Why I love FATHERHOOD

Fatherhood changed my life, my kids are my greatest accomplishment and I want to share why.

 

 

Prior to having children, I never imagined my self as a dad…especially a young dad with multiple children including triplets and a toddler. If you had asked me about kids, I would have said that I wasn’t ready and I wanted to wait. Now I hear that phrase and I think to myself, are we ever really “ready” to have children?

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For us there was no plan. My wife and I had been together for 6 years before we had our first child, Emily. I am not saying it was out of the blue – as we had many conversations about having a baby – but it became one of those things where we said that if it happened, it happened…and then it did.

Finding out I was going to be a dad was terrifying! I had just graduated school, I still lived at home with my parents, and I was only 3 years in to working my full time job as a bank teller. Hell, I had never even changed a diaper in my life! Looking back, I had no idea what I was in for. I think what worried me the most probably from portrayals of parenting in movies and on TV was the thought that suddenly your life and freedom come to an end when you have kids (theoretically speaking, of course). I was more worried about all of the judgement from friends and family about our living situation, financial situation, and that fact that we were young parents. I could have not been more wrong.

 

 

My family, my wife’s family and our friends were extremely excited and supportive. I remember telling my mom and watching her break down in tears of joy in celebration of our news. I am not saying my dad and stepmom weren’t excited or supportive, because they were.  But after breaking the news to them did not go the way I had expected it to (details aside), they eventually expressed their happiness.

One thing I learned about expecting a baby was that it “manned” me right up! I knew I had to get my priorities in order,  including, among other things, getting prepared for buying my first home with extreme excitement and focus around setting up our nursery.

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Despite everything I was worried or concerned about prior to having children, I could not have been more wrong. Fatherhood changed my life in the best possible way and to this day it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My kids are my greatest accomplishment. I know it sounds cliché, but it is 100% my truth!

Growing up, my brothers and I had been through many unfortunate events that no child or children should ever go through. My mom was a single mother of 4 who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and my dad was an alcoholic. I suffered abuse and neglect. I have been through foster care where I was separated from my twin brother and my other siblings for over a year. I remember a very dark past. I never had any real guidance on what life had to offer, or ways to get ahead. My first bank account was opened at the age of 8, and I had no education savings like an RESP. When it came to finances and bills, I often learned things the hard way. In hindsight, it really helped me become more responsible, resourceful, and appreciative of everything I had and everything I worked for.

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I have shared very little details about difficulties in my past, but with everything I have been through and the struggles and battles people like my mom have experienced, I always vowed that my life and my family’s life would be different. I promised myself that they would never experience difficulty or struggle like the hardship I knew from my childhood. I have used the memory and experience of those struggles as motivation to be the best provider I could be so that my kids would not go through anything close to what I had been through. Despite all of the struggles, my mom and dad are wonderful people. I can remember so many amazing things growing up with my family that would truly warm your heart. We all have our battles, and we all have our way of dealing with things. After being addicted to drugs most of my life, my mom has been clean and sober for over 7 years. She is very present in my life and my kids’ lives as well. She is an amazing grandma!

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One of the truest sayings I have every come across says, “When a baby is born, a dad is born.” I never imagined my life as a father to one baby, let alone to four. Being a father of triplets has me in awe every day. It has been two years since their birth and I am still blown away that my wife and I conceived these 3 babies naturally. The last 3 years as a dad have been the best and most rewarding years of my life so far, and I expect that to continue in leaps and bounds as my kids learn and grow.

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Fatherhood for me created such a huge spark in my life and has kept me so motivated! I want to be the best influence and as involved as I can possibly be in my children’s lives. My kids represent everything great about me and they are my greatest accomplishment. When I became a dad, I became a million things. I became a doctor, a comedian and even became a superhero! Dads are there to make things better. To heal wounds, to cause laughter and ultimately give advice. I just love learning about my kids and cannot even begin to express how blessed and happy I am to be a father to my children. They have changed my life.

 

To conclude this blog post, I want to express that fatherhood is amazing! We have such a vital role in our children’s lives and we need to be aware of how important we are and how much we truly mean to our kids. I want to express great wishes and send an honorable fatherly salute to all of you amazing dads out there!

Happy Father’s Day!

Dan.

How to Survive Feeding 4 Toddlers | #PlaytexMoms

Now that the triplets are 2, we can finally say we are living with 4 toddlers. They are always on the go, I feel like they never stop and they are always looking for the next thing to eat. With the amount of energy they burn when constantly running around, it’s no wonder why they eat so much!

It’s a big job to feed 4 toddlers, so I am always trying to find ways to make it easier for myself when it comes to feeding them. Everything from being picky one day with food that they would normally love, to not wanting to share with each other are almost everyday occurrences. I have to think of creative ways to make their meals fun and make sure they are actually going to eat. I think it is a great idea to try to make mealtime fun for everyone that way your kids don’t start to think it’s something they have to do, but rather something they want to do!

As you have watched many mealtimes happen through our vlogs you would have noticed that we use the Playtex® Mealtime Bowls, Plates and Utensils. They have become a key part in our mealtimes for Emily and the triplets, which is why I am excited to share my personal review on them. We are happy to be partnering with PlaytexBaby™ and to be a #PlaytexMom. PlaytexBaby™ has sponsored this post and all the views and opinions in this post are my own, from my own experiences.

