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NEW MOM MONDAYS CHASING LITTLES
This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Pragati Siddhanti

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I am Pragati—am the co-founder and partner at Be For Beauty. Earlier in 2016, I relocated to the picturesque city of Basel, Switzerland with my 6-year-old daughter and a workaholic husband. After giving up my 6 figure salary and role as an IT manager in India, I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and dedicate this time to grow and hone both our babies, Niyati and Be For Beauty.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have one daughter who is 6 years old. Her name is Niyati
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
While this is something I really struggle with especially after I moved from India to Switzerland but I still manage to squeeze in a lot of “me” time as I always plan my days, weeks and months in advance. I use a calendar to track all my appointments, I make sure I have laundry days marked and I have all the different bags (gym, ballet, school etc.) ready and packed in advance. I seriously plan my meals along with my outings. Even if it’s an hour in the gym, my “me-time” is extremely important to me, and frankly, that’s what keeps me sane.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
I have read a lot of story books to my child even when she hadn’t started speaking, however, I am not a big fan of parenting books. I do read up blogs, and advice by fellow mamma’s through a number of FB groups I subscribe to.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

When she was a little baby, I swore by the bottle steriliser that I had bought from mother care and the swaddle that I used to carry her in while putting her to sleep. It really worked like a charm for us. But now, nothing really, I would really like alternates to netflix and the tablet.

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
I was really unprepared when I brought her home from the hospital. If I could say something to myself, I would say, “Wish you’d have read up more about how to raise a baby vs how your pregnancy is going to be.” In other words, I would have really loved if I had been more prepared for this sea change that happened to me. I was overwhelmed and I went through serious postpartum depression.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
Like I said in my previous answer, I wasn’t prepared and that hurt me quite a bit. I had to rush to the baby stores time and again as the things I had were never enough and I had a very reactive approach to a new born child. I would have loved being more confident and proactive with her. This is when I had learned the importance of planning ahead. (Not at my corporate job, after all this was the most important project I was ever going to manage ;))
♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
1. Plan a child, be ready – emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s not easy dealing with unplanned and accidental pregnancies.
2. Whether you go to those fancy birthing classes or not, make sure you have a lactation specialist by your side. That is more important. Giving birth is an organic and natural process, a woman is sub-consciously trained to do a good job at it – I didn’t practice any of the breathing techniques I learned and I sincerely believe that these classes are over rated.
3. Be prepared to welcome a new member in the house – nothing is ever going to be the same. You will never have the luxury of time so use those 9 months of pregnancy very wisely.
♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

I really say this from my heart, every day with a child in your life is a blessing. Every year gets more fascinating than the one that went by. I don’t know how to pick one, every time she tells me that I am the best mom in the whole wide world, I am overjoyed. Not cuz of the oscar that she keeps giving me, cuz I know that all mothers are the best mothers but that she appreciates all the little things that I do and that she reciprocates the love.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
Giving birth to Niyati has and will be one of the toughest things I have ever done in my life. I still feel that I almost died but then I came back to life because I was a mother and the journey called life was just about to begin. I was past my due date so I was induced, I was obviously anxious as I was late and I was trying all home remedies to go into labour – however nothing was working. The contractions started but the dilation didn’t – hence I was in labour for a good 28 hours. The pain became excruciating during the last hours, the epidural didn’t work as it was put in quite late and I pushed for really long before she arrived. My husband and my sister were right by my side, I really had no love for anyone at this point as I was delirious with pain by the end of it. But when I saw her, she completely took my breath away, I was still being sewed down there when they wrapped her up and got her to me. She was perfect and an absolute miracle!
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood is not for everyone, motherhood is extremely exhausting and rewarding at the same time. Like a wise woman once said, “Having a child is like having a tattoo on your forehead”.

To hear more from Pragati be sure to visit her blog Be For Beauty and follow her on Instagram.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 
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NEW MOM MONDAYS CHASING LITTLES
This post is part of the New Mom Monday series! A series about moms and their advice to new moms! Books and videos can only teach us so much, but there’s something special about hearing from real life moms. Honest, true, and always beautifully inspiring!!
♥ What’s your Name?

