THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL CHANGED ME

Well, we finished the first full week of Junior Kindergarten for Emily and we survived! We are now into the second week and I hope it is just as exciting and fun for Emily as the first week was. Sidenote: The first week of school for us was only 2 days, so our first FULL week of school would be everyone’s second week of school!

Here I was thinking this week was going to be so hard for me, I was going to miss Emily and she wouldn’t make it the whole week, but I was completely wrong. The week went by pretty fast and it was a good change from our regular daily routine. Emily did cry for the first three days, but Thursday and Friday she went into school with the biggest smile on her face.

The first week has completely changed my plans and my idea of what school would be like for Emily. At one point I was even considering keeping Emily home for the year of JK and she would then start a year later in SK. Here in Canada (from what I have read) junior and senior kindergarten are not mandatory, so kids technically don’t have to go, but are required to be in grade 1 by the age of 6. As much as I would have loved to have Emily home with me for another year, I wanted to make sure she experienced everything she could and wouldn’t miss out on that extra year of meeting new friends, socializing and learning in a new environment. I thought if she waited until SK to start school, chances are most of the kids in her class moved up from JK and had a whole year to make new friends. I didn’t want her to be going in to SK not knowing anyone while all the of the other children did.

Day 1 -Sept 6
Emily Sept 5th, 2017 – First Full Day of Junior Kindergarten

My original plan, after we determined Emily would start school in JK, was to keep her home Monday’s and Fridays. I thought the full week of school would be too much for her and since most of the learning is play based, it wouldn’t make a difference if she was in school or not for those days.

Boy was I wrong! And after this first week of school, it is safe to say, I don’t want Emily to miss a single day of school!

Emily has had the best week ever and even in that short amount of time, I feel like she has already learned so much! I look forward to taking her to school each day just so I can hear all about the fun she had that day and what they did. She has already made friends, even a best friend! She can say both of her teachers names and she has to give them a hug goodbye at the end of the day!

Day 3 - Sept 11
Emily starting her first full week of school! She wanted to share some of her favorite things!

It truly makes me so happy to have her in school and to know she is having such a great time when she is there. It was a little hard when she would say she wanted to stay with me and go home when it was time to line up for school, but I knew how much fun she would have during the day that I couldn’t let her leave with me. Emily would have little tears in her eyes and a sad face, but I knew they were just fake tears and her hesitation was from everything still being so new for her. As soon as one of her teachers mentioned an activity they would be doing that day, her face lit up and suddenly her tears turned into a laugh and she was ready to go in!

I have to give so much credit to Emily’s teachers and all of the teachers out there! They are really the ones who have made school so much fun for Emily and also for Dan and I. The first few days were hard for a few kids and they were always there to hold their hand and comfort them when going in to school. Emily gets so excited to see them in the morning and if she is wearing a pretty dress she tells me that she is going to show her teachers, which I think is the cutest thing ever!

Day 4 - Sept 12
Emily was a little sad on Tuesday. I had to capture her sad face because it is part of reality. 

Emily’s teachers are also using an online app which allows them to send us messages and pictures of Emily during the day and the various activities they do during the day. I had no idea apps like this were used in schools. I think it is such a great tool to have and as her teachers pointed out, it allows the parents to make a connection from school to home with their kids. If I asked Emily what she did at school, there’s a chance she wouldn’t remember, but if I am sent a picture of her playing with play-doh or drawing a picture, I can ask her questions about it and even show her the picture to spark her memory.

I have to admit that every time we were sent a picture, I just looked at it with the biggest smile on my face. At one point I think I almost cried happy tears because I was just so happy to see her having so much fun and just seeing Emily out there on her own made me realize how much she has grown. The app has helped a lot with the start of school and knowing that things are going well!

Day 5 - Sept 13
Emily was so excited to show her pretty dress! This was also taken before the tears when we got to school.

I know it has only been the first week, but this week has been such a great experience and I am so happy with how things are going so far. I was prepared to keep Emily home every Monday and Friday, but now I would feel so bad keeping her home and having her miss out on a full day of fun. I know that what she is doing at school is far more than what I could provide her here at home, so I am happy she is going to school everyday!

