Author Archives: RoxAnne Prystupa

The Jist of the Jolly Jumper

Invented by a Canadian Indigenous woman by the name of Olivia Poole, the Jolly Jumper has been around since the early 1900s. Its design came from women needing a way to take care of and entertain their children while also being productive. I could thank this woman daily for her ingenuity and brilliance.

Like other toys and baby mechanisms, the Jolly Jumper has age limits and recommended-use guidelines. Until Kolter was 10 weeks old I had not done any reading about our Jolly Jumper and had yet to open the box. I did notice, however, that my son was beginning to sit with his head up for as long as he wished and even began standing up when we would do our pull-to-sit exercises with him. He was becoming restless by 11 weeks and so I started looking into using our Jolly Jumper. The age recommendation states that babies should be 3 months old AND can hold their heads up independently with full neck support. See more FAQs here. Kolter fulfilled both these requirements and so, the following weekend, we decided to give the jumper a try.

Some kids take time to get used to being suspended or being able to see things upright. Some don’t enjoy the jumper and even cry while in it due to discomfort (this is rare) or not liking to jump. Kolter was neither of these.

We placed him in the jumper and sat back to see his reaction. We want him to explore the world at his own pace and try not to influence his thoughts or decisions - yes, you can tell if you’re influencing them or not at a few months old. We didn’t want to make the bouncing motion, we wanted to see if he would initiate it on his own. He did and within literal seconds of being in it.

After a minute or two he was smiling, bouncing away, and even letting out a giggle or two. Our hearts fluttered seeing him so happy. We took a quick video and shared it with some friends and family. My husband’s phone rang and we were immediately met with backlash that he’s too long, he’s going to be sore, we better not leave him in there too long, don’t leave him unattended, he’s going to hurt himself being that young in there. Our hearts were crushed. I knew he was fine. I knew my baby better than anyone and he was happy and safe. There is no way we were going to leave him alone in it or let anything hurt him - we’re not stupid. I was initially upset but soon told my husband I didn’t care what others were saying because I knew he was fine and I knew I was a good mama.

My parents were so excited to see him in the jumper and asked for pictures almost daily. In fact, they even went out and bought one so they could see him in one when he stayed at their place. I was relieved. My parents were also believers in doing what you know is best and not letting others dictate your decisions. This is likely why I strongly advocate raising my son the same way.

After just a few weeks, and me telling others they were outright wrong about my son being too young for the Jolly Jumper, things calmed down and everyone could see how much he loved it and how strong he was getting from using it. One thought was crossing my mind though… how long is too long to be in the Jolly Jumper?

Different manufacturers hold different opinions on safe time limits in the jumper. Some say 20 minutes, twice and day while others say 15 minutes. But why so short? Kolter could sometimes jump for up to 45-50 minutes and yell at you if you tried to take him out earlier. Turns out, hip dysplasia is a condition that can be caused by babies being placed into carriers, exersaucers, and Jolly Jumpers for too long, causing their hips to be misshaped. It is also said to impede on the natural development of crawling and walking. Honestly, my mother said I lived in my Jolly Jumper and I’m completely fine. I know that someone has to be the statistic and I believe in doing your research, but I also believe that if someone falls into a pond because they’re playing Pokemon Go it should not be ban from the world because of one person’s stupidity or lack of awareness. So I consulted a friend who is a physiotherapist, we’ll call him Dan. Dan said that there are cases where babies develop hip issues due to being in these types of devices for long periods of time but, from his understanding and research, these long periods of time are 4+ hours a day, every day because parents use it as a parenting tool or leave children unattended and let them sleep in them. I plan to do none of the above. Dan suggests letting your child tell you when they’re finished but that 45-60 minutes at a time, no more than twice a day is fine and that he has never encountered such issues on that type of timeline. He also says that manufacturers need to “cover their butts” so they will always print the minimum time. I’m going with this recommendation.


We let Kolt jump to his satisfaction which typically lasts around 40-50 minutes and his times are usually once in the early afternoon and once in the late evening before his final feed and then sleep. He tells us if he wants to get out and sometimes it is as short at 10 minutes. We never leave him unattended and his last check-up (this week) the pediatrician said he looked to be very strong and that nothing was out of place or functioning improperly. We’re pleased to announce we’re not horrible parents.

Stay tuned for more jumping and other adventures.

Day 10 – Coolness?

