I’m Back!

As moms, we hear the same story. You know the one that I’m talking about…where moms often lose themselves after they have a baby. That always stuck in my mind after having, Piper and I tried to make some time for myself, to sneak in things that made me happy (besides my daughter, of course!)

Fast forward a few years; things changed. You can see by my lack of blog posts exactly when things started to change. Like many people, I got busy and needed to prioritize. Unfortunately, the things that made me happy…made me who I am, got itemized at the bottom of the list. When I ran out of time in a day or a week, those listed items disappeared.

Now there’s a new drooling, time-stealing, poop machine in my life and almost 5 months after his arrival, I’m finally feeling down and overwhelmed. Not to mention that I’m still working a lot in his first year. It took some time for me to understand why I’ve been feeling a little weird. Why I’ve struggled with making plans, making decisions and heck, even making supper.

After giving so much of myself to my family, including my little creations, I lost pieces of myself. As much as we want to always put our loved ones first, especially our children, we need to make time for the things that we’re passionate for; things that make up who we are. In case you haven’t noticed, in a long winded (probably not so creative way) I’m announcing my return to the blogging world. I may have done a few posts here and there, but definitely not enough. So don’t be hard on me for this rocky post. The majority of writing I’ve been doing involves children’s books so it may take me a bit to get back into the swing of blog writing…well, writing for those that can legally drink!

But…can you see why I’m distracted at home? This. Face.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy Birthday, Piper!

Dear Piper,

Wow…you’re 3 already! You’ve changed so much in just one year and we can’t get over the little person you’ve become. Whether your turning a simple song like, The ABC’s into hardcore rock, dancing like you’ve had too much wine, or saying what’s on your mind (even though it doesn’t totally come on right) you always provide us with endless entertainment!  You definitely have “spunk” and a smile that’s as bright as your personality.  We definitely noticed how much brighter your smile got when we brought your baby brother home. He’s lucky to have a sister who’s very protective and licks him with love (that’s not a typo, you should probably stop licking your brother).

You love music, gymnastics, princesses, disney, your family and camping at Great Grandpa’s farm.  We love how smart you are, but the backseat driving really needs to stop! Trust me, we know where Nana, Grandma and Great Grandma lives, and Mommy definitely knows where Tim Hortins is!

We’re blessed to have witnessed your milestones and look forward to ones left to come.  Before we know it, we’ll be packing your lunch for your first day of school.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Foot….bring on number 4!

Love always,

Mom and Dad.

 

Mom Shaming…Knock it off.

Okay moms, let’s get real for a minute. I’m not one to rant on my blog or other aspects of social media, but I’m angry, saddened and disappointed with what I’ve been seeing from some mom’s out there. Since I have an online appearance, I felt that I needed to say something on this issue and hopefully inspire change.

The Mom Shaming needs to stop. Let me rephrase that…the bullying needs to stop. Parenting is hard…extremely hard and it won’t get any easier as our little ones grow up. Even though we wish they were, parenting rules are not black and white.  Civilization has evolved, creating more than one way to do things and unfortunately, there’s never a right choice, but there is a right choice for every parent and child. You are aware that not one child is created equally…yes? Why should every mom parent equally?

Mom ShamingEvery mother is free to make choices that they feel is right for THEIR child, therefore they shouldn’t be shamed, mocked or judged for doing so, especially online. Don’t get me wrong, if you see a parent doing something that is unknowingly effecting their child’s safety, then yes, please say something, but remember the key word here, unknowingly. Guide that mom gently without making her feel like a horrible mother and person.  If you can’t do this, then you need to rely on the Thumper method and don’t say anything at all.

As a newer mom still, I feel guilty all the time.  Did I spend enough quality time with my kids? Did I feed my toddler too many hotdogs because she just wouldn’t eat anything else? Did I raise my voice a little too much when she was misbehaving?  Did I let her watch too much TV? Did I work too much while she was with me? There isn’t a day that I don’t feel some guilt. I know I’m not alone. A lot of moms lay their heads on their pillows at night with similar feelings of guilt. We don’t need the knives twisted by other mothers.  We don’t need to feel like horrible mothers from women we look up to, women we respect and women who should have our backs. Harsh judgement coming from these women deepens the wounds.
Some of these women are simply, bullies. News flash…we aren’t in school anymore; we aren’t children; it’s time to grow up. Imagine having a playdate or just a coffee with another mom. As you sit across the table, staring into her exhausted, overwhelmed, yet loving eyes, would you harshly shame her for something she is doing that simply differs from you? Would you make her question her maternal skills? Would you bully her? No. So why is it right to do so while hiding behind a computer screen. Half the time, you hardly know her, where she came from and what she’s going through. While you’re shaming this mother online, you’ve decided that she failed somehow as a parent and you’re making her aware of it. My question is, who’s making you aware of the sad example you’re setting for your children.

