Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Childbirth – my not so Hollywood story

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It was literally the day after I got married that I found out that I was pregnant with my first.

Although, we hadn’t planned on a baby that early, we were absolutely thrilled at the time. Keeping the pregnancy quiet was tough. I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone. We finally reached the 12 weeks “safety” and while at a group event we were able to share the happy news with a bunch of our friends. That night, as we were driving home, I knew something wasn’t right and headed to the hospital. After several excruciating hours there, we were told there was no heartbeat. “No longer a viable pregnancy” was the term they used. It seems so cold and uncaring, like my baby was just nothing. Needless to say we were devastated. I never knew I could feel that sad.

Fast forward to exactly one year later and I am back in the very same hospital in full on labor about to give birth to my son. I remember the contractions being so strong and painful and practically wanting to call and have the epidural ready for me when I walked in the door.  I have a pretty high pain tolerance but this pain was nothing like I had ever experienced before.

Me in hospital
We weren’t at the hospital too long when I was finally able to get my epidural. Please no judgement in my use of the drugs in my delivery, and I definitely admire those that have a natural childbirth. But this epidural probably saved my child’s life. I was finally somewhat more comfortable but I noticed that when I was having contractions that my son’s heartbeat would drop down. We notified the nurses/doctor immediately and as discretely as they could, the started to go into panic mode. They indicated that it appeared that umbilical cord was wrapped around my son’s neck and he was losing oxygen every time I had a contraction and he needed to come out, NOW!
That is when I turned into the crazy lady everyone hears the stories about. I was literally screaming at the doctor’s to get my baby out. I was not going to lose yet another baby on this day two years in a row.

I remember being wheeled into the operating room and passing my parents who had just arrived. I remember that cold, sterile feeling of the room I had been in just a year earlier and starting to panic and the tears started rolling. All I could say to myself was “This is NOT happening again!”

Luckily, because I had already had the epidural they only needed to give me a local before performing an emergency c-section. I told them I didn’t care what they did to me, just get my baby out and safe.

Soon, my baby was out. But it was those panicked few moments that felt like an eternity before I had the first wonderful cry. I begged my then husband to go and ensure he was alright. He eventually came back and said he was fine. Moments later, he was brought over to me to see. My arms were strapped down from the c-section so I didn’t get to hold him right away, but I got to see his beautiful little face. I couldn’t stop crying, I was so happy to see him and that he was ok.

I guess I always imagined that when I had my baby it would be that perfect scenario that you see in the movies and that isn’t what I got. To this day, I feel somewhat robbed of the true birthing experience. I didn’t get to push, I didn’t get the baby on my chest, I didn’t to be the first one to hold my little bundle of joy. The experience was filled with fear and upset. It wasn’t until I was back into my room that I actually got to hold my son and have that first skin to skin contact with him.

Having the emergency c-section, my first week or so with my son, were not completely filled with happiness and joy either. I anticipated pain, I wasn’t naive enough to think it was going to be a walk in the park, but I never had anticipated the pain I experienced. My c-section scar is large compared to other Moms that I know. And for that first week, I couldn’t just walk out and pick up my baby anytime I wanted to, just getting up and walking took effort and if I turned or moved to quickly, there was excruciating pain. I would have loved to have just been able to pick up my son and carry him around every single minute I could.

Yes, I know that I got lucky in comparison to other births, I got to bring home a healthy, wonderful baby boy. I will never forget than and don’t want to appear like I am ungrateful. I am definitely not!!! However, when I look back on my birthing experience, I feel somewhat let down and unfulfilled.

Jack and I

As well, each year now on my son’s birthday, it’s somewhat bittersweet. I get to celebrate his amazing life, but I also remember the little life we lost that day as well.

I hope that any other Mom that has gone through a similar experience can relate and understand what I am trying to say here.

I think that is perhaps why now I go that extra mile to ensure every moment going forward with my son is everything I ever wanted it to be.

Thanks,

 

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Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Green Tea and Cotton Birthday Giveaway

Birthday Giveaway

 

The best part about blogging is I have been able to meet and get to know some amazing ladies!  Amanda, from Green Tea and Cotton  is one of those ladies.  Join me in wishing Amanda a very Happy Birthday and helping her celebrate by entering her Birthday Giveaway. Details are below!

