"Having a baby made all the fairy tales come true"

  • Written by Mommy Miracles
  • Category: Mommy Miracles

Leaving the Nest

I started work on Monday after 1 year, 1 month, and 2 weeks of finding vocational purpose and fulfillment inside the home.

No matter how much you love work (which I do), or appreciate the merits of daycare (which I do), or desire to get out of the house (which I often do), returning to work after being your children’s primary caregiver is difficult. It is hard to wonder what your children are doing. It is hard to think about them getting upset and not being around to pick then up and hold them close. It is hard to imagine the firsts that you will miss because you are no longer spending the majority of your days with them.

Gavin is my Mama’s boy. His affinity for me manifests itself through the tantrums he throws when we are not together. He likes to be with me, close to me, holding me, nursing from me. For one of the happiest babies I have ever seen, he sure is vocal when he doesn’t have what he wants… And what he wants is me.

As many a mother will tell you, crying can push you over the edge even on a good day. In the throws of one of Gavin’s ear-piercing screams for me to hold him while trying to get things done, I admitted to him that I certainly wouldn’t miss that noise when I returned to work.

Still, it is nice to be wanted. It is comforting to be needed. It is flattering to be his one and only.

Leaving the Nest

Cameron was a Mama’s Boy until he went to daycare. He gained independence and realized that he would be fine – and maybe even enjoy himself more – if he wasn’t always attached to Mama.

They need to grow up. They need to grow wings. They need to fly.

Right?

(Why does this ultimate purpose of motherhood seem so unnatural in the daily act of mothering?)

After my first day of work on Monday, I rushed home to find Dan and Gavin waiting at the door for me. Gavin’s face lit up as he reached out eagerly for his first Mama-snuggle in hours. But my big boy – the one who used to reach his own little chubby arms for me at one point – was standing in the living room declaring that he would not come see me because “I don’t love Mommy.”

(He was trying to make a joke. He was trying to be funny. He was trying to justify the changes in his routine.)

(And yet.)

I don’t love Mommy.

Unwanted. Unneeded.

The day I started work was the first day that Gavin stopped needing my breast every few hours. It was the first day that I wasn’t his one and only. It was the first day that I wasn’t needed. It was the day that will lead to the one where he won’t want me as much anymore.

I like work but I miss them. I miss my Mama’s-Boy baby, I miss my all-too-grown-up toddler. I might not miss the ear-piercing screams, but I do miss being wanted. I miss being needed. I miss being their one and only.

I’ve Written About These Feelings Before…

Stepping

Stepping

New Mommy

New Mommy

Leaving the Nest

Surviving Daycare

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  • Written by Mommy Miracles
  • Category: Mommy Miracles

Easter Confusion

He chuckled as he pulled the door closed behind him. We had gone into that bedroom far too many times since bedtime, so a chuckle was an odd noise for me to hear. I wouldn’t have bat an eye at a sigh or a grumble in frustration. But a chuckle in the midst of the bedtime battle was remarkable.

“He’s confused,” my husband told me as he tiptoed down the hall. “And it is so cute.”

Confused? About what?

“Easter. He is getting Jesus and the Easter Bunny mixed up. He keeps saying ‘Jesus is coming!’”

Twas the night before Easter and all through the house…

Depending on the way you look at it, Easter can seem funny. Cameron had even remarked on the ridiculousness earlier that day.

“It’s going to be Easter Day and there’s going to be treats and I’m going to get treats and Mommy’s going to get treats and Daddy’s going to get treats and Gabin’s going to get treats and the Easter Bunny is going great to come and hide Easter eggs! … … That’s so silly! ”

Easter Confusion

I am so proud of that boy.

We like to mix our secular holidays with our religious ones in this house. This is probably more my husband’s doing, but it is fun to be a part of. Still, I always wonder if my children would be able to fall a little deeper into their faith foundation if the mystery of each holiday wasn’t found in fairy tales and untruths and an abundance of stuff, but if it was rooted instead in the things that faith is made of; Old stories and traditions and miracles.

Maybe my three year old has it all worked out after all. Sure the Easter Bunny comes with chocolate and games and new pajamas. But on the night before Easter, in the middle of that dark, cold night, the Easter Bunny is all fluff and silliness. What is really important is not who is hopping around the corner, but who is leaping from the grave, bringing light and life and a morning to the darkness.

If I want my son to believe in anything, I think I know which one I’d choose. And I am so glad that it was that story he focused on this Easter. He wasn’t confused. Not at all.

Jesus is coming. Alleluia.

