Parenting/Life

A reminder that words can hurt.

The other day my son came home from school for lunch and it was very clear to me that something was bothering him.  I asked him if everything was ok and he said that some students at his school had hurt his feelings.

The Mama bear in me almost immediately saw red but I took a very deep breath and asked him to tell me what happened.  He was waiting outside one of the classroom’s for his friend that he walks home with.  Apparently another friend walked by and they laughed at each other and “dabbed”.  (If you aren’t sure what dabbing is, here is a link to a picture of my son “dabbing”).  From what I understand is there were two older students standing nearby and hollered over to my son that he “better be careful because causes cancer”.

My son obviously understands what they said is not even remotely true but what those two student did not know is that my son lost his parternal grandmother earlier this year to cancer and my Mom herself has had struggled with cancer.  And hearing those words upset him.

What these two said to my son was mean and completely insensitive and not a topic you should be joking about in any shape or form, but in all, the actually story of what happened isn’t what is important here.  What is important is that people, regardless of their age need to understand that their words can hurt.  It may not be intentional, it may not have meant to be malicious but you never know what people are going through in their personal lives that you don’t know about and words can sting just as much as a slap across the face.

I learned my lesson years ago when I kept “joking” with a friend about why he and his wife hadn’t had a baby yet.  They had been married several years at that point, so why not get started?  Little did I know that he and his wife were unable to conceive their own child.  Until that moment when that friend pulled me aside, I had no idea that my words were hurtful and I was completely unaware of it. So from that point on, it made me very mindful about the things that I say to people out of jest or for any matter that is.

Teaching our children to be mindful of their words and that saying insensitive things can really hurt someone’s feelings is really something that I think is important.  I look at some things that are said on social media these days and I really think that the old saying of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” that our grandparents/parents taught us needs to make a comeback.  Words are thrown around like a basketball without people really thinking about the hurt and upset they are causing others.

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always. – Ian Maclaren

Parenting/Life

Scent Filled Memories

Disclaimer:  Although items in this post were provided to me, all comments and opinions are strictly mine.

Whenever I catch a whiff of a pine scent,  I am instantly taken back to my childhood days when I lived in the country. I have so many great memories of that time but what I especially remember is how different my childhood was from what my child has to experience now. I remember the freedom and not having a care in the world.  I remember on summer days being able to leave the house for hours upon end and my parents not subjected to the worries we have now.

I remember there must have been 6 to 8 of us kids all around the same age and we would often descend upon one of their grandparents homes and play in the back yard where is had the vast area of evergreen trees. We would play in the wooded area and use all kinds of odds and ends to make our little home areas.  Each of us had our own areas and we would play in there for hours at a time.

Coming home, I would always smell the pine scent on my clothing and hands from running in and out of the trees and always remember loving that scent.  Today when I smell pine, I remember so many days of carefree play, not staring at a computer screen or smart phone.  There was no arranging “play dates”, we all just knew each day where we would meet up.  Our parents didn’t have worry, they knew just to stand on the porch and call out when it was time for us to go home.

So now, when tasked with the chore of cleaning my house, every time I open a bottle of PineSol original scent, there is just something about that pine smell that puts a smile of my face and memories of the good old days are not far from my mind.   It’s kind of a 2 fold good feeling that I get.  Not only does it bring back great memories, but I also know that it is cleaning and deodorizing my home.  Being a multipurpose cleaner, I can clean everything from the kitchen, bathroom and floors all with one product and have that scent through the entire house.  It cuts through grime and grease and the amazing scent lingers.

scent trio

It makes the whole job of cleaning so much nicer when I can associate the smell with a good memory.  Do you have a particular scent that brings back great memories?  PineSol cleaners come in original Pine, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin and Spring Blossom scents and surely one of those will remind you of something great in your past and help make the present cleaning job just a little bit easier.

Parenting/Life · Recipes

Fall – The Very Best of Food, Fun & Fashion

Fall is such a great time of year so I’ve gotten together with some of my favorite bloggers to put together the ultimate list of fall fun!  Make sure to check out all of the awesome posts below and get inspired for fall fun!

fall

Warm up to a Hearty Harvest Stew- A Boy and his Mom

https://aboyandhismom.com/recipe/warm-hearty-harvest-stew/

 One of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of fresh harvest vegetables that are now in prime season.  With the cooler weather, it is time for me to break out the crockpot and make this delicious hearty Harvest Stew.  So easy to make and perfect to come home to after a long day.

