A letter to my daughter

To my beautiful, amazing and wonderful daughter,

You have joined our lives almost 2 years ago and I could not imagine life any other way. You brighten our days with your smile, your sparkly eyes and cuddling ways.


When we found out we were expecting another baby, we felt at ease because we already had some experience with your brother. Lucky for you we had learned from a few mistakes we made with him that we wouldn’t reproduce with you!

My pregnancy was very different. I do blame you for having gained 65 pounds but also thank you for helping lose 80 with your around the clock nursing. Your first few months were definitely challenging. But we all made it.

The day I went to my ultrasound to find out the gender of my baby, the sky was pink – I will never forget that day! Daddy and I knew it was a sign of what the news would be. When it was confirmed by the x-ray technician that you were indeed a girl, I was overjoyed!

But then I started worrying. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to raise a girl in this world we live in. I was (and still) worried about peer pressure, body image and the way the digital world is impacting the real world. Like every mother out there, I want you to become a strong, smart, funny, happy and independent woman. I knew how to raise a boy but what would I do with a girl, that would turn into a teenage girl, into a young woman?! Many have comforted me by saying that I was all these traits and that I should not worry but I still have my doubts!


So far, I think our relationship and how you are turning out to be as giving and kind as your brother, that we are on a good path. You are the light of our days. You are the spirit of my heart. You are my life. You are my sweet, little baby who is growing up way too fast. And yes, you are already a “daddy’s girl”!

As you grow into your own person, know that I will always be there for you. I will be there to share your successes, pains and failures. Also know that you, only you have the power to make yourself happy and know that you are enough. As you grow up, you will learn that life can be filled with significant and real emotions OR your heart and mind can be filled with materialistic stuff. I will do my very best, to make sure you know the difference. It is so easy to fall on the other side and be content, for a short amount of time, with stuff. But, because it isn’t authentic, you would get into a never ending cycle.

I want you to find true, pure, unconditional love – of yourself. With that, you will appreciate the nice stuff but they will not define you. With that, you will live a life of true happiness, kindness and gratitude. When bad things will happen, because this is life, we fall and we get back up, you will know how to handle yourself and be at peace.

I promise to be a role model of what I am sharing with you today. I will showcase a love of myself, show you to be a lady, show you to have fun, show you to be authentic and I will try everyday to be the best mom I can be.


I cannot wait to see the girl, teenager and woman you turn out to be. You have so many people who love you and who would do anything for you. Know that you are loved. So much. I hope you and I have the relationship my mom and I have. We talk, share, cry, laugh together and I would not want it any other way.

Je t’aime mimi xo

Letter to my son

My sweet little man, I am writing you this letter today to tell you how much I love you.

From the day daddy and I wanted to have babies, we could have never wished for a better little boy than you.

When you were born, we were so happy and excited to meet you. Daddy and I cried we were so happy. You were so cute, looked just like your uncle “Doodai”. You were born in the morning so we had to stay overnight at the hospital. You slept your first night, so quietly. When I woke up from dozing off a little bit, my eyes could not believe this little miracle was mine! You were mine.


I remember the day we took you home. Although we had done everything we could to “prepare” to be parents – the things we didn’t learn in the books and courses were the incredible and immediate love and immense feeling of belonging.

One thing everyone had warned us was that you would grow up too fast. And they were so right. Before we knew you were scrawling, standing, then walking all over the house. To my pleasure, your first word was “mommy”. And thanks to technology, I was able to catch it on video. I remember telling my mom how excited I was to hear you call my name.


Every milestone of your life has been so overwhelming. I think we took over 4000 pictures the first year of your life and hundreds of video. We didn’t want to miss anything.

