn’t doing the laundry anyway so it worked out great!

Finally, we also got some things handed down to us or lent to us including a swing, a bouncer chair and a mini travel bassinet. Not everything we had for Baby T was brand new or in perfect condition but it all worked great and did the job. She grew out of things so quickly too it really wasn’t worth it to buy certain things brand new. 

We had all the basic essentials that we needed for bring her home, but we also figured out along the way some things that we were going to need and some things we needed more of (diaper change pad liners; I will link them here and you can thank me later). In the first three weeks after bringing Baby T home, I think we had Amazon delivering things to our door once or twice a day. Amazon had the best price for everything we realized we needed afterwards.

The fact is, Baby T was, well, a baby, which meant she spat up all over things, pooped through things onto other things. She also really didn’t care what she was being pushed around in or chilling in, or wearing as long as it was safe and comfortable. As worried as I was about having everything ready and perfect for her when she came home, we got by just fine with our essentials and figured everything else out along the way. 

Picky Eating Runs in the Family

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If you were to ask my parents if I was a picky eater growing up they would laugh and say I was the pickiest eater in the world. While that’s no longer true (I have learned to explore lots of new delicious foods), I have learned that picky eating most definitely runs in the family. Baby T started eating solids at about 6 months. She was pretty open at first to trying different things but she quickly discovered what she liked and didn’t like. Once that started, she was even more hesitant to even start trying new things. She ate a lot of sweet potato and avocado and not much else. 

After a couple of months of this I start to get stressed and frustrated about her not eating anything new, I would try so many different recipes and purée pretty much anything in sight until my husband finally convinced me that buying store-bought baby food was not the end of the world. I gave in and found that there are a lot of good varieties so at least then she started eating some different foods disguised with the foods she liked. 

Fast forward a few more months to where she’s starting to eat proper meals and I am telling you this girl is stubborn. She could be so hungry and still would not even look at a piece of meat (don’t worry we don’t make her go hungry I’m just saying, this is how much she detests what we try to give her). Her favourite meals, of which there are three at the moment, are a cheese quesadilla, a peanut butter sandwich and yogurt mixed with defrosted frozen blueberries. I’ve found little secret ways of making these at least a bit more nutritious like sneaking little pieces of meat into the quesadilla or using high fat and high protein greek yogurt for the yogurt and berries. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, there’s a fourth meal she likes that’s extra nutritious and easy to make; chickpea pasta. It’s full of protein and she eats it right up… half of the time. 

She does at least love snacks, so like I said she’s not going hungry. She’s a fan of pretty much any fruit she can get her hands on and cucumbers, crackers and humus. Funnily enough she also doesn’t mind tuna which to me seems like such a weird thing for her to like considering chicken breast disgusts her. But when the time is right, for her, she will eat tuna with a little bit of lemon and pepper sprinkled on or when it’s in my sandwich and she just wants to eat what I’m eating. Also pizza, but again, mostly when it’s mine.

In the span of a few paragraphs I have honestly listed all the foods Baby T is willing to eat. I know that my picky eating lasted about 20 years of my life so I can’t say I don’t understand where she’s coming from. Still, we have started to put some of what we’re eating on her plate first with some sort of snack that she likes to give her the chance to try something new, then if she doesn’t at least we gave it our best shot. If you have a picky eater and have found ways to sneak things like meat and veggies into their diet please tell me all your secrets! 

Spilling the Tea on Mom Feelings…

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When we planned on having a baby, I had this vision in my head of what it would look like. I knew there would be a major lack of sleep and days where the baby would just cry and cry, I thought I had an idea of how hard it could be while also knowing it would make my life so much better and brighter. 

The latter half has always been true. Baby T brightens my world every day when she smiles her big toothy grin at me, the endless snuggles at the beginning when she was a newborn were all I ever wanted and she has turned into such an affectionate cuddly girl even as she’s gotten older. 

There are times though where I feel like being a good mom doesn’t necessarily come naturally. I find myself thinking that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mom, or maybe feeling like I shouldn’t have ever had kids because I feel like I am not as happy as I imagine other moms are. It’s not that I want to feel that way, it nearly brings me to tears every time and makes me feel guilty. 