I am also going to share three simple tips that I have for each meal, that I think will help to successfully survive feeding toddlers.

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(Left to Right) Jackson, Emily, Levi and Olivia enjoying one of their favorite snacks, banana bread!

Over the course of the day, we generally have three meals and two to three snacks. I love to cook, so when I have the time I always like to try something different, even though most times Emily and the triplets aren’t as excited as I am. Most mornings, I usually make them eggs or something that involves eggs, such as French toast. Both meals are quick and easy to make and I know everyone will always enjoy them. Eggs are still a little difficult for them to eat on their own, but they are getting better each time. If I am being truthfully honest, I hate letting them eat eggs on their own. It never goes well and it usually ends with a big mess of scrambled eggs all over floor with barely any actually eaten!

Although I know they make a big mess with the eggs, the Playtex® Toddler Utensils have been great for helping the triplets learn how to eat with a spoon or fork. I love that the utensils have a soft, non-slip handle which makes it easy for them to hold with their little hands. I also really love that the spoon part and tongs of the fork are metal because it makes it easier to pick up food. I always found with the plastic utensils, it was hard to actually pierce a piece of food to pick up and eat.

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(Left to Right) Jackson, Olivia, Emily and Levi eating a french toast breakfast on their Playtex® Mealtime Animal Plates and using their Playtex® Sipster Cups

Even when I do feed them myself, I like to use the Playtex® Toddler Utensils because they are the perfect size for their little mouths. They also help to control how big of a bite I give them, so I know I am not stuffing their mouth with too much food and preventing any choking from happening.

This leads to my TIP #1 – Keep it Simple

From what I have learned, toddlers don’t like overly complicated meals. They like what they know and that is something simple. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to add seasonings to recipes to make it taste better or try something new to an old recipe, just to be given a look of disgust and a whole lot of wasted food. Just keep it simple and make what they know and you will have a toddler who will eat!

The second meal of the day is, of course, lunch and this one I find is probably the most difficult of the three. Breakfast is pretty good because Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are hungry first thing in the morning, but lunch is in the middle of the day, in the middle of their play time and usually falls around their nap time. It can sometimes take a lot to get everyone to sit and eat, so I usually have to think of something fun. Having dishes that have a fun and colorful design on them is such a big help, which is where the Playtex® Mealtime Plates come in to play. The Playtex® Mealtime Plates have some many fun designs with bright colors that really do attract the attention of toddlers. Every time I give Emily and the triplets their plate of food they point out the different animals on the plate. It definitely helps to keep them focused on their meal and eating a little longer.

Now that Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are self-feeding most of their meals, the design of the Playtex® Mealtime Plates are so great.The Playtex® Mealtime Plates edges are slanted upwards and the height of the slant is high, which helps to keep food on their plate. The rubber rims around the plates and the non-slip base on the plates is another feature I love because, as we all know, tipping and spills are pretty much inevitable with toddlers, but with the non-slip base it takes a little more before they tip the plate over. As much as I try to get everyone to sit still to eat it is virtually impossible, so to have a dish designed like the Playtex® Mealtime Plates is so helpful and saves a lot of time cleaning us a mess.

Now it’s time for TIP #2 – Be Creative

When it comes to creativity, being creative with food can be fun, but like I said in tip #1, keep it simple. When I say be creative, I am referring to how your toddler is going to eat. If you can get outside and set up a picnic style lunch or if you have a little bench or table for your kids to eat at, it sets a different scene for meal time. If it happens to be raining the day you decided to have a picnic, don’t let it stop you. Just set a blanket out on the ground and tell your toddler you are having an indoor picnic. I have done this multiple times, and we almost always have a picnic lunch!

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The final meal of the day is dinner and this is where I pretty much combine everything I do during the day into one. Dinner is our biggest meal of the day and where I really have to focus on keeping things simple and keeping everyone engaged and focused on dinner. I could get away with feeding the triplets and Emily myself for breakfast, but by the time dinner comes around they want to be little independent people, so it’s better if I can make something where they can self-feed.

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Everyone loves to eat dinner outside. They are using their Playtex® Mealtime Bowls and Forks for yummy pasta!

Depending on what I make, we either use the Playtex® Mealtime Plates or Bowls. Sometimes it can be hard to judge how much your toddler should be eating, especially when they will eat everything and more one day and then the next they want nothing to do with their food. The Playtex® Mealtime Plates and Bowls are both portion-sized, which is a tremendous help because it takes the guessing and thinking out of serving the right amount for your toddler. There will always be days when what your kids eat varies, but to have a guide right in front of you of what a portion looks like for your toddler is a life saver.

I find that dinner is the best meal out of the three to really focus on teaching the triplets how to self-feed with a spoon and fork. It is usually the meal where we have a variety of foods that can easily be picked up with the Playtex® Toddler Utensils. Since they are also wanting to be more independent, they are more receptive to using the Playtex® Toddler Utensils.