As the years went by, it did have some challenging moments. I did not always have the patience to deal with the messes you made, the tantrums you threw and the other things you did that drove me nuts! I sometimes couldn’t sleep, not because you weren’t but just because I was trying to wonder how I would deal with your “new stages”. How we would discipline you. What was the best method? Were we doing things right or screwing you up? Daddy and I often had fights. We actually fought the most the first year you were born then we ever did. We wanted to make the perfect decision for everything. Obviously, no one is perfect and although daddy and I still argue sometimes on how to parent, we have learnt to do it as a team and discuss our differences of opinion.

Having been a mom now for almost 5 years I feel more confident with the decisions I make for you and your sister. I will never be a perfect mom. I have and will make mistakes. However, know that I am and want the best for you.

You are such a caring, loving and compassionate little boy. You have a kind heart and such an amazing big brother to Little M. You are already so giving and make us so proud.


I have learned so much from you and I know you will continue to teach me for years to come. You have taught me how to love unconditionally, how to take things in a stride and what truly matters. I came to realize that as you reflect back one day on your childhood one day, you will not care which brands you wore, what kind of car we drove, how fancy our furniture was…. like me, you will remember the fun school field trips, the family dinners, they fun playdates and precious time we spent together.

My sweet little boy. As I tell you all the time. Even when you get bigger, you will always be my baby because I will always be your mommy.

Maman qui t’aime xo


Mommies have superpowers too!


It’s true, mothers have superpowers! Whether you are a mom, you know you have powers you didn’t have until you became a mom. If you aren’t I bet your mom had superpowers too. (Remember that time when you tried to blame your brother for something you did and there was no way for your mom to know the truth – yet she found out! Super Power!) In the era of Batman, Spiderman and Superman – these men in one piece suit have nothing on mommies!

You think I lay it on thick? If you are a husband, or don’t have kids yet, trust me – the power will come to you when it is your turn.

I have asked some of my mommy friends what their superpowers were and here are a few (funny) samples:

I can change a diaper, lights off, completely pitch black. I enter the room, touch a little bit, grab the baby, lay on the change table. I will unzip the pyjama, remove the diaper, put a new one on, zip the pyjama back and lay baby back in bed. Sometimes, the next day, the room looks a little displaced but baby is dry.

– While nursing, I have done the following things: cut the baby’s nails, changed the baby’s diaper, ate at the dinner table using my two hands!

- Superhuman tracking! Picture this, you are in the kitchen while the kids are playing in the living room. You are cooking, cutting, washing dishes, still listening. In one moment, you hear no noise, you rush to the living room and avert a toddler snacking on a small piece of Lego.

– I had a fear of spiders my whole life. Could not even turn the page of a book that displayed a spider on it. One day, as my baby was playing on the living room floor, I spotted a small spider! I immediately grab my shoes, wacked it and cleaned it! Fears – Gone!

– I’m the one hand Superwoman! I realized after having a baby that I could do everything with 1 hand. I can make the bed while holding baby, make a sandwich, empty the dishwasher, tidy up the house, vacuum. When I was not holding my baby I was almost bothered by my second hand!

– Strength is my power! I am a very petite, small woman. I do not know how I got through pregnancy, childbirth (natural), 50 pound weight gain in the process then doing it all over again. When we bought the baby’s car seat it felt heavy. Now, I carry the baby on one hand and 3-4 bags of groceries on the other hand.


Many more funny stories can be told and shared. The best superpower I am sure we will all agree too is the constantly growing unconditional love for these little kids we see changing so quickly in front of our eyes.

Spring Fashion!


Finally!! Winter, cold winds, boots, slush, scarves, toques, gloves, jackets…GONE!!! Spring weather could not arrive any sooner. This winter has been one of the coldest winters in a long time with record breaking temperatures, continuous extreme cold weather alerts and just plain frigid cold. (I’m not even going to touch getting the kids ready in their snowsuits and the 30 minutes spent doing that for a 15 minute play time outside – not going too!)


