12/25/10

Christmas time at our house is almost over. We had a busy weekend filled with new memories with family celebrating Christmas 2010.

Early on Christmas eve Dh's sister, brother in law & their 3 kids came by for a visit. I made cupcakes for the kids, we all exchanged gifts, talked & laughed. It was a good day despite our youngest being a little overwhelmed with the whole holiday season. He's 2, what can you expect! K got a build-a-bear bunny and clothes to go with it from her aunty, uncle & cousins. D got a cute little Go Diego Go on a bike, it rides in or out of water. He loved it!




Today was Christmas day and what a day it was! We started off a bit late, after all Santa was running late because mommy was up making sure those milk & cookies were left in his sight! Either way, the kids let us sleep in a little which was nice!

They totally deserve to be on Santa's excellent list! Opening the gifts after coffee was made, best part of the day.

The kids were so full of emotions and expressions, I caught what I could with my iPhone.






The kids were delighted with their gifts, especially K which is exactly what we wanted. Seeing those smiles is gift enough for me. Hubby & I did get a few things under the tree like a couple of movies & my new boots among other things ;-). Even the pets got treated with new toys and treats!




I made a nice black forest ham dinner for the four of us. Very good!

Tomorrow my mom & her hubby is coming to visit. They are coming later on for supper time and we can't wait to see them! The final Christmas dinner on Boxing day!

With that I should catch some sleep :-)

Merry Christmas everyone!



12/24/10

Happy Holidays from our home to yours!!!

Our house is decorated, presents waiting for the kids; Merry Christmas 2010! May your home be filled with as much love and laughter as ours! xo


12/22/10




It can take a lot of time & effort to bake and create yummy treats to share for the holiday season.

Tonight with a few simple ingredients found in the cupboard, we made plain old chocolate cupcakes into Christmas-cakes!

Fun and very simple, something the kids can help make too!

What you need:

- 1 Box of cupcake mix
- Eggs & vegetable oil (most mixes require these)
- 2-3 Tbsp Icing sugar
- Sprinkles
- Maraschino cherries

How to make:

- First off bake a batch of cupcakes from the mix and let them cool accordingly. We used devils food cake for ours.

- After cooling simply sprinkle icing sugar and sprinkles on them, top them off with a cherry & voilĂ ! We have Christmas cupcakes!

The kids enjoyed them, can't wait to make our next treats using a recipe from the Kraft recipe for joy recipe box!

Have fun & happy holidays!

12/14/10


D was always a quiet baby. Being a 27 week preemie he reached many milestones at a slower pace, he seemed to like things simple. That's until he learned to walk & now, talk or in this case, yell.

It's begun - the age of tantrums. D now expresses frustration/anger by means of wicked tantrums. He doesnt have them constantly. Most of them occur when he is tired or isn't getting his way. Sometimes a mix of both. This is partially because of his birth situation we did baby him, we dont deny it and we dont make excuses about it. We spoiled our preemie boy & now we deal with his behaviour as he throws it at us. He does gets over them quite quickly.

Like any kid trying to coax him or talk to him while he's in mid-yell is impossible so away he goes for a good 2 minutes then he will decide to reason when he realizes mommy's no actually means, no!

Tantrums are nothing new in this house, K threw some whoppers our way when she was D's age. It's all part of growing up, although it can be really frustrating at times when he won't give up and I almost want to give up.

But he is my son, I love him & I'll take a breath and we will get past this stage like we did the rest.

My advice when dealing with tantrums, don't. Stand your ground. Don't deal with it, don't give in to the shrieks, don't wrestle or fight them, don't have a yelling match; just let them realize that the behaviour isn't going to break you. Leave the room, let them wail and yell, let them tire themselves out as long as they aren't hurting themselves or others. When it's all over, give them a hug because you probably both need it. This too shall pass mommy, it's all part of growing up. 


12/10/10



Every day after school my daughter and I chat while we walk home together. Our conversations are usually about how her day went and what she did, she will ask me how my day went and what I did as well. Today we had a bit of a bonding mommy-daughter moment that made me feel good inside.

The first thing she told me when she got off the bus was all about her front tooth that FINALLY fell out. Unfortunately it fell out while she was enjoying her pizza lunch at school but nonetheless it fell out and the tooth fairy is visiting tonight ;-)

After we had walked away from the other kids and parents at the bus stop she told me something in confidence. I wasn't even allowed to tell her daddy (even though she did once she got home). I won't break our trust by mentioning exactly what it was here, I did promise her I wouldn't tell anyone the whole story. After all, they say what you blog about your kids could come back and bite them in the butt one day! Either way she told me about something very embarrassing that happened in school involving a toilet which lead to her having to come home in clothes out of the lost and found bin at school. Not just any clothes, but BOYS clothes. She was humiliated by being laughed at by some of her peers because of the clothes and the reason why she had to wear them, she told me it was just awful.

As horrible as I felt for her, it felt good to know she trusts me enough to talk to me about stuff that when I was a child, I would keep to myself. The worst thing I did was not talk to my parents enough or maybe the worst thing they did was not take the time to always listen and that's something I'm trying to build with my kids. That trust that they can come to me for anything and know I won't judge them. I didn't judge her for having to wear boys clothes home and I didn't laugh at the situation (well, maybe a little in my mind) as she explained it to me, although I can see why a bunch of six-year olds would find it amusing. Kids will be kids, I'm glad I'm close with mine and I hope over that the years that special bond doesn't fade.

Tip: Open the lines of communication by allowing your kids to ignite the conversation. Whatever you're doing, put it down and listen. Make eye contact, respond when they ask a question and let them know you are there for them, no matter what. They'll thank you and you will thank yourself in the long run.


One of the best parts of the Christmas season is getting together with family & friends to enjoy the goodness of a home cooked Christmas dinner.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of families every year who go without that Christmas dinner. Christmas is difficult enough without having to worry about food on the table for the holidays.

That is why I'm happy to let you know about Kraft's Recipe for Joy program.

Now until December 31st, Kraft will donate 2$ to Food Banks Canada for each Free Recipe for Joy e-card sent out this holiday season.

Along with the ecard you can send a virtual gift: the Recipe for joy digital recipe box filled with yummy Kraft holiday recipes to share with your family & friends this year!

