How We Prepare For Some Fun In The Sun!

The warm weather is here, which means summer is right around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited! It felt like a very long and never-ending winter, so my excitement for the summer is multiplied by 100! I think it’s safe to say that Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are also very thrilled for the warm weather and the chance to go outside without wearing an extra 10 pounds of winter gear.

During the summer, I love to be outside as much as I can. I feel so much better about everything, I’m in a better mood and I also find I eat better in the summer too. The kids love being outside as well and I find that each summer as they get older, it becomes easier to get them outside. Emily is now four and a half and the triplets just turned three, so they are able to play on their own (with adult supervision outside of course) and are much more independent. Whether it’s playing in our backyard or going to the beach on the weekends, Emily playing outside during recess while at school, or our new favourite activity, playing at the park after picking Emily up, we try to get outside as much as we can and the kids always have a great time.

As much as we love being outside enjoying the sunshine, we have to make sure that we are all protected from the sun before throwing on our shoes and running out the door. Making sure Emily and the triplets are protected from the sun is one of the most important things for me to do and it’s been something I’ve focused on since they were born, especially during the summer months. Their skin is so delicate and fair, that I feel like they could easily burn and when the sun is so strong some days, it doesn’t take long for that to happen.

To keep the kids protected from the sun, I always try to make sure they have their hats to wear, I cannot 100% guarantee they will wear them, but I do try as much as I can and I make sure to apply sunscreen before we head out and then reapply throughout our time outside. Up until this summer, I had been using Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen Lotion and I just switched to the New Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Baby Sunscreen Lotion and the New Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Kids Sunscreen Lotion. I do use both sunscreens now that Emily and the triplets are a little older and will probably continue to use both throughout the summer.

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When we plan to spend the day outside or even a few hours outside, Dan and I like to divide and conquer when getting everyone ready. Our routine is a pretty simple one, but at times can be a little chaotic just because it’s Dan and I versus four kids. The first step is getting everyone dressed and all of their diapers changed and if there are a couple stinky ones, I try to make sure they head over to Dan ;). The next step is the important one and that’s to apply the sunscreen.

I have really been enjoying the Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Baby Lotion for Emily and the triplets. The Simply Protect Baby and Kids Sunscreen Lotions are made with 25% fewer ingredients, including oxybenzone and parabens and contains no added oils or fragrances. The new formula is amazing because it’s mild and gentle enough for your baby and young children’s delicate skin and allows us parents to choose a Banana Boat sunscreen formula that works best for our kids and family!

It can be a challenge, to say the least, when trying to apply sunscreen to the kids, especially when they are so eager to get outside, which means we need a sunscreen lotion that goes on smoothly and quickly. The Simply Protect™ Baby Lotion goes on so smoothly and I love that it doesn’t leave a greasy or oily feel afterwards. It’s that oily feeling that can make it seem like you are spending ages rubbing in the sunscreen, but with the Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Baby Sunscreen Lotion, you don’t experience that. Emily has also found interest in applying her own sunscreen and she also has a bottle at school, which she has to apply on her own, so it’s nice that it’s easy for her to do. The new formula is also tear free and sting free, making it perfect for Emily when she is applying it herself at school!

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Once we are sure everyone has their sunscreen on, we put their hats and shoes on and we are then ready to go!

The kids love to spend as much time as possible outside and so do Dan and I. It’s a great way for them to stay active, burn off some energy and it’s much better than spending all day stuck inside. We don’t have air conditioning in our house, so during the summer months it gets really hot inside. An easy and fun way for us to stay cool is to set up our little pool in the backyard and play in the water. It’s so much fun and the kids love it, but staying protected from the sun is so important. When we use Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Baby Sunscreen Lotion, I know we can spend as much time outside enjoying the sun, but still staying protected!

We would love to hear what some of your favourite outdoor activities are and how your routine goes when getting everyone ready!

To learn more about Banana Boat’s new Simply Protect Product line you can visit http://www.bananaboat.ca/products/baby-sunscreen-lotion

Thank you to Banana Boat for sponsoring this blog post! We only work with companies who we love and have used prior to being contacted.

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I didn’t know there was a food crisis in Canada | #FeedTheHope

The truth is, there is a food crisis in Canada and NOBODY is talking about it!

I didn’t know there was a food crisis in Canada | #FeedTheHope

As a relatively new parent, one of my biggest fears is not being able to provide for my family. A roof over their head, clothes on their back and food for every meal of the day. I am constantly striving to work hard and better myself with my wife and kids top of mind. However, some people aren’t as fortunate as our family.

The truth is, there is a food crisis in Canada and NOBODY is talking about it!

