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.

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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.

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[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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 😉

peonie

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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time

So, before I get into some pretty long-winded thoughts, I’d like to give you a friendly reminder that there is currently a Happy Maps giveaway happening here on This Tiny Blue House. Feel free to enter for a chance to win your very own personalized Happy Map if you haven’t already! Good luck to everyone who has already entered!


Recently, Mer and I sat down to watch a Hemingway documentary on Netflix called Papa. Have you seen it? It really is an interesting window into Hemingway’s life so if you haven’t seen it I would recommend you watch it. Mer isn’t much of a reader and although he knew who Hemingway was he really didn’t know much about him so he was especially interested in watching.  When we got to the part about Hemingway’s 6-word novel (the famous: For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never Worn) – Mer and I just looked at each other with a blank stare and understood perfectly well what the statement was insinuating.

Or, did we?

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What ensued was an interesting conversation about time, perspective and circumstance.

Clearly, we both assumed that there was a dead child involved. But, were our assumptions based on our own experiences of time, perspective and circumstance or is there some universal understanding that when a pair of unworn baby shoes are sold there is a deceased child involved?

When I was a kid my father would tell me that everyone had “cobwebs in their closet” and that “some were thicker” but ultimately everyone had them. I think the conversation started when I broke down crying after my parents separated. It was the late 80’s and by cultural standards at that time I was ashamed of my home life. He told me not to worry about it because everyone had dusty cobwebs hidden in the very back of their closet.

Okay, back to what I was getting at here.

It’s really quite amazing how our own experiences have shaped the way we perceive things around us. Before our losses, I doubt we would have made such a heartbreaking assumption about such a potentially simple statement. We likely may have arrived at it eventually but it would probably not have been our first conclusion. Years ago, my brain would likely have wandered to ideas that the child outgrew the shoes before getting the chance to wear them or perhaps the child had more than one pair rendering this pair unnecessary or that poverty was at the root of the decision to sell them. I doubt though that my brain would have instinctively led me down the path of dead babies.

But, now it does. And, it  highlights that perceptions are altered based on circumstances that are unique to each and every one of us. Our story really dictates how we perceive the world around us doesn’t it?

To the parents who have lost children, that 6 word-novel could mean that a child died. A miscarriage, a still birth, infant loss – the possibilities are endless.

While to some it could be an example of poverty.

To others it could be interpreted as necessity – selling a child’s baby shoes to feed a habit, to turn the lights back on, to buy food, to fuel the car to get to a job interview, to make some extra cash to purchase medication. The possibilities are truly endless.

I suppose then that our individual perceptions of what that statement truly means is fueled by who we are, where we come from and what our  lives look like both past and present.

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Interpreting blog posts functions quite the same way I think. When I write something it comes from my perspective – an anxious repeat loss mom who is acutely aware of what it means to be poor, move up the socioeconomic ladder only to find herself in heaps and heaps of consumer debt years later. But, to those who don’t have those same set of cobwebs, my opinions and beliefs could potentially be misinterpreted ya know?

Perhaps, when I make a blanket statement like “I’m jealous of other women’s pregnancies” it might make me appear to be vile, envious and shallow. But, to those know me, know my story, know my struggle- I might get a little leniency.

The reality behind that statement is that getting my baby here safely was horribly difficult.  Does my statement now become less terrible? Does the meaning somehow change? Does my own circumstance change the intention?

Blog posts, and writing in general is tricky. Often times I catch myself reading and re-reading my posts because I know what baggage comes with my writing but most of the time you the reader don’t. Clearly, there are certain aspects of my life that I’ve shared and if you’ve been reading for a little while you’ll know that I mean no harm by statements like the one above but to a new reader who doesn’t necessarily understand my history that statement might be interpreted completely differently.

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As I’m growing this here blog I’m realizing more and more how perspective and circumstance influence both what I read and what I write. I’ve read countless blog posts from women who are “over” their pregnancies. From their perspectives it’s an innocent claim that likely has no intention of piercing through a loss mom like me. From my perspective, that claim makes me cringe because well you know – some women would give absolutely anything – make a deal with the devil even to bring a healthy full-term baby into the world. Perspective and circumstance.

This applies to everything really. Discussions on minimalism, vegetarianism, veganism, politics, opinions, beliefs, religion on so on and so on.

Essentially, anytime we put something out there we are opting to have our words which are inspired and peppered by our own perspectives interpreted by people and their unique worldview right?

How much effect do you think perspective has on interpretation of blog posts and writing in general?

What are your thoughts and interpretation of  Hemingways 6 word-novel?

 

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed below are my own. 


When Mer and I moved into this house we agreed that we’d hold off until we committed to buying or hanging any artwork. Back at the apartment I bought and hung so many pieces that we didn’t really love that we eventually ended up damaging the walls by rotating the pieces so often because it never looked or felt “right”. When we packed up and said goodbye to the apartment we also said goodbye to the artwork – those pieces although lovely to look at had really no meaning to us.

I’ve realized that I’m happiest surrounded by things I love. Whether it’s my favorite pillow, quilt or picture frame – each of those items has some strong emotional value attached to it that brings me peace and happiness. I just love walking up our staircase and seeing our partially completed picture wall. Each image is a reminder of a moment in time that marked our lives in some significant way. Each image is a reminder of a happy moment that we get to relive for a brief second every time we walk past. Sometimes I catch myself stopping to just take all those moments in.

When Happy Maps generously offered to provide one of you fine folks A Happy Map I jumped on the opportunity to host a giveaway. Happy Maps literally encompasses everything Mer and I have been searching for in artwork- personal, nostalgic and beautiful.

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If you’ve never heard about Happy Maps I highly suggest you go explore their website. But, before you head over there let me tell you a little bit about the company that is creating individualized prints that preserve special moments in your life.

Happy Maps tells your unique story!

They are personalized maps that include a map (color of your choice), latitude / longitude co-ordinates of your location of choosing, date and a special saying acknowledging both the time and place of the moment you’re honoring. How cool is that? They make awesome gifts for loved ones, friends, weddings, rainbow babies (!!!) and any other special moment or occasion you want to cherish forever.

There really is no better type of art work is there?

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For my own Happy Map I’d likely choose the hospital where baby girl was born as our location – date it with her birthday and inscribe it with the quote “the day our family was finally complete”.

Aren’t these just beautiful?

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What’s super interesting about Happy Maps is the backstory about how this concept came to be.I’m such a sucker for a good backstory and couldn’t help but smile when I read about Enrick Bui’s (the creative authority behind Happy Map’s) innovative creation as a gift to friends who were getting married.

What a lovely, thoughtful and creative idea!

To enter for a chance to win a Happy Map of your own, leave a comment below telling me what location you’d choose for your very own Happy Map and why!

Giveaway closes on Sunday March 12th at 6pm EST.

Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday March 13th and will receive a customized Happy Map (no frame).


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