The Recipe for joy recipe box can be downloaded right to your computer so all of those yummy holiday recipes are just a few clicks away.

This is a great way to show your holiday spirit and help give to those less fortunate, perhaps we can all help make Christmas a little brighter, one ecard at a time.

Visit http://www.kraftrecipeforjoy.com to spread some Christmas cheer & get some great recipes from the Recipe for Joy virtual recipe box!

Thanks to Kraft Foods, our family will be trying out some of the great Recipe for Joy recipes this year at our annual Christmas family dinner - can't wait to share the goodness with all of you! An update will follow with some of the yummy Kraft recipe for joy recipes we are going to try!

*This post was written by A Motherhood Experience on behalf of the Kraft Recipe for Joy program. I received gift box of Kraft foods & gift cards to facilitate our Kraft recipe for joy dinner. All opinions and comments are honest & my own*




12/7/10



We had our first snowfall here not too long ago. Two mornings ago we woke up to what most would call a "winter wonderland". I on the other hand refer to it as a pretty pain in the butt most of the time!

If you've been reading my blog since last year you'll know, I'm not a winter person. I don't like feeling cold, the slightest chill puts me in a downer mood.  I don't like getting bundled up let alone having to take 30 minutes each kid to get them ready before going out anywhere and everyone looking like marshmallows. I don't like the flues and colds, crisp wind and blizzards that come with our Canadian winters but I can't do anything about it except face the winter.

On the other hand I do see how people like winter. It's the season for celebrating Christmas, skiing, sledding, ice skating and snowman making. It's beautiful to look at and amazing to photograph, kids love winter. I don't play winter sports due to my hips but now, as a mother I can enjoy watching my kids enjoy their childhood winter activities with big smiles all the while. It's not about me anymore.

See, I'm not a winter person but I don't entirely hate it, I can't hate the snowflakes that make my children laugh. I can't hate that frosty my little girl worked so hard to build while I stand by freezing, proudly watching her imagination soar. I can't hate the fact my son is amazed with the white stuff, even if his cheeks get red and little teeth chatter, he's smiling and that's all that matters.  I can hate the cold, but I can't hate winter.

My tip for surviving the outdoors in winter: check the weather and dress accordingly; if it's -30 you'll be seeing me in multiple layers including long johns. If heated clothing existed, I would own every kind. 

12/1/10




Today is December 1st which means there are only 24 days left until Christmas. Oh the excitement or stress, whichever way you look at it. I for one am trying to keep it positive even though honestly for me, Christmas can be a downer but I won't get into that right now. Most important thing to remember : It's all about the kids! They're happy, we're happy.

So far, we have put up some of the Christmas lights (I say some because apparently hubby wants more up) and we've picked up a couple of gifts here and there. K's big present is bought & paid for. Not even close to ready but hey it's a start right? Hopefully we'll have the interior decorated soon!

We caved an got K an iPod touch for Christmas. Shocked? Don't be. I do still think it's a lot of gadget for a kid but it's sort of a "your iPod is my iPod" deal. She'll have the same rules with it as any other device we've owned. Monitored and stored in the office when not in use. Nothing but kids apps on it. Limited but still hers and she can leave my iPhone alone!

With that said, I've also been mentioning some (what I think are..) great gift ideas here on A Motherhood Experience and will continue to do so until the last shopping day. After all, you never know who needs a quick idea like these:

- Mophie for the iPhone geek
- Pixie Chicago Paper designs

Until next time...
Happy December!

11/30/10



Kids love writing and receiving letters from Santa Clause during the weeks leading to Christmas. Every year, we usually try to write the standard post-office letter to santa and get a reply within a few days. As nice as it is, younger kids can't read their own letters from Santa, a video from Santa would be even better bringing a special moment to an already magical time of year.

I was recently introduced to a new way to send a Santa message to your little ones with Portable North Pole (PNP). PNP is a free customizable video message from Santa for kids and adults who still believe ;-). Totally customizable, you can have Santa say your child's name, open a book with their photos, trace the route from the North Pole to your home and let them know what Santa might be putting under the tree at Christmas.

We thought this was a really great idea for our little ones, not to mention really neat! It brings Santa's magic to life right before your childs eyes, surprising them that Santa really does know if you've been naughty or nice!

It's very easy to get started making your children their very own video from Santa too! Visit: http://portablenorthpole.ca and follow the easy steps to create a really neat video your child and you will remember for years to come. We are going to be making our daughter her own special video, who knows who else we will send them to!

PNP is also offered in french at http://www.perenoelportable.ca/accueil.

Also, for you iphone owners there is a PNP app you can download for free from the app store to keep track of everything Santa including a password protected "Parents Zone" for shopping lists and keeping track of the videos you make on the site.

Hope you have as much fun with this as we did!

*This is not a sponsored post. All comments and opinions are honest and my own*

11/28/10

Although the month is just about over, November is Adoption awareness month and in light of this we had a lovely  book called "Adopted Ed" to review and share with all of you!

Adopted Ed is a children's story written by Darren Maddern and illustrated by Erin Fusco. This story teaches children about adoption as they follow little Eddie in his journey discovering his story after being teased at school by a mean boy about being an adopted child. Little Eddie guided by his loving parents, learns that he is just as special, if not more than any other child. It teaches that being "different" isn't a bad thing. There are even many celebrities that are adopted as well.

Although my children are not adopted nor was I, I still feel it's very important to educate our children about different types of families including families with children who are adopted and let them know that they too are special in every way. Adoption is such a wonderful thing, a child gets a loving family and a couple who may have once only dreamed it, now have a beautiful child to love. There is no greater sacrifice than adopting a child who needs you, in fact the author of this book was adopted himself. Adopted Ed is a fun, bright enjoyable little book for all ages! My daughter enjoyed it, she had many questions after we finished reading it. Educational and fun, learn more about Adopted Ed and more upcoming books by Darren Maddern at www.adopteded.com 

*This review was written in participation with the one2one network. I received a complimentary copy of "Adopted Ed" for review purposes. All opinions on this blog are honest and my own*

11/25/10


Tonight was parent-teacher meeting night at K's school and it was totally opposite to what I had played out in my mind. Thinking back to last year's "Your daughter is a lovely child however..." parent-teacher meeting that left me wondering about my parenting skills, my daughters behaviour and the school itself. I left the school that night feeling heartbroken and like a complete failure.

