What I’m loving lately
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Morning friends!

How’s your week been so far? It’s been hot, hot, hot in these parts and we’ve been taking full advantage of the glorious weather by enjoying long walks, dips in the pool and running through sprinklers. My kiddo tolerates the cold water far better than I do that’s for sure! She loves it though, so I’ve been putting on my bathing suit and playing water games with her non-stop! She’s exhausted and content by the end of the day so it’s totally worth it!

Also, thank you so so much for all your thoughtful responses on yesterday’s post about finding a daycare for Margsy. I really enjoyed reading each one and will get to responding to each of you throughout the day. We’ve got another daycare interview on Friday and we’re hopeful that it’ll fit the requirements we are looking for! Fingers crossed.

But, for today I wanted to share a couple of things I’m absolutely loving right now!

Playtex Baby Sipsters Spill Proof Sip Cup

After Margsy’s pedi appointment on Monday I decided that it was time to really focus on introducing a sippy cup for good. Margsy was still drinking water from a bottle which I know isn’t ideal at 18 months. I’d tried a bunch of different varieties of cups over the last few months but it seemed that every single one either leaked, tasted and smelled horribly of plastic or was awkwardly shaped for her little hands.

On a random drug store run for diapers this week I had a look at the selection of sippy cups. Guys, is it possible? There are seriously about 40 different varieties to choose from! Once I’d narrowed down which ones I hadn’t tried I decided to go with Playtex Sipsters. I bought one cup and decided to give it a go before investing in more. Well, she loves it and most importantly it does not leak all over the floor, couch or toddler. Anyone elses kid super obsessed with seeing what comes out of a bottle or sippy cup by flipping it upside down and shaking?

DIY Sprinkler for toddlers (& adults 😉 )

Although we’re super fortunate to have a pool which I love getting in there with Margsy isn’t always easy. Since starting her swimming lessons Margsy has become a little resistant to using a float. She’s now used to being held in the pool and as a result wont float around like she did last summer. So, on some days when I feel like she needs more activity I put out the sprinkler and let her run and get wet! She loves it. Mer and I did some research and we’ve built a DIY Sprinkler for baby girl. They are relatively easy to make and super cost effective!

We made a variation of this! Check out this site for a bunch of frugal DIY sprinkler ideas for kids! But, be warned all the neighborhood kids are going to want to play with your super cool sprinkler set up. True story – I’ve had no less than 6 kids in my yard playing with something similar all week.

Coschedule Headline Analyzer

Coshchedule’s Headline Analyzer is amazing. I use it to analyze my blog post titles to hopefully help me rank better with search engines. It’s easy peasy too! You simply put in your chosen title and have the analyzer do its thing. It’ll return a result for you and you’ll see how effective it would be to potential readers! I try to create headlines that rank at least 70. I’ve been playing around with it for quite some time and love that you can see the history of the headline as you make modifications to the key words. Such a useful and awesome tool! Do check it out if you get a chance! Once you’ve signed up, the headline analyzer is totally free to use!

Ombrelle Kids Sunscreen

We take sun protection very very seriously in this house. I know I mentioned it somewhere but at the age of 33 when I was pregnant with Margs I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on my face. I had surgery to remove the affected skin and have since become obsessed with skin care both for myself and my little one. Sunscreens are tricky though! I have oily sensitive skin and break out into rashes and blotchy spots easily. I’ve tried many different types of sunscreen and have actually settled on using Ombrelle for both myself and Margsy. It applies easily, offers great protection and doesn’t irritate our skin. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Lentil Watermelon Salad

I think this photo speaks for itself right? I made this as an experiment a couple of weeks back because we had a ton of watermelon to use up. It sounds like a strange combination of flavors but it works and it’s absolutely delicious! This is absolutely going to be made over and over throughout the summer. Love how fresh it tastes and how easy it is to put together!

What are you loving lately?

