These Are Crazy Times – Mommy Blogger

Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.

The stress and anxiety in our communities, on social media, and at the dinner table are palpable.

This time last week, the COVID-19 virus was just talk and conversation amongst friends and family. And in such a short amount of time, our world has shut down. Just like that.

We are adaptable beings. We’re parents, after all. We know that some days are just done on the fly, while some days are carefully crafted, orchestrated and executed with precision (parenting wins! Few and far between…) But mostly we know that routines and days can be derailed at any given moment with a hangry preschooler, a major diaper blow-out, an unexpected tantrum (in essence, all tantrums), a sick kid, a cancelled play date, etc. We have to be flexible because we’re parents. We know how fast things can change.

I like the word resiliency. Anytime I hear it, I instantly picture Martin Prince from The Simpsons, who in one episode explains to his friends that “individually, we are weak like a single twig….” We are easily broken on our own when pressure is applied to us.

But when we are surrounded by other twigs? We form a mighty bundle! Not easily bent or broken.

Resiliency is our ability to bend without breaking. And we can’t be fully resilient alone.

I for one know it is tough to have a routine and lifestyle disturbed. It feels like the rug has been swept from underneath me, and I am now responsible for creating a daily routine out of the opposite situation I normally find myself in: staying in the house, not venturing far, not visiting with anyone face to face besides our own family. But we have been called to make lemonade from lemons. And those creative juices are flowing… Thank goodness for the Internet!

Just remember, mama, through this whole scary situation– You are enough. Our kids might be used to all sorts of activities and routines, and you might feel like the days inside will be long and difficult. Let’s remember to be gentle on ourselves, our kids, our spouses. We will get through this difficult time as a community, and come out stronger on the other end.

Take heart in the simplicity of our new situation. There is no place to be at any designated time. There is no need to rush your kids into their clothes for the day. Let’s make memories, instead of worrying about the current state of the world. We owe that to our kids, and to ourselves.

PS – I want to commend our local community businesses for thinking outside the box to maintain engagement during these difficult times. Organizations that are still running classes and programs, and reaching people at home, via technology– Thank you! Your continued engagement with those of us at home is a beacon of light through a dark tunnel.

 

This review was written by Tara B, a mother of  a 6 month old

Everyone knows the importance of a healthy gut flora. Mostly baby’s gut health comes from mommy and breastmilk in first year. I was only able to breastfeed successfully for 4 months and after that I had to supplement with formula. Unfortunately, various formulas caused a lot of discomfort to my little one.

If you’ve ever dealt with a fussy gassy baby you become desperate to try anything to help. I did my research and read a lot about the importance and benefits of using probiotics for babies. I read how it can help with a gassy colicky baby and how in early life, a healthy gut plays a key role in shaping a babies immune development and helps prevent future diseases from occurring.

I wanted to make sure I was using a good quality probiotic, so I did my research and read lots of reviews and came across Biogaia probiotics. In a a few days to a week I started to notice a change –  my little one had a significantly less amount of gas and had noticeably less discomfort.

I would definitely recommend this product to any mom looking for a high quality probiotic. A tip that I found after using it, remember to shake the bottle before use it, as it helps it come out of the bottler easier!  I’m very happy with quality and am so thankful for the opportunity given to me to tryout and review this product!


BioGaia® ProTectis® is an evidence-based probiotic that’s been proven to soothe these common tummy issues in newborns and older children:

For colic and digestive health:

 

 

 

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Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.

It’s been said a million times before, but this gig is hard.

There are days I wish I was better at this whole parenting thing. There are days I feel I fail my kid. There are days I feel like the opposite of a Supermom.

Nope, I’m not always Supermom. Should I strive to be?

Who is this Supermom, anyway? All I envision is a woman running on a perpetual treadmill, with a continuously increasing incline, who’s speed only increases. It never decreases. It never ends. All the while, she has a smile on her face that looks like she is straining every last ounce of her being. Slowly but surely, the life is being sucked out of her.

