Saturday, July 19, 2014

Time For Change - Hope You Will Join Me

Change can be good but a little scary.  I have been debating for a month or so now about switching to a paid service for my blog.  I also really wanted my own domain name that was all mine.  Finally, I have done it.  I have moved to a new site at www.4theloveofmommy.com.  I hope all my loyal readers will join me on the next chapter of fun and I hope to see you all there!

Jessica
4 The Love of Mommy

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Fun for Baby

Summer is such a great time for all.  The weather is perfect and great for outdoor play and travel.  I love the summer as I get so much more time to spend with my kids and we get to do a whole host of things we can't do when the snow is on the ground.  This summer is exciting for my youngest as he has finally got enough teeth to actually enjoy eating all of the wonderful fresh fruit that summer brings with it.  The larger variety means less work for me actually as whatever I bring for my older kids, he can have too.  He was (and still is) exclusively breastfed until he was 7 months old as he just wasn't ready for any foods but now he eats like a trooper.

He will pretty much eat anything small enough and soft enough on his own.  Finger foods are great especially when I am out and about with all 4 of my munchkins.  Ripe, fresh fruits like peaches, pears, cantaloupe or kiwi are great for all of my kids.  Disney baby has lots of great things for taking food on the go like bibs, bottles and sippy cups. The learner sippy cup is a great addition to my on the go products.  It is the only one my little man will drink from at all.  I really think the small size and easy to hold handles are the reason he loves it so much.

For some great summer baby-friendly recipes that are sure to please even the pickiest of kids, check this out.

Don't forget to use sunscreen (as long as baby is over the 6 month mark) and hats like this which I love (I have it in blue) and cute outfits like the one my little man is wearing from the Disney Baby collection at Walmart and most of all enjoy the summer and get out with your little ones and have fun!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fallsview Indoor Waterpark

I don't know about your kids, but my kids love the water and everything about it.  We spend most of our summer holidays around the water in any way we can.  We visit the kids' aunt in Michigan and go out on her boat on the lake, we go to the city run pools and splash parks and this year, we have a tiny kiddie pool in our minuscule backyard just for those really hot days so the kids can cool off.

But I think the most fun will be our planned trip to Fallsview Indoor Waterpark for a day of fun with all the kids.  We already have a trip to Niagara Falls planned for September, so I think we may just throw this in as well.

Now all of you are in luck, I have been given a special discount rate that I can pass on to all of you, my loyal readers.  If you use the link found on my page (look for the waterpark picture), you will only pay $34.95 (plus tax, sorry that's the governments fault) instead of $44.95 (plus tax), that's a $10 savings! **Please note when you click on the link, the price you see already has the taxes in**

So pack your bathing suits up and head on over to Fallsview Indoor Waterpark for a day of fun for the whole family.

Disclosure:  I am a brand ambassador for Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and as such I receive special perks but as always my opinions are my own.

Friday, July 11, 2014

My First Day at the Spa with @Glamagals

As another school year came to a close, I was really wracking my brain as to what special thing I could do with my only daughter as she graduated this year from grade 5 and will be making her way to middle school next year.  I really wanted to do something great to mark the occasion and that is where Glama Gal Tween Spa came in.

As you may remember, I am a Glambassador for the Glama Gal Tween Spa and we were lucky enough to indulge in a my first day at the spa package for my daughter and 3 of her friends to celebrate their graduation from elementary school to the new and exciting challenge of middle school.  I thought that this would be the best way to celebrate with a few girlfriends over some spa treatments.  This package includes a manicure and pedicure and an edible chocolate facial. The girls were also given ice cream, a chocolate cupcake and the famous Glama Gal pinkitinis!  They were pampered and given such amazing attention from our wonderful hostesses Jen and Brooke.  This was definitely one day that won't soon be forgotten.  I also have to say the Oakville location is absolutely amazing! It seems really deceiving from the outside at it looks super small but it is really huge inside.  They have two floors and the girls were taken upstairs for all of their fun.  It is wonderfully pink and so cute and I just love the whole Glama Gal colour scheme. I secretly want this for my bedroom but I am pretty sure my husband would have something to say about it.

If I wasn't already totally in love with Glama Gal and all that they stand for, this experience has made me totally head over heels.  I could not get over the absolute 110% attention that the girls got. They played music all the girls loved and wanted to hear and they were all singing at the tops of their lungs. Okay so was I but I couldn't help myself.  The mood in the spa itself was just so relaxing but fun. I will never forget all the giggles and laughter of all the girls as they talked about 1 Direction and Katy Perry and of course how awful Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus have become.

