Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Drinking Water

Water, bleh, I'm not a huge fan of drinking water, I love swimming, boating, even dancing in the rain (sometimes), but drinking water, fine if I have to.
That is literally my thoughts and feelings on drinking water, but I do understand it's important, it's just so boring.

While I was pregnant I was quite diligent about drinking a lot of water everyday, even though my trips to the washroom increased exponentially with each drop of water I ingested.  But I did feel great, no headaches, no bone aches (back and neck) no headaches and my skin felt great, I didn't feel like I had any dry skin anywhere, and that was going through the dead of winter in Alberta.  I drank a lot of water because I did, and I would drink water throughout the night, which really increased my water intake.

Anyways, since Prince T was born my water intake has dropped off.  To the point where I am sure there have been days when I am lucky to have taken in 2 glasses of water.  I've had headaches, constipation, sore neck and back, sore muscles and dry, dry skin (which I HATE).  And granted my body is going through some changes with not being pregnant anymore so, is it hormones or not drinking enough water that's causing this issue?

Why is it not just the not consuming enough water? Well before I was pregnant I didn't drink that much water, because I don't like water. Well it's not like I don't like water, I just prefer things that have a taste to them and water is very blah!!  So I have a feeling it may be a little of both, or the truth may be that my body got used to having the proper amount of water each day and now it's rebelling against me. As much as I would hate to admit that there's probably a lot of truth behind it!!

So I've decided to challenge myself to drink more water every day.  I've even taken a picture of myself for the start of this journey to see if I notice any changes in my appearance as I go through this habit development.

Yes habit development, because drinking enough water is a habit that I need to develop in myself.  Plus I have seen some articles that show others going through this and documenting their journey as well. So this is the start of my journey to see if I start to feel healthier by drinking water and to see what changes happen just by increasing my water intake.

So here's to drinking water!! Fun

Hotpot Studios

I've known about Hotpot Studios for a few years now but I've never gone in, I really wasn't sure it was something I would want to give my time to, so I just didn't pursue it.  Then in April with my dress club it was arranged for us to go. So I went not knowing what I was going to do or if I would even enjoy being there for a few hours painting ceramics.....

Oh did I not mention that, Hotpot Studios is a ceramic painting studio. So you go in and pick out a ceramic piece then paint it however you wish and they fire it in the kiln and then you have a beautiful new ceramic piece.  They have everything from little figurines, to large serving plates, or large bowls.  So back to April...

I wandered around the studio looking for a piece to paint, I thought of a coffee mug, but disregarded that because I like coffee mugs to have pairs and I didn't know if I would want to spend the extra time to do two.  I'm not always the most creative person but I do like to do a good job when I paint and didn't want to be rushed.  After much hemming and hawing I chose a mini flower pot to paint.  The next step was picking my paints, I may have had more difficulty with this than actually picking out the piece.  I settled on three different colours and then I started my design.  To be perfectly honest I was quite proud of my finished project and I did have a really good time.  It was fun that I was able to go with some good girlfriends and we had a fun evening!! I do recommend this activity for a good girls night out!!

I have now been back two more times and I have painted something for Lil Man and something for Prince T.  I painted a piggy bank for Prince T, a Nemo piggy bank to match his bedroom decor.  And I have now painted a popcorn bowl especially for Lil Man, he loves popcorn and when his dad is home it's his favourite snack.  I am now planning to go back again and maybe take Lil Man with me to paint a bowl for Adrian and another bowl Chan and I'll probably do one for myself.  Then I can sell the popcorn bowls that we currently use!! I'm pretty excited because now my creative juices are flowing and I have some great ideas for things to paint in the coming months!!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

One Month Today

Today many people are celebrating fathers, and we are too, but I am taking a small break to celebrate Prince T, he's one month today!!
It's amazing how when babies join families they help everyone grow, and they show where  you need to develop new routines and ways of doing things so that everyone still gets the time and connections they need.  It's not an easy road but it's worth every struggle, because it builds your family stronger. So it doesn't matter if you have one baby, two babies, five or more babies or fur babies, whenever you change your family dynamic things CHANGE!!

