Toddler Tuesday: The Flu

You know, I think there is always a time when one feels unappreciated or not needed.   By your husband, wife, friend, sibling, child, coworker, boss…..

As a new parent, I have come to a realization- there is one time that I will always be appreciated/needed: when my daughter is sick.

She has had a few bad colds and viruses in the past two years, but this past week she got the flu for the first time.  My 21-month old chatterbox woke up one night and could not stop throwing up.  I felt so bad for her- she didn’t know what was happening as she cried in between getting sick.


I suffer from anxiety, and with that I also struggle from OCD, so unfortunately, when someone is sick, I become an extreme germaphobe.  It honestly is a horrible feeling that has increased now that I am a mom- moms can’t get sick! It is one of my hugest battles within my mind and one of the hardest to work through.  I feel crazy as I obsessively wipe every handle, lightswitch, cup, my daughter’s hands, etc. 


That night however, every fear/worry/anxiety went away and I went into mom mode.  Poor Norah did not understand why she was puking and let’s just say she is definitely not at the age to know how to aim into a bowl/bucket.  She would turn towards me for a hug,, clutching to me as she projectile vomited everywhere.  We both went through quite a few pairs of pjs that night!

I’ll never forget her little voice. “Mommy, my tummy hurts.. it hurts…” and I responded while stroking her hair and holding her close, “It’ll be okay sweetie. You are going to be okay”, to which she says quietly, “thank you mommy”, in a relieved tone.

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That moment right there erased all anxiety, OCD, unappreciation, everything!  I could live in that moment forever and will cherish it always.

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So, we survived her first flu and she’s now back to her spitfire self- she bounced back very quickly!  If only adults were as resiliant as toddlers….. guess who caught the flu next? my husband. (hello man flu..)

 

I just hope I don’t catch this…lol

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Until next time..T. xx

toddlercoffee

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Toddler Tuesday: Temper Tantrums

Well, I don’t know about you other toddler parents, but right now we are in the (to say it lightly) ‘mood swing’ phase.  Also known as the full out Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde tantrums.

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For those that do not experience these “mood swings”– JEALOUS.  And also, here is an example of how they work:

It is 6am and I am patiently waiting as Norah makes her 10th attempt at putting on her jacket by herself.  It took 15 minutes to convince her it was time to get her boots on, and we are so close to heading out the door.  She is chatting away, proud of putting the boots on, and I decide to step in (time is not a parent’s friend).  The moment I kindly assist with the one sleeve, Norah runs away, cost dragging behind her, as she screams “No Mommy!!! I do it!!” and stomps her feet.  When I finally get the coat on and have distracted her with the task of giving the dogs their treats before we leave – she is all smiles and excited to get in the vehicle…. 
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How can she be so extremely happy one minute, and so ridiculously mad the next, and then back to happy again?  These tantrums often leave me feeling exhausted and defeated (I find I say this a lot, am I the only mom who feels this way at times?)

Now I know this is just the age of tantrums-  they are learning how to control their impulses and feelings while trying to call the shots and test what they can get away with.   But it’s like they are these mini dictators on PMS!

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I am not going to write a whole post on ‘ways to tackle tantrums’.  Josh and I have come up with a couple of methods that work for us and her tantrums have significantly decreased (and she is actually learning to communicate pretty well). Every child is different and it’s about finding what works for them.  The true comfort is that we are not alone- most toddlers go through this!

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Honestly though, some of these tantrums are for the most ridiculous reasons and sometimes we have to laugh to survive these days.

Just in this past week, here are the reasons why Norah has had a little(or big-the range varies) tantrum:

-because there were no more blueberries at breakfast

-because I was singing the wrong Wiggles song

-because I threw out her dirty diaper when she had wanted to do it herself

-because we had to leave daycare

-because she couldn’t get her coat on by herself

-because I wouldn’t let her brush her teeth for 6 hrs

-because I wouldn’t let her wear her spring jacket (it was -30 out..)

