Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beech Nut Toddler Food Giveaway- Closed

I'm participating in my first Bzz Campaign and was excited to receive a huge box of toddler food to share with my friends. Most of you know Beech Nut makes baby food but now they are also making toddler Food. We received several samples of 7 Grain Nibbles, Biter Biscuits and Yoghurt Nibbles.

I want my kids to eat healthy but don’t always have time to prepare fruit or vegetables, especially when I’m running out the door. I love the fact that Beech Nut has a no Junk Promise. Their products are made with whole grains and no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours.

When my daughter started on solid foods, my husband and I were thrilled to have an excuse to buy Mr. Christie’s Arrowroot cookies for ourselves our daughter. We happily shared with her as well, but one day I took the time to actually read the ingredients. I was shocked to find out that sugar was the second ingredient and the next ingredient was shortening. The Beech Nut biter biscuits are made of healthier ingredients. The closest thing to sugar is evaporated cane juice which is a healthier option than white sugar. They are not as sweet as traditional baby cookies but my kids still loved them.

The 7 Grain Nibbles are like miniature rice cakes. They are a bit messy so we don’t take this travelling with us. But I like feeding them to Sweet Pea in her high chair. They keep her entertained while I make dinner and it’s nice to have something other than cheerios to offer her. They come in two flavours: Sweet Potato and Mixed Veggie

We recently took a bag of the Yoghurt Nibbles to the park. Princess loves them and they keep her occupied while we’re strolling around. She was even nice enough to share with her sister. We tried the Berries and Cherries type but i'm sure she would have loved the Strawberry Banana kind too.

Win Beech Nut Toddler Food
As part of the Bzz Campaign they encourage us to share with other moms. I’d like to offer you a chance to test these snacks as well. One person will win a box of the 7 Grain Nibbles Sweet Potato snacks and a box of the Biter Biscuits. This contest is open to Canada and US. Contest will end June 8th.

Entries: You can do any or all of the following things to get an entry. Be sure to leave a comment for each separate action you do.

1. Leave a comment about quick snack ideas for kids, favourite features about the Beech Nut toddler line or anything somewhat related
2. Follow my blog
3. Subscribe to my blog
4. Follow me on twitter @KellyNeufeld
5. Retweet this contest or blog about this giveaway
6. Add me to your blog roll

Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm about to go to sleep at the early hour of 12am. Normally I'd be up for another hour or two, sometimes even three, but I'm exhausted. Sweet Pea's birthday party was tonight which was a lot of fun. I took over 100 pictures and will be sure to post some of the best ones soon.

I also finally got around to writing my resume. I applied for one job and it would be amazing if I would get the first job I applied for. I'm not getting my hopes up too high though. So between baking and decorating dozens of cupcakes, shopping for party supplies and looking for a job I've been staying up late and skipping naps. At this point my body has had enough and is forcing me to go to sleep. zzzzzzz

Aloha Friday #84

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday hosted by An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is a day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays we take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, we ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. Visit the Island Life Blog for more Aloha Friday QuestionsPhotobucket

My Question: Comment Etiquette
I love getting comments on my post and try to respond to them the majority of the time (although I'm a little behind right now). I usually respond via e-mail. I wonder if I should reply in the comments section of the post as well. That way everyone else can ready my answer to a reader's question. But at the same time I realize that most people do not subscribe to the comments section. I've seen some people respond to comments by leaving a comment on the other person's blog, but it doesn't always make sense to the other people reading it.

So my questions has two parts: Do you respond to the people who comment on your blogs and in what manner? The second part is how do you prefer to be responded to?

Ps. For those of you with blogger accounts please make sure there is an e-mail address associated with your profile. It makes it much easier to respond to your comments.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

In honour of Sweet Pea's first birthday yesterday.

1 Day Old

1 Month Old

1 Year Old

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Perfect VBAC Birth Story

A year ago today I delivered my 2nd perfect baby girl. As I mentioned in my post about waiting for labour my first was born via c-section because she was breach. I had to go into labour on my own because inductions raise the risk of uterine rupture during vaginal births after c-sections.

