Category Archives: Parenting

Why You Shouldn’t Hire Sleep Consultant

As you can imagine there is nearly a consultant for anything. Whether it be the gym, lactation, even sleep and financial. There is literally one for every situation imaginable. And if there isn’t one then there will be one soon, give it time!

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A sleep consultant being one of the new fads that parents pay for to essentially help their babies sleep. This can be for various ages and help set a routine or establish good sleep hours so your little one is the least over tired as possible.

Before I even get into the reasons why, let me tell you this if you didn’t know. BABIES DO NOT SLEEP SOMETIMES. Save yourself some money and do a bit of research first. Yes, babies literally eat, sleep, and are awake for a moment but in the big picture they do not normally have a schedule. If they are hungry every 3 hours then suddenly every 2 then again every 5 that is totally normal. If they have some nights that are more rough and harder than others that is completely normal. Even as babies age and they once were a good sleeper then suddenly are not and vice versa there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Personally, I have been lucky in the sense that my two boys have both been pretty good sleepers sleeping through the night pretty early on. We never did anything special for this to happen we just followed cues that they gave and went with that. there was no magic time there was no perfect amount of formula. We just went with the flow and things naturally happened. Is this to say that this happens to all babies? Nope. We have heard friends say that their little ones are not so great sleepers or it takes a lot to get them to fall asleep. Again, This is totally normal and while you see other people with their babies, and everything seems to be fine, the reality is, is that no one really talks about their little ones not being able to sleep well!

One reason why you shouldn’t spend money on a sleep consultant is that the internet is such a plethora of information that you could quite literally spend some time and research different solutions before resorting to someone to pay for these things. Another thing with these is that I know as a parent I have googled different issues that I have had, in doing so I ask the question and have so many answers. Like “Why has my child starting waking more”, “how can I get my baby to sleep longer at night” the exact question is totally fine too. There is even Facebook groups about safe sleep and respectful sleeping habits that you can post the wake windows of your little one and how they sleep with people troubleshooting with you to help tweek their schedule to sleep better. Sometimes the problem is they could be either getting too much or two little sleep. Literally, a simple adjustment and you can have way easier night in no time. No consultant needed!

I know this can be the obvious answer but another reason why you shouldn’t hired a sleep consultant for your kids is simply to save money! These are normally private consultants that cost more than they are worth. Starting at a few hundred per session to thousands for a few months. Money that can be so much better spent. Even saved is better than spending it on this. If you want to spend money on something like this, Might I suggest the Huckleberry app. Subscribe to that and you can do it all on your own. Again No consultant required. When my first was born we too had this app, however we never subscribed we just used the free version. It helped to show the wake windows and when they “should” be going to sleep based on their age. I will say with our second that was basically thrown out the window because he had a super weird schedule and we just went with the flow of things. My first was like clockwork. Sleeping every so often. Bottle exactly 3 hours later. My second was cluster feeding with a bottle and really threw our scheduling out of wack!

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And this may sound like another blunt fact, as I mentioned above, some babies just have rocky sleep. You may pay someone all this money only to find out that it doesn’t even work essentially you have just paid this only to find that it didnt work and something totally not related finally helped your little one to get into their routine. Not to mention there is also some “regressions” that happen when it comes to growth and milestones being reached. I know for me personally I had a hard time with cry it out method that we did at 6m with our first. However when my second was in the crib we really began to hammer down and sleep train. Was it hard to hear them cry. Always. But at the end of the day we knew the benefits outweighed the cons and we made it happen.

And finally, just like any difficult moment when it comes to raising babies and kids, they will pass. Maybe a rough sleep period lasts a few days or even a few weeks or maybe even a few months. If you are consistent and you are following your routine and keeping things the same eventually it will even out. Sometimes just getting past these moments is important and we need reminders that it does not last forever. We will have some sleep again and sometimes it can be as simple as maybe its time to drop a nap, maybe an earlier bedtime, or maybe even a slightly later one if that works too.

There is no reason why we as parents, should be spending money on everything under the sun to try and “fix” things that parents have been dealing with for many many many years, and that too all works out !

Traditional Baby Feeding vs Baby Led Weaning, Which is right for you?

When your little one has gotten to the stage of eating, that opens a whole new set of worries. I know what your thinking, of course there is another worry. That’s basically parenting isn’t it? Spoiler alert YES. Truth be told, especially if this is your first, there will be many many worries and starting solids is one of those worries.

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Lately there has been a new craze and way of feeding babies. This is called Baby Led Weaning. As apposed to the traditional method of introducing food by starting with purees and so on. Personally, my family takes a far more traditional approach. For many reasons including anxiety of starting baby led weaning. Ill talk about that further down.