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I can’t believe another year has gone by so fast and that means another birthday. I celebrated this past Sunday and now I get to celebrate some more by joining up with 11 other amazing ladies to bring you my birthday giveaway! That’s right – one lucky person gets to take home some goods just for them. No sharing required!

I had asked everyone what their favorite birthday memory was. I love the answers!

For my 30th birthday, my BFF threw me an amazing birthday party. I was newly single and she wanted to do something to cheer me up! It was such a great day! – Cathy from A Boy and His Mom

The year I traveled to NYC for my birthday! – Natasha from Livin Life With Style

Getting to spend it at Disney World since it was during mid-winter break. – Rachelle from Tuesdays With Jacob

One of my favorite memories when I was younger was being surprised with tickets to see Jesse McCartney in concert. – Liz from Lizz and Co.

My favorite birthday memory is a newer one. Since having kids, the nature of my birthday celebrations have changed but there is nothing like having kids on your lap helping you blow your candles out! – Stephanie from Durham Region Mom

I never tell anyone my birthday and last year my friends figured it out and I had 6 dozen flowers, a whole lot of Starbucks gift cards, and several other gifts. I felt so loved! – Messy Season Blogger from This Messy Season

My favorite birthday memory is having pool parties every year when I was younger! One of the perks of having a summer birthday! – Caroline from In Due Time

My favorite birthday memory would have to be when my dad would bring me a dozen roses home on my birthday every year. He worked a lot and I didn’t see him a ton so that mean a lot to me. – Brittany from The Ashmore’s

My favorite birthday memory has been reoccurring for the last few years. Having a birthday is so much better with children involved. I get showered with tons of handmade cards and gifts, breakfast in bed, flowers, and so much love. It is not a day that I worry about getting another day older but a day that I enjoy getting spoiled by my two wonderful children. – Kristen from Blissfully Insane

Spending it with my parents. We were very close growing up and they always made it special. – Melanie from Story of Five

I flew to California and a special someone surprised me with a gift per day while I was there. He ended up asking me to be his girlfriend! – Glenda from Confessions of a Scorpio

I told you they were amazing memories! Now to tell you mine!

My favorite birthday memory is being married to a guy who shares the same birthday as I do! Every year, on the same day, I get to tease him about how much older he is than me. We have fun and celebrate with the kids. – Amanda from Green Tea + Cotton

Now on to the good stuff!

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Eyeshadow colors – Row 1: Shimma Shimma, Peach Smoothie, Beaches and Cream, Chickadee, Cocoa Bear. Row 2: Mai Tai, High Wire, Charmed, Time Travel, Vintage. Row 3: Pixie Dust, Cosmopolitan, Moondust, Prom Night, Sensuous.

Prizes:

  • 12 month Plum Paper Planner
  • Set of Pilot G2 Pens
  • Z-palette with 15 Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pans
  • 5ml doTerra Aroma Touch and 15ml doTerra Wild Orange
  • 3 month tea subscribtion to Plum Deluxe (U.S. winner only)

Entries to the giveaway are easy. Just follow the directions below. Giveaway ends 4/15/2016 at 11:59 PM CST. Open to U.S. and Canada residents 18+. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Think Happy, Be Happy Link Party – April 4th

 

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“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” -Mandy Hale

Hello friends! This link party was created as a way to create some inspiration and happiness as we begin our week. It can be hard to find the happiness in our day to day, and I believe it truly does help to take a second to find the positive. Please take a second to visit all of my wonderful co-hosts who will be sharing this link party as well!

Right now, what makes me happy is knowing that spring is just around the corner. Although it sure doesn’t look like it this morning with all the snow out there, but I know that being April, that the warmer weather is soon to be here. Spring means getting outdoors more and seeing friends and neighbors out and about more often. I feel like we all tend to hibernate during the winter and spring gets everyone out in the open again. I tend to be much more social in the spring and that makes me happy. Anyone else agree with me?

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RULES OF THE PARTY: Leave a link to your actual post and not your homepage. A link back to your host, is greatly appreciated. Feel free to grab our link party button to add to your post. Please link up only your happiness related posts. Don’t link up and run, please visit other bloggers. Make new friends or say hello to old friends. Please follow your hosts and guest hosts in some way. Have fun with your posts! I truly hope it helps with starting your week off on a positive note!

 

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Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Why I am a list maker.