They giggled almost the whole entire time we were there. It was such a wonderful day for all of the girls and I can't thank Laura and Josie enough for such a wonderful business they have.  I asked Jocelyn to write a little something about her experience as I think it's important that you also hear it from her:
"My experience at Glama Gal was amazing! It was a way to hang out with my friends and have fun all at the same time. First we got to eat some ice cream and get pedicures done (the bath bombs smell amazing). Then we got to drink some pinkatinis (pink lemonade) and get manicures. Finally we got an edible chocolate
facial (although I wouldn't eat it after it’s been on your face). It was so fun! It was only an hour and a half but I wish it never ended. My friend Hannah loved it so much that she’s going back again for their summer camp. My friend Alycia said that it was the best experience of her life. My BFF Laurana said that she had fun and thought it was very relaxing. And me? Well, this was an amazing experience that brought out my true self. When I’m
at Glama Gal I feel like I can do anything and can be myself. Glama Gal has always brought out the best in me and it always will. Glama Gal stands for everything that is good and what I believe in. They encourage you to believe in yourself and be yourself. They stand for inner beauty and inner beauty only. That is why I love Glama Gal. Thank you Laura, Josie and Glama Gal!" 
Glama Gal really outdid all of my expectations and I am sure they lived up to all the ones that Jocelyn had in her head.  I was so glad to have been able to do this for her so she could celebrate and pretty big milestone.  Brooke and Jen were absolutely amazing with all of the girls.
They were attentive and everything was all about them.  All of the girls can't wait to go back again and I will most definitely be taking Jocelyn back.  I am thinking since her birthday is Christmas Day, what better than a day at the spa for her birthday party this year!  Thank you Glama Gal Tween Spa for making this day one they will never forget.


















Disclosure: As a Glambassador, I receive special perks but as always the opinions expressed are always my own.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I'm a Disney Baby Mom Ambassador!

I am so excited to tell you that I am a Disney Baby Mom!  This is exciting news for me and the family as we have always been huge Disney fans in my house and I can't wait to bring you exciting news, product reviews and giveaways. I could not be happier to be a Disney Baby Mom!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ingenuity Baby Base 2 in 1 in Aqua #Review

I received this product for review and the first thing I can tell you is that it is lightweight and easily maneuverable.  I mean you can carry this thing with one finger.  I am sure my 10 month old could carry it.  Although it is very lightweight, it is very sturdy. You can tell that it is really well-made and the quality is great.  The versatility of this product is wonderful too.  It's size and the fact that it is lightweight, means that we can take it with us everywhere.  I can bring it out with us to restaurants, friends houses and to family get-togethers without too much space or effort expended.

I also loved he fact that all the straps that you need to attach the seat to a chair are fully integrated into the seat.  There is a compartment under the seat that holds the straps so that when you travel with it, they will always be with seat.

This was a big thing for me as I have had other seats like this and I was forever losing the straps. Attaching the seat to one of my dining chairs took only about 5 minutes and it is super secure and doesn't move at all.  The only issue is that if you don't put a little weight on the chair when you secure the bottom strap is that it does come undone.  As soon as I put my weight on the chair and pulled the strap, that thing isn't going anywhere!

I really love the fact that my youngest can now sit at the table with us for meals instead of beside us. The fact that I can now get rid of my cumbersome, huge old style high-chair and replace it with something that won't take up a lot of space as I have a really small kitchen space is a big plus as well.

Although this seat does resemble a Bumbo, it is nothing like it.  I have a Bumbo and I hate it.  I sent away for the recall because of the missing straps and now I can't even get his chunky thighs in the seat, let alone do up the straps. The Ingenuity seat has ample thigh space and his legs fit nicely with room to spare and I don't feel like it's too tight around him at all.  The other great space saver is the fact that the food/play tray is fully integrated into the seat.


It slides in under the seat for storage and can easily be pulled out at any time to use.  The only thing I found was if baby was in the seat the tray was a little harder to get out probably due to the extra weight pushing down on the seat.

I love that this seat will grow with him too.  The foam insert comes out as he gets older to give him more room and we can use it as a booster seat for when he just needs a little bit more height at the table. The other great thing with this seat is that it is super easy to clean.

My son absolutely loves being at the table with us.  He can interact with the whole family and feel like he is a part of what is going on at the table now. The seat is high enough to reach my table without any trouble and he can reach to feed himself easily.