I went into labour late Sunday night at 40weeks and 4 days. I had some very mild and infrequent contractions that kept me up so I cleaned the whole house. I started timing my contractions at 7am and they were between 5-10 minutes apart but only about 10 seconds long. The hospital told me stay at home until I was having contractions 3-5 minutes apart lasting a minute long. Since the hospital was an hour away we went anyways, but not until I made my husband vaacuum.

We walked around the hospital for an hour and then my husband wanted me to check in. I didn't want to hear that I was barely dilated since the contractions still weren't regular or longer than 15 seconds. But we decided to just check. Once I walked into the admitting room around 12:45, they handed me my gown and I had 3 quick contractions. I laid down and then threw up. They checked me and I was only 2cm. I had 2 more contractions in the next few minutes and during the 2nd one my water broke. They checked me and I was fully dilated! I immediately felt like pushing so they rushed me to a delivery room. After about 20 minutes of pushing my baby was there! Sweet Pea arrived at 1:18pm barely 30 minutes after being admitted.

I did get a 2nd degree tear and used gas while they stitched me up. I was surprised to find out she was 8lbs 11oz since my first had only been 7.5lbs. I'm glad I didn't know how big she was since it might have scared me and hindered my labour.

It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I didn't follow medical advice and get a repeat c-section. My recovery was so much better. I don't know how I would have been able to take care of my toddler if I had a c-section.

I don't have any pictures of my labour since it was so quick but this picture is 5 minutes after having her.

This picture is the first time Princess met her baby sister. The outfits were not planned at all surprisingly

I'd love to read your birth stories. Feel free to add the link to the stories in the comments section.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Not Me! Monday 2

This is my second time participating in Not Me! Monday! You can read my first entry here. This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This week I did not go on a day date with my husband. We did not talk about how we couldn’t remember the last time we went out for a date during the day. If we had gone out, we wouldn’t have celebrated with a ridiculously expensive lunch. And the lunch would not have included a single bellini that would give me a slight buzz without even finishing it. My husband would not have loved the fact that I wore a halter top and “didn’t look like a mom”.

I did not walk into a new store and get utterly and completely confused just trying to get into the door. It’s hard to explain, but there were exit and entrance doors right beside each other and then each of them had another door to enter/exit the store with a glass divider between the two areas. I did not walk into the exit door then wonder why I couldn’t open the partition to get to the 2nd entrance door. I did not need the help of a kind gentleman to get me into the store. And once in the store, when I couldn’t find either of the items I originally went for, I did not proceed to spend $80 on other random things. That would be crazy.

My youngest daughter’s first birthday is tomorrow. Because it is such momentous occasion I have been thinking about it for weeks. I certainly have not been in complete denial that she is turning one and procrastinated on picking a date for the party. I will not be planning a last-minute party for her. And when we do have the party, I certainly will not be letting her indulge in any cake. She has never in her life had sugar and we wouldn’t start on her birthday. I made a special cake for my oldest daughter out of our applesauce and whole wheat flour and would not slack off on this birthday just because she is the second child.

I did not finally fold two weeks’ worth of the girls’ laundry last Tuesday. There is no way I would have 19 pairs of unmatched socks. And there was not already another two loads of their laundry waiting to be done. But if there were I would not have procrastinated on doing those two loads until today. Who knew little girls came with so much clothing? And because I am so organized with their clothes, I would never leave two big boxes of their too small clothes sitting in our hallway for over three months. These photos are not of my home of course, but I wanted to show what the laundry would look like if I had procrastinated on laundry, which I totally did not do, remember.

Those are all the things I did not do last week. What are some things you did not do last week?

My 2nd Award

One of my newest readers, Holly, just awarded me the Lovely Blog Award! You can visit Holly at Pink is my Signature Color. Now I get to pass along this award to 15 of the blogs I like. This isn`t a comprehensive list of all the blogs I read, because I read a lot, but these are some of the ladies I`ve been able to talk to through blogging. I apologize if you already have the award.

The rules for accepting the award are as follows
1. Accept the award and post it on your blog, along with the name and link of the person who sent it to you.
2. Pass the award to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered, then contact them to let them know you have passed it along.

