Archive for ‘Thoughts, Ponderings, General Stuff’

November 29, 2013

Shop Til Ya Drop

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I’ve always been a shopper. Mall, boutique, grocery, big box, farmers market – You could throw me in any kind of store and I will find something I need (or want!) I guess you could say its a skill that I’ve curated over many years.

After a long time accumulating lots of stuff and not really having much to show for it, I’ve been working hard to adjust my shopping habits. This is not as easy as it sounds since having kids is an easy excuse to always be on the hunt for clothing, toys, books, toiletries etc.
Nevertheless I’ve come a long way from the binge shopping maniac I used to be – nowadays I have to just be more creative and work the sale racks a little harder to stay stylin 🙂

But how hard is it for all you fellow former-shopaholics to resist one of the biggest consumer days of the year?! I vowed to stay away from any malls or stores today but I did manage to score some deals online for some kid necessities. Not anything close to the damage I would have done say a few years ago though.

Overall I’ve found that having less stuff leaves more time for appreciating what we do have and I think it’s a way of life I’m learning to embrace more as the years go on.

November 22, 2013

Love, Actually

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Every year around the holidays I pull out my absolute favourite rom-com and proceed to bask in 2 hours of unadulterated feel-goodness.
Why do I love Love Actually?
It’s just such a deliciously cozy movie with just the right balance of romance, familial love, heartbreak and humour.
I generally dislike films where there are a ton of characters (remember the disaster that was New Years Eve?) since I find the lack of screen time for any one character makes it harder to connect with them. But somehow the sharp writing and great acting make each storyline a fun and effortless ride in this classic. I’m especially partial to the storyline involving Liam Neeson and his son and Hugh grant plays the charming Englishman to a tee as always.

Also, how many of you The Walking Dead fans remember seeing Rick in this unforgettable scene where he (silently) professes his love for Keira Knightley?

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Never fails to put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye!

Do you have an all time favourite feel-good flick?

November 15, 2013

And let the Holiday lies begin!

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Have you guys ever heard of the Elf on the Shelf ?
It’s a cute idea that these two ladies came up with to start a family tradition around the holidays.
The basic premise is that you introduce your kids to their own Elf and tell them he/she will be watching them and reporting back to Santa on whether they’ve been naughty or nice. In other words, a clever little gimmick to prod good behaviour!

We decided to give the Elf a try in our house to see how H would like it.
I would say it worked for about a day before he started not to care whether or not the Elf was watching. But it’s still cute to hear him talking about Santa and getting excited about the holidays. Our family likes the idea of the Elf more for adding a cute magical element to the holidays more than as a way to modify behaviour.
So what do we think about the “white lies” surrounding Christmas?
For us, it’s all in the name of fun and encouraging creativity and imagination.
H loves to talk about magic and flying and I love encouraging his mind to stretch beyond everyday reality.

I’ve always LOVED Christmas growing up – the food, decorations, and family traditions.
Ours involved decorating the tree together, baking and stockings and I’m hoping to start some new traditions this year such as the Elf.

What traditions do you celebrate in your home around the holidays?

November 13, 2013

On Needles

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Call me a glutton for punishment but we decided to take baby M in for his four month shots and at the same time get H his flu shot.
Vaccinations can be a hot button topic so let’s not even go there, but if you’d like to read a basic overview try this .babycenter article
Both kids have up until today been amazing with the doc and I am so grateful that we happen to have a terrific ped. So I wasn’t overly concerned about the whole thing.
Boy was I in for a surprise!
Baby M was actually great and only eked out a tiny little yelp for his two needles. Could be his chunky monkey thighs helped! I managed to cuddle him back to grins and laughs within a minute.
On the other hand,when it came time for H he seemed perfectly fine and was happy to pick out his Captain America bandaid. But as soon as that needle showed up, my normally super brave boy turned Into a terrified little guy and it all but broke my heart!
I totally turned to mush hearing him scream and say “No doctor don’t hurt me!”
With the shot came crying and clinging until we left the doctors office. I eventually got him in a better place with lots of cheerful chatter, fun activities and being a little more lax on his screen time.
I definitely prefer a needle to a terrible flu but I just hope he isn’t totally traumatized.
Will his next visit to the doc be a scary event for him?
Did I screw up by not doing more to prep him?
Or did I mention it too often and in doing so somehow plant anxiety in his little brain?
The experience made me realize that as a parent you can only do so much to shield your little one from pain and how you lose a bit more of that ability the more they grow. It was easy to comfort baby M but took almost the whole afternoon to snap H out of his funk (doesn’t help he has a crazy good memory and imagination).
In saying that, it’s a lesson in helping develop the coping mechanisms H will need to help himself through “tough” times like these. We read one of his books about a boy going to the doctor and I explained that even though the needle hurt it would make him strong and help him not get sick.
Ugh! Hate needles though.

