There are days where I feel like I have endless patience. I feel as though my precious little girl can do no wrong… I can read her favorite book on a loop forever and be totally cool with it. I can pick up all the food she has thrown on the floor and smile at her mischievous side. I will even play along as she tries to pull my hair. If she is not into napping I can peacefully rock her to sleep… and then there are moments where I am just … so over it! Today I am having one of those moments… Perhaps it is the fact that it has been rainy for what seems like forever. Maybe because N has been gone for a few days, possibly because I see photos of friends having fun at stampede or on summer vacations and I feel stuck at home… Whatever the reason… if I have to read one more story about how “bunny loves to play” or pick up one more piece of thrown food… well lets be honest I’m not going to do anything… I’m just not loving it today.
The worst part about not loving my time with the munchkin is knowing that all to soon I won’t have these moments with her! That’s when the guilt sets in… shouldn’t I be cherishing everything? Shouldn’t I be making the most of every moment? And then I tell myself “it’s okay… it’s okay to not love every minute!” The vast majority of time, we have a great time together and I do love it… so today I am going to cut myself some slack. Rather than clean up her massive mess while she is sleeping I am going to eat ice cream and watch Netflix. And after her nap we will see what happens!
I have a friend who posts the cutest photo of her “family summer bucket list”. I love that she has it up so everyone can see it and be excited about what they are going to cross off the list! I know this sounds ridiculously cheesy but there really is something so magical about watching your little one have fun and experience things for the first time! Here are some of the things that are on our “baby summer bucket list”.
- Watch our garden grow and eat everything out of it!
- Read more books together
- Have lots of dance parties
- Try painting!
- Swim in a lake
- Play on a beach
- Celebrate H’s first birthday!
- Build a big fort!
- Play with puppets
- Play peek-a-boo, patty cake and sing songs
- Go for bike rides
- Go for more hikes
- Play with playdoh
- “Run” through sprinklers
- Go camping
- Find some ducks to feed!
- Play with bubbles
- Swing on lots of swings
- Try a popsicle
- Explore, explore, explore!!
I can’t wait to see what else we get up to this summer! What’s on your bucket list?
I love to travel, but let’s be honest jet lag can be brutal! Having a little person with jet lag can be even tougher. Here are my top tips for you and your little ones to help get over/minimize jet lag! I am not a doctor, simply a mom who loves to travel and has found these things work for my family!
On the plane:
- Drink water! I try my best to drink at least one glass of water for every hour I am travelling.
- Sleep… if you can. Travelling can be exhausting and I have rarely found that sleeping was a bad thing… perhaps because usually I can’t sleep on planes!
At your destination/home
- Don’t go to sleep till bed time (seriously push it as much as you can!). Yes a nap would be glorious but if it is 5 and you can make it a bit later do yourself a favor and push it!
- Wake up at a relatively normal time! It’s brutal being on vacation and setting an alarm, but setting an alarm for 11 the next day might not be a bad thing if you want to do things in the morning
- Get outside! This helps you and your little one’s bodies realize… oh it actually is morning you’re not just being a jerk (speaking from real life experience here! Haha)!
- Eat food at a normal time! This is good for you and your little one is helping your body adjust to a new time zone. Particularly if your little one has a fairly predictable meal and snack times… this will help them adjust way quicker!
- Stay busy so when it is time for bed you are ready! This particularly applies to at home. On holiday I always find it easy to tucker myself out, it’s when I get home that sometimes I just want to lounge about… but then regret it come bed time!
Specially for the little ones:
- Sometimes you might have just a tiny time change, or be gone for a very short amount of time, if this is the case you might want to evaluate if you really want to change your little one’s schedule all that much. Perhaps getting up at 4 and going to bed super early for a few days might not be such a horrible idea!
- If you have a tiny human try nursing or a bottle when they wake up at night, not solid food… this goes along with the tip about eating food at normal times.