Is she even real? Is that even possible to take on more and more and more while “perfectly” balancing your life, your house, your spouse, your child or children, your responsibilities, your commitments…. Your family, your work, all the while projecting perfection, and happiness, and positivity? Hells no.

I don’t know why Supermom is the standard. I don’t know who she is, or where she came from. I don’t know where she is going, either.

It’s not possible. It’s not the standard to reach for. Supermom, you can do better for yourself. You can do better!

Real balance in life and in parenting is possible. I know it exists because I’ve seen it. Because on good days, it’s palpable. And here are some situations that may come up, and ways to avoid the Supermom trap:

That, to me, is a Supermom. Someone who does what is needed. Someone who realizes that balance is not just about the kids—it’s about you, too. You are a part of the family, and you need to take care of yourself. Sometimes its in the little things. Sometimes it’s whatever you need to do to complete the day, or get to bedtime, or me-time.

Let’s re-define the Supermom.

 

Nicole Betker is a mother, wife, rabid Toronto Blue Jays fan and a pop culture junkie. Always having an opinion or something to say, it’s time this journalism grad found a place to share her musings on the acts of “adulting”.

I loathe winter and everything that comes with it.

The cold. The snow. The shovelling. The large jackets, boots, mitts, toques, scarfs and socks.

Needless to say, I hibernate. I’ve never been a winter outdoor person. Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or sledding has never interested me. With this comes the ability to find indoor family fun activities to avoid the dreaded, hated winter.

Here are my five favourite family activities to help avoid the cold, enjoy time together and not feel like you are being held hostage by Mother Nature.

LEGO

New to our family. LEGO has quickly become a favourite. After Santa brought a bucket of Classic LEGO and mom and dad added a second in the excitement, we’ve been obsessed with building the biggest items we can think of. Three story houses, towers over six-feet tall, city skyscrapers, trains, robots, you name it. Time flies when you are living in the land of imagination.

 

 

Crazy Forts

Classic fun – take a blanket, throw it over pushed together furniture and a fort is born. But now – let’s add to the fun. Crazy Forts allows you to build castles with turrets, rocket ships, tunnels, igloos or really anything you can imagine. Sticks fit into specific holes in a ball to create your frame, and now throw a blanket over. We’ve had many trips to the moon, or to a castle to save a princess.

 

Baking/Cooking

We all see those recipes in our social media newsfeeds and now is the time to try them. The hits and misses keep meal and snack time fun. Just make sure the sprinkles jar is closed tightly – don’t learn the hard way like I did.

 

 

Video Games

Our system of choice is Nintendo. Mario Party and Mario Kart create family competition, while Just Dance and Wii Sports gets us up and moving. You’d be surprised at how good a toddler can be at race car driving.

 

 

Art, crafts, play-dough

Pull out those colouring books, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, paint and get creative. Or just pull out the play-dough and create over and over again.  A toddler can make a robot out of anything – or so I am learning.

 

My name is Erin. I’m a toddler mom and a pup mom. I had my son in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I am a stay at home writing mom. I write everyday after my son goes to bed. My partner occasionally works away from home. When he’s home, we spend as much family time together as possible, and when he’s gone, I practice my Solo Mom Life. Life isn’t always easy, but I try to be as grateful as I can. My son helps with that. You can find my blog at thewritingmomma.ca or follow me on Instagram and Facebook at thewritingmommalife

I love reading, and I love introducing my son to new books. I’m cheating a little bit because instead of just five favourite books, I’m doing five favourite authors. That way I can talk about more books! I highly recommend all of these books.

1. Nancy Tillman: I have two books that I love by her, but there are so many more. On the Night You Were Born is a wonderful book for kids, and it makes me happy every time I read it. It is all about how the world rejoices when baby is born. It can be read to include your own child’s name. We also have I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love. It is by far my favourite. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve read to my son. It’s also a fun one. Both these books have interactive parts to go with the wonderful sappiness.

