Hey everybody, welcome to another edition of slumber party. I invite you to my slumber party except unlike the ones you attended in the 90s. This one actually includes sleep for you, your children, and the entire family. Every week I have any unique guest or I answer a fun question about sleep to get you in your family the sleep that you need. Today we’re talking with the Vanessa Giuliani, creator of the Mommunity Market in Vaughan, one of the most vibrant and popular markets in the GTA, a great community of vendors, all selling amazing little trinkets. And Vanessa created it all on her own from scratch. She tells her story about that today, we do also deep dive into some early morning stuff with her little guy, her youngest has been waking up pretty early. She’s actually a morning person, but wants that morning time back to herself as we would all love. So if you have a tricky early risers still in this new fall weather, the tips and tricks we talk about here will be especially beneficial for you. Vanessa is super vibrant, funny, engaging. I totally encourage you to follow her. She’s @mommunity_ on Instagram, or Google Mommunity and you will find her and her vibrant community online. Thanks for joining us. This is a judgment free zone. All types of sleep are encouraged. So put on your headphones, walk around for the day, duration of a crap nap and just enjoy yourself.
Okay, so Lucas did not sleep.
No, of course not because that’s exactly what happens. I mean, you’ve been to my house before. I’m pretty sure the exact same thing happened with Gabriel like three years ago
Yeah. I still remember exactly what happened. Yeah, I still have nightmares.
Well it was funny because we were, I think it was like one of your first Facebook lives for Mommunity and you were, like, were so planned, were so prepared. I was pumped. I come over and like 10 minutes in he wakes up. You were like, yeah. And I remember you….
and I had him on my hip, for like 45 minutes.
It’s the live with me talking and you roaming and being like, ‘Okay, so tell me about this.’ Walking around, walking around and walking around and then you come. But that’s real life, right? Like it’s, it would be weird if it was anything other than that, I think.
Well, that’s just what my kids do to me. I mean, they, those are just the situations they put me in all the time. So I’m used to it now…
100%. Yeah. I mean, it’s, like I’ve, I’ve been talking about this a little bit on Instagram, but, uh, people think because I’m a sleep consultant, my children must sleep like a dream and too, like they do sleep very well. But Nora’s transitioning into a big kid bed. And I remember you going through a little bit of this last, last year, with Gabriel, of it just like, they want to push the boundaries. And want to just like, “great, I’m in a bed, then I can do whatever I want now.” And it’s like you can’t, and especially at 1:00 AM please. Like, it’s a process, but I’m dying.
Yup. That’s me right now because Lucas decides he’s old enough to not take naps anymore apparently. Actually, well no, sorry, he doesn’t take naps when I put him in bed.
So when it’s Tony, when my husband’s around, we have something that we called the drop and dash. That’s where Tony drops him in the crib and dashes out of his room and he sleeps like an angel. When I do it, he screams like a maniac.
Always. Well that’s actually really, it’s kind of a good thing because you know it’s not anything wrong. It’s not, your timing. It’s Completely behavioural. It’s just I don’t want to when mama does it.
Well. Yeah, because I think Lucas realises he can work all over me. So… thats the unfortunate truth.
I mean I think that every I am, I am probably lead the Tony in our relationship. My husband, like I get up with Nora and I’d be like Nora, back to your bed and I’ll shut the door and I’ll do the thing. Then Brad’s like, ‘What’s wrong? You need to find bunny, I’ll help you find bunny. Okay, now you need to go to bed. Because in the morning…’ I’m like, Brad, it’s 2:00 AM you’re just using so many words. Leave her. Just shut the door.
Amanda, that is me! That is me. Except I’ve resorted in to now carrying him. I go from, this is for naps. Okay, I’ll go in his room and then I’m like, okay, let’s sit on the rocking chair. And then I hold him and he falls asleep on my shoulder. So I go to put him in the crib and of course he’s going to scream, he’s been cuddled for the last 15 minutes, so I take them out of the crib. Then I’m like, ‘okay, let’s just go take a nap on the couch’ as if that’s gonna work. Because there’s obviously everything around like the TV, which I obviously turn off, but he knows it’s still accessible. So our naps are literally like, can I swear they’re shit?
