First Child vs Third Child

Having three kids is amazing and all sorts of special. It also all kinds of crazy. It takes parenting to a whole new level when the kids out number the parents.

One thing that amazes me is the difference between when my husband and I had our first child vs our third child. Granted they were born 7 years apart. So there is a bit of an age gap there. But I chalk up the differences to upping my parenting level and having been around the block already.


Our 1st: Nursery was fully decorated and set up by 24 weeks along. I’m talking full bedding, bumper pads, lamp, all it matching.
Our 3rd: After she was born I bought a crib and we painted her room pink. In my defence she had a pink blanket. Different shade, but still pink.

Our 1st: Sterilized EVERYTHING. Over and over again. Every day. Every bottle. Special bottle sterilizer. Boiled things, twice.
Our 3rd. Throw it in the dishwashers, its all good.

Our 1st: We had two baby registries. We had new everything. Spent WAY too long comparing things, useless things.
Our 3rd: Do you have any idea how awesome hand-me-downs are?! Do you have idea how fast a baby grows?!

Our 1st: Special baby laundry soap.
Our 3rd: Throw all the laundry in together, who has time to sort things?!

Our 1st: If the pacifier or bottle touched the ground or went within inches of the ground, that thing was getting sterilized.
Our 3rd: Sweet found a pacifier in the car, score.

Our 1st: Leaving your child with grandparents, you packed enough bags to last a week, even when it was only for a few hours, you had a list of phone numbers to give them, you called every 5 minutes to check.
Our 3rd: The grandparents know what they are doing, they are pros! Have fun! (But I still call to check, just not as often!)

Our 1st: Nice changing table. Wipes warmer. Some diaper thing that was supposed to stop the smell, it never did.
Our 3rd: Change where you are, floor, bed, it all works.

Our 1st: Falls down. Rush over, check him over 10 times, call husband at work tell him that he fell down – translation he fell over on a pillow while sitting up.
Our 3rd: Falls down. No blood, we are good to go.

Our 1st: Our child won’t eat fast food.
Our 3rd: Gives you directions to fast food.

Our 1st: Professional photos.
Our 3rd: I can take a pretty awesome picture on my cell phone.

Our 1st: My child won’t see a screen for years. Educational toys only.
Our 3rd: Knows how to use my phone better than I do.

Our 1st: New everything.
Our 3rd: Hello second-hand store, you beautiful thing you.

Our 1st: Take birthing classes, breastfeeding classes.
Our 3rd: We’re cool, we got this.

Our 1st: Send child to lessons. Its important.
Our 3rd: Impressive when did you learn that?!

Our 1st: Document everything, write it all down.
Our 3rd: Its all good, I will remember.

How many kids do you have? What differences have you noticed in raising your kids? I would love to hear!

~ Michelle

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Bored Jar DIY

Summer is almost here, which means the kids are off school, which means parents will hear them say “I’m bored” about a 2847292843092849328202 times a day.

I decided to make a bored jar, that way when they complain I can send them to the jar and they can pick an activity. However they use it with caution, because I didn’t just put fun things in there to do. To keep it interesting I also added chores. If they want to tell me they are bored they run the risk of having to clean the toilet.

So here is what you need to make your own jar:

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– A Jar. (This can be a washed out pasta jar, pickle jar, whatever you have on hand.)
– Popsicle sticks
– Pens or markers
– Optional, tape to decorate the popsicle sticks.

Next write out ideas on the sticks, and put them in the jar. For added fun, you can cover up the jar with paper or tape so they can’t see what is inside.

Here is what I wrote down:

1. Write a story
2. Do the laundry
3. Make a treasure map
4. Play a card game
5. Build a card house
6. Nature walk
7. Play I SPY
8. Plant a flower
9. Play a board game
10. Play with Lego
11. Find and make a Pet Rock
12. Look at old family pictures
13. Play wii
14. 15 push ups and 15 sit ups
15. Research a topic that mom or dad picks
16. Bake cookies
17. One Chore – mom or dad picks
18. Explore on Google Earth
19. Play with Play Dough
20. Write a letter to a family member
21. Build a fort
22. Play Simon Says
23. Wash the dishes
24. Play marbles
25. Paint
26. Organize your clothes by colour
27. Bubble bath
28. Watch a movie
29. Clean your room
30. Write 5 things you love about yourself
31. Do a puzzle
32. Go to the library
33. Dance party
34. Make a craft
35. Photo scavenger hunt
36. Clean your bathroom
37. Read for 30 minutes
38. Write 5 things you love
39. Vacuum
40. Alphabetize your books
41. Draw
42. Go for a walk
43. Create a city
44. Play on your iPod
45. Make a family tree
46. Make and fly paper airplanes
47. Play catch
48. Geocaching
49. Write 5 things you love about our family
50. Journal
51. Read for 1 hour
52. Do Yoga for 30 minutes
53. Clean all the toilets
54. Mediate for 20 minutes
55. Do school work (Printed sheets from online)

