Joanna Anastasia

Parenting

Schedule for staying home with kids during the quarantaine

Depending where you live you might be either in full on quarantaine mood or like us, at the social distancing point. Either way, our schools and daycares are cancelled, and many of us are either not working at this point at all, or working from home with kids around.

Here where we are, in Montreal, we are still able to go for a walk around the neighborhood with kids, or play in the backyard, and while we make sure to keep our distance ( witch is easy in our residential area) , we definitely do take kids out to play a bit in fresh air.

However, your reality might be a bit different- and so of course we should all follow what our local health care providers direct us to do.

So this schedule for staying home with kids during the quarantaine is an reflection of how I spend days with my three kids- who are now eight, six and twenty months.

And why actually I want us to stick to a schedule? Well, let me explain:

  • My kids are used to a school schedule– and so without it, after two-three days they become whiny and really unorganized !
  • Without clear “screen time schedule” it becomes impossible to get them off the screens-they become the “Screen Gollums” and throw tantrums once I say it’s enough and we need to eat/go to sleep etc.
  • They don’t want to tidy/dress and follow any routine when there’s no real day plan.
  • It helps me to be the focused mom I need to be now– while keeping my time slots for my own breaks.

Now, it may be only my kids who thrive on planned days and who lose it with too many “do-whatever-you-want” days. But with all that is happening now, the last thing I need are whiny, grumpy and fighting kids. So my way to keep a relatively normal beat is by following our schedule.

Last thing to keep in mind- my plan is based on the time I have spend in the past with my kids ant home- as I used to send them to day care three times a week, and I used to keep them home twice a week so they would be bilingual and speak both the official language of our province- French- but also my mother tongue- Polish.

Also, I always kept them home during all the pedagogical days. So I know that this schedule works for us based on hundreds of days spent following this plan.

But maybe your kids need more active time, or maybe they nap more or wake up much earlier- you might need to adjust it for your own family needs. This is only how I do it.


And if you’d like to download it and print at home here is the pdf!

Also, when I say it’s clean up time- it means that it’s both adults as kids who tidy up- so this is the time when I ask kids to clean their toys, help to clean the table, help with laundry folding etc.

And, my backyard is completely closed, so I can send my older kids to play outside alone if I need to work. So for me this schedule works pretty well even on the days when I actually do need to work from home.

Now, as to all that craft time- we like crafting, I wrote a book on crafting with kids, and often through crafting time I will actually sneak in some homeschooling and reading and writing activities. Plus it’s a relatively quiet time so it’s a win-win in my books!

And a last thing to keep in mind- if you don’t follow a schedule it’s also ok. Whatever you do to pass through this difficult time is fine, and there’s no one way fits all. What’s important is that we go through this safe, healthy and sane- and without passing that virus to anyone on our way!

Baby-led weaning snack hack

One of the things I did differently as a mom third time around was following the baby-led weaning route. Not that I was against puréed food, it just didn’t last and my baby hated when I tried to feed him with a spoon. So very early in I was feeding him with real food- things we ate, just softer and easy to grasp.

After a month or two, a phase of soft avocado and toasted bread was over and it was time to bring on snacks – that was a tricky part since as a parent you’re always worried that your baby won’t choke! I can recall what was the exact time I started giving Cheerios to Julien but he’s one years old now and Cheerios have been his before dinner snack for over 3 months now.

Their size is great for practicing pincer grasp and fine motor skills and is safe for babies to eat! Plus they’re low in sugar and made from whole grains so it’s a healthy option.

So my BLW snack hack and my trick to keep a baby busy while I cook is give them a kitchenette to play with by my side and a healthy and easy to grasp snack – Cheerios- to munch on!

Seriously, cheerios have been my lifesaver during witching hours- when you’re so close to dinner time, and kids are turning in rounds around you- a bowl of cheerios is all they need to stay calm until dinner! And as a BLW mama, I can honestly say that it’s a perfect eat-alone snack!

And since Julie has been eating alone and practicing his fine motor skills for a couple of months now, he can now eat his morning bowl of Cheerios with a spoon – at one-years-old! We’re pretty proud of this little boy!

Disclosure- this post was brought to you by Cheerios Canada, all opinions remain exclusively my own.

Postpartum mind

While everyone is talking about postpartum body, I’d like to start a conversation about the postpartum mind. The one that at first is blurred by hormones and fatigue. The one that feels lost during pregnancy and the fourth trimester. The one that  thinks about a baby 24/7 . The one that forgets about self dreams and interests for months, if not years. Sometimes burying them forever.

