Through a Toddler’s Eyes..

Now that Norah is transforming into this tiny little human, I am really noticing what that ‘innocence of a child’ phrase truly means.

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Her thoughts and observances are so simple.  “Mommy, look- the sky is blue!”  She was SO excited to show me that this morning, and even more thrilled that a crow flew by while we were looking up.  “A bird mommy! a bird!!! it’s FFLY-ing!” (she emphasizes her pronunciation sometimes.. almost like she is teaching me the word… so adorable)   

Well to me- I was not thrilled to see the pesky bird that is constantly scattering our garbage all over the road on garbage day…

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But to Norah–this was exciting/amazing/beautiful!   A black bird flying in the blue sky;  a simplistic picture of her view from our front door.

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I wonder how less stressful our lives would be if we removed a lot of the complicated thoughts and emotions, and observed life like a toddler.

Obviously we cannot be ignorant to the world around us now that we are adults and are aware of issues such as global warming, pollution, forest fires, war.

However, on days I feel overwhelmed in my adult life, I find it very refreshing to look through my toddler’s eyes- to remind us of the simple beauty surrounding us;  to remind us of how exciting it is to discover new things/ideas; to remind us of what truely makes us happy;  to remind us to be silly and laugh often..

 

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P.S. Rock discovery never gets old….

Until next time..T. xx

 

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Don’t Miss “The Window”…

So, it has been a long few weeks– emotionally draining, physically exhausting… dealing with family, work, teething toddler, home maintenance– just life in general.  Most of my family are vacationing in my hometown, which makes me a bit homesick for the town and my family.  Also, I think Josh and I not having a proper vacation together in years is starting to take a toll…

Anyway, life just kind of caught up to me yesterday.  I guess there is only so much before one can run out of steam!

Most days I can push myself pretty far– from 4 or 5am non-stop to 8 or 9 at night.  Last night however, I just KNEW I would not make it to 9pm.  This mama needed a time out!

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I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen and Josh came home from work earlier than normal.  Norah still had awhile to go before bedtime so there was my window of opportunity…and I took it!!

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Here’s a lesson parents–do NOT hesitate.  TAKE that window- even if it is just a 5 minute one!

Anyway, I poured a glass of wine, shut the blinds, climbed right into bed, and completed “vegged” for 20 minutes.  I could not believe how fast I became refreshed from taking that time out!  And I don’t feel guilty at all!

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It’s funny- I always read about not missing ‘that window’ for a baby’s bedtime, but I never thought about MY window! I am going to try and look for those more often… and actually take them, instead of feeling guilty of taking a break.

 

Until next time..T. xx

 

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Live In The Moment

Generally, I have always found it very hard to live in the moment; on a day to day basis, just enjoying each minute of the day.  However I am really starting to realize how important it is to live in the moment.  Right now, our family is going through an extremely difficult time-we have a very close loved one who has been battling an illness for a long time, and if there is one thing this is teaching us- it is to not take today for granted.

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Another family member, who lost his wife a few years ago, gave me the best advice that is forever stuck in my mind:  “the little quarrels with your spouse are useless; don’t waste your time together fighting, ENJOY the time together.”

I know this is easier said than done.  We can all get caught up in the back and forth bickering, but for the most part, what are those little fights about?  Will it really matter who is right or wrong next year, or 5 years from now?

The bottom line is, our life on earth is SO SHORT, and unfortunately some shorter than others.  And the kicker is-we don’t know when we are going to die.   I could walk outside tomorrow and get hit by a bus, and there is no way anyone could foresee that.

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So why spend our days fighting with those we love.  We should spend each and every day loving, living, and appreciating our next breath.

So next time you find yourself getting caught up in an argument, try and picture that being your last conversation with that person and remember:

Life is about making mistakes, not regrets.

Life is about learning, not arguing. 

Life is about appreciating God’s gifts around us, not complaining about what we don’t have.

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Give all your loved ones a hug today and tell them you love them.  Because all we have is today.

 

Until next time..T. xx

 

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Toddler Tuesday-Behaviour & Self Care

I have come across a very important lesson in parenting that I really want to share.  It honestly has answered a lot of questions on “how do I parent my child”…

A child’s #1 learning tool is our behaviour.  Children learn by observing how we treat ourselves and others, how we handle situations, how we react.  There is no special club, no top secret tip– it is simply OUR behaviour that will help our children grow into courageous, compassionate adults!

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Toddlerhood has been a HUGE eye opener for this.  At this stage, Norah is just starting to learn how to process/express emotions and feelings, mainly by watching Josh and I:  if we are adaptable, how we handle stress, how we learn from failure, how we appreciate, how we love.

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There is a bit of pressure in that.  This is the responsibility parents should take very seriously!

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sidenote: I totally chose that GIF because it was Chris Pratt.. lol…. you are welcome ladies!

This really has me analyzing myself as an individual too.  How DO I handle stress?  How do I calm myself down to think clearly?  How do I show love?

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Yesterday, Norah had a temper tantrum worthy of a guinness world record, and I definitely did not handle the situation the way I wanted to.  I lost my patience.  I lost my model behaviour.  I was weak.  Why?  The answer is simple- I am lacking in self-care.   