I don’t know if I can even blame it on social media, I would say I follow moms who are pretty open about the ups and the downs. I think I just assumed I would always be happy as a mom even through the hard times but that’s just not the case. It doesn’t mean I don’t love Baby T or that I regret having her, I can’t even imagine a life without her now. 

I guess it’s just a realization that being a mom is actually even harder than I thought it would be. It’s not impossible to feel lonely even though you’re barely ever alone. The spontaneous and easy going life you led before is over, now you have to actually plan ahead and make sure you pack enough supplies for whatever you’re doing. Time ‘alone’, like going to the gym or to the spa, needs to be carefully planned and timed with babysitters and nap schedules. 

Even when you do have that time, you spent all of it worrying and thinking about them. It’s commonly said that having kids is like having your heart walk around outside your body open to the world that you just want to keep safe from everything. 

These are all things I have been feeling for a while and just couldn’t put into words. Usually it’s after I feel like it wasn’t a good enough or fun enough day for either of us. But every morning we wake up, she gives me the same big toothy grin and says ‘hi’ in the sweetest little voice as I walk in the room. Regardless of how I feel like I’m failing, she doesn’t seem to notice. She hugs me just as tight on the good days as the bad, and gives just as many kisses. 

Even though it’s hard to shake these feelings, she proves to me everyday that she loves me no matter what and makes me feel like there’s no one else in the world who could do a better job of being her mom. I guess I just need to keep letting her remind me of that and learn to accept it as the truth for myself.

Making the Most of My Time With My One Year Old

People always say to cherish each moment with your kids because they grow up so fast but some days that’s a little harder to do than others. I have mentioned before it can get a little boring day in and day out with Baby T, that goes for both of us. If she’s playing quietly I’ll sometimes look at my phone and start on a scrolling spree on Instagram or Pinterest, not that I’m saying that’s a terrible thing, but I have found the more often that I try to be engaged with her the faster and happier the day is. 

Some days, I just leave my phone on a shelf somewhere out of reach for both Baby T and leave the ringer on so that if someone does try to contact me I hear it, but that way I don’t just have my phone in my hand for me to scroll through aimlessly. 

Another thing I have found is that we both get frustrated if I try to plan a fun activity for us to try and she doesn’t like it and it doesn’t go as planned. So even though sometimes we do try some different activities like baking, colouring or playing with play-doh, we don’t make as big a thing about it. It’s usually not planned the night before and built up to be this big fun thing, it just happens. It puts less pressure on me to plan a day of activities, and less pressure on her to love what we do. Our days flow more organically that way which is kind of how we roll. 

I will say that Baby T’s Nanny who babysits a couple of days a week does play a day full of activities and she loves it. She’s a baby with many sides to her so it’s really cool to see how she interacts differently with different people and have a special relationship with each one. 

Finally, when Baby T was born we tried really hard not to let her watch any screens. We didn’t want her to be attached to them and also believed that it was too much stimulation for her little brain. We planned on not letting her watch shows until she was one a half years old; that lasted about ten months. Now, Baby T and I will sometimes just sit on the couch cuddling watching Frozen 2 or Lady and The Tramp and I don’t feel bad about it. When she’s done watching she’ll happily get up and go play again but sometimes we just need that quiet time together to just relax. 

It is hard to cherish each moment when every day at home feels the same, especially during a pandemic, but these are some ways I have found to make the most of the time I get to spend with Baby T. 

6 Things Every Mom Needs to Hear

Since becoming a mom, I have realized that it is a lot more of a roller coaster than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that it wasn’t going to be perfect sunshine and butterflies all the time, but the lows can be lower than I thought they could go. At times I feel like this is just a me thing, or because of the Postpartum OCD but I really don’t think it is, it’s just more of an unspoken thing because it’s hard as a mom to admit that you’re struggling. There’s so much pressure to be a fun, happy mom and to make everything look easy and the pressure is was makes you feel even worse when you feel like you’re failing to hit the targets. 

