Junebugs, an Interview with Josée Chapman
Josée Chapman, mother of three (including a set of twins!), chats with us about her handmade products, her biggest challenge as a mother, and the difference between her two pregnancies.
Tell us more about yourself, your family, and your site.
I’ve been married for 7 years to my hunky husband, Dale, and we have three beautiful children. Our son Levi is soon to be three. He is an adventurous young fella with no fear, which is advantageous at times and a challenge at other times. Our twin girls are soon to be one year old, and each have their own personalities. Kaela is a feisty little lady full of life and excitement, and Averie is a cuddle bug with a sweet disposition. Raising our three young babes has been challenging at times, but we have one stronger than us standing in our corner, helping us daily, and his name is Jesus Christ. He gives us the grace we need to get by day by day.
My site was initially started to showcase my handmade sewing projects, but I have found that I also enjoy the blogging side of it as well.
In what ways were your first pregnancy and second pregnancy (with the twins) similar and different?
I have to say, I enjoyed my first pregnancy more than the second. I was one of those ‘love being pregnant, this is the best, I don’t know why people don’t like pregnancy’ type of pregnant lady. Although, the pregnancy with the twins showed me what it’s like to not be in love with it. More fatigue, pressure, discomfort and millions of trips to the bathroom. I was blessed with very healthy pregnancies for both, so much so that the babies did not want to come out. Levi was induced at 41&1/2 weeks and the girls at 40 weeks, all born 7 pounds and over.
Your site also features some handmade products. What are these products, and what inspires you to create these products?
The products vary from nursing covers, crayon wallets, and rattle toys to ipad/ipod covers, crochet hook cases, and fabric cuff bracelets. I have always loved working with fabric and crafting with my hands. I’m so very thankful that my mother, in the “busyness” of raising two and working full time, passed on her invaluable sewing and crafty knowledge to me. She always encourages me to try new patterns and create new patterns. I love doing custom orders, or creating my own versions of pieces that I see in magazines. Keep checking out the site as there are new products and styles updated frequently! If there is something that you are dreaming up, that you can’t find anywhere, I’d love to create it for you!
I highly value marriage and family, and find it hard at times to balance both. This is such a busy stage, and it can be challenging to find time to spend with each child and with Dale. We make efforts to have time to spend just the two of us, because the children will not always be around, and we need to keep focused on our relationship too!
What are some of your family’s favorite things to do together for fun?
We like to make time everyday to spend together as a family; it could be reading books, having a dance party in the living room, or a tickle fest on the floor. Since the summer weather has been around, we have made a habit of making after dinner walks. It might be at the local high school field to play Frisbee or down at Barrie’s beautiful waterfront.
What are your top 5 tips for all moms?
I wouldn’t call these my ‘top’ five tips, but they are certainly a few practical things that I have found helpful. I will also add the disclaimer that I am certainly not always this organized, and some days I’m still in my pajamas, unshowered with unbrushed teeth at 2pm.
- Try to get out of the house at least once a day. It’s easy to go a few days (at least around here), and not even step foot of the house. In Ontario’s frigid winter weather, this can sometimes prove to be a challenge with all the kiddos but even just for yourself, get out and get a breath of fresh air! It’s also a great reminder that there is another world out there besides the one in your home. Water a plant, pull a few weeds out of the garden, shovel the walkway, or go for a small walk…just get out of the house!
- Have some healthy snacks packed and ready for little hands to grab. You never know when a last minute excursion will come up, and packing things together at the last minute can be stressful if you can’t find what you are looking for. Carrot & celery sticks store very well in the fridge, trail mix, raisins, and fruit, of course, are easy grab and go items. Keeping them handy will help you to be less likely to grab some unhealthy convenient treats while you are out.
- Try to have dinner organized and somewhat prepped. Sometimes I can be preparing dinner all day by breaking it up into little tasks. It might look something like this, chop an onion, change a diaper, read a book with Levi, measure out all spices, change a diaper, put babies down for a nap, cut up meat, change a diaper, etc., etc., etc. I find this helpful because when things go awry during the day, at least I know dinner is just ready to be cooked.
- Make and take some time for yourself. Put on some makeup, take a shower, pour a cup of tea, or spend a few minutes reading. For me, I make this time early in the morning when the kiddos are still fast asleep. It involves a big cup of coffee, my bible and time in prayer with my big God.
- If you have more than one child, be intentional about spending time with each of them daily and individually. This doesn’t have to mean an hour long excursion out, although those are also fun! It can be as simple as sitting on the couch and reading a book, snuggling in bed, having a tickle fest on the floor or having a little indoor or outdoor picnic with a special snack. Just a few minutes during the day or night to remind them that they are individually loved.