-because her dolly kept falling off her toy lawn mower while she was pushing them around

-because she wanted Josh to help her with her yogurt,  but I helped instead

-because Josh read the wrong “in the night garden” book

-because she wanted the magnet holding up her crayon drawing but didnt want the drawing to fall 

-because she didnt want to say hi to her cousin Jacob

just to name a few….

 

 

P.S.-Is anyone else scared for puberty?

Until next time..T. xx

toddlercoffee

Happy Friday!

Yay-it’s Friday!!!   I didn’t think we would make it through this week, but we did!

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This week, Josh started his 12 hour shifts (Monday-Friday) so he is pretty exhausted.  He is enjoying his new job though, so.. happy husband, happy life?

The contractors in our basement finally finished the painting and cleaning!  It is now time to finally put the basement back together.  Since it is a blank slate, this is my chance to rearrange–and to set up part of the living room as Norah’s little playroom (hoping to eliminate SOME toys/books scattered throughout the rest of the house)

This week, I managed to squeeze in a yoga session,a singing practice, a facetime call with my parents and nephew, I painted my nails, another facetime call with my sister and nephew, and did some reading (on top of working 40 hrs).   I tried something new (made my own pesto-simple and delicious) and have had some great quality time in the evenings with Norah (minus the tantrums) and the dogs-I haven’t seen too much of Josh, but we have a movie night planned for tonight-providing we can stay awake for it!

I was wondering why I enjoyed this week so much- NO HOUSEWORK!  (aside from cooking and cleaning kitchen..)lazy eyes with clothes everywhere

There was no point cleaning this week since the contractors were trucking in and out of the house (except to wipe the bathroom down a million times due to the extra traffic), and it was hard to get to the laundry room with all of their supplies in the way, so I said, screw it! (doesn’t happen often..)

Our family has started pizza fridays too!  I am loving these- no cooking at the end of a long week is a holiday in itself!

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Ok, it’s time to go relax now..since (let’s be honest…) I will be up early tomorrow despite it being a Saturday….Unless Norah sleeps in?

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Until next time..T. xx

 

Toddler Tuesday: Potty Training

I had a lot of fun writing the Toddler 101 post, so I have decided to dedicate one day a week to the wonderful world of toddlerhood!

Observations, pictures, questions, quotes… it will be as random as a toddler’s mood!

This week’s segment of Toddler Tuesday gears around potty training, as that has become the newest focus for Norah.  Not actually peeing on the toilet, but climbing it, flushing it, and the classic “pull all the toilet paper off the roll” (in which I bunch it all back up and use until it is all gone because toilet paper is not cheap!)

As first time parents, we are going into this potty training business pretty blind.  Every time Norah says “I wanna pee on the toilet”, I just stare at her, admiring her vocabulary, and then realize, oh yeah-she is looking for guidance!  She may not be developmentally ready yet (excluding the talking), but we want to have a game plan for when it is time!(she is still learning to pull her pants up and down…I figure that is an important step…)

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The last time I trained someone to pee, it was my dog 9 years ago… and I’m pretty sure the methods are different…… lol

So what is the best way to potty train? potty seat or floor potty? which type of pull ups? how often does my child have to run around naked? what time is the best time to train? how many wine bottles do I need? (I hear this requires a lot of patience…….)

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I don’t normally read books and guidelines on parenting-I like to learn from the moms around me- real life experiences.(nothing is sugar coated that way…)  I ask my mom, Josh’s mom, my daycare provider (sisters,family, friends) their advice often on all of my parenting dilemmas.  I find the raw truths and experienced tricks extremely helpful!

So, what is the #1 tip for potty training?

Until next time..T. xx

toddlercoffee

 

 

Wellness Challenges

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I’ve decided to try some wellness challenges in hopes to form some good habits!  I am trying two challenges each for body, mind and soul, and so far, I am feeling pretty good!  I have been doing a few of these for some time, and some I am just starting now.  The goal is to just continue being a better me!

