Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What I Want My Kids to Know

{An audio version of this post is here.}

My mom wrote us a letter which we received after she died. I don't have a lot of emails from her as most of our contact was over the phone and therefore those intentional words bring me a lot of peace and a connection to her. I will sometimes say to my husband "If anything happens to me, make sure you remember to..." and it's not that I am pessimistic, I believe I am realistic. My sister has my passwords and Gary knows what I want my funeral to look like. Although my children have an online journal of sorts here, these are some words that I would want them to know and remember.

Exploring Bear's Hump and Waterton National Park

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Four Sites to Follow if You Have a Toddler

Being a biological mom to three and a foster mom to five we have gone through this toddler stage a time or two (or eight). There are many great resources if you are looking for snack ideas or simple activities and here are some of my favourites to follow if you have young kids:

If you are looking for ideas for healthy snacks, educational yet fun activities or just a good laugh, here are some great resources.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I am feeling so grateful these days. I'm not entirely sure why as not a lot has changed but I'll take it! I am generally a positive person but do get weighed down by the busy schedules and lack of "me time" these days so maybe even just having two hours to myself on Monday during the day was all I needed!

Each week I write down ten things that I am thankful for and I would encourage you to embrace this practice as well as gratitude needs to be practiced. This week I am thankful for:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

What I'm Looking Forward to On Netflix This Month

The wonderful world of Netflix always has something to offer for each and every person – I seriously can't keep up! I enjoy asking what people are watching and adding it to my list. There is always a series to look forward to with new seasons coming out or new shows all together. What new releases are intriguing to me? 

Well, did your kids love the Trolls movie? Mine sure did! Nya is going to LOVE that there is a new series that started January 19th called Trolls: The Beat Goes On. It follows the adventures of Poppy, Branch and all the other Trolls characters and just continues where the movie left off!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Quick Comparison Between a DSLR and iPhone 7+

When it was time for me to upgrade my phone I asked around for the advice. Many people talked about how amazing the cameras were on the newer phones and I ended up going with the iPhone 7+. I am someone who really values quality photos and generally carries my DSLR with me if we are going on an outing – it's a Canon 5D Mark III which is a pretty decent one. I use my camera almost every single day at home as well. I was curious whether I would be able to leave my DSLR behind more frequently and solely use my iPhone 7+ to capture images and video.

I realize this is not a fair comparison.

The iPhone 7+ has a 12 megapixel camera (7 megapixels for selfie mode) and my Canon 5D has a 20 megapixel one but let me just share a few pros and cons of the iPhone 7+ in comparison.

How do the new cameras on the iPhone 7+ compare to a DSLR? Is the portrait mode worth it?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Are Bento Boxes Worth the Investment?

Do school lunches stress you out? I used to dread it. While it's not at the top of my list of fun things to do it is definitely more enjoyable these days. Yes, I enjoy making school lunches. What do I give 100% of the credit to? Bento boxes.

I was very skeptical making my bento box purchase.

Would it hold enough food for my fast-growing boys? Would the liquids make everything soggy when it was tossed around in their backpacks? Would my kids make a huge mess trying to get it open? Is it actually worth all that money?

Bento boxes can be very expensive. Are they worth it? Are lunches easier to make? Is there less waste? Are they actually spill proof?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Being a Working Parent and Letting Go of the Guilt

One of the trickiest pieces of parenting that I did not anticipate was how working would fit into it. Would I have to work? Would I want to? How would it affect my kids? Could we live on one income if I didn't? And the big one: Who would take care of my children? Since having children eleven years ago I have taken a maternity leave, worked outside the home and worked from home with a photography business. Do I have it all figured out? Almost. Maybe. I asked my friend Melissa about her working parent journey and if you don't have time to read it all, skim to the end where she talks about regrets and guilt. Do it. 

A big thanks to Melissa for sharing her wisdom on the working parent balance.

Being a working parent–how do you know if you have to or want to go back to work? How do you deal with the guilt that can come with it?


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Hey friends! I was nervous about this week being transitional and rightfully so! With baby (and her appointments and visits), my three other kids' schedules (school, hockey, swimming and basketball) and Gary teaching and coaching two basketball teams, there's a whole lot of communication needed for who is driving where and when – not a lot of room for last minute changes! Throw in an extra 1-year-old three days a week and my down time is now pretty much gone. This is all good stuff, just busy. So, what am I thankful for today?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Why I Can't Let You Help with the Laundry

If you would like to listen to the audio version, click hereSorry I'm speaking so quickly in it, I was trying to do it with four kids running around and had to get it done before someone screamed. Would you ever listen to the audio version or no?

The other day I had a friend at our home babysitting our youngest so we could hit up the mountain with the big kids. Baby would be napping for a significant portion so my generous friend asked what she could do to help out around the house. I said sweeping would be great and she suggested folding laundry. My brain went into alert mode. I quickly said there was none (there really wasn't) and I tried to get the vision of someone else touching my laundry out of my mind. So many things could go wrong – piles mixed up, clothes put away in the wrong drawers, people touching my underwear?! Am I a bit extreme? Perhaps. I do think we all have one thing (at least) that we don't want someone helping with in our home, am I right?

Why I can't let you help with the laundry

Friday, January 05, 2018

What I've Learned About Life as a Foster Parent

We have had five foster children in our home over the past three years and although we are still somewhat new in this journey, there is always a lot of learning that happens quickly! From a one month stay up to two years, each child has been here for different reasons in regards to their home lives and experiences. However, here are ten things I can tell you about what's it's like as a foster parent in almost every case.

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."– Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Oh my goodness, life has been such a different kind of busy in just a "keeping the house running" kind of way aka boring stuff. Meetings, phone calls, emails, paperwork, party prepping for Koen...not my favourite stuff. I'm looking forward to routine which we will hopefully get back into in a few weeks. The first week back to school will not be my favourite with the adjustment of back to school, basketball and having two babies here (I'm doing some daycare) etc–all good stuff just need to figure out who is driving which kid when and where. What am I actually thankful for this week?

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A Look Into What It's Like to Parent Teenagers

I often feel like I'm in the sweet spot of parenting with kids ages five to eleven. They are all potty trained, sleeping through the night, can get their own food, I have eyes on them most of the time and they go to bed without too much complaint...life is good! I know what kind of teenager I was (responsible with an attitude and a bit of a wild side) so I'm slightly terrified of this upcoming stage of parenting. I asked my friend Melissa who is the mother of four, with two being teenagers, some of her thoughts on this stage. Here she has given us a look into what it's like to parent teenagers. Are you ready?

Are you a parent of a preteen? Curious what the next stage – parenting teenagers – might look like?