Susie at Be Strong & Courageous
Becca at Becca`s Backyard
Jen at Buried with Children
Michelle at Flying Giggles & Lollipops
Loukia at Loulou`s Views
Brittany at Re-Writing Motherhood
Liz at Sugarplum Creations
Stacy at Stacy`s Random Thoughts
Eva at Surprised Suburban Wife
Kate at Savvy Little Women
Amy at The A to Z Twins
Tara at Tara`s View of the World
Jeanette at Temporary Insanity
Melissa at The Dumbest Smart Girl You Know
Erin at Closing Time

1 Year Ago- Waiting for Labour

This was me exactly 1 year ago. I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant with Sweet Pea, desperately hoping that I would go into labour on my own before a scheduled c-section at 41 weeks. My first was born via c-section because she was breach (Now that I know more about breach babies I wish I had tried different methods to turn her) but I was really hoping to experience childbirth naturally with this one. It was a bit of a struggle to get a doctor to agree to let me have a vaginal birth after a c-section (vbac) but I had found one who agreed to let me have a vbac if it was before 41 weeks. I agreed to the 41 week timeline only because I was sure I would go into labour early since my water had broken 4 days early with my first. At this time last year, I had all but resigned myself to having another c-section and was going in the morning to get bloodwork done for the surgery.

Luckily, I went into labour that night. Come back tomorrow to read my perfect vbac story.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Aloha Friday #83

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday hosted by An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is a day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays we take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, we ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. Visit the Island Life Blog for more Aloha Friday QuestionsPhotobucket

My Question:

How many blogs do you follow or subscibe to?

My Answer:

I'm currently following 63 blogs and try to read most of the content. I keep finding new blogs I like as well. I feel like I should cut back because it takes a lot of time but I wouldn't even know where to start since I find each one of them interesting and unique in their own way. And now I'll probably find more blogs I like through this Aloha Friday.

Leaving the Baby Stage Behind

Sweet Pea woke up an hour after going to bed tonight and refused to go back to sleep. As much as I like my free time, it’s sometimes nice to play with her at night. I hardly ever have time just with her. Playing at night is quiet and relaxing, I’m not worried about making dinner or cleaning or doing anything other than just playing with my baby.

Tonight, I watched my sweet pea toddle around the house. She’s been walking for a few weeks now but I can’t get over how cute it is. I can’t believe how old she is. She turns one next Tuesday. I don’t even really believe it’s been a year. I’m in denial. She’s still almost bald and until the recent addition of four new teeth looked like a baby. But now she is walking. There’s no denying that my baby is a toddler in every sense of the word.

Some people say they don’t like the baby stage but I love it. I love having a sweet baby sleeping in my arms. I like not having to chase her around and take her off the coffee table. I miss the days where she wasn’t stealing her older sister’s toys. When there were no such things as temper tantrums and messes to clean up.

I liked being the only one able to feed her. Now she is too busy and distracted to sit still and breastfeed very long. At the same time, I enjoy being able to get out and not have to rush home to feed her. My baby is growing up before my eyes. I love the baby stage but I also love the toddler stage.

I have her first words (besides mama) to look forward to. I am excited to have conversations with her and figure out what is going on inside her head. She will learn to dance like her older sister. The thought of the two of them dancing is precious. My girls are close together and I hope they’ll be the best of friends. Right now, they struggle to understand each other and take turns but as they get older and can communicate they will have even more fun than now. I know Princess will enjoy having an older sibling to help her take care of her dolls and play dress-up.

I’m looking forward to this stage in Sweet Pea’s life but I can’t help but wonder when I’ll have another sweet newborn in my arms. At least I have one more baby to look forward to. I’m going to be even sadder after the next since it will probably be the last time I experience the baby stage. Time flies and I feel like I didn’t take enough time to just enjoy Sweet Pea’s first year. Hopefully, I remember that when I have a third and will treasure every moment.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Idol- Bikini Girl

I spent two hours last night watching the American Idol. It was fun to see all 13 semi-finalists again. I won’t even try to comment on who should have won since I’m tone deaf and can’t really tell who is singing well. I was surprised that Kris won but after thinking about it, it makes more sense. The Danny Gokey fans would have naturally switched their votes over to him. Also, I think that Adam is a polarizing contestant. People either loved him or hated him. I suspect there were a lot of votes for Kris just so Adam wouldn’t win. Or possibly Adam did not want to win so he wouldn’t be tied down to an American Idol recording and asked friends and family not to vote.

