Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Alynne

My beautiful friend, Alynne is up today.  You can read what she wrote 5  years ago here:

and now, 5 years later: 

Highlight of Motherhood:

Watching my kids grow. I love being there for those “aha” moments, first goals, watching Karter read a book to his sister… it is truly a honor

I love to watch their confidence grow as they marvel in their successes, and l love still being that supporting hand to pick them up when things don’t go their way.

Hardest Part of Parenting:

The challenges of raising a strong willed child – Our first child is kind of a push over I guess you could say. For example, if I was to say “Karter, please stop doing that”, he would immediately stop, apologize and think about what he did. Our younger child, in the same scenario, would get a little twinkle in her eye, and you could almost see the conspiracy theory going through her head as to how she is going to get away with said task. She does NOT like the word NO, she is a very determined little girl. In all honesty, this may come across as negative, but I am happy my daughter is strong willed. As a girl, a woman, I want her to stick up for herself and not back down. People that know her well, know she is a sweet soul, but understand her strong willed nature. I think the key for me is learning how to parent it. I do not want to punish her all the time for sticking up for herself, as this shows confidence. I fear her eventually losing that confidence and not understanding that it is a good thing to challenge and stand up for what you believe in. I think it is finding that balance of not letting her run the house, but to feel safe to stand up for herself. It takes practice and patience and talking and time outs for mommy and daughter, but we are slowly working it out. And, if all else fails, a strong shot (or three) of tequila is highly recommended.

Best Product:


Best Meal:

Homemade pizza and caesar salad

Best Piece of Advice:

Give yourself a break, no one is perfect & we all make mistakes. Learn and grow.

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Mel

Up today is one of the friends that I miss the most and would love to reconnect with asap.  Mel.  You can read what she wrote 5 years ago here:

and 5 years later....

Highlight of Motherhood: 10 years of raising kids and everyday continues to bring rewards and challenges. 

Hardest Part of parenting: Discipline and following through with consequences.  Life is a journey and the kids sure need to learn hard lessons at times but it also sure makes me question my parenting. No one said it was going to be easy when having to put my foot down or teach them right from wrong.   They go one minute from saying "I hate you" to saying "I love you".  I just think "oh that's what my mom meant" when she said "I can't wait for you to have kids!" LOL 

Guaranteed Meal: To be honest right now it's a quick drive through meal.  Working full time & 3 kids in activities doesn't leave much time for food prep and sitting down to eat a meal.  I am so thankful for the summer off and being able to cook more often in the kitchen!

Best Product: Two- Way Radios.  Great for the lake when the kids are off playing with friends.

Best piece of advice: Patience, patience, patience!

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Jen

Up today is one of my first friends, Jen.  She is mom to 3 beautiful kids and this is what she wrote 5 years ago. You can see the original post here: 

and 5 years later....

Highlight of motherhood: seeing them succeed in activities and how proud they are when they achieve something. Hugs after a long day are another highlight. They're at an age where there is constant fighting and pushing limits so the quiet time of snuggles and hugs is huge

Hardest part is definitely single parenting of three kids. It is so overwhelming doing it on my own emotionally and financially. I am out numbered and feel pulled in multiple directions everyday. I'm sad for my kids bc they only have one active parent but I hope that when they're older they will see how hard I've worked to give them a good stable life and how loved they are.

Guaranteed meal would be pasta or grilled cheese. I still have very picky eaters for meal times so I stick to the basics. I'm fortunate that they love fruit and raw veggies so I don't feel so guilty that they don't eat much for meat.

Best product. I'm not sure for this one at their ages of six and eight. I think it's anything that I come across that they can use outside and stop the arguing for the moment.

Best piece of advice would be to not give up. I've had my fair share of struggles over the past few years but I want my kids to see that I never gave up. I worked hard to give them a home where they are loved and feel secure. Motherhood is so hard and I wished I would have formed a better support group around me to help bc it is hard doing it on your own. So another piece of advice would be to look to those around you and not be scared to ask for help. We all need it at some point.