Well, day ten has brought a new perspective to the app. I hounded 40+ friends to download the app and I was successful at getting 5 to do so. I will say that the notification chime is slightly less “triggering” and more intriguing at this point. Having friends post at the same time is exciting. You can see what people are genuinely up to and reply with emojis (which are made with your own face) or comments.

My newest appeal to the app is that I know there is nothing to see unless the app has notified my friend group to post at that moment or it notifies me that a friend posted late so I am not spending countless amounts of time on the app. It notifies and I post, I check to see who else posted, then I move on.

I ran into some old students at this week’s district track event and they found it humourous that I had BeReal. I assured them I had nothing exciting to ever post or share. I asked what the appeal was for them and only a handful admitted to using it but they said they did the same, quickly posted, scrolled, and closed it. I supposed I like that they’re not addicted to another app that generates endless screen time.

Does anyone have experience with kids or students using or talking about the app?

Days 2-7: I’m Uncool

Well, well, well, days two through seven of using BeReal have not resulted in much success as I have swiftly realized that I am vastly uncool and unmatched for such an app. Yes, it is true that I was already aware that I am uncool (I tell my students this all the time) but I was not aware that I could no longer use all forms of social media to their full potential due to my low-level-popularity status on the newest apps.

I am now aware.

My friend list consists of 5 people now, thanks to Kara adding me while also on her BeReal journey. Surprisingly, more of my friends are not on the app since the majority of downloaders are said to be millennials and Genz age. I may do some posting and friend phishing to increase my app activity. How do I know I’m still wildly unpopular? My notifications and feed are bare with the exception of just 2-3 people updating their posts. This lets me know that I don’t have many friends or followers because an interesting feature of the app, and its main attraction, allegedly, is that a friends list is notified at the same time to “be real” so not only will you update your current whereabouts but so will your friends so you can all see what you’re doing at the same time (if nobody is late posting). Click here to read more about it.

Following the initial day, I received the daily notification to “be real” and have not yet been tardy on my posts again. Being on maternity leave warrants me enough free opportunities throughout the day to snap photos on time (when the notification arrives). They are usually of my son or my laptop (or both). I’m still getting blurry shots because it takes the app a few seconds to register the photo and if you move at all the photo is blurry - I have a 50%+ STAT of blurry photos. I’m working on it.

blurry 1.png
blurry 2.png

This week I decided to spend some time discovering more about the app both organically and online. I realized I can comment and react with emojis to others’ posts. I have yet to receive one - again, I’m very uncool on the app - also off the app. I also realized that my photos are stored within the app and I can review them at any time. I have yet to decide if I’m comfortable with this feature but I suppose it really isn’t much different than any other app with my photos uploaded to it.

CHAT - apparently this is a feature on the app but I have yet to discover it - likely because I have nearly nobody to chat with - again… uncool. I’m wondering if this app feature is modelled after SnapChat (instant photos and chatting - hmmm)?

I had hoped that this weekend of camping would bring some exciting content to my feed and even proof that I have friends, but, of course, the app never notified me while I was near other humans. I think it targets certain users and makes them appear lonely - I’m this user.

After some research, I see the promise behind the idea of the app. The creator wanted an app that connected friends and family through unfiltered, unposed, real-life moments and shows reality versus a constant montage of edited unrealities. The app is a fight against everything we are trying to reverse in the world of social media influence right now: fake news, comparisons, self-image issues, etc. Knowing the thought behind its creation, I find it less ‘stupid’ and more… hopeful? I have now sent the invite link to over 20 friends and hope that 2 or 3 pick it up!

Cons of the app include no parenting control, easy connection with unknown users, and people knowing your whereabouts. Which is greater? The pros or the cons? I’ll have more feedback and thoughts on this later this week!

P.S. I’m still not finding the “world-wide” feed entertaining. I’m not interested unless I know the people.

Stay tuned for more uncool posts.

Camping With a Baby

Well, we survived! Camping with a baby turned out to be far less treacherous than I had anticipated. In fact, it went better than I could have imagined. I think my anxiety crept up because of all the unknowns and I felt that I hadn’t really prepared for the weekend in the midst of all the busy-ness we have going on in our lives right now, seeding, university, a newborn, etc. In the end, we are thankful it was an overcast weekend - wow, how your camping wishes change when you have kids.