What fashion magazines everywhere are telling us is that there is a style out there for everyone. It is great that now almost everything goes! This season, you will find nods to the 1970s, sporty touches that don’t require a gym membership, shoulder-baring silhouettes, new uses for tiered skirts, and gingham prints that are so not your grandmother’s. Here are 10 looks you will see this spring:

Cool-Girl Gingham
The 70s Girl
Pop Art
Sporty Minimalism
Colored Suede
Power Shoulders
Apron Skirting
Statement Stripes
Modern Safari
• The New High Neckline

Granted, these are fresh hot the Paris, Milan and New York runways. Will they make a direct arrival into your day to day fashion – probably not (and not mine either). But we will see in our favourite clothing stores with some sort of assimilation between our current style and upcoming trends. What excited me the most are the colours! I find that I always tend to dress more in black, dark blue, brown and grey during the winter time. Went shopping on the weekend and there are lots of bright colours – yellow, blue, bright pink, lime green! Even if you are not use to wear lots of colours, you can wear a simple black or white dress with a pop of colour with bright shoes, purse or even sunglasses! Perfect Mom-On-The-Go outfit!

I look forward to wearing sandals, coloured accessories and everything that makes me feel good and girly. Bags and shoes are at the top of the list when it comes to the most important accessories. This will be my justification for getting a few coloured bags and a crazy amount of sandals. Designers are creating amazing shoes in combining different textures, materials, colours and embellishments.

For the mom on the go – comfortable is always a key factor. The “boyfriend jeans” are still going to be very trendy as well as long flowy summer dresses!


Oh ya – all we need now is Spring to really arrive!

saying goodbye


I think it is safe to say that no one likes to say good bye. No one likes to leave a place, a loved one – but what if you have no choice?

One of my uncle was diagnosed a year and a half ago with ALS. Unlucky for all of us, he has the worst kind. It started with his voice changing (sounding as if he was drunk). Got all kinds of testing done, throat, brain. At one point they thought it was throat cancer – it would have probably been a better verdict than ALS.

My Uncle Claude, has been the closest uncle I have. Even when my father past away 15 years ago, he was there and stepped up in those fatherhood roles moment. We are a pretty tight knit family and obviously this has affected all of us.


Sadly, when my father past away, I never got to say good bye. I need to say good bye to my uncle. I am not sure if death was too taboo 15 years ago or we were just in denial that my father was dying of pancreatic cancer. Even when he moved to palliative care – we were in denial that he was going to die. Although we almost lived at the hospital the last few months, we never talked about death. We never had that “last conversation” never cried together as a family, never faced our reality. I never got to tell him one last time how much I loved him. He was in his on denial that he was dying. After years of figuring things out and trying to understand why it was handled that way, I believe my father loved us so much that he didn’t want us to feel pain. As beautiful as it is – life can be painful sometimes. I wish I would have had a chance to tell my dad how much I loved him and how amazing my childhood was. I wish I would have had a chance to say good bye.

As nice as it would be to think that my uncle will not pass away in the next year (or less) it is probably unlikely. We can barely understand him when he speaks, his muscles are twitching and his breathing and swallowing have started to get affected.

Whenever we go to Montreal, we now make sure to go visit him. Last weekend, the kids, grand kids, everyone was there. It was such a precious moment.


Last week, I decided to write him a letter. As strong each others I am, I would not have been able to tell him everything I wanted to tell him in person. So I put it all down. Although we know that we should not wait to say and show how much we love each other until we are put into a bad situation. Life can be unfair sometimes but when we have the chance (make time for it) to work with what life has given us – we must take that chance. And like A.A. Milne wrote for Winnie The PoohHow lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard“.

Je t’aime mon oncle. xo


Are you “so” busy?!


Recently, I have stopped telling people I was busy. I work in public relations so I am always out meeting people, morning, day and evening – making connections and the first topic of discussion is always “oh I am so busy, you must be so busy, we are so busy”. People ask what I do, and they always say: “Wow, you are so busy and with small children.” I now reply :”Well yes, like everyone, but we manage”.

