Wednesday, December 21, 2011

5 Things {NOT} To Say To A Pregnant Lady

5. You're not going to find out the sex of your unborn child?  How will you ever bond with babe?  Because, obviously, if one does not have 20weeks (or so) of gestating to revel in knowing the sex of their unborn child, they cannot possibly bond & love said child once they are born.  Yep, that's as dumb as it sounds (and no, I'm not making this shit up... someone actually said this [not to me, because obviously they were smarter than that])

4.  You're going to find out the sex of your unborn child!  You're ruining that surprise moment after you've delivered babe, why would you do that?!?!  It's a surprise no matter when you find out, whether it's at (approximately) your 20 week ultrasound, or when you settle babe on your chest for the first time.  This is such a personal choice, that it would be wonderful if those not involved in the decision (i.e. the parents of the unborn child) would just keep their opinions to themselves.  Another thing to keep in mind, ultrasounds are not 100%, so you might spend half of your pregnancy joyously expecting a Johnny and out pops a Suzie (or vice versa).  So knowing, doesn't necessarily mean knowing.

3.  You think you're tired now, just wait until baby arrives!  (or "Get as much sleep now as possible... ").  These bug me for numerous reasons (even though I'm so guilty of spewing this absolute stupidity).  Why on earth do we feel the need (basically) say "Yeah, you feel like ass now... just wait you'll feel like dead ass soon".  Because that obviously makes one giddy with excitement, the thought of feeling like dead ass.  As for the "Get as much sleep as possible now", ugh... I don't know about you, but I don't have a battery to store my extra sleep (although, if someone came up with that shit... I'd totally buy it).  So, yes... rest as much as possible... because your body is doing an amazing thing (creating a life) and it's exhausting!... but don't count on the extra sleep carrying over to the (possible) sleepless night post-baby.

2.  You're how far along?  That's impossible, you're so TINY!  Okay, at any other moment a woman would dream of hearing how slender they were... but now, now is not a good time.  99% of women do not consider it a compliment to be called TINY whilst 8-9mos (just about ready to birth) pregnant... some women will find this downright alarming (are they carrying "small" because something is wrong?!?!) and do you want to be responsible for causing a pregnant women angst, do you?

1.  You're how far along?  But, but, you're HUGE!  Okay, if a woman doesn't want to hear about how tiny she is whilst pregnant... guess what, she doesn't want to feel like a beached whale either.  Because really, who wants to hear how HUGE they are... really, who?  Whenever a friend tells me that someone has said this to them (the "Oh my GAWD you're so big"), I want to reach out and touch them (the asshole who basically called them fat [oh and by touch them, I totally mean Cooter Kick them, followed by a quick succession of throat punches]) because seriously, how freaking stupid can you be... I'll say it again, who the hell wants to be called HUGE... who?!?!

Basically, use your common sense (hardi-har-har, I know... common sense is so rare these days), when in doubt follow the age old rule of "if you don't have anything nice to say, than don't say anything at all".

Oh and just to clarify, to those that know me in the real world... this is not my cheeky way of saying I'm up the stump.  I'm not.  Honest.  I just have some wonderful preggo friends that have shared to STUPID things people say to them...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Italian Cheesecake

I've been slacking in the blogging department, I could say that it's because I've been madly preparing for Christmas but that would be a bold faced lie.  I've just been particularly procrastinatory (a disorder that often times suffer from).

I will say that I've been working on a possibly controversial blog posting... I hope to get it hammered out before Christmas (since that is the topic that it will be covering)... cross your fingers I get enough of my extensive "to-do-list" done, so that I can finish it...

But to make up for my slackass ways, here's a recipe that I've made (twice) for recent festive gatherings...

Italian Cheesecake

Now, I'm sure many of you are aware that I'm not very good at following a recipe, so I'll just show you how I altered the recipe.


Italian Ricotta Cheesecake
Photo courtesy of http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon softened butter
1/2 cup finely crushed amaretti cookies (optional)
2  pounds ricotta cheese
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs * I used 7 eggs
2 egg yolks * I skipped the yoke
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest * No zest in my cheesecake
1/4 cup heavy cream * Subbed in sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extractDouble (possibly tripled) the vanilla
1 tablespoon orange flower water * Couldn't find orange flower water, so I just upped the vanilla extract (also why I skipped the orange zest)
Powdered sugar, for dusting * No dusting on my cheesecake
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Drain the ricotta in a colander lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl for about 30 minutes to an hour.  This drains out the excess liquid in it, making for a denser cake.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan.  Coat pan with crushed amaretti, if using, swirling it around to get an even coating.  Pour out any excess crumbs.  Place prepared pan on a baking sheet.
Using an electric mixer, beat the ricotta, mascarpone and sugar together until smooth.  With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs, orange zest, cream, vanilla and orange flower water and mix until completely homogenized.
Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and let the cake rest inside for 30 minutes.
Remove cake from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it and unmold.  Chill the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

I really enjoyed this cheesecake (some of those that I served it to, I don't think they quite felt my love for it), it was light and had a very bright flavour.  I've never met a cheesecake that I didn't love... but this is a lovely alternative to a traditional New York style cheesecake. 

Enjoy (and hopefully I'll get my next post done in a timely fashion)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Make memories...

Recently (okay, not *so* recently... more like "Last month..." ), I missed out on a wonderful LLL Enrichment meeting (and since I am the e-Communications gal, I'm going to share my meeting notice/schpeel [and you know, so everyone knows I didn't forget about my blog])



Priorities - People first, not things

The Holidays are fast approaching and with it comes a bundle of stress.

It is easy to get caught up in the hunt for the perfect gift; without taking the time to enjoy the process. 

It is not just about gifting the biggest, bestest or most expensive gift... it is about searching, crafting

or creating something with love for someone near and dear to your heart.  

It is about spending quality time and creating memories with friends and family.

It is about unplugging and savouring those moments; the memories that you will make together that

are far more important than any iPod.

It is in the spirit of this season that we are having our  meeting, “Priorities - People first, not things”.

Join us to discuss how you will celebrate with your family.  What memories do you hope to make?

What traditions do you wish to start?  What do you fondly remember when you think of holidays past? 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

That's not fair!

I have long since bemoaned situations in life that aren't exactly, eleventy-billion percent fair... in fact, as a teenager that was a phrase that often sprang forth from my mouth (often times when my brothers were allowed to do things that I was not - obviously, I didn't take into consideration the five year age gap).

I like things to be fair.  I like everyone to be treated the same.  I like rules and structure.  And I like them to apply to all.

I don't like when expectations are not clear or shift depending on who the expectations are regarding.  I don't like a different set of rules for different people.  And I absolute abhor when I react to a situation and it is regarded as "improper", even if those regarding it as "improper" would react in the same way.

I hate hypocrisy.  Unless, of course, I am the hypocrite. 


I fully understand as a twenty-something (oh dear, please don't make me say "nearly thirty-something") that life is not fair... but dammit, it doesn't mean that I have to like it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Passionate Parent

In the wise words of a marvelous friend "It takes courage to be a parent".  Indeed.it.does... especially if you are going to be the kind of mama (or papa) that marches to the beat of your own drum (or forgoes the drum and just marches).

Everyone (and their brother) will have a running commentary on your parenting practices (or what they view as a lack of practice and parenting).  Parents and non-parents alike all have five cents worth of an opinion regarding your children and your parenting.

It's like the moment you birth a child, you are open to public scrutiny.  Child too loud?  Your fault.  Child does not want random strangers speaking/touching/invading their personal space?  Your fault.  Your one year old (insert age) is not walking (insert milestone)?  Your fault.  If you dare to frolic on the garden path (i.e. don't follow the parenting norm) and your child is not exactly like their peers, yep... you guessed it, your fault!

So, here's my ranty-rant (just a quickie... I promise)

Just shut your goddamn child up
Look, 99% of us with small people have been there.  In the midst of a world class meltdown occurring in a very public place (bonus points if it's an enclosed space [such as a bus/train/plane] where you cannot readily remove your melting child from the situation).  Do you know what does not help?  Asshole's with opinions on how you should shut your child up, or the nasty glares that literally ooze with "I'm going to smother them" attitude.  What takes my mama-bear-piss-offed-ness to a whole new level, is when said intolerant twat is a non-parent.  I vividly remember a discussion with a non-parent friend of mine.  They had a front row seat for "enclosed space meltdown", and did some bitching about it (fine, we all bitch about various aspects of our day).  What really made me want to scream (in unison with the bus banshee) is when they implied that their comfort (in silence) was more important than the mother of bus banshee.  They flat out said that the mother (and her child) should have found an alternate mode of transportation, (so that their commute would not be disrupted...?) really? 