Day 6 - Sept 14
Emily loved her flower dress on Thursday! It was her first day of no tears before school!
Day 7 -Sept 15
This is actually Aunty Gaga’s dress from when she was a little girl. Emily was all smiles finishing off her first full week of school!

I am going to keep a little update each week of how school is going. My goal is to get the blog post up every Monday with a little recap of the week and how it went. I’ll share a variety of updates, from how Emily is doing, what I am doing to make things easier and anything else I think would be fun to share. I’ll also share Emily’s outfits from the entire week!

I hope you will check back every Monday! If you would like to be notified when a new blog post is up, be sure to sign up with your email! You can find the sign up in the right hand column of this page.

I hope everyone had a great first and second week of school!

Is This Actually Happening…I Don’t Think I am Ready!

I find myself thinking about all the times I’ve heard the advice of “enjoy this time now because it won’t last or it will go by way too fast.” I always thought “Yea okay, I have lots of time,” but now I realize that time really does go by way to fast!

I cannot believe the is finally here…Emily’s first day of school!

I knew this day was coming and I am filled with so many different emotions and thoughts. I am happy, excited, sad, nervous, scared and even a little overwhelmed. I think about Emily and how will she adjust to a full day of school, will she make friends easily and will the other kids like her, what if something happens and I’m not there or will she remember to wash her hands? There are just so many things to think about when your first baby starts school.

A part of me is still in denial that her big day is finally here and in some ways it still doesn’t feel real. I don’t know why I feel so emotional about this day because everyone goes through it themselves and then again with their kids, but it just happens. I find myself thinking about all the times I’ve heard the advice of “enjoy this time now because it won’t last or it will go by way too fast.” I always thought “Yea okay, I have lots of time,” but now I realize that time really does go by way to fast!

I have been home with Emily from the time she was born. When my maternity leave was over, I worked at night so I could stay home with her during the day and of course to avoid the costs of daycare. I pretty much don’t know remember what life was like without Emily, so to think about her being at school for an entire day is a very weird feeling. Emily is seriously like my little best friend and in a way she is my comfort blanket and to not have her there with me during the day will definitely be tough for the first little bit.

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I feel like starting school is such a big deal because essentially your little one now has to gain their independence and won’t have you there to help them or do things for them. I know they have their teachers and teacher assistance, but with a class room of 20-30 children, they don’t have that one to one ratio. I know Emily will love school and it will be something so fun and new for her to experience, but to me it feels like she had to grow up overnight.

I also find myself thinking of the fact that I now have to be somewhere everyday. For the last 4 years I was at home and had no schedule, nowhere to be and could decide that day what I was going to do. Yes I had my routine I would follow with the kids, but never a set time that I had to get up, get ready and be out the door. Now I have to get up and make sure Emily gets to school on time, that I have her lunch and anything else she needs ready and most importantly, that I am there everyday to pick her up from school.

When your kids start school, it really is a life changing event. There is so much involved outside of school and in school and we have just started the 13 year journey with Emily!

As much as I am nervous and worried, I am truly excited and happy for Emily. She is such an amazing little girl and brings so much joy and happiness to everyone’s lives, so I am excited for her to experience school. I know junior kindergarten is more play-based learning than anything, but as many other kids who have been home with their parents, Emily is going to learn so much more. From learning to play with other kids her age, communicating with them and following instructions and rules from her teacher, there is so much more for her to learn then what she has learned or experienced from being at home with myself and the triplets.

I know it will take some adjusting to with not having Emily here during the day, but I hope she has a blast at school and is able to really gain her own independence. I think the biggest thing that will amaze me, is to see how much she grows over the next year, even within the first few weeks of school. I hope she will always remain our sweet little loving girl, who is so bright and caring and just loves life and everyone she meets!

We love you Emily and we cannot wait to watch you learn and grow during your first year of school!

Photo 2017-09-04, 2 18 28 PM

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!)

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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Saying Goodbye To The Baby Stage

It was a Sunday night and as I sat on our bed, rocking our daughter Olivia to sleep, I looked around our room and noticed the baby swing leaning up against the bookcase. My initial thought was, I should move that to the basement and it would clear up so much room. Then as I sat there a little longer, it occurred to me, we hadn’t used that swing in almost 2 months.