On the low days, there’s a list of things that goes through my head of what I would tell a friend who was feeling the same way, things that I feel like I need to reaffirm in myself or be reassured of by someone else. They’re thoughts and feelings that I have that I feel guilty of having, but really shouldn’t because they don’t mean I’m a bad mom or that I don’t love my baby. So for anyone who needs it, here’s a few things every mom needs to hear: 

  1. It’s okay that you need a break. It’s okay that you feel like you want to pack a weekend bag and go sit in a hotel room by yourself for two days and turn your phone off, binge watch movies or play video games all weekend so you can reset. Even if you don’t get to actually do this, it’s okay that it’s what you dream of doing. That doesn’t make you a bad mom. 
  2. It’s okay to have a cry on a bad day even if it’s in front of your baby. It’s not going to mess them up, it doesn’t mean you’re a helpless mother. As long as you’re both in a safe space and you can take a minute to have a cry while still smiling and loving your baby, it’s totally okay. That doesn’t make you a bad mom. 
  3. It’s okay that you still have passions and hobbies that you want to do, and that you get annoyed if your baby doesn’t nap or doesn’t nap long enough for you to have time to do these things. We all need time to unwind, as mothers sometimes we don’t get that time when we need it most, and it’s okay to be a little annoyed about it. Just set it aside, take a deep breath and save it for later. 
  4. It’s okay that you double guess everything you’re doing with your baby and think maybe they’re not having as much fun with you, or that they’ll never eat anything you make them because they’re a pickier eater than you are. They’ll eat if they’re hungry, just keep offering them things. It’s okay if all they want for dinner is snacks and a fruit pack. And you’re their mother which automatically defaults you as their favourite person in the whole world.
  5. It’s okay that the thought of having another baby makes you want to hide and cry because you feel like as much as you love your first baby you’re just not cut out to be a mom and that some days you really wish you didn’t have the responsibility of even one, let alone two, babies because it can drain you so much sometimes. And that the thought of being pregnant again feels more like a chore than a beautiful miracle. This doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby (or that you won’t love additional babies should you choose to have them) and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. 
  6. It’s okay that you worry all the time about your baby, not just with their health but also about how they’ll be when they’re older. It’s okay that you see the little spark of defiance and stubbornness in a one year old and all you can see is a rebellious, angsty teenager who fights with you on everything. Or that you see the things other babies their age are doing and worry because they’re not doing that yet. Every baby is different. 

These are six of the things I try to convince myself are true on a bad day. If you’re also having a bad day and reading this, take it to heart, you’re not alone in your struggle through motherhood. 

How to Get Through a Sleep Regression

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I want to say wine, but sometimes that’s not always the answer. 

Sleep regressions sound like a really bad thing… and they can be. A baby that sleeps pretty much perfectly for months can suddenly decide they want to keep you up all hours of the night. Here’s a few ways to get through them and keep your sanity and also a couple of things to keep in mind while they’re happening. 

When Do They Happen? 

I had read that sleep regressions can happen at 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, the list kind of goes on. If you’re wondering if your baby might be in a sleep regression they’re probably not because when it’s actually happening you know 100% you’re in the middle one. Baby T had a sleep regression when she was 8 months old, she was going through a lot of developmental leaps at that time as well as teething and a growth spurt. She also had a cold and managed to fall and twist her ankle while playing; it was basically the perfect storm. She went from going to bed on her own and sleeping 12 hours a night, to refusing to go to sleep and waking up three or four times a night. We would have to put blankets next to her crib and sleep on the floor next to her just to get her to sleep.

Sleep Training 

Obviously she was going through a lot at the time so we did give in and coddle her to get her through it, but after three weeks of barely any sleep we needed to change some things. We went back to sticking to our bedtime routines, made sure she was nice and comfortable and made sure she was sleepy. We decided to try a gentle form of sleep training where we did pop ins to let her know she wasn’t alone and to coach her through it. The first night was awful, she cried and cried and it broke my heart but in the end she went to sleep on her own and slept through the night for the first time in weeks. It only took one more night of pop ins and she was back to being an amazing sleeper. 

You know your baby best and if sleep training isn’t for you or your baby that’s 100% your choice. With Baby T it worked great and we’re very happy we did it. It takes a lot of patience and even though the crying is so hard to hear we had to make sure we were the calm soothing ones in the situation. I always took a deep calming breath before going in for a pop in because if she could tell that I was freaking out it would make her worse. 