I liked K's teacher last year, she was a nice lady but K didn't always agree with her. In fact, I think she spent more time on the "time out" chair than actual learning time in the short period of half-days she was there. That's how bad it was. I don't know if it was my actual child or the teacher, either way she made it into grade 1 and is moving on up which was what we were hoping for.

I really like her teacher this year, K tells me his name is "Mr. D" and he's always happy. We met him briefly at the beginning of the year but otherwise just kept in touch via notes in K's homework book about her progress, what she's been doing or anything that would have happened in class that we would need to be made aware of. So, tonight hubby stayed home with the munchkins and worked on his basement and I went to meet the famous "Mr. D" K always brags about when she comes home from school almost every day.

I wasn't expecting the type of teacher I met that's for sure. He was laid back, easy-going, super happy and super friendly certainly a fun personality to work with children! He began by saying "First off, let me start by saying I really LOVE K, she's so bright and funny!".  He had nothing but good things to say about my daughter which made my heart just glow.  He didn't make any "mistakes' shes made into a big deal, it's all about learning and that's what she's doing. It was nice to see a teacher that actually cares about his students and encourages them telling them its OK to make a mistake, unlike some we've had the honour of dealing with in the past. It's nice to know that my daughter goes to school every day with a teacher she can look up to, she respects him and she loves school because of it all.

I left the school feeling very proud of my daughter tonight and like I'm actually doing something right when it comes to school. As soon as I got home she was asking me what Mr.D said about her and I told her he had only good things to say. That put a huge smile on her face, I could tell in her eyes she was worried I would come home disappointed by something and I didn't, far from it. I am proud of her beyond words, there were so many times I worried that things would just spiral in the wrong direction when it came to school. She didn't like it, she didn't like her classmates and some days she wanted nothing to do with it altogether and I know that isn't her. All I wanted was for her to enjoy learning, enjoy experiencing school and be happy doing it. It feels good seeing her smile knowing her class is going to the library that day or its Friday which means "Friday fun tubs". Like they say, you do what makes you happy and school finally makes her happy. I am happy when my kids are happy.

To all the teachers out there like K's who actually take the time to show concern, consideration and compassion for both student and parents, thank you. You are the reason our kids thrive in the classroom!

11/15/10




The holiday season is just around the corner, that means Christmas time and more social gathers so less time to put into the everyday of housekeeping.

We are getting ready for the holidays around here this week. Starting day 1 with a thorough clean of the place including cleaning those leaves in the backyard, you never know what's hiding under those leaves so huge thanks to dh for taking care of that!

Next up on my list is organizing and getting rid of junk I seriously do not need to be keeping like old clothes nobody wears, old toys, broken stuff we put away to someday "fix" and never got around to it. General clutter.

Okay I am not a clean freak, but I like my house looking good and tidy however I am somewhat disorganized. I do organize but it doesn't last. Like the linen closet I spent time folding & placing just to have it rampaged not even a week later by the kids looking for a towel or facecloth. Closets get junk piled in them "for now" that lasts a while, until I get fed up and make time to redo it.

It needs to be done and done this week so this is a goal, for my sanity and sanity of my family - get the place organized before it's time to decorate. All it'll take is a few boxes, bags and a whole lot of patience ;-)


- Posted by @AMotherhoodBlog

*All opinions on this blog are honest & my own*

11/11/10




Last night was the Ottawa prescreening of the new Russell Crowe movie, The next three days and I was lucky enough to attend the viewing on behalf of Maple Pictures!

"What if you had 72 hours to save everything you live for?"

The Next Three Days is a suspense thriller about a family torn apart when the wife (Elizabeth Banks) is put in jail accused of murder and her determined husband (Russell Crowe) has just three days to figure out how to get her home to their son and bring their family back together.

Now, I'm not going to spoil the movie for anybody waiting to see it when it opens by telling you too many details but I will say it won't disappoint.

I for one enjoy Russell Crowe's films, he puts alot of emotion into this role. It really makes you think about the worth of your loved ones. I for one don't know If I could go to the extent Crowe's character goes to get his wife back, that would be something else!

With non-stop thrills, The next 3 days hits theaters November 19th!

To see the trailer and get more information visit the official movie site!

*This is not a sponsored post. I wrote about this film based on my opinion after attending a screening event. All opinions are honest and my own*

11/10/10




Today is a day for all to remember, for some to reflect upon all the brave Canadian souls who fought and are fighting on behalf of our country. We salute you. To all the brave families grieving loss of a loved on, we salute you.

Here is a poem, a memory to all and one we all know for this and every Remembrance Day:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

Let us remember those who gave their lives for our country.

*Poetry by John McCrae found via google All opinions on this blog are honest & my own*



11/8/10




Tonight I learned that my son has become super picky. When it comes to dressing him for bed the quicker the better due to everyone just being tired and sometimes this results in mixed-matched pjs.

Tonight I threw together batman pj bottoms and a dinosaur t-shirt for the munchkin who's been extra cranky today. So, we put the pants on and everythings cool but then when it came time to put the dinosaur t-shirt on the little guy yells "No no no!" and runs away from it.

I asked him what's wrong with the shirt and he replies "Baman stirt", pushing the t-shirt in my hand away.

So, I rummaged through still not seeing where the batman shirt was and tried another shirt with fish on it. No dice. He yelled at me and protested my attempt to just get any shirt on him, no he wanted "Baman!"

After a thorough search of his closet I found it in his drawer, put it on him and he smiled.

It's funny how the little personality is starting to come out in him, he's becoming specific in what he wants not only in clothes but food, toys, tv shows, etc. Pretty much anything and as long as it's in reason like his batman shirt, why not let him be happy.

To anyone else it's just a shirt but to my little man he's a super hero in his matching pjs.


- Posted by @AMotherhoodBlog

*All opinions on this blog are honest & my own*

10/29/10




Halloween 2010 is in just one more day! Falling on a sunday this year it makes for a whole weekend of fun!

