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Are we REALLY moving in the right direction #YEG? [ “legalizing” helicopter parenting]

I’ve seen it pop up a lot over the past couple of weeks. I’ve seen in it parking lots, billboard signs, sponsored Facebook posts.

It bothers me. I wish it didn’t, but it does.

The sign I’m talking about is the Edmonton Police Service “A vehicle is not a babysitter” campaign.

With this campaign, community members are encouraged to call 911, and given power to break the window in someone’s vehicle if they believe the child(ren) inside the car are in distress.

I guess the first reason it bothered me is because it made me feel like a bad parent. I know I’m not a bad parent, and I am pretty sure a lot of people would agree to that, and still, that sign made me feel like one.

Call me old school. Call me a bad mom. But I have left my children alone in the car. We were driving home from work, when I remembered we didn’t have any milk. I parked in front of one of those small gas station convenience stores, activated the command start so the AC could run and the car would be at a comfortable and safe temperature. They were both happily in their car seats and the doors were locked. I was gone for as long as it takes to buy a bottle of milk and could see the car at all times. I got the milk, got back in the car, and we went on with our day.

Do I feel bad for leaving them in the car? No. I assessed the situation and made a parenting decision I felt comfortable with. But if someone had seen me, and called 911, all of a sudden, a rational parenting decision would have turned me into a neglectful and criminal parent.

Doesn’t that seem a little extreme to you?

Do I leave my children alone in the car as a habit? Of course not. It was situational. I didn’t neglect or abandon them; I made a parenting decision.

I go even further. Had someone called the police and there had been no clear reasonable or probable grounds for the call (other than the fact that I was not physically in the car with them… but could still see them at all times) – Do I have the right to call the police on the person who reported me, for harassment and unnecessary emotional distress? I should also add, that if the child’s well being is what we’re concerned about, a random stranger creeping on my kids through a window will definitely causes them distress – I digress…

If my children are safe, and I have made a rational parenting decision, someone calling the police on me is just plain and simple harassment.

Parenting is stressful enough as it is, and now even more power is taken away from mothers (YES, mothers! Because we all know Dads are not judged nearly as harshly as mothers are) to be potentially criminalized on something that is subjective.

In the article “Motherhood in the Age of Fear” by  Kim Brooks published in the New York Times, she says:

” ‘I don’t know if I’m afraid for my kids, or if I’m afraid other people will be afraid and will judge me for my lack of fear.’ “

And she’s right!

It’s this really about safety? Or is “danger” something we are letting society subjectively decide?

I agree that a car is not a babysitter.

I want my children to be safe.

I would never leave my children in a car to overheat or freeze, like COME ON! No good parent would!


Is this trend in parenting going to continue?

How much more monitored is parenting going to get? How much more over protective are parents forced to be with their children? How much more power is going to be taken away from mothers when it comes to weighing situations and making parenting choices?

Everyone always talks about how they wish things were like they were before, yet as a society, we directly contribute to not getting there. As a mother, I’m forced to raise children who won’t know what it’s like not be constantly watched and monitored, and the only crime we are committing here, is stealing away our children’s right to independence and to little bit of damn freedom.

Mothering in the age of fear and criticism is reaching such levels, that there are states in the United States where “free range” parents have had to be protected by law, as seen here in a CNN story about “free range kids”.

It takes a village to raise a child, yes. But are we OK letting the villages voice outweigh the parent’s decisions and choices?

I am not.

I can’t be the only who feels this way. I hope I’m not.

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Beginning of Fall

It’s officially the first day of fall! I happily welcome this new season; bring on the colder days and yellow leaves! We had such a great summer, and without nostalgia, I look forward to another season with my babies.

We had a simple summer. My first summer as a mama of two. We traveled a little, but mostly, adventured close to home, or at home. I’ve said this before, but in the act of doing nothing special, the most special memories are created, and that rang true for this past season.

I’ve watched my little Penelope learn to ride her tricycle, to fly a kite, to more confidently go down a slide. My little Oliver learnt to crawl in the grass,  to love the outdoors just as much as his sister, and started wanting to try taking steps – always with a big smile on his face. I could keep writing about them; I know and love every single thing about them. Instead, I leave this video – for me to remember, and for the kids to watch in future and know how much their mother loved them.

Our Everydays of Summer 2017

Happy New Season xo


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Love of Books, Love of Story, Love of Language [Raising Bilingual Children]

For the past few nights, when I check on the kids before I go to bed, I have noticed that my daughter has fallen asleep with a blanket of books around her. After we leave the room, she climbs out of her bed, grabs 2 or 3 books, climbs back in, and quietly reads until she falls asleep. It’s a heartwarming picture.

