Do You Ever Get Stuck In A Life Rut?

Do you ever get the feeling like no matter what you do you can’t catch up on LIFE? Never ending laundry, dishes, waiting for the bus to come, picking up after kids and the circle goes round and round? I have for sure found myself in this predicament currently. I feel like my wheels are spinning in place no matter how I try to get ahead.

I wonder if it is just this time of year. That no mans land between summer and winter called autumn where winter routines haven’t kicked in and the change in time affects everyone to varying degrees. Sleep isn’t what it was in August and the weather is just BLAH to say the least. Things just seem to keep ticking on like we are just going through the motions. I feel this hardcore today and for the last week. I’m not feeling depressed just UNACCOMPLISHED and underwhelmed at the same time.

I want to get so much done with my limited free time but I feel like that free time is getting eaten up with the day to day things that never seem to stay DONE! I would LOVE some ideas you have out there in the world on how to get past these things. This is one of those rare blog posts where I don’t have a solution and DARE not give a gimmicky made up solution either. I want to hear from you!

So this is the time in the post where I’m going to go through all the ways you can contact me!

INSTAGRAM: I use Instagram quite often if not every day. Lately I feel like I haven’t even had time to do that! NONE the less you can contact me there @meganplainandtall Please follow me even if you don’t need to contact me. I’m always up for sharing fun photos and not so fun ones like the one above!

EMAIL: You can email me anytime! I am really good at getting back to emails as they come right to my pocket computer (AKA my phone ha ha ha) and love feedback and blog ideas so send what you may!

CONTACT FORM: Oh yes… I have one of those! If you don’t want to leave my site (and why would you want to right?) you can zip on over there to the Contact Me page!

FACEBOOK PAGE: This is in the works… I will update this post when it is ready so you can obviously just click through… One of the things I want to be done but can’t get to until I have fed, bathed, put the kids to bed and all the many other life chores are complete… Check back for that!

PINTEREST: If you are over at Pinterest more than anywhere else… I’m there too! Message me or follow me if you want! @meganplainNtall

NEWSLETTER: I have a newsletter! You can sign up to and get all the site updates on the regular HERE! Do it. For Me? So I feel like I have gotten something done today?

GOOD luck all with getting YOUR life stuff done… when you do… let me know how you did it!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates, that way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Things To Buy For a First Time Kindergarten Student

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

My boy and his friend checking out their new school

So MY SON started Kindergarten in September. I had a very VERY mixed bag of emotions leading up to that life change. With a 2 month old baby I was looking forward to some one on one time with my girl but on the flip side he was my first baby starting school at 3 and a half and I never really was away from him. After he was born I had such an internal shift I never went back to work full time. When he turned One Years Old and it was time for me to go back to work I started to freak out. I couldn’t bring myself to put him in any sort of daycare SO I started one of my own. For a whole year I did home daycare. I loved it. Within that year though we had downsized from a house to an apartment and doing daycare just wasn’t feasible anymore. About his second birthday I got a part time job cleaning in the evenings so I could be with him everyday. That year was great. We did toddler music class, swimming, play dates with play group and all sorts of fun stuff every day. When it was time for him to go every day ALL day I felt a little bit lost and a LOT sad.

 

Waiting for the School bus on the first day

 

ME crying like a blubbering idiot after he got on the bus… I took this to remind me in July how I felt when I left for the first time!

I am a planner and a list maker and I got on top of things in April in preparation for September. I didn’t want to have to go in August to and spend a bunch of money in one big shot. I knew there would be a new baby coming in July so money was going to be tight! So here is my list of what I needed to get, what I got, and my quick review on each item. I hope this helps some moms who have kids who leave to start school for the first time next September! This list will also work for those sending kids to a nursery school or pre-school program as well!

Here Is What You Need:

A Good Quality Backpack:

I did a lot of research on which backpack to get my little man for the big transition. I eventually settled on the Lands End back pack. I decided on this for a few reasons. The main reason was these bags have a lifetime warranty. If my kid drags this bag on the ground all the way from the bus stop to school and it breaks they will replace it no problem. This is HUGE value for me. I have a rough and tumble child so I think its best to cover these bases! They have a great chart for measuring the size of the bag to make sure they will fit your child before you order. I also ordered the previous years design so I saved a substantial amount of money on a great quality bag. I went with the medium size for my guy and its a bit big but I’m hoping to get at least two years out of this bag. So far its needed very little cleaning and has stood the test of a 3 and a half year old starting school and taking the bus on his own.