P.S there’s still time to enter the BBQ Scraper giveaway offered by Mollen Living!

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Lifestyle Changes: Making the decision to send our toddler to daycare

When I was pregnant with Margsy I abruptly stopped working. I had no choice really because I knew that the moment I hit 12 weeks I’d get my cerclage and then be put on long-term home bed rest. This was the plan. We knew about it and I had zero reservations about it. When she was born Mer and I discussed how we wanted to manage her childcare. We both felt comfortable with me staying at home full-time because I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her and childcare can get extremely expensive.

In some respects I think we naively assumed that raising a kid was easier than it’s turned out to be. I’m not saying it’s unbearably hard but as Margsy ages we’re realizing that our current lifestyle (single child, one and done family) isn’t necessarily ideal when it comes to her social development and general socialization.

Margsy is a very fearful child. She does not do well when faced with new people and has shown very little interest in playing with other children. That’s not to say she doesn’t enjoy other children’s company but she’s far more inclined to play beside them than with them.

Way back in January we decided to sign her up for swimming lessons. It was really a win win, win situation for us because it would give her far more physical activity during the winter months (baby girl was off the charts weight wise until recently), hopefully expose her to other children to socialize and teach her how to swim which is such an incredibly important skill. Although she loves her lessons and it has helped train her to be more comfortable in water and helped get her to a more normal weight it really hasn’t provided any opportunities for socialization which we thought it would.

Mer and I had a really long discussion about Margsy’s social development last month. We both agreed that it might be time to find some sort of organized activity to help her develop autonomy, learn boundaries and hopefully interact with other children about her age. We searched and searched but apart from some sporadic playgroups that usually involve infants there really isn’t much available to a family with an 18-month toddler.

Enter the conversation about daycare.

At first, we were both very much resistant to the idea. Had you asked me my thoughts on sending her to daycare a year ago I would have told you it was absolutely out of the question. That’s not to say that I think daycare itself is a bad idea but I did believe that as her mom I could provide her with everything she needed socially, emotionally and physically. Sure, I’m able to provide her with a stable, safe and nurturing home but when it comes to stimulation, play and socialization I’m really falling short.

So, Mer and I have been interviewing daycare’s much to the displeasure of both sets of grandparents. We were both raised in a community that never outsourced their childcare beyond the walls of the home of a family member. So, when we informed them that Margsy would be enrolled in a daycare as soon as possible we were met with apprehension, anger and even harsh judgement. In this moment we realized that despite our fears and those of our family we need to put Margsy first and this is something she needs right now.

The reality is an 18 month of kiddo needs to play with other kids. They need to learn how to socialize with other children and find their own way and personality by exploring, playing and socializing in ways that I simply can’t provide for her.

All this to say, we’re currently in the process of interviewing various family daycare’s hoping to find one that is a perfect fit. So far, we’ve interviewed two and one appeared absolutely perfect but ultimately did not have a space for our kiddo.

In terms of our daycare want list we are pretty specific with regards to what we are looking for:

  1. A small family daycare with no more than 5-6 children so that Margs can still get the attention she requires and not be overwhelmed with the drastic change to her lifestyle
  2. A daycare that is willing to work with us to integrate her slowly into a daycare setting. Ideally we’d like to start with 2 hours per day and work our way up to 5 hours days, 4 days a week.
  3. With regards to facilities we’d like there to be a large fenced and secured backyard with ample space for baby girl to run around (She’s a climber and will try to climb a fence if you’re not watching)
  4. A large indoor play area that encourages creative projects (painting, drawing, building) in addition to creative play
  5. A daycare that is willing to work with us with regards to her current sleep issues. Margsy was not sleep trained and therefore requires a ton of assistance to fall asleep. Generally she needs to be rocked to sleep and feel you close by.