 
Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites (Great For Breastfeeding Moms)- My Momtastic Life

http://mymomtasticlife.com/pumpkin-pie-energy-bites-great-for-breastfeeding-moms/

It’s officially Fall, which means – you guessed it – Pumpkin Spice Everything! These Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites are delicious, and the oats and flax seed make them great for breastfeeding moms. You can even add a little bit of brewer’s yeast for an extra boost in your milk supply! Breastfeeding or not, these are delicious, super easy to make and will surely get you in the Fall mood.

 

DIY Pumpkin Playdough- This Mama Needs Chocolate

http://thismamaneedschocolate.com/2017/09/29/diy-pumpkin-playdough/

Who doesn’t love an easy DIY project to do with the kids? This homemade pumpkin playdough has the sweet smell of the fall season.

Fall Fun for Little Ones – Travels with Tots

https://travelswithtotsblog.com/2017/09/26/fall-fun-for-little-ones/

Fall is such a great time of year to go on family adventures with your little ones. Here are some of our fav fall time activities to help you get the most out of the season!

Easy and Fun Fall Leaf Tree Craft for Toddlers- Fab Working Mom Life

https://www.fabworkingmomlife.com/2017/09/easy-fun-fall-leaf-tree-craft-toddlers/

Fall is such an exciting time, and Pinterest is overflowing with cute toddler crafts. You just have to create this fun fall leaf tree craft with your toddler with leaves you can collect together on a nature walk through your backyard.

8 things to do outside this fall – Mamablabs

https://mamablabs.com/2017/09/01/8-things-outside-fall/

Looking for new ideas for how to get the kids outside this fall? Read on for 8 fun things to do outdoors as a family that everyone will love!

Fall bucket lists (for moms and toddlers)- Motherhood in the Mountains

https://motherhoodinthemountains.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/fall-bucket-lists-for-moms-and-toddlers/

It’s finally fall!! That means tons of fall themed activities for you and your little one. Check out these bucket lists for toddlers and moms!

Fendi inspired fall fashion- Viva La Dolce

http://www.vivaladolce.com/2017/09/fendi-inspired-fall-fashion.html?m=1

Want to look like you just stepped off the runway? Check out these Fendi inspired fall fashion pieces!

 

DIY

Inspiring My Creativity: Embroidery Hoop Chalkboard

I can’t believe it’s already that time again for our Inspire My Creativity link up party.  If you haven’t visit us before, you can check our link up from last month with all of our Fall Themed ideas.  Each 2nd Wednesday of the month, we post our latest and greatest creations.  Each month has a predetermined theme.  This month’s theme was Embroidery Hoops and I created an Embroidery Hoop chalkboard.

When we decided on this theme, I really struggled for a while deciding how I could best put this to use in my home.  I scoured over Pinterest and nothing was really jumping out as something I really needed to make at this time.  And after coming home from grocery shopping and realizing I had forgotten several things that I needed but didn’t have on my list, the idea of a chalkboard came into my head.

I hadn’t seen anything like my chalkboard idea before so I was going in blindly, but in the end it was really super easy to make.  The materials that you will need for this project are:

  1. Embroidery Hoops – I used  12 inch and 3 inch hoops
  2. Fabric – any color and design to match your decor – to fit the above hoops, I used an 18×21 inch piece
  3. Paint – I used some paint from my son’s craft box
  4. Chalkboard vinyl – I used the Cricut Chalkboard vinyl
  5. Chalk

The first step is to paint the hoops and let them dry thoroughly.  I only gave them 1 coat and they dried within about 15 minutes.

I then placed the chalkboard vinyl under the inner hoop of my 12 inch hoop set and traced the circle to ensure I had the correct size for me to cut out.

I then took the fabric and placed it in the 12 inch hoops and pulled on the edges until it was nice and tight.  Remember, you have to eventually have to be able to use as a writable surface.  Once the fabric was in place, I trimmed fairly close to the edges but not enough that it could pull through and come apart.

Once it was ready and in place, I applied the chalkboard vinyl to the front and the chalkboard portion was now ready to go.  Yes, it was really that simple.

In order to make my chalk holder, all I did was fold the fabric to almost in 3 to make a pocket area to hold the chalk.

Once I had the fabric folded, I just placed the 3 inch hoops into place and tightened as well.  Before it was completely in in place, I did give the outer pocket a bit of a pull to be able to fit the chalk.    I trimmed the edges as I did the actual chalkboard hoops. And again, voila, the chalk holder for my chalkboard was ready to go.

Once both pieces were ready, I simply hung them on the wall and they were ready for me to use.  Now, anytime I realize I am out of something, I simply write it on the chalkboard and before I head out for groceries, I can simply take a quick picture with my phone and be ready to shop.

chalkboard embroidery hoops

Are you looking for some other ideas for using Embroidery Hoops?  Check out the other hostesses for our link party and see what great ideas they came up with.

