They said what??

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The other day when I was asked for the third time in a week, if my girls were twins… ummm over a year apart… I started to think about all the funny to outright rude things I have been asked in the last couple years when out with my litter (“litter” originally an auto correct, but if the shoe fits).

“Of course, these aren’t all your children, are they?”

“You are a very brave woman”

“Are you a daycare group?”

“You must be busy” … on the daily along with another crowd fav “you have your hands full”

“You should get a TV for your bedroom”

“Your husband is getting a vasectomy right??”

“Please tell me you’re done”

“I would rather die than have kids this close in age”

And the winner “didn’t your husband even let you have a nap after the last one?”

Heard any good ones?

 

Preparing your body for Pregnancy 2

Part 2: Natural Health Tips & Tricks

Today, let’s go through a few extra steps you can take at home to make your journey to motherhood a little less bumpy.

The reason I say less bumpy is because if you end up needing a fertility expert, you will most likely be introducing unnatural chemicals into your body.

Here are some vitamins and supplements for the future mom:

  1. Pre-natal.  You’re thinking, DUH!  But just hold on… For all 3 of my pregnancies, taking a pre-natal vitamin caused me to throw up within a minute.  However, I had been taking pre-natals for years just in case.  Since, I had been taking prenatals regularly, I was able to quit taking them as soon as the vitamins caused the vomiting.
  2. Folic acid.  This should be part of your pre-natal.  However, if you have any predispositions to genetic issues, (I have a heart condition), I was advised to take twice the recommended amount of folic acid leading up to and between pregnancies.  As far as research shows at the moment, taking a higher dose of folic acid is fine.  It has also been found to decrease the risk of genetic issues.  Before taking any supplement or vitamin at a dose different than the recommended amount, check with your health care provider.
  3. Chaste tree is helpful for women who have long cycles, or are having anovulatory (non ovulating) cycles.  Take it for 1 month, max 3 months while trying to conceive, and stop as soon as you find out you are growing a little person.
  4. Vitamin D.  This boosts your immune system, and no one wants to get busy with a snotty spouse… so take it and make sure your guy is taking it too! (note: if your guy is willing, give him a zinc supplement, it will boost his virility.  Some men’s vitamins have it included.)
  5. B6.  During my first pregnancy I had extreme issues with vomiting/nausea and grudgingly ended up needing to take anti-nausea medication.  However, when I got pregnant for the second time, I researched the contents of the medication (diclectin), it is essentially gravol and B6.  So as soon as I find myself pregnant, I start taking B6, and it is MAGIC!!
  6. Fish Oil.  For so many reasons, you need to be taking your omega 3’s.  It thins your blood, which is excellent for pregnancy, (note: stop taking this as you get close to your due date so you can clot easily).  But the highlight of fish oils is that it boosts your baby’s brain, and helps mom with “pregnancy brain”, which has been frequently attributed to the baby stealing all your omega 3’s.
  7. Magnesium at night for leg cramps, difficulty sleeping, and …. umm… no nice way to say it.. but bathroom challenges… *blush*

*Note: Excessive drinking, smoking and coffee should be eliminated, because they affect your absorption of nutrients.

3 Further steps to take when thinking of getting pregnant:

  1. Get your spine checked by a Chiropractor that has experience in this area.  The nerves that go to your reproductive organs come from the lower back.  If your spine is not aligned properly, it’s like the wifi signal is low in your ovaries and uterus.  They are not going to function properly, because they are not getting the signals sent from the body.
  2. Try acupuncture.  Acupuncture has been getting great results with fertility.
  3. If you are overweight, or obese, lose the weight!  Fat stores impact your hormones and can decrease your fertility.

Confidence = Injuries

Let this be a warning, mainly to myself.. but when things start to feel calm, a storm is brewing!

Two days ago, I distinctly remember putting away the last of the clean, folded and ironed clothes.  My kids were quietly playing with puzzles, and dolls.  They were well dressed and had eaten a healthy dinner.  The dishes were done.  Homework was taken care of.  The floors clean and toys picked up.

Man I was feeling that if prizes were handed out for moms who had it all together, this is the day I’d win.

Then came yesterday.  I got up early to make everyone scrambled eggs, and Isabelle woke up as I snuck past her door, so she became my volunteer helper.  I put her up on a chair, and cooked the eggs on the furthest burner.  Of course, she somehow reached the pan with a finger and burned herself!  It was a very small and mild burn, but I felt so bad for her.

Later in the day, when all was bandaged up and kissed.  The girls were playing on the couch and of course Elise falls off it and hits her head.  Really Really hard.  As she was walking towards me she was doing a drunk sailor walk.  She keeled right over, hit a drawer and our hard wood floor, with you guessed it, her head.