The first daycare we met with was an absolute bust. The woman although knowledgeable about child care and friendly appeared to offer “babysitting” instead of daycare services. What I mean by this is she approached each day with no expectations or plan and basically allowed the children to dictate what they wanted to do. Although she would likely have been extremely nurturing and sympathetic to our issues (sleep namely) I suspect that her home daycare environment would have simply recreated the situation we are dealing with at home.

The second daycare was perfect. The woman we met with had 5 children in her group varying in ages from 12 months to 4 years. The entire day was scheduled and planned and the children are exposed to creative play, dramatic play and artistic play which is exactly what we wanted. She was also extremely open to a step up plan to integrate Margsy and was willing to help start the sleep training process. Unfortunately our interview was scheduled after she had technically filled the last spot. We went regardless because we were hopeful that the spot would somehow open itself up again. She called today to confirm that the spot was in fact taken but did provide a few numbers of other local in house daycares that we are hopeful will fit the bill.

So there’s that. This is what’s going on in TTBH right now. We’re actively searching for a daycare and given our current situation I’m not necessarily in a rush to place her immediately. Since I’m home with her anyway we’re going to continue looking until we find one that is just the right fit.

What are your experiences with daycare? How did you select one for your kiddo? Any tips?

 

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Don’t niche yourself into a corner 

Morning folks!

I hope you’re all having a great week so far. The weather in these parts has been pretty crummy but the forecast is calling for a good amount of sun coming up so things are due to improve which is great! Nothing sucks more than being stuck inside with a toddler who has suddenly realized that doors lead to amazing outside places. Needless to say, Margsy is super grumpy and just itching to get outside and play. I’ll often catch her standing at the front window pointing outdoors and saying “go, go, go”. Here’s hoping that sun starts peeking out really really soon.

So enough about my endless complaining about the weather. Today I actually want to talk to ya’ll about blog niches. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten a couple of emails from readers asking about blog niches and how I chose mine and if I have any suggestions to create a “successful” blog. So, to address these questions I’ll break this post in two because ultimately there’s a belief that selecting the correct blog “niche” will somehow lead to blog success and that some niches are inherently more successful than others.

So, to start off let’s look at what a blog niche is roughly defined as per google:

A niche website is a site that focuses on a narrow group of people in a larger market with a common specific interest. While targeting a very specific term that people use on search engines, a niche site offers its visitors helpful and quality content that answers a question or solves a problem

With that in mind we can come to the conclusion that specific topics like beauty, fashion, parenting, travel, food, recipe development, tech and frugal living can be considered examples of “niche” blogs.

Interestingly, if you do a few google searches for things like “how to create a niche blog”, “tips for a successful niche blog” and “niche blog success” most of the posts that you’ll return will give you essentially the same information. They all seem to promote this idea that narrowing down your blog to a specific topic that you’ll focus on exclusively  will brand you correctly and put you in a position to garner the greatest amount of success. Some of these articles even go so far as to tell you to pick a profitable niche regardless of whether the topic interests you or not. In this scenario the focus is on the end result of “success” and not necessarily on the value you bring to blogging.

Let’s be honest folks, if you’re not passionate, knowledgeable and interested in the topic you are writing about you’ll never become successful because that “drive” that is required to blog consistently will eventually fade away. Being consistent and dedicated to blogging is hard work even when you love your topic so going that route is really not the best course of action. If you don’t truly enjoy what you’re writing about then you’ll never have the drive to keep going. So, my advice is to find a niche you are passionate about. Love to write about parenting? Go for it. Love getting creative in the kitchen? Share your recipes! Love to create crafts and do DIY projects? Well, start taking photos and tell the entire world about it! Don’t love technology? Well, don’t write about! It’s really that simple.

