Rainy Daze (with kids)

What do you do on a rainy day?

For me, it used to mean making an entire pot of tea to myself, walking over to my stack of books, grabbing my favourite throw (and maybe a few cookies) before settling down to read the day away.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh, I’m so sorry. Doesn’t that sound idyllic and wonderful though?

Now, rainy days mean being trapped inside (my inner voice saying “you have no excuse not to do that chore you’ve been putting off!“) with a rambunctious little kid.

So what do I actually do on a rainy day?

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Rainy Day Activities

 

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Messy Crafts 
It seems counter intuitive to do messy crafts when you can’t make the mess outside (for easier cleanup) but hear me out. If you have a few old sheets or plastic table clothes, the cleanup from your kitchen table shouldn’t be any worse, and afterwards? A nice warm bath! You can even do this with your teeny tiny kids. N enjoyed splashing paint everywhere when she was only a few months old. ūüėČ Some ideas for babies, little kids, and¬†bigger kids.

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Build a Village 
This was technically a favourite activity of mine and my brother’s on rainy or sick days. It works for any sort of age group, and with any toys (and non toys!) you have. Use your megablocks/legos/to build basic structures or place a shoe-box on it’s side. Use your tiny kids meal toys, stuffed animals, action figures, or even salt and pepper shakers (ours were shaped like cats!). Half the fun is building up the village, the other half is destroying it! (Okay, and it might be fun to actually play with it too)

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Forts
I really don’t think this needs to be explained at all¬†but here are a few ideas if you’re looking for inspiration! Here are some¬†easy forts,¬†and sofa fort blueprints,¬†and you can always set up a tent inside. Try using an umbrella, and don’t forget all your stuffed animals, action figures, and of course, some twinkle lights!

Movie Marathon 
Pssssst. I have a confession. Sometimes we have rainy movie days. We sit around on our butts for hours, lazing about the couch (sometimes in our forts) cuddled up with blankets and popcorn. I have chronic pain that flares when it’s damp, so occasionally I don’t have the choice in letting myself and my daughter relax on a rainy day. Regardless of your health, there’s no reason to beat yourself up for not doing a ton of crazy activities. Sometimes unwinding is enough. Your kids will be happy to have a happy, chill mama. I promise. Becca wrote a list of rainy day movies, which includes some of my favourites to watch with little ones as well. E.T. anyone?

Video Games
On that similar note, rainy days are the perfect excuse for video games and TV. Especially if you get right in and join your kids! One¬†of my favourite memories is¬†of my mom joining my brother and I to play Need For Speed¬†during a thunderstorm when we thought the power was going to go out any second. Thrilling, exciting, and so fun to have her with us. I can’t wait to be able to teach N how to properly play Sims, or games on the Wii. She already loves taking the xbox remote (and can get to Netflix all by herself, which I’m not sure is a good thing?) so I’m happy to pass our passion right along.

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Fun Food 
When the weather is wet and cold, I love a good chili or soup to warm me up. Let your little one help in the kitchen! Even if it’s just playing with some of the chopped up veggies or beans ūüôā When they’re old enough, placing things in the pot, and having it be their job to “stir occasionally” is always rewarding.¬†Other fun rainy day foods that your kid will love helping with? Nachos, DIY personal pizzas (even just on naan is always a hit!), fresh baked cookies (I like these healthy ones that my 18 mo helps “stir”!) and air popped popcorn (with way too much butter and a “toppings bar” from my spice cupboard).¬†Never underestimate involving your kid in your “chores”. Being with you¬†and being a part of what you’re doing is often magical to them, and rewarding for us.

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Puddle Jumping
If it isn’t pouring or thundering out there, GO GET WET!¬†What else are rain boots good for? I found waterproof pants at Walmart for a steal, and with boots, and a raincoat N is good to splash and race leaves down the driveway till her hearts content (or until I’m too soggy to take it!) There’s a reason I placed this on my Spring To-Do List,¬†it’s a favourite family activity! Plus, similar to making a big mess in the kitchen, afterwards there’s nothing like a warm bath. Maybe followed by a movie, watched with some popcorn in your fort?

I hope these inspired you to enjoy your next rainy day.¬†Here’s to making the most of it!

  • xo, Kris

One

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At 7:46 yesterday, we were headed to German dance, with our daughter. At 7:46 last year we were headed to the hospital, ready to meet our baby squidly. It didn’t go unnoticed, and it was a weird feeling; to so strongly have a sense of time passing.

She woke up at 00:01 and I went in to rock her back to sleep. I held her until 14 after, the minute she was born. I sang her happy birthday, and brought her to her Daddy to get a birthday kiss. I placed her back to sleep, snuck out of her room, and bawled my eyes out. Which of course woke her up completely, so I played with her a bit to soothe her. After all, it is her birthday. It was hearing her giggle, and then snuggle up to me with a book that put me at ease. She was doing okay. I was doing okay. We made it a whole year! We are raising a happy, loving, spunky, little human.

Happy Birthday Squidly. Mammi loves you.


This was written two days before my daughter’s actual birthday, when she officially turned 52 weeks. The above was written today, the day my daughter officially turned one year old.¬†

Okay, deep breath. You can do this.

52 Weeks. 364 Days Old. My daughter is one. year. old.

Cue tears. Let’s try again.

Even those numbers are correct as I’m writing this, she’s not OFFICIALLY one year old until her birthday. I have two more days. For now. I will revel in her being my almost¬†one year old. I can do this.

Deep breath.

