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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.

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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.

 

 

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Motherhood through Culture




They say you can leave Africa, but Africa will never leave you.

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I grew up in Africa. 9 years of my childhood was spent in that beautiful land which has very much defined and influenced the person I am today. I remember watching women carry babies on their backs with beautifully patterned chitenges, while balancing buckets of water or wood on their heads. All while looking as graceful and calm as a mother can be. Those are the images that I remember now as a mother myself.

I am also Peruvian. My daughter calls me Mamá, I sing “Los Pollitos Dicen” to my children before bed, and make Lomo Saltado and Ají de Gallina as regular meals in my house.

I am a Peruvian woman, who grew up in Africa, raising a Canadian daughter, while speaking to her in Spanish and carrying her in a chitenge.

As her mother, I have a responsibility and privilege to introduce her to the culture before her; through the foods I offer her, the songs we sing, the books we read, and the language I speak to her in –  the language of her maternal grandmothers, and their grandmothers, and many generations before them. In all that, I give her a sense of identity, and a feeling that she belongs to the world… to many parts of it.

As I carry my children in either in a Malawian chitenge or a Peruvian manta, I can only hope that through the culture of my motherhood, I am teaching them that they are part of many things. Part of many histories and practices before them, and hoping they feel a part of all of them, and love them as much as I do.

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My Babies’ Shared Nursery

When I found out I was pregnant with Oliver, aside from the excitement of welcoming another beautiful being into our family, I couldn’t help but be excited about all the nesting that comes with it – specifically decorating the nursery. In my case, doubly exciting because I was decorating for two in this nursery – my toddler and baby on the way.

My husband and I decided early on that our kids would share a room. Why a shared nursery/room? We did our research, and to us, the benefits outweighed the drawbacks (…but, I’ll go into the logistics of how we got them to successfully room share in another post), but one reason was simply space. We have a third bedroom on another floor, but I personally didn’t feel comfortable moving my Penelope (18 months old at the time). She’s still a baby and I want her as close to me as possible.

I love how the shared nursery turned out. The space is calm, bright and fun. The layout worked out well, we stuck to the basic furniture needed, and filled it with a whole bunch of DIY to add the personal touches and love. We put the dresser inside the closet (which serves as their changing table as well) to save space, and it worked out perfectly.

The kids have been room sharing for over a month now, and I love this space in which they share their sleep, dreams, and are already making so many memories together.

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