Times have changed!

When Phoenix and Declan were born we did not venture far. I drove home to my parents and Grandparents and that was about it. I didn’t even take them grocery shopping on my own until they were 5 months old and of course that was a shit show! When the boys were finally able to sit up well in high chairs Nick and I took them to a restaurant. As weird as it may sound, this was kind of an exciting adventure for us…we felt like adults lol Of course people ogled the boys because well….people like babies…and twins! The cuteness wore off quickly when the server brought the food late and it was piping hot. the boys were starving, we ran out of snacks and of course the crayons the darling waitress brought our babies were not going to suffice. We ended up boxing up all our meals and leaving. defeated. I think we may have tried it another time but I can’t imagine it went well as I do not remember!

So I recently took the boys on an all day event, a last hurrah for the summer! We got hair cuts and went to Walmart, then bowling and laser tag! We also went to East Side Mario’s for lunch. part of me had anxiety walking in, flashbacks of years before but I had high hopes!

It went perfectly. Granted they are much older, seven, seven and five, but you just never know right? They were so excited to order whatever they wanted, got some fancy kid drinks and couldn’t believe they got free dessert with their meal! They sat in their seats and we talked about our day and the days to follow, our plans for the rest of summer and school starting in a few weeks. It was like a bunch of old friends hanging out! Phoenix even apologized when he couldn’t eat all his pizza, said he was sorry I wasted my money. she I told him we could box it up and take it home he was shocked!

I am so happy that we have come to this point where we can go to restaurants…or anywhere….and not have to worry about behaviour. I don’t have to pray they will sit still and I don’t have the instant headache and mom sweats from stress of kids in public! lol

They cannot wait to go back, They want to try everything on the kids menu!

Back to school

It’s that time of year again! Back to school! That time of year where news feeds are flooded with semi happy kids with new backpacks waiting at the bus stop and sad momma’s crying in the car as their babies leave….I am not one of those moms. I’m no robot but my first day of school journey is definitely a happy one!

When Phoenix and Declan first started school it was a blessing. Daycare costs for those two were out of control and we had three kids in daycare to pay for. So when they started I was overjoyed (and so was our bank account) When Mason started I wasn’t sad because he was sooooo ready. He needed to go school. Although I was sad to take him away from his ‘babysitter’… She might have been more first day of school sad then I was.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do feel a little a little twinge of sadness as my babies grow up and become little men. Phoenix and Declan are in grade 2 this year and Mason is in SK. Time is flying by! I may even shed a tear when Nixon goes to school, after all he is my baby! But overall, the first day of school signifies new beginnings for our little family. When your kids come home with what they’ve learned it in that day it just blows me away how smart they are, how much they are retaining and how grown up they are getting. It’s a new stage where I don’t want them to stay babies but wanting them to flourish into boys, like real boys. I can carry on a conversation with them and I have been known to learn a thing or two from my smarty pants 7 year olds!

So big hugs to the sad momma’s but cheers to our kids learning new things everyday that help make them into perfect little beings! Cheers to routine and early bedtime, making new friends and hanging out with their old ones.

Happy first day everyone!

Just five minutes

When I was little my mom bought my sister and I this book called ‘Five minutes peace’ about this elephant family. Every time the Mom went to the washroom her kids would barge in and she would yell just five more minutes!

I never really understood it and quite frankly I feel like I was a tad bit offended by it or at least I felt like I should have been. It stuck with me every time I knocked on the door when my mom was in there I would remember that book I still knocked but it made me think of the book LOL

Now that I am a mom and have kids of my own I 1000% get the book. They won’t talk to me for hours and then the second I get into the shower and leathering up my shampoo The Knocks start coming. I have to go pee, I have to go poo, I need to get dressed, what’s this? can I have that? And all I want is five more minutes!

So I will publicly apologize to my mother for always knocking on the bathroom door at the most inopportune times… Because I know now how crazy that made her ….because I know how crazy it makes me!

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The illusion

While shopping on Amazon (obviously Online shopping) recently I bought a new bathing suit for our trip to the cottage. Without even thinking I put the size I almost always have been into my cart and purchased it. It arrived a couple days later and I couldn’t wait to try it on!

It was swimming on me (no pun intended) it was wayyyy too big! This is when I remembered I had lost weight. I know that sounds silly but when I look in the mirror I don’t see what others see. I see ‘always room for improvement’. I mean I’m not crazy…I know i have lost weight but I guess more then I thought.

So I was thinking about this during my endless work day. Why do women alway think they need to constantly improve?

I remember years ago a friend of mine saying she needed to lose ten pounds. I laughed because I didn’t think she did, She looked great! But she explained to me that although I didn’t think she did, she didn’t feel great where she was, weight wise. I couldn’t see what she saw.

I think this is something many of us struggle with and I can’t figure out why.