3 Reasons why you don’t have to niche yourself into a corner

So now that we’ve gotten into this whole niche blogging thing I wanted to talk a little about why I personally believe that sticking to one niche is unnecessary and that you can become a successful blogger without necessarily limiting yourself to one area of “expertise”. My blog is relatively new and I’m so incredibly grateful to have gained traction and momentum when it comes to building a solid readership and following both here on This Tiny Blue House and on my social media platforms. My blog is somewhat successful because I believe that writing about things that I’m passionate about comes through in my writing (I hope). Now, because I’ve seen a small amount of success in a relatively short amount of blogging time doesn’t really give me any klout but, I’m sharing my opinions because I was asked to. Beyond this it’s up to you fine folks to take my advice for what it’s worth. This is where I stand with regards to blogging and clearly there will be other more or less successful bloggers who wholeheartedly disagree with me and that’s perfectly okay. This is just one opinion about situating yourself within this vast internet space we call the blogosphere.

So enough about that!  Let’s take my blog as example. I blog about a few different things, don’t I? I’ve written about financial stuff, frugal living, high risk pregnancy, parenting, minimalism, food, gardening and even blog tech stuff. I’m all over the place right? Well, all these topics interest me and fall within my interest profile. I truly enjoy writing about all these things and so I somehow manage to weave my posts in and out of these very different topics.

As a result I’m a mom blog, a frugal living blog, a simple living blog, a blog tech blog and miscarriage survivor blog all rolled up into one very messy package. I’m all of these things both offline and online and these are the topics that make me tick. So, I write about them – a lot.

Based on the information I presented to you above, I probably shouldn’t be seeing any success right? I don’t fit neatly into any one niche because I never blog exclusively about frugal living, parenting, simple living or blog tech. Instead, I try and find a balance between writing about all of them since in many ways my interests are fluid and very much overlapping.

In a nutshell and to summarize you shouldn’t niche yourself into a corner because

1] Chances are you are not solely interested in one “niche”. Instead, you’re interests are likely varied, different and overlapping. Use your blog as a way to find an intersection of the many different interest profiles that dominate your life. Not only will you be providing your readers with varied content I bet you’ll have an easier time coming up with fresh content because you’ll have so many awesome categories and interests to pick from.

2] Readers aren’t exclusively interested in one niche either. It’s perfectly okay to have readers who pop in and out to read your frugal living posts but not your parenting posts! You don’t have to appeal to any one specific category of reader at all times. Offering a varied menu allows for different groups of readers to make their way over to your blog and share their ideas which in most cases can offer interesting and fresh perspectives.

3] Niche blogging limits your opportunities as a blogger. Again, totally my opinion but narrowing down your blog and packaging it up to fit into one very specific category really limits your potential. When blogs start to take off and blogging requirements include consistency it’s difficult to draft engaging, original and well thought out content day after day. So, leaving your possibilities open because you enjoy writing about different topics and themes can really help you stay on top of your blogging game. When a blog starts to generate revenue, niche blogging can go one of two ways. Take TTBH for example, when it comes to sponsored posts my varied content has allowed me to connect with a bunch of very cool companies that don’t necessarily fit into the same category. Had I blogged exclusively within one niche then I highly doubt I’d be presented with the same possibilities and variety. Having said that, niche blogging is known for generating a ton of revenue because of the very specific readership that comes with it. Despite this, I’m really of the mindset that it’s better to leave your options open (if that’s your thing) and give yourself as many opportunities as possible.

Like this post? Kindly share it to Pinterest to spread the word!

So tell me, are you a niche blogger? What are your thoughts?

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balancing evergreen vs real-time content

When I was first introduced to blogs roughly 15 years ago they really acted as an online journal of sorts. Back then (yes, I’m really that old) the blog world was dominated by hand coded layouts, archives and the word blog really wasn’t even used to describe the trend. With time, these hand coded websites a la angelfire or geocities were replaced by revolutionary (at the time) content automation sites like diaryland that stored, updated and kept your entries organized and easy to access. Shortly after, content management systems like greymatter, blogger, moveabletype and finally wordpress made their way on the scene which completely revolutionized how and why websites and more specifically blogs were created and managed.