Traditional feeding is when you start with purees. As baby ages you make things more chunkier, maybe you make it lumpy, and so on until they are eating food regularly. This is the way that I would guess 90% of us born before 2000 have been fed. A lot of times parents, myself included would even make their own purees. It really is simple to do (trust me!) And saves money in the long run as well instead of buying baby foods in the jars all the time. Truth be told, when my first son was born we did in fact get a few jars in case we were on the run instead of bringing cubes which was fine. Except for the fact that it was SO LIQUIDY! It was really hard to even judge how liquid it was and we ended up putting some powdered cereal in it to make it a bit thicker. We never bought jars with our 2nd and instead. Bring a fruit puree pouch, water, and powdered cereal to make a quick meal for them on the run. I go into more detail on homemade baby food vs store bought baby food here if you want to read a bit more details on that too.

Now to baby led weaning. This is where essentially you are feeding your little one the exact same things you are eating but you are trying to put it in specific shapes and sizes for their age for them to “eat” normally. I say “eat” because they really aren’t eating a whole lot, especially when they don’t have teeth. Like peppers can be given if cut length wise. Or grapes which are quartered. Some things like popcorn and nuts aren’t to be given at all though. As they are still choking hazards until far later. Even waffles and pancakes can be given if cut into strips too. This is also by far a way more messier route because of the mushy up of foods in hands and things that baths may be given for more frequently and a mop and broom may need to be used multiple times a day. That is unless you have a dog who loves the extra freebies too! And before I hear “Well babies get messy” Yes they do, But that doesn’t mean they need any extra help doing so! They can do it just fine on their own!

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As I mentioned above, a major reason why we never did this route was because of anxiety. The thought of giving our little one the exact same things we ate but cut into appropriate sizes was so daunting. Especially since our oldest didn’t have teeth till he was nearly 10 months old. And our 2nd  now at 15 months had just 4 top and bottom teeth too. While we understand gagging is normal we just felt nothing was wrong (and it isn’t!) with the traditional way of feeding a baby. While more and more people seem to be doing the baby led weaning route, sticking to this old school method is totally fine. Another thing that a lot of peoepl say in regards to food is that “food before one is just for fun” while that is the case and a lot of nutrients are still coming from formula or breastmilk, it still is very important that as your little one is growing bigger and bigger that they are in fact getting nutrients from actual food as apposed to fluids. You too will find that as they eat more solids and drop bottles that they will more than likely also be sleeping better too because their bellies are becoming fuller and fuller. Don’t discredit that food is still important in their growth and development even if they are still learning how to pick things up and what not.

Another thing I noticed which also may be by chance, is comparing my kids to ones who do baby lead Weaning (I know comparing kids is bad blah blah blah) my own who did traditional have been WAY NEATER eaters without throwing spoonfuls of food on the floor or in their hair or faces. More often than not my oldest will still make sure he has a bib on because he wants to be neat. We always used bibs to make sure we would protect their clothes easier. We never really made them go without shirts to prevent stains. Or we simply used a shirt that was already stain filled to make it easier! I have talked to a friend about this theory and they too took the more traditional route and too have noticed the less messes to clean up also!

Whichever you choose, please research. While baby led weaning is kind of popular now compared to traditional feeding there is absolutely nothing wrong with either way. However baby led weaning requires some researching due to the certain shapes things need to be cut up as so that the choking risk is very minimum. You can’t jut give a baby a grape or blueberry, or an apple or piece of chicken and hope for the best. Even chicken too needs to be shredded to keep a choking risk to a minimum!

Vasectomy gifts? What is the hype about anyways?

I like to consider myself a pretty “hip” person. I know most of the latest trends and I seem to be up on the lingo so to speak. Though there are a few things that I think are relatively outrageous and borderline insane. Things that I had no idea existed until I had seen them on a TV show and was shocked that people actually did this. Mind you most of the people doing this have more money that your average person and obviously an itch to spend it but still.

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The first thing I heard of like this was known as a “Baby Moon”. This is when a couple will have a weekend away or a vacation away as one last “HOORAY” before the kid comes. I know kind of wild to be spending all this money though before you will spend even more money when you birth a child. I guess there are different types of vacations that you can do though. Maybe you go somewhere local or have a weekend in the house ordering your own food. I guess the “Baby Moon” Is really up for interpretation and it really depends on what you want to get out of it. Then it also raises the question. Is this something that only happens when you have one baby or do you do this after multiple kids? If so do you leave the kids home with friends or family or bring them with you because that doesn’t sound relaxing or romantic at all either!

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Next up is the also popular “Push Presents”. Which could not be more catered to the pressures of having a vaginal birth of a child than you would think. This implies that the spouse gets the birthing parent a gift for you know, pushing a baby out of their vagina. So does this also happen for a c-section birth too or is the name just supposed to be targeted towards one type of way to birth a child. This is yet another thing that I would assume people with money would be doing. Why is it that having a healthy, breathing baby is not good enough that people want to have some sort of reward to you know .. “Push”

And finally, this is the real doozy. Apparently people are giving their male counterparts gifts for getting snipped. Which doesn’t really seem to make any sort of sense. From a medical standpoint having the male spouse get “snipped” for lack of a better term, is the easiest way. Maybe unless the female was getting their tubes tied during a c-section if they had to go that route. However medically the male is sore for a few days and bang, done. They used that bag of frozen pees that you had in the freezer far too long to help soothe down there and finished. Where as you have the female which needs to be cut open for however many reasons and are dealing with essentially a surgery to prevent further pregnancy’s.