Yes, yes. Swear swear swear. Maybe some of my former students listening to the podcast. I don’t think that there would, but there may be like three 15 year olds and I’m sorry. You, there is an explicit rating and if your parents are letting you listen to this it is no longer my fault.
It’s fair game.
These are things that go through my head every day.
But yeah, that’s that’s what we’re dealing with here.
Yeah. I I yeah, I were… Okay. First let’s pause cause I feel like we could talk about this for a million years. I, give you a little bit of an introduction on the podcast before we started chatting. But I was really interested in, in talking to you because I think that you’re such an interesting person to me.
Yes you are! You like, I don’t even know how I found you.
Speaker 1: (06:19)
I can’t, I think someone added.
Through Mommunity? Ohmygosh it was Mommy Connections!
Was it Mommy Connections?
I’m pretty sure it was Mommy Connections Toronto. If I..I’m pretty sure.
Well either way. I remember being like, this is a mom who is just out of Vaughn and she has a small child. And at the time that I think you were just newly pregnant and, and she just runs a market because she wants to and she supports all these local vendors. And you’re so mom focused and your name on Instagram is @mommunity_ And it’s so I think it perfectly encapsulates you because you’re so community oriented. And I just, I think it’s so amazing. Like you just love what you do and you do it because you love it.
Thank you so much. I, I really do love it. I mean I’ve been doing it for three years now, so I think I have to love it at this point. Probably would’ve walked away from it a heck of a long time ago if I didn’t.
It’s a lot of work!
But, it’s, it’s funny and I’m sure everyone says this, but like I feel like the most ordinary person on the planet obviously. Right. So, it’s so interesting that you say that I’m interesting, but hey, I’ll take it!
Well listen, tell us about.. Tell us about you, tell us about your market!
Yeah. So the market started three years ago. I just had this idea that, you know, we, I kept shopping. It actually started when Gabriel was pretty young and I was going to stores and everything catered to girls and I could never find anything that was cool for boys other than online. So I’m like, you know what…
That’s a good point! I hear that a lot actually. I hear that a lot.
Oh, it’s so true. And so I decided we needed somewhere that it was work that was recurring. So not just like a single once a year market. I wanted something that we could kind of go to every month that would bring together all these small shops so you could like feel and touch and also get to know the maker behind the brand, but also meet your community. And that’s kinda how the marketplace came to be. So yeah, October is our three year anniversary. It still blows my mind that we’ve been doing this for this long.
and it’s, I was a vendor, one month, and it is unbelievable the amount of people that you get at this market. You have moms lined up around the block to get in. You tell us… I’m taking over your talking, but I’m, this is why I’m amazed by you. Tell us about your, your audience.
For sure. I mean audience in terms of like who’s following on Instagram? The audience at the market? I guess is the same.
I think like what I’ve noticed, and correct me if I’m wrong, you just had a really loyal following, that shows up every month and it’s busy. Like if you’re a vendor there and you were, you were selling.
Honestly, I have to say, and I say this all the time, the only reason we’ve been doing this for three years is because people keep showing up and the shoppers are so loyal. They’re so loyal. They come every single month. They’ll, they’ll line up like two and a half hours before we open. That’s typically when the first person arrives to line up.
Because you make baller swag bags.
Well, and you know what? So the swag bags is something we’ve been doing forever too. And it was just, it was not, that’s not what generates the traffic throughout the day, but it does start the day with this excitement. Right. I think the other thing that’s sort of unique, cause obviously you could still find these things online or you could, you know, go to a store and buy stuff, but we’re only available four hours a month. So when you’re there for those four hours, there’s an excitement. There’s stuff for the whole family to do. People look forward to it. It’s not something you can go to seven days a week. Right.
So the markets in Vaughn, we’re at Trio Sports Plex every single month. I’m actually doing something totally out of my comfort zone and doing a two day market.
Oh yes. So that’s happening for holiday November 30th and December 1st. Super excited about that. We’re gonna have all the characters and Santa and photos and everything you can think of. So I’m really excited. I’ve actually just hired someone.
