My sweet Oliver is turning 3 years old in a few weeks, which means that Penelope and Oliver have been room sharing for about the same time.
I always knew that my children room sharing would be a magical, but the moments of love, of laughter, of heartwarming moments that it has brought, is more than I could have ever dreamed of… and they just keep coming.
As their room transitions through their years – from cribs, to beds, to now a bunk bed- different spaces inside the room are created that grow with them. Lately, their love of books is what inspired the reading closet, and watching the room evolve with them, is a magic that I’m so privileged to witness.
Tonight, we read two books under the “Chistmas lights” as Oliver says. We cuddled and sang, and after two songs, the room was quiet. The room was lit by the twinkle of the lights, and it was a simple but magical backdrop to my babies’ dreams.
Time and time again, my children remind me it doesn’t take much. Their shared room could be half the size it is, and they would still have everything they need.
In a way, creating the reading closet showed me that even if their room was that little space, as long as it was full of love and magic, it would be perfect.
* Reading closet inspired by one of the mommy bloggers I follow on Instagram who created a beautiful #closetcastle for her daughter (picture here)
Through my closed bedroom curtains, I could tell even before getting out of bed that today was going to be a beautiful day. The light that was diffusing into the room was warm, and when I finally opened the curtains, I was greeted with a beautiful view of our backyard.
Penelope and Oliver were already up, quietly talking to each other in their room. They are respectful to our sleep in the morning, which I think is such a kind gesture. Somehow, they know a week day from the weekend, and have a natural politeness for slow mornings on the weekend. Perhaps part of that is them, but perhaps also something we have instilled in them from the time they were born.
As we were all having breakfast, Oliver shouted “Hot Air Balloon!!” and when we looked outside our window, there it was; a hot air balloon flying over our backyard.
For a hot air balloon to fly, the weather has to be almost perfect. Light wind, clear skies, warm enough. You would think that those three factors are easy to come by in combination, but I’m sure that anyone who flies hot air balloons would disagree. It was a good luck charm to our day.
Later in the morning, we visited our favorite river valley spot, and for hours, the kids threw rocks and sticks into the river, filling the air with the sounds of their laughter.
I promised myself that I wouldn’t nap when we got home. I always feel more tired after a midday nap, but alas, I sat down on the couch when they kids were napping and fell asleep. Go figure. Today though, I woke up from the nap full of energy for the rest of the day.
Oliver and I went spent the afternoon in the backyard, and I love that it’s becoming something we have naturally started to do together. Watching him, I can see he has a natural affinity for plants. For a 2.5 year old, he is a wonderful gardener. He is serious about his work, and takes pride in watering the plants, making sure to visit each one at least twice.
Our yard is already blooming so wonderfully this season, and I know it’s because of him.
And so today was a perfect day, so perfect that a hot air balloon flew over our backyard.
The end of breastfeeding is very much like the beginning of breastfeeding- a beautiful irony. My breasts are leaky, I have a bit of engorgement, and as the days pass, I wait for my supply (or end of supply) to regulate itself. A little bit of Mother Nature’s poetry.
It’s been three weeks since my Oliver nursed for the last time, and though there is nostalgia, it has been wonderful. His last time nursing was much more emotional for me than it was for him, as he happily nursed, blissfully unaware that he wouldn’t breastfeed again.
With nothing else other than our love for each other bringing us together now, it’s been wonderful to feel how bonded Oliver and I really are. He still asks to nurse every now and then, and when I say the milk is finished, he puts his hands on his face for a bit, but then easily distracts and we usually end up having a cuddle, or playing a game or singing a song.
Judging by his reaction, I think we were both ready to stop but neither of us wanted to make the first step.
Our two years breastfeeding have been so absolutely wonderful, and I loved every day, hour, minute of it.
From the newborn days where nursing sessions seemed endless and I had to often remind myself that I knew it would get better, to days later on in our breastfeeding journey when I looked forward to him nursing as it was a quiet moment in the day, to the many times when nursing is all he needed to be OK.
