parenting

New Season, New Blog Posts . .Hopefully!

Sorry for the total radio silence over here! I can’t even remember the last time I sat down and had some free time on my laptop. It is rare and when it happens I usually waste time on Pinterest! So let’s see what has been going on…
Summer went by in the blink of an eye. As per usual we got inundated with smoke from the forest fires. It unfortunately has become the norm for Interior BC. Well actually a lot more areas than that but those are where the fires are that effect our breathing space. It is not only horrible to be happening in the first place but really puts a damper on the summer fun when you can’t breathe fresh air or see the skyline. We still managed to make the most of it though and got in lots of camping and lake time. Feels like forever ago but the warmer temps are long gone as are our tan lines. Till next time summer, you were a peach! No complaints for fall though. It is one of my favourite times of year, especially here in Kamloops. The colours are stunning and for the most part we have sunny days. Crisp but sunny. A few months ago we removed a few fruit trees from our yard so the leaves clean up is pretty minimal this October. In a way that is great but it also took away a lot of fun for the kids. They love playing in the piles of leaves, as most kids do. Still my raking time has been drastically reduced. I will take it!

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We are in the throes of Halloween as it is only a few days away. A local landscape company put on fireworks last weekend which was a blast. The fireworks were fantastic though the fact that EVERY CHILD in Kamloops was in attendance made the whole event a little overwhelming. Not to mention my daughter sliced her tiny finger open getting it caught in the port-o-potty door, followed by a bad reaction to too much candy and the site of blood and puking all over me. All is well now but I will not be surprised if we have trouble getting her back in one of those again when its potty time at a public event. Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year so that means Hallie has preschool for half of the day, followed by an afternoon/evening of Trick-Or-Treating and large amounts of sugar. It will no doubt be a very long day, but hey that is what it’s all about!

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I love, love, love Halloween but this year i have found it challenging to really get into the swing of things. We still have yet to carve pumpkins and the decorations are not up to the usual Hayward standards. We will have to make up for it next year and go all out! Or maybe we will make up for it this Christmas. The kids are already asking me when the Christmas tree will be arriving. God help my husband, they are turning into Christmas obsessed little monsters, just like their momma. Speaking of monsters….. The phases these two are in at the moment are quite the treat! That was some thinly veiled sarcasm in case no one picked up on it. Jackson is two and is … emotional. A mama’s boy. Stubborn. Sweet as pie. Constantly running around. Oh and hates sleeping. Hallie just turned four. Also emotional. Slightly bipolar it seems at times. Very attached to mom. Heart of cold. Extremely sensitive. They love and hate each other fiercely and like to drive me bonkers. Can’t wait to see what the next phase is like! Often leaving the house with them is extremely daunting but it’s exactly what they need most of the time. That or a tranquilizer… I mean they are perfect little angels and I am never annoyed at them (eye rolls here!). Time and time again I keep telling myself I need to read a parenting book or meditate or work on my patience…. but when I actually have time to think about these self-improvement plans, I end up wasting time googling home decor ideas and recipes on Pinterest. I tried listening to some parenting podcasts on a recent road trip to Vancouver (for a little Luke Bryan baby!) and after four of them I was so annoyed at the people speaking, the sound of their voices was making me cringe. Not to mention I was with Henry and he couldn’t stop making fun of them so it took all of the learning right out of the activity. Sometimes I think parenting is just a survival game. And your weapon of choice is coffee or wine. At least mine is! So now that we are up to date on current events, where are we headed. November is busy. I have limited my business to three local events, including one at a winery. I need to shift the focus of the business to more online presence. The markets just take a bit too much time when you factor in load-in, being there and taking everything down. So I hope to focus on building up the website which you can check out here, and developing the brand on Etsy. If any of you have experience in building your business on Etsy I would love to hear from you! It seems a bit daunting but I know it needs to be done. November will also present some health commitments including flu shots for the kids and the usual dentist visits. Can’t wait for those! Again, sarcasm detected here. We will also begin the slow filtration of ‘winter decor’ which really is my way of decorating for Christmas early. I usually stick to natural tones though so it’s not too obvious (to the husband) and wait for December for the festive pops of colour. Just a hint we are going to play with a lot of greenery and wood this year. I think it’s time I learned how to use power tools. My DIY to-do list is far too long for a certain handy husband. In the next few weeks though I hope to share some DIY decor projects we have already completed, some recipes I am loving at the moment, and some holiday plans and bucket list items we intend to tick off this winter. So stay tuned for some fun, I promise to make more time for sharing on here.

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Feeling The February Love

Somehow we are already well on our way into February and I do not even know where January went. It felt like winter was ending and we were starting to get excited for spring. I even unpacked all our spring clothes to launder and freshen up. Florals were definitely in the air! Then BAM! A massive dump of snow and back down to minus twenty. I almost felt like I should be digging all of the Christmas decorations out and setting up again for festive fun. Don’t worry – that did not happen! For now we are just weathering ‘the storm’ and trying to embrace the pretty white snow that has covered my yard yet again. So much for seeing grass last week. We do however have a sunny and beautiful weekend on our hands though and with any luck, it will melt away in a hurry. Though it may be pretty we are VERY over winter. Ready for sun-kissed noses and hardened summer feet from running around bare foot all day. Yes we still have to wait a bit for that but one can dream of warmer temps.

