Role reversal…Stay-At-Home-Daddy. #YMCCommunity

Four and a half years ago, I hung up my steel-toed boots to become a Stay-At-Home Mom, when our daughter was born.

Work boots

Prior to having kids, actually, prior to getting married, my husband and I decided that I would be the primary caregiver to our children and he was going to be the bread winner.

I was looking forward to staying home and raising our wee ones rather than paying someone else to do it while we both worked. My pay check would also have been completely been eaten up by child care anyways, so what’s the point in going back?

Almost three years later, we welcomed our Little Dude to the family. Now that the wee man is approaching 2 years old, and his big sister starts Kindy in September, days with these two can get pretty hairy.

Worn out Mom

With the fighting, bickering, yelling, stubbornness, throwing of things, and trying to prevent the boredom from taking over causing the maniacs to spin out of control and drive Mom batty, I savour the afternoon nap that our son still takes while our daughter gets the opportunity to do crafts without the “help” of her little brother.

I get to sit down, catch up on my emails, check my notifications on Facebook, and perhaps, blow out a blog post or two. Some days, I even manage to close my eyes as I lay back on the couch, while still being with our daughter. Never really having a nap because, “Mom, I need to pee! Mom, I need some water! Mom, I’m hungry! Mom, I want to watch something! Mom, can I play the game!”, tends to snap you back to reality pretty quickly.

I often pour a VERY large cup of tea in the afternoons to keep me going until my second wind comes.

Life as a SAHM, for me, can have some pretty stressful days that knock the wind right out of my sails causing me to seriously consider getting back into the workforce.

The other week, I had my eyes opened as to the stress my husband undergoes.

Stressed out Daddy

A few years ago, the economy and a business partnership that went down the toilet, caused hubby to have to find a new job. He is a born leader, takes his job very seriously and is a very hard worker. In fact, he goes above and beyond to prove his worth, only to not have it recognized in the appropriate monetary value. So the stress of providing enough of an income to support his family, babysitting grown men, and dealing with his former business woes, are weighing down on him pretty hard lately and I’ve decided that Daddy needs a break!

I’m ready to switch roles.

Switching roles

He can stay home with the kiddos now. It should be easier for him, as one will be in school full-time in the Fall, so he and the wee lad can have some Father-Son bonding time. I will look forward to having meals prepared instead of preparing them myself. Daddy used to be a really great cook and has gotten out of practice since I took over the role.

Stay At Home Daddy

A small part of me thinks, “Ha ha! Now you’ll understand what it’s like looking after small humans ALL DAY…EVERYDAY, come up with meal ideas and prepare them, keep up with the household duties, go grocery shopping, be a constant source of entertainment, be a referee, maintain a schedule with the kids and still have the energy to exercise or perhaps, have a little Mommy and Daddy Time!” (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Playing with the kids

So now, I’m searching…

Searching for THAT job. The job that will pay me what I need to support my family. The job that will allow us to buy a house, finally. The job that will afford us to get away for some much needed Family Vacations. The job I will love, succeed at and give Daddy the break that he needs.

THAT job.

Have you and your spouse decided that your circumstances weren’t working for you anymore and that a change was needed? Did you switch roles or perhaps relocate?

Keeping the kids dry on the “Wet Coast” #YMCCommunity #PuddleGear

Living in Vancouver, we’ve become accustomed to the “occasional” rainy day.

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The kids have probably come home from school soaking wet or they were driving you insane staying inside on a rainy day that you just had to get them out of the house.

Those nasty puddles or small lakes have a tendency to jump up and grab our little ones when we least expect it and drag them into the realm of “undryness”. Our washing machines are certainly being put through their paces every Spring and Fall when the clouds are at their fullest and can’t contain themselves like an overly full diaper.

An awesome way to help keep your little puddle jumpers dry is Puddlegear rain gear!

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These suits go right over top your kiddos regular clothing and keep them dry in the event of a torrential downpour or if you happen to stumble upon the “biggest and bestest puddle in the entire world”!

Puddlegear is raingear built tough so kids can play outside feeling warm, unrestricted and dry in their great looking rain gear. Turning puddles and rain into nature’s toys. When kids play they lose themselves in their imagination, weather won’t matter as long as they are warm and dry.
Puddlegear raingear is quality and function down to every last button and seam. And kids think its cool too!

100% waterproof
Machine Washable
Tear Resistant
Soft and comfortable
And there is a reflective flash for safety at night!

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Oh Canada! Our home and…blah blah blah. #YMCCommunity

Driving along in the family car and a favourite song pops up on the radio. Everyone The kids starts singing along at the top of their lungs and dancing in their seats, and Mom and Dad have a good laugh. Next time I must take some video footage to use against them in the future 😉

We go shopping and another familiar song is heard over the speakers in the store. Singing ensues and possibly a little booty shaking. No, I’m not afraid to get my groove on in public when I’m out and about with the kids.

A movie, that we’ve the kids have watched a zillion times, finishes and the dancey dance starts as the credits roll.

The national anthem begins to play and the kids stand there with the look of a young cow at a new gate. Blank stareWhy haven’t we taught our kids “O Canada”?

We don’t go to sporting events, so I suppose it’s never occurred to us to sing it with them. I remember when I was a kid in elementary school, every morning before we started class, we’d sing the anthem. My parents didn’t teach it to me.

Do your kids know the words to their favourite songs better than the national anthem?