Since all of the parts come apart, you can get all of the seat clean for the next time you use it. My only issue was that the foam insert is now stained since we had spaghetti.  I am sure that over time the stains will eventually wash off but for now, you can tell that we had spaghetti. The spaghetti didn't however stain the white part of the chair or the tray which is awesome.

Overall, I am completely in love with this seat and I love that baby is sitting with us at the table.  I am also happy to be rid of my huge high-chair that was taking up so much space in my small kitchen. I also love that this will be the only seat I will need until he no longer needs a seat at the table which will save me money in the long run as well and we all know that as parents saving money is a great thing.

I think that anyone with a small eating space will love this seat.  The other great thing is this seat is perfect for playtime as well as it can help baby stay sitting up while playing independently on the floor.  I am using it as a seat for eating as he is already moving and won't just stay in the seat to play but I wish I had had this seat when he was wanting to sit up and play but couldn't quite do it on his own yet as it would have been perfect for him.

This seat is perfect for my family and for my youngest babe.  He loves eating with us now instead of being so far away from all of us in his highchair.  I recommend this chair for any of you with little ones ready to sit with you and I know that I will be able to use this right through until my little man is big enough to reach the table without a booster.  Ingenuity really hit the mark with this seat which will be available at Toys R Us in Canada, mid-July.

You can visit Kids II webpage here as well as their Facebook page here.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Canada's Wonderland

We are at Wonderland today for the Blogger event! Wait for all the fun pictures and post after all of our fun!

Monday, June 30, 2014

End of an Era (In a Manner of Speaking)

I can't believe that another school year has come and gone.  They have grown and matured and now, as of September, my three oldest babies will all be in school all day.  I am a little sad about this only because I remember giving birth to all three of them, how little they all once were, how attached they were to me and now they will all be spreading their wings and flying.

My oldest will be off to middle school next year.  Walking to school on her own for the first time, it scares the absolute crap out of me but alas I have to breathe and trust her, it's the whole spreading her wings thing again. She is nervous and excited as this is a whole new chapter for her. She is growing and changing so much, I am not even sure how I am going to keep up.  New school, new concepts, PMS, hormones, emotional roller coaster called puberty.  But I know that she will make it through all of these challenges just as she has so many others.  She is my baby (always will be) and my only little girl. I am forever thankful that I was able to have a girl.  I look forward to late night ice cream eating sessions talking about stuff, being there when she needs a shoulder to cry on and building her back up when someone decides to try and break her down.  She is beautiful, unique and I am so proud of her and of all the things that she stands for.  I know that she will be amazing next year and that the nerves will be gone after the first week. I believe she is a born leader, she is strong and smart and beautiful and the world will be hers for the taking.

My oldest son, who will be 8 in September, is amazing in his own right. He is my quiet silent type, he is amazingly brilliant without knowing it. I swear he could build entire countries out of lego from memory.  He is a thinker and an engineer.  He can build things out of nothing.  He loves his DS and his nintendo.  I love him for all the sweet hugs and kisses he bestows upon me but love it even more when he wipes off the ones I give him.  He really doesn't like school but does extremely well. He will be the one who will always be there for his family no matter what.  He will be a gentleman and a scholar (what he really wants to do is make video games for a living) and a well rounded guy who will do anything for you.  He has an old soul and has so much love to give the world.  He will be behind so many great things but won't take the credit for it but will make sure that everyone else does.  He is such a loving and wonderfully easy going kid.  He will go places in this world as long as I keep him engaged and help him tackle the stuff about school he doesn't like.  I can't wait to watch him grow and mature and become the amazing man I know he will be.

My 5 year old son has so many special qualities about him. He will one day make a woman very happy.  If you are doing something he will be the one offering to help.  He loves to help with laundry, unloading the dishwasher, getting dinner ready and vacuuming. He always want to be there with you.  He is very loving and just needs a few minutes alone with you everyday.  He is usually always happy and loves to ride his bike and play outside. He loves his brothers and sister and loves spending time with them.  He is curious about everything and wants to know how everything works. His favourite word most days is "why".  I try not to leave him on his own without knowing where he is as he tends to "experiment" to see how things work, like the time he put the toilet paper end in the toilet to see if he could flush the whole roll.  He will be off to grade one next year and will be at school all day next year.  This will be a huge change for him as he has only been half-day for the last 2 school years. I expect that he will be up to the challenge and I am sure he will do amazingly.