- If you have any sort of nap routine it can help to stick to this (we totally didn’t in France, but it would have been nice!)
Hopefully these tips will make travelling a far more enjoyable experience for you and your munchkins!
I was fortunate enough to be able to take more than a full maternity leave! Being that H was born in July I arranged it so I would start teaching again next September, so almost 2 months bonus! I would not change my time off with her for anything, but I still found it challenging at times. Knowing myself I knew that I had to get out and do stuff, talk to people and try to stay active… so I signed up for some really fun classes! Here are my top 5 and some that I didn’t have a chance to try out, but that sounded great!
- Stroller Fitness: This is one that I am currently in and it is great! Some of the classes you take with a baby can be hit or miss on the actual intensity/work out aspect… this one is a challenge (but in a good way!).
- Baby Rhyme time: so great for baby social skills, vocabulary building and for helping mom learn new ways to entertain munchkin… I could go on and on and have in THIS previous post!
- Mom and Baby Yoga: This was one of the first things I signed up for and it was lovely! I really enjoyed taking this time for me, and having H with me. Unfortunately once H started rolling it became a bit of a struggle to actually get any of the yoga done! If you are interested I wrote more about it HERE
- Restore The Core: There were a ton of these classes offered all over my city! From the moms I talked to it sounded like each place had its own spin on what this looked like, but all good! I went with the one I did simply because some of my baby mommas were going there so it was a great chance for us to work out and catch up!
- Aquasize: Not sure I got the most amazing workout from this, but it was fun! Putting the babies in little boats and working out beside them was so cute. The little boats where probably the reason for the lack of a great work out as the cuteness was often very distracting! Once H got old enough to start to want to get out of the boat sadly we decided to be done with this! The pool where I did this also offered toddler babysitting in the shallow section… I saw some very happy moms with their little baby working out while their older child played in the shallows with a lifeguard… so great! More about swimming with a baby HERE
All of the above classes were so wonderful, not only for what they offered but also in meeting new friends and really feeling less isolated in this challenging new role as mom!
A few other classes to consider:
- if you really want to get out there and get a workout in with a little one, boot camps can be a great option. I did a great one through the city of Calgary but I noticed they were offered all over the place!
- N took H to swim lessons on Saturday morning which was a great bonding opportunity for him, and H just loves the water!
- I wish I had time in my bust schedule to try a mom and baby Barre class, sounds challenging but fun!
- Something more for your little one could be a mom and baby music class or gym class!
- If you want to try a little of everything I have even noticed classes such as Mommy Connections where you can try a little of everything!
I just love that there are so many different options out there… It might seem intimidating and strange to take your baby to some of these classes but remember that you are not alone! I think that is the entire point… whether you sign up for something official or not it is so helpful to get out!
As H’s first birthday approaches I have many feelings and thoughts, but today I would like to share my thoughts on the party. Does anyone else feel or felt completely overwhelmed by the idea of a first birthday party… and how ridiculous is this!! She wont even remember it!
Stressor #1: FOMO (Fear of missing out!)
By now I think the vast majority of people have seen the cake smash photos… super cute I must say. I have decided (at least at the current moment) not to do the photo shoot. My main reason is that I have nothing to do with the photos! Then I start to worry… what if I am missing out? Is H going to turn to me at 18 and be like “mom where are my cake smash photo. I need them for my collage application”. Ok maybe I am getting a bit carried away, but in all seriousness she does only turn one once so I would hate to miss some super cute moment! Did I survive without having a perfectly iced cake to destroy in a beautiful tutu… yes… so perhaps I can let this one go.
Stressor #2: Pinterest
Seriously I have cut myself off from Pinterest… I just can’t handle some of the things on there. Adorable… 100%… do I have the time, talent, wallet or desire to actually execute that… NO! Does that make me a bad mom… NO!
Stressor #3: People!