I’m proud of us, I am proud of me.
As I end this chapter in my motherhood journey, I feel like I need to share wise words of wisdom, and so I say this.
Breastfeed for as long, or as little, as it feels right for you and your baby.
Do it with love, patience, and confidence knowing it’s what you want to do.
Surround yourself with people who are supportive, and steer clear of those who aren’t.
And more importantly, enjoy the time you and your baby share while nursing.
Some days it will seem like you’re ready to end the journey, other days you will cry thinking about the end, but when you’re ready, you’ll know.
It’s been a smoky couple of days in the city. The smoke from the forest fires in the province that neighbors us has blown over, and I’m sad for the circumstances, but trying to find the silver lining.
At a new moon circle I attended last week, the ceremony started off with the burning of sage. I’m learning that smoke, or smudging, has been used by many cultures throughout history to cleanse one’s aura and clear one’s space.
Ironically, our city has been filled with smoke for the past couple of days, and I’m trying to view it as a cleanse. A cleanse of our souls and our aura, and when the smoke passes, everything will be clearer and we’ll appreciate more just how beautiful the air is when it’s clean, and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy it. A beautiful and important lesson that life is giving us.
Yesterday afternoon, the smoke was not as intense, and we spent it in our backyard.
Our little backyard oasis; how much I love it. It’s not very big. We have a pergola in the middle of it that takes up quite a bit of the footprint, there is a mixture of grass and stone surfaces, and a deck that needs to be redone; still, there is something special about that space. From the color of the grass in the afternoons, to the angle of the sun as it sets, to the way it feels like it’s in the middle of the country in it’s privacy.
I picked flowers, and roughly braided a flower crown that we all took turns to wear. The flowers were yellow, my favorite color, and they very much complimented the sun that we were finally been able to enjoy after a few days.
Later in the day, our day was very different, it was hard.
My Penelope, overtired from an active day in which she skipped her nap – a transition she’s going through right now – had a long and tearful (from my side too) meltdown. She cried and screamed for things she wanted, and when she had them, screamed because she didn’t. I sat by her side when she needed me, and left when she asked me to. After what felt like a really long time, she calmed down, and while still whimpering, asked for her milk and colcha (blankie in spanish).
We were laying on her bed, her little body cuddled into mine, and after a few minutes of silence, she turned her face towards mine and whispered in my ear- “I love you so much”.
It was her way of saying “I’m sorry”, and I was sorry too. My eyes teared up, I told her I loved her so much, and then she told me about bears and caves, and how dinosaurs lay eggs that hatch into giant T-Rexes.
The smoke had passed.
And still, at one point that day, while sitting on my lap, with my arms wrapped around each of them, they shared a bowl of raisins. We cuddled, we laughed, and did nothing more than sit there with each other. If you know me, you know that moments like those fill my heart in ways I cannot explain.
It’s been raining a lot the past couple of weeks, and you can tell the plants are happy for it.
Every year around this time, our backyard flowers begin to bloom, and making backyard bouquets is something I have fallen in love with. I am so grateful for the previous owners of our home – a couple who you could tell loved their yard – who laid down such a great foundation for our little backyard oasis.
As a lover of the simple things, making backyard bouquets is something that makes me so happy, and the kids have learnt to love it too.
Glass Jar – I collect old jam/pickle/tomato jars for this exact reason 🙂
Plants from your backyard, or area near your house like a field/park. *Make sure you’re allowed to prune plants from public areas before you do*
Wearing their diapers and underwear, the perfect attire for a summer night in the backyard, we spend about 10 minutes creating our little piece of nature art.
I prune the flowers, and cut as many leaves from the stems as possible. If the leaves get stuck to each other when they are trying to put the flowers in the jar, the activity quickly becomes very frustrating for them and it will be over very soon – I’ve done it before haha.
