Marvelous Mamas

A few months ago, I joined a group for mothers called “Marvelous Mamas: Welcome to Motherhood”.  I signed up for several reasons: it was the dead of winter in Montreal, bitterly cold and miserable outside and completely depressing; I needed a reason to get myself out of the house at least once a week; and I needed to meet more mommies, have some intelligent conversations with adults, and hopefully make a few new friends.

I was hesitant to join at first. I didn’t know how many other mommies would sign up, and I had visions of myself being the only person there. I can be really shy in big groups and I didn’t know if I would even feel confident enough to speak my mind. I really didn’t know what to expect, but after the first meeting, I knew I had made the right decision!

The group consisted of 6 mommies, 7 babies (1 mommy with twins!) and our instructor who introduced different topics, led the discussions, and encouraged everyone to share what was on their minds. While us mamas chatted, the babies played together.

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Photo taken from The Learning Family website.

The small group felt intimate, I wasn’t shy, and I felt comfortable talking about various issues related to motherhood including breastfeeding, guilt, relationships, and sex. It was very liberating knowing that I could speak without feeling judged. Everyone had their own issues, and it was interesting to hear all the different birth stories, points of view, and how they are choosing to raise their children. I felt an enormous amount of support from these mommies, and I knew that I had made some great new friends.

Our sessions ended after 8 weeks, but we still continue to get together. We all love being able to talk about anything, and share different tips and tricks. I learned about things I probably would never had heard about (like baby led weaning and all the various types of baby carriers) thanks to my new friends.

To all the new mothers out there, I encourage you to find a group like this for yourself. It is so helpful and healthy. We need to support each other during this time. Becoming a mother is wonderful and amazing, but there are tough moments (days, weeks, months),and everyone needs a place where they can vent their frustrations. Husbands are great too, but they can’t always understand what it’s like.

Do you belong to any mother groups? What do you like most about them?

If you do not belong to any, what is holding you back from joining?

Date squares of destiny

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a wicked sweet tooth. I had a craving for something tasty and sweet, and with the ingredients I knew I had on hand, date squares were on the menu. I pulled out my bag of dates from the pantry, checked the expiry date and couldn’t believe my eyes! Theses dates were going to expire March 6, 2013. That’s today! This was no coincidence, these were date squares of destiny.

I googled a few recipes and chose the one I liked most, modifying it slightly based on my preferences. Though I like sweet treats, I like a touch of saltiness mixed in. I adore the salty sweet combination. I always use salted butter when I bake and I usually add a touch more salt to my recipes. I think this helps balance out the sugar and keeps things from becoming cloyingly sweet.

Pre-bake.

Pre-bake.

Here’s the recipe I used (adapted from food.com):

2 cups chopped dates

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup orange juice

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup butter

Directions:

  1. Combine dates, water and orange juice in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring often, until dates are soft and come together in a smooth consistency. Add more oj or water as necessary.
  2. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in brown sugar and oats. Don’t over mix, mixture should stay crumbly.
  5. Press half of crumb mixture over bottom of lightly buttered 8×8-inch pan to form bottom crust.
  6. Gently spread date filling over bottom crust.
  7. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture over date filling, pat lightly with palm of hand to even out.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  9. Cool completely and cut into squares.
  10. Enjoy with a big mug of your favourite tea or coffee when your little one has eventually gone down for his afternoon nap.
Date squares of destiny.

Date squares of destiny.

I was really impressed with how these turned out! The crust was buttery, sweet, salty, crumbly goodness, and the date centre had just the right consistency and wasn’t overly sweet. Enjoy!

 

Lululemon and the mummy uniform

Last week I purchased my first pair of Lululemon pants, and let me tell you, I have been practically living in them since I brought them home. I had a gift card from my wonderful husband that had been burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas time, and I figured it was time to put it to good use. I wanted to treat myself to something nice and you can’t beat free! It also allowed me to splurge on something for myself while sticking to my no-spending challenge (more on that later).

I kept hearing how great the pants are and how they last forever as long as you take care of them. I know someone who has had a pair for 6 years now and they still look great! I guess good quality should be expected when you spend $98 plus tax on yoga pants. I went with the classic Groove style pant and I love how flattering they are! They do an amazing job of holding in my less than flat tummy (4 months post giving birth), and give a really nice shape to my derrière (that’s bum, to all you non French speakers out there).

