Monday, 16 March 2020

I almost gave up on potty training but we decided to keep going...

I don't follow many methods when it comes to my kids but something I am a firm believer in is:

wait until they're ready.

Like when Elliott didn't want to walk everyone starting freaking out and nagging me about it.

"is he walking yet?"

I mean, who cares? especially if you're a casual acquaintance.
Like, his prospect of becoming a successful adult just got axed because he was too stubborn to walk until he was 17 months. hahaha

OOP, Elliotts a write off!
Didn't walk until 17 months will be the headline on all his future resumes.

People sometimes ask parents weird intrusive things.

"sooo, are you breastfeeding?"
"what type of birth did you have?"
"baby led weaning?"
"are they walking yet?"
"talking yet, why not?"

^ I know some of those things may seem minor and we can't be afraid to ask questions that we feel are completely harmless but...

Why not ask things like:

"are you guys in need of anyting?"
"can I do anything for you?"
"Do you want an xxxxXXXXXXL coffee dropped off?" lololol

Err on the side of caution where I can. :)

We didn't potty train Elliott until he was 3 because I knew he wasn't ready.
My boy is stubborn and I wanted to wait until it would be easier for both of us.
It actually went super well and he picked it up fast, I don't think he ever wore pull-ups.
He went straight to underwear and even got up through the night and started going to the big toilet to pee on his own. (this led to some crazy mornings where I found pee on the floor in front of the toilet but for the most part, he was good about aiming. sometimes I think back and realize he was better about aiming when he was 3 than now that he's 5 :/ )

Elliotts used the portable potty but Noelle really wanted to use the regular toilet, we got this seat and its awesome! Click the little photo - affiliate link^^

Noelle is 2 years 9 months and I knew she was ready or so, so close to being ready to train.
She hates wearing diapers she wanted to be changed immediately every time.
But she's also a new breed of stubborn.
So, so stubborn. lol
Elliott was stubborn but he was also pleasant and could be talked into most things.
Noelle is full-blown, drop-down, drag-out, take no prisoners kind of stubborn. :)

We started and went all-in: if accidents happen, they happen.

It went well the first little bit because it was exciting for her, I always bribe with small toys/treats for this kind of transition.

Then we hit a snag.
The kids got sick and did I mention I've been trying to wean her off the sookie for months now??
This girl LOVES her sookie.

A lot of people suggest cutting the sook or throwing them out, donating to a sibling, etc but Noelle is SO attached (Elliott has his taggie bear, Noelle has her sooks).

We were down to using sooks only when sleeping.
I thought about all the tips and tricks but I knew she would steal Nilahs sook and honestly, we're hanging on by a thread here, three kids eep.

So everyone got sick, Noelle started taking out the potty training frustration by needing us more, crying a lot, whining a lot, wanting her sooks.

It was 3 whole days of her crying and me crying to Nick
"maybe she's not ready?! maybe we should shelf it for a bit?!"

Nick was skeptical because he didn't think the outbursts were from the potty training but little does Nick know, Noelle is my exact clone.

When I am upset or crying its usually because of something unrelated to the reason I say I'm crying.
There's a lot more to my tears than the SPCA commercial alone... well most of the time.
And other times those SPCA commercials are just so heartbreaking.

But she was doing SO well!
If I had to put a number on it, she was already 70% trained.
Why give up now?!

That was about 2 weeks ago, we did decide to push through and I would guess shes 85% trained now. She wears pullups at night and is good throughout the day.
Her mood is back to Noelle normal hehehe.

And I'm super happy we pushed through because two kids in diapers is the worst for so many reasons! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I mentioned Elliott was 3 years old when we trained him but he may have been a whole year older than Noelle because I can't remember the exact time frame.

Every kid is so different, listen to your instincts and potty solidarity sistas!

Saturday, 14 March 2020

I am feeling fragile right now.

January was alright.
Full of those new year hopes and dreams.
Motivated and energetic, I was ready to take on the world!

February was meh.
Not as shiny and new as January was.
I was starting to fall behind on things.
Hmm, it seems hopes and dreams not off to a great start.

Well, March is just a real B*#$^ isn't she?

I was feeling blue anyway.
In fact, I was plotting this post and going to name it something like:

I'm 33 years old and still don't fit in. 

Who knew the cool kids table would show up in adulthood?

