Top Five Reasons I Bring My Young Children Out Of The House

13254073_10156932191665570_6642251133507075420_n
Saying hello to his snail friend

1. To help you slow down and enjoy the little things in life
I bring my littles out so that you have to slow down during your power walk, in order to go around them, without tripping over the strategically placed speed bumps, as they watch a worm wiggle his way out of the ground.

1003594_10156379115470570_5069248006456338855_n
Taking over IKEA!

2. To allow you to appreciate silence
What? You don’t find the train bridge exciting enough to have a freak-out-fit, including jumping, screaming and lots of laughs?
After a ten minute skytrain ride with my children, you’ll enjoy any bit of silence in the near future. You’re welcome.

13315681_10156932190365570_5624239347108801375_n
Never a dull (or quiet) moment with these two!

3. To give you downtime
It’s pretty hard to try having that business conversation on the bus when my oldest child is begging to play I Spy the. entire. fifteen. minute. ride. And my youngest? Begging to come out of the stroller in the jam packed bus that is elbow to elbow full. Don’t bother trying to have your phone call. Just put your phone away. You will no longer have to yell overtop of the noise of the train and everyone on board in order to be heard by the person you were talking to.

10426561_10155170808040570_8910439572598654642_n
The see me rollin’, they hatin’. Patrolling they tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty.

4. To give you an excuse to get your bitch-face on.
I’m sorry that I enjoy Starbucks. I’m sorry that my youngest hasn’t mastered the skill of eating on the go and that we need to sit down to enjoy our snack. But most of all, I am sorry that my boys sat and ate quietly and didn’t give you a valid reason for the glares you sent our way when we first walked in the doors.

And the final reason I bring my young kids out…

11043092_10155282487650570_5808084937909701602_n
Yuck! Keep your germs to yourself, sir!

5. To build up your immunity
Kids, even while not sick, carry nasty germs. Be careful that you don’t get too close. I’ll be sure to keep him from breathing near you…. After all, I don’t want him to catch your douchbaggery.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Murphy’s Law of Parenting

1. Wear a black shirt, they will wipe their nose on you. Wear white, they will throw up all over you.

2. Boast about your sleeping children and they will never nap again.

3. You’ll overpack for an outing (what do you mean we don’t need two changes of clothes and a weeks worth of meals for an hour trip to the playground?!) but you’ll forget something simple like diapers.

4. On mornings you don’t have nothing planned and want to sleep in, they wake early. On mornings you need get everyone up and out the door at a reasonable time, they will sleep in until noon.

5. You close the bathroom door and suddenly OMG I NEED HELP MOMMY will ring out from the other side as you sit on the toilet.

6. If you stay up an extra hour, they will wake four times during the night.

7. Fevers and suspected ear infections will happen on a Friday at 6pm. Before a long weekend.

8. Your kids will scream, cry, whine and beg for constant attention, causing you to ditch any and all household items you hoped to accomplish. And they will be perfect angels ten seconds until daddy gets home, making you seem like a liar about how hard the day was.

9. Baby will fall asleep as you pull into the driveway.

10. If you can get baby from the car to the bed, without waking up, he will wake from a car horn two blocks away.

11. Flus and ear infections will strike when you’re hours away from heading to the airport.

12. You will buy a swing, bouncy seat, play mat and any other imaginable “babysitter” in the hopes of allowing you five minutes of hands free time. But baby will still insist on only sleeping in your arms. While you bounce. And rock. And sway. While standing on one foot and singing the ABC’s backwards. In Spanish.

13. Your first will hate the Bumbo seat with a passion. You’ll grow to hate it, too. You’ll sell it and be thrilled to get it out of your house. Your second baby will try it out at a drop in and LOVE the crap out of it…

14. Baby, who isn’t a spitter-upper, will wait until the day you lay them on the couch for 1.35 seconds without a blanket under them to take the chance to projectile spit across four couch cushions.

15. You have a busy day and you’ve caved and told your toddler he can watch an episode of SuperWhy! (hey, it’s educational, right?!) and BAM. Netflix will be down.