What do you even give in this situation? Do you give something funny or comforting? Do you give your spouse like a thank you card you know, for taking one for the team? Do you give them something sexy because well now you can hopefully have the fun times without worrying about another bundle of joy surprising you in the process. The whole idea just seems to be a huge waste of not only time but also money too. It’s like people have this much extra cash laying around that they need to spend it (Which if that is the case you are more than welcome to spend it on one of my poetry books which you can find here). I can’t ever seeing myself doing this.

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Then the other question, If your spouse got you the push present, are you obligated to do the vasectomy gift? Or are you only getting one if you gave the push present? Then it also raises another question, Does someone get a push present AND a hysterectomy one also if they are they ones that are going to be getting the sniped or tied stuff around? If anything this is raising far more questions that it is answering them because I find it really hard to even sort my feelings.

I guess the bottom line is these types of things are what is wrong with the world. We need to stop spending money on useless crap and things that literally mean absolutely nothing. Not everything in life needs to have some sort of a reward. It doesn’t need to be something specially like this. How about if you get snipped you want to because your spouse maybe had to endure a lot of things in terms of giving birth and this was a good thing to do. Maybe instead of spending money on some baby moon you want to save it or put it away to start a small interest savings fund for your child. Or instead of a push present maybe start a new tradition with your child. Or even getting a few things that you had growing up that meant a lot.

And as I am sure you are wondering. Did we do a baby moon before my oldest son was born? Sure, If you call going to Boston Pizza REALLY pregnant for a meal counts. We never really had one with our second and we probably won’t with our third. Was there any push presents? No. I didn’t think that I needed to be rewarded for becoming a mom since that was the whole purpose of having children you obviously know what the outcome will be in terms of birth. And then for a vasectomy gift? No. There also will not be any. Maybe some extra sweets or maybe take out to not have to cook. But there will be no gift, and for the record, my husband volunteered for that because after all, I was doing all the hard work before!

Postpartum Anxiety

It could never happen to me, Right?

That was something I am sure many people think about when they have a baby they are about to give birth to, I know for me I knew very little about what exactly post postpartum anxiety is. Even after my 1st I still never really knew.

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Post Partem anxiety is, as described by google :
Postpartum anxiety is excessive worrying that occurs after childbirth or adoption. People with postpartum anxiety may feel consumed with worry and constantly nervous or panicked. If you or someone you know has symptoms of postpartum anxiety, get help from a healthcare provider immediately.

And you know how I figured out that I probably suffer from this, I was watching a TikTok. In the video it was something like “Here are your signs that you suffer from postpartum anxiety, and one of them was holding on to their baby and as they walked up the stairs they had a thought bubble of “I hope that I don’t drop the baby”. And that is when it clicked. I have postpartum anxiety. I know it sounds wild but I totally do. I think that all the time.

Now mind you, there is absolutely no reason for me to ever have to drop a baby while walking up the stairs. It’s not like a baby is that big or squirmy that they will jump right out of your hands. Another thing is walking by these small hooks holding up a felt board for my oldest. And thinking, “Wow, I hope that I don’t drop the baby on one of these hooks” which is the smallest thing to ever happen that the chances are so, so, so, slim unless MAYBE and I mean from the furthest stretch maybe I had a seizure or something and they hit their head but the chance of that happening is so low also.

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Postpartum anxiety is also included in trying to think about the worst case scenarios. Even though they are so outlandish that they will never likely happen. It can also be the feeling that you are forgetting something, maybe you are afraid that you will forget the baby in the grocery cart or in the car. Maybe you will forget the baby somewhere or forget to feed them. Maybe it is even the feeling that you are never doing enough to help them grow when you are already going above and beyond what you need to.

When thinking about postpartum anxiety I would like to think that I never thought it would happen to me, but more than likely I never knew what it really was. I believe I did have it with my first born but I never really identified what it was. It was literally that TikTok that made me think “Wow, this sounds exactly like how I am thinking.”

A few ways that I try to overcome these feelings because I haven’t reached the point of needing outside help or anything is whenever a thought like the walking up the stairs pops up, I always remind myself that is silly and it just won’t happen. I remind myself that “I have a good grip and there is no way the baby will suddenly fall from my arms. I am a good mother and that they will be good”. I remind myself that I am a good mother and that I will do anything to take care of these kids and that I can help them achieve anything.

Another thing I have learned to do is taking a step back. If I feel like this I talk it out with my spouse. I’ll say if my babies were crying and I was unable to console them that I feel like I am a horrible mom, which we all know is not true but babies do in fact cry and sometimes we need to vent that to a partner who will reassure us that we are doing our best and the babies are just a little bit fussy for the time being.

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While I am still learning about what exactly postpartum anxiety is it is super hard for me to not keep learning. As we are planning for our 3rd baby (Spoiler, We are due in August and you can read about it here!) I want to be able to manage myself with the help of others instead of bottling things up. Part of the reason why we never hear about this I think is because parents hold this inside and it really isn’t a main stream thing. We never really talk about after a baby is born and all the changes that can happen with our minds as our way of thinking goes from ourselves to someone else. We are taking care of another human being which is one of the hardest things that I can say I have ever done in my entire life.