If you don't let them CIO (cry it out) they'll never become independent
This is a real beef of mine, far be it for me to decide how everyone else parent's (really to each their own) but do not mock my parenting in an attempt to justify your parenting choices.  We choose to practice our version of attachment parenting because it makes sense, for us.  I don't feel the need to belittle a parent that chooses to follow a different parenting path because I know how we parent is right for us; so if you are comfortable with CIO or Ferberizing, or whatever parenting method that you choose... do it.  But, if you're like me and applying CIO/Ferberizing to your family literally made your heart ache, don't do it.  If you're doubting the "rightness" of a particular parenting philosophy, maybe you're doubting them because they aren't right for you.  Maybe you've heard a story from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who's cousin babywore/bedshared/nursed-to-sleep and their 25 year old son is a jobless deadbeat who mooches off of maw & paw between bouts of incarceration and so you CIO/Ferbrize because the babywearing/bedsharing/nursing-to-sleep must have been what caused their predicament (orrrrrrr their son is a selfish twat, for realz).

I am passionate about my parenting and sometimes I can come off strong... holier-than-thou (or so I've been told).  I don't think I'm better than anyone because of how I choose to parent.  I don't think my boys are better than your Sally/Jacob.  My children are not perfect (and neither am I... ).  My children cry, they can be clingy and ill-behaved.  I get touched out and put my boys down, walk away, readjust my sanity and come back.  I can be snippy and bitchy.  I have a quick temper (little things can make me want to lose my shit but I'm quick to come back down to earth).

At 15mos and 3yrs I don't rush them at the first sound of a cry.  I muddled through my parenting - I try to make informed decisions but I am not under the impression that my parenting is the only way to parent and that my children will be perfect.  Although, I do hope that they grow up to be well-adjusted adults. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall in love with FALL

I love fall.  Really, I do. 

I love the colours
Taken from Explore the Bruce website

I love the crisp cool breeze with the sporadic days of summer-like bliss

I.love.fall. 

What isn't to love about it? 

You aren't sweating your ass off with the humidity and soaring temps of July/August and you aren't freezing your toes off in blustery, squally winter!  Spring (while gorgeous) is a bloody mess here... muck and guck... yuck!  I wish we could just skip from winter to early summer... but fall.  *sighs*  Fall is wonderful.

Nature puts on a gorgeous show... the leaves turning from green to yellow, orange and crimson. 

With the dipping temperatures people start their wood stoves and wood fireplaces... which leaves a heavenly scent in the air when you're out for an evening stroll.

Fall is full of promise, you might get one.more.summer-like.day before the snow flies and since the winter weather hasn't started you can delude yourself into believing it isn't really.that.bad (winter that is).

Fall (for my family) is the start of the holiday season... the start of more family dinners (which are hectic, stressful and gloriously wonderful all.at.the.same.time).

Fall is a time for traditions - the fall just after TT's first birthday we went to a local apple orchard (with a lovely friend of mine) and we've gone every fall since. 

Not *our* orchard

We go through the rows picking apples for pies, sauce, and snacks.  For sandwiches (want a delicious twist on your traditional turkey sandwich... add freshly sliced apples, a schmear of red pepper jelly and a couple glops of brie, you'll thank me... I promise) and supper (curried apple with chicken, or roast pork loin with an apple glaze).  We stop for pictures and to run around on the bales of hay and the best part is when we pop into the store and grab up some delicious preserves and treats.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving: {Buff Mama Monday} Style

So, those of us North of the 49th parallel (in the America's) are enjoying a lovely turkey weekend (seriously, it is more like summer out there than mid-October). 

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with holidays.  The family and food:  so.damn.good.  The food:  so.damn.fattening.  And yes, one could always say no to something, but who has the willpower to turn down gravy and biscuits and turkey and butter drenched mashed potatoes?  (Obviously, I do not). 

So, to mitigate the after effects of the oh-so-very-delicious supper, I walked to my mom's.  Popped the boys in BOB and away we went... just over 5km and it took us just under an hour.  Yay us!

I've plateaued... but I'm hoping that every.little.bit will count...

How do you stay on track during the holidays?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Teething Necklace

I remember when I had TT, there were these teething necklaces that some mama's were using.  I thought it was witchcraft (okay, I didn't think witchcraft but I definitely thought hokum).

Along came C-McC and I remembered reading about them and I knew some mama's that swore by them (seriously swore.by.them).  I found one on sale and picked it up for C-McC... neither the hubs nor I were true believers, sure C-McC looked super-duper cute and he was happy but he was just a happy kind of guy!

So, being the super awesome kind of parent's that we obviously we are, we decided to do an experiment.

I would randomly put C-McC's necklace on him (and not tell the hubs).  We would do this for a week or so and the hubs would guess which days the necklace was and was not on (he isn't the cheating sort, so I didn't have to worry about him taking off C-McC's shirt to find out).

The hubs knew which days were what - seriously!  On a particularly bad day, he looked at me said to grab the necklace... C-McC obviously needed it.

So you can guess how sad I was when the clasp on C-McC's necklace broke... Guess I'll be checking out Inspired By Finn and picking up another necklace (or two TT hasn't cut his 2 year molars yet and gosh darnnit they're cute [the necklaces... not his molars])

Lemon Cranberry Cupcakes - YUM!

Lemon Cranberry Cupcakes - the perfect fall pick-me-up!


  • Bag of cranberries (I use the pre-frozen, that way I always have some on hand and can make these muffins whenever my heart desires)
  • 1 cup sugar ( I split that between brown sugar & white sugar... whatever mix pleases you)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons zested and the juice set aside
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 big ol' splash of vanilla
  • 1.5-2 cups flour


Place your frozen cranberries in a bowl, zest & juice your lemons over the bowl.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of white sugar.  Allow to "chill" in the fridge (overnight if you can)

Next morning, pre-heat your oven to 375*F.  Strain the juice from your cranberry bowl.  Set both cranberries and juice aside.

Cream butter in your mixer.  Add sugar and allow to get soft & fluffy.

Add in eggs (one at a time) and whip mixture up together (it should whip up to soft peaks).

Add vanilla, baking soda, salt and a tbsp of flour.

Add lemon/cranberry/sugar juice (that you set aside earlier)

Sprinkle the cranberries with 1-2tbsp of flour, mix well (this is so the berries will remain suspended in the batter)

Add flour (1/2cup at a time) until you reach a nice cakey consistency (don't over mix once you start adding flour... )

Pop in cranberries and just gently spoon mix.

Spray your muffin tins and spoon your batter in.

Lick spoon (to the baker goes the spoils)

Put muffins in oven for 25min - test for doneness and turn the heat down to 350*F and bake for 5-10 more minutes (depending on if you got 12 or 24 muffins out of the batch)

Enjoy... they'll have a delightful soft cakey texture... sweet and tart.  Oh yum!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Muddling Through Grief

What you can't possibly know... until it's too late

Grief it is such a personal experience, the route that you take.  What calms one, irritates another.  What causes one heartache, provides another comfort.  

Grief is personal, but this is what I have learned as I have followed my path.