16. The dog will decide to bark at NOTHING moments after baby goes down for a nap. And again once baby goes back to sleep.

17. When you put toys they no longer use into storage, they will suddenly search EVERYWHERE trying to find it.

18. You spend all week hyping up your weekend adventure you have planned for the family… And suddenly a tropical storm blows in and there’s a rain warning for the entire weekend and you can no longer do what you have planned.

19. Illnesses will always strike on long weekends. Especially those with fun events like Easter, Family Day and Canada Day.

20. A five minute craft will take ten minutes to set up and sixty minutes to clean up.

 

Do you have any to add?

The Difference Between the First and Second Baby

It’s been 11 weeks and I’ve already learned there are huge differences between the first and second child. Drastically different.

During pregnancy, the child birth and after we got home – everything was different.

Accepting advice while pregnant
FIRST : I wanted to hear everyone’s (Aunts, friends, bus drivers, random person who keeps eying my belly from across the skytrain) experiences, advice, ideas, successes and failures. I wanted to hear how they managed to get baby to sleep, what they fed baby when they started solids and where the cheapest diapers are. I wanted to hear their birth stories, good or bad.
SECOND : I would smile and nod to those random people giving me advice on how to handle a cranky baby or teething or what they found were the easiest dinners to make with baby in arms. I’d point out my oldest, taking off while I waddled (the way a 41w pregnant woman does) behind him. I would mention how awesome he is, thank them for their advice and try to dodge their advice on being a mom of two kids.

“How far along are you?”
FIRST : I’m 34 weeks, 4 days, 7 hours and 56 minutes. You knew exactly how pregnant you were and knew how many days until you would meet your precious little baby.
SECOND : Uh, around 6 months? No, maybe eight… What year is it?! You couldn’t remember what day of the week it is, never mind how many weeks pregnant you were. And when you did look at your app to see how far along you were, you’d be rejoicing because of how soon you would get to enjoy a nice tall glass (read : bottle) of wine.

Birth Plan
FIRST : I want to labour at home. I’ll relax in a warm bath, enjoy a cup of hot tea. I’ll take a nap, maybe finish my chapter in “What To Expect While Expecting” or fit in a walk. I’ll go to the hospital in my “birthing robe” where I will gloriously pop out said child without a bead of sweat or a hair out of place. Then, with perfectly intact make up, I’ll pose happily with my little family before we enjoy the peace and quiet while watching baby sleep.
SECOND : GIVE ME ALL OF THE DRUGS!

Drinking While Breastfeeding
FIRST : I wouldn’t drink. At all. I worried that if I drank a sip, baby would need to nurse. He was so sporadic, but even when he was 10 months old, on solids and we were in Hawaii, I stressed about having a drink on the pool deck just in case.
SECOND : Oh, it’s only 4:30pm? I have been enjoying Bailey’s and egg nog a few times this week… Even when baby is due to nurse in half an hour. (I have the same information and same articles I’ve read through both times.. But this time I am willing to accept their information that nursing after a “light” drink, when not feeling the effects, is safe)

You want to hold baby?!
FIRST : Have you coughed or felt flushed or had a sore throat in the past two weeks? Have you washed your hands with soap and water, then used hand sanitizer, then washed your hands again? No? Yeah, please step out of the same room we are in.
SECOND : Sorry, I know you just got in after taking transit, but here’s baby. I’ll be back in an hour.