I hope that as I grow and keep becoming a mother time and time again that I am learning how to cope and can help others who I may know, or people who read this that there are ways to not be stuck with this. I will say though, having multiple children it for sure has been different with each one. As we had more I feel like the anxiety was better. With my oldest I remember thinking about the stairs feeling literally every single time we went up or down the stairs. I always thought “what If I slip or what if we fall?”, spoiler alert, it never happened. It was always in my mind. And though with my 2nd child I do have those feelings occasionally it was never as bad as it was with my 1st. Which maybe is because after you have one baby you kind of grow in confidence that you are able to keep one baby healthy and growing that with a second you can to the same.

Please though, If you or someone you know are struggling and talking it out of doing it alone is not helping, reach out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have help to overcome some of these strong and debilitating emotions. Everyone needs some help sometimes.

Felix’s First Birthday!

By the time you read this it will be nearly 3 months after his first birthday. i know I am MAJORLY slacking on this since I was so bang on with my oldest. But as many people do say, better late than never!

I cannot believe my little baby, and I say little lightly because he was not a little baby. Weighing in at 9lbs and 6oz he was nearly 3 pounds heavier than his brother. They also say that having kids time flies. I found having two kids the time flew even faster that I can barely keep up.

Felix has been such a great sleeper I feel like we are so extremely lucky. With being so big he has drank so much formula I’m surprised we don’t have shares in it. Milestones have been happening so incredibly fast too. I think this may be because this little fella is trying to keep up with his bigger brother. The voice too! Felix has such a loud voice and loves to talk to us whenever we are laughing and goofing around.

While it took a little while for Vincent to come around he loves to help his baby brother too. He likes to pass toys or give hugs and things also. He also likes to put dirty diapers in the garbage but not before asking if it is poop or pee first.

Felix has been so different than our first in many ways. Obviously each child is their own but Felix is just the total opposite. He is so mischievous and he tries to really test boundaries. And he is also so much more of a daredevil when it comes to trying to get better at standing and learning to walk too. Soon I feel like you will be running around the house too! As I write this he still hasn’t started solo walking yet but any day now it will be happening I think!

I don’t know if I would compare births and say which was harder. But I will say this was a hard birth in so many different ways. I talk more in detail about how it was challenging here. You made me see a different side of having a baby that I was so totally not ready to see. I knew nothing about a c-section and I knew nothing about recovery either. You made me really take in the moments and slow down because I had no other choice but to do so!

You have your blonde hair and blue eyes still peeping out in to the world. You laugh when we tickle your under arms and thighs just like your brother did. But yet you are both so very different. You have grown so much and are nearly the same size as Vincent. Having you though has made us feel like you have brought so much to us. I know that as you get older and play more Vincent also likes that too. Though he is still not a huge fan when you take his toys and don’t share though to be fair he doesn’t really always share with you first either! But he is getting better though at it as we do show him that you and him can play together!

I feel like in many ways though we missed out on certain things with you and for that I am sorry. We never really did the photo a week like we did with Vincent but I guess times change and we just never thought about it. Your baby book is a little bit more scarce which is my fault for not being up on that which I know I can do better though! And I feel like we missed milestones with clothes because you grew so dang fast that we had to skip sizes!

Having you, Felix, was a huge blessing and I couldn’t imagine anything different. I am so happy that this past year we have been settled into our new home and made it ours. What I also find mindbogglingly is that eventually you and Vincent will be sharing a room and that is even more terrifying to me too! However you two will have a lot of fun and I’m sure rough sleep nights though due to staying awake and playing.

I am so thankful that you made me your mom and that you have made me see what it was like to be a boy mom (So far) and how you both are growing and interacting with one another. You are so fast and learning so much that it is such a hard belief for me that time really is flying by. I feel like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital and I was getting your dad to bring you up the stairs because I was unable to lift anything other than you! I was on you duty 24/7 because I wasn’t able to lift anything heavier than you, which as heavy as you were seemed like it wasn’t that bad! I hope when we have our 3rd and final baby that you too will follow Vincent and become a second huge helper in the house. You both are so different and so loving that I think you will be the greatest of friends especially since you are not that far apart in age!

I hope to be the best mom for both of you that I can ever be. Teaching you so many things about life and having as much fun as we possibly can too. Your little giggles and smiles are addicting and I light up whenever I hear them. Though I will say, You have brought challenges, ones that haven’t been seen. You do like to bite and you like to fool me by blowing kisses into my arm like fart noises and then biting down. That is not so fun haha and I also am constantly cutting your little baby nails that feel like daggers because you like to pinch and especially grab my necklace! Here is to another year and hopefully me actually getting this out NEAR your birthday, and not 3 months later!

8 Products to Avoid with a New Baby

Having a new baby can be overwhelming for even the most experienced person. You have so many things you have to buy or acquire somehow that you almost need a list. Even still, you are nearly continually trying to limit spending and whenever you buy something it seems 2 more things that are necessary pop up and you are there trying to buy it among other things too.