For us it's been a great change and I feel like my little family is complete.  Three boys, ranging from 15 to one month, a wonderful husband, the cutest kitty, a Dane and St. Bernard!! We are a busy family but I wouldn't have it any other way.

But this post is supposed to be about Prince T, our little teddy bear!! He really is a teddy bear because he likes to be cuddled and held all the time.  Proof in point is he is in my moby wrap as I write this post!!

He's had visits from his Grandmas, Papa and Aunt and Uncles!! He's met many of my friends and has had extra snuggles from all those wonderful people. He is a very loved little guy, he's going to be raised by a village of mama's all who are looking out for the best for our teddy bear.

Prince T has been all around Red Deer. We've gone to many parks and the malls and even some places in Blackfalds.  He's a great traveller!!  He's getting ready (I am getting ready) for his first trip to Saskatchewan. It's going to be busy, because we have a lot of people who want to meet this beautiful little guy, but it's going to be so worth it!!

Not a lot has happened in the world, hey who am I kidding lot's has happened but I don't pay attention to it much, not much for watching the news, I do know that some girl who was on jeopardy for many, many days lost out a week and a bit ago! Summer started and so did the Farmer's Market in Red Deer.  There is more but most of it is sad news, May Angelou passed away, 3 mounties passed away, but will be forever remembered!!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

My Lil Man

Have you met Lil Man?  Whether you answered yes or no, I've talked about him enough on here and Facebook that you probably have some sort of idea about his personality and stuff.  He's an amazing Lil Man and I can see the amazing man he is going to become as he grows older as long as he stays true to himself and does not worry about what other people think. See little kids don't care as much as to what others think, they do sometimes, sometimes Lil Man and I have to have conversations about why it's not important that his friends not like something he does because he can be different from his friends and they can still be friends (he's four), but it's still not to the extent that adults seem to care what people think.  I've had similar conversations with his older brother at that age as well, my boys are very attuned to others emotions but also to what is fair and just.

So let me tell you a little more about Lil Man.

He loves babies, absolutely adores little children (children smaller than him) most of the time and idolizes kids bigger than him. He has many friends, our neighbours, the parents, are his friends, my friends kids are his friends, his eldest brother's friends are his friends and he has many school friends as well, plus soccer and swimming friends.  He's very friendly and enjoys making new friends, but also cultivating his current friendships.

Lil man is also very stubborn determined, he knows what he wants and will work to get it.  He can be whiney, but we don't speak whine, unless it's red or white (hahah), in this house and he is directed to come back and use his big boy voice if he is whining.  I personally think this is a phase and he will grow out of it.

He is very energetic, he has more energy in his 40 pound body than a nuclear bomb somedays.  He likes to move and he loves sports.  I didn't sign him up for t ball this spring and he recently told me I should have (eye roll).  He's going to force me to take on a second job just to pay for his activities. (I jest he's only allowed one or two activities a season, but he likes those expensive ones {hockey})

Lil man is too smart for his own good sometimes and he has a memory like mine (meaning very good and very long).  He remembers when you say you will do something and he holds you to it, there is no, maybe he'll just forget about it so we won't have to go to the park, he remembers and you go to the park. He remembers going places and if he liked those places he will ask to go again and again, it could be a year since you were last at this one place and he will ask to go again.  He loves to read and he loves to write his own stories. His writing is creative writing and I often have to have him dictate what he has written so I can translate it into english but he loves to spend time doing those things.

Lil Man loves to sing, and he loves songs.  His current favs to sing are O Canada and Jingle Bells.  So often you will hear him singing one of these two songs, but he can be heard singing others including Mr. Turkey, Twinkle Twinkle, Hush Little Baby, and Rock a By Baby.  He even sings to his little brother, it's very sweet.

All in all Lil man is a sweet little boy with a wonderful disposition.  He's caring, kind, smart, energetic, and handsome!! I am so glad that he is one of mine!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Playgrounds around Red Deer

To all my mom's in Red Deer, I'm going to tell you about some of my favourite kids parks in town.  Red Deer has many parks, it's one of the great things about this city, there are lot's of green spaces and lot's of playgrounds around for you and kids to enjoy!! Some are very busy and some are less busy so it depends on your child's age and how many people you want to be around while at the park.