Which yup. That took me a long time to do that. But it was the best decision I ever made because I was not, I don’t want to say I wasn’t taking the business as seriously, but I, I got to this point where, and I think this happens to a lot of moms who are running a business where you realise that your children really are what matters the most. Right?
And I did it and time is the most valuable thing I have. And I was starting to slack on things because I came to that realisation and then I started to put work to the side sometimes because I really wanted to focus so much on my family. And then I just decided all I need to do is hire someone and then it still gives my business the best experience, like my customers, the best experience and also my family. I’m still there for them.
Totally. And I think…
Sorry, go ahead.
No, I was going to… So I mean I know something that really I struggled with was like as a small business owner, you don’t know when you kind of like, I don’t know all the, I still don’t know all the logistical things behind, you know, hiring someone and you know, do they need employment insurance and all this. And so I just hire someone as a contract worker, it’s much easier.
I mean, I think it so many moms get into the entrepreneur world because they want that flexibility in their life and then suddenly their business takes off and they’re like, “Oh crap”. Like it happened to me last year, I think I wrote about this on Instagram where I was like on my family vacation on a balcony, writing sleep plans, taking calls in Mexico from clients. And I was like, what am I doing? This is like the opposite of what I, what I wanted in this business. And then that’s when I hired an assistant as well. Again, a contractor, someone who does like some piece-meal work for me, is definitely integral to my business. She’s so wonderful. And I haven’t looked back since it’s a growth thing, right? It’s a growth opportunity. It allows you to grow but still maintain your sanity and your time with your family.
Exactly. And that was exactly it for me cause I kept saying, you know, I will focus on the business again once the kids are both in school. Well, I mean, the realistic, the realistic factor here is no one’s gonna sit around and wait for another two years for my kids to start school. Like, I need to still make sure my business is running. I can’t just, you know, and so you kinda, you gotta make a decision. And that was the decision I made and it has been the best thing I’ve ever done.
Good. Well that part of the, the reason I wanted to talk to you specifically, you are a stay at home mom. You see it all. I would love for you to talk a little bit about some of the challenges that you’ve experienced with sleep. I know that you’ve worked with a consultant previously. If you have any questions we can do a deep dive. And one of the things that I like to start off by asking, cause I think this leads into lots of stuff, is how many hours of sleep do you need to be optimal? Like you.
Me as a person? Okay. So I actually function best when I’m going to sleep between 9:30 PM and waking up at 5:00 AM. So it’s not the typical, but that’s when I functioned the best. I’m a, I’m an early bird. I love my mornings. The problem is I used to be you. Okay. Okay. Oh, the problem is I use, Oh, got it. I used to wake up at 5:00 AM and my children weren’t waking up until 7:00 AM and so I had two hours alone and it was the perfect thing to set the stage for my day. I made my breakfast before the children. I focused on me. I had a shower alone and now Lucas is waking up at 5:00 AM and so I’m at a loss because I don’t know why he’s gone from waking up at seven to five. Yep. And that was like, that was my time at night. It’s my time with my husband, my mornings, my time with me. So it was just, it’s frustrating. Right.
It’s funny because I think everyone is like me, I think everyone has this, this thought. But there’s some, there’s like some doctor, that that actually has broken up people’s sleep into types. So like different Chronotypes. So, like you’re either a Bear, a Wolf, a Lion or a Dolphin. So like Dolphins basically sleep with half of their brain. The other half is awake, the other is alert – basically like insomniacs, people who don’t sleep. Lions are morning hunters. So that means you, you would be morning, morning oriented driven optimists, medium sleep drive. Would you think that’s accurate?
That sounds right to me.
There’s a bear. Bears are go with the flow, ramblers, good sleepers. Anytime hunters, fun, loving, outgoing people who prefer a solar based schedule and have this… I would say I’m a bear. I think I’m a bear because I can get up early in the summer and I can not in the winter. I can’t. And I am a bear if I don’t get enough sleep.
I love it. I love getting up early, especially in the winter.
Yup. I just, I, there’s something about when it’s completely dark and there’s nobody out and it’s just me in that quiet darkness. I love it.