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Lisa

My lovely friend Lisa is up.  Here's what she had to say 5 years ago about mommyhood.  You can read the original post here:

and now 5 years later....

Highlight of Motherhood –

I love watching the girls learn new things/skills whether it be athletic or educational. When I watchedmy 4 year old daughter learn to ride her bike last summer my heart swelled. It swelled with pride. It also swelled with ache that my little girl was growing up and it swelled with joy at the site of her smile and her joy in her own accomplishment.

Hardest Part of parenting –

Amongst the plentiful Blessings of being a parent, there definitely are challenges: daycare; broken arms; whining; sibling fighting; discipline; everyday, persistent, nagging mom guilt. However, I think the hardest parts are yet to come. The one thing I would imagine as a constant throughout parenthood is the doubt. Am I doing this thing right? Sleep training, breastfeeding, solid foods, timeouts, behavior management, education, athletics, social functions, driving etc. We all experience this in one form or another. Being a mom is such a mixed bag of emotions as they grow, adapt, learn, and move on. We worry, we love, we stress, we care and we try our best. Loving these little beings so fiercely comes with a roller coaster of emotions and I believe that is the hardest part.

Guaranteed Meal –

grilled cheese, yogurt and granola, milk (the theme here is dairy!)

Best Product –

Muddy Buddy rain suits – it’s a full body splash suit that keeps them warm and dry! And the Chariot bike trailer 2 seater (bike attachment and jogging attachment). We have used this from infant to 5 years old.

Best piece of advice –

“Pick your battles”. I have to repeat this to myself daily as I am a very stubborn person and my girls have inherited this not so lovely trait! I usually want to continue the battle out of principle “I can’t back down now, I already said no once”. I have a hard time changing my response with the intent that I am teaching them the lesson that they can’t always get what they want. However, I should save the energy for later knowing full well there will be more face offs to come that day. These fiery little princesses get so little choices in their day that sometimes it’s nice to allow them the choice on the small stuff. If they want to wear pajamas to daycare/ run errands, then let them!

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Jordan

One of my favourite people in the world is up today, Jordan.  You can read her original post here:

and now 5 years later....

Highlight of Motherhood

The highlight has definitely been watching my kiddos' personalities develop. It is like the excitement of the first few dates with someone except it lasts years, not weeks, and instead of having a BFF (or two) to talk endlessly about all the intricate details I have my husband. It. Is. Awesome.

Hardest Part of parenting

Not yelling. Seriously. It is hard and I fail often. I mean, who can even blame me when I ask someone to brush their hair and when I see them after the third request they are hitting their sibling on the head with a stuffie?  

Guaranteed Meal

Lately it has been chili. Honestly, we have two really great eaters and a 1 year old. I can't remember the last time we had a dish that someone didn't eat. "You have to try one bite" has been one of the best rules Hugh and I put into place.

I will say that one of the best things I have done to make healthy meals quick to get to the table is join a meal exchange group. In our group, each person puts together 2 different meals for every person in the group. Each of these meals is good for 2 nights of supper (first day and leftovers). The meals are frozen and have ranged from chicken cheese chili with scoops, to teriyaki chicken, vegetables and rice, to Shepard's pie, to beef dip with buns, to lasagna roll-ups. We then get together on a designated evening to exchange. Since doing this we are never short of good stuff that is ready to go. This exchange has helped me improve on the way I freeze stuff, as well. Meat now does not go into the freezer unless it is already purposed as a meal. I cut the chicken and pair it with the sauce for a stir-fry, pork chops get marinaded, ground beef gets cooked, packages of sausages get separated and placed with a bag of perogies. We do "fresh" cooking on the weekends and stick to our freezer during the time crunch during the week. I don't think I could have survived this winter without a meal exchange group!  So amazing.

