Sunday, August 25, 2013

Eating Healthy: Vegan Style

1.  Chickpea African Stew
2.  White kidney beans and kale stew
3.  Salad with herbs (dill), strawberries and faux Souvlaki (Yves) and sesame seed dressing
I'm always trying to live a healthier lifestyle.  Of course, sometimes I 'fall off the wagon' and eat bagels for lunch with vegan chocolate chips on the side.  Here's some meals I've made lately that were more nutritious and tasted good!  The first two were recipes from this book:
I think I might purchase the book (I borrowed it from the library).  I really liked utilizing our crockpot for once, and liked how it made a few meals so we could freeze some if we wanted to.  



Story's Four Month Photoshoot

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Toddlers and Tiaras

Every year my little town has a street festival where they close off the main street for three days to house vendors, musicians, a parade, and they have a local midway.  You know the festival... pretty typical for small town folk.  This year I just happened to discover a day or so before the festival began that they have a baby beauty contest.  Now, typically I get a bad taste in my mouth when I think of pageants...  I see images of phoney smiles, hair sprayed do's, and hear phrases like, 'I want world peace.'  But for some reason I thought it was hilarious to enter-'just this once.'  I think it's something I can laugh about with Story when she gets older.  Plus, it gave me an excuse to dress her in some items that were given to me that she probably won't get a chance to ever where.  So, we put on her frilly watermelon party dress, crocheted beanie, and mini sandals and lined up for 3-5 months judging.  It took longer than I would have liked, but in the end we came home with a runner up prize that consisted of a huge stuffed bunny, Dora the Explorer Pail, mini windmill, and some soap.  I smile when I think that she received the prize for being the most 'healthiest' of babies, because she certainly was the largest baby there!  My exclusively breastfed girl (almost 6 months) definitely does not have to worry about 'failing to thrive.'  I just wished all the babies could have taken home a prize, because 'judging' babies on anything makes me sad.  They are all growing, learning, taking in so much that why should we compare?  I would have gladly split her little prize and taken home less just so another mom and baby could have the grandeur of also being a 'winner.'  Anyway, at the least it was fun to see so many families out.  I reminisced when I spotted smaller babies, and day dreamed about the future when I saw the older ones. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three Months With Story

Another excerpt from my baby journal:

"Story is currently sleeping on the bed in her strawberry hoodie.  V is ordering Indian takeout, and we're going to walk downtown to pick it up with Story in her boba carrier.  This weekend Buskerfest is going on downtown.

She really wants to sit up now, but doesn't quite have the control to do so yet.  Every morning Story gets diaper free floor time under her gym set and plays with her koala, butterfly and bird.  She listens to Elizabeth Mitchell's folk music for kids (and adults-it's really nice music).  Story is on the verge of giggling and loves to smile at mom and herself in the mirror.  Yesterday Savannah the cat rubbed herself against Story and she smiled and giggled.  She also reached out to touch Mahjong (the pug) too.

I've been to 2 Barefoot Parenting aka Attachment/Natural Parenting mom's groups.  Story really likes seeing other babies in motion.  Yesterday one baby named Sydney crawled over and stuck her finger in Story's mouth unexpectedly.  Story didn't really react to it, but I thought it was funny.

We've been venturing out in the stroller now (starting week 13), and Story seems to not mind it.  She cried and got very upset the first two stroller rides, but now we walk all around the neighborhood and she is content.  Sometimes she falls asleep.  Her dad loves to wear her in the Boba carrier, and prefers to walk in the woods than downtown."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two Months With Story

Here is an excerpt from my baby journal I am keeping:

"She is getting good head control now and likes to turn her head from side to side.  Story tracks things with her eyes, and really likes to watch her pink bird mobile and mamaroo mobile.  She still goes to sleep around midnight, but has been sleeping longer-around 4 hour stretches now.  She still needs to be nursed to sleep.  Story has been doing well at tummy time, and tried to grab toys now.  People think she is going to be right handed because she predominantly uses that one.  She smiles a lot and tries to 'talk.'  She also sleeps a lot in the mornings, and is usually a happy when she first wakes up.  We've upgraded her to Fuzzibunz diapers and Flip Covers because she has grown a fair bit and no longer fits her newborn cloth diapers.  We cannot use disposable wipes because she gets rashes.