Then there are wolves. Wolves are night oriented, creative extroverts with medium sleep drive. I do like to stay up late, but I, I think I’m more of a bear. What’s Tony do you think?
Oh, he’s the lion like me for sure.
That’s so good. You guys seem so right.
He is up so early. He goes running almost every single morning at like five o’clock for him.
Good for him.
I can, yeah, I’m, I’m so not a morning person. It’s bad. Okay. So knowing that you’re an a, an early to bed early to rise person, does that work for your kid’s sleep schedule usually?
I mean, it works for them in a sense that I’m okay to get up at five o’clock but I’m not the happiest because I’m now getting woken up by a crying baby. Do you know what I mean?
So it’s frustrating because I do love waking up early, but I don’t love waking up early when I’m being woken up by someone else.
Yes, 100% and if you’re like, you know, trying to do your thing, especially in the morning where you’re like, I get up at five and I have these activities that I have planned, but instead that’s derailed by your child freaking out, that’s a whole other thing.
So are your kids now early risers with you? Like pretty consistently?
Oh my kids are up before the sun. Every single day. We’re up at five o’clock. Gabriel’s now in my bed. Every time I wake up. So.
I mean it’s just, it’s a shit show.
Do you hear him coming in?
Okay. I would, you’re, you might be like my husband, like last night, Nora, like I, I’ve been sick. I’ve had strep throat this week. And, it’s made my whole entire mouth and sinuses, incredibly swollen. Like it’s all good now. Like literally two days of antibiotics. I’m like a different person. But for three days I was snoring so loudly that Brad had to leave the room. And so Brand slept in the guest room last night as a precaution and then Nora gets up and I hear her get up and she goes right beside Brad, and was like “daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, dad.” He is not waking up at all. And I’m like, I don’t know. Like I’m in another room with the door closed and I’m awake because of that. So I’m, I’m always amazed cause I have a lot of clients who are like, “Oh, I want my child out of my bed, but I don’t hear them come in,” but it’s a thing.
And so… oh my goodness, Lucas just emptied an entire box of cereal. So sorry, you can hear all that.
Oh my gosh, again, real life. Bring it on. And every mama who’s listening to this they’re, they’re nodding. They’re like, yep, of course. Of course that’s what happened.
Oh my goodness. He was trying to fill up his cereal bowl that he finished and it’s all over the floor. Okay.
Oh my god, so cute. He’s adorable though.
So Sorry. Yup. That’s why he gets away with it.
He suffers from second kid syndrome, which is like, I’ve been so cute for so long. I feel really open to do what I want
And he does. Oh my goodness. Okay, so sorry. Let’s get back to it. So we were talking about your husband and used, so the difference is, Tony’s actually the deep sleeper. Then Gabriel, when he comes in, he comes in quiet as a mouse because he knows if he wakes us up. We’re going to tell him to go back to bed and he just does it in the middle of the night because he can get away with it because neither of us are waking up because he’s so quiet.
Exactly. What are your, what are your biggest sleep challenges right now?
My biggest sleep challenge right now is, yup. Lucas waking up at 5:00 AM and not taking, or sorry if I, if he does go down for a nap, it’s 30 minutes. But at daycare h. e sleeps for two hours.
Interesting. This is Lucas? Yes. Yes. So what, what time is bedtime?
7:00 PM every night like clockwork.
Okay. And then what time is his nap time?
Okay. What happens at five when he makes up?
He comes in my bed.
Okay. And then.. Well, what, what happens? Does he fall back to sleep at five?
Rarely, he’ll lie there. Tony, who is, like Tony comes back from his runs around 5:45am so he’ll bring him a bottle of milk and we all cuddle. Sometimes he’ll turn the TV on, you know, and then we come downstairs around 6AM.
Okay. Hmm. And then he’s, like this morning he fell asleep in the car. Is that like a common thing lately? That he’s tired by like that time?
No. And that’s where I was surprised. I mean I typically don’t get out much on the days that we’re home together because I like to try to keep a schedule with him cause I can tell that he loves schedules and routines.
Most kids do!