We are all running around, saying how busy we are as if it was a badge of honour or some sort of status : “I am so busy”! I think sometimes, we are victims of our own demise. And are we all as “busy” as we pretend to be or could we just wake up and enjoy the coffee? (For once without reheating it 5 times!?)

Instead, I started planning more. At home, I started making part of the kids lunch the night before. Washing, cutting and packing the fruits and vegetables. Arranging the snacks in the lunch box. All I have left to do the next day is make a sandwich or pack a hot meal. I always get the kids clothes ready – takes a minute in the evening and alleviate the stress in the morning.

Although I don’t always feel like it, I do a few loads of laundry during the week. (“And yes honey, you help me also”. My husband does like to do laundry. Or he doesn’t like how I do it but that works for me too!!)

The following night, when the kids are in their baths, I will fold and put away the laundry from the night before. (The benefit to having a laundry room on the 2nd floor!)

I try to do what I can when I can. Even if it is clean the powder room for 10 minutes one day, vacuum the upstairs the next day, the downstairs the following. A little bit at a time releases the pressure of seeing the “to do list” as a big mountain! Instead of telling myself “I am so busy” I do things and don’t create that “rush feeling” in my mind. And sometimes, like my mom would say I “let the dust bunnies run free in the house“!

I truly think this is the key to not spend hours or a whole weekend cleaning. I am always putting things and toys away. A little bit of my OCD here but I find that a clear and uncluttered house makes for an open and uncluttered mind. I always remind the kids (and the husband) to put their things away. And because I am right – when my son looks for a specific toy I will say “Did you put it where it belongs”? And the times that he did – he finds it right away. (“Told you!”)

Funny concept but by having this habit of doing a little bit at a time and prioritizing we are doing more but are less busy.

A few months ago, my husband and I were in this struggle of not enough time, me asking him to do things, him saying he didn’t have enough time and me nagging he didn’t spend enough time with the family! (Well obviously I don’t nag!) So I said to him :”We all have 24 hours in the day. You just need to get more organized and prioritize. Get things done when the kids are away in the day time so you can be with the family for dinner/evenings”. We had an ah ha moment! (Thanks Oprah, if it wasn’t for you I don’t know how I could have clearly described that emotion which all my readers completely understand what I mean”!

Since then, we both do more, are more productive and get to spend more quality time together. Just like everything else, diet, exercise, every little bit counts. We removed the things in our lives that didn’t add value and started declining or adjusting some invitations/activities we received from colleagues and friends. You truly are as busy as you want to be.


The Rewards

Yes, we’ve talk and heard about it – motherhood can be challenging but in addition – oh so rewarding!

I think we all want our kids to be polite, courteous, gracious and respectful. For our part, we prepare bags of toys/clothes to donate to charity together with the kids, we bake cupcakes to bring to the firemen on holidays because they sacrifice time with their families to protect the community and we teach them to share.

We teach them by how we treat others, each others and by our words and actions. I guess I always imagined that these teachings would make them into well mannered adults or at least a little later on in life. Kids need to be kids so they aren’t quite whole yet.

Well, this morning, as I dropped Big M to his 4th day of camp, I was brought to tears – happy tears. I have been so proud of him this week. He has adjusted so well to this new environment, new people, new friends, new rules. As I was kissing him good bye and reminding him to be “a good boy”, the lady in charge of the program said : “Oh he is so cute and so good”. She said “Yesterday, at the fair, everyone was given balloons. One of the older boy’s balloon popped and Big M gave him his balloon. He is 4 and he gave his balloon away. I couldn’t believe it because he is a child and why would he give his own balloon”? I was so proud. Not only did he behave well, he showed his kind heart and this was the greatest reward.


My Little M is also making us proud. She is just under 2 however already showing very caring and loving character traits. In the communication book we received from daycare last week, they shared this this story. “We were playing during circle time and one little boy, who is new to the class was crying. He has a little bear to sooth him but it was on the shelf. Little M got up, went to pick it up, handed it to the boy. He stopped crying, she smiled and walked away. Great way to show empathy Little M”.