Blogs come in all shapes and sizes don’t they? There are niches for just about everything from parenting to crafting and just about anything and everything you can imagine in between. What’s especially interesting about the shifting nature of blogs though is that blog content has shifted from more real-time in the moment type of posts to evergreen content that is expected to last forever and stand the test of time.

I’ll admit that I’ve spent the last month or so focusing on building evergreen content. Evergreen content is essentially content that is focused on a topic that encourages people to visit for learning purposes. It has value in that it teaches something or provides answers to a question that the visitor is looking for. These posts tend to drive traffic for reasons outside the curiosity of finding out what a blogger is up to on more of a daily basis. Some examples of evergreen content here on TTBH include:

My motives for focusing on evergreen content is simple: I’m trying to improve my page rankings. Evergreen content is valuable in that it ranks with search engines, it does well on Pinterest and it drives more readers. It continues to be valuable days, months and even years after it was initially published.

As an example, a post that outlines my day to day life might be interesting (or not) to a reader who has been following my blog consistently. Followers tend to build a relationship with a blogger and as a result are interested to see what said bloggers day to day life is like even if it’s a list of mundane, routine daily activities. Blogs are cool that way because they give us a view into someone elses life right? But, what happens when that post is archived? There are times when new readers peruse through archives to get a sense of who the blogger is but ultimately new readers will not hunt through the archives to see what you were up to exactly 3 years ago. Some do. But, most do not.

This is where evergreen content comes in.

Most folks who blog are interested in not only building a solid readership (and I’m so incredibly thankful to all of you who read here consistently) but also drive traffic from things like search engines and the like. The issue is to drive that sort of traffic you need evergreen content in your niche that is relevant to potential readers even months or years after initial publish.

A good friend of mine (also a blogger. A really awesome one at that) told me from the get go that to build up consistent search engine and pinterest traffic it was essential to not only publish real-time content but also focus on writing cornerstone evergreen content that will draw in readers at any given time when they are searching for information on a topic relevant to your niche.

But, does a reader connect with a blogger who only publishes evergreen content? Likely not.

If your jam is publishing evergreen and not necessarily worrying about building a readership but catering more to search engine traffic then by all means do what works for you. But, if you’re interested in building a readership (aka building a relationship with your readers) while also ranking with search engines than evergreen content is absolutely the way to go.

The issue of balancing the two types of content is where it gets a little tricky. I’ve spent the last month focusing on writing more evergreen content and although I enjoy writing it I do find that it creates a sort of detachment from the blog itself. In an effort to create valuable long-lasting content I’ve somewhat depersonalized my posts which really kills my writing mojo. My jam is writing about my experiences with frugal living and simple centered parenting which becomes difficult when  the focus is shifted to creating timeless pieces ya know?

All this is to say, blogging has changed a ton over the years (I’ve seen it change with my very own eyes). Some of my absolute favorite bloggers still post real-time posts on the daily but newer up and coming bloggers who are seeing the same levels of success seem to be churning out a balance of evergreen and real-time posts.

My goal at the moment is to publish 1 evergreen and 2 real-time posts per week. For me, this appears to be a good balance between making the blog house timeless content and connecting with my readers and sharing bits and pieces of my life.

Like this post? Pin it to spread the word!

 

What’s your jam? Evergreen? Real-time? Mix of both?

 

 

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pool

Hi there and happy Friday! Have anything fun planned this weekend?

We’ve got a few family commitments in addition to toddler activities to keep us busy! If you haven’t had a chance to pop in this week and would like to catch up, here are the posts that I published this week:

Highs

Margs’ swimming lessons were a success. Overall, it went quite well. She was a little apprehensive when the instructor asked me to help her float on her back but when it came to jumping in from the pool ledge or using the slide she was super excited! We’re hoping that as the weeks pass she’ll get more comfortable in the water and really love her lessons. I don’t think it helped that both grandmas were there watching! Margs would look for them instead of concentrating on what we were doing in the pool.

bubbles

Having my mom here! She’s given me a morning break almost every day this week. Margs has enjoyed napping at “Bubbies” so I’ve taken advantage of my time off to do things for myself – blogging, reading, tidying. It’s really amazing how an hour of alone time changes my perspective. I’m so so grateful to have her here.