A group of children will have all been exposed to different parenting styles, but they all have at least three things in common; they’re all loved, happy and don’t know the difference.

There are different wars of all kind being fought all over the world. It’s time to bring peace to the “mommy wars”. It’s time to come together as women and mothers and provide loving advice instead of harsh judgement. It takes a village to raise a child, not an army.

 

Here we go Again…

Ok…so I know I haven’t posted for a while, but I’ve been busy chasing a toddler, touring schools, teaching writing workshops for kids and writing a fourth book. Wait…I feel like I’m forgetting something.  Oh yeah, I was also creating a tiny human.  Surprise!  Piper is proud to present her little brother, Axel James Brook!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He’s now 1 month old and is stealing hearts everywhere.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here we go again…

As I was pregnant, which wasn’t an easy 9 months this time around, I was anxious about doing this all over again. My mind started to cloud, remembering what I was in for; more sleepless nights, diapers, spit up and more craziness.  Once this little man arrived, it all came back to me and I remembered what I was truly in for; more cuddles, milestones, cuteness and more love.  This is the second boy to steal my heart instantly and now I have two beautiful kids.

Three of us

 

I’m sure you’re all wondering how Piper is adjusting to the new rival.  Well, let’s just say it’s a good day when she only licks the baby once.

She loves her little brother so much…a little too much sometimes with her aggressive hugs and kisses! She’s waiting patiently for him to get bigger so she can wrestle…I mean play with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hear someone waking up from his nap…signing off!

Hide ‘n Seek – Awkward Edition!

You know that moment when you realize that you’re playing a game with a toddler? If you have a toddler, then off course you do.  You think you’re simply living life and getting things done, just to find out that your toddler thought you were playing a game the whole time.  Some of these games never seem to end.  In my house, we apparently have an ongoing game of Hide and Seek.

Piper was settled (as much as she gets) colouring and having a snack so I took the opportunity to use the washroom…in peace.  I just needed a minute. I was almost finished…almost felt the sense of victory when the bathroom door violently flew open and smashed against the bathroom interior. Before I could put my heart back into my chest I heard, “I FOUND YOU, MOMMY!”.  This was followed by, “My turn for hide, count mom!”.

I knew I’d experience different things daily now that I’m a mom, but I couldn’t predict that one of them would be counting loudly while wiping and pulling up my pants.  Is it sad that I was mad that I lost that round? Like come on…if I knew it was my turn to hide, that little terd would have NEVER found me.

When it’s her turn to hide, she’s not too bad for a 2-year-old and definitely provides comedic relief.  Her basic strategy?  If she can’t see us, then we obviously can’t see her.  The best is when she covers herself with her blankie and simply stands in the middle of a room.  It’s funny how she seems to gather the hiding concept when it’s time for bed.  It takes longer then I’d want to admit to find her little toddler butt then.

Tell me this…if my toddler wants to play an endless game, why can’t it be, Sleeping Lions? I know you remember that game.

hide n seek

Holiday School Giveaway

Tis the season of giving, so this year I wanted to donate a class set of books (30 books) to a school in need. See the image for info and rules. You can also nominate a school by commenting on this post with the school’s name and reason for nomination.

Happy Holidays!

 

Holiday ContestHoliday ContestHoliday Contest

 

It Happened…

I’ve seen this on TV, and heard about this in the ‘mommy world’, but it finally happened to me.

I just put Piper down for a nap and was getting ready to make my lunch when I noticed something on my arm. After 2 years of motherhood, I finally asked that horrible question out loud, “is it chocolate or poop?”.

Yep, there it was on my arm, a brown gunk of question.  Since I recently changed a Piper Bomb, you’d think that I wouldn’t need to ask that question. Well, if you knew me, you’d know that I just had chocolate too (it’s pretty much a daily thing). 