November 11, 2013

Date night aka Oh hi there!

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Some of the yumminess from our din

This past weekend the hub and I were able to get out for the first relaxing date since lil M was born. We had been out during his first few weeks but it seemed more rushed and we were both running on fumes.

We went to one of our favourite local spots for some delish Italian food, good wine and much-needed alone time. We thought things were busy before with H but now with two littles to juggle it seems much of our daily conversation revolves around the kids, household stuff and just maintaining a semblance of order.

So it was nice to actually recharge with some good convo minus the (loveable of course) background chatter of a 3 year old and 4 month old. It was kind of an “oh hey, you!” moment. As easy as it is to slip into autopilot, I always find it so important to make these opportunities for us to reconnect as a couple.

It’s also fun to get a little dressed up and put some heels on 🙂

What do you do to recharge as a couple? Any favourite date spots?

November 8, 2013

Back in the Blogosphere

So it’s been almost exactly one year since my last post.
A lot has transpired in that year as I’m sure you can imagine!
So why did I stop blogging? Well I took an extended pause to focus on My super active boy and life just kinda took over.
To be honest I didn’t really feel inspired that much either.

But now I’m back, and hoping I can re-energize my little corner of the internet.

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Oh and we have a new addition – here is Mr.M! A strapping young lad at just under four months old. Check out the hair on this lil dude!

So bear with me while I get back into blogging mode and hope you enjoy following our new adventures as a family of four.

November 15, 2012

Stay At Home Mom…What Does That Even Mean?!

Dancing like nobody’s looking

Recently our family made a fairly big lifestyle choice.  For many reasons, but mostly we love change and we also have always believed in those tired cliches of ‘living life in the moment’ and just really being able to fully enjoy our little kidlin. After 10 months of working full time and having H go to daycare, we decided that I would call it quits (hate that word!) and that we would be pulling him from daycare…I am truly excited and happy to say that I am now a Stay at Home Mom.

Let’s discuss this.  What does that term even mean?  Though it may seem innocuous enough, it seems it is actually quite heavy with meaning.

I’ve come across various ideas of what a SAHM is from different people but they seem to veer on either end of a bizarre spectrum with the two major assumptions (and I say assumptions since these are in no way actual definitions) outlined below:

1 – Depressed and overly-stressed woman who has zero adult interaction and who regrets her decision to stay home to raise her kid/kids. Waits anxiously at the door for her husband to come home and release her from crazy screaming toddlers and baby mayhem. Commonly found with cake batter in her disheveled hair and coffee stains on her sweatshirt.

2 – Perfectly coiffed Super-Mom.  This chickita manages to somehow make gourmet meals, look amazing, squeeze in lunches with girlfriends and arrange fun playdates for her well-behaved Super-Offspring.  Hubby jokes about her spending habits but comes home to model show-home that is clean every evening and a happy family all the time.

Realistically I fit into neither category, as I’m sure most don’t, and yet these seem to be the prevailing assumptions made when the term ‘stay at home’ is used.  For me, it is simple – I’m choosing to spend more time with my family.  In no way does this mean I am sacrificing my self-worth, social life, intelligence, or ability to contribute to society.  On the flipside, neither will I be churning out beautifully plated meals every night, signing up for pilates or teaching my child five languages.  I think I’ll probably end up falling somewhere in between where, just like any job, there will be good days and bad days.

I also think Stay at Home is a bit of a misnomer since most days we are out and about 🙂  H is signed up for some fun programs and we are lucky enough to have friends to have playdates with, so while we cherish our rest time at home, its more like a home-base for our various adventures in the city.

We got a range of responses when letting friends and family know about the recent choice we made.  It was sad that some immediately thought that something negative happened at work and that me staying home was a default.  I guess it was such a natural decision that once we figured we could make it work, I didn’t have to think twice about it.  What stood out was the ton of positive reinforcement which was awesome.  Every family is different and you just do what ya gotta to make it work.

Though I enjoy working (outside the home that is, since what I do now is definitely still work!) I really feel, and this may be naive or overly optimistic, that I have lots of time to do that.  So while it was sad to leave, it was definitely bittersweet.

Right now I’m looking forward to spending some fun times with the little guy and just taking life as it comes 🙂

 

August 30, 2012

Review: Reebok Zigtech and ZigLite footwear

Can you believe it’s September?! Already?! With the little ones going back to school many of you parents out there are packing backpacks, filling pencil cases and stocking up on school snacks.
Amidst all the hustle and hustle – don’t forget to make sure your kids are rocking the cool kicks!
I recently had the opportunity to attend a lunch and learn with Reebok hosted by the lovely rock-it promotions where I was able to mingle with some other blogging mommies and learn more about this kids shoe line.
As soon as I saw the shoes I was impressed with the style and choice of colors. Lately ive been into simplicity in a kids shoe and these have just enough going on without being out of control and overwhelming.