We had 2 swings, one in the kitchen and one upstairs in the bedroom. That swing was the life saver of all life savers when it came to putting our triplets to bed and to getting them back to sleep if they woke up during the night. It was my go to method of putting them to sleep, especially Olivia. Looking back I don’t think I would have survived some nights without it. As crazy as it sounds, it was essentially our third set of arms, which was highly needed when putting triplets to bed.

Now I look at it, just sitting there, just taking up space and then it hit me. When did we stop using the swing? Could I tell you the exact date or moment we didn’t put them back in? Why did we stop using it?

I couldn’t think of the answers to any of those questions, but while I continued to rock Olivia, waiting for her to fall asleep in my arms, I looked down at her and realized, we had said goodbye to the baby stage. It was in that moment I had come to realize that my three little babies weren’t babies anymore, but 17 month old toddlers. It brought tears to my eyes to look down, see her sleeping and remembering the time only a few short months ago she was just a tiny little newborn baby.

It felt like over night they just became three little walking, talking toddlers and were no longer my little babies who needed me to get them things or move them around the room. They can now hold their bottles, feed themselves, decide which toy they want to play with and go and get it, they can talk and understand directions and things I tell them to do. These were the small changes that happened over time and eventually  became their everyday actions, which made them the independent toddlers (to some extent) they are today.

When do we really say goodbye to that baby stage? What changes a baby to a toddler?

I sat there continuing to think of how we moved from one stage to the next and I guess it was gradually and over a period of time. We no longer have any of the baby items. We sold, gave away or threw out all of those items that tied us to the baby stage. The bassinet, the bumbo chairs, the exersaucer, the second swing, all gone.

Now I know the items you use for a baby doesn’t indicate that you are still in the baby stage, heck our triplets were 15 months and still sleeping in a swing, but they do give you a sense of where you are. To look at the swing, knowing it is really our last piece of baby equipment sitting in our house is very sad and made the knowledge that our babies are not so little anymore very real.

I couldn’t help but give Olivia a little extra squeeze that night, knowing that the time will come where I won’t be holding her or rocking any of the 3 to sleep anymore. I know with our oldest daughter Emily, that time has passed and we no longer rock her to sleep. Sure we still bring her to bed and we could lay with her until she falls asleep, but she doesn’t need us to rock her or hold her anymore and that fact in and of it self is heartbreaking.

I knew having a baby was going to be hard, but I didn’t know watching them grow up would be just as hard. I spent so many days thinking, okay tomorrow will be easier and I will get the hang of this, but now I look back and think what I wouldn’t do just to get one day again when they are little just laying in my arms. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them and I really just want them to be my little babies forever.

The baby stage, no matter how long it lasts, will always be a special stage, filled with so much love, tears (good and bad), joy and memories that will last a lifetime. Although you may not be able to pin point the exact time you move from one stage to another, when you get there you will know.

You have probably heard this many times, but enjoy the moment when you are in it because it wont be like that forever. Enjoy the fact that they still want to cuddle, that they need you and they can still fit perfectly in your arms. Enjoy the time you have with your little one because time goes by too fast and before you know it, they will be putting themselves to bed.

If you have the extra time, stop and hold them a little longer, give them an extra hug before laying them down and stop and stare at them one extra time before you leave the room because you never know when it will be your last time to enjoy the baby stage.
After sitting there in the dark, rocking Olivia to sleep, thinking about all the time I spent putting our babies to bed, it made me really appreciate all that motherhood has to give. There really is no other experience like it and I truly wouldn’t change it for the world.

The last 3 years with Emily and the last 18 months with Jackson, Olivia and Levi, have gone by in the blink of an eye and I can only imagine how fast the next few years will go. They will soon transition from the toddler stage to the next stage and whenever that may be, I hope I will be able to look back and say I experienced and enjoyed all that I could. I want to cherish every moment possible and know I haven’t missed a thing!

 

THE ULTIMATE DAD HACK


Corrie and I went out to the grocery with the kids and we found ourselves in a little bit of a dilemma. It happens often actually, but as we got home the kids fell asleep in the car. Normally we leave them be, and can be a great way to catch up on some e-mails, social media, watch a movie or even hit the drive-thru and get a meal! To think you could do all that with 4 kids and not even have to leave your vehicle is a great hack itself! But sometimes you have somethings to do, and often enough you need to let your baby nap! Or else, it’s continued chaos for the rest of the day with cranky children. When you have multiples, you need to take advantage of every chance you get in letting your kids nap ESPECIALLY AT THE SAME TIME! 

