Nobody likes moving… but moving with a baby takes on a whole new dimension

By Melissa MacDonald, Midtown Toronto Mommy Blogger

We found out just how hard it can be to pack up even a one-bedroom condo. Since we couldn’t pack much during the day because the baby needed our attention, and at night we didn’t want to wake her with too much noise, we had to be very organized.

Lots of people generously offered their help so we decided to ask some of them to help during the pack stage, and some during the unpacking at our new place. My husband and I also took turns on tackling the packing so that one of us was always available to maintain the babies schedule. We packed overnight bags for all of us so that we always had access to the essentials as the move date got closer.

We started the process weeks early for the knick-knack things and used the time we had help to tackle the big things like the kitchen. We found lots of people giving away boxes through Facebook so we didn’t need to buy any – and LCBO boxes fit your glasses and breakables nicely!

So while it was more difficult with a Little One, it definitely wasn’t impossible. Turns out the village it takes to raise a baby is also available as part time movers.

Use those connections, and ask your village to lend you a hand, Mama!

 

We had a super fun Halloween Pizza Party, with Pictonat Photography, at Kidnasium by Kidz Oasis!

I just love this time of year.. I can’t think of anything cuter than a room filled with babies & toddlers dressed up in Halloween costumes!

This year we got to see some really creative parents work their Pinterest magic, and had a very hard time choosing our favourite costumes!

 

Thank you so much to our awesome sponsors – Panago Pizza for providing such yummy pizza & drinks, and Baby Gourmet for the shakers & pouches!

I’m still blown away by how delicious Panago Pizza is! Moms that attended our Halloween Party keep telling me how much they LOVED the selection of pizzas & juices. Panago Pizza now offers 100% organic Italian tomato sauces, made with organic tomatoes, herbs & spices. Ham, Italian sausage, pepperoni & salami made from pork raised without the use of antibiotics. Hormone free meats, fresh dough made in store daily, no artificial colours or flavourings used, and a variety of vegan and gluten smart options available, makes sure there is something for everyone to enjoy!

**A very special thank you to our door prizing sponsors – Leslie Uy, Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot for the Stella & Dot earrings, Olilibaby for the mitten clips, and Jubie Jems for the teething jewellery!

City Mama, County Mama: This Is 40. Wait, What? (By Lonelle Selbo, Life Au Lait)

So, I’m getting close to a milestone year and I don’t really want to talk about it. It’s weird—getting older has never bothered me before, but for some reason this one kind of gets stuck in my throat.

40 means a lot of big deal things to me, I guess. It means that the decision to have one baby is basically real and final. It means that the extra ffhmmmty pounds, that I’ve been steadily gaining over the past two years, is less susceptible to budging in the other direction. It means the time I spent letting that beautiful life-giving sun shine down on me is paying off in wrinkles and freckles. And, let’s just say it: it means that by many accounts (and some simple genetic math,) my time on this awesome earth is basically half over. And I’m way more exhausted today than I was for that first chunk.

I know it sounds Debbie Downerist. I’m the type of person who wildly over-happifies the way I look at the world for months on end and then suddenly the cup is empty for a little while. And you’ve caught me here today, two months before this mega milestone, and I’m kind of freaking out.

So, let’s talk it out together. What’s so scary? What do I want from this new decade? My 30s were awesome and iconic in the “life fulfillment” department: I worked in my dream job, bought my first home, got married, and had a baby. Then this year, I moved into my forever home and semi-retired to the country. It feels like I’ve run the full gamut of life already and now I’m a bit deflated. What’s left to do? Yes, I’ve hit that checklist, but I haven’t yet managed to make my mark. “Am I too old now to make a mark?” she whispers.

Suddenly, as I write this, I feel hopeful and optimistic. The universe has delivered a little piece of Tom Petty lyric to my ear. The future is wide open. I tell that to my baby when I’m prepping him for life. The future is wide open. It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 or 83. If you’re alive, the future is wide open.