Tyane Milem

♥ Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a boymom of four who began blogging while my husband traveled for work. I’m a work-at-home administrative assistant by day and blogger at night. To add on to my full plate, I also homeschool my oldest. When I do have the free time, I love to read, write, cook and bake, spend time outdoors, and watch sports. My idea of a relaxing night involves a good read and glass of wine.
♥ How many kids do you have? What are their names and ages?
I have FOUR boys…Landon is 10, Logan is 8, Rylan is 5, and Greyson is 3.
♥ How do you find your “me time”?
I’m a night owl. My kids go to bed by 8 PM and I spend my time catching up with blog work, reading, or spending time with my husband.
♥ What is the best baby related book you’ve ever read?
What to Expect While You Are Expecting. I read that book each time I found out I was pregnant.
♥ What’s the most useful baby product you have? Why do you love it?

Dr. Brown’s bottles. My oldest had colic, BAD. I used the bottles with him and the other three, and they helped eliminate gas bubbles like crazy!

♥ If you could say something to yourself when you first brought home your first baby, what would you say?
Sleep while the baby sleeps. Even if it’s for 10 minutes. The housework can wait, and this is your time to recover and bond with the baby.
♥ How much planning did you do before your baby was born, and how do you think that it helped or didn’t help?
Not much. We had the basics (the crib, stroller, swings, etc.) and I did some nesting a few weeks before delivery, but nothing major.
♥ What do you believe are the top three pieces of advice a new mom or someone trying to conceive should know?
1. Do not hesitate to ask for help. You need to take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else, especially during the first few weeks.
2. Plan a date night with your spouse every week. You don’t have to go out, but setting aside alone time with your spouse will help you keep a spark in your marriage.
3. Cherish each and every moment you can. It goes by way too fast!
♥ What is your best memory so far of being a mom?

I love that I can stay home with them and watch them grow and learn every day.

♥ Give us the short form version of your birth story.
While I have four different birth stories, I will share my last one. It was a bittersweet moment because I knew it was the last c-section I would have. I would give birth one last time. They prepped me at 9:30 with the spinal block and everything else. Then, they brought my husband in to start the procedure at 9:50. By 10:03 AM, my final son was born (with all the scar tissue in play, I was SHOCKED it went that quick). While I was a little emotional because it was the last time I would experience the birth, I was relieved because I don’t have to face another c-section and long recovery period.
♥ Lastly, for fun, define motherhood!

Motherhood-a memorable, exhausting, rewarding joy ride of your life.

To hear more from Tyane be sure to visit her blog BoyMom Blessed and follow her on Pinterest.

If you would like to participate in New Mom Mondays please feel free to message me by using my contact form! I would love to not only feature you on my blog but learn from your answers, as I’m sure many readers would too! 
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Best Nine Memories from July

What can I say? July was full of ups and downs. Still though, since I write these as the new month starts I can tell you progress has been made.

One

We’re just a month away from hitting our one year mark in our home and since we’ve been here we’ve very much dedicated our time to the first floor. It’s gotten the most love as it’s where we mostly hang out and where we entertain, but over the past little while, I have been lacking in a peaceful feeling when going to bed. Organization is key, but let’s be honest, we don’t put our clothes away right after it comes out of the dryer, it may linger around for a couple days until we have a giant pile that we sort through. But during those in between days we’re in this constant movement of objects on and off the bed, a lack of order and a place for things made me feel like we’d never make progress. The colours were also so dark that it was hard to feel light and airy. Without thinking much more about it we sold the bed frame, moved out unnecessary furniture, and added a couple new fresh wooden pieces that immediately lifted the place up from its darkness. Now we feel so calm going to bed, draped in white and surrounded by so much less. Also, we’ve been very good about folding the laundry right away!

