The BEST Bath Toy


My boys are dirt magnets. They roll in mud, sit in puddles, draw maps on their bodies with sharpies. So they have a lot of baths. Typically at bath time I lay all the towels that we own on the bathroom floor. Why? Because this:

“Boys, please keep the water in the tub today, okay?”

“Okay mom!”

They can’t help themselves. They just love fun. My friend Jill told me about these “bath pipes” that keep her kids occupied till the waters gone cold. So I thought I’d give them a shot.

Boon Water Bath Toys are credited for keeping my floors dry. The boys are so busy pouring water down the pipes or arranging them in cool positions on the wall that water literally never leaves the tub. They stay in there so long that I can actually enjoy a whole coffee, WARM, while watching them have fun with these things.

I highly recommend these toys make it into your bath time routine! What are some helpful toys you recommend?

***Links will take you to Amazon where you can purchase product if you like. I am an part of the Amazon Associates Program.***

I Hate You, Parenting Articles


parentiung

I read parenting advice from all different perspectives. And with each paragraph I read I shake my head and realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. At the end of the article I’m convinced that one of my children may turn out to be a serial killer. Who knows, maybe both will.

Why are there so many methods? How do I know which one will work?I believe that  all these different theories were written by people who think their own parents did it wrong. After years of trying to fix themselves they believe they’ve come up with the right way to raise a child.

I want to know how their children turned out…or better yet if they even have children. And if their children did happen to turn out to be brain surgeons or violinists or CEO’s of big companies – I’d like to know what these successful people really feel about their childhoods and how their parents raised them. I wonder if they gave me the password to their computer if I’d find a file with 52 pages of a book they’re writing about parenting and how to do it right.

I hate how these articles make me feel. I hate that I’ll always feel inadequate even when I’m doing an okay job. I hate that I question everything:

  • Did that three-day potty training week from hell scar him?
  • Is he going to marry a bitchy woman because I yell at least twice a day and he’ll find bitchy women to be comforting and familiar?
  • Will he develop a tick when he sees blueberries because of that morning we had a power struggle over eating two more blueberries before he was allowed to leave the table?
  • Will he be behind in kindergarten because he’s home with me and not in daycare like many other toddlers? He can only count to 14 and not 31, maybe I should put him in preschool twice a week.
  • Will he develop OCD because I try to pick those boogers out of his nose every chance I get?
  • If I ignore this tantrum right now will he grow up to be resentful and angry because I’m not validating his feelings?

No matter what I do I’m questioning myself, doubting every decision I make. And as if my own fears aren’t enough I read parenting articles that confirm them. The articles make it official – I’m doing it wrong. Well guess what parenting articles?

 

cat

Have a nice day 🙂

 

THREE Ways This Pregnancy Is Different from the First


In case my 700+ blog followers don’t know yet, we’re PREGNANT! Before you read on, just know that I AM excited about it. The following post is just about my pregnancy this time around…and how it’s not as awesome as the first one.

Napping is Hard

When I was pregnant with Jacob and I was tired I simply got comfortable and drifted off into a nice little piece of heaven. This time around, I’m lucky if I can close my eyes for a few minutes without a matchbox car being driven over my forehead.

I Don’t Feel Like a Million Bucks

Just like my first pregnancy my skin looks great, my hair is thick and I have a nice glow. Sounds soooo terrible, right? Ha! Well during my first pregnancy I had time to pamper myself. So my nice skin could be moisturized, and I could put makeup on to accent my cheekbones and eyes. And I could style my hair into a fun messy bun, or large beachy waves.

Now I’m lucky to put chapstick on and my hair gets thrown into a ponytail. I’m too tired to try looking nice. And on the days that I want to put the effort in, my two year old decides he wants to put makeup on like mommy, and I have a bigger mess to clean.

My outfits are a joke. Track pants and sweaters are my go-to items. Fast and comfortable. In a nutshell it’s hard to feel like a million bucks these days.

I’m Not as Giddy as the First Time

Maybe it’s because I know what’s coming. Oh my, that sounds so foreboding! I don’t mean that I’m not looking forward to having a precious newborn arrive, I’m referring to the Dark Days that are the first 6 weeks post partum.