So where have the last few weeks gone exactly. Well we started sleep training our little guy so there was ten days of my life there where it all seemed to blend into one stressful mess. The sleep training wasn’t even the hard part. It was more the fact that we were simultaneously trying to get both kids into one room. A two-year old and a six month old don’t exactly make the best roommates right off the bat. Luckily my mom was headed out-of-town for ten days and we were able to use her suite. So one parent would sleep downstairs with Hallie while the other would sleep up with Jackson. This worked great for the kids but I for one was really missing sharing a bed with my husband! Bigger picture though, it was worth it. While Hallie was getting by sleeping in a playpen (my poor TALL girl), Jackson went from five wake ups and three weddings to one wake up and feeding. ONE! After tackling that, it was time to transition the roommate situation. Our first attempt was one big fail. It was like a symphony between the two of them who could cry the loudest and longest. We maybe last twenty minutes before giving up and splitting them up again. The next night though, we had no choice. Grandma had returned home and we needed to give her space back. Surprisingly, it didn’t go TOO bad. Each night gets better too. There are definitely challenges to sharing a room at these ages. If one cries the other one seems to wake. Hallie has also reverted to waking up a bit more. I have faith we will eventually get there though and they will not mind sharing a room at all. Hopefully everyone will sleep better too. It may not be perfect right now but its manageable. Next house though, separate rooms are a must!

On top of sleep training we have had a couple of colds, one more potty training attempt, six month immunizations for the little one, lots of giggles and snuggles, a handful of play dates, and everything in between. Jackson is now on solids and eats three meals a day. The kid likes to eat, should be no surprise there. Other than her getting into constant mischief and him trying to crawl, the days seem to just be flying by and with each day, those two team up on me a little more. Feeling outnumbered and loving almost every minute of it.

Valentines Day is on Tuesday and usually I am much more prepared! There are heart garlands hung and heart-shaped cookies everywhere. Oh and glitter. Lots of glitter. This year I seem to have dropped the ball a bit. I will see if I can get something done in time but you can bet your boots we will have heart-shaped pancakes morning of. We also are attending a Valentines Day lunch at a friends. Three or four mommas with double the amount of babies….perhaps it should be a liquid lunch! I am sure there will be plenty of photo ops among the chaos. Even if I am not ready for the holiday of love, Pinterest is and I would love to share some favourites with you. These Strawberry Funfetti Pancakes would be so much fun for the kiddos, not to mention tasty. I also LOVE these Heart Shaped Pizzas for a toddler snack idea. If you are into making homemade cards for your loved ones, like we are, there are some super cute and corny ideas in this link for Cards. I think this garland is the SWEETEST and would make a cute surprise to wake up to on Valentines morning. Nothing says Valentines Day like flowers; I love getting away from your standard roses and doing something a little outside the box. These wild flowers in mason jars would be perfect scattered around the house, kitchen or part of a tablescape. Don’t forget kid’s themed pjs are an absolute MUST for all holidays, like these heart ones from Carters. When it comes to Valentines Day, I could go on forever. Thank you Pinterest for sucking up two hours of my life today.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend and enjoying whatever crazy weather you might be having!

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Potty Training

I cannot believe I am saying these words…. Is it time for such a task already?! When you pick up your toddler only to discover they have removed their diaper and are now in the nude on the lower half, then yes, it may be time. We purchased a Baby Bjourn potty when Hallie was 9 months old. I didn’t intend on starting anything that early. I merely wanted to introduce her to it so that she wasn’t afraid of it or anything when it came time to learn. Over time since then, we have successfully used the potty a few times, only by chance  and getting her to it in record time. She had no idea what she was doing or why I was clapping and cheering like a maniac when something appeared in the bowl. She also tried to PLAY with the filled bowl directly after filling it which even traumatized me slightly. For the most part, the potty sat in our bathroom up until now and Hallie would sit her kitty stuffie in it while she had bath time. Fun for the whole family haha. However, I think now it is time to really start using the potty for it’s actual function and not just an uncomfortable portable chair. I have been combing the internet for different resources and even picked up Sesame Streets ‘Elmo Goes Potty’ on DVD from the local thrift store. There are so many opinions on this subject out there that I feel like I am in the whole breastfeeding versus formula battle all over again. Parenting choices are HARD my friends! Either way though, I need to pick a method and stick to it. I have decided that when it comes to Day 1 and starting this arduous task, I am going to set up our wall-length baby gate and barricade us in the kitchen for the day. We will have our potty, toys, and all emergency materials for ‘accidents’. I just feel that by being in the kitchen it will minimize our chances for messy mishaps on my rug or sofa. Not that they are in pristine condition anymore anyways – thank you toddler and dog! I have also been told that we should stay close to home for the week while undergoing this training. Who knew it could be such a mission to take on?! I thought babies and newborns were the hard part. Toddlers, you really are on a different playing field and mommy is the rookie up to bat! Toddler 10, mom usually zero. What are your go to methods for teaching the do’s and don’t’s on toilet 101? I would love to hear from you with any tips that might help this scared momma out! Our first casual lesson with the potty and Elmo went interesting to say the least. It involved kitty on the throne again and one very happy toddler! Think she missed Elmo’s concept.

Step 1: Watching Elmo

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Step 2: Trying out technique on Kitty

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Step 3: Well I am not sure what step is happening here BUT I am pretty sure the lesson is over

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Flashback to when we bought the potty and she ‘tested it out – don’t you love a good ‘poo face’?!

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