 

Body:

Drink 2 Glass of Water First Thing:

The first challenge is what inspired this all.  One blog that I follow is doing weekly wellness challenges and the first one was to drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning daily.   As easy as this sounds, certain days were difficult to get that second glass in before eating or chasing after my toddler.  Needless to say, I almost do it habitually every morning now and it has only been two weeks!  By starting off the day hydrated, I feel less urgent for coffee (don’t get me wrong, I still have that cup or two), but I feel active and ready to take on the day!

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Take Vitamins Daily:

When I returned to work after my maternity leave (and Norah went into daycare), the entire family was sick for 3 months straight.  One of the best ways to avoid sickness is rest-but if I could not help my exhaustion (returning to work after a year and a half with a baby to care for was extremely tiring), then what else could I do?  Well, I started to take vitamins.

One is a multivitamin (from Costco-cheap and contained extra B vitamins which I definitely needed)-I sometimes take this every other day.   I also take 1000mg of Vitamin C a day.  This vitamin has prevented a lot of colds, and when I am sick, I seem to fight through the cold faster.  If I am feeling run down, I take 1000mg in morning and 1000mg at night.  Trust me-it works!!

The last pill I take is a flax seed oil pill— this has helped my psoriasis immensely and it makes my hair shiny and healthier!lucyvitamins

I find now a days, we cannot rely on food  alone to obtain our nutrients.  I have been taking vitamins for 7 months diligently and it has really made a difference!  Norah is also taking a multivitamin (tri-vi-sol by Enfamil) and I have noticed a difference with her immune system too!

 

Mind:

No Smartphone after 8PM:

The first challenge was again from a blog that I follow, and it was to not use the smartphone after 8pm each night.   This is an amazing idea, as I am really starting to not like the dependency our generation has on technology!  So for some nights, it was fairly easy to not reach for my phone, as I am usually exhausted after a day at work and having a toddler (and cooking and housework somewhere mixed in).  Other nights when I did take some time to relax, I found myself reaching for my phone while watching tv or taking a bath.

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Well, it has been over a week and I am really enjoying my phone-free time!   I am reading more- which I love to do, but never make the time!  Generally, I feel like I am putting my evenings to better use!  I still go onto social media, pinterest, etc- but once 8pm hits, I unplug and enjoy the rest of my night!

And the hugest outcome of this (being a person with anxiety that tends to struggle with falling asleep from time to time), is that I fall asleep a lot faster and actually sleep better most nights!

 

Write Two Blogs a Week:

I am really starting to enjoy blogging-regardless if anyone reads this or not-and now I have set this little goal of trying to write two blogs per week.  This keeps me focused on something fun outside of work that stimulates my mind and keeps me learning and writing!

I have been trying to do this for the past couple of weeks and surprisingly, I have enough topics and thoughts to keep up with this goal!  I am curious as to how far I will keep this challenge up!

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Soul:

Singing at Church Weekly:

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have started to sing weekly at my church.  This has been so healing for my soul.  In the past month, I have only missed one week due to some other engagements, but have continued to go to my weekly practices to stay on top of the songs we are learning!

This challenge has changed my life completely.  I am involved in something that makes me feel good, and it brings me to church weekly- giving me that one hour to reflect and regroup!  This has been one of the most fulfilling life changes, and I hope to keep doing this- even as life becomes busier and busier!

 

Meditation:

As I am a Christian, the main meditation for me is praying.  I have really slacked on this, and need to get back on track.  This form of meditation for me is extremely important for my anxiety and my worries each day.  So I hope to start once a day again-maybe not a rosary each time, but at least to thank God every evening.  It really brings life into a better perspective, and I would like to teach Norah this as well-perhaps it will provide comfort and give her a place to go when she is frustrated or worried.

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I also am trying to do yoga 3 times a week.  I would not say that this is a meditation in where I am praying to something/someone, but by doing this practice, I am teaching my mind to focus on the actions and moves rather than thinking of everything going through my mind.  It sort of puts all my thoughts on pause (and the exercise reduces stress and improves my mood).  Currently, depending on the week, I have been doing yoga 2-4 times, so 3 times a week is meeting in the middle as a good solid goal.

 

Well that is enough challenges for me!  Phew- I’m tired, but excited!!