Some fun facts:
• the ultra lightweight ZigLite technology features a sleek and light running shoe
• the unique design of the sole provides vertical an horizontal support ensuring comfort from heel to toe
• the multi-surface outsole gives awesome traction

H was lucky enough to score a pair to try. We’ve had our share of shoe issues with his chunky monkey feet (wide!) but they fit just fine.
He ran around outside at the park, the beach and walking around the street and I was impressed with the fact that he didn’t trip once! Rare for a toddler but I definitely attribute it to the sleek design of the shoe and the lightness.

There are no unnecessary design elements which would impede an active kid in his running and climbing escapades!
I’m a fan of these – mostly for the fact they combine style and function so well.
Oh! And they carry the same styles through up to men’s and women’s sizes which is a testament to how well they are designed as I’m seriously considering getting my own pair!
Ya know… If youre into that whole matching thing;)

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August 12, 2012

Hipster Toddlers

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I stumbled upon a pretty great site recently when I googled ‘hipster toddler’ after I became concerned that I was raising a ‘b-ipster’ (baby hipster)….

Signs that prompted me to question whether I was raising a ‘b-ipster’:

1. Child has epic meltdown because he wants his fedora (and not his newsboy hat nor his baseball cap, god forbid)

2. Child can’t string a sentence together yet enjoys both drawing tattoos on himself as well as the application of fake tattoos however only if they are ‘gulls’ (skulls) or basketballs, and only if said tattoos are applied en masse all over his legs/arms.

3. Child’s favourite colour is black…(but which he, for some bizarre reason, insists on calling ‘lellow’)

4. Child has already mastered (at the tender age of 22 months) the art of giving an ironic stare coupled with a smirk.

5. Child dislikes authority.

Anyhoo….my overall thoughts after checking out the Hipster Toddler tumblr is that while no, H is not a ‘b-ipster’, he definitely has a unique little character and personality that seem to be coming out more and more each day.  He definitely keeps the laughs going on strong with his silly antics and his funny sense of style.

 

August 9, 2012

Desk presses at work

Since the majority of my daytime hours are spent toiling at a desk these days, it can be hard to find any time to ‘keep fit’ and stay healthy.

And yet it is so important to take care of yourself, especially as a mom when I find I am taking care of everybody else 🙂 Watching the Olympics lately has totally inspired me to take some action towards being healthier.

Eating Well:
It is a proven fact that eating well has a direct affect on your overall wellness. With a little planning and some budgeting it is possible to pack a healthy and tasty lunch.

Some ideas for lunches that are good for your body, your wallet and your taste buds are:

Wraps made with whole wheat tortillas
Bagels with low-fat cream cheese and veggies
Chicken salads
Bento boxes <–I especially love this idea, though its not a new one, because I personally love variety and this mix and match concept works perfectly for moi!

For more lunch ideas that are cheap and cheerful, try this link.
If you buy lunch, try opting for a healthy option (sub, salad, soup, sushi) instead of a burger and fries…as hard as that can be sometimes when the golden arches seem to be pulsing and waving hi to you! Ultimately the sodium and grease will just sit in your tummy and contribute towards the dreaded afternoon slump…

Speaking of the slump…don’t forget to pack some high-energy snacks to get you through to 5pm…

Assorted nuts (although be careful of any office allergies)
Cubed cheese
Fruit
Baby carrots and dip
Trail mix
Rice Crackers

Staying Fit:
I'm pretty much a desk jockey at work, meaning the extent of my physical activity is walking to and from H's daycare to pick up and drop off. Oh…and walking to get a coffee 🙂

Use your desk to work out (see here for instructions on how to do a desk press)
Take the stairs instead of the elevator (though being on the 13th floor, this one's not realistically going to happen for me!)
Get outside for a walk on your lunch break and enjoy the fresh air
Check the ergonomics of your desk

Relieving Stress:
Who are we kidding…work can be a huge source of stress! Being stressed can affect our sleeping and eating habits and can make us more susceptible to falling ill. This in turn can become a Code Red emergency when the sickness spreads to the rest of the fam. It is important to have some healthy ways of relieving stress while at work:

Stretch
Keep your sense of humour (aka…laugh it off when yet another one of your terrific ideas gets pooh-poohed or stolen)
Plan ahead as much as possible
Use deep breathing exercises (to avoid screaming in frustration)
Play with a stress ball or shoot some paperball hoops
Take a lunch break with a co-worker

There are some great tips here that go into more depth on how to relieve workplace stress.

Since we spend most of our daylight hours at our workplace, it is important to try to maximize the time and stay healthy and fit.

Hopefully these tips were useful, but I would love to hear your advice too! Do you have a healthy lunch idea to share? What is your favourite way to grab a few minutes of activity while at work? How do you relieve stress? Please click on ‘comment’ just below this post and let me know.

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