After I gather the books, I give her one more kiss before I leave the room, and in a half asleep voice, she says “Te quiero”, I love you in Spanish. My heart warms again.

My little bilingual bookworm.

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It has always been important to me that my children grow up bilingual. Being bilingual myself, I had a second language I could offer them, and not only did I feel it was my responsibility to do so, for many bilingual families, that second language is a huge part of our children’s cultural identity.

The task of teaching my children Spanish seemed a little intimidating at first. Would having two languages confuse them? Would their speech be delayed? Will they be able to communicate with their little friends? It felt like the odds were against me.

I am happy to say that the reality has been far from that. The experience of simultaneously introducing two languages to our children has not only been easy, it has been so much fun, and incredibly rewarding.

In simple every day activities, we have introduced two languages to our children from the moment they were born, and their love for books and stories has been our greatest tool to achieve that.


One Parent, One Language

We adopted the OPOL (One Parent, One Language) system in our home. It was an easy but clear way to distinguish the two languages; Mom speaks in Spanish, and Dad speaks in English. It took a little getting used to at first, because it meant I was speaking to my children and my husband in different languages. Like many things in life though, consistency is key, and I switch between languages without even thinking about it now.

Tell Stories in your native tongue

Story telling is something that comes naturally to many of us, and we don’t even realize it. We tell stories about our work days, what we had for lunch, who we saw in the day; we narrate what we have lived, it’s second nature. When we become parents, this daily narrative continues with our children, and it’s the easiest way to introduce speech to them. As we narrate our days, our children become exposed to a wide range of vocabulary, and by simple osmosis, they are learning narrative skills which will be beneficial for them in future.

Reading books (in both languages) during bed time routine

From the time our children were 2 months old, we have read two books before bed, every night. Sometimes the books are in English, sometimes they books are in Spanish. In addition to providing another opportunity to expose both languages to our children, it’s also a wonderful family activity, and lovely way to end the day.

Listen to Music or Sing Songs in Spanish (or respective second language)

When we associate a word to music, it’s easier to remember. It just is. I still know the lyrics to songs I listened to when I was a kid because the melody was so catchy. Nowadays, almost all of the most common children’s songs have been translated into every language, so children can join in to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” even if they sing it in a different language…the body parts are all the same, haha! Music in foreign languages also lets our children hear different sounds and phonetics, which is an important of speech, but they are also hearing different rhythms and beats, and who knows, they may be dancing salsa in no time!

It Takes a Village

The more people that speak to your children in a second language, the more they get to practice it. In our case, visits with the maternal grandparents and aunts and uncles always offer an opportunity for the children to practice  hearing and speaking Spanish.

Early Literacy Mommy Blogger Bilingual Children (10)


Are you a parent to bilingual children?

The Edmonton Public Library has material in over 20 world languages, and is a wonderful resource for bilingual parents. My children are able to enjoy “new” Spanish books every couple of weeks, and the library doesn’t just have books in other languages, it has many foreign music and movies, which is another way our children (and parents) can enjoy learning languages too.

In addition, to promote early literacy, the library 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 for children and parents. If you have a baby, this is something you want to do!

The best part of it all, this is a resource available to the community at no cost!

Early Literacy Mommy Blogger Bilingual Children (11)


Whether you are introducing one or multiple languages to your children, it’s never too early (or too late) to start. Even though my children cannot read or write yet, we are providing them the building blocks that they will be able to use in their future language development.

In the very international and multicultural world we live in today, language is an amazing tool. It allows us to connect, to meet new people, to enjoy books, theater or movies, and to learn more about different cultural discourses.

Language provides us another tool with which we can explore the world.

My oldest is just under 2.5 years old, and I’m happy to say that when she goes to her little friend’s birthday parties, she is able to ask for Agua or Water, depending on which language she feels like speaking at the time.

Early Literacy Mommy Blogger Bilingual Children (2)Early Literacy Mommy Blogger Bilingual Children (5)Early Literacy Mommy Blogger Bilingual Children (6)Early Literacy Mommy Blogger Bilingual Children (4)

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A little dirt never hurt anyone [Potty Training]

Penelope is potty trained! It’s been a little over a week since we said bye-bye to diapers. She picked her underwear (paw patrol and frozen theme won), her step stool, and the little seat that goes over the toilet. The experience was pretty painless, and I would even go as far as saying it was fun! They say girls are easier to potty train than boys, so we’ll see if I say the same when the time comes for Oliver, ha! It did feel like a very long couple of days, but I think it’s because we had to stay in all day, and we’re not used to that. The first three days were the hardest, but now it’s wonderful! We have even been able to do long-ish outings with only one accident so far. I’m proud of her.