The one that later gets mom shamed for not being as kid-centred as it was. The one that may be called out for being a “bad mom” – for trying to run after a carrier. The one that nevertheless always has those little humans in the back tabs. The one that will always worry now. The one that will always over analyze. The one that will beat itself up in mom guilt. The mom mind.

Our mindset gets completely shaken by becoming a mom. Our priorities, and our ability to focus. The time we dispose now to actually think is so limited. Everything changes.

But hey mama, it’s ok to bring back your interests to the top. It’s ok to give yourself permission to think about other things then motherhood -even though the culture we live in suggest that a good mother is the one that’s always around her kids. You have the right to pursue your passions.

Postpartum mama brain- I see you. Lets not forget about you ok? Because while everyone tells you to get your body back – or to embrace your body as it is, I just want to remind you, that you’re more than a body! And the real you, the one beyond your looks, this one also have gone through a lot. And you have the right to feel the changes, to work through the changes and emerge from them on your own terms!

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

One of the things that my friends and new moms usually struggle with are baby naps. Adding this to the sleepless nights, the struggles with finding the right way to care for that new baby and finding time to do all the adult things, this can be actually a very big problem! And as a mom of three now, I think I seen it all. From my first born who was a horrible sleeper, to my second who would fall asleep anywhere, and now to my little delicate snowflake baby – I really seen it all.

The thing is, babies have their own instinct, that will wake them up at any time thy might feel abandoned – and for many babies it means waking up the minute you put them down! See,  evolutionary psychology even made research about it, saying that in our past, the only way for a baby to survive would be to stay in an adult arms at all times! That’s why babies sleep best while in movement. You must have heard the stories of parents walking around the house with a stroller, or riding around the block only to keep their baby asleep, did you? Well, I used to be one of those parents with my first baby, and boy I was exhausted!

Well, this time around I have a better solution.I must admit, I never have tried it with my first, “difficult” as I used to think- but now I know completely normal baby. A swing.

I got this Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing from BABIES R US Canada, and it has completely changed my day routine. I can plan things, I can do things, and I have time to finish them – all while being a stay at home mom. Simply because my baby sleeps and stays asleep!


Parmi les chose avec laquelle moi et mes amies nouvelles maman avons eu de la difficulté, on trouve les siestes. Lorsqu’on ajoute cela au manque de sommeil, au défis que présente certains soins du bébé et aux autres tâches ménagères à accomplir, ça peut devenir un véritable problème. En tant que mère de trois enfants, j’ai eu trois à de très différents dormeurs. 
Les bébés ont un instinct qui les réveillera dès qu’ils se sentent abandonnés – et pour plusieurs cela signifie dans la minute après qu’ils aient été déposés! Il y a même eu des recherches en psychologie évolutionnaire qui ont expliqué cela par le fait que par le passé, pour survivre, un bébé devait être dans les bras d’un adulte en tout temps! C’est pour cela que les bébés dorment mieux lorsqu’ils sont en mouvement. Vous avez sûrement entendu ces histoires de parents qui promènent leur bébé en poussette dans la maison ou qui font des tours de voiture pour garder leur enfant endormi, n’est-ce pas? Eh bien j’étais du nombre avec mon premier bébé et mon dieu, j’étais épuisée

How to help your baby nap wellHow to help your baby nap wellHow to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap wellDisclosure – this post was brought to you by Babies R US Canada, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

This swing has 6 speeds and two sitting positions- one for napping and for newborns at all times, and second “sitting & chilling” as I call it. You can also change the position to facing forward or to the sides, and pick the one that your baby prefers. There’s a big choice of calm music AND nature sounds, and to make it all even better there are star lights that will capture their attention when they are fussy plus cute yet contrasting ( so babies can see them) little lambs that move around to look at.


Et bien cette fois, j’ai une meilleure solution. Je dois admettre que je n’avais jamais essayé cela avec mes premiers bébé. J’ai maintenant ce berceau-balancelle mon petit agneau de Babies R Us Canada et cela a complètement changé ma routine quotidienne. Je peu planifier, faire et terminer plus de tâches tout en étant une maman à la maison. Tout simplement parce que mon bébé dort et reste endormi!

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

How to help your baby nap well

This swing comes in a box, and is really easy to assemble – took my hubby around 15 minutes, plus you can fold it to store it easier!

I’ve set my Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing in the sunroom, right next to the kitchen, where I can put Julien down for his nap, or sit him (attached of course) while I cook and girls are playing peek-a-boo with him, reading or singing to him.