As crazy as it is, we still try to go out for dinner with all 4 kids. It is a lot of work, but we manage and when I remember, I like to bring the Playtex® Toddler Forks out with us. The forks at restaurants are always so big, which makes it difficult for Jackson, Olivia and Levi to eat on their own. If they have their Playtex® Toddler fork, they are able to eat dinner on their own, which then allows Dan and I to eat some of our meal while it’s warm.

And for my final TIP #3 – Eat What They Eat

Any parent out there who has a toddler or who has gone through the toddler stage, knows that they can be picky eaters. Dan and I have found that no matter how good their meal may be, Emily and the triplets always want to have what we are eating. We have tried the whole feed them first and then eat dinner after and unless we are eating dinner at 10pm when they have all gone to bed, they still want to eat what we are eating. So to save yourself the time of double feeding, make a meal that you would eat and that your toddler can eat. If they see you eating something 9 out 10 times, they will eat it too!

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Playtex® Mealtime Animal Plate

Feeding toddlers can be a challenge for any parent and every day is going to be different. If you can introduce products in your life to make things easier, such as the Playtex® Mealtime plates, bowls and utensils, everyone wins. I have loved using the Playtex® Mealtime plates, bowls and utensils and can honestly say they have helped me to survive feeding 4 toddlers. They are very durable products and I have seen them put to the test with 4 toddlers who love to run around and throw things. I am happy to have partnered with PlaytexBaby™ and to share with you products that I actually use and love and that I know will help to make your life a little easier too.

I also hope that my three tips will help you out as well. Although they may seem like standard tips, sometimes it is nice to be reminded of little things that you can do and to help show that you don’t have to complicate your life when it comes to feeding toddlers. Just remember to 1. Keep it Simple, 2. Be Creative and 3. Eat What They Eat!

To find out more information about the Playtex® Mealtime plates, bowls and utensils you can visit playtexbaby.ca. If you would like to purchase any of the Playtex® Mealtime plates, bowls and utensils you can find them all at amazon.ca

If you have any tips that you use or have used when it comes to feeding toddlers, please share them below!

You Can’t Always Be “Supermom”

As we start to share our vlogs from our trip to Las Vegas and California, I wanted to share a moment during the trip that you won’t see through the pictures we post.

Throughout the trip we posted pictures that capture a single moment. A moment where Dan and I are smiling, the kids are smiling and everything seems perfect. In that moment it is perfect and we really did have a great time throughout the trip, but it was hard.

The entire trip was a challenge for both Dan and I and trying to manage 4 kids at the same time was a lot of work. I won’t get into too much detail about what it was like traveling with 4 kids, as that will be a separate blog post, but I do want to share one particular moment from the trip.

I am always striving to be the best mom I can be and to be called a “supermom” is something I’m sure a lot of us love to hear. To me, being a supermom means you have everything under control, you are smiling, everyone is happy and you are capable of doing things on your own. I want to be proud of the mom I am and of the things I can achieve. I want my kids to be proud of me and I want to show that I am more than capable of handling things on my own.

I know a lot of you always ask how we do it, but the truth is I can’t always do it. I am not always going to be that “supermom” that I want to be and I have to learn that it’s ok.

It was my sisters bachelorette party and I planned to bring Emily and the triplets to dinner with me since we were going to a restaurant in the hotel and my nanny (grandma) would be watching them after when we went out for the night.

I was already running late and on top of that, I had my sisters outfit in my room, which then made her late for her own dinner. When I finally sat down for dinner, the triplets were very fussy and would not settle down. They wouldn’t sit and needed me to hold them. I had a little break down and started to cry. With everything going on and being late, it became overwhelming for me and it just hit me. I was able to turn my head, to avoid any attention and once I had my cry, I pulled it together and continued on with the night.

The next day it was my sister’s wedding! It was such a fun day and a beautiful ceremony. I was in the wedding party, so Dan was on his own getting everyone to and from the hotel, to the ceremony and then to dinner. My family was there as well, so they were able to help Dan and I out, especially when I was gone.

It is a lot of work trying to keep an eye on 4 kids, 4 toddlers at that, and to keep them entertained for a long stretch of time when they cannot just run around freely makes it extra challenging.

By the time I made it to the restaurant for dinner, Emily and the triplets were there, but Dan had to drive back to the hotel to drop off the van. My family was watching them and trying to keep them entertained, but now I was able to take over. It was a little stressful trying to figure out the seating, but I managed to place their high chairs right beside me.
They were pretty fussy, so I decided to just sit them in my lap, give them chop sticks to play with and give them water every time they asked, pretty much anything that would keep them calm and stop them from crying. It was working for a bit, but they would just fuss again and I felt the same feeling coming over me from the day before.

This was my sister’s wedding and with so many people there, trying to enjoy their time, I felt so bad knowing I couldn’t stop my own kids from crying and fussing. I felt like I was a burden to everyone around and it was unfair for me to ask for help after all the help they had given me during the day. What also makes it difficult is that the triplets are at a stage where they only want me. Even if someone else was to pick them up, they would cry until I was the one holding them.

I felt the rush of anxiety coming over me and the overwhelming feeling I felt at the bachelorette dinner. I thought the best solution would be to just leave. If I left, maybe it would help to calm them down and if not at least I wouldn’t be sitting with everyone while they were crying.