Apple-Cinnamon-Pork-Chops-6

[1]

Apple cinnamon pork chops! This meal was delicious. I ended up loading up my freezer with pork chops because they were on sale and beyond baking them in the oven or grilling them on the BBQ, I don’t have any great pork recipes that use time and time again. This was delicious, easy to make and husband, bubbie and baby approved. I’ll be adding this to our rotation for sure. Do you have any really great pork chop recipes to share?

Lows

Margs took a nasty fall. Poor little girl scraped her nose when she face planted into the pavement on Monday. We had just come back from the grocery store when she spotted the neighbors son who she “plays” with (chases him around more than anything). She got so excited that she stumbled and fell face first into the road. Her nose is pretty banged up but once she calmed down she was oblivious to what had just happened and just continued to play. Kids are amazing like that aren’t they?

PicMonkey Collage

Heaps and heaps of snow. Stella came to pay us a visit! Mer commuted for over 3 hours on Tuesday night. The storm hit us pretty hard and Wednesday was an inside day. Mer worked from home and we slowly dug ourselves out. Our issue here is that we have nowhere to put the snow. Technically, we aren’t allowed to dump it in the street but the volume of snow made it difficult to dig out. We put half on our property and the rest on the street. Thankfully, our sweet neighbor brought out his snow blower and gave us an enormous hand by clearing the entrance to our driveway. I’ll be baking him a batch of cookies as a thank you. Kindness is truly a beautiful thing.

My good friend was stuck on the highway overnight because of the storm. I knew she commuted that stretch of high way and around 7pm I sent a text to check in on her when news reports started reporting that there were hundreds of commuters stuck on that stretch of road. She got back to me and let me know that she was in fact stuck and that emergency response wasn’t  coming to help people get out. At one point we were trying to coordinate a way to head down there and pick her up. We live a few hours west of Montreal and because of the weather it was impossible to get out there and help her out. We kept in touch throughout the night by text message and I was so relieved to hear that emergency crews finally made their way to help these poor people out in the early morning on Wednesday. If you’re interested in reading the article about this disaster go here. So glad she was safe but so disappointed by the lack of response. Unacceptable.

What are your highs and lows for this fine week of March 13th?


Giving credit where credit is due!

[1] http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/apple-cinnamon-pork-chops/

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behindtheblog

Good morning!!!

Hope your week is going well so far!

Some of my very favorite blog posts are ones that give me a peak into what a bloggers day to day life is like. I guess it’s part curiosity and part wanting to compare my own lifestyle to others that make them so fun and entertaining to read. So, today I’m giving you a peak at what my life is like behind the blog – a day in the life sort of post.

Please be warned that my days are pretty boring. As a stay at home mom I thrive when Margs and I follow a routine so there’s absolutely nothing spectacular going on most days. Generally, we stick to the same routine to keep things flowing well.

Here we go:

6:56 am – Margs wakes up for the day. Mer and I snuggle with her in bed for about 10 minutes before we take her downstairs into the living room. Mer changes her diaper while I put on a strong pot of coffee.

7:30 am – Mer and I enjoy our coffee and chat about the days plan while Margs’ plays independently in her pack n play. Currently she’s obsessed with puzzles – she can play with the pieces for hours. Mer and I usually discuss things like dinner plans, errands and any pressing issues we need to take care of.

coffee

8:00 am – I give Margs her breakfast – I rotate between french toast, scrambled eggs and whole wheat waffles. She usually has one of those with a yogurt and a few pieces of fruit. While she eats I check my email, WordPress notifications and do other blog related things like answering comments, emails or twitter notifications.