 

 

2. Andrea Beck: She wrote Good Morning, Canada and Goodnight, Canada. Both these books are wonderful. I’m a fan of anything that introduces the provinces and territories to kids. It was especially great for us because when my partner was working away we could point to the province he was working in. They’re fun books. Goodnight, Canada names all the provinces and territories. Good Morning, Canada says good morning to items specific to Canada (like the loonie and toonie).

 

 

3. Alice Kuipers: Violet and Victor write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book. My copy is signed by Alice because she lives in Saskatchewan. It is illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia. The story and the illustrations are wonderful. I loved this story. It’s perfect for the blooming bookworm. It’s perfect for kids that like to tell stories. It’s perfect. It’s one I’ll be able to read to him for many more years to come.

 

 

 

4. Erica Pellerin and Jennifer Plesa. I Love My Motter. My Motter Loves Me (The title is written with hearts on the cover.) This is also written by two Saskatchewan mommas. I love it. It is a wonderful book about how much love there is for mom and kid, but it’s written about Otters! It’s just a beautiful story written from the point of view of a baby otter and Momma otter.

 

5. Steve Wolfson: Monster Cheese: This book was mine from when I was a child. I have two books that I’ve kept, and this is one of my favourites to read to my son. The writer was from Saskatchewan, and the illustrator (Bill Johnson) was born in Alberta and living in Nova Scotia. I’m not sure where they live now. This book is literally about a monster cheese. That’s probably why I loved it so much because I love cheese. This book starts in Alberta, and the monster cheese travels from Alberta to Winnipeg (narrowly missing Saskatoon). I love how close to home it is. Cheese and the prairies. You can’t get better than that!

 

 

 

I am throwing one more in. 5 and one more! Margy Reid wrote a book called Alfred Dinglewiggle. She’s also from Saskatchewan, and this is another signed copy. This book is adorable, and all about a boy who figures out that if he stops trying to not listen, and do the opposite of what people want him to do, he may have a bit of fun. It’s great to learn from.

 

Those are my top five plus one more. I hope you give all these books a chance because they are fantastic!

 

Breastfeeding Struggles and How To Avoid Them

Breastfeeding your newborn can be a beautiful, convenient, peaceful bonding experience. It can also be a difficult, painful, frustrating, loose-your-mind-trying-to-make-it-work experience. Though breastfeeding is natural, it often doesn’t come natural to moms and babies and there are many potential issues that can arise. I see moms having all kinds of struggles while trying to breastfeed their newborn so I’d like to explain a few of the most common problems in hopes of increasing awareness and encouraging moms to seek help early and often so they can meet their breastfeeding goals.

One of the most common myths about breastfeeding your newborn is that it’s normal for it to hurt. While it may be uncomfortable for the first couple days as your nipples get used to around-the-clock nursing, it should not be so painful you are unable to nurse, and it shouldn’t cause trauma to your nipples, or make them bleed.

Nipple pain is often due to baby having a poor latch. This means that the baby is not positioning your nipple correctly inside their mouth while sucking, which leads to nipple pain and even nipple injury and bleeding. This can be fixed by encouraging baby to open wide while latching and by learning the best way to hold your baby while breastfeeding.

Another common cause of nipple pain and injury is a tongue tie or, less commonly, a lip tie in baby. What this means is that the baby has tight fibres under their tongue which prevent them from properly sucking the nipple. This improper suck can result in nipple pain for mom, the baby not getting enough milk, and mom loosing her milk supply. Tongue ties can be fixed with a very quick, very simple procedure done in our office.

Not having enough milk, or low milk supply, is another issue some breastfeeding moms struggle with. Many things can contribute to this including poor latch and tongue ties discussed above, not nursing often enough, and maternal or mother-specific issues. Maternal issues that can cause low supply include: thyroid or other hormone problems, previous breast surgery, or not having enough breast growth in pregnancy. You can increase supply your by frequently nursing baby or pumping, and we can help by starting prescription medications, called galatogogues, that promote milk production.