There is quite a bit of humor in potty training. When your husband texts you a picture of two little turds on the kitchen floor that didn’t quite make it to their final destination. When you realize how quickly you move when you have to run your toddler to the toilet before the stream ends (haha), or when your toddler claps and congratulates YOU for successfully going to the toilet, ha! Oh, parenthood.

Penelope is 23 months old, but she was ready, and it showed in how quickly she caught on. It’s a bitter sweet feeling. I don’t have to carry her onto the changing table anymore, and my back is thankful for that, but my heart does break a little when I see her in her big girl underwear. Every day, she is less baby, and more little girl.

My nephew was over a few days during her potty training, and it was wonderful. It helped to break up the day, and it was a positive distraction for Penelope. With the winter lingering, I decided to bring the spring indoors, and do a little repotting activity with them while Oliver napped. I imagined it would be a very messy activity to do with two toddlers, but I was already in the midst of potty training, so really, how much messier could things get?! (haha).

They surprised me. Perhaps they felt very autonomous and responsible in their doo-ties (too much potty training haha), but they took it very seriously! Look at their faces, ha! I had very little cleaning to do afterwards, and they ended up being great helpers.

A little dirt, a little pee…. a little poo (haha) never hurt anyone. So whether it’s potty training or potting plants, it’s OK to get a little dirty – all worth it in the end.

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I read “Potty Train in a Weekend” by Becky Mansfield, and found her method to work really well! It was recommended by one of my mommy friends 🙂



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My “Two under Two” little Loves

I remember being 9 months pregnant with Oliver, anxiously spending my last evenings before two under two googling and trying to gather up all the knowledge, tips and tricks to “surviving” this era that was about to begin. Some of the articles I found were helpful. Some were not. And frankly, most made two under two sound unnecessarily terrifying.


Perfectly captures my Penelope’s personality lol!

I have been a mom of two under two for almost 3 months now, and if there is anything I have learnt about the experience is Attitude. Is. Everything. 

My confidence as a second time mother translated into a calm and relaxed approach, and my Two under Two hasn’t only been easier than I thought. It has been easy. Easy and wonderful! Like every other mom of a newborn, I didn’t get much sleep the first few weeks, and there was an adjustment period for sure. I also have harder days, I deal with toddler tantrums, and clean up poop explosions. All that is just part of motherhood with young babies though, and you just handle it and it’s not so bad.

In any case, to the moms like me, who were/are googling the “How’s to” for two under two, my advice below:

Relax. I promise you, taking care of two under two is easier than being pregnant while taking care of a toddler.
– Practice, establish or reinforce a routine with your toddler before the baby arrives. A routine gave my toddler a sense of “normality” in the midst of a lot of change, and made the adjustment a lot easier, which in turn, makes it easier for Mama too ;)!
– If you can, try to synchronize naps so you can rest, even for 20 minutes, kid free.
You are super mom, and you can do it!
Make sure YOU are eating well and staying hydrated! Prep lots of meals and stack up on snacks. Lack of energy will make everything harder- nobody likes being HANGRY haha!
Accept/ Recruit help! Husband/Grandparents/Friends/Neighbours/Co-Workers, etc. Whatever they want to help with- accept! #ittakesavillage
You WILL love them both the same. No explanation needed. You just will.
Take care of the toddler first! One of my girlfriends, who also has two under two, gave me this advice, and it’s probably been the best so far! If both kids are crying, put the baby in a safe place, and take care of the toddler first. The baby can wait a minute or two, but toddlers are sensitive creatures (haha) so the sooner a meltdown is avoided, the better.
Get out of the house. Small outings. A walk around the mall. Trip to the library. Trip to fill up on gas or get a coffee through a drive-thru. Just get out. It will be good for you and the kids. Plus you practice leaving the house with two.
Find beauty and humor in every moment. Especially the hard ones. Like I said, attitude is everything.
Enjoy the experience. The first couple of weeks will be a little hard, yes. The first couple of weeks will also fly by, so embrace it all! Enjoy the newborn and toddler cuddles in the best way you can…even if that means nursing with a toddler on your lap.
It gets easier every day.

Two under Two is what you make it. Whatever filter you view it under, is what it will be. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I dedicate this video to my Two under Two sweet little loves, and thank them for how wonderful they have made life, now that they’re in the world.