Tag Archives: motherhood

Finding Your Tribe

24 Jul

Having a new baby can bring a whole lot of ups and downs.  Whether it’s having your first child, second, third, or fourth (fifth?! sixth?)  the changes it brings to the family unit can be big….life changing big.  A new human being, a new child, a new sibling, a new love.  One thing I have found since becoming a mother with my first child is you need to find your tribe. Your support group(s), friends, meet-ups, playgroups and outings where you can be surrounded by others going through a similar experience.  Finding those special groups who totally get you and totally get, or at least show support towards, what you are striving for as a family.

I have found many tribes and even after 2 years of being a mom I am still finding new ones while continuing to grow familiar ones.  I have built tribes from online relationships discovered through twitter and Facebook. I have nourished tribes I had previously from the yoga community, nannying gigs and existing friendships. I have been a part of powerful tribes that have come together over breastfeeding, attachment parenting, fun playgroups and baby signing and much more.

With social media being mainstream in society I continue to enjoy my tribes who I have made initial contact with through Facebook groups and twitter conversations.  Creating conversations within a closed Facebook group with women who just “get you” and then taking those online relationships offline to coffee dates, park playdates and dinners is a wonderful experience.  I think of how blessed I have been in being a social media enthusiast, blogging and tweeting and the relationships with people who I probably would have never of met if it wasn’t for social media.  I have created relationships through these channels and with some of those people they are some of the people we enjoy spending a lot of time with.  Some of the people who know the most about me and my business I have met online and took those relationships offline and watched them grow.

When it all comes down to it and you haven’t even managed a shower in a day or two you know that your tribe will still be there for you, with open arms.  So I want to thank my tribes for always being there for me.  And to all the mama’s out there who are feeling alone. Reach out. Find a tribe, maybe you need to try out a few first, but once you find the one that is right for you you will be knowing it is the right fit!

And if you are on twitter then come on over and let’s connect! Tweet me at @amandadegrace

Who is your tribe and how did you connect with them? Through a local playgroup? Childhood friends? online?


Two Years Too Fast

13 May

What a whirlwind! A whirlwind that has been absolutely amazing and a journey I am so blessed to be a part of.  Two years ago today I was wondering if he was ever going to make his arrival and wondering what life was really going to be like once we became parents.  Little did I know I would only have to wait 48 more hours to finally meet him!

The last two years I have learned so much from Dominic. I have learned what its like to really play and enjoy the simple moments such as pausing to watch a plane fly by, crouching down to watch an ant carry food and watch the squirrels run up the trees.

The joy of his laughter can lighten my mood at any time, no matter what is happening around me.  His smile always makes me want to smile back and the joy of watching him learn more everyday continues to amaze me.

Who knew that two years could ever go by so fast. As I pause and try to enjoy each and every moment while they are arrive, being present, I can’t help but worry how fast the next 2 will go by as well.

Unintentional Sabbatical!

6 Feb

EEK, so apparently I took a small and unintentional sabbatical from my blog.  However, it was needed. Needed to refresh my mind and more importantly take care of my mind, body and spirit as I nourish the little human being growing inside me and the little man who runs around the house everyday with a smile from ear to ear.   But…I’M BACK!

December was a busy month full of ups and downs. For various reasons we decided to take D out of his daycare. A decision we had been contemplating for quite some time and finally said enough is enough. If we were thinking of taking him out of daycare that meant that we weren’t truly happy with having him there and therefore needed to do something about it.  It was torn emotions as we loved the lady who worked directly with him everyday but the daycare management needed some extreme work and this mama was done with the uphill climb it had been over the past few months. He loved his friends at daycare and one little girl he still gets to see when we have playdates.  It was a few weeks of unknown after that. We visited a few other daycare centres but none really met my standards. Yes, to some I may be a little picky, but after working as a nanny for years I have full right to be. I saw children in a lot of different childcare situations and I believe I am a pretty good judge of character.

We decided to go the nanny route as it would be nice to have D at home for the most part and we would have our options of activities for him to go to throughout the week.  Another added benefit for us was having him at home and the assistance of a nanny when the new baby comes in March.  So the new nanny is hired and currently on day #2, my fingers are crossed that things work out for all of us!

Despite our intentions of having a quiet Christmas with lots of downtime it ended up being full of activities and events. They were fun for all but left us needing a vacation from our time off!

Baby Girl will be here before we know it and WOW does my body ever feel different this pregnancy. The second time around it seems much more difficult earlier on.  Already at 33 weeks I am getting mild contractions, pelvic pain and I am soooo tired! Not to mention the non stop nausea that still visits each and every day.  Thankfully it is getting a little better and I am really starting to eat more!  The poutine and beavertail at Winterlude was delicious Friday night 😉

So it seems we are finally back into a routine with childcare some what sorted out. My business is thriving as I begin to step back a little bit, let it grow and nurture it in other ways. My “day job” is continually busy but we have come up with a common ground for me to take some time off and work most of my hours from home.

