Monthly Archives: July 2015

How to Make Your Pig Pen POP!

By Jac

As I have said before, I’m not much of a Pinterest gal. I’m just not interested in making crafts and food and design that looks flawless. (I am on Pinterest now, pinning anything on the internet that I find interesting, but that’s not ever anything pretty.) However, I have noticed that blogs with practical tips and advice about decor tend to do VERY well, so I decided to use my own particular set of skills to create a how-to guide of my own. Enjoy!

Don’t you hate it when you are getting a new batch of pigs for your farm, but the little pen you have for them to live in is just plain old BORING? This is a problem I recently had, so I decided to enlist the help of my young daughters to show them (and you!) that farming can be fun AND beautiful!

Follow these easy steps to create your own Stylish Sty. Continue reading

The OTHER Packing To-Do List

By Juli

My kids and I are leaving tomorrow to go work at a camp for a week, and we are all very, very excited. Camp means so many wonderful things — fun with friends, crafts, activities, good conversations and hopefully spending quality time together as a family. Unsurprisingly, however, I have a packing and to-do list that are each a mile long, and I ended up with a lot more to do today than I bargained for.

My regular to-do list has the usual things on it around packing and preparing for the week away. However, I also have ANOTHER to-do list, which I don’t often articulate or write down, mostly because I don’t usually have to think of these things, I automatically just DO them because I have learned the HARD WAY. However, today I wrote them down, because I figured that they might help somebody else out there who is also planning a summer trip. Continue reading

When Kids Review Inside Out

By Jac (and her daughters)

It was quite a long time ago, now, when my two oldest daughters let me interview them for a post. They’ve been asking me to do it again for a while now, and considering that I want them to LIKE my blog, I thought it was time to oblige. So may I present to you: the most convoluted review of a movie you’ve ever heard. Side-note if you haven’t seen it: the emotions they mention are the CHARACTERS in the movie. (To remind you: G is seven and a half, and E is almost six.)

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E: G, what should we do?

G: I don’t know.

E (whispering): She’s typing everything we say!

G: Blah.

E: Blah. This is the best blog post ever.

G: How’s it going mama?

Me: Ummm…. How about you start by telling me about your favourite movie of the summer? Continue reading

Do More Relaxing When You Win a Fancy New Video Monitor

By Jac

I’m a big fan of baby monitors. I’ve always had the standard listening-only ones, which I relied on when I needed to sleep with a fan in my room, or when I was far away from whichever of my children was a sleeping baby at the time. So when my trusty monitor stopped working recently, I was pretty annoyed. Was I really going to buy a new monitor when my youngest child was already one and a half? I should be almost done with monitors! But I couldn’t NOT buy one; our house is three stories, and we have sound-blocking fans running all the time. I simply need to be able to hear the kids who are too little, still, to get up and find me if they need me. Continue reading

There’s No Time Like Nothing Time

By Juli

Lots of people in the world these days, it seems, are heavily scheduled. It comes across as almost a point of pride for people to talk about how busy they are, and I know I’ve felt this too. When I’m busy I feel important, accomplished, proud. This is true, at least, with certain things. With other things I just feel exasperated and unimportant. For example, if I’ve been busy with work meetings and/or clients, that would fit in category number one. If I’ve been busy cleaning up poop all day, that activity falls soundly behind curtain number two.

It’s often true, it seems to me, that those who hyper-schedule themselves also hyper-schedule their kids. When we want to invite “Billy” over for a spontaneous playdate, and he’s got soccer and swimming and jiu-jitsu and gymnastics and tight-rope walking and sword-swallowing and german club, and all of that before dinner, it’s hard to imagine that there would ever be a time when he’d be able to come for an hour to just fart around at our place. Continue reading

10 Mom Hacks to Fake Being a “Supermom”

By Jac

You know those moms who seem to have it all together? The ones who are good at it all: the baking and the crafts and the smiling and the basic hygiene? I think that the truth is that no one really has it all “together,” but some people are very good at looking like they do. In some cases, appearances really go a long way, and because of that, here are some simple “Supermom Hacks” that I use to trick people into thinking that I’m better at this parenting/being a grown-up gig than I really am. Continue reading

“Mommy, guess what’s in my mouth!” and other scenarios that never end well

By Juli

I am a fan of good endings. I like when a movie ends with a lost dog finding his way home, or when the relationship between the two main characters works out, or when the little boy who was left out at school finds a friend. Good endings are quite common in movies, but they are not so common in the every day moments of life with small children, a fact I have picked up on in my 7.5 years of motherhood. This makes sense, because movies are often tied up in such neat little packages, and children might just be the furthest thing from “neat little packages.”

Muddy field... sibling love... who could have predicted that this would end badly?  Me. that's who.

Muddy field … sibling love … who could have predicted that this would end badly?
ME. That’s who.

Continue reading

Vacation Lessons We’ve Learned the Hard Way

We are participating in a blogging “round robin” today, in which different bloggers write about the same topic, and then their readers can check out several different perspectives on the same topic. Please enjoy our take on “One Parenting Lesson We Learned the Hard Way” and then go check out the blogs of the other participants!

Before we had children, vacations were like … actual vacations. Of course the packing and the travel was often stressful, but then when you would arrive at your destination, you were able to relax and unwind, enjoying the freedom to abandon schedules and just … do whatever you want to. Back then, we would look at vacation photos of families with young children, smiling and snorkelling and meeting Disney Princesses, and we would look forward to someday sharing similar fun experiences with our own children. However, those pictures did not effectively prepare us for the harsh, exhausting reality. Here is just a short list of things we two fun moms (although the “fun” is sometimes debatable when we are on holidays with our families) have learned the hard way.

Continue reading

Alive On the Beach

By Jac

I have always loved the west coast beach, and this past week I got to visit my sister and her family on their oceanfront property just outside of Duncan, BC. While I do love a soft-sand, drink-in-hand, book-reading beach vacation, when I’m with my kids I’d rather be at the kind of ocean shore that requires shoes because there are too many barnacles for bare feet. There is just so much to learn and see and do when the beach is covered with seaweed and seashells and rocks, and just seems totally alive.

It is the aliveness I was enjoying a few mornings ago, down at the shore. A group of kids, my own and my sister’s, were playing behind me, Continue reading

Moving with my boy

My son, who is seven (“and a HALF!” as he constantly reminds me), is hardly ever not moving. I notice this every morning when he comes upstairs to sunnily greet his groggy father and I. I am always struck at the contrast — here I am, exhausted and very unwilling to move even an inch toward getting out of bed and going downstairs, usually silently willing my husband to do it instead. And yet I watch as A remains in constant motion, walking around and around in a circle while he talks to me. Sometimes he’ll manoeuvre around to the other side of the bed to continue to circle and talk to his father, who resembles a hibernating bear in the morning, and will maybe manage a few grunts and a half-open eye. Neither of our reactions dissuade our energetic boy, he continues to circle, laugh, tell his story, get the acknowledgement from us that he was hoping for, and then disappear downstairs again to continue whatever he was doing. This need for movement, I have noticed, has nothing to do with his ability to focus. My boy is almost too good at focusing — he will sometimes have so much intense focus on what he’s doing that he literally can’t hear a word I say, even as I repeat my instructions three, four, five times. He gets this from his father. And he has never, not even as a toddler, been energetic to the point of destruction of toys, furniture, glassware, what have you. He has always just wanted to move. Continue reading

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