I packed Olivia and Levi into the stroller and picked Jackson up, Emily was sitting with my sister, so I didn’t need to take her with me. I tried to keep a smile on my face and hide the stress that was coming over me and I thought I could just walk away before anyone would notice.

I felt so ridiculous and so bad that I couldn’t keep my calm and figure out a way to settle them down. Dan was with them for the last few hours, so why couldn’t I handle the last 20 minutes? I felt like such a bad mom and I was just ruining everyone’s dinner with 3 crying kids. I hoped that by leaving, they would stop crying and I would be able to just get out of the situation and everything would be ok.

I thought I was being quick and no one noticed, but as I was trying to leave my step dad and a couple of others stopped me, trying to ask me what was wrong and where I was going. I remember saying I just need to leave, please just let me leave. I needed to leave before I started crying because the whole point of me leaving was to avoid any scene, but here I was creating one.

I just really wanted to get out, but no matter how much I tried, no one would let me leave. I remember sitting down and not being able to breathe. I never experienced anything like this before. Everything became so overwhelming for me in that moment, I was having a panic attack.

I felt so ashamed after, that I let it get to that level and I couldn’t keep it together. I was also so embarrassed that this happened in front of everyone and I felt even worse that it happened at my sister’s wedding dinner. I didn’t want to create a scene, which was why I was leaving in the first place, but in the end I did.

There was so much going on and things that were on my mind from the beginning of the week, all just piled up and spiraled down in that moment. It was my first time having an experience like that in public and I really was so embarrassed and couldn’t believe it happened.

In that moment I wasn’t a “supermom” and felt like a really bad mom. Everyone was so understanding about everything and everyone offered me such encouraging words. No one even heard them crying or were bothered by their fussiness. I created these thoughts and scenarios in my head and I let them get the best of me. It showed me that I can’t always do things on my own and no one expects me to. Everyone told me that they don’t expect kids to be quiet and sit still and they all know what it is like to have kids who get fussy at times.

It is still hard for me to think about it and know that I couldn’t handle the situation, but at the same time it helped me to realize that there will be hard times and I have only experienced 2 years of what it is like to have 4 kids and there will be many more times where things become overwhelming and I may just break down again.

I wanted to share this story and my experience to show you that there is always so much more to what you see through pictures. Dan and I love to share our happy moments and times when everyone is smiling, but that doesn’t mean every moment is like that. We don’t always want to show you the sad moments or times we fight or someone gets hurt, but they are there and we go through them just like everyone else.

Parenting is hard and 100% a challenge for both of us and for every parent out there. Someone may have all the patients in the world with a laid back attitude, but that doesn’t mean they won’t face a time when they can’t handle it. I thought I could always handle the stressful times in public, but it just goes to show, you never know when you will break.

I was so lucky to be surrounded by my family and Mike’s family who were so kind and understanding. I think it is so important to make sure you keep those who are there for you close and to always know there are people out there who care for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because no one expects you do always be able to do it on your own; a lesson I am slowly learning myself!

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-Corrie

 

To Check out all of our vlogs from our trip, head over to YouTube! We created a Playlist – Las Vegas/California Road Trip 2017, so you can find all the vlogs in one area! (they will be posted over the week!)

Mornings are Tough – One Million and One Things To Do! | #ForBetterBeginnings

If you were to stop and think about your day for a second, what would you think about? Would you think about everything that you do in a day and how busy you are?

If you could pick a specific time of the day you find to be the toughest, what time would that be? It’s the part of your day where you have what feels like one million things to do, everyone is looking to you for everything they need, you have places to be at specific times and you have hundreds of thoughts going through your mind about what is happening and what needs to happen.

Does that sound like your mornings?

It sounds a lot like mine!

Mornings are the toughest part of my day and I always feel as though I have so much to do and so much going on. Emily and the triplets always get up at the same time and instantly they want me to change their bums or help to use the potty, get them their bottles and a banana and of course turn on their cartoons. All the while I am trying to just get myself out of bed and ready to start the day. We all know what it is like first thing in the morning; you are trying to adjust to the new day and it may take you a few moments or even minutes to fully get out of bed and get ready to take on the day. I am happy to share my outlook on mornings with you and to be partnering with PlaytexBaby on this post, to talk about how mornings are tough. PlaytexBaby understands that your mornings as a parent are tough and their goal it to help you start your day off right and give each of your mornings a better beginning.

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We all experience mornings and everything that comes along with them. Whether you are a stay at home parent, like myself, or a working parent, we are all going through the same thing. You wake up and you need to get yourself and your kids dressed or change their bums and then it’s time for everyone to eat. Not only do you have to make breakfast, but you are also faced with the challenge of getting everyone to actually eat. Then there is a quick clean up, depending on how big of a mess they made. After that, you may have to make lunches if your kids are in school or go to daycare, then do all the drop offs and finally get yourself to work. Don’t forget about the race with the clock and making sure you are getting everyone to where they need to be on time.

If you don’t have kids in school or daycare and are a stay at home parent, then you start to think of all the things you need to get done in the day. After everyone is ready and fed, it’s time to clean up and make a list of things to do. You would be surprised at the amount of things you need to do when you are home. If you have watched our recent video, you would see what my morning routine looks like as a stay at home mom. No matter what your morning routines consist of, they are no doubt tough!

