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Kids Motherhood

our current reading list

November 23, 2017

My house is filled with a lot of crap. It’s true. My kids have way to much clothes, toys, too much stuff. But one thing I will never mind them having more of, are books. If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for the children in your life but can’t think of what to buy: give the gift of reading. No parent will be unhappy with more books. Here are some of our favorite at the time being. There are “mommy picks” but I’ve also included those cheesy rhyming books randomly bought on grocery shore shelves too. Because sometimes it’s not the educational books your kids love, it’s a book of a little yellow duck that has them truly captivated. And that’s okay too! Here it goes!

  1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, rhythmic and melodic. A book about the letters of the alphabet climbing a coconut tree. Simple, brightly coloured, good choice to familiarize little ones with letters.
  2. A Little Stuck, we love Oliver Jeffers books. Mommy appreciates the gorgeous artwork and kids will love naming random objects and the repetitive sounds. It’s simple, silly, and short. Good for toddler’s limited attention span.
  3. Little Blue Truck, the boys loveeee this book! It’s their top pick at bedtime. Great rhyme and rhythm. Good introduction to farm animals and the noises they make.
  4. Green Eggs and Ham, a beloved Dr. Seuss classic. It’s probably the longest book the boys will actually want to sit through. Max will still request this book even though we’ve read it a million times.
  5. Good Night I love You and other Caroline Jayne Church books, these were among the first books we read to the boys. Easy reads for getting them ready for bedtime.
  6. What Do you Do With a Problem?, definitely more of a mommy pick. Beautifully illustrated and a great message about turning your problems into a positive opportunity. A bit mature for younger readers but I read it to them anyways!
  7. A Cuddle For Little Duck, we found this book on a random walmart shelf. Max loves the story of a little duck going about doing little duck things. He requests this book often and even demands it be put into his bed!
  8. Peppa Pick Bedtime Box Set, another Max and Loggie pick. They are obsessed with Peppa Pig and these books are exactly like the show. Sure, it’s not that well written and borderline annoying but the boys love these books and I aim to please.
  9. Goodnight Moon, another classic. It’s calm moods and sleep inducing prose usher in bedtime. Even though as an adult reading it, the book is kinda creepy. Like why is there an old lady in the corner saying hush?? And why are there mice in the room??
  10. We Are Better Together, a cute book teaching names of various objects.
  11. Construction Alphabet, because my boys are their father’s sons and anything that has the word construction in it flies by really well with Steve.
  12. Finding Nemo and Dory, First Look and Find book, this isn’t a reading book but more of a “Where’s Waldo” for babies. The boys love pointing out items in the legend and have the other find it. And at three years old, they still open this one. To make it more of a challenge, we’ve started counting the fish and discussing what colour they are etc.
  13. Bright Baby ABC, Numbers, and Animals books, along the same vein as the find and look books. These help with building vocabulary with its large pictures and different scenes. My kids love them.
  14. Are you My Mother? I loved this book growing up and hopefully it will become one of my children’s favourites.
  15. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, another very popular kid’s book and Loggie’s favorite.

Books I plan on buying the boys this christmas:

  1. Here We Are, Once Upon an Alphabet, Heart in a Bottle – all by Oliver Jeffers
  2. A couple more of those Peppa Pig books I promised the boys.
  3. Little Blue Truck leads the way and Little Blue Truck Christmas
  4. Please, Mr. Panda

I randomly follow Eva Chen, an Instagram fashion writer and former magazine editor and she just released a list of books her daughter loves. I stumbled upon the link as I was writing this and felt it was very relatable. Follow her on IG, she has the cutest kids! Here’s the link to her list.

Happy Reading!

Kids Motherhood

’tis the season of holiday pjs!

November 6, 2017

Ahh, its that time of year, there’s nothing quite like it! I’ve compiled a quick list of comfortable items for your little one this holiday season. Weather its a for a casual photo session or you’re looking for a cute and unique pj set for Christmas morning, here are five small shops for you to check out! Support small and local business, makes the spirit of the holidays even more special! Happy Shopping!

