A calm came over me when I realized I was stressed, and I was able to put the chocolate down

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I did something yesterday that I never do. I bought and ate a chocolate bar mid-day.

Really, this is something I don’t do. But yet I found myself on a Sunday afternoon, escaping the chaos at our house, at the store in our neighbourhood picking up coffee and buying a chocolate bar.

I snuck into our house, back into the chaos as Mike waited for the all-clear to head back to our basement, (which we are finishing), to continue working on it, while I made my way back to our living room, and plopped myself back into the midst of the laundry I had been folding, with a coffee in one hand and my chocolate bar concealed in a bag in the other.

I waited as kids zipped passed me, not noticing that I was packing heat, before I stole my first bite. I sat there for the next ten minutes, folding laundry, sipping coffee, eating chocolate, while ignoring fights, mess, too much screen time and the sound of drilling coming from our basement.

What is going on here? I had been stress eating more days than not. What was triggering this need for sugar and carbs?

Then it hit me… this whole finishing our basement project was seriously stressing me out. Not to mention that our twins have not napped in over a month.

Ohhhh I’m stressed, that’s the feeling I am having lately.

It’s kind of funny that it took me so long to realize that those two elements in my world have been causing me so much stress.

The basement, on one hand, was supposed to be done in September, but between contractors cancelling, Mike trying to find time here and there to hack away at it, and life in general, it’s been delayed. I am crossing my fingers at this point that it will be done for Christmas.

We’ve also been holding most of the kids toys hostage, (out of necessity, not intentionally), in a storage area in our basement, along with our seasonal bins of clothes, other than a few I rescued and am now co-habiting with upstairs.

The kids and I miss their dad, we miss the space down there, and we generally feel like life has been on pause. Add naps being over, and we are all going a little cooky.

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But when I was able to pinpoint why I’m stressed, and recognize that it was circumstantial and temporary, this calm washed over me.

Maybe I don’t have to gain five pounds while we finish our basement. Maybe I can plan better for the weekends, go take a bath, read a book, or fall down a Netflix rabbit hole while we are in this mini survival mode.

For me, it’s pinpointing that feeling that is making my heels drag that is half the battle. Once I know what it is, I can problem-solve, which for this “doer” is the best medicine.

Join us for our weekend and my confession about our lengthly basement renovation…

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Today I broke

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Well, that was a week.

It was one of those weeks that by today, my nerves are fried. It wasn’t all bad. I had a great work and social week, but when it comes to parenting, I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. The waves kept crashing.

As you may know, if you have been following our story, we moved our twin toddlers from cribs to beds last weekend. I am officially referring to this transition as toddler bed gate. It deserves its own name.

Nights haven’t been too bad, but the absence of naps has been a nightmare. Before switching our twins, they were napping every second or third day. So, I thought that if naps went out the window with their cribs, that we’d all be okay.

I was so wrong.

The most over-used word in our house right now is “basket cases.” Here’s the kicker, not only are Mia and Everly in fragile mental states at the moment, but we also celebrated Beau’s sixth birthday on Tuesday which has sent her through loop.

The build up and excitement of big events has a big impact on our Beau. I get it. I was that kid too.

But let’s get back to toddler bed gate. Although I have put our twins in quiet time in their room, and an occasional nodding off has happened in their stollers, the result of this big change and sleep deprivation has impacted their behaviour… big time.

So, here I am, on a sunny cold Friday morning, trying to navigate these waters as I balance motherhood and work, while switching our girls from Play Doh, to  Mega Blocks, to snacks, in hopes that maybe, just maybe naps will miraculously happen today. All plans of running errands with them have disappeared.

I had a good cry to Mike on the phone after dropping the big kids off at school this morning. That was therapeutic.

Thankfully it is Friday and I get to co-parent this weekend.

Send coffee.

Want to watch our week unfold? Here are this week’s vlogs…

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What I Do When I Am “In A Funk”

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We all have them. Off days. You know, those days where you feel unmotivated and like you are in a fog. You feel like you are going in slow motion and although you know what you need to do, you have a hard time getting there.

The recent heat wave sent me into a funk for a couple days last week and turned all of our kids upside-down. We were all off.

In this vlog I talk about what I do when I am in a funk. Truthfully, I don’t fight it. I cozy up to it, pamper myself and jump back in the next day.

Welcome to our home…

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3 Tips On How To Survive Summer With Young Kids

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This is a special guest post by Kelly Bourne

I have a history of being ambivalent about summer.

It’s supposed to be this super-chill, stress-free, maxin’ & relaxin’ kinda time, but in reality it’s more like a dash of unmet expectations mixed with sunburns, runny noses, and a whopping dose of “am I the only one stressed out right now?”

So yeah.

It hasn’t always been my fave…

Last summer was a prime example.