I think what makes mornings so tough, is the fact that they determine how the rest of the day will flow. I know for myself, if I can get through the morning smoothly, it sets up the rest of the day to flow smoothly too. Even if the morning is rough, as long as I can get the things I need to get done in the morning, I’ll have the rest of the day open for everything else.

Say you wake up late; all of a sudden you are now in a rush, you start to forget things, maybe the kids’ lunch or homework that was due and you just feel frantic all day. Or you may wake up on time, but your baby decides they don’t want to eat and throws the food all over, you are now stuck cleaning up an extra mess you didn’t think of and maybe worried as to why your baby doesn’t want to eat and then it leaves you flustered for the rest of the day.

If you woke up on time, your morning routine flowed smoothly and you accomplished everything on time, it makes you feel relaxed and ready for the day. There could still be a lot you need to do in the morning, but if everything goes according to your plan, the rest of your day will hopefully go well too.

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PlaytexBaby has created a special video to show how they understand that mornings are tough and as parents we have a lot to accomplish within a few short hours. The video depicts four different parents who all show a part of our mornings that can be tough. From changing bums, to feeding, to getting dressed and getting everything ready to go, all four are scenarios we have experienced in the morning. All four parents are using their PlaytexBaby products, which shows that even during those tough times, there are products out there to help simplify your life. I know from my experience, the convenience of the Playtex Diaper Genie Elite is great on those busy mornings when throwing out dirty diapers.

I loved the video and the similar ending that each parent showed. At the end they all stopped for a moment and looked at their baby. To me it showed that no matter how tough their morning may be or how stressed they may feel, in that moment they know it is all worth it and maybe it is not as bad as they think.

We may all have hard days as parents and even though our mornings can be a struggle, we are all doing a great job. Your babies don’t understand the stress you may feel or the amount of work you need to do. They are just having a fun time and enjoying the moment. I think it is a good reminder to remember when you are in a tough situation or feel overwhelmed to just stop and look at your baby and see all the love and happiness they have in their eyes. To them you are doing an amazing job and they will still love you and smile at you no matter how messy your house is or how late you may be running that day.

Mornings are tough, but we as parents are tougher!

#PlaytexMoms #ForBetterBeginnings

HOW DO YOU DEFINE MOTHERHOOD | #ForBetterBeginnings

Motherhood: the state of being a mother – dictionary.com

Motherhood by definition is the state of being a mother, but in reality it is much more than that. The definition of motherhood is quite simple and it doesn’t give you any indication of what to expect, what it will be like, how you will feel and everything in between. It’s a simple statement that tells you one thing, you are a mother.

Over time, you develop this image of what motherhood will be like. From the images we see in magazines to what we watch on TV or through characters in movies, we are constantly given this idea of what it will be like when we become mothers. As your friends and family enter into motherhood, you get an even closer glimpse as to what to expect, but still nothing can prepare you when you enter yourself.

To me, motherhood starts the moment you find out you’re pregnant. From that moment on you are constantly thinking about someone else and you are physically changing your body to create this little baby. From that moment your mind begins to race and I know from my experience, I started to think about what I need and how I would plan for our baby. PlaytexBaby has always been there for moms from the beginning and they have really developed a strong understanding of what moms and babies need right from the start. PlaytexBaby is a fun-loving brand who is supportive and celebrates the unexpected, which is why they strive to be there #ForBetterBeginnings. I have trusted PlaytexBaby from the beginning and I am excited to share my view on motherhood what it means to me. Thank you to PlaytexBaby for sponsoring this post!

When I found out I was pregnant with Emily, April 2013, I was scared and excited all at the same time. I had ideas of what to expect and what to look forward to, but it didn’t become real until Emily was born. Being the oldest sibling in my family and having two younger sisters, 12 and 16 years younger than me, I had the experience of changing, feeding and holding a baby, but I wasn’t there during the late nights or early mornings.

When Emily was born, my whole world changed. It was now filled with so much love for this little baby who was all mine and who I would spend every day with. We decided to wait until Emily was born to find out if she was a little boy or a little girl and it was one of the best surprises! That day was one of the best days of my life and I still, to this day, remember looking down at her little face and just being so in love.

After the initial meeting and those first few hours at the hospital, reality set in and I was now responsible for our little baby and had to take care of her. The next few days after that, while in the hospital and going home were challenging. I was trying to recover from my C-section, learning how to nurse for the first time, resting when I could and trying to find time to sleep, having everyone come to visit and meet Emily and then just spending time with her myself.

They always say the first two weeks are the hardest, but I think it could be extended to the first month. There was so much to take in and to adjust to that first month. So many new experiences, challenges and things to learn and I found it took about a month to really get a grip on things and start to feel comfortable. I found the same to be true after the triplets were born, but now I had to learn to do everything multiplied by three and with a 1 1/2 year old running around too.

