Today is my husband’s birthday and every year on our birthdays it has become a tradition to open our cards first thing in the morning while still in bed. Since we’ve had Little Man (and now Bambino) it’s been a joy to include them in our traditions and make a few more of our own as a family. This morning, seeing LM’s excited face as he gave his daddy the birthday card, made my heart swell. I love sharing and passing on special moments to remember for a lifetime.
Sometimes there are days (or weeks) like I’ve had that I certainly need a reminder about what I do. Being a mom can be challenging and not every day is sunshine and rainbows. In fact, for me it’s diapers and scattered toys… And dirty dishes and laundry and boo boos (you get the picture). But being a mom is a blessing and an honor. Even the bible says “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3 ESV. How awesome that we are given this amazing honor of being parents. These priceless treasures are entrusted to us! Oh, how I long to be what I need to be for my kids. God, help me to be everything you want me to be as a mom for my children. Thank you for blessing me with these priceless and amazing gifts.
Proverbs 31:25-30 ESV
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” …
There are many accomplishments for which we may praise any hard working momma, but there are a number of personal accomplishments that we mommas don’t often boast about. Now please, I certainly don’t want to toot my own horn, but today I have already conquered a few of these silent victories. Seriously, these feats need to be acknowledged and recognition should be placed where recognition is due! Hard working Mommas, you rock and you deserve the much needed praise for every little accomplishment no matter how small they may seem!
Here’s to YOU Momma
and your personal victory today:
- Drank a morning coffee without reheating it at least twice. Awesome!
- Used the washroom without being followed. Ahh! Peace!
- Washed all the dishes before the water went cold. YES!
- Got yourself, the husband and the kids dressed, fed and ready for work/school/the day on time. You go girl!
- Showered, washed and dried and styled your hair today! How do you do it?
- Answered the extremely awkward and difficult question from your overly inquisitive little one and avoided any other connected questions. Great job!
- You expertly redirected a potential catastrophic interaction between your children. Way to go!
- You managed to sit through 4 episodes of kids’ TV without complaining or rolling your eyes once. i.e. “Max and Ruby are seriously lacking the proper influence from their absent parents!” What strength!
- Planned a full day of meals around the Canadian Food Guide. So proud of you!
- Deflected a dirty diaper change onto Daddy. Success!
- Last minute guests and your house still looks tidy. Excellent!
- Arrived anywhere on time. Amazing!
Well Mommas, there are certainly plenty of hidden victories but these are just to list a mere few. Keep doing the great job that you’re doing. Pat yourself on the back every once in a while or encourage and congratulate the other mommas you connect with and let them know you’ve been there too, they are not alone and that you are proud of their accomplishments no matter how small!
What I love about being a mommy is that I will always have a fan. I made homemade macaroni and cheese the other day and used a different recipe other than my tried, tested and true recipe passed on from my mother. I just wanted to change it up a bit…and I ran out of eggs. As Little Man was eating (and loving) this new recipe, he asked me, “Did you make it all by yourself?” “Yes I did Sweetie, do you like it?” “Yes! It’s really good. Good job mom!” My heart felt meltier than all that cheese! How nice it is to have your little one acknowledge your accomplishments.
It’s Fall and it’s my favourite season of the year and what Little Man and I love most are our autumn excursions in the wooded trails behind our house. It’s a great way to get out and smell the autumn air, get some exercise and to secretly disguise a perfect learning experience.
Loving the Autumn weather and having fun with my most priceless treasures! Take time to appreciate the season and all its beauty. Get out and have an Autumn excursion with your kids. Have fun and explore!
Red Freckled Momster
Here it is! Another one for ‘What I Love’ Wednesdays. Bambino will be 7 months tomorrow and I’m still proudly breastfeeding (although in saying that, he bit me twice this morning. Yep, with his 2 brand new razor sharp teeth). If you have read He’s Eating From Mommy’s Boobie! you will know that I am not shy or one bit concerned about my 3 year old seeing my exposed breast as I feed his baby brother. What I love about being a mommy is having the power and privilege to potentially influence the future values and belief system of one so young and impressionable, especially regarding breastfeeding and women. There has been much controversy and conundrum about mothers nursing in public places lately. Stories of discrimination against mothers who feed or soothe their child, doing what a mother does, should never exist, but culture has misinterpreted the wonderful creation and purpose of a woman’s body. I wonder if my Little Man will grow to value a woman’s body for what it was created for and not for what society has manipulated it to become. Will he be tolerant and accepting of others different than him, will he embrace change, will he treat women with respect, will he stand up for what is right? I can only guess and do my best as a mommy to nurture and guide my children in the way they should go. What an awesome/scary feeling!
