Once upon a time I used to be a really really good friend. I was the kind of friend who was notorious for being thoughtful and was always good at planning get togethers and parties. I was often the glue that kept friend groups together and I knew it. I enjoyed remembering a friend’s birthday and other special occasions in their life. I also relished the sweet friendships I was given back in return.
Then I had kids and not only did my free time to bathe myself regularly disappear but so did my friends. I’m not saying these two things are totally connected but there may be some kind of correlation between my lack of time for self care and my lack of time to devote to people that don’t call me mum.
” If I have a free 15 minutes when my kids are awake you better believe it is filled with doing something related to them. Usually wiping off jam fingerprints from the furniture or disguising a walk to the coffee shop as a fun adventure walk. “
The thing that sucks is that I miss my friends, I really do. I miss the contact and the keeping in touch and knowing what is happening in their daily life. Not their Facebook life or the 2 texts they’ve sent me since I had the baby this last Spring, but their actual life. It kind of hurts knowing all the effort I poured into keeping up meaningful contact over the years hits the wall when I have to stop to catch my breath.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are friends who are totally like glittery gold beacons of love that shine through the trenches of parenting and different seasons in our lives. There will always be a handful of peeps that exist for the longterm and when the shit hits the fan you can text them 411 and they have your back. When you need someone to go out for dinner with cause you need to eat at a restaurant with no kids menu over an adult dining hour, they make the reservation for you.
Times have changed and obviously friendships have to change and I know that. If I have a free 15 minutes when my kids are awake you better believe it is filled with doing something related to them. Usually wiping off jam fingerprints from the furniture or disguising a walk to the coffee shop as a fun adventure walk. However, I still hold a glimmer of hope that I can get back on the friendship train eventually.
Our days are filled with the usual antics that parents of young children have and over time I have slowly become less available. The old amazing friend ME has had to take a back seat so that I can be a good (enough) mum right now. I don’t always remember birthdays and I’m not always able to know what important thing is happening in a friends life. I know this is just the circumstance to being a parent but I still find the struggle hard.
One day I will catch my breath and get back to being able to make my friendships thrive. In the meantime, I take what I can get in and if it isn’t a two way effort it is best left to fizzle out.
How have your friendships changed with motherhood? Do you still get out to meet up with friends like you did before kids?
My current addiction is watching back to back episodes of Scandal on Netflix while cuddle up in my bed with a nursing baby next to me. Either that or in the bath tub with my lap top resting precariously atop the closed toilet. The first two seasons I couldn’t get over the funny faces that Olivia Pope makes through out each episode. I’m sure I can’t be the only one that semi cringes over her facial expressions because by season 3 the funny faces were paired way down to near extinction.
In my perfect world I’d be a morning person that gleefully rises out of bed, pulls the lid off my slow cooker apple oatmeal and starts the day nice and early. However, usually I’ve usually spent too many late night hours laying in bed watching ‘just one more’ episode of Scandal. That and I’ve got a baby who still eats at night. Some mornings I feel kind of like doing a lot of nothing productive with a side of coffee and more baby snuggles. I’m reading about this bloggers quest to become a morning person and wondering if I’ll ever get there.
Everywhere I look downtown I see the half top knot and the truth is, I am not hating it. I like this casual hairdo and it’s a nice change from the usual top knots that graces half of the city’s mamas, my own included. Fellow blogger Whoorl isn’t a fan of the half top knot but it is seriously a thing in Vancouver. Are you yeah or neigh for the half top knot?
The other day I went to the new Nordstrom that just opened up downtown and was kind of intrigued by all the fancy fashionista people walking around. I was kind of struck by the amount of older ladies with silver locks who rocked accessories and the latest fall shoes. Where were these glam older ladies before this department store opened up shop? The amount of fancy that I saw on this afternoon put my own top knot and jersey pants to shame.
This coming Friday I have the exciting opportunity to attend my very first Leading Moms event in Vancouver. Even my constant sidekick baby Elisabeth will be tagging along. I’m looking forward to getting inspired and hearing from some top leading ladies about what makes them tick.
Leading Moms is a morning featuring inspiring talks from extraordinary moms. The speaker line-up includes key influencers in media, arts, health, social change and more. You can expect a mix of performance, video and live talks and the line up of moms will deliver personal talks straight from their heart. Personally, I am looking forward to sitting back and listening Vancouver’s award-winning CTV investigative, reporter, anchor and breast cancer survivor Mi-Jung Lee.