Last but most definitely not least, is my littlest and newest edition.  He will be reaching a huge milestone over the summer as well.  My little guy will be 1.  I can't believe how fast the time has gone.  I remember his birth like it was yesterday, although that can be said of all of my kidlets.  He has grown so much these last few months.  He is almost ready to take his first steps as he scoots around the furniture.  He has become a wonderful addition to our family and I can't wait to see his personality come out to see just who this little man will be.  He is funny and his laugh is infectious.  His smile can light up the whole room and he smiles at you with his eyes. They are beautiful and big and of course he has the longest eye lashes I have ever seen.  He is a happy little guy and he loves his siblings so much. He looks so much like his daddy did when he was a baby.  He's my last little baby and I want time to slow down so he can stay a baby just a little while longer.


I hope that they grow up to all be wonderfully happy and successful adults.  I know that I may not always do the right thing but I will always do what I think is best and will be the most beneficial to them.  I know that eventually as they get older we will disagree but I hope that all the love and support I show them will let them know how much they were loved and that all of the things I did when they were younger really was in their best interests.  At the end of the day I am their mom and I love them with everything I have and I will be there for them through every stage of their lives and that to me is the best thing I can do for them as a parent. So as we head into this new stage of their childhood, I can't wait for what's to come and hope that they all have fun doing it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Living For The future: Why We Must Let Go of The Past

I think that one of the best things anyone can do after the end of their marriage is making the choice to let go of the past and focus on the future. 

Read the rest of my article here at divorcedmoms.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Balancing Life With 4 Kids And The Things I Can't Live Without


I have a few things that I can't live without and things that make my life just a little easier. Check out my new blog post and the 5 things that top my list at PTPA.com.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kidoodle.TV Review


I was recently given the chance to try out Kidoodle.TV, the newest award winner of the PTPA seal.  You can read the rest of my review here.


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Stayfree Challenge - Giveaway

So girls, I know I posted about the Stayfree challenge but I must once again ask, "Have you switched yet?"

I told you before that I was an Always girl, I can safely say that I am no longer.  I have switched to the brand that after the challenge, I can totally trust.

If you don't know about the stayfree challenge that I took a few weeks ago, you can find out the results here.  I can tell you that I was so impressed and totally confident with the product but I even threw away all my granny panties and bought some new sexy ones because I know that I will never, ever ruin another pair of undies again!

Don't take my word for it and try it for yourself! One lucky winner can try before you buy thanks to Stayfree! They are giving one winner 2 packages of their product and a really cute makeup bag! Enter below for your chance to win!






Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Uterus Says Goodbye...


I know I am sure I could have come up with a different title for this post but I was at a complete loss of how to express how I am feeling.

I have come to the sad realization that this body with every pound and every stretch mark will never again hold and nurture a life.  I am very saddened by this thought and although I am completely certain that my family is exactly as it should be, I am still sad. My uterus will never be stretched or pushed to its limits again, I will never get another stretch mark caused by carrying a baby for 40 weeks, nor will I ever again feel the movement of tiny little hands and feet.  I am having a hard time with this realization.  I am so thankful and happy for the wonderful bundles of joy my body did bring into this world and I can't imagine my life without them in it but I can't help but feel that a part of me, part of the journey I call life, is over.

A friend came by the other day with her 9 day old baby and I was right back in it.  I could so carry another one, love another one, but I know that the other part of me is done.  I feel like I have two personalities.  The one that feels like having another baby would be great, one more wouldn't be so bad, we could try one more time for a girl, and the other, the practical me, says you have enough, you have one daughter and that is enough (practical me remembers the meltdown the other day and the hormones that will eventually rear their ugly head soon enough) and you can't guarantee that if you get pregnant again, that it would even be a girl.

I can tell myself all of these things and yet a small part of me is dying inside.  A part that really has defined me in the last 10 years.  I will always be a mother to my 4 wonderful little beings and that will have to be enough.