Watching the process is wonderful.
Penelope is very proud of her arrangements, and in a very endearing way, is almost too protective of “her” project, which sometimes leads to her not wanting Oliver to even come close to her flowers. I love her sense of ownership in her craft though.
My Oliver is happy to watch and learn, and slowly learns to be gentle with the flowers as he caresses them while simultaneously saying “niiiiiceeee, niiiicceee”. He follows me and pretends to prune branches that he can reach, and whenever he gets close, tries to steal the pruners from me, ha.
If you don’t have flowers in your backyard, pruning different types of green leaf branches can create a wonderful bouquet. We are lucky to live in Alberta where there are so many different types plants; a quick walk around your neighborhood let’s you see so many different shapes, textures and shades of green. A “green” bouquet can be just as colorful and beautiful.
The most beautiful part of these bouquets is, of course, seeing Penelope and Oliver continue to love and find wonder in doing the simplest of things.
And at the end, a beautiful bouquet to keep brightening our days.
I never imagined that this little room in the west corner of our home would hold such a special place in my heart. It is just a room, but symbolically, it’s much more than that. It’s the space my children have shared since Oliver was one month old.
At one point, this room had two cribs and a glider for middle of the night feeds, and now, a big girl bed and only one crib left; a space transitioning just as quickly as my children are growing.
And in that growth, so is their love for each other.
I remember researching articles (the few that were out there at the time) about room sharing before having Oliver, and reading about the benefits of children room sharing.
From a practical side, it’s incredibly beneficial.
Putting laundry away takes less time. They share a drawer so space is limited, but because of that, it forces us to only keep the clothes they actually wear. Bed time routine is done once with both of them at the same time, in the same space.
Financially, the kids sharing a room allow us the possibility to have a house with fewer rooms if we needed to reduce the financial load of a mortgage. Also, we only needed to invest in one of everything; one sound machine, one changing mat, one monitor, one diaper pail, because again, it’s all shared.
From the emotional side, the kids room sharing has given them, and us, more than we could have imagined.
A few weeks ago, when doing my nightly check in on the kids before going to bed, I shined the light on my phone towards Penelope’s bed, and it was empty. I walked over to the crib, and there they were. My babies, lying with their feet towards each other’s heads, in the most peaceful sleep you could imagine.
As a mother, walking into that scene filled my heart with so much happiness, love, and just pride.
This was all them.
We didn’t ask Penelope to climb into the crib after bed time.
Oliver didn’t have to share his crib with her.
But they did.
With no sound or protest, they both quietly feel asleep together in each other’s company, sharing not only the crib, but their safety, peace and love for one another.
Children room sharing really comes down to this…
Kids are adaptable. Create a routine that is consistent, put love and joy into it, and the kids will love it. Make bedtime something that you all look forward to, and go to bed with both your cup and their cup full. Love them so much, that they learn to do the same with each other, and then just watch.
Is it doable? Absolutely.
Is it a routine that needs tweaking every now and then? Of course.
I always wondered what the equivalent of a Man Cave would be for women? Do we have one? I’m calling it “Lady Cave”. It both hints to a space where women can have conversations about womanly stuff, and lady cave of course hints to our feminine part, which will be talked about a lot on this series.
The name seems fitting doesn’t it? Lady Cave- I like it, and we’re starting that series today!
Based on what I have gone through recently, I polled on my Instagram stories as to whether a pap test/ women’s health related post was something women wanted to read about, and the response was a big, unanimous, YES!
As women, we should be talking about this more. We all get pap tests done. Abnormal result are common, and yet, I realized I didn’t have much knowledge on what to expect when one gets an abnormal result. And I wasn’t alone – after I ran the Instagram poll, a few women messaged me saying they would like to know more, or some had experienced the same and had felt unprepared because of lack of conversation about it. I hope sharing my experience opens up a dialogue that can be helpful to at least one of you.