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The following post I actually posted on my Facebook page and had the friends there help to compile the list. If I have used them I will say that I have, if i haven’t I will also mention that too. This is our list of what products you could probably do without when it comes to having a new baby!

Wipes Warmer – This is a product that someone had mentioned on Facebook. My son is over a year old at the time of writing this and I had NO IDEA this device even existed. A very valid point that a friend had mentioned was if you have this, assuming you plug it in. Whenever you need to change your baby NOT at your home you will have a difficult time because the wipes won’t be as warm as it was with the warmer. I think it goes without saying my spouse and I DID NOT buy this when we were planning for the birth of our son, and we will not be buying it for future children either. What a silly waste of money!

Tons of toys – I say this now but as I write this we are slowly but surely growing and growing out toys. It probably would be easier if we had a toy box but there just is no room in our home for that right now. Maybe in the future we will get an actual toy box but right now we just use a few baskets. In the beginning babies don’t even really play with toys. As he grew we decided to slowly give a few things each holiday, so like Christmas and his birthday and Easter. If you also know people who have kids they are more than willing to send or give them to you also too. A child does not need a ton of toys and truth be told my son would rather play with cooking tools like Tupperwear lids and what not over his toys!

Baby wearing carriers – I never personally used this with my son however I am kind of leaning towards getting one for my next child. The problem with this is that I feel like the size of a baby passed so quickly that I feel like you wouldn’t even need it after a few months. I would like to think that I don’t need this and I will be able to just carry my new baby with my son who will be walking by then too. I never needed one with my son that I feel like I wont need one for future children too. (Spoiler alert: I loved it but my second son grew so fast I only used it for a short period of time before it was useless to us!)

Expensive cribs – You do not need the most expensive cribs. Seriously. Buy one mid range or check for sales but at the end of the day whether your crib has nice engravings or it is just a plain old crib you do not need to spend a lot of money on the crib. Save it for other odds and ends but a 300$ crib will do the exact same thing as a 500+ dollar crib. Not to mention, if you choose to go the bassinet route when they are a newborn, You wont even NEED a crib for the first few months of their life!

Diaper Genie – We have one of these because we thought it would be super useful. Mind you, Our son’s bedroom is upstairs. We are typically downstairs in our living room playing. I would say this, it does help TO SOME EXTENT on the diaper smell. However, is it worth the price? No. His room being upstairs in the summer it is extremely hot and the smell is going to seep out regardless. We just put the diapers in the regular garbage and if the stink is too much we take a fresh smelling scent and spray in the bag. It does the job. Changing the bags can also be a pain since you have to buy a specific kind to put in. If his room was on the same level maybe we would be more inclined to try and use it more. You also need to buy charcoal bags to help eliminate the odor but when you have 30c+ weather it really doesn’t of a whole lot in eliminating the scent.

Change table – This is something a friend put on my list on Facebook. We have a change table because it also doubles as my son’s dresser. We also thought that we would be able to use it for future babies too. Since we would just get my son a regular dresser as he grew and use the change table/dresser combo for future kids. My friend thought this was a waste because people just pay money for a change table. No storage no nothing just the table. That would be a waste sure since it really isn’t all that functional. We also don’t use the table function all that much since as i mentioned before we are downstairs, So we have his diaper bag filled with everything we need and a change of clothes so that we can do everything without it too. If you are going to spend money on a change table like us, at least have a dresser or storage with it. Don’t just have it for one purpose.

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Bumbo Seats – We never used this for my son however if you really think about it. They are far over priced. The use is pretty standard for a seat. And you can get nearly the exact same thing for such a cheaper price that it really isn’t worth it. Bumbo’s at the time of writing this are approximately $70.00 Canadian. While we got the same type of seat for our son with things on it for $50.00 and you could probably even find one cheaper. There is no reason to spend this much money on a seat that has no toys attached to it only for your child to outgrow in a few short months if not sooner.

Baby towels – We fell for this and we won’t be buying anymore for any future children. They are so thin and sure they are soft to begin with, however they really are not that absorbent and when they do they are soaked immediately. For a newborn they might be okay for a few weeks but overall we just end up using a regular towel for my son after the bath and sometimes we use these for the outer layer since they typically have a hood to put over their head. Sure they really aren’t super expensive BUT you can do the same thing with a regular towel. And they become rough like any washing towel does so their once soft appearance is no longer soft!

Those are my 8 products to avoid when shopping for your little bundle’s arrival.

What are your worst products that you would avoid?
What is something you bought that didn’t live up to your expectations?

Leave a comment about them below! Ill do my best to respond to everyone too!

– Stacey

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Judgemental Parents, And how to deal with them

Before I even begin, let me say. I too am one of those judgement Mom’s. I will judge the eff out of someone but only if they are doing something that is completely unsafe. There are plenty of things that I don’t agree with mom’s doing and that is just their parenting style. For me, this falls under a category such as safe sleep, bashing formula feeding moms, or co-sleeping, which you all know my stance on co-sleeping here. Even the judgemental and totally justified stance I have for circumcising children for a cosmetic need too. Which you are more than welcome to read here too. That is one hill I will die on, not even joking.

