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.


Hello! My name is Keira, and I am a new mom to a beautiful baby girl.  Motherhood is as everyone says – the most amazing thing.  It is also the hardest, loneliest and most exhausting thing.  I’m here to share both sides of motherhood with you.  I hope you enjoy.

To my friends who became mothers before me,

I get it now.

I’m sorry if I didn’t give you enough of what you needed in those newborn days.  If I only came to visit once, and didn’t think to bring you food, or a coffee – or both.  I should have asked you if there was anything ELSE you needed picked up before I stopped by: your groceries?  Sure, no problem.  A second pacifier for baby?  You got it.  A bag of adult diapers?  I got you, girl.

If you have older kids, I should have taken them to play and burn off some energy.  Or kept them and baby entertained so that you could take a shower (I had no idea how sacred those 5 minutes alone in the shower could be – until I had a baby).

I should have asked you how you were really feeling, because I know now how hard it is.  Everything is so foreign to you, including your own body.  Everyone knows that having a baby is life changing, but you really don’t understand it completely until you’re in the trenches.  I’m sorry that I didn’t know how intensely exhausting trying to feed a baby is.  Whether you’re breastfeeding, exclusively pumping, bottle feeding, or a combination of it all – it’s all so damn  hard.  The feelings of guilt can be so thick that I should have been able to feel it; and if I didn’t, I’m sorry.

To my friends who are now back to work after maternity leave, I feel for you.  I still have eight months before my time is up, and the thought of leaving my baby sends my anxiety through the roof.  You are so strong, and if you ever feel as though you aren’t – I’m here for you.

Most importantly, I wish I would have told you a million times what a warrior you are.  You’ve given your all to a new human being – you now wear your heart on the outside.  Everything you do now is for that little one and for that, you are AMAZING.


I am Amanda Grace. I am a full time working mama of 2 beautiful sassy girlies and 1 handsome husband. I started blogging a few years ago and have recently published a blog the Blue Bird Journals. My goal for blogging is to inspire and support other parents. I want others to know that they are not alone in tough times and that they have someone to celebrate the good times with too! I truly believe the corny saying ‘sharing is caring’. ❤️ I invite you to browse my site at or catch me on instagram (@bluebirdjournals) or facebook (@bluebirdjournalsblog).

When I was pregnant with both of my girls, my depression and anxiety were at its best. I was pleasantly surprised that even though I had to stop taking my medication, my body adjusted on its own and I felt good mentally. I had extreme morning sickness the whole time with both of them, so it definitely wasn’t all cupcakes and rainbows, haha. But I felt good about my mental state.

After my first, I had a few regular downs (times when my depression and/or anxiety was interfering with my everyday life) but nothing too bad.

After my second, all bets were off. I went through a heavy postpartum period and since then have dealt with some extreme lows. Even though I had my second two and half years ago, I know my body is still in recovery. Still trying to figure out my hormone balance every month and as a result, has left me trying to figure out what I can do to make sure I am at my best.

Our whole body, physical and mental, goes through so much during pregnancy and post. Hormones change with pregnancy, postpartum and with age. It can be difficult for some women. I happen to be one of those women.

Parenting is a tough gig and I find parenting when you are depressed is a whole different challenge. Don’t get my wrong, I know parenting already has its challenges and I’m not trying to take away from that. This is just my view on the last 5 and a half years of my parenting journey.

There are days that I want to lay in bed and hide in the dark. I want to ignore the world and not move at all. But I have two little girls who need me and no matter how I feel I need to show up for them. This has been one of the toughest parts of having depression and being a mom. It has also been one of the greatest things. The days that I struggle I know I have two very important reasons to get up. To move forward.

So if you are also one of those women, hold onto that. You are a mom, it’s a word that holds a lot of power. It is a reason to get up, a reason to hold onto hope for better days. A reason to get the help you need to be the best mom you can be. It also means you are not alone. Motherhood is an amazing community and there are other moms going through ups and downs just like you. Reach out!

So, mom, no matter what you are going through, hold on! It’s okay to not be okay but no matter what, you have to do what you have to do to get better for them!



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.