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Before I had Norah, I had a lot of spare time…but now, any spare time is often filled with chores and errands, and I have stopped making even a sliver of time for myself.   I began to think, ‘my family is the most important-I have to put them first’ or ‘that’s the sacrifice of being a mom’.

The truth is- we ALL need self-care to grow as individuals and to continue to love ourselves! (and to RECHARGE!)  

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Just recently, I started planning some upcoming painting/organizing projects (stay tuned- I am very excited!!) and am FINALLY starting to work on decorating the house, one room at a time!  I cannot wait to dedicate some evenings for this!!   Yes, I will probably have to sacrifice some housework, but to put some music on and do something that is passionate to me will be some major self-care for this mama!!

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So my advise today, on this toddler tuesday– is take time for yourself.  Even if it is just for 15 minutes. (errands and bathroom breaks do not count!)  Take a bath, put some photos in an album, paint a picture, build a table, write a blog, whatever you want to do!  Obviously there will be those days of complete exhaustion, but do not ignore the importance of self-care!!

Until next time..T. xx


 

 

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I thought I would do something fun today.. to distract from this rainy weather.  So I made a list of 10 fun little facts that people may not know about me!

  1. I love plants!! I have so many in my house- they are the best home decor, and I love nurturing them.  I find it very therapeutic.   I take pride in how long my plants have lived.  My mom gave me a plant on my first day of University, and I still have it to this day, 14 years later!


2. I love organizing, making lists, and am obsessed with time management.  (I’m just a ball of fun… lol).  My husband often compares me to Monica from Friends, and it isn’t a far stretch!

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3.  I love football.  I love watching the sport, and I love most football movies.  The atmosphere is full of energy and excitement!  There is nothing better than a classic football movie to get you motivated and inspired!

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4.  I am an avid reader.   According to my mom, I was an early reader, and didn’t like doing much else!  I always remember reading Nancy Drew under the covers with a flashlight into the wee hours, and if I couldn’t finish the book, I would finish it first thing in the morning.  Murder mysteries are probably my favourite, as well as biographies!

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currently reading- I love Sandra Brown novels!


5.  I highly prefer to watch movies (and t.v.) with the captions on..

My poor husband- after being married 5 years, he is finally okay with me putting them on when we watch a movie together!

6. I have a fear of clowns and large open spaces.  The movie “IT” just ruined me for clowns.  and I am not sure why, but deep dark oceans, staring into outer space– any large space of that proportion just freaks me right out!

7.  The Real Housewives series, I am sad to say, has become my guilty pleasure.  When I get an evening to myself (doesn’t happen too often), it consists of nail painting, wine, popcorn, and Real Housewives on my PVR! (I throw laundry on to feel productive on those nights..) 

8.  My two favourite classical composers to play on the piano are Mozart and Chopin.  Mozart for the fast intricate notes- it is always a fun challenge to play his music.  Chopin for the deep passionate Nocturnes- his music is so moving.


9.  I am a huge Star Wars fan.  My entire family is, and thankfully my husband is as obsessed as I am (it would have been a deal breaker)

RIP Carrie Fisher ~

10.  My favourite holiday is Christmas.  I love the entire season- the birth of Christ, the twinkly lights, the music, the trees, I love it all.  My decor consists of Nativity scenes and nature.  This year our basement flooded including our storage, and I had to claim 4 Christmas trees to insurance.. my girlfriend said she would vouch for me if they questioned…I guess 4 trees is more than the norm?

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Anyway, that’s it from me… I hope everyone has a great weekend- it is supposed to be beautiful on Saturday in our area!  Hooray for spring!

Until next time.. T. xx

Trip to NFLD, 2016

Awhile back, Josh and I were watching this show, “Canada: Over the Edge” , where a helicopter circles a specific area of Canada, and the landscape and history is told.  One episode, ‘Newfoundland: East Coast’ came on, and it brought all my memories back of my visit to Newfoundland.  


Last April almost to this day, I went to visit one of my dear friends in Witless Bay, NFLD.   Kelly, her husband, and their dog had packed up their life and moved there the October before and it had been really hard not having her around.   I had been through a few life altering changes (prenatal depression, new baby) and I decided to take a trip on my own before I was done my mat leave.  I was feeling extremely anxious to return to work (it was still two months away) so something big needed to be done;  A mental health trip- a momcation (there is honestly such a thing, look it up!)


On top of being united with one of my closest friends, and seeing the glorious sites of Newfoundland, I also took a big leap by leaving my 10 month old daughter at home for 7 days.  It was not easy, but was such an important thing to do for my independence and for Norah’s!  She also had some great bonding time with her dad and grandmother! 

I had a lot of fun on that trip- it was one I will remember for the rest of my life!  We toured the Avalon, visited many lighthouses, went to Signol Hill, learnt how to make a jiggs’ dinner and fish stew (both DELICIOUS), and I even got screeched in (I am now an honorary Newfie)!   It would take a thousand blogs to describe this trip, and another thousand to include the pictures I took.

  I will say this- if there is such a place to go to for serenity and reflection (and a great time with great people!)  it is the east coast of Newfoundland! 


until next time.. T. xx

 

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

 

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