Thank you to Catelli Pasta for partnering with me on this post, to bring to life their FEED THE HOPE campaign, a mission they have set out in partnership with multiple food banks across Canada to donate 1 million portions of pasta to those in need. While Catelli Pasta has sponsored this post, I will be sharing my own personal experience with you and would like to mention that all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Over the past 2 months, I have been made aware of some incredibly very eye opening realizations when it comes to our Canadian food crisis. There are more than 850,000 people who turn to food banks in Canada each month, with 1 in 5 Canadians having used a food bank and 1 in 3 Canadians knowing someone who has used a food bank. According to a recent study commissioned by Catelli,  42% of Canadians don’t believe there is even a food crisis at all within Canada – which is pretty crazy to think about!

If I am being honest, up until I had my kids, I was one of the 42% thinking this food crisis didn’t really exist within our country. We are very fortunate as a nation, to have second-to-none resources available, so  I personally never thought there was any major crisis. The reason being, we are not aware because no one talks about it, due to the stigma attached to using food banks. If we continue to ignore this food crisis, how will things change? Something needs to be done and I will share with you the difference you can make within your community to make a large impact on the many lives of those who struggle to put food on the table or lunch in their kid’s backpack.

I had the recent opportunity to learn more about all of the great things happening to really impact the lives of many. Catelli hosted an event along with North York Harvest Food Bank for a hands-on cooking experience. I met so many inspiring people who volunteer their time on a regular basis, as well as many individuals who have actually had to use or still use the food bank services because of their personal circumstances and we got to learn a little bit about each other. The stories I have heard and the reasons as to why people dedicate their time to such self-less acts really hit home for me.  I have never had to use a food bank, but I have had my fair share of struggles and adversity as a child growing up in foster care and utilizing programs like nutrition for learning. As a parent, it really put things in perspective for me and made me question – what if these were my kids? I often reflect on my struggles as a child and it really makes me think about the activities I can do to inspire my kids. To add to my experience with the hands-on cooking event, we made some delicious, inexpensive and NUTRITIOUS food! My time there gave me such a great appreciation and I was happy to attend, meeting so many wonderful people.

For the last 10 years, Catelli has donated millions of portions of pasta to families in need. However, our Canadian food crisis continues and they need your help to really impact the lives of many who need it. Here is how:

Donate Healthy Food!
So many people have participated in food drives, but are we educated on what foods to donate? Follow Catelli’s link to learn more about the healthy and nutritious non-perishable items you can donate.

https://www.catelli.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Food_Bank_Shopping_List.pdf

Volunteer Your Time!

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Volunteering at our local food bank

Your time is a huge asset in helping those in need and can be equally or more important than just providing financial compensation. Food banks across Canada need your help! Make it a commitment to set aside a few hours throughout the year for you and your family to either sort or pack donated items or serve a hot meal to families in need. My family and I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at our local food bank. It was a very heartwarming experience and such an eye opener. We learned so much about their day to day operations, had a tour of the facility which was incredible and also learned about the impact they make to help so many families that struggle. It was crazy to think that this was happening in our own community, something you never really hear people talk about. Thousands and thousands of people rely on the food bank and we took away so much from our visit. While we were there, we along with 16 other volunteers had the opportunity to sort and package food. It was a great day of fun work and positive energy. It was nice to know that what we were doing was creating such a positive impact within our community. We even got the kids involved and they had so much fun feeling included and were declared as the youngest volunteers from the KW Food Bank. You can check out our live video during our visit here  – To share some incredible stats we sorted over 4230 lbs of food in just over 2 hours which will provide over 3300 meals to families in need. Had us amazed!

Create Awareness!
Social media is a powerful tool  – you can make a huge difference by using the social tools you have to create awareness or virtually anything.  Use the hashtag #FeedTheHope and share with us how you will help fight child hunger in Canada. You never know who you will inspire!

For more information on the #FeedTheHope campaign and to learn more about Catelli Pasta and the Catelli Brand, visit https://www.catelli.ca/en/feed-the-hope/ Together with your help we can help feed the hope and end child hunger in Canada.

Let’s start with a conversation.

Dan.

 

Pampers Pure Collection is Changing the Diaper Game

Today I have something to share with you that I am super excited about and I know you will all love!

Pampers has just released their brand new Pampers Pure Collection and I want to share with you all of the amazing qualities of the collection. Pampers Pure Protection Diapers and Wipes was created to meet the desires of parents and what they are looking for in a diaper.

At the beginning of the month, we had the pleasure of attending a Pampers event, where we were introduced to the new collection. We learned all about the new Pampers Pure collection, watched demonstrations to show just how well the new diapers perform and were given our very own package to take home and try out with the triplets.