  • Talk.  Talk often.  Talk always.  Just.Talk. 
    Last weekend as we were perusing a classic car show, I made sure to point out certain cars *cough-MOPAR-cough* to TT.  I mentioned that his grandpa had a car like that... (except it was red, it was newer/older... whatever).  The purpose was to share a memory of my dad with TT.  Give him an experience to associate with my dad, no he (my dad) wasn't there but he wasn't not there (make sense?).
  • Cry.  Allow yourself to cry
    Often we feel that crying is a sign of weakness, as something that we need to hide (especially when you have an ugly non-movie-star cry [a la moi]).  For months after my dad's passing my eyelids were bruised from crying (I shit you not, bruised... trust me, there was a whole lotta ugly sobbing going on).  I still cry when I talk about him (it will be 5yrs, end of January) and I try to view that as the depth of my love.  I loved him so darn much, and thinking about everything that he's missing out on... well, it makes me cry (for the record I have big ol' tears trickling down my cheeks). 
  • Grieve as you need to grieve and respect that others may need to grieve differently.
    Some people become quiet & go into themselves... others are may need to wear their heart on their sleeve.  Some people need everyone to rally around them... others need to be left alone.  There is no right way to grieve... you just have to respect how that person needs to grieve.
  • You will be trucking along - and it will hit you.  You aren't over it!
    A year passes... two... marriage, children... life goes on.  But something, something will happen and it will bring you back to that day.  That's okay!  Look for triggers (for me, it's spring & fall... when the equipment comes out for seeding/harvest, my heart breaks all over again), and try to turn it into a positive... think about all the wonderful memories that you had.
  • Realize that whether you have been there (or not), you do not know how someone else is feeling.  Be empathetic and understanding but don't be trite.  I know it's hard on both sides, you don't know what to say and sometimes there is no right thing to say (everything hurts).  The best piece of advice that I can share - "I am so sorry for your loss, is there anything that I can do".  That's it.  That is all you have to say... if you have a special memory that you wish to share, do so but don't feel like you.must.say.something else. 
  • When someone is going through a personal loss, it really is all about them (at least to them) so please, don't compare your struggles with the loss of a parent/partner/child.
I have an amazingly wonderful friend who lost her mother in high school and I was not a good friend (honestly I wasn't... high school me had no idea how to deal with what she was going through), when my dad died she was my rock (aside from my husband... who was amazing... ).  The strength that she gave me, well let's just say this is my gigantic "thank you" to her... I hope this post will help someone else, as much as she has helped me.

I still have bad days.  A song will come on... TT will ask me "where your dad, mom?"... I'll look at my beautiful boys and will be sad at the awesomeness that he is missing... and the tears will start. 

That's my normal... you don't love someone that much & just stop missing them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Call Me Old Fashioned?

The other morning on my drive into work, I heard a song that gave me pause... it started out as your typical life-was-so-much-better-when-we-were-young song, I may have even nodded at a line or two but I was a bit taken aback by this (disclaimer: maybe I'm being slightly dramatic by blogging about this, the line I'm about to share isn't ghastly offensive... but it did give me pause):


Now I'm more of a spiritual kinda gal (please do not confuse spiritual with hemp-wearing-patchouli-scented-hippie - while that is fine, it is not who I am), I believe that there is something more... I can't put my finger on it but I believe nonetheless.  My views certainly guide my moral compass... but I'm not perfect and sometimes I am ashamed by my actions.  However, that isn't what this post is about... it's about religion in school.  

That line just made me stop & shake my head.  I firmly believe in the separation of Church & State... I believe that the religious upbringing (or lack-thereof) of my children is my job, as their parent.  Not the job of their teacher.  I believe that my children have the right to learn about all religions, as they choose but not to have it crammed down their throat.  I don't agree with prayer in school... I just don't.   

I don't think the world would be a better place if prayer were reintroduced in school.   I think the world would be a better place if we all exercised a little more tolerance.

I'll step off of my soapbox now...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Canada's World Breastfeeding Week

As a mother; infant nutrition is of utmost importance.  I am sure you have heard that "breast is best"; most people have.  Unfortunately, the implication behind that statement is that it (nursing) will be easy, that as a natural act it does not require prior knowledge, exposure or experience.  As any nursing mother will tell you this is an extreme understatement, knowledge is key.  The best ways to gain nursing knowledge is through experience, exposure and through the normalization of breastfeeding.

La Leche League provides mother-to-mother support - under the guidance of an accredited leader.  Mother's learn to nurse their babies by being with other nursing mother's; by sharing their triumphs and pitfalls with other nursing mother's.  By seeing how it (nursing) is done!

Most new mother's will say that the learning curve for breastfeeding is quite steep; you're tired and overjoyed at the very same time, you're fumbling with various positions and holds while trying to find "The perfect latch".  Attending monthly meetings are a life saver - you're surrounded by a group of women who have "been there" and "done that".  You know that you are not alone in your experiences. 

You have your very own personal support group!  An accredited leader who will make house calls - to give you a little one-on-one help. 

La Leche League is a group that is near & dear to my heart (if you're a regular reader, you already know this); I contacted our accredited leader in October after the birth of my second child (that's C-McC, yo!), we made plans to meet and from that first meeting we have blossomed into a thriving group!

In honour of Canada's World Breastfeeding Week (yes, Canada has it's own *World* Breastfeeding week... ) I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the awesome support and kinship that I have found with this amazing group of women, you mean more to me than you will ever know.

I'm throwing this into this week's Breastfeeding Blog hop - I know it's a bit of a stretch but LLL was definitely an important aspect of my nursing support.

 

Fall Fun...

Today the hubs, our boys & I went to a local fall festival... there's a slew of booths (with super-duper-yummy food), crafts, a midway and (of course) a classic car show. 

Now, we did bring BOB along (to carry my wallet, a change of diapers and TT when his legs gave out from walking) but C-McC definitely enjoyed his mama-perch.  I had him up on my back in our mei tai (with a sweater that I since ungrown [?] tossed over top to keep us both nice & cozy warm). 

It was great - I knew where he was, he could see EVERYTHING from his perch and he chatted endlessly with many a bewildered stranger (most of whom stopped for a moment to figure out where the very excited chatterbox was).

I love babywearing... I love the snuggles, I love how easy it is and I love knowing that my boys are safe and I have my hands free if I have to dash after another one of my children (yep, TT is the mad-dash-king... )

TT got to ride on a pony but was very disappointed to realize that he's just not tall enough to get on the Ferris wheel (which was fine by his mama & dad... we both had visions of him getting to the top and having an absolute shit-fit... ).

C-McC enjoyed the endless supply of french fries that I passed over my shoulder (and surprisingly my hair and back were fry-free!)

We all enjoyed the brisk, fresh fall air (which came with some not-so-enjoyable rain at the end... good thing we were already on our way home)... I think we're all tuckered out now... TT had a hard time getting up the stairs to get in the house... now both boys are playing with plastic cups (I seriously don't know why we waste money on toys) and the hubs & I are vegging out on the interwebs...


Happy Fall All!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Blog-O-Nymity ?

Does anonymity exist online?



Tonight, very tongue in cheekly, a friend made the comment that since so-and-so was following her blog she had to watch what she said. 

So, on my drive home, I started thinking (shhhhh, I don't really want the whole world to know that I'm not just a beautiful face), anywho, I started thinking that I definitely edit myself (I know, you're thinking "what the hell... this is her edited version?".  It is, it is indeed) on my blog.  As much as I try to keep my blog anonymous (I have chosen to not use "real" names or discuss where I'm from, etc), I know I'm far from from it.  I have scrapped certain blog ideas because I knew that discussing that particular issue would cause more drama than it was worth.  And I've definitely been approached about a blog posting, by those who felt my message *may* have been aimed at them (uhhhh, they were totally right).

As a blogger, how do you balance representing your authentic self and respectfully keeping the peace?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I.Am.Thankful

I know my last couple of posts have been written in a negative vein... don't get me wrong... I'm not ungrateful.  I am a very lucky woman!

I have a husband who loves me (and whom I love & adore).
I have two gorgeous boys who absolutely light up my life.
I have a fabulous family... two brothers whom I love dearly, my sister (from another mister, yo), my mama...
I have a superb aunt who watches my boys for me, so that I have one less thing to worry about while I'm at work.
I have a great job... really I do!  And I work with wonderful people.

I.am.blessed.

I just wanted to share some positivity... because even though it is difficult dealing with this transition (from home full-time to work full-time)... we'll muddle our way through it and find out the best way for our family. 

And in the end, the most important thing, is I have a wonderful, loving family. 

I am so lucky.

Muddling Along

The past two weeks have flown by in a blur... I can't believe that I'm back to work (it seriously feels like I just had C-McC) and there is no way that TT is in preschool... goodness he's just a wee toddler.  Right?

Oh dear god, I'm deep in denial!  I have a three year old... who loves preschool and I have a one year old who needs to be rocked (or nursed) to sleep (thank goodness my my childcare provider obliges).  And me, I'm a working mama! 

