It’s only just begun.

Ok, this is hard. I’m sure most people around me would assume I’m a seasoned vet with my husband traveling for work but I’m not. It never gets easier and guess what? Now I have two babies under the age of two and a teenager (aka literally living out phases of life on polar sides of the growing up spectrum) and it’s hard and mentally draining. This is the start of one long freaking month of show after show for Tom to travel internationally for. So far the first big trip, well, so far I’m surviving. I’m so tired, like more appropriately described as unbelievably exhausted. I did however manage to get Bash sleeping through the night which is one victory point! Tom left on a Saturday for Ottawa then continued down to Columbia on Tuesday and was supposed to be back home the following Sunday morning allowing us to still have a day and a half day of family time given the long thanksgiving weekend. Naturally, as life would have it, he got punked by an aircraft controller strike so he couldn’t fly home when planned and as I write this, the plan is now to get home on the holiday Monday but we just don’t know yet if that will work with this whole strike throwing a wrench in things. So now the thing is, we are just waiting to hopefully have things work out and even then we only get a half day with Tom, then he will work all week and we will have next Saturday as a family then he is off again for the week to Spain.

Did I mention how tired I am?

The babies are good and Nolan is good, but I’m just so tired because I never get a break and having your husband traveling internationally is stressful. As I checked out the strike online today it comes up as a travel advisory for Columbia due to high risk of kidnapping and violent crime… On this thanksgiving weekend I am just so thankful I read this at the end of his trip and not the beginning.

Pause. Look at Bash and his new smile. It’s too much…

Un-pause — I stop and tell myself it is a season. Unfortunately it’s intense on both ends (our personal life raising big and little kids as well as work life for Tom). It will pass and we will look back on it likely proud of what we have gone through together as a family as we look from the other side. But today, it’s not easy. I have my books I’m trying to read. I’m very social throughout the week. I have wonderful people checking in on me and offering to come for wine or tea or meet me at a park or for a walk and please do! I absolutely love these gestures. My house is pretty clean all things considered. I have my wine and chocolate for emergencies…kidding, the chocolate is for always everyday (full disclosure, no shame). If you have any further tips for me on how to survive living with a travelling husband, I am extremely interested and open to most ideas, just keep in mind that I’m very tired so don’t make me work too hard!

If I could go back in time, I never would’ve agreed to giving up our Maui vacation this Christmas. To date, it’s my only regret! Still winning I think…

Happy thanksgiving friends. The jury is still out whether I’ll cook a thanksgiving meal or not. We will know by tomorrow!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins [Vegan]

It’s officially begun. Our dreaded October of relentless work travel for Tom. Neither of us were looking forward to it and since its overwhelming to think about all of his upcoming trips, we decided to just take it one trip at a time. I’ve never been alone this long with the two babies. We are officially half way through his first trip and I was doing good until today. The babies have been great until today. Lots of crying. Apparently neither wants to give me the precious hour of silence I can generally bank on during their afternoon nap as they both protest from their cribs and for some reason I’m finding myself fighting back the tears today. I need to shower, I’d be smart to chop some veggies in any spare time I can find, I could do laundry, organize my closet or maybe organize my life, but I’m tired and just sitting here hoping there’s babies doze off eventually in their cribs so I can have a breather and think about having that shower or just fantasize about not being tired!

My goal was to stay as positive as possible while I’m on my own. I’ve filled my days with activities and friends and it’s been great. Time is moving along but it’s just tiring being on all day long. By the time I get everyone to bed, I’m pretty done myself and don’t get to take advantage of my free time as much as I wish I did. These babies are so unpredictable. Things can be going so amazingly smooth, then in the early evening for example, out of nowhere I have two baby boys both wanting to be held as they cry on and off for an hour while I’m in the middle of trying to make dinner, then Wylder doesn’t feel like eating what I made and he throws rice all over the floor while I’m trying to feed myself and Bash is crying in my arms so I try to breastfeed him and ignore the rice thrown all over my dining room all while I’m trying to feed myself with my left hand. So I give Wylder an apple sauce pouch so he doesn’t go to bed hungry, clean him up and set him up with a show, meanwhile Bash is inconsolable because he’s now overtired and needs to go to bed. Not every evening is this much fun, but it’s the nights like this that leaves me wondering how I’m going to still be standing after a long month of Tom being away. It’s not easy, so I’ll just continue to take it one day at a time and pray for extra energy, sleep and happy kids. Oh and I have wine in case of emergencies!

