Monday, 12 November 2018

I put the swing away today

I put the swing away today.

My youngest, my last baby, hasn't used it in almost 2 weeks. It was taking up space.

This is hard - harder than I thought it would be.

When you prepare to have a baby, you collect all the things; crib, car seat, swing, jumper, play mats, clothes (so many clothes!). When you and your baby are done with them, you often put it away for future babies, still holding on to them and the memories that are attached to them. I have done this a few times with 5 babies.

After my older two were done with their things, off they went to friends and family that could use them for their own babies. I was in my 20s and it didn't seem like such a big deal. I kept a few items to hopefully pass down to my children for their children one day. I thought I had put the "baby days" behind me.

Fast forward 8 years and I was doing it again. After I went through a regret stage over not keeping any of the big stuff, it was time to collect it all again. The car seat, crib, playpen, jumper, play mats, toys, cute little snow suits, tiny shoes that they never wear, the swing...

Now that my little guy is a year old, exploring the world, it is time to start packing those things away. It's time to pass them on to friends, my sister who is having her first baby, or even sell some stuff on Facebook. This time is different though. It feels so final - which is good! - but, now I have to come to terms with the fact that my baby isn't a "baby" anymore.

At first, I was excited to pass on all the cute little clothes and tell stories about my journey to find the perfect stain remover 🤣
I don't know what it was about the swing that made me hold on for so long. I knew he didn't need it, I needed the room, and I wanted my 4 and 3 year olds to stop playing in it all the time, but feeling that the baby stage was over really hit me this time.

Now, I will be 34 next week. I am totally done with the baby stage - plus, everyone know that is the easy part anyway - but I will miss it. Soon, he will be too busy to sit on my lap. He will be too big to cuddle with mom. He is growing up so fast and I feel like it just went by too quickly.

Monday, 14 August 2017


So, since my last post, ChunkyBabies has launched!!

I am totally excited as I have actually been making sales! As someone who is often self-conscious about work and business decisions, this has been an amazing journey so far!

I finally have all social media set up too! So, feel free to check them out :)


Here are some pictures to get an idea!

Some teethers I have already sold!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

My PLN "Dear Baby" Entry

In our family we do things a little differently.
Now, I know you are not born yet and, when you read this you will probably say "Mooooom...", but I wanted - no, needed to write this letter.
You are our last born. You are your brother's  greatest wish (and after three girls, your dad and I, while all we wanted was a healthy baby, were very happy to have another boy!).
We aren't traditional in the sense that we have decided when to have children, as you may have noticed with the gap between your sisters (8 years!). We have always had the mindset that, if we were meant to have another baby - we would.
...But it stopped with you.
Our not so little family will be complete the minute we see your face. You will be the last baby we rock to sleep at 3 am, the last we get to watch take their first steps, the last we hear say their first words (please say "mommy" first!), the last we teach to use a potty, read, and ride a bike. You will be our last baby to head off to kindergarten, graduate high school and go off to college.

All these firsts will be lasts for us, and will be very bittersweet, but I am looking forward to every second we get to watch, teach and learn with you.

You have 4 amazing siblings as well. They are all looking forward to meeting you. I know you will love them just as much as they love you. Your brother is an amazing artist and I know he is looking forward to drawing with you and teaching you all of his skills. Your sisters are so excited to finally have a baby brother, I know you will make them proud.

We are all counting down the days until we can hold you and love you... when you are ready to join us.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017


Some big news to share...

I have decided to take a huge leap and jump into small business mode!

With recently finding out that we are expecting baby #5 in the fall, I turned my brain to business ideas.  I had been looking at starting a business for a while now, and this was a great push/motivation for me.

So... I will be launching ChunkyBabies in late June or early July.  It is a line of 100% non-toxic, BPA-free, lead-free, food-grade silicone teething accessories. These products have form and function. Not only will they help keep tiny gums busy and soothed, moms and dads can wear them in their every day lives. From necklaces, to bracelets, to pacifier clips, to completely customizable pieces, I've got you covered!

I am very excited about this new venture and I hope to expand on my existing idea and serve the population of people I studied to work with in college. My goal is to expand into production of sensory - based products (I already have designs in mind!) for children with Autism and other sensory or processing difficulties, as well as adults (because, let's face it - Autism doesn't stop at 18!).

I have been working like crazy this week to get most of the social media up and running. I just need to finish original concept designs and post photos. Then, next step is to launch and set up orders.

I will post links to all social media and website as soon as possible in a follow-up post!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

I discovered something...

I am not a 4 am mom.

Even after 4 children, I am NOT a 4 am mom.

You know... those moms who are up every day at 4 in the morning, kids down for a nap by 9:30 am, in bed at night at 6 pm.

I am NOT that mom.

My fourth child has given me a run for my money.  Her sleep patterns are nothing like my first 3 children, and she goes through phases where she either doesn't sleep all night, or is up at obscene hours (like this morning... 3:45am). She has made me realize that I am not 20 anymore, I miss my late evenings and, after being a mom for 13 and a half years, I am tiiiireeeddd.

For the last couple years, I enjoyed my routine. Up with my older two for school, an hour for coffee and quiet before my younger two get up around 10-10:30 am. Now, I am either up all night with my busy busy 18 month old, or she wakes me after 2 hours sleep to be up for the day. I drag my tired behind around all morning until my older kids get up, she falls asleep shortly after they leave and then my 3 year old is up for the day...

