About amberhill

My name is Amber Hill and I am currently mother to a crazy spitfire of a little 2 year old girl named Maya. She definitely keeps me busy and on my toes every day and I love every second of it! My husband and I are also awaiting the arrival of Baby Hill #2 at the end of April 2017. I always knew that I wanted to have a family of my own. I grew up an only child and was lonely at times - I remember asking my parents on many occasions for a younger brother, but alas that did not happen! Ever since I was younger, I wanted a large family - back then I wanted 8 kids, I have rethought that considerably! My love of young children grew more when my husband and I started dating (and then married). It was at this time that his older siblings were starting to expand their families and I got to spend more time around nieces and nephews. I knew even more so that a family is what I wanted in the future for me! Prior to being a stay at home mom to Maya (and future kids), I worked in the oil and gas industry for a few years. I have been lucky enough to obtain an Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education/Kinesiology from the University of Alberta. Prior to my education and during, I also coached many basketball teams and loved being involved with not only children/teenagers, sports but also community! I grew up in Wetaskiwin which is also a smaller community, and have always loved the feeling of a small well-knit community. Due to growing up in a smaller city, it has given me this view of community and how I would like it to be. Despite Leduc being bigger than my hometown, I love the sense of community in this city - it still has the small town feel. I have met many loving and caring people through various programs as well as small businesses that make living in this city so enjoyable. I look forward to exploring this community more and being able to extend more opportunities to those that choose to be involved with Mommy Connections!

You are a Great Mom – Momma Blog Feature

I am a wife of almost 11 years to a man that loves me and all my crazy ideas and ways, mom to 3 totally different and look nothing like me kids(2 girls 9,7 and a boy 18 months and 2 angel babies up in heaven.)

 I have been a stay at home mom for 9 years and after my 2nd child I realized I love being home but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I once dreamed it to be. I longed for my own identity and the opportunity to contribute in my own way to our family. 

Three years ago I was introduced to Young Living Essential oils and I have been an oily addict ever since. I have since built a team and business from home that fulfills me, I teach and share with others how to implement essential oils into our daily lives and reduce chemicals and toxins in our homes. 

Outside of my domesticated duties and working, I fill my days with friends and coffee, motherhood has brought me a whole tribe of woman I couldn’t live without. If you are a mom you need mom friends. They will keep you sane, assure you that you are not alone, encourage you, cry with you and laugh with you!

My other loves include home decor, MLS listings, blogging, and a well delivered F bomb.  As I near 40 and reflect on the last 10 years of creating life, learning, growing, stretching, failing and surviving I hope to continue keeping it real and encouraging moms to embrace our perfectly imperfect lives.

 

You are a Great Mom

By Michelle Mack

You, yes you I am talking to you. You are a great mom. I know you are tired, you are hungry, you are lonely and you are tired. But you are great.

I fantasized about being a mom for as long back as I can remember. I knew some day I would have 3 beautiful kids and I was going to be a great mom. Many of us saw our moms do it and they made it look easy and flawless. We started having kids “later in life” @ 30 which I feel like is the new norm but back in our day we were late starters! I watched many friends embark on the motherhood road and they too made it look all warm and fuzzy. They would smile, despite the tireless nights, spit up laden clothing and shower less days. Any mom will tell you it’s the most rewarding job they have. And if anyone were to ask me I would agree.

They are miracles. But they are also the scariest thing you will have in your possession that requires many skills you have yet to acquire or learn and the responsibility to raise them is enormous. Plus, add in the all the social expectations and the fish bowl of social media that basically has a magnifying glass on our daily lives. Which then highlights it all day long via Facebook and Instagram. Where once there were books and magazines we now have online classes, blogs, and support groups. All these things offering varying opinions or a myriad of topics~ it can be exhausting.

Some of you will stay home and some of you will return to work, some maybe before the year is up others maybe will extend the year. Some of you will nurse and others of you will not. Some of you will use cloth diapers, many of you will not. You will research every piece of baby furniture and new gadget or toys all day and in between or during feedings. Because your iPhone will become your companion, taking photos to document your days, online shop to keep your eyes from closing while you feed in the night and advice on what is making your baby so unhappy when all you want is some piece and quiet.