Pictures of baby
FIRST : Here is baby in the outfit Grandma bought him. And one with that outfit and the hat from Auntie. And here is one with the same outfit and hat and with a poop-face. And another picture of him with him the outfit, hat, poop-face and his teddy bear! How can I decide which to post to Facebook? Let’s post them all!!
SECOND : Here’s my oldest, playing on the living room floor… And in the corner is a foot. I think that’s baby. Or maybe the dog… And here is a picture of Baby, put beside a picture of Toddler. Look at the difference or similarities between the two! Isn’t Toddler so big now? (It’s best that Baby learns to accept that all his thunder will be stolen by Toddler at an early age)

Milestones
FIRST : BABY JUST SMILED! BABY JUST ROLLED! BABY TOOK HIS FIRST STEP! AWW, BABY HAD HIS FIRST COUGH! POOR THING!
SECOND : Oh yeah, forgot to tell you that he’s been smiling for a couple of days now…

Physical Attention
FIRST : You hold him to get him to nap. You hold him to play. You hold him while out for a walk. You check on him ten times a night and stroke his baby soft cheeks.
SECOND : Where did I put him down? BABY?! HEEEEELLLLLO?!

Play dates
FIRST : We had weekly play dates. Sometimes two or three each week. Walks around the block, at each others houses, coffee shops, malls. You name it.
SECOND : Dragged around to big brother’s play dates. Dragged around to big brother’s classes. Dragged around to big brother’s appointments. Dragged around to the park… For big brother to play.

Caffeine
FIRST : I stopped drinking coffee, cold turkey. In the third trimester I started drinking coffee again, but rarely even half the “safe” dose.
SECOND : Can I get an IV set up? It would be faster than drinking the amount I want to, and will, drink.

Safety
FIRST : We baby proofed at 6 months pregnant. I kid you not. We had a jail play area gated and outlets covered. We ditched our glass coffee table for a cheap wooden one from IKEA. We moved all cables and cords out of reach (of a fetus, yes…)
SECOND : We aren’t at the point yet.. But our extent of baby proofing is that we’ve decided no Lego for our oldest until baby is older. That counts for something, right?

Gear/Stuff/Purchases
FIRST : Bouncers, rockers, gliders, swing, exersaucer, jumparoo, playmats, toys, clothes, booties, shoes (for a non-walking lump), crib, bumpers, bassinet, sheets, blankets, hats, carriers, strollers, bath tubs, dishes, bottles, breast pump, wipe warmer, face cloths, wipes, diapers, more diapers, mobile, baby monitor, more toys, more diapers, teething rings, tylenol, more clothes, more diapers, diaper bag, sanitizer bags, breastmilk freezer bags, baby shampoo, baby detergent, baby wash, diaper rash cream, baby oil, baby nail clippers… BABY EVERYTHING! There were so many unneeded purchases made. If I could go back, we would have skipped half the things we bought and still found that we had too many items that we could make do without.
SECOND : We just bought him his car seat for when he outgrows the bucket. Almost everything else he wears, uses and lays on is passed on from his brother. I’ve donated three large boxes of clothes to friends and charity… And I’m still weeding things out as I get to the new sizes of clothes. I’ve sold and donated items – some when Dean was little because they were useless. Take it from me, for those first three months, your child doesn’t need a toy box full of toys… *cough*

My Name is Tasha…

And I am a milk hoarder.
I have twelve ounces in my fridge and sixteen ounces in my freezer. And I don’t want to use any of it… Just in case, you know?

There, I admitted it.

I had breastfeeding difficulties with Dean. We ended up solely on formula for two months between 5-7 months because my milk dried up. My son wasn’t gaining very well early on so I was encouraged to start solids early. Which then made him nurse less. Which then caused less milk supply. Which then meant less gaining. Which meant more solids. And that meant less nursing. And less milk. And more solids… See the issue? And that was only PART of the issue. (You can read more about my breastfeeding issues here, if you feel so inclined)

So this time around, I am paranoid. I’ve been taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. I made lactation cookies. I’ve been having steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast four times a week, with a heaping scoop of Brewers Yeast and flaxseed added in. I’m drinking four BIG water bottles full of water. I’m pumping twice a day. I’m nursing both sides at each feed. I let him comfort nurse during the evenings when he’s fussy so it stimulates more milk.