But you know, the fact of the matter is sometimes we have like errands to run, right. And the car ride was like 10 minutes. I was like, how are you sleeping? What happened here? And how old is he exactly?
Crazy. I can’t believe he’s almost two, I feel like you just had him.
I, I think I did. I think I’ve got to be doing my math wrong.
Okay. So this is like, you have one of those I like to call like annoying problems, but they’re not like he’s waking up every hour. He’s like not a disaster, but it’s just like, it’s like poking you. You know what I mean? It’s just annoying. Yeah. So there are a few things that you could do. You could maybe think about a slightly earlier bedtime or a slightly later bedtime. You might want to play with those times a little bit. Sometimes moving, like I’m giving you advice, but you can take it or leave it. It’s kind of unsolicited, but it is..
No, no, I’m taking it!
I’m giving it to everyone. But if you’re like, “I didn’t ask Amanda, you can just ignore this.” I, and I just want to be clear. I don’t do this in real life. Like I actually have a phobia of it because you know how there’s parents, you’ll be like, Oh my God, my kid won’t eat the broccoli. And then like Jane will be like, “well, this is what you do to get your kid to eat broccoli.” I’m like, “I didn’t ask you. I’m just telling you that my kid won’t like broccoli. Thank you.” I don’t know if you ever get moms like that.
Amanda, I know many, many, many Janes, but you know what, when you ask me to be on this podcast, I was like, yes, I am going to get some sleep tips! So please!
So I never do this in real life. People will actually sit right next to me and be like, so my kid isn’t sleeping well. And I’m like, that sucks. Okay, so in for your situation or if you’re at home and you’re listening and you do have that situation, it is really, really, really, really, really common. And it’s tough because obviously Lucas knows how to sleep. He has sleep skills, they’re all there. It’s not about that. It probably at his age is pretty behavioural. So, you know the fact that Tony can get him down to sleep really easily in you can’t or he’s only sleeping for half an hour and then he realises that you’re there. It feels like there is something that he knows like when mom’s home, this is what happens. Right. Or like when this parent is home, this is what happens. I say all of this without judgment cause it’s happening in my home. Like my kids walk all over my husband all the time and it just, cause it’s what it is.
Amanda, It’s absolutely, like you got it bang on.
It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. It just means they’re picking up on some energy where you’re probably like, you don’t mind it all that much. If he gets up or that like, you know, if he comes in the bed I like snuggles. And so then it becomes a question of how that is this problem for you actually, is it really like if it is something that you don’t want to do anymore, kids don’t understand grey. It’s like that grey area for some time. So they to know it’s either this or this and if it’s not one or the other, they get to choose and it just means that you might have to be a little bit of a hard ass at the 5:00 AM time and like go back to whatever plan that you were doing or you know, you can do some checks or let them know. It’s not time. I’m in love with the Hatch Baby Rest. They don’t pay me. They should I say this every podcast. But the Hatch Baby Rest is completely controllable from your phone. So you could, do you have one?
I have the clock… The what’s that one?
The grow clock.
Is it the same thing?
It is different, like the Grow Clock is fine, but the, there’s just some subtleties in the Hatch that make it like an unbelievable sleep product from infancy to like my daughter who’s five still uses it. So the difference is you can have multiple settings on it. Number one, the grow clock glows blue all night long, which is actually a big deal. So if you are using the grow clock, turn it to absolute zero nothing, no light at all. Blue light is a melatonin disruptor, so that can actually be causing additional wakings or waking your child up when they have less melatonin in their body. So that’s a big no, no. But the hatch, you can have it on the sleep safe night light all night. And then what you can do is you can kind of do some like training in a really easy way. So like you’re gonna bring the clock home one day and you’re gonna tell Lucas, “Hey buddy, I’m not coming into your room until this light turns blue” or green, whatever. Pick a color. Honestly, the Hatch gives you 75 million colours. So he can pick his colour. He can pick a song that goes on and then maybe you hear him stirring at 5:00 AM in the morning. You from your phone turn on that light and the song and go in and say, “Good job Lucas. You waited until this, the sun came up. You’re so great.” So then you do that. The next day you hear him stirring, you wait 10 minutes, then you turn on the thing. “Okay, good job.” You do that 10 minutes for three days. Then three days after that you do 10 more minutes. It’s a little bit of a slow and steady process, but like this is so bad. But like kids are like dogs, right? Like the more praise they get, the more they’re gonna do this thing. And so if he learns mommy and daddy aren’t going to come here until this light comes on and I’m going to get praise if I wait, that’s like they will start to wait. Like he’ll open his eyes, see that the light isn’t on and then try to go back to bed.