Two of the best known parks for kids in town are Bower Ponds and Rotary Park. These two are great areas, but they are very well known and a lot of parents go to these parks so they are often very busy. They also seem to be built for pre school to school age children, if you have young toddlers they are going to need your assistance on the park, not going to be a relaxing place for you to sit and visit. Plus with all the bigger kids being there you are going to have to be very aware of what is going on.  For me personally, I like to relax while my child plays at the park, it's fun to play with the kids but it's also fun to allow them to play with their friends or peers.

Some other parks that I have enjoyed taking my child to are Heritage Square Park and Parkland CLASS park.  The Heritage Square Park has the wading pool by it in the summer so on hot days this is an added bonus plus all the trees offers nice shade coverage!! The playground apparatus is a ship and it's a nice set up for 3+ years of age. It's not to high off the ground and they have a lot of green space for the kids to run around as well. Plus the spongey ground is soft for those little kid stumbles.  The Parkland CLASS park is great, and I sort of hate telling everyone about this park, it's my favourite park to take Lil Man to!
It's wheelchair accessible and no matter where you sit around the playground structure, you can see your kids. Its great for any age child, 2 year olds can play on it, they may need more supervision than the 4 year olds, but they can play independently and aren't likely to get very hurt. (just so you are all aware I am not a helicopter parent, I let my children play and get hurt a little so they learn to protect themselves)
The only downfall for the Parkland CLASS park is the lack of trees and washrooms. But there is a big open green space for running and it's right on the trails and Kerry Wood Nature centre is so close!!

Another Park that I have recently started going to is Mackenzie Trails. It's a nice area for picnics and they have two playground structures that children can enjoy playing on. My friend and I went last week and her 11 month old was able to play on the one play structure almost independently so it was great!!

Check them out and let me know any other playgrounds that are awesome to go to!!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Be Your Own Beautiful: Advice Number 2

I love when I receive little gems of knowledge to take with me and apply to my own life.  I have been on that dreaded "diet" cycle for many years, I guess since I had my first son (15 years ago) and there has not been one prescribed diet that has worked, not ONE!! I've counted calories, I've kept food journals, I've eaten six small meals a day and had a maximum calorie intake, I've decreased my portion sizes and watch the portions that I eat, I've done the shakes, the supplements and still I've not gotten the results I have wanted.  There was a time 6 years ago where I had finally lost a lot of weight I was at the size I had wanted to be (my ideal) but I didn't get there by dieting.  I had gotten there by eating when I wanted to, and moving a lot, so when I was sitting at a Muffin Talk event in the park, and they suggested that one only eats when they are hungry and they stop when they are full.

Now this makes sense to me, and I'm not discounting those other "diet" plans, but they didn't work for me, and eating only when I was hungry and listening to my body tell me when I was full so that I would stop eating clicked in my brain.  When I was eating those 6 meals a day trying to get in x number of calories I would feel gross after some of the meals and it was so hard to eat some of the other snacks because I was full, but I'd push ahead and eat them but I would feel gross afterwards. So was eating that way really effective for me?  I don't think so and I think that's why I wasn't able to maintain that style of eating.  I think portion control and eating when you are hungry are two cornerstone rules to follow.

Here's my problem with calorie focused diets.  To lose weight the science basically says that the calorie input must be less than the calorie output. Plain and simple math and science. If the amount of calories you eat are greater than the calories you burn through activity then you will gain weight, if its reversed you will lose weight. Makes sense right? So if you are on a caloric intake diet of let's say 2000 calories a day, but you don't work out that day and you basically sat at a desk all day and maybe burned 1000 calories (these numbers are not accurate as to what one would do in a day, I'm just picking easy to subtract numbers) then what happens to the other 1000 calories?? Well  your body stores it, and it can turn to fat or whatever it is that happens in the body to excess calories.  And on the flip side, what does your body do with a deficit of calories, because you only eat 2000 calories a day but you had a hard work out and a run today so you burned more than 2000 calories, well this is a good thing, it burns fat!! Which is what you want, but if you only do this two or three days a week, you aren't burning your extra fat you started with you are burning the extra calories you ingest during the week. so you aren't getting anywhere.  If you are working out religiously every day or more days a week then you are not a calorie diet is probably effective, it wasn't for me and this words are just my opinions.