Let the fun begin and put a stop to “I’m bored”.

~ Michelle

The Time I Turned Down A TV Show

I want to tell you about the time I got an interesting email, it was from a tv production company and they wanted me to be on their show. Um, say what?! I checked it out, it was legit, I had my husband check it out and it was still legit. So crazy. Someone had found my blog, loved my adoption story and my birth mom story and wanted me on their show. Crazy!

So when will you see me on TV? You won’t. I turned it down. I know what you are thinking… UM WHAT? CRAZY!


Yes, it was a once in a life time thing, probably, who really knows for sure! Yes it would have been an amazing experience. Yes it would have been great to be able to talk about adoption on such a large platform. But was it right for me and my family? No.

After much thought and many many conversations with my husband, who kept telling me to go, I decided it wasn’t right. As much as I would have loved it, as great as it would have been, as fun as it would have been, and scary and totally worth it, it wasn’t the right choice.

Saying yes to this would have meant time away from my family, as I would have had to go alone to the states. Is my husband capable of running the house on his own? Yes, of course he is. Would my boys been totally ok with me gone? Probably. Would my 3 year old have been ok? No. This happened right before my daughter was scheduled to have surgery a few months ago. She wasn’t in a good place her health and her sleeping.

It came down to, was it worth it the amount of stress this would cause on my then 2 year old before experiencing the added stress of surgery? Would this have been worth it for the added stress that would have caused on everyone else? No. Not right now.

I have to believe something better is coming. When one door closes, another opens. And any other cliche things you can think of.

Sometimes the hardest answer to give is the best answer. Sometimes a no is needed when you really want to say yes.

Now to look out for the next great opportunity.

~ Michelle

Why Mom Should Get To Spend The Day Alone On Mother’s Day

Mothers Day is quickly approaching, and I have been seeing so many posts and articles all saying the same thing “10 Reasons Moms Should Get A Day Alone”, or something along those lines. The post then proceeds to list off all the reasons why a mom should get a day alone. I’m sure you have seen these posts, they show up every year. So being a mom, I thought I would throw my two cents in.


Let me just start by saying that I hate these type of articles. Mothers have a hard enough job as it is. We are moms, first off. We take care of our families, our house, the family schedule. We grow another human inside of us! We have to defend every choice we make. How we became mothers (Adoption, step parent), how we got pregnant, what age we got pregnant at, activity level during pregnancy, how we choose to bring our how child into the world, what we feed our babies, if we stay home with our kids, if we go to work, I could go on. The list is endless. For real.

Then once a year here comes Mother’s Day. A day that is supposed to be set aside to honour mothers, spoil mothers, let mothers know how much our families appreciate all our hard work. Then come these articles and blog posts, which are filled with nothing more than lists of multiple reasons defending and justifying yet another choice of ours – the choice to spend the day alone.

Don’t we have enough to defend without having to list off a whole bunch of reasons to justify what we want, on our special day of all days?

So I will tell you the reason, not 10 reasons, not 20 reasons, one reason, no arguments, no justifying, no defending, one reason why a mother should get to spend the day alone. Here it is: Because she damn well wants to.

No mother, scratch that, no person, should have to argue, defend, justify, be made to feel guilty, or give a list of reasons as to why they want a day alone.

The simple fact that a person asks for, needs, deserves a day alone, should be respected, and accepted without question.

Mom, if you want to spend the day alone, if that is what you want, I hope you get it! I hope you a relaxing day alone and that its all you ever dreamed of.

Now, I don’t know about you, I personally have never spent a Mother’s Day alone. But I will be honest with you, the thought of it does sound nice. Maybe I will ask for that this year.