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I think when you become a mom one of the hardest things is being judged by other parents or even medical professionals that you may encounter. One of the things we have to tell ourselves often, since having children especially, is that parents judge. That being said, I always take it with a grain of salt. My parents had me a very long time ago. I am over 30 years old. If they are telling me something that they have done when I was a baby chances are there is some sort of evidence that has been proven to show that whatever they did was unsafe for whatever reason. Think about all the blankets we used to have in the cribs with babies but now we don’t have anything in the crib with baby. One of the hardest judgemental things to hear is dated parenting advice. Especially when they phrase that normally comes out after you disapprove are “Well, we did it with you and you turned out just fine didn’t you?”. Like, yes, we did turn out fine but there also was not a lot of information like we have today or studies shown that these types of things happen and there are plenty of reasons why no one does this barbaric practices anymore.

Purchase Stacey J Girard’s poetry collection The Light on Amazon now by clicking on the cover!

Another thing I have found is a super judgemental topic among parents is safe sleep. The bottom line is that co-sleeping is not safe. I have a friend who co-slept all of her kids. Do I agree with it? Absolutely not. She knows this also. That being said she also openly admits that it is not safe. She trusts herself and does it anyways. Her choice. However there are literally people who co-sleep and they pretend that everything is totally fine and pull out the most awkward website that you could never remember to help enforce that their claims of it being safe to sleep with a newborn or a baby is true. When it really isn’t. Do I judge my friend on her co-sleeping and unsafe sleep practices? No. because she too knows the risks involved. If you are a parent who wants to take those risks so be it, but at least admit that you are in fact taking a risk and you aren’t sugar coating it to be something that is safe.

One of the things I think is really hard to even grasp is that people will judge you on literally anything. They will judge if you have baby dressed well enough for the weather, how long it takes to secure them in the car, what you feed them and when, how much you feed them, how you teach and raise them, whether they are in day care or not, when you put them to bed. It honestly can be exhausting trying to keep track of things you should or shouldn’t be doing. Though, I think it is always nice to have a gentle reminder that a lot of times though when people make comments, they aren’t necessarily doing so because they think what you are doing is wrong, they are simply sharing what they did raising their kids (or even you if it is your parents!) and hoping maybe it will help you in some way, even if we know that you shouldn’t be using oralgel on your kids teething gums now!

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Finding yourself being the judgemental parent maybe? Take a moment to change the subject, or maybe if you disagree on the topics with another parent respectfully say that you just have differing opinions and that you would rather not continue talking about this. Remember, we are all adults raising children in so many various ways that we are prone to literally not see eye to eye with every single parent we encounter. It is totally OKAY with not agreeing, but when you try to bash or belittle someone then that means you are the judgemental party and quite honestly, a meany!

Are there times I have bit my tongue at people? Of course. One instance that comes to mind is a friend will use their hands free phone holder, and record snap chats continuously with their kids in the back either singing or whatever as they are driving, or maybe they even put their makeup on. I 110% DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS. Why haven’t I said anything? Because this person can be reactive and will make the excuses of “Well it is hands free so I wasn’t holding the phone, or they were just fine” THAT ISN’T THE POINT. A hands free phone holder is to literally click a button and not focus on a phone or record videos. So I guess if that friend happens to read this, they know who they are. But for me to say anything to be met with some sort of weird hate or whatever I just cant be bothered, for me though I NEVER touch my phone while driving for this reason. It just isn’t safe. Plus if I were to say anything I would probably also be met with “Well you were not there”. remember the saying, “Pick your battles” this is one of them.

Prep for Early Christmas in the Fall

It may come as no surprise that I am addicted to Christmas. And that is saying the very least of the extent of my addiction. I love everything about it. This year there is so many things that are far beyond expensive especially where I am in Canada that I have only just started to think about it in August (Though I know you are probably reading this in the early fall!). My goal for this is to spend the least amount of money possible without breaking the bank, which as we all know with kids can be easier said than done. finding yourself in the overspending hole of endless toys that if I am being honest, they barely use half the time anyways, is something that I am really trying to avoid doing this year.

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One major thing I have been doing is shopping around. I typically check Amazon first for the convenience of it being one site and trying to add things to the kids wish list. I will say for example, the beginning of August I had bought an Elmo guitar doll. My thinking was for my youngest to use when he transitions into a big boy bed however my oldest always talks about Elmo now due to the sesame street, I bought it for nearly 35$. Not more than 2 weeks later it is now on the website for 55$. With more than a 20 dollar increase. The same could be said for the Blues Clues lullaby doll that I had got for our oldest last year. This was about the same price also, It was something that he brings to bed and still plays with as I write this. The highest price that I had seen if go up till though was 70$ which is nearly doubled the price. Shopping a bit earlier if you do have the funds to slowly purchase gifts may save you in the long run as apposed to the rush towards the holidays. If retailers can capitalize on those last minute shoppers, believe me, they certainly will.