Some moms have the opposite problem and have an over supply of milk. This can lead to breast engorgement (over-filling), pain, and even infection. We can instruct you on how to decrease supply slowly and safely to avoid plugged milk ducts, which can lead to infection. Breast infections can make you feel very unwell and need to be treated quickly with prescribed antibiotics.

While the issues discussed above can definitely make breastfeeding your newborn frustrating and difficult, they can almost always be fixed. My goal is to help you meet your breastfeeding goals, whether your goal is nursing baby sometimes for a few months or exclusively breastfeeding into the toddler years and beyond.

I am delighted to see all moms and babies in my clinic. If you are pregnant and wanting to set yourself up for success, are struggling to breastfeed your newborn, are concerned your baby might be tongue-tied, or have any other questions about nursing your baby, I would love to help. You can ask your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant to refer you to Cornerstone Medical Clinic’s Breastfeeding Clinic or you can call (306) 975-1262 to book an appointment.

More information about our clinic, including a referral form for doctors, can be found at www.cornerstonemedical.ca

Here for all your breastfeeding needs,

Dr. Emily Sullivan, MD, MPH, CCFP

 

Summer is almost here and we’re excited to celebrate – Mommy Connections style!
Join us for a FREE community Picnic In The Park at John Lake Park on Sunday July 29th at 11am. We will be hosting these events across the country as a way for all of our amazing families to come back and reconnect with old friends you met through our programs. It’s also a chance for those of you who may not have experienced Mommy Connections, to come and see what we’re all about! This event is open to everyone, so feel free to bring a friend or two along! Kids of all ages are welcome, including those still in bellies 😉
We’re thrilled to have partnered with Panago Pizza for this event. They’ll be delivering complimentary slices of their delicious pizza for the first 100 guests to RSVP. Across the board Panago uses quality ingredients you can feel good about feeding your family including 100% Canadian wheat and cheese, pork and chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, organic Italian tomato sauce and zero artificial colours or flavours ever. Truly #qualityworthsharing – and a great go-to for busy weeknights and park parties alike!
In addition to lunch, there will be plenty of surprises and complimentary treats as well as Facepainting with Kreative Mum ($5/face)
 
The only catch is that you – and your guests – need to RSVP so we have enough food and freebies to go around. You can do that here: https://www.mommyconnections.ca/saskatoon/store/products/mommy-connections-picnic-in-the-park-sunday-july-29th-11-am-to-1-pm-john-lake-park/
We look forward to seeing you on July 29 for a great morning of outdoor fun at John Lake Park

My name is Amanda Braschuk. I’ve been married to my amazing husband Paul for 5 years, together for 8.  He works away from home which can make life a little crazy when I’m parenting solo.  My daughter Zoey is 2.5 years old, she is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen.  My son Asher is one, he is incredibly handsome and really mischievous.  I also have two dogs who think they are human, which is only fair because in this house fur babies are family too!

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Maybe you have been trying to conceive for a while. Possibly you are among the percentage of women who have struggled with fertility complications. Perhaps you are fortunate to have conceived without difficulty. Regardless of the circumstance surrounding your conception, you now have a life inside you, a baby on the way.  You are excited and instantly begin dreaming of the joyful wonder soon joining your family. So, what happens when your happiness and anticipation turn into suffering and anguish? When your enthusiasm at your ultrasound quickly turns to agony upon hearing the words “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.”? When the vision you have endlessly awaited is torn from your existence and your grief if is unbearable, what happens?  Experiencing a miscarriage, enduring a stillbirth, having to cope with the passing away of your newborn child; you can feel so isolated in your pain. The uneasiness surrounding the death of a child dissuades us as a society from communicating about the shattering impact on families. It’s time to break the silence.