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the lyrics or you’d like to teach your kids, here they are:

O CANADA

O Canada! Our home and native land

True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise The true north, strong and free

From far and wide, O Canada We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free

O Canada! We stand on guard for thee

O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.

School fundraising.

We’ve recently been given some chocolate bars to sell to raise funds for our daughter’s preschool.

Who can say "No!" to a kid?

Who can say “No!” to a kid?

I remember having to sell chocolate bars when I was a kid too. My Mum would take them in to work and they’d all be sold in no time. Now, for my kids, I am a Stay-At-Home-Mom, so I have no co-workers to sell them to and my husband works from home, so he also has no one to dump them on. With Halloween just leaving us in it’s wake, family and friends have no interest in obtaining more chocolate, and being $3/piece, who in their right mind would buy one?
I think it’s time for a change in what “they” want kids to sell to raise funds for something.

Different Ideas for Fundraising

Different Ideas for Fundraising

For one, people are cheap, so make it affordable. Secondly, stop with the junk food! Times have changed and we are more mindful of what we put in our kids bodies as well as ourselves. And they’ve got another thing coming if I’m going to buy chocolate, just to turf it in the bin. I think schools should really do a better job at promoting healthy eating when conducting fundraisers. Have you heard of DASH? Check out their guide for Healthy Fundraising for Schools. It’s up to us as parents to speak up about what is acceptable when it comes to our kids.

DASH

DASH

I understand that schools, organizations, and groups fundraise to help cover their costs, but make it worth the purchaser ‘s dollar.

Au Naturel vs. Make-up

I started wearing make-up back in Elementary school.

The start of becoming a woman.

The start of becoming a woman.

Not because I needed it, but because the tween magazines back then were very popular amongst the girls in my school and they contained “How-To’s” for putting on make-up and which colours suited your eyes, etc.

One of my best friends would always get the coolest gifts for her Birthday and Christmas, usually which consisted of a multi-colour make-up compact complete with everything required to put on a full face of make-up.

We would go in to the girls bathroom with her make-up and the tween magazines and try to re-create what we saw on the pages and for the most part (at least in our 11-12 year old minds) we looked good. What pre-pubescent boy wouldn’t take interest and want to sneak in a kiss behind the bushes after school?

Magazines from the 80's.

Magazines from the 80’s.

This was my introduction in to the world of cosmetics.

Upon entering the institution of high school, I noticed that more girls were wearing make-up and had their hair done nicely. These were the popular girls. I wanted to be one of them. I would get up early everyday and make sure that my make-up was perfect and the not a strand of hair was out of place. It didn’t make me popular, but I felt that it kept me in the “neutral zone”, so that I wouldn’t get picked on. I still got picked on, but not because I was “ugly”, but because I was overweight.

Getting picked on.

Teenagers can be so cruel.

I remember being in grade 9 and a cute boy asked me to be his girlfriend. He was a nice guy and I really liked him. He would come to my school after class and wait by my locker for me. The popular girls couldn’t believe it and even tried to convince him that they’d be better off with them instead of me. He didn’t fall for it. I thank him for that to this day.

Jumping ahead a couple of years to grade 11, I was in an art class and the project that we were doing was to take plaster cast material and make a mask of our face to later paint. I was mortified and on the verge of tears. I would have to be make-upless in front of my classmates and one of the most popular guys, that picked on me, was in my class!!! After everyone started, I went up to my teacher, discretely, and expressed my fear. She sympathized with me and suggested that I come in before school started the following day and she would do it for me and I would have enough time to put my face back on before anyone saw me.

Great teacher!

Great teacher!

If anyone asked me who my most memorable teacher was, I’d definitely have to say her because she was the most kind and helpful woman to me during my most trying years. This is also the teacher who suggested that I take a Make-up Artistry Program once I graduated. Which I did. Funny enough, I didn’t take the course because of fashion make-up, it was because I wanted to do the Special Effects Make-up. Now THAT is my passion.

So after completing the Make-up Program, I managed to get a few jobs, but they were VERY boring ones. Subsequently, this led to the demise of my Make-Up Artist career path. I did not want to work at a cosmetics counter.

Makeup Artist at work.

Makeup Artist at work.

Jump ahead 19 years, and the idea of being a MUA gets rekindled. I have spent all these years perfecting MY look, so I am familiar with day make-up as well as evening looks. But cosmetics have come a long way since I finished school and the techniques and cosmetics themselves have evolved and I am standing here unfamiliar and overwhelmed. The investment in starting up a Make-up Artistry business is a pretty big one because there are so many different skin types and skin colours, that your kit would be massive to accommodate all your clients. I think for the time being, I’ll stick to being my own make-up artist.

Do you go au naturel or would you not be caught dead going out without “putting your face on”?

What Autumn Means to Me.

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Autumn leaves.

I love the Fall, actually, I look forward to it. My Birthday is in the Fall and so is our anniversary and our daughter’s Birthday.

There’s just something so comforting about the colour of the leaves as they change and the crispness that is in the air. Donning some comfy sweaters, scarves and hats and throwing on a pair of boots and going out for a walk with the kiddos is just what this Mama needs.

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Comfy clothes.

There are also so many things going on in the Fall from markets, fairs, corn mazes and the biggest deal of all for our daughter and me, Halloween.

Now that our daughter is almost 4, she’s now capable of remembering her experiences, so I want to start taking her to different events and tasting some really great food that she’s never tried before.

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Autumn harvest.

What do you look forward to this Fall?