At the beginning of this year, my husband and I decided we wanted a more permanent method of contraception. I must admit, for the first year of my son’s life, contraception wasn’t really a priority. First of all, I didn’t have much energy in that first year to have sex anyways, ha! Second of all, as a mom of two under two for a while, making the time for anything, let alone making time to go to the doctor for birth control, seemed impossible. After a year of condoms, timing and “pulling out”, it was time to start looking at something more permanent and reliable.
Mothers have sex. Crazy right? [sarcasm]. This is a subject I also feel we don’t talk enough about. In becoming a mom, we automatically inherit a sort of virginal quality (ironically) and it’s hard to think of nurturing mothers as sexual beings – but these roles coexist. As women, and should honor that we may have sexual desires too, and that’s a good thing – but I digress.
I booked a doctors appointment, and as common practice before getting any form of contraception, I had a pap test done. The doctor did the swab, and I was done.
The experience I just described is where the process ends for most women after a Pap test. For others, an abnormal pap result will be received, which isn’t immediately bad news, it just requires more follow up.
What happens when you get an abnormal pap test result?
Depending on the severity of the abnormal cells found on your pap test, monitoring may be all that’s needed, or it may require treatment.
For a low grade of abnormal cells, a pap test every 6 months for one to two years will be recommend, and this is very common. The body will usually get rid of these cells on it’s own, and the tests are for monitoring.
For a higher grade of abnormal cells, a colposcopy will be recommended for further examination.
What is a colposcopy?
Anytime one hears complicated names in doctor appointments, things can start to seem a little scary, but after some research, turns out colposcopies are a lot more common than spoken about. It is basically a more thorough pap test/ examination of the cervix using a colposcope (a fancy microscope).
What to expect?
I arrived to the colposcopy clinic and was taken to a room to change. I had to remove everything waist down and put on a gown. I watched a video explaining the colposcopy procedure, and then spoke to nurse for further explanation. Once in the room where the procedure would take place, you lie on a bed the same way you would for a pap test, a speculum is inserted by the doctor, and the colposcope is positioned in place. My cervix area was dyed with a solution that tints normal and abnormal cells differently, and a small biopsy was taken for testing. A cream like solution was added to the area to reduce any bleeding afterwards , and that was it. The whole procedure took about 5 minutes, and I had very minor cramping afterwards. I left the clinic with a follow up appointment in 6 months time.
For most, a 6 month follow up is all that is required after the colposcopy procedure, with monitoring every 6 months for a year.
For others, like me, further treatment was required.
A week after my colposcopy appointment, I got a call saying that the biopsy sample taken during the colposcopy showed a high level of abnormal cells, and I required a Leep procedure.
What is a Leep procedure?
A Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (Leep) is a type of cone biopsy. The Leep tool removes parts of the cervix that have abnormal cells.
What to expect?
Similar to the colposcopy appointment, I arrived to the clinic, was taken to a room to change, removed everything waist down and put a gown on. The procedure was explained by a nurse, and I was then taken into the room for the procedure. Once I was lying down, a ground patch was placed on my leg which is required for any electro surgery. A colposcope was used to view the area, and local anesthesia was administered through injection right onto the cervix; it felt like tiny little cramps. I experienced a few of the symptoms they said the anesthesia would cause, but they passed almost immediately. The cervix area was dyed so that normal cells showed differently to the abnormal ones, and then with the Leep tool, part of the cervix was removed. Once the cut was done, it was cauterized to stop the bleeding. I felt minor discomfort and no pain. The entire procedure took less than 10 minutes.
This is an outpatient surgery, and you are able to leave the hospital after your procedure. You do required a ride home, and have to take the day off work. A follow up appointment will be scheduled before you leave the hospital.
Once the anesthesia passed, I did feel cramp like pains, and some burning sensation which I assume was from the cauterizing. I took tylenol and the discomfort quickly passed. I bled for a few days afterwards, but the pain and discomfort didn’t last long.
