We want to hear how you do it, Moms! Are you a mom in Edmonton, a career mom, a stay-at-home mom, an entrepreneur mom, something somewhere in between? Contact us (email@example.com) to be profiled!
Tell us about you, your children and where you live
My name is Jennifer Banks and I live in Edmonton. I have a hot, tattooed husband and two little girls- Tenesea, a 4 year old spitfire who refers to herself as Princess Spider-Man and a 4 month-old daughter named Azalee who is the sweetest, Zen baby you will ever meet (I may be a little biased).
Just recently, I started Make Jen’s Day. I asked my friends, family and social media peeps to give back to their community for my birthday as a way to say thank you to the people who helped me as a child. Within 4 days, 115 acts of giving, kindness and generosity took place. If Make Jen’s Day inspired that many people give back in 4 days, just imagine what we can do with 365! I’m current developing the www.makejensday.com website. It’ll be a place where people come together to celebrate giving, receiving and seeing small acts of giving that resulted in huge impacts on people’s lives.
Do you have help? (incl childcare, housework, personal assistant)
Tenesea goes to a day home full-time. Not only does she get time with her friends, I get to spend quality time with Azalee and put in about 2-3 hour of work a day. For the past two weeks, I’ve had both girls at home put in hour of work. Wow! That was tough. Big kudos to work-at-home moms with multiple kids, I don’t know how they do it. If I had to do this full-time, I’d be drinking a lot more.
Blogging, hands down.
As a kid, I was pretty nerdy and loved books. I would read crazy books like Lord of the Flies, write a book report about it and hand it into my teachers for fun. Yeah, that kind of nerdy.
As I grew older, I went through an angst ridden teenage poetry phase, a journaling phase and finally ended up with my first blog in 2010. I’m just a newbie to the blogging world, but It has opened a lot of doors for me and gives me an outlet to share my feelings on parenting, the internet and technology.
I thought blogging was just going to be like Doogie Howser, but it has really opened my eyes to the amazing community, support and connections you can make online.
Extracurricular activities for you?
Play dates? Sure, let’s go with play dates.
Years ago, I would have said that I go to movies, check out bands and hang out with my friends. Now, hitting up the splash park with my local Twitter friends is my big outing for the week. Funny thing is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Extracurricular activities for your babe/children?
It’s the summer time. I literally throw my 4 year-old outside to play on her swing set in the back yard.
When I was a kid, my mom chucked us out the door when the sun came up and expected us home when the sun went down. I had a dime taped to my bike so I could call her in case of an emergency. I turned out okay (for the most part).
What does a typical family day look like to you (Saturday/Sunday)?
Saturdays are my absolute favorite day of the week. We wake up and go to the St. Albert Farmer’s Market, buy lunch and head to the spray park. By the time we get home, everyone is tuckered out. Saturday nights are usually supper and a movie as a family.
Who cooks dinner?
Being on maternity leave is hard financially. I realized we couldn’t eat out every day and still keep to a budget. Since April, I have been creating weekly meal plans and sticking to a $140/week food budget. It’s totally possible to feed your family health meals within a strict budget, just takes organization and Pinterest recipes.
I prep all of our meals and cook most of our meals. Hubs is the grill man, though. I leave the BBQing to him.
How does the grocery shopping get done, by whom, with the kids, and do you use coupons?
I do the grocery shopping once a week. I hit up Costco for meat, Superstore for anything I can’t find at Costco and lastly, H&W Produce for my fruits and veggies. I have lists of what I need at each store. It actually takes me less time to hit up 3 stores now than it did to go to one store, purchasing random things.
I know exactly what we are having each day for supper and don’t throw out food anymore. Also, my family likes fresh, homemade meals better than frozen lasagna. I still have epic food fails though. These food fails suck more since I am spending more time cooking, but it’s worth it in the long run.
I calculated how much “free time” I have (no kids, no husband, just down time) and it equals 2.1 hours a day. It really isn’t a lot of time. I would rather spend it chatting with my online friends or catching up on a book instead of finding and cutting coupons. I’m coupon lazy.
How often do you buy something for yourself?
Money is tight right now, feeding the kids and the bills come first. I’m planning a huge splurge when I get back to working full-time. I think the economy in Edmonton has taken a dip since I went on maternity leave.
Do you exercise and if so, how/when do you fit the time in to do that?
I walk a lot and looking after a baby and a 4 year old is exercise in itself. I do need to get into fitness routine, though. I am looking forward to starting Couch to 5k again as I would really, really love to get into running.
If I say Team America: World Police, will you judge me? Okay, judge me. I think it’s absolutely hilarious. Even thinking about right now, makes me giggle. Someone told me recently that Azalee looks a little like the Kim Jong Ill puppet and I laughed so hard, I cried.
Favourite nookie song?
What? You ladies get music during nookie? I’m lucky if one of the girls doesn’t wake up and interrupt us.
Favourite beverage special coffee, cocktail?
Oh, I love coffee. I love coffee a lot. I also love a nice glass (or 3) of red wine. I am in love with the Cupcake Winery- Red Velvet right now. Not overly sweet and it’s cheap. Win/win.
Favourite pair of shoes?
I collect tech gadgets like most women collect shoes, so this question may be lost on me a little. I do have a pair of distressed, brown cowboy boots that I like to wear now and then. That counts, right?
‘Cannot leave home without it’ item?
My iPhone. How would I check into Foursquare, ask Twitter what I should make for dinner and share silly pictures of things like “Cock” brand soup on Facebook without my smartphone?
Thank you for sharing with all of us Jen! Thanks for being an Urban Infant reader!