Missy  |  Gypsy Magpie
Meg  |  The Kusi Life
Candice  |  She’s Crafty

Do you have an Embroidery hoop craft of your own that you would like to share with us?  Join our Link Up party below.

Link party

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

 

Parenting/Life

OxiClean vs The 9 year old boy

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and OxiClean and have received compensation for this post. All opinions in the post are my own.

Gather round folks for the match up of the year. Oxiclean™ vs the rough and tumble 9 year old boy. Who will come out victorious in the OxiClean Challenge? Will the title go to the Outstanding Clean of OxiClean™ or will Dirt and Stains of the 9 Year old prevail?

Oxiclean vs 9 year old

Any parent with a 9 year old boy knows that keeping clothes clean can be one tough battle. With grease, grass stains, etc laundry can be a never ending job. With OxiClean, we are able to defeat dirt and stains and keep clothes clean.  And let this be a forewarning to all the new parents out there, as the kids get older, the stains keep coming and keeping clothes clean and wearable can be an ongoing battle.

Do I really want to have to be washing loads of my son’s laundry over and over again just to trying and constant flow of stains and dirt off of them?  Seriously, who has time for that? I want the clothes to come out clean the first time.  And the last thing I want to have to be doing is replacing his clothes over and over again because I can’t get the stains out and the clothes are now unwearable.  I am sorry, but that just isn’t in this Mom’s budget.

I think I lost count of the number of times I would be folding up the laundry that should now be clean, only to find one of my son’s grease stained shirts or grassed stained jeans had gone into the load without me attempting to pre-treat it and now finding it set in and probably never getting it out.   As if laundry isn’t time consuming enough, having to do it more than once to still have stains is completely frustrating.

Then I decided to take the Oxiclean Challenge hoping it would win the battle between the laundry and my son’s stained clothes.  Oxiclean has colour-safe products designed with stains in mind and is the #1 stain fighting brand in Canada.  The 9 year old can take the cleanest of clothes and turn them into a mess in no time so it was going to be quite a match up.

I picked up the opponents,  OxiClean™ MaxForce™ Foam pre-treater that can defeat the greasiest of stains with its foaming action the first time and OxiClean™ MaxForce™ Spray  that has 5 different stain fighters for those dried in stains at my local Real Canadian SuperStore and let the challenge begin.  I applied the cleaners as per the directions for the stains and let the battle begin.

It only took 1 round and Oxiclean was the obvious winner – a knock out punch!  It had easily defeated the tough, ground in stains of the 9 year old.  It was no contest.  The clothes were clean and looking as good as new.  Oxiclean was clearly victorious!!  The 9 year old was no match for the mighty stain fighter.

Oxiclean winner

Gone now are the days of fighting the stains of the 9 year old and hello to clean laundry the first time thanks to Oxiclean.

Want to have your own Oxiclean Challenge with a chance to win a weekly prize of OxiClean stain fighter  or a grand prize of a laundry room makeover by HGTV’s Sarah Baeumler?  Start your challenge below.
OxiClean Challenge Giveaway
https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Parenting/Life

Miscarriage – this is my story

As much as my son’s birth was the best day of my life, I can’t help always remembering that exactly one year previous to that, it was probably one of the worst days of my life.  In my previous blog post that talked about my son’s birth, I touched on the heartbreak of that day but never really told my story.  With October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I felt it was the time talk about it.

Shortly after I got married, I realized that I was pregnant.  We hadn’t tried to get pregnant that quickly but knew we had wanted to start a family right away so we were ecstatic.  After a confirmation from the doctor, I was overjoyed to tell our respective families but wanted to keep things quiet to everyone else until we reached that “12 Week” wonder week.  The week that somehow is supposed to be the magic number where if you reach that week miraculously everything is supposed to be ok.

So for those next weeks, I made sure I was doing everything right.  I ate well, slept well, didn’t do anything too strenuous, I followed the baby books to the letter.  Even though we had no idea if it was a girl or a boy we somehow started referring to him(her) as Little Elvis.  I have no idea where it came from, but it stuck.

Finally we had reached the 12 week point and couldn’t wait to tell our friends.  There was an annual golf tournament that we used to play in with all of our friends and we thought that would be the perfect day to tell everyone.  Of course, our friends were thrilled for us and we went on to enjoy the day.  All the Mom’s were giving me advice and asking me how I was and I couldn’t wait to share everything.