The Drive

One downfall to our weekends is an aspect that I used to actually love - the long drives. There is nothing I love more than a Friday after-work drive in the countryside with my husband. It is peaceful, beautiful, and there are no distractions, unlike a long day of teaching. However, this time of year warrants large tractors, air seeders, and semis on the gravel roads and it causes them to become washboard-like or bare of actual gravel and replaced with boulders and potholes. These types of road conditions are less than desirable for anyone let alone a newborn’s tummy - cue the colic. We had discovered that Kolter became colicky from long car sides when he was just a month old.

Our little guy already struggles with some reflux (minor symptoms listed on this site) and colic issues. Kolt’s reaction is minor in comparison to what I’ve heard others experience - he just whimpers and fusses and needs to be sat upright and burped or needs to toot. Bumpy roads do not add anything valuable to those issues. Luckily, he sleeps when we are in motion whether it be in a vehicle, stroller, or grocery cart.

Setting Up

Once we arrived at the lake, and Kolter awoke, we had not anticipated what to do with him while we unpacked both vehicles (the initial camping trip of the season usually demands a haul that includes both our vehicles). We had been quite successful so far in our first few months with him when it came to being organized and on time for things. We agreed early on that we would both make a conscious effort to prepare for outings earlier so we weren’t the people who were always “late because of our kids” (we both despise being late). We knew that it wouldn’t always work but we were going to make the effort to try our hardest. Friday was one of those situations you just can’t predict and it ended up taking us 3 hours to get the camper set up, unpacked, and organized in comparison to previous years’ 1 hour. Kolt wasn’t fussy during that time but we had to make room for his travel bassinet, changing supplies, clothing, towels, cloths, hats, bottle station, etc. We also had to feed him during that time, change him, and there were moments he needed some settling. Thankfully, we had friends wanting some Kolter snuggles while we unpacked and organized. In fact, I purged a lot of unneeded items from our camper and completely reorganized our items to create a better functioning system for camping with a baby. I love efficiency and organization.

The Fire Ban Scenario

That first afternoon and evening included all the organizing, saying hello to our lake family, and making sure we had what we needed for our first night with Kolter at the lake. Unfortunately, there was a fire ban but thankfully we had our propane firepit. Of course, numerous people end up with “fire envy” and feel the need to stop and scold you for having a fire and being inconsiderate during a fire ban - the look on their faces when you inform them of the actual fire status is enough to bring you satisfaction that you don’t need to humiliate them further. It happens every year and those that don’t have the courage to stop and tell us we’re horrible people just call the park office and “report us”, by which point, due to repeated experience, we have already called ahead to let them know our site number and that we, in fact, know there is a fire ban and are having a propane fire and they are welcome to inspect it if they please.

A Surprise

We knew our first night would not be a late one, in contrast to previous years. We had become used to going to bed at 9 pm and we wanted to be prepared for anything Kolt was going to throw at us in the middle of the night in a new place. To our surprise, all the fresh air caused Kolter to sleep 9 straight hours the first night at the lake. I put him to bed at his typical 9:30 pm and he did not wake until 6:20 am. At first, I thought perhaps my husband had gotten up to feed him a bottle at his usual 3:30 am feeding time but it was clear my husband had not moved from his place of slumber, nor were there any dirty bottles or signs that a bottle had been prepped for consumption. We were in disbelief and also WELL rested. No complaints here!

Kolter watching Moana in the camper for the first of MANY times.

As we guessed, getting up and going in the morning took a bit longer with Kolt. On the other hand, life without a child meant we normally never woke up before 9 am or surfaced from our camper until 10 am and we now had a headstart with our 7 am wake-up call from the bassinet. We realize that we are very fortunate to have a child that is content and calm. I attempted to have an incredibly calm pregnancy because I had heard and read (many Eastern cultures believe this) that those hormone levels could be transferred to the fetus. Whether or not this is true is up for debate but, in my case, it seems to have worked. We usually begin the day with one of us changing him and then bringing him to bed with us for some morning cuddles and then we all get up for the day together. My husband is a HUGE Moana fan (he’s a 5-year-old trapped in a 35-year-old’s body) so he put it on the TV in the living room of the camper for Kolter while we washed up, got dressed, and organized ourselves for the day ahead. Kolt also seems to love Moana (thankfully because the DVD is stuck in our player in the camper).

Jump for Success

Each day and night proceeded in the same way as the initial one. We are proud to announce that our little baby bear loves camping as much as we do so far. I took notes from some of the articles I shared in my previous camping post and packed some of Kolt’s favourite items. We knew we needed to bring the Jolly Jumper and were so thankful that we did. (I will have another post about the Jolly Jumper later this week when I have time for a bit more research).