Inspired by a friend through a fun conversation about our children. The idea to remove your child while still in the car seat came to me as a genius idea!

Watch me perform the ULTIMATE DAD HACK! 

Click the link below to watch such greatness!

No weakness here. 

THE ULTIMATE DAD HACK

11 Things That You Can Freeze to Save Time and Money

Photo 2015-11-25, 9 11 56 AM

After sharing an example of what we eat on a typical day, you can see how much food we go through. While it is a lot of food, there is also a lot of time that goes into making everything we eat. If I can find ways to save time and make things easier, I am all for it!

When I cook, I like to make more than what I need, that way I have left overs in the fridge to use for another meal. Sometimes I don’t want to use the left overs right away,so a great way to keep them for longer is to freeze them. After freezing the meal, it is so easy to just pull it out of the freezer the day before I want to use it and then it is ready to go the next day. It is also a time saver to freeze individual food items that you could eat on their own or add them to a recipe.

Before Jackson, Olivia and Levi arrived, I prepared a lot of meals ahead of time and froze them. I knew it would help tremendously when we didn’t have time to think or make dinner. Here is a list of the top 11 foods that I found worked perfectly to freeze.

  1. Meatloaf
    Meatloaf is the easiest and simplest meal to prepare and it freezes really well too. I have made both beef and turkey meatloaf and even small ones in muffin tins for Emily. When I find ground beef on sale, I like to buy an extra pack and make meatballs from the meatloaf mix. The meatballs are easy to make and you end up with another meal!
  2. Chicken Enchiladas
    They are so simple to put together once you have all of the ingredients ready. I set up all the ingredients in an assembly line with 3 dishes and continue to make enchiladas until all the dishes are filled. In the end I have 3 separate meals. I also made individual ones for Emily and they were handy to have when she needed to eat dinner before us.
  3. Chicken, Veggies and Rice Casserole
    This is another straight forward dish and involves taking all the ingredients, adding them to a casserole dish, mixing together and then baking. The recipe is only 5 ingredients; chicken, frozen mixed veggies, rice, cream of mushroom soup and water and you can easily double this recipe and make it in a larger dish. I cook this meal completely and then freeze it, that way I only have to worry about heating it up when we go to eat it.
  4. Spaghetti
    Spaghetti is an all around favorite for everyone and is another easy to make meal. You can make a large quantity all at once, with very little effort. I use the store-bought pasta sauce, but add in my own vegetables. The first time I did this, I had bunch of roasted vegetables that Emily wouldn’t eat, so I added them to the sauce and blended everything up. I then tried again and she ate 3 plates of pasta! I mix everything together in the pot then put it in a casserole dish or tin foil trays and freeze.
  5. Butternut Squash Soup
    I was skeptical the first time trying this soup, but after that first try I was hooked and it was so yummy. I found a recipe to make my own butternut squash soup and it is a perfect soup for everyone to eat. I made this soup for Emily all the time and she loved it, plus it is made with all veggies and she didn’t even know.
  6. Green, Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
    I never thought to freeze peppers at first, but when I bought a barrel from the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, I had to think of something to do with them before they all went bad. I couldn’t eat them fast enough, so I thought why don’t I freeze them. I looked up how to freeze peppers and it was pretty simple. I cut them into slices, parboiled them, let them cool and dry then freeze. By parboiling them I would be able to take them right from the freezer and add them to whatever I was making and it also helped to keep their bright colors.
  7. Potatoes
    I found potatoes cut into small squares are perfect for Emily and the triplets to pick up and eat themselves. I was buying the packaged hash-browns from the store, but they were too small and I was spending a lot. I thought I could just buy a bag of potatoes and cut them up myself, that way I could make them the size I wanted and it was also a lot cheaper. It does take a little bit of time to cut the potatoes all up, but you have so many ready to freeze when you are done.
  8. Banana Bread
    We go through so many bananas in a week and yet we still end up with bruised or brown bananas. When that happens I like to make banana bread or banana muffins. I can also find discounted bananas at the store for roughly $1.00 per package, which is great if I know I am going to need a lot to make a few loaves or muffins. From one package I have enough bananas for 2 loaves or 2 batches of muffins. I like to make mini banana muffins for Emily and the triplets and they make a perfect on the go snack. When I make the loaves of banana bread, I cut the loaf up and freeze the individual slices, that way I can just grab a piece when I want one.
  9. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
    Now this is more for me, well all for me and I guess Dan too, but who doesn’t want to have cookie dough already made and ready to bake? I make a double recipe of cookie dough and using an ice cream scoop, I freeze the individual balls on a cookie tray. Once they are frozen, I put them in a freezer bag and they are ready to take out whenever I want. I like doing this because when it is just Dan and I, making a whole batch of cookies is a lot, so to pull out a few works perfectly.
  10. Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries
    We all love any kind of berry, but sometimes they can be so expensive, especially when they are not in season. During the summer when we go to the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market can find all the berries in season and a good price. I like to buy the biggest basket of berries they have and bring them home, wash them and then freeze them. I dry them really well and lay them on a baking sheet, making sure they aren’t touching. Once they are frozen I can take them and pop them into a freezer bag. Now I can have berries throughout the fall and winter… if they last that long.
  11. Yogurt
    Frozen yogurt is a good snack to have during the summer and you can easily make your own frozen yogurt pops, by putting a spoon into the top of a yogurt cup and freezing it. I also like to make smoothies with frozen yogurt. I buy the tubs of yogurt and then divide it up into ice-cube trays. Once they are frozen I pop them out and put them into freezer bags. To make the smoothies, I take 3 or 4 frozen yogurt cubes, with some of the frozen berries I have, add them to a blender with some orange juice and then I have  smoothie. I also saw on Pinterest, hundreds of recipes for different smoothies and how to make individual smoothie packages. This would be a perfect way to have smoothies on the go and all you have to do is pull the package out of the freezer, blend and you are done.