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As parents, we are always looking for quality products that meet the needs of our babies. Pampers has always provided that with their diapers and wipes and Pampers Pure Collection is no exception! Dan and I were both so impressed from everything we learned not only about the new diaper and wipes, but also about Pampers as a company. Pampers has always been there for moms and I think that this line truly shows the kind of company Pampers is and their relationship with moms. After taking the time to listen to moms all across the world and understand what they are looking for and wanting in a diaper, Pampers gathered what they had learned and created the Pampers Pure Collection.

The Pampers Pure Protection Diapers are the first diaper to combine premium cotton, soft plant-based fibers and other thoughtfully selected materials, while still providing Pampers trusted protection. They are made without chlorine bleaching, fragrance, parabens, natural rubber latex and the 26 allergens identified by the European Union. The Pampers Pure Protection Diapers are also dermatologically tested, clinically proven hypoallergenic and gentle for baby’s delicate skin.

Along with the qualities to keep your baby’s skin safe, Pampers Pure Protection Diapers also have the Pampers trusted protection you expect. With the three absorb channels, absorbent polymer and an absorbent top sheet made with a plant-based and polypropylene blend, they are designed to absorb all the wetness and keep your baby dry. The outer cover is super soft and made with a premium cotton, polypropylene, polyethylene and polyester blend, and as we witnessed with the demonstrations, it is very breathable and allows the heat to easily escape, keeping your baby comfortable. As an extra for moms, all sizes offer new and different designs, which I think are very cute!

Just like the diapers, the Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes are designed with parents in mind and are 99% water! After carefully selecting ingredients, Pampers has been able to reduce the amount of ingredients in the Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes to only seven, compared to twelve in their Pampers Sensitive Wipes. They are also dermatologically tested and clinically proven hypoallergenic and contain dermatologically tested ingredients. Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes are cotton enhanced and are designed to help maintain the pH of baby’s delicate skin. They are also safe to use on your newborn’s bottom, hands and face!

Dan and I are both very excited for the Pampers Pure Collection and I think both the diapers and wipes are great products. It was so much fun learning about the new collection and watching the demonstrations to see just how amazing the diapers are. We have worked with Pampers for over two years now and we are always so amazed with what they do. As a company that produces one of, if not the biggest items needed with babies, I think it’s so important to stay up-to-date with what parents are looking for. Pampers is always maintaining relevancy and looking to not only improve their product, but to develop new products to meet those wants and needs.

I think the Pampers Pure Collection will be a go to for many moms who are looking for diapers and wipes that are gentle on their baby’s skin and still provide the Pampers trusted protection we’ve all been accustomed to loving. I am excited to be using them with the triplets and to share them with all of you!

I’ve been using Pampers since day one and only partner with brands I truly love, prior to being contacted. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Advice I would give to myself as a new dad #HappyFathersDay

Dads, you are special. The role you play as a positive male influence in the lives of your children and family is crucial. Teach your children how to be kind, caring and compassionate. Most important, teach your kids how to be happy.

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How dad’s stay in shape.

I often think about how time has just passed us by with the kids and us as new parents. We are still new and learning every day, but it seems like yesterday I was holding my first baby for the first time, changing my first diaper, helping with her first feeding. There are so many memorable moments. With one it was very overwhelming; I remember being so nervous handling our daughter Emily. This fragile baby so soft and precious making these little cute noises and cries had my heart RACING! All I thought was; “please do not hurt her”  “Why is her poo so black?” “Am I doing this right?” “Is this as hard as it gets?” “It’s so hot in here.” Question after question and thought after thought judging myself on how I was doing and how would I be able to do it…Could I do it? Luckily we had a great team of medical professionals who worked endlessly by our side to help us transition and educate us on a few things. Not to mention the support from our families and each other as a new parenting duo.

After over four years of parenting and jumping from one child to four, in a matter of 16 months (the birth of our triplets) here is some advice I would give to myself as a new expecting father.

Life is unpredictable and most cases out of our control. As long as we are with the right people we can handle anything. You will never know all the answers, but things will tend to always work out in most cases teaching you a valuable lesson.

Your role as a father is vital to the relationship of you and your children and you need to own it. Every stage; from baby to toddler and beyond, they are always your baby and will always look to you for advice, encouragement and wisdom.

There is no one job for a mom and no one job for a dad… WORK TOGETHER! Build your partner up, motivate and encourage each other.  Develop those core values early. There will always be tough and difficult times but everything always comes down to attitude. One thing I always find are people who tend to ask- how do you it? – Truth is there is no real answer. You just do it. Being a dad and most important being a parent is tough and very difficult. Long nights, long day’s tough lessons.. but the most beautiful and most rewarding thing you can do. So take it in stride and bring your best self to every situation.

Dads, you are special. The role you play as a positive male influence in the lives of your children and family is crucial. Teach your children how to be kind, caring and compassionate. Most important, teach your kids how to be happy.

I commend all of you dads out there for turning your power into love and commitment, to shape and inspire the lives of your children. You are appreciated.

