Thursday, 19 March 2015

Mummy Time #32: Codi Lynn

Codi Lynn is based in British Columbia and her blog (and awesome photography) showcases small independent businesses that she has discovered and fallen in love with through Instagram. I discovered Codi through Amaris (@lovelyblondecloset) who featured on here a little while ago and I have watched in awe of how she studies, works, blogs and raises two wonderful kids... An inspiration! I hope you enjoy learning more about Codi Lynn!


Mummy:

Who are you?
Hi! I am Codi Lynn, wife and mother to two amazing children. My son, Ezra, has just turned six this year and is all day at school in kindergarten and my daughter, Sophie, is one and a half, growing by the second. My husband is super amazing and keeps us all sane, he is super helpful and does most of the ‘dirty duties’ around the house. I am currently very emerged in school right now as I attend a solid year program to become a graphic designer. It was when I was on mat leave with my daughter that I knew I wanted a change of pace in my career. I loved being home with the kids but I have always liked to be busy working on a project. The idea came to my head to have a career in design when my husband and I were engaged, though it wasn’t until Mat leave that I decided to take action on the dream.

(My son became my son at two years old when I married his daddy, best decision of my life, I gained two wonderful handsome men that day. I have always referred to him as my son and am so blessed to have him in my life. Though I did not birth him so I do not have that experience to share and is the sole reason why most of this write up is about my experiences with my daughter.)

What do you do for a living?
I am currently running Creative Wife and Joyful Worker, a blog featuring other young entrepreneurs and their business successes, as well as some peaks into my day to day life with baking, crafts and photography.

How long did you take for maternity leave?
I took the full year of maternity leave and I loved it, I started back to work two days a week at my current job as well as going to school 3 nights and one full day during the week. This all started right after my mat leave ended and it was a change of pace to say the least. It would not be possible without the amazing help of our families helping with childcare and my husband rocking the show at home most nights with the children. He truly does more than I could ever image and am so grateful to have him.

How did you feel when you returned to work and how did it change things?
Returning to work didn’t change the routine so much, I tried to make an effort to see both in laws during the week when I was on mat leave so that the kids could continue to have a strong relationship with them. We are very fortunate to live in the same city as our immediate families and are also very grateful for the relationships we have with them. Both mother in laws are so happy to take care of our children during the day and give me a break when I was on mat leave, that going back to work that change seemed so natural. The biggest change was my son starting kindergarten. I was expecting to have a month to get used to the transition to not seeing him so much but since the schools in BC were on strike the students didn’t go back to school until a month later than expected. This ended up being the exact timing that I went back to work and started school. We managed the change, though it was hard getting used to seeing him so much less often.

How do you manage the work-life balance?
To be honest sometime I wonder if I do manage, haha! I get asked often how I do it all, but the truth is I don’t do it all. I pray often and give try my best to give a lot of my stress to the Lord, asking him guidance in decisions and growing my relationship with him through the business of life has made it all that much more able for balance. It was about a month back that I was feeling rather overwhelmed and in doubt with my ability to take on everything that I had taken on and then at the church service the speaker was talking about giving the pen to God and letting him write our story. I was taking too much control over my own life and not giving enough to him. This past month I have been able to relax and know that if I listen he will guide me.


How do you get things done?
I have to thank my husband for a lot of what gets ‘done’ in our house. I clean the house throughout the day, trying my best, though my daughter is like a tornado. You can clean it one minute but the next minute it is a disaster again. We try not to stress about it too much - and if we are going to take time to clean it will be when the kids are asleep so that it can stay clean for a longer period of time. Though since I am at school most nights a week it is my husband who has taken on much of the cleaning role and I could not thank him enough for all the hard work he does for our family.

What do you do to relax?
Relax. This is something that my sister just text me the other day. Something simple like, “I think you just need to relax.” I was getting worked up and stressed out about my parenting roles and doubting that i was doing a good job and making a positive impact on the lives of my kids. I had heard a story of how my son had spoke to someone in class and it had made me become overwhelmed and stressed. He had not been very kind and I didn’t know what to do... anyways… clearly this is something that I am still working on - and trying to figure it out. Though one thing I have been doing to relax is when my daughter naps I try to make sure that I take some of that time to focus on me, whether it is a bath, shower, paint my nails, straighten my hair, have a nap, read a book, etc… I take that time for myself to give myself the attention that I need. I have been realizing that I haven’t been spending enough time on me and that in itself is stressful.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?
This currently doesn’t really happen. I do homework the second the kids go to bed at night then I go to sleep. (besides nap time as mentioned above, which is also heavily consumed with homework)