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  • Written by Mommy Miracles
  • Category: Mommy Miracles

Let There Be ‘Ogurt

Opening a yogurt

“I want a treat! I want a snack!”

Oh, the soundtrack of toddlerhood. I swear there are days when I want to yell “BUT YOU JUST ATE!” or “TREATS ARE NOT GOOD FOR YOU!” or “IT IS ALMOST DINNER TIME!”. Trying to raise a healthy child can sometimes feel like an impossible task when they are fighting you every step of the way.

I am constantly trying to keep my house stocked with healthy snacks that Cameron will actually eat. I can’t tell you how often he picks out something that I agree with in the grocery store only to have him refuse to eat it at home while begging for more junk. I am still learning what I need to buy at the store to keep everyone both happy and healthy throughout the week.

There is one snack that is always on my grocery list. And now that I have a second child eating (and loving) it, I daresay we’ll be buying it on the double.

Yogurt.

I don’t know what it is about yogurt, but my kids love it. Both of them. It tastes great to them. And as a Mom, I love it too. My kids think it is a treat and I know it is good for their bodies. There are very few foods that serve both purposes in this family. In fact, I fully admit to sometimes letting Cameron grab a yogurt from the fridge if he is absolutely refusing to eat the dinner I made. Sometimes all I need to know as a parent is that my child is getting some good nutrients into his body.

Let There Be ‘Ogurt

Cameron’s top choice of yogurt is Danino by Danone. For him, it is a delicious snack bursting with taste that comes in a variety of flavours. For me, it is a naturally nutritious food made with real fruit purée and no artificial colours. A single serving contains DHA to help their growing brains, is a source of Calcium, a source of Vitamin D, and provides 3g of protein when eaten as part of a balanced diet. But Cameron doesn’t know any of that stuff. He just knows that he wants “Berry-Banilla Ogurt” for breakfast please!

Gavin has just recently started to enjoy eating yogurt too. He had a major aversion to spoons for a while, but last week when we were all sick, yogurt seemed to be just the thing that his little tummy craved. In fact, did you know that yogurt can start being introduced to babies as young as six months? The active bacteria cultures in yogurt help break down the lactose making it easier to digest. This is why babies can have yogurt before 12 months, but not cow’s milk. This is also why I prefer to get my calcium in yogurt form and not from milk.

Let There Be ‘Ogurt

Does your family like yogurt? What other foods are win-win for you and your kids?

This post is the second in my two-part collaborative series with Danone Danino yogurt and Treehouse TV. Did you see the first post? If not, you should definitely go read it. I write about the process of being in a television commercial! What? Did you also miss that announcement? Yup! Cameron and I are officially TV stars. You can catch our commercials on Treehouse TV in Canada, or find all four of them on TreehouseTV.com. While you’re there, why not check out the Dino and the World of Learning games for your kids? Plus, find a $1 off coupon for any Danino product. Now that is what I call a win-win-win!

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  • Written by Mommy Miracles
  • Category: Mommy Miracles

Book Review: The Secret Keeper

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I love Kate Morton. I can’t claim to have read all of her books but I couldn’t get enough of The Forgotten Garden when I read it in 2011. Morton’s stories have depth and width and you just sink into the literary world alongside the characters. When the opportunity came to read Kate Morton’s newest book, The Secret Keeper, I jumped at the opportunity. I was eager to be pulled into the story just as fiercely as I had been with The Forgotten Garden.

Book Review: The Secret Keeper

{For the record, I could never remember the novel’s name while I was reading it. When you read two books by the same author, one called The Forgotten Garden and one called The Secret Keeper, you kind of want to call the book The Secret Garden.}

The Secret Keeper is about a woman trying to piece together a family secret that she has kept for far too long. It is about a child who witnesses a crime and that same woman trying to determine what happened fifty years later. It is a book that dissects the secrets a family holds tightly while discovering the truths about the individuals behind those secrets.

Like all of Kate Morton’s books, The Secret Keeper is set agains a historical backdrop and it is long.

Do you want to hear my secret? It took me four months to read this book. Granted, it wasn’t really the writer’s fault, but it was the book’s fault. I had the pleasure of getting my hands on an Advanced Reading Copy of The Secret Keeper. Thankfully, the Advanced Reading Copy is not a hardcover book, but it was a paperback book, and for someone who pretty much only has a chance to read while breastfeeding, I find anything but an ebook hard to manage.

The truth is, The Secret Keeper does take some time to get into. Like many books, the storyline starts out intriguing  but without really knowing the characters or where the plot is heading, it can feel like you’re being dragged along for a few chapters. I think that this slow start is to be expected when reading books that weave through history while telling multiple stories. Unfortunately, I let these initial chapters drag on for months. Thankfully, the story picks up and draws you in once you get past the initial slowness.