Just know whatever your journey or how your day looks or how your baby sleeps or eats or doesn’t do anyone or either of those things. You are doing just fine, you are getting to know your baby and your kids and you are learning each day what their needs and wants are. No two people are alike and neither are moms. You are showing up and you are doing your best. And on the days, that you are at your wits end and struggling or feeling inadequate, if you know nothing else, just know your little one thinks and knows you are a GREAT mom.

Xoxo Michelle

If you liked what you read here, check out Michelle’s personal blog here: http://www.backtobasicslifestyles.com/

 

No sweetie, steaks don’t grow in a Styrofoam tray – Momma Blog Feature

I’m the farmer behind FrugalBushBunny CSA Farm just an hour from Alberta’s capital. My life as wife & mother of two is pretty crazy!

Gardening, hunting, foraging, fishing & raising farm animals keep me outdoors a lot. I love to shop…anywhere. I’m as happy thrifting as I am visiting William Sonoma & my obsession with stationary & Hello Kitty are probably detrimental to my bank account. 

I’m the mom at the park talking loudly on the phone dropping F bombs & not really paying attention to my kids. Because honestly I brought them to the park so I could have a few moments to catch up with my long distance BFF. 

I’m also the mom who teaches my kids to be strong independent individuals by showing them that you don’t have to be a push over to be nice & that compassion for others is not a weakness. That learning something for yourself is always better than relying on someone else & the only way to fail is to give up (but none of that everyone is a winner crap!)

I’m the mom with crayon/paint/s**t (probably literally😂) on the walls, housekeeping never makes it on my To Do list. I let my kids cook & bake & use sharp pointy knives under my supervision (I swear I’m not THAT bad!) And we try to go on as many family dates & adventures as possible.

I’m a little bit of everything rolled into one & I’m going to keep following my heart no matter what! 

 

No sweetie, steaks don’t grow in a Styrofoam tray.

By Melanie Gallie

 

I had an entire different article for you moms out there but it’s just like me to change things up at the last minute.

After hearing a conversation about how wrong hunting is at the Oilers game we attended last night (great game btw!), I feel as if it was just meant to be! Something good may as well come from having to listen to loud blabbering the whole game!

One of the women behind us was saying how she would never eat wild game or birds because it’s wrong. According to her it’s much more humane to buy a steak from Wal-mart. I’ve even met someone years ago who didn’t know that meat from the store came from an actual animal….um, okay?

We live in the country on a small farm, we grow veggies, we raise animals to eat and we hunt. And I can tell you that a deer has a much better life than the cow that provided the steak at Wal-mart. It makes me a little sad thinking some people feel better about eating a cow who has been penned up, never set foot on grass and maybe even mistreated rather than a deer who has lived completely free it’s entire life.

I’m not saying hunting is for everyone, but buying from a local farmer is a great equivalent! (And if you buy your steak from Wal-mart that’s okay too, just know there are alternatives).

So where does this fit in with raising children? The importance of where your food comes from!

Any good parent out there tries to feed their kiddos a healthy variety of foods. (Don’t feel offended if you had mac & cheese for the third night in a row or you deal with a picky eater etc… I’m not judging you, we all do the best we can.) But is it enough? Do your kids know where their steak comes from or what animal pork chops are made of? Mine do and they still love them but can also appreciate the value of animal itself.

There are many benefits associated with knowing where your food comes from, here are a few:

Abolish picky eating. We all know kids love to get involved! Visit a u-pick this summer and I bet you’ll be suprised by how many veggies your veggie-hater will eat. Let them know where supper came from, having steak? Casually mention that it comes from beef, which is a cow. Talk about what cows eat, where they live etc.

You can find a farmer who suits your needs. Eating organic? Find a no-spray farmer who believes chemicals aren’t necessary in growing great produce. Want your meat to come from animals who have enjoyed their life? Find a family farm who raise their animals ethically.

Create new relationships. Everyone can always use a new friend with benefits! When you get to know the person behind your food, you’re also supporting an actual family. They may invite you out to a long table supper, give you some extras for free or even show you around their farm!

Getting your kids outside. My kids love TV but when it comes to helping in the garden they shut it off in a flash! Grab a packet of veggie seeds go to your backyard or get a large planting container with some soil and let them do the rest!