Sammy has been gaining great. He is at the same weight at five weeks that my oldest weighed at 8 months old. He’s happy and content for three hours between feeds (two hours between in the evenings and five hours between overnight – he’s so well fed that he’s already on a schedule for eating!) He’s chunky. His rolls have rolls. It’s terrific. But it’s still not making me feel 100% satisfied that I am producing enough milk.

So I stash whatever extra I can. I have an oversupply and I’m taking full advantage of that.

But I find it so hard to dip into that stash and use it for top ups, for ease of feeding while out and about and for my husband to take over a feed so I can get an extra bit of sleep. I want to seal it up (in those lovely little freezer bags I had from my first that I couldn’t use because pumping didn’t work for me and my lack of milk) and lock it in the deep freeze. And then hope he binges on it in five months before it expires… Because I can’t stand the idea of having to pour that liquid gold down the drain.

I know I can’t be alone. Does anyone else have a stash that is getting out of hand? I feel like if I keep this up I am going to open my freezer one day and get buried under an avalanche of boob-juice, but at the same time, I just keep pumping and nursing, keeping the milk tucked away for a rainy (well, in my case, dry…) day.

And now, a cute photos of my kids.
(I can’t bring myself to post breastfeeding photos of myself, no matter how discreet and how tasteful the angle was – I would be mortified if friends in high school came across breastfeeding photos of me as a baby. Kudos to those that are comfortable doing so, but it’s not for me or my family.)

Bright eyed Sammy
Bright eyed Sammy
Dean reading at the library
Dean reading at the library
Snuggling on the couch
Snuggling on the couch
Dean vs Sammy comparison
Dean vs Sammy comparison

I’m Not A Closet Drinker…

I’m a bathroom drinker.

I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I spent nine months craving alcohol. Beer, wine and OMGBellinis. Tequilla. Even Vodka. And I don’t like vodka after that one terrible night at a park with a friend and much too much vodka (I was young and stupid, I know)

Have I mentioned that I got pregnant with both my kids after a night of drinking? Both boys were planned but totally coincided with a night of alcohol (there’s a joke in here about needing to drink in order to sleep with my husband, but… hi Mom!)

Tonight, after a busy day, I came home and pumped before getting Dean to bed. Then rather than jumping in a quick shower, as per my new routine (because why would I be willing to get up at 6:30am to shower before my husband leaves for work when I can sleep until the boys wake me up around 8:30am?!) I handed baby and the bottle to Jason and took off to the bathroom…. With phone and a half-glass of wine in hand. And that five minute rushed shower with twenty minutes of Facebook, internet and Candy Crush time was glorious.

I think I am going to find somewhere to stash a bit of chocolate in there for future “spa” moments.

Do you sneak off with your phone to shower or for bathroom breaks and steal a few minutes to yourself in order to restore some sanity?

“My Need My Phone, Too, Mommy!”

The other day I asked on Facebook if your kids picked up or mimicked any of your bad habits.

 

Well, Dean has done both with this one.

I usually always have my phone handy. And while we are eating breakfast or lunch, I take advantage of the downtime to check out Facebook or give myself a few minutes of mental break.
But a few days ago, Dean hopped off his chair during breakfast and ran to his toy box because he needed his phone too.

That’s when I knew we I had a problem. And that Dean was going to be an important part in helping me.

 

Now, whenever we are sitting at the table, if I have my phone on the table, Dean reminds me “NO PHONES AT THE TABLE MOMMY!” and will put it on the couch for me so I’m not tempted to use it.

While there are times that I’ve been so busy with him the past few hours that I want to take five minutes to myself, we have been having some great conversations over our lunch. Dean is getting better at holding up his end of the conversation and it’s great to have that time focused on just chatting, while he’s eating, and not running around to get toys from his bedroom or throwing balls or being a super hero and running through the house.

I can try to catch those few minutes of peace later… When we’re playing Hide and Seek.

 

 

Toddler Play Area Etiquette

Today I saw a lady plop her not-even-one-year-old down in the play area at the mall, barricade the entrance… and walk away.