One part I remember very well is when the Bikini girl was given an award. It’s so sad that I don’t even know her name. Sure, appearing in a biking for the audition is a good way to get noticed. But wouldn’t she rather get noticed for her voice? Save the bikini for America’s Next Top Model. Thankfully, she didn’t make it too far but was invited back to the finale. I couldn’t believe she came out in a bikini again. Is that how she wants to be remembered for the rest of her life? Why was she willing to put up with the embarrassment just to be on a show? And it looks like she has had implants. As if she didn’t have a good enough body to begin with. Doesn’t she know that the boobs will get messed up once she has kids and it could impact her ability to breastfeed? She already had a body that most women would kill for but obviously still felt inferior.

Then Kara came out to sing. A smart woman who can write and sing. When she whipped open her dress at the end to show her bikini she immediately tried to cover up her body again. Why is she so embarrassed of her body? It looked fabulous, especially considering she’s 38. I don’t know many woman who look that good in their 20’s.

Why are these two beautiful women not satisfied with their bodies? It makes me worried for my girls in the future. They are going to be bombarded with images of super-thin models and airbrushed images. How can I ensure that they have a healthy self-esteem? Sadly, I already have to do deal with this on a small scale. Princess likes to watch me put make up on. She always asks for it and sometimes I oblige. Other times I tell her that she doesn’t need it, she’s already beautiful. I’m dreading the day when she asks me why I wear make-up. How do I explain that I need make-up to feel pretty? How can I expect her to be happy with her face and body when I rely on a product to fix myself? And I know that there are going to be tougher questions coming as they grow up. Somehow I need to teach them that looks are not everything and that while looks fade, character doesn’t.

Raising girls is complicated. If you have any suggestions on promoting healthy self-esteem or books on the subject, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

It's hard to believe it's Wednesday already. Time for another (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

The Face of Independence

The Face of A Drama Queen

Sweet Pea is insisting that she feed herself these days which is just another sad reminder that she is growing up. And if she is anything like her sister, she will be a drama queen. Princess has never before painted her legs with yoghurt but after watching me photograph her little sister covered in yoghurt I think she did it just to be included in the picture taking.

Visit Ordinary & Aweseome for more links to Mostly Wordless Wednesday Posts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Huge Blog Roll

The ladies at Mom Dot have compiled a list of bloggers. Please take some time to visit some of these blogs. You never know what you'll find, I've found some of my favorite blogs by randomly visiting links

My First Award

I was thrilled to find out I had received my first blogging award. It was awarded by my virtual friend Sara Bonds. She is the blog designer behind Subjective Beauty. The name probably sounds familiar if you’ve ever participated in (Mostly) Wordless Wednesday. She hosts the Mostly Wordless Wednesday at her other blog .Ordinary and Awesome, You'll notice her comments everywhere because she literally comments on 300 posts that day.

My Award

I will be passing this award on soon. I just have to narrow down my choices since there are so many great blogs out there. You can head over to Sara's blog to see who else was given this award.

In other somewhat related news my, technorati rating is rapidly climbing. When I first registered my site, I was near the six million mark in terms of rating. After pinging it again, I was around the 2 million mark and today my ranking is #1,340,979. I’ve gone up 4.5 million places in the rankings in one month! Now if only it was that easy to move up the next 1.3 million places.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday

This is my first time participating in Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not forget to call my mother and my mother-in-law on Mother’s day. I certainly wouldn’t forget to drop by my mom’s house since we live within walking distance. Even though I made her brunch on Saturday, I wouldn’t consider that an excuse not to do anything on Mother’s Day. I did not send my sister out shopping the day before Mother’s Day for a last minute gift for our mom. I did not run out of time to make a photobook for her, in spite of my best intentions.

And I would never count on my sister-in-law to pick up a gift for my mother-in-law and ask her to just sign the card from us as well. And I most certainly do not still have both mothers’ day cards still sitting on my desk unsigned. I love my mom (and mil) and always go all out on special occasions.

Speaking of my own Mother’s day, I did not consider the fact that my husband cleaned the kitchen and made cookies the best gift ever. I did not make him return the expensive purse he bought me. I did not have trouble justifying spending so much money on just a purse.