They have become essential to my mummy uniform, which consists of sweatpants or leggings, a tank top I can easily breastfeed in, a cozy cardigan to keep me warm, and fuzzy socks or slippers. It’s funny how I change out of my pjs to slip into sweats, but such is life when you have a 4 month old who enjoys spitting up or pooping on your clothes.

The mummy uniform: sweatpants, tank top, cardigan, and slippers.

The mummy uniform: sweatpants, tank top, cardigan, and slippers.

I’m very impressed with all of those yummy mummies out there who are able to look so stylish! This is about all I can manage on the days we don’t have any activities planned. Even when we do make it out of the house I still tend to look more comfortable than anything else (Stacy and Clinton would hate me!). You’d think after 10 years of living in Montreal and being exposed to the fashion here that it would have influenced the way I dress, but no…unfortunately it has not.

Let’s see how long these pants last!

Do any other mummies out there have a typical mummy uniform?

Do you find getting dressed up in more than sweats challenging with a baby?

TGIF

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day!

M and I had a pretty relaxed evening at home, which included sushi takeout from the joint down the street, a bottle of white wine, the Habs game and a few delicious chocolates to top it all off.
M and I exchanged cards and small gifts. For him: a bag of BBQ Doritos and a 6 pack of Newcastle, for me: a box of my favourite chocolates from Laura Secord (mmm orange cream, French mint and toffee!)

Delish!

Delish!

For our first Valentine’s day with the LM, it was definitely different than previous years but pretty perfect.

Have a great weekend!

How did you celebrate V-day with your little one(s)?

First cold

The LM has his first cold and it’s breaking my heart.

His little sniffles, sneezes and coughs are so hard to listen to, especially since there isn’t much I can do other than wait it out. So far I’ve tried steaming him in the shower, dripping saline in his nose with an eye dropper, and using a bulb syringe to clear his nose. And so far none of those things have really worked.

We had a rough night last night, noone really got much sleep. Because he was coughing so much and was so congested we let him sleep in our bed. He was comfy and I let him nurse whenever he wanted to. Luckily this cold hasn’t affected his mood! He’s still a happy go lucky little guy.

Here he is warm and fuzzy in his fleece monkey onesie.

Checking out monkeys on his feet!

Checking out monkeys on his feet!

We skipped our Mommy and Baby fitness class this morning – I didn’t want him to get worse by going out, or infect any other babies. It’s too bad we had to miss it though, it’s such a fun class and I need the exercise. The LM seems to enjoy it as well – he likes looking at all the other babies. Getting my body back is high on my list of priorities, but obviously the LM comes first.

I really hope he gets better soon!

What remedies do you use when your baby gets sick?

Winterized baby

Before the LM was born, I indulged in some baby retail therapy. I kinda went a bit nuts shopping for him – resisting the urge  to buy him all sorts of cute little outfits was impossible! Also, I was off work for 5 months before he was born due to hypertension, and luckily I wasn’t put on bed-rest so what’s a girl to do with all that free time but shop?

Some of my favourite places to go were Old Navy and Joe Fresh at our local Loblaws. I was always guaranteed to find something adorable and extremely well priced. I came across the sweetest winter hat at Old Navy and I just had to have it.

hat

So friggin’ cute!

When I first bought it, it was 40% off the original price, so it came out to about $10. I only bought it in the 0-3 month size, and once he grew 0ut of it I was really sad! I didn’t realize how much I would love this hat and just how cute he  would look in it. Lucky for me, Old Navy still had some available online and at the low low price of $4.99 plus they were having a 20% off  sale when I bought it. Score! Naturally I got it in the 3-6 month, and the 12-18 month sizes.

Snow day

The LM and I stayed inside today. With the temperature at -12° C, a windchill of -22° C, and a ton of snow blowing around there was no way we were going to venture outside!

photo

The snow that had accumulated at our front door.

Instead, today was filled with cuddles, playtime, and stories for the LM and Nespresso lattes, brownies, and catching up on The Bachelor for me. Hooray for snow days spent indoors!

Let me introduce myself

Hi there! Nice to meet you! You can call me Kay. I’m 28, married, and mother of a beautiful little boy that my husband and I lovingly refer to as the Little Man (LM). He was born on October 29, 2012 and everyday since then has been an adventure! We’re still getting the hang of being parents (does anyone ever really get the hang of it?) and we love it. It has been the most rewarding, amazing, tiring and often hilarious experience. I really hope you’ll come along for the ride!