Kolt loved being outside with so much to see and all the new sounds! We went for walks and explored everything we could, though he slept most of the time because a stroller in motion means he was asleep.

In the coming weekends, we will be building stairs and a deck for our site to make things safer and easier with a child. We cannot wait until the weather is warm enough to take him for swims and beach days!

Stay tuned for more adventures and lessons with Kolt!

It’s an Avocado… Thaaanksss

This week started with my first official Mother’s Day as a mama. It began with brunch with all the women I’m closest to in my family (and my son- who dressed up for the occasion), followed by drinks and snacks on the patio at my house, and then a feast for all of us, cooked by my wonderful husband. The sun was shining, there was no wind (I have a loathing for wind) and we enjoyed one another’s company.

This was the day we also decided to have Kolter begin solid foods. If you haven’t seen the “An Avocado” Youtube video then you’re missing out on the humour of my title so I’ll link it for you HERE. The back story is that Jimmy Fallon challenged parents to give their children random home items for Christmas and film their reactions. This child was nothing but thankful for his avocado.

Back to our avocado! As my last post indicates, I have been consulting medical professionals and lactation specialists for weeks prior to this introduction of solid foods. I scoured the International Breastfeeding Centre website that was sent to me by Naida Hawkins, our province’s leading breastfeeding specialist and researcher, and found that some babies need solids even as early as three months if their hunger or nutrients is not satiated by their milk intake. If you’re not familiar with why we are considering solids earlier than 6 months you can read those details here. I have no desire to stop feeding my baby my milk but we have discovered he needs supplementation.


During all of this, I learned a lot of interesting facts about breastfeeding your child including:

1) Your milk will adjust to your child’s needs. If you are directly contact-feeding your baby OR you wipe their saliva onto your nipples then your body will read their saliva and adjust your milk to their dietary and immune needs, this is called salivary amylase. This can adjust when your baby has a growth spurt, is sick, has been exposed to toxins, etc.

2) Power pumping. I tried this. It slightly increased my milk supply but not enough to keep up with my baby’s needs. Because Kolter was showing hunger signs more frequently we assumed that he was perhaps cluster-feeding and so I attempted to power pump and direct-contact feed him to satiate him. This did help but not completely.

3) Follow your “mommy gut”. I could see that Kolter would watch us prepare food, drool when we were eating, stare at us while we ate, and even tried to reach for our items at times. I started looking up whether there were actual signs to watch for and, sure enough, those were the signs.


Now for the food introduction.

My husband bought this brand new baby bullet (STILL IN THE PACKAGING) at a garage sale last week! SCORE!

We consulted a few sites and our specialist about what to introduce first as we had heard that pablum (ground baby cereal) was a great place to start. She recommended that if Kolter was ready to eat solids that giving babies actual food is far better, nutrients-wise, than pablum. As a nutritionist, I loved that. Foods that are nutrient-dense, sweeter, and high in natural fats and sugars were recommended to start with; avocado, bananas, and sweet potato. Each of these is also of a smooth consistency that can easily be pureed and mashed to avoid choking hazards.

Guess which one we chose?

I placed the avocado into the baby bullet and added some breast milk to loosen the consistency. I had read this during one of my 3 am pumping occasions and pinned it to recall it when my brain was too tired to retrieve the information from the back of my “mom-brain”.

My husband and I sat down with Kolter and fed him the first bite…

He was confused and unsure of what to do.

After 2 or 3 seconds and moving the mush around in his mouth he stopped completely and looked at me. I could see he was processing.

He began to enjoy it.

He ate approximately 1/4 of a cup of avocado without any issues, minimal spitting out, and made yummy grumbling noises the entire time.

He would reach forward for the spoon and devour what was on it each time I gave him a tiny bit more.

I was relieved that our instincts were right and that he was ready for this next step.


  • Follow your instincts

  • Consult multiple resources as there is so much information and much of it conflicts.

  • Start slow and don’t stress about it.

  • Our son, unlike his father, LOVES avocado.


There is research stating that babies should stick to one type of food for 2-3 days without the introduction of any others to ensure you can accurately monitor their response to each one. I stored the remaining pureed avocado in the Baby Bullet (linked is the updated version of ours) storage containers so that we could use the rest over the remainder of this week.