8:15 am- Margs drinks some water while watching some cartoons. In the meantime I unload the dishwasher, wipe down the counter tops, sweep the floor and tidy up after breakfast.

8:30 am – Margs and I read books, play with puzzles and practice walking running.

books

9:00 am- Margs gets a morning bottle and hopefully takes a nap.

9:30 – 11:30 am – I pull some ground beef out of the freezer to make a meatloaf for dinner. I open the package and let it rest on the counter to defrost. I start laundry, clean the powder room and fold a batch of clothes that were in the dryer. I then sit down and and catch up on blog reading with a cup of tea. At around 11, I make Margs’ lunch – minestrone soup with egg noodles is on the menu today.

laundry.jpg

12:00 pm– Margs and I eat lunch.

12:30 pm – I get Margs dressed in her winter gear and we head out for a walk. She’s not a huge fan of her stroller but once we get moving she settles down and enjoys the ride.

1:30 pm – Back at home. After undressing Margs and putting her snow gear away I prepare a bottle and we snuggle on the couch while she drinks. Today she decides she doesn’t want to nap.

2:00 pm – I work on dinner while Margs zooms around the house. I take breaks to chase her and she runs around giggling.

2:30 pm – Margs and I have a tea party, play with dolls and play with more puzzles.

dolls

2:45 pm – Margs is extra fussy and should nap but wont. I put on a Teletubbies episode on Youtube so she can relax.

3:15 pm– She’s a little less fussy and we get back to playing. I haul her upstairs to put away the laundry. She watches me from her pack n play in our room

3:30 pm –  I put her winter gear back on so we can play  in the driveway. Her “friends” get home around this time and she loves “playing” with them.

4:00 pm – We’re back inside – I pop dinner into the oven and give Margs a snack (Cheerios and a slice of pear) While dinner cooks we play with crayons. She hasn’t quite understood that she needs to color with them – she continues to try and eat them.

crayons.jpg

4:15 pm– Margs pitched all the crayons on the floor. I pick them up and she laughs. I put her on the carpet with a bunch of toys and she plays alone. I check on dinner.

4:30 pm – Margs is getting fussy, she’s likely hungry but dinner isn’t ready yet. We play with her giant rubber ball to pass some time. She loves when I throw the ball up in the air and it hits the ceiling.

4:45 pm – I put Margs in her high chair and I give her some veggies that were left over from the night before. She’s really hungry and getting more and more upset.

5:00 pm –  I pull the meatloaf out and slice Margs a piece. I teach her to blow on her food when it’s too hot.

5:30 pm – Margs has finished eating. I clean up her high chair and the floor around her.

5:45 pm – I give Margs a bath and wash her hair which makes her really upset. She splashes water everywhere.

6:00 pm – Mer gets in and we sit and eat our dinner. Margs sits in her high chair and eats her dessert – usually a piece of fruit.

6:30 pm – Mer makes Margs a bottle while I load the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. I collect bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers from all over the house so they can be sterilized. They read books and cuddle before bed.

reading

7:00 pm – Margs is asleep in her cot.  Mer comes back downstairs and makes sure the baby monitor is positioned correctly. We sit on the couch and catch up on our day. Mer always asks me “did Margs do anything new today?”.

7:45 pm – Margs is sitting up in her cot crying. I head upstairs and try to soothe her back to sleep. She isn’t having it.

8:00 pm – Margs is back to sleep but on the couch with us. We turn down the t.v so we can hear what we’re watching (The Kindness Diaries) but not wake her up.

8:30 pm – Mer carries Margs back up to her cot. We’re crossing our fingers that she wont wake up again. I sit behind the computer and start drafting a new post for the blog.

blogging.jpg

9:30 pm – Mer tells me he’s off to bed. I opt to keep writing a little while longer because I’ve got a bunch of ideas I want to get down before I forget about them completely. He kisses me goodnight and heads upstairs.

