Surviving a Newborn when you already have a toddler.

Life with Newborn & a Toddler | Spit Up & Sippy Cups
Image Source: Mom Junction

Ok guys. Real talk.

I’m starting to freak out that our next little bundle of joy is almost here. Listen, I know J and I are so #blessed to have been able to get pregnant so easily but it was NOT in my plan to have kids this close together in age. I was even thinking of waiting until O was in school so I could send him off and spend my days in blissful adoration of the new baby (HAAAAAAA as if that would happen anyway).

Anddd here we are. Depending on when Newbie makes his appearance, O will only be 16-17 months, still a baby himself. He’s extremely attached to me right now and I’m so worried how this new baby will through off our family dynamic. In summation, all my anxiety bells are going off at full blast.

Listen, I know billions of women/families have done this before us and will do it after us. We are also fortunate enough to have an amazing support system, the means to keep O in daycare part time and parents who live with us. I know everything will work out and we will OBVIOUSLY be fine.

Again. Unknowns. Anxiety. Alarm bells. Panic. It’s what I do.

So, in an attempt to prepare myself, I reached out to friends and family and asked for their best tips and boy did they deliver. Here they are (and hopefully, if you’re expecting a second/third/fourth, these will help you too!)

Surviving a Newborn when you already have a Toddler.

Accept Help!
From Michelle M (Momma of 2) – “Ask for help! Admit you need it! If someone offers help – take it! The first little while home is not the time to try and be SuperMom. It will be hard. You will be tired. Your house will be a mess. So take all the help!

Jennifer R – “Accept all offers of help and reach out if those offers don’t come on their own.

Make sure you eat & accept food “donations”.
From Andrea G (Momma of 2) – Also have some easy foods around for you. Veggie trays, fruit trays. It’s hard to prepare foods with a little baby and a toddler. If you can keep your toddler in daycare a few days a week…do it!! Don’t feel any guilt about sending him somewhere that he’s going to be having fun! It will be a nice little break for you too!!

From Amanda G (Momma of 4) – “Meals dropped off on my front porch were a god-send. I had made a bunch of freezer meals and crockpot meals, but they don’t help when you forget to take them out and only remember at 5pm. I had soups, pastas, mini pizzas, salads, muffins, fresh baked bread and cinnamon rolls all dropped off discreetly with text messages to check the porch.”

Baby Wear.
From Marie P (Momma of 2) – “Baby wearing. I baby wore S almost once a day for the first few months of his life. That way I could still go out places with R and have baby with me.

From Jennifer R – “Get a good baby carrier (I love my Lillebaby) so you can have your hands free to care for the big kid.

Embrace the chaos & mess.
From eaghan M (Momma of 2) – “ I would say let something (or some things) go because you can’t do it all and preserve your mental health. I had very little day to day help with a newborn and a 20 month old who could not walk, talk or self-feed yet and I had them all day everyday. I learned to take advantage of the little time I had to myself for things that would recharge me, like resting or personal interest hobbies, and to let go of things that would just make me more tired. That meant living with clutter, bottle feeding rather than nursing, saying no to social engagements, etc. If the plane is going down, whose mask do you put on first? We mamas need to learn to take care of ourselves, otherwise we’re no help to our little guys!”

From Cheryl A – “ Just breath!! Stay calm and all about you will be the same”

Include your toddler & help make them feel special.
From Jennifer H (Momma of 3) – “ Entice the toddler to help more with baby, preparing for meals or help with cleaning and chores…make it as fun as you can.”

From Ronda R (Momma of 4) – “ I found making sure everyone feels special is a way to unite everyone. We were always singing and cuddling, playing games. Everyone has a bit of responsibility and I made sure to thank and appreciate the little things each one did. I was kinda like the ringleader and I would encourage ideas and help because if they helped in decisions, then it made participation easy. As long as everyone feels loved and important and cared for, then you are doing OK.”

From Christine R (Momma to 2) – “Try to make the oldest feel included. Mine was a bit older when I had my second (3) but we asked him to help a lot. Get a diaper, wipes, a shirt, cloth… He seemed to feel like he was included in the small tasks this way.

From Jennifer R – “One thing that I really try to do is verbalize that sometimes I have to make the baby wait too. Like, “Just one minute baby. I’m making lunch for your big brother.” Even though of course the baby doesn’t understand, I think it’s good for the big kid to hear that sometimes the baby has to wait too.”

HUGE THANK YOU to these Momma’s for passing along their tips and tricks. I already feel so much better about this next stage.I’m so grateful for each and every one of you.

Anything else you would recommend?