Next, we hope to try sweet potato as it offers many nutritional benefits such as vitamin C for immunity boosting, vitamin A for eye and skin development, iron, complex carbohydrates, and a sweet taste to increase the likelihood of success!

Finally, I have begun researching babies and being picky eaters. It seems that the more that is safely, and repeatedly introduced between the ages of 4 months and 1 year the more likely the child is to not be a picky eater. I am not yet comfortable linking information on this yet as I haven’t found sources I feel are credible and/or consistent yet but that is yet to come!


  • 4 MONTH IMMUNIZATIONS (what I’ve learned from the 2-month ones)



May Long: Mommy-Style

Friday 27 degrees. Saturday 26 degrees. Sunday 22 degrees. Monday 23 degrees.

These are the heat projections for May Long’s weather. How am I going to take our 4-month-old baby camping in that kind of heat? How are we going to do it in July when temperatures can reach nearly 40 degrees where we live?

Cue Google-mom.

Taking your baby camping is a huge ordeal if you make it to be. Some people say it can’t be done. Some say children shouldn’t change what you like to do. Some avoid the controversial topic.

Where & Who

My husband and I have a season camping site at Meeting Lake Regional Park. It is close to his family farm and small enough that we don’t feel overwhelmed by the amount of people there. Having a seasonal makes camping with a little one easier in the sense that we can leave items there instead of hauling everything back and forth every weekend. We can pick up and leave any time because we don’t need to move our camper every time so if things are going well I don’t feel pressured to stay and we can just come home.

However, I do like to be prepared. Anticipating that we cannot just sit around campfires and hang out in the sunshine anymore I decided I should do some reading to learn some great tips about having a newborn at the lake. In addition to the research, we have our “lake family” who have all camped with babies and small children so their expertise will be very beneficial. We are also aware that they will want to help and often hold or play with Kolter as much as possible so it will help alleviate some stress.

What to Consider

The first point I needed to consider was food. Kolter has just started being introduced to solid foods but I’m not sure I want to worry about packing him all kinds of things to try when we’re 45 minutes from the nearest medical center in case he happens to choke for the first time or react poorly to something new. Thus, I’ve decided to only pack frozen breastmilk, my pump for fresh milk, and some pre-pureed food he’s already tried (a minimal amount just as a backup).

The second factor is the weather. This affects everything, can he be outside, what shall he wear, can he be around campfires, is it too cold in the evening, will the A/C in the camper bother him? I decided I can’t predict everything so finding some tips is a great way to start and I could work my way through it from there. REI Co-op had some great tips for camping with a baby. I enjoyed that their suggestions were realistic and simple:

  • Keep the meals simple (done)

  • Dress baby in layers

  • Protection from sun and bugs

  • Use a portable play crib

  • Bring some favourites from home

Dressing Kolter in layers was something I had anticipated (as adults do the same) so this week I went to an outlet liquidation store and picked up some inexpensive sweaters, sweats, shoes, shorts, hats, and warm onesies for him. They’re currently in the wash so I can pack them away for the weekend and keep them in the camper. I also have some camping blankets especially for him that his aunty made that will also be for the lake.

Sun & Bugs

Protecting him from the sun and bugs was something I was worrying about but my mother reminded me that she and my dad used to take me camping when I was a baby and they put me in a playpen with a sheet overtop. This kept me in the shade and the bugs out. This suggestion works while he’s settled or napping but what about when he wants to jump in his Jolly jumper or roll around? A few sites I found had recommendations to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day and to keep babies in loose, thin clothing or UV-protectant clothing. The website also has recommendations for children in the sun.

I recently purchased a Honeysuckle Swim bodysuit for Kolter and I’m hoping this is something that will keep him cool and protect him if he ends up in any sunshine. The suits are designed to be high-visibility print and have an SPF of 50+. They also carry sizes from newborn to adult and accessories like hats as well.

click to see there site

We have a portable playpen so we don’t need to worry about that. Although I’m sure there are some families with really fancy ones like THESE but ours is a normal Graco pack’n’play and I will throw a sheet on top.

We also have a travel bassinet for the camper, extra play mats and a small baby pool with a seat and umbrella in case he needs to cool down. Now all we need to do is get our act together and get organized for our first camping trip of the year and our very first camping trip with a baby!

Wish us luck!