Regardless of the insanity, I’ve had some rare shining moments of being a wonderful mother and housewife. I cook a healthy dinner every night. I’ve managed to keep my house relatively clean, with the exception of laundry folding (reminder: start folding the laundry)! I somehow get to where I need to be on time and I haven’t forgotten one appointment since I had Bash. I’ve also been trying to bake more good snacks for Wylder so I don’t feel guilty feeding him so many store bought snacks.

These mini muffins are a new favourite around here. When I’m overly ambitious I will make a mass batch and freeze them, otherwise I just do a single batch and if Tom and Nolan are home, they last only a few days so sometimes I hide them to help them go further! I highly recommend these for lunches, snacks, breakfast, or dessert… Enjoy!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins [Vegan]

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt or all-purpose or Bob’s gf flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup enjoy life mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (120g)
  • 1/3 cup coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a mini muffin tin. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then set aside. In a large measuring cup, combine all liquid ingredients (including zucchini). Mix wet into dry, and immediately portion into the muffin tin and place in the oven. Bake 13-15 minutes, then allow the muffins to cool before removing from the tray.

Life = Cray

Ok I lied. The 3 month mark with Bash wasn’t as magical as I thought. We are well past the 4 month mark and he is still crying, no actually wailing in the car about 75% of our car rides, he is not sleeping through the night as he is reluctant to sleep training, but that baby is something else. He is my super snuggler, my mamas boy, all I have to do is look at him and he has the biggest and sweetest smiles for me, so cute I melt into mush. We will just tough it out since I’m too tired to try to fix anything at the moment.

We are back to school for Nolan and holy cow…I am a mother of a grade 10 boy. I was so emotional with the start of this year. I swear a slide show keeps playing in my mind of all of my years raising this boy. He has been such a special gift in my life and as I watch him become a man and set these crazy big goals and actually commit and write out a game plan to meet them, I honestly can’t believe I’ve raised this kid. If you don’t know, Nolan is working his buns off for a college scholarship for football. He has had the dream since he was 7, but now that he’s getting closer, he is putting in so much work to achieve this goal and it is honestly incredible to watch. I won’t go into the details but he is making me proud and I’m so excited to see where he goes. To date, he has one college looking at him already and he is only in grade 10!! FYI, I love this kid so much!

Wylder is becoming so much fun. He babbles and we have no idea what he’s saying. He likes to tell off Nolan when Nolan is bugging him and it cracks me up! He loves his baby Bash so much, he needs to start the day with a hug and after every nap, Bash gets a hug! These babies sure make my heart full and also drain every ounce of my being all in the same day. Thankfully everything is just a season but knowing that makes me sad because as crazy as life is and as tired as I am, I know I’ll miss these baby days so much when they are gone.

I’m doing ok. I’m making it through each day. I make healthy dinners almost every day except Saturdays. I don’t have time to shower often or work out and fitting in hang outs is so hard because all of us moms are on different nap schedules but I’m trying. I’ve been working at building my village which seems impossible if I’m being honest. I feel like I’m in a season of life where I need the village more than ever and everyone I know is just so busy with their lives it’s hard to truly connect and know how to meet each other’s needs or just be a friend.

My anxiety has been at an all time high lately as I’m anticipating one of Tom’s busiest work months ever. October, how I loathe thee… He is going to be gone 20 days out or 31. Ugh. Why? Don’t go… I’m not exactly sure how I’ll make it out alive in one piece. He will be going to Ottawa, straight down to Columbia on trip one, trip two is Spain, trip three is Mexico. I’m in two worlds…the baby world which is crazy and hard and sleepless and demanding until 7pm, and the teenager world which is emotionally draining, where I’m trying to be there for my oldest who holds such a special different place in my heart than the babies. Plus I know I only have 3 years with him and then he is going to be chomping at the bit to take on the world which excites me, but also scares the crap out of me. So I’m trying to set myself up for success in October. I’m going to meal plan which I’m doing already. I’m going to try to connect with friends because I need my people more than ever. I’m already exploring baby/toddler activities during the day to help the days pass. I’m going to make a list of things I want to accomplish around the house. I will also very likely drink wine. You might too if you have to juggle all of this on your own each day…