I have come to realize that sometimes unintentional sabbaticals happen for a reason and we need to embrace them!

With the days flying by and the to do lists always there I always come back to this picture….my two favourite men in the whole world!

Precious Memories Captured

17 Feb

Wow, how fast these little snuggly babes grow. It was only 9 short months ago that we welcomed the most wonderful baby boy into the world. With his dark hair, big blue eyes and strong big hands we were so excited to bring him home. The days went by fast and somehow here we are with his first birthday just 3 short months away.

We take endless photos and video, uploading some on our youtube channel and keeping others to view on our own. However, I always thought about having pictures taken while D & I shared in the special moments while breastfeeding. For those who have been reading since the start of our journey you may remember the challenges we had when we started breastfeeding. We had week after week of hard work, trying to up my milk supply, not leaving the house without a breast pump and feeding every 2-3 hours the first 6 weeks. You can read that uphill mountain climb here, here and oh ya….here too! After all the hard work and dedication I put into getting this wonderful breastfeeding journey to work I wanted to ensure we had the memories captured to look back at in the coming years.

A friend and photographer extraordinaire, Sara McConnell, was looking for breastfeeding mothers who would be willing to have photographs taken for her portfolio and to share with local baby friendly businesses. I immediately volunteered as I knew I could not pass up an opportunity like this and I love helping out a friend when I can! I didn’t even think twice about my breasts being on display. They are here to feed my child, that is their purpose at this point of my life. My breasts nurture and nourish my child and is a bonding experience I would not have changed for the world. If you have not had any pictures taken of you while breastfeeding your child I highly recommend it. Time goes by way too fast and you don’t want to look back in a few years and wish you had.

You can check out some of the photographs here on Sara’s blog. We are the first and sixth photographs. Huge thanks to Sara for inviting us into her studio and perfectly capturing these wonderful memories for us.

You can find more information on Sara McConnell Photography at www.saramcconnell.ca

Sara, from my family to yours THANK YOU!

Baby Mel Tool Bag

18 Oct

**contest closed** Congrats to #28, Linda.

I had the opportunity to review the fantastic Baby Mel Tool Bag. I have been using this bag exclusively for the past 2 months and it has travelled to doctors appointments, overnight trips, many car rides, swimming, libraries, shopping, yoga classes, breastfeeding groups and many many more places. Our Baby Mel Tool Bag has been attached to the stroller, worn while I babywear, thrown in the car when it’s pouring & we need to get going, set on the sidewalk to attend to a crying baby and has been everywhere else we have been in the past two months. This includes surviving the move to a new house with an infant 😉

The bag comes in 3 different colours- black, red & army camo. We received the red bag and are also happy how vibrant of a red it stayed after a wash. It features a multitude of pockets on the inside and the outside of the bag ensuring you stay organized at all times. I always know what pocket has the burp cloth, my business cards, keys, babes favourite toys, baby wipes and everything else we need when going on an outing with an active baby.  For a Type A like me organization is key, and this bag allows you to do that and more!

At times I took it to fitness classes, to teach yoga and out with friends. I never felt like I was carrying a frumpy bag let alone a diaper bag. It does not replace my need or use for Prada but I don’t rush to change my bag because I’m afraid others will see it’s a diaper bag. I was able to put my change of workout clothes, iPhone, iPod touch & speakers, make up and more all in the Baby Mel tool bag too!

I would like to see the change pad replaced with a more sturdier option.  I found it quite flimsy and did not use it in the diaper bag.  I put our Patemm Pad inside to use or would just use a receiving blanket as a quick fix.  The change pad obviously does not make a diaper bag, but it is something I always look at when purchasing a diaper bag.  I would love if the change pad also reflected the style and class of the bag.

Any spills can be easily wiped up and I have yet to have any tears or fraying and I throw this bag EVERYWHERE!  I will continue to use this bag on a daily basis and look forward to its years of use!  With 10 outside pockets, 6 elasticized inside, 2 insulated bottle pockets and easy to wipe clean this is a great diaper bag that I recommend to others.

The fantastic people at Baby Mel bags have offered our readers a lovely giveaway of their Sammie bag.

To Enter: 

1. Comment below, after visiting Baby Mel, and tell me what you like the most about their products.  

Extra Entries (remember to leave a comment for each extra entry) 

*email subscribe to my blog and leave a comment telling me that you have done so (or that you already do!). 