With my first pregnancy I had NO idea what to expect. I thought it would be like playing house. What a rude awakening I had. Being a first time mom was HARD! So I just feel a little overwhelmed about how much my new bundle of joy will need me, as well as how much my toddler will need me as this BIG change happens.

BUT!! This time around at least I know that it passes! I can remind myself that it’ll go by in a haze but that things WILL get better. And although it’ll feel like there is no end in sight, I will KNOW that there is because I’ve done it before and it MUST have been worth it if I’m doing it again.

How did you feel during your second pregnancy? Any tips on ways to lift myself up a bit?

Five Things that Jacob and I Have in Common…


train

Jacob will turn two in July. That means the two of us will have spent 730 days and approximately 17, 520 hours together – well minus the hours when we’re sleeping.

In this time I have noticed that, even with our huge age gap, we have A LOT in common…

1)      We both like colouring. I’ll pick up a crayon and colour with Jacob any time. I find colouring to be relaxing. I love the smell of Crayola crayons. And I feel so accomplished when I’ve turned the drab black and white drawing into something colourful and fun. Plus, Jacob thinks I’m so awesome at colouring.

2)      We both like Thomas & Friends. I have always loved trains. Something about them, even with their loud disruptive whistle, soothes my soul. The hollow sound of the wheels clickety clacking on the tracks in a rhythmic beat makes me feel at ease. You have NO idea how excited I was when Jacob first showed an interest in trains. I knew the moment he said his first “choo choo!” that we’d be best friends for life.

3)      We both love to read. Since Jacob was able to hold his own little head up, I sit cross-legged on the floor with him in my lap and read him stories. We both look forward to reading before bed. Right now, The Gruffalo is still our favourite…it’s the first book I ever read him.

4)      We both love cuddling. I have always been an affectionate person, so it makes sense that Jacob is too. When he grabs a blanket and pulls at your shirt, he’s up for some cuddle time on the couch. I can only hope it will last as long as possible, because it’s such a special time.

5)      We both think farts are the funniest thing on earth. Some people find them rude, crude and disgusting. But Jacob and I will collapse to the floor laughing any time he toots…which is REALLY often.

What do you and your children have in common? 

Wait a Second…What? Some Nursery Rhymes are Questionable


I was reading Jacob some nursery rhymes from this book:

nursey rhyme book

Seems cute right? It’s filled with staples like the Incy Wincy Spider and Little Bo-Peep. And it even has some favourites like The Cat and the Fiddle.

Now, I remember singing some of these rhymes as a child and never questioning the words. For example, Rock-a-Bye Baby: “When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, cradle and all.” Hmmmm. I have since changed the words to: “And Mom will catch baby, cradle and all.” Maybe I’ll resort back to the original story on future camping trips when I want to scare the kids.

Then I came across some even more weird ones. Like The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Again, I remember hearing this story numerous times as a kid, but today, this is my reaction to it:

shocked
In case you haven’t read the original nursery rhyme, let me refresh your memory. Here is how it is written in this particular book:

There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe
She had so many children
She didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth
Without any bread;
She whipped them all soundly
And put them to bed.

How heart-warming right? Perfect story for the kid who resists bedtime. Obviously a lot of old children’s literature was written to help teach kids about manners and behaving. I get that. But it still shocks me as I read it out loud to Jacob. My voice starts off very animated and perky, but by the time I’m reading “without any bread” I’m slowing down, my voice becomes more hushed, and I find myself not wanting to finish because I can sense what’s coming…the whipping!

Then there’s Ladybird, Ladybird; about a ladybug:

Ladybird, ladybird,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire and
Your children are gone,
All except one
And that’s little Ann,
For she crept under
The frying pan.

What? What? WHAT? I have no words. Just this other face:

dissappointment

THANK YOU!!!


thank-you-road-sign

Hello my loyal followers! I just wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU for following my blog posts, commenting with heartfelt messages and offering tips and advice. We celebrated Jacob’s first birthday last Sunday and I had a chance to look back on the past year.

I started Stay Sane Mommies when I was experiencing the terror of being a new mother. I needed somewhere to write down my feelings and share with other parents who were going through the same life change. I needed to be heard and comforted by the knowledge that I wasn’t alone.