So now I eat when I am hungry. Somedays I hardly eat anything (right now that I am breastfeeding I will eat without being hungry but I won't eat huge meals, it's about portion control and I can always eat more later) these are especially true on hot days and days when I am not doing much more than cooking small meals for the boys and crafts.  Days when I am running at the park or walking lots or even doing my workouts I will eat more.  It makes sense.

So now that is my new game plan, Eat when I am hungry and listen to my body's cue for when I am full. Simple, I can incorporate my smoothies and protein shakes, I can eat high protein, low carb meals, and do my indulgent days as they come up.  It's been three weeks since Theo was born and I'm down 5 pounds and I am completely happy with that, it's getting so that my maternity clothes aren't fitting better than my regular clothes, yeah to progress, no matter how slow!!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Squat and crunches challenge!!

This will be a short post, I know we are all very surprised, but I was just going to update everyone on where I was for my 30 day challenge and how I feel it's been going.

I've definitely forgotten to do a couple days, I've chalked it up to taking extra rest days, not because my muscles were sore, but sometimes exhaustion just takes over and with a new baby sleep is very important!!  I choose sleep over exercise, but we are working on our routine and hopefully something will start to fall into place and my exercising time slot will fall in somewhere that works!

I've been doing this for just over a week, I'm on day 12 which should be a rest day, but I've had two rest days because of needing extra sleep, so today is not a rest day as day 8 was not a rest either so I can get back on track.

I actually love doing the squat challenge! I have great legs!! They are quite muscular which is fantastic, but I don't feel the squats are too difficult to do, it seems easy, but let's talk after day 16!

As for the crunch challenge, thats a bit more difficult, my abs are definitely out of shape from having the baby so this challenge is challenging them.  This is perfect because I'd like to pull these abs in a bit, it may take two 30 day ab challenges to get where I want to be or even three but thats ok, I have time and it's fun to race the commercials.

What's race the commercials you ask?  Well I take the number of crunches I have to do and divide it into two sets, then when a commercial comes on during whatever show I'm watching and start my crunches and race to see if I can finish the set of crunches before the commercials end.  

So thats where I am plus walking lil man to school at least 3 times a week, so Im definitely more active and loving it!!!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Quiet Time

For those of you that know me, you know I am a social person!! I love to be out and around people, having adult conversation, whether that's about the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy or how messy Prince T is when he nurses, doesn't matter so long as the person I am conversing with is an adult.  However, I have found that there are times when I absolutely love the quiet times, the times when I get to be alone with my own thoughts or even quiet time with my boys. These aren't the most sought after times but they are some of the most enjoyed times.

I actually try to schedule quiet time for myself, where there is no television, no music, no computers or phones, just me, myself, my thoughts and maybe a little snuggle bug!  It usually happens at night, bedtime for the boys is the best time in my opinion.  I will crawl in bed with lil man for cuddles and he'll offer hugs and snuggles and it just puts into perspective what's truly important in life.

When I'm not cuddling with the boys during quiet time, I'm alone with my own thoughts.  This can be, quite honestly, a scary time. It's the time of day where I am honest with myself and think about my day and try to figure out where any stress may be coming from or determine what I would like to do for the following day.  I don't get quiet time everyday, but at least once a week.  Sometimes, I spend quiet time just watching one of the boys sleeping (not the oldest, he thinks it's creepy lol) but the younger ones and whisper my dreams for them into their ears. Or I just watch them sleep and marvel at the miracle they each are.

So, I suggest to each of you, if you are like me, to take some time and have some quiet time.  Reconnect with yourself, you never know what you may find out or discover about yourself!!