May 13th 2013 11 weeks 1 day

Story rolled over from tummy to back twice today! V was able to witness it first.

We also attended her baby shower at V's work.  Story was passed around from stranger to stranger, but didn't cry once!  Although, she did save up a giant runny poop for 2.5 days and let it loose in the hands of a cheerful lady.  She's currently in her bassinet talking to her birds, and clenching her fists like she's trying to box.  She really likes to examine her fists.

This week we are attending a reunion at the midwives clinic (this turned out to be a bust because only one other person showed up for the reunion!) and Story is getting another vaccination at her doctors (currently we have stopped vaccines... more discussion to follow).  We'll also visit her grandpa (my dad) for his 60th birthday!  "

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Supermom Tag

1.  How many kids do you have and what age(s)?

One girl currently 5 months old.

2.  Do you feel like you have it all 'together' everyday?  (cleaning, laundry etc...)

I feel like I stay on top of the basics, because if I don't than it'll be more to catch up on.  There is always 'more' to do, but you can't worry about it.

3.  When do you make time to have a shower? Day? Night?

During the work week I shower at night before bed, and on the weekends I shower in the mornings because V is able to watch Story.  I pretty much have a shower every day (it's my saving grace), although I tend to wash my hair every 2nd day.

4.  Do you wear makeup every day?

For the first while after Story was born I didn't wear any makeup and I was fine with it!  But then I got back into my old habits.  I don't wear a lot, just an organic foundation and blush.  It literally takes less than 3 minutes to apply.

5.  Do you style your hair every day or pony it?

I wish I could pony it-but my hair is short!  Luckily I am able to brush it into some manageable state and wash it every two days.  I do miss (sometimes) the days when it was nicely highlighted and hair sprayed into place.

6.  When do you find time to do hair/makeup??

I put myself into a fast and clean (as possible) look after breakfast every morning when Story is doing some tummy time.

7.  Do you workout?  When?

Again-another I wish!  My current workout consists of daily walks in the stroller around town.  After dinner we go for another walk with Story in the Boba carrier and with the dogs.  Other than that, I try to do some gentle stretches and twists, and I am still doing physio for my pelvic floor, wrist and shoulder (2 different physiotherapists).  I have physio homework which involves specific kegal exercises, breathing exercises, and stretches for my wrist and shoulder.  I am looking forward to the day when I can do a yoga class or home practice.  My pelvic floor is stable enough to handle a vinyasa, however my wrist and shoulder need to heal. 

8.  What is your household cleaning routine?

I don't have a routine-whenever I feel like the room needs a vacuuming, spraying, wipe down... I go ahead and do it.  Cloth diapers are a high priority and are usually in some state of washing, hanging or needing to be stuffed.

9.  How often do you have alone or me time?  And how do you relax?

Very rarely do I have any alone time.  Usually I relax while Story is napping.  I'll indulge in a little treat, like a homemade soy latte and read while she's snoozing next to me.  Once a week or so I'll get a chance to watch a t.v show like True Blood while V is looking after Story.

10.  Do you ever get overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being a mom?

I don't know if overwhelmed is the correct word.  Sure, in the first two months I definitely felt overwhelmed because we were still struggling with breastfeeding and lack of sleep.  Now I feel like I'm in a groove because there's some routine or pattern to every day.  Mostly I miss some self indulgence, like watching t.v shows, doing lots of exercise, or having my hair cut more often...  but really, I don't spend a lot of time mourning those things.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

One Month Photoshoot

Vlogging It

I don't think I've ever made the connection before, but I thought I might finally share my youtube channel.  I started one just over a year ago to do some random vlogs in connection to my blog, and then I started a second channel when I started my fertility treatments.  My second channel followed my entire pregnancy from before conception to delivery, to being a mom.  It's getting harder to do videos since Story is here, mostly because of the editing, and also because we are trying to keep her 'screen free' for a few years.  So I avoid being on the computer and watching t.v. while she is awake.  Anyway, if you're interested you can check out some awkward video posts of me!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