Within a week of starting my blog I had over 500 followers and was so grateful to all the feedback and support I was getting. It’s so touching that you’re all willing to be so honest about your struggles; to let me and all my readers know that we’re not alone when it comes to our imperfections and worries.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for helping this Mamma stay sane another day 🙂

With Love,

Cris

Moms Being Honest


stressed mommy pic

Photo Credit: Rants from Mommyland

One of the best things that helps keep me sane is talking to my best friend Ursula when I’m having a tough day. I can tell her how I really feel without fear of being judged. I’ve even said: “I’m so tired! When I woke up this morning, I kinda wished my only role in life was Cristina with no responsibilities. Not Cristina the new mom or Cristina the wife. I just wanted to get up, get dressed and go have a day alone.”

She knows that nowhere in that statement do I wish that I didn’t have Jacob or not be married to Andrew. And I don’t have to explain that to her. I don’t feel the need to make sure she knows because I know she understands. It’s great to be able to be so honest with her. And have her be honest in return. There is no comparing between her son Christian and my son Jacob. We don’t gloat about how they’re progressing. We don’t gloat about our routines and how they work for us or what good eaters our sons are.

Sometimes I find that talking to moms who I don’t have a close relationship with makes me feel inadequate. They talk about how much they love every second of motherhood, and I start to feel guilty about all the moments I wished to just be alone for a while. Then there are other moms who are completely honest about their struggles and even laugh with me when I tell them my own blunders. It’s such a breath of fresh air.

I know I’m not alone in being an imperfect mother when I have talks with other moms who are honest. It feels really good to be able to share my feelings without feeling like a bad mother. Thank goodness for moms being honest!

My Inner Critic


Shut UP!!! That’s what I tell the voice in my head that chastises me periodically. It’s the voice that makes being a mother hard. It’s the voice that sums up all those times you’ve made mistakes in your life and spits the feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety, fear and doubt right back in your face.

Go bother someone else with your negativity!!! When I’m fed up with listening to the voice, that’s what I tell it. I left out the bad words though, but they’re in there.

Sometimes I feel like all the people who ever made me feel bad or wrong in my life follow me around all day. If I’m rushing through the dishes, I’ll hear: “You left some suds on that one, rinse it again!” If I let Jacob’s clothes stay in the dryer over night because I’m too tired to fold them, I’ll hear “You’re so lazy. How long does it take you to fold a load of baby clothes? Just do it now. You’re sitting while you do it anyway, that’s relaxing enough.”

On the days that I’m super tired because Jacob was up in the middle of the night, I’ll lay down for a while during his naps. But sneaking a nap in is impossible because the critic in my head is screaming: “Wow. You’re just gonna lay there? You do realize the dog left paw marks all over the floor, don’t you? You’re just going to leave them there, aren’t you?”

It’s usually in the moments that the voice is so loud that my husband will come downstairs for a break from work. I’m feeling defeated because the voices are telling me I’m lazy. So when Andrew will see the paw marks and clean them, I feel like he’s siding with the voices in my head. I jump off the couch as though I were a criminal caught stealing…stealing time for myself.

Poor guy is just cleaning up some dirt he saw, he’s not thinking anything about my housekeeping skills, nor does he resent me for leaving the paw marks there a little longer. He knows I’ve been up all night, and he thinks I deserve some rest.

But because I’ve just had a lashing from the critic in my head, I get defensive. I tell him to leave the dirt alone I was just about to clean it. If he says not to worry he’ll just quickly clean it, I replace what he said with the critics words and hear: “Don’t worry, you just lay there. I’ll clean the house during my break from work while you keep lazing around on the couch.”

Andrew would never say something like that to me. But my inner critic will. And I have to remind myself that what my inner critic thinks of me is not what my husband thinks of me. Also, what my inner critic thinks of me is NOT who I am. I’m not lazy, I’m not a bad mother, and I’m not a bad wife.

When Andrew and I talk about my inner critic, it’s like we’re talking about a friend who’s a bad influence on me. We both know I need to cut this friend out of my life for good, but how? You’ve grown up with this friend. They’ve always been there, pushing you around. Sometimes their voice has even helped you succeed at things because it wouldn’t shut up until you’ve perfected whatever project you were working on.