Saving money. Yes, you read that right! I know, I know…. there are some “expensive” local farms, but the thing is sometimes paying more for less is actually more! Ground beef from a farmer is usually the equivalent of extra lean at the store. Fresh local meat & produce are also (for the most part)higher quality than grocery store items and will fill you up with less. For example, our farm-raised chickens cost around $25 each but I get three to four meals out of each chicken (we’re a family of 4 big eaters!).

Knowing where your food comes from can also instill a sense of appreciation for the farmers and animals who feed you.

Well, I better go check on our kids playing with the new chicks (that we are raising for food).
Check out Melanie’s farm Frugal Bush Bunny Farm on Facebook here:

www.facebook.com/FrugalBushBunnyFarm/

 

My Toddlers eat their vegetables ~ Momma Blog Feature

Andrea is a stay at home mama to boy/girl twin toddlers that likes to read, write, craft and practice yoga. I am discovering a new passion somewhere deep down for baking and am a huge animal lover. I drink way too much coffee during the day and stay up too late at night. I enjoy crime reality shows, Vietnamese food, potty humor, any movie with Vin Diesel except for The Pacifier and colorful fluffy socks.

My Toddlers eat their vegetables (even though they don’t know it)…

By Andrea Spaude

Let me start off by saying I’m no doctor, I’m not a nurse or a nutritionist, heck most days I barely pass as a homemaker (and even that really depends on your idea of what that should look like). Nope, I’m just a mom like you, trying to help them get the best nutritional start in life I can despite what I’m sure is their best efforts to discourage it.

I’m sure I must’ve read all of the books and articles. I started them on solids using baby led weaning, introduced vegetables long before fruits, gave them the foods we were eating, no special “just in case they hate my food” meals, gave small amounts at a time, let them play with their food just a bit, offered vegetables before the rest of the meal and the list goes on… By 18 months they could handle a spoon and fork better than some adults in my opinion and were still eating frozen peas as a favorite snack. Then it happened. Somewhere along the line they started deciding certain foods were not as tasty as they once were- almost all resembled a vegetable. I could still get them eating a couple of staples (sometimes) like tomatoes and occasionally carrots but everything else just wasn’t appealing anymore.

I hadn’t changed anything in their diet, they were being fed the same meals we were eating. I was at a loss. Were my kids becoming picky eaters? Did I not give them enough new foods to try in those early days? Did I give them fruit too soon? Is my cooking just really that bad? Either way, I felt like I needed to do something and honestly, deep down I know it wasn’t because I thought it would really affect their health, my kids were still thriving but I think more for my piece of mind. Because really, I think I once survived on macaroni and bologna at some point and I think I turned out ok?

So off I went, I looked into the reasons why toddlers stop eating foods, why they get picky, how many times it takes for their tastebuds to decide if they truly didn’t like something. I reintroduced. Over and over and over. It seemed that their tastebuds only really liked peanut butter and mac & cheese? Is this possible? Finally, I gave in. I’d love for my kids to be excited at the thought of a spear of broccoli and look forward to not scraping thrown remnants of squash off of my floors and walls but for right now that wasn’t happening. Don’t get me wrong, I still put full pieces of vegetables on their plates in preparation for the day that this stage passes and they will miraculously be gobbled up but I also resort to some of these more often than not so I can finish the day knowing that they did eat at least some…

Make them look like a treat

It’s no secret that kids love muffins, cookies, bars, squares- everything that seems to be the least healthy choices. If I give mine zucchini- it will end up on the floor. Every. Damn. Time. If I put it in a muffin with say, blueberries- suddenly it’s dessert! Carrots? These are often squished in their fingers before they even reach the floor where they find hide out in between my floor boards waiting to be scraped out later- put it in a granola bar and they’re all over it. Even beets can be made into a healthy snack they’ll actually eat! Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to hiding veggies in baked goods. And bonus, you can make it as healthy as you want and often very freezer friendly. Think oatmeal, pumpkin, whole grains, chia seeds, flax seeds, apples, apple sauce. There’s no limit, create away! Some of our favorites are Blueberry & Zucchini muffins, Pumpkin Harvest muffins and Carrot & Zucchini bars.