Two

Our wedding anniversary always stretches into July because of Canada Day and there always being a long weekend which we love. We starting the weekend with hitting some softballs at the range! Catching a midday movie and eating so much sushi. The rest of the weekend had us going to the beach and sleeping under the sun. Playing in the water and then sleeping some more. Some board games to close off the long week with mom and Kike was the perfect way to get back into regular life and back to another work week.

Three

I’ve been a workout from home type of girl for many years now. I found that I wanted to switch things up a bit. My mental health beat me down this month and those home workouts were not getting done, adding to the guilt and horrible feelings I was going through. I figured getting out of the house and making a monetary commitment would push me to break away from this lack of activity and it sure has. I just bought 10 one hour sessions with a martial arts trainer who has been kicking my ass. She leaves me breathless and sprawled on the floor in disbelief it’s over but also feeling so energized, strong, and proud of what I just accomplished. After seeing her for a couple weeks I started working out at home, and slowly my motivation has been coming back.

Four

It’s kind of cool how organically and easily your family grows. For many immigrants with little to no blood family around you create this wonderful chosen family. Sure, some of it comes through marriages and children, but it’s kind of wonderful how easily close friends become part of the ‘family club’. Our Latin roots pull us close and the shared pain and history of leaving our loved ones behind keep us leaning on one another. We had a wonderful day at the park with lots of our family. It was a huge event with the typical mountains of food and adorable babies, though this time they featured cute swimming suits to play at the splash pad! Lawn games, good chats and sharing together was a great reminder how many great people we have close.

Five

So, have you heard of Zombies Run? It’s an award winning app that has an incredible story line and incredible voice actors. As you run you get to hear parts of the story, where you’re a key part! You collect items to help the township continue to survive the Zombie outbreak. It’s actually quite entertaining, and a huge motivator to get out there running, jogging or walking, but boy can it be creepy. The sounds of zombies in your ears means you have to run faster or they’ll catch you, and if you manage to hold them off you’ll evade them. I was so motivated I went on two runs on the same day! When you’re having a rough month when it comes to motivation you have to use it up as soon as you get it!

Six

Camping. We thought we’d give it another try. Happy we did, because now we really know we don’t enjoy it 🙂 We had an amazing time hanging out with my closest girls and their husbands, but we had another guest… mosquitos. Hundreds of them. And I’m not exaggerating because Azra had like over 80 bites so… The beach times were great, and talking and sharing with them was wonderful, it always is, no matter where we are. Though sadly, this time we were outside haha. It’s actually quite shocking that we dislike camping that much, so we got right down to it and realized it’s not the sleeping in tents, that part is so nice, and it’s not the fact you have to cook things over a fire, it forces you to slow down which is a great thing to be forced to do. It’s the damn bugs! Who knows… Maybe a fall time camping experience is still in the books and who knows, we may love it! I have my doubts though… The best part of the trip was celebrating some wonderful news we got from our friends, so if there was something to highlight from that trip it was how happy we all were!

Seven

When Sofia, my niece, was a few days old we spent the night with her. (This is also why we pushed off having kids… hahah) but in all seriousness, looking at that tiny human being, it would have been impossible to realize how much more you could love her. As she has gotten older and talks about everything and anything we’ve been able to get to know the special little girl we love so much. Stealing her away to go for ice cream was a nice treat but it also made me think about all the future moments I can’t even imagine that we’ll get to share together. What a joy it is to be an aunt.

Eight

We had a wonderful day visiting Grandma Carmen. Christian’s grandma has Alzheimer’s, the same disease that eventually took the life of my paternal grandmother. I never got to be with my grandma during her illness as she lived in Colombia and soon grew nervous and scared when video skyping with people as she couldn’t recognize us or understand how we were inside a little metal box. I’m grateful for the memories I made with Grandma Carmen. I know how funny she was and she still manages to be! We loved hugging her and getting her to dance and clap along with her childhood tunes. So much love for this old lady.