Best Product

GoGo Squeez. They are pouches of apple sauce. My kids can't get enough. I like them because they are healthy and easy to cart around. The kids like them because they are in a tube. I do wish they were less expensive or larger, though. I am cheap.

Best piece of advice.

1. You are super mom. We all have it in us. We just need to be reminded sometimes. You can't count on your kids or even your partner to be the one to remind you, mind you, so commit to being the one to do it for yourself. When life get crazy and you want to lock yourself in your bedroom with a half dozen cupcakes, often that little reminder, "I am super-mom. I am super mom. . . " can pick a girl up.

2. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you for locking yourself in your bedroom with a half a dozen cupcakes. I am the living proof of this. 

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Rae

My University french teacher friend, Rae is up today.  You can read her original post here: 

and now, 5 years later....

It’s interesting that when seeing my first set of answers from five years ago, many continue to be the same today!  :)

Gavin: 6 years old

Brianna: Soon to be 9 years old

Highlight of Motherhood:

Definitely the snuggles & hugs, especially at bedtime.  I also have to add, although not a specific moment, watching your babies “turn into” the people that they are with their own preferences, talents, and opinions.

Hardest Part of Parenting:

1) Trying to find the “balance” that we Moms keep hearing about!  Trying to be the best mother, wife, and teacher that I can be is really, really hard everyday.  I feel like I fail in at least one of those areas all of the time, never mind trying to find time for myself as well.

2) Forgiving myself when the patience runs out and I turn into the scary Mommy.  :(

Guaranteed Meal: 

Now that has become more challenging since each child has their own distinct tastes & preferences, however for a family favourite probably BBQ burgers & fresh veggies.

Best Product: 

Right now, for the kids, I would say Lego and ANY book.  Lego because it is something that the kids can put together independently or we can all jump in and do so much imaginary play together once things are built.  Books because I LOVE reading with both kids and I LOVE that they LOVE reading.  They can stay interested in their books for hours!

Best Piece of Advice:

Despite the craziness of full time jobs, soccer practices, report cards, housework, etc. make time for family time.  They just grow up WAY too fast!

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Christy

Welcome back, hope you had a great weekend. Today my true blue, Christy, is up.  You can read her original post here:

and now, with 5 years' experience under her (strange and special Invisi) belt:

Highlight of Motherhood:  Watching my kids succeed, including learning to ride a bike, scoring their first goal in soccer or hockey, learning to read, acing a spelling test, and the list continues.  I love to see them smile and to celebrate their success!

Hardest Part of parenting:  Mom guilt, hands down.   Mom guilt creeps in when I least expect it.  When the kids have watched too much TV or played to many video games in a day.  When I read a book while the kids play. When I take a night out with my friends, when I go to work, when I stay home. When the kids have cavities, when they eat too much junk food, when I forget to brush their teeth.  When I yell, when they get put in their room, when they cry. When I cry. It is just always present.Guaranteed Meal:  Oddly enough at our house it is salmon. I have 2 of the pickiest eaters on the planet, including one that doesn't eat any fruits and veggies other than broccoli, and they will always clean their plate of Salmon. Always.

Best Product: Tupperware water bottles.  They don't leak.  They aren't babyish.  They are just the right size.  I trust them enough to throw in my purse.  The kids use the x-small size and I use the medium size.  I am very picky about my water bottles and I love this one to bits!

Best piece of advice:  This advice comes from my own mom.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems.  My mom told me this when I was struggling with kids that didn't sleep and I thought it was the end of the world.  Now that my kids are older I see her point. Compared to the problems we see now, managing schedules, keeping up with homework, teaching manners etc. getting my kid to sleep through the night seems much smaller.  At the time it is was huge.  When I look forward and think about my kids future problems of staying away from drugs, getting into university, hanging with the right crowd, it reminds me the biggest problems are yet to come.

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Sara

My lovely friend Sara is up today for the Mommy Diaries.  You can read her original post here:

and this is what she thinks 5 years later:

Highlight of motherhood: seeing your babies grow and develop into little people with their own passions, personality, and talents.