I’ve got a very quick giveaway for two tickets to this event happening this Friday September 25th starting at 830 AM. If you don’t want to miss out, leave me a comment on this blog post. I’ll randomly draw two different winners! Each winner receives a free ticket to this event valued at $65 and includes a light breakfast and a chance to win a variety of prizes. Winner will be announced tomorrow morning.
The other week the original Apartment Baby, the whole inspiration behind the start to this blog, turned 7. Not only did he have a birthday but he also went back to school the very same day and for him that made it one very awesome day.
I have a tradition of baking a birthday cake for my kids each year. I always let them pick out what kind of cake they want and the week before we go over flavours and icing colours and sprinkles versus no sprinkles. I make sure it is totally fun with no stress during the planning process. The anticipation of me baking the cake is ridiculously adorable and the night before the excitement is awesome. Growing up I’d often request my mum’s English sponge cake with jam in the middle and pink icing and it’s fun to see what my own kids pick.
This year my boy asked for a chocolate cake with chocolate icing that was decorated with strawberries. He had a very definitive idea about how the strawberries would be placed on the top and I went with it baking him exactly what he wanted. It wasn’t overly fancy or ridiculously perfect but he thought it was ah-mazing. Two thumbs up.
I couldn’t help but be sentimental and compare this year to last year because they were so different. Last year I was so pathetically ill with nausea and vomiting from pregnancy that I couldn’t bake a cake. Actually, I couldn’t barely stand up to have a shower. Instead a friend had to come by with a cupcake delivery for my boy. Which was fine and I am so not against store bought baked goods, we do our part to support that industry, but I still felt somewhat left down that I couldn’t do our usual family tradition.
A year later and the woman I was the year before feels almost like a distant memory. I felt so much better this year with the baby on the outside and so I stayed up the night before putting up decorations and wrapping presents.
Celebrating this birthday really reminded me just how tough my pregnancy with Elisabeth was on me. This time last year I was so ill and had no clue what other stressors were to come with this pregnancy. Now here we are with our new sweet girl and I couldn’t help but feel sentimental. Having all 3 of my babes sitting around our kitchen table while we sang Happy Birthday as a family just felt so right.
It seems that with the return of the school year and the end of summer we’ve been spending more time inside each evening. Those earlier sunsets means less time for after dinner park romps or bicycle rides. We’ve traded in our later BBQ dinners with earlier ones at the table. With that being said, I’m really loving these cozy darker evenings at home and that flicker of the vanilla scented candle that sits next to me as I write.
We’ve swapped out our beloved flip flops for sneakers and flats and all of our sleeveless tops are now layered with sweaters. I’ve always appreciated the change of seasons and the home body in me is starting to get excited.
With school mornings in our game plan I prefer an early bedtime for the big kids and so with the close of our summer days I’ve pushed up bedtime. All of a sudden we have quiet in those later evening hours. I’m finding these quieter evenings are filled with baby cuddles, packing up lunches for the day ahead and making sure the dinner dishes are actually, you know, done before breakfast the next day.
Our sweet little Elisabeth is currently the celebrity of the family and is doted on by her big siblings in the most enamoured way. The big kids literally fight over who can play with her and who can hold her. It’s ‘almost’ adorable until they start shouting about who gets the next turn and wake her up.
She’s doing all the things that babies her age do, like having that infamous sleep regression that occurs around this age. Which also means she is hitting lots of fun baby milestones. Like constant hand sandwhiches and blowing raspberries (side note: Josie got confused with the term blowing raspberries and refers to it as ‘blowing bananas’ and I HAVE NOT CORRECTED HER‘).
The nice thing about the third baby is knowing that all of these sleep things are normal. Unlike with the first baby, the third time around I don’t need to buy a book or go stalk google with search terms like ‘why does my baby keep waking up at night?’ or ‘is it normal for my baby to only nap for 20 minutes?’.
True story: when we had baby #1 and he did the 4 month sleep regression, both my husband and myself gifted each other different ‘How To Get Your Baby To Sleep’ books at Christmastime without knowing the other spouse had been book hunting too.
New baby milestones equals changes in sleep and that is normal and it will eventually pass. However, there is no way around the fact that sleep issues blow and makes a mama tired. Which means a late morning walk to the coffee shop was an absolute must. So, we put on our sweaters and went to get a latte.