I did not exercise this week to a cheesy 90’s DVD. And if I did, I certainly would not be unable to complete a 5 minutes abdominal exercise. Having two children and one c-section is no excuse for not having any abdominal strength at all. I did not feel the burn from doing the aerobics exercise even without any weights. I certainly did not want to pause the DVD to give Princess a snack. I wouldn’t need a break after a short exercise program. And I did not start staring at the screen after 30 minutes and wonder when it was going to end.

I did not lose track of time and almost be late for work because of it. And it wouldn't have been because I was reading blogs. And speaking of reading, I did not read my first parenting book this week. I have not been trying to figure out the complexities of parenting on my own.

Those are all the things I did not do last week. What are some things you did not do last week?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quotable Sundays- Parenting Edition

Toni from A Daily Dose of Toni is hosting Quotable Sundays, a day to share our favourite quotes that make us laugh, inspire us or maybe just make us think

My quotes are on parenting and come from the book, Screamfree Parenting. I’m almost done the book and have learned a lot from it. Today I’ll share some of the quotes and later I'll will write a review about it I’m finished it.

Parents can tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach”- Arnold H. Glasgow, (Psychologist)

In raising my children, I have lost my mind but found my soul”- Lisa T. Shepherd, (Parent)

Child-rearing myth: Labour ends when the baby is born” – Unknown

Life does not begin at the moment of conception or the moment of birth. It begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.”- Unknown

Resistance is futile” – The Borg, Star Trek

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and the advise them to do it” – Harry S. Truman

There is no such thing as “fun for the whole family”- Jerry Seinfeld

My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett, (Comedian)

“Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say
”- Wilfred A. Peterson (Author)

You can read more Quotable Sundays at A Daily Dose of Toni

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I won my first contest! I won the Aurora Photo Editing program in a giveaway hosted by Staci at Momma’s Gone over the Wall. After a quick download, I started editing some photos. It’s amazingly easy and intuitive to use. I didn’t need any instructions at all. As soon as I opened it, it imported all my photo files into the program. Then I picked one and started editing. There is no need to create a extra copy of your photo since it automatically saves your edited file as a new file with an “au” at the end. It also shows you exactly what your photos will look like before you change anything. And you can press a button at any time to see the original photo.

One of the best things about the program is the relight feature that “turns on the light” in pictures. You can see an example at Momma’s Gone over the Wall.

I thought I had a pretty good picture of the girls from Easter when I started but with a little bit of added crispness, color warmth and strength it turned into an amazing photo. I can’t believe how much better it looks. Another great feature is that it fixes red-eye with just one button click. There is no need to drag rectangles over every person’s eyes manually with this program.



I’m so glad I won this. There a few other giveaways for Aurora that are still open if you'd like to win it for yourself
Potamus Prefers (Ends May 15th)
Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House (Ends May 20th)

You can also purchase it for only 19.99 (50% off) at Aurora or download a free 7 day trial of Aurora.

What's the best thing you've ever won?

Aloha Friday #82

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday hosted by An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is a day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays we take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, we ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. Visit the Island Life Blog for more Aloha Friday QuestionsPhotobucket

My Question:

When did you start potty training and how long did it take until your child was completely potty trained? If you haven't started yet, when do you plan on starting?

That was the easy qustion, if you have more time to tell me how you did it, I would love to get some potty training suggestions on my post about attempting to potty train my daughter

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Potty Training Princess

I’m so embarrassed that Princess isn’t potty trained yet. I started “training” her over two years ago. When she was just 8 months old I started putting her on the toilet so that she wouldn’t be scared of it. We’d sit there and read books soon after breastfeeding. She would eventually pee and we’d make a big celebration out of it. At only one year old we could go entire days in the same diaper. Granted, I was putting on the toilet but we were getting there. There were even times at 14 months where she would lead me to the bathroom when she had to do #2.

So what happened you ask? Well at 14 months we went on a 24 hour road trip (never again!) for a vacation (if you can call chasing after a toddler all day, a vacation). Then when we got back I started my winter semester and took 5 courses so I would get them out of the way before baby #2 came in May. Princess was too distracted at the babysitters to sit still on the toilet so we let it slide. Then when her sister came along I didn’t have time to concentrate on it. Then I went back to school and potty training was still on the back burner.