What a weird feeling, to be thrust back into the work place... where the "work you" has been stagnant (in my case for 54 weeks) and all your coworkers have been trucking along.  The things that you forget in 54 weeks (I had a panic attack the night before my day back... I couldn't remember my employee number and I did.not.want.to.have.to.ask.someone.for.it).  I'm definitely working my way into a groove... but it's weird, others have taken on my tasks and I'm not sure how to go about asking for them back.  Certain things I've just had to dive in (and hope to god I still know what I'm going). 

I'm happy to be back but I seriously underestimated how much I would miss my munchkins!

Evenings here are a clusterfuck (pardon my French), the hubs and I get home jam some supper into the waiting gullets of TT & C-McC, toss them in the tub (kidding... we gently give them a bath), up to bed goes TT around 8-8:30 and then there are snuggles on the couch for the hubs, moi and C-McC.  We fall into bed and start all over again the next morning.  Some evenings we fit in a family stroll... others we just veg.  

I'm seriously looking at a meal planning website, Relish.  Something where I can input a weeks worth of meals and it will spit out what I need.  Reduce the thinking about supper and the trips to the store (because I don't know about you, but I cannot go to the grocery store and buy only the thing that I actually need).  I think this might help to simplify things for me (I wonder if they have a crockpot option.. I love my crockpot).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Balance

I know I'm only at my second week back but I'll admit it, I'm struggling.

My house is a wreck (okay, my house is more of a wreck than usual).  Clean laundry is piling up like crazy (yes, clean... I'm pretty good at getting it in and out of the washer but it's the folding and putting away that kills me). 

I know we just need to muddle our way through this... that in a months time, we'll work out a system and everything will be almost peachy keen but oh-my-god, working over this hump suuuuuuuuuuucks! 

I'm missing out on a lot of social interaction with my friends (whodda thunk that their lives go on while I'm at work, that is so *not* fair).

This is work kicking my ass... must.find.balance!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I don't need a food police...

Being back to work means that this household is trying very hard to strike a balance. 

A balance between work, children, solo time and partner time.

Holy frack is it hard!  We've gone on a couple walks... I'm trying to think ahead for meals, we're trying to adjust bedtime and get more sleep... we're just muddling our way through this.

Can I say... one thing I hate hearing (from the busy-body or well-intentioned), comments on the good/bad nature of whatever may be making it's way to my mouth.  Yes, I am trying to be healthier and no I do not want to let my body back to where it was but trust me when I say I know chocolate is bad for me.  You do not need to comment on it - ok?

That's all... just needed to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Labels

I've been sitting on an application for a local preschool, I have it half filled out (and I need to finish it before tomorrow *gulp*).

One section asks for you to list words that you feel describe your child, I listed:

  • Strong willed
  • Independent
  • Boisterous
  • Outgoing
  • Enthusiastic
Now maybe it's a little mellow dramatic of me, but my heart broke a little as I wrote down "strong willed" and "boisterous".  By no means did I mean them in a negative context - TT is strong willed and he is boisterous - but to see those words written so starkly on that piece of paper, it killed me (again, I.am.being.melodramatic. I very obviously am alive & kicking) that I was so readily labeling him.

Those words are a source of pride for me - though I'm sure many of you are shaking your heads at my naivety - I hope when he reaches his teenage years that he maintains that steadfast strong willedness, so that when other children are flocking like sheep he is either their badass leader (because for realz, if my child is going to be a hellion out causing a ruckus I feel [now... maybe later I will change my mind] that I would much rather they choose to do so because it is what they want to do and not because they are a mindless lemming) or he is so absolutely fine with marching to the beat of his own drum that he doesn't need the approval of his peers  While there are many afternoons where I could bang my head to quiet the voices (of TT & C-McC) that is a part of what makes them who they are...

I had a lovely afternoon chatting with a new (good?) friend of mine... and I brought up this "issue" (if it could even be considered an issue).  I wonder that there may be a negative connotation associated with these words... that they will be read and TT will be labeled "a problem". This progressed into a full-on discussion on parenting and our roles... and well, all that to say I had a lovely afternoon and I'm proud to say that TT is indeed strong willed and boisterous!

What words would you use to describe your child? 
What do those words (in regards to your child) mean to you?
Are you concerned that there may be a negative connotation associated with that word?

Oh and Ps:  Thank you for all the work advice (and for the love), work has been good.  I didn't cry, not at all (the night before... yes, but not the day of).  Things have gone well, C-McC seems to be adapting and so do I!  I miss my boys very much but I am enjoying contact with adults...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Super Duper Chocolatey Peanut Butter Cookies

When something is almost too awesome for words TT prefaces it with "Super Duper" (typically it involves chocolate, so "Super Duper Chocolatey... " is most often heard). 

Yesterday I hosted an Usborne book party (at my mom's, because that makes total sense... right?) anyways, as the hostess I decided to make some Super Duper treats, one of which were these Super Duper Chocolately Peanut Butter cookies, I used this recipe for inspiration.

Super Duper Chocolately Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups peanut butter (I use the natural stuff)
1/4 cup sugar (with an extra 1/4 cup set aside for later)
3/4 cup packed golden yellow/light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 big splash of vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1/2-3/4 cup of President's Choice mini peanut butter cup chips (not peanut butter chips but itty-bitty-teeny-tiny peanut butter cups... )

Combine all the wet ingredients

Combine all the dry (separately)

Slowly combine dry to wet

Add in peanut butter cup chips

Roll small balls of dough in white sugar (that you set aside)

Arrange on baking sheet and press down with a fork

Bake in preheated (350*F) oven for 10-13minutes (or until golden brown at the edges... too long and they'll be crunchy, I prefer soft & chewy cookies)

I should have taken a picture but they were too good to stop and think of doing that... bon appetit!

Passionate Mama

I've always been a passionate person.

As a tween & teen this passion manifested itself in the slamming of doors when things didn't go my way, or the throwing of random objects at those who dared to wake me.

As a mom, my passion is parenting.

Not just parenting but how I choose to parent.

I find myself pouring over blogs and other various child-related websites (sometimes in the wee hours of the morning).  I will spend months (literally months) researching the next big thing in child-related products.

As I've mentioned a time or (eleventy-billion) I've become quite involved in my local LLL group - these women are freaking awesome (for realz)!  Several of them I knew before but never as more than acquaintances.   It's funny what a few years, some babies and a mortgage can do to you (we definitely have a lot more in common now), and a mutual (passion?) interest.

With my back-to-work-date around the proverbial corner, I've been pondering what life would be like if we were independently wealthy... I crave companionship, adult conversation and being useful (I realize that parenting my boys is the most useful thing I can do but there are days where I feel like I'm losing myself in Cheerios and dirty bums)... these things I love about work... but if I didn't have to work (like really, did.not.have.to.work - like "Housewives of [insert location]") I don't think I would.  The more I think about it, the more I believe I'd cultivate this new-found passion

I can only see my participation with this organization growing... I love the friendships that have blossomed through this group!  We are such a freaking hoot (this is my completely biased opinion). 

What are you passionate about?
If money was no object - how would you go about cultivating your passion(s)?

Workin' Mama

I go back to work tomorrow and I'm torn.  So very, very, very torn.

I enjoy my job very much.  The people I work with are pretty awesome and I really like what I do.  But, I'm going to be missing out on a whole lot of what TT & C-McC are doing and that.breaks.my.heart!

I am a little shocked that I am so torn up over this - I went back to work when TT was 5 months old (albeit only part time... very, very part time but still back.to.work).  This time around I got the full year (and my employer graciously gave me an extra 2wks to stay home and celebrate some very important birthdays with my boys), I think having that year gave me so much extra time to think about going back to work that it's now dominating my thoughts!  When I went back to work after TT, an opportunity arose and I just jumped in.

I feel like I haven't been a very good mom lately, I feel like I need more adult time and that makes me feel selfish

So, other working mama's... how did you do it?  Should I expect tears (from me) tomorrow? 
How can I maximize my (now limited) time with my boys (put away the crack top... got it)?
How do you keep your home running smoothly?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Man Giggle Moment

Today the hubs was telling me that he really liked my homage to our boys (their birthday blogs). 

Now the way he said it was "man, I wish you blogged like that all the time", at least that's how I read it - so I said, "you know I can only do that once a year, right" (Paraphrasing... because I can't 100% remember how I said it). He very tongue-in-cheekily replied that I should do one for his birthday (next week... because September is the month of my boys' births)...