NOTE: Some posts have been edited for length/clarity.

Getting through the last month of pregnancy with a toddler

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From – I’m So Pregnant: An illustrated look at the ups and downs (and everything in between) of pregnancy by Line Severinsen (kosogkaos.no), © F+W Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

I’m 36 weeks in. Between carrying Oliver and carrying this little being inside me, my body is a mess. Not to mention I’m peeing approximately every 2.569 mins or so and I’m exhausted. J is working crazy long hours and I’m often on my own with the little man. This is a bit of a challenge because he JUST started walking so he still requires me to carry him most places (especially if I want to get anywhere on time).

So, for other Momma’s out there experiencing this too, here are some tips of mine for getting through this last little bit.

  1. ASK FOR HELP – I am very fortunate that my in-laws live with us and can help me out quite a bit. Even just for simple things like lifting him into the crib at bedtime (my belly gets in the way). My FIL will often help us out to the car in the morning as well. However you can get it, take it.
  2. Encourage activities that require minimal movement on your part – this includes rolling a ball back and forth, reading books, playing with LEGO, puzzles, watching a favourite TV show (UGH THE WIGGLES) etc. Obviously you want to engage in physical activity as well, but sitting on the floor and quietly playing is necessary too.
  3. Rest when you can – this goes hand in hand with the above, while your little one is playing quietly, take the opportunity to rest. I know my house looks like a freaking bomb went off, but I’m not going to spend the time O is playing on his own, tidying up his toys.
  4. Do something nice for yourself – get your hair done or your nails painted or whatever it is that makes you feel special. The next few months are going to be a gong show…you may as well feel good about yourself while you can.
  5. Visit with friends/go on a date with your partner – again, the next few months are going to be insane with very little time for yourself and your partner/friends. If you can do so now, enjoy these last little moments of “freedom”…you know, as much freedom as you can have with a toddler at home.

Any other tips you would add? How did you get through the last little bit?

Amazing Gift Ideas from UncommonGoods.com

98f79876688ad7172b8579262036334e--funny-christmas-movies-eve-eveGUYS, I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. I love the crisp air, I love the snow falling, I love the music, I love the food, the movies. All of it.

I also just love giving gifts, especially ones that are unique AND useful AND awesome. Most specifically, I love when I can find such a gift online and have it delivered to my front door. What can I say? The days of spending endless hours shopping while drinking a peppermint mocha are over for me (for now).

Awhile ago, I  stumbled across UncommonGoods.com. Not only did I love their amazing product selection, I love what their company stands for. They believe in offering products that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

In addition to this, they work hard to offer unique and creative products by working with their vendors (artists to small manufacturers) to make products that are made in a environmentally and socially responsible. You know that when you buy product from them not only is it unique and high quality, but you can also feel good about where it comes from.

Even better, they now ship to Canada, so I knew this was a perfect fit.

There are SOOOOO many amazing products to choose from but here are some of my top picks for Holiday 2017.

Amazing Christmas Gifts

Cinema Light Box

Colour Changing Cinema Lightbox ($64 CAD)

Why I love it: I mean, these things are ALL the rage right now – I’ve seen them all over Instagram and Pinterest. I just love that there are SO many uses (the head table at a wedding, leaving fun messages for your kids) and I love that this one changes colour – something for every mood.

Scratch Map

Scratch Map Deluxe ($41 – $61 CAD)

Why I love it: More and more, people are opting to spend their money to explore our world and travel to different places instead of buying a big house. This map is not only an awesome way to track where you have been, but also doubles as a beautiful piece of art in your home.

Sand Art

Deep Sea Sand Art ($109 CAD)

Why I love it: Do you remember when these were ALL the rage in the 90s? My mom had a few of them and I was absolutely OBSESSED. There is just something so calming and soothing about watching the sand trickle down. Perfect for the home or the office – places where I’m sure we could all use a bit of calming & soothing.

Check out these and other unique Christmas gift ideas from UncommonGoods. 

Personalized Gifts

Big Brother Book

Personalized “What Big Brother Does Best” Book ($44 CAD)

Why I love it: I mean, besides the obvious fact O is going to be a big brother VERY soon  (eeep!) I love that you can customize this book for the big brother to be (big sister option available too). I feel it is SO important to do what you can to help the big sister/brother feel special during the crazy time you introduce a new member into the family. Plus, it’s just such a cute story and has beautiful illustrations.

Family Picture

Personalized Family Print ($96 – $160 CAD)

Why I love it: I’m a total sucker for stuff like this. I love that it’s custom made to look like your family but also that it doubles as an art piece. An added bonus with this one – it comes with the frame!