Healing and Recovery
The healing process after the colposcopy and Leep procedure was similar in my experience. I had some mild bleeding afterwards, cramps here and there, and dark coffee like discharge from the solution applied to the cervix to reduce post surgery bleeding. Otherwise, I was able to continue my days as normal. The mental part and anxiety of the unknown was the more difficult part of the experience. After either a colposcopy or Leep procedure, the area has to be “undisturbed” for 3 weeks, meaning no tampons, sex, baths, etc. Possible complications like heavy bleeding or infection were discussed prior to each procedure and I was told to go to the ER if I happened to experienced any of those symptoms.
Why am I sharing my experience?
When I was going through this, I was worried. Anything that could potentially hint to cancer is scary, naturally! It’s important to remember that pap tests are screenings to detect changes of cells early so that they can be treated before it becomes cancer. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, because I was definitely worried when I was going through all this. Taking to my girlfriends about it though, I found out that in my circle of friends, five – FIVE- of my girlfriends had gone through the same and I didn’t even know! As women we don’t talk about these things, but it’s so helpful to talk to other women who have gone through the same, and it also shows that this is more common than spoken about.
I am currently 3 weeks post Leep Procedure, and have a follow up appt in August.
I hope this post was helpful to read. For more information, the recommended pap test schedule in Alberta listed here and information on the Alberta Cervical Cancer Screening Program here.
When was your last pap test? Have you had a colposcopy or Leep? Let’s talk!
Motherhood and my children have been the most inspiring thing that has happened to me, and it motivated me to write; about them, about us, about our days together – Our Everydays.
I cannot believe it has been a year since I posted my first words on this blog. And what a wonderful journey of creativity, self-growth and community it has become
Motherhood ignited a confidence in me to explore the love I’ve always had for storytelling, and so I began to write. This space not only allowed me to be creative, and to learn and grow in my craft, but it introduced me to so many other amazing women and mothers who were also telling their stories.
I’ve said this before, but I really believe storytelling is the way we connect and relate as human beings. In motherhood, especially, telling our stories allow us to relate, to feel connected, and most of all, to know we’re not alone.
The wheels on the bus go round and round. A song that as a parent of young children, I know well – and listen to way too often, ha!
Lately though, I am happy for that song.
This is my third week back at work after being a stay at home mom for 2.5 years, and it’s been a harder transition than I imagined. Much harder than I thought. I miss the kids so much more than I ever imagined and I often find myself questioning if this was the right choice. Was this the right time? Is this what I want? There are things happening in the background that I am hesitant to share, in case I jinx it, but hoping for a better balance soon *sending the universe all the positive energy*.
The weekends have become my fuel for the week. I cherish every second I have with the kids in the week day mornings and evenings, but the weekends are my heaven. I immerse myself back into what once was our everydays, and we pick up right where we left of. I lay in bed with them a little longer, I look at my phone less, I listen to the new things they tell me, the new words Penelope learns, the new sounds Oliver is able to make, and I make sure that I try reeeeaally really hard not to miss a thing.
The kids are doing well. They are happy to visit with Grandma everyday (thank goodness for my mom being able to watch them- makes the transition a million times easier). They are also making new friends, and I hear Penelope talk about her favorite when she comes home, which makes me smile.
For my first weekend after going back to work, we decided to spend a day out, differently. We bundled up, left our car keys at home, and explored the city for a whole day on the bus. Sounds like a very simple thing to do, but it was so much fun.
Whether you take the bus often or not, there is something about taking the bus when there is no pressure of making it from point A to B on time that makes the ride so enjoyable. My husband and I could cuddle and hold hands while we heard the children’s laughter, watched how they made other people on the bus smile, and witnessed the joy on their faces for simply doing something new.
My favorite moments of the day were the transitions. The moments of dancing and entertaining the kids while we waited for our next transfer. The walks from the bus stop to our many destinations that day. The moment Oliver fell asleep nursing, and the moment Penelope slept on my lap on the way back home.