Another thing I have been doing is kind of prepping what I would like to give everyone else. My parents we gift things to, my siblings I normally do some sort of a movie night where I put in sweets that I have baked or even some little treats and popcorn since I know they all have Netflix. I even start brain storming for my partner and his stocking too. Thinking ahead about what you want to gift others is huge. This can help you pay or even budget better so that you are able to see what the holidays will cost and predict when and where you can find deals if in fact you know things will have deals. Amazon again makes this easy because you can browse the lists once a week or so and see the price differences, obviously though if they increase they do not advertise that. Don’t be fooled either with a high cost and then it jumping down and looking like a great deal when the price was inflated to begin with too.

Another expensive thing I do now a days is during the Holidays I bake. I bake Bits and bites (Recipe here) Also Peanut Butter Fudge (Recipe here) as well as I have started making Millionaire Squares too, (Recipe here). What I have started doing even last year since we moved back home was I try to shop the sales. In terms of things I try to get things at the local grocery store where I can earn points, also through my credit card, to purchase the items needed for baking there. This is a huge help because I normally would be saving this money for a rainy day. It also helps because the side clothing brand to the grocery store also accepts these points. Every 10k is worth 10$ which believe me adds up. I have used these points when I was pregnant before too to buy clothes and tops that would fit my growing belly also too. finding a store that does this type of point system can be such a life saver towards the holidays when people are trying to hopefully not go into debt for it either. This year at the time of writing this blog, towards the end of August (I know sorry I write them early!) I have about 50$ in points that I will be putting towards the baking. This will be a great help too for the family party that I will be trying to also hold the first weekend in December so this saves a lot in terms of thinking about what I will make for that too.

And finally, another good thing is that if you are like me, having a list of ideas and gifts you have bought can be huge in trying to play things out. Let’s remember. This is Christmas. You are not competing with every person you know that also has kids and you also do not need to buy the best of every single thing out there. No holidays is worth going into debt for because you can spend months or even years trying to dig yourself back out. This is especially true with younger kids, I know for me people are trying to out do one another, and let’s be honest. Kids under the age of 3 and especially under the age of one will not remember a single thing that you got them. Start with building memories and creating traditions when they are super young so that as they go on they not only appreciate the gifts they see under the tree but they are more fascinated with the family time that they can spend together.

And let’s not forget about you too, I have 2 poetry collections out right now The Darkness and The Light which are great for the avoid reader in your life! The Darkness has some themed that may not be suited for a younger audience due to the subject matter and The Light is more of a collection about winning things, and overcoming some of those tough subjects from the first book.

Why You Should Find a Haunted Corn Maze

If you are anything like me then you know that when it comes to any holiday doing something specific to that date is something you look forward to doing. One of those things (Though I assume it may be hard to see in a major city with little to no places with corn fields) a haunted corn maze! They are fun for literally everyone!

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A corn maze depending on where you live is usually in the fall. They sometimes have ways to go through in the day time for your little kids, you know the ones who are far to young to be saying up till dark not to mention parents having to deal with cranky kids staying up way past their bedtimes, and dealing with nightmares. The day time version is more of a mini stroll through the fields. They may have some fun aspects like apples in barrels, maybe some scarecrows and things. You know things for the kids!

Next up, starting at dusk you have the haunted corn maze. This is for adults of all ages well, teens too if they don’t wet the bed easily! The ones that I have been to have a certain theme to it. Maybe mad scientist or maybe a morbid family somewhere remote. The difference with this and the day time maze is the day time is far more leisurely. The night time one normally is a straight (Well, guided) path that you cant really roam around. Depending on the size there is also a lot of volunteers that normally help out with this to put on costumes and outfits to jump scare you at certain points in your path too.

You have it decided. You are going to take the plunge and head to one of these corn mazes! Regardless of time of day, I think it is important to remember the weather. Not the weather that day, but the previous weather also. Was it really rainy days before you plan on going? If so you may want to bring rubber boots instead of the sandals you are trying to wear when you are stretching the summer holidays just that little bit longer! Another would be maybe everything is wet. If you are going at night for example, lights are normally dim. Now while there may be puddles and muck, they also may have spots that as they become more and more wet they are harder to walk across. If you are traveling to this maze though and weather looks questionable, It may be best though if you check their social media accounts or even call them because if the weather changes they may even close the maze all together. Another bonus though regarding the weather, is that typically (Obviously location dependent) when corn mazes are functioning the weather could be completely clear with sunny skies but the temperature is maybe not as hot. That way you are not going to hopefully sweat the entire walk through.

Another thing you may want to consider is leaving all of your valuables in the car. This includes cell phone however if it does fit snug in your pocket you might be alright. I know when I went, there were certain times in the journey that you may have a little chase, obviously nothing serious this isn’t a gym it is a fun activity! This includes car keys! Keep them with someone who maybe has a zippered pocket, or maybe someone who has a purse that can securely shut too. Chances are you wont be walking around slowly and looking through your cell phone or having much of an opportunity to take a photo within the maze.

Purchase The Darkness here, and follow my author page for the details of the other poetry collections as they release! Available in Kindle and Paperback versions!