She doesn't even go here! - and other mean girls quotes that fit my life.

I promise this isn't a pity party post, it's more "this blog is my outlet" kinda thing.

March has felt crummy in all the ways.

Its been a year since Nicks dad passed.

Business in blog land has hit a lull after blowing up my blog-confidence, September 2019-January 2020.

In fact, I've just felt small in blog land this month.
Like a child pretending to adult.
I feel like whenever I try to express things about blogging people scoff behind the scenes.
Like, "what an idiot question"
or "why is she doing that?"

I know my bloggy friends are going to say that's not true ^

But entrepreneur doubt vs. entrepreneur ego is tough.
You almost have to pretend to have it all together (or maybe people really do have it all together, I dunno) to make this lifestyle work but I don't have it all together and I don't want to pretend to.

So when people advise me on how to navigate this business I push back, rebel.

Me: "that way may have worked well for you but I am not comfortable doing it that way."
Blog professionals: "idiot. amateur."

^ This conversation is fabricated but its what I sometimes feel is happening bts.

It's not that I don't have the confidence it's that I want to do it my own way.
Everyone has a different definition of "success".
Usually, success being money or power.

And I want those things but I want them on my terms.

I want to talk about where I am, where I am going and what my definition of success looks like but it makes me feel small and unknowledgeable when people who have reached "success" see my questions, feelings, and thoughts.

I'm the weird middle child blogger.

Speaking of the middle...

I went to a business meeting, it was plus size fashion-based. It went great/fine but I left feeling like I usually do...

I'm not really plus size enough to be respected as plus size but oh, hey, regular sizes don't want me either. #storyofmylife.

Nilah hasn't been sleeping great.

Potty training Noelle is tiring.

I am failing my health and fitness goals.

I am failing at my no-spend/ low spend.

(those last 2 I feel worse about for failing you guys! I have always been a roller coaster of healthy living/spending but I hate saying I will do something and then immediately falling off the course.)

There's not enough time in the day.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

It's all the same old song and dance.

We all have these issues or our own problems, personal struggles we deal with on the daily.

I know we do because I have loads of friends going through trying times.

Some things are worse than my issues, some things are lesser, a lot of people don't like to talk about the weight they're carrying but that doesn't mean they don't deal with that strain privately.

Sometimes the biggest smile is used to mask the most pain, right?

That's what I do.
I hate focusing on the bad.
It stresses me out even more.
I like to break down and then get up and keep going.
Putting the day to day laughs on Instagram and leaving the ugly nights in the privacy of my own home.

That works for me.
And I enjoy being a comedian, an entertainer.
But, I'm not tough enough to use humor 100% as my shield.
No, no, I have this stupid 'ol empathy holding me back.

You know what I mean?
You have to have thick skin to make it in comedy.
Especially as a female.

Not plus size enough but not regular size.
Not asshole funny but not dull.
Not working mom enough but not stay at home.
Not pretty enough but not hideous.
Not smart enough but not dumb.

Not, Not, Not, Not.

I've been feeling so not enough lately.

And then...


Now I get to feel stressed and scared and overwhelmed about a whole new thing on top of my other things.

And watch it all unfold in the media and get all strained and awkward on social platforms.

Talked about CO-VID 19 too much.
Didn't talk about it enough.
Shared meme.
Doesn't think memes are funny.
Bought too much toilet paper.
Didn't buy toilet paper.
Shares photos of empty aisles.
Complains about people sharing photos of empty aisles.
Leaves house.
Doesn't leave the house.

It's all just a bit too much for me.
I'm tired and scared and anxious.

I am feeling very fragile. 

And I bet a lot of you are too.

I don't really know how to end this post because no matter what I say it feels cheesy:
Spread positivity!
Lets all support one another!

But I do hope you're all safe.
Full bellies, Netflix on repeat, maybe a book in hand or tea brewing.

Do what makes you feel safe and cozy.

This is a reminder to check on my friends more, maybe send some happy mail or a quick text.
Share more of my blog friends' work so they know they're doing awesome.
Call my Nanny.
Play some board games with the kids.
Give Nick a little squeeze.
Rest and recharge.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Replacing a vintage mirror..

I remember when I was super young, 7,8,9 years old and playing in front of my Nannys makeup vanity.

I always hoped someday it would be mine but having a large family I was highly doubtful it would trickle down to me, the middle of the pack grandchild.