I love a gathering, but the idea of hosting one always puts me into a bit of a panic… what is someone has an allergy I forget about, can’t stand my music choices, doesn’t know anyone and feels awkward, what if I don’t make enough food? What can I say I am a people pleaser and I just need to chill… easier said than done!
Stressor #4: Accessories
Invitations, goodie bags, decorations… how do you find the right mix of clam/cool/collected with thoughtful/fun/not killing myself trying to get all details right?
I am sure it will all work out and then I can start stressing about the big 2 birthday next year! haha
For some reason we decided to take H on a hike a few weeks back… straight up a mountain! Both N and I have done this hike before (although it was ages ago), and we read about it in a guide book… yet we still decided that somehow this was a good idea.
We have a hiking backpack from MEC that we loaded the munchkin up in and suited her up with N. I felt so bad as he lugged, our rather large baby, up to the ridge! I loved that there were so many families hiking! There were even a few other suckers hiking their tiny humans in backpacks up the mountain… we would do the sympathetic wave as we passed.
We finally made it to the ridge and took a much needed lunch break. When I say we took a break, do not be fooled… there were many breaks along the way as well! All kidding aside it was such a beautiful day… and the views were just gorgeous! Next time perhaps we will choose something with a little less vertical!
We had a great time visiting France and really enjoyed a week in Paris. I have been to Paris many times before but never with the eye of a parent. I loved seeing how many parks and child friendly areas there are! I have talked about my day out and about while N was visiting Vimy Ridge but the following are the top tips that I would tell anyone travelling to Paris with a little one!
- Getting around Paris can be a breeze or a pain… prepare accordingly! The Metro is totally do-able with a stroller… but you may end up hiking it up a few flights of stairs! The best thing we did was take a lightweight umbrella stroller which two people would easily maneuver! Not all stations have elevators and even when they do, half the time they are closed. There are so many lovely walks that we ended up walking the vast majority of the time! I also noticed that most of the hop-on hop-off tours seemed very accommodating to babies!
- The Louvre is already big, and having to take a million elevators up and down, so double the time you think you need there! It literally took us an hour to leave when we decided we were done! All the elevators don’t go to all the levels and then some elevators are closed, but you don’t know this till you get to them. Then there are half levels with little lifts… but it’s the LOUVRE!
- Don’t be afraid to eat out, but you might want to be ready to make a few compromises! We ate lunch out at a few fancy and more casual restaurants, but we chose to make dinner for ourselves at our AirBnB, which worked out very well for us! People were very accommodating and happy to see a baby at lunch. Be prepared to eat without a high chair… but then you may be pleasantly surprised when they have one! The ones that have them however, are not necessarily quite the same as North American ones. At one delightful café we were pleasantly surprised when they offered us a high chair. They brought us the cutest wicker highchair, which I loved, but it had zero straps so we had to keep a very close eye on our little climber!
- Be prepared to change your little one anywhere! Fortunately there are change tables in the large museums, but rarely anywhere else! Paris is filled with park benches that can do the job, as long as you keep a hand on your wiggly one! When we were checking out the Arc de Triomphe we ended up using a bus shelter as it was lightly raining… another family was eyeing us up and as soon as we were done they did the exact same thing! haha
- Be prepared for all types of weather in an hour period… this mostly applied to spring in my experience. It always seemed it was raining one minute and beautiful the other!
- If staying somewhere where they provide a highchair or crib, make sure to clarify this numerous times prior! We had a crib at all of our AirBnB locations but at a few of them they forgot they had agreed to have one so we had to dig around to find it!
- Get ready to have French people fawn all over your little one… we couldn’t believe the attention that little H received! The grumpiest French waiter would suddenly be kissing H! Another time the owner of a lovely Italian restaurant was carrying H around giving her a tour! It was rather different than in North America, but I must admit I kinda loved it and more importantly so did H!
Top of the bus
The back of Notre Dame
The view after a rainstorm!
Arc de Triomphe
Venus de Milo!
Strolling the Louvre
Asleep by the Code of Hammurabi.