I love shopping for presents in general but there is something extra special about putting together a gift to welcome a baby. A little bit of thought can go a long way and is always appreciated by new mamas.
To make shopping for a present easy my first step is to narrow in on a theme. It could be something as simple as bath time, hand made, locally made or something for the mother. Having a theme will help you focus on what to buy and allow you to put together a special present.
I really love the bedtime theme because it’s a pretty simple to put together and it can be really affordable. This gift shown below is under $40 and includes a highly recommended locally made product by Tawna Hill Baby. I can promise you one thing, new mamas love to test out new baby products.
If you feel like the mama might already have everything under the moon, food is the way to go. Honestly the gift of food is always wonderful and so much appreciated by new parents. If you aren’t sure what to get a new baby, feed the mother.
Just before I had baby #3 a generous friend of mine came from out of town with batches of frozen meals all packaged into individual portions. I can’t rave enough about how amazing it was to be able to pull out one of those meals in the early post partum weeks. Her fettuccine was top notch and I devoured it while nursing the baby on the first day home from the hospital.
If you don’t love to cook, kind of like me, there is always the meal delivery service Mama Luv. I was fortunate to be given a gift of Mama Luv back with baby #2 and I appreciated it so much. You arrange for delivery on line and soon a big purple bag shows up at your door filled with food. It’s also perfect if you are out of town and still want to send a meal to your friend and her family.
Another great way to put together a fantastic baby gift is to look locally. With social media it’s so easy to figure out who is making local ethically made baby products and there’s so many stylish items to choose from. I personally love the idea of supporting a small business and Vancouver has many great ones to choose from.
My sweet baby girl was given a gorgeous pair of these soft baby mocs made by Minimoc in Flamingo. I like the idea that the friend who bought this gift was supporting another mother’s business and that they were also made not far from where we live. Plus, they are just so darn cute.
What’s your best trick at putting together a gift for baby? Do you ever hand make gifts yourself? Often I find myself shopping on line and I love Etsy for finding unique baby gifts.
Sometimes people ask me, ‘how do you do handle having 3 kids?’ and I’m like ‘handle?! I have no idea!’. Many of our moments are day to day and too many times I definitely lose my patience. Sometimes I really rock the mom of 3 gig and sometimes I’m all like, ‘whoa is me’ and ‘where’s the gin?’.
It isn’t just me who had to adapt to life with 3 kids, so did my big kids and especially the kid was used to being the baby. The oldest kid was totally fine with being the oldest with 2 little sisters. He was already a big brother and used to sharing time and parental attention. His sister, the new middle sister, wasn’t so used to sharing the spotlight and it was starting to show.
This past week we had a bit of a hard week with lots of exuberant 3 year old antics and many frustrated 3 year old moments. So, this past Sunday I decided it was time to have a time out. A moment where it was just me and the 3 year old together. No baby to stop and take care of and no big brother to steal the limelight (AKA no big brother to fight with).
We had plans to go shoe shopping (for me, cause it is seriously hard to shop for myself with 3 kids in tow!) and stop at the chocolate shop and buy fancy soaps and, of course, have a lunch date.
The time out worked and it restored me and it made this 3 year old beyond happy. Going down the escalator at the mall downtown she squeezed my hand and told me I was the best mum EVER. She was giddy and excited and her cup was full.
We took our time and looked at funny Kate Spade chocolate milk purses and then did that chocolate shop stop we had talked about. I scored some new ‘memory foam’ kicks and life felt easy. There was none of the crazy behaviour I had been battling the last few weeks. She needed the one on one attention and it was refreshing to just spend time with her alone.
I’m going to try and make this a regular mama habit and take the time to have these little excursions with each of my kids. Not only does it feel like a treat for me to just go out with one of them, it also is a great way to give them that special attention that every kid needs.
We don’t happen to be the ‘tent in the wilderness’ camping kind of family. However, there is still part of me that wishes we were, but I know myself enough to know that by day 2 I’d be a miserable camper and packing it in. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up camping and my only experience is basically limited to the times I went off to Brownie camp as a small girl, even then it was never roughing it.
The one thing I feel like I might be missing out on when it comes to camping is the camp food. Mainly s’mores and all their insulin loading delicious sticky morsels. I have memories of making s’mores in Brownie camp and felt it was my motherly duty to introduce s’mores to my kids. The urban camper kind of way, which means in my kitchen under the broiler in the oven.