When my Nanny passed away in 2012 somehow it did get offered to me!
I was living in Newfoundland but I snatched the opportunity and would end up storing it at my other grandparent's house for a couple of years before we moved back to Nova Scotia and I moved it into our new home.

Unfortunately, when my uncles were carrying the vanity downstairs the large middle mirror cracked in half.

(see the background for empty mirror space ^^^^)

So 4 years after being on display and 7 years after my Nanny passed, I am finally replacing that middle mirror!

As much as I love projects... especially DIY, I hateeeee complications.

The way that this mirror was inserted seemed too complex for me so I ignored it for a long time but cleaning up our room and having it look incomplete started to annoy me, so I brainstormed.

It looked like we might have to remove that top lip and slide a mirror in but I don't want to tear it all apart and not be able to get it back together.

This set is very, very old, I should have looked for a date on it before writing this post... But the back of it is all sealed with wood paneling and paper.

To tear it all apart would be a disaster.

I looked at the mirror space and asked myself,
"what if I use command strips to stick a mirror in there and fake the look of custom?"


So that's what I did!

I called a couple of mirror places and this spot - Pars Glass Burnside click here
seemed as good as any.

I gave them the dimensions and they cut it for under $35.

I went and picked it up but before I was able to hang it with command strips Nick put it in with Gorilla tape!

This $7.99 tape lol

Click here for Gorilla Tape - Amazon

Was I super thankful he hung the mirror? - yes.

Was I also like, well I wanted to use command strips because they're thicker and would have given the mirror a more flush custom look as it would have matched the frame in depth.

Also, yes.

But es ok.
es ok.

All that matters is how amazing it looks!
And how after 7 years all it cost me was $40 and 10 mins.

Also hung my Jilly Box print and it looks amazinggggg.

I just checked online to see if you could purchase it but it seems you cannot.
Since this was a JillyxKaitlin Hargreaves exclusive I know they only made 10,000 copies.

But if you're interested  I will link Kaitlin's website and she does custom work.

Click Here for Kaitlins website!

I had actually looked into getting my sister a custom pet portrait for Christmas but they start at $325 and my sister has 2 dogs... LOL.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

It's not suppose to be this hard...

"It's not suppose to be this hard."
I cried, trying to get Nick to acknowledge my needs without taking a total breakdown.

It was the same old song and dance.
We would be fine and happy, until pressure mounts and I get fed up.
Maybe I yell, maybe I give him the silent treatment, either way, we go to bed not talking and wake up not talking.

I'm mad at him for not seeing my needs.
I don't know why he doesn't talk to me.
I guess he's mad at me for not talking to him, he needs me to talk.

We dance around each other all day, not speaking, being happy with the kids but underneath tired and stressed. It usually lasts 24-36 hours.

We will wake up the next morning, I will ask why he's not talking to me, I will cry and beg him to see my stress before it totally boils over and gets to this point.
Maybe then we could avoid this whole thing all together - I always think.

It's not suppose to be this hard.

This is the easiest we will ever have it, I'll say.
Two working parents on parental leave at the same time.

People look at my life and think how privileged and easy it must be.
And honestly, it is, I know it is.
But that doesn't mean its not also hard.

I'm the type of person who is always in competition with people.
I want to be the hardest working, the most tired, the one with the fullest plate.

My family always treats me like a spoiled brat, the kept women.
"You're so lucky to have Nick!"
"Nick is so hands on."
"You work? yeah, right."
Ha ha ha.

I don't know why they think that.
Maybe it's because Nick and I met so young so we've taken care of each other.

I was already working at the post office 4 months when I met Nick.
19 years old I was attending Dalhousie University,  worked retail in the evenings and worked backshift at the post office overnight.

Nick worked at McDonalds, having just dropped out of Community College for some electrical engineering or something, he was enrolled to start Business at Saint Mary's University in the fall.

It was July and I went to a party at a mutual friends house.
Nick was there.
We had attended the same high school, graduated the same year and I knew who he was but I didn't know him.

I thought he was cute so we talked and he walked me home at the end of the night.
I had to work the next day at all my jobs so I didn't stay too long.
I remember adding each other to MSN the following day and that was pretty much that.
We were dating.

As our lives ebbed and flowed, Nick would go back to school, I would continue working at the post office.