But if I remember all those times, I could never really enjoy anything I accomplished because I was too exhausted. And the inner critic would find something to complain about. So even if there was a reason to celebrate, it would be in the shadow of the voice thundering in my head.

I’ve become much better at telling the critic to shut up before it has a chance to lecture me. But there are still days when I can feel it hovering over my shoulder as I do chores; watching how well I scrub or mop or wash or dust. When I feel the critic summing up all those bad feelings and preparing to throw the baggage at me, I look at Jacob. I just call his name and he’ll turn around to stare at me, and then it happens – he smiles ear to ear just because he saw my face.

Then I tell the inner critic to eat that smile and shut the hell up. Because my son thinks I’m the best mother and most beautiful sight that eyes can see. Nothing the inner critic says can overwrite the image of my son smiling at me with affection.

I can’t be the only one with the inner critic? Do you guys have one? And what do you do to hush its hurtful words?

From Pampered to Sleep Deprived


I wish I knew more about what to expect in those first two weeks of parenthood. I went from being carefree and taking naps whenever I needed them to being up every two hours at night to feed the little angel who had a serious set of lungs to scream with.

Delusional

Becoming a mother wasn’t what I envisioned at all. I imagined pushing a little bundle in a stroller while smiling at neighbors, cuddling with a baby who was sleeping soundly in my arms, playing peek-a-boo, and looking like my slim self in pre-pregnancy jeans. I was obviously delusional.

Within half an hour of bringing Jacob home for the first time, he started crying uncontrollably… and didn’t stop for a few hours. My husband and I listed all the tips the nurses gave us at the hospital: check his temperature for fever, see if he suckles on your knuckle to ensure he’s not hungry, make sure he isn’t too hot or cold, try burping him… When all of those things were ruled out and Jacob’s voice was almost gone from screaming so loud, I broke down.

What Have I Done?

I felt like my life was ruined. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how I was going to take care of this little baby. I was tired, sore, extremely hormonal, and thinking straight was impossible. And to top this all off, I was having a hard time breastfeeding him.

I was told by the nurses that it wasn’t supposed to be excruciatingly painful. So when I saw stars every time Jacob latched on, I knew something wasn’t right. By day three, my nipples were cracked and bleeding and my left breast was engorged and fire-engine red. Great!

Hope? I Don’t Have Hope

A visit to the doctor’s office lead to a mastitis prescription. My breast was completely blocked and infected. On top of being exhausted, hormonal and sore I was now fighting a high fever…and still had Jacob to tend to. I felt like I was living a nightmare.

While waiting for my prescription to be filled, a woman saw my miserable self with Jacob sleeping beside me in his car seat. She walked up to me and softly said “I promise it gets better, honey.” I looked up at her and was fighting back tears. I said thanks, but didn’t smile or anything like I normally would. The truth is, I didn’t believe her. I really saw no light at the end of this black tunnel.

What Do You Know? There is Hope!

Once week three came around I wasn’t waking up with the same feeling of dread. I found myself excited to peek into the bassinet and see my little angel. I noticed I felt a bit more confident as I was starting to understand more about what Jacob’s cries meant. I was also observing his body language and learning that when he pulled his legs up, he was gassy, when he sucked his hand he was hungry, when he yawned he was getting tired… Once I saw his cues and gave him what he needed before he started wailing for it I felt more accomplished.

Best of all, by six weeks we were on a great schedule that had him sleeping the night! My body woke up on its own because it was used to the 5am feed, but when I realized he was still sound asleep I wiggled a little dance in my bed. It was like the heavens opened and spilled the warm sun on my body after a long cold winter.

Today Life is Wonderful

Jacob is six months old now. And when I look back on those first two weeks, I don’t miss them at all. I will never forget the panic, fear, uncertainty and exhaustion I felt. I wish I was more prepared, but really, I don’t think anything can prepare a first-time parent for those hellish weeks.

I’m glad they’re over. And with how fun life is now, I can be that woman who approaches the new mom and promise her that it does get better.