Hahaha, yes, I'll blog about your birth hun... because I totally know how it went down

I love that silly, crazy man!


Life - It's all a matter of perspective...

Another blogging mama posted about Keeping up with the Jones's

It got me thinking - I truly love having people over to my house, but I'm often embarrassed by the state of chaos that it is in at any given time.

I'd love to blame it all on having two boys and a husband who walks out of things and leaves them where they fall.  But I definitely exhibit a "who the fuck cares" when it comes to some of my domestic duties. 

I grew up in a household where my mother was neurotic (hi mom, I love you... but you are insane about your cleaning), she'll even tell me now that "it's relaxing" (if you're crazy).  As an adult I've slowly evolved (with the help of my husband because oh-my-god, there's only so many times you can say "put you damn shoes away... away... away!" before you finally snap and just say to hell with it) from a stressing not-quite-as-neat-as-my-mama kind of person to a messy.  Yep, I'm a messy.  Our house (while not tiny) is cluttered (which happens when one member of the household has issues with throwing things away [not.naming.names]).  I'd love to rent a giant garbage bin and just pitch shit out the door... 

It's old (there's no way around that... it's a century farm house... ).  It's outdated (hello 70's paneling and acoustic ceiling tiles) and it's cluttered... when I see pictures of neat and tidy new homes, I feel pangs of envy.  They're so pretty.  I want that.  I want that NOW!  But, the hubs and I are not willing to put ourselves in debt up to our eyeballs so that we can have a completely gutted home. 

I have dreams for my home (Pinterest can attest to that!) but I do occasionally have to remind myself that good things come to those who wait

My house will get there.  It's not there now.  But it will... one day.  For now, I have a husband that I love like freaking crazy.  Two gorgeous boys that I am so very blessed to be the mama of.  And a sturdy house that is full of potential.

And when I put it like that - I'm damn lucky!  Because life - it's all a matter of perspective!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

{Buff Mama Monday}... Errr Tuesday...

You know how last week I was all smug about my lack of discipline.  How even though I'd totally fallen off the wagon I hadn't gained any weight so I was still good?  Remember? 

Yeah, well those 4lbs that melted during my mastitis nightmare, they came back.  Plus 1.  Fuuuuuuuuuuck.

The hubs is back to work this week (after a delightful two week vacation), I'm hoping that having normal meal times (I love him but he so screws with meal times) will help me lose those 5lbs (and then some). 

I need to get my butt out jogging (BOB is squeaking... I've messaged the company with a complaint... what a sad state of affairs when I use a squeak as a reason to not jog )

Today is TT's birthday - should I sneak a jog in?  Probably, since we are having his favourite for supper: P-I-Z-Z-A!

Feel free to kick me in the butt (jeez, I say that a lot in regards to this whole "deal", don't I?)

I asked (last week?) for exercise music lists... anyone care to share what's on their move-it list?

Happy {THIRD} Birthday TT!

It's hard for me to fathom that three years have gone by.  It seems like just yesterday you were performing acrobatics in my belly.  Now you're racing through life full tilt (seriously, every.single.damn.thing.they.say.about.boys - true!  true!  true!)

You are my first born.  My due date baby.  My rebel without a cause.

At this point three years ago, I was bewildered, I was in awe, I was smitten, I was freaking gobsmacked!  I was cradling you, my sweet little man, in my arms and wondering how my life had ever felt complete without you.  I was being told by the nurse to "sleep when you sleep" but I couldn't imagine shutting my eyes... I just wanted to stare at you all night.

Like most first time mom's, I'd spent an inordinate amount of my pregnancy fretting over labour.  This only worsened when a good friend of mine and my sister-in-law were overdue and had long drawn out labours.  On the eve of your due date, I was surprised when I felt like crap (seriously... like.crap).  I called my mom to ask her if my symptoms sounded like labour (she wasn't a lot of help, apparently she doesn't have a idemic memory of what had happened 20yrs+ before), so I called my sister-in-law... who told me to call the hospital.  And I did. 
  • They told me not to rush... call back in an hour.  (You know, first time mom... it's going to be a long drawn out ordeal)
  • An hour later I could barely talk through my contractions!
  • To the hospital we went... I had to tell the hubs to slow.the.fuck.down... he was driving like a maniac!
  • We reach the hospital and into the labour tub I go... I don't know how long I was in there for, it felt like hours but it must have only been 30-45min
  • I started begging for drugs (I'm not proud to admit this... I was scared out of my mind... I couldn't fathom how my body expected me to go through 20hrs+ of this... )
  • I told your father that I wanted something to help me sleep... he laughed at me... I seriously contemplated shoving his head under the water, but a contraction hit
  • My mom & your auntie arrived... apparently I looked like shit (seriously, that's what every labouring women wants to hear... thanks mom ox)
  • Now is where it get's hazy... I had tried "the gas" and it made me feel like my limbs had fallen off and were floating (basically, ewwww gross), and asked for something else... they spent forever and a week trying to find a vein and during that time I started freaking out because I felt like I had to pee (to which the nurse apparently [I don't know, I can't remember] wigged out over that)
  • Someone went to page the O.B. on call, and I told the nurse that I needed.to.push.NOW!
  • 15min later (and three big pushes) and there you were!
  • After 6.5hrs of labour, it was hard to believe that you were finally here... 
Your birth taught me a valuable lesson - to trust my body.  Your birth spurred me to educate myself better on child birth, to prepare myself for round two (aka: C-McC). 

Three years have flown by, like a blink of the eye!
  • You've gone from my little squish to a great big brother
  • You are so full of curiosity - you question everything!
  • I don't care if it is unfashionable to comment on physical appearance - you are one of the most gorgeous boys that I have ever laid eyes on (and I'm not just saying that because I'm your mama, you have sweet curls and to.die.for lashes)
  • You go from zero to danger in 0.5seconds... 
  • You're rough.  You're tumble.  You are so boy!
  • You're not my baby anymore, you start preschool soon and next year *sighs* next year you'll be riding the yellow bus to SCHOOL!

I love you TT, more than you can even imagine.  You will always hold a very special place in my heart... my sweet, wild TT. 

When you curl up on my lap and lovingly pat my face.... look me in the eyes and tell me "I love you mom", my heart melts.  Literally, it melts. 

Your inquisitive nature floors me, just floors me.  The pride that shines from your every pore when you figure out how to do something... or how something works... or what we're spelling (yeah, he's caught on to the cadence of how certain words are spelled... [apparently spelling D-O-R-A in a sing-song voice = bad, very bad] we are so boned) it warms it.  To see you growing and learning... it is an absolute honour!

Happy birthday my dear sweet TT...
Much love,
Your mama

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy {FIRST} Birthday C-McC

Today is C-McC's {FIRST} birthday!

I vividly remember the day... by this point on that day I had
  • Called my boss to let him know that "I don't think I'll be coming in today"
  • Startled the hubs awake
  • Called my mom
  • Called my aunt to see if she could watch TT (she couldn't, was driving her eldest to university... so her lovely girlie's came and watched TT for me)
  • Was nagged at (numerous times) by the hubs that we should "get going", so as to not deliver in the car, on the side of the road (I didn't listen)
As a second time mom this labour was the same and oh so very different from my first
  • I knew that I could do it
  • I knew that the pain I was feeling was my body doing what it needed to do 
  • I knew that relaxing into my contractions was far more effective than fighting them
  • I knew that transition would.be.a.bitch
  • I knew that once I hit transition, it wouldn't be long
  • I knew that the moment you were in my arms, it would all be worth it
 I can honestly say that up until transition, labour was a freaking breeze, the second time around.  I wasn't so overwhelmed and scared out of my mind.  I'd prepared myself a lot better (by reading different labour techniques instead of scoffing at them and saying they were for hippies).  There is a certain power that comes with the knowledge that "Yeah, I can fucking do this".  And when C-McC made his grand entrance (not to be outdone by his older brother who was delivered by our nurse because the O.B. on call did not make it in time), he arrived after two great big pushes, into the one gloved hand of our frantic nurse.  To be fair, I did warn her that when I'm ready.  I.AM.READY.