*become a fan of Little Lotus Yoga on facebook and leave a comment to inform me. 

*follow @babymelbags on twitter

*blog about this giveaway with links back to this post and leave a comment to inform me. 

*tweet about this giveaway (after following us all) using the following: @amandadegrace & @littlelotus yoga are having a @babymelbags #giveaway! enter here: http://ow.ly/38HSD

Contest closes Friday November 12th  at 11:59p.m. a winner will be drawn via random.org and announced the next day. The winner will be notified via email and it will be announced on this blog.  Giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents.  Winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond. If no response with 48 hours a new winner will be drawn.  Product will be mailed directly to you from Baby Mel. 

I would like to thank Baby Mel for providing me with the Tool Bag for review.  All opinions in this blog post are 100% mine and no money compensation was received in exchange for this review

Mommy’s First Cold

27 Sep

So it has finally happened, my first cold as a mom and boy does my head hurt, nose is stuffed and I can’t stop sneezing! I really just want to lay down and sleep all day long but I have a sweet baby boy who keeps looking at me with big smiles and a runny nose too 😉  You see as a nanny I always had the opportunity to just call in sick when I felt this horrid, or as a fitness instructor I would find somebody to lead my classes for me or we would cancel them for that day.  But now I have a job that doesn’t allow me to call in sick or have a replacement come in and take over.  You know what? I am okay with that because I love my new job as mom 🙂

However I know that my job is easier now than being sick with a toddler who needs constant supervision and interaction.  My little man is still little enough that he is more than interested in sitting and nursing for longer, laying down and nursing, sleeping and snuggling, jumping in his jolly jumper, playing in his exersaucer, sucking and chewing on Sophie the Giraffe and then repeating said sequence again. 

I have been using plenty of hydrasense, using my neti pot and drinking lots of lemon herbal tea.  I am really hoping that this cold is short-lived though as the laundry is piling and we are to head to Montreal this weekend.  I feel worse for my little man who cannot blow his own nose.  However, his daddy has been very kind as he squirts it with baby hydrasense then uses a contraption to suck the mucus out!

So how do you survive when you are sick? Are you able to stay in bed all day with cuddles from the kids?  Are your kids in daycare and you take a sick day from work? Any guilty bribes you may pass on to older children to help keep them quiet and engaged in an activity while you rest?

I am looking forward to my lovely husband coming home so he can help take care of us both!


14 Aug

So you might have seen the tweets flying with advice from others on how I could get baby boy out of the habit of his “suck to sleep” association, meaning that he would only sleep when he could nurse to sleep and would then wake up when moved away from the breast.  We had so many difficulties with breastfeeding the first few weeks that we basically co-slept attached to each other.   I love co-sleeping with my little boy but knew eventually I wanted my own space back.  I was afraid of creating a habit that was going to be too hard to break later on in his life. I wanted him to eventually learn to fall asleep on his own, whether in my bed or not.  We tried the No Cry Sleep Solution for a week and did not even see an inch of progress. I am sure if we would have stuck with it longer we could have possibly seen a little bit of progress but I was jumping the gun and wanted to see some progress. The few nights we tried the no cry we tried for over 2 hours and by then he was so exhausted.  One of the issues we were having is his arms and legs fly everywhere when he sleeps and he is a little houdini who can get out of anything we swaddled him in. We tried receiving blankets, the large muslin blankets (which are awesome for summer as blankets!!) and another type of swaddle blanket.  Thankfully Lara from Gliding Through Motherhood  & Kids in the Capital, came to the rescue with the miracle blanket.  We tried the blanket out and he actually stayed swaddled the whole night! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU LARA!  The past 2-3 weeks babe has been sleeping soundly, for the most part, in 2.5-3hour stretches and once he is nursed can be put down and he will stay asleep!!  Only two nights has he somehow figured out how to get out of the miracle blanket and I have yet to see how he does it.

So I may have complained/whined/thought he would never sleep a month ago and now there are nights that I feel like whining because he is now sleeping in his own co-sleeper or cradle and does not need to be held in my arms to sleep.  There are nights when I finish nursing him and just hold him while he sleeps because I am seeing how fast the days go by, how fast he grows and how soon enough he may not want me to snuggle him every moment of every day.

When I walked into the room the other night he was still fast asleep on his own and here is what my big boy looked like…..

So calm, so serene, so peaceful….

Okay mama’s so I want to know your journey along the way with your kids and sleep! Are they good sleepers? Still don’t sleep th night? Do you co-sleep? Do you cry it out? No cry sleep solution? Do you follow a strict bedtime routine? Remember this is a safe-free zone! No answer is right or wrong! I just love all the advice and hearing the journeys mama’s before me have taken 😉