Hardest part of parenting: I'm sticking with my answer from 5 years ago- the guilt. I still can't come to peace with this. Everything I do I second guess. Needing to be at work, me time, husband time, friend time, family time, etc I can't stop the guilt from clouding everything thing I do. This ties into the advice question cause I find unsolicited advise creates more guilt for me. Everyone has an option on how to do things or what works for their kids and then I feel guilty if my kids aren't measuring up.

Guaranteed meal: hands down-pizza!!

Best product: Aiden and Macy love toys so they are pretty content with anything put in front of them but I would say long term for all ages would be the I-Pad. Both kids enjoy this technology and have for years. I'm sure they'll be using this for many many more years to come. It's good for entertainment and education. Worth every penny spent (so is the heavy duty case to protect it).

Best piece of advice: see above. I hate unsolicited advice so I'm not giving any. Every child is different so what works for one may not work for another. This became glaringly obvious with my kids regarding sleep. Aiden was the worst sleeper and I tried everything everyone told me to do and nothing worked. I ended up sleeping with him for the first 3 1/2 years of his life. When Macy came along I was ready to have another sleeping partner, well at 6 weeks old she simply just started sleeping on her own through the night. No sleep training, no crying, nothing. Kids are different so I've got no advise. Do what feels right and don't listen to the garbage social media puts out (oops I guess that was advice...)

What I've Been Wearing

It's a summer miracle- I have been wearing more than just swimsuit cover ups and workout clothes.  A couple times, I have headed into town, thusly forcing me to
put on a brawear something pretty.  So, I decided to have some fun with it and use our Summer Style graphic to help me out.

This one was for running around and is called the white + fun print (palms), showcasing a statement necklace.  I normally stick in the same colour family, but decided to contrast and have some fun.  These pants are my favourite summer fancypants because they scream fun.

Outfit numéro deux was from datenight with the hubby.  Dan's family took the kids for an overnight trip so we quickly booked tickets to a movie (Mike and Dave Need A Wedding Date- hilarious!) and went for supper.  Kyla and I went out earlier in the day to walk to the street fair and ended up in Aritzia...go figure.  I bought this cute and comfy skirt for date night.

Join in the fun and link up with us today!
[inlinkz_linkup id=647524 mode=1]

Linking up here. 

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Elaina

Up today on Mommy Diaries is Elaina- you can read her original post here...oh my, so much as changed since she started 5 years ago...Elaina is currently expecting her 4th!

and now, 5 years later:

Highlight of Motherhood:   I love being a mom!  I love when I come home from work and I hear the kids running to the door yelling "Mommy I missed you!!"  Everyday is filled with new exciting milestones from self-feeding, to crawling, to their first word, to sleeping through the night, to potty training, to the first day of pre-school.  Each of these milestones offers its fair share of challenges, but when our children become successful and independent at the skill they have acquired, you get a real sense of accomplishment and pride in your job as a parent.  I also cherish the sound of a deep belly laugh that the kids have when they are playing an intense game of hide n seek or getting tickled by either Bryan or myself.

Hardest Part of parenting:  The lack of sleep and alone time with my spouse.  We really took those years for granted when it was just the two of us! By the time we get our little ones to bed (5, 3.5,1.5 year old and one on the way) we are both so tired that we end up falling asleep on the couch.  I don't remember the last movie, night of sleep, or dinner that wasn't disrupted or rushed by our children or babysitters needs.  I know that some day, Bryan and I will have that time again, and I don't wish for these days to go any faster than they already are, I think we just need a vacation from parenting to refresh LOL!

Guaranteed Meal:  Pasta- we love pasta is all ways- Lasagna, KD, alphagetti, baked spaghetti and meatballs,  tortellini, noodles with marinara sauce or meat sauce- Pasta is truly a staple in our home!

Best Product: Kirkland WIPES!  We use these for everything from cleaning our children to our house!