Happy Father’s Day.

Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post to celebrate dads everywhere, and with this sponsorship in mind I would like to disclose all thoughts and experiences are my own.

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Is It Really Easier to Have Your Kids Potty Trained?

On May 25th, Jackson, Olivia and Levi turned three, which means it’s time to start potty training them! Luckily, we had the experience of potty training Emily at first, so we know a little bit more now than we did at the beginning, but it still doesn’t take away the challenge of trying to potty train three toddlers at once.

With that said and now having Emily fully potty trained, I find myself asking this question…”is it really easier having your kids potty trained opposed to being in diapers?”

Before we begin on our journey with the triplets, we need to rewind to the beginning with Emily to share what we have learned and to where my question has come from. Originally, I said I would start potty training Emily at 18 months. Half truthfully and half-jokingly, but when the triplets were born, Emily was 17 months and there was no way I could have taken on the challenge of potty training her with three newborn babies. We waited just over a year and started potty training when Emily was two years eight months old. We actually partnered with Pampers back then too, to help share the Pampers Easy Ups Training Underwear.

Dan and I were both very excited and Emily was too. Emily would go on the potty when we would remind her and we would also have her sit on the potty every now and then to see if she had to go and would understand what to do. We loved that the Pampers Easy Ups looked and felt like real underwear and fit like real underwear too. Emily was a fan of the Hello Kitty prints and would always ask to wear her kitty underwear.

Potty training was going great, but I found that we, mostly myself since I was home with Emily during the day, didn’t stay as consistent as we needed to be. We would have days that we were on top of it, making sure we had Emily on the potty every hour and then there were days we forgot to remind her or ask her if she needed to go. I also felt that Emily would have days where she was excited and interested in learning and then days where she wanted nothing to do with potty training. It made it difficult to stay focused and after a few weeks, we said we would stop and wait a little bit then try again.

Fast forward to February 2017, when we registered Emily for school and then it really hit us, Emily needed to be potty trained in order to go to school. Emily was now three years two months old and we were determined to get it done this time. Emily was six months older and could communicate more with us, understand more and just all around more aware of what potty training was and what she needed to do.

We had Emily using the Pampers Easy Ups from the time we started to potty train in August 2016 to when we tried again in February 2017. We decided to keep using them even though we weren’t consistent with potty training because we thought it would help to get her adjusted to not wearing diapers anymore. Pampers Easy Ups are super soft and feel just like cotton underwear and Emily was able to help pull them up when she needed to put on a new one. Of course, she would still wet the trainers and need a change, which was very easy to do with the easy-tear sides. One of my biggest worries when potty training was how to change a Pampers Easy Up when your child has a poop! I was scared to try to tear the Easy Ups without spilling any of its contents, but with the easy-tear sides, changing them was easy and clean!

I focused and made a commitment to get Emily potty trained the second time around and after a solid week, she was fully potty trained! I couldn’t believe it to be honest! I was so nervous to potty train because it’s not something you can be taught and each child is so different. You can receive all the tips and advice you want, but it comes down to you, your child and the right time. It was such a different experience the second time around and a much simpler one as well.

Now that Emily has been fully potty trained for just over a year, it’s a whole new experience. I think back to when she was in diapers and compare Emily being potty trained to the triplets in diapers and wonder which one is easier. Of course, I have one less bum to change each day, but your duties as a parent don’t stop when they are out of diapers. You still have to make sure they wipe properly and everything is clean; there is the potential mess when trying to get them to the bathroom in time and not to mention the urgent need to find a washroom when out in public. When in a diaper, you have to change them, but it’s not going to end in disaster if you have to wait a minute or two. Then when you do change them it’s in a controlled environment where hopefully they are laying still and everything is cleaned away.

Once the triplets are potty trained I can only imagine the chaos when we have four kids lining up to use the bathroom and I know that time will come! If it isn’t bad enough trying to find a bathroom when Emily has to go so badly she is going to pee her pants or driving with all the kids by myself and Emily tells me she needs to go, imagine what it will be like when all four have to go!

As we begin our new journey potting training Jackson, Olivia and Levi, we know it’s going to be a challenging one, but with our experience with Emily, we are one step ahead. Knowing what it was like to train Emily when she was two years eight months compared to three years two months, we knew we would start potty training the triplets when they turned three, hoping it would be easier. I think they are ready and each one of them has given little hints that they are ready. It has also helped to have them watch Emily and want to copy what she does.