For those too old to trick or treat but never too old for a good Halloween party, have a safe & happy Halloween! Remember to drink responsibly!

For those like me taking the little goblins out for trick or treating, remember to dress warm, it's supposed to be a chilly one!

Make sure to also keep it safe by having your little ones wearing a reflective sticker, carry a flashlight and always only trick or treat in a trusted neighborhood. You never know where the real ghouls lie.


As always check little ones candy stash before they dig in, incase of allergies or other mysterious unwrapped candy and sorts you may not want them eating.

Overall have fun, be safe and enjoy Halloween 2910 everyone!

10/22/10

As you may or may not know, a few months ago I signed up to be a BZZ Agent over at www.bzzagent.com. A fun place to share the Bzz about the latest products and gain bzz points while doing it. The latest Bzz campaign is all about Burt's Bees Natural Anti-Blemish Solutions!

I have heard and read a lot about Burt's Bees all natural products ranging from baby care, face, hair and men's skin care so I was quite pleased when I received my Anti-Blemish Purifying Gel Cleanser and Anti-Blemish Spot Treatment to try out for myself. Even as adults we can get the worst blemishes, nice to know there is an all natural product to get rid of them!
"Burt's Bees Natural Anti-Blemish Solutions™ - Skip the synthetics and go to the natural source! Formulated with Salicylic Acid, derived from Willow Bark, it is the first and only truly natural anti-blemish solution proven to prevent and reduce blemishes for clear, smooth and healthy-looking skin. Dermatologist tested and non-comedogenic."

Anti-Blemish purifying gel cleanser: I don't typically have really bad blemish pronne skin however I do get breakouts and I am the type that likes a quick fix, something to get rid of it asap. I have used other washes by other brands and they seem to leave my skin feeling dry, irritated or red blotches appear. When I used the Burt's Bees it left my skin feeling clean and soft, no residue and you can really tell the difference if you have any break outs and such.

Anti-Blemish targeted spot treatment: Again I have in the past used other brands versions of spot treatments which claim to instantly reduce redness etc in breakouts when in fact the chemicals in the product make them worse, redness, burning, itching etc. Sounds terrible but that's what happens when you have sensitive skin! Trying out the Burt's Bees was different. The treatment almost feels like a rubbing alcohol but then soothes the affected area. Redness disappears almost instantly and the appearance of break outs is reduced by a lot.

Overall I would say I would most likely buy Burt's Bees products in the future after my great experience with the Anti-Blemish Solutions. Go check out the Burt's Bees website for the entire Anti-Blemish and all the other great products they offer!

*This post was written in participation with the Burt's Bees Anti-Blemish Solutions campaign over at www.bzzagent.com. I received complimentary bottles of the mentioned products for review purposes. All opinions in this review are honest and my own*

10/18/10

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What a busy weekend we just had! Nothing to complain about, it was lots of fun but man am I pooped today! Coffee is my ultimate BFF!

Saturday my mother (aka Grandma) came to visit during which both kids were insanely energetic. Visits from Grandma don't happen often lately so when she does come, all those months of not seeing her burst out at once. Kept us very busy, nice time though just (again my fave word); busy. 

After our visitors left, the kids settled down with a movie in our bedroom and we caught the hockey game downstairs. We all needed to rest and relax! 

Yesterday we spent as a family and brought the kids to see Toopy and Binoo live (for the 4th time) - they did change up the songs a bit this time but always an enjoyable show for the kids. They love Toopy and Binoo! 

Adults, not so much. Nothing wrong with the show, I love Toopy and Binoo myself but the people who attend. Good lord. Pushy, blocking kids views & just rude all to watch a free 25 minute show. I'm not one for crowds of people so it was a little insane but we did it for the kids. Luckily we weren't there for shopping!

I know moments like taking them to little mall shows won't last forever and we always love the smiles on their faces when their favourite mouse and cat duo come out to play. 

We hope you had a great weekend too! :) 

10/11/10

Thanksgiving is the time we celebrate and give thanks to all, sharing dinner, desert & good company...most of us.

Growing up we always celebrated thanksgiving at my grandmothers. She would prepare everything from the Turkey and fixings down to the deserts. Of course my mom & aunt would always bring extras for everyone. It was nice and felt like what thanksgiving should feel like.

Seven years later everything has changed. There is no turkey, fixings, deserts or the like shared with our family. There is no annual thanksgiving get together as everyone's lives have pushed everyone away from eachother. It's almost as if it was grandmas bond keeping it all together and now, she's no longer here. Everything is different.

It's sad really, I miss it. We are still celebrating thanksgiving but just the four of us. Hubby, myself & the two kids. I'll be whipping up a roast dinner, not all the trimmings but it'll work.

I'm thankful for those I celebrated with in the past, being able to have those memories is priceless. And I'm thankful to have what I do and who I have today.

For those celebrating in any way, big or small, Happy ThanksGiving Canada!!!

10/8/10

Last night hubby and I went out on a date. Something we don't get to do often without the kids. My cousin came over to visit and watch the kids while we went on a date we had been planning since a couple of weeks ago when we won tickets via Maple Pictures Facebook page to see the movie Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds.

I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it but the movie is about an American truck driver who is abducted and wakes up buried alive in a wooden box with only a cellphone and a lighter. This isn't your typical hostage-situation movie, it's suspense from the beginning with a shocking twist to the end. Ryan Reynolds puts on a great performance, he's typically known for his comedy work in movies like "Van Wilder" and "Just Friends" so it was refreshing to see him in something with a darker feel to it. Directed by Rodrigo Cortes, this movie truly would have made Hitchcock proud.

I enjoyed the movie as much as I enjoyed the time out together with my hubby. It also got my cousin and I together, we hadn't seen each other in a while.

Thanks Maple Pictures for hosting awesome giveaways on Facebook, we had an awesome night!

9/30/10

Today I have been doing a lot of reflecting. Thinking back about how my life has been unfolding from before I became a spouse and mom. A time before when I was niave and honestly woke up some days thinking I had it all figured out. I didn't then and I still don't now.

Seven years ago today my life changed in ways I had never imagined it would. I met my best friend who became my lover, partner and realized soulmate.