I don't want to sound ungrateful or make anyone struggling to have just one baby upset with me.  I am all too familiar with those struggles myself. It took me 15 months, 2 rounds of fertility drugs and countless trips to a specialist, not to mention the myriad of tests I had to endure as well to have my very first little person, so I understand the struggle of others to just have one baby. I just am having a hard time closing this door.
I know that another door will open.  All the things that are still left to accomplish.  I will be okay about it soon.  But for now, I will be sad about never being pregnant again.  But I will forever be happy about being mommy to the best 4 kids on the planet.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dove Advanced Hair Series: Pure Care Dry Oil

I was so thrilled and excited when Dove Canada sent me these free samples of their new hair care line to try.  I was given the choice between the Pure Care Dry Oil or Oxygen Moisture.  My hair is naturally curly but is often frizzy and unmanageable especially with the humidity of summer.  I chose to try the dry oil as my hair really doesn't need any added volume but could definitely use some damage control and shine boosting.  The wonderful people at Dove sent my full size bottles of the product which was so nice and much better than some of the samples I have gotten in the past.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the smell.  Oh my god it is absolutely wonderful.  The product is infused with African macadamia oil and is supposed to improve the look of dry, dull hair.  My hair honestly could not be more dull or dry.  Pregnancy and product have taken a toll on my already frizzy locks so I was willing to try anything.

The shampoo has an almost oily texture.  Like putting really thick oil on your hands but it is not greasy at all.  It was so silky and smooth to touch and well like I said earlier smells great.  It lathered really well and rinsed off easily.  The conditioner was thick and covered my hair easily and also rinsed clean, leaving my head feeling quite refreshed.  The final product was the nourishing hair treatment.  I used this on my damp hair after I was out of the shower and I think this is what made the difference with my frizz.  You use 3-4 pumps of product on your damp hair after showering.  It is supposed to add shine, restore lipids and smooth.

I have been using the product for 2 weeks now and I have noticed a huge difference in my hair. My biggest issue with my hair is the fact that it is naturally curly and gets frizzy fast.  As my hair dries the worse the frizz gets.  I have to say since using the dry oil products my hair is way less frizzy and so much shinier.

My hair in the picture has no product in it but the hair treatment that I put in after I washed it.  It may not look like it but its feels silky and shiny and the frizz, while still there, is not as bad.

I was curious how it would work on my daughters hair.  She has thick hair like mine but with no curl at all.  We have used the Dove on her hair as well and it is shinier and healthier looking too.

Overall, I am uber impressed with this product.  I can't think of any reason to not absolutely love this product.  My hair is shinier than it has ever been and looks much less over-styled with product now.  It has been amazing for my hair and I will continue using it.

Dove really did make a great product with this.  I think I may buy the Oxygen Moisture to try on my daughter's hair as she could use some volume added to her hair.

Thanks again Dove for such a great product and the chance to try it!


Disclosure:  I was not obligated or paid to write this post in any way.  I only received the free products to try.  Everything I have written are my own opinions.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Finding Time...

I once again feel like I have lost time somewhere.  I totally gave myself a goal of posting on my blog 3-4 times a week.  It's not like I don't have tons of ideas or things to write about (hell I have 4 kids and the news happens every day, there is always something) but I am finding time is just getting away from me.

I have somehow lost at least a month in the last 6 and I still feel like I haven't accomplished anything. I can't believe that my maternity leave is coming to an end in only 6 weeks. My baby is going to be one, it's insane how time flies and babies grow.  Anyway, this was kind of just a rant post and also a promise post.  I will be better.  I will post more.  This is the beginning.

On another note, our journey towards Permanent Residency for my hubby is finally complete. It is an exciting new chapter in our life together.  So there is another topic to write about and I hope you all stick around and follow along even if time gets away from me and I don't post as often as I should.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Living with Pain: Auto Immune Disorders

I was reading a post by someone I met when I first joined twitter and she wrote about a woman whom she saw who had lupus (you can find that post here) and although I don't have lupus, her post touched me.  I do suffer from an auto-immune disease and while it is nowhere as bad as lupus, it still takes a toll on my daily life.

I have a disease called rheumatoid arthritis.  I was diagnosed with this disease 6 months after I gave birth to my first baby, although the symptoms started almost immediately after she was born.  I had severe pain on my left side that made me cry every time I tried to lift my arm up or move my hip.  I spoke with the nurse and she said it was most likely that I had pulled some muscles during childbirth.  A fair statement considering my daughter was only hours old and after I was given some ibuprofen, I felt a little relief.  

The weeks after her birth were marred with more pain and such stiffness when I woke up in the morning, going down the stairs was so hard.  The extreme fatigue was brutal but  I chalked this up to having a newborn as I had heard other new moms stories and the fact that our mattress was old. It went on like this for about 4 months with the pain coming and going.  One morning I woke up and I couldn't bend a single finger on my hands.  They were bent over and bright red.  I couldn't even pick my daughter up.  I was in so much pain and I had no idea what was going on.  I went to the doctor's office that day.  They sent me for some blood work and told me I could take some super strength Motrin but only once per day as I was exclusively breastfeeding my daughter.  