Life is crazy. I feel like I can’t even put it into words how crazy it is. My anxiety is already in high gear and I hate it so much and maybe I should take a page from Nolan’s book and make a goal to deal with it so I don’t have a melt down sans husband! It’s also really wonderful but I can’t help but crave a holiday or fantasize about having a life and fun with anyone really. This is a season and it’s not going to be pretty but if you think of me in October…send me your prayers and love and wine and chocolate and flowers…or one of the above. Please and thank you. And I love you.

Side note: My babies are cute right? Or do I have the ‘mom goggles’ on? Don’t answer that.

I’m Surviving!

I’ve finally surrendered to the chaos that is my life.  I mean, I spend my days with a toddler and an infant.  I’m tired 1000% of the time.  Some days are good and some are long and I feel like I’m being drained of all the life inside of me.  But then bedtime arrives and I feel super proud that I did it, I survived another day.  I wish I could say I was exaggerating how tough it’s been these past three months but if anything I’ve been downplaying the struggle of my life these days.  I know I look like I’m rocking it [and in some ways I am],  but I’m trying harder than ever to have be a good mom to the babies and a good mom to a teenager,  which is a heck of a lot different than dealing with babies.  I want to be a good/nice wife, and also still have friends.  I’m trying to figure out how to find the time to exercise.  Work is always knocking at my door which is another struggle because there are only so many hours in a day and most of those hours, somebody needs me or pardon me, I’m exhausted.  There is so much on my plate and I haven’t even talked about how busy Tom has been with work or touched on Nolan’s very full schedule.  Life is crazy right now, but we are somehow making it work.  


Bastian is just over 3 months!  I’m so happy to be here.  The newborn stage was freaking hard!  I can honestly say that I don’t miss it. It’s hard and messy and I cried so many times while we were in it.  It’s not like it’s significantly easier or better now but every week Bash gets a little more settled and cool and we find our groove a little more.  He cries less in the car, he sleeps better at night, making dinner isn’t a total gong show.  I’m slowly [incredibly slowly] getting things done.  I’m more brave and less afraid of him losing his mind when I go places. But the struggle is still there…mainly, I never have enough hours in a day.  


Tom started traveling again for work.  I was lucky he stuck around as long as he did since we’ve had Bastian. Unfortunately the fall is quite booked up for him with travel but I’m going to find a way to make it work [aka: avoid insanity].  Sometimes I try to take myself back to when I was a single mom.  I raised Nolan on my own, no child support or shared evenings or weekends for 9 years before Tom and I got married.  I was self employed and working 6 days a week, doing all the driving to and from sports. I owned a house and did all the housework and yard work.  Guess what?  I even had an amazing social life!  I am now married, work very very little, but somehow juggling these two babies and a teenager is soooo much more work than I ever remember when I was on my own.  Or maybe I’m just old now!  Ha!  Yup.  That’s got to be it!


Amongst all of the chaos, sleeplessness, and the days where I feel like I’m completely lost…there is so much light.  I will never ever forget the 4 years of infertility prior to having Wylder, longing for what I now have.  I can never forget all of the tears I cried for these babies and even though it’s easy to take the gifts in my life for granted when everyone is crying at the same time or not sleeping or demanding to be held 24/7, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Ok…maybe less crying, but every one of my boys came into my life as a blessing in their own way and they’ve all managed to fill my heart more than I ever thought possible.  Tom and I are so lucky to have these perfect boys around us. And now that Tom’s back to travelling, I love knowing that we have giant Nolan to protect us (‘watch your backs you raccoons and marmots!!’ – we have both likely living in our backyard…so help me). 