Morse Code Necklace

Custom Morse Code Necklace ($83 CAD)

Why I love it: I just think this is so beautiful. Specific to whomever you’re giving it too but looks like such a class piece of jewellery. You can also personalize the message, doesn’t have to be a name, can be something simple like “I love you” or the date of your anniversary or birth of a child. Made of sterling silver heishi beads, czech gold toned seed beads, recycled gold filled cable chain. 

There are so many other personalized items you can purchase. Check out the entire collection here.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Socks

Library Card Socks ($12 CAD)

Why I love it: I mean, c’mon. For the book lover in your life, these are the perfect addition to a stocking that already contains a book, tea and some chocolate. P.S. remember library cards that had to be stamped with the due date before you could leave? All the nostalgia.

Slang Cards

Slang Flashcards ($12 CAD)

Why I love it: For the friend/sibling/parent that is worried about their cool factor, nothing says “I’ve still got it” like studying how to be hip with flashcards. Help them before they’re too far gone (like I am – is “Gnarly” still considered cool?)

Pins

Kept Going & Did It Anyway Pins ($25 CAD)

Why I love it: I just think anyone who endures being an adult on a day to day basis deserves these pins. Adulting is hard, you guys. I think we should all be recognized for just surviving.

These gems and even more stocking stuffer ideas can be found here.

What items from UncommonGoods do you love? Head to their site to see all the amazing products they have to offer!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but I genuinely love all the products I feature here and all opinions are my own.

This too shall pass…

Little Man & DaddyIf you watch my Instastories, you’ll know we’ve had a really rough couple of nights with O. I have no idea what’s going on, why he’s having such hard time sleeping and why he keeps waking up.

I find myself getting very frustrated and angry. I go into his room in a huff, as if he’s somehow doing this to mess with me.

Then he lifts his arms up, clearly in distress and as soon as I pick him up, he puts his head on my shoulder and falls fast asleep. I sit in the rocking chair for awhile and listen to his breathing. Every once in awhile he wakes up and lifts his head up to look and make sure I’m still there then goes back to sleep.

Then I realize, he’s only 15 months old. For whatever reason, something is bugging him and just wants his Momma close. And then I feel the frustration and anger start to subside. He’s not being a master manipulator. He’s just being a little boy scared or sick or upset or struggling with something.

Then I realize, my anger and frustration has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the fact that I feel completely helpless. I have no idea what to do to make him feel better.

Here’s the thing. I’m a fixer. I like to know what the problem is and then finding a solution and executing that solution. I like to find the most efficient route to that solution. I find immense satisfaction when there is a resolution and the problem is solved. If I can’t do this, I become frustrated and angry at myself and the situation.

Thing is, with a 15 month old, there is no cut and dry answer. He can’t tell me what’s wrong. He probably doesn’t even really know. However, he is showing me the solution. He wants me.

Then, of course, anxiety comes to the 3am party and I start spiraling into the “What ifs” – What if rocking him in the chair is creating bad habits? What if he’ll forever want me to rock him to sleep. What if this becomes the new norm? What if I can never sleep again?

Then I’m so eaten up with guilt and anxiety. I panic and decide to put him back into his crib berating myself for “letting” him manipulate me. Then he cries and I feel guilty for letting him cry.

AND REPEAT.

This morning though, after talking to a couple of other Moms (and a couple cups of coffee), I had a moment of clarity. Regardless of what the problem is, THIS TOO SHALL PASS (thanks to Lindsay S for this one). Am I creating bad habits? Maybe. Is it his teeth? Maybe. Is it a cold? Maybe.

In any case, THIS WON’T LAST FOREVER. Soon this stage will pass and we’ll be on to a new one.

And as if fate knew how I was feeling today, Spotify suggested I listen to the new Gord Downie album and the song “Bedtime” played. Here are the lyrics:

I held you
I rocked you to sleep
It’d take a long time
Eventually you’d go
And I’d try to get out
Of the rocking chair
With you in my arms
I’d get you to your crib
Slowly lower you down
And pull my hands away
As if from a bomb
Then I’d step away
One step at a time
The floors were full of sounds
All the creaks for time
Then I’d get to the door
Open it carefully
Trying back out of the room so quietly

When I’d got to the door
Closed to within an inch
That’s when you’d come awake
As if you’d been watchin’ me
Watching me the whole time
As if you waited to see
If I truly intended
Just to let you be
Just to leave
Just to leave you alone
Just to leave you alone

I listened and I cried. I cried and I cried. Not only because Gord Downie will never hold his babies again before bed but it was also such a potent reminder of how short and sweet this time is.