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We will be using Pampers Easy Ups with the triplets, just as we did with Emily. I think it will be fun to have the triplets use Pampers Easy Ups and have them feel like they are wearing big kid underwear and I know Jackson and Levi will be so excited to wear the Thomas the Train designs. As parents, we all hope potty training will be easy, but we all know it will come with accidents and they won’t always tell you when they have to go. Luckily Pampers Easy Ups have Dual Leak-Guard Barriers, which help to prevent leaks around the legs and also provide protection against leaks anytime of the day with their Extra Absorb Channels! From a parent’s point of view, this is great and it’s nice to know they are getting the feeling of wearing underwear, but the protection needed to prevent messes.

I know when the triplets are potty trained I will really be asking myself if it’s easier to have all four kids potty trained or all four in diapers. Potty training is inevitable and it’s something everyone has to go through, so I know I’m not the only one who is going to struggle with this. Dan and I are really excited to get the triplets pumped up with their potty training experience and we want to make sure they know they are accomplishing a big milestone and giving them a sense of purpose. We are not experts when it comes to potty training, although we may be close by the time we are done with the triplets, but with the help of Pampers Easy Ups and staying positive and consistent then we know we can make it work!

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Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post and helping us share our potty training experience with Emily and our newly started journey with the triplets! While this is a sponsored post, all of the thoughts and opinions shared throughout are our own and we only work with brands who we have used and loved prior to being contacted.

Am I A Good Mom?

Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post for Mother’s Day and for always being there for Moms right from the beginning!

I was out for a walk yesterday, pulling the triplets in the wagon after dropping Emily off at school, and I started to think about this blog post and what I should write about. I knew that I wanted to be more open and share with you something that I haven’t shared in the past. I started to think about my thoughts of what being a mom means to me, different experiences I had and even why I love being a mom, but then it hit me and I knew exactly what I should write about.

Lately I have found that being a mom really does have its challenges and it can become very overwhelming at times, to the point I stop and ask myself “Am I a good mom?”

As moms, I feel like this is a question many of us have asked ourselves at some point, especially on those days where our kids don’t listen or we cannot seem to get things together. I know for myself I ask that question on days where I feel like all I have done is ask my kids 100 times to do something. Or to stop fighting, to the point I have to raise my voice for them to listen, On the days when I have no idea what to make for dinner and end up with a peanut butter wrap with strawberries and blueberries on the side. Or the days when I may have spent too much time on my phone or being distracted from my kids trying to clean that I never actually sat down to play with them.

Every time I have days like that, I ask myself “Am I a good mom?” Then I think about how I could be better, what could I do differently tomorrow or I wonder what my kids think of me. Being a mom is such a tough job and it can really leave you feeling like what you are doing is not good enough.

This is where Mother’s Day comes in. I think Mother’s Day is a day not necessarily for moms to receive gifts, but to take the time to stop and think about just how amazing we all are. To understand that even though we may have bad days, days we aren’t too proud of or days where you wish you were alone on a deserted island, we are doing the best we can, we are always learning along the way and that we would do anything for our kids.

I think back to my first Mother’s Day and it was so special for me because I finally got to celebrate something that I had dreamt about for so long. I look at this year’s Mother’s Day and it is just as special as my first because I now have five years of being a mom to celebrate and I can look back at everything I have learned and experienced as a mom.

It’s so nice to have your kids celebrate you on Mother’s Day. Although they have help when they are younger, it is so surprising how much kids actually understand at a young age. Then as they get older, they learn to appreciate you and show their love and appreciation all on their own. This year I am excited to spend the day with Emily, Jackson, Olivia, Levi and Dan of course, just hanging out and enjoying the life we have created.

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Piles of laundry everywhere, but the kids don’t care! All they want to do is hangout, cuddle and watch cartoons 🙂

I think, as moms, we can be so hard on ourselves and it is inevitable, but if we can learn to love who we are, know that we are doing the best we can and are always open for change and learning from ourselves, we can change that and be confident to say “I am a great mom!”

Our kids will always love us and we see it time and time again. You may yell at them one moment and within a few minutes, they are back by your side asking you when dinner will be ready or trying to get out the crazy thought they just had in their head. As I was thinking about this topic on our walk, I turned around to look at Jackson, Olivia and Levi in the wagon and they instantly met me with a smile. They asked to go fast down the hill and I did just that. I told them to hold on tight and said here we go! Then we ran down the hill and their faces lit up with the biggest smile and laugh.

Something so little as a little ten second run down a hill and it instantly clears up all their pouting and gives you a boost in your confidence of being the greatest mom you are! So my last thought for you all, is to stop what you are doing, go over to your kids, no matter what their age is, and give them the biggest hug, then sit there for a couple minutes to play with them or talk with them! You will walk away with a smile on your face and feeling great!

I want to send out the biggest Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there and I hope you all know just how amazing you are!!

Thank you again to Pampers for sponsoring this post. We only work with brands who we have used prior to being contacted and who we genuinely love!

– Corrie

What Would I Want For Mother’s Day?