Pregnancy:

How was your pregnancy?
Overall I would say was decent. I did not have any complications, though I also would not say that I overly enjoyed it. I don’t really know why, I was hardly ever sick (only 5 days in the first trimester that I vomited) - though I still did not really enjoy it. There were of course days, like hearing the heartbeat for the first time, feeling the first flutters and kicks, etc that were just truly incredible and I am so so happy to have experienced. Those days made me love it. But all the rest if I was asked for an honest answer I would say it was alright.

Did you have any cravings?
At the start of my pregnancy I craved oranges, all the time. I would eat like two or three a day. (I never ate oranges before this) Then later in my pregnancy I craved hazelnut milk chocolate like nothing else, it was strange for me because I was also never a huge chocolate fan before, but now it is pure gold goodness.

How did you decide on Sophie's name?
We did not find out what we were having nor did we have any names picked out; I had made a list but my husband and I never really talked about it too much, I think we both had a similar thought that once we see our baby then we will know. I ended up having to have an emergency c-section (which is a whole other story) and when the doctor placed our baby on my chest I said her name right away. Though it took us until the next morning to say that we had named her, we just wanted to be sure and test it out for a day before announcing it. And it stuck,

How did your prepare for Sophie's arrival?
My husband got me the book ‘What to expect when you are expecting” I enjoyed having this as I felt that it was easy to navigate and easy to read (I am not a big reader) I have heard good and bad reviews about it from my friends but overall I would still recommend it, I would just say that it is important to read a wide range of material so that you do not just get one writers view on childbirth. I did not read very much about c-sections, in fact I skipped over all of those parts. I had this thought in my head that I would not have to have one, so why would I need to know that. I was wrong. After  7 hours of full labour (fully dilated) my baby was not dropping and her heart rate was dropping. I was scared. I had not read about anything about having a c-section, the routine what happens, recovery, effects, nothing. With my husband by my side I knew that I was going to make it through this, though if I could make one recommendation for new mommas it would be to get educated on all aspects of child birth, even if it is not in your birth plan - you do not have much control overall in what your birth plan may become.


Baby:

How did you get on with breastfeeding?
I felt as though I was very blessed with breast feeding, my daughter was a great latcher and ate often. We had a great first couple of months until she never really seemed to be satisfied. I had spoken with a few friends about some concerns I had with feedings etc and I had advice to try pumping and feeding her from a bottle to monitor how much she is drinking to ensure she was getting enough. When we started to do this she started to become much more satisfied and we were able to know that she was getting enough food. That was a huge relief for me to know that she was getting enough milk at every feed.

Does Sophie have a feeding routine?
Right now she eats when she wakes up, we walk her brother to school (this takes about 45 minutes) we get home, I make a snack and she eats again, then it is nap time (1-2 hours) she wakes up and eats again, we go get her brother from school in about two hours then we come home for a snack for all of us, then shortly after that is dinner, bath and bed. :)

What does Sophie eat?
My daughter is a year and a half now and has no problem eating just about anything. I can honestly cut up just about any food and give it to her, writing this now I can't think of a food that she wouldn’t eat. That has been such a blessing that she is a great eater and totally willing to try almost anything.

What was your approach to weaning Sophie onto solids?
The first food that we fed was avocado. I would blend it up with some water and have it pretty liquified. I then moved onto other foods including carrots, beans and peas. She was a great eater. Every week we would try a new food and it was very slim that we came across anything that she didn’t like. I was surprised at how much more time-consuming feeding solids was in the routine and this definitely called for a change of the regular routine but it is so worth it having their belles fully and happy faced with some full meals.


Does Sophie have a nap/sleep routine?
The nap and bed time just kind of happened, I think that it was easier to make a routine because her brother was already on a routine. They both go to bed at the same time, 7pm every night and both wake up anywhere from 6.30am – 7.30am every morning. Sophie has a nap usually around 1030am-11am for anywhere from 1-2 hours in the afternoon and she has been a really great sleeper since she was young. We used to have to wake her up in the middle of the night when she was a baby to feed her, the doctor has recommended it as they thought she was a little bit jaundice and they needed her to be eating every 2-3 hours. After this passed, we could let her sleep and she slept like a champ, besides when teeth were coming in or a stuffy nose we could say we are very blessed with her sleeping habits.