Vegify the foods they love

Is that a word? If not, it should be. Pick their favorite food/meal and vegify it! Does she love Mac and Cheese. Great! Try switching out the noodles to vegetable noodles and throw some peas in the water while the noodles are boiling. Does he eat all of his scrambled eggs every morning and beg for yours? Perfect, add some well chopped broccoli and cheese while its cooking, ham is great in this too. Do they both love pancakes? Awesome, add some pumpkin puree to the mix before you fry them up! Just add in ½ cup to 2 ½ cups of your batter along with some nutmeg, cinnamon and a small dash of ginger. Small additions seem to go unnoticed with my two. I usually steam some cauliflower when I’m making mashed potatoes, I mash them both together, It all gets gobbled up and no one is the wiser. Spaghetti and Meatballs? I’ll use the vegetable pasta and add some zucchini or spinach to my usual meatball mixture- short on time? That’s fine, chop some spinach or zucchini or whatever veggie you have kicking around very fine and just add it to your sauce!

Blend it

With some foods, there’s really no better way to disguise the texture and taste than throwing it in the blender with some milk and fruit. This applies to not only my one year olds but also my tastebuds. Spinach and kale are my favorites here usually with blueberries and a banana but there are so many options out there. You can even buy pre-packaged fruit/vegetable smoothie bags at most grocery stores, just add milk and you’re done!

Turn it into a casserole

For months my kids would eat frozen peas as is. They gobbled them up like they were Fruit Loops laced with Lucky Charms. Then one day it stopped, I put out their bowls of peas to pick away at only to find them both thrown on the floor. Needless to say, I was slightly devastated. I thought it was in the bag, foolproof. At the end of the day I could no longer say “at least they still like peas”. Out came the trusty tuna casserole. Creamy noodles with loads of veggies mixed in. Magic really. Plus it doesn’t come any easier than a casserole when you’re low on time, energy and food. Whatever cream soup you have on hand, frozen vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, peppers, whatever you have), meat (tuna or leftover chicken are my favorites), egg noodles, some cheese if you’re feeling fancy and voila! Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Bonus: I love casseroles for the end of the week before my next shopping trip. I can use up whatever odds and ends I have left in my vegetable drawer and you can easily make your own cream soup if you don’t have any handy!

Eat it Yourself

When all else fails, start chowing. Seriously. If I’m eating something my kids will need to have it too. Usually the exact same food I just put in front of them only to have them gag and push their highchairs away from it like I’ve just tried to poison them. But I’m eating it, so they must have it. From my plate and my fork of course and sometimes on the living room floor…. picnic style…

So there you have it. If you’re living with a picky, vegetable tantruming toddler like me, I hope something in here can help you get through this fun stage too! If you have a tip or trick that works great for you, please

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mama ~ Momma Blogger Feature

 

Amy 

I am 28 years old and a first time mom to a baby girl who will be a year at the end of April. Where has the time gone? I will have been married for 3 years in the summer. My husbands put up with my crazy ideas for over 10 years though. I am also a crazy dog lover and have 2 fur babies. One is a rescued black lab heeler and the other is a dachshund. They are the goofiest pair of friends. I am passionate about my family, friends, being outdoors, fun adventures and teaching and inspiring children. I will be returning to work at the beginning of April and will be teaching grade 2 just to add another thing to my crazy life. 

Since this is our first baby, we have found that we have made some mistakes but we have learned even more. My newest challenge will be balancing work, being a mother, and a wife. I hope to inspire and help other moms by sharing my relatable stories.

 

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mama

By Amy Holland

Breastfeed your baby they say. It will be easy they say.

 

I knew that as soon as I got pregnant I wanted to breastfeed our daughter but I never expected that I would struggle with it. And by struggle I mean, being hooked up to a machine that makes me feel like I’m being milked like a cow, wearing nipple shields, supplementing formula with bottles and constantly worrying if I was doing the right thing. There is such a great pressure put upon moms to breastfeed. I definitely knew all the benefits but then it was up to my body to do the work.