Nine

This is supposed to be a ‘best memories’ recap. And I will say, this month it was hard to see anything as the best of anything. Days blurred together. My motivation hit the lowest of lows. I struggled with feelings of worthlessness, failure and an overwhelming cloud of sadness. With how much I have learned and read about these things I thought I could fight it off, I thought it would be like a bad cold. I’d be down for a few days and then bounce back up after some long naps. But those naps became all I wanted to do. It’s been an incredibly challenging mental month. I’ve got a road of work ahead of me, I know it. It’s not going to be easy, and right now, everything seems very dark. I felt like I needed to write this blurb to keep this as a part of my history for the month. The goal of these recaps is to be able to have them to look back on and remind myself of how many wonderful moments I was able to experience. Although this is a hard moment, it’s something I hope future me can look back on and feel like a whole new person.

In July I was grateful for…

  • Having a long weekend to celebrate our anniversary, every year haha.
  • Dressing up our room to make it feel very relaxed and calm.
  • Apples and cinnamon. All day every day.
  • Meeting with a nutritionist to figure out why I get bloated so often.
  • Seeing my body get toned.
  • Softball. A work in progress.
  • Being surprised with another day off and going on two runs that same day.
  • Starting with a personal trainer to help push me beyond my comfort level.
  • Although I struggled a lot with my mental health this month, many friends and family were there to support me, I’m grateful for them and the impact they have in my life.
  • Packing up for vacation with friends.
  • Friends who are fun and silly and love having a good time.
  • Bug Spray.
  • Sweaters.
  • Costco food shopping.
  • Grateful kike got to go visit Daniel and Michelle in BC.
  • Making crafty things to help keep my motivation up.
  • Christian for his endless support and his help during a very hard month mentally.
  • Having the fitbit to keep me accountable and competitive even on days I didn’t want to move.
  • Sofia being adorable and old enough to take out to ice cream dates.
  • Visiting Christian’s grandma and seeing her light up at the sounds of her childhood music.
  • Pool day at a friend’s house and fun times with board game people.
  • Wearing a headband and not hating it.
  • Finding a positive way to look at my constant failures at hitting the ball with a bat.
  • Spikes in motivation that help pull me from moments of inexplicable sadness and defeat.
  • Congo being super photogenic.
  • Homecooked meals.
  • Beautiful views as we drive home and to work.
  • Surviving an Insanity workout.
  • Mango and Ice.

Look out for another Best Nine next month to hear all about August!

Mariangelica

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I’ve been struggling with something lately that has kept me from my regular routine. I’ve been thinking about ignoring it and posting about healthy recipes and how to be motivated to workout but honestly, right now, I’d feel like a hypocrite if I did any of those things. I think it’s easy to think I have it all figured out. I rarely do let my walls down as I believe in positivity and sharing all that is good and bright with the world. The dark things, well I keep those to myself, as I do not think they will benefit anyone or make anyone’s day better, and really that’s part of the reason I share so much of me. I want to help, I want others to be well, I want to make you think about something mundane in a new light. It’s something that fills my heart.

When I struggle, and I fall, and I have trouble following my own advice I just go silent. I stop posting for a few days and barely look at social media. And it happens. I often go through waves and I’m working constantly on balance. I like to try things. Everyone knows that one thing about me. They may also know I tend to try hard, and intensely and sometimes I wear myself out in the midst of it all. I need a break I retreat from everything and cocoon myself until I feel recharged and ready to go again. It’s something I’ve done most of my adult life and it has got to stop.

I love how lost I get in the excitement of something new. I love how much of myself I give to people and situations and things I’m interested in. I love all of it. I don’t love the moments I feel down, depressed, crippled with an inability to get up and do anything productive. When focusing on simple tasks at work seem like they will use up all of my remaining gasps of energy and when the idea of making food is so tiring I’d rather sleep for hours on end. Therefore, change has to happen. I write this, still unsure if I will publish it but I’m a writer, and this is how I heal, this is my therapy, this is how I make sense of things and see them for the first time very clearly. It’s like speaking with myself in an uncluttered environment because the page is blank when I start speaking and you can only write one word at a time. The countless things in my mind have to get in line and only one thought can come out at a time. A peaceful reflexion when the haze of everything threatens to take over. I love writing.