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.



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.


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

Here for all your breastfeeding needs,

Dr. Emily Sullivan, MD, MPH, CCFP



Palmers Products for Expectant and New Moms

Local Mommy and Blogger (Babies, Besties and Bubbly) Yessenia tried out 3 Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula products – massage lotion, massage cream and tummy butter.

I have never tried the brand Palmer’s previously before this package was sent to me! Since I have had eczema I felt very limited to lotion since everything I used was prescribed, steroid and unscented.

The massage lotion felt so soft on my skin. It was very easy to use since it had a pump dispenser. I applied it more of a full body moisturizer.

The massage cream was pretty thick compared for the lotion which is something I was used to. Having eczema most of my life cream was the only thing that worked or stayed on long enough for my skin to actually absorb. So I seemed to really focus this on my prone to stretch mark areas (tummy,legs, bum,breasts)

The tummy butter is solid form. I would put it in between my hands and rub in circular motions to warm up and once it was oily I would apply it when I could walk around with my shirt up or a bra on so that it could sit on my skin to dry. Instead of throwing clothes on it right away.

I’m glad to say I still haven’t got any stretch marks for my second pregnancy. But I can tell you that this formula is truly moisturizing I could feel it stay on for a very long time compared to any other. I’m very happy with quality and am so thankful for the opportunity given to me to tryout and review these products!

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:
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 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.



I was fortunate to be given the chance to review both the Could b Tranquil Frog and the Alligator Twilight Buddies. I have an 8 month old who is not the best sleeper around and a 2.5 year old who is newly completely off her soother. I have been able to use both products for about a week and a half now.  See my review below


Tranquil Frog



Tranquil Frog is a multi-sensory plush night light, sound soother, and calming companion all in one. Based on pediatric sleep research, Tranquil Frog combines soothing sights and sounds to help your little one fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. With the touch of a button, Tranquil Frog projects a magical underwater light effect with a gentle wave motion and plays either white noise or a soft lullaby to help ease children to sleep. Turn any room into a peaceful oasis!



This review was written by Jennie Vessey, Director of Mommy Connections Saskatoon and a mother of two.

When I heard I would be reviewing the two Cloud b products I was excited. Like many moms I’m always looking for things to help us with our bedtime routine that will help both my daughters get to sleep as quickly and painlessly as possible! My 8 month old daughter is still in our bedroom, we are in the process of transitioning her to  her crib in her own room but it hasn’t been going so well!

Once receiving the Tranquil Frog  we set it up in our room and turn it on during naps and bedtime. From the first time we turned it on Izzy was in love with the lights – she was completely mesmerized and calmed by them. One thing we are working on with her is putting her down to sleep awake so she gets used to falling asleep on her own – this wasn’t going too well! However, once we started using the Tranquil Frog this seemed to change – I was able to nurse her and lay her down awake, turn on the Tranquil Frog and leave her. She would lay and watch the lights on the ceiling and this really seemed to calm her down and help her relax and fall asleep.


I also really like the white noise and music options – with a two year old in the house naps/bedtime can sometimes be interrupted by a not so quiet big sister. I found that by turning on the sound Izzy was able to stay asleep for longer and would not wake to the household sounds.

The Tranquil Frog is very easy to use – my 2.5 year old will sometimes set it up for Izzy at nap time. With the push of a button you can turn on the lights. The lights project a gentle wave motion on the ceiling and walls which is very calming – you can also turn the light so it does not move, but still gives the feeling of being under water. You can easily switch between the white noise and song and  I really like the adjustable volume.


For us the Tranquil Frog worked very well with our daughter in helping her get to sleep and stay asleep – and like every mom knows the more sleep your little one can get the better!____________________________________________________________________________________________

Twilight Buddies – Alligator


Twilight Buddies™ are ultra-cuddly friends that help ease children’s fear of the dark by projecting a starry night sky onto bedroom ceilings and walls. Hidden within the soothing starry projection are the moon and 3 constellations! Little ones find instant soothing companionship with the fun and cuddly animal collection that can travel with them wherever they go.



This review was written by Jennie Vessey, Director of Mommy Connections Saskatoon and a mother of two.