When I finished my last semester I was sure I would be able to potty train her quickly. I’ve let her wear pretty big girl underwear but she has a lot of accidents. I’ve bought cloth diapers so that she can feel when she goes pee but not make a mess. But I think they’re doing too good of a job. She isn’t bothered by sitting in a wet diaper. I could keep putting her on the toilet every hour but I’m not sure that is actually teaching her to control it and recognize the urge herself. Not to mention that is a huge battle to get her to sit on the toilet. According to her, once you’ve done it once already that day you don’t have to go on the toilet anymore.

So my current plan of attack is to let her wear underwear and ask her to go to the bathroom every hour. I hope that helps her make the connection. If that fails I might just have to read some books on potty training.

Can you suggest any potty training methods or books?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

A Princess even in her sleep. She fell asleep in her Snow White dress during her quiet reading time before bed. I couldn't resist getting a picture.

For more Wordless Wednedays you can visit 5 Minutes for Mom, Life Starring Ellie and Eve or Mostly Wordless Wedneday at the Ordinary & Awesome Blog

Mother’s Day Recap

Some people have asked how my mother’s day went. It wasn’t anything spectacular but I was happy with it. I wish I had done more for my mom. She has done so much for me that I can never truly repay her. I had been planning on making her a photobook but I ran into difficulties with too many photos on too many different computer, cds and photo sites. I did organize my siblings to make a fruit crepe brunch on Saturday morning though. My sister also bought her an outfit from all of us. I didn’t even see her Sunday and forgot to call her. She wasn’t upset at all though since we had celebrated on Saturday.

I was hoping that when I came home from work on Saturday night my husband would surprise me with a clean house (especially since I had told him that’s what I wanted). Instead I found a sweet card and nice leather purse. Earlier, I had jokingly told him that I wanted a designer purse for Mothers Day. It’s a nice purse but I think I’m going to return it. I feel almost guilty about spending so much on just a purse. There are a lot better things to spend the money on. Besides it doesn’t even have a designer label, and what’s the fun of having an expensive purse if nobody else knows it’s expensive?

Sweet Pea’s gift was to let us all sleep in until 8:30 on Sunday. Then we had a quick breakfast and got ready for church. The sermon was a nice tribute to mothers. I especially liked the part where the pastor said that mothers need a supportive partner. That touched my husband as well and he apologized for not being home more often. And then he left to run some errands! I didn’t actually mind too much since I like to have my traditional Sunday afternoon nap. By the time I woke up from the nap, I only had a little while to feed myself, feed sweet pea and get ready for work. I’m a waitress so I got to serve all the families celebrating mother’s day. It sucks to have to work on a holiday meant to honour you.

When I got home that night I was surprised with a clean kitchen and freshly baked cookies. That was the best present of all! Anything that gives me more free time and involves chocolate is a great gift. I’m looking forward to the next Mothers day when maybe my kids will actually understand what’s going on.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day Inspirations

I've come across some articles on mothers that I want to share in honour of mother's day.

Raina Kelly talks about how modern motherhood is impossible and how there are not enough hours in a day to do everything we need to get done. It lists some things that we need to learn in order to let go of feeling not good enough. I particularly like it when they talk about how we have idealized perceptions of our mother that might not always be 100% accurate. I'm sure my mom wasn't perfect but I forgot about the little incidents and remember all the happy times.
A Mother's Day Uprising

As moms we do a lot unpaid household work such as cleaning, cooking, daycare, teacher and driver. Apparently my husband should be paying me $135,00 a year to be a stay-at-home mom. He sadly doesn't make anywhere close to that so I guess I'll keep volunteering. For those who work outside the home, you should be paid approximately $83,000 for all your work outside of work.
What's a Mother's Work Really Worth?

You can also calculate your personalized annual salary. Try presenting your husband or kids with a bill for it.

I hope everyone has a Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Small Talk Six- Mother's Day Edition

Today's Small Talk Six is about 6 ways you are like or unlike your mother. To see the other bloggers particapating you can head over to Mom Dot

1. My mother raised 4 children, made dinner every night, kept a clean house and helped out on our farm. I have 2 children (so far), try to make dinner every night and dream of a clean house.