I always dreamed that after my daughter was born that we would have this “magical” experience where she would immediately latch. That didn’t happen! I put so much pressure on myself to be “that mom” that would exclusively nurse her baby. I ended up having to give her formula at the beginning and I had a lot of guilt about this. I came to the conclusion that she was unable to fully latch and I didn’t have milk pumped so formula it had to be.  I had to let go of the guilt I had been holding onto and just know that my baby was being FED. Whether it was breast milk or formula, she was being FED and that was the most important thing. Our routine was quickly established at the beginning: attempt to have her latch or back to the nipple shield, feed, pump, wash bottles, sanitize and repeat all day, as well as, me eating lots of healthy foods and drinking bathtub sized bottles of water. Ask any of my family members and they’ll tell you how I had water bottles everywhere I went and in every room of the house. This became exhausting and I longed for the day that baby A would be able to breastfeed without needing bottles or the nipple shield. Anybody that has used a nipple shield knows how much of a pain in the butt they are. They are difficult to put on, constantly fall off, and need to be washed after each use.  I have a whole lot of respect for people who exclusively pump or formula feed their babies because it is truly a lot of work. You’re all amazing mamas!

 

I saw several different lactation consultants and used the Medela supplementary nursing systems. I saw a consultant the day after she was born so I could try to get her to latch. No luck! I saw another one at the Breastfeeding clinic, we had better luck with her. She helped baby A latch with the shield and then the last one I saw was in Sherwood Park. I loved this place because they weigh your baby before you nurse them and after you finish so you know how much milk they’re getting. Because lets be real, you really never know how much milk breastfed babies are getting. There were so many times that I wanted to give up. Somehow I kept going because I wanted to feel successful and wanted my daughter to have this experience as well.

I remember the day that my daughter finally was able to latch on using the nipple shield, it felt like our hard work was paying off. It took her 3 months to wean off of the shield. We’ve been continuing our breastfeeding journey for 10 months. This is such a great accomplishment for us! There is nothing greater than that bond between mother and baby while you’re nursing. I am going to be going back to work in April and the thought of not being able to nurse throughout the day makes me sad but I’m proud that we’ve made it as long as we have.

I always thought I was shy breastfeeding in front of other people until the L&D nurses, PP nurses, and a bunch of lactation consultants all saw my boobs. Well, I guess I’m not so shy anymore!  All my pride is gone! HA!! I know you other mamas can relate to this!

The moral of my story is that if you want to nurse your baby, don’t give up! Get help from anybody and everybody and don’t take no for an answer. If you struggle with breastfeeding and you have to formula feed your baby, you are doing something amazing for YOUR baby too because they are FED!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that you enjoyed it!

 

 

5 Aha Moments That Saved My – Momma Blogger Feature

Dangerously close to turning 30, I am a stay at home mom to 3 angelic children (HA!)…Colin (7), Molly (4) & Quinn (8 months).  My incredibly hardworking husband Nick and I have been together nearly a decade & have called Alberta home since 2008.  I am passionate about my family, volunteering, fundraising/charity work, and truly enjoy putting my heart into the community.  A huge part of MY community is a circle of 3000+ women in the Facebook group, Leduc Mamas, which I founded 7 years ago as an insecure, lonely, brand new mom.   I’m a pop culture nut, and love to cook.  I would like to call myself a Pinterest guru, but I have more failures than successes…trying is worth something though, right? Old man winter and I don’t get along, but I love to be outdoors when it doesn’t make my face hurt.  I’m always looking to explore more of what Alberta has to offer and can’t wait to continue building our crazy little life here in Leduc!  

5 Aha Moments That Saved My Sanity

By Katie Presse

Close your eyes.  Imagine you are at the circus.  Questionable characters jumping around, the faint smell of elephant poop in the air, the audience expecting a great show.  Oddly enough, this is pretty comparable to my day to day life.  Three loud little monkeys, a ring master on the verge of a nervous breakdown (that’s me!), and the smells…oh God, the smells. Not to mention the pressure from society and the judgement from my audience full of peers. Regardless, I love my life as a stay at home mom and really do feel blessed. Our routine is our savior, and most days go smoothly enough that I don’t feel the need to drink heavily (just the WANT to drink heavily). Every moment of parenthood is a learning process, and more often than not I feel overwhelmed, but every once in awhile I have an aha moment that changes everything.

5. Acknowledge that your kids aren’t perfect

My kids are beautiful, smart, funny, polite, and definitely know the difference between right and wrong.  That being the case, they couldn’t possibly ever be the cause of trouble right? Wrong. I will never forget the first time my son got in “trouble” at school. I felt sick about it.  Like I had failed him, his teacher, the entire administrative staff.  How could my sweet boy have done this?!  I needed to know the context…every detail of the incident.  I refused to believe it, and it ate me alive. I don’t know how it happened and have absolutely no advice as far as getting to this point, but somewhere along the road I realized that my kids can be in the wrong. It doesn’t mean I have failed, and it certainly doesn’t mean they are bad.  They are growing into their own people, and I hope that they are full of imperfection.  Letting go of the impossible standard I had set in my head for them has been a relief.  Honestly, it is much easier to laugh about it and hope they come out on top next time.