A Good Quality Lunch Bag:

This is the lunch bag that I decided to go with. It is a large bag that has the ice pack built into it. This was a bonus for me as I see it as one less thing for my kid to loose at school. With the ice pack built in his lunch and snacks will stay cold whether he likes it or not! I did some research to see if I could find a lunch bag that will fit a yumbox (see below) because I had decided early on that I was getting him one for his lunch. Its also a fun pattern and easy to open and close for little hands. It has a zipper but also velcro on the flap. While writing this post I came across this other bag from the same company:

I bought this bag today to try out and see if its a good second option for when the other bag is messy or he doesn’t need to take as much to school. If you want a review on this bag let me know and I’ll do that!

Easy Open and Close Containers For Lunch:

So the word is OUT and a Yumbox is the way to go. The best part about this container is its easy to open AND close for little kids AND adults. The next best part about this product is the leakproof design. The lid has a silicon that suctions to the tray making it leakproof (as long as its closed correctly). You can put liquid or things like yogurt or salad dressing in the tray and it won’t seep into the other compartments. In the picture above I put yogurt and dressing in for dipping. Each compartment is also conveniently labeled so you can give the appropriate amount of each food group. On the right is Protein (I put chicken in this one), the top is Dairy (I put vanilla yogurt with honey in) then top right is Fruit (apple slices of course) and the bottom is Vegetables (cucumbers always go over good at our house) the big compartment in the middle is for Grains (a bowtie pasta salad with Italian dressing and peppers). I bought two of these containers, one in blue and one in green. I ordered these from Well.ca and I warn you they are a bit pricey but in my opinion TOTALLY worth the price. After school started I went to a local shop and bought a snack size version:

This one only has 3 compartments and no labels. It is about half the size of the regular one. This one pictured I put in some Honey Dew melon, gummy candy in the middle and home made nut free trail mix on the right. There are two other sizes of yumbox so you will be able to find one that is right for you and your kids. The hard part is sometimes finding them as they sell out quickly!

Labels for EVERYTHING:

Big Kaboodle™ Label Pack
So now you are sending your kid to school with all this stuff its probably for the best that you send it all with labels on it.  I HIGHLY recommend Mabel’s Labels I was told by a friend they were the best and they really ARE. I use them on everything. My son’s clothes, his lunch bag, his yumbox, his boots, his shoes, his coat… EVERYTHING. They withstand the dishwasher and the laundry so they are high quality. I also tried the iron on labels and put them in his clothes including his underwear. I got the Big Kaboodle™ Label Pack and still have tons of the labels left over so anything that needs replaced or new labels I’m still covered… best value in my opinion!

Easy Open Thermos or Insulated Food Jar:

For the winter months I thought my son would want a warm lunch on occasion. This is the “thermos” I bought him at Walmart. I put a label on both the lid and the metal container so both will come back home at the end of the day. The reason I picked this one instead of a fancy one is simple… I took him to the store and asked him to try and open a few and this was THE ONLY one he could open and close himself. It has a great kid friendly lid that is easy to get on and off.

Easy Open Water or Juice Bottle:

I send juice boxes to school but it is always a good idea to send a water bottle as well. Some days I even fill the bottle with milk so he gets an extra serving of milk. I like this bottle for a few reasons. One is its really easy to clean. Inside the lid is two separate spouts that are removable but stay attached to the bottle. This insures you aren’t getting any mold build up. I always clean mine in the dishwasher and it has lasted a long time. Again I put labels on the lid and the bottle just incase busy hands take the bottle apart. I got this one at Walmart as well but you can also get them from the Contigo site.

Easy On and Off Pants:

They start kindergarten so young now a days. I started when I was 5 years old and my son started at 3 and a half! That being said he was only potty trained for less than a year when he started. It was essential that I sent him in pants that didn’t have buttons or zippers or we would have been in big trouble! Carters and OshKosh have a great selection of pull on pants that are stylish and practical. I also really love the Gap pants as well because they have track pants and other styles that are pull on with or without a draw string.

