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What New Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

I had the pleasure of chatting on the 980 CJME Morning Show this morning about Mother’s Days gifts that don’t break the bank and what mothers really want for Mother’s Day. As a new mom about to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, this basically gave me the opportunity to drop major hints for my husband as to what I want! If you missed me on the radio this morning, here are my tips and ideas on how to create a special day for Mom.

Mom-ming is a never-ending, 24/7 job, so the best gift you can give a mom on Mother’s Day is a one-day holiday, and I have a few ways you can do that and it won’t cost you a penny.

  1. Let mom sleep in. From the first days of motherhood, moms are getting up every time the baby cries and this continues as the kid grows up, waking up to get the kids to school or waking up for early hockey practice. So on Mother’s Day, let mom sleep in! Dads, husbands, wake up with the kids, take them out for breakfast or something and let mom snooze in a quiet house. Then when she wakes up on her own time, you can make her breakfast or brunch or lunch.
  2. Next, give mom some alone time. Wrangle the kids, take care of the housework for the day, and send mom out of the house for some alone time. It would be a real treat for any mom to go shopping alone, or to head to a coffee shop with a good book, guilt-free and without any housework or time pressures.
  3. Next, the luxury of single tasking. Moms are the queens of multitasking and often will multi-task an activity they enjoy with an activity that they don’t. For me, I only allow myself to watch my PVR’ed TV shows if I’m doing something productive at the same time, like folding laundry.  So on Mother’s Day, allow mom to single task an activity she enjoys, whether that be binge watching a TV show without having to fold laundry or being outside in her garden without having to keep an ear open for the baby monitor.
  4. And finally, end the day with some quality family time. Plan a movie night or a dinner as a family (that she didn’t have to cook herself!), and celebrate your mom!

What do you think, moms? What else can I add to this list on how to make Mother’s Day special for new moms?

P.S. Can someone send my husband the link to this article? haha!

My beautiful girl who gave me the gift of motherhood

Featured/ Life

A Day in the Life…

The other day I had the most vivid epiphany about enjoying life as it is happening. I was thinking about how just a few years ago, I was living life as a forensic accountant, travelling all around the country working on investigations. There were many days where I was sleeping in fancy hotels, drinking wine in airport lounges between flights, having dinner in hotel restaurants, or working from my room with an order of room service. In hindsight, there was something enjoyable and somewhat glamorous about a life like that but in the moment, I was just feeling overworked, stressed and lonely. And just last summer when I was pregnant, I would sometimes go for walks to a local coffee shop and spend hours reading or blogging there. In hindsight, I wish I would have done it more often since I don’t have that type of freedom with my time now.

So, as I’m sitting here on the couch and typing this as my baby naps, I am reminding myself not to feel restless and to enjoy this idyllic time, as in just a few months I’ll be back at work and I’ll be looking back on this time wishing that I could re-live it again.

My baby is five and a half months old now and we’ve settled into a very predictable and enjoyable routine. My husband has been working night shifts for the past 5 days and so I feel like I’ve been ‘single mom-ming’ it for the past 5 days. However, whenever he’s at work, my days with the baby are very routine and relaxing. Here’s a snapshot of our day yesterday:

7:15AM – I’ve set the coffee machine on autostart and I can faintly hear the grinder going from our bedroom. The husband got home at 4AM, so he’s sound asleep. I slip out of bed and head downstairs. This is my morning “me” time and I savour this hour where I peacefully enjoy my coffee and a book.

8:30AM – Baby E is up. I head upstairs to change and feed her and have our morning cuddles. Then we head downstairs where I have my breakfast (avocado toast with a fried egg) while she plays in her Bumbo chair. Sometimes she’ll play nicely long enough for me to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher from the night before. I love starting the day with an empty dishwasher so I can load dirty dishes into it as the day progresses. I start a load of laundry, then we head back upstairs to the bonus room where we play, either on her playmat, jolly jumper, activity centre or on the floor. Side note: HGTV is always on the TV when we are in the bonus room, and I’m chomping at the bit to renovate our house or to build a new house!

10AM – Baby E will inevitably start fussing after an hour and a half of waking up, wanting her morning nap. I change her diaper, and we settle down to read a couple books before nap time. Then I zip her into her Zipadee-zip and nurse her. I put her into her crib and she talks to herself for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep.  The Zipadee-zip is a swaddle transition blanket and Baby E just loves it. Her hands are covered so I don’t have to worry about her scratching herself, it is incredibly soft and warm, and every time I tell her “Zipadee-zip, it’s sleep time!” she smiles and coos because she knows that she’s going to get fed before she has to sleep.