Unable to write anything else, I think this will do. I’ve sat down to blog about countless other things this last month, but nothing would come. Sitting here minutes after pouring this out I am sure this is what I needed to do in order to break the wall of my creativity and motivation.

I am doing well and I have an amazing support system in my family and friends. I hope if you’ve been struggling with motivation, getting started on your plans or projects, or simply struggling with getting through the day and still smiling, then know it happens to all of us. We’re always switching from one end of the spectrum to the other. Sometimes you’re up while other times you’re down. No matter the reason, know you’re not alone. And sometimes this cloud leaves as quickly as it came while other times some work has to be done in order to keep it moving right along.

Yay to breaking the wall. Up next, a recap of all the great things June brought with it.

Much love always,

Mariangelica


Photo by Dean Johns on Unsplash

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Best nine memories in June

June was such a whirlwind. It’s my month. The month that signifies love, and commitment. We got married in June, we started dating in June. So many wonderful things happened in June!

One

How wonderful is it to see people in love? This month we celebrated with a wonderful couple that hold a dear place in our hearts, Danielle and Sean! These two are undoubtedly made for each other and weddings just make me happy all over! I was actually incredibly sick the day of their wedding (and a few days before and after) My mind, being the strongest part of me, was too happy about the idea of seeing them walk down the aisle and party and dance that I pushed my sickness away, held it off and danced the night away with the hottest groomsmen in sight (my hubby) and then went home and felt the sickness return with a vengeance haha. Honestly, so much love for those two. I wish them the greatest fun and the best experiences in their life as a married couple, because I think marriage is da bomb.

Two

So, I’m not entirely sure when this obsession with pineapples began, but as I thought about a theme for a house party I wanted to throw for my work friends it seemed to be what kept popping in my brain! I achieved a huge milestone in my career this month and I wanted to thank some of the people that have been most important in my work life with a house party full of tropical goodness. I went slightly overboard. But really, it wouldn’t be my party if I hadn’t. Helium balloons filled the ceiling, hand cut pineapple print outs were everywhere in my house and a ridiculous amount of tropical decorations adorned the place. Including a ginormous pineapple balloon. It was such a wonderful time and a great reminder how important it is to have friends where you work. People you like and people that like you! Others you can have a laugh with or share in intelligent conversations! Tropical Party was a success!

Three

This month, my beautiful niece Sofia had her very first Dance Recital. I’d never attended a dance recital of any kind, and at first thought I’d have to endure 20 other classes of 4 year olds shy-ly dancing the macarena. But to my great surprise, this was quite the production!! Dancers all the way up to the highschool level performed some insanely beautiful and stunning performances that broke up the classes of the youngest students, making them actually really adorable to watch and see how each kid performed their 30 second dance. Other performances were award winning dances previously performed at the national level! The theatre, the lights, the costumes, it was breathtaking. Needless to say when my niece walked out in her costume and did her teapot dance i could barely watch through the tears that filled my eyes. This munchkin is one of a kind.

Four

One morning while getting ready to go to work I thought I’d check my calendar, just something told me to check it, and lo and behold, I had booked a day off for that very same day and had completely forgotten about it!! What a wonderful surprise! Days off are amazing, and only a little better when they get you by surprise. I actually didn’t do anything productive which is a hard thing for me to do! I played video games, watched tv, bummed around in my comfy clothes, played some guitar, played with Congo and enjoyed just being home.

Five

Christian and I treated our family to a Blue Jays game! Sadly the blue jays lost, but the experience was really great! We love being able to be there and be a part of some of their first experiences in Canada. And this, was their first baseball game here! They cheered loudly and actually enjoyed the game regardless of our final score. Loved our time together.