When it Happens Again

Now she’s reached 15 months and has more teething and has been having a rougher time sleeping again. We did coddle her again because we understand if she’s in pain from teething it would be hard to her to sleep through the night on her own, but we reached a certain point again where she cried out of habit instead of actually needing us so we started the process again and even though it really really sucks its better for our family in the end. Everyone is way happier when everyone is sleeping soundly. 

If you’re in the middle of a sleep regression or sleeping trouble hang in there, do what’s best for you and your baby and it will eventually get better (hopefully before they’re teenagers). 

The Mom Bod

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The Mom Bod is something I think all moms know and stress about. It doesn’t matter how fit you are before your pregnancy it’s still a struggle to get used to the changes in your body after giving birth, no matter what there are differences. 

I know some moms bounce back pretty quickly from breastfeeding, and I fully anticipated this happening to me as well but it didn’t. I know some people will probably hate me for saying this but I’m not someone who struggled with losing weight before, I inherited my dads Dutch metabolism. Since having Baby T it’s something I struggle with physically and mentally, accepting that I do need to watch what I eat and try and exercise even though being a mom is already demanding on its own. 

It feels like everyone pays attention to how you look after your a mom and how you’ve bounced back from your baby body and sometimes it doesn’t matter how much people tell you that you look great, unless you believe it yourself you never feel that way. Women do have so much pressure from social media and entertainment to look a certain way even after having babies and it can be difficult to love yourself even though you know what amazing things your body has done to grow and nurture a tiny human. 

I think there should always be a balance between wanting to take care of yourself and be healthy, not doing extreme diets or exercising to the point of burning yourself out and accepting your new body as it is and appreciating the things it’s accomplished. Your baby will never look at your body and think anything negative about it, they see their comfort and their home. 

A mom bod isn’t something you should be ashamed about, but do what feels best to you. If you feel like trying to better yourself and push yourself a little to make yourself feel better then do that! If you have accepted your mom bod for what it is that’s amazing! We don’t have to be pressured to feel either of those ways, just do you, boo. 

How’s It Going?

We are just over three weeks into our lockdown here in Ontario, it was supposed to be ending January 23rd but they gave lockdown a new name (Stay At Home Order) and from that point extended it until at least February 11th. How’s that going, you ask?

At the beginning of lockdown I had plans of how to get through it and stay positive but that’s not always easy to do. You don’t realize you’ve taken for granted so much in your life until it’s all considered illegal activity and after a while it does start to get to you no matter how hard you try. Through lockdown I’ve learned to take every day one at a time, even though almost every day seems exactly the same. If one day is worse than the others I try to wake up the next morning and start fresh, finding something to smile about first thing in the morning like breakfast with Baby T and sharing tea and coffee with my husband before we start our day. 

At work, I can tell that the lockdown is getting to everyone, employees and customers. I work in a very small branch and with new policies and procedures that include screening customers at the front door it’s obvious that there is a new tension in the environment. As someone who stays as far away from conflict as possible, I find some of my days are very uneasy trying to avoid bothering people.

I consider myself lucky to be able to go to work part time at this point because at least it gets me out of the house and interacting with a handful of people, stay at home moms have it the hardest right now I think with no play groups to go to and no stores to go walk your baby around in. Even the two days I’m by myself with Baby T, I struggle to find things in the house to entertain her and with no where to go except for maybe a walk if you feel like bundling up in 5, and under, degree weather.

It feels like it puts more pressure on me to be more creative with activities for her but that’s hard when you’re not really a crafty or creative person. Sometimes I can sense that she’s as bored sitting at home as I am. 

All in all, I know this is a pretty down and depressing blog but also probably one I’ve needed to write for a while. It’s hard to put into verbal words sometimes how I’m feeling but putting them out there in writing is always very therapeutic. If you’re feeling the same way and need to put it down in writing feel free to put it in the comments, no judgements here. Also, have a look at my previous blog of getting through a second lockdown for a refresher of ideas and motivation to be positive, I might do the same myself. I will leave it linked below.