These are small rewards. They are a reminder that it is important to model the behaviour we want our kids to emulate. They will continue to misbehave, learn and require (a lot) more discipline but will surprise and elate you with these amazing moments. Enjoy & cherish them!


The Guilt

I started this blog as part of a certificate I am taking at the University of Toronto. However I must confess that writing this diary on my journey to motherhood and life has been extremely therapeutic.

Life is a little bit of a step by step voyage. You finish school, you get a job, meet someone, get engaged, get married, buy a house then have kids. (Not always in that order but this would be the more traditional way).

And when the first kid arrives, you have a horde of people giving you advice, sharing their experiences and life lessons. For my part, I don’t think I was ready to hear them all however the one that I stuck with me the most was “enjoy them while they are small as the next thing you know they are leaving for University”.

This blog or perhaps getting older (I mean wiser) has made me feel a little guilty of wanting those early days of motherhood to be over. In the midst of nursing, diaper changes, nap schedule, baths, crying fits, colic, temper tantrums, cooking, cleaning – all I was thinking was “is this ever going to end”.

I also remember wishing the infant/toddler years to go fast so we could for example go and ENJOY a family vacation. Not have to worry about naps, rushing to eat to rush to get the kids to bed early and everything else. Having had the time to reflect on all of this, I realize that each step is a learning experience, that time does go by fast. That each stage, whether frustrating, infuriating or simply heart wrenching is part of the journey.


As I see my babies growing so fast, I fell blessed to be realizing this now. I have found peace in the chaos. I do not want to speed anything anymore. I rarely lose my cool because I know that one day I will miss having them want to snuggle, climb in my arms, hold my finger when they fall asleep, cuddle in my bed before they go to sleep. When they are all grown up, I know I’ll miss the smile and excitement on their faces when I pick them up from school, I know I’ll miss feeling their little heads as they rest on my shoulder for an instant, I know I’ll miss reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 100000th time.


As many mothers before me, I will say this to you if you are a new or future mom, during the struggling time “Hang in there – this too shall pass”. I know that before soon enough, these little ones will be tall, they will not need me to read to them anymore and my hands will be empty. I vow to cherish every moment.


The Worries

I wouldn’t consider myself as a worrier. I am a very positive, glass half full type person. But when it comes to my kids, I do worry – I realized that I worried more than I thought.

This week for example, as I walked away from dropping off my son to his first March Break camp, I felt this feeling of anxiety and uneasiness. I reflected and came to think about everything I ever worried.

When my husband and I decided we wanted to have kids, I knew I needed to change some habits. After doing some research, I became a vegetarian. I did not want to eat meat that was full of growth hormones and antibiotics. I worried about my unborn child. I worried during pregnancy when I would feel a pain under my baby belly, I worried when I would not feel pain, I worried when I would go to my weekly doctor’s visit and it would take them a while (2 extra seconds) to find the baby’s heart beat.

When my son was born, I worried something would be wrong – I have it on video that the first thing I asked my husband was “does he have 10 fingers and 10 toes?” I worried about the sun and heat when I would take him for walks as the summer of 2010 was extremely hot. I worried about his outfits of course when people came to visit. I worried about the house being clean and having enough food to serve our guests. (Truly, in hindsight, what was wrong with me!?)

(Picture of Big M on his birthday – July 2010.)

I remember worrying when a speech therapist saw him when he was around 2 years old and said he should be speaking more. (Truly I felt he was talking too much but OK.) I worried when he caught the hand, mouth, foot disease. I worried about making the right decisions…pretty much on every decision!

(Picture of Big M at 2 years old.)

When he started daycare at 3 years old, I worried about leaving him in a strange room, with strangers and strange kids. I remember walking away and him crying at the window calling for me.

(Picture of Big M on his 1st day of daycare – September 2013.)