Shoes:

You will need a good pair of Indoor and Outdoor shoes (and boots in the winter months). I didn’t put any recommendations here as this totally depends on what your child likes and or has already. Both pairs of my son’s shoes have velcro straps for him to do himself as he is not yet able to tie laces. Get what fits and you like. That is the main thing… you both have to like the shoes they wear! As far as boots go I HIGHLY recommend Boggs although they can be very pricey they keep their feet warm and are waterproof. I always splurge in this department and get my son Boggs.

YOUR BIG GIRL PANTS:

Here I am waiting on that first day for the bus to drop him back at home. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and we all survived. You have to put on that brave face for your kid so that they will not be afraid or timid when it comes to school. I didn’t start crying until my son was out of site and really now he loves school. He doesn’t want to miss a day and I’m not sure if its because I was brave for him or if my big girl pants had anything at all to do with it. In the end we all have had a good school experience and everyone deserves that. I hope that you manage and don’t have too much heart break when it comes to starting school.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Also please subscribe to my email updates! That way you will stay in the loop of what is coming to the blog!
Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Taped Canvas Art

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

One of our favourite art projects we did was one I found on Pinterest. It is this Easy Toddler Paint Project:

I took this one to another level by masking out the letters on each individual canvas to spell out names.

I went to our local dollar store and got some inexpensive canvas’. I then used painters tape to mask off the letters. I didn’t spend a lot of time doing this as I did this for a 2 year old to paint and didn’t want them to be too fancy. If you are a a Cricut mom you could cut the letters out on that with vinyl or card stock and make a stencil.  On one of them I also taped off the outside edge of the canvas for a different look.

After a while my two year old was over this project so I ended up doing some of the finishing touches. I can say that he completed the “J” all on his very own the rest Mommy helped. I just used acrylic paint that we had laying around from other projects.

If you attempt this project please let me know how it turns out in the comments below or DM me on any of my social media!

HAPPY CRAFTING!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

A Slight Delay To My Blogging Adventures

So I tried my very hardest to be extremely prepared with this blog. I have set up the rough templates for over 72 posts starting back in April 2017. As I got progressively more pregnant my energy level depleted and I got all of a whopping 2 posts complete and scheduled to start posting July 1st 2017.

My plan was to get more done than I ever possibly could but FEAR NOT! I will be back at it soon because…

Early in the morning July 1st 2017 SHE CAME! Without warning and faster than expected a whopping 8lbs 9oz my second baby arrived! A full head of dark hair that I never expected and I’m totally in love!

That being said it will take me a few weeks to get used to this juggling act that is having two kids! After that I should be able to fire out 3 posts a week as I have them all set up and ready to finish!

Thanks for reading what I have done so far and stay tuned! I promise it will be worth it!

MEG

Our First Trip to The ER

Full Disclosure: I have included some affiliate links within my posts. I only recommend products I would use at home or have used in the past. Please feel free to make a purchase through these links as it won’t cost you anymore money but will help me support my blog. THANKS and happy reading!

I have been pretty lucky as a mom. My son has mostly only been to the doctor for his scheduled checkups and has over all been pretty healthy. When he was about 15 months his winning streak changed and we had to make an unexpected trip to the Emergency Room.

The little guy hadn’t been himself all day. I had a feeling he was getting sick but he didn’t have a very high temperature. I decided to give him a dose of baby Advil or Infant Tylenol before bed and that seemed to do the trick. He went to bed without any issues at all. I was running around after he was in bed doing dishes and laundry didn’t think much more about how he was feeling hoping that he would sleep it off. About 9 o’clock my husband headed downstairs to his man cave and I settled into the couch to watch something on HBO likely.  About 10 o’clock I was getting ready for bed with the baby monitor in hand. As soon as I had my pyjamas on I heard something on the monitor that sounded like knocking.  My gut told me instantly that something was wrong. I give TONS of credit to my Motorola MBP16 Audio Monitor. When I went in to check MY BABY was having a seizure with his head banging on the crib and I went into complete INSTINCT mode. I picked him up and put him on the floor in the hallway where there was light and yelled at my husband at the top of my lungs “CALL 911!!!”

My husband ran up the stairs as fast as he could grabbed the phone and ran to where I was with the baby on the floor (still convulsing) and communicated between myself and the dispatch person. The longest minutes of my life that felt like hours as he reassured me that help was on the way. It didn’t feel like very long our local police department were walking through the door. At this point the seizure subsided but my little boy was whimpering on the floor like I had never seen before. I could tell that he was warmer than normal and that something wasn’t right. I kept repeating over and over “Its OK baby, you are going to be alright.” In hindsight I feel kind of embarrassed about that but in the moment there wasn’t anything else I could do as we waited for the paramedics. When they finally arrived they checked him over and decided to take him to the hospital as a precaution.