It’s beautifully ironic that it was the transitions – of all things- what I loved most about that day, yet I can’t wait to pass the life transition I am in right now. I have to find beauty in that irony.
And so I go back to the song, the wheels on the bus go round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round, and they do. But I like to think I have found an underlying message of perseverance in that song. In a metaphorical sense, with my return to work, the wheels of my life are going round and round, and I’m going to be making stops along the way, making transfers, trying to find the best way to go through this transition in my life, and I will persevere because well… the wheels go round and round, and so will I.
Edmonton is a great city. A perfect mixture of urban and country, and the river valley is hard to beat! Depending on whether you’re a city or a country person, Edmonton really has the best of both worlds.
Then I had children, got to know the city so much more, and now I REALLY love Edmonton as a city.
Whether it’s to find resources to make the early postpartum days easier, or finding things to do with the kids (that doesn’t require breaking the bank), Edmonton has so much to offer to parents of young children, and it really is such a great city to raise your kids in.
With a limited “going out budget” while on maternity leave, or on a single income as a stay-at-home parent, there is so much you can do with kids in Edmonton, and it’s affordable and available to all families.
As I reminisce on my years at home with the kids, all I am left with is feeling grateful for the wonderful time I spent with them, and for being able to raise them in such a great city.
And so below I share my list on how I had the best Stay-at-home Motherhood / Maternity Leave Days in Edmonton (but a lot could apply to your city too!)
Set your intention to have the MOST AWESOME stay-at-home parenthood/ maternity leave. I’ve said this before in my “Two under Two” post, and I really believe it. Attitude is everything. Whether you’re at home with your child(ren) for a year, two, three…etc, set your intention to have the fullest, most fun, and awesome days, and you WILL!
Join a Mommy Group. When Penelope was 6 months old, I joined a mommy group through Mommy Connections, a program that does exactly that: connect moms with other moms and programs in your community. I met a wonderful group of mamas, and I still see them today… 2+ years later! Having a mommy community is so wonderful for support, play dates, or for text messaging back and forth on the hard mama days. Definitely a must for a happier maternity leave or stay-at-home motherhood.
Go to Mommy & Baby Yoga Classes. I was so happy to have found this Mommy and Baby Yoga Class run by Hapie Yoga & Fitness and did the program with both my kids. It was such a great way to make some time to relax, to work on strengthening my core and pelvic strength after baby (which is something we don’t make enough time for, but should!), and an awesome way to meet new mama and babies. I love that this was part of our postpartum experience and definitely recommend it! New sessions starting January 16th!
Go to La Leche League Meetings. I started going to La Leche League meetings after my second was born, and as a breastfeeding mother (twice), these meetings were invaluable when it came to education, community and support with my breastfeeding journey. For more information on when and where their next meeting is in the city, visit their wesbite https://www.lllc.ca/find-group-alberta
Follow Box Social Events.One of the best things I learnt about while on maternity leave, especially with an energetic toddler and a baby, is Box Social Events. They organize kid friendly events all over the city, their events are ah-mazing, and most of them at no cost to the public! The kids and I have enjoyed so many great ones this summer and it’s definitely a huge part to why my stay-at-home mom days were so awesome.
Visit the outdoor playgrounds around the city. It’s very easy to get in the habit of visiting the same outdoor playground often, and so I gave myself a challenge to try and visit as many outdoor playgrounds in the city with the kids. And there are some great ones! Fun and budget friendly, plus outdoor time for the kids; all around win! A list of great outdoor play grounds by Just Another Edmonton Mommy here.
Visit the Edmonton Riverboat. Perhaps I’m biased because we got married there, but the Edmonton Riverboat experience is truly beautiful. A gorgeous view of downtown Edmonton and the River Valley, and the newly renovated boat is gorgeous!