Speaking of writing being therapeutic, since I switched to only posting once a week I haven’t been writing as often as I’d like to. I have lots of content prepared for the next few weeks and I am already writing into posts for the end of February, so I have decided I would like to try posting twice a week… Monday’s and Thursday’s at 5 pm. That’s a bit exciting isn’t it? You get to hear more from me, hopefully less depressing!

Thanks for reading and keep your chin up (telling myself the very same thing in the mirror). 

https://evangelyntavares.ca/2020/12/27/lockdown-number-two/

7 Baby Things I Never Knew I Needed

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Even though there are endless lists of things to buy before a baby arrives at home, you never really know what you’re going to need (or how much) until the time actually comes because every baby and family is different. Here are seven things that I didn’t know I needed. 

Diaper Wipe Warmer – Our friends who had their baby six months before us got one of these and I remember thinking, “that’s a waste of money, babies don’t need that!” Well, six months later when we had our own teeny tiny baby that seems like the most fragile, delicate thing we had ever seen and she deserves warm butt wipes. She hated getting undressed and getting her bum changed it seemed like the last thing she wanted was something cold cleaning her up. While I still don’t think this is an absolutely essential thing for babies, I’m just saying don’t write it off because you will literally do anything to make that little baby’s life as comfortable as possible.

Blackout Curtains – These became an important purchase for two reasons. First, Baby T took all of her naps on me or on someone else for the first six months of her life until we finally trained her to take them in her own crib. When that time finally came one of the biggest tips was to make sure the room was dark which is obviously very hard to do on a sunny afternoon unless you have blackout curtains. Second, Baby T was born in November and where we live for the winter months it gets pitch black by 5:30, so whenever she was ready for bed it was nice and dark and there was no need for curtains. Once it got into spring and summer the sun would stay out until 7:30 or 8pm and her bedtime had moved up to that time. Having a good set of blackout curtains made it seem like it was nighttime in her room even when we were sat outside enjoying the sunset. 

A Laundry Bin – Not just any laundry bin, a big and sturdy laundry bin specifically for the baby’s room. There is a lot of laundry, and I do Baby T’s laundry twice as much as I do our own and keep it all separate so I can use the baby detergent on hers. It saves time on sorting everything out of one laundry bin. 

Dimmable Lamp – We have a little IKEA dimmable lamp on a table next to Baby T’s crib. The ceiling light in her room is a very bright white light and not very relaxing right before bed, so having this lamp which is a much more warm tone is perfect for helping her make the transition to bedtime. Before she’s even in the room to get ready for bed I turn off the ceiling light and turn on the lamp so that as soon as she’s in there she knows what time it is. The dimming is perfect as well for the odd time we have had to go in and check on her through the night if she’s sick and needs medicine, we only need to put on a little bit of light to see and we’re not fully waking her up. 

Lots of PJs – One thing I have always felt like I did not have enough of is pyjamas. For every size I have tried to have about five or six sets of pyjamas. When she was newborn we needed to make sure we always had extra incase she spat up on the ones she was wearing (which could sometimes happen multiple times in one night), and when she got bigger it helped to cut down on the amount of laundry I had to do. For a while, we only had three pairs in one size and I had to do laundry everyday to make sure I always had an extra set in case of a mess emergency. 

A Carrier/Wrap – There were some days that Baby T would not let me put her down and I thought I was going to go crazy. I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink because she was constantly falling asleep on me. My midwife recommended going to my local Babywearing Group (they were on Facebook), so one day my mother in law and I packed up the baby and took her. They had every different kind of baby wearing wrap and contraption ever made and they showed you exactly how to use them, they even had a lending library of wraps that you could take one home and try it out! After borrowing a woven wrap and trying it out I decided to buy my own and it was amazing! Whenever Baby T was fussy and clingy I would wrap her on me and she would fall asleep instantly in it so I could make myself something to eat and move around without disturbing her. I honestly wish I had gotten one sooner!

