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

 

My name is Christina Hnatiuk. I am a new mom of a 6 month old baby boy, Marshall. I am married to a wonderful man, we will have been together for 5 years, married for two. I work full time in Human Resources and part time as a Ukrainian dance instructor. I love to try new things, especially new restaurants and food. In my free time, which is hardly ever, I love to bake, specializing in cheesecakes. This is my first time writing a blog but I am looking forward to sharing my adventures in parenting with everyone!

My Favorite Things (on Instagram)

With technology changing every day and social media becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives, I have found that Instagram can be a wonderful place to find entertainment, advice and even support. I love to watch Instagram stories when I have free time, and I thought others might be interested in following some of my favourite mommy instagram pages!

@mommysinsidevoice- Amie is a mom of 3 boys and lives in Vancouver. She is very honest and doesn’t hide the hardships of motherhood. She is also very open about her battle with depression and anxiety, and methods she uses to cope. Her husband works in the medicinal marijuana business, so she does often talk about how marijuana, CBD oil in particular. She also does not filter her language which may offend some people. I personally love her unfiltered and honest take on motherhood.

@princessturnedmom – I stumbled upon Jenny’s page when I was looking for another passion of mine, all things Disney! Jenny is a former Disney Princess from the Disney parks. Not only was she one, but her husband was a Disney Prince! It really is a true fairytale! Jenny is a mom of two little ones, Colton and Rosie, and chronicles her life as a mom and blogger. Her husband is a firefighter so she is often on her own through the week taking care of her kiddos. They take trips to Disneyland often, so if you are a Disney park lover like me, you will love seeing her stories of their park days! Jenny is also quite religious but, if that’s not for you, it’s probably ok as she doesn’t post a lot about it. One of my favourite things she does is a “segment” called Rosie’s treasures, where she shows all the things her toddler collects and saves! She is usually quite the ray of sunshine, so she always brightens my day!

@mom_life_crisis_- This page is run by multiple mamas. Six moms collaborate to bring you different perspectives on motherhood. They usually take turns, each mom posting on different days.  They also have a YouTube channel and post videos with review of different products or just talk about different motherhood topics. They are extremely interactive, and often reply to comments on their posts, as well, it is not rare for them to like a few of my posts. They are funny and witty, which is usually a bright spot in my day!

@global_munchkins – Amber is a mom of five. Three of her children are biological and 2 are adopted.  She talks about the ups and downs of adopting, and the joys of parenting in general. They do a lot of travelling and her posts are always so entertaining. She also has a blog, and I have spent many hours reading all her posts. Often left in tears, reading about her adoption stories and how they coped. Her family is quite amazing.

@kristinakuzmic – If you don’t already follow Kristina, she is a must! She takes motherhood and turns it into this real, funny, and witty life story. I have laughed, cried and sobbed at so many of her videos and posts. One of my favorite things is that she doesn’t shy away from the truth. She is very honest about her life and past and always shares anecdotes that any mother can relate too! Grab a glass of wine and some chocolate ice cream and prepare to laugh! She also has a YouTube channel that is worth checking out.

These are just my favorite mommy Instagram pages. I also have an extreme obsession with all things Disney so I also follow a lot of Disney Park pages and small shops! Feel free to check out my Instagram @christinaanne88 for more fun pages to follow!  “As moms, we are in it together – raising the future. We are a tribe of future makers. So let’s support each other.” – Marissa Hermer

 

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

Teri Parkhurst is a marketing and communications professional who is currently on maternity leave with her first child, a beautiful baby boy.

 

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by women who are also incredible mothers. My own mother, my aunts, my friends, my mother-in-law, my coworkers—I have no shortage of inspiring moms in my life who I appreciated and respected long before I was a mother myself. (Side note: I also know many men, my husband, father and father-in-law included, who are excellent dads, but we’re exclusively talking moms today.)

Then along came my son and my feelings towards mothers shifted dramatically. They’re not just incredible—they are superheroes. They are other-worldly. They are indescribable. They blow my mind every single day.

Being a mom is hard. It doesn’t take a mother to know this logically, but I never fully understood just how hard it really is before I was the one sleeping in two-hour increments while also recovering from one of the most physically demanding experiences I had ever faced, and trying to interpret those little baby cries while also trying not to think too hard about the fact that I was suddenly responsible for this tiny, beautiful human.

Motherhood is also amazing, of course, and it’s worth every single sleepless night and irrational worry and missed night out and bodily fluid cleanup. But it’s hard. And as much as I respected mothers before I was a mother myself, I really had no idea how much of themselves mothers give to their families.

The love of a mother is an entity all its own. It really can’t be compared to anything else. It means putting others ahead of yourself, all day, every day. It means endless laundry and hundreds of diaper changes and lugging a car seat with a quickly growing baby everywhere you go. It’s a thankless job sometimes, and yet more fulfilling than one could ever expect.

So leading up to this, my first Mother’s Day, I share my wonder at how truly extraordinary all of you mothers are. I know you don’t always feel it, but trust me—as a new member of your club, I can genuinely say that you are freaking awesome. Seriously, superwoman. So take a moment this Mother’s Day—heck, take a moment every single day—and congratulate yourself on being the strong, fabulous, incredible woman that you are. Happy Mother’s Day!

Okay parents, let’s talk about “Those” days.  We all know the ones, where laundry is piled up from days before, dishes overfill the sink, your twice microwaved coffee before 9:30 am doesn’t seem to cut through the exhaustion of another sleep interrupted night.  The ones where you feel as though you have given the littles all you have, and it isn’t enough.  And there is still the uphill battle of surviving the rest of the day.

How do you survive those days? How do you pick yourselves up and muscle though?

I have succumbed to the powerful distraction skills of Netflix on occasion, poured myself another cup of coffee and just sat. In as much silence as my toddler filled home will allow, to re-coop, gain perspective and go through a list of what is really truly important to accomplish that day.

First things first, I take a deep breath and remind myself that everyone will survive.  The kiddos will be fine if they don’t have an educational, hands on, growth and learning filled day.  Secondly, I pour myself (to the brim) a nice warm cup of coffee.  (I deserve a fresh cup) Thirdly, prioritize. I do what I can, and try not to stress about the rest. Put my focus on what needs to get done (like food for the kidlets, more coffee for me etc). And I try to remind myself – in this moment, what is the most important thing I feel needs to be accomplish today. I could be the only one, but laundry and dishes does not get close to the top of my To Do list.

Let me just say that I would however, take myself on a long and winding guilt trip for not having the energy, patience, or mental capacity to be “That” Mom.  The one that can seemingly parent and blast through any storm thrown her way.  But after four years of my sweet gremlins occasionally beating me to my momma core, they have given me numerous opportunities to remind myself of what is truly important during those days.  I have learned to cut myself some slack, and to practice patience and forgiveness. Forgiveness and understanding for needing a little break for the daily grind, and patience to know that today I might take things a little slower but tomorrow is a new day.  But, maybe these days are the one where LIFE is reminding us of what is vital.  Is cleaning off the peanut butter finger printed front window? Or picking up the cluster of favorite toys covering the living room floor? Tackling those cornered dust bunnies?

Maybe, these are the special days.  The ones that are giving us a gentle nudge to remind us to take time, and take it all in.  Enjoy the couch snuggles, the laughs, the “I love you’s” the slow downs and change of pace from the constant go-go-go.

 

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