C-McC in a year you have changed so much. 
  • You have gone from my itty-bitty teeny-tiny, skinny-minny to my long & lean one year old. 
  • You have lost your soft & squishy newborn-ness
  • You are crawling, cruising and I'm sure soon (so very, very soon) that you will be running (because walking is such a brief period)
  • You are babbling (mom being your first word, followed by Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii and dad)
  • Your eyes light up when you see your brother and you now take great delight in torturing him (by pulling his train tracks a part, playing with his cars and being a general nuisance)
And through this all, you are still my little snuggle bug.  You love nothing more than to curl up in my arms (or more accurately in a sling around your mama).

I love you as much today as the day I found out that you were going to be joining our family. 

I can't wait to see the boy (and then the man) you will become, you are already so different from your loud, brash, opinionated brother.  You are a quiet, more serious young man who offers everyone quick smiles.  Everyone who meet you says they feel that you're an old soul (I agree... I see so much of your pépère in you... which could mean you'll give us a run for our money later on, but I hope not).

Happy birthday C-McC

Much love,
Your Mama

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I know now...

A LLL mama shared a link on her Facebook... it was a wonderful, thought provoking link.  Which inspired a fellow mama & LLL-er to blog about what pertinent bits of wisdom she would have shared with her pre-baby self.  Which inspired me, on the eve of C-McC first birthday, to share some sage words (okay, just some tidbits of knowledge).

  • Children fill your heart to the bursting point and yet somehow, there's more than enough love to go around
  • The best birth plan is flexible
  • Not everyone has a 36hr labour
  • Transition is a bitch
  • The moment your children meet each other will stay with you, forever
  • Every new experience that you share with your boys, is both wonderful and sad.  Non-parents will shake their head and call you crazy.  Other parents will "get it". 
  • Cherish your boys.  Before you know it, they'll be 1 & 3.  4 & 6.  15 & 17. 

Banana Avocado Muffins

As promised... my Banana Avocado Muffin recipe (altered [because I cannot follow a recipe to save my life] from a recipe shared by my good friend B - who is tall, slim, blond & GORGEOUS... oh and a mama of FOUR... if I didn't love her so much, I'd hate her... for realz)

Measurements are approximate, I use measuring cups... but more of as a means to transfer ingredients from their containers to my mixing bowl... not to be accurate
2 ripe Avocados
2-3 medium sized ripe bananas
1 cup oats
1-1.5 cups flour (whole wheat preferably)
1/3-1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of baking soda
1 great big splash of vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (optional *spfffffffft* like you won't add them)

Pre-heat oven to 375F

1.  Mush, smash, puree bananas & avocados
2.  Blend butter & sugar.  Add eggs.  Add puree, mush, smash mixture
3.  Mix dry ingredients (set aside 1/2 cup of flour... you may need it later, you may not)
4.  Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients
5.  If combined mixture is too wet, slowly add more flour until you reach optimal muffin consistency
6.  Spoon into muffin tins - I use the medium sized dozen tins

Bake for 18-20 minutes (depends on your oven... check with a tooth pick)

Now, this may sound like a weird muffin combination but it is seriously delicious.  The avocados add a rich buttery texture... yom yom yom!

Oh and the gals at LLL did not get to enjoy these muffins... my avocado wasn't ripe enough.  Stupid avocado.

Monday, August 29, 2011

{Buff Mama Monday} Fallen off the bandwagon...

For shame - that didn't take me long to fall off of the {Buff Mama Monday} Bandwagon. 

I've been MIA from my blog, but I have been behaving (kinda).  After my lovely bought of mastitis, I dropped 4lbs.  Seriously, they just fell off of me.  And then I got together with friends.  *sighs*

While I have managed to keep those 4lbs at bay, I am not eating like I should (my god, why on earth does this need to be a never ending drama?) and I haven't gone out for my runs (but I have done some great walking whilst pushing two boys + a filled.to.the.max diaper bag).

I'd like to say that I'm going out tonight, but I'm not... I have LLL tonight (yep, sitting around munching on snacks and chatting with my ladies takes precedence over getting my act together).

I do have one bit of good news - not only have I get those extra 4lbs off (I'm not at a total loss of 35lbs), I've also lost another 1" from my waist and 0.5" from my hips!  Yay me!

I need to revamp my "Running List" - so spam me with the tunes that get *YOU* moving!

And now I'm going to go and make Banana Avocado muffins for my meeting tonight (Banana Avocado you say?  Why yes, I will blog the recipe later... it is DEE-LISH!)


Monday, August 15, 2011

Joining The Crafty Nest's {Buff Mama Monday}

Last week Vanessa started her Buff Mama Monday and not to be a bandwagon jumper but I'm hopping on that train. 

I know I need more accountability.  I can talk out of my ass (figuratively people) all I want but unless I actually do it, it doesn't mean anything... right?

I can honestly say last week was not a stellar week - in fact, the only reason I'm down a pound (which brings my total 32lbs from my highest postpartum weight) is because I managed to get the icky mastitis this weekend (an all-night-long pukefest and having the shakes does wonders for my figure). 

I didn't manage to get 3 runs (jogs... because let's face it this fanny doesn't move at a running pace) in last week but I did get two good ones in.  One that included a wicked head wind while pushing my two boys in my beloved BOB (now that was fuuuuuuun).  And we made sure to get out as a family and walk. 

I'm definitely re-focusing on food this week, I'm going to give my poor mastitis boobie a break from the underwire/sports bra... so my defense shall be food - spam me with your low-sugar (I'm on antibiotics for my mastitis and don't relish the thought of thrush... been there, done that), healthy recipes.


Monday, August 8, 2011

What's On Your Must Read List?

I received one of the bestest birthday presents ev.ah!  (okay, disclaimer... my birthday was in February... I've had not-yet-mentioned-present since February... so hold your pants on, I promise this is going somewhere). 

The awesomesauce present that I speak of is my Kobo.  This has been an invaluable device to the mama of a rabid nursling (I mean, to the mama of a breastfed baby).  There are those that have been blessed with the skills (and the not-so-ample-bosom) required to nurse hands-free, I bow down to you.  I have not acquired said skills, so reading an.actual.book during late-night nursing sessions was an exercise in frustration (read page.  shift hands to read next page.  set book down.  flip page.  rinse & repeat). 

Enter the Kobo.  Want to read what's going to happen on the next page just push the button (mine is the "low-tech" non-touch).  The thrifster (aka: Extreme Cheap-O) in me loves that there are a tonne of free books to be had (and I can check books out from the library or share, how awesome is that?).  The thrifster in me is saddened at the number of author's that I.love. who have some new reads available (read: non-free eBooks).  *sighs*  But, since I will be going back to work soon, I'm going to need something to read during my lunch hour, so it's like an investment or something... right?  Right?

So here's a peek at my "I-Gotta-Get-My-Hands-On-These" List:
Eve by Iris Johansen
Quinn by Iris Johansen
Under an Afghan Sky by Mellissa Fung
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson
Blood Ties by Kay Hooper
Fallen by Karin Slaughter
The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

What is on your must read list?

Friday, August 5, 2011

You Know it's HOT when your Non-Freezerables Are Melting!

So, the weather lately has swung from a hot, sweltering mess (thanks giant lake for making summer a very sticky affair) to cool and delightful. 

Can you guess what kind of day today was

Can you guess what happened when TT, C-McC and I spent the morning/early afternoon with some friends and decided to go to the park after lunch?  Can ya?  (If you can't guess, I think it's safe to assume that this is your first foray into my muddled life)

If you guessed major-freaking-meltdown, you're a winner (of what, I am not sure... this isn't a giveaway, unless of course you're in the market for a slightly used TT).

Yes, apparently, the heat can cause children to melt (down that is... too bad they can't be put in the freezer to chill-the-hell-out... I'm kidding [obviously... right?])

The perfect ended to TT's crazytown meltdown (which included [but was not limited to] invading another child's personal space... repetitively, kicking and headbutting... basically he lost his shit ), was the car-seat-wrestle.  Try wrestling a super-pissed-off almost 3y/o into his car seat as he's having a WWE-style flip out... yeah, that is fun.  You literally have to sit on him to get him all buckled in (which is oh-so-fucking-fun when he does it out at Wall-Butt... because people stop.stare.and.glare).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Early Birthday Celebration!

This past weekend we had the whole famn damily (and some wonderful friends) out at my mom's to help us celebrate TT & C-McC's birthdays (a tad [*ahem* a whole month] early)

We.had.a.fabulous.time!