For almost 4 days I waited for the results.  I needed to know what was going on with me.  I got a call from my mother and she told me to come in the doctor's office (she was working there at the time and her voice sounded like she was crying) as my family doctor wanted to see me right away. Obviously I was upset and worried.  I had a new baby and I couldn't think of anything but that I needed to see her grow up and I had no idea what was going on.

The first thing my doctor said was you have a 50% chance of having lupus and a 50% chance of having RA. What?? There wasn't anything like that anywhere in our family medical history.  Where the hell did this come from? Why now?  I waited what seemed like forever to get into a specialist and after multiple tests and blood work the results came back that I had RA.  So what now?  What did this mean for me?  Let me explain what RA is:
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a form of inflammatory arthritis and an autoimmune disease. For reasons no one fully understands, in rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system – which is designed to protect our health by attacking foreign cells such as viruses and bacteria – instead attacks the body’s own tissues, specifically the synovium, a thin membrane that lines the joints. As a result of the attack, fluid builds up in the joints, causing pain in the joints and inflammation that’s systemic – meaning it can occur throughout the body.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, meaning it can’t be cured. Most people with RA experience intermittent bouts of intense disease activity, called flares.  In some people the disease is continuously active and gets worse over time. Others enjoy long periods of remission  – no disease activity or symptoms at all. Evidence shows that early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to put the disease into remission is the best means of avoiding joint destruction, organ damage and disability.

I started on medication right away but I could only take a certain medication as I was breastfeeding and unfortunately, about 4 weeks after my diagnosis, I had to make the decision to stop breastfeeding and be able to take care of my daughter or breastfeed and not be able to hold her at all. The medication regimen was ridiculous.  I was taking 3 pills and injecting myself everyday and it still wasn't controlling my illness.  My doctor suggested I try one of the new medications just made available on the market called Enbrel.  It is known as a "biologic" drug.  It decreases my immune system therein stopping it from attacking my healthy joints.  It also allows my body the chance to heal, in the sense that it doesn't allow any further damage to my joints.  All I have to say is thank god for this drug because without I probably would be far worse than I am today.  Unfortunately, if you do not have an excellent drug plan, this drug is extremely expensive.  It costs around $1,750 per month for 4 needles.  Thankfully, when I really needed this medication, I was covered on my now ex-husband's plan.

Everyday can be a struggle for me. I have really great days and then really bad days.  Sometimes the pain brings me to tears.  It has been a long road to get to where I am today.  Thankfully, I have been in remission for almost 3 years and although I do still get the occasional flare up, I am doing okay. I always know in the back of my mind that it could come back and be worse than it was before, but for now I'm taking one day at a time.

To find out more visit:   The Arthritis Society

Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm a Parent Tested Parent Approved Blogaholic!

So excited to tell you that I'm a PTPA Blogaholic!  You will find my first post for them here!  Looking forward to all the great things to come with them!  Check them out at: PTPA



Glama Gal Tween Spa Giveaway

The giveaway has now ended.  Thanks to all who entered.





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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Our Long Distance Love - Meeting my Husband From Across the Ocean

This is probably the easiest story for me to tell and one that I want to tell you all about.

As you know, if you have been reading my blog, I was married for almost 10 years but in 2010 we separated and soon after, got divorced. During the last year or so of my marriage, I was unhappy and I spent a lot of time on my IPhone.  Probably more time than I should have but it was the only little bit of happiness besides my kids, that I really had.  In August of 2010, I downloaded an app called Bingo Live 90.  It is just a little bingo app that allows you to chat with other players in the room.

I spent a lot of time playing this game as it was just a time waster and I was soon talking to almost everyone in the rooms.  There was a group of us that became really close and played and chatted together all the time. Honestly, my IPhone and the people in that bingo game became my friends. Although to this day we have never met, I still keep in contact with them on a regular basis and if I ever visit their hometowns, I am sure that we would get together for coffee.

The chatting in the bingo game eventually moved out to Skype.  Skype is an amazing way to connect with people all over without having to pay long distance fees.  I was able to chat with my him in England and it cost me nothing. Once a week we would all have a chat.  I remember my very first Skype conversation with him.  Honestly, if you are a woman, his voice would have had you swooning.  I am not bragging but I am sure that any woman out there would admit that hearing a British accent really is sexy.  I loved hearing him talk.  I purposely used to ask him questions that would take him a few minutes and lots of talking to answer just so I could listen to him speak.