Backshift for 3 years, evening shift for a while, full time letter carrier.

Nick didn't love love Saint Marys, he decided to go back to NSCC (Nova Scotia Community College).

He finished his business program there, he applied to jobs and ended up getting one that took him to Saskatchewan for 6 months.

I had bought my first home at this point, was a full time "mailman" and would stay in Nova Scotia wait for him to complete his job training then we would move wherever his work told him he had to go.

That place was Newfoundland, Canada.

We were there for 5 years.

The first 6 months I took a leave of absence from the post office so I could wait for a post office job to open up near our small Newfoundland town.

This was the start of those kept women, pampered life jokes.

An opportunity did open up about an hour away from our home so I snatched it up and was back at work. Commuting over an hour each way was not ideal, those Newfoundland highways are treacherous, whether moose or winter, it's all deadly.

After a year of that commute we found out I was expecting Elliott.
And the morning sickness started.
And it never stopped.

I was letter carrying, which meant walking around all day with my barf bag in hand.
But that wasn't the hardest part, the worst part was trying not to puke while making my commute each day.

I drove around with a small bathroom garbage pail under my right armpit.
It wasn't safe and my doctor put me off work.

Que, lazy homebody, Holly's a kept women jokes.

Eventually we ended up back in Nova Scotia.

We had Noelle and it was a carbon copy pregnancy so I was put off work again.

2019 baby Nilah!

Our 3rd and probably last baby.

You guessed it!
I was put off work.

This was a tough year, Nicks dad passed away, we juggled a lot of balls.
I was pregnant and sick, 2 kids at home, Nicks family home had to be cleaned up and sold.
The Realestate market in Halifax was really hot so we started thinking if we flipped his family home maybe we could make a small profit and we could do something we had been dreaming of doing for the last 6 years...

Maybe Nick could take a paternity leave with me.

(Canada offers up to 18 months off of work to new parents, partially paid.)

I would take the maternity leave portion and then a year unpaid.
Nick would take the 9 months paid leave his work offers.


I know it is, and we are both so thankful for this opportunity.

Knowing now what we know, I'm not sure how we would have made it work any other way.

We are both at home all day, every day.
That means we can juggle the night time feedings, school, hockey, swimming, birthdays, meals, laundry, cleaning, bedtime, baths, WHATEVER.

You all know how crazy life is and we get to juggle it with 2 sets of hands.
All in, all the time.

So then..
Why do we still have the silent standoff?
Why is life so hard when it's not suppose to be this hard right now?

Honestly, because it just is.

Life is not a competition.
I need to shake that thought.

You cannot look from the outside and think you know everything that goes on in someone else life.
You don't get to tip your scale because you worked 40 hours and someone else worked 38.
They took sick leave, you didn't.
They have help that you don't.

We are all struggling.
We all handle work loads and life loads differently.

Life is hard for us right now, 3 kids 5 and under is just. so. hard.

But I'm thankful for every bit of it.
And very soon Nick will be back at work, I will still have some leave left and although its going to be hard I'll figure out how to make it work.
Then we will both be back at work and we will figure that out too.

After all our relationship started off on MSN....
we've figured out every social networking, texting tool thrown at us since then.
I'm betting we can figure out almost anything.  ;)

Monday, 17 February 2020

Expanding my wardrobe with Sheertex

You know how much I love wearing skirts and dresses, a dress is the perfect outfit to me!

They can be comfy but still look cute, chic, professional and the number 1 thing..
It's one and done!

No fussing about what top goes with which bottom.
It makes putting outfits together so easy peasy.
Especially because I am trying to keep weekly capsule wardrobes so we can have a better and faster method of getting ready and out the door in the morning.

A little tip I always share is that: dresses don't have to be limited to certain seasons. 

Short sun dresses or beach style maxi dresses can be worn straight through fall and even winter when you pair them with the proper accessories!

Like these Sheertex Pantyhose <<<<

I actually look forward to the chillier months because it means less leg shaving (lol!) and more comfy Sheertex tights! <<<<

Toss some tights on under your dress and a chunky cardigan on top, you've just doubled or tripled your wardrobe options by not limiting yourself based on season.

I don't even know where to start when telling people about my love for Sheertex <<<<
I usually just say "grab my pantyhose and pull!" so they can see for themselves.

Sheertex <<<< pantyhose are 10x stronger than anything else on the market.