The funny thing about kids, when you’re in these moments, they feel like forever and they suck. The nights feel so long and endless. The mess is never ending. The struggle is continuous. Yet, this is such a brief moment in time. Such a small blip in our lives and the lives of our children.

To be clear, this doesn’t this mean I’ll stop complaining and start loving the 3am wake-ups. I’ll continue to complain and moan on my Instastories. I’ll still feel sorry for myself when I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before.

It does mean that when I’m in these crappy moments, I will work harder to put things in perspective and remember that they won’t last forever and that I’ll try to live in the moment where my baby will snuggle on my shoulder and live in that comfort.

Design

[RE-POST] Chicken Dumplings

This is a re-post from my previous blog “My Real Life Kitchen” from Oct 2015. This is one of my absolute FAVOURITE recipes. During this pregnancy I have craved these almost EVERY day and just haven’t had a chance to make them. I’m hoping that by re-posting this recipe I’ll be inspired to make them again ASAP. They are a little finicky and can be frustrating, but the flavour is SO worth it. I’m legit drooling.

Chicken Dumplings | Spit Up & Sippy CupsI’ve recently been watching a lot of cooking shows, and there was one in particular (Chef at Home with Michael Smith) that started to get me jazzed about cooking again. I slowly crept back into the kitchen and re-introduced myself to all my favourite tools (Hellooooo Kitchen Aid Mixer).

Finally, the other day, I saw a recipe on Chef at Home that really inspired me. He was making Chicken Dumplings, and it looked SO DAMN GOOD and so easy, I thought, what the hell?

Let me tell you, I had one hell of a time finding wonton wrappers. I had to go to 3 different stores before finally giving up and heading to an Asian grocery store.

I put it off for a few days because I have wicked cooking anxiety (what if I eff it up?!) but finally, on Sunday, I sucked it up, and made a batch.

FACK YEA. These things are the most flavourful, tasty, savoury morsels I’ve ever made. I’m actually drooling thinking about them right now. You HAVE to make these. Right now. Like, NOW. They are SO easy, but you’ll feel like an kitchen rock-star.

Easy Chicken Dumplings
from Chef Michael Smith

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 12-18 dumplings

Ingredients
1 raw chicken breast, diced2-3 green onions, chopped
1″ frozen ginger nub, finely shredded
1 tbsp cornstartch
1 tbsp oyster sauce
12-18 wonton wrappers

Instructions:

TIP: Freeze your nub of ginger before shredding. Just makes life SO much easier.

Combine all ingredients (except wrappers) in the bowl of a food processor. I added a little extra ginger, because I LUUUUUV me some ginger. The ingredients for this are by no means set in stone. It really depends on your tastes.

Mix until everything is evenly combined. I had to scrape the sides and mix again. If you don’t have a food processor, use ground chicken and mix everything together with a spoon in a bowl.

Next, lay out your dumpling wrappers. Using two spoons, scoop a small amount of the mixture into the middle of each wrapper.

Chicken Dumplings | Spit Up & Sippy Cups

Get a small bowl of water. Moisten two sides of the wrapper and fold in half. Using your fingers, create a tight seal around the edges push the filling to the middle.

Basically, make it tight enough so that filling won’t come spilling out. If you do that, you’re good.

If you’re feeling REALLY fancy (I was) fold the outside edges together, moisten the tip (sexual, much?) and you’ve got yourself a dumpling. Continue until you’ve made all of them. My batch made about 18.

Place the dumplings in a steamer, and cook for about 5 minutes. It doesn’t take long at all. If you don’t have a steamer, you can also cook them in a broth or just boil them in water. Steaming is definitely preferable though!

Chicken Dumplings | Spit Up & Sippy Cups

Sure, they don’t look especially beautiful, but I could eat these all day, every day. For realz.

Good luck, and ENJOY!!!

Honey Lime BBQ Chicken

This is a re-post from my past blog “Running to Bake” from May 2014. I have some amazing recipes on there and instead of re-doing the post, I’m just going to take EXACTLY what I wrote and post it here. Enjoy 🙂\

Honey Lime BBQ Chicken | Spit Up & Sippy CupsWhat a month May has been so far. First, was the Sporting Life 10K. I had done very little training beforehand (with the exception of a couple 5K runs) so I was pretty nervous about it. However, it went amazingly. With the help of my fab running partner, we KILLED the race and had a really great time. Later that day (same day) I played my first softball game of the season. I struck out my first time up to bat, but ended up on 3rd base my second time up, so I count that as a total win. I’m actually looking forward to the rest of the season.