I grabbed my coat without thinking that I was still in my pyjamas (shorts and a tank top) and followed my baby boy on the stretcher into the back of the ambulance. My husband hopped into our car and followed us on the 20 minute drive to the local hospital. Longest 20 minute ride of my life (followed in a close second to the drive to the very same hospital to have him only a year and a bit prior) but I was glad he was on his way to see the doctors. At this point he was scared. He cried the whole way there even with the amazing paramedic trying to cheer him up with a teddy bear. He was unconsolable. My poor boy seemed as though he had woken up and became aware of all of what was happening and he did not like it at all. It was like waking up to a horrible dream. We finally arrived at the hospital and waited only a little while before a doctor came to check him out. The doctor assured us that he was fine and that it is common for babies to have seizures when they have high fevers. These are called febrile seizures. I went through the timeline of our evening and the doctor explained that I probably didn’t give little man the correct dose of Advil for Infants or Tylenol.

My baby at this point had come around and was smiling and flirting with the nurses like his usual self. I can’t recall (as it was so long ago) if I had given him Tylenol or Advil but it was right around the time of a huge Canadian recall of children’s Advil and in hindsight I wonder now if I had one of the recalled bottles? It isn’t important anyway because it all turned out in the end. No harm done but a big wake up call for all of us!

I thought it would be a good time to go over what to do if your baby has a fever. You can never go over this info enough! Be prepared so you aren’t caught off guard! I got this information from The College of Family Physicians  of Canada website so be sure to check what applies where you are from.

Most Doctors would consider a fever a temperature over 37.5°C (99.5°F) when taken orally (by way of the mouth). It is also important to remember that a fever is the way the body is naturally trying to fight whatever the cause is so try to remember it will be more scary for you than it is actually dangerous! The site says:

“If your child is between 3 months of age and 4 years of age and has a low-grade fever (up to 37.8°C [100.2°F]), you may want to avoid giving him or her medicine. If your child is achy and fussy, and his or her temperature is above 37.8°C (100.2°F), you may want to give him or her some medicine.”

The site also recommends the following for dosing of Tylenol (or Acetaminophen):

Age

Weight

Acetaminophen dose (every 4 hours)

0 to 3 months Less than 13 pounds Ask your family doctor
4 to 7 months 13 to 17 pounds 80 mg
8 to 18 months 18 to 23 pounds 120 mg
1.5 to 3 years 24 to 32 pounds 160 mg
4 to 5 years 33 to 45 pounds 240 mg
6 to 7 years 46 to 61 pounds 320 mg
8 to 9 years 62 to 78 pounds 400 mg
10 to 11 years 79 to 98 pounds 480 mg
12 years or older 99 pounds or more 650 mg

It is also recommended that no matter what to keep your child well hydrated and comfortable. You should call the doctor in the following situations:

  • Under one month old. Call your doctor right away if your baby’s temperature goes over 38.0°C (100.4°F) orally or 38.5° C (101.3°F) rectally, even if he or she doesn’t seem sick. Your doctor may want to see your baby and may want to put him or her in the hospital to find out what’s causing the fever. Babies this young can get very sick, very quickly. Also call your doctor if your baby has any of the warning signs listed below, even if he or she isn’t running a fever.
  • One to three months old. Call your doctor if your baby has a temperature of 38.5°C (101.4°F) even if your baby doesn’t seem sick, or a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) that has lasted more than 24 hours. Also, call if your baby has any of the warning signs listed below.
  • Three months to two years. If your child has a fever of 38.6°C (101.4°F), watch how he or she acts. Call the doctor if the fever rises or lasts for more than three days, or if your child has any of the warning signs listed below. If the temperature is 39°C (103°F), call your doctor even if your child seems to feel fine.
  • Over two years old. If your child has a fever of 38.6°C (101.4°F), watch how he or she acts. Call the doctor if the fever rises or lasts more than three days, or if your child has any of the warning signs listed below.