4. You don’t need to keep up with The Joneses.

This one is hard.  It also took me a really long time to really get it, and I still struggle.  Today’s society is so set on doing it all & having it all.  The name brands, the must have toys of the season, being enrolled in every sport & activity humanly possible. IT ISN’T WORTH IT.  I want to give my children the world just as much as the next guy, but I am not willing to lose sleep over the things we cannot do.  The aha moment didn’t come with not doing it, it came with being okay with not doing it. I wasted so much time and energy dealing with the guilt of not being able to financially provide the things that the world makes us feel we need. It made me a grouchy, stressed out, guilt ridden Mommy.  Letting go has made us stronger, and I am happier because of it.

3. You aren’t a bad mom. Ever.

Hot dogs for dinner the third night in a row? Awesome. Don’t floss the kid’s teeth twice a day? Screw it. Yesterday’s dishes are still in the sink? You are killing it. This one is pretty simple, but arguably the most important.  What works for one doesn’t work for another.  I may not raise my children and take care of my home the way you do it, but that doesn’t mean one of us is wrong or bad.  If your kids are safe, comfortable and loved – you’re golden, mama! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Aha – it may not be perfect, but you are still doing it right.

2. It’s okay if you aren’t always okay.

Up until very recently I felt like I had to put on a happy face no matter what.  I didn’t share my anxiety, fears, stress, sadness, or anger with anyone. Why is expressing emotion considered a weakness? Am I less of a mom because I feel? It isn’t always fun. I don’t wake up every morning smiling.  Making the decision to be open and honest with my emotions has been really difficult.  I don’t like asking for help or seeming weak. But, you know what is more important to me than appearing strong and happy? My kids. A friend of mine recently shared some sort of inspirational meme on Facebook that rang so true – “You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first”. Running yourself into the ground emotionally just so you can appear to have your poop in a group isn’t doing anyone any favors, especially yourself.  Your emotional well being is the backbone of your family.

1. Say “No” when you want to say “No”

This was my 2015 New Years resolution. Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like I owe everyone an explanation.  I felt myself constantly making up excuses, even lies, just to get out of doing things that I didn’t want to do for myself or my kids.  Realizing that I don’t owe anyone has been life changing. For me, having enough confidence in the choices we make as a family to say “NO” without explanation or justification has been hugely empowering.  Trust yourself and your choices. Aha!
If you are a fellow Leduc Mama and interested in a Facebook group that is great for support, advice and some laughs, you can check out Katie’s Leduc Mamas Facebook page here!

Road Trippin’ & Jet-Setting With My Little One – Momma Blogger Feature

Kayla is a 26 year old certified interior decorator that gave up a life of glamorous tile selections to pursue motherhood, co creating her own business (Cherry Creek Soap & Co.), and becoming a cliche #momboss!

 

 

 

 

Let’s start this out by saying that I totally wish I was going to be talking about taking glamorous vacations with my toddler but that is definitely not the case!

I grew up in the Okanagan and as some of you may know it is the one of the most amazing places. In the spring I would snowboard during the day, head down the mountain and then jump on a boat for an afternoon cruise catching the last rays of the day. Fast forward 10 years and here I am in the flatlands dreaming of those mountains and that crystal clear water!

The first time I attempted the 9 hour drive home to BC my son was around 3 weeks old! I honestly cannot remember if my mom or my husband came with me but there was no way I was going to do that drive alone with a 10 lb baby that loved the boob every 2-3 hours and liked to scream bloody murder when I took longer than 5 seconds to get it to him.

(See how impressed he looks about our infamous road trips to visit grandma & grandpa)

Survival Tip #1 – Do NOT travel alone if at all possible! It’s so nice to have the extra support, gives you a chance to maybe have a nap between feeds, someone else to pop the soother back in while you are driving or with older babies someone to sit in the back with toys for entertainment.