Day One: This is Stupid

What is BeReal? This was my first thought when someone in my EC&I 831 class typed it into the class chat. I had never heard of it, granted, I’ve been on medical and maternity leave now for 6 months and it’s my students that typically keep me “cool” and in the loop on the latest developments. They also feel the need to tell me when fashion trends change and if I need to update my look… because they care?

Our latest Networked Learning Task is to dive into learning a new social media tool so I decided to jump right in. No pre-reading on how to use it or what to do. All I read was that users are sent a notification each day at a random time and they have 2 minutes to snap a photo or video of what they’re doing in REAL time. So, there will not be a lot of links in this initial post as I’m discovering it organically today. Links will be provided in future posts after further use and research.

click the photo to check out their app

My initial thought: this sounds stupid.

My secondary thought: let’s give it an opportunity to prove me wrong.

I downloaded the app. Registered for an account. Synced my contacts to my friends list (turns out my circle hasn’t quite picked up the trend yet so my friend list is 4 people long thus far), and waited for my first instruction.

It asked me to take a snapshot of my surroundings and then once I was done it told me to smile and not move. This resulted in an incredibly unflattering photo of myself. All the while there’s a cock counting down the 2 minutes. I’ve never felt such pressure before from a social app!

Turns out I thought that was it and forgot to hit the final button to share that snapshot and it resulted in me being “late” and not uploading within the 2-minute time frame. For this, I was penalized my second opportunity to BeReal that day. If you make it in time you’re allotted a second chance to BeReal within the same 24 hours. So, on my first day of using the new BeReal app… I was tardy and consequences were handed out.

My thoughts after the initial utilization of the app: this is stupid.

50 minutes later, my phone pinged with a BeReal notification and my body surged with intrigue! Had the app changed its mind and I was being given a second opportunity?


A friend had uploaded her snapshot of being in her car with 2 friends.

My thoughts: umm… cool. This is stupid.

Now what? Then I noticed the “Discovery” option at the top.


A bunch of random people from around the world who have the app and their daily uploads.


So, in conclusion to day one of using BeReal:

  • I’m not cool enough to know people who are using it. You can find me on it as Kolt’s mom.

  • I’m bored with the app. It seems to attract mundane and useless contact much like the beginning wall posts in the early days of Facebook.

  • So, it’s like worldwide Snapchat?

  • Is it safe? Is this a way for people to see where you are and what you’re doing at any point in the day? Have we not learned our lesson from the Bling Ring crimes?

Baby Growth Spurts & Milk Consumption

Welcome back!

After finally navigating my way through how I’d like to feed my growing baby boy, everything changed! That’s how it works, doesn’t it? You FINALLY feel like you have a grip on this ‘mom’ thing and BOOM, the switch-up! Gotta love those growth spurts.

Kolter at his first wedding.

Thanks to bottle feeding we were able to take Kolter to my parent’s place after the ceremony and have an evening out on our own. My parents kept him overnight and we caught up on some much-needed visiting with friends and sleep!

Kolt was born on the ‘larger side’ at 8lbs 13oz and 21 inches long… AND A WEEK EARLY (nurses said he’d have been 10 lbs had he made his due date). No. friggin. Thank you. (May I add that I’m only 5’2”). It wasn’t much of a surprise that Kolt advanced quickly through milestones and charts. At 2 months old he was in the 80th percentile for his height and weight (want to check your baby’s percentiles? CLICK HERE. Not sure what percentiles indicate? Watch the YouTube video below).

Needless to say, Kolt was taking after his tato (dad in Ukrainian) and growing to be big and strong. His growth spurts were intense, which brings us to this week.

For the last 2 weeks, Kolter has been consuming incredible amounts of milk and I haven’t been able to keep my production up to his consumption. Thankfully, in the first 3 months of his life, after my milk came in, I pumped, bagged, and froze extra breastmilk for emergency purposes just like this. All week I have been so grateful that I did my research early on and learned how to properly store and freeze my milk. (Below is a video that gives a great overview of how to store, freeze and properly thaw your milk. You can also CLICK HERE for my favourite site, The Mayo Clinic, and their information on the topic).