~ Michelle

Sharing Information And Being A Mom Blogger


Its a digital world. We can try to deny it, but is there really any point anymore? How many smart phones are out there? How many apps for sharing pictures?
Its a digital world where we can share information and photos instantly, and permanently.

Permanently. I’m a grown adult and I honestly still have a hard time wrapping my head around it, about what it really means when you share something online. Especially when it is shared publicly.

As I write this and put these words out there I don’t know what will happen to them, who will read them, copy them, share them, save them, change the context and switch up my words. And I am only talking about words, I haven’t even started in on photos!

Now clearly I am on social media! I have Facebook, a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, this blog of course, and the list goes on for apps and such.

I share photos almost daily. I share my thoughts, my hopes and dreams, my fears, my battles and even my heartbreak. I’m a mom and a lot of what I share involves my motherhood journey. I have 4 beautiful children, 14, 10, 9 and 3 years old who I love dearly, I am so proud of all of them and would love to shout it from the mountain tops all day every day. Here’s the catch, I do not share their photos. I don’t share photos that show their beautiful sweet faces and I try not to write about them on a personal level. This is a personal decision that each parent must make in our digital world, and this is what I decided was best for us.

But wait? What was that?! Yes I can hear you asking “But you’re a mom and a blogger?! You’re a mom blogger? How can you just not share? Go on, just ask them first, if they say yes, its all fair game.”

So let me try to explain.

I do not believe that my children at their ages can fully and completely understand would it would mean for me to share their photos and their personal stories.

Can you imagine if the internet was around like this when you were little? Can you imagine at 13, 16, or 18 years old finally getting a Facebook account, finally getting online and seeing that your whole life was written out for the world to see from someone else’s perspective. Every milestone, every ribbon you won, pictures of everything, baby photos, you naked on the toilet, the list goes on. But there is also the bad, the embarrassing photos and stories. Your most vulnerable moments, your weakest moments, all of them told from someone else’s point of view. They may have been written out of love, so your mom could relate and bond with other moms. But that doesn’t matter, because these moments are moments you didn’t want to share, not like that.
So take it all in, that all that information is out there, and then realize that it is not just you reading it. Friends, family, and strangers read everything and see all the photos. Commenting on it all, sharing it, coping and saving photos and stories about you.
People have learned things about you that you would rather they not know. People have heard things about you, they think they know you, but they don’t, because it wasn’t you telling them.

Its harder to create your own voice, show the world the real you when someone else has written and shared you from their point of view for your whole life.

My kids are their own persons. Their stories are their own and theirs alone to write and share how they see fit.

I’m walking a fine line sharing me without sharing them when they are such a huge part of me.

I wouldn’t want anyone else writing my story and so I won’t write theirs.

So for now I will keep my kids stories for them to write, and maybe one day they will write them and I can share them.

And honestly, can I just say thank goodness social media wasn’t around when I was growing up. The ups and downs I had?! I wouldn’t want that shared with the world from someone else’s point of view.

~ Michelle

How To Survive Tantrums In Young Kids and Toddlers

Parenting can be so fun. It can be so rewarding. Life changing. It can be all puppies, unicorns and rainbows. But it can also be a major pain in the ass. It can drain you. It can make you feel like you’re going insane. Welcome to toddler tantrums! They can happen any where, for any reason and usually without warning. Name a place and one of my kids has probably had a tantrum there. Home, the store, library, church, school, disney world! Yes even when visiting the “Happiest place on earth” a child can still have a tantrum.

Tantrums can often make you feel like throwing one yourself. Or just going to bed and hiding out.

But here is what I believe. There is a reason a child is throwing the tantrum, and if they are young they may not understand their big emotions and whats going on and be able to explain it to you. Heck, I’m an adult and I can’t always explain my big emotions! No matter their age, I have always talked to my kids about emotions. Telling them their emotions are ok. They are aloud to be angry, sad, happy, glad, and such. But we talk about best way to show emotions. Screaming, crying and kicking may not always be the best way to show emotions.
But talking will only take you so far with a toddler. So when that doesn’t work, what else is there to do?

Here is what I have learned over the years.

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1. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep!
Seems easy enough, right?! Who am I kidding, it is anything but easy! But sleep plays a major part in someones mood and ability to handle situations. So sleep is a good thing. A toddler who has missed a nap, or had a bad night, will probably throw a few tantrums that day.