I can’t even count the number of times I have done this drive since (at least 10 times) i’m sorry to say that even if the first trip goes well that does not reflect on how the next trip is going to go. Once those teeth come in or they decide to have a wonderful little sleep regression (4 months & 8 months for my guy) things can get tricky when strapping them into a car for 9 hours.

Survival Tip #2 – Bring as many chew toys & age appropriate snacks as possible! I found that in between naps/feeding & diaper changes the best time killers were teething biscuits and those little rubber things you can fill with frozen bananas and stuff (messy yes.. but happy baby equals happy mom & dad).

Once I realized that I wasn’t a huge fan of these long a$$ road trips I decided to check into flights. Hallelujah, I was totally happy to attempt a 45 minute plane ride that would get us there at the same time we left due to the time change. Now there’s only one problem.. how am I going to pack everything I need for this tiny little baby.. bassinet, playpen, car seat, stroller, 500 cute outfits, blankies, high chair, soothers, snacks, sound machine, monitor, 500 pairs of adorable shoes even tho he doesn’t walk yet, okay you get it. IT’S ALOT!

Survival Tip #3 – When flying try to be realistic with what you need to pack. If you are lucky enough to have good support on the other end of where you are going maybe ask them if they can borrow some things or maybe even buy some things to keep at their place. I had so much anxiety about having to bring everything so my mom made sure she had a car seat, play pen, high chair & stroller so all I had to do was throw babes in my Tula carrier, put on my backpack (which I had condensed into a purse and a diaper bag leaving me hands free) and hit the airport sweating like a maniac praying to god my mostly whiney baby was well behaved that day.

(Note the basting brush and green solo shot glass.. the only toys I brought on the plane which were his favorite at the time)

I could go on and on about the many adventures we have taken with this little guy but honestly the best thing you can do when travelling with a baby/toddler/child whether it’s by car, plane or boat is to just relax and know that you are doing your best! Bring help when possible because we all know the more hands the better, bring lots of special yummy snacks because we all know how happy this makes them, once they are old enough to be obsessed with paw patrol don’t forget the iPad (Netflix now allows you to download episodes & movies to watch offline) and don’t over pack because we all know that we never use half the sh*t we bring!

(4 months old and we took uncles boat out for a cruise! The relaxing movement of the waves and the fresh air defiantly gave my arms a break and rocked the little one to sleep)

Thank you for reading and good luck with any future travels, you got this mama’s!

Cheers,

Kayla Kalisuk

To view Kayla’s Cherry Creek Soap & Co, visit her site here.

Mom Bloggers Introductions!

I am very excited to introduce the addition of some local guest Momma Bloggers from the Leduc and Beaumont areas! I will be posting one blog post a week on a different topic. Here are a couple ideas that have floated around: Mom guilt, travelling with your little one, 1st vs 3rd pregnancies, pressures of being a first time mom, surviving newborn twins, life after IVF, miscarriage and natural alternatives! There will be a wide range of topics and I am looking forward to sharing it all with you. Now, below is our team of guest momma bloggers that are going to be sharing some of their stories/lessons – whether good or bad – with all of you!

 

 

Kayla Kaliszuk

Kayla is a 26 year old certified interior decorator that gave up a life of glamorous tile selections to pursue motherhood, co creating her own business (Cherry Creek Soap & Co.), and becoming a cliche #momboss!

To view Kayla’s Cherry Creek Soap & Co business, visit here: http://www.cherrycreeksoapco.bigcartel.com/products

 

Katie Pressé

Dangerously close to turning 30, I am a stay at home mom to 3 angelic children (HA!)…Colin (7), Molly (4) & Quinn (8 months).  My incredibly hardworking husband Nick and I have been together nearly a decade & have called Alberta home since 2008.  I am passionate about my family, volunteering, fundraising/charity work, and truly enjoy putting my heart into the community.  A huge part of MY community is a circle of 3000+ women in the Facebook group, Leduc Mamas, which I founded 7 years ago as an insecure, lonely, brand new mom.

I’m a pop culture nut, and love to cook.  I would like to call myself a Pinterest guru, but I have more failures than successes…trying is worth something though, right? Old man winter and I don’t get along, but I love to be outdoors when it doesn’t make my face hurt.  I’m always looking to explore more of what Alberta has to offer and can’t wait to continue building our crazy little life here in Leduc!