When I think about what motherhood means to me, I think about the endless love I have for my kids, the thought that I know I would do anything for them and I would do everything I could to protect them. Motherhood is about caring for someone else who relies on you for everything and who looks up to you. It’s about changing your schedule to fit the needs of your baby and kids, not necessarily forever, but I think for the first few months to a year it’s easier to follow their schedule than to change it to fit yours. Motherhood is about making sacrifices sometimes and knowing that although your life is completely upside down right now, it won’t be like that forever. It’s about enjoying the time you have with your kids and living in the moment. Knowing that there will be really good days and really bad days, days where you don’t know what to do and other days where you are on top of everything as it happens and knowing that it is ok. It’s ok to have days where you feel sad because chances are you will have many more days that are filled with happiness. You will experience many different emotions in a single day, from laughing one minute to a full-blown crying session the next minute. Motherhood is not just a picture in the moment, but a journey that will last you a lifetime and will be filled with so many experiences that may be good or bad.

IMG_5342I think it is so important to realize that motherhood is going to be a different experience for every mom out there. It may not be the picture perfect experience that you may see on TV or in movies, but it is your experience and it is what you make it! Just know you are not alone and at some point during motherhood, every mom has experienced the same thing as you!

When you enter into motherhood for the first time, or start over again for the second, third, fourth or even fifth time, make sure to go in with an open mind and the ability to be flexible. You never know what you will experience and each time will likely be different. Find friends and family you can rely on to be there for you and find brands you trust, who understand what moms and babies need. PlaytexBaby wants to be there for you and your baby as you experience your journey in motherhood and to give you both what you need #ForBetterBeginnings. I am happy to be one of the #PlaytexMoms and I know I have found a brand to help me along the way!

IMG_2081Motherhood has been a roller coaster ride for me from the beginning and I am still learning as I go. I have never laughed, cried, smiled, yelled and spent more hours awake in my life as I have these past 4 years. Motherhood has taken a lot out of me and at times has given me more than I ever thought I could handle, but it has been worth every grueling moment. I love my four little babies and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They have helped me become who I am and they have shown me how to care and love for someone unconditionally!

I hope that as moms we can always support each other and be there for one another. We are all going through the same thing, even if at different times or in different ways and to know there are other moms experiencing the same thing as you it is comforting to know you are not alone.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you all have a day filled with love and relaxation! You are doing an amazing job!

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P.S Don’t forget to remind yourself that you are the BEST MOM EVER!

-Corrie

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A Helping Hand When Nursing Triplets #ForBetterBeginnings #PlaytexMoms

When our triplets were born, I knew one of the biggest challenges was going to be feeding. Not only did we have three little babies to feed, but they would all be feeding at the same time. As only one mom with two “built-in bottles,” I needed that third bottle to help feed all three at the same time. Luckily we had the experience with Emily to help us in our decision-making when it came to choosing a bottle. Now that they are older and transitioning out of bottles we need a sippy cup that would work for everyone, including Emily, that is simple and enticing to use. Thank you once again to PlaytexBaby for sponsoring this post and helping us share our experience and review of the Playtex™ Ventaire Bottle and the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups. As always, the thoughts and reviews throughout this post are 100% my own and I am thrilled to share with you my genuine experience with both the Playtex™ Ventaire Bottle and the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups.

For the first 2 months of Jackson, Olivia and Levi’s lives I relied on the Playtex™ Ventaire Bottles for every feeding. Although I was breastfeeding and had supplemented with formula for the first few weeks, I would pump beforehand, then divide the milk by three. I did this to make sure everyone was getting an equal amount and to keep track as to how much each baby was having. I like the fact that the VentAire® bottles have such large and easy to read numbers and indicators on the side, which makes it very easy to accurately measure how much milk is going in each bottle. During those 5am feedings, I could still pour the milk out equally, even if my eyes could barely stay open!

Around the 2 month mark, the triplets were gaining weight and growing, so I was ready to start nursing them. I was worried that they would have a hard time nursing, since they were using bottles from the start, but The Most Like Mom® NaturaLatch® Nipple made the transition very easy. I was so happy when all three successfully nursed for the first time, even after 2 months of bottle feeding. Knowing that I now had the option to switch between nursing and bottle feeding was great. This allowed me to utilize the extra help I had when family and friends would visit, because it was easy for them to grab a bottle knowing there would be no confusion between bottle and breast for the triplets.

Another key part of the Playtex™ Ventaire® Bottle is the anti-colic vent. The anti-colic vent prevents air from mixing with the milk and over the course of 2 months of bottle feeding, we did not experience any gas, spit-up or fussiness from Jackson, Olivia and Levi. Emily had really bad gas at some points and for the first 2 weeks of her life, she was very fussy and hard to settle. It wasn’t until after trying the Playtex™ Ventaire® bottle that the gas and fussiness went away. I was so glad I used the Playtex™ Ventaire® bottles right away with the triplets because I couldn’t imagine having to comfort 3 babies with gas and spitting up, all at the same time.

I do have to add in, that I really do like the new designs of the Ventaire® bottles. The new design is a wider bottle and the lid to the bottle has a spot for the top of the nipple to sit in when you put the lid on. This may seem like such a small feature, but after travelling with bottles in a cooler bag or diaper bag and having the milk leak because the nipple bent, this is a great new feature. I also have to say the Anti-Colic vent has been given a great improvement. The older design still did exactly what it was meant to do, but the new one looks and feels a lot more durable and secure in the bottom of the bottle. I think some may say there are a lot of parts to clean, but I actually like the ability to remove the top and bottom of the bottle. It makes it easier to clean and to get to the bottom of the bottle if milk gets stuck or sits there for a day, because let’s face it; we don’t always clean the bottle right when baby is done eating!