Freezing food is such a good way to save you time in the future, especially if you are freezing food you are already making. The list of foods and meals you can freeze is endless and if you are ever unsure about whether or not you can freeze something, you can always look it up. It can also save you money when you buy extra of something that is on sale or if you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. I hope my list of foods that I freeze has helped and got you thinking of food  you make on a regular basis that you could freeze too!

 

Have you tried making freezer meals? What ones have you found worked the best for you?

 

Finding Balance Between Life as a Mom and Life as Me 

Finding a balance between me as an individual and me as a mom is something I have struggled with from the very moment I became a mom. I jumped right into the role with both feet and never looked back. I threw who I was to the curb, never thinking twice about the person I left behind. I was so focused and determined to be the best mom I could be and thought that was all that mattered. Now here I am, 3 years later, thinking about that person, trying to figure out who they were.

As I said in the post about my life for the last three years, it has been filled with everything baby. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep, and even in my dreams, it is all baby. I have a difficult time steering my thoughts away from anything baby related and the moment that I do, I feel instant guilt.

For 3 years I have put everything I am and everything I have into being a mom and I have enjoyed every moment, but I start to think back and slowly realize I really haven’t done anything for me… and I felt guilty just writing that! I haven’t taken the time to go out and do something that I love, I haven’t stopped to focus on helping me become a better me and I most definitely haven’t put time towards my relationships. I have simply just been a mom.

I am a mom 24/7 and I feel as though I have lost touch with who I am. I have lost touch with the outside world, I have lost touch with friends and I have lost touch with what it is like to be an individual person. I don’t know how to balance everything and I don’t know what it takes to make that happen. I think it is one of the most challenging things I have had to deal with in my life.

I see how unbalanced my life is sometimes and I have seen the effects it causes. I don’t give myself a chance to clear my mind or enjoy time with other people. I don’t give myself time to spend with Dan and work on our relationship and I can start to see how our relationship has changed. By not taking the time to be with each other and do things without our kids, we lose the relationship we had and the connection we worked to build for so many years. We just end up becoming 2 people raising kids together.

This is something I know I really need to work on and actually make it a priority. I need to figure out a way to take time for myself, to focus on me and reconnect with who I use to be. I have to learn to step away from my kids and learn that it is OK to do so.

