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Loving Five and Three

Lately, I’ve been having very dreamy parenting moments (knock on wood and say a few prayers as soon as I type this it’s sure to change). My girls are at a sweet age right now and I am loving their bond. As I am expecting baby number three this Christmas, I know we are headed toward change once more in our family dynamic so I am savoring this relatively relaxing time of parenting.

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At this point, I’ve been a SAHM for five years, which really has flown by. I now have a kindergartener and a preschool aged child and so I feel like I’ve moved into a slightly different category of parenting, the I don’t have a baby anymore category. Cue, me missing having a baby and now I’m seven months pregnant. What’s interesting is that I always wondered how it would be to have two kids that weren’t in the baby stage and I have to admit, I love the baby stage but this stage is so much fun!

The girls are both potty-trained, sleep through the night, can carry on conversation and have little separation anxiety these days. It’s so much fun because my five year old, almost six, helps her sister so much, she teaches her many practical social skills she brings home from school, assists her in picking snacks, and they play well and converse together. They are on the same schedule which is oh so amazing. They go to bed together and wake up together, and after years of not sleeping through the night, I finally am sleeping a full eight hours. I thought it would never happen, but it did.

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A Road to Birth

Having a blended personality of one part Type-A and one part go with the flow has made the birth preparation process quite interesting for me. My fascination with birth runs deep and my goal is to have as an intervention-free of a birth as possible.

Planning for birth is kind of a weird thing to navigate. You can have lots of ideas and goals, you likely have lots of references to frame your belief system, and yet, you have no idea what to expect, and you cannot plan or really control the final outcome. So with that in mind, my road to birth has been equal parts setting forth an intention and mindset towards the ideal birth I would like to have and letting go of my over-planning tendencies and being open to the birth that will ultimately happen.

Setting an Intention

I have many layers of motivation when it comes to setting the intention for an intervention-free birth.

1) Healthy mama and baby – Focusing on the health of me, and our child is a motivator for experiencing the birth to unfold as my body intends. 

2) Love and fascination for the beauty of birth – I have watched countless birth videos over the years, am obsessed with birth stories and experiencing a vaginal birth as a woman is a huge desire and goal of mine.

3) Eyes on the future – Admittedly this is a bit lower on the priority list, but I have had a goal for quite some time to pursue becoming a doula. This will be a set focus/reminder in the thick of labour. I like that it’s outside of my birth and a focus that can help me help other women in the future. To be able to coach others, I’d like to be able to have experienced the birth I have set an intention for (of course, if things medically allow for it).

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10 Ways to Instill A Servant’s Heart In Your Child

We want our children to grow up with a servant’s heart. We hope to instill in our children the impulse to serve others. We hope they serve others with a heart of gratitude, to be humble, and to think of others more than themselves. We hope they are generous with their time, talent and treasure and freely give without judgment and without expectation of reward. We hope they recognize the dignity of all.

Here are ten ways in which we are trying to nurture a servant’s heart in our children:

1) Ask the kids to do things for us

Toddlers love to help, so we capitalize on it by asking them to do things for us. We will ask Lion to throw something away, pick up a scrap of paper, or help by putting Panda’s bottle in the sink for us. We hope that doing little things for others will become habit for the kids and something they won’t think twice about in the future.

2) Make sure Mr. Dolphin and I serve each other

Parents are their children’s first teachers and we do our best to lead by example. Mr. Dolphin and I have always been happy to serve each other, but it makes me happy to see that Lion has noticed, as well. Sometimes if I’m drinking a glass of water, Lion will comment, “Papa get that for you?” because he knows that Mr. Dolphin is constantly getting me water since I drink so much of it.

3) Give thanks for what we have

I think one of the most important components to nurturing a servant’s heart is to realize just how much we have to be thankful for. Sometimes, it can be easy to get caught in this trap of seeing what others have, especially in the age of social media, and feeling like our own lives don’t measure up. It’s easy to feel jealous or pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” when you look at what other people have. We want to make sure we give thanks for everything we do have because we know in the grand scheme of things, we are very fortunate.