 

 Amy Holland

I am 28 years old and a first time mom to a baby girl who will be a year at the end of April. Where has the time gone? I will have been married for 3 years in the summer. My husbands put up with my crazy ideas for over 10 years though. I am also a crazy dog lover and have 2 fur babies as well – one is a rescued black lab heeler and the other is a dachshund. They are the goofiest pair of friends. I am passionate about my family, friends, being outdoors, fun adventures and teaching and inspiring children. I will be returning to work at the beginning of April and will be teaching grade 2 to add another thing to my crazy life.

Since this is our first baby, we have found that we have made some mistakes but we have learned even more. My newest challenge will be balancing work, being a mother, and a wife. I hope to inspire and help other moms by sharing my relatable stories.

 

Andrea Spaude-Kerr

I’m a stay at home mama to boy/girl twin toddlers that likesto read, write, craft and practice yoga. I am discovering a new passion somewhere deep down for baking and am a huge animal lover. I drink way too much coffee during the day and stay up too late at night. I enjoy crime reality shows, Vietnamese food, potty humor, any movie with Vin Diesel except for The Pacifier and colorful fluffy socks.

 

 Melanie Gallie

I’m the farmer behind FrugalBushBunny CSA Farm just an hour from Alberta’s capital. My life as wife & mother of two is pretty crazy! Gardening, hunting, foraging, fishing & raising farm animals keep me outdoors a lot. I love to shop…anywhere. I’m as happy thrifting as I am visiting William Sonoma & my obsession with stationary & Hello Kitty are probably detrimental to my bank account.

I’m the mom at the park talking loudly on the phone dropping F bombs & not really paying attention to my kids. Because honestly I brought them to the park so I could have a few moments to catch up with my long distance BFF.  I’m also the mom who teaches my kids to be strong independent individuals by showing them that you don’t have to be a push over to be nice & that compassion for others is not a weakness. That learning something for yourself is always better than relying on someone else & the only way to fail is to give up (but none of that everyone is a winner crap!)

I’m the mom with crayon/paint/s**t (probably literally) on the walls, housekeeping never makes it on my To Do list. I let my kids cook & bake & use sharp pointy knives under my supervision (I swear I’m not THAT bad!) And we try to go on as many family dates & adventures as possible.

I’m a little bit of everything rolled into one & I’m going to keep following my heart no matter what!

To check out Melanie’s FrugalBushBunny CSA Farm, check out her page here: facebook.com/FrugalBushBunnyFarm/

 

 Michelle Mack

I  am a wife of almost 11 years to a man that loves me and all my crazy ideas and ways, mom to 3 totally different and look nothing like me kids (2 girls 9,7 and a boy 18 months and 2 angel babies up in heaven). I have been a stay at home mom for 9 years and after my 2nd child I realized I love being home but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I once dreamed it to be. I longed for my own identity and the opportunity to contribute in my own way to our family.

Three years ago I was introduced to Young Living Essential oils and I have been an oily addict ever since. I have since built a team and business from home that fulfills me, I teach and share with others how to implement essential oils into our daily lives and reduce chemicals and toxins in our homes.

Outside of my domesticated duties and working, I fill my days with  friends and coffee, motherhood has brought me a whole tribe of woman I couldn’t live without. If you are a mom you need mom friends. They will keep you sane, assure you that you are not alone , encourage you, cry with you and laugh with you! My other loves include home decor, MLS listings, blogging, and a well delivered F bomb.  As I near 40 and reflect on the last 10 years of creating life, learning, growing, stretching, failing and surviving I hope to continue keeping it real and encouraging moms to embrace our perfectly imperfect lives.

For more information on Michelle’s essential oil journey, visit her here: www.getoiling.com/michellemack

 

 Chantal Aird

Hi, I’m Chantal- wife of Steve, Momma to Natalie, Layla & Olivia, Photographer, Blogger, and Dreamer. I started blogging in 2017 to find fun, local family gems in Alberta. I love inspiring families to create memories with the activities I find and appreciate the insight I gain through the parenting stories I share. I am a stay at home mom in the prairies and I help with my family’s toy store business. I believe in supporting local businesses to keep our communities vibrant.

To follow her journey, check her out on Facebook: facebook.com/3chicks1hen/