Our family recently returned from a family vacation in Nova Scotia, our first as a family of 4. Over 2500 KM consisting of 2 ferry crossings (one each way)and plenty of pee breaks and diaper changes, to spend time with the in-laws at their new home near beautiful Lunenburg. We also explored the gorgeous towns of Bridgewater and Mahone Bay and spent time with relatives in Lower Sackville and the Halifax area. After 12 days, we drove back home, and now have a thing or two to say about our navigation skills, our patience, and traveling with children. Since we are new to being parents of two children, we made sure to make note of a few essential rules or tips when traveling as to make the next family vacation all the more smoother. Here are our 8 simple rules:
1. Pack plenty of snacks and easy to eat foods: Food on the road can be expensive so pack lots of snacks and fluids that will keep you going through the long drive and the rest of the holiday. For toddlers, goldfish, granola bars, crackers, juice, water and etc. Bambino only recently started eating solids and although I usually make my own baby food, traveling makes it a little difficult. I had it in my mind that I could take my homemade baby food with us in a cooler bag with Ziploc baggies of ice and when the ice melts just replenish with ice from fast food restaurants on route. However, the zipper in our cooler bag broke and the baggies leaked leaving a bit of a mess. A good idea in theory which needs to be perfected; it can be done. We mostly used those baby food pouches (Baby Gourmet and Heinz have some great flavors and organic too). These are easy and simple to use, no warming necessary and you can squeeze it right into baby’s mouth.
2. Ensure entertainment/distractions: The portable DVD player is one of the best inventions for travel. Fortunately, Little Man isn’t like his mother and doesn’t easily get car sick (seriously, I can’t look down without feeling woozy). He watched movies and played games on his Ino Tab 2S and kept himself happily entertained. My brother, sister-in-law and lovely niece were visiting this summer and they have done a lot of traveling for various reasons, one being they live in Alberta when the rest of their family are in Newfoundland. SIL suggested the distraction of a new toy, even something small like a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy to keep the kiddos interested and distracted from the long distance driving. Great idea, Little Man loved having something new to entertain himself. Thanks for the suggestion SIL!
3. Make several stops: Not only is it important to get those pee breaks in to avoid accidents, it’s important to get the kids out of the car seats to stretch and to get their blood flowing. With babies in infant cars seats it’s also important to change diapers frequently to ensure wetness isn’t being held close to their sensitive bums or staying in the deep creases created by the sitting position. We wouldn’t want baby to get a nasty diaper rash or itchy chaffing. And your stops don’t necessarily have to be truck stops and gas stations. Why not the playground, a lovely park or art gallery? Have a picnic and don’t rush. Take time and play with your kids instead of worrying about time constraints and destinations.
4. Make the drive fun: . While driving, play some fun car games like I Spy or the Name Game where each person takes turns saying a boy’s or girl’s name beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Listen to silly music and have a little dance (while seated and buckled in safely of course). Point out different things such as monuments, statues, old buildings and bridges as you pass, make a learning game out of it (Fun can be educational too!) At the risk of sounding philosophical, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” Trust me, less stress for the parents and the kids!
5. Make sure everyone is comfortable: If it’s a long drive, you better make it comfy. Since kids are in car seats up until a certain age/weight you should make sure the straps are at the right position and not cutting into the neck or shoulders. When your kid falls asleep does he get the oh-so-uncomfortable-looking taco neck? Readjust the seat or bring a travel pillow to fix that situation. Some other things to note are: sun visors for windows to shield the hot sun,
6. Bring a bit of home with you: It can be scary to a kid traveling to new places and they may feel frightened or uncomfortable with their new surroundings. Make sure you pack something familiar to your child so they feel more at ease in an otherwise strange environment. Whether it be a pillow or favourite blanky, some favourite movies or games played at home or a stuffed animal to cuddle at night, make sure your child feels comfortable.
7. Bring wipes, sanitizer and plastic bags for easy clean up: It can be easy to get in a mess when driving long distance in a car; you’re eating, drinking, stopping at random spots along the way that may not have soap or running water. Wipes and hand sanitizer can be a god-send in a variety of situations little hands can get themselves in. Plastic bags are great for containing garbage, dirty shoes, recyclables, etc. Also, in the case of the dreaded car sickness, it may be a good idea to keep plastic bags on hand to contain any soiled, stinky clothing. Little Man has the most sensitive gag reflex and a plastic bag certainly game in handy more than once.
8. When they’re sleeping, DRIVE!: Don’t even need to elaborate…just take advantage of it when you can. You never know when you have a fussy baby who needs to nurse.
Good luck for those traveling with your kiddos. Enjoy the journey and have fun!