20160328_121234_HDRYes, I am a list maker.

If you have read my previous posts, you have probably noticed that I included lists in those as well.  I am not sure how or why this came about but I think I have always been that way.  I do come by it a bit honestly,  my Dad is a list maker as well.

My list making has become much more prominent in my life in the last few years and here are some of the reasons possibly why:

  1.  Blame it on “Mommy Brain”, I don’t seem to retain as much as before.
  2.  Blame it on age, not getting any younger here.
  3. Between work, parenting, blogging and plain old life, it is too full up there to remember everything.
  4. It keeps things neat and tidy.  Instead of 100 sticky notes everywhere, I keep a few topic specific lists.
  5. Maybe it is the satisfaction of being able to cross off things as they are completed.

I have learned the hard way too many times, that if I don’t have it on the list, I probably will forget it.  And realistically, who has the time to keep going back to the store to remember to get the things you originally forgot?  I want to make one trip and call it done!

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I always have several lists going at once:

  1.  Groceries – as I run out of things, I add them to the list.  If I don’t go shopping for a few days, I am pretty sure I won’t remember that I need vanilla or something I don’t use on a daily basis that I have just used the last of that day.
  2. Daily chores – I think this one is more for the satisfaction of crossing things off, but also keeps me motivated to get things done
  3. Miscellaneous – exactly as it sounds, a list of things that I need to remember that don’t fall into the other two categories and that I don’t want to forget about.  An example, a reminder of an upcoming birthday that I need to buy a gift for.
  4. Blogging – this is a new one as of late, but I am constantly writing down ideas for new posts, and my to do’s.

Are you a list maker?  What are your tips and tricks to keep things in check?  I’d love to hear your recommendations!

And my lists always have to be on paper.  I am sure there is an app out there that I could  use to make all my lists so I always have them with me.  Maybe I will add that to my list of things to research.  🙂

 

Thanks,

 

 

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Lil’ Labels review and partnership

You know how it seems like your clothes dryer always eats at least one sock every load? I sometimes think it is like that with my son and his sweaters. I will dress him for school in one of his sweatshirts/sweaters/hoodies and a week or so later, I realize it never came home. For the longest time, I just made the assumption that he wore it the last time to his Dad’s and it is just there. I believed this until one day I went to his school and they had all the “lost and found” items laid out on a table. Low and behold, I came home with 2 sweaters, a sweatshirt and a hoodie that had gone missing. It was there and then that I knew all of this could be avoided if I put labels in his clothes.

That is why I am so happy to be now partnering with Lil’ Labels .  Their labels are so convenient and easy to use.  Just peel and stick, no ironing needed which is great, because I hate ironing.  You can personalize them as you wish and you are ready to go.  And they last wash after wash.

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In addition to their clothing labels, they also have a line of bottle labels which also are great for lunch boxes and their containers.  These labels are self laminating, so you just personalize them as needed and seal.  Like the clothing labels they stay put wash after wash.  These will be particularly handy for kids going to camp this summer to keep all their water bottles and snack containers identified from all the other campers.  These labels are also dishwasher and microwave safe.

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With the summer season just around the corner, it’s time to get stocked up and ready for the kids going to camp or their sport activities. To visit their website for more information or  to order, click on the Lil’ Labels logo below.

If you would be interested in partnering with Lil’ Labels, email me at aboyandhismom@gmail.com and I would be happy to send you more information.

Thanks,

 

 

 

**** Please note that although these products were provided to me, all comments, and opinions are mine.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Losing a loved one near the holidays

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When most people think of Easter, they think of cute little bunnies, yummy chocolate eggs, pretty pastel colors and warmth that spring will bring us and of course, there is the religious, historical aspect as well.  To me, I think of those, but I also remember a very sad and hard time in my family`s life.

Once, we were a happy family of 5, my parents, my brother, and myself and my twin sister.  We were born 3 minutes apart and my Mom always said, I got tired of sharing the space and I kicked her out of the womb first so I could have a few minutes in there myself.  She was born with  hydrocephalus and had to have a shunt put in very early.  Her short life was filled with many doctors appointments and health issues, but it never seemed to dampen her spirits.  Being so young, I sadly don’t have a lot of memories of us all together, but the ones I do have are happy and full of love.