One good thing that is normally pretty neat is that typically, at least the ones I have been to is that they change the designs every year. One year I remember them making a Terry Fox outline, another was for a local food bank. The designs, not just the themes of these can be changed from year to year. That way families can make this an annual event and check it out each year. You probably wouldn’t do the same things every year if nothing ever changed! It also is really neat to see maybe different types of mazes and themes, and paths if you are able to drive to a few of them within where you live. I believe there is at least 3 that I know of that we would be able to drive to here in Nova Scotia.

Finally, if you are even still on the fence about those reasons on why to visit a corn maze or not, I would like to assume that any farm you are going to chances are is a local family putting this on. What better way to support local than by literally going to the action on a farm that may produce various products for your local grocery markets or corner stores. So often you hear of stories where farms are unable to continue to function due to rising costs, or whatever else in the world, why not directly support the farms and the families that run them.

There you have it! I know right now with my son’s being so small the chance of us going to a corn maze while they will not remember it might be very low since we are focusing on out own home and upgrading various things there. However I cannot wait to go to a corn maze and just stroll around with them exploring the paths and dead ends and turns as we go on our new adventures.

What is COVID like for Kids?

If are new here you may not have seen my post about what it is like for Covid in adults, however have no fear I have linked it here and you can read all about it here. This post in particular would be what I will be writing in regards to my kids having Covid.

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So, my kids had Covid when I did. My son’s were aged 2 years old and my youngest was 8 months old. My youngest had gotten it first and then my oldest a few days later. Here is what it was like for them.

A fever was the first thing that happened. Both my oldest and youngest started with fevers. Nothing super high and they were manageable with medicine. The best thing we did was tried to space the Tylenol out in order to make sure they both got a dose before bedtime. Overall nights were not that bad I would say. There was one night that my youngest had a rougher night where my partner would spend time staying up with him and I was trying to get some sleep to pass my own sickness. That was really hard. The fever did break with one dose. I have seen people piggy backing Advil or Motrin with Tylenol to bring down fevers however we were lucky and only needed Tylenol though. We never needed to piggy back beds at all. Which was a relief. We also gave a warm back to my oldest one evening as well and this seemed to help also in terms of fevers. Obviously when you try to cool a temperature in children do not use extremely cold water as it can make them go into shock so this was just for cooling down a bit.

The second was runny nose and stuffed up. Mind you they never really had boogies dripping from their faces all day but they were far more stuffed up than I was. We just made sure it never ran down their mouths and their faces never got crusted with them and that seemed to help a lot.

Their appetites also were like mine however they did eat more that is for sure. With our youngest we tried to just increase his bottles of formula and did more of sweet fruit meals instead since we knew he would eat it. My oldest we did get some Pedialyte for him, Freezies which he didn’t care too much for and we pushed fluids a bit more. We also gave him different snacks and things to help make up for the meals he really wasn’t fond of finishing. This was great for them. Also lots of sleep. We let them sleep a bit more however we did still make sure they woke at a normal time in terms of day time naps. This was because even being sick, and how important sleep was, we did not want to make them have a totally changed schedule. This helped a lot also too.

As far as behavior goes, they both were as you would predict, more fussy. They were both very cuddly and thankfully my partner never really got Covid (Very faint line one day but the next was negative). He was able to also help with cuddles and things and when I needed to have a nap I was able to. I dont even want to imagine if we both had it how the house would have ran then! After a few days my oldest was back to running up and down the hall way and all around the house too.

Want to read my debut poetry collection, Click anywhere on this sentence to be brought to my first book in a trilogy of books called The Darkness, Available on both Kindle and in Paperback form.

Sleeping I would say overall was alright too. I think because they had relatively mild symptoms they did well. As I mentioned in the covid post here my youngest had a harder time sleeping for the first night he had it, he was up unable to settle, and then my oldest was okay waking a few times but overall okay though. I know there are some stories where kids did not sleep for a lot longer however we got lucky.

Another minor thing was that we all have a cough. Mind you it is hard to tell in my boys because they both seem to cough and if you are watching them cough sometimes they tend to make themselves cough more or something as well too. Which is incredibly funny but also annoying a touch too. Even later by a few weeks do we still have a cough, I talk about that more in the long Covid post and surprise symptoms that people can get in the blog post here. Some of them were not fun at all and it was actually nutty how it still lingered so long!

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I will say though, I have heard stories where kids get sick, throw up, or have it far worse however our boys did really well for the circumstances. Kids are super resilient and are able to bounce back from things. Was Covid what I thought it would be in them? Sure. Though to be completely honest I never really sat here and though what if we got Covid. I wanted to sit here and think about everything we can do to prevent it however here we are when we still had gotten it. I just am thankful this stupid chapter is behind us and hopefully we wont be having this unexpected visitor in our home again. I am also super thankful that it ended in the house and we never needed to find any outside interventions in terms of needing actual medical attention. You always hope when your child or children come down with any sickness, that it can pass fast, and you do not need to bring them to a hospital.

Though, I am certainly not complaining about all of the extra cuddles that we did in fact get I don’t want them to be sick to get them again in order to get them!