I’m sure you’re wondering what I did.  Did I just figure it was chocolate and lick it?  ARE YOU NUTS?  No, I didn’t just lick it.  I have the worst luck in the world and was not about to play the poop’n chocolate roulette game.  Besides, the chances of me letting chocolate escape is pretty slim. What I did do is practice this thing called ‘adulting’ and washed it off.  I took it as finally getting the last initiation into the Mommy Club.

To ease everyone’s curiosity of the actual answer…don’t worry, it was totally poop.

My Toddler’s a Monster and it’s my Mother’s Fault!

So…the time has come.  My sweet, loving, little girl has entered the ‘terrible twos’.  I never thought I’d use an old cliche to describe a big moment in my little girl’s life, but there it is.  She may look like a cute and innocent little girl, but don’t let the pigtails fool you.  She can throw down like the best of them, especially when she doesn’t get her 12+ hours of beauty sleep.  Sometimes there has been moments when the first solution that popped in my mind was to book an exorcism, especially when she breaks into her ‘Batman’ voice.  I have to admit that sometimes, I have a monster on my hands and yes, you read the headline correctly, it’s totally my mother’s fault.

Those of you who may know my mother are probably wondering how a wonderful, big-hearted lady could be to blame for my toddler’s terrific tantrums. It’s simple really; she had a monster toddler of her own and one day she did the unthinkable.

I don’t recall the specific date, but a mere 15 years ago, a beautiful, talented girl entered her teen years. (if it wasn’t obvious, I’m talking about myself…but should be obvious) Ok, so I and my mother got into another little argument.  Never able to get in the last word, mom finally succeeded and said the well known words that would initiate THE CURSE.  Just before I could slam my door, she shouted, “When you have a daughter, I hope she’s JUST LIKE YOU!”.  There it was; the curse.  Fast forward to now and here I am, with a daughter who is just like me. Well played, mom. Well played.

I have to say, I’m only surviving the curse because Piper isn’t as monstrous as I was at her age.  My toddler self would have had a lot to teach her and would have won in a tantrum-off any day.  I’m pretty lucky that way as my lovely daughter only turns into her monster self every now and then.  Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure it’s only during a full moon. As much as her banshee screams are usually inappropriate, I have to admit that part of me, where the stubborn, strong-willed toddler still exists, is a little proud.  Why is Piper not as bad as I was?  I’m pretty sure its a result of my level headed mother-in-law never activating the curse on my husband, cancelling out some of the attitude.

Now, when the time comes and I’m having an argument with a 16 year old Piper, will I say those simple words and initiate the curse again? You bet your sweet blog I will!

Monster Toddler

A Letter to Piper on her 2nd Birthday

Dear Piper,

As I sit here, trying to wrap my head around the situation we find ourselves in; I’m struggling to find the words. It’s in disbelieve that I say you’re officially two years old. Just when I was going to say the old cliche, “where did the time go?”, I smile, knowing exactly where the time went. It went to smiling, laughing and loving our way into many cherished memories. I try not to shed a tear for the time that went by way too fast, but smile in anticipation as I await more changes and milestones. 

This was a great year as our family and I got to hear you talk more and more (you must get that from your dad) and see how much more you could do and understand. Everyday you surprised me with another thing you could do. Sometimes it was adding another letter to your ABC vocabulary, knowing how to put on your shoes (hopefully you’ll learn how to match them soon) and knowing who the people around you are. Your personality was strong from the start, but it shown through even more. You’re just like your favourite characters on Mickey Mouse. You’re completely silly like Goofy, loving like Minnie, smart like Mickey and you occasionally pee on the floor, like Pluto. All in all, we love every piece of you and still can’t believe how much you enriched our lives with that contagious, little grin.

I can’t tell you how much you fill my soul with pride. I’m always gently reminding you of your manners, and to say, “thank-you” a lot. Really, I’m the one who should be saying it to you. Thank-you for the million hugs and kisses. Thank-you for the giggles and surprises. Thank-you for biting your father more than you bite me. Thank-you for being you and making everyday a lot better. Thank-you for introducing me to the Bubble Guppies, whom made me question everything I thought I knew about the ocean. Last but not least, thank-you for making me a mom.

Happy Birthday my sweet and feisty, Piper.

Love,

Mom

PS – Here’s another special birthday movie and a glimpse into the past year.