The following week was a tough one. My Father in Law found that that he had 6, SIX, blocked arteries and needed immediate surgery. There were some complications, but he finally had the procedure last Thursday. He’s up and walking now at home and you almost wouldn’t know he had his chest opened just a week ago. That man is a true inspiration and a miracle that he is alive and with us now.

Finally, throughout all of that, Hubby and I were extremely ill. I mean, I couldn’t even talk, get out of bed or breath really for the better part of the week. My throat felt like I was swallowing glass every time I ate or drank anything. It was horrid. Now, we just have a cough and I’m still speaking with a bit of a wheeze, but that virus really knocked us on our butts.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth AND I’m officially back in action. Also…SPRING IS FINALLY HERE!!! Which means it is time to BBQ, and eat outside and sit in the sunshine and soak up this amazing weather. Did I mention, it’s time to BBQ?

Last night we made this amazing Honey Lime Chicken from Kitchen Meets Girl and it is truly amazing. Like…I could eat this every night. It’s got an amazingly fresh flavour, not too sweet & it goes perfectly with roasted broccoli (recipe on that coming soon) and brown rice. I think I’m in love.

Now, I like to marinate my meat for a whole day, so typically, I make the marinade in the morning, before I go to work, coat the chicken and leave it in the fridge all day to really soak in the flavour. I also find the chicken is more tender and juicy when I let it sit in the marinade all day. However, if you marinade for at least 1 hour, you’ll still get incredible flavour.

Honey Lime BBQ Chicken | Spit Up & Sippy Cups

Honey Lime BBQ Chicken {Clean Eating}
Serves 4
Ingredients:
3 tbsp reduced sodium soya sauce
2 tbsp natural honey
1 tbsp vegetable oil
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp garlic powder (OR 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced)
1 – 2 tsp Siracha (optional)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
Method:
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the above ingredients.
Place chicken in a glass dish and pour the marinade over top. Flip chicken so that is is evenly coated on both sides. Let marinate for at least an hour, or up to a full day (if you can!).
When ready, BBQ on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until no longer pink on the inside.
Serve with brown rice and your favourite veggie side!
Design

Me too.

This is a pretty fucking personal post, even for me. I will pretty much tell anyone, anything about my life because I consider sharing information one of the best ways to connect with people.

However, this story is not one that I’ve shared with anyone except my husband. Up until today, I didn’t even consider talking about it because I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I wasn’t raped, I don’t carry huge emotional scars from what happened. It’s still happened thought.

However, today I started seeing my Facebook wall and Instagram stories fill up with the post “Me too” and I realized how fucking important it is to share.

In case you don’t know, Alyssa Milano tweeted this out last night to spread awareness of how prevalent sexual assault and harassment is.

I want to tell my story because up until recently, I didn’t even really consider what happened to me to be sexual assault. I chalked it up to me being a stupid drunk girl who didn’t know any better. In fact, I still feel weird talking about it because I’m still not sure I would consider it assault and god, so many women have experienced so much worse. I feel weird sharing it because I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want to make this dialogue about me. I don’t want it to look like I’m seeking attention. I’m fortunate that I don’t live with the repercussions of what happened every day (mostly because I barely remember what happened).

However, that’s exactly why I’m sharing it. If someone like me, whose life is pretty much an open book, feels this way, imagine all of the survivors out there who have experienced something similar, or worse and don’t feel like they can talk about it. I was “lucky” enough to walk away from it relatively unscathed but most survivors are permanently scarred.

Before I go on, let me say this. Any physical contact (sexual or otherwise) that is not consensual is an attack. I don’t care how short your skirt was, or if you were flirting or if you were wearing a revealing shirt. You matter, your story matters and it is NOT your fault.

Ok, here goes:

I was 18. I was at a party of a friend of mine who had just moved to a new apartment and they were having a kegger. I was pretty new to drinking beer (well, drinking in general) but I was feeling super excited. Every time someone I knew showed up to the party I was insist we go chug a beer together.

Needless to say, by about 10pm I was 10 sheets to the wind, fucked up drunk. I found the nearest bathroom and parked myself in front of the toilet. Not exactly my proudest moment.

There was a knock at the door and a guy I had been flirting with earlier that night was at the door asking if I was OK. He came in and sat on the floor with me. He locked the bathroom door behind him.

I was still throwing up into the toilet. He got me a glass of water and offered to to me. I drank it and rinsed out my mouth. He started to try and kiss me. I turned away to throw up again and after every time I finished, he would try and kiss me again.