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13 Healthy Kid-Friendly Halloween Recipes

For me Halloween is all about candy and costumes. It is a glorious day! The problem is that I now have a toddler that I don’t want to pump full of sugar and then have to deal with the inevitable sugar crash. With Halloween parties coming up I keep seeing all of these adorable Halloween treats that I would love to make, but I need to find some Halloween themed party food with some nutritional value to round it out.  I’ve gathered up some Halloween themed food for us all to pull from.

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Jack-O-Lantern Stuffed Peppers

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Mummy-Face Pizzas

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Ten Things to Do When You’re Home with a Sick Toddler

It’s the changing of the seasons! Hooray, fall!

It’s the beginning of cold and flu season. Womp womp.

I recently spent a wonderful, lovely day at home with my darling two year old as he fought a fever, sore throat and general illness that rendered him a monster so sad that I couldn’t help but pity him. I was also so lucky as to stay home with Will on his second full day at home, so he wasn’t over being sick, at home, with his parents, at all.

Needless to say, I learned a lot! And I’m here to share. Without further ado, the lessons I’ve learned:

TEN THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN HOME WITH A SICK TODDLER

  1. Go to the DMV*
  2. Expect to shower
  3. Hope that he’ll rest most of the day
  4. Just have any expectations, really
  5. Eskimo kiss your sick toddler (I mean, nose on nose germ exchange is just not worth the pure joy of getting up in their adorable face.)
  6. Leave the house if it means riding in a car seat
  7. Argue against the wearing of just underwear if toddler is not potty trained**
  8. Merely suggest that said toddler should get dressed
  9. Try for an early nap
  10. Respond to any suggestion by your toddler to go somewhere/do something in such a way that darling toddler begins to suspects that brilliant idea wasn’t actually his and he realizes that you planted said idea inside his head, Inception-style, so that you could try for some semblance of joy on this otherwise terrible adventure known as ‘home sick with a toddler.’

And now for the slightly more helpful list of ways to pass your time with a sick not-a-baby and not-yet-school-aged child whilst ill:

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August Mommy Favorites!

I have no idea where August went — I feel like it just started and now September is almost over! I thought I would share some of my Mommy Favorites from the past month!

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Waterproof Bibs – Even though Mini Pbj is over 2, she still wears a bib at most meals…especially when we are eating out! I love these waterproof bibs with the pocket because they are easy to clean up! They hold up really well and you can use them for quite awhile before they start to show some wear. I usually keep one of these tucked into a zip compartment in my purse at all times, and it’s nice because they aren’t super bulky. I can pop it on her in the restaurant, and then shake it out, wipe it off really quick, and put it back in my purse when we’re done. I love not having to take her backpack inside everywhere we go!

Snack Cups – If you have a toddler then you know that snacks are a vital part of everyday life. These little plastic snack cups w/lids are a necessity for us! I use them all the time for home and away snacking. They are great for at home snacking because I can just toss in some crackers, blueberries, cheese cubes, etc, and send her on her way. If she doesn’t finish the snack then I can just dump it out and give it a quick wipe, or pop the lid on it and put it in the cupboard/fridge for later. The lid is also fabulous for on the go snacking. It fits nice and securely for putting in her backpack, or stacking up in a cooler or cold pouch. I also love them because they are super affordable, which means if they dog gets ahold of one or it gets lost/forgotten somewhere I’m not completely broken hearted or out oodles of dollars.

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Blending families with little ones – complete!

I’ve been completely swept up the past few months because of the Big Move. I spoke awhile ago about possibly living with my sister’s family. Well guess what? We did it! They recently purchased a big home and have room for 2 more adults, 2 toddlers, plus another one on the way. There have been so many changes over the past couple months between these 2 families:

  • Everybody has a new job, and everyone now works from home
  • Our family company was sold (which now makes me a SAHM)
  • We both moved out of our home cities to a brand new city
  • Our kids started school
  • 1 kid + 1 kid = the sound quality of 500 kids in a home
  • We now co-live with a dog
  • My sister successfully got pregnant through IVF and is expecting another baby

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And did I mention… we live with a whole other family!? I feel as though I get two different reactions from people. They either think it’s a fantastic idea and wish for the same thing or they stare at us in horror, as if to say “what on earth are you in for?” So far, it’s been working well but logistically it was a crazy fiasco just getting to where we are now. I have never relied so much on Google docs, scheduling and the use of basic mathematics! Here’s how we did it:

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