A quick check with google and we were soon broiling the marshmallows with loads of milk Lindt milk chocolate squares and graham wafers at the ready. We had our faux camping goodness and the kids were cheering like I had made snow appear in the summer. Oven s’mores for the win!
To make the experience as authentic as possible the big kids had a ‘camp out’ in the living room overnight, complete with sleeping bags and their fake felt campfire they got last Christmas.
When Elisabeth was first born the pediatrician checked her hips and she was given the all clear. No clicks or clunks or anything suspicious was noticed. Her risk factors for hip problems include being female and my own history of having hip dysplasia when I was a baby. At a recent doctors visit for Elisabeth we were told to get her hips checked with an ultrasound at the Children’s Hospital.
After that ultrasound we learned our wee girl had mild hip dysplasia of both hips and needed to go to the ortho doctor for treatment. Her hips were not dislocated like mine had been as a baby, but she still needed some treatment to prevent things from possibly getting more serious as she grew. That treatment came in the form of a hard brace that fixed her hips into an ideal position.
We saw the nurse practitioner and we were told that Elisabeth needed to wear a hard brace for the next 3 months at least. I wasn’t too upset by this news, I had already googled the world wide web on everything about hip dysplasia and babies. We knew we were in the ideal situation of catching the dysplasia early on when things could be corrected by a brace versus possible surgery later on.
Life right now she is wearing a brace made out of plastic and foam for 23 hours a day. We get to take it off for 1 hour of tummy time each day. The most amazing part so far was that the very first time the brace was placed on Elisabeth she was all like, ‘Meh! What’s the big deal people?‘ and was seriously chill about it. It was a fresh reminder about how adaptable babies really are. Our first day with the brace we went out in the stroller with no adaptions and she went in our front baby carrier with ease. We went out for lunch and dealt with diaper changes and brace applications in the restaurant bathroom. All of us went to the playground and children ran up to the stroller to say hi to the baby and not one of them even noticed her funny frog leg position or the blue and white brace on her lower half.
We’ve nursed with not a lot of change but more pillows are needed to help support both of us. The only real negative that I see is when she nurses there is a hard piece of plastic and velcro against my skin while I hold her. Not the most comfortable thing but not terrible. She will wear this brace everyday all day until November and then we see how things have gone, but for now I get to claim my title as a Hip Mama.
The post partum period can actually be kind of intimidating even when it’s the third time around. You’ve had your baby but your body isn’t necessarily back to where it was at before being pregnant… and then all of your hair falls to remind you that hormones rule the world.
Like clockwork at around the 3 month mark my hair started falling out, creating tumbleweeds all across the apartment and clogging shower drains. Basically every single stand of gorgeous hair that grew during my pregnancy decided to quit at the same time and now I am finding hair everywhere. I find my hair in the baby’s diaper, in her mouth, wound up in her tiny little hands. I find it coating all my clothing and the bedsheets are now like a jungle of long dark strands of my locks. I knew it was coming, I was ready for it and now I just kind of want to get it over with.
I’ve read tips about slowing down the hair loss by not combing your hair too vigorously and using extra conditioner to keep things hanging around a bit longer, but I’m just like ‘get it done!’. So, I take the bristle brush to my hair and do 100 strokes. Luckily, my case of post pregnancy hair loss is just average but I’ve had girlfriends who have experienced it on a more intense level.
Right now I can hide my lady balding spots with my long hair but there is definitely a change to my hair line and a tight pulled back ponytail revels the truth! I think that I’ll do a bit of a chop soon and I’ll keep on with the regular hair brushing. In a few months time it will be all about the ‘baby hairs’ as new growth crops up.
In other news, last month I received a fun birthday gift from my mum and sister for a monthly subscription to Birch Box. I filled out a little info about myself and my likes and each month they send me a fresh box of beauty related treats. Today’s delivery was like perfect timing really, what with the hair loss issue and all. So, while I’m feeling all befuddled about my current hair state, I got to try out a few fun beauty treatments that I might not normally have bought.
This month’s Birch Box was a bunch of different stuff for my skin and hair (ha!). There was also a fun pink chubby lipstick that I had to instantly try on and test out. Not my usual colour and not something I’d necessarily grab while shopping for make up. However, I’m kind of loving this pink colour and I like how it really stayed on my lips. I’m already excited for next months box delivery!