I will watch my child grow up and see the world through his eyes as if for the first time. I will plant things in the garden and watch them grow under that same beautiful life-giving sun. I will learn about living slowly and making plans I intend to keep. I will eat whole foods mindfully and know that my body is nourished and healthy—and I will drink wine made by people I know and adore. I will learn to be totally present with my family and friends. I will invest myself in my community and help shape the world around me. I will compose a life that is unplugged and tuned in, generous and self-aware, introspective and speculative, but most of all, warm, soft, sparkly and spilling over with love.

The 40s will be about going deep. Feeling the cool soil on my fingertips and knowing that the boundaries of my world are still infinite.


From the green belts of Midtown Toronto to the endless pastures and lakes of Prince Edward County, fashion magazine editor Lonelle Selbo, lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes all things mommy—from cool toys to DIY home décor, pretty things to hip places, where-to-eat to how-to-grow, and mom style to toddler chic. Every month, she’ll bring a little County to Midtown Mommies.

Our Travelling Tots had so much fun when we stopped in to visit the creative team at Raising Artists!

At Raising Artists, they encourage creativity and promote meaningful artistic experiences, that allows students to follow their imaginations and explore self-expression.

Building on the positive relationship between parent and child, and fostering the bond at the heart of early learning and child development, they work together with you and your child to explore art with thematic age-appropriate library materials.

Brainstorming begins on the sketchpads using crayons, teaching them the first stages of step-by-step planning, and practices using fine motor skills.

Onto the canvas you go, using child-friendly paint, a variety of loose parts, artistic tools, and creative resources.

Their art studios are always buzzing with enthusiastic educators, passionate creatives, and other wonderful families in the community.

You will walk away from their workshops with a masterpiece on a 16 x 20 canvas, and a lasting memory between you and your budding artist.. Just be sure to dress for a mess!

 

Check out this little video of one their Parent & Child Painting Workshops in progress!


At Raising Artists, their mission is to make a child’s artistic imagination come to life through fun, creative, and original educational art workshops. They contribute to the cognitive, social, and emotional well being of your child, while providing a profound opportunity for learning and creativity.

Learn more, and check for upcoming Workshop Dates: www.raisingartists.ca 

Jaq Jaq Bird has a wonderful line of brightly coloured, easy to use art supplies, for both kids and kids at heart.

Their Zero Dust™ ButterStix works and feels like pastel, but has the look of chalk (only it’s dust AND smudge free!). Use them on non-porous surfaces, such as chalk boards, glass, jars, ceramic, etc. Wipes off with a damp cloth. The Write-on Table Runners can also be used on walls as well as tables, are perfect for parties and playdates, and their Doodle It & Go Chalk Books are great to keep children entertained and engaged, while on the go.

Enter our contest for your chance to WIN a Jaq Jaq Bird Prize Pack! 

Check out more of the awesome stuff from Jaq Jaq Bird! Get FREE shipping with Mommy Connections online promo code: SHIPFREEMC (Canada only).


First, let me say; I remember when I was pregnant, becoming mentally exhausted (and slightly scared) from all the well meaning, but unsolicited, and often unwanted, advice I received. Unfortunately, most of the advice given is scary, negative, old-fashioned and “I know best” kind of advice. I can honestly not remember one person who simply told me how much fun this was going to be. Or, how delivering a baby doesn’t necessarily turn you into a shrieking, husband-hating monster. Everyone is always so happy for you, yet, they can’t come up with one positive thing to say.So, here is what I will want to say (if she asks…) to my future daughter-in-laws about how to survive, enjoy and graduate from motherhood (not that we ever stop being moms)

1.  Nourish yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically. You are about to become a mother, don’t lose yourself

While you are trying to become pregnant or are pregnant, pay attention to the little things that nourish you as a woman, a person and a friend and wife. What are the things that make you smile; make you feel happy and fulfilled? Is it time alone with

Practicing Self-Care helps you take care of you.
Practicing Self-Care helps you take care of you.

your spouse and/or friends? Is alone time important to you? Reading? Pick at least one of these and make time for it once the baby has arrived. You can do this AND be a wonderful, committed mother.