I honestly don’t know if I said “No” or not. Part of me was probably sickly flattered by the attention and thinking “How nice this guy I barely know is here to take care of me” Ugh.

When I wouldn’t/couldn’t kiss him, he started groping and fondling me…WHILE I WAS STILL THROWING UP.

Luckily, some of my friends noticed I was missing and came to check on me. When they realized the bathroom door was locked, they freaked out and started banging and pounding on the door. The guy said “it’s ok, I’m just taking care of her” and I was like “yea, it’s ok” *insert barf noise*

Luckily, my friends were relentless and wouldn’t leave until I opened the door. They told the guy to leave me alone and took me to bed. I never saw or heard from that guy again. I don’t even know his name.

Here’s the fucked up thing – I didn’t think anything of it. I was like “well, I was really drunk and probably was asking for it.” I literally never told one person about it because I really didn’t think anything wrong had happened. It wasn’t until I was thinking about that party one night that I even remembered what had happened.

Even now, I make excuses for him like “Well, he was probably really drunk too and didn’t know what was happening”

No. Because if  a guy I was into was throwing up into a toilet, my first instinct (no matter how drunk I was) wouldn’t be to try and make out or grab his dick. None of that would even enter my mind.

So there it is. I still feel weird even talking about this as assault because in my mind, nothing THAT bad happened.

Guys, that’s fucked up. If I had a daughter and this had happened to her…or if I found out O had done this to another woman…I would probably go to the cops.

Also, this has really gotten me to thinking of how I want to raise my sons. How I want to teach them about respect and boundaries and consent. How, if someone doesn’t want your affections that you have to respect that. However, if you don’t want to give someone a hug and a kiss, you don’t have to. No means no, no matter what the situation.

Anyway, that’s my story. I’m starting to loose my nerve to post this, so I’m just going to go ahead and do it.

I just want to say this again – no matter what has happened to you, no matter how small or insignificant it seems, it was not ok. It’s not your fault. Whatever your gender. If you had sexual advances made on you that you were NOT consenting to, it’s an assault. You don’t have to speak out, but you also don’t have to suffer in silence. Talk to a trusted friend, partner or hell, even reach out to me – spitupandsippycups@gmail.com – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

https://crcvc.ca/links/ for a list of resources.

What Kind of Mom Am I?

What Kind of Mom Am I? | Spit Up & Sippy CupsThere are a lot of different Moms out there. You see them on Social Media, in the grocery store, at the park. There are a plethora of articles online that talk about the various parenting styles and why each one is the better way to parent or why one way is OK or not.

Now that my little guy is getting to the age where life is no longer JUST about keeping him alive, I’m trying to figure out the type of Mom/Parent I am and want to be. I think there is also a big difference between the type of mom I idealize vs what is realistic for me. I would, of course, love to be the perfect mom, but I know that there is no such thing.

  1. I don’t get worked up (any more) about breastfeeding. O didn’t/couldn’t breastfeed and I carried that guilt with me for about 6 months. I don’t remember when it happened but I eventually stopped caring. I will try with my second but if it doesn’t happen, I won’t loose any sleep over it. A fed baby is a happy baby. A happy baby makes for a happy mommy.
  2. My kids clothes will probably always have stains on them. I can’t always be bothered to put on a bib and sometimes food gets on their shirt. See also: Grass stains, dirt stains etc.
  3. I don’t like cleaning – for example:
    • My floors will never be clean. I vacuum when I can, but washing the floors is just not a priority for me. I never really washed my floors before kids, I don’t plan on starting now (except for the occasional spot clean).
    • Our nick nacks and shelves will always have a thin layer of dust on them. I try and dust every once in awhile, but only when it gets really bad.
    • My house will probably always be some degree of disaster mess. I try and tidy up whenever or wherever I can, but at the end of the day, I’d rather crash on the couch with Jonny then put away all the toys that are going to get pulled out again in 12 hours.
  4. I’m not going to LOVE every moment of being a parent. There have already been times where I’ve gone “this sucks” and that’s ok. The majority of the time, I really do love it, but it’s OK to not love getting up at 3am to throw-up and diarrhea. Nobody likes that.
  5. I’m not the mom who will never yell at her kids. I will try my VERY hardest not to, because I know that yelling doesn’t accomplish anything. However, I also know that when I’m overwhelmed and feeling anxious I tend to react before I think.
  6. My kids will probably learn to swear from me. Obviously not something I’m going to explicitly teach them, but I like to swear and sometimes, they’re going to hear me swear. I’m ok with it.
  7. I’m going to let my kids throw tantrums. Especially in the early toddler years. I’ve done SO much reading about this (I have a lot of anxiety about O having a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store) and majority of research shows that this is just how kids express themselves. I’m not saying I will give in to them, but I WILL let them express their displeasure.
  8. I AM the type of Mom that will pretty much let her child explore anything and everything. If my son wants to try and eat a rock, I’m going to let him because I know he’s going to spit it out. I’m a big believe in learning by doing.
  9. That being said, I’m a control freak, so sometimes I’m going to just do something for them because I want to do it the “right” way. Probably most likely to happen when we’re trying to get out the door and they want to tie their shoes and take an hour to do so.
  10. I will fight my inner control freak and let them experience the world as they see fit. Unless it’s illegal, immoral or unhealthy. Then I will step in. My mom used to say this to my sister and I and it drove us crazy. I get it now, though.
  11. I’m not the SAHM type. I’ve talked about it here, and I’m ok with it. I’m quite happy to drop my kid off at daycare and go to work. He’s happy and I’m happy. Win-win.
  12. I’m the mom that will probably worry every day that her children are going to die in some freak accident or be abducted. Even when they go away to school…and have children of their own…or when I’m dead. I will always worry about that. Always call your mom back, guys. Always.
  13. I will love my children with all my heart. No matter what they do. I may not like them all the time, but I will always love them.
  14. Finally – while figuring out what type of Mom I am, I’m also trying to remember who I am BESIDES being a Mom. I know there is so much more to me that just being “Mom” When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Anything you would add to the list?

