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Catching up

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven't been writing any blog posts in the last two months. Truth be told, this mama has been T-I-R-E-D! My youngest babe, Auli, started walking and damn - what a game-changer! Between that and other life things, I feel like I've barely been able to catch a breath - let alone sit down for longer than 38 seconds with a brain that isn't preoccupied with all things toddler. I've sat, I've ranted, I've rambled, and nothing has felt right enough to press 'post'. All that being said, as some of my favourite blogging mamas reminded me last night, it's better to have something posted than nothing at all. So here we are, a far-from-perfect blog post to get me back on the horse. A post where I answer some of the questions that slid into my DMs. How do you like the age gap between your kids? I get asked this one all the time. My girl are 17 months apart, and not by choice. We had a little surprise babe shock us when I was only 9 months postpartum with Owen. Despite that, I wouldn't change it for the world. Owen doesn't remember a time where it was just the three of us, and so jealousy never seemed to be an issue for us. They'll be one grade apart from each other in school which I think will be a neat thing to witness, and my hope is that their closeness in age contributes to their closeness to each other. All that said, there are pros and cons to each and every age gap you can dream up. Not a fan of changing two bums in diapers at once? Maybe go for a bigger age gap. Really, though, there's no better way to do it. You'll always find your stride and adjust regardless of the age gap between your children. What is one thing your husband does that bugs the crap out of you? Do I have to choose just one?! Haha, only kidding. My husband is truly wonderful human who more than pulls his weight in our home and family. While all of that is lovely, I could really do without the 40 minute shit vacations. How can toilet seats even be comfortable for that long? What advice would you give to your first time pregnant self if you could go back? Okay, I absolutely hate to be giving the most cliché answer on the entire planet, but I'd tell myself to fucking sleep in. Until like, noon. How did you wean from boob juice to whatever other milk you give (if any)? So this answer is going to be slightly different for my two babes. My eldest just stopped being interested in nursing when she was about 11 months because I was pregnant and my milk dried up. She never liked milk, and at 2.5 years old still doesn't drink any. For Auli, I started being really tired of nursing when she was around 10 months old. One day, I decided to offer homogenized milk in a bottle for day feeds, and she took it right away so I gradually switched out all feeds for cow's milk. I honestly didn't make it a process, I kinda just did it. What is the best thing your daughters have taught you? Hands down, the best thing that having kids has taught me is to 'Let It Go' - not only because we listen to the Frozen soundtrack 78 times per day, but because I truly need to let go of control if I want to keep an ounce of sanity. I'd say with two toddlers at home, I'm lucky if 30% of my days go as planned, and I needed to each myself to be a-okay with that in order to not feel like a failure. What were some of the other names you were considering when naming the girls? For Owen, we'd discussed using the name for a girl before I got pregnant, so that one was easy. When we found out she was a girl, it was done - we didn't even discuss other names! As for Auli, it was a little bit more difficult because we chose not to find out the sex. We played around with a ton of different names, and settled on Auli or Caelan (which in hindsight SO does not fit her personality) if it was a girl. As for boy names, I'm keeping them secret in case we do have a boy one day! Did you sleep train? Yes, we sleep trained both girls as of 4 months old, and though I know it isn't everybody's jam, I have no regrets about doing so. Yes, we let our babies cry it out, and yes, it was hard, but I truly believe that we gave our babes (and ourselves) the gift of sleep, and that is something that is so essential to me in order to stay sane and be a good mama for my girls. We all have to do what's right for our own families, and that's the choice we made for ours. What are your favourite things to do during winter? Move to Hawaii would be my favourite thing to do during winter if I was super duper rich, but I am not, and living that EI life, so instead we attend a lot of local activities such as gymnastics, the library, museums, and playgroups. We're also extremely lucky to have the most amazing child café in town, Wild Child Coffee Project, where the kids can roam free while I enjoy a hot coffee and chat with other local mamas. I'm not the type of person who likes to stay home for days on end, so winters are definitely hard for me, but I've never regretted just ripping the band-aid and braving the cold to get out for a change of atmosphere. How do you handle older siblings wanting to steal whatever the younger sibling is playing with? And do you tell your kids to share when they're at playgroups? I'm so torn about how to approach this whole 'sharing' thing. I also struggled with this, until I attended a recent workshop run by Vanessa from My Little Lamb Blog. She explained that by forcing a child to share, we're stepping in front of their thought-process, and could be hindering their learning. Let me explain - say your child is in their own world, playing with a toy horse, imagining that they're on a mission to climb a mountain to gather food, and bring it back to their family (I'm clearly not a child and my personal imagination is no bueno, but bare with me). If you force the child to give someone else the toy horse, they might be distraught that they never got to 'complete' said mission. Their little minds work in such ways that we need to let them roam with freedom while they play in order to make those connections to learn as they go. SO, all that being said, I now tell my kids that they can share when they're done playing. If another child came up to my child at a play group and tried to take a toy away, I'd tell them that my child isn't done playing with the toy yet, and that they will share when they're ready. So, at home, if Owen wants a toy that Auli is playing with, I tell her that Auli will share when she is done playing with said toy. This is obviously all very circumstantial, as I'd approach the situation differently were my child hoarding toys, or what not, but Vanessa's workshop made me think twice about the way that I approach sharing. What were the boy names you came up with (if any)? We did come up with boy names but we're keeping hush on those in case we do have a boy in the future! How did you wean night feeds? We weaned the majority of night feeds through sleep training. My daughters both still had a 5am feed until about 14 months because without it, they'd be up for the day. If I fed them at that time, they slept in (meaning I got more sleep, or to wake up child-free for a few hours). Well, there you have it, mamas! A less-than-perfect blog post to finally jump back into posts on this little blog of mine. Through asking you all some questions on social media, I even have a few more lined up for bigger posts in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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