We’re done having kids. The boys are now 8 & 11 so we’re out of the baby/toddler/preschooler stage. I have loved every stage but the older they get the more I see a little baby and want to squish their little cheeks and start again. KIDDING. I don’t want to start again. But I need something to keep me company during the day while the boys are in school. Pets are not an option (WAY too much work plus the whole allergy thing) so I’m becoming a Plant Mom.
The other night as I frantically finished up the evening chores and sent the kids off too bad my daughter came up to me and asked me if I would cuddle with her in bed. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has answered this way but I told her “just let me finish up the dishes and what I am doing here and I will come cuddle with you.” I guess deep down my hope was that she would fall asleep and I could continue finishing up cleaning up the kitchen, putting away toys they had missed, hang up jackets, prep snacks and lunches. That I could finally sit down and throw on some Netflix or do something that I had been wanting to get done the whole day and needed my alone time to do it.
After about 3 minutes of silence I hear her say “mama are you still coming?” I instantly felt bad, she had actually been waiting. I had given her this hope that I was coming when I didn’t really have the intention of coming to cuddle with her. This mom guilt came over me and I dropped the sponge and went to her room. I invited our son to come and cuddle with us too. I mean was it going to take an extra two minutes of my time, five minutes even to lay in bed with them cuddle recite some Quran and make them feel like they are loved and cared about until the very last minute of the day. It’s about them going to sleep feeling like it was a good day no matter what happened at school or whatever fears or struggles they had at the end of the day it’s us against the world and no matter what mama is there. It was just a simple moment that she’d asked for but I was telling her without really telling her that I had other things that were more important than her.
Perhaps in my head I justify it as I had spent the day with them, running errands for them, rushing around for them, cooking for them taking them to the library, driving across the city with them and many other “mom duties”.
WAHM/D, SAHM/D, Work out of the home or other?
# of Kids? Ages?
What movie makes you cry?
Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you?
What’s the fondest memory you have of your life as a mom/dad so far? The biggest challenge?
Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself? Why?
Most definitely my own future! I’m always curious what the results of my actions are long term!
Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from Tracey McGonigal, the owner and creative force behind Tracey Bakes YEG. She’s also a busy wife and mama with a full-time day job. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram, sharing photos of her breathtaking cakes and cupcakes.
1. How did you begin this journey into the world of cake decorating?
When my daughter Olivia was born, being a first-time mom some days felt so isolating and lonely. While I was over the moon about having a beautiful, healthy baby I wasn’t used to staying home after being part of the workforce for so long. I’ve always liked to bake but this time gave me the chance to really fall in love with it and it was something I got to do for myself.
2. Can you describe your creative process?
I generally like to sketch out most of my cakes beforehand to plan on how I want to tackle it. I like to keep up with what’s trendy while staying true to a particular style on how I like my cakes to look and meeting up with what my client needs. I also love to work with both buttercream and fondant, I like to be versatile so I’m never bored doing the same thing.
3. What is the most rewarding aspect of owning and operating your own business?
Hands down the awe in my clients and how grateful they are when they see their cakes for the first time. Just knowing I had created something to do that makes all the long hours super rewarding.
4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?
My week is always so hectic (I also work as a full time medical office assistant) and Sunday is a chance to catch up on things like laundry or other “fun” house work. Some days we say the hell with it and do none of the above to do something fun out of the house with our daughter.
You told me today that we were having family photos and I needed to dress nice, but when we got there you stood behind the lady making funny faces while everyone looked at me and giggled.
I wondered why everyone was staring at me. You looked so pretty Mom. You still had that tattoo I drew on you earlier, and your hair was a bit tussled from when you tickled me and I squealed with delight. We had a great day. I won’t remember it though because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.
When we got the photos you were so excited. You told me how cute I looked and how big I was getting. I asked to see the photos but they were all of me. I see me all the time, I wanted to see you.
I wanted to see your face when my tiny hands brought you flowers for the first time. I wanted to see your smile as we looked at each other. I wanted to see us holding hands. Mommy? I asked. But you weren’t in the photos, because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.