And while I love snuggling my babies and rocking them to sleep, I must admit that it’s really freeing to have a choice now. Because he doesn’t need me anymore to fall asleep ( and that’s something so new for me, as I used to spend half of my time putting my babies to sleep!)  He’s just perfectly snuggled and happy in his swing!


La balançoire a 6 vitesses et deux positions – une pour dormir (ou en tout temps pour les nouveaux nés) et une assise. Le siège peut aussi être tournée d’un côté ou de l’autre selon la préférence de bébé. Il y a un grand choix de musique et de sons de la nature, et aussi un ciel étoilé lumineux pour attirer l’attention des bébés de mauvais poil. Il y a aussi de jolis petits agneaux à regarder tourner et sauter.
La balançoire est facile à assembler (15 minutes ont suffit à mon mari) et se plie pour le rangement.  J’ai installé la mienne dans notre solarium près de la cuisine où je peux installer Julien pour sa sieste ou l’asseoir (attaché bien sûr) pendant que je cuisine et que ses sœurs lui font des coucous ou de la lecture. Et bien que j’adore cajoler mes bébés et les endormir dans mes bras, je dois avouer que c’est libérateur d’avoir le choix. Maintenant il n’a plus besoin de moi pour s’endormir. Il est confortable et heureux dans sa balançoire!

I got this Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing from BABIES R US Canada, and it has completely changed my day routine. I can plan things, I can do things, and I have time to finish them - all while being a stay at home mom. Simply because my baby sleeps and stays asleep!How to help your baby nap well

I got this Sweet Little Lamb Cradle n Swing from BABIES R US Canada, and it has completely changed my day routine. I can plan things, I can do things, and I have time to finish them - all while being a stay at home mom. Simply because my baby sleeps and stays asleep!

How to help your baby nap well How to help your baby nap well

Disclosure – this post was brought to you by Babies R US Canada, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

 

 

 

 

10 tips for a better postpartum time and surviving first weeks with a newborn

10 tips for a better postpartum time (1)

As a mom of three now, I had all sorts of postpartums  – there was the first one, when I was exhausted and in shock over my life changing so drastically, the second one, with a postpartum depression, and lately the third one, definitely the calmest of all. Even though my third baby had colics, and even though I already had two older kids around. And I think that it all went so much better this time around thanks to of some things I learned over time.

So If you are pregnant now and trying to imagine and plan how this new chapter in your life will pass, or if you just had a baby and feel overwhelmed, here are some things that may help to have a better postpartum time and survive these first weeks with a newborn :

  1. Give yourself grace. Your body just went through truly amazing transformation and  it’s normal that it takes time to heal. It’s perfectly normal that it looks different now. And yes, once you give birth you still look pregnant for a while! Take these first weeks very slowly. Both with expectations of what you’ll accomplish, as physically.  For some woman it may be a month and more, for some only a week or two but all woman in postpartum need time to physically heal and emotionally adjust.
  2. Don’t fight with your baby’s instincts. While our society may tell us to go out, put the baby in a crib in a nursery and sleep train, these first three months are actually a baby’s fourth trimester – a time when they need to be close to us, feel our presence and be cuddled, nursed and reassured as much as they want. So using a baby carrier ( even at home) , having a little bassinet next to your bed ( or even co sleeping) and not planning too much, might be actually the best things you can do for your baby and your sanity!Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time
  3. Ask for help. Especially if you have older kids. Ask for help while healing and ask for help while being sleep deprived after a month or two with a newborn. It doesn’t make you less of an independent woman to ask and accept help. Remember, it takes a village to raise a kid. And every child is different, so even if you have older kids, you can still feel lost and powerless. Find a breastfeeding consultant as soon as you feel you’re struggling and don’t wait to the last minute to call your health care provider – google search might make you feel just more nervous when in doubd!
  4. Prioritize you and your baby, because everything else can wait. Yes, even the older kids, even the laundry, even the dishes. And there’s no harm in feeding your older kids with sandwiches and cereal for a month or two – if you’re alone and there’s nobody to help you around, it’s totally fine to lower your standards and switch to a survival mode!Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time
  5. Don’t ever talk negatively to yourself. Every time you think : I got nothing done today; I look fat, my belly is to big – you depreciate yourself and the amazing and important work you did and are still doing ! Embrace your postpartum body as it is. Soft, squishy, larger than before. No, you don’t need to “get your body back” you have the same body but more amazing! A body that grew life, gave birth and is maybe even feeding a baby! If you do exercise or try to eat healthy, do it for your well being. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself now.
  6. Do what works best for you and your baby – even if it’s something that you never thought you would do as a mother. And by that I mean whether it’s breastfeeding on demand or bottle feeding, co sleeping and baby wearing all the time, or feeling like you need to leave the house for a just little bit and introducing the bottle and a pacifier earlier than you thought – do what you feel works for you, and don’t let other people’s expectations guide your parenting.Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time
  7. Invest in pretty postpartum wardrobe. Sometimes it means that for a while you’ll be wearing a larger size then you youse to. Don’t ever wait for ” after I lose the weight” to dress pretty and appreciate your body for what it does. Go and get yourself couple of pieces that will fit you in your 4th trimester, with the squishy belly and all.
  8. Repeat to yourself : ” it’s just a phase, it will pass”. Every time your baby has colics, every time you’ll wake up as tired just as much as you where the night before, every time you”ll feel like crying. It will all pass. I promise. Research shows that when we look at challenges as something that will eventually pass, rather then a never ending obstacle, we gain perspective and we’re less stressed in the end!10 tips for a better postpartum time
  9. Find yourself a mama that has been there and that you can call anytime: when you are unsure of your choices, worried and feeling down. Someone that can listen. A real person, and not a google search bar!  Sharing your thoughts with someone who has been there will make you feel less alone.
  10. And lastly, don’t let the mom guilt creep in: whether you’re ” not enjoying every minute of it’ as you thought you would, or you feel that actually you would have it another way. Whether you feel like you’re not doing it right, or fear you’re making a lot of mistakes. It’s normal. You’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.