Rented a bouncy castle - OMG, what a brilliant idea that was, the kiddies spent the afternoon in & out, in & out, in & out!  Much better than in & out, in & out, in & out of the house. 

My mama has a trampoline so if the bouncy castle wasn't crazy enough for them, they could bounce around to their hearts content on the trampoline (with parental supervision/participation of course)

Actually, my mama has a pretty well-stocked house.  Lots of toys/activities for the kiddies (a puddle pool, sand box and tonnes of outdoor toys... she's well prepared for when her grandbabies come over to visit!)

We did a BBQ (hamburgers and hot dogs, easy-peasy and my mother-in-law brought some tasty pizza), and my awesome family helped with some salads (homemade macaroni, potato, noodle salad and some deviled eggs... soooo yummy!)

I made a tonne of cupcakes and a dragon cake, and I totally forgot to get a "finished" picture.

It was a great day to gather with family and celebrate the births of two of the most important men in my life. 

There are days where I wonder what the hell I've gotten myself into.  Days where I swear my children are wild, jacked-up monkeys with a severe case of the crazies... but this - family - this is what life is all about and I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the two lives that I.brought.into.this world. 

inside of dragon cake *yum*

August Resolutions

I participate in a "How-to-make-babywearing-look-good" forum/post... today we updated our August Resolutions and mine are as follows:

I resolve to drink.more.water. -  Very rarely do I actually drink the recommended 8 - 10 glasses of water (that wouldn't leave enough room for coffee.coffee.coffee)

Which leads into number 2...
I resolve to drink.less.coffee - *sighs* it is my weakness.  I love that java goodness... I jones for it and love it so darn much that I'll drink decaf (because C-McC is not very tolerant of The Caffeine).

I resolve to eat more greens - Spinach and strawberry salad?  Don't mind if I do!

I resolve to get out for a walk/run/jaunt once.a.day - I live on a busy road.  A busy road that does not have a sidewalk, but a dirt shoulder.  BOB made an appearance this weekend and my boys love him, so now I don't have a (good) excuse for not getting out even if only for a 20min at a time!

BOB *sighs* Isn't he dreamy?


Friday, July 29, 2011

*Natural* doesn't always mean *easy*

Is it any surprise that breastfeeding isn't all sunshine and rainbows?  We've lost a whole generation (or two) of breastfeeders (hold your pants on, I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm being quite melodramatic but seriously.  Stop.  And.  Think.  About that statement.  How many people can say they've been *exposed* to breastfeeding, be it their own mother, an aunt, a sister, or a cousin... ).

Breastfeeding is an acquired skill.  A mother learns how to nurse by observing other mother's nursing and by doing.  Since it isn't socially acceptable to hang out at the mall and watch mother's nurse (and let's face it... we'd all be a little creeped out by someone with a notebook "studying" us nursing out in public), there are plenty of online (and real world) resources to help new/struggling nursing mama's.

La Leche League - I have found this to be a fabulous virtual and real world resource.  The International page has forums where you can connect with other mama's and the Canadian site has links to LLL publications, FAQ's and access to leader information.  I have joined my local LLL (that's right, I am now officially a card carrying lactivist - I love it so much that I've taken on the task of E-Communcations) and we have an awesome group of women that join in at our bi-monthly meetings.  We discuss breastfeeding (obviously) and any issues we might be having, breastfeeding in relation to our parenting and relationships.  And of course we just talk.  It is nice talking to women who are going what you've gone through (or who have gone through it), it is wonderful getting affirmation that this is normal/too-shall-pass.  It also gives you access to an incredibly knowledgeable accredited leader.

Dr. Jack Newman - When I was nursing TT we had issues with thrush... I found the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic (it's now Breast Feeding Inc.) and got a lot of help!  It is located in the GTA, but they do have a lot of awesome resources and fact sheets, as well as videos online.  Dr. Newman also has a couple excellent books/resources available (if you're nursing or will be nursing, I seriously recommend that you check them out).

Nursing Mama's - I try to surround myself with supportive women, women who are quick to offer ideas & advice (and sometimes a shoulder).  I've found a couple of awesome forums to throw ideas/thought/questions out there and have gotten some excellent support in return.  The Breastfeeding forum on Today's Parent has some very knowledgeable mama's on there as well as TBW (breastfeeding and babywearing do *kind of* go hand-in-hand).

Blogging Mama's - I tend to check-out the crunchy mama blogs... Last week I was reading a blog (which I cannot for the life of me find again... if you know the link please share it with me) where she likened breastfeeding for the first time to riding a bike (in a race) without ever having actually seen a bike being ridden in.real.life!  I cannot do her words justice... I think she did a fabulous job of explaining why it is so darn hard!  Found it!

This is my first foray into Blog Hop!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Perfect Mama, Sch-Mama...

I blog a lot about my more awesome moments (can you say narcissist?) trust me when I say it isn't all sunshine and kittens

Here are a few of my less stellar qualities:

I yell
After asking TT what seems like 50 times to do something, something simple, something I know that he can do... I find my will to calmly tell him to please do such-and-such snap... and I yell.  I don't like it, and I'm not proud of it but it happens.  I feel like a shit afterwards and profusely apologize for being "Angry Mom". 

I.am.WAY.too.plugged.in
I could totally lose myself in the interwebs.  Like the house could be on fire and I'd sniff and think "Mmmmmm, BBQ".

I often feel that "Because I said so" is a suitable response/reason
Explaining why we must do something, fifty-freaking-million times annoys me.  A lot.  And sometimes (often) I find myself resorting to "Because" (because some things just are, okay?)

I strongly suspect "real children"
do.not use.this.room
My house is a disaster
For realz, it is messy and cluttered and some days I could just crawl out of my skin because it drives me so nutty.  I would love to lay 100% of the blame on the hubs, TT & C-McC but I gotta be honest and say, I have a hard time giving a damn..


I utter threats
I have been known to furiously whisper to ill-behaving children that they better listen or else (insert [go home to bed, not get that toy, etc]) and I know sometimes when we are out and the boys are giving me a run for my money that I must seem like uber-bitch at that exact moment, but please realize that you didn't see the 30min/3hrs/day leading up to that particular moment...

I am not above bribery
When threats (of bed, home, no toy, etc) don't work I have been known to employ bribery.  Because sometimes buying that damn toy will quiet them up long enough to trap everyone in their car seats (where they cannot escape and cause more mayhem).

Children don't come with manuals (and oh how I wish they did - I'd buy multiple copies!), so we have to muddle our way through it.  One experience at a time...

My Muddled Journey

I am working my ass off (literally... yo) to  be a healthier mom.  I want to be there for my kiddies (and while I realize the length of my life is not in my hands, the quality of said life certainly is).  So, myself and the hubs have been taking better care of ourselves (we're not perfect... we definitely enjoy a fast food burger, but we *are* better).

As we've embarked on our journey, there have been snippets of advice that has driven me nearly around the bend, I'll just share a few of them:

"eat carrot sticks/celery (insert crunchy veggie here) instead of chips, the crispy-crunchiness of the veggies will satisfy your crunching urges" -  Seriously, they'll satisfy my "crunching urges"?  Ummmmkay... because I will totally be fooled by the crunch of a carrot into believing that it just might be a non-salted orange chip?  I think not... granted carrots are infinitely better than chips (and I am making myself choose them over chips) but I'm not lying when I say that I miss chips.

"once you get into good work out rhythm, you'll totally catch *the bug*"  -  I think the thing that irritates me the most about this, it.is.true.  I feel like shit the days *cough-week-cough* that I don't get out for my jogs.  I enjoy my time alone, with nothing but the next interval to worry about.  It.is.weird.  I've *never* enjoyed exercise (organized sports?  yes!  exercise?  hells no!

"eating healthier is so.much.cheaper"  -  Really?  It is?  Because last time I checked my grocery store, milk was over $6.00 for 4L.  I honestly don't notice a price difference, not.at.all...

I do find myself thinking about food and exercise a lot throughout the day (either in a shameful *I can't believe I ate that/didn't go out for my jog* sort of way or *What should I eat, this or that/When can I fit my jog in*) and I truly hope I don't become one.of.those.people (you know, the ones that you swear can mentally calculate the calories in their food [as well as yours and give you a disproving look too]).