One of the very first things I realized about him was that we were a lot alike.  We had quite a few of the same interests and we could talk for hours about everything and nothing.  He was also in an unhappy marriage and was in the process of getting divorced as well.  Our meeting and subsequent relationship happened very quickly. Do I think that it may have been too soon? Was he a rebound relationship?  Was this good for the kids? These thoughts and many others went through my mind but in the end I decided to see where it would go.

He spoiled me over the next few months.  Having my favourite perfume sent to me as a surprise, roses delivered on Valentine's day (11 real roses and 1 fake with a note that said "I will love you until the last rose dies, I'm pretty sure I cried for over an hour) and cards sent to me in the mail, just because.


We decided that he would come to Canada to visit me in March of 2011.  It was march break here for the kids so my sister-in-law (the angel that she is) said she would take them for a visit to her house in Michigan for the week and then I didn't have to worry about the kids for the week and I could decide if they were going to meet him or not.

The day he was arriving a friend of mine dropped me off at the airport and I waited.  I have never been so scared, nervous and excited all at the same time.  What if he didn't like me?  What if we didn't hit it off? I should have left all of the nerves at the door because it couldn't have been more perfect.  I saw him immediately and just like that it was like a door to a whole new life opened for us. We spent the week doing fun "touristy" stuff.  I got to go to the CN tower for dinner for the first time, we went shopping (he most definitely spoiled me), we spent a night in Niagara Falls in which he had the most amazing rainbow coloured roses delivered and waiting in our hotel room for me and we took my parents to dinner at Stage West, another first for me.

Everything was absolutely perfect and the only thing left was to pick my kids back up in Michigan and introduce him.  That went even better than I expected as well.  The kids had seen and spoken to him with me on Skype and we introduced him as my friend. The week couldn't have gone any better but it came to an end and I had to say goodbye.  About 3 weeks went by and we decided that we needed to be in the same country so I started looking into jobs that he could do, so he could come to Canada and work.  He was a truck driver in England so I started there.  Eventually, I found a company that had a foreign worker program and would take him as an employee here.  So it was decided, I would go visit him in England in July of 2011, my first trip anywhere (up until this point I had never been anywhere and never on a plane) and it was amazing, but I will save that for another post.  We now call that trip our honeymoon before the wedding.

On July 23, 2011 we landed in Toronto and our life here began.  We got married in September 2012 and had our son in August 2013.  We are currently waiting for his permanent residency to be approved and hope to have that sometime this summer.  We started off in different parts of the world but in the end love really did find me and I can't wait for what the future will bring us.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Child's First True Hero: Dad

I thought this post would be appropriate as Father's day is just around the corner.  I want to start off by saying that I have absolutely no contact with my biological father.  The last time we spoke I was 18 years old and we had a disagreement over what he thought was normal behaviour on his part (I disagreed) and he hung up the phone on me.  He was a very abusive man towards my mother and my siblings and I.  My mother told him to leave after my sister and I told her to make a choice between him and us.  Oh sure after the separation, we did see him every other weekend for about 3 months and then all contact stopped. He just left.  We had no idea where he had gone and to be honest, I really didn't care.  I didn't find him again until that last phone call when I was 18.  He has a new life in Arizona with his new wife and her 3 kids. He never looked back.

What truly makes me sad, is the fact that he has no idea that he is a grandfather to my 4 beautiful children, my brothers 2 children and my sisters' soon to be 2 children. Although, at the end of the day, he really isn't a man I want in their lives. I am sure that I won't ever try to get in touch with him again and I am okay with that. Although my daughter does know that he wasn't a very nice man and that he used to hit me a lot, I am not sure what I will do if they ever want to try and contact him. I don't really want them to have anything to do with him but he is their biological grandfather, but I will cross that bridge if I ever have to.

So now that we have that out of the way, I wanted to really just discuss fathers versus dads. After that conversation, I never considered him anything more than a sperm donor, harsh I know, but that 's exactly what he became to me.  I really wish things had been different because what child doesn't want their father in the their life in whatever capacity they are capable of.  But alas, he ran and was capable of nothing more than donation. He lost his chance to be my dad and grandfather to my kids and there in lies the difference.