Thanks for reading!!

Leave a comment, I'll respond when I see them!!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

one of my role models

It can be difficult to find people to look  up to in this world.  People will disappoint you, people will make choices that confound you, people will rebel and live their life their way which may not always be in congruence with your way of living.  But sometimes, a gem is revealed to the world, sometimes there are people who come into this world that live extraordinary lives, and who make great choices and really show others that it can be done. "It" being living a life in the public eye without making foolhardy choices!

I don't feel these people are usually peers, or people who are in the same generation as you are, usually, much to the younger generations qualms, it is someone older, wiser and with much more life experience.  I don't think this is a bad thing, but it does show that maybe our parents, grandparents, elders may actually know things that we don't know and may actually be quite smart.  For me I found two Hollywood stars that have uttered some very smart phrases over the years and have lived lives that I consider to be exemplary.  Not to say that they didn't do or make poor choices in their youth, but they aren't remembered that way and I feel that's important.  These two stars are Audrey Hepburn and Judy Garland.  Today I'm going to talk about Audrey Hepburn and why I admire her.
Audrey Hepburn is a classic beauty, a gem.  She always carried herself with style and grace.  She was always able to make her outfits work, she dressed for her body type and didn't try to be anything she wasn't.  As far as I can tell, she didn't struggle with an eating disorder and was not obsessed with her weight (excess or lack there of).  Her style is a style I try to emulate, I don't do it wonderfully yet, but I am getting there.  When I do buy new clothes I look for classic pieces with neutral colours and I use my Fifth Avenue Collection jewelry to accent these pieces with the colours of the season.  

This quote is one of my favourites! I agree with her 100%! I believe in pink, I think pink is a strong colour, pink is colour that is feminine, pink is a colour that is now representing taking a stand, taking a stand against bullying.  It's a first step but pink is going to be a power player, it is a washed out version of red, but I think it's as powerful as red.  I also believe laughing is a great calorie burner but I also think laughter is a great cure for many ailments, it is the best medicine.  People who are happy laugh and laughing people are always beautiful!!  I also like to kiss, and I kiss my loved ones as often and frequently as they allow.  (the baby never protests, the lil man allows the kisses but pretends to wipe them off, the oldest son tries to avoid them as best he can)  I believe being strong is the only option when things go wrong, it's the only way to effectively face problems, be strong and have faith that things will work out, and they usually do.  I believe happy is the best thing people can wear, even if you aren't if you fake it you will eventually be happy. I believe being happy is a choice, because we are in charge of our feelings, only we can feel a certain way no one can make us feel anything unless we allow them.  I believe that tomorrow is filled with endless possibilities only limited by your choices and decisions that you make. I believe in miracles, I have experienced countless little miracles in my life, three of which were the births of my son, the other little miracles I have experienced include but are not limited to beautiful sunrises, beautiful sunsets, Old Faithful erupting, family pulling together during  crisis.  Miracles are everywhere they don't have to be walking on water or turing water into wine (those would be cool to experience) but they can be the little things, the blade of grass pushing through the sidewalk...

This is another powerful quote from Audrey.  She was a great humanitarian and I think it's important to treat people decently in this world, because people are our greatest resource. Another quote comes to mind, I don't know who said it but it goes "The problem with the world today is that things are being loved and people are being used." Things are just that, things, they should be used, they should utilized for what they were developed for, they should not be held in higher esteem than people.  For me these quotes resonate with me, they are a map of how I would like to live my life, which would lead to how I hope to influence the world.  It's also how I would like to be remembered when I leave this world, many years from now.

There are many other quotes and ideas I have taken from Audrey Hepburn and applied to my own life.  She was a great person, beautiful inside and out!! I hope to live up to her legacy and leave  legacy similar to hers!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Be your own Beautiful: change your thoughts

The title of this blog is from a  group I follow on Facebook and twitter called Goodbye my Muffintop.  I stumbled across this group first on Twitter when they did some yoga in the park sessions by my work.  I was a little sad because I had to work and couldn't join them but it truly looked like a fun time.  I started following them on Twitter and Facebook to see what other events they had going on.  I have found that it is always good to have support systems when you are making any changes in life or just even when you are living life, without support systems life can get a little lonely.

