Parents “waste” a load of time putting kids to sleep

Huffington Post published an article about the amount of time parents “waste” on bedtime routines yesterday. It’s super timely for us, considering our recent struggles.

While it’s timely, the results of the study they cited, which was done by toothbrush company Firefly, are not surprising at all.

Apparently, “moms and dads spend an average of 140 hours a year trying to get their child to sleep, which works out to nearly 18 full workdays.” That is a significant amount of time out of your year. For older children, yes, this sounds pretty accurate. For younger ones and toddlers with sleep issues, I’m sure it’s much higher.

If I do the math correctly, hubs and I have probably spent 100+ hours trying to get E to bed just since the beginning of June!

‘Sleep training: Round 1000’ started last night and was executed entirely by A, while I locked myself away with headphones on, as I am no match for my child’s tortured wails.

What does your child’s bedtime routine look like? And how long does it usually take?




The news: talking to your kids about it

Heartbreaking. There’s no other way to describe current affairs.

Maybe it has always been this way and I wasn’t paying attention. It’s cyclical – the good, the bad, the happy, the sad. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it all.

How? Why?

And then, all I can think about is protecting my little one.

My parents watched the news every night when I was younger. I asked a lot of questions, and they were empathetic and careful, but honest. I remember feeling the same way then, as I do now. Helpless, bewildered, heartbroken.

I’m, luckily, not at the stage yet where EJ understands what’s going on or is asking questions, and I hope to protect him from it as long as possible, but at some point, I will have to talk to him about all the hatred, hurt, and pain in the world. I will hold his hand and answer his questions when he too feels helpless, bewildered and sad. But, I am still hopeful that change can happen and maybe by the time he’s old enough, humanity will come around.

If you’re wondering whether to, or how to, talk to your kids about the violence, disasters, and tragedies we hear about daily, this article in The Globe and Mail might help.

Thinking of all those who are lost, all those who have lost, and all those who are hanging on tonight. Sending peaceful and loving thoughts out into the universe and hope you are too – maybe there is power in numbers and the collective conscience…

Maybe we can actually be the change.



A fave product: phil&teds Traveller crib

This crib is incredible. I bought it over a year and a half ago and EJ has used it, whenever we’re away for a night or more, since he was seven months old.

It was more than I wanted to spend on a travel cot, especially when I was on maternity leave and counting our pennies, but I’m so glad I invested in it. The portacot has been to Panama, Alberta (Red Deer and Banff), all over Ontario, and more recently to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Dominican Republic. Read about those adventures here.

The crib is so lightwight, packs into a handy carrying case that you can throw over your shoulder, and travels really well. It’s been on several flights, where I’m sure it was thrown around with heavier bags and I haven’t noticed a single dent or nik in any of the frame or legs.

Putting it together is a breeze, once you figure it out. It’s finicky to attach the mattress to the mesh sides (I wish the hooks were locking caribeners instead of plastic C hooks), but other than that, it’s quick to set up.

One side completely unzips, for easy access. This is an especially great feature for us when we’re using our trailer (a vintage Bonair tent trailer). We typically set the crib up on the second mattress, beside our kitchen table, which is raised and has a low “ceiling” and so we can’t lift EJ out over the top. Instead, when we’re putting him down (if he’s fallen asleep on a walk), we can just unzip the side and lay him down easily. Similarly when he wakes up in the morning, we simply unzip and he crawls out himself, which he loves!

The mattress is essentially a self-inflating camping mattress. I recently discovered that it’s quicker if you just blow into the nozzle a bit so it inflates faster, but either way, it provides the perfect amount of cushion.

If we’re somewhere that only has hardwood or tile floors, I typically put an extra blanket underneath, just for some extra cushion and warmth. Although, it’s not at all necessary – maybe I’m just spoiling EJ.

Who knew one could have so much to say about a crib!

Do you have a favourite travel crib?