Why can’t we take the compliments? I was once told my hair looked good…. I panicked and told them I hadn’t showered that day… Hi my name is Julie and I’m Awkward! Another time a guy commented on my truck… Something to the effect of big truck for a cute girl and I again panicked and told him I had three kids and drove off…

I am trying daily to take the compliments, to compliment myself on my hard work and to try not to struggle to see what others see. I suggest we all try that!

One day we will all be happy to be us, whoever that is!

The Cottage

Five years ago a friend told me about this cottage she rented out. I begged her to ask the owner if he would consider renting it to Nick and I, our 2-year-old twins and our 6 month old. I had always wanted to have a vacation spot to take the kids every summer and camping just wasn’t our thing. The owner agreed and we booked it for a week in June. It was perfect. The kids had a blast, we had a blast and the cottage was perfect for our little family. We went on daily walks, beach trips and of course the park multiple times a day!

Our second year we invited my best friend Ash, which ended up being perfect because Nick had to go to school and couldn’t make it up until the end of the week. Ash and I laid out while the kids rode circles around us on their bikes on the gated front deck.

Third year Nick, Ash and I and three kids made the trek and again had a busy awesome relaxing week!

Year four goes a little differently. Our cottage crew jumped from 6 to 8 people. two month old Nixon was a big fan and Ash’s boyfriend Justin came too! With all those people and all those kids we had the best trip yet! Lazing around watching movies, walk, park and of course digging tunnels at the beach!

Every year we go back to this cottage. The owner has become a friend and the scenery is just as perfect as the first year! We’ve even had a few girls trips up there too, which I don’t have to tell you how those went…but they were as awesome as you’d imagine!

As we head up there for our fifth consecutive year I am hopeful that this will be even better than previous years! We are building memories for our kids and for us too! The boys cannot wait to go back every year and promptly ask as we leave at the end of the week, when are we coming back?! Rain or shine this week away is always one for the books! With our kids and our best friends to enjoy it with us!

Hot mess Mom

So this past weekend I went to Walmart with 3 out of 4 kids. Not uncommon, the boys are all old enough now that it isn’t a shit show when we go into public. (Keep reading)

We had some errands to run and I promised them a new game for their PS3 (mommy guilt gift) After doing the mall then venturing to walmart my cart was full. then I remembered I wanted a mailbox for the front of our house so we searched  high and low (i tend not to ask for help) After looking for what seemed like forever I gave up, Amazon it is! So we went to check out. I loaded all my stuff on the belt and went to grab my wallet….gone. Panic mode. I tell the cashier and he tells me to go ahead and look for it, he would continue to cash me out. So i tell the boys, and being my children they panic as well and start looking. only they ran off to look. I grabbed nixon, who by the way is over 20 lbs and start to retrace my steps. In the back of my mind realizing phoenix and Declan had run off to look for my wallet and I couldn’t see them. So I’m looking for my wallet, and my children and lugging a 20 lb baby around with me…in full on panic mode frantically looking at the ground while i ran/walked through Walmart.

I’m at the back of the store and hear “Julie Campbell come to customer service, Julie Campbell” Yessss they found my wallet! I rush up to the front and see Declan standing there with a crowd of employees. He’s smiling and says “Mommy i got lost” At least we know he knows what to do if he does get lost! But did you find my wallet?! No….the employees look at me like I’m a monster because I asked that but seriously, I knew the kids would turn up, my wallet, not so sure.

So I have phoenix and declan and i’ve found an empty card to put Nixon in so we are still searching. I remind them that our 10 free hours from the trampoline park are in my wallet and they freak out and search harder. I text nick some profanity about losing my wallet and realize it’s gone forever and we aren’t getting groceries today either.

Defeated I go up to customer service one last time….Did anyone turn in a wallet?! Yes they did! Phewwwww I can breathe! I can get groceries! I don’t have to pay for the trampoline park! lol The lady at the desk says “wow lost your kid and your wallet in one day!” Listen woman, I don’t need your attitude I’m a hot mess and I know it, no need to point it out!

We pay for our groceries, leave the store and the kids ask if we can go to McDonalds….to which I reply…Heck no! We are getting out of this damn city!

Ughhhh hot mess Mom day for the books!

Weird kids

Do your kids have weird quirks? Do you ever wonder where they get it from? Sometimes I can’t believe the things my kids come up with.

Phoenix where’s long sleeves and pants on the hottest day of the year. I cannot change that. Someone will surely call CAS on be for ‘giving my kid’ heat stroke. He won’t wear t-shirts, only muscle shirts and all last summer he wore socks with his sandals. Annnnd he does not like chocolate! Weird.

Declan only likes vanilla ice cream, he will only wear one hat (his camo Bass Pro one) and has to wear it all the time. Neither kid likes to be naked and none of them like bubbles in their bath!

It takes forever to convince them its summer and time to wear shorts then when it turns colder it takes another forever to get them to put their pants and long sleaves back on.

Mason will generally wear anything…but likes to dress in costumes (batman, Lego man, Mario) He loves butter! Butter sandwiches or just sticking his finger into the butter.