Guilt has played a big role in my struggle of finding balance. I feel guilty, thinking about anything other than my kids and I feel guilty for thinking I could do something without them. I feel guilty for thinking of me and for the thought that I haven’t done anything for myself.

I start to question things and ask myself, how could I think about anyone other than my kids? And what do I need that is so important that I have to stop and think about or do for me that is more important than them? I tell myself I don’t need to go out and I don’t need to be around other people because when I do go out with them I talk to people and that is the same as if I was to go out by myself or with friends, when in reality it’s not the same thing. It feels like a never-ending cycle that I can’t seem to break.

Dan likes to refer to this stage in my life as “mom mode” and it is a pretty accurate title to have. Right now my mind is focused on my kids and being there for them. I know I will be in mom mode for the rest of my life and I don’t think it will ever go away, but I do think that the intensity will decrease with time. As they get older I know I won’t worry as much and will be more comfortable leaving them, but when will that time be?

I have always said I wouldn’t let having kids stop me from doing anything and it’s true, Dan and I have done so much with them. From going to the movies and out for dinner, to shopping and driving to Florida, we have continued to do the things we did before. Little did I know, that it has stopped me from being my own person. I want to find the right balance between every aspect of my life and I feel it is something important that I need to work on. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am and I don’t want to end up so disconnected from the outside world. I hope I can find a way to go out and enjoy time as myself with friends and Dan and be able to do things for me without feeling guilty for leaving the babies. I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I need to take on and make it work.

 

How have you been able to find balance between your life as a parent and your life as an individual?

How long has it taken you to feel comfortable leaving and not feeling guilty for doing so?

 

 

 

Embrace the Chaos

Having 4 kids all under the age of 3 is a lot of work. Heck, having any number of kids ranging in any age is a lot of work and no matter the number or age, you are left with very long and busy days. There will be days where everything has been consumed by chaos and you feel you have lost control and the only thought you have is when will this day be over. Those days may seem long and never-ending, but just know those are the days you will remember and look back on and hopefully be able to smile about and laugh at.

I have had my fair share of those days so far and I can only imagine what is in store as everyone gets older. When things get crazy, it is hard to think of ways to control the situation, but then I think, why not embrace the chaos.

This morning has been a perfect example of the start of a chaotic day. The triplets woke up bright and early at 6:30, ready to play and were not ready to wait for breakfast, they wanted in NOW! and they did not hesitate to let me know with high-pitched screams. I tried to buy some time with a tray of Cheerios, but instead they ended up across the floor, crushed into little pieces. Emily then woke up and she was able to distract them for a little bit, but she too was hungry and needed a bottle and banana ASAP. Things finally calmed down after breakfast was made and everyone enjoyed their eggs. Shortly after they then realized they were tired from getting up so early, so more crying began and then they fell asleep in their chairs. Olivia didn’t sleep and the boys couldn’t sleep for long as Olivia decided it would be fun to climb onto their chairs while they slept. Before I realized that she was sitting on them, it was too late and she woke up Jackson. And that was just the first few hours of the day.


Now, as I am writing this post, Emily is in the process of dumping out all the toys and I can’t help but watch as Jackson, Olivia and Levi are laughing along and probably thinking now this is going to be fun. I guess I can thank her for that, because before she did, Olivia and Jackson were climbing into the buckets and trying to get behind the TV.


Toys are everywhere and although there is a ratio of 20:1 toys per baby, they are still fighting over the same toy or wanting to play with the converter. On top of all of this, we don’t have air conditioning and it feels like it is 40 degrees in our house. Everyone is sweating and sticky from running around and I don’t know if it’s better to be outside in the heat with some wind, or inside out of the heat. What I do know, is that everyone is having a great time and they are happy.

It does get hard sometimes to let things be and embrace the chaos, but I have to remember that they are only little still and continuously learning and growing. By exploring, trying new things and experimenting with different places, toys or just stuff around the house (nothing dangerous of course) they gain independence and experience. They don’t understand what they shouldn’t do and what will happen if they do something, so they need these moments of complete chaos to learn.