People ask me, bluntly, often rudely, how it happened, and do I regret it? As if somehow it was even remotely possible to regret this amazing, sweet, mischievous, incredibly happy, bundle of joy that has entered my life. Plus, if it were, would I admit it to you, rude acquaintance? No. And no, I do not regret anything. I never will.

People ask me about how it was to have an accidental pregnancy. A friend who knows the situation well retorted once with “It was a spontaneous decision, not a planned accident.” I didn’t slip and fall on a banana peel, and we knew that if we moved forward I was almost certain to get pregnant. It was a year earlier than we planned. We changed the plan. Not an accident. So I don’t know how it feels to have an accidental pregnancy. Moving on.

I lived separate from A for the first 5 months of my pregnancy. It was interesting, it was tough, and it probably wasn’t the smartest decision for either of us. But it was the best decision for all of the people we shared homes with. It meant I wasn’t alone when he worked an 80 hour week. We didn’t get to figure out what it was like to live as a couple just as us. Maybe that would have made it easier, or maybe the change would have been even harder.¬†It was what we did, and it worked out. We lived together eventually. We bought a house together, recently. We share a house. We are building¬†our home.

My pregnancy itself wasn’t that difficult. I had another, still non-diagnosed, issue. It’s what allowed me to find out I was pregnant before 4 weeks. It’s also what stopped me from working enough to get mat. leave, and made it so I spontaneously couldn’t walk at times. I had a few breakdowns. I felt alone, as a young mother, but not a teen, I feel massively left out. My sister is 9 years older than me, and so her group of friends (some of whom were my “big sisters” growing up), mostly have and were having small children. That was a saving grace.¬†One of the midwives on my “team” was out to get me. She called a social worker on me for missing 2 appointments (I take a bus. It is hard to catch a bus while pregnant.) That does not mean I will be an unfit mother. I didn’t look pregnant for a long time and that bummed me out. I was happy to be pregnant. Proud of the journey I was on. I wore belts just to make my bump stand out. At 7 months I could still hide my belly with ease. There’s a lot more on my pregnancy, but that’s not what this post was going to be about.



Birth.

This is it’s own thing. It’s own long, emotional post. But:

Best day, worst 3 days.

Stupid midwives, worse nurse.

She looked up at me with the biggest navy blue eyes, moved her head right to my breast, and we were one again. I was a mother. The indescribable moment had arrived. I can’t describe it either. I was never the same again.


Looking Back

First 3 months РI remember nothing. Cluster-feeding. Never sleeping. Constant worry and fear. Content. Thankful for family and for freezer meals. No newborn clothes, but she was a newborn size, which suprised everyone. I took a picture everyday. I only left her for Star Wars. Of course I did.

I do remember the first time she wanted something. Not just eat/sleep/poo/repeat. She wanted a toy. She grabbed for it, a giraffe we named Polka. I thought – WOW – this is a human. This is a human with wants not just needs. A brain, and a heart. I created a human. I cried. I’ll never get rid of that giraffe.

4 months. She sings to Adele. I sing to her. Sitting up and big smiles. My big girl. 99% & 95.  Still and forever sleeping on my shoulder. A slightly flat head and a very full tummy.

6 months. A big change in personality. It’s here, and we can feel her spirit. She’s got it. So happy, all the time. We’re never not thankful for that. A first tooth, carrots and more carrots, swimming and Sudbury.

9 months. More teeth, more milestones. More food. I feel like I’m trying to pause everything so we can move and then life can continue. It doesn’t work like that. She just keeps growing. I start hobbies so I can remember what it feels like to be an adult again. To be by myself. In a large group of supportive, amazing, tough women. More on that eventually.

10 months. The last picture in the old house (for her month by month). Sad we had to leave on such a sour note. Wondering how she’ll adjust. She was just fine. There’s infinite room for her now. A whole house to explore. She regressed a bit in her amazing eating habits. These next teeth are taking a LONG time to surface. We try pouches, and she’s hooked. At least it’s nutrition.

11 months. Trying not to co-sleep. She’s in a crib for naps, and as much of the night as we can. Making her stand up by herself (she’s known how for months but is stubborn and won’t. In making her stand by herself I realize – she also knows how to walk. How did she hide that!?)

She can walk. She eats real food, and prefers a regular cup to anything “sippy”, but in a pinch she’ll steal your water bottle. Cookies are her best friend. She nods her head no! and then does whatever naughty thing you told her not to. But then she smiles, and laughs, and your heart is melted. She is smart. Too smart sometimes. She can WALK UP TO ME. She demands things. She will push you out of the way to see what you’re doing. She must be involved in every¬†conversation. She always wants to share whatever she can hold. But she always wants you to share too.¬†She tries to dress herself. She helps dress herself quite well. She LOVES books. She loves Daddy best. She loves me too. She cries when Omi (my mom) hangs up the phone. She is becoming a little person and I don’t know what to do with myself.

I have a one year old. In her, I can see my whole family. I see the smug faces of my brother, the unimpressed looks of my sister, the bounce in her step of my mom. She has the little crooked charm that belongs to her Daddy and his brother. The golden curls soon to straighten that we all share. She is so us. Our third little fire sign. Our little archer. Our Squidly.

I love her so much it legitimately takes my breath away. When she sleeps in my arms, the world stops just for a moment; When she nuzzles me, grabs hold of my legs and looks up to smile, when she runs away from her pants, when she holds up her books for me to read when she holds her hand out to offer whatever she has to you. My heart slows. Time feels as if it is standing still and I try my best to breathe it in.

It’s true that they grow up too fast. But each new stage holds something amazing and sweet. I lost her baby grunts and gurgles, but I gained some personality.

I’m a not-so-new first time mom. I have a one year old. Well, okay then.

  • xo, Kris