Visit the Edmonton Public Library often. We love the Edmonton Public Library and have attended so many of their Baby and Toddler activities, and the kids love it! EPL provides a “Welcome Baby” package when you get your baby his or her first library card. You receive a bag, a book, and helpful information about the programs that the library offers children and parents, perfect for new mamas! And for any bilingual mamas like me, EPL is a great resource. More info on early literacy for bilingual babies here.
Visit the Edmonton High Level Bridge Streetcar. I’ve lived in Edmonton for 10 years, and only visited the Street Car after having kids because it seemed like it would be something fun to do- and it was! Round trip fare is $6 per adult, and children under 5 ride for FREE! A great way to explore your city, learn about it’s history, and the kids loved it. Check out their website for more info.
Learn through play at home. We have loved following Live it All In for inspiration on activities you can do at home with the kids using materials you already have, or that are easy to get. The kids not only have fun, they learn in the process too. One of our favorites ones for letter matching here .
Go to the Pub…with your kids. Because sometimes, it’s nice not to have to go to a “kid friendly restaurant” every time you want to have a family dinner out. Edmomton has a great list of kid friendly pubs in Edmonton here , and it was actually through that post that I found her blog! We have enjoyed some lovely family lunches/dinners in some of these pubs, and, if someone judges you for drinking a beer while holding a baby, tell them it helps with milk production, ha!
Go on family bike rides. Edmonton is a great city when it comes to bike trails, and though we may not be able to bike all year round, the beauty of the trails make up for it when we are able to go on them. Edmonton has so many bike/multi use trails around city and it’s such a fun, healthy and inexpensive activity to do with the kids. A map of Edmonton bike trails here.
Spend afternoons picnicking in your backyard. I found so much beauty in having simple afternoons like this one with the kids in our backyard. As moms, we put a lot of pressure ourselves to feel like we have to have a full itinerary for our children e v e r y d a y – and we just don’t. Some of the best afternoons the kids and I have had, have been picnicking in our backyard, and having the most special times doing nothing special.
Explore your city and find the most unexpected places. One of our most memorable moments from this summer was discovering Cotton Tail Corner , a clothing optional beachnear Edmonton. We went on a hike, stumbled upon it and made an afternoon of it. Goes to show there is always something new to find in your city, you just need to go and explore!
Explore the city with Edmonton Transit Service.Exploring the city using Public transit is often. The day is more intentional, not as hurried, and it makes for a day full of adventure – like a day we had this past winter, read more here – ALSO, children under 12 years old travel for FREE!
Take pictures in front of the murals in your city. During the walks the children and I would take, we found so many cool murals, and so we made it a thing to find more. Outdoor family time, exploring your city AND Instagram worthy shots – hashtag win!
Make a nature theme mobile. Using materials you can find outside, make a nature theme mobile with the kids. How to here.
Relax, Read and find Inspiration. Pick up a copy of YEG Inspired magazine at various locations around the city, and find wonderful local inspiration and resources for parents.
Break the rules. As a stay at home parent, it’s very easy to burnout when there is so much pressure to do everything perfectly and “by the rules”. So don’t. Give yourself a break, and break the rules. Have breakfast for lunch one day. Have a pj’s and movie day with the kids. Do whatever feels right for that day, when you need it.
Follow Alberta Mamas.If you’re a parent in Alberta, you need to follow Alberta Mamas. A great resource of information for parents across the province. Whether you want camping tips, ways to encourage your kids to read , or want to know how host a clothing swap (a must for all mamas!), Alberta Mamas has you covered!
My list could go on forever, and I’ve probably missed a few things, but I end with one last one.
ENJOY. The days may be long sometimes, but the years are short. The years with my babies have really flown by, and though I feel I’ve lived every moment intentionally, I already miss the time we spent together. So, slow down. Enjoy your babies, watch them play and laugh. Give them that extra hug and cuddle, and enjoy the days together.