Yesterday Dan asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day and aside from the ability to wake up 100 pounds lighter or win the lottery, I think my request is pretty simple.

I don’t want to sleep in, because Dan and I usually alternate on the weekends who gets to sleep in, but I do want to just relax when I get up and take my time to get ready for the day. I want to have a shower then spend more than 5 minutes getting my make up on and then straightening my hair. Most days I throw it up in a pony tail, so when I have the extra time to spend straightening it, it’s nice and I feel more put together!

Surprisingly, I also want to go to the gym! Maybe not both days, but if I can make it to the gym on Saturday or Sunday, I will be happy. I have gone to the gym 3 times this week so far, on top of my hour walk with the triplets in the morning and I have really been enjoying the exercise. I know it’s only the first week of getting myself to the gym and starting to work out again, but I have been feeling so much better about myself and a lot less stressed over little things. I have also been eating healthy for 2 weeks now and it’s amazing what a little self-care can do for you.

This is just the start of my fitness journey and I know I have started so many times in the past and just failed, so I am making sure to set small daily goals and to stay positive along the way.

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But back to my request for a Mother’s Day gift. There is really nothing I need, but I do want to get the garden back in shape and looking nice. Last year I didn’t do anything to the garden out front, so everything kinda died. I think there is one little tree still thriving, but everything else is surrounded by weeds. I told Dan that I want us all to go out to a couple different garden centers and pick out some new flowers and plants for the garden. Two years ago, I cleaned up the garden, so there’s not too much work that needs to be done, other than taking out the weeds, so it should be pretty easy to make it look nice again!

While at the store the other day, Emily noticed the flowers and said she wanted to buy some. I think it would be fun to have us all go to the store and pick some out. Hopefully the time out shopping goes smoothly and we actually get something accomplished, but with 4 kids you just never know. Depending on how brave I feel, I may even have Emily and the triplets help me out, if not Dan can keep them distracted and have them play in the backyard. Either way, I think it will be something fun to do and we will have a nice front yard to look at.

This Mother’s Day, I just want to enjoy the day and relax. I want to start putting some focus on myself and doing things that will make me feel better about myself. Going to the gym and eating better has been such a good start and I am excited to keep going. I never focused too much on self-care before because I didn’t think I had the time with four kids and to be honest, it’s a lot easier to focus on them, rather than spend time focusing on myself. Now that Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are older, it’s getting easier to find the time to focus a little more on me and I am learning that it’s not a bad thing to take some time for myself.

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I would love to hear all of your plans for Mother’s Day! Are you the one who requests what to do, or do you leave it all a surprise? Was there something specific that you asked for or wanted for Mother’s Day? Share down below!!

What Would I Have Changed on My Baby Registry?

When you find out you are expecting your first baby, you are filled with so many emotions and thoughts. You start to plan everything out from the nursery to your birth plan, but along the way you have a big job to complete and that is…your BABY REGISTRY!

Do you remember how you felt when it was time to complete your baby registry?

If you are a first time mom, how do you feel knowing you have a big task heading your way?

I still remember the day we created our baby registry and I am excited to partner with Pampers for this blog post, to take a trip down memory lane and share with you some of the changes I would have made to our baby registry. I remember feeling so excited thinking about our baby registry and all of the amazing baby items I was going to add-on.

We picked a day for Dan and I to go out and complete our registry at Babies R Us and I think it was about 2 or 3 days before, I realized I had no idea what to add to our registry. Instantly I felt so unprepared and overwhelmed! I didn’t know which items were essential items and a must have on the list and items that would be more of a luxury item. How do you pick the right bottle? What kind of lotions would your baby like? How do you know which breast pump would work best for you? Is there a pacifier that’s best for babies? Do you add diapers to your registry and if so, what size diapers do you select? I had so many questions and so little time to research. I tried to do as much research as I could in those 2 to 3 days, with comparing different brands for many of the items and in the end when I wasn’t sure I selected multiple brands for the same product.

I always wondered if I was the only one who felt that way because when I saw other couples scanning their items they seemed like they knew exactly what they were doing. But after Pampers recently completed a survey, they found that more than half (56%)of moms who created a registry felt it was more overwhelming than they expected. After reading this, it makes me feel better knowing I am not alone and there are other moms out there who have the same thoughts as me.

To make it a little more of a challenge, we decided to keep the gender of the baby a surprise until delivery, so we had to pick out all gender neutral items. There were a lot of gender neutral items to select, but I have to admit, it wasn’t as fun as it would have been to know the gender and have the ability to select specific items. One of my regrets with our baby registry was focusing on items such as clothing and blankets that we could have waited to get after Emily was born so we knew her gender and could buy accordingly.

