Father’s Day gift ideas moms would also love

Father’s Day is just over a week away, and if you’re still looking for the perfect gift to celebrate dad, why not get him a little something that you can both enjoy. (And not another tie or pair of socks!)

Don’t forget that sometimes the best gifts are from the heart, and anything homemade by you and the kidlets is sure to be a hit, but if you want to splurge a little bit too, here are some ideas.

Denver Hayes Short-Sleeve Baseball Tee and Levi’s 505 Regular Fit Jeans

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Give dad a sharp new outfit perfect for playing with your children during his downtime, but also perfect for showing off that smokin’ hot dad bod you love so much! Available in all Mark’s stores nationwide and online. Suggested price: tee $13.29, jeans $64.99.

Gladiator® GearTrack® Pack 

Not sure what to get Dad for Father’s Day? Why not surprise him with the gift of an organized garage. Whether he’s a sports enthusiast or he’s into collecting tools, Gladiator® GarageWorks has a range of products perfect for every Dad. Most items in the garage belong to Dad, so help him make the most of his space with the Gladiator® GearTrack® Pack. Installable in just 15 minutes, the GearTrack® Pack provides eight feet of storage space and an assortment of hooks to help get clutter off the floor. You get your garage back and dad knows exactly where all his tools are. A perfectly organized garage is a win-win for everyone! Visit gladiatorgarageworks.ca to locate your nearest retailer. Suggested price: $77.99.

KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Maker

Skip the predictable “I love Dad” coffee mug  and give your caffeine-loving pops the new KitchenAid® Pour Over Coffee Maker. It combines the flavour and control of a manual pour over process with the convenience of a traditional coffee maker. Plus, mom can caffeinate in style too! Available in Onyx Black. Suggested price: $229.99.

Samsung SUHD TV and Samsung Radiant-360 7 Speaker

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Upgrade the family’s home viewing system (can you say movie night?!) with the Samsung SUHD TV. Get the absolute best in picture quality – incredible colours with images that are two and a half times brighter than conventional TVs. Pus, not only does the spherical speaker enhance your sound experience, it allows for a wireless multi-room audio ecosystem, which can be integrated with other Samsung TVs and tablets. Suggested price: television starting at $3999.99, speaker $599.99.

Club K Wine Club Delivery Subscription

Give dad the gift of 6 bottles of wine selected by an expert sommelier, available on a one-time only or 4 times per year subscription basis. You’ll also receive tasting and pairing notes to help him enjoy his wines like a pro. Plus, with their 100% happiness guarantee, you’ll both be able to enjoy a delicious glass of vino you both love together all year long. Order online. Suggested price: $119.

Kindle Paperwhite

Give dad a premium reading experience with the Kindle Paperwhite. Not only can it store thousands of books, but he can use it absolutely anywhere as it has no glare in the sun and is front-lit for reading in the dark. A single charge can last up to eight weeks, and it’s versatile: it can fit comfortably in one hand, it’s thinner than a pencil and lighter than a paperback – which means it’s also the perfect e-reader for tucking in your purse when you want to take your reading on the go. Available on Amazon.ca. Suggested price: $139.

2015 Ford Edge

Is it time to upgrade your family’s ride? The 2015 Ford Edge is loaded with driver-assistance technology to help dad and the whole family through every step of the day. Enhanced Active Park Assist parks itself! And the front 180-degree camera is perfect for those tight spots. Plus, it’s built right in Oakville, Ontario for the dad that demands quality local craftsmanship. Suggested price: from $31,999 at Ford.ca and at your local Ford dealer.

Keurig K200

The Keurig K200 is a colourful and compact way to decorate any counter top – its compact size is perfect for the condo or cottage, and its selectable size technology lets busy, coffee-loving dad (and mom!) save cash while brewing just a single cup. With the ability to brew a full carafe, both parents can enjoy a daily sip of coffee or tea together every morning. Available at Keurig.ca. Suggested price: $119.99.

WAHM of strong-willed toddler seeks similar for play dates and bitch sessions

Being a mom these days is tough. SO tough. It doesn’t matter whether you’re stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-outside the home or wants-to-run-away-from-home.

4Ever friends collection

Whereas in years past a woman’s social circle would consist of immediate and distant family within a stone’s throw, nowadays we’re often separated from our families by many miles. Before, there would be a close support network of a woman’s sisters, aunts, cousins and own mother to assist with child rearing tasks, providing mama with much-needed breaks from the all-consuming task of motherhood. Not so these days.  Continue reading

How can something so small be so deadly?

No, I’m not talking about the kid… though some days it might feel that way!

I’m talking about a creature that’s responsible for nearly 600,000 deaths each and every year – the mosquito!

While it might simply be more of a nuisance than a deadly killer here in Canada, around the world they account for more deaths than snakes, sharks, bears or crocodiles. But there’s a simple solution to stopping their deadly malaria-spreading infection – bed nets.

As part of an education/awareness campaign, Plan Canada is bringing its annual Spread The Net campaign to the Toronto Eaton Centre in a unique display to educate, motivate and inspire Canadians to raise awareness and funds for malaria-preventing bed nets in Africa.

Since 2007, Spread the Net has protected the lives of more than 7.2 million people including children and pregnant women and delivered more than 2.5 million malaria-preventing bed nets to families in Africa.

Canadians can help. For a donation of $10 to Plan’s Spread the Net campaign, one bed net can protect 2 people for up to 3 years. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if all children under the age of five in Africa slept under a bed net.

If you’re in the downtown Toronto area on Friday June 5, stop by the Eaton Centre from 10am-9pm to catch a glimpse of a wall of live mosquitoes and learn more about how you can help stop the spread of malaria.