As I read The Secret Keeper, I was struck by the stories. Each secret had its own story. Each character, a story. And the stories were all interconnected, yet hidden to even those closely knit characters. As readers, we all have our own story and we only ever really know our own. We can guess at the stories of others and we know our story gets tangled up in their’s, but we usually only grasp our own. In the novel, Dolly had no idea about Vivien’s actual story. She creates her own story to explain this other woman. And years later, Laurel tries hard to uncover these stories, but still knows so very little. As readers we are forced to ask how we see the stories of others. Are we blinded by the telling of our own story? Do we create stories to explain the lives of other people without truly searching for the truth? Or, do we try to uncover these secret tales to understand each other more? Do we recognize the role that other unknown characters play into our own story?

“Laurel knew quite a bit about keeping secrets. She also knew that was where the real people were found, hiding behind their black spots.” – The Secret Keeper

Kate Morton does many things well, and she proves it in The Secret Keeper. The reader is whisked through multiple generations and perspectives without getting lost. I became tied to the characters and invested in the storyline. I was dropped into this history and became involved in the romance and was tricked by the twists. And, finally, Morton crafted an ending that took my breath away and made every page turn worth it. The end of the book is so wonderful and engaging, I can forgive the slowness of the beginning. And on that note, I absolutely have to give The Secret Keeper a solid 4 out of 5.

4 Stars

 Join us tonight (March 27th) at 9pm Eastern for a MomsReading book club discussion of The Secret Keeper. Discussion will be taking place on Facebook. Make sure you Like MomsReading to participate!

Did you read The Secret Keeper? I’d love to read your review! Link up below and grab the button (or link back here) so that others can join us!



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Join us next month on April 24th when we’ll be blogging and discussing The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Click here to see all the updated MomsReading book club info.
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  • Written by Mommy Miracles
  • Category: Mommy Miracles

Stripping: A Guide for Cloth Diapers

Stripping Cloth Diapers

Stripping: A Guide for Cloth Diapers

If you have been a cloth diaper user for any amount of time, you know that no matter how diligent you are at prepping them and keeping them clean and using the right detergent, they eventually start to turn… sour. They can start to stink even after coming out of the wash, and they no longer absorb like they used to. This means that you have a buildup in your diapers of either detergent or urine and it is time to freshen them up.

B&W Gavin in a diaper

Don’t worry, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars for another diaper stash. There are some really simple and affordable ways to get your diapers back to pristine condition.

In some cases, washing your stash of diapers in hot water around three times without any soap or detergent should do the trick. Make sure that the water is rinsing off the diapers clean with no suds. This is particularly handy if you’re dealing with a detergent buildup in your cloth diapers.

When I strip my cloth diapers, I do two wash cycles with just hot water. The third time around, I add half a cup of white vinegar to the load (and sometimes a drop or two of tea tree oil). (I have never had any trouble with this method, but since vinegar is acidic, it could damage the waterproof PUL parts of your diapers).

Another really simple and cheap stripping method involves adding regular Dawn dish soap to your wash. Make sure that you add the soap drop by drop so that it does not get too sudsy in your wash. Less is better. After washing the diapers with Dawn, put the diapers through a couple more wash cycles (with no detergent) until they rinse clean. You may also consider hand washing the diapers with Dawn original dish soap.

The company that sells my favourite cloth diapers (Hipkiddo) recommends Rockin Green Funk Rock when stripping your diapers. This method definitely seems like the easiest (but perhaps not the cheapest) method. You just soak your diapers in hot water and Funk Rock for 30-60 minutes, rinse, and wash as usual. Easy peasy!

Gavin in a diaper

I believe that no matter how you care for your cloth diapers, you will have to strip them on occasion. But here are some really good tips for keeping stripping sessions few and far between:

  • Use a cloth diaper approved laundry detergent.
  • Never ever use fabric softener or dryer sheets.
  • Be very wary of diaper rash creams.

The small print: I use Hipkiddo cloth diapers on Gavin. They’re an awesome cloth diaper choice if you’re looking for green, affordable diaper options. Be sure to Like Hipkiddo on Facebook and follow on Twitter to hear about chances to save and win. Hipkiddo provided cloth diapers for the purposes of this blog series but all opinions are my own.

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Continue Reading the Cloth Diaper Series

Poop Happens

Poop Happens

Stripping: A Guide for Cloth Diapers

Let’s Start at the Beginning: How to Pre-Wash Cloth Diapers

Fluff in Numbers

Fluff in Numbers

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