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Now that Jackson, Olivia and Levi are almost two, we are in the process of fully transitioning from bottle to sippy cup. I do still like to give them a bottle before bed, but they are now in the fun chewing stage. I am starting to notice holes in some of the nipples from their constant chewing, so I think it is time for the final switch from bottle to sippy cup.

We have been using The Playtex® Sipsters® Cups for a little while now and they are great. They range from Stages 1 to 4, with the option to choose from a spout cup, a straw cup or a spoutless cup. They are very easy to use and everyone has been enjoying them. We are currently using stages 2 and 3 of the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups and they have made the transition very easy for a few different reasons. The first being the fun characters on the cup that I am sure every child is familiar with. Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are obsessed with Peppa Pig and they all recognized her on the cup right away. Emily has also started to really like My Little Pony, so the Playtex® Sipsters® Stage 3 My Little Pony™ has become her special one. Levi has also taken over the Playtex® Sipsters® Stage 3 Thomas & Friends™ one we have and it is pretty funny to watch them all hand over the right Sipsters® that they each use.

DSC00428The Playtex® Sipsters® Cups  are also insulated, which is perfect because as you all may know,
Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi just don’t stop. When I hand them their Sipsters® Cups, they take them and go. They don’t just sit nicely until they are done; they need to be running around, continuously playing and drinking throughout their activities. The insulation keeps their drink fresh and allows them to play that much longer.

The fact that Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi don’t sit still, even with their Sipsters® in hand, may be worrisome, but The Playtex® Sipsters® Cups are 100% spill-proof, break-proof and leak-proof and PlaytexBaby even guarantees that! I have watched first hand these Sipsters® Cups get thrown around, dropped and banged and not once has anyone of them broken or leaked. I do have to mention though, that it is important to make sure the spill-proof valve is secured and tightly in place or they will leak. I handed Olivia a Sipsters® and just watched all the milk pour out because I forgot to make sure the leak-proof valve was in correctly. It is very simple and easy to make sure the leak-proof valve is properly secured; it was just my carelessness in the moment that made it happen.

The last part, that I really like about the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups is the ease of cleaning. It’s not the fact that all parts are dishwasher safe, but the fact that the leak-proof valves are so easy to clean and they transparent. You always hear of stories of parents opening a valve or part of the sippy cups to find mold that has built up because they couldn’t clean inside. The leak-proof valve doesn’t have an inside part and it can easily be removed from the spout of the Sipsters® Cup to be cleaned. This was one of the first things I noticed right away and it is nice to not worry about the potential of hidden mold.

I sometimes cannot believe how fast the time has gone and how big Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are getting. It blows me away thinking back to the days when I held them all, feeding them a bottle, to now calling them over and handing them their own drink to drink. I hope that you have found my review of the Playtex™ VentAire Bottle and the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups helpful and have also gained a little insight into what our experience was and is like for using both while feeding our triplets and toddler.

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To find out more information about both products you can visit playtexbaby.ca for the VentAire Bottle and playtextbaby.ca for the Sipsters® Cups

You can also purchase the Playtex™ Ventaire Bottle online through Walmart, Babies”R”Us, Amazon.ca and PlaytexBaby.ca and the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups online through Walmart, Babies”R”Us, Amazon.ca and Playtexbaby.ca.

#PlaytexMoms #ForBetterBeginnings

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More Babies, Co-Sleeping with Triplets and So Much More…Our first Q & A!

We have been wanting to do a Q & A video for some time now and we finally made it happen!

A Q & A, is a great way to get to know us more and for us to share our thoughts, insights and experiences in a different way. We created a Q & A post over on our Facebook page and hoped to get some fun questions we could answer. The questioned asked were great and just what we hoped for!

We answered quite a few of them, but know we will have to do another Q & A, very soon to answer all the remaining ones and any new ones that come up!

Dan and I always love to share our lives, experiences and thoughts on many different topics relating to our lifestyle, kids, parenting and hobbies or interests. The two of us are just two regular people who are making our way through everyday life with 4 kids, including a three-year old toddler and almost 2-year-old triplets. Nothing is ever perfect and we know we are not perfect either, but we have a great outlook on life and the life we live with our kids. We are genuinely happy people who love to smile and have fun and we want to share some of that happiness with everyone around us!

Thank you for all of the great questions asked the first time around! We are looking forward to the next one! In the meantime, if you have any questions always feel free to send us a message on any of our social media platforms and we try our best to get to them and answer them for you!!

Here is our first Q & A!

 

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WE HAVE A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

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We are starting off the new year with some very exciting news. We are happy to announce that we have officially teamed up and partnered with PlaytexBaby!

Our partnership with PlaytexBaby is going to include a lot of fun aspects, such as product reviews, sharing our experiences through lifestyle posts and giveaways on our Blog and social media outlets! We have trusted Playtex from the beginning with our babies and genuinely love the products, so this is a perfect partnership for us!