Watching Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi playing together is the cutest thing and they really do make each other laugh. Whether they are all running around or jumping on the couch, they are always smiling and laughing. As a mom, to have kids who love each other and love hanging out together is the best thing I could ask for. When they play together, it tends to become crazy and very chaotic, especially trying to watch everyone and make sure no one it getting hurt. Emily is the initiator almost all of the time and I know I say this a lot, but to the triplets, Emily is the funniest person they know.

The video below shows just how funny they find Emily, especially Olivia and how she is the ring leader. It was when I recorded this video that I realized how much fun they have together, even when there is chaos all around. I absolutely love to hear their laughter, so if that means we have to live in a crazy, non-stop chaos filled house to hear it, well then I guess that’s the house we will live in!

 

 

 

My Life For The Last 3 Years

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For the last 3 years my life has been all about babies. From finding out I was pregnant in April 2013 to now having 4 children under the age of 3, all I think about day in and day out is baby.

When I wake up each morning my first thought is usually “okay, time to get everyone up and get going” and is usually accompanied by 1, 2 or 3 crying babies. Even on the rare chance I am up before them, I would still think to myself, “okay, when will everyone be getting up.” My second thought would then be “what should I make for breakfast” followed by “what should we do today?”

The rest of my day is filled with questions and thoughts, such as:

Who needs a bum change? Oh no, not another poop!

Who is hungry? Who is still hungry? Are they really hungry again?

What time is it? What day of the week is it?

When is Paw Patrol on again and did we already watch Tinga Tinga Tales?

Did I just feed Jackson or Levi? Who is this, Jackson or Levi?

Emily where are all the nummies? Can you help me find them?

Okay what is going on and why is everyone crying?

You all have to share!

Stop! No, don’t do that!

Emily why are you naked and where is your diaper?

Who want’s a bottle? Who wants Cheerios?

Okay, everyone off the window sill!

No don’t touch that! Don’t put that in your mouth! Eww!!

Who is ready for a nap? I am!

The list is endless and I could go on and on about every thought that goes through my head or every question I have to ask during the day, but if there is one thing they all have in common it is that they are all baby or child related.

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After thinking about all that has happened over the last three years, I have come to realize that I have put everything else that was once in my life on the back burner. Everything from my relationship with Dan and relationships with friends, to taking care of myself, they have all become a faint thought in my day-to-day living. I am surrounded by everything baby and I think about them morning, noon and night. I can’t help it and I find I don’t have the space in my thoughts to worry or think about anything else.

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When I ask myself, why is it like this? The only thing I can think of is, just because… Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi depend on me, need me and rely on me to be there for them all of the time. From getting them out of bed, to feeding them, changing their bums and just being there to socialize, teach and play with them, they need me. How could I stop to think about anything else? To me they are the most important people in my life and I would do anything and everything for them, even if that means sacrificing other aspects of my life.

I don’t mean to make it sound as though I am the only one they need or who is capable of doing things for them, because that is not the case. Dan is so involved with everything and does so much for them when he is home. I am only talking specifically about the times I am home with everyone by myself when Dan is out working. Mom’s and dad’s play just as equal roles in a baby or child’s life, but as the one on maternity leave with Emily and the triplets, I am the one responsible for their care during the day.

Each day I try to follow a routine for the triplets, especially when it comes to their naps and eating. If they don’t nap they are over tired, which makes it harder for them to fall asleep and then stay asleep and if they wait to long to eat they become very fussy and cranky. I base my entire day around their routine, from the time I eat or clean up, to when we go out to the store.They control almost everything that happens during the day.

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I am so focused on making sure everything is perfect for them and I am doing things right, I have pretty much forgotten all other aspects of life. It is hard to step away from that and try to think of something else. It is hard to go out without them because I worry about everything, although I am getting better as they get older. I just want to be with them all of the time and if that means not going out or doing something for myself, then that’s what I do.

The last three years have been the most challenging, yet the most rewarding years of my life. I have learned so much about myself and how to be a mom and I can honestly say being a mom is the best job I could ever have. With all the late nights, early mornings, spit ups, diaper changes, crying, screaming and endless laundry comes laughing, hugs and kisses, the biggest smiles, cuddles, happiness and love. Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi have taught me what unconditional love is and what true happiness looks like. It is so much work to raise children, no matter how many you have, but it is so worth it in the end!

 

How has your life changed since having children?

Has there been aspects of your life you forgot about after having kids?

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