Prioritize your health. Learn what you need to about preparing for, pregnancy and recovering post partum. Find and see your local Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Learn about the inside of your body and pelvic floor. Do your Kegels and bind your belly immediately post partum.

2.  Treasure the moments

If you already have kids I am sure you have already heard advice like “don’t rush through it”, “enjoy, they grow so fast”. I heard it so many times, but still would think: “I wish he would walk soon”, “If only he could talk and tell me what he wants”

My oldest and I
My oldest and I

I can tell you as someone who has 4 grown children and just moved one of my youngest out – They are right! Enjoy the small moments and the wonder. I know it gets crazy at times with these little, not always cooperating, but adorable people. I now spend a fair bit of time reminiscing and enjoying those memories in my mind. You see, I listened to that advice, but not well enough. I really tried to still my day and sit down with my boys and just enjoy the story they were telling, the cuddle or simply watching them do their thing quietly, but I worried about my house-work too. Now that they are older I still look for any opportunity to sit down and enjoy time with my boys.

3.  Parent in a way that feels right for you and your partner.

I figured out early on that I really only wanted to ask for and listen to advice from certain friends/family members, namely, those with similar parenting beliefs and philosophies. So, I rarely give advice, unless asked. And I never asked for advice except from those specific moms. That way you are not getting judged simply for asking and you don’t have to listen to advice you have no intention of following. Except for from your mother and mother-in-law of course, because they will give you advice whether you want it or not. Just listen, smile and nod…and then erase from your memory so it doesn’t sneak up on you in a weak moment 😉

4.  Prioritize your marriage/relationship

Your marriage comes first! You got together and had a family for a reason, now you owe it not only to yourselves, but to yourP1000127 children to make this work. I am divorced, and I can honestly say, there is no hockey game or practice, ballet recital, or homework assignment that is more important than that. Parenting and maintaining your relationship are two equally important entities. Obviously you will meet your children’s basic needs of life and much more. Make it just as important to do something for your relationship with your spouse every day. It can be really small like sitting down for 5 minutes together – alone and just being together; a kiss and a hug at the end of every day; a sweet text to say you are thinking of each other. And yes, schedule date nights – often, even if that simply means going to bed early and not watching television… 😉

5.  Be a mother, not a friend to your children

I too often hear mothers brag about how they are “best friends” with their daughter. It is great if you are close and share and talk to each other openly, but your daughter is not your bff, nor are you hers. Being a mother is a true privilege and pleasure and a very unique place in life. You are a confidant, advisor and the one who loves them without condition or limitation. With you they are completely safe. Safe to be wrong, inconsiderate, apologetic, remorseful, wonderful, funny, goofy and so much more. There is a life long bond between a mother and child that doesn’t need the tag of “best friends” to have meaning. Because when we try to be best friends we try not to displease. We don’t say things that might upset or anger them, and thus we stop parenting. It is our job as parents to say the things they don’t want to hear when they need to hear it. It is their friends’ job to cheer them up when you do. My boys don’t think of me as their best friend. I am their mother. I am always there for them and they know that. I am their first call when they need something, or want to share an experience. I feel so lucky to be that. I know one day their wives will take that place, but I also know they will still call me and check in, because that’s what we do.

Walking behind them I could actually see their little toddler self.  I am so proud of the young men they have become.
Walking behind them I could actually see their little toddler self. I am so proud of the young men they have become.

Oh dear, this ended up being a little longer than I intended it to be, but thank you for sticking with me to the end. I would love to hear from you! What is the one thing you will tell a young mom one day?

With love, Elisabeth


elisabethELISABETH PARSONS is a pro fitness trainer, nutritional counsellor, and lifestyle coach to women. She is a mother of 4 very active boys, and enjoys sharing her life experience and knowledge about adding vitality to your life through healthy, active living.

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