It would have been smarter for us to keep those items off our registry and select more of the essential and practical items. At the time I didn’t think of it, but now looking back a few years later it would have made way more sense to do. If you are like me and feel you have some regrets with your registry, we are not the only ones. From the same survey from Pampers, 62% of moms have regrets about their baby registry – and of those who do, the top regret is that they didn’t register for enough practical items (47%). I would have never guessed the percentage was so high and it makes you wonder if they felt overwhelmed by the whole thing so it was easier to register for the basic items like clothing and blankets.

What would be a practical item though? I feel like that could change from person to person. A swing would be perfect for one person, but to someone else it would be unnecessary and the same could be with a bassinet or even rattles and pacifiers. One item that I know would be an essential item for parents and the baby would be diapers and wipes and you know they are going to be used everyday for the next few years.

When I think back to our registry, I believe we did add diapers and wipes on, but it was a small box of both and we said one of each. I don’t know why we didn’t think to include more diapers on our registry or even different sizes of diapers and it’s funny when you think about it because out of all the items we had registered for diapers and wipes were the two items we used the most. 

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All the gifts we received from our baby shower and only a few boxes of diapers!

Another statistic from the Pampers survey shows just how common it is for moms to think they should have added more diapers. The survey found that 88% of moms wish they had included more diapers on their registry. This is such a high number and I think this comes from the experience after having the baby and realizing how big of an item diapers and wipes are for a baby. 

If I could go back and change some things with our registry they would be to hold off on registering for items such as clothing, bibs and blankets and to increase the amount of diapers we registered for. I know we would have needed clothing right away for Emily so adding on a few to our registry makes sense, but I would have only added on the basics to get us by until we found out Emily was a baby girl and we could go out and buy all the cute little outfits! I would have also started researching and comparing products way before we planned to go out and register all of our items, so I was more prepared and hopefully wouldn’t have felt so overwhelmed. 

I also wanted to share a great idea for those of you who know the struggle with diapers and are looking for a gift for someone that is both practical and useful. We talked about it in one of our last blog posts and that is the Amazon Subscribe and Save program. I won’t go into all the details, but it’s basically a monthly diaper subscription, where you set up your account and have diapers and wipes delivered to your door on the same day every month. This would be such a great gift for new parents or even parents with multiple children and you could have the subscription go as long as you want. 

There are so many baby items to consider when creating your baby registry. Although it may feel overwhelming, it is so exciting and a good chance to learn all about the items out there. It also means you are that much closer to meeting your new little baby!

I hope you found some useful information today and with the changes, I would have made to my registry. I would love to hear your experiences when you created your baby registry or your thoughts and feelings if you are creating one for the first time. Please share and leave a comment below!

Thank you again to Pampers for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and we only work with and partner with companies we have used prior to being contacted.

ADVICE TO PARENTS FROM PARENTS

You will receive so much overwhelming advice and information that it may be hard to find what works best for your family.

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If you were to ask us three years ago if we were ever going to partner with a brand like Pampers, we would never imagine! However, Pampers has always been our go to diaper choice ever since we found out we were expecting Emily as first time parents and adding that to our baby registry. We have loved Pampers since the very beginning and it has always been such a recognizable brand even before having kids; they were just so relevant all of the time.

When things were taking off on The Baby Gang channel back in 2016, we truly wanted to find an opportunity on how we can work with brands we love and be a go to resource for those who are new to parenting, existing parents or have multiple children like us and our parents. That being said, Pampers was the first company we had ever reached out to as a brand that came top of mind. Just like magic, and something that still blows our minds to this day is the exciting opportunity to partner with Pampers!

After two years we have worked on some very unique and inspiring initiatives with Pampers and one thing we have learned is they are a very innovative brand who always keeps moms, babies and parents top of mind. They do so much for so many communities on a local and global scale and even partnering with The Baby Gang, they have really allowed us to give back to our communities and help those in need when expecting their newborn. They offer such quality and it really shows the effort they put in to making their product, they just care!

You may recall earlier this year one of our previous blog posts on ways that you can save time and money (hyper link to be added to previous Subscribe and Save post). Pampers offers an innovative way for you to stay organized and stocked up on all of your diaper/wipes needs, which is super ideal for those busy parents on the go or those who just can’t seem to get it together…. really any parent. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service is not only for diapers, but wipes as well. We often forget that we use our baby wipes just as much as the diapers. I know we want to admit that it is just for cleaning a dirty bum, but I think it is safe to say we have all used our wipes for various other purposes. Cleaning our little one’s hands, wiping their faces and hey, maybe washing some crayon marks off the way….guilty! They are just so versatile.