I miscarried the first child my husband and I were expecting, it was overwhelming and soul crushing. We had been trying to conceive for almost a year. I deem myself somewhat a perfectionist, I’m reasonably confident in my capabilities and genuinely attempt to achieve success in my endeavours. I had never faced a greater feeling of failure than when I lost my baby. My husband was my rock despite his own breaking heart. My friends were unwavering in their support and encouragement. My Mom repeatedly listened to my anxieties and uncertainties. There is no timeline for bereavement, it is unique to each individual. You will never fail to remember what it feels like to lose a baby. You lose birthdays, milestones, and a lifetime you imagined loving your child. Your life will never be the same. Allow yourself time; time to grieve in its entirety and grant yourself permission to experience your loss. The pain will never fully go away but you will get better at managing it. An increasing awareness enveloping pregnancy & infant loss confirms you are not alone.

Several people find it challenging to talk about death, particularly the passing of an infant. Knowledge on how to communicate this sensitive topic will help significantly in the event you are faced with such tragedy. Acknowledge their profound loss right away. You may be afraid you might say something inappropriate but it is far worse behaving as though their baby never existed. Don’t be afraid to speak about the baby or say their child’s name. You will not be reminding them of their loss, they are thinking about it constantly. Even and especially once they appear to be “over it”, they will still be hurting and will very much appreciate knowing people have not forgotten about their child. Many grieving parents need their pain to be recognized. Reassure them their thoughts and emotions are not only warranted but necessary for them to grieve and heal. Tell your friend in mourning you love them, it really helps hearing someone cares about you. On the website http://www.october15.ca the menu provides several resources within Canada for coping with pregnancy and infant loss. Share this information with anyone you know requiring support to prevail through their hardship.

In 1988 when he designated October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Ronald Reagan said “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” The families experiencing these tormenting circumstances deserve acknowledgement for their loss and assistance to persevere a future they never expected. October 15th is widely observed as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, serving as a day for bereaved individuals to connect and celebrate the short life and existence of their child. The love we have for our children will never go away even if they are not physically present with us. This is the awareness we need to raise. The sorrow and grief we suffer are not proportional to the time they spent with us. Yes, life will go on but the life gone too soon did matter, does matter and will continue to matter to everyone profoundly influenced by their absence. The website previously cited details concepts for what can be done to raise awareness and improve understanding on this exceptionally important subject. We have a responsibility concerning our neighbours who are suffering. We have to remember their lost little ones, keep their memories thriving and recognize their lives. Don’t be silent, speak up for the voices who will never be heard.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Halloween Party on Tuesday October 27th! I hope everyone had a great time!

Thank you to Kerry with Kerry’s Photography for taking the great photos (over 120 of them!)
Thank you to Tanya with My Smart Hands Saskatoon Baby Sign Language and Understanding Your Toddler for the great sensory area!
Thank you to Kelly with Move N Soar for the fun music area!
Thank you to Sylvia with Singing with Sylvia Fan Page for the great concert!

Here is a list of the lucky door prize winner.

Halloween Party Door Prize Winners:

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Free Movies for Mommies Movie Pass and Book:

book
Trista Cave

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Munchkin Gift Basket:

basket

Andrea Garidia

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Grobag

grobag

Greg Parton

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$25 Prairie Wind Alpacas Gift Certificate

pwa

Maureen Hrbackek

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50% off any Mommy Connections 6-8 week program:

Natasha Solvason and Vanessa Shannon

Please email jennie@mommyconnections.ca to claim!

It is hard to believe that it is already Thanksgiving! Where has the time gone! The leaves are changing and falling down – it is truly a beautiful time of the year. One of the things I love at this time of the year is harvesting the garden! Every year we have pumpkins and I’m always looking for things to do with them. One of my family’s new favorite Thanksgiving desserts is Pumpkin Cake- it’s a bit different then the usual Pumpkin Pie. I thought I would share this recipe with you to try with your family this Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Icing

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Brown Butter Icing

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ENJOY!

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