I am NOT that mom.

I know a lot of moms that can run circles around that schedule, but I am not one of them. By 11 am I look like I have spent 2 months on the Survivor island. There are also moms that take their tots to 8:30 am swim classes... 9:30 am playgroups... afternoon mommy groups...  while I struggle to book time with a friend for coffee at my house because I don't want to nod off in my mug...

Sometimes I wish I were that mom, but I kind of enjoy the disorganized version. My kids are happy, they are comfortable and, despite my lack of sleep, still meet their recommended hours of zzzzzs. I wouldn't trade the sometimes dazed time I spend with them for anything in the world. Especially not the 4 am alone time I get with my 18 month old.  She never wakes in a bad mood so, even if I don't want to get up that early, her playful smile automatically gives me that little boost I need -- to stick a K-cup in the machine.

I will be the first to admit, I sometimes crawl back into bed after my older two leave for school now. That 45 minutes of sleep is very much needed sometimes, and the extra couple hours I sporadically  get are glorious!

I enjoy not being that mom. I am far from perfect, but my kids are happy - and that is worth every sleepless minute and 3 am espresso!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Interested In Product Testing? Check out my Top 3!

So, a while back, I said I would give a run down of some of the ways I get to test products at home - for FREE! I have many different sites that range from free samples to review sites that I am a member of, but I am just going to focus on the big 3. I will create a post about some of the "smaller" or not-as-frequently-used sites.
I am going to start with My Top 3. These are my tried and true, been with them for a while, always full-size product companies. Now, let's get started!

1. BzzAgent
BzzAgent is the program I have been with the longest. It offers product testing campaigns to Canadians, Americans and has expanded to the UK and other countries over the years. I have had many campaigns over the past few years, ranging from deodorant to shampoo and conditioner, even toothpaste and a toothbrush! 
I get roughly 3-4 campaigns per year. When new campaigns open up, I usually get an email letting me know that a campaign has opened up that I qualify for. I log in and can accept or decline the product (I have never declined though!). Once I receive the product in the mail, I try it out and then log in to write my review. The activities have been expanding based on social media trends so, right now, here are some activities you can expect to complete:
- Post to Facebook
- Post to Twitter
- Post on Instagram
- Create a Board on Pinterest
- Post a Review on Amazon
- Write about interactions with people you have spread "Bzz" about your product to.

When I am not involved in a campaign, BzzAgent has now started to provide smaller activities that I can complete to keep me active. The more active you are with BzzAgent, the higher chance of qualifying for campaigns.

Influenster is another company which focuses more on beauty products (I have found, anyway), but also offers the opportunity to test a wide variety of products. You can link your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blog, Tumblr, YouTube and other social media accounts to boost your influence score. You write reviews, ask/answer questions, complete campaign activities which include:
- Post to Instagram
- Post to Facebook
- Post on Twitter
- Review your product on Amazon 

This is the only one of my top 3 that has an App! 

ChickAdvisor is solely Canadian! It offers a wide variety of products to test, from makeup to chocolate! The only requirement I have seen is that you write a review within 14 days of receiving your product. You can write reviews on other products you have tried, as well, to earn points. Points give you a higher chance of qualifying for campaigns and enters you into a draw each month to win gift cards.
ChickAdvisor now also offers a Premium feature, where you pay a minimal fee for boxes of products throughout the year - similar to other subscription services. 

I have been with ChickAdvisor for quite a while. I have tested sunscreens, dry shampoos and chocolate bars, participated in twitter cooking classes, and more! They now offer a men's program as well "XY Stuff".

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas is Coming?!

This Christmas is going to be crazy!
This is the first year in a while that I:
a) haven't been too broke to afford it
b) haven't been able to just shop when I need to (something I fixed today!)
c) managed to start my shopping before December 20th!
Having 4 kids changes the way one would shop for Christmas.  This year, I have done more online shopping that I have in my life... and it feels good.  Especially now that both of my under 3s are sick! I can shop without having to take my babies out in the cold, try to wrestle them to blow their noses, or pry toys out of their hands as I browse.
If we go back about a month ago, I accidentally melted my baby carrier in the dryer.  I thought it would be OK to only put it in for 10 minutes. I was horribly wrong.
*Note to self: Never, never, never again*
As a result, I now have no carrier. So this means a lot of time spent at home browsing the online retailers to try to have all of my children's gifts shipped to my door as quick as possible. I am about 90% finished now!
I am actually loving this! I am almost done shopping!!  A lot of retailers have really awesome sales on baby/toddler stuff this time of year, and I managed to take care of some of my shopping on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. My two older ones are waaayyy harder to shop for. Their tastes are pretty expensive, and it gets worse as they age! Amazon was amazing for my older two, and Walmart was actually really great too!

Luckily there are places like Melissa & Doug, Mastermind Toys, and Toys R Us that keep the costs down with crazy sales! I managed to pick up a few things that were "Daily Deals" at Toys R Us - and their selection of Peppa Pig stuff was beyond anything I could have imagined!
I will say this, shopping for 4 children at Christmas time shouldn't have to break the bank. May retailers offer so many sales between Black Friday and Christmas that it makes it easier to get almost everything on your little one's Christmas list for decent prices.  I use a lot of cash back and retailer apps to curb the costs as well.  I will post a breakdown of how they all work soon.
Remember, Christmas is a magical time for your little ones. There is no need to stress about the cost! They are only little once...

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