I didn't know love could be both so wonderful and strong but difficult at the same time. In seven years no matter what hell we've been through we have made it together.

I didn't know a man could love me as much as he does. He shows it every single day, always has and I believe he always will.

I didn't know seeing your baby for the first time born would make me cry because of how much love I have for her.

I didn't know how easy it was for a friend to betray but have my man by my side, no matter what.

I didn't know we would be scared after having our son born emergency c-section, premature with months of worry. Having him home was the best feeling ever.

I didn't know this would last 7 years and I'm glad it has...

What I didn't know then, I'm glad I know now. I can't wait to learn more.

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life...let's see what I didn't know when we hit 10 years!

Until next time...

@AMotherhoodBlog

9/25/10

September 30th, 2010 marks seven years that hubs and I have been together.  In seven years we have been through a lot of stuff most people would probably call it quits on. It has been a journey and some but we've done it all together. No giving up. That's what love is about, and that is how you keep a family a family. I have always promised myself not to let my family see the fate my parents did. I'm happy we are an "us" and that no matter what, he supports me. He encourages me and always has while everyone around me is telling me what I can't do, he's cheering me on saying "screw them and listen to your heart". I wouldn't have made it this far without him. We may not be married but honestly, you don't need the extravagant wedding and a piece of paper to commit yourself to another (although being a bride just once would be nice..).

This year we are planning on celebrating a few days late, of course we will have a nice dinner and spend some "one on one" time together on the actual day but on October 7th we are going to the screening of the movie "Buried" starring Ryan Reynolds. Hubs won tickets a couple of weeks ago :) Perfect timing, now lets hope this doesn't become another episode like "the switch" where I couldn't find a sitter. I let that pass, but this is our anniversary "date". I'm looking forward to it and I think we both deserve it.

I wonder what the next seven years will throw at us ;)

9/24/10

It's fall fundraising time at school!


Again this year the Terry Fox Foundation is having its annual Terry Fox National School Run and my daughters school is participating. We received the letter after school and I asked her if she wanted to participate in it, she immediately said "Of course!", well that was a proud moment. Last year she was a little too young to participate so the JK and SK classes weren't included in the national school run. This year, she's a big girl happy to do her part to help and it is an excellent way for kids to discover that they too can make a difference, give something without expecting anything in return except maybe a smile.

Terry Fox is a Canadian Hero who ran cross-country in the early 1980's for cancer, suffering from bone cancer himself. He ran thousands of miles with one leg amputated. His incredible story has touched the hearts and lives of people not only in Canada but world-wide and my daughter learning about his history and participating in an amazing event is a proud thing for me. I remember learning about him in school as well.






Aside from asking friends and family for pledges and because the school prefers we not canvas door to door, I set up a pledge page on behalf of my daughter for her pledge raising for St. Michael Catholic elementary here in Ottawa.  As you all know cancer affects the lives of thousands of people every day, in fact this cause hits close to home as we have lost loved ones to this deadly disease. Anything can help toward the research for a cure. Can you help?

Click here to pledge as little (or as much) as you would like...my daughter will be walking for Terry on September 30th 2010.

9/22/10

Fall and I have a kind of love/hate relationship this year. I love the change in season, back to school, the leaves changing colours and all that but what I hate about fall? Everything you can catch and it seems this year we have caught some pretty good ones.

Within the first week of school K brought home a cold which infected the entire house except me who was busy and exhausted taking care of everyone while trying to keep the house as disinfected as I could. Runny noses and bad tempers seemed to diminish half way through last week and by the weekend whatever this sickness is came back full force as a flu. D was lucky, he only has a stuffy nose which causes him to be really difficult sometimes but hubby got it the worst. He caught a terrible case of the  flu.

On top of that we had another type of scare. Through a letter K brought home about lice in the class, the same letter we get every year. This time they thought K may or may not have had nits so we took every precaution, treatment and all. We can proudly say that this house is clear! What a scare and a disgusting one at that (double ew!).

This has been quite the beginning to what looks like a long fall. Hopefully things will start looking a little healthier for us before Thanks giving and Halloween roll around.

In the meantime, check out my latest review for a spooky cook book called "A Zombie Ate My Cupcake" by Lily Vanilli and grab your chance to win a copy!

Until next time...@AMotherhoodBlog

9/17/10

Twitter is one of the most useful social media tools for bloggers and businesses alike to use to connect with others, share ideas and network among other things. I joined twitter over a year ago and have made many connections both on a personal and professional level. Today one of those connections brought me the opportunity to have my ideas published as a special guest portion of a post about money-saving tips for the frugal family.

A couple of days ago I was going about my daily twitter check when I came across a conversation about an article about how expensive it is to raise children, in particular speaking about how a baby from 0-1 year can cost up to if not more than 10,000$. I of course voiced my opinion about that particular subject stating it is possible to raise a baby from age 0-1 on a budget less than 10,000$. Before I know it I was in a conversation with @mel_coulson about how exactly we save on some of the costs of raising our kids and she asked me if I would participate in a post she was publishing to her blog "Adventures of a working mom" on the Ottawa citizen website.

Of course I accepted the offer, living in Ottawa, this is a great honour having my input published on such a reputable website like the Ottawa citizen! This afternoon certainly made up for the events of this morning.

It's my first guest post and I was actually expecting an email back after sending it saying something was wrong with it, that's the pessimistic critic inside me. I need to trade her in for a positive thinking critic! All joking aside, it was fun participating in this and working with Miss Coulson. An opportunity I couldn't pass up helping out a fellow blogger and giving moms everywhere great money-saving tips!

Without further adieu here is the post itself, please feel free to leave any feedback (please, be nice.) or money-saving tips of your own!

Until next time...keep dreaming always...

@AMotherhoodBlog

*This is not a paid or sponsored post and I was not in any way compensated. Thank you to @mel_coulson for giving me the opportunity to have my opinion published in your blog!*
It's bad enough I hate getting up early but worse having to get up early and everybody is disorganized. As much as I try to stay organized lately it just feels like things are in a tornado all the time, nothing goes the way I plan it.

I make lunches the night before, I make sure the house is tidy and all important things like clothes etc placed in view for the next day so nobody is frustrated trying to find their things in a mess.