Many moms ask why I don’t just start supplementing him with formula but we have found that Kolter becomes incredibly lethargic and constipated when on even small amounts of formula. So much so that he isn’t himself even after one feeding of formula mixed in with breastmilk. I consulted our pediatrician, a few online sources (I’ll list them below), and the local lactation specialist about introducing solid foods at four months and got conflicting responses. Luckily, one of the leading lactation consultants in the country, and the developer and researcher of the More Milk Sooner Program, Naida Hawkins, is from my hometown and gave me an incredible site by Dr. Jack Newman to consult. In the end, we’ve decided that we are going to give it a go and blog about the journey! #letsdothis

CDC - When, What and How to Introduce Solid Foods

Mayo Clinic - Solid Foods

From Naida:

International Breastfeeding Centre

blog 2a.png
blog 2b.png
blog 2.png
blog 2c.png

So although a majority of doctors and sites say to wait until 5 or 6 months to introduce solids, they also say that every baby is different and there are signs to watch for when your baby is ready. Kolter is showing all of these signs so we have added avocadoes and other items to our next grocery list to begin the journey of solid foods. Stay tuned for the mess, faces, successes and failures of food introduction.

Babies, Bumps, and Bruises

Well, this week has been… eventful, to say the least. I’m officially in full swing of the Spring term of my degree and in the thick of readings and writing essays and blogs. To top off a full week my son decided I needed to learn some new “mom things” and proceeded to use his razor-like fingernails, that were just clipped and filed the previous day (click here to see the amazing baby file my mom ordered me) to gouge an abrasion across his right eyeball. Yup, fun times.

Visiting our cousin, Dr. Reiley

Let me set the scene, I had just finished feeding Kolter 20 minutes before and had him laying down under his mobile play mat to let his tummy settle a bit before Jolly Jumping later on. I was talking to him and playing with him and once he seemed content to play with his mobile I proceeded to grab myself a snack from the pantry just 8 feet away. As I was reaching into the granola bar bin I hear a painstaking scream from Kolter and whip around to see him with legs raised, fists clenched, and eyes squeezed shut, squealing in agony and turning purple from stress. I had never heard such a sound from him up until this time and knew something was wrong. I picked him up and cuddled him and tried to assess his physical state but found nothing to be the matter. His eyes were still clenched shut and watering but I had assumed it was tears. I took him up to my bedroom to lay on the bed with him and attempt to calm him, which worked after about 10 minutes. He was visibly worn out from his distress so I took a break from schoolwork to just sit with him and comfort him.

At this point we returned downstairs to my home office, a large, well-lit sunroom on the south-facing end of our home, allowing beams of sunlight to enter all day and night. It was here that I laid Kolter down on the ottoman and when he looked at me I could see an abrasion on his right eye. Of course, Google-mom immerged.

May I break here to recommend never typing “baby gouges eyeball” into Google search. I’ll spare you the images and not link the results.

I rephrased my entry to “abrasion on 4-month baby eyeball” (see the article I chose HERE) and was pleased that a simple ointment may be applied but that meant seeing a medical professional. I then sought advice from my sister, a nurse at the local hospital and she recommended trying to see an ophthalmologist first as the ER would likely refer me there anyway and the wait would be shorter. I contacted my second source of credible information, my mother, and she suggested the same and gave me the number to my cousin (this information is outdated as he has now moved back home) who is a local ophthalmologist. I called Taylor and he was able to see Kolter right away.

Now comes the fun part, applying dye drops into the eye of a 4-month-old child in order to locate an abrasion. I will tell you that all the restraint and hold training in the world had not prepared me for this tiny human’s squirming to avoid the drops. What did work was an Elsa light-up wand from Frozen to distract him long enough in the opposite direction for Taylor to lightly administer a drop of dye. Sure enough, there was an abrasion.

kolt eyes dye.png

Upon confirming the abrasion Taylor looked at me with hesitation and asked if my husband happened to work from home. I responded with a no and inquired why he asked. Taylor held up a prescription for an ointment that I needed to apply in a liberal strip ACROSS Kolter’s eye… wait for it… 4. Times. A day.


Needless to say, I’ve been aiming for 2 successful applications and if we make one I am pleased. My child holds strength I never knew existed until this week. In the end, his eye is healing, has not acquired an infection, and I’m pleased to announce that 2 successful applications a day are happening largely due to the credit of my mother’s persistence and craftiness that I have not yet acquired as a new mom. Kolter is back in his Jolly Jumper and a happy camper because of it.

4-month old in his natural habitat - the Jolly Jumper.