2. My mom homeschooled us all through elementary school. I know it made me a smarter person but I don’t think I will home school my kids. Only because I don’t think I would be dedicated enough to do it.

3. My husband says I talk like my mom. Every once in a while I hear it too.

4. My mom drove a van. Not even a minivan, just a big van to fit us all in. I refuse to drive a minivan. I recently sold my car and upgraded to a Ford Freestyle. It’s a crossover, NOT a minivan!

5. My mom used cloth diapers because disposables were too expensive and not widely used. I’m switching to cloth diapers because disposables are too expensive and cloth is better for the environment. Sometimes the old ways were the best ways.

6. My mother had quick labours. Her first was born 2 hours after her first contractions. A huge motivating factor in pushing for my vbac with my second child was that I wanted to see how my body would do in labour. I am so happy that I inherited her labour genes. You can’t get much better than 10 minutes total of active labour!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Aloha Friday

This weeks Aloha Friday is a Mother's Day edition.

What is the best gift you’ve gotten or given for mother’s day?

Visit An Island Life for a list of other blogs also participating.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rough Day

Today was a rough day. I’m not going to go into details, but being cooped up in our small place when it’s raining with a grumpy teething baby is not a fun way to spend the day.

I love spending time with my kids but I run out of things to do with them. My oldest is easy to entertain with books, stickers, puzzles, or drawing. But it’s harder to do things with my 11 month old. And when I am trying to help my oldest with a puzzle Sweet Pea wants to be involved. But she steals pieces and annoys Princess. I miss the days where Sweet Pea wasn’t mobile. If we move where Sweet Pea can’t reach the pieces she feels left out and cries. It's hard to meet both their needs at the same time sometimes. We did have fun with a mini dance party although Princess was disappointed that there was no cake at this party.

By the time I made dinner, I couldn't wait for them to go to bed. It took a couple of tries to get Sweet Pea down but when she finally fell asleep I relaxed on the couch to de-stress. I know that I am lucky to be a stay at home mom but I feel guilty that I don't love every moment of it.

Then I watched CSI: New York where a mother tragically lost her daughter. Watching that reminded me not to take time with my kids for granted. I shouldn’t complain when there are mothers who want nothing more than just one more day with their kids.

With that in mind, I’m determined to have a better day tomorrow. Even as hard as today was, there were definitely fun moments as well. I took some pictures of the better moments.

(You can see how Princess gets her nickname. She always manages to change into a princess outfit)

I'd love to hear suggestions on what activities/games I could play with my 11 month old or preferably with both girls.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Whose kids are these? What kind of mother lets her half-naked children hide under the table and eat their dad’s sugary cereal? Not me, that’s for sure!

My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I never expect very much for my birthday but still usually manage to get disappointed. I’m not the type of person that uses a birthday as an excuse to party or needs lots of gifts. It’s not that big of a deal but it’s nice to get a little bit of acknowledgement. I did get a lot of birthday wishes on Facebook, but those hardly count since they are from people you never talk to anymore and the only reason they know it’s your birthday is because Facebook tells them.

The kids slept in a bit which was a bonus birthday present. I had nothing planned for the day but since it was raining we couldn’t go out for a walk again. I was in the mood for a lazy day so I lounged around in my pajamas for most of the day. I finally showered and then had to tidy up before my mom came to babysit.

My husband I headed out out for dinner and a movie. There was a hockey game playing so it was hard to have a romantic dinner. Not only were the TVs distracting there also cheering and booing fans. And by the time we finished dinner, the movie had already started so we decided to rent one instead. We couldn’t agree on one so we ended up getting three movies. Slumdog Millionaire, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

The kids were still up when we got home so we got them ready for bed. Then my husband had a bit of work to do so I started watching American Idol. I don’t know why I bother watching it since I’m completely tone deaf and can’t tell who is a good singer. When my husband finally got back, we still could not agree on which movie to watch. I really wanted to watch Slumdog Millionaire but he didn’t and I had no interest in any of his movies. So I continued to watch American Idol while he went downstairs to watch X-Files.

Did I mention that there was no gift from my husband? I had to plan our evening out and then ended up watching TV alone. It’s not so much about the lack of a gift but I just wish he would have made some effort to make it a special day. We talked about it later that night and explained that I needed more quality time with him. He better redeem himself on Mother’s Day.