Just trying to muddled my way through this - anyone else on the "healthy living - reduce your ass" kick?  Share your advice!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

C25K - myFitnessPal *Update*

Just a quick post to let you know that in this hot, muggy weather we're having, that I am indeed alive & kicking.

Sticking to my guns (I mean runs)... and watching what I'm eating (I'm down another 4lbs... which brings me to a total of 30lbs since February, yeah me!)

Also, just have to share some exciting news, this bad boy is coming home with me:
 

Bob
2011 Bob SUS Duallie
(I got a wicked deal on a 2010 model...
so my BOB is blue, not orange!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why I Parent The Way I Do...

I'm sure you've read a time or two (or twenty) about my parenting quirks (side note, I don't prescribe to a particular style... I'm a mish mash, muddled kind of mama... I pick and choose what makes sense for my family).

Allow me a moment to explain why I do what I do - I know I'm not perfect (baahahahahaha... if you knew me in real life, you'd laugh at how absolutely absurd that notion is), so I try to mitigate my less awesome parenting moments (and the potential for forever damaging my child - okay, so I'm a freakin' nut... but I honestly cannot be the only mom that worries that they're going to eff their kids up for life, am I?), by doing things that I know will positively impact them.

Nursing
*  I *know* that nursing my boys is the best thing that I can do for them
* Your breast milk is perfectly balanced for your nursling.  (No, I'm not making this shit up... it is for realz).  What your child needs is what your body will create, so your morning milk won't be the same as your evening milk.  Your cold blustery winter milk won't be exactly the same as your muggy, hot-as-hell summer day milk.   And if you were to tandem nurse the milk that each child nursed would be different depending on their needs.  How freaking awesome is that!?!?!
*  It's easy (please note, that does not mean it is without difficulties but when I weigh the pros and cons unsnapping my bra is infinitely easier than making a bottle, warming said bottle and then cleaning the bottle afterwards [what can I say, I'm lazy])
*  It's free.  So, not only am I a lazy (I choose to term it as "Path of Least Resistance Mom"), I'm also cheap.  Cheap, cheap, cheap.  Formula?  Is expensive, expensive, expensive.  Since I *can* nurse, I'd much rather do so instead of paying for overpriced formula.


Babywearing
*  Babywearing totally appeals to the lazy mother in me - hold my child in their gagillion pound bucket seat whilst maintaining a firm hold on the darty-TT? OR strap C-McC to me, allowing my whole torso to bear his weight (so my arms don't feel like they're full of lead when I'm done running errands), allowing me to have my hands free to hold onto TT and push a cart if I so desire to do so.  Jeez, I wonder which way I'd prefer to shop?
*  Gotta nurse in public?  No problem, just do a shimmy & a shake, and you're good to go (and continue shopping... while holding your darty-TT's hand, try that with a bucket seat)
*  Inconsolable, overstimulated, grumpy-grump?  No problem (most of the time), slip them up... cuddle them close, hummmm and rock.  Bonus?  You don't have to worry about transferring them down, just continue on your merry little way!

Bedsharing/Co-sleeping
* We have chosen to sidecar C-McC crib to our bed (i.e. co-sleeping), so he goes down for the night in "his space" and when he wakes up to nurse, he ends up in our bed (i.e. bedsharing).  This works for us because I am able to quickly nurse him back to sleep (or snuggle if that's what he needs) and yes some nights it is a royal pain in the ass, but it totally goes along my "Path of Least Resistance" parenting philosophy.  I would much rather quickly nurse/cuddle him back to sleep than listen to him wail for hours on end (seriously, C-McC is super screamer... he does.not.have.an.off.button).
I don't sleep through the night (seriously, I wake up to pee, have a drink of water, just shift positions, etc) so I don't know why it is an expectation that our children must sleep through the night.  I find it much easier to roll over and do what needs to be done than to *gasp* get out of bed, walk down the hall and do what needs to be done (I told you that I was a lazy parent).
I believe that responding to my boys will result in well-adjusted men... I do not believe that children need to be taught to self-soothe (I feel that this is a skill that is acquired with age... ).  Please do not read this as "my children never cry" or "I would never let my child cry, ever".  They do cry (some days on an hourly basis), and honestly getting up multiple times during the night is not my cuppa tea but I do find it easier for my family.

Babyled Weaning/Skipping Purees
*  Again, on the cheap, lazy train... I could buy ridiculously overpriced purees (like a dollar a jar) or I could make them myself (precook all the veggies/meats/etc, puree and jar/freeze them myself) OR I could as C-McC shows interest, feed him what we eat (in age appropriate sizes/quantities, obviously).
*  I will also confess that C-McC preference pour moi was much enjoyed because it meant less mess... ugh, I hate the self-feeding mess.
*  By giving my boys what we eat, I have more control over what they eat (please do not read this as "my children have perfect diets... they only eat whole and 10000% nutritious food" because they don't).  We try to make stuff over buying stuff (from cookies to pasta sauce... it's cheaper that way).  And there are days where TT eats fruits & veggies like they are going out of style.

All of this to say - I am just doing my best to be the best parent that I can be.  I'm not perfect, not even close.  

I've joined the breastfeeding blog hop hosted by:
Life with Levi, The Slacker Mom & Diary of a Devil Dog Wife.  The topic this week is: World Breastfeeding Week, I've decided to include my "Why I do what I do" blog posting...

 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No 'poo - Day 2

I've attempting to go no 'poo* (*please note the apostrophe in front of "poo", it is a very important apostrophe... because it indicates that "poo" is not the entirety of the word that I am referring to - so no, I am not discussing my bowel movements [I'm not so short on material to discuss that I feel it is vital to stoop to that, at least not just yet].  The 'poo in question is SHAMpoo... in case you were wondering).

I have yet to find the right baking soda to water consistency, but so far it's not too bad.  My hair is a little oilier than it would normally be the day after a wash but not as oily as it would be on day 2.  I'm hoping once I figure out the right amount of water/baking soda that it will make a difference.  I've also read that there can be an adjustment period of up to a week and once your hair/body adjusts to not having shampoo used on it, it won't produce as much oil (thus staying cleaner longer). 

I was concerned that the lack of conditioner would make my crazy hair absolutely unwieldy.  I have fine, thick wavy-ish hair.  Hair dressers are always surprised at the amount of hair covering the floor when I come in (really, it's THICK... it just doesn't look like it... weird, I know).  I can honestly say that I can't get a brush through it while wet (which I am aware is super no-no, but I do it anyways).  And I hate smelling like a salad while my hair is wet (I'm thinking of creating an essential oil/apple cider vinegar solution so that it'll smell less salad-E).  But I can definitely get a brush through my tangles the next morning, so that's good. 

Now, you might be wondering what on earth prompted me to attempt to ditch shampoo... I was shocked (yes, shocked) when I realized just how much crap is in our hygiene and beauty products (don't believe me?  check this out). 

Since we've started our family, the hubs and I have made a concentrated effort to "do better".  We make our pasta sauce.  If it's between store-bought and homemade, 95% of the time we'll do it ourselves.  We buy locally made handcrafted soap and I'm hoping that soon, we'll be a family of four no 'pooers

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Muddled Long Weekend...

So, my mom got married on the weekend... and she was the epitome of the anti-bridezilla.  (she was also the epitome of beauty in her purple dress... very, very easy breezy and quite becoming).

I picked my own dress:

Kiyonna Desert Rain Maxi - Teal
(Please note:  I didn't look quite as awesome but I tried)
 
My own accessories:

Fascinator was created by the brilliant mind behind
A Handmade Tale
Photo courtesy of: A Handmade Tale (I forgot to snap a picture)
And she only slightly rolled her eyes over my Comfy Joey slingified Inka Storch wrap (hey, you gotta match your carriers to your formal wear!):

Sorry for the fuzz-factor... but c'mon doesn't that sling
just *go* with my dress?
 
(Ps: I.love.sleeping.sling.babies)

It was a hot, sticky day... but I think everyone had a grande ol' time, I know *I* did. 

And while I didn't get my arse out for a run (ummmm... at all last week).  I did sign up for myFitnessPal and I'm tracking every.single.thing.I.eat... I'm hoping to Kinect tonight, after the hubs gets home from work (and the boys are tucked into bed) and I've made plans with my cousin to head out for a run later on this week.  And I did dance my butt off at the wedding... so, that's something, right?