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Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

SUSC LBPCC

I think you all know by now, I’m on a never ending quest for easy to make meals that my little toddler will also enjoy. Preferably they are healthy and require minimal cooking time (especially now that J is working CRAZY hours at his new job).

Well, this yummy casserole isn’t exactly healthy or fast, but MAN is it good. Not to mention, aside from the long cooking time, it’s pretty easy to prep and pop in the oven! The recipe below is based on what I had on hand and made about 4 portions. If you want to make a bigger batch, check out the original recipe at the link below!

The night I made this casserole I had picked O up from daycare and he was POOPED. He had played outside pretty much all day in the water and was NOT pleased to be awake. So I did what any good parent (HA!) does and put on The Wiggles while I sat next to him on the couch cutting up the potato, green onion, bacon and shredded the cheese. #Multitasking By the time I was done, he was through being cranky and more interested in what I was doing than watching The Wiggles. He also really enjoyed this dish! WINNINGGGG.

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole
Original Recipe: Stockpiling Moms

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1hr 5 mins
Total Time: 1hr 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag mini red potatoes
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 cup old cheddar cheese
  • 4-5 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray OR use a paper towel to coat with a small amount of olive oil.
  2. Cut mini potatoes in half and cut chicken breast into cubes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss chicken and potatoes in the mixture and stir to coat.
  4. Using a slotted spoon (drains some of the excess olive oil), place the chicken and potatoes into your casserole dish and bake for 1 hour, taking out and stir every 20 mins. When done, the potatoes should be brown and crispy (insert heart-eye emoji here)
  5. I had bacon left over from breakfast this weekend (I know, what monster has leftover bacon?) but if you don’t have on hand, fry up a few pieces until crisp. Set aside on a plate with paper towel to drain. When cooled, chop/crumble.
  6. When chicken and potatoes are cooked, remove from oven and top with cheese, bacon and green onion. Bake for another 5 mins or until cheese is melted and ooey gooey.
  7. SERVE with your fave veggie side or a salad

ENJOYYYYYYYY

Design

The Best (and WORST) Advice for New Moms

Unimpressed-Dog-Meme-08When your little bundle of joy enters the world, you are immediately inundated with (mostly) well meaning advice from EVERYONE. Literally everyone. When you’re out in the world it will blow you away how many people feel that it’s OK to tell you how you should be raising your child even if you’ve literally never seen them before in your life.

Again, I know a lot is well intended and let’s face it, it DOES take a village to raise these little creatures. However, there are some pieces of advice that NEVER go over well and some tried and true nuggets of wisdom.

I reached out to the lovely peeps on my FB page and asked: What is some of the WORST (and/or unwanted) advice you received and what is some of the BEST? Below are the responses (and a few of my own sprinkled in)

BEST: “If Baby, Mommy & Daddy are happy, that’s all that matters”

This nugget came from my Mom. She knows how I take everything to heart and how I never felt like I was doing enough. When I decided to pump exclusively, I was RACKED with guilt. She looked at me and then looked at O sleeping peacefully on the couch and said “I think he’s doing just fine. If pumping is better for you and makes you happy, then you’re doing the right thing. Whatever works best for you and your family is what’s right” Every time I second guess myself I check back in with this statement for a reality check.

