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Two Simple Mindful Breathing Techniques
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Separated Siblings: She Waves Goodbye As He Leaves For High School
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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?
9
Fatherly Funnies: The Corniest Dad Jokes Ever
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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer

Two Simple Mindful Breathing Techniques

Jewel, right? She’s an actual gem. I loved her in the nineties. And I love her now with her simple approach to mindfulness. Clearly we’re soul sisters because we both use these easy breezy breathing techniques. ‘Counting Breath’ and ‘Box Breathing’ are my go-to techniques throughout the day—to calm my mind and squelch panicky feelings… hey, thanks PSTD. Sometimes I use them to simply relax and take a break from the multi-tasking mayhem that is my life.  I’ll just let Jewel explain. She’s perfection.  Try these tomorrow. It’s life changing.      Side note: My husband’s name is Adrian. We started dating around the time Jewel’s song “Adrian” was popular. It creeped me out and left with me an irrational fear of canoeing. But nothing a little box breathing can’t fix. 😉 

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Separated Siblings: She Waves Goodbye As He Leaves For High School

My daughter packed her backpack weeks ago in giddy anticipation of returning to school. She asked me to paint her nails and “do her hair pretty.” She couldn’t be more excited to start grade six.  My son was in denial that summer was ending right up until the end. He gave little thought to his first day of high school outfit. He wasn’t even planning on brushing his hair until I “suggested” it. I pleaded with him to let me take him shopping, but he refused. “Mum, I’ve got enough clothes. I’m fine.” Kind of hard to take him seriously when he’s arguing his point in mismatched socks and pants that are miles too short.  But he’s in high school now. He’s a big boy. In short pants. His pants, his choice I guess. (Mind you, I went to the mall today and bought him a few new things against his will. I can’t have the kid looking like he’s been stuffed into shrunken kahkis all year.) High school… no longer at our local elementary. He’s moved on and this is the first time his little sister will be at school without him.  At first she didn’t make the connection. “What?[…]

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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 Corniest Dad Jokes Ever

Dads are funny. At least they think they are. My husband believes he’s hysterical. The kids and I don’t have the heart to tell him otherwise. He usually butchers the punchline by mixing it up with the ending of a completely different joke or by losing the plot altogether. Or he laughs so hard at himself that he can’t even get to the end. And THAT my friends, is hilarious. Speaking of hilarious, here are some hilarious “dad jokes” for you to share this FATHER’S Day.  Warning: The word ‘hilarious’ has been used loosely. Consider these groaners as a little payback for being subjected to awful dad jokes over the years. Not to mention being exposed to those hideous black socks and sandals.  TWELVE 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 your dad’s handkerchief dance? Put your boogie in it.  3. Mom: “How do I look?” Dad: “With your eyes.” 4. My dad walked into a bar with a chunk of asphalt under his arm and said, “I’ll have a drink and take one for the road.” 5. Dad:[…]

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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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