What are some challenges you have tried?   What are some that you continue to do to this day?

Until next time..T. xx

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Farewell to Winter…

Well, here we are mid-March, and even though in my town it has been -30 degrees Celsius the past few days, I honestly feel spring in the air!  The days are getting longer, the sun even feels a bit brighter.  We still have a lot of snow, but I know the grass underneath is eager to grow and spring is ready to make its transformation!


Whenever a season ends, I find myself somewhat nostalgic.   I reflect on the past season, and dream up plans for the upcoming one.  I think back to last year during this time, and compare with this year.. It’s like I need to finalize that chapter before starting a new one.


This past winter was spent really appreciating our families-appreciating the time we have together as life is short.  I found myself having great discussions with my mom about her past and our heritage (I am half Ukrainian) and I am so grateful for that knowledge that I can now pass on to Norah.  I also have been learning a lot from Josh’s mom- Josh’s childhood, her childhood- stories that should be written down and permanently captured!


Our life has comparatively changed in one year.  Last winter we had a wonderful Christmas. Josh’s parents slept over and we all celebrated Norah’s first Christmas together, matching red and black plaid pajamas and all! Josh, Norah and I then spent our first time in a hotel together as we adventured to North Bay to celebrate Christmas there with my family.  So many wonderful memories.


This winter has been different.  Josh’s mom became seriously ill in August, so these winter months have been very quiet.  We have been facing challenges and emotions that we have never had to deal with before- which has tested our Faith, the strength of our marriage, and for Josh especially- personal trials of hardship.


Thankfully, there still has been laughter and many fun-filled family gatherings  (which I tried to capture on film to create permanent memories).   Raclette dinners with my family, game/movie nights with my husband, spontaneous evenings with friends.. but one memory really stands out to me the most- Christmas Eve morning.  



What started off as a morning coffee visit at Josh’s Uncle’s house became an impromptu pyjama party, with many family members popping in to say hello throughout the day.  Josh’s mom was pretty under the weather that day, but there she was (she is such a trooper), with us all, laughing at Norah’s little charismatic attitude and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  I really feel everyone needed that boost that day.  I saw it in my husband’s eyes-a glimpse of happiness through the clouds of worry and stress.

So winter has had its challenges, but we managed to fill the gaps with laughter, love, memories, family, friends…and now it’s time to say goodbye to winter! 


As for spring- I think I will write about that once I see green grass, dry pavement, and unfrozen lakes!

Until next time..T. xx

 

 

International Women’s Day

As today is International Women’s day, I feel I should write about it.  “It” not being about equality between male and female, or about women’s rights.  Those are very important topics, but there is something I would like to add.   I’d like to address an issue that myself as a woman has been experiencing a lot these days.

I am a full-time working professional. I went to University, got a degree, and have been working at the same company for the past 10 years.  I work for a mining company which, like most “male-oriented” industries these days, actually employs a lot of women.  There are still some challenges working in the mining industry and I still find myself having to prove myself professionally- not just to the men, but to the women I work with too!

I have been doing the same role for the past 8 out of the 10 years at my company, and I am a very hard worker.  Until this year (I’m still trying to figure out my professional/mom balance), I used to stay late, work weekends, and always find ways to help my team.  I have put in my time (and then some) and gained a lot of experience, yet, at times, I don’t feel equal among my female peers.

With women, I find there is a competitiveness against each other that arises in the workplace.  And working for a small company, it is very easy to feel excluded.  We should be supportive of each other and encouraging success together!

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The other half of my life is motherhood.  What an eye opener!  I have never witnessed so much judgement or felt so much pressure than I have in the past 2 years on the topic of being a “good” mother.  Again, women making other women feel unequal.

There are so many opinions today on how to raise your child- breastfeed or formula, private or public daycare, co sleep or bassinet;  What is the “correct” sleep training method?  What is the “proper” disciplinary method?

As a new mother, I am more stressed no thanks to all the articles, opinions, and studies out there.   Who cares if my daughter was formula fed, is in a private daycare, and sleeps in a crib?  She is a happy child thriving on life!  