Ok I’d also change just having Tom not travel ever and maybe I could have a nanny and a maybe a Ferrari?  Or like just a break every now and then.  I’d also like to have time to blow dry my hair after I wash it and potentially wash it more than I do (it’s not necessary to disclose how many times I do or do not wash my hair). It’d be cool to have time to work out. Or even sleep a whole night…we are so close yet so far…  

Life is completely chaotic in every way.  I’m holding it together like a boss, at least I think I am anyway.  I cry on occasion and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  But it’s good.  We are creating memories and for example, as much as I know I might regret going to Nolan’s football games this fall with two babies all alone, I’m going to do it because it might be ok and I love watching Nolan do what he loves and no two babies are going to take that from me (unless they are both out of control crying or Wylder is trying to run onto the football field…both very probable scenarios).  I’ll just obviously take a quick picture to post on my Instagram pretending it was a total success regardless of the fail…  But honestly, life is good.  We are living the dream and surviving this crazy season one day at a time!

Avocado Salad

And now it’s time for me to share some of my favourite recipes I’ve been cooking up!  I’m coming back!  Unless I’m interrupted by one or more of my handsome men.  

This salad is my favourite thing to make right now.  I just took a little breather from it because I’d hate for Tom and Nolan to dread eating it every night.  It makes for such a good summer lunch that I like to hoard for myself then I allow Nolan to eat the rest as a snack.  Or lately it’s been such a great side to a perfectly bbq’ed chunk of meat and grilled veggies!  


I promise it’s so good that I’m salivating as I share it with you.  I like to go heavy on the tomatoes which is going to be even more wonderful now that my tomato plants are ready!  This salad is guaranteed to please your taste buds!  


Avocado Salad

  • 1/4 c. avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed

Directions:

Mix oil, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper in medium size bowl. 

Add remaining ingredients to bowl.  Toss to fully coat salad with the dressing.  Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until your ready to eat.  

Life Updated 

Has it really been 5 weeks since I last posted?  Hmmm…  I guess I’ve just been super busy trying to raise these babies all while Nolan had a whirlwind of track and field provincials , flag football provincials (which they won and qualified for nationals!), said goodbye to middle school and somehow I’m only getting better each day at being a mama to three!  Every day is guaranteed to have an insane moment or two, or three or all day!  But overall, I have to say, I think I’m doing pretty good.  

The day my freezer meals ran out. WAAAAH!  I grieved.  It was a dark day of mourning, but somehow I’ve managed to make dinner amongst juggling fussy babies and driving Nolan to or from whatever he may be doing!  But guess what?  I’m doing it and it’s friggin hard but I’m doing it and I’m very proud of myself!

Bash is 8 weeks now and in somewhat of a routine.  He has not been an easy baby but in the past couple weeks I’ve managed to get him to almost sleep through the night and finally nap in his bassinet which feels like one more victory point for me.  He is growing in leaps and bounds and at this rate, he’s going to be my chubbiest baby!  And this boy is smiling and getting so cute that I can hardly handle it!  Did I mention he’s a total mama’s boy?!  Yippee!

Wylder is the best!  He is 18 months in a few short days and I think he just gets more fun every day!  He is a comedian and a little crazy and super sweet…  He is talking so much but nothing sounds right yet.  Like when he yells “GO!” when we chase him, but he actually is yelling “DIE”!!  Guys…it’s ‘GO’, not ‘DIE’…we promise!  We are all just loving this stage so much, it’s seriously so much fun!

Nolan is also the best.  I could write a novel on that boy.  He is amazing!  I’ll need a whole blog post devoted to what he’s been up to and one day I will get to that.  In the meantime, I’ll just note that these boys of mine are the bomb.  They are my whole life and I honestly wouldn’t be half of who I am without them!

Oh ya.  Toms good!

I’m a tired lady.  I struggled with depression after I had Wylder and was so scared of facing that again and maybe I still will, but so far I’m feeling as good as I can be.  Aside from real exhaustion, I feel pretty much 100% recovered from my surgery which is such a different story from the last one.   I’m getting out, seeing friends and so far this postpartum season has been so much better than anticipated.  

Here are a few pictures from our forced family photo shoot that I insisted was a good idea but ended up being incredibly awkward.  Thankfully we got a few good shots and only this first one is a little odd!

3 Weeks Postpartum and Still Standing

The first week postpartum was great.  I can’t believe how much faster I’m healing from my c-section this time. We had help lined up that first week which was so wonderful.  I’m so missing my mother doing my laundry and cooking me food and entertaining Wylder… The second week was challenging.  Day 9 arrived and I was officially on my own with two babies.  Tom is swamped at work so couldn’t exactly take time off, so I had to brave the days by myself.  It has taken a lot to build up the strength to face each day with these two babies and I know I have to get some systems in place because this is my life now.  Currently, it is a juggling act to say the least.  Bash has no schedule. Wylder is still transitioning from 2 to 1 naps a day.  I’m healing from major abdominal surgery. But I live to tell you all about it, so I get a point! 

