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Back To School 2017 For Kids & Mom Too
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How To Injure Yourself While Exercising In Four Easy Steps
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PTSD—Always There Under The Surface
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Perimenopause Is A Bloodsport
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Have You Seen This Video?
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Is Blogging Dead?
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Fatherly Funnies: The Ten Corniest Dad Jokes Ever
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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer
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When A Stranger Has No Social Filter…
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Three Nurses Whose Secret Medicine Makes Them Exceptional

Back To School 2017 For Kids & Mom Too

  It’s exactly one week until back to school. I have mixed feelings, same as last year. But no matter which side of the BTS fence (yay or wah) you fall on this fall, you’re going to have to buy a few supplies.  Sure, you can send your kid back to school with a ripped and somewhat mildewy lunch bag, but should you?  And yes, you can stock up SOLELY for your kids. But why? YOU organized the summer. YOU curated memories. YOU slathered your squirmy kids with sunscreen. I’d say that deserves a little treat or two for mom. I’d like to state up front—so you know I haven’t been held at (staple) gunpoint to say nice things in exchange for free stuff—that this post is NOT sponsored. I bought most of these items myself, but Staples Canada gave us some things to try out at an AWESOME event styled by my fiercely talented friend Sarah Gunn.  FYI… Sarah designed this Dream Dorm Room for the #ThinkSTAPLES event in Toronto this summer. I felt like a proud mama bear blogger. It was stunning. And everything (minus the clothes) can be made or bought at Staples. Yes, even the rug[…]

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How To Injure Yourself While Exercising In Four Easy Steps

I don’t love to exercise, but it finally got to the point where I had no choice. I wasn’t handling stress well and my blood pressure was high. I was getting uncomfortably fat, none of my clothes fit, and I was listless, stiff and sore. I was a chubby statue. A fatute if you will.  So I put on my runners and started exercising 3-4 times a week at a gym called Orange Theory Fitness. I’ve been at it for nearly nine months so you’d think I’d be pretty skilled at it by now, right? Not so much. I still fall off equipment, drop things, and generally do exercises completely wrong.  When I spot the coach heading toward us, I know she’s coming straight for me. Most likely to correct my technique or just to shake her head in bewilderment at my level of uncoordinatedness. Despite all my klutz, outside of a few pulled muscles, I been physically okay. Until now.  This month I was a walking (barely) talking ad for “How Not To Workout.”  I pulled a groin muscle running on the treadmill. That was injury number one. Apparently I run like a rusty tin man. I’ve been told I[…]

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PTSD—Always There Under The Surface

Adrenaline is nature’s way of keeping us safe in the face of danger. It serves a purpose, but when a traumatic experience causes you to live in a constant state of fight or flight it can wreak havoc on your life. PTSD can wreck you if you let it.  We’ve all experienced that jolt of muscle quivering energy that floods our bodies during scary or stressful situations. Like when the car in front of us stops unexpectedly causing us to slam the brakes. Or when a glass slips from our hands, but we catch it before it smashes. Our hearts race, but we quickly recover and move on.  But sometimes the situation is painfully serious and the recovery time is substantial. Like when your child has a medical emergency—a near fatal seizure or maybe she chokes and stops breathing. I can’t begin to describe how frightening that is. We’ve been in this horrible place a few times over the past decade. We’ve watched helplessly as our youngest lay unconscious, or unable to take a breath.   Our daughter Avery’s near fatal seizures have rendered her lifeless in my arms. I’ve seen her lips turn blue. We’ve watched paramedics bring her back to[…]

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Perimenopause Is A Bloodsport

My body is waging a war against perimenopause. In my mid-forties, I still consider myself to be young and virile. Isn’t it too early for this?!? And why didn’t anybody warn me? Or maybe they did but I tuned them out because they were just “old ladies” whinging about their messed up cycles. Perimenopause is essentially water drip torture. You know, the kind where water was dripped slowly onto the captive’s forehead, slowly driving them insane. Perimenopause runs on the same principle. Just little droplets at first. Nothing you can’t handle. A restless night here, one early or late period there. Nothing unmanageable. Drip drop drip. Then two nights of tossing and turning. And a hot flash. Or maybe not a hot flash? It might just be an especially humid day. You’re not totally sure.  Drip drip drip drop drop drop… And how are we THIS tired and still standing? Some nights it’s, “Go to bed three hours before the kids” tired.  Along with the inexplicable exhaustion, there are sudden spurts of anger for absolutely no reason. You’re the Incredible Hulk in guacamole stained yoga pants. Drip drip drip drip drip drop drop drop drop… Water trickles into your eyes, tickling[…]

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Have You Seen This Video?

  “What video?!” you ask. I said there would be a charming video here today, but there’s nothing but this empty video player.  Yes I announced with great confidence yesterday that I would be posting all sorts of video content going forward. So much video. I even went on Facebook just now and blabbed about the first of said videos and teased you with a link.  The link took you here. Sorry, just words. No video. But before you scold me for unfulfilled video promises (the video I started today wasn’t going to be very good anyway, so it’s actually a blessing) I want to explain why making videos is paralyzingly difficult for me. And maybe for you too? It’s not like I don’t have anything to talk about. Ask my friends and family—I rarely shut up. But when it comes to turning thoughts into actual watchable video content, there are some very real obstacles like: I can’t find the camera cord that connects my camera to my computer. I saw it somewhere but all the cords look alike!  I could use my iPhone to shoot the video but I need to charge it. I swear my phone is eternally at[…]

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Is Blogging Dead?