However, that morning, when I had woken up, I remember feeling a bit off.  Nothing specific, just kind of heachacy.  I blamed the hormones and brushed it off.  Near the end of the day, I remember going to the bathroom and there is was, a bit of spotting. Nothing major and not more that a little spot.  I didn’t think much of it at first as I had had spotting earlier in the pregnancy and after a rush to the doctor’s it was found it was just implantation bleeding and the baby was fine at that point.

But at the end of the day, and we were driving home, I knew in my heart of hearts this wasn’t right.  Something was definitely wrong.  I told my husband to take us to the hospital immediately.

I wish I could say that my hospital visit was filled with nurses that cared and helped soften the blow of what we were about to hear.  But unfortunately snide comments and questions like “Did you take a pregnancy test to see if you were still pregnant?” were more the norm.  After an ultrasound and what seemed like an eternity waiting and waiting, the doctor came in and all I remember him saying was “no longer a viable pregnancy”.  At that point, everything else went silent and my entire world crumbled around me.

A D&C was then attempted but due to complications, they were unable to remove the baby and I was sent home to basically miscarry naturally.  I felt like things could not get worse.  But for an entire week with constant cramping and misery I finally completely miscarried.  It was over, my little Elvis was gone.

I remember crawling in my bed and crying harder than I had ever cried and beat myself up for hours wondering what I done wrong and why I couldn’t have held on to this pregnancy.  This feeling would not going away for a very long time and sometimes it still creeps back into my world.

Having to tell family and friends made it almost worst.  I felt like I had failed myself, my husband, my friends and family and most of all, my little Elvis.

Back when I had my miscarriage, it wasn’t something that people openly talked about.  When it happened to me, people kept it too themselves so much that I felt like I was the only one of my friends around me that had gone through it.   Little did I know so many of my friends had had a miscarriage as well.  So after it was over, I suffered in the most part in silence.

There was never talk about grieving and support, there were no “rainbow baby” celebrations.  Miscarriage was something kept silent and I feel like we suffered alone.  Of course my husband was there and supported me and was devastated himself as did my family but I am sure other women who have gone through this understand what I mean when I say it just isn’t the same.

When I finally became pregnant again with my son, I was terrified through the entire 9 months.  I didn’t want anything to happen to this pregnancy.  Every little ache and every little pain, I worried I was going to lose him.  And exactly one year later, I woke up that morning remembering my little Elvis and within a few hours when my son decided he wanted to make his debut into this world, it wasn’t without complications and fear as well.

That is why when I see miscarriage and infant loss being talked about and support groups so openly available now for those of us who have loss, it makes things just a little bit easier for me.  It’s not that feeling of shame or feeling that you shouldn’t talk about it because it’s too sad for other to hear.  It’s about supporting each other and knowing that you are not alone and you can express your feelings and get the help you need to get through the terrible times.

If you have gone through a miscarriage or infant loss, know that you are not alone.  Sadly, there are many of us, but know that we are hear to listen, to share our stories and if we can make it even a little bit easier for you, we are here for you.

Parenting/Life

Mustaches for Maddie – a book review

Disclosure: Although items in this post were provided to me, all comments and opinions are strictly mine.

Mustaches for Maddie

Based on a true story, Maddie is a quirky 12 year old with a vivid imagination and a penchant for mustaches. She believes a mustache can always cheer someone up.

She struggles with the typical 12 year issues like fitting in a school and wanting Cassie, the cool girl to notice her and like her. She uses her love of mustaches to make people laugh and life her. Her life is like every other 12 year old until she starts to have issues with her arm and tripping when she walks.

After a trip to the doctor’s it is confirmed that she has a brain tumor and her entire world changes in an instant. She doesn’t want her friends to know and she definitely doesn’t want to prevent her from playing Juliet in the class play.

As her surgery gets closer she finds herself not afraid to show her vivid imagination and caring less about what others think and the courage to get through the scariest of times. She also finds how many friends she really has and how much she means to them when she has her surgery.

This book not only explores the struggles that most 12 year old go through on a daily basis but also struggles that most people never even want to imagine going through while doing it without compromising your beliefs and values.  It also reminds us that even through the hardest times we can count on our friends to be there and supports even if it involves silly mustaches.  It also touches on the power of social media when it is used for good.

Mustaches reading

Written by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown (Maddie’s parents), Mustaches for Maddie is not only a great read for someone like myself, I believe that the values and message of the book is appropriate for all ages especially the tween/teen who struggle with the everyday life of school,  social acceptance, bullying and health issues.  It is written in a language that all ages will be able to understand and appreciate the messages of this novel.  The book was released October 3, 2017 and is a must have for your reading pleasure.