One Month With Story

The first month with our daughter was a whirl wind.  I have notes in my little notebook to share, but they are all over the place because at that time I was almost writing daily about how things were going.  I was lucky to have V stay home with me for 3 weeks after she was delivered.  It seemed like we had oodles of appointments, with midwives, doctors, doulas and lactation consultants.  I really wanted to have some professional newborn photos taken, but alas, my 3 hours of pushing and vacuum delivery resulted in a prolapsed bladder.  If you don't know much about bladder prolapses, I'll start by saying that for me, it resulted in major incontinence issues.  Therefore, I was too afraid to leave the house in case I peed my pants.  Anyway, the prolapse will have its own post because I've been going to physio for it since 8 weeks PP and there's a journey to tell.

From my notes, I can tell you we had a few 'bad' nights during that first month.  My midwife had warned us about the 2nd night, because apparently it's common for babies to be really fussy as they wait for your milk to come in.  Both V and I were exhausted because we really hadn't slept for 3 days or so throughout the water breaking/labour/delivery etc... and then we got home and were running off of oxytocin (me at least) bliss.  But the 2nd night was hard because Story cried for long bouts of time, and I felt slightly useless because I was black and blue, swollen and exhausted, but V was great help and began to find his groove in bouncing on the pilates ball to lull her to sleep.

Before I delivered I remember being nervous about post partum depression, so I had my doula encapsulate my placenta (again... another blog post to come).  On day 3 your hormones usually change and 'baby blues' can hit.  Fortunately, I felt not too bad.  A little weepy sometimes when I thought about Story, but nothing devastating.  I will be honest though, and say that I did have two or three moments of upset during the first month.  The first was after we had a really bad night with Story.  Bad night meaning she cried continually from 10 at night to 5 in the morning.  We tried everything, and couldn't make her content.  Since we don't believe in the CIO (cry it out) method, we stayed awake the entire time, feeding, changing, swaying, bouncing etc... and in the morning I broke down.  This happened twice from what I can remember, and at the time I was so worried that it was going to be like that forever!  (It wasn't-it was very temporary, so you can be relieved if you are expecting or have a newborn).

Another frustrating moment occurred during breastfeeding.  By day 5 I started to put cream on my nipples for soreness, and by day 8 my nipples were so raw, cracked, bleeding that I dreaded feeding every time.  I knew it was time to see a lactation consultant.  I actually had 3 visits with lactation consultants to get different opinions on a tongue tie that the first one thought I had.  After seeing a very experienced LC who declared she did not feel a tongue tie, and helped me work on different bfing positions (laid back bfing) things started to improve.  That happened somewhere around the 3rd week I believe.  Story just had a small mouth and shallow latch.  I remember a friend telling me to stick bfing out for 6 weeks because it will get better-she was right!  My nipples just started to heal around the 2 week mark, and it took a while until they looked scar free.  But let me tell you, I can understand how women turn to formula.  Breast feeding can be challenging!

I spent a lot of time hibernating in my house during the first month.  In fact, I did not get out of my pj's until the end of the second week or so (and that was only because of the visit to see the LC).  I wanted to be as low key as possible, because I wanted to spend all my time with Story and V, and also heal properly.  It also didn't hurt that it was still freezing out during this time, so the thought of taking a newborn out in the cold was not appealing.  

We had plenty of visitors during the first month (and after).  Grandparents, friends, cousins etc...  I tried to space it out as much as possible so I wasn't overwhelmed.  I didn't take Story out of the house until day 12 and 13, and those were small outings to see the grandparents (Story's), my doctor and LC.  By the fourth week V had to go back to work, so I set up a bfing station in the living room and spent hours watching old dvd's of 90210 and Jeremiah.  Oh, how the days have changed now!  (I could only wish to watch an hour or 2 a week of t.v).

Even though only a few months passed, those newborn days already seem long ago!