Call your doctor if your child has any of these warning signs:

  • Changes in behaviour
  • Severe headache
  • Constant vomiting or diarrhea
  • Skin rashes
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat that doesn’t improve
  • Earache that doesn’t improve or pulling at ears
  • Stiff neck
  • Fever persisting over several days
  • Stomach pain
  • High-pitched crying
  • Swelling on the soft spot on the head
  • Irritable
  • Unresponsive or limp
  • Not hungry
  • Wheezing or problems breathing
  • Pale
  • Whimpering
  • Seizures
  • Sore or swollen joints

I hope this helps you to know what to do with a sick baby. I also hope that you never have to go through what my family did that night!

BE HEALTHY! BE SAFE!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family! Pin IT, Like IT on Facebook, email IT to your relatives, or whatever gets the word out! Thank you for your support and time! XO Meg

Why I Wanted a Second Baby

So I am due with my second baby this week! As any of you other moms who have had babies know the last 4 weeks seem to be the longest of your life! This pregnancy seemed to fly by in comparison to my first. Although I have been reminded almost daily how much I’m “not really that into” being pregnant. I’m ready to welcome my next miracle into the world and start this new phase of mothering.. being a parent of two!

So both of my kids were “planned” and in that period of time there were a lot of check lists and mental notes that were made. The one that I’m going to talk about in this post is “Why I Wanted a Second Baby

When I was the ripe old age of two I became a big sister. I do not remember this time in anyway at all LOL that being said I don’t remember a time I didn’t have my little sister in my life. We of course went through our normal sibling issues of jealousy, bickering and physical violence. I know that there were some bad fights (especially in our pre-teen years) where we both decided we would never be able to live knowing the other and could never forgive one another for some horrible fight. After some maturing we both made it out the other side as best friends. I know that my sister is the one person in the world who has been through a lot of similar experiences and no matter what she will be there to lean on or just to listen to what I have to say without judgement. I don’t have a lot of friends still kicking around from elementary school… except her. I have a few high school friends I keep in touch with but NONE that I talk to as much as her. When I had issues with my parents at anytime in my life the ONLY person who could relate this with was my sister. My baby sister is my tried and true shoulder to lean on. My husband was an only child until he was 20 years old. He went through all of those same experiences without someone to be his “forever buddy.” The security of having that person who is a piece of you but a different person completely is something that I have always wanted for my children. I can’t fathom a world in which I didn’t have a sibling so I think it is only fair to my offspring to have that same relationship in their life.

When August 2016 rolled around and I realized that my first born son would be heading off to kindergarten in September of 2017 I realized how the stars were aligning for my second child. I had a very similar realization with my son when I saw my 30th birthdayon the horizon and planning for baby #1 became a serious discussion for my husband and myself. Both times I got pregnant pretty much right away thankfully (so many people aren’t so lucky) almost quicker than expected or planned! Timing will work out this time that as precious baby #2 arrives I will be home for 6 weeks with both kids then Mr. Baby #1 will head to kindergarten. This will be hard as I’ve been home for the majority of his 3 years but also good for myself and Miss Baby #2. I think I would be a lot more lonely with him off to school (even if I went to back to work full time) if the timing didn’t work out this way than I would be able to admit.  I’m hoping to have posts up in the coming months that address these feelings and topics more!

I am naturally a long term thinker. It may sound morbid but I do on occasion contemplate a world after I am dead and gone and more so since becoming a mother. That brought up feelings of what if tragically my husband and I were gone at the same time leaving my son behind. I would want him to have that “forever buddy” to continue family traditions with. Extended family like my parents and sister would of course be part of his life but I would “rest” easier knowing that he had that one (or more…) person in his life that had childhood memories and rituals to relate to. I’m not delusional and realize they may not get along and they may not see eye to eye their whole life but I hope that I can teach them about how important and rewarding a sibling relationship can be.

The last point I’m going to make about this topic is that OF COURSE I had baby fever and this played a part in my choice to have a second baby. My sister, two cousins and a few friends all were pregnant. I longed for that sweet sweet smell of a baby in my arms again. Of course I could have subdued this urge with one of the many babies around or on the way but there is nothing like having your own sweet sweet babe in your arms or snuggled into your chest in a baby carrier. I could not imagine NEVER feeling that feeling of embracing my own brand new child close again. Now that I’ve been THIS pregnant for what seems like forever I have come to terms that this is most likely my last baby. I don’t think I can manage being pregnant again… and come out sane on the other side. I’m not going to say never or its impossible but I think that two babies is a good number and a family of four is a pretty perfect round number. Stay tuned though… you never know when that baby fever is going to hit again!