Fast asleep in her Zipadee-zip and DockATot

These morning naps are the long ones, usually 2 hours, so I get a lot done during these two hours. This day in particular, I finish cleaning the kitchen, put the laundry into the dryer, and then head down to the basement. Remember, when I was doing the home organization challenge? Well, we had a bout of sickness in our household and then we went to Mexico, so I fell behind on the challenge. However, I’m still chipping away at it. I’ve cleaned out and decluttered my closet, resulting in one huge bag of clothes that went to donations and one huge bag going to a consignment store. Now I’m working on our basement – our basement isn’t developed yet so it’s literally where we store EVERYTHING. There’s a lot of junk down there and it’s overwhelming to think about cleaning and organizing it before we start developing it. So, I made a plan that every day during morning nap, I will head down to the basement for half an hour. I have a big garbage bag started where I throw things that we will toss, and I have a box started where I put things that I will sell on VarageSale. I spend half an hour down there, and then head back upstairs to read and relax until baby wakes up.

12PM – Baby E wakes up and I head upstairs to change her and feed her. We then wake my husband up (he has to head to work at 3PM). I leave Baby E with him to play and I head downstairs to make lunch. Today’s lunch is this Italian Sausage Tortellini. We all eat lunch together and the husband continues to play with the baby while I clean up the kitchen.

2PM – Baby E starts fussing so after changing her and feeding her, she’s back down for her afternoon nap. This nap is usually only 1-1.5 hours long, so I just read or watch TV.

3:30PM – Baby E is up. Another round of changing diapers, feeding and playing. While she plays independently, I fold and put away laundry.  If we have anywhere to go, this is usually when we go out. But today is a lazy day where I know we’re not going anywhere, so I haven’t even put on any makeup or anything.

5:30PM – She starts fussing. Another diaper change and feed, and she’s down for her evening nap. This one is only an hour. I make a sandwich for myself for dinner and relax with my book on the couch. (I’ve been reading a lot lately now that her naps are so good. I average a book a day!).

6:30PM – She’s up. Another round of changing diapers, feeding and playing.

Play hard, drool hard

8PM – Start of nighttime routine. I bathe her, give her a baby massage with Aveeno Baby Nighttime Balm, read her two bedtime stories, feed her and put her down for bed. She chats with herself for a few minutes and then quickly falls asleep.

At this time, I do a quick tidy of the entire house, set up the coffee machine for tomorrow morning, start the dishwasher and then head to my bedroom. I have a nice hot bath with a book and a glass of wine, and I’m in bed by 11PM.

The end of my day

5AM – Baby E wakes around 5AM for her nighttime feed, so I feed her and put her back into her crib where she sleeps until 8:30AM.

The next day starts again with the sound of the coffee machine at 7:15AM!

Isn’t that the most idyllic day ever? When the weather is nice we usually go out during her awake times, but we’ve been staying in the past couple of days. The days where my husband is off work are a little more activity-filled. On his days off, I go to the gym, I go to a coffee shop to blog, and we have random outings to go shopping, out to eat, various appointments, or various social visits.

I’m not going to lie, there are days where the monotony of this routine really makes me restless. However, I am reminding myself to enjoy the quiet moments and to make the most out of this phase as it will inevitably pass. I used to feel restless when I used to nap with Baby E and I was laying there on the couch with her for two hours. But now that we’ve sleep trained her and she’s napping on her own, I really miss those cuddles! So my resolution for the last half of my maternity leave is to soak in and enjoy every single moment because I won’t be able to relive these moments again!

Featured/ Life

First family holiday!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the long absence. After my last post where I was debating whether or not to go to Mexico this year, we actually did decide to do a last minute trip to Mexico! The days leading up to the trip were a whirlwind of preparation, getting my baby’s passport, packing, and stressing out. Let me tell ya, packing for a baby is a whole new ballgame. Diapers, swimming diapers, wipes, a million outfits, blankets and cloths….it was quite the process!

I have to admit though, plane rides are not fun with a baby. I don’t know how other moms do it, but I could not find a comfortable way to get her to nap or to nurse her on the plane. It was hot, the armrests were too high to be of any help, and every time she started to doze off the flight attendant or pilot would make an announcement and it would wake her right up again. Thankfully, it was just a 5 hour flight to Cancun so it wasn’t too bad. Now that I have that flight under my belt, a 1 hour flight to Calgary in a couple months to visit my sister will be a piece of cake.