When he started school this past September, I worried about so many things. I worried about how he would listen to his teachers, how he would get along with his friends, worried about his overall safety. He takes the bus to school and the first day – we followed him. We followed the bus, each stop, and I remember turning to my husband asking “did we teach him everything he needs to know? Is he ready?” We were both tearing up.

(Picture of Big M on his 1st day of school – September 2014.)

This past Monday, when I walked him into his March Break Camp facility, I was worried. It was a new environment, new people, new routine. In addition to worrying whether he says please and thank you, I worried about whether he would have fun and would be safe.

As I write this post, my mom called me and the first thing she said was : “Hi, I was worried I haven’t heard from you since Sunday night. I was worried as you didn’t call me since Big M started his camp. And I was worried ….”.

As my mom went on, I smiled and realized that I would always worry. That mothers are protectors, loving, caring, worriers. We may feel the strength and confidence in our hearts but as our kids grow, change, make mistake, face the world, mothers stand by and worry. Worrying is good, it makes you research schools, camps, ideas, it makes you engage with your partner, friends and specialists. Now I have 2 kids to worry about in addition to everything else – when you think about it, it is a miracle I am sane.

Road Trip

I remember always going on road trips with my parents. We grew up in Montreal but our family was in Quebec therefore every other weekend and every holidays, we would take the road and head North. We had such great trips, singing, eating in the car, playing games with my brother.


What I don’t remember is the planning. I do not remember having to make a suitcase, plan for activities or even to think about anything.

Travelling with small children is no easy adventure. We actually didn’t travel home for 6 months after our last one. The road from Toronto to Montreal is about 6 hours – with kids. The time before last, Little M cried for a continuous 4 hours – nonstop. I’m not exaggerating. Every time she would yawn or stop for a second we would say “Ok, that’s it, she will fall asleep and stop.” WRONG. From Montreal we had to head North to Quebec city for a family reunion. The trip was only 3 hours, she cried for half of it. Oh and – we had to come back!!! It was a similar trip back. When we finally got home, we agreed that we would wait a little while for the next road trip.

Here are some tips and things to think about before you leave:

• Fill up the car the night before you know you will leave this way you are not rushing to the gas station at the time of your planned departure.

• Also, the day before, empty the car of any reusable grocery bags or anything you keep in the car that will not be required. A little clean up is good too but don’t spend too much time as the car will get filthy anyways.

• Think about the time of day you will leave. Try to arrange as best you can to avoid traffic leaving and also when you will arrive at your destination. The last thing you want after a 5-6 hour trip is to get stuck in local traffic.

• Pack the trunk and leave the items you may need during the trip on top or plan a separate bag. If travelling with kids, you may want to keep a few diapers, pyjamas, blankies/teddies in a separate bag in the car.


• Make sure to pack lots of snacks. Kids will want to snack or at least it will keep them busy for a little bit while they eat – remember, can’t talk while you eat so it will give you a good 2-3 minutes of semi silence.

• You can pack a lunch with items easy for the kids to eat in their seats if you know you will still be driving around meal time. You can stop at rest areas that now serve fairly healthy options. It will cost you but the selection is pretty good.


• You want to bring water/drinks but not too much. Remember, whatever goes in must come out and there may not be a bathroom always close by. If travelling with younger kids, plan to bring their milk in a cooler with ice pack to keep the milk cold.

• Entertainment, don’t forget the entertainment. If you are very organized, you can make or purchase small games/toys to keep the kids busy and happy. Colouring and activity books, figurines, word search puzzles. As the kids get older, they can count play the colour car game. They each pick a colour and count the red cars and blue cars for example that drive by from the other direction. The first one to reach 10 wins. Of course, when all they are bored playing everything else, have in hand an ipad or portable DVD player.


Most of all, be safe and have fun, life is too short to stay home. Don’t stress the small stuff. I remember when my M’s were small to have nursed them as my husband was driving – to hold us off until the next stop – not the safest thing but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. The car will get dirty, you may gain a pound or two on your road trip but you will also create lifetime memories and that is priceless.