And know that most women feel the same, but socially we’re expected to express only joy and gratefulness over motherhood. But while it is the most beautiful thing that can happen in life, both rewarding and fulfilling, it’s also a big source of stress and frustration. And it’s only human to feel all the mixed emotions. The love, the gratefulness, the joy. The fear, frustration, and despair. Even in the same day, even all at once. 

And if you’re still pregnant and trying to prepare for the future or if it’s your first baby, just try to take one day at a time. Before you’ll know it, your newborn will turn in to a toddler, and then it’s a whole different story altogether !

 

Great tips and tips from a mom of three- how to seyrvive the newborn phase, and how to have a better postpartum time

 

Healthy breakfast on the go

healthy breakfast on the go

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”
― Robert A. Heinlein

Before becoming a mom to these two little table-climbing monkeys, I used to have breakfast at 9 in the morning. Followed by a big cup of hot cappuccino. And if you’d asked me if I had time to sit and eat in peace I’d say, of course, who doesn’t? Well, a typical mother doesn’t that’s who! Whether it’s because of a crying baby, a running away toddler, or the kids being late for the school bus, moms are always the ones who either forget about their own breakfast entierly, either the ones who eat half burned toast while trying to dress a wiggly child.

So, even though we do know breakfast is important, we usually don’t eat it, am I right? I recently discovered that a study by Burnbrae Farms found out that 1 in 2 Canadians are not consistently eating breakfast, even though nearly all of them know eating a healthy breakfast is important! Well see, mom life isn’t easy.

breakfast on the go

breakfast on the go ideas

But I have recently also found a perfect solution: the EGG Bakes!™ crustless Quiche, that are made with all natural whole ingredients, real eggs and come in plenty of flavour combos to choose from. My favourites are the: “Cheddar, Mushroom and Bacon” and the “Garden Vegetable” ones!

And they take, wait for it,  90 second to prepare! They can be cooked from frozen in the microwave for 90 seconds and are a quick, protein-packed, nutritious breakfast, perfect for eating with one hand while trying to dress a toddler with another!

Though what I actually love about them the most, is that they have really helped me eat my healthy breakfast and stick to my New Year’s resolutions of taking care of my body more!

 

breakfast on the go

breakfast on the go

And last but not the least, they are really delicious, so much so, that these two little fussy girls of mine, started to demand some for them too! And once cooked they smell so amazing, that I have even served them over the weekend to my hubby and parents in law, and they all loved them!

breakfast on the go

So if you also struggle with the hectic mornings like I do, know that you’re not alone! We’re all in this together! But we can also get back on the Breakfast Bandwagon together !

So grab yourself a coupon for 1$ off here, and just take the mornings easy!

Because with these little yummy quiches, you can still eat healthy, and run after your kids in the morning, just like I do!

breakfast on the go

breakfast on the go

 

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Disclosure: While this post was sponsored by Burnbrae Farms, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

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