I was excited to try out the Twilight Buddy – about a month ago we completely weaned our 2.5 year old from her soother, which she used a every nap and bedtime! Bedtime used to be fairly easy – we would do our routine and send her to bed with her soother and she would fall asleep fairly quickly and would stay in bed. Once we removed her soother she started getting up out of her bed multiple times, knocking at her door – sometimes for hours before she finally crashed. We were willing to try anything to help!


The first night with her new Twilight Buddy we did our usual routine and then we turned on her Alligator Twilight Buddy. The Twilight Buddy has 3 different colours – either blue, green or orange – or you can have it alternate between all 3 colours. Addie’s favorite colour is orange so she asked for the stars to be orange. We then sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and I left the room. I was expecting to hear her knocking at her door within a few minutes, but to my surprise I didn’t – she stayed in bed, didn’t get up once and went to sleep quickly. I was completely amazed – it had been a month since we had such a smooth bedtime routine.  We continued to use the Twilight Buddy at bedtime and continued to get the same results.

The Twilight Buddy is very easy to use – a button to turn it on and off with and then a button for each of the 3 colours. I like how the stars will be projected for a long enough time that Addie is asleep by the time they turn off automatically – which is great as I don’t have to try and seek in and turn it off and risk waking her.

11870728_10207030316577218_3794947757039102074_nBoth Cloud b products worked very well with our children and help both of them to fall asleep quicker and easier on their own. Sleep is so important for our growing little ones and I know with our daughters you can always tell by their mood how well or not so well they slept the night before. I would definitely recommend these products to other parents.

For more information check out Cloud b’s website or Facebook page:


I was fortunate to be given the chance to review the BRICA Push to Close Extending Metal Safety Gate. I have a newly on the move 8 month old daughter and a 2.5 year old. I have been able to use the gate for a couple days now.  See my review below

Munchkin BRICA Extending Metal Gate

The Extending Metal Safety Gate by Munchkin has no unsightly adjustment holes along the bars, and is equipped with a unique tilting spring mechanism to reduce stress on walls every time its used. The spring mechanism allows the gate to tilt open or close, which minimizes pressure applied on walls. Handy quick-release settings allow for quick and easy removal when needed, too. Safe for use anywhere in the home (especially in the stairway), this hardware-mounted baby gate stands 30.5″ tall and fits openings 27.5″-45″ wide.



This review was written by Jennie Vessey, Director of Mommy Connections Saskatoon and a mother of two.

I was excited to receive the BRICA gate – with an 8 month old and 2.5 year old I have used a few different gates and I’m always looking for something that is easy to use. I found that this gate was fairly easy to assemble. I liked how easy it was to set to the width of our hallway and the fact that it doesn’t have the adjustment holes along the top and bottom of the gate. It took us about 1/2 hour to get the gate assembled and mounted. The instructions were just diagrams, not written instructions, which made some steps a bit more difficult to follow, but it wasn’t too complicated.

The gate can easily be opened with one hand, which as a mom is very important as we always seem to have our hands full! The handle is easy to use for adults, but not for children, which is great as I don’t have to worry about my daughter opening it. It is also easily closed – I can ask my 2.5 year old to close it and she is able to with no problems. Another added bonus is you can choose which way the gate opens – towards you or away from you.

The gate locks securely at both the top- and the bottom, making the gate very solid – which is very important with a not so gentle toddler who likes to stand on and pull things! Unlike some gates, the BRICA does not have a bar across the bottom, that could be a potential tripping hazard, which is very important if you are wanting to mount the gate at the top of the stairs.

Overall I really like the product! We felt confident that it would keep our girls safe, which is the most important thing. I highly recommend this product to ay family looking for a gate.

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– Easy to use, secure locking mechanism
– Can swing both in and out
– The lack of adjustment holes makes the gate more aesthetically appealing
– No bar at the bottom as a potential tripping hazard
– Gate can be adjusted to fit a variety of different sized openings

– Instructions were sometimes hard to follow without words, just diagrams



Available online at Babies R Us


To enter to win this great gate Enter Here

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