This morning hubby had to leave early and I was in charge of taking the two kids to K's bus stop for 8:50am. No problem, whats one extra kid to bring along?  I had everything organized jackets on, lunch in bag, keys in hand and we leave. We made it to the bus stop with minutes to spare and just as the bus is turning the corner she says it "Mom! I left my bag at home!"

Several emotions ran through me as I tried to think of a quick fix as the bus was coming down the street. Panic, I looked at the house, then over to D sitting in his stroller pointing that the "buck" was coming. Theres no way I could run with a stroller in time to get her bag, even though the house is only feet away from the stop. Frustration, as I see the bus making its stop "How could you forget your bag!". Guilt and love, K was starting to worry, she had the "Oh no!" deer caught in headlights look but then I told K not to worry, that mommy would walk to the school and leave her bag at the office for her. And that I did. After we put K on the bus D and I ran back home, grabbed the bag and jetted it to the school. 

As much as I really did not want to walk all the way to her school pushing my dinky umbrella stroller at 8:00am this morning, I did it. I sucked it up and did what any mom would've done. I couldn't leave her looking like she didn't do her homework and with no lunch on a Friday. Funny enough when I dropped off the bag at the office and said "My daughter forgot her bag at home" the secretary said "Let me guess, Kylie?" Wow. I guess she's already known on this forgetful friday! I can just imagine now how many times I'm going to have to cover for this girl as she grows up and you know what? I'll do it every time, as long as I can.

Until next time...keep dreaming always,

@AMotherhoodBlog

9/16/10

Tonight I had a pleasant surprise waiting for me in my email inbox. I received a "One Lovely Blog Award" from Elle at This is Mommyhood!



There are rules to accepting such an award and they are:





  1. Accept the award and post it on your blog along with the name and blog link of the person granting you this award.


  2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers you have recently discovered.


  3. Contact the bloggers and let them know they've been chosen.


I'm breaking rule #2 and giving you a few of my favorites with the promise to add more as I find them! Feel free to leave a comment and add your faves too:




 Thank you very much :)


Until next time, keep dreaming always.


@AMotherhoodBlog

Today there are so many food allergies it's unbelievable how careful you need to be when packing your kids lunch this school year. Often schools main concern is peanut/nut allergies and because so many young children have this allergy, many schools have become completely nut free including my kid’s school.

Meaning, of course you can't send your little one off with a peanut butter sandwich anymore. I don't blame anyone for this rule; if it was your child that had the allergy wouldn't you feel more secure knowing the school banned the one food that could be fatal? My children don't have these allergies (thank goodness!) but I know someone who does and I think of the ones who might. I always try to make sure to make the smart choice and make sure the foods I am buying are really nut-free.

Even though stores carry "nut-free" products it doesn't mean that they are truly free of nuts. Being nut free doesn’t only mean that the food contains no nuts or nut products but also that it are produced in a nut free environment. To some the slightest taste or even smell can cause the sometimes fatal allergy to flare up.

One of my favorite grocery stores has a complete line of nut-free products and displays it proudly with the nut-free symbol: Loblaws now offer a great selection of nut-free foods to send off to school for low prices with Presidents choice and no name brands!

We had the opportunity to try out a few different types of snacks like Presidents Choice Mini Bars dipped & chewy chocolate chip, wheat bran bites in banana bread flavor, mini chefs lunchbox packs honey crunchy cubs and no name brands zoo animals fruit snacks, crispy rice marshmallow squares, jelly beans and jujubes! Our kids aren't picky when it comes to brand and non brand names for food. As long as it tastes good, is nut free and sells at a reasonable price we're all happy! So check out Loblaws next time you're wondering where you can find these nut-free snacks and others for your little ones lunches!





Here is a message on behalf of Loblaw about being nut-free aware when buying foods for school lunches:
It’s important to Loblaw Companies Ltd. to provide peanut-free choices for kids and parents alike, and this year it’s easier for parents to shop their local grocery aisles for options. All President’s Choice® and no name® peanut-free products include prominent on-package logos and Loblaw banner stores across the country have displays marked with peanut-free signage.

The President’s Choice and no name brands would also like to offer parents some simple tips to help going back to school as simple as possible, since a peanut allergy is everyone’s concern:

  • Read labels and ingredient lists and teach your kids how to read them, too – every single time

  • Understand what “peanut-free” means: that the product or food-in-question doesn’t contain peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, traces or any derivative of peanut at all! Note that it does not necessarily mean it’s “tree-nut” free – so parents need to read ingredient lists to be sure

  • Empower kids to ask questions about food origins – kids with peanut sensitivities shouldn’t eat foods if they don’t know where, how or with what they were made

  • Parents and kids should be aware of the dangers of cross-contamination – using a knife to spread jam on a piece of bread that might have been used earlier in a peanut butter jar (even if there isn’t any peanut butter in sight) means that the knife has been cross-contaminated and may elicit an allergic reaction

  • When shopping for school lunches and snacks, avoid buying from bulk food bins – even if there’s an ingredient list available, you’ll have no idea if it’s been in contact with a peanut product since scoops inevitably get moved from bin to bin

  • The best store-bought "baked" snacks for a peanut-free environment are cookies, crackers and cereals that are properly labelled and pre-packaged; in a traditional bakery setting, cross-contamination is very possible

  • Don’t forget that in addition to all of the delicious President’s Choice- and no name brand peanut-free products available, there are many other snack choices that are nutritious, kid-friendly and don’t contain peanuts, including:

    • Any fruit or vegetable, such as grapes, celery, apples, carrots, oranges, bananas and raisins – don’t forget about applesauce!

    • Dairy products like cottage cheese, string cheese and yogurt.




Have a happy, healthy school year!

*Information on this post provided by Hill & Knowlton Canada on behalf of Loblaw Ltd. This post was written for informational purposes. I received a package of PC and No name brand nut free snacks for my family to enjoy.*

9/14/10

Most kids dread homework, it means spending more time learning and less time playing or watching tv. Last year she had homework in SK and hated it. Her words exactly, she hated it. Imagine that, she hated homework and she was only in SK!

Tonight when I checked her bag like I do every night, I found a new homework book with two sheets of spelling-writing homework from her teacher.