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The Amazon’s Subscribe and Save really offers great value and convenience for your family. The way it works is very simple. Through Amazon you start by selecting the product you want: Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes, Pampers Natural Clean Baby Wipes, Pampers Baby Dry, Pampers Swaddlers, Pampers Cruisers, Pampers Easy Ups, Pampers UnderJams, and Pampers Splashers (we use size 4 Baby Dry diapers), then you select the quantity you want, then to finish you choose the frequency of that product. That’s it! On the same day every month, you get a special delivery. Not to mention, shipping is always free, amazing! If you are receiving or storing too many diapers and wipes or maybe not enough you can skip the month, you can always adjust it You are in total control. As moms, as dads, as parents we really like to think we have it all together, but really, we don’t. The Subscribe and Save service through Amazon is a beautiful and convenient service that really makes us feel like we got this!

We have always had such a genuine love for the Pampers brand and want to share that with you. They have been a huge part of our family since the very beginning and have been a key feature in some very special moments, while also becoming a contributing factor in the growth of The Baby Gang. We hope in reading this and sharing our genuine love for Pampers that their quality product and amazing services will help you on your parenting journey.. #1stchoiceofmoms.

I’ve been using Pampers since day one and only partner with brands I truly love, prior to being contacted. The opinions on this blog are my own.

A Simple Hack to Getting Rewarded as a Parent

When we were first time parents, parents entering the newborn stage again after many years, or when seasoned parents with older kids, we are always looking to others for advice, tips and tricks, support and deals when it comes to raising our kids. Sharing amazing mom and dad hacks has become a trend among parents over the last couple of years, and they serve as simple ways to make every parent’s life a little easier.

Today I wanted to share with you a couple of my own mom hacks, and some advice that I have found useful since becoming a mom myself. Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I only work with brands I genuinely love.

I am going to start off with my top two mom hacks, which I should really call parent hacks, because they can benefit both moms and dads!

1. Keep a diaper bag ‘back-up’ in the car at all times

My first mom hack helps with those days we may feel a little scattered or so rushed trying to get out of the door that we forget important items. I cannot tell you how many times Dan and I have left the house with the diaper bag, but forgot to pack the diapers and wipes. You would think that since those are the most important items we would remember them…but somehow it has occasionally slipped our minds.

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As a back-up when those times happen, I always have extra diaper bag essentials in the van. I also have an extra pair of clothes in the bag for each of the kids too, which was especially handy when they were younger and would spit up a lot and the chances of a diaper explosion were high! I hate to admit it, but having the extra diaper bag in the van has proven beneficial to me more times than I would like to admit!

2. Turn purchases into points

My second mom hack involves turning your diaper purchases into rewards for yourself, with Pampers Rewards. The Pampers Rewards program has been around for approximately 10 years here in Canada and the US. In 2017, the program was relaunched in Canada to make it better and easier for every parent to use.

If you are unfamiliar with Pampers Rewards, it is a loyalty program that rewards you for your Pampers purchases. You simply open the app, scan the Rewards code on the product package, and watch the points rack up! It’s nice to open an app and scan your codes as soon as you get home and you can choose to save up your points or use them right away. It is completely free, and you get 100 points just for signing up. There are so many great rewards to choose from including coupons for diapers, fun educational toys for your kids and one of my favourites, various photo options from Shutterfly to show off your memories!

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As parents, you know diapers and wipes are going to be one of the biggest purchases you make, so why not get rewarded for it! The new app is a great tool to have on your phone and it’s available for Android and iPhone. For more information and to check out all the rewards you can visit Pampers Rewards.

Now on to my advice!

I am going to start with some advice that I received from quite a few people when Emily was born and that was to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” It sounds simple enough and something you think every parent would want to do, which is true, but I never listened to it when I had Emily.

Instead, I tried to take advantage of the times Emily would sleep, using those precious moments to get other things done around the house, but I always felt exhausted afterwards. It wasn’t until the triplets were born, that I finally used this advice and made sure to take the time to sleep when the babies were sleeping. It was a little challenging because I had to find a way to have Emily and the triplets nap at the same time, but when it worked out I was sure to use the time to get some sleep myself! If you’re like me, you’ll probably be more attentive and productive with the extra sleep.

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My second piece of advice would be to embrace the chaos. Your kids will make messes, get dirty and break things and that’s okay. It will be hard sometimes to do this and I know I have struggled to follow my own advice at times, but there are going to be somethings that are out of your control and it’s not worth it to stress about the little things.

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When your kids are little, they don’t care if the house is clean, the laundry is done or the dishes are put away, they just want your attention and your time to play with them! I’ll tell you the best days that I could have are the days I let the little things go, sit on the floor and play with Emily and the triplets!

I hope you enjoyed my mom hacks and advice and find a way to apply them to your life as a parent! Parenting is a tough job, but if we can work together and share our advice, tips, hacks and deals we have found to work, then we can make all of our jobs a little easier!

We would love to hear your parenting hacks and advice, so please share below!