Avenue G’s #CookieThief and #MilkThief Pj sets, $38

Bear and Roo Christmas Tree and Hipster Deer Pj sets, starting at $41

Little Navy’s Personalized Leggings (Christmas-y print I recommend would be “Plaid Forrest”), $40

Whimsical Fox’s Milk and Cookies Romper, $42

Whistle and Flute’s Kawaii Snowflake Sweatshirt, $40

Happy Shopping friends!

Kids Motherhood

developing Max’s fine motor skills

October 20, 2017

Max is very easily frustrated when he can’t figure how to do something with his hands. Coupled with the fact that it’s hard to understand him through his whining, has made for a difficult situation. I don’t take developmental milestone charts too seriously. Kids are kids, they are learning at different rates, some will be faster, some will take more time. It’s unhealthy to get wrapped up the percentages your kids are supposed to be at or comparing them to other children who seem to know much more. But, with that said, I have noticed Max’s fine motor skills aren’t quite up to speed. When I recognize a “problem”, I will try to find ways to help. If he is frustrated all the time, it’s not fun for anyone involved.

Here are a couple fine motor activities we’ve been working on at home and that he enjoys. Hope this gives some ideas to help develop fine motor skills. Even if there is no reason for concern, these are fun activities to add to your playtime rotation! As always, if you are concerned about your child in any way, little or big, contact your Pediatrician and start the conversation. No worry is ever invalid when it comes to your own babies. Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

6 toddler wardrobe pieces i love

May 23, 2017

Some lovely people have commented saying my children are stylish. Albeit very flattering, its not as complicated as people might think. I don’t spend much time “styling” them, we keep a pretty basic, mostly neutral wardrobe which makes matching easier.

Here are my top 6 items I’ve purchase over and over. Continue Reading

Confessions Motherhood

much to be grateful for.

May 18, 2017

Parenthood. It’s never easy. Young children will undoubtedly strain a relationship. People never say that because it doesn’t sound pretty. It’s not politically correct to say children are the cause of discourse in a marriage. Children are supposed to be the light of your life, a blessing. And they are. But the truth is, children change your reality, as they should. It’s life altering and comes with many bumps, learning curves and loads of disagreement. When severe exhaustion hits, in the wee hours of the morning with two screaming newborns, you’ll fight. Trust me, sanity starts slipping when you don’t sleep. You’ll fight over how to load a diaper genie and ask redundant questions like “why are they not sleeping?!” and everything your spouse does at that point will annoy every nerve in your body. I’m surprised me and Steve made it. But we did. Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

new mom & baby gift basket

May 9, 2017

Before having children of my own, I would buy the typical stuffed animal or a cute nursery decor item for a new baby. After having children, I realize how unpractical and kind of useless (sorry! >_<) stuffed animals are. When the boys were born, a girlfriend of mine assembled a basket filled with practical items most people wouldn’t think to give. Things like infant Tylenol and diaper rash cream. When you have a newborn, its incredibly overwhelming, there are a million products geared towards babies and a million brands that make them. It’s nice to have someone with experience buy items to give you a starting point and the new mom can slowly take her time and figure out which exact things she prefers for her own child. Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

organizing toys

May 3, 2017

The chaos that is a house with little children. Stepping on random lego is a serious parenting hazard! Before the boys were born I had this vision of a beautiful playroom and nursery, where everything matched, coordinating pillows and with all toys in pretty wicker baskets. HA. I laugh now as my living room floor looks like Toys R Us threw up all over it.

In the boys playroom we have a long Ikea Kallax unit, the one with a eight cubby holes. We used bright coloured baskets and that held extra toys for a long time. And somehow toys ended up scattered on the floor regardless. I wanted something transparent where the boys could see the toys inside instead of dumping a whole basket and realizing what they wanted wasn’t in there. Continue Reading

Lifestyle Motherhood

a quick mother’s day gift guide

May 2, 2017

Here are some of my picks for Mother’s Day’s gifts! As a mother, I would love to sleep in the whole day and drink an iced cold coke in peace and spend quality time with my family. That’s probably the best gift anyone can give me. Butttt sometimes moms just need something a little pretty. These are some tangible items and gift ideas I thought would be lovely for any mother to receive. And they are: Continue Reading

Confessions Motherhood

a love letter to first time mothers

April 7, 2017

Several of my friends are currently pregnant with their first and some who’ve recently had their little bundle of joy. As I watch them navigate the changes their bodies are going through, their emotional ups and downs, I want to reach out to every single one of them a give a big, long hug. Because I’ve been there. Looking back at the whirlwind when the boys were first here, I remember the stress, obligations, and expectations. The anxiety, the pressure. So much pressure. If I could turn back time I would have told myself these things. And with that retrospect, hopefully it’ll comfort some of you.