One of the things I took away from my few meetings with the girls from Goodbye my muffin top was how important it is to love yourself just as you are.  It doesn't matter that you may want to lose weight, drop a dress size, have stretch marks or any other type of imperfection, it just matters that you love yourself as you are in that moment.  You can still do what you need to improve yourself, but you need to love yourself, it makes making changes in your life that much easier.

I don't know why exactly that is, I just know that when I made a decision to know longer shame myself for the extra weight I had put on, losing that weight was easier.  I think it's very much changing your mindset to a positive thought process so you don't focus on the negativity of our mids. You aren't focused on how "fat" your thighs look, or your "spare tire" around your midsection and when you aren't focused on those negative aspects but start looking at the things you love about your body you don't become so disappointed in not seeing immediate results.

It can take a lot to change your thinking, I mean an awful lot, it may amaze you how many negative thoughts you have about your body on a daily basis.  I was pretty shocked when I did this strategy the first time, I didn't think I was as self-loathing as I was but I had a lot of hate for my body.  And the worst part was a lot of the I had for my body does come down to genetics, things that I can't really change no matter how much I work out.  So, following the suggestion to change my thought process first I heeded their advice and began to work on changing my thought process. How did I do this?  Well it was easier than one might think.  Using the rule of threes,  I put an elastic band on my wrist and each time I had a negative thought about my body image I would snap the elastic band (bad thought) then I had to come up with three I love yous about my body to replace that thought.

I started off snapping that elastic band quite a lot, I wore an elastic band out, but after a few weeks ( 21 days to make a habit) I noticed I didn't snap it as often.  Soon I was able to look myself in the mirror and admit that I was pretty great just the way I was, with no real self-loathing coming through.

I'm going to put the elastic band on again, not because I am having negative thoughts about myself and my body image, but because it is a slippery slope. This time I am going to snap the band each time I find myself comparing myself to someone else, positively or negatively.  It doesn't matter what my friends look like in comparison to me, because my friends can't be me and I can't be my friends.  None of my friends are my identical twin so we will never look exactly alike and that's ok, it's better than ok actually, it's wonderful, because we make up a whole lot of beauties by being uniquely us.

So to end off this post I am going to share three positive thoughts I have had about myself today.
1) I have great hair, it grows fast and is wonderfully thick, it looks great short and long, blond and dark, it is very versatile.
2) I love how tall I am, I never have difficulty grabbing things off the top shelf and I look great in heels.
3) I have a great smile and it's best that I wear it everyday!!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Being a Mom of Boys

Did you know that raising boys has very different strategies than raising girls?  I wasn't really clued in to this until I had my first boy (15 years ago).
 Oh what was that, I don't look old enough to have a 15 year old, well thanks, I don't feel old enough to have a 15 year old either!!!  And now I have two more little scallywags to raise into proper men.

I have been told by some of my friends that I should be a mother to a girl because I could impart on them some true gems of wisdom.  Things like love yourself, or don't let a  boy dictate to you how you should behave or act.  Things that my mom taught me and some things I learned while getting scraps and bruises along the way to becoming the woman I am today.

Here's the thing I love Disney movies!! I love them all, especially the princess movies, but there was always a part of me that was like, I wish the princesses didn't always have to be rescued, I sometimes wish the roles would be reversed.  I love novels with strong female characters, those characters that can stand up on their own and do not need help from a male character.  They can accept it, but in the end you know by reading that that female character would be absolutely fine on their own.  And now Disney has come out with Frozen, which I love, no wait LOVE!!!! It's my new favourite, this Hans Christian Anderson tale has now replaced my last favourite (another Hans Christian Anderson tale) The little Mermaid.  I love the take on this story and I love that Disney has gotten away from the Princesses always needing to be rescued by some male hero, the male characters in this story are fine, but I love that the two Princesses get out of their own mess together.  I love how Anya saves her sister!!