Then Easter weekend, just days before our 8th birthday she fell ill and was taken to the hospital.  At the time, I remember thinking she was going to be back soon and everything would go back to normal.  However, things would be never normal again.  I don’t think I will ever forget the looks on my parents faces when they came home from the hospital and told us she was gone.  At that age, it’s definitely very difficult for a child to understand the magnitude of what has actually happened.

For the years following and even into my adult life, Easter was always something we didn’t celebrate.  In fact, we didn’t talk about Easter as holiday much at all.  We just tried to get through it the best we could.  Some years it was easier when Easter and my birthday fell close together but in cases like this year, Easter and my birthday are almost 3 weeks apart.  So it’s almost like having to deal with it twice.

When my son was born, I knew that I could no longer avoid Easter weekend and enjoyment that comes along with it for children.  I explained to my family my thoughts and wishes on the subject and they were more than happy to oblige.  We all agreed that he could not be “punished” (that isn’t the right word, but don’t know how else to word it) for our previous heartache and misfortune.

Each year, we do the Easter egg hunt, the Easter bunny makes a visit and my son enjoys Easter like most other children.  I know that is what she would have wanted and it’s definitely what I wanted.

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Not a day goes by that I don’t miss and think about her and at this time of year, I do even more.  This is definitely a hard post to write but I hope others that have lost love ones near a holiday know that they aren’t alone and I understand.  We will never forgot the ones we lost but know they would want us to enjoy the holidays regardless.

Grade 2 Photo

Thanks,

C.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

March is National Nutrition Month

As a Mom, I am always on the look out for new and healthy items that my son will enjoy.  He tends to be a bit picky when it comes to food, so when I can find things that he likes and they are nutritious, it’s a bonus.

As part of National Nutrition Month,  I was asked to give my review on some new and healthy items.  They were:

  1. Earth’s Best  Organic Crunchin’ Grahams & Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars
  2. AlternaVites Kids Vitamins
  3. Kangovou dishwares

My son and I were excited to try each of these products when they arrived and we were definitely not disappointed.

Earth’s Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars & Organic Crunchin’ Grahams

My son loves his snacks, so finding some that are made with organic, wholesome ingredients that are delicious is key.  The  Organic Crunchin’ Grahams were the first thing that we tried.  They are made with organic whole grain wheat flour, no trans fat and an excellent source of Calcium, Iron and Zinc.  The biscuits are small which would be great for toddlers with little hands wanting to feed themselves.  And let’s talk about delicious, my son and I didn’t want to stop eating them they were so good.  Definitely a thumbs up!!

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The Organic Sunny Days Snack bars were equally delicious.  They are trans fat free and and excellent source of calcium, zinc and iron. We tried the Apple flavor and my son’s exact words were “It tastes like apple pie in a bar.”   The bars are somewhat smaller than a regular cereal bar but the again the perfect size for little hands.

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The snack bars and grahams are both part of their Sesame street line up and although they are geared more towards the toddler age, my son still thoroughly enjoyed them.  Truth be told, I have been sneaking them into my lunches as well.

You can find more out about Earth’s Best and their product line on their website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts.

AlternaVites Kids Vitamins

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Remember having pixie stix as a kid?  All the sugary sweet goodness?  Well imagine a healthy, vitamin filled version….that is AlternaVites Kids.  They are available in a multi-vitamin, or single-ingredient versions (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Calcium).  These are great for kids that don’t like the regular chalky, chewable vitamins.  All products are sugar-free, gluten-free and contain no wheat, egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish or shellfish, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives.  They also contain no GMO ingredients. I loved all the great flavors they have.  My son’s favorite was the Raspberry Cotton Candy multivitamin.  He liked it so much, he wanted more.  I had to remind him they were vitamins and not candy.  It’s a win-win with these; the kids get their vitamins and they like it like candy.

You can find out more about AlternaVites Kids and their product lineup on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Kangovou dishwares

I have to admit, before I became a Mom, I didn’t really think too much about kind of container I put my snacks or lunch in.  But as soon as I knew I was pregnant with my son, I started hearing all about BPA’s and PVC’s etc and was shocked at my ignorance all these years.  With Kangovou, there is no worries about the containers you are putting your child’s food in.  All of their products are BPA free, PVC free, Lead free, Melamine free, Phthalate free.