Amanda, I’ve already have it in my cart on Amazon. I’m not even kidding. I literally as we’re talking, I like went on Amazon and put it in my cart.
Are you, are you, like sometimes Amazon is out of stock and then they charge you $140.
Oh yeah it’s $120. Is that not the right price?
No! Right. So go to Buy Buy Baby. Cause you’re in Woodbridge, right?
Yes I am.
It’s the only place in Canada that sells them in a retail store.
Oh my God, you just made my life so much better.
Good. I’m happy. I’m so happy. So that’s something that you can do that’s like pretty gentle and you like, once you do that, it’s like, it kind of takes the pressure off you a little bit. You’re like, “I’m not being a bitch. The light is being a bitch.” I am not, I can’t control when the light comes on. But really you do it. And then once Lucas is in a routine of waiting for the clock, then you set the clock time for the time that you want.
Oh my gosh. And so, so can we still do, is it 12 hours at night or 11 hours? Does it like what’s the right time for now at this age?
As he gets older, it’s probably going to be a little bit less than the 12 hours. Like if he’s getting 12 hours a night, probably napping for one hour. Usually at this age, kids are not being between 10 and 11 hours and then sleeping about one and a half to two and a half hours a day.
For about 14 hours of sleep total.
Okay. I can deal with that. That’d be nice. Yeah.
Okay. Yeah, totally. I think that’ll help a lot actually. And then for the nap thing, it’s all the same thing, right? You do the exact same thing. If he’s napping for half an hour, you tell him you’re not going in until the green light and then you do the exact same thing. If he gets up at of half hour, maybe you wait five minutes, then turn on the green light. But you never go in that room until that light is on. And because of his age, he’s not going to get it right away. He’s not going to be like, yes, I understand mother, he’s not quite two yet. But it might be about a month, but people ask me all the time like, ‘Oh, I feel like my child is too young’. But my girls share room and Winnie had that light forever. Right from the time Nora was one Winnie was three and by the time Nora was 15 months old when the yellow light came on in the morning, she’d be like, “Yay,” like she knew what that meant. We were coming in.
I think he’ll understand. He knows his colours already. So I mean, I don’t know that he’ll, he’ll grasp that it means I was coming in for a few days, but I think he’ll get there soon enough.
Yep, totally. Totally. He’s smart enough to like play his parents. He’ll understand the light.
Oh he plays me well.
Awesome. Well, any more questions? I like to keep this podcast to the, the time of a crap nap. So if you’re a mom who’s got exactly 27 minutes to do something, you can listen to me. And hopefully your next nap is better!
I think we nailed it.
I think we did too!
Okay, well where can people find you?
Find me @mommunity_ or @mommunity_market. And I hope to see you at the market on September 22nd is this going out before then?
I don’t think it will!
That’s okay. We can see you October 26th yeah.
Okay. That’s what I was going to say. So are your markets towards the end of the month?
Yes so it, it depends on the time of the year, but essentially in the fall or at the end of the month and in the spring, summer, they’re at the beginning of the month.
Okay. So whenever you’re listening to this head over to mommunity.ca and check out the latest markets, there’s one a month. They are amazing. Like I said, I was a vendor and I left with like, I bought my sunglasses there. I bought like $200 worth of things. I was like, I did not see this happening!
But like, did you not also leave with some friends, like I feel like it’s a, it’s a family.
It a family! All the vendors.
It’s so funny! Well, thank you so much for this chat, report back. Let me know how it goes!
I’m going to Buy Buy Baby right now! Maybe I’ll get a car nap in!
Good! Do it! You will. You’ll get a little 20 minute one, it’ll get you to bedtime!
Thanks so much, Amanda.
All right, bye.