Yes. She walked away. Not just to the benches beside the play area. But to the bathrooms across the hall from the play area. No, she wasn’t just going to the doorway to see if it was occupied. She went in, out of sight, and left her child in the play area, alone.

I made a mental note that the child was unattended so that I could keep an eye on him. The little one started climbing onto the barricade and made it over… He started crawling off down the hallway… And the mother was still not back. I ended up scooping up the little guy and bringing him back towards the play area. The mom walked out at that moment, yanked her son from my arms and glared at me. I called after her that the play areas were unsupervised and that her son was crawling away, but I don’t know if there was a language barrier or if she cared.

 

So many times I see things happen at these “Soft Play’ areas. An absent parent. A parent that is there but not paying attention. Or even a parent that is watching her child torment younger children and not doing anything about it.

Common sense is definitely lacking in these play areas.

980339_10153359154905570_1478294798_o

 

1. Unsupervised means unsupervised.
That means that YOU, being the responsible parent you are should be needs to STAY and WATCH your child. Not go wander the mall. Not go and grab a coffee.

2. Height and age restrictions.
I get it. Sometimes your kid is a little bit over the height limit. Or maybe your nine year old really wants to go in and play with your toddler. I’m totally down for that. I’m not okay with having to protect my child from the group of seven year old boys who are climbing over the learning-to-crawl babies, jumping off of the three foot high platforms and chasing each other around the play area.

3. “Socks Required” is not a suggestion.
Go figure. But you know, it’s okay. I don’t mind that your child’s sweaty, stinky feet are all over the stairs that my barely-crawling son is about to put his hands all over.

4. Be mentally aware of what your child is doing.
Don’t just be there, physically. Be there mentally, too. Watch what your child is doing. Look up from your phone or away from your conversation every few minutes to make sure that your 3 year old isn’t terrorizing the babies or fighting with the other kids. Make sure that he isn’t biting or hitting. And maybe make sure that he hasn’t just peed all over the slide, too.

5. Don’t just walk away from your (or your chid’s) mess.
Going back to #4… Your child pee’s on the slide. Do you A) Leave before someone complains B) Ignore it C) Give a half-assed attempt at wiping it up but ignore anything that’s dripped to the carpet D) Alert mall staff — If you answered anything but D, you, sir, are a douche.

6. Sharing is Caring.
This kind of goes along with #4, as well. But I see it happen so much that I wanted to spend a bit more time on it : I’ve had kids push my son over because he was trying to climb up *their* stairs. I shouldn’t have to parent your child and remind them that it’s NOT their park and that they need to share with everyone.

7. If your kid has Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, they probably shouldn’t be playing there…
Yes, this has happened. I noticed the tell-tale spots on a child’s hands as he climbed past my son to scurry onto the giant apple. The mom came over to chat with her child and out of curiosity I had to ask…
“Uh oh, looks like you guys have Hand, Foot and Mouth going through the house.”
“Yeah, he caught it two days ago. We had to get out of the house – we were going stir crazy!”
Really? So you brought him to an enclosed play area with tons of other kids?! UGH!

8. No food. That includes the yogurt your child is running around with…
Telling my child that he can’t suck the yogurt your child spilled off of the slide is not fun. Nor is it appreciated. Please, for the love of cleanliness, don’t let your child run around with food. It clearly states no food in the play area. There are conveniently chairs surrounding the entire play area. There’s a food court moments away. There’s benches scattered around the mall. How hard is it to find somewhere to sit, other than on the slide, blocking traffic and spilling strawberry yogurt all over?

9. Pants, while not a written rule, are mandatory.
Were you changing your child on the bench in the play area and they managed to escape and are now running around the play area, naked? Yeah, please go get your child. Don’t just pull out your camera and take a video. Or laugh with your friends while letting him climb up and (ugh!) go down the slide. This is worse than the feet thing discussed in #3… It’s not cute. It’s not funny. And it’s so much worse when they start straddling the crawling babies and swinging their junk around… This is not a nudist beach! Put that thing away!!

 

 

Do you have any to add? Have you had any fun experiences at your local play areas?