On a positive note, some family members gave me birthday money so I’m going to order a bike trailer. Hopefully this will give us an activity to do together while getting some exercise in too.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My 2nd Work-out

I had nothing planned for today and by 1pm the girls and I were getting restless. I decided that for my own sanity we needed to get out of the house. I bundled everyone up and grabbed my cell phone and water bottle and strapped them into the double stroller. I wore running shoes but kept my jeans on since I only planned to do a leisurely walk. This was the first time I’ve gone for a walk with them since last summer. They have gained at least 15 pounds between them since then. Half-way up the first hill, I realized that pushing 50 pounds worth of kids is hard work. My sweater quickly came off.

The weather was perfect for a walk today. It wasn’t raining or too hot outside and there was even a cool breeze. I love the return of summer and being able to exercise outside. It’s something I can do with the kids and it’s free. Even the stroller we were using was free. It’s not the prettiest but it works and when someone you barely know calls you up and asks if you’d like a free double stroller, you take it. It does make it harder to convince your husband that you need a better (and prettier) double stroller when you already have a functioning one. I secretly dream of finding a really inexpensive Phil and Ted's Stroller or a BOB Duallie Stroller on craigslist though.

I don’t know about your kids, but it’s hard to get my two kids to sit still for an hour so I brought along a snack to bribe them. The BzzAgent Company sent me a huge box of free toddler food to try out and share with others. Princess loved the yogurt nibbles and grudgingly shared them with her little sister. Once the snack was gone they wanted out of the stroller so I had extra motivation to quickly walk home. Thanks to the girls my leisurely walk turned into a great work-out.

So we had a free workout in our free stroller with a free snack. Even half the clothes we were wearing were gifts or hand-me downs too. The best things in life really are free.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten for free (besides your kids)?

Friday, May 1, 2009

My First Work-Out

This week, my wonderful mother informed me that she was home all Thursday morning and I could drop off the girls so I could go out. I love unsolicited offers of free baby-sitting! It took me a second to figure out what to do with this unexpected free time though.

Then I remembered my list of post-school resolutionsand one of my goals was to get healthier. It’s not that I don’t have time to exercise it’s that I don’t have enough time without the kids to exercise. I could take them to the gym but with the cost of childcare it would add up quickly. Plus it’s only at set times and would probably interfere with nap time. But, thanks to my mom I finally got to work out.

As I was getting ready for my big day out, my husband called and needed me to bring him some tools and lunch so I picked him up a fruit smoothie and McDonalds. Since I needed some nourishment for gruelling work out, I bought some for me too. After enjoying a quiet lunch with my husband, I headed to the gym. I haven’t worked out since my youngest was 3 months, which is coincidentally also the time I started the Fall semester. I was surprised I was still able to run for 20 minutes without feeling completely exhausted. All the running after kids I do must help. I did a bit of stretching and some weights. I really wanted to work on my abs too but couldn’t remember any ab exercises besides sit-ups. Good thing I’ve ordered an abs video to help me get a six pack before I go to Mexico in August.

Today I’m feeling a little big sore but nothing major. I hope I have an opportunity to go again soon. Next time though I’ll avoid the pre-workout McDonalds meal so I’ll actually burn calories instead of just cancelling out the calorie intake and calories burned.

I’ve also avoided buying any junk food so we don’t have anything left in the house. Unfortunately, I still have cravings so I find myself snacking on chocolate chip cookies and mini marshmallows. One step at a time I guess.

  • What do you do when you have free time?
  • When do you find time to work out?

Aloha Friday

Today I'm participating in Aloha Friday which is brought to you by An Island Life. Click here to go to An Island Life and answer other questions posted by bloggers.

Since I've been struggling with keeping my house clean I thought I'd ask how others manage to keep on top of their housework.

My Question is when do you do most of your housework?

Answer Options
  • A) I'm always cleaning
  • B) I do it at night when the kids are in bed
  • C) I do it during the day so I can relax at night
  • D) I have a maid do it for me
  • E) My husband does it for me
  • F) The reason I had kids was so that they could do all the cleaning
  • G) I don't clean
  • H) I only clean before company comes over
  • I) Other- Please explain