The velcro baby’s sleep struggles continue

bedtime-aint-nobody-got-time-for-thatIt’s been a month since I first shared the post about EJ’s sleep regression. Life’s been busy – it’s summer, we’re jamming our weekends and vacation days full of fun. I wish I could say sleeping in has been part of that, but alas, our sleep struggles continue. Along with that, it seems the “terrible twos” have come out in full force.

EJ continues to fight sleep at bedtime, despite following the usual routine. With multiple nighttime wakings every other day, hubby or I have taken to sleeping on a cot in his room just so we can quickly calm him back into repose and get some shuteye ourselves.

At bedtime last night, similar to a few weeks ago, A carted our screaming, tantrum-throwing boy to his room so I could escape to the gym. EJ wailed “Mama eer (here)” for a few minutes before hubby started to counter his wails with, “Dada here!” in funny voices. Soon enough, EJ was saying, “Dada eer” and calmed down enough to lay in his bed and go to sleep on his own. He slept from 8:15 to 6:15 last night and didn’t wake once.

I feel like a new woman today. One night, though, does not mean we’re in the clear.

Tomorrow night, EJ, my mom and I are hopping on a red-eye out to New Brunswick and then heading to Prince Edward Island for the week. So, yet again, I’m going to throw his whole schedule off and he’s going to get used to being with me 24/7. We’ll see how he sleeps while we’re away, but returning to reality after this vacation isn’t going to help his separation anxiety at all.

Hopefully we’ll get through the airports and flights with a limited number of tantrums. Anyone have advice for holding onto (or wrestling) a 30-pound toddler on your lap while in flight?

Sleep or no sleep, tantrums or not, I’m looking forward to adventuring and a little time away with my boy.






Happy Mother’s Day Mamas!


It’s the one day (or maybe one of a few days) per year that us mamas hope to get spoiled and have some time to ourselves – maybe a pee or a coffee in peace? Can I get an Amen!?

Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I would like to take a moment and say thank you to all of the incredible mothers out there, doing the best that they can do to raise tiny humans! You’re all doing such an incredible job. Whether you’ve given up your body, your boobs, your time, your mind, or all of the above, remember that you’re raising the future and you’re kicking ass!

Here’s a little excerpt from something I wrote last year that’s been in the vault. And it still rings true. I’m so grateful to be someone’s mama:

I am so grateful to be celebrating my first Mother’s Day. Becoming a mom has changed me for the better. It has made me stronger, more passionate compassionate, protective, gentle, and patient… all thanks to my incredibly curious, observant, determined, feisty, serious little man.

EJ is lucky to have two incredible grandmothers and so many other loving, strong women in his life to look up to!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there. There is no job more challenging, exhausting, exhilarating or rewarding. I am lucky to have the most incredible role model and amazing woman as my mom. I only hope I can be half the mother to Emerson as you have been to me. Thank you for your endless love, ongoing support, and all of your help, especially as I’ve ventured into the world of motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day beauties!


A letter to my little – at six months

I’m lucky to live in Canada, where I got a full 12 months for maternity leave. (And the government has just extended it to an optional 18 months!) It’s an incredible privilege, and should be a right, to spend that first year nurturing your babe.

When I was on mat leave, I did a lot of writing. It was mostly short notes on my phone or iPad, while baby slept or while I breastfed. Sometimes I posted them to Instagram, sometimes they were just for me. Here is a note I wrote to EJ when he turned six months! Man, time flies. Does anyone else do this for their kids – write letters? Emails? vlog?

Since the day you were born, only six short months ago, you have brought an inexplicable amount of joy into our lives. I don’t think the definition of true love is truly understood until you have a child. You are our true love, EJ.

Watching you grow and learn is the greatest privilege. I am learning how to see the world in a new way, as through your eyes. The world is more beautiful with you and your smile in it.

It is an honour to share in all your firsts – from the first time you smiled, laughed, rolled over, screamed to the first time you touched a tree, were blinded by the sun, tasted different flavours, touched your toes.

Daddy and I love you more than any words could describe and we cannot wait to see what the next six months brings.