I was absolutely convinced that *everyone else* had it together, enjoying the dog days of summer without a care in the world, while I was essentially stressing about not being relaxed enough.

Ridiculous right?!

Except that as soon as I started talking to other parents, I realized that so many of us were in the same boat.

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Photo: Kelly Bourne

With massive expectations on ourselves and our kids to soak it all up, we were slowly driving ourselves crazy, itching to get back into the routine and busyness of the fall.

Knowing we didn’t want to feel stressed.

Knowing that we’d like to have more patience with our kids.

But not having a flippin’ clue HOW to actually make it happen.

So I decided to do something about it.

Fast forward a year and I’m ready to frickin’ OWN summer.

Armed to the gills with practical stress-busting strategies, I’m ready to share my goods with anyone who will listen.

So since you’ve made it this far, I’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ that I’m guessing will be right up your alley.

Because here’s the thing:

Everyone and their brother talks about “happiness” and “gratitude” like it’s the saviour of all that ails you.

And you know what —

It actually is.

But the tricky part is that no one ever tells you HOW to find your happy when you’re feeling stuck.

Or HOW to work those gratitude muscles.

So we’re going to change that.

And because knowledge is quite literally useless without action, I’ve got a little action plan for you.

A stress-busting guide you can print off, scribble on & work your happy until it becomes second nature.

Click here to grab yours.

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Photo: Kelly Bourne

Now — let’s get on to the good stuff…
Here’s what you need to do:

1. Take note of the good

Sounds obvious, right? Except that we never do it.

We pick apart everything that annoys us, everything that went wrong, or went *not quite* as fabulously as we imagined, and slowly stress ourselves into a head full of gray hair.

So here’s your challenge:

Start taking note of the good, old school style.

Break out that pen and paper and get ‘yo ass to work.

The best part?

You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this.

I do it once a week, on Sundays.

I sit back with my planner, going over each day of the past week and write out a list of all the awesome things that happened.

I’m talking instant gratitude boost.

Plus it sets you up for success going into Monday, so it’s a total win/win.

2. Give thanks

The next time you’re feeling stressed, playing that comparison game with your neighbour Tiffany who is off to the South of France with her three perfect children for the entire summer, bust out your action plan and get writing about what you’re grateful for.

And I challenge you to really think.

Ask yourself about the things you take for granted on the daily.

And then imagine what your life would be like without them.

Like seriously imagine it.

No running water.

No internet.

No hugs and kisses from your toddler.

No “good night Mommy, I love you” before bedtime.

It puts things into a whole new perspective…
And finally,

3. Reach out and touch someone

And no — not like that.

This isn’t that kind of blog post so get your mind out of the gutter…

I’m talking a genuine acknowledgement of someone you love or has impacted you in a positive way.

Reach out and share the specific reasons why you appreciate them.

A phone call, an email, a lunch date.

Doesn’t matter.

Just get specific and let the good vibes flow.

I’m telling you — this one boosts the happy juices like no other.

Do these three things on the regular and I’m willing to bet you see some positive change in your life.

The small stuff?

You won’t sweat it.

The big stuff?

You’ll take it in stride, facing the challenge head-on with the confidence to know that you’ll make it through.

Because you’re awesome.

You’re capable.

And you’ve got this.

Now — if you’re you’re liking what I’m putting down and think you’d like to hang with me this summer, you’re in luck.

I’ve just opened registration for my Summer Chill Squad and I’d love for you to join me. I’m talking a private parenting community specifically dedicated to squashing your biggest stresses so you can make this summer YOUR summer.

Forget Tiffany and her perfect kids.

You can hang with us, make some new friends, and learn some practical strategies for boosting happiness and squashing stress without leaving the comfort of your home.

Click here to join us.

You’ll be glad you did.

Much love,

Kelly

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With a passion for encouraging and inspiring parents to ditch survival mode, Kelly Bourne (BA, BScN, CPDPE) is an engaging and entertaining Parenting Educator who “gets it.” Whether providing real-time tips on her blog, Facebook Page or by running digital group coaching programs, her relaxed, non-judgemental style opens the door to creating lasting change in the families she works with. Always a fan of keeping it real, you can find her behind-the-scenes moments on Snapchat, so make sure to stop by and say hi!

Don’t forget to follow Kelly on Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more parenting tips!

The Dentist, Anxiety And A Hair Emergency (Vlog 2)

the dentistTaking all four kids out by myself has become easier and easier, and last week proved that. I took Holden and Beau to the dentist with our twins in tow and it couldn’t have gone smoother. I think the fact that Holden and Beau are becoming more independent is making a huge difference.

Also, in this vlog I open up about my anxiety, and how it peaked recently but what I did to take control again.

Oh, and if life isn’t crazy enough, Beau came home from school with a hair emergency. Watch all of this and more on the today’s vlog…

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