WORST: “Enjoy every moment, it goes too fast”

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Jenn J said “It seemed really innocuous at the time but I came to really resent the advice: “Enjoy every minute it goes so fast.” While, I’ve found that to be true …time really does fly …when I first brought my daughter home from the hospital and I wasn’t enjoying her because of how much/long I struggled to nurse her.. I felt doubly guilty.
I was hormonal, exhausted and my baby was a hungry screaming mess but I kept thinking:” what’s wrong with me? I’m not enjoying every moment!?!”
What I wish someone had told me was: ‘It’s going to be the toughest most rewarding thing you’ve ever done. Love them first and forgive yourself second'”

Kathryn M said: “Well some moments are just meant to be gotten through. PREACH, Momma.

Try Instead: “I know it’s probably very hard right now but you’re doing an amazing job!”

BEST: Join a class

Cassie B-M said “Participate in free baby classes through Ontario early years centers (or any baby class really). Got me out of the house to interact with other moms of babies and learn from their experiences too. Baby classes are definitely for the moms and dads, not really the babies!”

WORST:It’s ok to let them cry”

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Amanda W said Worst advice: don’t pick up a newborn all the time, you will spoil them. I personally don’t believe in spoiling a newborn.”

And I agree. I mean, if you’re having a pee and the baby starts wailing, finish your pee and then go get them. But there have been studies showing that in the first few months of life, if a baby cries, it’s because THEY NEED YOU. I repeat – YOU CAN NOT SPOIL A NEWBORN. Now, when they become toddlers and are wailing because you won’t let them eat a candle, that’s different. But in those early stages of life, babies need and want to be cuddled.

Try instead: “Would you like me to hold the baby while you pee/shower/eat/sleep? You’re doing an amazing job!”

BEST/WORST: “Sleep when the baby sleeps”

This one is a little controversial. Personally, I lived by this advice and for the first while, I did sleep (as much as I could) when O slept. However, this was only really realistic for the first 2 weeks or so and then I had to get back to real life. However, A LOT of Mommas I know hear this advice and secretly think “How about you eff off”

Try instead: “If you can, sleep when the baby sleeps. Or, I’ll watch the baby while you sleep. Better yet, let me do all those annoying chores you keep putting off because you’re too tired. Also, you’re doing an amazing job!”

WORST: “Why aren’t you Breastfeeding? Breast is best!”

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TRUST US, we KNOW “Breast is best” You know how we know? Literally every person, ever has told us that. When you’re at the hospital there are posters EVERYWHERE of a new mother, blissfully nursing her baby saying “Breast is best!” The reality? Your baby sucks on your nipples for an hour. They are raw, cracked and sore. You put the baby down. Baby starts screaming because they’re still hungry. Turns out, they can’t latch OR you don’t have enough mild. LISTEN – if a woman isn’t breast feeding, you can be PRETTY certain she choose not to for a specific reason (and that reason is none of your business tbh).

Try instead: “Way to keep your little human alive! You’re doing an amazing job!”

BEST: When in doubt, pump & bottle feed:

Kathryn M said “Best advice: ‘Why don’t you just use the breast pump… I’ll help you boil the bottles'” I had O about a month after Kathryn had her little guy and she shared this wisdom with me. It was because of her that I decided to pump exclusively (and saved my sanity). 

BEST: “Get out of the house!”

This is another gem from my Mom. The first day she came to visit us at the house after O was born, I greeted her at the door in tears. I hadn’t left the house in 4-5 days and I was an emotional wreck. She took one look at me and said “Get out of the house. I don’t care where you go, what you do, but go out” I VERY reluctantly agreed. I drove to the nearest store (Walmart) and shopped for new bras that would work for pumping and clothes for O. As I started to walk around Walmart in a haze, I started to relax a bit.

Sometimes you just need to remove yourself from the situation to gain a little perspective. Also, it’s good to just be on your own for a bit. I knew O was in good hands with my Mom and it felt really good just to be out.

ABSOLUTE WORST: “You should____________”

If you find yourself EVER starting a sentence with “You should…” just stop and don’t say what you were going to say. Just because you did something a certain way doesn’t mean I should. I’m doing the best I can and believe me when I tell you I’m ALWAYS thinking about what I SHOULD be doing. Short of me trying to throw my baby out the window, please keep your “shoulds” to yourself.

Try instead: “You’re doing an amazing job!”

Anything I’m missing? What else would you add to the list?

SUPER huge shout out to the Momma’s who contributed. LOVE having feedback to share.

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