What I’ve learned about being a mom this week:

1) growth spurts suck and nobody gets sleep

2) #hatersgunnahate just do what is best for you and your family

3) solid foods are not “bad” prior to 6 months of age

4) your child is stronger than you think

5) apply eye and ear drops/ointments while your child is asleep

My Relationship with Social Media

As most millennials hate to admit, our social media journey began with mundane updates about what we were doing each second of the day and how it made us feel. Pointless wall posts on Facebook about watching T.V., being bored, or partying. Not to say today’s youth are much more evolved but we could all agree the technology is.

My relationship with social media began with AOL and MSN messenger but took a huge leap in the summer of 2007, right after I had graduated from high school, with the launch of Facebook. The obsession, unlike others, took a few years for me to acquire. I was an outdoors kinda gal and liked to spend the majority of my time with nature or friends and family.

The real social media hook developed years later when Instagram entered my universe. I had just finished my second degree and was looking at launching my first home business, a nutrition company focused on customized meal planning, nutritional advice, and free recipes. This soon developed over time to include meal-prepping classes and e-cookbooks. To say that social media had created a free advertising platform was not nearly enough credit for how far it had taken me and my business @roxysnutrition. I was collaborating with other companies and was even featured as a recipe developer by the age of 26 on a paleo website looking for new recipe content (see my paleo pancakes here). My relationship with social media was one of positivity and endless opportunity but nutrition was just the beginning.

In 2020, the year of covid, I found myself with more free time than ever before. I decided to take on the challenge of adapting unit plans and activities to a new form of teaching. I joined a pilot program in my school division for unit writing about blended learning and soon was asked to host PD’s on my newly acquired teaching style, Thinking Classroom by Peter Liljedahl. My units were becoming highly popular with colleagues in and outside of my school and school division. A friend suggested I capitalize and post them on TpT for profit. Sask Thinking Classroom is now my second home business for which I can thank social media for free advertisement and an entourage via Instagram.

In July of 2020, my husband and I were faced with a horrific life event. Shortly after being sent to work from home, we found out we were pregnant. This was after two long years of trying. Nine weeks later we lost our first child. Social media (Instagram) was an outlet for me to share my story. It was suggested I find an outlet to release my grief and what I found was an overwhelming amount of support and connections with those who had faced the same situation. Two months later we faced it again. Three months after that, again. Three losses in six months and I shared every step. In May of 2021, just 10 months after our first loss, we were faced with loss number four at 11 weeks, 4 days gestation. Unfortunately, I was too broken to even muster the courage to formulate a post about our experience. Not only had we lost another child but the surgery to safely remove everything was a failure and I was hospitalized again a week later after passing the fetus on my own and ending up with sepsis. I couldn’t put into words was I was feeling or what we were experiencing. A close friend had reached out and asked if I felt like sharing, knowing well that it was typically therapeutic for me. I responded that I had wanted to but didn’t know how to word it. She suggested a podcast episode on her Instagram Live channel and she’d take care of the rest.

This was the first time I felt hesitant to share my life on social media. I actually felt that I now owed it to my followers to share my story instead of using the outlet as a form of self-expression and healing. In hindsight, I don’t regret it. Many of my followers, and hers, tuned in and shared their appreciation for making them feel like they weren’t the only ones in the world hurting or having to suffer in silence.

It was after this that I took a full social media and life break. My husband and I had decided to only do things that brought us joy and not worry about having a family. I shut the social media world out and spent my spring, summer and fall of 2021 camping, fishing, and hunting. The break(-up) was needed from social media.

Upon returning to the online world I reformatted how I wanted to approach my online presence. I focused on productivity, positivity, and resilience. I came face-to-face with the fact that children may not be our future (somebody has to be the statistic) and that I would spoil my students instead of having my own babies. I applied for my Master’s degree and adjusted my attention to that. Three weeks into my first course I found out I was pregnant. No, I did NOT post on social media. Two weeks later we lost baby number five. I decided not to fret but only seven weeks later I had been going through weeks of illness and was worried I had another gut infection. When my test results returned we found out we were pregnant, again. Baby number six now goes by the name Kolter Prystupa and my social media content has changed, again.

In the nearly 20 years that I have been engaged on social media, I have gained a vast amount of not only followers but friends; a professional learning community. A teaching learning community. A mom learning community. A healthy food and lifestyle learning community. Though there have been ups and downs I don’t regret a single step in my journey for it brought me to where I am today and to the people I choose to interact with now. Social media didn’t change my life, it supported my life, re-routed my life, clarified life, fogged life’s path, and brought new life stories. my relationship with social media is a good one.