Being a mother is by far the toughest job, in my opinion!  Most days it is about surviving, and it is even more hard to try and survive alone.  There should be zero judgement and only support, because motherhood is not easy, especially through the tough times (and there are many)!

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Basically, my fight today is for women to support other women.  To encourage each other.  To help each other.  To set a good example to our children and to represent women proudly.  

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Anyway…just my thoughts. 

Until next time..T. xx

 

Toddler Life 101

You know you’re living with a toddler when…

  1. There are crumbs literally everywhere:   in between couch cushions, all over the car, in the carseat, in the bed.. everywhere!! (I have 2 dogs who are quite efficient with the food clean up- and I STILL find crumbs!)
  2. The house has become art:  At least one piece of furniture/wall/door/floor has been coloured on with a crayon or been attacked by stickers
  3. You’ve become an expert at negotiating (and bribery)
  4.  You dread leaving the house to go anywhere:   If it normally takes you 10 minutes to get ready to go out the door, add about 5 hours (toddler mood depending) to give enough time for them to put on their own boots/hat/coat/mitts all by themselves, with no help.  
  5. You know all the words to every Wiggles song (and most actions too..):  I’m honestly considering making this into an aerobic workout to do 3 days a week. The actions to these songs are intensely energetic…I’ll be fit in no time!
  6. You automatically sit on the floor when chatting with any friends or family
  7. The house is on lockdown: It is now more difficult to break into the cupboard to get to my cleaning supplies than to rob a bank.  
  8. Sleep-ins are just a distant memory: Waking up at 7am is now the new sleep in.. this being said, parent bedtime is not much later than 9pm! (that’s my limit for pure exhaustion anyway..) 
  9. You have said “don’t drink the bath water” at least once a week
  10. You have said “don’t touch” at least 50 times a week
  11. You have become a human vending machine:  I now carry emergency snack supplies in my vehicle, purse, coat, etc!  It has been a saving grace on more than one occasion..
  12. All the lower shelves of bookcases/end tables are empty:  This is just smart.  Unless you like cleaning up glass from broken picture frames, and taking trips to emerg for stitches..
  13. You know all the characters and episodes of Peppa Pig and Dora the Explorer
  14. Bathtime is like the Perfect Storm:  toys and water, everywhere!
  15. You’ve stubbed your toe at least a million times on a toy, toybin, baby gate, etc
  16. You dread daylight savings time..
  17. You cry when reading the book, “I Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch 

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Moms-feel free to add more to the list!

Until next time..T. xx

Unedited.. 

Normally,  I prep my entries before I post a blog.  I work on it, leave it for a bit, go back and tweek it.  The reason being that I always like to have things prepared and planned…which ironically is the opposite of my life at the moment- nothing seems to be going as planned and I can’t seem to be prepared enough for the curve balls thrown my way. 

Tonight, I’m taking a different approach.  I am switching it up and sitting here until I have posted this blog!  (ok, I may have to take some breaks, but I’m going to try and keep it unedited at least!) 

I have no real point to this post either, I am simply writing for the sake of writing.. (definitely out of my comfort zone.. but isn’t that what we need sometimes?)

I guess I could write about last night..  Well, I had full intent on getting a good night’s sleep last night (first mistake). Alarm was set for 5am, I had my lunch made, toddler asleep, and laundry folded.  Off to bed! 

Norah woke up at midnight.  I couldn’t tell what was wrong, but in hindsight, I am pretty sure she was just reacting to Josh’s new job this week (he is gone before we wake up now) and the change in routine. 

We stayed up until 1:30am cuddling on the chair.. I finally had to put my foot down and put her back in the crib so not to risk being completely exhausted for work the next day! (too late..) 

I crawl back into bed and she immediately starts screaming-she wants to cuddle all night.  How do I stay awake all day and all night? 