A Bassinet That Vibrates – My boss sold me a bassinet that she had used only a couple of times for her grandkids. I hadn’t really looked into bassinets but it was like brand new so it seemed like a good choice. Little did we know it also had a vibrate function that would save our sanity! I don’t know if this is a bad habit to get some babies into or whatever but Baby T put herself to sleep at as little as one week old in that bassinet because of the vibrating function! I would feed her, swaddle her up and lay her down and before I was even turning off our bedside table and climbing into bed her eyes were closing and she was out. It had a 40 minute time limit so if she ever woke up in the middle of the night and wasn’t hungry, I would turn it back on and she would go right back to sleep. We starting thinking that when she moved into her crib and didn’t have the vibration that she wouldn’t put herself back to sleep anymore but I think it actually made her so used to it that it wasn’t an issue!

These are just seven things that I found made life as a new mom a little easier on top of everything else that babies need, but like I said, every baby and mom is different so there could be even more little things that I don’t even know about. If you’re a new mom what’s something you didn’t know you needed? 

Hello 2021!

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2020 has certainly had its moments and it’s a year that has brought challenges and changes. It’s had its dark times as well as hopeful times. We’re ending it off in a Lockdown in Ontario of course, but I have some hope that 2021 will be better. 

A Year In Review

Obviously we all know about the bad things that have happened this year. It was also a year that I had my first beach vacation with Baby T in Florida, I learned that I am capable of taking care of my baby on my own even through some difficult mental health issues but at the same time it’s okay to ask for help when it’s needed, and also how to juggle working part-time with spending time with my family. 

The New Year

With a New Year comes new goals. You already saw in my last post my goals for the blog, but I also have some goals for myself for the year. Of course, like everyone else, taking care of myself physically is a priority including working out and eating better. There’s also making the most of the time I get to spend with the people I love, planning fun activities each weekend to do as a family and hopefully getting to go on some mini adventures even if we have to stay close to home. 

All in all, I hope that 2021 brings better and brighter times for everyone and brings us a little closer to some normalcy again. 

What to Expect from My Blog

I wanted to give a little update of my plans for my blog, we’re coming up on almost seven months of blogging which is honestly more than I even thought I would do. I appreciate the likes, comments and subscribers so much! It’s been such a fun passion project for me and I have every intention of keeping it going for as long as I’m able to! 

Blog Schedule

In order to keep the blog going I though it would be good to make more of a schedule for posting, so starting with my next post (next week) I will be posting once a week on Thursdays at 8 pm. I’m a working mom now and I want to make sure that I keep my time organized to make the most of time with my family as well as my hobbies (and keep on top of the house work).

Pinterest

All of my posts will now also be posted on my Pinterest page which you can also follow here > www.pinterest.com/evangelyntavaresca if you would like or by clicking the Pinterest symbol on this page. 

Blog Topics

I will still be covering a variety of topics including Mom-blogs, Parenting Tips, Travel Series and continuing my blog challenge. I’d also like to introduce an Affordable Fixes Series for Home Decor and Fashion where I will share my finds for affordable items in these categories. 

Again, I want to say a big thank you to those of you who have been with me since the beginning and such a good support and welcome to newer ones! I hope my blog continues to give you new ideas to try and most importantly, makes you smile! 

Lockdown Number Two

We live in Ontario, Canada where they have decided to do a second province wide lockdown, in the northern regions it will last 14 days and the rest (where we live) for 28 days. If you’ve been with me since the beginning you know that the first lockdown took a toll on me mentally, and while I’m sure this one will have it’s fair share of rough days, I feel better prepared for it. My husband and I are both also essential workers which means we still have babysitters for Baby T, and still get out of the house on a regular basis. 

So, how do we get through a second lockdown when we know from experience how much it sucks? I already did a post about things you can do with your spouse, here’s some ideas I have to keep my own sanity as well as Baby T’s.