I used to have blogging in my back pocket but now I think blogging might be dead or at the very least, in a deep coma. I’ve been blogging (and vlogging on occasion) for years—ten to be exact. I love writing and sharing (*Edited by my husband to “over-sharing”) so when I discovered web-logging when I was home on mat leave with our second child I was like, “This was totally made for ME!” I had no clue about SEO or web design, but I had a story I wanted to share with other parents going through what we were.  In the early days when our daughter wasn’t acting the way “normal” babies do and doctors didn’t have any answers for us, I turned to the internet where I found some amazing blogs and support online. And once I got over the shock of you know, everything, I started a blog about our new reality as parents of a child with medical and developmental challenges. I shared all of it—the ugly moments, the scary thoughts, the fear, the anxiety and PTSD, the mistakes, and the grief. But I made sure to include the sweet stuff and the lessons learned too[…]

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Fatherly Funnies: The Ten Corniest Dad Jokes Ever

Father’s Day is nearly here and you’ve yet to find a gift?! Don’t worry—you can always give the gift of humour. And maybe a six pack of craft beer. I can’t help you with the beer (since I already drank it last weekend after gardening all day). But I can help with the humour bit. There’s a reason ‘dada’ rhymes with ‘haha.’ It’s because fathers are funny! At least, they think they are. My dad believes he’s hysterical—I don’t have the heart to tell him his jokes are painful. Thankfully he usually butchers the punchline by mixing it up with the ending of a completely different joke or by losing the plot altogether. And THAT my friends, is hilarious.  Speaking of hilarious, here are some classic “dad jokes” for you to share this FATHER’S Day.  Warning: The term ‘hilarious’ has been used loosely. Consider these groaners a little dad payback for subjecting you to his awful jokes over the years. And don’t forget about those hideous black socks and sandals. Revenge is sweet… TEN COMPLETELY CORNY DAD JOKES: 1. What did the daddy buffalo say to his boy when he dropped him off at school? Bison.   2. How do you make[…]

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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Social media, cell phones, texting — we have instant access to each other 24 hours a day. We tend to log in and tune out. Canadians spend more time online than any other country. This can mean that every member of a family is online on their own device, even in the same room. I just emailed this shocking fact to my husband sitting across from me on the couch. Many parents have expressed concern about technology’s intrusion into their family time. I feel it. Do you? I grew up pre-internet, so I learned how to maintain a conversation and can easily make human contact without being digitally connected. But can I say the same about my children?  Even if we limit our kids’ screen time, their learning and social skills are still impacted by OUR screen time. Have you ever shushed your child so you could finish composing an email? Have you looked away during your child’s soccer game to post an Instagram photo? Have you texted from the dinner table in the middle of your son telling you about his French test? Not proud of it, but I’ve done all of these[…]

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When A Stranger Has No Social Filter…

When it comes to social graces, some people completely missed the boat. Were they born without a filter or did something happen to make them that way? I have no answers here, but I do have a story.  A few months ago I was at the grocery store with my daughter and the cashier criticized my parenting. No qualms, no mercy, she flat out tried and convicted me without knowing a thing about me or my daughter. You can read about how enjoyable that was HERE.  Turns out, this was the same cashier who a few years earlier (she’s a lifer at our local grocery store… lucky, lucky us) berated my friend in front of a long line of customers. She made a snap judgement about her parenting (she is a wonderful, loving parent by the way), and called her out for being what she deemed “a negligent parent.”  Seriously lady?! a) Who do you think you are? b) You had no idea what this mother was dealing with that day. c) Ever heard of customer service? d) If you don’t have any nice to say, zip it. e) Your conveyer belt is always sticky.  Yesterday my sister in law and[…]

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Three Nurses Whose Secret Medicine Makes Them Exceptional

When I was in University, the nursing students were cool AF. As I rotated between sociology and anthropology lectures (not cool as anything) I admired them. They were good at science and not afraid of blood, needles or germs. Other than nursing a few hangovers, and “Nightingaling” my kids over the years, a career in nursing wasn’t in the cards for me. Though nurturing by nature, blood, needles, and hospital smells have been known to make me faint. Plus science is like, really hard.  So thank god for nurses—qualified, kind-hearted, non-fainting souls—who have taken great care of my family over the years. As the parent of a child with a disability, I’ve had my share of interactions with nurses—mostly positive. There were a few Nurse Ratchets, but I get why they’d be bitchy at the end of a long shift dealing with needy sick people.  There are three nurses in particular who have made a lasting impression on me. They are all skilled professionally, but their secret medicine, humour, makes them next level exceptional.  Maternity Mayhem Nurse No disrespect to doctors, doulas and midwives—you folks know your way around a dilated cervix. But huge props go out to the amazing nurse[…]

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