I read over the homework sheets where it said she was to write out the letters according to sound (eg. Telephone, T, "Tuh"). The last time we did homework together, she needed a lot of help. Not this time and she even said so herself! The only part I had to really do with her was the snap test at the end which is I dictate the letters at random and she writes them using sound. I think this method is great considering my little girl is actually writing and understanding what she's writing! I'm so proud of her for making progress so soon into the school year!



After we were all done she said to me "Mom, I wish I had more homework. It's so awesome!". It's awesome that she has had such a turn around about her attitude toward school and learning.  I wonder if she's going to think the same thing when she gets to highschool, college and university.

Until next time...keep dreaming always...

@AMotherhoodBlog

9/13/10

image1008400393.jpgLast year we celebrated the end of summer right across the street at the Overbrook community centre with the annual Overbrook Community Day. Music, games, draws and lots more.

This year I thought they weren't having the party because the centre has been under construction for several months now. Today I received a community flyer announcing the party is still on - rain or shine!

Here are the details:

Overbrook community day

Activities:
-BBQ and Corn Roast
-Soccer baseball games
-Games for kids of all ages
-Giant inflatable castle
-MUSIC
-Free draws and much more!

When: Saturday, September 18th from 12:00-4:00pm

Where: Ottawa Stadium, Coventry Road (next to Canadian tire/Hampton Inn)

If you live or happen to be in the area, come on out for some family fun!


Until next time...Keep dreaming always...

@AMotherhoodBlog

9/12/10

 Movie Review: ALPHA & OMEGA 3D

I've always been a fan of animated films, especially when they began making computer animated and now 3D films. Luckily yesterday was a beautiful day because we had planned a very special event for our little girl. She was going to see her very first movie in theatre. We attended a movie screening on behalf of Maple Pictures Corp of Alpha & Omega 3D!  

Even though some people we invited couldn't make it, it was still a wonderful day! Everyone had a great time but what matters most is that is was for the kids!

 

 


[caption id="attachment_825" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Kylie Holding her ticket, colouring book and crayons from Maple Pictures!"][/caption]

 

We dedicated the entire day to the kids, inviting friends of ours along with their daughters for the event. Everyone got here promptly by 9:15am and the adults chit-chatted over coffee for a bit while the kids played before heading off to the Silver City Cinema here in Ottawa.  The men stayed home with the little guys who were a little too active to sit still for an entire movie so, it was mommy-daughter movie day! The girls were so excited because each of them was about to experience their first movie in theater. It was a wonderful experience! We left the house with smiles and came back with even bigger ones. When we returned from the movie the kids played and coloured while the adults socialized enjoying a lunch of hotdogs afterward.  Nice of everyone to join us who could, thank you again!    

Alpha & Omega is an animated 3D adventure starring Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Justin Long and Dennis Hopper. Its directed by Ben Gluck and Anthony Bell with music by David Fullmer. Kate and Humphrey are two wolves from two different ends of the pack. Kate is an Alpha wolf, the trained disciplined leader on top of her game, while Humphrey is a laid-back fun-loving jokester hanging around with his just as fun-loving Omega's at the bottom of the barrel. When Kate finds out she is to marry a rival Alpha male to unite the two sides but Kate, along with Humphrey end up in a wild adventure when they become captured and relocated in a wildlife park together and have to do what it takes to get back home where there is trouble between the two rival wolf packs. Throughout the adventure of hitchhiking, hungry bears, cliff hanging and sliding on logs they learn that when it comes down to it, differences sometimes don't matter.      

[caption id="attachment_824" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Left to right: Linda & Sammy, Myself & Kylie, Roxanne & Kallyanne :)"][/caption]

 

This was our first 3D movie and I have to say it was really fun. The animation was excellent, especially with the 3D effect that kept the girls engaged throughout the movie. It had comedy and romance which was nice to see in the storyline. The music was great, there was a particular howling scene the girls found amazing and the action was non-stop. The movie is about wolves so there might be some parts that younger children might find a bit scary but the girls really enjoyed it and couldn't stop smiling when we left the theater.  As a parent I can say this is a great family movie, it's got comedy, action and a little romance too. We all enjoyed it very much and recommend taking your kids to see it when it finally hits theaters on September 17th!        

    

*We would like to thank Maple Pictures Corp for the opportunity to see the screening as well as those who were able to join us on this special occasion. Also, a special thanks to my loving hubby for getting the tickets for us*           

I enjoy trying out new products and I also like giving my input here on my blog about certain products that I've tried so that other moms like me can get the info before buying. After all, word of blog is often better than just relying on advertisements.

While doing my weekly freebie hunt via google, I found out that Glow Magazine is looking for product testers/reviewers!  I signed up because you never know. I didn't think I would really get it but after a couple of weeks I got my first email saying that I would be receiving a product sample in the mail for review for their "You Tried It" section of the November issue.

This time I will be reviewing ROC Multi-Correxion Anti-Age eye cream. I thought this would be quite interesting to try seeing I don't usually use eye creams but I noticed lately I wake up with  puffy looking eyes that make me look tired.  Plus, ROC products sell at Wal-Mart which is affordable for me so perhaps I might buy more in the future.

ROC Multi-Correxion Anti-Age eye cream reduces the appearance of wrinkles, dark circles and bags while providing an immediate more radiant look.

The included instructions booklet says that it might take some people a couple of weeks before they see results but I saw results within a few uses (I've used it 4 times, every other day). Less puffiness, less darkness under my eyes. I haven't had a chance to take any before and after shots but so far so good. I'm looking forward to seeing more results! Keep in mind that certain products have different results for different skin-types, some may or may not agree with my final review.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining the testing panel over at Glow, sign up here. Good luck and don't forget to check out the november issue of Glow, my input could be there!

Cheers!

@AMotherhoodBlog

*This is not a paid/sponsored post. This post is for information purposes and to let you all know about the testing panel over at www.glow.ca and about the product I received for my input. All opinions are honest and my own.*
[caption id="attachment_813" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="K with a big smile after her first day of school"][/caption]

 

The first week of school is finally over and let me tell you it has been a busy one, we are looking at busy over the next several weeks in fact. 