11:00 pm – I shut down the computer, close all the lights, check that all the doors are locked and head up to take a shower before bed.

11:30 pm – I crawl into bed and cross my fingers that Margs will have a good night.

12:00 am – Margs wakes up screaming. Soothing her isn’t working so I carry her into our bed. She falls asleep quickly and we sleep snuggled together until morning.

When do you squeeze in blogging time?

 

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Hey there! How has your week been treating you?

If you’re just popping in, here are the posts that I’ve written this week. If you have a minute please have a read. It’s also not too late to enter the Happy Maps giveaway happening here on TTBH. Contest closes on Sunday at 6pm, so if it’s something that interests you please head over and enter to win!

Highs

My mom is officially moved in. Work on the basement has finally ended and my mom is comfortable and settled in her new apartment one month ahead of schedule! We converted our basement into a 1-bedroom apartment for her to help reduce her living expenses. Her apartment turned out better than we’d expected and she’s loving being here to spend more time with Margs. Margs also realizes that bubbie now lives “downstairs” and bangs on the door to tell me she wants to head down for a visit. I’m also loving having her so close by because it’s really nice to be able to have adult conversation throughout the day.

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New blog opportunities. A few new blog opportunities have come my way over the last week and I’m excited! When I first decided to monetize the blog I really wasn’t sure where it would take me since my blog is so young and doesn’t necessarily have huge volumes of traffic. I’m thrilled that despite being in its infancy, TTBH is helping me generate a little revenue. I’m planning to write a post about my progress in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that.

Enjoying experimenting with the Keto Diet. I‘m still trudging along on my weight-loss journey. So far I’ve lost roughly 6 lbs which I’m really pleased about. I don’t necessarily feel that my weight loss is visible just yet but I do feel far more energized and in control of my eating habits. I’ve been experimenting with a really relaxed form of the Keto diet this week and although I probably wont stick to it long term (it’s far too rigid to be sustainable for me) it has been really eye opening to learn about carb content by keep track of my food choices with myfitnesspal. I really view this as a learning curve since I’m essentially reteaching myself about healthy choices and portion control.

Activities for Margs. Baby girl has had a busy week. After a discussion with Mer about my concerns that Margs might be bored we decided it was in her best interest to start taking part in some organized activities. She now goes to a play group on Mondays and Wednesdays and takes swimming lessons on the weekend. She really enjoys socializing with other children and has a great time playing, running and tumbling. Her excitement is just adorable and so is her tiny swim cap 😉

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Lows

Margs’ pediatrician appointment. We headed back to the pediatrician this week. Again, I left there feeling pretty defeated. Margs is a big little girl. She’s nearly 33 inches tall and weighs roughly 31 lbs. According to her growth chart she’s in the 97% for height and essentially off the charts for weight. Her doctor questioned her eating habits and made some suggestions that we think might help slow down her weight gain. Basically, I’ve been told to start giving her 2% WCM and to reduce her intake of yogurt. Her doctor wasn’t overly concerned but I’m an anxious mama and it makes me feel terrible that I’m potentially feeding my little girl an unhealthy diet. I’m doing my very best since she eats primarily vegetables and fruit but clearly we need to reevaluate and make adjustments.

Estimated Due Dates. Thursday was a rough day. March 9th was my estimated due date for my twin pregnancy and every year it seems to just creep up on me. By now, you’d think I’d be prepared for the roller coaster of emotions that come from facing a due date but nope – it hit me like a ton of bricks. I took a little break while Margs played with her grandma to have a good cry. It just feels like someone else’s life ya know? I should have 4 year old twins! My gosh, 4 years have flown by and my life is not at all what I imagined it to be. I’m insanely grateful for my precious baby girl but some days the burden of the past is just harder to deal with. March 9th was one of those days.

What are your highs and lows for this fine week of March 6th?

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