Any man can father a baby but it really does take a real man to be a dad.  It takes an even bigger man to be a father figure to a child that isn't even his. I really didn't have a great role model in which to compare other men to.  I have learned that being a dad means truly being there, being plugged in and just unconditionally loving your children.  Picking them up and brushing them off, all the while telling them they have to try again.  A dad is there to protect you and be your hero. Always your cheerleader.  He will listen and above all, just love you.

Now my step-dad and I haven't always seen eye to eye but at the end of the day I could ask him to do something for me and he would be there.  He walked me down the aisle for my first marriage and was there to help pick up the pieces when it fell apart.  He stood with my now husband as his best man for my second marriage.  We get along as well as any step-dad and daughter could and I know I can count on him.


So now that I am a mother, I am glad that my 3 children from my first marriage are lucky enough to have 2 real men in their lives, 2 heroes.  Their father, although he was not a great husband or father when we were married, he has become an amazing dad now.  He loves them wholeheartedly, he's plugged in and he tries his best with what he knows a father should be (his father passed away when he was 8).  My husband, their step-dad also loves them unconditionally.  We also have a son together and his love is no different for him than the other 3.  That makes him an amazing man in my books.  When a man can love another mans' children they way he does, there is no greater love.  I am so amazingly happy and thankful that my children will grow up with two men who are real men.  They love these kids unconditionally and that is all a child really needs.

So to all the real men in the world, thank you.  Thank you for helping to make our little people, great big people.  Thank you for carrying us on your broad shoulders and for using them to protect us.  So this Father's Day, say thank you, say I love you, make sure they know how absolutely important they are to you and how thankful you are that they are your dad.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I took the #Stayfree Challenge

So let me first start this post off by saying I am an Always girl.  I have been using Always pads from the very first period I have ever had until now.  So when I was asked if I was interested in taking the Stayfree Challenge, I jumped at the chance to see how they would stack up against my brand of choice.

I received a very big (and heavy) package that contained all of the materials I would need to test out the pads. In the box there were 3 bottles of blue saline liquid, three 5 pound weights (hence the heavy part), a package of Stayfree pads and 2 competitors pads as well as 3 blotting sheets.


I love the fact that I get to see first hand how they stack up against the other brands.  I am not going to lie to you, that time of the month is horrible for me.  After every baby I have had, my wonderful cycle has gotten heavier and heavier.  I really have had a tough time finding a pad that will do the trick because I will tell you changing your pad every 15 minutes when you have 4 kids and a life is not fun at all. Not just that, but being self-conscious about leaking is a constant stress for me as well.  Trust me when I say I own no white bottoms for the summer and granny panties really are my best friend. So I got down to work and tested the pads out.

Well I will tell you, I was really shocked by the results.

I really impressed from the very start of the test.  Even when I poured the liquid on, you can see in the photo that on the Stayfree ultra thin pad it pretty much stayed where I poured it, where as on the other two pads, it spread out from where I had poured it.

What I saw next was pretty amazing and really has changed my opinion on Stayfree ultra thin pads. When I removed the weights, the competitor pads failed miserably.  The Stayfree ultra thin pad had pulled all the liquid away and the blotter sheet was almost completely free of any blue liquid, the same could not be said for the other pads at all.  One of the blotter sheets was completely blue and the second one was blue in quite a few spots.


Overall, I was quite impressed with this challenge test and I could see first hand that the Stayfree ultra thin pad did exactly what it claims.  It absorbed faster and was dryer much quicker than the other brands. Even after I took the blotting strips off, I felt each pad with my fingers as well, the competitor pads were still wet to the touch and the Stayfree ultra thin pad was dry.  I guess the fact that this design was inspired by athletic wear fabric really makes all the difference.

But I am not one to just follow the pack.  I wanted to know how they would stack up to the real thing.  So as luck would have it, Aunt Flo made her appearance while I was testing this product and I will tell you, the Stayfree ultra thin pad worked amazing.  As I told you earlier, my time of the month is awful and finding a pad that can make it better for me has been difficult, so not having to worry this month was an absolute godsend. So not only did they pass the liquid test but they stood up to the real thing even better than my go to brand ever has.  After this test, Stayfree is going to be my brand of choice, not only for me, but for my daughter when hers starts. After all these years, I am glad that I have finally found a product that I can be confident using.  My granny panties have seen their last days! Thanks Stayfree.

But don't just take my word for it follow the link and take Stayfree Challenge for yourself!

Disclosure:  Although I may have been given compensation for this in the form of products and/or other compensation, the opinions in this blog and post are all my own.