They're unbelievably comfortable, they stretch to accommodate your individual body shape and they have the perfect waistband that is wide and smooths in alllllll the right places!

Their size range is also very inclusive <3

Sheertex <<<<

PLUS they come in SO many colours/patterns and you know how much I love to wear colour and pattern... sometimes together!!

OR pattern on pattern, why not?! ;) ^^^^

Check out some colour options here - Sheertex <<<<

Click Here for these exact Cranberry Opaque Pantyhose
Use code HOLLYSHOUSEWIFELIFE10 for 10% off your order

I am wearing a size large in regular length, I'm 5'3 and approx. 200 pounds

I get SO much wear out of these Heart Sheers Sheertex <<<<
I wear them with every pattern, colour, length of skirt or dress and everytime, even when there's just a little bit of leg exposed, I get complimented.

I've lost count of how many times I've worn them!
I went through all my phone photos and every other week I had another photo in the heart sheers.

Just look at that waistband! - so comfy Click here!

I could never get that kind of wear out of a 'regular' pair of sheers.
I use to feel lucky when I would get 1-2 wears out of my pantyhose before they were ripped, torn or snagged.

Now that I've switched everything over to Sheertex <<<<
I wear my pantyhose all day long!

& Pantyhose are not usually the type of fashion you enjoy wearing when you have to chase 3 little ones, 3 cats and one slobbery golden retriever around all day but I am telling you they have the comfort of a workout legging and the style of the runway.

View photo below to become a believer or if you want you can grab my pantyhose and see for yourself ;)

This blog post is sponsored by Sheertex but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.
I was very happy to suggest Sheertex before any sponsorships.
They are Canadas largest hosiery factory. :)
Tuesday, 21 January 2020

100 Nights of Sleep on Our Endy Mattress

100 Days with our Endy mattress and to say I am obsessed is an understatement! 

When we were away at Christmas, staying in other beds with unfamiliar mattresses... I was missing home and our bed so badly. Waking up stiff and sweaty thinking "My Endy would never do this to me!".

For 100 days I've had the best sleep of my life and the whole process has been like a dream (ha, sleep puns!)

I always thought things like..

1. Getting a new mattress will be a hassle.
They're big? maybe heavy? awkward to fit up out stairs?

Ordering and receiving our Endy felt as simple as ordering a sweater online.
The shipping was fast, the box was sleek and manageable, the packing was minimal and the tools we needed for set up were included.

2. I might not like it and then I'm stuck with it.

The Endy team knows this is a tough decision and if something doesn't go right they're there to help!
One very cool thing about Endy is that every first-time customer is eligible for their 100-night trial.
You have over 3 months to decide if the Endy mattress is right for you and if at any point you're not 100% satisfied, contact customer service where arrangments will be made for a no-hassle pickup and donation (when possible) of the used mattress.

Accidentally ordered the wrong size?
Endy understands that can happen too.
They offer a one-time size exchange for those 'oops' moments.

3. Picking firmness could be an issue.

You really have a 2 in 1, with the Endy if you like a softer sleep, slatted mattress support works perfect and if you prefer a firmer mattress, a boxspring will be your best option.

4. I sleep so hot! help me!

The top layer of the Endy mattress was created to provide a comfortable sleep while moving heat away from your body.

After 100 days I can confidently repeat that I have never slept this well in my life, and that's not always something a new mom says!

Between nighttime feedings I find myself falling back to sleep faster and sleeping more deeply than before. I use to toss and turn to try and find a comfy non-lumpy spot to settle into but every inch of the Endy mattress is level and cozy.

I find myself able to get in and out of the bed without waking Nick or the baby, it doesn't transfer movement and is so quiet.

It was such a solid and supportive space for my c-section recovery and I'm so thankful we upgraded our mattress when we did.

An extra perk is just how beautiful it is to look at!
The gorgeous white and grey with a quilted top is such a major upgrade from our old mattress.

So if you're thinking of trying the Endy Mattress I highly suggest you do, there's really no way to lose with their return policy!

                                      USE CODE 
               TO SAVE $50 OFF ANY SIZE MATTRESS 

And if you really want to take your sleep to another level I would suggest pairing it with a weighted blanket. Total relaxation!

I've partnered with Endy to provide this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
I am very much open to purchasing another Endy for my son's room, un-partnered!