What are Sophie’s favourite things to do?
Sophie love loves loves going for walks, she often grabs her shoes and points out the window, she is always sad to come back in after a visit to the park or walk down the road. She is a little adventurer and loves climbing everything. She loves climbing on the coffee table of sofa and jumping off into our arms.

When Sophie’s freaking out, what helps to calm her?
We usually go for a walk in the stroller; I find fresh air to be the best way to change the mood for anyone. Even me. If the weather isn't great the bath would be the next option, this is one of her favorite places in the house. She is always upset to get out of the bath, and could be playing in there all night.

At what age did your baby become more mobile and how did you cope?
At about ten months Sophie started standing up and walking around furniture, though this wasn’t such a bother as she didn’t manage to be super curious yet and was more focused on the actual fact of walking. It was just before she turned one that she started walking with no assistance and that is also when she started becoming super curious. She is pretty stable now and really good at climbing onto the kitchen table chairs and sitting good, though there was a good couple month span where she wasn’t so stable and had a few good falls while trying to climb up on different objects around the house. 

What are your go-to resources for information about your baby when you're worried?
A lot of the time I will read different blogs or just chime into the wonderful network of ladies/mommas in my community. Two of my sisters are both mommas and have a lot of great advice, they are my go to for immediate assistance, as well as my mother and mother-in-law are also very knowledgable and full of great ideas, calming tips and reassurance.

How do Ezra and Sophie get along?
We were so pleased that our son is so in love with his sister. Of course they have their moments and we are teaching both of them to keep their hands to themselves, but overall these two are two peas in a pod. They love giving each other hugs and always give kisses and snuggles before bedtime. It is such a heart throb to see and such a wonderful thing to experience as parents for us.


Paraphernalia:

Does Sophie have a favourite toy?
Sophie has a toy that we call Mr.Fox - I am not sure how this became her favorite but she carries it around with her the most often. Some other top favourites are her doggie and kitty stuffy that she got at Christmas time from my husband’s uncle. She loves giving them all kisses and then passing them off to one of us to give kisses to as well.


What has been the most useful thing you’ve discovered?
When Sophie was a few months old she was in her little rocking chair a lot, it was amazing and it was the only way I could have my hands free for a while. She even learnt to kick her legs to keep the chair rocking when it would slow down.

What is Sophie’s mode of transport?
We purchased the Bob Stroller and I love it, it has been great as we don’t always like to stay on the path and this stroller is great for jogging and ‘off roading’. Though my sister has a City Select that I have borrowed a few times and felt that this stroller is much more practical for the everyday needs, it compacts smaller and is a little slimmer in width, that you may not think makes a difference but when shopping in stores that aren’t built for strollers, it becomes that much more handy.

What are your absolute essentials when you go out?
I always like to bring a pair of moccasin shoes that are super easy to fit in the diaper bag and of course very light weight.

Where are your favourite places to shop for baby clothes?
I like to support the makers within the community that I follow and have engaged with through my blog Creative Wife and Joyful Worker. I am aiming to open up my own small shop some day soon and think it is so important to support your local community.

Advice:

What do you wish you’d known before you had a baby?
I wish I knew about the after baby aspect of life that changes, everyone warns you about how life will never be the same with baby. They are right it isn’t your heart is oh-so full and overflowing with love. But what I didn’t know is just what your body experiences and what it goes through with all the hormone changes. This was not something that I had read up on, been told about, or had much knowledge at all on. I would give advice to other mothers to look into that aspect of change and just be prepared to feel different as a person after baby, and be accepting of the new person you become, rather than hard on yourself for not being the same. :)

What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?
I think just the reassurance that I am making a positive impact on my children’s lives. The encouragement is so meaningful. I never thought that I needed to be encouraged and shown love that way so much, though after becoming a mother my love language changed and I love being reassured that I am doing a good job.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other mums or expectant mums?

Never be afraid to ask for help, you cannot do everything on your own. You can try, and you might become mighty close, but it is not worth it. There are people around you that want to be around you and your baby, let them help you.

Posts of Cody Lynn's you might like:
Small business spotlight: Whistle and Flute
Baby-safe Greek yoghurt painting


Thank you for sharing, Codi Lynn!

P.S. Don't forget there's still a couple days left to enter my giveaway with Buddy and Bear.
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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x

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