Six

Cam and CJ are some very wonderful human beings and I met them in my early years in highschool, online in some writing forums. Who knew you could make long lasting friendships through forums? But we managed to, and through the years of social media have kept in touch through skype video chats, myspace, facebook and instagram! They took a long train to see us a couple years ago when we visited New York on our long roadtrip, but we only had a few hours back then (And we spent them at a sex museum, haha) This time, they stayed with us as we explored Niagara Falls, brewery tours in KW and learned a few new board games, our mutual love and interest! They also bought their future baby’s first outfit while they were here! It was a super special experience and a memory I’m grateful we now have. They are just as adorable in person as they are online and we can’t wait for the next time our real lives cross paths.

Seven

We had another house guest stay with us for a whole week, Bailey, my furry nephew. This little ball of fluff came to stay with us while my sister and brother in law went camping and at first we were nervous to how Congo would handle having another male dog in the house. Well, let me tell you, they became the best of buds. Short of sleeping together they played like I’ve never seen Congo play and they went on a bajillion walks together. Walking together like totals pros. I think it was a great experience and it actually encouraged us to walk Congo more than we used to (since he’s potty trained to go in his indoor bathroom, he used to get less walks!) Now we’re well balanced with taking him outside or inside and it’s been a positive shift!

Eight

Christian and I got ourselves these little gadgets this month. It has been quite fun to compete with each other and many of our friends in step challenges throughout the weeks. Quite often we do things just because we know it will get us many steps and we’ve gone on more walks than we have in a long time! Now there’s no excuse to be bored! You can always be walking!

Nine

June 29th is our special day. This year we celebrated 4 years since the day we said ‘I do’. We have so many fond memories of our wedding day and all the years before and after. It’s becoming difficult to remember which year we did what but what’s important is that we have grown to love each other more and more as the days go by. There’s no one else I could ever dream of sharing forever with. It’s such an incredible feeling to be so raw and open and vulnerable with another person and feel safe and challenged and pushed to be your very best. We’re each other’s cheerleaders and coaches and although we have grown as a couple and in our marriage we have individually grown too. In our careers, in our personal development, in our beliefs and in what we will accept and refuse. It’s been incredible to discover who we have become. We will continue to dream and create and aspire to be, but also to thank, be grateful for and keep each other grounded in what really matters, family. We celebrated in the way that best suits what makes us happy which is the sun and the water. Lots of beach and sushi.

In June I was grateful for…

 

  • People getting married and love being in the air.
  • A thrifted dress for $14 to wear to said wedding. Score!
  • Christian getting to have some fun as a groomsman.
  • Dancing the night away with Christian, because no flu was going to get me down.
  • Mom, taking care of me when I was sick.
  • Playing softball and consistently playing in the outfield.
  • Homemade sorbets of mango and berries.
  • DIY decor fun times for an awesome tropical party we planned.
  • My friends crushing their goals in out wellness group.
  • Finding a foil pineapple balloon!!
  • Having so many awesome co workers over at our place.
  • Potluck foods and eating Christian’s heaven sent paella!
  • Seeing babies that were just too cute for words.
  • Crying with pride and emotion at seeing Sofia step on the stage during her first dance recital.
  • Being surprised with a day off!
  • Getting my workouts IN.
  • Taking the family to a baseball game for the first time in Canada and having them cheer for our Jays.
  • Being able to take Congo to work.
  • Receiving Cam and CJ from New York and showing them around our side of the world.
  • Exploring Niagra Falls like a tourist.
  • Winning some $$ at the casino.
  • Playing so many new and sweeeeeet board games.
  • Christian’s company hosting us for a brewery tour!
  • Reminders that kids will be kids.
  • Getting a fitbit and being inspired to step up my game because of the competition
  • Seeign Congo interact with Bailey and having two dogs for a week.
  • Realizing two dogs is a lot of work.
  • Homemade cashew butter. What else do I need to say.
  • Massages.
  • Mom getting to visit Meli in Montreal.
  • Christian getting news there’s a way to fix his restless sleep!
  • Watching an awesome asian drama. My guilty pleasure.
  • Celebrating our 4TH wedding anniversary. HOW. HOW?
  • Enjoying our week off to the max and spending so much time together.
  • The beach and the sun.
  • The water and the waves.
  • Sushi.

Look out for another Best Nine to hear all about July!

Mariangelica

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