All of a sudden, I hear my dog, Miley walk into Norah’s room.  Norah sniffles, “Go Miney…. go!” (she calls Miley ‘Miney’) But Miley lies down next to the crib and waits it out.  Norah continues to cry a bit longer (at one point inbetween cries she coughs and says ‘Bless you’ to herself…. I couldn’t help but chuckle) and then falls asleep.  Then Miley got up and walked back into our room and lay down on her bed. 

I could not believe it! Miley actually helped put Norah to bed.  It was straight out of a Disney movie!(with more screaming and crying)

I still had a rough sleep afterwards due to weather and nightmares- I feel I only slept two hours.  But I am forever grateful for the little things in life, like Miley stepping in when I was too exhausted. (she got extra dog treats this morning)

I follow a really amazing girl’s blog, and tonight she posted such an insightful phrase that I just need to repeat it:

I was pretty anxious tonight, but after writing this and praying with Norah earlier (what a humbling experience that was!), I am feeling a bit better! And now, I am going to bed! 


Until next time..T. xx

Then Sings My Soul…

Rather than blogging about Ash Wednesday and the upcoming Lent season, I thought I would take a different approach this time of year.  We are often focused on things like fasting- but I find that is an improper use of Lent now a days in a society where the entire media system is focused on “skinny” and “thin”.

I was told that Lent isn’t just a time for sacrifices-so why not focus on the gifts we have been given?

My mom told me once that God gave each one of us gifts to share with the world.  She said,  ‘They are not for us alone, but to serve Him and other people’.

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I always wondered- do I have gifts and do I just keep them to myself?

Well, I love to write.  I am not sure why- maybe it’s because I am a big talker and there isn’t always someone there to listen, or maybe living in a big family, it is sometimes hard to be heard-who knows!   Bottom line, I learnt to use writing as my outlet. I have been writing poems, short stories, and lyrics for as long as I can remember.  I also have kept a daily journal since I was about 9.   It has gotten more difficult to write daily these days as my spare time has decreased significantly, but this blog has stepped in its place as my new writing retreat.  It is more public than I am used to (I have not shared much of my other literature), but it still has been fun and rejuvenating.

and then there’s music.  Music is my heart and soul.   The feeling I get when I play piano and/or sing is indescribable.

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I have been playing the piano since I was 4-and I haven’t stopped.    I tried other instruments throughout the years-guitar, violin, saxophone- but the piano is a strong part of me and always will be.  As I progressed through my lessons, I started to write songs.  I evolved to singing and playing and even recording (at home, extremely low budget, the cheapest of cheapest).  I’ve played in a band, sang in a few choirs, but never any full commitments.  And as life fast forwarded, I stopped playing and singing-only to dabble here and there in my spare time. *moms-insert laughter now..*

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Anyway, back to the point of this blog:  God works in mysterious ways– meaning, we never know why He does something, but there is always something to learn from it…

Well this past while, I was at a social event with my husband, and we ended up at our friends’ house afterwards for a nightcap.  They happened to have two pianos at that house, and next thing you know, my friend and I are playing, singing, harmonizing until 2am!  It felt great! (not so great the next morning…thanks to those nightcaps)

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This dear friend of mine happens to be highly involved at our local church-she sings and plays the piano every week.  She’s got a voice of an angel- and has really listened to her calling.

One day, she asked if I wanted to get involved.   I hesitated.  I am not one to “get involved” in much of anything, let alone sing in public-especially just her and I!

As I tried to decide-to sing or not to sing-I wondered..maybe God was sending me a message.  There are a lot of things happening in my life right now-things I cannot control and things that are causing added stress and anxiety.   Maybe I am really needing this singing outlet-maybe it will be healing. (It is also something social, which I need as an extrovert)godworks

So I took a leap-I sang one week, one Mass, just once.  The feeling I got was overwhelming- I felt refreshed, stronger, happier- I was doing something I loved, and sharing it with the world.  It was healing AND empowering!

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I am going to start taking that little leap more often.   Even if it is just sharing a song or poem on this blog (the followers are minimal which makes me falsely brave)...hey, it’s a start!

Search for those gifts inside you– and use them to the fullest!   It is truly a healing experience, and has brought me strength in my day to day life!

Until next time..T. xx

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