Best piece of advice:Take care of yourself and try to look at every situation from a positive perspective.  If you aren't stopping and taking care of yourself, you'll burn out and have a hard time taking care of your family, and giving them the love they deserve and need.  I really had to make an effort to take care of myself this year and to start enjoying life, instead of complaining how exhausting it was.  With my young family, a new job with new responsibilities, extra-curricular commitments and community obligations, I found that I wasn't making any time for me. I was always giving, but never replenishing the well.   I was feeling run down, catching every illness and lacked a positive perspective on life.  By making a conscious effort to get up early and exercise, watch the foods I put in my body, increase my water intake, make time for friends and gardening, and relaxing and enjoying my family, I have come a long way. Once I started taking care of myself, and trying to look at the negative things with a positive perspective everything else in life seemed to fall into place.

Mommy Diaries 5 years later: Liz

Welcome back to the Mommy Diaries.  Instead of enlisting the help of my mom friends as I did for the previous 3 times with new questions, I decided to contact the ladies who answered questions on my inaugural series and have them re-answer the questions with 5 years' perspective behind them.

We'll start with my teacher friend, Liz.  This is what she wrote in 2011. Original post here.

and now, 5 years later:

It is so neat to read my responses again. What a journey!! It is funny how universal my last post was even though the responses were written 5 years ago.

Highlight of motherhood- the best part of being a mom is the love. We can learn so much from the love of a child. It doesn't matter what I look like or whether or not I make mistakes, my kids forgive me and adore me still. Nothing beats that!

Hardest part of parenting- making decisions. I am pretty good about figuring out what to do for myself (with much thought sometimes ️), but when it comes to making decisions about my children, that is where I feel my wheels spinning. How much time should they spend on electronics, when to take them to the doctor, what school should they attend, what activities should they participate in, what is the right amount of responsibility to give them, how to help them when they struggle. The worry about the decisions and how what we decide now affects them latter is something that I constantly struggle with. I think this is the hardest part. Although 5 years ago I would have probably said toilet training was, so who knows .

 Guaranteed meal- spaghetti and meat sauce is still on the list for sure. The other one that is guaranteed to please is the honey garlic ribs from Costco. Strawberries and cucumbers are always on the menu at my house. The rest will depend on what Carter will eat. Brooklyn is not very fussy, but Carter is, although he has gotten much better.

Best product- hmm, I don't find that we have that many products anymore like we used to. I would say that the iPad comes in handy when we travel. We also just recently bought a trampoline for the back yard; that is helpful to have for something both kids enjoy outdoors. We also recently bought a cabin. Our family time and adventures are ones we will cherish there forever, so the cabin would be the best product of all.

Best piece of advice- enjoy it! I am super busy as a full time teacher and full time mom to two very busy kids. We are running around from morning to night getting to school, doing school work, going to activities, etc. But, I love my life! I love my husband, my kids, my job, and my life! I feel so blessed. My advice is to enjoy being a mom. It is the hardest, but most rewarding job there is and those of us that have been lucky enough to be moms should really take the time to cherish our little minis. Soon they will be driving. Yikes  Having said that, also remember to cut yourself some slack and be proud of yourself for the job you are doing. I too have to do that more often. As well, sometimes I have to "let go and let God". Easier said than done I know.

On that note, thanks for reading my "tidbits", as Deena put it last time, and God bless you and your little ones!

June in numbers

I have this post brewing, but no drive to complete it. I've been spending my moments cuddling my munchkins, swimming with friends and  watching thunderstorms with my husband. When tragedy strikes, I find that I turn inwards and have a difficult time doing the normal things that bring me joy. Part of me just wants to carry the cross for Mel and take away her pain. The other part of me just wants to soak up every minute I'm graced with. So continuing the peaceful silence from Friday's post, I will keep my friend and her family in my heart and will be back blogging when it feels right again.

Because I normally do the month in review post, here is the link up. I'll get to my post some other time.

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