Anyways I have digressed, maybe I will create a new post all about how I love Frozen and why..... for now I am going to share the top five things I have found to be different about raising boys, things that growing up as a girl with a brother I never realized.

1) Boys are on the go all the time. There is no such thing as quiet play, they are go, go, go!! If they aren't racing cars, they are killing dragons and bad guys with their finger guns or stick swords.  Boys are also loud when they play and when they are quiet, they are doing something they shouldn't be doing.

2)Boys have you worrying about different things. Not that you wouldn't worry about these things for girls but Boys definitely bring different worries to the fore front of thinking. Things like broken bones from playing, or possibly being over sensitive. I worry that my boys won't fit in but also that they won't be able to stand on their own. I also worry that they will gain interest in things that I won't be able to share with them, guns and stuff..... but I will find ways for them to

3) Boys are always grabbing at themselves.  And when they really start grabbing at it, they do it constantly, and it looks painful!! It doesn't matter how often you ask them to stop grabbing themselves, they always go back to it.  The funniest thing, though, is  when you call them on it, they totally look surprised that you caught them, it's like they didn't know that's what they were doing.

4) Boys love their moms! Well ok my boys do!! And they enjoy snuggles, and cuddles and hugs until they get into middle school. After that it's more they only want to show affection when they want something or when no one is looking.  For boys, their mom is their first love, and it's a love that lasts forever, you are the yard stick they use to measure all other girls too.

5) Boys for all their rough and tumble-ness, are very sensitive.  I'm not sure if this applies to all boys, but the boys in my house are for sure.  And it's that sensitivity that I am nurturing, because though it may not always fit into that manly model of what a man is, I feel that it is something that boys have to learn. Boys are always told to toughen up, but sometimes that goes to far and boys need to know that it's ok to cry from time to time.  They need to know it's ok to feel their feelings and that their feelings are validated.  It's never good to keep feelings bottled in, but you also don't want them to cry at everything, you don't even want that for girls, so it's a balance.

I'll share more about what I have learned about raising boys in future blogs!!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Winter Wonderland

This year we had a long winter, a REALLY long winter.  It snowed in October, it stayed for November, December, January, February, March and we even got snow in April.  And not little amounts of snow, like record breaking amounts of snow.  I was sick of winter back in February and having to go through 2 more months of winter type weather just about drove me batty.  However, I persevered and made it through to spring which i am LOVING!!! But throughout winter we did make the best of things and here are some of the things we did!!
Lil Man enjoys the snow much more than I do, thankfully we have a fenced back yard, so he was able to go out after the first snow fall and Hoe the snow off the sidewalks. He was determined to help with clearing the sidewalks haha.

This is the first snow fall of the year!! It was a huge dumping and we got about three of four more snow dumpings just like this one!! It was a crazy amount of snow, nothing that I have seen in years, like years and years, maybe since I was a kid!

So because we had so much snow, and it kept coming we decided to build a fort with Lil Man this year.  We built it in the front yard because we didn't want the dogs ruining it.  We did snow painting on the fort as well, I think it was a favourite activity for little man, and he loved the snow painting which kept him busy for long periods of time, it was great!!

We also did some of those other "of course" winter activities. We took Lil Man skiing for the first time, he really seemed to enjoy it and then we also did some skating which he did really well with this year and really enjoyed!!

In March everything started to melt, and then April 18th we had a huge snow fall again. I would have sworn hell had frozen over with the amount of snow that came down, Lil Man once again had fun in the snow.  He built snowmen!!
 Here is Lil Man and hubby building the snowman, the dogs were helping too!
 This is Olaf the Snowman, yes Lil Man really loves Frozen and everything was named after characters in Frozen this winter!!

 I really think he was ready for spring, but he made the best of things and decided that his lawn mower could mow the snow to create paths.
The great thing about this last snow fall though is that within in two days all the snow had melted into oblivion!!

And as the snow melted we were able to enjoy splashing in the spring puddles!! Winter seems to have vacated the north for now and summer is on it's way!! I plan to enjoy every last minute of it!!