We stayed at the Royalton Riviera Cancun and it was by far, the most baby friendly and kid friendly resort I’ve ever experienced. There were kids and babies everywhere.  We joked around that we could have a pretty decent ‘car show’ with all the makes and models of strollers that were there. The resort was also 15 minutes from the airport which was a huge bonus. I don’t know if I could have handled a long bus ride after the 5 hour plane ride with a baby.

I would highly recommend this resort to anyone travelling with kids but would still like to enjoy fine dining and good drinks. The food was excellent (much better than at Secrets or Dreams resorts that I’ve been to), there were plenty of bars with high-end liquor, and there was a coffee shop that rivalled Starbucks with excellent pastries and coffees. There was an amazing kids splash park that would keep any child entertained for hours, and there were plenty of cabanas and loungers with umbrellas so that you could keep your baby in the shade.

This isn’t a post about travelling tips with a baby because I am so new to this, but I do have two tips to share. These two things definitely made the trip so much easier and more fun for us. 1) We packed our DockATot. This ensured that our baby still slept in a familiar setting and that her sleep wouldn’t be disrupted. Baby E continued to sleep through the night with one night feeding and she had good daily naps. Her noon naps were often 2-3 hours long! Which brings me to my second tip. 2) Book a swimout room! When Baby E had her 3 hour naps in the middle of the day, my husband and I were able to enjoy the sun in our swimout pool right off our room. We dead bolted the room door to ensure that cleaning staff wouldn’t walk in and set up our baby  monitor. It was so awesome. Baby E was able to get out of the heat and nap during the hottest part of the day and we were able to enjoy the sun.

Travelling with a baby meant early mornings and early nights but we had a good routine going for us:

6:30AM – I would wake up, get ready, go get us a cabana in the shade, grab a coffee from the coffee shop and have some “me” time with my coffee and a book. The husband would sleep in with the baby.

8AMish – The husband would text me when the baby was up and I would return to the room to feed her and dress her while he got ready. We would then head to either the buffet or one of the a la cartes for breakfast.

9AM – 11AMish – We would hang out in our cabana, enjoy some drinks (the bar opened at 10AM), and people watch. Sometimes the baby would need a little cat nap so I would lay down with her in the cabana for a nice nap. After she woke up, we would change her into her swimming diapers and a swimsuit and my husband would take her into the kids pool.

11AM-12PMish – Around this time, the baby would start fussing and it would be time for her noon nap. It would also be getting super hot at this time, so we would head back to our room. I would feed her, change her out of her swimsuit and put her down for her nap in her DockATot. After she was down, my husband and I would head out to our swimout pool to float around, drink and read. The drink servers came right up to our swimout to take our drink orders so we didn’t even have to leave our pool. Baby E would always nap for 2-3 hours for this noon nap, so my husband would just grab some burgers and fries from the pool grill and we ate on our patio/swimout.

2PM-3PMish – Baby E would get up. I would feed her and then we would head to one of the a la cartes for a late lunch, then either back to our cabana for more people watching and swimming, or to one of the many outdoor bar areas to have some drinks and people watch.

5PMish – Time for another nap back in the room. This one is usually a short one, 45 minutes to an hour, so my husband and I would hang out again on our patio or in our swimout.

6PMish – Baby E would get up and we would head out to dinner. This resort doesn’t take reservations for the a la cartes, just first come first serve, and the restaurants opened at 6PM. We were usually there right at 6PM, so we didn’t have to wait for a table.

After dinner, we would head to the lobby to hang out and watch the entertainment. My husband would grab a scotch or cognac from the lobby bar, and I would grab a sparkling wine from the lobby bar and some pastries from the coffee shop. We would hang out until about 8PM and then it would be baby’s bed time.

8PMish – Back in the room, bath for baby, and bedtime.  Sometimes the husband and I would just go to bed too or read or watch movies in bed. Sometimes the husband would head to the sports bar for his “me” time and I would just read in bed.

It was such a relaxing holiday! I am glad to be home, but I am not enjoying the mountains of laundry that we’ve been doing! I’ve shared some pictures of our trip below. I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule of recipes soon!

Happy to be on holidays!

 

Napping hard in her DockATot

 

View from our swimout pool – and yes, I read Danielle Steel. I love formulaic, mindless reads on vacation!

My early morning “me” time with a coffee, a book and an amazing view.

Early morning poolside naps.

Afternoon drinks, people watching

Watching the Zumba class was pure entertainment

Swimout selfie

Pre dinner martinis at the martini bar

Pastry shop

Liquid lunch

More martinis

Breakfast with a view

Ice cream shop at the resort – too bad baby E and I aren’t doing dairy 🙁