As I went to pick her up, her eyes wouldn’t focus and she was limp like a rag doll.  I hope she’ll forgive me for mentioning it, but she then wet herself and me.  Seeing her like this really scared me.  She clearly had at least a concussion.  So I started thinking about what I needed to grab to go to the hospital.  As I started getting ready to take everyone to the hospital, Elise started to come around.  Once she was changed into dry clothes she was 100% fine.  I forced her to do every neurological test that seemed age appropriate, and she was fine.  No blood or bumps or bruises.  I woke her up every couple hours to walk her around and slept right next to her.  She was fine, but wow, that scared me!

The next morning, I decided to give Belle a quick bath in the kitchen sink.  As a side note: I may only have a couple more weeks that I can get away with this, she is getting so big!  Within a minute or two of her splashing in the water, she stood up quickly.  She slipped and smashed the top of her nose on the very sharp corner of the steel divider between our two sinks.  Acccch!  This time, there was a good deal of blood and swelling!  After cleaning her up and giving her hundreds of kisses, she seemed fine.  And today, her nose looks just a bit swollen and the cut looks much better.

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It has been a painful couple of days.  But I am hoping that this big injection of humility will decrease the ouches around here.

 

Daycare makes kids FAT!

On a regular morning, at 6:50am, I am in the kitchen feeding the little monsters breakfast before our oldest heads off to school.  It feels very busy just getting one child off to school. My hats off to moms rushing a bunch of kids to school and daycare!

I watch a lot of these moms, from the bus stop, strap their little charges into the minivan to drop them off to wonderful and enriching programs.

Honestly, I often feel a bit jealous of the regularly scheduled programming, the detailed menu plans and the highly organised little classrooms.  What mom would not love the toddler height sinks??  There are days when getting one load of laundry feels like it’s something to brag about, much less providing a stimulating environment for my children to learn letters, numbers and music.  My jealousy has on occasion led me to cyber stalk various preschool and daycare programs that are offered in Oakville, that my kids will never attend.

However, researchers in Montreal (University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center, published in the Journal of Pediatrics ) have found that kids attending daycare centres between the ages of 1.5 and 4 years old, had a 65% higher chance of being overweight between the ages of 4 and 10.  The same results were not found in children cared for in different settings.

The study recommended that further research should be done to find out why daycare centers increased the chance of making our kids chubby.

I propose that both daycare centers and schools are setting up our children with unhealthy habits relating to food consumption.  The two main concerns I have are frequency of eating and food that is mostly catered.

In daycare, as far as I have been informed, food is given out frequently.  Often, there are 2 morning snacks, lunch and 1 or 2 snacks in the afternoon, depending on pick up time.  Food is served promptly and eating time is generally short.  I have noticed also from my son’s school, that lunch times are very short, and there are many snack times offered throughout the day.

I believe that quick and frequent “feeding times”, are teaching our kids that eating can take place any time of day.  Our kids will end up doing more snacking and less enjoying healthy meals.

In our home, we take a French approach to feeding our family.  We have breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner.  Each meal lasting between 20 minutes to an hour.  If the kids are hungry in between, I do not offer granola bars, or snack cakes, or crackers.  For my littlest (almost 18 months), if she is screaming I will first offer water, I may offer a quarter of an apple if she is really losing it at 9:30am, but this would happen less than once a month.  I make a point to teach our kids that “you should eat enough of the healthy meal we made for you, because you will not be getting another snack in an hour.”  Maybe this seems cruel…

However, we have seen the fruits of our labor.  My oldest was a picky eater when he was 2.  He spent a few days with his aunt and uncle, while our second baby was born.  As the story goes, he refused to eat anything except bagels.  Not toast.  Not a bun.  Not an english muffin.  Just bagels.  I believe they made a few trips to the store over the weekend.

In the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine,  it was found that preschoolers who were unable to wait for more than a few minutes for candy or a treat were significantly at higher risk to be fat by the time they were pre-teens.  In daycare centers, generally food is prepared and brought in by a catering company.  Catering means that food is served almost instantly.  Whereas in a home setting, children hear, smell and see the food being prepared.  As a side note, this is helpful because it prepares the gut for proper digestion.  In terms of helping with self control though, this is a lesson in waiting, that naturally occurs many times a day.  Children see the food being prepped in the kitchen, and they are probably getting hungry!  Mom or Grandma tell the kids day after day, to wait until it’s ready.  This becomes an ingrained pattern of eating.  You need to wait, food is not instant.  This is true even in the worst case, if you’re reheating processed food.

I don’t believe that daycare centers are doing anything wrong.  In fact, they are a great place for kids to go while mom and dad work.  However, there is an inherent vacuum when it comes to teaching food consumption habits that would happen organically in a family situation.

Daycare centers and schools could vastly improve by lengthening mealtimes, and decreasing snack times (or eliminating them altogether in children older than 6).  It would also be beneficial learning to cook on a regular basis and teaching children to appreciate meals, instead of snacks, was part of the curriculum.  I believe with these two changes we could see an improvement in long term obesity rates.