We began the school routine as of Tuesday morning, getting up at 6am but making sure everything was ready the night before so we weren't running around crazy. Unfortunately her first morning back did not go as we had planned (see post on that). Despite the ugly first morning, DD had a great first week at school. We even got a note from the teacher saying she's off to a good start. This puts a lot of my mommy-anxiety to rest knowing that this year, things are looking alright compared to last year. If anyone remembers we had a really  hard time with discipline when she was in SK. Notes from the teacher and even phone calls not even a month into school, doesn't make a mom or child feel very good either. 

Needless to say I'm proud of how things are looking as far as school goes, even a slight progress is still progress! Now, lets see how the rest of the year will go!

9/7/10

Today was back to school - Day 1. From my point of view the day had begun alright. I was capable of getting up with my six A.M. alarm,taking the chihuahua out, taking a shower and starting the coffee before DD was awake and ready to go for her first day of school.

Soon after the rest of the family started waking up, including Zeus, our big dog. I let him outside to do his business, it was still raining out too.  When Zeus came in I immediately told him to STAY because he needed his feet wiped of mud (or what we thought was mud). As I'm getting an old cloth to clean his feet dh comes half asleep walking down the stairs and Zeus sees him. He dashed across the kitchen, livingroom and part of the stairs spreading not only mud but POOP all over the floor. Less than 20 minutes to get DD to her bus and THIS happens NOW?!? This was not a very good morning, so dh goes to bring dd to her bus stop. What do you know, the bus drives RIGHT by them without stopping. Dh had to walk her to school, on her first day in the rain. This was not a good morning!

According to DH when he arrived at the office with dd they seemed completely unorganized and confused. Let me guess, another year dealing with a school staff who are disorganized?  Dh even told them we never got a letter and the response "You didn't? Thats odd" WOW. Anyway there was more mix up when dh was told to bring dd to the gym where her class was. Nobody at the gym. Finally the secretary told another student to show dd to her class and off she went. The poor girl!

What upsets me is that we actually TRIED our best to be as organized as we could with the little resources and little help we received from that school. I sent dd off with the basics: Bag, lunch, extra shoes, pencil-case with 2 pencils and a sharpener, extra clothes etc. I really hope her day is better than the morning was. I'll have to update once she's home. Let's hope she doesn't get forgotten again!

Update: Dh picked up dd from the bus stop and spoke to the bus driver who is also the morning driver. We had the right stop, bus but the schedule time was 10 minutes later than the actual time she runs the route. So now everyones schedules are set up properly.  DD said that school is awesome, she enjoys being there full days. She said she likes her teacher and she likes to be able to go play in the big kid yard in school. I'm happy shes enjoying the first two days, lets hope this positive thinking continues when the homework begins next week!

Until next time, keep dreaming always!

@AMotherhoodBlog

9/2/10

Five days left until dd is back to school on her first day of grade 1. I wrote a post about this a week ago, I'm feeling a little anxious about how she will adapt to full day real school. Not so much now, I think she'll be okay. I'm more nervous than she is!

Now I'm feeling even more anxious about back to school because we haven't received any letters, lists or anything regarding school. Last year they waited until the last-minute. Two days before school began we got the bus schedule which was messed up I may add, and on the first day of school the teachers sent home lists and letters with the kids.

I'm not sure if they are going to do the same so my best bet is to call tomorrow morning since I haven't received anything today, and tomorrow is Friday.  This too shall pass and we'll figure it out, but it doesn't mean it doesn't rack my brain thinking about it!

This week has been really busy and quite an interesting Wednesday morning I'll tell you about that in another post ;)

Until Next time...Keep Dreaming Always!

@AMotherhoodBlog

8/29/10

Somehow we pulled off another birthday party, dd turned six years old today!

We spent the morning cleaning and making sure everything was ready, Hubby went to get the cake.

Around 2-3pm everyone started arriving, chit chatted and had hot dogs.





The gifts were given, dd got nice new outfits from her grandparents & auntie/uncle. She liked the clothes and she was totally not expecting the gift we had saved for last. She finally got the Toy Story 3 talking Jessie doll she's been begging us for months to get her.






After gifts we had the cake. Hubby chose a triple chocolate cake - it was SO good! Mmmm of course anything chocolate is awesome!



"This was the best birthday ever" is what she said after everyone had left. I'm happy, no matter what there was a smile on her face almost all day. Proud of my little girl. Happy 6th Birthday sweetheart!

Until next time...Keep dreaming always...

@AMotherhoodBlog

8/25/10

This is "Ruffy" - a year old Chihuahua we have opened our home and our hearts to.




We had talked about adopting a small dog several months ago, we had even looked into getting a similar dog but female. Unfortunately they wanted an expensive fee so, we declined and decided to wait until a better opportunity came.
Monday evening hubbys friend sent him a txt asking if we wanted to take this Chihuahua. My first question was: Why do you have to get rid of him?

According to him, he works a lot and poor Ruffy spent the majority of his first year in a small crate.

At first Ruffy made himself look pretty bad by attacking our big Doberman, chasing the cat and peeing in the kids room upstairs, but again he isn't used to a big house with rules so it will take time but he's trainable. I can tell simply by the progress he's made in 24 hours.

He has the typical Chihuahua attitude and is semi-trained, sits on command, shakes paw & "dances".

He's taken to me, enjoys sitting on laps, cuddling and really loves being able to run in the back yard with Zeus who he finally decided he is friends with.

Dd adores him, she claimed him "her doggy but moms helping take care of him" ;-) DS is still young and couldn't care less, he thinks Ruffy is a kitty cat. Ruffy likes the kids, he's not aggressive toward people big or small. I think with a little TLC and a lot of patience, he'll be just fine.

It's almost as if he's realizing he's not alone anymore and this is what a family is.

I'm not one to give up pets, they are beings that needs as much love and attention as a child. It's a commitment and responsibility. It makes me mad when I hear stories like Ruffy's.

Bought because he is "cute" yet the owner had no time for him. I'd rather try him out in our home than hear about him ending up in a shelter like a lot do.

We'll see how things go, after all you never know unless you try.

Until next time...Keep dreaming always...

@AMotherhoodBlog