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We received the snack bowl and I am loving it.  It is the perfect size for fruit or crackers when packing a lunch.  I love how snug the lid fits.  Nothing worse than opening up your lunch to find the lid has come off and half your lunch has spilled over your bag.  I have a feeling that I will be stealing this for my own use rather than my son.  Or, I will be having to order some more of these so we can both use them.

You can find out more about Kangovou and their product lineup on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

**** Please note that although these products were provided to me, all comments, opinions and pictures are mine.

Thanks,

C.

 

Uncategorized

Think Happy, Be Happy Link Party

 

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“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” -Mandy Hale

Hello friends! This link party was created as a way to create some inspiration and happiness as we begin our week. It can be hard to find the happiness in our day to day, and I believe it truly does help to take a second to find the positive. Please take a second to visit all of my wonderful co-hosts who will be sharing this link party as well!

How do I find happiness?  I try to remember each and every day that life is too short and you have to always make the best out of what you you are given.  My life is definitely not on the path the I had envisioned for myself or my son so  I take the moments that we have together and make the best of them.   Sometimes it can be just the little things like a cuddle on the couch and a movie, or sometimes it can be a bit of adventure, like a weekend getaway.  No time is too big and no time is too small, you take the time that you have and enjoy every single second of it.

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RULES OF THE PARTY: Leave a link to your actual post and not your homepage. A link back to your host, is greatly appreciated. Feel free to grab our link party button to add to your post. Please link up only your happiness related posts. Don’t link up and run, please visit other bloggers. Make new friends or say hello to old friends. Please follow your hosts and guest hosts in some way. Have fun with your posts! I truly hope it helps with starting your week off on a positive note!


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Travel

March Break madness at the Chelsea Hotel.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

In conjunction with our Medieval Times trip, I  decided to make a mini vacation out of our weekend and spend the night at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. I had often heard about the corkscrew water slide that they had on site and knew that my son would be all over it!

We arrived at the hotel around 4pm, and unfortunately I think everyone else that was staying there that night had too. The lineup for parking was quite long and we sat for a while only to find out that the garage was full. Luckily, I pulled out my phone and google maps was able to direct me to a parking lot just up the street. Having to walk to the hotel with our luggage was not ideal but ended up costing us quite a bit less than parking directly at the hotel, so I can’t really complain at all about it. 🙂

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Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

I hadn’t really thought about it being the first Saturday of the March Break and the fact that the hotel does have 1590 rooms, so needless to say it was really quite busy. My first thought was “OH NO”, but they had that hotel going like a well oil machine. Check-in was very smooth and everyone was extremely friendly to deal with.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

Each tower of the hotel has it own set of elevators, so it did help with the congestion of arriving travelers. Upon our arrival and the first hour or so, there was quite a long wait for the elevators but with a full hotel on March Break, it was to be expected. However, the rest of the time we were there, every moved very quickly.

They gave us a very detailed itinerary of events that the hotel was hosting for the March Break. Lucky for us, the events were being held on the weekends as well. Due to the crowds, we had to register for a time slot to use the pool facilities, which I have to say was a brilliant idea. I had envisioned a pool filled to the brim with families or us not able to use the pool due to it being filled to capacity. We were able to get the time slots that we wanted for the pool very easily. My son couldn’t wait to go on the water slide. It is a 2 storey triple corkscrew adventure. My son convinced me to go on it and I have to admit it was a blast. I even went on a few more times afterwards. For a large portion of the ride down, you are in complete darkness. I think for the first hour that we were there, my son went down the water slide almost 20 times.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

We had a Chelsea Room with a king size bed.  I knew if I got a room with 2 beds, my son would want to snuggle in with me, so why not go for the big bed so I actually got some room when I slept. 🙂 The room was your standard hotel type of room, very clean and the tidy. Everything was in good condition and made me feel very comfortable.

Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.
Photos provided by the Chelsea Hotel.

If I had any complaint , there was a lot of “city noise” in the evening but nothing that the hotel is able to do anything about. It is just indicative of where the hotel is located.  And it doesn’t help that I am the lightest sleeper on the planet.  I could go on and on about our stay but I think I can easily summarize our stay in saying that we will definitely go there again and considering how busy of a weekend it was at the hotel, it was very well managed and a pleasure to be there.

You can check out more details on the hotel on their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account.

Although the photos were provided to me by the hotel, I was not compensated for this review and these comments are strictly my opinions.