Trust in yourself. Trust in your instincts. Yes, learn as much as you can, read as much as you can. But honestly, we are all just kind of winging it. Trust in your ability to mother your child how you see fit. There will be so much advice coming from all different directions. By all means heed the advice, it’s usually coming from a good place, from people who care about you. BUT don’t sway when your gut tells you otherwise; stand firm in your beliefs. Ultimately, you know what’s best for you, your child, and family.

Dust Yourself Off. When you fail and you will, dust yourself off. Stand up and try again. There is always tomorrow. Mothers are doing the best they can with what they have. And some days it doesn’t work out according to plan and that’s okay. There will be many days ahead with many learning curveballs. Don’t sit and dwell on the negative, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Move on, stay focused, and stay positive. Brush yourself off and overcome the next challenge that is surely heading your way.

Accept help. And ask for help. This is a big one. Trust me, you will need the help. If there is help around or offers, TAKE IT. Don’t feel guilty. Family and friends who are offering to help, love you. Let them hold your baby while you hop in the shower. Let grandma babysit while you sneak in a 15 minute power nap so you can last the night shift with a newborn baby. It takes a village to raise a child, don’t reject the village. As a society, we’ve become more and more isolated with our nuclear families and have lost that sense of community. We were meant to do this together. So when the chance comes along, offer your help to a new mom and when that offer is returned, graciously accept.

It’ll be okay. I should have told myself this more. I should have believed it. I should have had that mantra playing over and over when I was exhausted, emotionally drained, or worried about everything. Breathe, it’ll be okay. I promise you. They grow older everyday, inching closer to every milestone. Kids don’t come with manuals but if you let yourself relax a little, the journey will be more less stressful. Remember to trust your gut, advocate for your children and your beliefs; remember to breathe, you’ll get there.


mommy tips: paint day!

March 31, 2017

The boys are 2.5 years old and at an age where they can sit still enough to paint. I bought some supplies, covered everything as best as I could and hoped my home wouldn’t be completely destroyed after. It turned out so fun and was an actual success! I’ll share how I got everything set up.

–  Equipment Needed –
Disposable paper plates to hold the paint
Kid friendly, toxic free, washable (very important!) paint. We bought Crayola Washable Kid’s Paint, 10 pack
Painter’s smocks or in my case, kitchen garbage bags
Saran wrap or tablecloth
Painting paper

– Some Tips –
I really admire moms who do sensory activities with their kids, I always imagine the mess they’ll make and shy away from them. I needed to learn to let go and let them be kids. Kids get dirty, get messy and if they have fun or learn something in process than what is a little clean up? But with that said, I try to keep the mess sort of contained. Well, I try anyways.

– I Saran wrap the surface of the table. I find it better than a table cloth as the saran wrap clings and doesn’t move. And after you’re done, pull up the saran, wrap all the disposable items and you’re left with a cleaner table surface!

– I didn’t have painter’s smocks so I used what I had: garbage bags! I took smaller kitchen bags, cut holes for their arms and legs and then loosely tied the bottom so they wouldn’t trip over it. They still got pretty dirty but it helped keep them more dry and it was pretty cute seeing them in bags for some reason. 🙂

– I bought paintbrushes with larger handles and brush heads to help their smaller hands grip and paint with. I also bought Crayola brand ones because it was right next to the paint.

– I used calligraphy grade paper that I already had at home. It held up really well under the paint and being painted over and over. Small canvases would also work!

That’s all, give it a go and have fun! And then throw everyone into the tub afterwards!

Have fun and good luck!
xx, CiCi