When I asked my little guy if he wanted to go see a whole bunch of bugs, he replied, “Can I stomp on them?” While we can’t stomp every mosquito, through efforts like Spread The Net we can help stomp out the spread of malaria.

See you there!

A letter to my mom on this motherless Mother’s Day

Dear mom,

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss you. It’s hard to believe that this is my 10th Mother’s Day without you; that the 11th anniversary of your death will be here soon. I’m also painfully aware of how quickly I’m approaching being without you more years than we had together.

So much has happened in that last decade. If there was ever an inopportune time for you to miss, I feel like these last 10 years would be it.

Continue reading

Real talk: What moms really want for Mother’s Day

I’m not going to go ahead here and speak for all moms with this list, but in candid convos with my mommy friends there seems to be some recurring themes concerning gifts we’d truly appreciate, Mother’s Day or otherwise.

Partners, take note.

Uninterrupted sexy times

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some intimate time with your partner (or even yourself) without worrying about being interrupted for a glass of water, snack or other such triviality? Mama just wants an unhurried orgasm!

No touching

Conversely, and especially for those with younger kidlets, having a 24-hour period where nobody touches you would be heaven. Imagine: no pinches, scratches, boogie wipes, face licks, mystery wipe stains on your clothes for ONE WHOLE DAY!

Sleeping in

We’re not just talking 15 minutes here, folks. Leave us alone (preferably after delivering that morning O) in the bedroom until lunch time. Mama just wants to sleeeep!

Use the bathroom with the door closed

I can’t even tell you how exciting it would be to go to the bathroom without having a little cheerleader with their face between my knees telling me “good job mama” for going pee on the potty. And to be able to shave our legs without rushing – would be dee-light-fuuul.

Eating a hot meal with two hands

I’m trying to remember the last meal I ate with my son where I got through the entire thing without it getting cold and I’m drawing a blank. Partners, for today only YOU can deal with the myriad meal requests of the baby while mama gets to enjoy her favourite food in all its unreheated glory.

Get shitfaced

While definitely not always feasible, sometimes mom just wants to let loose a little bit and not have to worry about her responsibilities. Give her this. Let her enjoy one or two (or three or four) of her favourite drinks without guilt and without worrying about the consequences.

Moms: Anything I missed? What real talk gift would you like to receive this Mother’s Day? Tell me in the comments below.

When are you done?

Can one really be enough?

I always dreamed I’d have a big family. A whole hockey team, I used to proclaim. Ahhh how little I knew about the world of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

Now a mom to one wonderfully spirited little guy, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I’m still on board for expanding our family. And if I’m perfectly honest with myself, I just don’t know.

Can one really be enough?

How do you know when you’re done?

How big a gap is too big a gap?

Years from now, will I regret my decision either way?

Can one really be enough?

These are just some of the many questions bouncing around my head over the last few months.

I’ve haven’t come to this place lightly. With multiple miscarriages already in my history, including my last one which was at the end of the first trimester and gave me more, extended complications, I just don’t know if I can physically or mentally handle another loss if we were to try again.

As much as I’d love for D to have a sibling to play with, grow old with when hubs and I are no longer around… there’s something appealing about him being able to have all of our focus and attention. He’ll also likely benefit more from our help financially, as we won’t be splitting things with another person.

And don’t get me started on the sleep. D is finally sleeping through the night after 2 years of frequent night wakings. (HALLELUJAH!) He’s almost weaned. (HALLELUJAH!) He’s doing more and more for himself each and every day. (HALLELUJAH!) Newborns are helpless, completely dependent, nurse like crazy and are a whole lotta work – do I really want to start over again?

Buuuuut newborns are so sweet and precious and just ooooo. Sometimes I forget what D was like, especially since I didn’t get to enjoy him much with all my post-op complications. It would be nice to have another chance to experience that period. There’s also that whole amazing thing about having your child inside of you and the connection you have, and that feeling of them moving within you is like nothing else.

Can one really be enough?

I may not have the answers to my questions, but I’m OK waiting to find them a little bit longer.

How did you know when you were done growing your family? Or do you? Tell me in the comments below.

How becoming a mom finally allowed me to make peace with my body image issues

I’ve struggled with body image issues for years. Like a yo-yo, my weight would rise and fall at the flip of my emotions.

I also heard from a very early age that nothing I did was ever quite good enough — and I internalized that message that I was never quite good enough.

My stomach wasn’t flat, my calves were too big, my nose too crooked and my freckles something that needed to be covered.

It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I started making peace with my body’s supposed imperfections.

My legs were now strong enough that they could carry me (and the 80 pounds I gained) through the months-long task of growing another human. And finally, I wanted my stomach to be the biggest part of me — to show the world just what my body was capable of.

When I had my son is when I think I finally understood that it didn’t matter what I looked like. I could be sleep-deprived, unwashed and covered in spit up and he could care less. He simply wanted the comfort of being near me. And that was good enough. More than that, it was more than enough.

The features I’d once obsessed over changing in myself were now the most beautiful parts of him. They say that if we could only see ourselves the way that others see us that our whole perspective would change. I think that seeing yourself in another (who is wholly half of you) also has that power.

As he grows older, my body is still softer and larger than it once was — but I’m not upset by it the way I once was. I’ve finally come to a place where I can just be in the skin that I’m in for the moment.

If he accepts by body and sees the beauty in it, flaws and all, how can I feel anything but love towards it as well?

The way he nuzzles into my breasts for comfort, or kneads my stomach while laughing maniacally – or the happy screams when he shoves my ‘big’ bum around the house.

There’s nothing but love there — and love is all that matters.