Posts

Showing posts from 2015

Let it Snow

Image
We had our first significant snowfall last week! Note my exclamation mark - this was a time of excitement in our house. The snow was meaningful for a few reasons:
The seemingly in between season of Fall had me falling back. Falling back to old feelings, postpartum depression and anxiety feelings. Hormones, less frequent walks outside, less daylight and perhaps some poorly timed extra neediness from my fellas, had me down and out. Anyone who has been there knows, those feelings are scary. They are more than scary - once you've emerged from the darkness it's absolutely terrifying to think you might be fading back to black.  But just like the physical changes that accompanied becoming a mother, those emotional changes may never leave. Is that such a bad thing? Like the stretch marks that I bear on my tummy, I think I'll always bear a tiny piece of that darkness. A reminder of the anxiety, the fear, the depression. A reminder of the struggle. But more importantly a reminder of t…

If You're My Last Baby

Image
If you're my last baby I am forever grateful that I've been lucky enough just to have you. Mourning the end of my baby-bearing days doesn't even compare to the many women that would give anything to bear, birth and bring home a baby. I give thanks everyday for the gift of you and your big brother and I pray everyday for those women longing to have their own. If you're my last baby I'll never forget the day we brought you home and your big brother met you. How he marvelled over you, thought you were his baby and wanted to hold and cuddle you right away. How he took such careful care of you in your delicate newborn state and how he tried daily to breastfeed you.
If you're my last baby I will never forget those long nights spent in the recliner together. How you would sleep so peacefully on my chest, cuddled up under that oh so soft, teal blanket that we have. I will never forget how warm you liked to be while sleeping and how when you would start to stir I could j…

Giving Thanks

Image
For my faith, for my husband, for my sons. For a cousin that is a sister, for a junior high best friend that knows me through and through, for inlaws that love me like their own daughter.  For a sister in law that is a sister, for parks and pathways, for nature.  For my younger sister, my best friend, my twin, my soulmate, my everything.  For chocolate chais and butternut squash cookies.  For my big brother, my protector and teacher of mischief.  For health and for an able body.  For forgiveness, grace and patience.  For my get up off the ground don't run and hider.  For summers spent camping and playing outside.  For struggles that showed me my strength. For thumb-sucking snuggles, for midnight up all nighters.  For Crave Cupcakes, lifelong friends and everyday heroes.   Per le migliore amiche, Nutella, Amaretto, Sesso e la Città, Perugia e pizza.  For a love that will last forever and a day, for cheesy Bon Jovi references, for music.  For a mother who never quit, showed me how to care for oth…

Dancing, at Sundance Lodges

Image
Maybe you're an avid camper, or maybe you've never camped at all - it doesn't matter where you sit on the camper scale, this campground is THE BEST when it comes to camping with babies. Twice this summer we were lucky enough to pack up and head out to Sundance Lodges. To add to our fortune, our best friends joined us with their two year old daughter. One of the top reasons to try Sundance Lodges - location, location, location! Sundance Lodges is only about an hour drive - anyone with kids knows that's a win, especially since an hour can feel like four when your baby won't stop crying and your toddler won't stop sing-shouting. Not only is it a quick drive but it's all in the right direction - straight west into Kananaskis. Ah. Thick evergreens, mountains and a crisp river running behind it.  I know what you're thinking, it's cold in Kananaskis! And yes, it can be! But behold, the next reason you'll love this place - Trapper's Tents with kerose…

The Second First Year

Image
One year ago today it was a Sunday, my father in law's sixtieth birthday, my sister's induction date and in the early morning hours, while my house was quiet and I folded laundry, it was the beginning of my second labor. While my husband and son slept I texted with my sister, anxious about her induction, and confided in her that I was pretty sure things were starting. I'll save all of the labor and delivery details for a different post - if I ever decide to write it all down.  Everything about that day was bliss. I felt calm, I felt in control, I felt so ready to meet my second baby. I had no idea if we were having a boy or girl, what life would be like with two under two - I had no idea if the anxiety and depression that followed my first delivery would come back. By that afternoon, to Drunk on a Plane, by Dierks Bentley, Porter arrived bearing the answers to many of my questions and although this wasn't my first rodeo, our first year with Porter has still taught me so…

When Staying Home Means Leaving Home

Image
It's funny how things happen. 
When I was nineteen I had this nasty habit of locking my keys in my car. One time in particular my nasty habit changed my life. I was a job-hunting student heading to Superstore to apply to be a cashier when I - surprise, surprise - locked my keys in my car. While waiting for my dad to come with the spare key I decided to hand out the extra resumes I had in my hands. Across the street from the Superstore was this funny cement building built into the hill - Vivo (Cardel Place). I'd been there a few times for figure skating and figured I might as well try my luck and apply. Within a few days I was lined up for an interview and shortly after I received a phone call for Josh, asking if he was available to start training that Sunday. Naturally, I returned the call, saying that Josh likely didn't receive the good news but that I was available to start on Sunday. As it turned out, Josh and I both had our first day that Sunday. I didn't know it th…

That "Cop" is my Husband

Image
All too often I hear people complaining about the police. I hear them hating on them, cursing them and making fun of them. I know that not everyone does this but unfortunately it happens a lot. As the wife of a police officer you may think I am biased, and perhaps I am, but I also see things very differently than those not involved personally with a police officer. Everyday that my husband goes to work he chooses to put his life at risk to keep the rest of us safe. He has chosen a career that involves him missing bedtime with his children, missing important holidays and events with family and friends. He misses out on these things to keep you safe - to uphold the law that he believes so fiercely in. He chooses to strap on a bulletproof vest, every single shift, because heaven forbid, that be the shift that someone decides to attack him. He has worked so hard to be where he is, he has received extensive training and is equipped with tools to help and to protect him.  But all of the train…