  1. Get outside (weather depending). We just had about 10 cm of snow where we live which doesn’t sound like a lot but it actually is a good amount. Thankfully, being the smart Canadian parents that we are, we invested in a good snow suit and pair of winter boots for Baby T. We got to go outside even if it was for a short amount of time and enjoy the fresh air and the fresh snow.
  2. Try to limit eating out and drinking during the week. I am all about supporting local restaurants during this time but I’m also about supporting my stomach. It always feels the best when we have healthy home cooked meals every night, and maybe one night of ordering in per week. For alcohol, I know it’s easy when you have to be home every night to crack open another beer or another bottle of wine and relax even if it’s only a couple of drinks, but for me it can make me feel more down about myself and what’s going on around me. A few on the weekends is a nice treat, but maybe try a nice herbal tea or good old water during the week.
  3. Exercise. Gyms are closed again of course, just as we were getting into a good routine of going back. Thankfully after the first lockdown we invested in some equipment for our garage like a squat rack, a bench and dumbbells. This time around we’ve had to invest in a propane heater so our hands don’t freeze to the bars. If you don’t have gym equipment there are so many other options; with a little motivation you can have a really good sweat session right at home. There are some really good workout apps and programs that involve no equipment like Kayla Itsines SWEAT and Alive by Whitney Simmons (by the way I am in no way affiliated with these companies or sponsored by them), both of these you have to pay for but if you can afford it sometimes the fact that it’s costing you money is the best motivation of all because you want to get your moneys-worth. There are also free options all over Youtube.
  4. Find a good book to read. Do you ever have those times where your eyes are straining from watching too much TV or scrolling on your phone too much and you just need a break from it? This is where all those books on your shelf come in handy. It’s easier on your eyes and if it’s a good enough book it’ll take you to a different place for a little while. If you’re into writing do that too! You can google ‘writing prompts’ for some ideas to get you started on Fiction and Non-Fiction writing.
  5. Find activities for your family to do together. I’m very guilty of just letting Baby T go with her toys and not doing anything that’s very engaging or fun for either of us but recently my husband and I have been trying to set up activities for us to do as a family. Thank goodness for Pinterest! There are so many ideas of activities for specific ages and a lot of them don’t even involve you having to buy materials, you just have to get a little creative with what’s already in your house.
  6. Keep the music going. Music often has a way of affecting your mood. First thing in the morning I turn on our Spotify to a happy, upbeat playlist to start the day. I’m not a morning person at all but it helps me to wake up and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
  7. Try not to watch the news. It’s good to keep up with basic information (like the fact that there is a lockdown), but watching the news all day everyday is never a good idea. It’s not a bad thing to forget about what’s going on in the world from time to time.

There you have it! Seven easy things to get through the next 28 days, if the lockdown goes longer than that then I guess we will have to think of some new things. I know readers on here are from all over the world, so wherever you are and whether you’re in a lockdown as well or not, I hope you all stay safe and make good choices! 

Comment below if you have your own ideas of lockdown activities for families! 

Blog Challenge: Where Do You See Yourself in Ten Years?

Hopefully back in a world where we can travel, go to concerts and sports games, and not wear a mask. 

Besides those obvious things, I honestly see my life pretty similar to how it is now. Location-wise I would maybe be in a different house by then, maybe one more in the country. I would still be married to my husband, Baby T would be eleven years old and she would have a little eight year old brother. 

I would probably be in the exact same job with the exact same company; why fix what isn’t broken? 

We would still hang out with the same people every weekend and hopefully go to the same cottage in Calabogie ON every year as well as Myrtle Beach with my parents, all inclusive resorts and Destin, Florida. 

We’ve spent the last ten years building the life that we have now and it’s one that I want to keep for the long term. I like to keep things simple and I’m more than happy to spend every day doing the same things with my family and friends for the next ten years. 

Blog Challenge: 10 Random Facts About Me

To start off our Blog Challenge I will be giving 10 Random Facts about me.

1. I have been married for *almost* ten years (I got married young)

2. My idea of a perfect date is snuggled up by a fire watching movies with dinner ordered in and a glass of wine (hint hint Dan)

3. My favourite international place I’ve been is Ireland; specifically the Aran Islands

4. My favourite place I’ve been in Canada is my favourite cottage in Calabogie, ON (it’s a place I didn’t make that name up)

5. I do not like the beach unless it’s attached to an all inclusive

6. I have been working in the banking industry since I left high school (over ten years)

7. I graduated one semester early because I went to summer school and had a credit for taking registered piano lessons and exams for 8 years and because I hated high school

8. My favourite meal is a full British turkey dinner

9. My dream job was to be a teacher

10. I have music playing in my house all day everyday; silence creeps me out

What are some random facts about you?