Breastfeeding – Lessons Learned

As I sit here, nursing my last little baby, I start to reflect on what I’ve learned over the years from nursing 4 babies. I know I have been tremendously lucky to have been able to nurse them all, and I am a strong believer in the fed is best. If you weren’t able to …

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Toddler Trouble!

As you all know, I have 4 kids, however, I am very surprised to see how busy the third one is. I had the first two boys 18 months apart and when I was home with the baby, the oldest was manageable. He was a toddler, but I was able to entertain him with toys and keep him out of trouble.

This time around, being home with a baby, my toddler is shockingly busier. I mean, we all know how the second child is the busy child but let me tell you, my third child is by far the busiest. I thought that my Scotty (2nd) was crazy busy. I remember he learned to roll around in the living room at 3 months, walking at 9 months and running at 10 months.

Nope, little Timmy is always getting into trouble and keeping me on my toes. These are just some examples from this past month:

Toddler Troubles

He cracks me up though. Even though I am always running back to the kitchen to get him out of the pantry, he provides some humour. As the outdoor weather has not been the best, we are cooped up in the house. I also have zero desire to take him out in public and chase him everywhere with a baby in arms. I can do grocery stores on occasion but that’s if I am feeling slightly nuts.

Now, I am trying to entertain him in the house as he doesn’t enjoy playing with toys. I’ve been looking through Pinterest for some ideas and now trying to attempt them. With that, I’ve created our first YouTube video.

Entertaining a Toddler

Raising Children to be Bilingual

Raising Children to be Bilingual

I often hear, oh you speak both English and French to your children, that will help them with future jobs. Well, let me tell you, that has pretty much zero reasons as to why I chose to speak bilingually to my children. As of matter of fact, yes, it has helped me work in my field, but it is not why I am choosing this path for my children. Let me explain.

When I met my husband, I already knew that in my future I wanted kids, I had even told him that I would raise them to speak both English and  French. Id he has not liked that idea, we wouldn’t be together today. Yes, it was that important to me that I wouldn’t be with someone. But why so important?

  1. Being bilingual is what makes me ME

I grew up in a small French community with French-speaking parents. We spoke French at home, but we learned to speak English too. I went to a French school but grew up in a province where English is the dominant language, you quickly learn to speak both languages.

I love that I was able to speak both languages with my family and friends. Now, with my children, they can do the same. It’s amazing to me that at a young age, they know who to speak in French with and vice versa. It doesn’t faze them.

They have no problems speaking either language in their sports or if they are learning a new skill, such as piano. Learning to do things in both languages, stretches them to be adaptable.

2. Being bilingual helps with cognitive behaviour and learning

There are many studies out there that have shown that learning more than one language has a significant advantage for brain function. For example, this article “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” states the following reasons :

  1. Smarter
  2. Build multitasking skills
  3. You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
  4. Memory improves
  5. Become more perspective
  6. Decision-making skills improve
  7. You improve your English

3. Important to learn about different cultures

In my opinion, it is very important to be tolerant and accepting of others even though we may not always agree. I believe by being more open to other cultures, you open up to being more tolerant and accepting. You aren’t closed off and are learning about others through yourself. If I could teach my kids more than one language I would, but I only know of two. I can teach them about my French heritage, culture and traditions that I grew up with.

My husband and I are doing the best we can to teach them both English and French. He grew up learning Core French in an English school, but through my push to speak French at home with my kids, he is learning through them. He may not be fluent in French, but he can understand when someone speaks it. I am proud that he has accepted this for our family.

How do we make it work?

With school, I am the one who has contact with the school and teacher and I help with homework such as reading or writing. My husband will help if I am busy with the baby or if I am away. He even tries to read the notes we receive from school which is great. Any effort is appreciated by me.

We balance each other as much as possible. For example, I may be the primary helper for school, but my husband is the primary help for the extra curricular activities the kids do. For example, he will take them to their sports such as hockey all the time unless he is away from work. This works for us.

I want to stress that this was what works for our family, it doesn’t necessarily work for all. I am grateful we have the option to choose our school here and that we have access to both official languages. We do what work us, just as you all choose to do what works for you. We are all doing the best we can and that is all that matters!!

“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

After I had our third baby boy, I started hearing “I don’t know how you do it” and “you are supermom”. Now that I have three boys and a baby girl, I hear it very often. Let me tell you my secret….. I’m no super Mom, although my kids think I am some kind of …

4 Freezer Meals in 1 Hour

As a mom of 4 kids, finding the time to make meals, let alone multiple meals ahead of time can be challenging. I am always searching Pinterest to find easy quick freezer meals that my kids will enjoy. Although my kids love cereals, toasts or bagels for breakfast, changing the routine can make it exciting …

Still Survivng!

Now, where do I start??? I believe it’s been a few months since I last wrote a blog post. Why the delay? Well, one, I became a grumpy pregnant person, and two, I had our baby girl!!!!

After being 10 days overdue, our precious little angel arrived and we couldn’t be happier. Great delivery, thank you epidural, and beautiful baby. Couldn’t ask for more.

So, the questions I have received so far? How is the adjustment to 4 kids and how is having a girl? Well, the adjustment to 4 means I do not go out in public alone with them. That is just too crazy for now. First of all, I am a nursing cow and I feel like I am feeding every 5 minutes and secondly, my toddler is so busy and doesn’t care to listen to the word “no”. It’s just safer to stay home.

How is it having a girl? So far I can’t really tell the difference, I mean she is just being a baby. However, it is fun to dress her up in different outfits, colours, patterns and dresses. She has many options and also, she has nicer clothes than me.

One last little snippet, this week, my older boys are off school for the week, my mom came over for a couple of days to help entertain them. We decided to venture out with all kids to the museum. It was going really well until the moment we were getting ready to leave. The two boys went to the washroom, I was getting myself ready to go outside, and my mom was trying to soothe the baby when a lady touched my arm and said: “here’s your mommy”. I turned over and she is handing over my toddler as he was wandering away from us…. at that point I thanked her and looked over to my mom and said: “is it wrong that I wasn’t even looking for him??”. I didn’t even notice he walked away. Oops, well it was an honest moment and we had a little laugh. So that also proved I can’t go alone with all kids yet.