2. Food!
Who hasn’t gotten grumpy when hungry?! I know I have. Before you go on an outing, even something as simple as grocery shopping make sure your little one is not hungry and bring along snacks. Snacks are your best friend in the parenting years!

3. Distractions.
When your little one is having a hard time and throwing a tantrum distraction are key. Depending on the the size of the tantrum and where you are. Sometimes its as simple as “Did you see that bird?!” Or insert child’s favourite animal. Ask them questions about their favourite animals. Suggest walking around the store to look for pictures of their favourite animal.
I keep a small notebook a pen and stickers in my purse for distractions. Works like a charm, most of the time!
Asking them questions about an activity, or anything really. I will ask “Hey, where do unicorns live?” or “Can you tell me about swimming”.

4. Counting. 
This falls into distractions, but it can help calm both you and your child. If we are in a store I will ask my child how far they think we will get in 10 steps. Or 20 steps. I will pick them up, take big steps, little steps, try to make a game of it.

5. Craft Time.
This of course depends on where you are. This works best at home. We usually turn to painting or play dough. I try to keep a good stash of crafts and stickers for rainy days or tantrum throwing days. The dollar store is a good place to find lots of stuff!

6. Bath Time!
Again, this one works when you are home. Bath time is always a winner in this house. Even for me! I love bath time! Its relaxing and fun! Especially when its dark and you can throw in some glow sticks! Glow sticks are my secret weapon!

7. Hugs and cuddles.
Sometimes it is something so simple that helps and makes everything better! A hug and some cuddles always works. Especially when home and we can get nice and cozy and watch a movie. Or build a fort and have a cuddle and read a book!

8. Go home.
Sometimes nothing will work when out and your best option is to just go home. That is totally fine. Home is safe, home is good. Home will help you keep your sanity.

9. Cry it out.
Sometimes the best thing you can do, given the reason for the tantrum, is to let your child cry it out and work out their emotions. A good cry is needed now and then, for everyone.

10. Get outside.
Depending on the weather and time of day, nature is always your best friend. Fresh air will do wonders for everyone. Sunshine on your face, birds singing, blowing bubbles! All good things that will help everyone!

11.  Try someone else.
All of my kids have been super, super, clingy to me. But sometimes, despite my best efforts, and putting my feelings aside, sometimes my kids just need someone else. Whether its my husband, my parents, or another family member, remember its a good thing that your child loves and feels safe with other people and that they can help! The more people that love and care about your child, the better!

Hope these help!

Something that you do that isn’t on this list? I would love to hear it.

Remember your child isn’t giving you a hard time, THEY ARE HAVING A HARD TIME!
It can be hard to keep your cool and your sanity, but your child is growing and learning. Everyone has big emotions, and we all have to learn what they mean and how to deal with them.

~ Michelle

 

What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

The sun is shining. The windows are open. Oh how I have longed for this day! Despite my best efforts the weather plays a big part into my moods. The fresh air is very much needed right now. Now if only I can tear myself away from the singing birds long enough to actually do something productive.

But really what does it mean to be productive? Are you only productive if your house is spotless, everything is cleaned, washed, put away? Are you only productive if you go to work every day? Is it strictly based on what others can see? Can you only really be productive if your actions can some how be measured? Who decides what is productive?

What does it mean to you to be productive?

This past weekend I sat outside in the warmth of the sun. I listened to the birds. I played outside with the kids. I watched the kids play in awe of how much they have changed since last year. I did a lot of sitting outside. Just being in the moment. My house didn’t get cleaned. Laundry is way behind now. My living room looks like some supernatural event happened.

So did I have a productive weekend? What do you think? My answer; Yes. Yes I did.

I did what I needed to do. I did what my heart and soul needed. I was in the moment. I relaxed. I watched my kids. I played with my kids. This is what I needed to do. For my own mental health, my psychical health, I needed a break. I needed to be in the moment. I needed to laugh. I needed to feel the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair.

If you looked at the state of my house you would not think it was a very productive weekend. If you looked at me you would know it was.

As far as house chores go, I am behind. In terms of my spirit, I am ahead of the game! I am refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on this week. I am in much better shape to handle this week than if I had been inside cleaning all weekend.

So Monday, this week, bring it! I’m ready for you! Right after I finish my coffee and listening to do the birds sing, then I will get up and rock this thing!

~ Michelle