As parents we are always asking questions, seeking answers and hoping we have made the right choices and decisions for our kids. When you become a parent for the first time you are constantly learning what works, what doesn’t work and at times it can become completely overwhelming. You look for that one thing you know will make your life a little bit easier and what can help take away some of that stress and anxiety being a first time parent brings.

To me, For Better Beginnings, means exactly that, a better beginning. Taking away that worry at the beginning of your journey as new parents and allowing you to enjoy those first precious moments with your newborn baby is what I think of when I hear For Better Beginnings.

I remember shopping for baby items and creating our registry before Emily arrived, looking around at all the products available and just thinking to myself “What do I choose?” There are so many products out there and you want to make sure you buy the right ones that will be perfect for your little baby. To know that PlaytexBaby has created products specifically designed for a mother and her baby is very reassuring and helps to alleviate some of that worry right from the start. It gives you the chance as a mother and new parents to concentrate and place your focus on your new little baby to give everyone a better beginning.

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I am overjoyed to say that I am a #PlaytexMom and to have the ability to share my knowledge and experiences with many other moms out there. As a mom myself, I know the kinds of questions we ask on a daily basis, the various concerns that are always running through our minds and the expectations we have for ourselves. I understand the struggle to want the best for your little ones and the desire for perfection, but also the fact that no matter how much you try, everything may never be perfect.

I spent a lot of time reading product reviews, seeking out advice from friends and family and hoping to gain some insight into what to buy and what to do during the many stages that come along with having a baby. Although we are still learning and going through new stages, we have experienced many with our four children. I now have my own personal experiences to share, as well as things I have learned along the way. As a #PlaytexMom, I hope to provide insight to new moms who are entering into motherhood for the first time, on baby products that will help right from the start.

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PlaytexBaby has taken on a new look and feel, in order to connect with the new generation of moms. It is very exciting to see this change and to know they are eager to learn, understand and work with moms and what we are looking for. It is great to see PlaytexBaby designing products specifically with new moms and babies in mind, which then allows them to achieve their goal of providing everyone the tools for better beginnings!

We hope you are just as excited about this partnership as we are and we encourage you to follow along with our blog so you don’t miss out on the awesome giveaways, product reviews and lifestyle posts. You can subscribe to our blog by email or with your WordPress account!

For more information about PlaytexBaby and all of their products, please visit their website Playtexbaby.ca

 

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Our first family science experiment!

We took advantage of a nice cold day to conduct our first ever Baby Gang science experiment!

With 4 young children who take up just about every minute of our time, we are a family who loves fun and adventure. What makes that special is doing it together, as a family. That is what family is all about.

Watching the kids grow has both Corrie and myself in such amazement to see how a developing mind works. Their curious little minds like little sponges absorbing all types of information makes me wonder how they see the world around them and what they are thinking about!

Recently on a cold day we took advantage to come up with a fun science experiment with the kids. It was -12 degrees Celsius (not including the windchill) and we wondered if water could evaporate in this freezing cold water. It had the kids super excited!

Makes for a great parenting win!  Watch below 🙂

Be on the look out for more fun with the kids!

 

 

 

 

 

HOW I TURNED MY CAR INTO A FAMILY VEHICLE

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Having multiple children at once (we have triplets) is something you can never expect to happen or plan for. We had a unique situation, we were planning for our second when Emily was 10 months old and 3 days before her first birthday we discovered we would be expecting…TRIPLETS!

To this day it still fascinates and shocks me that in 2015 we were going to have 4 kids under the age of two, but the thought of having our kids close in age was really cool! After spreading the news about our expecting multiples we had various friends and family tag us in specific baby products that could help make our lives easier or that we could use given our situation. Beds, cribs and car seats.. you name it and if it had the ability to fall under the multiples category you can guarantee that we would been tagged in it!

One product that always popped up and our friends were sure to tag us in was the Diono Radian RXT car seat. We were literally tagged to use this product 1000+ times as it had a very sleek design, reinforced side walls, energy absorbing EPS foam, extended rear facing and a five point harness system… Basically it was super safe and looked very cool with 3 seats together!  – But how did that differ from other car seats?

We had the recent opportunity to partner and team up with the our friends the Parent Life Network and they were so great to inform me that I could turn my sedan vehicle into a family vehicle using these Diono Radian RXT car seats… What excited me most is after seeing this product multiple times, it was time to make it a reality!

WATCH HERE AS I TURN MY SEDAN INTO A FAMILY VEHICLE!

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The result!?

After testing out this product, and going on multiple adventures with my triplets; Jackson, Olivia and Levi + plus Emily on separate occasions, I was in awe! I was impressed with how easy they were to install and how awesome it was to transform my sedan car into a complete family vehicle!

Given my situation of having 4 kids I had to take it to the next step in upgrading one of my cars to a mini van [and the Diono car seats have proved to be a huge space saver in the van]! But it goes to show that if you are expecting to have 1 – 3 babies, that you do not have to go out and pay all this money to purchase a mini van/SUV – you can actually save money by purchasing a diono car seat and to safely and comfortably fit your kids in your car! the Radian RxT is a great space saver with a very unique design that has a very extensive set of safety features and I highly recommend them for any family big or small!

The Diono Radian RxT car seat is a game changer!

Things dad find cool = certified impressed!