I’m exhausted.  Every day I think I am a little more tired than the day before. Wylder is becoming slight trouble, and rightfully so given his age and the fact that he now has to share me with Bash.  He spilled my full coffee one morning as my hands were both tied up with Bash. I yelled “NOOOOOOOOOO”, as he slowly took one finger and while looking at me with his devilish grin, ever so gently tipped the cup over.  The cup fell over and coffee spilled everywhere and the boy just walked away as if nothing happened.  He didn’t even react!  We refer to him as Hurricane Wylder because every day he empties every drawer in our bathroom, the kitchen cupboards, and if given the opportunity, he loves to throw laundry all over any room!  He is taking full advantage of me being tied down feeding Bash by exploring our kitchen to the fullest and recently emptied an entire bag of BCAA’s on the kitchen floor and let me tell you, he is stealth.  I had no idea this even occurred for an hour or so after he did it!  He really is a sweetheart, but extremely busy.  I recently introduced him to Netflix and he has become more manageable for the 10 minutes he will sit and watch his shows. I’m finally ready to start going for walks and getting out of the house which I believe will be perfect for all of us and most importantly, my sanity!


I’ve been eating a healing soup recipe I found while researching for my postpartum care in the hopes that it cancels out all the non-healing foods I’ve been eating.  The chocolate…why can’t I stop eating it!  I always eat my soup out of my Multipower mug in support of Tom’s work like the good wife I am! The recipe is so delicious, I’ll need to share!


The worst part of every day, aside from the times when both babies are crying and need me at the same time, or when I’m waking up for night feeds and the baby poops so I have to change a diaper when I’m dog tired then he is super awake which means I am too until he falls back asleep, or when Wylder refuses to walk and he demands I carry him while I’m holding Bash… Sorry, got a little side tracked there. No, it’s when nap time ends because that means I’m full time mothering constantly between the two babies until I get Wylder relief which happens when the husband walks in the door after work or the rare day Nolan isn’t busy with sports.  Nolan is so helpful, he is a baby whisperer.  Seriously, he’s amazing with newborns!

During nap time, somehow by the grace of God, these two babies both have had a decently long afternoon nap for me this week only, which gives me an opportunity to nap myself or shower. Usually I can only choose one so I’ll alternate days (the secrets out, I don’t shower  everyday).  Rarely I’ve gotten both or neither depending if these dudes want to do me a favour or not and SLEEP. If someone is not sleeping, it’s probably the extra small one (the boys are officially referred to by size; Nolan is the big one, Wylder is the small one, and Bash is our extra small one). Bash is turning on us. Our sweet darling angel baby found his lungs and he’s not afraid to use them!  Wylder is a total mimicker. So anytime the baby makes noises, like a cry, Wylder thinks he needs to scream! So much screaming, not so cute!  

I unfortunately don’t have a photographer living in my house to help me take beautiful pictures, but this is me on a day that I got to shower and do my hair and make up. I even drew on some eyebrows which means it must’ve been a good day! I generally smell great until Bash spits up on me an hour later!  Never a dull moment.  


Thankfully every day is a different day. Some have been so good and easy and others have been trying. After trying so long to get pregnant with Wylder and walking the road of fertility treatments, I can honestly say that even on the craziest day or when I’m so tired, my life has never felt so full. I feel like Bastian has always been here and it just feels so right. I love this chaotic life with a baby, toddler and teenager so much. My days are so long right now, I’m always tired, and I can hardly wait until Tom walks in the door each night for sweet relief, but I’m sure I smile more in one day than I have in a long time.  I’m also feeling pretty darn proud of myself for having a c-section and managing these days on my own.  That being said, I love love love the visits from friends.  Some of which have been so amazing and helpful (and the treats are equally as amazing as you are), you have no idea what that has done for my heart right now. All in all, I’ve exceeded my own expectations and I haven’t even cried yet!  That is winning.