This Old Couch

Image
This old couch, has seen better days. Okay so maybe the lyrics actually refer to a house but I couldn't get this Doc Walker song out of my head after titling this post. 
Our old couches have seen better days for sure, but now they're living the dream as the best play station in our house. Most parents would agree that parenting is messy. My house is in no way pristine, tidy or always clean - I have a two year old tornado - this makes old, knock around items invaluable. In our loft we have two old sofas, these sofas are the best and certainly some of my favourite items in our house.  We love to play outdoors but there are many times that we play indoors - when my babiest baby is napping, when the wind won't listen to us and won't stop, when we are preparing a meal - and our old couches are the designated jumping area. Who doesn't love jumping around? Or off? Or onto? My son is also allowed to climb all over the old couches - sure he falls off of them from time to tim…

Hey Porter! Hey Porter!

Image
To my babiest boy:
You're nearly seven months. Seven months. I can't believe it. We've made it! We survived that long first month when you thought the day was night and the night was day. We survived nearly five months of you napping in the ring sling, tight to my chest, so that you could sleep and I could still wrangle your wild cowboy of a brother. We survived those first four months when we didn't have a prescription for your silent reflux and you would only sleep on my chest in the recliner. We survived our first (and hopefully last) long stay the the Alberta Children's Hospital when you had RSV - you were such a trooper and your charming good looks had all of the nurses hanging on your every coo - you get that from your dad. We survived ice fishing and a vacation to Phoenix, you're always up for an adventure.  You've made your mark in our family little one. You had my heart the minute that I met you - not to mention your brother's. You've taught …

Phone-y Parenting

Image
Being on my phone was never an issue to me. I bought my first cell phone in high school and pretty much since then I have always had one, and always had it with me, like another limb. I never thought anything of it - it's reality now - everyone texts and checks their Facebook, Instagram, email, etc. and to do so we have our phones. 
Enter children. My tiny little humans that look up to me as a role model. My sweet little boys with rapidly growing and developing brains. My little everythings. The last thing I want is for my boys to grow up thinking that it's okay to be glued to a screen all day long. Other screens have been easily eliminated - I don't find it hard to keep the TV off or not use the computer throughout the day. My phone however, that's another story.  My big little screen problem all boiled over last week when I had a meltdown. Last week I had a tough day. One of those days when, for whatever reason, you just cry. I didn't have a particularly tough nigh…

Seven Ways to Play

Image
Did you know it's unplug and play week? This week, March 23-29, Participaction is encouraging Canadian families to unplug and play outside! Naturally I love this campaign and I sincerely hope that you'll consider pledging, especially if screen time is a big part of your everyday routine.
Participaction is only asking for sixty minutes a day - sixty minutes of consciously unplugging and choosing to play outside with your kids. Play is so close to my heart and I love the notion of playing outside. I try my darnedest to take my boys outside every. single. day. As much as I hope that everyone will try their hand at outdoor play I will not ignore the fact that it can be cold, and sometimes it can seem daunting to bundle up the littles and head outside. So if you feel like pledging to play outside for sixty minutes everyday might be too much, take it down a notch, and just pledge to play for sixty minutes!  Maybe you're not as familiar with play, so here are seven ways to play w…

Meet my Maria

Image
A proper introduction is always nice, so if you're feeling up to it - meet Maria.
To borrow the words of a fellow Albertan, I am Alberta Bound. I was accidentally born in BC, but was raised in Alberta and am now raising my boys in Alberta. I love this province and forever will. My roots are planted deep in Stampede City - Calgary, I am proud to call it my home.  The cowboy culture has not been lost on me and my everyday life is filled to the brim with country class. I am married to my best friend and we have been fortunate enough to have two boys, Stetson and Porter. I love nothing more than watching their brains grow as they experience and explore this world.  I love to run, I was born to run. I am a five year barefoot runner and will never look back. There is nothing that makes me feel so free yet so in tune with my body. I love to research, my sister calls me "Google" and I am often heard quoting Dorothy Ann from The Magic School Bus, "according to my research...&…

Ice, Ice & Babies

Image
Ice fishing. Toddler. Baby. MAGICAL. 
So I would be lying if I didn't tell you that the thought was slightly daunting to begin with. Cutting holes in a frozen lake and waiting for fish to bite while keeping a five month old and a nearly two year old happy? Not sounding so magical? But here's the thing: we need to challenge the conventional! We need to expose our children to nature and teach them, through our actions, an active and nature filled lifestyle.  Thankfully I've been blessed with a relative expert outdoorsman of a father, so having him agree to take us along made all of the difference. Having an experienced ice fisher was incredible, and I highly recommend going with someone who has experience and knowledge in the field. I'm all for adventures but I'm also keen on safety and ice fishing isn't exactly something to "go try out" on a whim without the proper education and gear.

Speaking of education and gear - ifishalberta.com is a fantastic resour…

Beat This Winter

Image
Stampede City is infamous for her rapidly changing and extreme temperatures, especially during the winter. And if you're a momma, at home with littles, it is no fun being stuck inside all the time! Now I love to play outside, but when the temperatures threaten frostbite within minutes of exposure I just can't justify taking my two under two outside for extended periods. 
So how do we beat the winter weather and still get our play on? One of my favourite things to do is to go to Cardel Place - our local sports and recreation facility. Designated gym times mean a wide variety of objects to play with and lots of running room for my toddler! Open gym time gives my son the chance to choose his activities and have unstructured play alone and with children of various ages.   I'm a strong advocate for play, and for play between children of all ages. When we visit the gym I prefer to stand back and let my son take the lead. He can choose where he will play, who he will play with and w…