It’s years later and I’m growing up. I’m packing my things for my new house and you ask me to go through the family photos to see if I want to display any in my new home. I sort through hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me. Not finding any of you. I pass on the photos as it’s kind of odd to display your own baby photos in your home. I would have framed and hung photos of us from my childhood but there aren’t any, because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.
I recall, as a child being asked – “What do you want to be when you grow up?“
When you’re small, the sky is the limit. I wanted to be a singer most of all but a paleontologist on the side. As I grew up and realized I wasn’t going to make it as a singer, my second option became a focus. BUT my challenges in school – science and math, not to mention the cost of that kind of education, quickly laid that dream to rest. I grew up in a small town with no career supports and no one encouraging me to be ambitious. Let’s be honest, the first goal was getting to “the big city” and figure it out from there.
I didn’t go to university or college in the end. I had amazing opportunities continuously fall into my lap, worked hard and ended up around people who believed in me. I got incredibly lucky with being able to provide for myself and now my family.
Now at almost 40 I’m asking myself the same question I was asked as a child.
“What do I want to be when I “grow up“
Dreaming of taking trips to incredible destinations? Dreaming of taking your children around the world to experience new cultures and take on new adventures? Having nightmares about the long flights? We have all been there!
From when my children were old enough to have a passport (so basically the first few weeks), my husband and I have been taking our children on trips around the world. Our first long haul trip was with our 6 month old daughter to Turkey. Of Course we were terrified. As new parents and never having travelled with children before we couldn’t even anticipate what it might look like. To make it worse, him and I had this image of exhausted parents not having slept for 24 hours pacing back and forth in airplane consoling a screaming baby in our minds. Our first experience wasn’t too far off from that image to be honest. On the way to Turkey, we had crying, no sleep, we had many many outfit changes and throw up. Lots of throwup! Not a great way to kick off a 2 week vacation. BUT we sat down, and we worked out a great plan for the return, taking into account everything we had experienced. It was almost perfect! We got it all worked out and we were now prepared. Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later, we have taken many long haul flights including Egypt, Singapore, Indonesia, and The Philippines.
I want to share with you my tips for taking long haul flights so that you can get past the anxiety of flying with children and start enjoying all the amazing places this world has to offer!
Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we get to know newborn photographer Hailey Hamilton. Hailey hails from Calgary, and is the owner and artistic talent behind Hailey Hamilton Photography. As a mom herself, Hailey gets that life with a new baby can be crazy, and strives to be flexible and understanding with her clients in order to make their experience relaxed and enjoyable. Connect with Hailey, and check out her beautiful portraits, by visiting her website or Facebook page.
1. How did your career as a photographer evolve towards a specialization in newborn photography?
At one time, I photographed almost everything. After a bunch of my friends had babies (and I was asked to take photos), I quickly learned how much fun it was to pose them and squish them into adorable curly positions. I found it was much easier to be creative with newborns and to be able to achieve the looks I was envisioning. As a mom myself, I’m also very comfortable working with babies!
2. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Having the opportunity to snuggle new babies is obviously amazing, but as an artist, the most rewarding thing for me is achieving the final finished portrait and seeing my vision come to life!
3. Which three words best describe your artistic style?
Clean, simple, minimal
4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?
Brunch at our favorite breakfast spot, and then wherever the day takes us!
5. What’s your favourite kid-friendly destination in Calgary?
My son is a teenager so we don’t usually do too many kid activities. But escape rooms and go karts are always a hit.
This past weekend we decided to take advantage of the sunshine – it’s few and far between lately! My daughter has become interested in taking photos – especially of flowers – and we had never been to the St. Albert Botanic Garden so that’s where we went!
1. It’s FREE
You park in the lot and it’s right there. There is a gift shop you can peruse if you like but entrance is free.
2. It’s bigger than you expect!
I hadn’t looked up anything more than where it was so when we got there, the entrance gardens were already impressive. But then we kept walking. It’s LONG. There is an entrance park, an East park, a West park and more additional gardens. We stopped along the way so much to take photos we spent almost 2 hrs there.