They hate when we sing out loud around them and heaven forbid mommy dances in the kitchen.

Nixon is too young for quirks yet… But I’m sure under the advisement of his big brothers, he will follow suit lol

Digital Book Report – MARK 9057

***This is part of a project for my Social Media Marketing course, but have a read anyway if you are at all interested in learning how things go viral! It’s really quite interesting!

Digital Book Report

Contagious; why things catch on

By Jonah Berger

 

I chose to read Contagious by Jonah Berger. This book explains in great detail “why things catch on” laid out for us in STEPPS… a mnemonic used to illustrate the six principles in creating a viral campaign.

 

Social Currency: Will it make people seem cool or smart if they share this?

 

Triggers: Things that trigger a memory of a product; Top of the mind means tip of the tongue

 

Emotion: If it pulls on our heart strings and gives us the feels. “When we care, we share”

 

Public: The more public something is the more apt people are to share it “Built to show, built to grow”

 

Practical Value: how to’s get shared, useful content to help yourself and others “News you can use”

 

Stories: Great stories travel fast; people love a good storyteller and tend to share the tale with others

 

 

 

The examples in this novel are up to date and easily relatable. From the new Kit Kat campaign ‘Kit Kat and coffee’ to Rebecca Black’s annoyingly catchy song ‘Friday’ Jonah Berger is able to take all things relevant in todays society and show us why it became so popular and what steps they took to make it go viral.

 

This book shows the reader everything they already knew, but didn’t actually know. He walks us through how marketing teams use trigger words to spark something inside us to purchase a Kit Kat on our coffee break or want Cheerios for breakfast.

 

By using the six principals in any marketing situation we are shown we can make anything ‘Contagious’ I was so impressed with this book and look forward to using this knowledge going forward on my social media platforms!

Baby steps

When Phoenix and Declan turned 4 months old I could not wait to feed them their first bite of baby cereal. The funny thing about that is…you just can’t stop after that. They grow accustom to eating real food and you have to do that three or more times a day. Weird right? When they showed signs of crawling, Nick and I worked on it every night before bed with them, right knee, left knee, right knee. We were through the roof when they started crawling! What smart little babies! But then they just keep crawling….and that eventually turns into walking! Surprisingly enough we did the same thing with Mason (didn’t learn our lesson) We pushed for him to crawl, practiced walking every night and eventually he was off and running!

With Nixon (let me remind you he is the fourth child) we were not haven any of that. We chose not to bribe him with toys to make him army crawl, we didn’t stand him up to furniture, nothing. We did not promote movement of any sorts. Don’t worry, he was fine. He was just happy to sit and watch the world around him, not a care in the world! And besides, he has 3 older brothers so he wanted for nothing.

Nixon did not crawl until 11 months (My Gramma coaxed him into crawling, we might have gone longer) and he didn’t eat real food until 9 months (i think)  Let me tell you that last month of mat leave was busy! I didn’t get a thing done! Babies are busy when they are on the move!

Do what you want with your kids, but I knew Nixon wasn’t going to have to be carried into his kindergarten class, I knew eventually he would crawl and eventually he would eat food. We let him be a baby and be doted on and didn’t have to chase after him for 11 whole months. We had a pretty stress free first year!….(well 11 months)

Real food, real talk

I feel like there is pressure to make sure your kids eat healthy. From birth there is ‘breast is best’ and many different formulas on the market claiming to have it all. When they start eating solids we are told to make our own, fresh organic food, steamed and puree. I did all that. with all my kids. made their baby food by hand, only the best fruits and veggies (maybe a little lax with Nixon) When Phoenix and Declan were babies it was all organic. No hotdogs, no cheese whiz, no Kraft dinner. When they first went to daycare I sent them with food because they didn’t offer organic options and my kids were not eating processed foods!

One weekend away at Granny and Poppas and the kids developed a taste for the finer things in life. Hot dogs and Kraft dinner. I was not impressed with my Dad for introducing them to this world. But as life got busy and they got even more fussy I quietly realized these ‘crap’ foods were the ticket to making my kids eat a full meal! They ate fruit well but veggies have never been there forte…still aren’t.

The same can be said for Mason, although he tried more things, as long as his brothers weren’t around to tell him it was gross.

Now Nixon, number four. I still had hopes of a good healthy first year. avocado, banana, greek yogurt, chicken, broccoli, all the good stuff. One night he wasn’t eating. I tried everything in the fridge and he was not having it. If i got it in his mouth he would spit it out…if i got it in his mouth. At my wits end I reheated some Kraft dinner the boys had left and through it on his tray…didn’t the little bugger inhale it! Every last piece, then begged for more! For one second i felt as though I had failed, all my hard work trying to give him a distinguished palate and here he was downing noodles with powdered cheese on them. But then I realized I hadn’t failed…you just can’t fight city hall.

And so in closing, I leave you with this, it’s much easier to swim with the current then against it. Don’t stress yourself out, the kids will be fine.